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“Please help me persuade South West Trains to fix this: Train Delays From Fulwell” – Ian O'Reilly

Description

Ian O'Reilly

Hi
This email written in despair - I use the Fulwell to London Waterloo Service each day (Normally the 8:24 from fulwell)
During November I didn't get on a train that reached its destination on time. I have written to South West trains - But the response I got from them was dismissive.
Their response to the delays was that its just a busy time to travel.
I have been pleased with their performance up to Oct 2011 - but since then its been terrible. I have kept a log of the delays and its not great reading, Mostly 10-15 mins late each day - sometimes 20- 25 mins. For the Last 2 days (Dec 5th & 6th) we have had serious problems between Clapham & Vauxhall.
I have asked SWTrains what temperature they set the heating at as there have been multiple instances of Passengers getting ill on the Trains - Incredibly they have said its set for 23 Degrees.
No wonder people are fainting . I am sure that I am not the only one experiencing these issues - We just want the service to improve.

Problem History

  • 1 Ian O'Reilly reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 20:33 06 Dec 2011
  • 2 Ian O'Reilly wrote to South West Trains close 20:33 06 Dec 2011

    Here is the letter that Ian O'Reilly wrote.

    Train Delays From Fulwell

    Hi
    This email written in despair - I use the Fulwell to London Waterloo Service each day (Normally the 8:24 from fulwell)
    During November I didn't get on a train that reached its destination on time. I have written to South West trains - But the response I got from them was dismissive.
    Their response to the delays was that its just a busy time to travel.
    I have been pleased with their performance up to Oct 2011 - but since then its been terrible. I have kept a log of the delays and its not great reading, Mostly 10-15 mins late each day - sometimes 20- 25 mins. For the Last 2 days (Dec 5th & 6th) we have had serious problems between Clapham & Vauxhall.
    I have asked SWTrains what temperature they set the heating at as there have been multiple instances of Passengers getting ill on the Trains - Incredibly they have said its set for 23 Degrees.
    No wonder people are fainting . I am sure that I am not the only one experiencing these issues - We just want the service to improve.

  • 3 South West Trains responded to Ian O'Reilly close 20:36 06 Dec 2011
  • 4 Peter Dixon commented close 21:43 06 Dec 2011

    Hello Ian

    Welcome to Fixmytransport. It is great to see you are keeping a travel diary. Would it be possible for you to post the response you have had from SWT and the travel diary you appear to be developing? This is really good to see and I hope that you can get some progress on the issue.

    anorak
    admin
  • 5 South West Trains responded to Ian O'Reilly close 13:13 21 Dec 2011
    Mr I O'Reilly
    South West Trains

    Customer Service Centre
    Overline House
    Blechynden Terrace
    Southampton SO15 1GW
    Telephone 0845 6000 650
    Fax 023 8072
    8187
    email
    [South West Trains problem reporting email]

    Our ref:1652109

    21 December 2011

    Dear Mr O'Reilly

    Thank you for your email of 06 December 2011.

    I'm sorry that you have been delayed on several journeys with us
    over the last few weeks. I appreciate that being delayed on a
    regular basis is very frustrating and I apologise for the
    difficulties that you have been caused.

    This year started with challenges for us and our customers with
    heavy snowfall affecting services. A regrettably high number of
    fatalities have also caused difficulties during 2011. June saw a
    complex signal failure and cable theft cause major disruption in
    the same week, prompting a detailed review of how we respond to
    incidents on our network.

    Since the autumn, we have been hampered by numerous infrastructure
    related problems. Poor rail conditions and flooding caused
    difficulties at the start of November; overrunning and emergency
    engineering works and a succession of signalling failures have
    caused delays and short notice cancellations. I apologise for the
    inconvenience that all of these incidents have caused you.

    Whilst obviously we want to provide a punctual service you can
    rely on, for the reasons I have explained, this has not always
    been possible. We strive to learn from our mistakes and this year
    we have been working hard to make sure our customers see an
    improvement in the way we manage all aspects of disruption.

    We have made huge changes to customer information during
    disruption. We now have special weekday and weekend contingency
    timetables ready should we need to use them in severe weather.
    Our on-train staff have Blackberry smart phones to ensure they
    receive the information they need to keep you informed; Twitter
    and dedicated email alerts can be used to keep you updated about
    specific journeys; new Information Managers have been deployed in
    our Control Centre to improve the quality of advice our customers
    receive. These changes have come as a direct result of customer
    feedback following incidents this year and I hope that you are
    already noticing and improvement.

    Of course changing how we handle disruption will improve the
    situation, but like you, we don't want our trains to be delayed
    and therefore we have also been working hard to improve
    performance. Working with our industry partners at Network Rail,
    who are responsible for the infrastructure, we have taken steps to
    try to get our performance back to the high standards our
    customers have come to expect. Fatality avoidance is high on our
    agenda and the British Transport Police have made this one of
    their top priorities this year. Cable theft is now being
    discussed in parliament, where a Bill to amend the law is being
    sought and details of this particular issue can be found on our
    website. Network Rail is continuing to ensure that the
    infrastructure is robust enough to reduce the number of problems
    caused by incidents like signal failures and emergency engineering
    works. They have also invested heavily in protecting the
    infrastructure against the impact of ice and snow should this be a
    problem over the winter months.

    Operating around 1600 trains a day on one of the busiest areas of
    the UK rail network will always present challenges, but I hope
    this has explained the positive steps we are taking to improve
    both train performance and how we look after our customers who
    have been unfortunate to experience delays. As a valued season
    ticket holder we have a special compensation package for you and
    when there has been major disruption to your journey you may be
    eligible for void day compensation. When you renew your ticket
    your void days will be calculated automatically by the Ticket
    Office and paid to you in cash. If you want to check how many
    void days you are eligible for you can do this on our website
    using the following link:

    http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/our-per...

    May I apologise again for the problems that you have highlighted
    in your complaint. I hope your journeys throughout 2012 will be
    more satisfactory.

    Thank you for contacting us.

    Kind Regards
    Michael Smith
    Customer Service Advisor

    Rail tickets, including renewal of annual season tickets, can be
    purchased by debit and credit card (unfortunately we cannot accept Solo or
    Electron) through our Customer Service Centre on 0845 6000 650. Our
    trained staff have over 700 years of rail experience between them
    and look forward to being of assistance. Over 160 of our stations
    are now enabled for pre-paid ticket collection using the ticket
    vending machines, so purchasing your next rail ticket by telephone
    could not be easier.

    If replying to this e-mail please copy: FAO Michael Smith 1652109 into the
    subject line. This will ensure that the correct Customer Relations Officer
    will
    deal with any response.

    The information contained in this email is confidential and intended for the addressee(s) only. If you receive an email in error, please contact the sender or the Service Desk at [email address] +44 (0) 207 620 5602, and permanently remove the email from your systems.

    The opinions expressed in this email are those of the sender and not necessarily those of the company.

    While emails are virus checked, the company does not accept any liability in respect of a virus which is not detected

    Stagecoach South Western Trains Limited
    Registered in England and Wales 5599788
    Registered office: Friars Bridge Court
    41-45 Blackfriars Road
    London SE1 8NZ
    A part of the Stagecoach Group
  • 6 Paul Hollinghurst commented close 13:48 21 Dec 2011

    23C is always quoted as being within the acceptable indoor temperature range for offices; you will find many references to 21-23C and 21-24C as a preference:
    (e.g. here http://www.atl.org.uk/health-and-safety/work-environment/temperature.asp suggesting 24C as a maximum - a figure often quoted as coming from the World Health Organisation)

    If people are fainting then this suggests the heating is faulty (i.e. well above 23C), or badly designed so that people close to the heaters are above 23C. If you have a thermometer it would be interesting to check what it is.

    On my route (London to Camrbidge) the temperatures are often fine, but are occasionally very hot, or occasioanlly have no heating.

    anorak
    admin
  • 7 Peter Dixon commented close 15:13 21 Dec 2011

    But. It is not just heating. It is humidity as well and if the system does not take into account crowding then it could easily become uncomfortable. People are more likely to be wearing thicker garments as well at this time of year.

    I would advise you to keep an eye on it and come back here if you have any more delays and poorly heated carriages

    anorak
    admin
  • 8 Paul Hollinghurst commented close 01:18 22 Dec 2011

    Peter, you are certainly right that humidity and clothing will affect the comfort of passengers, but I believe that 23C will be fine for everyone and will not lead to people fainting, but it is at the top end of acceptable winter temperatures so any fault with the heating will take it into an uncomfortable region. You may have seen it, but there is a very good article about the problems with train heating by Ian Walmsley in the October 2011 edition of Modern Railways. This suggests temperatures in the low to mid 20s; higher in the summer, lower in the winter, and as you say dependent on humidity.

    anorak
    admin
  • 9 Myf Nixon commented close 10:43 22 Dec 2011

    Well done to South West Trains for sending a full reply through FixMyTransport - they have previously been reluctant.

    On the subject of heating, I must say that if you are unfortunate enough to be on the seat directly above the heater, it can be quite unbearable. Serious design fault.

    anorak
    admin
  • 10 Dave H commented close 13:55 22 Dec 2011

    On Italian trains, electric, and air conditioned - built in 1938 and still running in 1978, there were temperature logging recorders that displayed the in carriage temperature.

    As simple one might be to discreetly place colour changing temperature labels in the saloons enabling all to see the current internal temperature and report it...this could be official - or even customer driven?

  • 11 Richard Stockley commented close 14:36 12 Jan 2012

    I had the same problems travelling from Hampton. I also wrote to complain about the delays and the additional money I had to spend on bus travel when the line was closed in morning in mid December. After a long wait I got an obvious 'copy and paste' type of standard email from South West Trains that didn't answer any of my questions and i take from this that my email was not properly read (if at all).

    The 8:21 from Hampton was over 30 minutes late on Tuesday 10th Jan so I don't hold out much hope for the new year. I was expecting a discount on my monthly season ticket due to the reliability dropping below their Charter standards but because their was a break between the old one expiring and buying the new one over the Christmas period I was not entitled to the discount. Even more ridiculous as SWT didn't even run a service on 25th and 26th of December.

    Terrible levels of customer service but what can you expect. SWTs know that happy or not we'll all be back next month as there's no alternative. Minimum standards will always apply I guess and so I'll waste no more time writing to complain.

  • 12 Peter Dixon commented close 22:26 12 Jan 2012

    Hello Richard

    What kind of gap was there (was it for a monthly or longer season ticket)? If there was less than four weeks, please contact SWT as they have breached their Passenger Charter.

    To claim your Passenger's Charter compensation, you must renew your Season Ticket within four weeks of your previous ticket's expiry. Your new ticket must be for the same journey and for the same or a shorter period of time.

    http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/passengerscharter.aspx

    It is only by reminding the operator on a regular basis about their service failings will you get results. It may appear futile to some but those who regularly complain, get more.

    anorak
    admin
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  • started 6 December 2011
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Train route between Fulwell and London Waterloo operated by South West Trains
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