This page contains links to recent news stories affecting rail users.
More trains for Southeastern? (20 April 2020). It has been reported that Southeastern will receive 30 five-car trains from South West Trains starting in December 2020. It is not known whether Southeastern intend to use these as additional trains to their present fleets, or as replacements. The trains concerned are Class 707 currently in service between Waterloo and Windsor and Weybridge. They are three years old, and have air conditioning.
Southeastern given new contract (30 March 2020). Southeastern have been awarded a management contract to continue to run services until 16 October 2021, with a possible extension to 31 March 2022. The contract contains a commitment to explore options to boost capacity.
Revised timetable to be introduced from 23rd March. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and the advice not to travel unless essential, train services are being reduced from 23rd March. Southeastern will run two trains an hour all day between Cannon Street and Dartford on the Greenwich line, and Thameslink services will run a Saturday service. From 30th March, Thameslink will run a Sunday service.
Thameslink services to be extended on Saturdays GTR have announced (21 February 2020) that, from 23 May 2020, the Saturday Thameslink service will be extended from Kentish Town to Luton. This brings the Saturday service into line with the weekday service. Sunday services will continue to terminate at Kentish Town.
Rail Minister has met the Deputy Mayor to discuss rail services in London (30 January 2020). In an answer to oral questions from two local MPs, the Rail Minister said that he had met the Deputy Mayor, Heidi Alexander, and had a conversation about transferring Southeastern services to TfL. The Hansard report can be read here Hansard 30 Jan 2020
Rail Minister announces next Southeastern franchise will fit into the conclusions of the Williams review. (21 January 2020). In a Westminster Hall debate, the Rail Minister said the Williams rail review will be published as a White Paper “shortly” for consultation, to be followed by legislation. He said it is likely that franchising is not the way forward and another model will be introduced quite swiftly.
Huge increase in passenger numbers. The Office of Rail and Road published (14 January 2020) estimates of station usage in 2018/19. Compared with 2017/18, the Greenwich line saw an increase of 48.7% in total passenger numbers, up to 7.6m. Deptford had 1.8m passengers (+68.8%), Greenwich 3.6m (+43%), Maze Hill 1.2m (+53.7%) and Westcombe Park 1m (+34.4%)
GLUG submits formal objection to the proposed Fan Zone in Greenwich Park during Euro 2020. The Users’ Group has objected to the planning application, on the grounds that the transport planning is flawed, the rail service and proposed mitigation measures are inadequate, and the risk to the security of passengers at stations and on trains. A copy of the objection can be seen here Response to Fan Zone planning application
Southeastern introduces Delay Repay 15 (11 September 2019). Passengers whose journeys are delayed by 15 minutes or more can now claim compensation through the Delay Repay scheme. The compensation for a delay of 15-29 minutes is 25% of the cost of a single ticket, or 12.5% of the cost of a return ticket. This brings the Company into line with Thameslink. For details, follow this link Delay Repay15
Southeastern franchise competition cancelled (7 August 2019). The DfT has announced they are cancelling the competition for the next Southeastern franchise. The new franchise was due to start in April 2019 but problems have beset the competition and only two bidders were left in it, GoVia (the current operator) and Abellio. Now the present operator will continue until April 2020 whilst DfT consider what happens after that. Southeastern announcement
Angerstein Wharf foot crossing reprieved for the time being (13 April 2019). Network Rail have said that closure of this crossing will not go ahead pending a review. [It was closed over Easter due to engineering work, but has since re-opened with new gates across the footpath]
Angerstein Wharf foot crossing to be closed (6 April 2019). Network Rail intend to close the foot crossing over the Angerstein Wharf freight line used by passengers in the Fairthorn Road/Gurdon Road area and the Victoria Way development to reach Westcombe Park station. A YouTube video of the crossing can be seen here: London’s only foot crossing
The Mayor of London calls for TfL to take over responsibility for rail infrastructure (27 March 2019). This is part of TfL’s submission to the Rail Review (see below). TfL also repeat their view that National Rail Metro routes should be transferred to them. The Press Release can be read here TfL press release, and their submission here TfL submission
Westminster Hall debate on rail services in the South East (6 March 2019). The debate can be read here: Westminster Hall debate
The Government has announced the Terms of Reference for the review of the rail industry, and the names of the Expert Panel Rail Review