20th December | Last Week in Trains

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Poor Southeastern Trains… I can’t help feeling sorry for TOCs (train operating companies) being punished as a result of ‘acts of God,’ if you’ll pardon the expression. This was the news on Wednesday last week, that disgruntled commuters gathered at London’s Charing Cross station to sing their own rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas – featuring delightful lines such as, ‘five broken trains’ and the pièce de résistance, ‘no trains the rest of the week.’

There was ‘rail chaos’ last week… sort of. In that it snowed heavily and some trains were cancelled. Overall it wasn’t too bad, especially when compared with the situation on the roads and in the sky. On Saturday it took an hour for the bus I was on to make it down the High Road – usually a 15 minute walk. The driver was then faced with what might be alluded to a pack of wolves descending on a caribou, when he announced the bus would have to stop before it’s final destination. And my boss’ flight was one of hundreds cancelled.

Finally, Network rail has said new tracks may be needed to cope with the growing number of commuters. Particularly deficient are lines from the south-west into London and between London and Ipswich. They estimate passenger numbers at peak times will grow by over a third by 2031.

NR put forward a plan to create ‘synergy with plans for High Speed 2 and other schemes such as Crossrail and Thameslink.’ And suggested a need to look at housing policy too (see picture to left that looks like it was drawn by a seven year-old).

Click here to read the report.