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More GTR Woes

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Hadders

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A friend of mine was travelling from Gatwick Airport to Northampton yesterday evening. The train service from Gatwick Airport between 2300 and midnight last night was as follows:

2300 Horsham - Cancelled
2302 Brighton - Cancelled
2305 London Victoria - Cancelled
2307 Brighton - departed 2321
2309 Chichester - Cancelled
2310 Bedford - Cancelled
2314 London Victoria - Cancelled
2318 Reading - On time
2319 Hastings - Cancelled
2320 London Victoria - departed 0030
2322 Brighton - departed 2327
2323 London Victoria - departed 2339
2329 Horsham - Cancelled
2335 London Victoria - departed 0001
2340 Brighton - departed 2341
2342 Horsham - cancelled
2350 London Victoria - cancelled
2353 London Victoria - departed 0036

Was there a reason other than the ongoing 'sickness'.
 
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SpacePhoenix

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Could have been partly down to any problems remaining from the really heavy storm during the week
 

tsr

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- Failed train earlier in the day on approach to Shoreham River Bridge causing major congestion
- Set swaps & crew displacement due to driver rostering issues causing many services via Horsham to be cancelled
- Power isolation at Streatham in the evening peak due to people chasing a dog down the track

I've probably missed a couple of issues, but it wasn't generally down to missing conductors.
 

Hadders

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- Failed train earlier in the day on approach to Shoreham River Bridge causing major congestion
- Set swaps & crew displacement due to driver rostering issues causing many services via Horsham to be cancelled
- Power isolation at Streatham in the evening peak due to people chasing a dog down the track

I've probably missed a couple of issues, but it wasn't generally down to missing conductors.

It seemed to get significantly worse after 2300. Normally disruption eases as you get further away time wise.
 

tsr

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It seemed to get significantly worse after 2300. Normally disruption eases as you get further away time wise.

Because a lot of Southern diagrams at that time of the evening involve - or have in the previous few hours involved - stock or crew travelling on Horsham services, the mass cancellations to those did mean that the disruption became worse as everything got further and further out of place. This was compounded by a general lack of crew able to move coastal services around too, not just due to staff shortages, but partially due to those crew ending up at the wrong end of the network without breaks or with severe delay due to the Shoreham issues... and "bunching up" of trains to and from Brighton leading to service gaps.

I do feel very sorry for all the passengers involved - I was one of the small cogs in the mechanism of trying to resolve matters yesterday, and it was one of those evenings where, as with so many recently, everything conspired against the frontline staff. I know about some journeys which have once again doubled or tripled in duration and it was largely due to the trains and crew dispersing into very awkward positions where they could not easily be reconciled. Control staff were mostly very helpful but just couldn't make decisions about everything quickly enough.
 

SpacePhoenix

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Do Southern crews sign any routes in addition to whatever their normal route is?
 

tsr

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Do Southern crews sign any routes in addition to whatever their normal route is?

Route knowledge is very varied per depot - most have at least two or three core routes beyond London (eg. a few choices from Uckfield / East Grinstead / Brighton / Tonbridge / Horsham / Reigate / Littlehampton), except some drivers who have only just "passed out" following training, and some depots with shorter and mostly Metro work such as the driver depot at London Bridge. Drivers often sign more South London routes and depots than conductors, due to DOO Metro routes and train berthing requirements (the notable exception being Selhurst conductors, who sign all conceivable London area mainline diversions between the links, as well as Selhurst Depot). There are quite a lot of coastal routes which are shared between most conductor depots in various permutations. Some outer routes such as Southampton or Milton Keynes are only signed by more senior links at certain depots. Again, it is a complex picture which would take a while to explain fully on here. Suffice to say that whilst route knowledge can be a hindrance in the event of a specific incident, in the event of overall service meltdown it's mainly stock and crew displaced on the wrong parts of the mainline routes which can be the real problem.
 

FOH

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Rubbish tonight. Many trains cancelled unusually including metro routes - almost looks like they've given up and just devolved services to London Overground
 

RJ

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I was at Victoria at lunchtime, no Southern service was running due to a broken down train at Clapham Junction. Really hard times at the moment.
 

TheEdge

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I was at Victoria at lunchtime, no Southern service was running due to a broken down train at Clapham Junction. Really hard times at the moment.

All of their own doing. It would be only a fraction of this if GTR treated their staff with even a modicum of respect...
 

FOH

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At Prime Ministers' Questions today, David Cameron said the performance of Southern Railway had been unacceptable and the government will be introducing greater compensation for those delayed.
 
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