Ticketing & journey planning advice during SWR strike action

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by yorkie, 21 Nov 2019.

  1. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    The company will want to keep drivers rosters as they are, because if they succeeded in getting the strike called off they will then be better placed to run a normal service. Making changes would then mean 2 or 3 days being put at risk in that situation. I don't doubt that this has all been very carefully weighed up before deciding to continue with a strike timetable on that odd day as the best way of running something that is likely to be reliable.
     
  2. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Playing devil's advacote, what would happen if they kept one set of drivers on the same roaster but only used spare drivers to infill? If the strike was called off, would it not take 2 to 3 days to get the timetable back to usually anyway.

    Will contingency guards work on Thursday, in case the strike might be called off at any time?
     
  3. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    It's interesting to compare the 18:45 Waterloo to Portsmouth service tonight to last Thursday. It's busier. I guess that should be no surprise as it's a Tuesday. More people go into London at the beginning of the week than the end.

    Give this is the case though, you'd expect less delays on Thursday evening than today but that doesn't seem to be the case if you take Waterloo to Woking between 16:00 and 20:00. I guess there could be other factor as to why trains are late and not just passengers boarding.
     
  4. Goldfish62

    Goldfish62 Established Member

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    Today, as there has been every day this week, there's an approx 70 min service Ascot - Aldershot and there's also an hourly Hounslow loop service in each direction around the loop. However, nothing is shown on Journeycheck. I asked SWR why and they said they don't publicise unplanned additional services. That sounds bonkers to me.
     
  5. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I was going to say that a 23:09 stopping service ran from Waterloo to Guildford via Woking last night but didn't run other days.

    However I see it did. However recent train times only had info for it from 2nd December to 7th December. It doesn't lst it after that, despite the fact it ran. It's on Real Time Trains though.

    It's an additional service added every day at short notice around 21:00

    They can't be certain they will have staff to run it every day I assume.
     
  6. Goldfish62

    Goldfish62 Established Member

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    I'd have expected it to be shown on Journeycheck.
     
  7. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    It seems they only add them a couple of hours in advance or at least that is the case for the Cobham line extras.

    I wonder how many contingency guards sign Aldershot to Ascot. Perhaps it's only as many as the number of combined units running in service. Hence if one goes ill then there goes one of the services.

    I think the day I'd most likely have expected the additional services to be announced in advance was 12 December, as on that day the regular guards were working. Even then it didn't happen though.
     
  8. Goldfish62

    Goldfish62 Established Member

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    Remember that there are also non union guards who would be working. Not all guards are in the RMT.
     
  9. HantsExile

    HantsExile Member

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    9pm Sunday 15th Dec - I've just checked the SWR website for the n-th time and there is still no strike timetable for next weekend - Sat 21st and Sun 22nd. Am I being unreasonable in expecting that this timetable would have been published by now? Is it SWR being awkward or dilatory? Or is there some hope that the strike might be called off? Whatever the reason, I'm feeling frustrated by this as I need to finalise travel arrangements involving other people as well as myself.
     
  10. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

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    I think the earliest SWR has published any of the strike service timetables for the weekend has been sometime around midweek beforehand. They intially provide the explanatory text - this gives an overview of the planned service (e.g. taking account of any pre-planned engineering work). The PDF of the timetable then comes later.

    Your frustration is undoubtedly shared by many others.
     
  11. d9009alycidon

    d9009alycidon Member

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    Thankfully managed to get to Farnborough and back last week. Ourbound journey went as scheduled but I had more than a little trepidation on the return journey on Friday as I was due to depart Farnborough at 09:00 to Waterloo for a connection at Euston at 10:30. This train was not on the emergency timetable, being replaced by a later train at 09:16 which didn't get into Waterloo until 10:06 which I reckoned was too tight. I enquired at Farnborough station and they advice given was to get "any earlier train", so given that there were only four options 06:46, 07:16, 07:46 and 08:16 and hearing horror stories of queuing for trains at stations and crush loading at the peak I turned up at the station more than early for the 06:46. The ticket would not open the barriers but the gateline staff just pressed the button and let me through. Just got over the bridge to find an unadvertised 06:16 rolling in which I got on, this train terminated (unexpectedly for all pax) at Clapham Junction and we decanted onto another train. At the Waterloo Gateline the ticket once again did not work but as at Farnborough the button was pressed after a cursorary glance at the ticket.
    Happy to be home!
     
  12. Goldfish62

    Goldfish62 Established Member

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    If anyone's after the actual timetables that should have started yesterday, SWR are understandably not distributing them, but GWR have a limited quantity at Reading Station.
     
  13. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I haven't seen any queuing at stations myself but perhaps I've not gone to the right stations.

    I've seen people not able to board but this tends to be once the train has been through a reasonable number of stations. For example trying to board a train from Portsmouth Harbour at Woking in the morning peak after a 30 minute gap since the previous service from Portsmouth Harbour.

    I've seen delays due to numbers trying to board the train and also congestion at Woking, leading to delays and also to and from suburban stations nearer Waterloo. Also trains on the line via Cobham seem to lick up delays at times. Perhaps a leaf fall timetable might help with that, rather than solely the number of passengers travelling. I was delayed earlier today due to awaiting a member of train crew.

    There is definitely a pattern to some of the delays. The 17:12 Waterloo to Hampton Court seems to rarely get delayed by much. Where as the 18:12 Waterloo to Hampton Court is always delayed by more than 5 minutes.

    The 17:33 Waterloo to Guildford via Cobham always regularly picks up delays. I guess this one is a combination of congestion ahead and maybe the rail conditions south of Surbtion. It seems to arrive around the time it's scheduled to do so when there isn't a strike timetable on or slightly later. This being 18:40 or later as opposed to 18:32 that they currently schedule it to arrive. It's unrealistic.

    I'm surprised they didn't tell other TOCs not to put out the timetables.

    It will be interesting to see what they do for 27 to 29 December from Guildford. There are bridge strengthening works on the Farnham Road bridge, just south of the station.

    From Guildford to Waterloo there are no Cobham line trains. These start at Effingham Junction. There are trains via Epsom though. These haven't been running during the strikes. So will they substitute the Epsom trains for Cobham ones that start from Guildford.

    There are no fast direct trains to Clapham Junction on the Friday or Saturday but there are on the Sunday, with the Sunday trains also stopping at Surbtion.

    I assume they will run the same number of buses as planned during the works. Saying that there does seem to be a Haslemere to Woking bus on Sunday that calls at Guildford and Worplesdon. Given they don't run a Sunday service to Worpolesdon, I can't see that stopping there, if it runs.

    On the Friday and Saturday all buses that start from Haslemere called at Godalming. On the Sunday one of them doesn't. On Sunday all trains stop at Godalming.
     
  14. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Some information that might help someone or some people, if your travelling on the Monday to Friday 18:52 Clapham Junction service towards Portsmouth. It may also help on other fast services in the evening peak.

    Don't go to the front of the train to board. Go to the middle or towards the back. You will have to stand but not for as long, if you are going south of Woking.

    I have found that upon arriving in Woking passengers seem to alight from the middle carriages more so than from the front. This also seems to be the case at Guildford too.

    Upon departing Guildford the front is still very busy with no free seats, where as free seats do exist further back quite easily.

    I've only made three journeys on the 18:52, two of which were on a Tuesday and and one a Thursday, so unless one was a freek, I think it will hold true before Christmas. After Christmas less people travelling and a different timetable due to engineering works.
     
  15. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I've just looked up train running information for Friday on the National Rail Enquiries App.

    They state it is the usual train timetable information and if the strike goes ahead it will be updated.

    The thing is, the info listed now doesn't match what I saw last week for the Friday and Saturday but does for the Sunday and Monday. No longer are trains to Cobham starting from Effingham Junction on the Friday and Saturday, they start from Guildford. There are now no trains to Waterloo via Epsom. A bus runs from Effingham Junction.

    All fast trains to Waterloo on the 27 and 28 are stopping additionally at Surbtion and Clapham Junction. This wasn't the case before. They were only doing this on the Sunday. On the Sunday there is still a bus to Worplesdon though.

    So if the Friday and Saturday timetables are not strike ones, what are they? Are they updating the timetable based on the landslip on the Epsom line and then reupdating it based on the strike?

    I tried to locate the previous engineering work services on Real Time Trains but I couldn't locate them. I could only find the current timetable and the pre-engineering works cancelled trains.

    People who booked journeys based on the previous timetable I saw, might struggle to get delay repay. If people book today and the times change again! Still they would have an itenary I guess when booking.

    I guess it is possible that the services listed for Friday and Saturday are the strike timetable but someone forgot to remove the note.
     
  16. Goldfish62

    Goldfish62 Established Member

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    There's a 4tph Waterloo - Reading service operating today, obviously due to the Paddington closure, but no mention of it anywhere, including the SWR website.
     
  17. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    How interesting. Is it referred to on Twitter?

    I guess they are additional services. Were the additional Aldershot to Ascot services ever mentioned?

    This Monday and Tuesday there was no 10:04 Guildford to Waterloo via Cobham service. This, along with some others, were not additional services but regular ones. However the trains from Aldershot to Ascot, which were additional services, were kept.

    If a train service was to be pulled, you might expect it to be an additional service rather than a planned one.

    It now seems that New Year's Eve trains are running to Guildford. Despite previously stating it was only going to run to Woking, they are running to Guildford.
     
  18. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    Not if it is dependant on the route knowledge of the available guards or contingency guards.
     
  19. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I did think of that but surely if they have enough people to cover Aldershot to Ascot, it would be a planned service rather than additional. If it's additional you might expect not enough staff to be around this Christmas week. I would be expecting that one to be more fragile than Guildford to Waterloo via Cobham. Well not the planned ones that is. Must forget there was also additional Guildford to Waterloo via Cobham trains that were running in between the planned ones.

    Clearly it isn't the case but it's what I might expect.
     
  20. Goldfish62

    Goldfish62 Established Member

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    Nothing on Twitter that I can see. I picked them from RTT and opentraintimes. I've never seen any mention of the Aldershot - Ascot services that have been running on most days.
     
  21. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I've just noticed that today there are replacement buses from Guildford to Ascot and tomorrow, replacement buses from Guildford to Farnham. I'm aware that there are no schools open, which means spare buses will exist. Theze will have been planned a while ago due to the engineering works at Guildford Station.

    However what is the reason they couldn't run such buses every Saturday or Sunday during the strike? Or the Monday and Tuesday just gone? They ran buses from Effingham Junction to Epsom.

    It does mean that commuters from Wanborough, without a decent service for some weeks, do have one again. Alas it's when a lot of them might not be working. Still let's not worry about such a minor detail as that.

    They of course won't get a service on Tuesday, as no engineering works. It was just for Friday to Monday. Short but sweet.

    Edit: I've just noticed that the South Western Railway strike page is still saying no service replacement bus service between Guildford and Aldershot for yesterday and today, with no mention of Guildford to Farnham either.

    Someone managed to update info for Twickenham but forgot about this line. This one isn't as important of course.
     
    Last edited: 29 Dec 2019
  22. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I noticed seething about the timetable today. There are fast services from Guildford to Waterloo stopping at Surbiton, Clapham Junction and Waterloo.

    There are also fast services from Waterloo to Guildford.. However their calling pattern is Clapham Junction, Surbtion, Effingham Junction and Guildford.

    I don't know why the up services are skipping Effingham Junction. Is it due to the platforms not accommodatinf 12 carriages? The up x22 service is constantly being delayed by the x07 Guildford to Waterloo stopping service, so it's not as if there isn't time to stop at Effingham Junction.
     
  23. Goldfish62

    Goldfish62 Established Member

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    The timetables for 2nd and 3rd January are now on journey planners.

    I've only looked at the Reading line, but it's almost a normal service. Nearly all the extra services as planned from the December timetable are running, but oddly, a handful of ones that have existed pre- December aren't running.
     
  24. HantsExile

    HantsExile Member

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    Beware! Yes, the SWR website says "A reduced weekday service ... is now published into the journey planning system" with a link to the SWR 'plan my journey' page. But when you use that page to get journey information (which does look near-normal) there is still a yellow warning triangle shown alongside each service, and if you click on that, it says "The journey planner has not yet been updated ...". Confusion reigns - I think I'll wait a bit before finalising my Friday plans!
     
  25. HantsExile

    HantsExile Member

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    Link now not working ("blocked") but going directly to the 'plan my journey' page, it does look as though the update has happened - still yellow triangles but they now say something like "Revised service". I'm going to check tomorrow - meantime, Happy New Year to all !
     
  26. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    You would have imagined as the 10:47 Salisbury - Waterloo stopping service isn't running tomorrow, they would put additional stops for the villages on one of the trains either side to avoid a 2 hour gap in service...

    But like on Sunday when the first train towards Waterloo skipped Overton, but then sat at Basingstoke for 15-odd minutes, meant they could have called there...
     

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