Monday, 2 December 2013

Southeastern shambles.

When the domestic HS1 service was introduced Southeastern reduced the service on the 'historic' line from  Ashford to London via Tonbridge.  Fast and semi-fast trains between  Ashford and Tonbridge were deleted from the timetable. The current service off-peak is every half hour stopping at all stations.   Shades of things to come if HS2 is built?

Although the service is much worse, passengers in West Kent have to pay higher fares  to meet  HS1 costs even though HS1 does not serve West Kent.  The rail companies argue that HS1 has freed up capacity on the historic route thus providing indirect benefit.  Doesn't quite seem like that to passengers from Headcorn, Staplehurst and Paddock Wood and those travelling between Ashford and Tonbridge.

Today I arrived at Ashford station to catch the 16.03 train to Tonbridge.  Change at Tonbridge for an arrival time of 16.59 at Tunbridge Wells. The 16.03 was cancelled.

Not to worry.  Although inconvenient, the next departure from Ashford at 16.33, change at Tonbridge, would see me arrive in Tunbridge Wells at 17.26.

However, the 16.33 was delayed I missed my connection at Tonbridge as the train was running 14 minutes late. Then my luck changed: the 17.22 from Tonbridge to Hastings was running 8 minutes late.  I arrived at Tunbridge Wells at 17.40.

Pity the passengers on the 16.33 from Ashford heading for Sevenoaks and London Bridge. On arrival at Tonbridge the 16.33 was sent forward to London, first stop Waterloo East.

I shall be filling in a Delay Compensation Form.

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