Minimum connection time at Woking

miklcct

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The minimum connection time at Woking is 5 minutes. Therefore I cannot legally book a connection from 12:19 arrival to 12:22 departure and the next train I can take is 12:29 instead. As I'm on an advance ticket I have to watch the 12:22 train departs and wait for the next one, despite the incoming train delayed by 1 minute at 12:20.

The connection involved is from platform 2 to 1, which is across the footbridge. Theoretically this can be done within 2 minutes. Non-stop trains to London Waterloo use platform 2 while stopping limited stop trains use platform 1. I believe this is a very common interchange. Is the 5 minutes minimum connection time at this station for this platform combination excessive?
 
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The Planner

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The minimum connection time at Woking is 5 minutes. Therefore I cannot legally book a connection from 12:19 arrival to 12:22 departure and the next train I can take is 12:29 instead. As I'm on an advance ticket I have to watch the 12:22 train departs and wait for the next one, despite the incoming train delayed by 1 minute at 12:20.

The connection involved is from platform 2 to 1, which is across the footbridge. Theoretically this can be done within 2 minutes. Non-stop trains to London Waterloo use platform 2 while stopping trains use platform 1. I believe this is a very common interchange. Is the 5 minutes minimum connection time at this station for this platform combination excessive?
Presumably you are an able bodied person who knows the platform layout etc without luggage etc etc... just because you can do it in 2 minutes doesn't mean everyone can.
 

Class800

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operationally excessive yes, but it's to protect the operators' back from delay claims, which is reasonable in a tight connection.
 

61653 HTAFC

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The minimum connection time at Woking is 5 minutes. Therefore I cannot legally book a connection from 12:19 arrival to 12:22 departure and the next train I can take is 12:29 instead. As I'm on an advance ticket I have to watch the 12:22 train departs and wait for the next one, despite the incoming train delayed by 1 minute at 12:20.

The connection involved is from platform 2 to 1, which is across the footbridge. Theoretically this can be done within 2 minutes. Non-stop trains to London Waterloo use platform 2 while stopping trains use platform 1. I believe this is a very common interchange. Is the 5 minutes minimum connection time at this station for this platform combination excessive?
It isn't excessive when you consider that in normal times most stoppers use platform 3 which is a long walk from the bridge and both side platforms, and not everyone is able to cover that distance quickly. It might throw up frustrating anomalies like the one you mention but that's just the way it has to be. If minimum connection times were based on what an able-bodied 20-year-old could do, it would cause far more problems than the way it currently is.
 

etr221

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which is across the footbridge
I would say that not everyone can reliably do it in two minutes (even if you can) - and would think that even five minutes is not going to be enough for everyone, all the time. (Slow walk half way along the platform, up and down in lifts: how long will that take?)
 

etr221

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The issue is probaly actually now down to frquently having 'train specific' tickets - which means you can't just whichever train you're in time for... (Which would prefer - ten minute wait if you got across in time, or the extra hassle expense of sorting things out if you didn't?
 

SargeNpton

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operationally excessive yes, but it's to protect the operators' back from delay claims, which is reasonable in a tight connection.
It's to give a reasonable connection time for the majority of passengers; including those who may not be so mobile, those with heavy luggage, those who may have small children in tow, or those who may not be familiar with the layout of the station.
 

Lifelong

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It's been touched on above, but I think 5 minutes is not too excessive, and is actually touch and go if you factor in platform 3. Obviously the OP is experienced in railway matters and would know not to, but if you were in carriage 8 of 8 arriving on a platform 3 stopper, 5 minutes would be iffy to platform 1 at tourist pace so to speak...
 

Watershed

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I think in the case the connection time should depend on the platforms. If it involves platform 3 it should be longer.
The data feeds which include minimum connection times don't have the facility for platform-specific connection times. Every single journey planner would have to be rewritten to include such a functionality.

I'm not saying this can't be changed - but there is no prospect of it happening anytime soon.
 

swt_passenger

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I think in the case the connection time should depend on the platforms. If it involves platform 3 it should be longer.
5 mins is the default figure across the country for relatively simple stations. Personally I wouldn’t have been surprised if Woking had been higher than 5 mins.
 

Horizon22

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Connection times have to be the minimum for obvious reasons. Not everyone can run, avoid the lifts and has no luggage. Of course you can journey plan two separate times to "beat" the connection time, but its not official and you won't be sold it. This is more useful for fares not on advance of course.
 

Horizon22

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You would be very lucky to manage Plat 2 to Plat 1 in 2 mins, even as an able-bodied person.

Not to mention I wouldn't want to rely on something like that anyway - just 1-2 minute delay and you've got no chance of getting on-board.
 
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When were the platform numbers at Woking changed? "In my day" long, long ago, the up slow platform was number 2, 3 was the up fast forming an island with 4 being the down fast and 5 was the down slow.

I first travelled to Woking Station when I was a babe-in-arms just a few weeks old. My mother took me to show to her sister who lived in Woking.
 

swt_passenger

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When were the platform numbers at Woking changed? "In my day" long, long ago, the up slow platform was number 2, 3 was the up fast forming an island with 4 being the down fast and 5 was the down slow.

I first travelled to Woking Station when I was a babe-in-arms just a few weeks old. My mother took me to show to her sister who lived in Woking.
They would have changed when the current P3, (the London end reversing bay between the fast lines), was added - although I cannot remember it not being in use. 1960s maybe?
 
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Jim the Jim

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Not to mention I wouldn't want to rely on something like that anyway - just 1-2 minute delay and you've got no chance of getting on-board.
Indeed. Even if minimum connection times didn't exist I'd go for the 10 minute one just for the peace of mind. And a 10 minute wait is actually quite a short one in the grander scheme of things.
 

Gloster

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I have rarely used Woking (and won’t mention one occasion when I did) but have passed through it many a time. I would get guess that the new platform was not added until the late 1980s or (more likely) the early 1990s. But then, I have never used it.
 

nickw1

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Platform 3 came in around the mid-90s I believe, when the stoppers terminated at Woking. It was not there in 1991, and was there in 1997, so sometime between the two. Probably closer to 1997 than 1991, as I can't imagine they would build it during the early-90s recession and I'm fairly sure it wasn't there in 1993, either.

Previously, the '10' Waterloo-Woking only ran in the peak hours, with the regular off-peak stoppers continuing to Guildford, Portsmouth or (briefly) Farnham, so there was no need to build any special termination facilities for it. In the peak, it came in on platform 5 and either shunted to the sidings or went empty to somewhere else (Farnham?) depending on whether shunting to the sidings caused a conflict.

Was definitely 2-3-4-5 in the mid-80s but went through a period (late 80s, early 90s I'd guess) when it was 1-2-3-4. Then became 1-2-3-4-5 so for the majority of the time, platform 4 has been down fast and platform 5 down slow, at least.
 
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Gloster

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Recollection is that there was also Platform 6, then as now, but I can’t remember if it was the C&D parcels road until 1981 and not used by the occasional Down starter until after that date. Even at the end of C&D Woking used to send out around nine vans.
 

AndyPJG

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Platform1 (in 1960s) was the Up Bay towards Waterloo, but was removed and the space used for the bus stand/station (P2 was Up Slow,P3 Up Fast). P4 & P5 always as DF/DS, and P6 was Down Bay (country end).
 

gazr

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If you arrive at P3 at the back of a 10 car train, you are going to have to hustle to make a 5 minute connection on P1,5 or definitely 6; able bodied or not.
 

Dibbo4025

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If you arrive at P3 at the back of a 10 car train, you are going to have to hustle to make a 5 minute connection on P1,5 or definitely 6; able bodied or not.
Even the front on P3 - the connection from the stopper arrivals at xx08 and xx38 into the xx13 and xx43 departures towards Guildford normally require at least a short jog to make
 

KeithMcC

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I have struggled on a 5 minute connection from P3 to P5 at Woking. I know exactly where I am going and will be at the front of the stopper, but the local being a minute or two late and the number of people on the platforms and the bridge steps makes it touch and go.
Going the other way is easier, but it still helps to be at the front of the train from Guildford to cut down the distance to P3. It does help to know that if the fast is a bit late the stopper can't leave as it won't normally get a signal for the conflicting move until after the fast train has gone.
 

WesternBiker

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I have struggled on a 5 minute connection from P3 to P5 at Woking. I know exactly where I am going and will be at the front of the stopper, but the local being a minute or two late and the number of people on the platforms and the bridge steps makes it touch and go.
Going the other way is easier, but it still helps to be at the front of the train from Guildford to cut down the distance to P3. It does help to know that if the fast is a bit late the stopper can't leave as it won't normally get a signal for the conflicting move until after the fast train has gone.

Spot on. I frequently head south from Wimbledon on the stopper. Likewise, I'll always be at the front, but it is surprising how many people are not aware of that and end up walking the length of platform 3, only to find they have somewhat further to go!

There is a good case for the recommended time being 10 minutes by the time you throw in lifts, etc for those that have to / wish to use them.

It is surprising that the journey planner will suggest Woking when, on some of my journeys, a same-platform connection is available at Surbiton or Weybridge.
 

KeithMcC

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Spot on. I frequently head south from Wimbledon on the stopper. Likewise, I'll always be at the front, but it is surprising how many people are not aware of that and end up walking the length of platform 3, only to find they have somewhat further to go!

There is a good case for the recommended time being 10 minutes by the time you throw in lifts, etc for those that have to / wish to use them.

It is surprising that the journey planner will suggest Woking when, on some of my journeys, a same-platform connection is available at Surbiton or Weybridge.
The lifts are another issue. I only used them once going on holiday with the family, but once on that footbridge the only way back down is via the lifts as there don't seem to be any stairs.
 

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