Interim timetable update
The first two weeks of the interim timetable on Thameslink and Great Northern routes have gone positively; we’ve delivered a more reliable service with far fewer delays and cancellations, which in turn has improved our overall service to our customers.
Prioritising peak-time services continues to be our main focus. There’s still a lot of work to do and we’ve had to deal with some issues which are covered in more detail below.
At the beginning of next week, when the interim timetable will have been in place for two full weeks, we will review and provide you with PPM data comparing current performance with the level preceding the May timetable change. We will also provide some commentary on what operational and infrastructure issues have been happening, to give some context to the figures.
The qualifying period for the additional industry compensation scheme ends on 28 July; as well as ticket acceptance on other services. Phase one of the compensation scheme will launch at the end of August when we will get in touch with customers who we believe are entitled to compensation based on data that we hold for annual and monthly season ticket holders.
When the automated process is complete, those who have not been contacted but believe they are due to receive additional compensation will be able to apply in phase 2. Applications will be made via a dedicated online additional compensation web form where you will be requested to provide evidence of the season ticket(s) held between 20 May 2018 and 28 July 2018. Before phase one commences we have to undertake a huge piece of work to identify who is eligible from our season ticket database and online sales records.
The implementation of the May timetables caused significant disruption to customers across Thameslink and Great Northern. To address this we encouraged customers to claim on either the intended 20 May timetable or the service of the day. As the service is now more stable and providing more reliability for passengers we will return to the industry standard approach for delay repay from the 30 July.
Up to and on 29 July
Customers will still be able to claim for services travelled up to and on 29 July on the original May timetables or on the plan of the day
30 July onwards
However, if a claim is put in for travelling on or after 30 July, it will only be valid on the timetable we are advertising and operating on the day of travel. More information can be found here.
As the hot weather continues we encourage people to plan ahead and always carry water. Water is available at our major stations. When rails are in direct sunshine which can be as much as 20°C hotter than air temperature, they expand as they get hotter, and can start to curve – known as ‘buckling’. This is because they are made from steel.
When this happens Network Rail may have to introduce speed restrictions or occasionally have to close the track to allow engineers to attend on site. More information can be found here.
Next week we look ahead to Brighton Pride taking place between 3-5 August. We absolutely understand how important this is for the local community and economy. Both GTR and Network Rail have internal teams in place, which have been carrying out planning for events to be held locally celebrating Pride and what it means to people, as well as operational logistics for some time. We are running late night trains to get as many revellers home as possible.
Over the weekend, trains to, from and through Brighton, Hove and Preston Park are expected to be very busy.
We’re asking customers to:
- Travel outside peak times where possible and allow extra time for their journeys as they may have to queue
- Travel earlier in the evening if possible as the last trains of the day are expected to be particularly busy
- Purchase tickets in advance where possible as there are expected to be long queues at ticket offices and ticket machines during the event
- Re-check their journey immediately before travelling for any on-the-day alterations
As a crowd control measure:
- Preston Park station will be closed all day on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 August
- London Road (Brighton) will be closed from 12 noon on Saturday and all day Sunday
Full details are available at https://www.southernrailway.com/travel-information/plan-your-journey/brighton-pride
Engineering works between Lewes to Seaford engineering works
Network Rail will be undertaking engineering signalling works between Lewes – Seaford from 18 – 28 August 2018, closing the line between the two stations. Trains will still run between Brighton and Lewes with a replacement bus service 10 minutes in the peak and 15 in the off-peak stopping at all stations to Seaford.
Posters are on display at affected stations, and more information will be added to Southern’s website and on National Rail Enquiries next week. During the closure, staff will be on hand at all the station to assist passengers and provide water. More information can be found here.
The Office of Rail & Road has published today its initial findings after beginning its investigation into the May timetable changes. More details can be read here. Please click here for Network Rail’s response.
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