Southern continue to fail

Readers (and writers) appear to have taken a week off, not submitting a report on the railways to last week’s edition. There are some issues with the standard timetable, and the MarshLink Action Group (“MLAG”) is engaging with passengers with a questionnaire to plot views to take up with Southern in due course. But, after a week and a half of the new timetable, the MarshLink experienced an issue on Thursday May 31 with a train cancellation and we have known for a while that, when this happened, we would be looking at Southern’s response in terms of actions taken and the speed of reaction (but also why a service was cancelled and its likelihood of repetition).
What was the problem? The 06:46 ex Eastbourne was cancelled – we don’t know why yet. To explain the knock-on effect, this train forms the 07:47 from Rye, arriving Ashford 08:09: the returning train is scheduled to depart Ashford at 08:24, arriving Eastbourne at 09:42 (but, of course, this was cancelled too).
So, the question requiring an answer is, would Southern be able to get a train to Eastbourne to take over the scheduled service departing Eastbourne at 09:49.
The answer has proved to be “No”.
The 09:49 ex Eastbourne was cancelled. But, according to Southern’s Live Trains service, the hourly service resumes after that but the evening Rye Shuttle services are cancelled.
What do we understand from this? It appears the morning Rye Shuttle train was used to provide the hourly service but the “spare” (the unit surplus to requirement to operate the reduced Ashford to Eastbourne service when all is going well) has not been brought into operation. This is an issue MLAG raised during discussions on the new timetable and we will be taking up with Southern again.

Photo: Rye News library

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  1. what this cancellation meant for Rye commuters as HS 1737 services from St Pancras was cancelled as well. It meant Rye commuters has to wait at Ashford for hour getting home at 1945
    If we had old peak timetable we could have got 1750 and got home on time.
    Finally feed on your survey lots of amusement by commuters that your survey does not have any way of getting it back to MLAG not even email address on it.
    Maybe look at survey monkey next time and give out a link or follow @marshlinktrains to find out what Rye commuters really think.
    Also commuters made it quit clear what they thought of new peak timetable in MLAG meeting in March. The only thing that changed is that there are now less Rye commuters as people have had to make other arrangements.

  2. We got the train back from Glasgow yesterday afternoon and fortunately made the connection with 17:24 to Rye. The next service was indeed cancelled. Not exactly fair to those commuters and other travellers expecting it to be there to complete their journey! I know how I would have felt. How do they get to their destination? I commuted to London for years and it could be very painful at times. The main delays were experienced at Charing X to coastal trains, if the driver was travelling on an incoming service that had not arrived in time.
    London Underground used to have a “Spare” available for such times. The train company are taking regularly travellers money upfront and need to keep their side of the transaction. I am not interested in sorry, just sort it out!!


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