Emergency rail works causing rush hour delays on South West Train services

Wandsworth Guardian: Emergency rail works causing rush hour delays Emergency rail works causing rush hour delays

Commuters are facing delays and cancellations this morning due to emergency engineering works.

Emergency engineering work at Wimbledon station has caused disruption to all South West Train services into and out of London Waterloo.

All trains through Wimbledon are currently delayed by up to 30 minutes, subject to cancellations, while all Dorking to London Waterloo train services have been cancelled in both directions.

This will affect passengers travelling to or from Waterloo from stations including Epsom, Ashstead, Raynes Park, Wimbledon, Earlsfield and Clapham Junction.

Passengers who would normally use this route are being advised to use the Southern train service between Dorking and London Victoria where South West Trains tickets are being accepted.

South West Trains are also warning of short notice cancellations.

Engineers are currently on site however South West Trains could not say when services would return to normal.

A spokesperson for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance said: "Train services through Wimbledon are currently being disrupted due to emergency engineering work taking place in the area.

"Train services are continuing to run but are subject to delay. 

"The following service alterations are also in place:

• A train shuttle is running between Hampton Court and Surbiton until further notice. Customers travelling to London Waterloo will need to change trains at Surbiton

• A train shuttle is running between Shepperton and Kingston until further notice. Customers travelling to London Waterloo will need to change trains at Kingston

• Services to and from Exeter / Yeovil / Salisbury will terminate at Basingstoke. Passengers should connect with alternative services at Basingstoke.

• Services to and from Dorking are cancelled until further notice. Passengers travelling on this route can use Southern services between Dorking and Clapham Junction / London Victoria until further notice

"We apologise for the inconvenience caused to our passengers."

For more information and to check your journey visit www.journeycheck.southwesttrains.co.uk

Comments (12)

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9:49am Thu 14 Feb 13

Twickenham Bob says...

How bad does the SWT service have to become before there franchise is taken away?

3 day of delays in a row.

After weeks of intermittent shut downs and delays.
How bad does the SWT service have to become before there franchise is taken away? 3 day of delays in a row. After weeks of intermittent shut downs and delays. Twickenham Bob

10:09am Thu 14 Feb 13

DB says...

Twickenham Bob wrote:
How bad does the SWT service have to become before there franchise is taken away?

3 day of delays in a row.

After weeks of intermittent shut downs and delays.
I agree.

The problem today is to do with the aged infrastructure that we have due to decades of under-investment.

Anyone who is given the franchise would be faced with the same problem, but it is the way that SWT deal with it that annoys me. As soon as there is any type of problem, EVERYTHING shuts down and that is not the way it should be done.

The particularly annoying aspect this morning is the mistruths on their website that they are using to massage their performance figures.

As soon as I saw there was a problem this morning, I checked the website before going to the station and it stated that all trains from Surbiton were departing on time apart from one which was cancelled.

When I got there 10 minutes later, no trains were leaving at all and it was clear from the crowds that none had left for quite some time.

Something needs to be done.
[quote][p][bold]Twickenham Bob[/bold] wrote: How bad does the SWT service have to become before there franchise is taken away? 3 day of delays in a row. After weeks of intermittent shut downs and delays.[/p][/quote]I agree. The problem today is to do with the aged infrastructure that we have due to decades of under-investment. Anyone who is given the franchise would be faced with the same problem, but it is the way that SWT deal with it that annoys me. As soon as there is any type of problem, EVERYTHING shuts down and that is not the way it should be done. The particularly annoying aspect this morning is the mistruths on their website that they are using to massage their performance figures. As soon as I saw there was a problem this morning, I checked the website before going to the station and it stated that all trains from Surbiton were departing on time apart from one which was cancelled. When I got there 10 minutes later, no trains were leaving at all and it was clear from the crowds that none had left for quite some time. Something needs to be done. DB

10:18am Thu 14 Feb 13

DB says...

It is getting a bit embarrassing at work now because of this.

Plenty of people commute in from the Midlands and from far down into Sussex and Kent, but the only people who are constantly calling in because they can't get into the office because of train problems are those that are coming in from Surbiton with our massive 15 minute commutes.

No doubt someone will be along to tell me how lucky we are shortly!
It is getting a bit embarrassing at work now because of this. Plenty of people commute in from the Midlands and from far down into Sussex and Kent, but the only people who are constantly calling in because they can't get into the office because of train problems are those that are coming in from Surbiton with our massive 15 minute commutes. No doubt someone will be along to tell me how lucky we are shortly! DB

10:21am Thu 14 Feb 13

DB says...

More mis-information...

The website was originally saying delays until 10am. It now says 1pm, and the attendants at the station are now expecting it to last all day.

SWT - please just sort it out and stop compounding the situation with all the lies.
More mis-information... The website was originally saying delays until 10am. It now says 1pm, and the attendants at the station are now expecting it to last all day. SWT - please just sort it out and stop compounding the situation with all the lies. DB

10:35am Thu 14 Feb 13

Hove Ex-Pat says...

These comments from so called commuters show a remarkable ignorance of the rail system. Track & signalling, & the repairs when things break, are wholly the responsibility of Network Rail. The operator, in this area South West Trains, can only operate as allowed by Network Rail.God forbid that nothing was done which resulted in another Clapham train crash. Before anyone suggests, I do not work for either organisation.
These comments from so called commuters show a remarkable ignorance of the rail system. Track & signalling, & the repairs when things break, are wholly the responsibility of Network Rail. The operator, in this area South West Trains, can only operate as allowed by Network Rail.God forbid that nothing was done which resulted in another Clapham train crash. Before anyone suggests, I do not work for either organisation. Hove Ex-Pat

11:16am Thu 14 Feb 13

DB says...

Hove Ex-Pat wrote:
These comments from so called commuters show a remarkable ignorance of the rail system. Track & signalling, & the repairs when things break, are wholly the responsibility of Network Rail. The operator, in this area South West Trains, can only operate as allowed by Network Rail.God forbid that nothing was done which resulted in another Clapham train crash. Before anyone suggests, I do not work for either organisation.
I don't see how an ignorance of the rail system makes us 'so called commuters', and I did make the point earlier that this is an infrastructure problem not caused by SWT.

The problem is the response to problems by SWT. It is the same if someone commits suicide on the route - it is not SWTs fault, but it is their responsibility to organise the
clear up and run as much of a service as they can.

Of course, we should have ONE company that is responsible for both the running of the trains and the maintenance of the infrastructure. Until we get to this position, SWT and Network Rail can keep blaming each other for the problems but it doesn't do anything to help as 'so called commuters' or anyone else who has the misfortune of having to use the service.

I still hold SWT partially accountable anyway for the following reasons:

1. No other company seems to have quite so many problems.
2. When they do, other companies are better at putting in a skeleton service rather than just cancelling/delaying everything.
3. SWT are the ones who take £1,500 from me each year for the service so if they are having such severe problems with a 'supplier' they should be lobbying them to sort it out.
[quote][p][bold]Hove Ex-Pat[/bold] wrote: These comments from so called commuters show a remarkable ignorance of the rail system. Track & signalling, & the repairs when things break, are wholly the responsibility of Network Rail. The operator, in this area South West Trains, can only operate as allowed by Network Rail.God forbid that nothing was done which resulted in another Clapham train crash. Before anyone suggests, I do not work for either organisation.[/p][/quote]I don't see how an ignorance of the rail system makes us 'so called commuters', and I did make the point earlier that this is an infrastructure problem not caused by SWT. The problem is the response to problems by SWT. It is the same if someone commits suicide on the route - it is not SWTs fault, but it is their responsibility to organise the clear up and run as much of a service as they can. Of course, we should have ONE company that is responsible for both the running of the trains and the maintenance of the infrastructure. Until we get to this position, SWT and Network Rail can keep blaming each other for the problems but it doesn't do anything to help as 'so called commuters' or anyone else who has the misfortune of having to use the service. I still hold SWT partially accountable anyway for the following reasons: 1. No other company seems to have quite so many problems. 2. When they do, other companies are better at putting in a skeleton service rather than just cancelling/delaying everything. 3. SWT are the ones who take £1,500 from me each year for the service so if they are having such severe problems with a 'supplier' they should be lobbying them to sort it out. DB

1:38pm Thu 14 Feb 13

kingstonpaul says...

I commute daily on SWT, and there's a worrying pattern of regular delays beginning to emerge.
The distinction between who is responsble for the rail infrastrucure and the trains is well understood. But what I find appalling is the wretched reaction of SWT whenever these problems arise. We're treated to the infantile and imbecilic announcements about where the safety notices are, not to forget your hand luggage, to report any suspicious behaviour, to take extra care when there's a few drops of rain, bla, bla, bla, but it all falls silent when there are delays. Worse still, we sometimes get excuses for the delays which contradict, and which rather lead to the impression that someone in a back room is making them up on the hoof ("hey guys, we haven't used Major Incident At Raynes Park for a leaves for a while, anyone fancy it?").
Come on SWT. Sort it out with the co-operation of Railtrack. More to the point, be upfront with passengers (sorry, customers).
I commute daily on SWT, and there's a worrying pattern of regular delays beginning to emerge. The distinction between who is responsble for the rail infrastrucure and the trains is well understood. But what I find appalling is the wretched reaction of SWT whenever these problems arise. We're treated to the infantile and imbecilic announcements about where the safety notices are, not to forget your hand luggage, to report any suspicious behaviour, to take extra care when there's a few drops of rain, bla, bla, bla, but it all falls silent when there are delays. Worse still, we sometimes get excuses for the delays which contradict, and which rather lead to the impression that someone in a back room is making them up on the hoof ("hey guys, we haven't used Major Incident At Raynes Park for a leaves for a while, anyone fancy it?"). Come on SWT. Sort it out with the co-operation of Railtrack. More to the point, be upfront with passengers (sorry, customers). kingstonpaul

3:19pm Thu 14 Feb 13

DB says...

They are not allowed to be upfront with passengers because it affects their performance figures.

When I checked the National Rail website this morning before 8.30 it mentioned the problems at Wimbledon but confirmed that the 8.38, 8.42 and 8.48 services were all running 'on time'. When I got to the station at about 8.35, the board confirmed the same thing, but I left the station at 8.50 and none of these trains had left or been confirmed as cancelled.

When I logged back into the site at home, one of the trains was showing as delayed and the other two had disappeared altogether. I wonder if they will go down as cancellations or not?

It is just misinformation to massage the figures. I am guessing that this morning's shambles counts against their figures even if the original fault is with Network Rail.
They are not allowed to be upfront with passengers because it affects their performance figures. When I checked the National Rail website this morning before 8.30 it mentioned the problems at Wimbledon but confirmed that the 8.38, 8.42 and 8.48 services were all running 'on time'. When I got to the station at about 8.35, the board confirmed the same thing, but I left the station at 8.50 and none of these trains had left or been confirmed as cancelled. When I logged back into the site at home, one of the trains was showing as delayed and the other two had disappeared altogether. I wonder if they will go down as cancellations or not? It is just misinformation to massage the figures. I am guessing that this morning's shambles counts against their figures even if the original fault is with Network Rail. DB

7:22am Fri 15 Feb 13

321200 says...

DB- the website said delays through Wimbledon. Therefore expect delays.
The trains you were referring to were 'on time' when you were looking. But of course they are going to hit the back of the queue at some point!

Also, it is another damned if they do damned if they don't moment for SWT.
They were FORCED to reduce the service as a result of NETWORK RAILS infrastructure FAILURE.
If SWT were to continue running a FULL service, we would have trains backing up for miles and miles.
When trains arrive late into Waterloo, crews are legally entitled to their break, which then causes all platforms at Waterloo to become full and nothing else can be accepted.
There is only a certain amount that the extra / standby crews can do, but it won't clear all the platforms at Waterloo.

There is no option but to instigate shuttle services on branch lines such as Shepperton and Hampton Court in order to reduce the number of trains converging on the mainline.
It is important that Dorking services are cancelled to provide extra room for all those delayed trains to get through and prevent any trains bein stranded between stations for long periods.

In fact I think SWT did an extrordinary job yesterday given the circumstances. They managed to have all services back up and running by 14:00, well in time for peak in evening.

Just another note, during this disruption all routes were served in one way or another.

People should accept that put aging infrastructure and government cuts is what is to blame, not South West Trains.

Removing the franchise from Stagecoach and giving it to First, for example, will be disasterous and will more than likely result in a worse service recovery than now.

I often wonder... Do people who use the M25 moan like this every day?
DB- the website said delays through Wimbledon. Therefore expect delays. The trains you were referring to were 'on time' when you were looking. But of course they are going to hit the back of the queue at some point! Also, it is another damned if they do damned if they don't moment for SWT. They were FORCED to reduce the service as a result of NETWORK RAILS infrastructure FAILURE. If SWT were to continue running a FULL service, we would have trains backing up for miles and miles. When trains arrive late into Waterloo, crews are legally entitled to their break, which then causes all platforms at Waterloo to become full and nothing else can be accepted. There is only a certain amount that the extra / standby crews can do, but it won't clear all the platforms at Waterloo. There is no option but to instigate shuttle services on branch lines such as Shepperton and Hampton Court in order to reduce the number of trains converging on the mainline. It is important that Dorking services are cancelled to provide extra room for all those delayed trains to get through and prevent any trains bein stranded between stations for long periods. In fact I think SWT did an extrordinary job yesterday given the circumstances. They managed to have all services back up and running by 14:00, well in time for peak in evening. Just another note, during this disruption all routes were served in one way or another. People should accept that put aging infrastructure and government cuts is what is to blame, not South West Trains. Removing the franchise from Stagecoach and giving it to First, for example, will be disasterous and will more than likely result in a worse service recovery than now. I often wonder... Do people who use the M25 moan like this every day? 321200

9:31am Fri 15 Feb 13

DB says...

Just to be clear, 321200, do you actually work for SWT or have another interest? Or do you just not use the service to get to work?

It seems extraordinary to me that you come on here all of the time defending SWT through more and more delays. It is almost as regular as me coming on here moaning about the service :)

I completely understand that SWT were not at fault for the original disruption this time, but it is the reaction that is just unacceptable.

I 100% disagree with your view on the website information. They should not offer a live online train-by-train departure board if it is going to give inaccurate information. Yes, the website told me that there would be disruption through Wimbledon, but it also told me that there were three trains in the space of 10 minutes that were due to depart on time.

In any normal system, you would expect some trains to go through,so I think it was reasonable to assume the website could be correct. Of course, I knew really that SWT would stop all services going through because that is what they always do, but there is no harm in hoping something might have changed since the last time this happened (last Friday?).

Of course the trains were going to hit the back of the queue at some point, but I looked at the information at gone 8.30am and it is clear that they had already done just that - two of the trains did not turn up at all and one of them was held for ages at Surbiton. The situation does not change that much in under 10 minutes!

Not a massive deal for me as I only live a short walk from the station. If the website had shown the true situation I might have not wasted half an hour, but what about people who drive miles to the station? That could have cost them a lot of time.

The information should be suspended during these emergencies if it cannot be maintained properly.

I do agree with you that it was a pleasant surprise to find that the evening rush period was unaffected, and this is a big improvement from the disruption until end of service and often into the next day that this type of emergency usually causes.

Out of interest, why do you think First would be worse than Stagecoach?Why do the people who run Southern seem to do so much better? I often turn up at Victoria to find delays caused by their infrastructure, and invariably you don't get the blanket delays and cancellations like you do on SWT. Is that just because of the difficulties of running out of Waterloo with it's limited number of lines?

Finally, of course people who are delayed on the M25 moan about it! All people are trying to do is get to work on time :)

It becomes a bit embarrasing explaining to your boss that you are late because of train delays for the third time in a week, especially when you only live 15 minutes out of Waterloo and everyone else arrived at the office much earlier.
Just to be clear, 321200, do you actually work for SWT or have another interest? Or do you just not use the service to get to work? It seems extraordinary to me that you come on here all of the time defending SWT through more and more delays. It is almost as regular as me coming on here moaning about the service :) I completely understand that SWT were not at fault for the original disruption this time, but it is the reaction that is just unacceptable. I 100% disagree with your view on the website information. They should not offer a live online train-by-train departure board if it is going to give inaccurate information. Yes, the website told me that there would be disruption through Wimbledon, but it also told me that there were three trains in the space of 10 minutes that were due to depart on time. In any normal system, you would expect some trains to go through,so I think it was reasonable to assume the website could be correct. Of course, I knew really that SWT would stop all services going through because that is what they always do, but there is no harm in hoping something might have changed since the last time this happened (last Friday?). Of course the trains were going to hit the back of the queue at some point, but I looked at the information at gone 8.30am and it is clear that they had already done just that - two of the trains did not turn up at all and one of them was held for ages at Surbiton. The situation does not change that much in under 10 minutes! Not a massive deal for me as I only live a short walk from the station. If the website had shown the true situation I might have not wasted half an hour, but what about people who drive miles to the station? That could have cost them a lot of time. The information should be suspended during these emergencies if it cannot be maintained properly. I do agree with you that it was a pleasant surprise to find that the evening rush period was unaffected, and this is a big improvement from the disruption until end of service and often into the next day that this type of emergency usually causes. Out of interest, why do you think First would be worse than Stagecoach?Why do the people who run Southern seem to do so much better? I often turn up at Victoria to find delays caused by their infrastructure, and invariably you don't get the blanket delays and cancellations like you do on SWT. Is that just because of the difficulties of running out of Waterloo with it's limited number of lines? Finally, of course people who are delayed on the M25 moan about it! All people are trying to do is get to work on time :) It becomes a bit embarrasing explaining to your boss that you are late because of train delays for the third time in a week, especially when you only live 15 minutes out of Waterloo and everyone else arrived at the office much earlier. DB

3:25pm Fri 15 Feb 13

321200 says...

I defend SWT because it frustrates me that TOCs get undue abuse.
I also use them to commute but can understand the problems they face as I'm not narrow minded as others.
I look at the whole picture.

I could not imagine having to run an over capacity railway where there is no room for error, especially in this climate where cuts keep being made!

You should know from experience if there are delays of 60 min through Wimbledon, and you are travelling from Surbiton, you are going to be delayed.
That is just common sense!

Always take note of the messages on the SWT website, not the live departure boards, during disruption.
I'm sure you are not completely naive that if there is a large scale problem between Surbiton and Waterloo , you are going to be delayed.
I defend SWT because it frustrates me that TOCs get undue abuse. I also use them to commute but can understand the problems they face as I'm not narrow minded as others. I look at the whole picture. I could not imagine having to run an over capacity railway where there is no room for error, especially in this climate where cuts keep being made! You should know from experience if there are delays of 60 min through Wimbledon, and you are travelling from Surbiton, you are going to be delayed. That is just common sense! Always take note of the messages on the SWT website, not the live departure boards, during disruption. I'm sure you are not completely naive that if there is a large scale problem between Surbiton and Waterloo , you are going to be delayed. 321200

4:50pm Fri 15 Feb 13

DB says...

It's all very well admiring SWT for running their service over capacity and in the face of cuts etc, but they are being paid pretty handsomely for it if I am reading the figures right, so there should be a right to expect a reasonable service otherwise someone else should be able to have a go. Connex had their franchise removed even though their figures were better than SWT!

Sorry, but there is no excuse for offering a website confirming a train as running on time when they have no intention or ability to do that. It just doesn't make sense, however rose tinted your SWT-issued glasses are.

You are right to say that I should know from bitter experience that I would not be able to get in to work on time yesterday, but what about the infrequest traveller who looks at that website?

The message is clearly saying 'delays of up to 30 minutes through Wimbledon, but certain trains are still running on time', and I can't see why people should disbelieve that - there are after all several lines running through Wimbledon so a broken rail on one of them might not be expected to delay absolutely everything.

Anyway, if you are happy with the service being offered that is up to you, but I will keep complaining along with many others. I doubt it will change anything, but at least it doesn't take too long.
It's all very well admiring SWT for running their service over capacity and in the face of cuts etc, but they are being paid pretty handsomely for it if I am reading the figures right, so there should be a right to expect a reasonable service otherwise someone else should be able to have a go. Connex had their franchise removed even though their figures were better than SWT! Sorry, but there is no excuse for offering a website confirming a train as running on time when they have no intention or ability to do that. It just doesn't make sense, however rose tinted your SWT-issued glasses are. You are right to say that I should know from bitter experience that I would not be able to get in to work on time yesterday, but what about the infrequest traveller who looks at that website? The message is clearly saying 'delays of up to 30 minutes through Wimbledon, but certain trains are still running on time', and I can't see why people should disbelieve that - there are after all several lines running through Wimbledon so a broken rail on one of them might not be expected to delay absolutely everything. Anyway, if you are happy with the service being offered that is up to you, but I will keep complaining along with many others. I doubt it will change anything, but at least it doesn't take too long. DB

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