Clapped-out trains Guildford-Aldershot-Ascot line

Guildford-Aldershot-Ascot line

Guildford-Aldershot-Ascot line

Why is Southwest Trains running clapped-out trains on the Guildford-Aldershot-Ascot line?

This does not seem to be a temporary measure as the logos have been removed from the exterior of the trains, and Southwest Trains posters stuck up inside the trains.

This has happened over the last few weeks.

The trains are two-car units, joined together to form a train of four carriages.

They are dirty, the seats sagging, worn and dirty, no toilets.

These are basic, inner-city commuter cattle trucks.

They are vastly inferior to the new Southwest Trains they have replaced.

To add insult to injury, trains fares went up yet again in January. For, we are told, an improved service.

This is not acceptable, and the trains that were running on this line should be brought back. Where have they gone?

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12 Responses to “Clapped-out trains Guildford-Aldershot-Ascot line”

  1. KeeYee Says:

    The trains will be refurbished into the same style as the red SWT ones which run out of Waterloo. They’ve recently moved these trains from Southern but wanted to press them into service before they’d been refurbished! The trains which were running on this line will be working on the mainline and outer suburban routes to provide more carriages there.

  2. keithpp Says:

    Clapped out, innr-city cattle trucks, will still be clapped out inner-city cattle trucks.

    – will have no toilets

    – will not be possible to walk trough the train

  3. Bob Says:

    The basic answer is that South West Trains needed the rolling stock being used before to run more, longer services elsewhere on the network – they’ve been freed up by trains formerly used by Southern.

    They will ALL get a complete overhaul and refurb to the same standard as other SWT rolling stock, but while this is underway on some at Wolverton some pre-refurb units are being used until they are finished.

  4. keithpp Says:

    The trains runing are a disgrace, those taken off the Guildford-Aldershot-Ascot line should be brought back.

    Refurbished trains

    – will have no toilets

    – will not be possible to walk trough the train

    Staff and passengers are being put at risk.

  5. Muzer Says:

    “Staff and passengers are being put at risk.”

    What? I understand that it’s uncomfortable travelling on commuter stock for longer journeys (though certainly no longer than an hour, which is much shorter than many journeys made on wholly unsuitable stock in other parts of the country – try a 3-hour journey on a 150 or a Pacer up North, in Wales or in the South West, both of which are easily possible, then try complaining that your 1-hour-maximum journey on a 456 is bad. Admittedly these have toilets, but are still terribly drafty and uncomfortable due to the commuter-style doors and no air con). What I don’t understand is how people are being put at risk by this.

    But yeah, I agree that the stock is reasonably unsuitable to the route, though it’s nowhere near the worst stock allocation on the railways today. However, most of this stuff is micromanaged by the DfT (despite their persistent claims that TOCs should manage rolling stock) – I don’t remember offhand if this is the case for SWT’s 456 usage, but it wouldn’t surprise me too much, considering that SWT generally try to make an effort to use the correct rolling stock (450s on Portsmouth-London services was a “bright” DfT idea, for example).

  6. keithpp Says:

    The fact there are worse cattle trucks elsewhere on the rail network, is no excuse for introduction of clapped out cattle trucks on the Guildford-Aldershot-Ascot line.

    The point that is being missed, is that this line had trains that were luxury rolling stock in comparison with the replacement by Southern rolling stocks. And even the earlier rolling stock was acceptable. The clapped out rolling stock is not acceptable.

    What is the risk?

    Visit Guildford or Aldershot on a Friday or Saturday night. Both stations are teeming with drunken thugs. It is not safe for passengers or staff.

    The problem will now be even worse, as no longer possible to get away from these thugs or seek help by walking through the train

    I have twice been threatened. I have witnessed someone beaten to a pulp.

    Admittedly, this low life scum should not be allowed onto the station, let alone a train.

    At Guildford, the expected has happened, one person killed.

    I have no problems with lack of air conditioning if windows can be opened.

    All of which points to a need to renationalise the rail network, invest in decent trains, and scrap HS2.

  7. Mike Says:

    Thought you might be interested in the text of an email I’ve sent to SWT (copied to my MP):

    “I wish to make a complaint regarding the introduction to Ascot – Aldershot – Guildford line services of old class 456 EMUs. I understand that these have been taken into use by SWT to allow cascading of stock to strengthen other services, which is a laudable motive, but these units are not the answer.

    I have been making the journey between Farnham and Staines/Feltham/Twickenham for decades. Formerly this was a frequent occurrence but nowadays much less frequent because of the dreadfully poor connections in both directions at Ash Vale. In past decades a frequent through service, direct from Aldershot to those destinations made the journey a pleasure; nowadays, the combination of poor connections, a passage through the horrible foot subway at Ascot for the shuttle service to/from Aldershot, and now the introduction of these dirty, life-expired, toiletless inner-suburban units make for a journey which no-one would contemplate unless absolutely necessary.

    Originally for work purposes, my journeys in recent years have been for social purposes, mainly meeting with former colleagues and friends. I have found the train useful for this, as it means I can freely have a few drinks and return safely and legally. Unfortunately, this means I need a toilet to be available, and these units do not have them. Most of the stations served do not have toilets open in the evenings, either. This is disgraceful and unacceptable in the 21st century. I have even seen a man urinating on the floor in one of these units. I am also aware of someone who, due to a urinary complaint, cannot be away from a toilet and, as a result, can no longer use this service. The absence of toilets on these units is tantamount to abuse of the Disability Discrimination Act.

    Additionally, these units do not have a connecting corridor, so late-night travel is at greater risk of assault or other offensive behaviour. I understand that there have already been a number of preventable violent incidents.

    I understand that you have plans to upgrade this rolling stock but not to add toilets. Please reconsider this and provide new or fully modernised stock to this route, or your reputation will take a serious knock.

    Please also review the timings of services so that sensible connections can be made at Ash Vale. This line and its services are now an absolute disgrace.”

  8. keithpp Says:

    Excellent letter. It will be interesting to see the reply.

    I used to use this service many years ago, Catch the train at Ash Vale, onwards and through Ascot, to Richmond, then a pleasant walk along the river to Kew Gardens, or maybe the local train to Kew.

    Of late, I have used to travel from Guildford to Aldershot.

    We have only recently had the rolling stock on this line upgraded, to then have it taken away to be replaced by inner-city cattle trucks is totally unacceptable.

    It may be Southwest Trains need rolling stock on other routes, in which case, buy in for those routes, but do not take away from this route and replace with inferior substandard rolling stock.

    I hate travelling on these filthy substandard trains.

    Not being able to walk through the train, is a serious saftey issue, for staff and passengers.

    I saw an example of this on the 1630 train from Guildford last Friday, when a punch up broke out between two youths. Luckily one of them walked away. Lacking the ability to walk through the train, there was no means to alert staff, other than leaping off the train, running down the platform and hoping to get back on before the train pulled away.

    Lack of toilets is also not acceptable.

    Copying to local MP an excellent idea.

    What are local MPs along this route, and local councils doing?

    What is the toothless regulator doing?

  9. keithpp Says:

    It is going to be fun when all the drunks from Ascot Races get on a train with no toilets.

  10. keithpp Says:

    Refurbished trains are now being introduced.

    Clean seats, but far fewer seats, to cram in more standing passengers.

    Still no toilets.

    Suitable as Tube trains or urban commuter trains. But not on this route.

  11. Ian Nicholson Says:

    I just travelled on one these that has been refurbished. Still unacceptable compared to the standards on other SW trains. Not many seats, I didn’t check but I believe still no toilets and no aircon. And still two 2 car trains with no access between the two. Not sure why we get stuck with these instead of the air conditioned 450 desiro trains we used to have.

  12. keithpp Says:

    I agree. Whilst an improvement upon the clapped-out cattle trucks, these trains are not acceptable.

    Few seats, emphasis seem to be on standing. No toilets. cannot walk through train (which puts passengers and crew in danger).

    Lack of air conditioning not a problem if can open windows.

    I was for a second time on one of the refurbished trains last week (1900 from Guildford). I noticed much quieter and smoother running than clapped out trains. This would imply new engines etc. If they have replaced all the mechanics as well as refurbishing interior and exterior then why not simply buy new trains?

    The new trains that were on this line, were relocated elsewhere on the network.

    The question is why no action from regulator, why no action from local councils and MPs along the route?

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