Following MLAG’s press release last week concerning the unreliability of the Class 171 diesel units operating the service and the tardiness of getting the “spare” into operation, we said we would publish Southern’s response.
Southern say “Over the last three months there has been a significant improvement in the reliability of the 171 trains running on the Marshlink. There are 12×2 car Class 171 and 10 are needed to run the MarshLink and Uckfield timetable day to day.
“This means that there are 2 (rotating) in the depot undergoing maintenance which could be used in the event of a train failure. This ongoing maintenance has resulted in a significant sustained increase in reliability.”
At our meeting with GTR/ Southern last week they confirmed that “If the train fails whilst in the depot the spare can be put into use. However if the train fails whilst down on the coast there is no predefined “path” for the spare to come down from the depot so no guarantee that the journey could be made.”
Southern tell us they are working on getting a path timetabled so that if a train fails in the morning the service would be working again in the afternoon.
Photo: Rye News library