Fare Dealer

Rail (UK) - - Contents - Barry Doe

RAIL fares ex­pert Barry Doe catches up on the lat­est Na­tional Rail Timetable de­vel­op­ments.

EAST Mid­lands Trains pro­vided full break­fast on six south­bound trains on Mon-Fri, but only on one north­bound ser­vice. A reader pointed out that both the Na­tional Rail Timetable and EMT’s timetable no longer show it on any north­bound ser­vice, and won­dered why it had been abol­ished.

EMT con­firmed that this is an er­ror. The cater­ing team on board the 0531 from Sh­effield re­turns on the 0831 from St Pan­cras, and does of­fer a full break­fast ser­vice. I as­sume that the other five teams re­turn ‘on the cush­ions’, which seems a wasted op­por­tu­nity.

Turn­ing to my re­view of the Na­tional Rail Timetable in RAIL 855, I pointed out that Ta­ble 78A, which is meant to show the in­fa­mous weekly Stockport-Staly­bridge ser­vice, omits it al­to­gether - adding that it now runs Satur­days only at 0945, ar­riv­ing Staly­bridge 1006.

Sev­eral read­ers have pointed out to me that it ac­tu­ally starts at Staly­bridge at 0846 and reaches Stockport (with the usual in­ter­me­di­ate calls) at 0910. This is the first time in years that it has run both ways.

Re­gard­ing Ta­ble 180, I wrote about the new late-evening ser­vices to Hor­sham formed by ex­tend­ing Vic­to­ria-Dork­ing ser­vices. I pointed out that de­spite it be­ing a wholly Vic­to­ria-Hor­sham ser­vice, the op­er­a­tor would ap­pear to be Thames­link.

Vic­to­ria was, of course, al­ways a di­vided sta­tion his­tor­i­cally, with (us­ing to­day’s op­er­a­tor names) South­east­ern ser­vices in one half and South­ern in the other. Each still has its own de­par­ture screens, and I am told that for some rea­son these Hor­sham ser­vices only ap­pear on the South­east­ern screens, mean­ing that many peo­ple in the South­ern sec­tion don’t see them.

I won­der if this is some blip gen­er­ated by the pos­si­bly er­ro­neous op­er­a­tor de­scrip­tion of show­ing Thames­link rather than South­ern. What­ever the rea­son, it’s some­thing that should have been sorted weeks ago and not left to con­fuse peo­ple.

While on the sub­ject of South­east­ern and Thames­link, I have to say that although the new Lon­don Bridge sta­tion is a vast im­prove­ment on the old, it does have two dis­tinct de­fi­cien­cies.

The first is only hav­ing toi­lets out­side the

bar­rier line. This is a nui­sance if you’re chang­ing trains and us­ing Oys­ter, be­cause if you touch out and back in it will charge two sep­a­rate jour­neys.

More se­ri­ous, how­ever, is the lack of suf­fi­cient es­ca­la­tors to the ter­mi­nal Plat­forms 10-15. There are only sin­gle es­ca­la­tors to the plat­forms, and these tend to work in the di­rec­tion of the ma­jor flow at the time.

On sev­eral oc­ca­sions I have ar­rived from East Croy­don and wished to pro­ceed to Water­loo East, which can only be done by go­ing down to the con­course and back up to the rel­e­vant through plat­forms, only to find that the es­ca­la­tor is only work­ing up.

There is a lift, but this is fre­quently out of use - in­deed, one of them hasn’t even been com­pleted yet. This means I have to use steps. That is only a mi­nor in­con­ve­nience while I have a faulty knee joint, but is se­ri­ous for those who can­not use steps.

I ended my re­view by say­ing that although the NRT no longer has a Sleeper ta­ble, one does ap­pear in the printed ver­sion be­cause Mid­dle­ton Press has con­structed a ver­sion, duly num­bered T400. I should have made clear that Mid­dle­ton Press did not ac­tu­ally con­struct the ta­ble but, cour­tesy of the pub­lish­ers of the Euro­pean Timetable, used theirs.

In ad­di­tion, the printed ver­sion has added a Ta­ble 167A, show­ing the ferry con­nec­tions be­tween Portsmouth Har­bour and Ryde Pier.

In their haste to ex­tin­guish any­thing from the NRT that isn’t a train, how­ever use­ful it might be for con­nec­tions and through jour­neys, the NRT team has re­moved all such links.

They did plan a Ta­ble 167A to show the fer­ries (Ta­ble 167 be­ing the Ryde-Shanklin Is­land Line ta­ble), and it was even shown in the in­dex last De­cem­ber, but never ac­tu­ally ap­peared.

Again, Mid­dle­ton Press has come to the res­cue by adding the ta­ble, again re­pro­duced cour­tesy ‘Euro­pean Timetable Ltd’ from their ver­sion.

Isn’t it ex­tra­or­di­nary that two to­tally in­de­pen­dent pub­li­ca­tions show ta­bles of great use, yet which the of­fi­cial NRT it­self isn’t in­ter­ested in pro­vid­ing?

JACK BOSKETT/ RAIL.

Lon­don Bridge sta­tion on May 11 2017. Barry Doe has crit­i­cised the fact that toi­lets are avail­able only out­side the bar­rier line, thereby pe­nal­is­ing any Oys­ter users who wish to ‘spend a penny’ - they will have to spend many more as they will be...

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