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8:24 to London Bridge from HOP
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Jon Lloyd


Posts: 151
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #1
12-11-2007 12:53 PM

Anyone know why this has been consistently late for a week, knocking everything else out and causing overcrowding on the morning trains?

I'm just writing this here really because I undoubtedly wouldn't get an answer from Southern.

I've been late in to work every day because of this but there's never any apology or announcement. It seems every winter there's the same problems - is it perhaps the 'winter timetable' that is messed up? And why do they have winter and summer timetables anyway?

All very frustrating!

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hilltopgeneral


Posts: 156
Joined: Mar 2004
Post: #2
12-11-2007 01:09 PM

This particular service has always been liable to have / cause problems, for as long ad I can remember. The one before is usually OK but as you say it tends to bugga up subsequent services and you have to wait until a much later one until punctuality resumes.

I presume this is something to do with where it comes from, whether the inbound train that becomes this service is itself delayed or because there is a conflicted movement that delays it. Basically comes down to insufficient slack in the system.

Despite this, they keep running it unchanged. Isn't keeping doing the same thing and expecting a different result one definition of madness?!

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Jon Lloyd


Posts: 151
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #3
12-11-2007 01:13 PM

Thanks, indeed it is. You're probably right about the connecting service situation.

I'll give it one more week then pursue it inneffectually and eventually pass it off as just another everyday obstacle to happiness.

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Baboonery


Posts: 581
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #4
12-11-2007 02:59 PM

The 0835 from FH to LB, which doesn't stop at HOP, annoys me more. It's ALWAYS trundling behind the 0829. Average journey time is about 20 minutes. Always. If six minutes is an insufficient gap, timetable it differently!

Getting the 0829 would make sense, were it not for the fact that this generally sits outside LB for longer than any other train known to man, then goes into Platform 15, from where it takes forever to get to anywhere, particularly with a train generally arriving at Platform 13 at the same time. and consequently it is generally easier to have the extra five minutes in bed and get the 0835.

The 0755 is too early, and if I miss it it leaves too big a gap to the 0811, which in any case is always too overcrowded by the time it gets to FH, the 0821 is always late...

It's only 18 months ago when I moved here that this service was much much better.

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Jon Lloyd


Posts: 151
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #5
12-11-2007 03:43 PM

Roll on the East London Line, then 60% of the trains can be late AND going in the wrong direction!

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davidl


Posts: 180
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #6
12-11-2007 04:42 PM

Without wishing to go off-topic, one of the alleged benefits of the ELL changes is that it will "reduce congestion at London Bridge" station. I had initially interpreted this as meaning that passenger congestion will be reduced, but I suppose it could refer to train congestion. Never ceases to amaze me how many of the most crowded trains (by which subjectively I judge the ones I am on) are always routed into the most remote platforms. While this might be excused as it would allow the passengers to spread out by the time they get to the ticket barriers, the fact is that there are a couple of significant bottlenecks before the barriers which makes this impossible.

Which doesn't help you to get a nice start to the day.

In my opinion, travelling from HOP to LB in the morning is best done before 7.45 and after 8.45 - the trains in between are in the peak of peaks (anytime before 7.15 and 9.15 and you're unlikely to get a seat without some sort of killer instinct) and the slightest problem can mean they're too busy to get on at all.

I just feel sorry for people trying to board at Brockley. They must feel incredibly hard done-by.

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hilltopgeneral


Posts: 156
Joined: Mar 2004
Post: #7
12-11-2007 06:11 PM

davidl Wrote:
I just feel sorry for people trying to board at Brockley. They must feel incredibly hard done-by.


I don't pity them. They should live somewhere more sensible.

It is generally possible to get a seat at Forest Hill (except on a couple of trains), with a bit of tactical positioning to make sure you are one of the first ones on.

Train congestion is a major problem at London Bridge. A small number of incoming tracks serve a large number of terminus platforms - the balance is much better with the through platforms. As for why the busy South London services get routed into the terminus platforms while the Kent and Sussex trains get routed through, this is the way the railway developed, with separate railway companies for the different areas having separate railway stations. Now as then we continue to pay the price for the lack of integration and long-term planning.

As for why the trains can't be routed differently, sending trains from East Dulwich / Peckham Rye / South Bermondsey (which come from the southernmost approach tracks) or Forest Hill (the next set across) would mean cutting across other tracks and delaying other services. This is why we only get Charing X services in the evenings and on Sundays, when there is less traffic, and why East Dulwich and the rest get none.

Thameslink 2000 is designed (inter alia) to alleviate this.

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Honor Oaker


Posts: 23
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #8
12-11-2007 06:21 PM

I rarely attempt to catch the 0824 as it's nearly always late and too crowded to board. The 0831 is usually a couple of minutes behind, and I can usually get on that (and very occassionally find a seat) - sometimes it even overtakes the delayed 0824 on the approach to London Bridge.

I agree that 0824 does seem prone to delay in general, but I think delays have been exacerbated the past week or so by 'track adhesion problems', previously known as leaves on the line.

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Baboonery


Posts: 581
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #9
12-11-2007 06:50 PM

hilltopgeneral Wrote:
As for why the trains can't be routed differently, sending trains from East Dulwich / Peckham Rye / South Bermondsey (which come from the southernmost approach tracks) or Forest Hill (the next set across) would mean cutting across other tracks and delaying other services. This is why we only get Charing X services in the evenings and on Sundays, when there is less traffic, and why East Dulwich and the rest get none.


Tell me, at which platform does the FH 0821/HOP 0824 normally arrive?! When it's on time, that is. Platform 8, you say? The lowest possible? Why, that can't be right?!

As far as I can see, Southeastern trains, or others using the NX-Lewisham branch, proceeding to platforms 8-12 are relatively rare beasts, at least at that time of day, with these platforms generally serving the NX branch. I agree that more trains to CX at peak times is a non-starter for that reason, though.

Anyway, surely extending the footbridge diagonally across to platforms 15-16 would be a good way of relieving congestion at the foot of platform 13 and then worse at the foot of platform 12? Not to mention vastly reducing walk time between (say) 15 and the Tooley Street footbridge exit? How much can that cost? (I know the answer to this is 'a lot more than you think', and I don't for a moment think I'm the first person to think of it, but still).

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hilltopgeneral


Posts: 156
Joined: Mar 2004
Post: #10
12-11-2007 09:13 PM

Baboonery Wrote:
Tell me, at which platform does the FH 0821/HOP 0824 normally arrive?! When it's on time, that is. Platform 8, you say? The lowest possible? Why, that can't be right?!

As far as I can see, Southeastern trains, or others using the NX-Lewisham branch, proceeding to platforms 8-12 are relatively rare beasts, at least at that time of day, with these platforms generally serving the NX branch. I agree that more trains to CX at peak times is a non-starter for that reason, though.

Anyway, surely extending the footbridge diagonally across to platforms 15-16 would be a good way of relieving congestion at the foot of platform 13 and then worse at the foot of platform 12? Not to mention vastly reducing walk time between (say) 15 and the Tooley Street footbridge exit? How much can that cost? (I know the answer to this is 'a lot more than you think', and I don't for a moment think I'm the first person to think of it, but still).


Trains from here can go to any of platforms 8 to 16 - it matters not which, because there are only a small number of inbound 'up' lines (2? 3? I forget) which fan out into the 15 platforms.

They will use them all so it's just tough if it ends up being 16.

The difficulty is in crossing to platforms 1-6, and vice-versa - hence no Lewisham trains on 8-16 either, as far as I'm aware.

There has been no investment in e.g. an extended footbridge as they have always hoped to get TL2000 off the ground and it would have been viewed as a waste of money.

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PVP


Posts: 271
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #11
13-11-2007 10:28 AM

General point - I've utilised the wonderful facilties offered by Southern from FH for 6 years now. Back then, the 'rush' period was from about 8.10 to 8.40, with very few suits on the trains. Since then, things have become steadilt busier, with the profile of the typical passenger also altering greatly (to my bleary morning eyes anyway). I'm afriad this is the price we must pay for south east london registering on the radar.

I've been getting to the station ever earlier to avoid the cattle phase, even failing to get a seat on a 7.25 or so last week. I think we should contact Southern to see if they monitor passenger levels to see if we can get FH's share of LB capacity increased? At least make all trains 8 carriages? The other trains sitting outside of LB do seem a little less packed than ours. But this may be a phenomenon similar to the other traffic jam queue always moving faster than yours....

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,351
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #12
13-11-2007 11:22 AM

I think all FH trains should be at least 8 carriages.
I think things will improve when the ELL line opens as a lot of people change to the ELL at New Cross Gate.

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Jon Lloyd


Posts: 151
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #13
13-11-2007 02:38 PM

In fact if there really has been an increase in 'suits' then maybe they'll always use the ELL when it launches and leave the London Bridge trains less congested for us farties?
I'm a dreamer...

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #14
13-11-2007 02:47 PM

I think there'll be a lot of people who can take either the train to LB or the Overground. I work in West London and it'll makes no difference to me. I'll personally just be glad of the extra trains. I do understand the change won't suit many people, though.

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Elizabeth25


Posts: 212
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #15
16-11-2007 04:34 PM

For the past two weeks the trains have been delayed every morning. This morning was horrendous. 45 minute wait at FH station. Cursing

Does anyone have any conspiracy theories about this? Are the trains deliberately being delayed? Then when the ELL/LO comes in (with reduced services to LB) the trains will be back on track and will all says 'hey look, our service is so much better now' (following on the theory that Livingston played around with the traffic light prior to the congestion charge to make it appear that congestion was lessened once it came into effect?)

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bigjulie


Posts: 68
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #16
16-11-2007 05:19 PM

Wrong sort of frost.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,351
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #17
16-11-2007 05:30 PM

On a cold morning you can't get train drivers out of bed.

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Perryman


Posts: 809
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #18
17-11-2007 09:42 PM

I suspect that when this east London service comes in, any late running London Bridge train will be diverted on to the fast track to new cross gate.
Watching our train sail past a few times will condition us to take the the first train to New Cross Gate in the hope of picking up any late runner there.

With the LB bound passengers from Forest Hill, Honor Oak and Brockley all converging on NXG, I imagine this station is going to get seriously over crowded.

NXG currently gets no extra London service - now if they stopped some of the trains from Brighton at NXG - lovely - straight through to platform 6 at LB, and also connecting us up to Kings cross and beyond then this palava starts to make sense.

We would at last get some benefit of the Brighton service thundering through our communities; our service to London would be improved and sure, we also get a service to East London for all those trips to Dalston Junction...

A win win for all.

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michael


Posts: 3,200
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #19
17-11-2007 11:37 PM

Perryman Wrote:
.... now if they stopped some of the trains from Brighton at NXG - lovely - straight through to platform 6 at LB, and also connecting us up to Kings cross and beyond then this palava starts to make sense.


From the Forest Hill Society response to the RUS:

"We propose that at least 2 tph on the Thameslink service stop at New Cross Gate after the introduction of the East London Line.

Passengers from the East London Line would then be able to change to these services to London Bridge, Kings Cross, Bedford , Gatwick and Brighton. This would reduce overcrowding on the remaining services from New Cross Gate to London Bridge by adding additional capacity, provide faster travel from Gatwick to Canary Wharf and City Airport, reduce passenger overcrowding at London Bridge station with customers changing platforms (this is recognised as a problem area in the RUS), and it would reduce overcrowding on the Northern Line for a significant number of passengers from South London wishing to continue beyond Kings Cross."

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Zeus


Posts: 24
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #20
23-11-2007 10:49 AM

I've lived in Forest Hill for long enough to confirm that over crowded trains which are full of suits, as someone put it, is not a new thing on this route. It's always been hard work to get into Town with peak time trains packed to the rafters with commuters - which is the same for anyone using the underground by the way. Over crowding is fact of life for anyone living in a major City, as much as we all hate it.

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