SEAFORD LINE TIMETABLE

BN26

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Early in July 2021 I was travelling between Brighton and Lewes and was surprised that the 12 11 from Brighton was shown as terminating at Newhaven Harbour instead of going to Seaford.
I did some research and found that weekdays Southern run a half hourly service between Brighton and Seaford but for some reason break the pattern as the
12 11 and 21 11 departures from Brighton are terminated at Newhaven Harbour
The same train and crew then go back to Brighton from Newhaven Harbour instead of starting from Seaford at 12 53 and 21 53
I have complained to Southern and requested the service be restored to Seaford.
I have recorded times when Lewes connections have been severed and because of the Newhaven terminations those going to Seaford are delayed 1 hour
Southern have failed to act and the timetable alterations from September 2021 still show these terminations
This dispute is on going and I hope to make a submission to the Rail Ombudsman
 
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30907

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Early in July 2021 I was travelling between Brighton and Lewes and was surprised that the 12 11 from Brighton was shown as terminating at Newhaven Harbour instead of going to Seaford.
I did some research and found that weekdays Southern run a half hourly service between Brighton and Seaford but for some reason break the pattern as the
12 11 and 21 11 departures from Brighton are terminated at Newhaven Harbour
The same train and crew then go back to Brighton from Newhaven Harbour instead of starting from Seaford at 12 53 and 21 53
I have complained to Southern and requested the service be restored to Seaford.
I have recorded times when Lewes connections have been severed and because of the Newhaven terminations those going to Seaford are delayed 1 hour
Southern have failed to act and the timetable alterations from September 2021 still show these terminations
This dispute is on going and I hope to make a submission to the Rail Ombudsman
What response have you had from Southern?

How often have you (or others known to you) been delayed by 1 hour as a result of these alterations?
 

Flange Squeal

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The reason these two trains per day terminate at/start from Newhaven Harbour are so they can run to/from Newhaven Marine, presumably for crew route retention purposes. I believe the station had its official closure granted last year, so I'm not sure entirely why they run though - maybe to keep it as an option for stabling or turning short in times of disruption? Whatever it is though, they are timetabled to run in this way - and I don't think they'd be running to/from Marine for no reason - so I wouldn't hold your breath that your complaint will create a sudden change.

You certainly wouldn't want to be travelling there tonight.... If the two terminations are to keep up crew competency of Newhaven Marine, then they may well have just proved their worth by allowing Seaford services to at least service stations as far as Newhaven!

https://www.southernrailway.com/tra...151060000#INC71C6A87FDF484939A74B44874700086A (link will probably expire later tonight)

  • Disruption between Newhaven Harbour and Seaford expected until 23:00
    Hide details​

    A broken down train between Newhaven Harbour and Seaford means the line is blocked.
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed or revised. Disruption is expected until 23:00.
    Customer Advice
    The 18:47 Brighton to Seaford service has been stopped in the Bishopstone area due to a fault.
    This train is now blocking the line between Newhaven Harbour and Seaford, meaning other services cannot run in this area.
    Where possible, services from Brighton will terminate at Newhaven Harbour and start back towards Brighton from there. However, there will only be limited trains on this route.
    Your tickets will be accepted on local Brighton and Hove Buses as an alternative.
    Staff are working to arrange replacement buses, but availability is extremely limited due to engineering works, as well as the closure of the line between Lewes and Glynde.
    For this reason, if you are unable to use local buses to complete your journey, we would advise you to travel later this evening.
    Southern are expecting buses to arrive in the area from around 22:00 at the earliest. Their providers will be Seaford & District / Brighton Horizon, Hams and Ensign.
    Can you tell me more about the incident?
    Southern are working with Network Rail and our fleet controllers to resolve this incident as soon as possible.
    They have attempted to send a rescue train to tow the defective train away, but unfortunately this has not been successful, so they are working on further plans to get everyone on the move.
    Check before you travel:
    You can check your journey using the National Rail Enquiries real-time Journey Planner
    Twitter:
    If you would like to follow this incident on Twitter, please use #Seaford
    Compensation:
    You may be entitled to compensation if you experience a delay in completing your journey today. Please keep your train ticket and make a note of your journey, as both will be required to support any claim.
    Feedback:
    We want to make information better - tell us how! Fill out this online Disruption Survey.
    Last updated: 21:04
 
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HamworthyGoods

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Early in July 2021 I was travelling between Brighton and Lewes and was surprised that the 12 11 from Brighton was shown as terminating at Newhaven Harbour instead of going to Seaford.
I did some research and found that weekdays Southern run a half hourly service between Brighton and Seaford but for some reason break the pattern as the
12 11 and 21 11 departures from Brighton are terminated at Newhaven Harbour
The same train and crew then go back to Brighton from Newhaven Harbour instead of starting from Seaford at 12 53 and 21 53
I have complained to Southern and requested the service be restored to Seaford.
I have recorded times when Lewes connections have been severed and because of the Newhaven terminations those going to Seaford are delayed 1 hour
Southern have failed to act and the timetable alterations from September 2021 still show these terminations
This dispute is on going and I hope to make a submission to the Rail Ombudsman

I’m not sure how running to an advertised timetable can cause a submission to the Rail Ombudsman?
 

Bishopstone

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What response have you had from Southern?

How often have you (or others known to you) been delayed by 1 hour as a result of these alterations?

I can’t speak for the original poster, but the connection at Lewes from the Down Victoria onto the Seaford branch train is only a handful of minutes, and is broken very frequently when the ex-Victoria picks-up a minor delay. Pre-Covid, some peak time ‘connections’ were missed on more than 50% of occasions, so I understand the issue.

Ordinarily, you’d only have to wait 30 minutes for the next Seaford, but if this happens to be the slot in which the train turns at Newhaven Harbour, then you’re stuck at Lewes (or Newhaven) for an hour, and there isn’t a scheduled bus alternative between the towns. Rather unfortunate, as the Newhaven curtailments don’t appear to save any units or staff, so for the sake of train crew learning a dead-end spur that has no timetabled use, there is indeed some customer inconvenience, though I won’t be writing-in about it.
 

alf

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And I understand that many TOCs solve the route refreshing problem of sidings, recent loops like Southampton Airport to Eastleigh & stubs like Marine by persuading drivers to route refresh by giving them 2 hours overtime pay to look at a video.

Newhaven marine route refreshing/learning looks ideal for
video learning. Did the local ASLEF branch decline?
 

BN26

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What response have you had from Southern?

How often have you (or others known to you) been delayed by 1 hour as a result of these alterations?
Southern gave a well prepared standard general release about Covid 19 difficulties and I understand these but they do not give a specific reason for these terminations and my point is there is a half hourly interval the rest of the day and this breaks the pattern.
I can't give a exact number of times people delayed 1 hour and probably not that many as the current revised timetable works well
Today 23/08/21 it happened again. 10 54 from Victoria was at Lewes 12 15 and next departure towards Seaford Line was 12 30 which is a Newhaven Harbour termination. Looks like it was not altered by Controllers to go to Seaford so those who planned to be on the 11 41
ex Brighton from Lewes were on 12 41 ex Brighton and 1 hour later then planned
Maybe there was nobody for Seaford - I don't know but there usually is
 

Flange Squeal

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And I understand that many TOCs solve the route refreshing problem of sidings, recent loops like Southampton Airport to Eastleigh & stubs like Marine by persuading drivers to route refresh by giving them 2 hours overtime pay to look at a video.

Newhaven marine route refreshing/learning looks ideal for
video learning. Did the local ASLEF branch decline?
I guess the trips may double up as keeping something physically using the infrastructure, but then I guess it could be argued if that was the sole purpose then ten trips per week is perhaps unnecessary - particularly if regular traffic now serves the refurbished aggregates terminal?

IF ASLEF has had any involvement in blocking video-based learning/refreshing at Southern, it wouldn't be by "the local ASLEF branch" and its member drivers simply declining to. It'll either be a case of it's simply not 'a thing' at Southern, or it is something that is being/has been dealt with at Company Council (DFC) level.
 

zwk500

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I guess the trips may double up as keeping something physically using the infrastructure, but then I guess it could be argued if that was the sole purpose then ten trips per week is perhaps unnecessary - particularly if regular traffic now serves the refurbished aggregates terminal?
It may also be about providing a 'firebreak' in the middle of the service, although from memory the turnrounds aren't especially tight for a 3-car unit. There are regular weekly freights into the aggregates terminal, although of course they don't help with keeping the 3rd rail clean.
IF ASLEF has had any involvement in blocking video-based learning/refreshing at Southern, it wouldn't be by "the local ASLEF branch" and its member drivers simply declining to. It'll either be a case of it's simply not 'a thing' at Southern, or it is something that is being/has been dealt with at Company Council (DFC) level.
I'm pretty sure video learning is a thing at southern, as somebody at one point posted a load of the videos on youtube. However Newhaven Marine sidings has a regularly changing visual scene as it's in the middle of the working port, only has 8 cars length of conductor rail, and stop boards rather than signals and overruns. So it may be felt that physically travelling over the route is necessary to maintain competence as the video wouldn't be able to give a driver enough familiarity to judge stopping/braking points.
 

Bishopstone

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It may also be about providing a 'firebreak' in the middle of the service, although from memory the turnrounds aren't especially tight for a 3-car unit. There are regular weekly freights into the aggregates terminal, although of course they don't help with keeping the 3rd rail clean.

It was only a few months ago that the Newhaven Harbour call was removed from off-peak services, M-F, supposedly to assist timekeeping. It shouldn’t be necessary to create a 60-minute break in service to keep the timetable on-track, when 2tph have operated quite reliably for at least two decades. Are the 313s getting slower with age, I wonder?
 

zwk500

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It was only a few months ago that the Newhaven Harbour call was removed from off-peak services, M-F, supposedly to assist timekeeping. It shouldn’t be necessary to create a 60-minute break in service to keep the timetable on-track, when 2tph have operated quite reliably for at least two decades. Are the 313s getting slower with age, I wonder?
I don't know the actual reason, I was just speculating. I think if the 313s were getting slower with age though there'd be more noticeable delay in overall timekeeping, rather than 1 per day being taken out.
 

BN26

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I’m not sure how running to an advertised timetable can cause a submission to the Rail Ombudsman?
Before a case can be submitted to the Rail Ombudsman the Train Operator has 40 days to respond. My original complaint about the revised service interval from half hourly to hourly by the 2 Newhaven Harbour terminations was registered 06/07/21 so the 40 days have expired. We have a fail to agree and I have asked for a 'Deadlock' letter so that I can submit my case.
My argument is that the revised timetable breaks the half hourly service interval in the May 2021 timetable and the terminations at Newhaven Harbour are done without good reason as the same train and crew return to Brighton and could start from Seaford at 12 53 and 21 53 thus maintaining a half hourly service
 

LA50041

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Before a case can be submitted to the Rail Ombudsman the Train Operator has 40 days to respond. My original complaint about the revised service interval from half hourly to hourly by the 2 Newhaven Harbour terminations was registered 06/07/21 so the 40 days have expired. We have a fail to agree and I have asked for a 'Deadlock' letter so that I can submit my case.
My argument is that the revised timetable breaks the half hourly service interval in the May 2021 timetable and the terminations at Newhaven Harbour are done without good reason as the same train and crew return to Brighton and could start from Seaford at 12 53 and 21 53 thus maintaining a half hourly service
the Newhaven Terminators have been in since the start of the May 21 timetable - so nothing to do with the revised timetable in July
 

HamworthyGoods

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Before a case can be submitted to the Rail Ombudsman the Train Operator has 40 days to respond. My original complaint about the revised service interval from half hourly to hourly by the 2 Newhaven Harbour terminations was registered 06/07/21 so the 40 days have expired. We have a fail to agree and I have asked for a 'Deadlock' letter so that I can submit my case.
My argument is that the revised timetable breaks the half hourly service interval in the May 2021 timetable and the terminations at Newhaven Harbour are done without good reason as the same train and crew return to Brighton and could start from Seaford at 12 53 and 21 53 thus maintaining a half hourly service

I’m not quite sure what you’re expecting to achieve - DfT agree service level agreements with the train operator so this timetable will be the one that is agreed.

Just because a service is half-hourly for most of the day, I’m not sure how that demands forcing them to run it where there are legitimate gaps for operational requirements. Plenty of routes have gaps on an otherwise regular pattern timetable for a while host of reasons, this happens on both rail and bus for a whole number of reasons.

It does seem a maybe another solution if you don’t like ‘gaps’ in a timetable is to reduce the whole service to hourly, then there wouldn’t be any of these gaps you find ‘annoying’
 

bramling

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I don't know the actual reason, I was just speculating. I think if the 313s were getting slower with age though there'd be more noticeable delay in overall timekeeping, rather than 1 per day being taken out.

Normally this sort of thing is to accommodate some kind of freight or departmental path on a route which otherwise doesn’t have the capacity to accommodate it. We have something similar on the GN side with one daily KX to Cambridge stopping service reversing at Letchworth, to accommodate a freight path to Barrington.

Is it a combination of the fact that Southern *need* to have the ability for crews to be familiar with reversing via Marine, and current crew issues make it harder than usual to accommodate? So picking two services at quieter times of day is their solution.

This is just a guess, however Southern will have done it for a reason, so complaining is unlikely to change things in the short term.
 

zwk500

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Normally this sort of thing is to accommodate some kind of freight or departmental path on a route which otherwise doesn’t have the capacity to accommodate it. We have something similar on the GN side with one daily KX to Cambridge stopping service reversing at Letchworth, to accommodate a freight path to Barrington.
As it happens, sending something to Marine is worse for freight, not better, as the shunt move prevents the freight from moving about the yard as easily.
Is it a combination of the fact that Southern *need* to have the ability for crews to be familiar with reversing via Marine, and current crew issues make it harder than usual to accommodate? So picking two services at quieter times of day is their solution.
Could be, as incorporating it into the duty is far easier than arranging a separate session.
This is just a guess, however Southern will have done it for a reason, so complaining is unlikely to change things in the short term.
Agreed. They won't be doing it for a laugh.
 

Kite159

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I’m not quite sure what you’re expecting to achieve - DfT agree service level agreements with the train operator so this timetable will be the one that is agreed.

Just because a service is half-hourly for most of the day, I’m not sure how that demands forcing them to run it where there are legitimate gaps for operational requirements. Plenty of routes have gaps on an otherwise regular pattern timetable for a while host of reasons, this happens on both rail and bus for a whole number of reasons.

It does seem a maybe another solution if you don’t like ‘gaps’ in a timetable is to reduce the whole service to hourly, then there wouldn’t be any of these gaps you find ‘annoying’

Just look at the Aberdare branch for example, that has gaps in the normal half-hourly service (pre Covid) due to freight to/from Tower Colliery which probably haven't run in years since that place closed.
Similar I believe there was a couple gaps on the Alton branch for freight paths to the now disused Oil terminal (going back a couple years).
 

zwk500

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Just look at the Aberdare branch for example, that has gaps in the normal half-hourly service (pre Covid) due to freight to/from Tower Colliery which probably haven't run in years since that place closed.
Similar I believe there was a couple gaps on the Alton branch for freight paths to the now disused Oil terminal (going back a couple years).
This is true, although tbf on the Alton line, there's regular proposals for it's reopening, which always fall at the final hurdle as it requires a runround at Alton itself to access the terminal (this is impossible because of SWR's service pattern on the single line). If they get some money together to remodel the terminal yard then I'd expect that traffic to pick up quite quickly.

However, as I've already said, if you wanted to leave as much room for freight to Newhaven as possible you'd send everything to Seaford. Terminating short and shunting into Marine is actively worse for freight.
 

BN26

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What response have you had from Southern?

How often have you (or others known to you) been delayed by 1 hour as a result of these alterations?
There was another case yesterday (27/08/21) connection out of 10 54 Victoria severed and those going to Seaford ended up on 12 41 ex Brighton and 1 hour late at destination
Good news and my complaint was valid
Sept 6 alterations and half hourly service restored
12 11 and 21 11 from Brighton now go to Seaford and return at 12 53 an d 21 53 as I suggested
Connections at Lewes have to be severed when down Victoria is late but people now only 30 minutes later instead of 1 hour
 

Bishopstone

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There was another case yesterday (27/08/21) connection out of 10 54 Victoria severed and those going to Seaford ended up on 12 41 ex Brighton and 1 hour late at destination
Good news and my complaint was valid
Sept 6 alterations and half hourly service restored
12 11 and 21 11 from Brighton now go to Seaford and return at 12 53 an d 21 53 as I suggested
Connections at Lewes have to be severed when down Victoria is late but people now only 30 minutes later instead of 1 hour

Excellent news.
 

BN26

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Excellent news.
Not all good news
My original complaint was that the 2 terminations at Newhaven Harbour could go to Seaford and return at 12 53 a nd 21 53
as the same crew return Newhaven to Brighton. As I say that has now been done BUT:
Cannot see 10 11 Brighton to Seaford and 10 53 Seaford to Brighton in planner
I guess people have to plan around that as there are many routes with planned gaps
 

carriageline

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I believe it’s to create a path for railhead treatment trains in preparation for autumn.
 

nickw1

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Just look at the Aberdare branch for example, that has gaps in the normal half-hourly service (pre Covid) due to freight to/from Tower Colliery which probably haven't run in years since that place closed.
Similar I believe there was a couple gaps on the Alton branch for freight paths to the now disused Oil terminal (going back a couple years).

For a time the Alton line was only hourly off-peak, from 1985 to 2004 if I remember right.

The reduction was due to demand levels, but it didn't actually save any units: alternate trains terminated at Farnham but then had a long turnaround before forming the next up service, and could have gone down to Alton and back in that time. Maybe it was something to do with staff being able to break a shift at Farnham depot? Or allowing longer, 8- or 12-car formations, to work out of Farnham depot in the late afternoon ready for an evening peak service, which would have been difficult if all trains proceeded to Alton? (I do seem to remember some of the Farnham starters in the up direction doing precisely that).

Also, as an example of the inverse case to what is being discussed here, there was one mid-day service which should have been a Farnham terminator, but instead extended to Alton. This was the case most years; I think it was the 1133 ex-Waterloo in the 1997 timetable, but could be wrong.
 
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