Today someone was 'taken ill' (i.e. threw up) on one of the direct trains which pass through Wimbledon en route to Waterloo on platform 6. This resulted in that train having to stop in Wimbledon.
This subsequently caused huge overcrowding on the platform, and on all the normal train services going from platform 5 (as if they're not already overcrowded enough). And obviously this in turn causes delays for all the people who were unable to board the train at Wimbledon / Earlsfield / Clapham Jct / Vauxhall.
Obviously nothing can be done to prevent someone being sick. However it highlights a couple points which should be addressed in future incidents.
Firstly, there weren't any platform announcements for at least 15 minutes about what had happened, leaving hundreds of confused commuters standing around. Some waited on the stopped train on platform 6, some tried for any train on platform 5, many flitted between the two, as it wasn't clear what was going on.
Secondly, I counted four direct trains, which normally pass through Wimbledon on platform 6 without stopping, going past platform 5. Obviously these are meant to be direct; however it would have vastly improved the situation if someone had taken the decision to stop one or more of these trains to allow at least some passengers to continue their journey. Rather than cause knock-on delays which are still continuing over 3 hours later.
PS: according to SW trains site, delays of 'up to 20 minutes' were experienced - I was delayed for 20 minutes but it could have been much longer if I hadn't been lucky in getting on, and I expect some people would have experienced 30 - 40 minute delays this morning.
- By Duncan Cumming on 09 Oct 2012
- Sent to South West Trains on 09 Oct 2012
Duncan Cumming added an update
09:17 03 Nov 2012
Reply received 3rd November:
Customer Service Centre
Southampton SO15 1GW
Telephone 0845 6000 650
Fax 023 8072
03 November 2012
Dear Mr Cumming
Thank you for your email of 09 October 2012.
I am sorry to hear about the delay you experienced during your
recent journey with us on the 09 October 2012. We do aim to
provide a reliable and punctual service and I am sorry that we
have let you down.
There are a number of reasons why a train may be delayed and some
of these are out of our direct control. South West Trains has put
in place a number of initiatives aimed at reducing the level of
delays within its control and we have seen a sustained improvement
in this area. We are also working closely with all our rail
industry partners such as Network Rail to ensure that there is a
long-term reduction in other causes.
I am sorry that when you were travelling there was a lack of
information on what would be happening to the service or
alternative services hoped to be provided. We strive to ensure
that customers are kept informed at every stage of any delay to
their journey and we obviously let you down very badly on this
occasion, for which I sincerely apologise. This matter has been
passed to our Passenger Information Manager and the Station
Following significant service disruption we always review how we
dealt with it so we can see where we can improve should there be a
similar incident in the future. From these reviews, we have
learned over many years that it is in most people's interest that
we get the service back to normal as quickly as possible.
We welcome customer feedback as this helps us improve our service
and I am passing your comments to our operations team so they are
aware of passenger reaction.
Please accept my apologies and I am sorry for any inconvenience
Thank you for taking the time to contact us.
Customer Relations Advisor
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