Newest Review: ... limit the amount of money I recieve these days. When I first started taking South West Trains, they ran fairly on time until recently w... more
South West Trains
Member Name: steve412
South West Trains
Date: 24/06/01, updated on 24/06/01 (80 review reads)
Advantages: Convenient when it works
Disadvantages: Regular failings
I've been commuting from a station on the Epsom to Waterloo line for the last ten years. As the statistics show, SW Trains' performance has not been great either in running advertised services or in getting there on time - and this despite lengthening the time allowed for the journey after privatisation! It is amusing to note that scheduled journey times are now longer than they were fifty years ago!!
As a seasoned commuter I don't expect perfection, and I am not in a position to apportion blame between SWT and Railtrack, but since I travel early in the morning (usually around 7.30) I suspect most of the problems are down to SWT as it is hard for the previous service to have been delayed unless the driver failed to get out of bed.
At this time in the morning I would expect to get a seat most days on a 25-30 min journey, whereas the reality is about every other day. When commuters pack the train it gets far too hot for comfort and there is no air conditioning.
Evening performance is not much better. Waterloo is a nightmare at the moment as they are migrating to new electronic indicator boards which are unreadable from any distance.
There are regular evening disruptions without explanation. The station concourse gets very crowded and smokey because they have taken away space for shops.
SWT has also suffered strikes recently. On one of these I had to get into London to attend a conference. The journey took 90 mins in and 2 hours back which demonstrates that there really is no alternative for me.
Overall, as a commuter I simply want trains to run as advertised and for there to be enough trains to give most people a seat. Is that too much to ask?