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Question: 196

Why are the Windsor lines set to get more new trains when they have just getting the refurbished 458s? Can we please have additional rolling stock on weekends on the mainline when four car trains are full and standing.

Posted by Paul Cheeseman 25/03/2015 12:34:11

Answer:

The recently ordered 30 x Desiro "City" units will be for the Windsor suburban services cascading class 458s for 10-car operation on the Reading line. Other routes will benefit, including much of the main suburban network, which will also be able to be operated with 10-car trains as a result of the cascade.

In the improvements package announced today, many Sunday services will be lengthened on the suburban routes. 

Question: 197

Hi. The train I'm taking to work every week day is 8:54 to Woking from Walton-on-Thames. Can you explain why this train is late every day of the week? I'm a reasonable person, I understand that sometimes things happen and I wouldn't mind waiting 5 more minutes if it happen once in a while, but every day of the week?

For example, in January there were couple of times where I accounted over 50 minutes delay weekly for 8:54 train only. Can you explain what SW trains are doing to get this resolved as it's getting pretty ridiculous? You don't reimburse your customers if the delay is lower than 60 minutes but we still have to pay dearly for the season tickets. I don't think that this is fair. I also do follow SW Trains on twitter, but it looks like you don't like to listen what people have to say, as I was blocked couple of months ago as I was tweeting every day when the train was delayed... Is this your usual tactics?

Posted 25/03/2015 12:59:36

Answer:

The services coming out of Waterloo at that time in the morning rely on the morning peak working at its best. There are only 2 or 3 minutes between trains running into Waterloo at that time, and any small delay is carried into the return working back out again.

This service is one that is hampered by the morning peak congestion when any small delay has a knock-on impact to those around it. We will look at the running of this service in particular and see if there is anything that can be done in the planning to improve it.

Question: 194

You've been running this franchise since 1996 and in your news release on the 27th of Jan 2015, Mr Shoveller refers to "There is no quick or easy fix to improve reliability, boost capacity and catch up on years of under-investment. " well you've had almost 20 years to increase investment and you clearly haven't.

Don't you think it's about time that you started looking at your own performance, stop blaming all your failures on the past and take some responsibility?

Posted by Katie Hyde 24/03/2015 19:35:11

Answer:

I completely understand your question, but my comments are true! In 1999, SWT proposed a very extensive upgrade to implement 15 carriage trains for your services, a flyover to allow trains to cross into the Eurostar station and 12-car suburban services. Despite very large amounts of money being invested to develop the schemes, after 2 years of discussion with the then Strategic Rail Authority the plans were abondoned.

So there was no lack of vision or effort, but it is deeply frustrating that the schemes were not progressed. We have worked tirelessly with the Department for Trainsport to work out how we increase capacity on the network.

Unlike other routes, there are no simple measures to increase capacity on the mainline services - by Dec 17, all trains for both the morning and evening 3hr peaks will be at the maximum length that the infrastructure can accomodate and we already run 24 trains in the peak hour all the way from Surbiton to Waterloo  - no one else attempts to do this.

There are many reasons why the Infrastructure, which is owned and funded by Network Rail is not as relaible as it needs to be to support such a busy railway. We are working hand in hand to improve the quality of the railway, noting a 57% increase in track renewals in the last year, infrastrucrure delays are now falling - but any incident with a train every 2 mins is immediately very significant. 

So, I am completely responsible for the railway, but the consequences of previous decisons by funders (DfT and ORR) despite over 400m this year in premia paid by SWT to government, do have a consequence on the options I have. We are working hard to resolve all these issues.

Regards

Tim Shoveller

Question: 193

Why are the trains leaving between 6PM to 7.30PM from London Waterloo to Weybridge always delayed and never arrive on time at Weybridge? Is it really frustrating to see nothing has changed in the 4 years I have been commuting on this line.

Posted by Adriana Curelariu 24/03/2015 15:40:59

Answer:

We run an extremely busy and intensive train service that has seen significant growth over the past ten years since the timetable was developed. The time you refer to is the busiest time in the evening and the most challenging to get delivery spot on.

It's critical that the infrastructure performs as any lateness quickly manifests throughout the service in a ripple effect - any small delay spreads fast. We have 3 programmes in place to deliver improved performance.

  1. 15 activities to do all we can to remove lost seconds - it's that tight.
  2. A £120m investment in critical infrastructure to improve reliability with 38 seperate actvities.
  3. A detailed action plan to tackle trespass and people accessing the railway.

If we fix those three areas, our performance will improve. It already is getting better and performance over the last year is better than it was a year ago - the first time we've been able to say this for over four years.

Question: 192

Why isn't the full timetable book available at every station and not just the major ones? I know we can get one by calling up the customer services number but it would be much easier if you could just get one from any station.

Posted 25/03/2015 13:02:12

Answer:

In the past we have provided every staffed station with a supply of full timetable books. However, that was stopped some time ago as the majority were not claimed and eventually wasted. 

However, all timetables are available via our website or can be printed off at ticket offices by asking a member of staff. In addition, full timetables are available at the relatively nearby Basingstoke and Woking stations as well as London Waterloo. 

Thank you

Question: 191

When will the Class 159 have their existing wheelchair accessible toilet replaced by the larger modern curved teardrop design and will it be located in the driving composite (First/Standard) vehicle as present?

How long will the programme take to complete fitment of the new toilet design?

Posted by Peter Skuce 25/03/2015 13:55:06

Answer:

The first of our class 159 disel units are currently undergoing modifications to make them compliant with the Persons with Reduced Mobility Regulations.

We expect this unit to return within 6 weeks and then following approval, an on-going programme will start with all our diesel units to ensure PRM compliance by 2018.

It is intended that the location of the new toilet will not change but the increased size required will also result in a number of changes to the layout of the carriage itself.  

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