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
Slowboat to no where!
South West Trains
Member Name: bigdave
South West Trains
Date: 16/08/01, updated on 16/08/01 (274 review reads)
Advantages: Often efficient, Reliable trains
Disadvantages: Overcrowding, Lack of drivers
SouthWest trains(SWT) are owned by StageCoach Ltd, this train company at present hold the train franchise to operate the services between the South-West of London and the South-West of England. As well as running the train services, SWT also own and maintain the majority of the stations on these routes. The largest of these being London Waterloo and Clapham Junction ( The busiest station in the country)
The majority of SWT customer base is those who commute into London WaterLoo from surrounding London boroughs and suburbs, it is these services which suffer from the most problems as far as timetable issues and overcrowding are concerned.
SWT seem to have a shortage of train drivers as many a train has been cancelled due to the service having no driver. Most of the delays that do happen are due to network and engineeriing works which are the resposibility of Railtrack, and is out of the hands of SWT. At least the station's keep you well informed of any developments. Every now and again services are cancelled or delayed because of train breakdowns.
SWT at present operate three types of trains.
The first are there new diesel trains which tend to operated on SWT longer haul journeys from Waterloo to the South West of England. These trains are very modern, clean and well maintained. There is no graffiti and none of the seats have been damaged These trains also provide a toilets and a trolley refreshment service. These trains dont often get that busy and it isnt hard to find a seat.
The second sets of trains are the commuter trains, these type run from London Boroughs into Waterloo. During peak times these trains are very busy and it is often hard to find a seat, On many occasion these have been so full that people cant actually squeeze on. This is a major problem for SWT on these routes as tempers often get frayed between passengers, often when stopping at staions as waiting passengers are heard saying "Can you mo
ve down please" apart from the fact that passengers are squeezed into every spare sq inch as it is. It often doesnt help when SWT trains in their wisdom sometimes decide to cut these services from there usual 8 carriage services to a 4 carriage service. Imagine the chaos as 8 overcrowded carriages worth of people try to get on 4 carriages, Trust me its a sight to be seen.
The third set of trains are the old slam door trains that SWT operate these are mainly used for the middle distance routes such as Reading and Woking, these trains are often clean and well maintained. These trains do get busy during peak times. Because the seats take up so much room the seating often get filled up very quickly. The main problem I have with these trains is the safety impliction of the doors. On many occasions I have seen passengers opening the doors and trying to get on, as the train is pulling out of the station.
Waterloo being the main station is well maintained and well presented. There is a good range of Toilet and refreshment services provided. There is ample information about trains available from timetable stands, train display screens and staff that are positioned nearby to provide info. The only issue I have is the poor planning that was involved when they positioned their new flat blue information screens, when its busy everyone crowds round them blocking off all the entrances to the platforms.
In conclusion SWT do run a good service, but its a thankless task, if the service is on time people go on there way happily, but when things go wrong thats when you start to hear peoples views on SWT service. I think people will be satisfied with the service as Railtrack start to complete their engineeering work, that is as long as SWT dont try to raise their fares.