Posts Tagged ‘Redhill’

Nightmare GWR trains from Reading to Redhill and Gatwick

November 19, 2018

At every location on a visit to Reading, I stay far longer than intended. I will not make 4-30 train. Not even 6-30. I go for 1902 to find cancelled.

Then the nightmare begins, no trains, no announcements, no explanation, no apology.

Next train for Gatwick, showing twenty minutes late.

Next train an hour later, comes into wrong platform.

As by now frozen decide to catch this train, even if later, as appears to be on time, as at least I can sit on a warm train out of the cold.

During this time no announcements.

Train does not leave on time. Train does not leave, told to catch earlier train which has now arrived and is sitting at the station. It does not leave either. After a long delay, it pulls out of the station, only to stop 100m from the station, where its sits.

Arrive North Camp Station at 2115. If trains running normally, approximately 30 minutes from Reading depending upon fast or slow train.

A man got off the train at North Camp, hoping to pick up stopping train to Ash. Only problem, there were no stopping trains. Whilst on the train, passengers to Ash should have been advised to continue to Guildford, then pick yo a train back to Ash, either on Reading or Aldershot line. I advised he walked to Ash Vale, caught train to Aldershot then to Ash.

There were no announcements to advise passengers what was happening, no apology.

There should have been a bus running to Gatwick.

And this was not a one off.

In September, on at least two Fridays in a row, no Gatwick trains were running. No announcements, no advice to catch Redhill train, then change.

On the last day of October, last train from Gatwick cancelleld. No information at Gatwick on replacement bus or from where to catch.

Train indicator at North Camp has not worked since June. GWR refusing to pay the £5000 to repair.

Not only GWR.

South West Railways too.

During the morning, no trains to and from Waterloo.

A couple of weeks ago, no trains at Guildford, apparently broken down train at Clapham Junction.

Last week in the evening no trains at Alton. Broken down train at Clapham Junction.

September, train from Portsmouth Harbour cancelled.

Every Saturday, no trains due to guards on strike.

Other rail companies as bad.

Three times in September on East Coast Mainline, now run by LNER following disastrous performance by Virgin, trains delayed, connections missed.

Then there is Southern Fail and Northern Fail, appalling service during the summer, missed connections, delays of hours.

Trains with no working toilets.

We have a Third World train service with extortionate fares.

Beginning of January we will see train fares hiked double the rate of inflation, with rail companies telling us service has improved.

Rail fares must be frozen for the foreseeable future.

Rail must be taken back into pubic ownership, the gravy train of HS2 scrapped.

It will cost nothing as default at end of franchise.

Failing companies must be stripped of their franchise.

Note: There were no trains from Farnborough North for fours hours.

Note: GWR consider a delay of two hours to be acceptable.

Nightmare of weekend rail works

November 8, 2015
railworks inadequate information at stations

railworks inadequate information at stations

Once again nightmare of weekend rail works and dysfunctional privatised rail companies.

Last weekend, rail works on Reading-Guildford section, of Reading-Guildford-Gatwick line.

This Sunday, replacement bus service as far as Reigate.

As last weekend and the weekend before, no information at stations en-route, no amended timetable, simply a poster notifying of rail works.

The coach was awful. Seat that reclined, no means to make the seats upright, very bad for lack of back support.

At Guildford, a man got on the coach and said where it was going.

Long wait at Guildford.

Guildford appeared to be closed. No trains. Cheapskates SouthWestTrains not even laying on coaches, local buses pressed into service.

Driver told all passengers to use seat belts. First time that has ever happened.

no information on the platform at Reigate

no information on the platform at Reigate

Getting off at Reigate, feeling dreadful.

No one at Reigate to tell passenger where to go. Station not open, so have to walk down the road to gain access to platform.

On platform no information.

Learn from passengers on opposite platform need to be on that platform for Gatwick.

Back out station, further down the road, across level crossing, and back down to gain access to opposite platform.

Two toilets on First Great Western train. One lacks water.

Return journey relieved to find no rail works. Relief short lived.

2008 Reading train shown on time. At 2010, when it fails to show, announced train has been cancelled. How could it have been on time?

Then an announcement to catch first train to Redhill, and pick up Reading train at Redhill. No information which platform first train to Redhill departing from.

Man on platform asked. Foreigner, long black hair in pony tail. He said Platform 1, claimed announcement to that effect. Not true. He said Reading train would wait at Redhill and there would be no delay.

Next train was 2029, running two-three minutes late, slow train stopping at all stations. It was therefore a blatant lie there would be no delay.

I doubted train would be held at Redhill, was tempted to wait at Gatwick for the next train in an hour’s time, but not knowing why the train had not arrived at Gatwick, and thus not knowing if next train would experience same problem, caught the train to Redhill.

At Redhill, as I had suspected, no train, the man had blatantly lied.

Luckily Redhill has train control.

The Gatwick train was running very late. At 2008, it was not even near Redhill. This begs the question why was it being shown on time? First Great Western Control decided to turn the train around at Redhill to make up lost time. They did not tell Southern Control until too late. Had they told them earlier, they could have arranged for passengers to be picked up, dropped off at Redhill, and still catch the train.

Redhill notified Gatwick of the situation, explicitly told Gatwick not to send passengers to Redhill, as there was no train.

Why did the man at Gatwick blatantly lie, say there was a train, when there was no train? Why did he send passengers on to Redhill, knowing there was nowhere for them to go?

Had no lies been told, simply train cancelled, catch the next train, passengers would have remained at the airport in the warm and dry, got something to eat and drink and caught the next train.

Gatwick is wishing to massively expand with a second runway.  The station cannot cope now with the existing passenger numbers.  Weekdays, the station forecourt is backing up into the airport. A problem easily solved if barriers removed and passengers pay on the trains, but Southern are refusing to remove the barriers. At weekends, nightmare of weekend rail works.

Re-nationalisation of railways long overdue.

Nightmare train journey Reading-Gatwick-Brighton

October 25, 2015
rail works

no amended timetable

Sunday, dreaded rail works.  They turn a relatively easy journey into a nightmare.

For the last ten years, there has been rail works on either the Reading-Gatwick Line, or the Redhill-Brighton line, occasionally on both. No trains, replacement bus service.

No compensation.

Last Sunday in October, the worse to date.

At the station, poster referring to rail works, no timetable.

No announcement at station where to change for Gatwick, or on screen.

I had a feeling alight at Reigate, no announcement on the train, train went on to Redhill, I assumed I was wrong.

At Redhill, no one on platform. An announcement, go to Platform 1 for replacement bus. This was wrong, it was the other end of the station.

No bus.

Long wait for a bus.

No bus to Gatwick, had to get a bus to Horley, then train to Gatwick.

Bus meandered through housing estates. It would have been quicker a bus direct to Gatwick.

At Gatwick, train leaving for Brighton from Platform 7. Nigh impossible to get to Platform 7. Possible to get to any platform, bar 7. Very few trains. Why use Platform 7? Trains for Brighton, even on weekdays when busy, do not go from Platform 7.

I miss the train for Brighton. Twenty minutes for next train.

I speak to station staff. I ask why was there no direct bus to Gatwick. He ways there was, from Reigate. He double checks for a later train. Yes, change at Reigate, direct bus to Gatwick.

Direct train to Brighton standing room only. And that was after many alighted at Gatwick.

Train arrives at Brighton, then sits outside the station for several minutes.

Return journey not as bad, but not without mishap.

Alighting at Gatwick. Where the bus?

Have to go through the terminal building, bus about to leave.

Where is the bus? No one to ask. Bus in the distance, in darkness. Yes, it was the bus.

Bus direct to Reigate. Luckily less than ten minutes wait for the Reading train from Redhill.

Time to re-nationalise the rail network.

Disgusting First Great Western trains

June 22, 2013

I wonder how long it is going to be before First Great Western provide clean trains, with soap, with running water, with doors that lock?

So far this month every First Great Western train I have caught the toilets have been in a disgusting condition. Today was no exception, no running water on the 1502 Reading to Redhill slow train. One the three-coach trains, there used to be two toilets, on the recently refurbished trains there is now only one toilet. Year on year, we see a twice the rate of inflation rise in train fares for a deteriorating service. At the very least we expect to find celan functioning toilets.

So far this week, First Great Western have had to take at least two trains out of service on health and safety grounds. One because the locks did not work (on the train doors, not the toilet doors), another because the lights were not working.

What is deeply disturbing is that First Great Western has instructed its guards not to take trains out of service on health and safety grounds.

Lack of soap or water or both in the toilets is not a trivial matter. We now have bacteria that are resistant to all antibiotics. One of which is e.coli. A situation not helped by companies like First Great Western who are helping to spread disease.

Soap is very effective at destroying bacteria, it breaks down the cell walls, as does the physical action of washing hands.

The matter was drawn to the attention of the guard who will file a report. Will anything be done? If my experience this month is anything to go by, no.

It is time for both Rail Regulator and the Health and Safety Executive to take action and hit First Great Western with a massive fine.