SWR Missing out stops to make up time

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davews

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There seems to be a growing trend for SWR to miss out stops even for relatively short delays.

Last week at Sunningdale the train I wanted got delayed at Staines for some reason, delayed for 7 minutes, then missed Sunningdale and a few other stops.

I noticed this morning that 2C22 Martins Heron to Waterloo, which I would have been catching today if the weather had not postponed my walk until tomorrow, left Reading 5 minutes late and then missed out Bracknell, Martins Heron and Sunningdale.

I know they get ongoing delays on the network but doing this for these sort of small delays seems to benefit only the train company and totally ignores passengers.

I remember a case a couple of years ago when it took me four separate trains to get to Clapham Junction when each successive train I got on had CLJ cancelled after I boarded....

(and to cap it, when I put in a delay repay claim for last week's delay the next train I did get on arrived at my destination one minute early so they only allowed 29 minutes worth...).
 
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GW43125

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I've noticed this a lot lately, just last week a train I wanted got run fast from Staines to Bracknell.

At one point, they were exceedingly good at having a train 20 minutes late at staines, run it fast to waterloo and arrive 14 late (ie avoiding delay repay). Cutting the stations south of staines gives a rough deal, especially whilst the extra trains aren't running.
 

RailWonderer

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I had this when commuting on GWR when the turbos were being replaced by 387s on the Thames Valley. They would run them fast west of Slough to Paddington make up time many a time, presumably for the delay repay that was mounting up fast but also to kerb overcrowding (though I don't think that's the problem here). SWR also have many stations in close distance to each other, especially on the Reading line where the delay time piles up if they don't run them fast.
 

David Burrows

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Unfortunately this happens all over the country - punctuality figures are deemed to be far mare important than the convenience of passengers
 

185

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Last week at Sunningdale the train I wanted got delayed at Staines for some reason, delayed for 7 minutes, then missed Sunningdale and a few other stops.

I noticed this morning that 2C22 Martins Heron to Waterloo, which I would have been catching today if the weather had not postponed my walk until tomorrow, left Reading 5 minutes late and then missed out Bracknell, Martins Heron and Sunningdale.
2C22 has a 15 minute turnaround at Waterloo, thus running just 7 late should never be reason to abandon stops enroute, unless serious disruption would be caused to other faster services behind.

The underlying cause, a 5 minute delay due to 'problems with the signalling at Reading' is unclear, the train had been there for 30 minutes, nothing else was late including previous and subsequent trains from that platform - perhaps it wasn't rung out / TRTS.
 

robbeech

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Late running en route (unless you delay something else) and/or failure to call(planned) doesn’t have a negative effect on the stats. Late arrival at the destination does.
 

Phillipimo

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Late running en route (unless you delay something else) and/or failure to call(planned) doesn’t have a negative effect on the stats. Late arrival at the destination does.
It won't have an effect on PPM (Public Performance Measure) which is only measured at the destination. But it will count towards cancellations and I believe it should impact the 'on time' score as well (if a train skips a stop it can't arrive on time surely?).

Link to ORR methodology:
 

GW43125

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Something else I've noticed anecdotally is performance seems to be worse since everything started stopping at Longcross. Whereas before you had the 3 minutes' recovery by not stopping, you don't get that and 5' late off Staines seems to be the norm these days.
 

Dr Day

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Unfortunate for those at skipped stops, but generally such decisions are made to reduce the overall delay to the most passengers - ie if by skip stopping an up service in the pm peak the down peak return working can run on time without knock-on effects to other trains that may be the optimal decision to make.
 

Watershed

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It won't have an effect on PPM (Public Performance Measure) which is only measured at the destination. But it will count towards cancellations and I believe it should impact the 'on time' score as well (if a train skips a stop it can't arrive on time surely?).

Link to ORR methodology:
A train will fail PPM if it arrives late at its destination (5 or 10 minutes late depending on service category), or if it fails to call at any intermediate station. Therefore a train which skips booked stops will fail PPM.

The reason for missing out stops to make up time is that it means the service can recover quicker, and that disruption doesn't spread across the network. For example, if you can catch up to your booked path from Barnes then you can prevent the train behind from being delayed, and you can prevent the return working from Waterloo departing late.

There are legitimate questions to be asked about whether PPM is an appropriate measure - given that it is purely binary and takes no account of the number of passengers (or passenger-km) affected. However skip-stopping will often still be the 'least worst' option available in the circumstances.
 

bb21

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A train will fail PPM if it arrives late at its destination (5 or 10 minutes late depending on service category), or if it fails to call at any intermediate station. Therefore a train which skips booked stops will fail PPM.

The reason for missing out stops to make up time is that it means the service can recover quicker, and that disruption doesn't spread across the network. For example, if you can catch up to your booked path from Barnes then you can prevent the train behind from being delayed, and you can prevent the return working from Waterloo departing late.

There are legitimate questions to be asked about whether PPM is an appropriate measure - given that it is purely binary and takes no account of the number of passengers (or passenger-km) affected. However skip-stopping will often still be the 'least worst' option available in the circumstances.
PPM is no longer the headline metric, or the principle contractual metric. This will gradually be the case for all operators.

Late running en route (unless you delay something else) and/or failure to call(planned) doesn’t have a negative effect on the stats. Late arrival at the destination does.
Incorrect as of 1st April 2021.
 

Phillipimo

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A train will fail PPM if it arrives late at its destination (5 or 10 minutes late depending on service category), or if it fails to call at any intermediate station. Therefore a train which skips booked stops will fail PPM.

The reason for missing out stops to make up time is that it means the service can recover quicker, and that disruption doesn't spread across the network. For example, if you can catch up to your booked path from Barnes then you can prevent the train behind from being delayed, and you can prevent the return working from Waterloo departing late.

There are legitimate questions to be asked about whether PPM is an appropriate measure - given that it is purely binary and takes no account of the number of passengers (or passenger-km) affected. However skip-stopping will often still be the 'least worst' option available in the circumstances.
I didn't know that a train fails PPM if it skips stops, thank you!
 

PHILIPE

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This is rife in South Wales in the Cardiff Valleys. There is a train every five minutes each way through Cardiff and if this was not applied and just let trains run delays could persist for the rest of the day and just grow and grow. One case could inconvenience a number of people but if this action was not taken many more would be inconvenienced. What seems to inconvenience people also is turning trains back short of their destination to enable the return working to run on time.
 

davews

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My train last week which skipped Sunningdale DID stop at Longcross...

I can see accumulating delays on Waterloo bound trains after Staines, but surely a Reading bound train after Staines delays nothing apart maybe a Weybridge train or GWR at Wokingham.
 

dk1

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If you look at the bigger picture there is normally good reason this is done. Not easy to accept if your station is the one of those missed out of course, but if it’s for the greater good.
 

jimjim

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If you look at the bigger picture there is normally good reason this is done. Not easy to accept if your station is the one of those missed out of course, but if it’s for the greater good.
Exactly. There are lots of reasons why it could be done. However delay repay is never one of those. No controller gives a damm about delay repay.
 

dk1

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Exactly. There are lots of reasons why it could be done. However delay repay is never one of those. No controller gives a damm about delay repay.
Why would it even enter a controllers mind? Recovering the service is all they would be interested in achieving.
 

superjohn

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This used to be very common on the Chingford line when I commuted on it (admittedly this was in the WAGN days so some time ago). The slightest delay would see trains changed to stop at Walthamstow Central only. While I understand the reasons regarding not spreading the delays further it was a real pain. At peak times all trains were crush loaded and had no capacity to pick up an extra trainload along the way. The skip stoppers invariably sailed through with plenty of spare space, infuriating the passengers on the platforms who knew they would struggle to get on the following services. At peak times capacity is what counts, the timetable can be recovered later on.
 

jamesst

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If you look at the bigger picture there is normally good reason this is done. Not easy to accept if your station is the one of those missed out of course, but if it’s for the greater good.

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story!!!
 

robbeech

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I believe that is no longer the case.

It won't have an effect on PPM (Public Performance Measure) which is only measured at the destination. But it will count towards cancellations and I believe it should impact the 'on time' score as well (if a train skips a stop it can't arrive on time surely?).

Link to ORR methodology:
Incorrect as of 1st April 2021.
Excellent news.
 

LSWR Cavalier

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So the timetables are not to be relied on, they make promises that are often not kept. I hope services are thinned out after covid, then there would be a better chance of promises being kept.
 

aliceh

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SWT (as was) used to do this on occasion when I was at Brockenhurst college (coming from Pokesdown). If the semi-fast Waterloo - Poole was significantly late, usually over 30 minutes, they'd run it fast to Bournemouth and us students would have to go back over the bridge and wait for the Wareham stopper.

It makes sense, given that there was still a train that would get us there, albeit later. I suspect if the Poole semi was the only service stopping at the intermediate stations they wouldn't have done it.
 

matt_world2004

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If you got on your normal train that you didn't know was skip stopping and doubled back to your original station would you get a penalty fare /prosecution attempt
 

Kite159

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Back to their usual tricks at running things fast when things go wrong, without caring for any passengers who get further delayed as they have to wait for the following train if they are travelling to/from a station which has had it's stop ripped out.

Those pesky passengers getting in the way of running a service, if they all went away the trains will run to time ;)

Scotrail were quite good at this a couple years ago, before the media pulled them up on it, then suddenly a delayed train would be cancelled and run ECS to the destination to pick up the next service on time.
 

LSWR Cavalier

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If you got on your normal train that you didn't know was skip stopping and doubled back to your original station would you get a penalty fare /prosecution attempt
Maybe not, but you might be accused and have a lot of trouble proving your innocence.

One reads about guards trying to pacify angry passengers who are drunk, but if I was on a train that should stop at my station at a certain time, then raced through without stopping, perhaps with just an announcement a couple of minutes before, I could get quite angry although I am a very calm person usually. One is used to delays for whatever reason, but this is a new dimension in customer unservice.
 
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