So I’ve been using the train network for a few months now and I really don’t understand why so many people are so critical of Southeastern trains.
I’m not going to defend their perfect record and claim their never late, but they are nowhere near as bad as everyone makes out. All I ever read about or hear from people is how southeastern have ruined their day or left them stranded.
I don’t have any hard or fast facts, but I don’t hold any grudge against them. I don’t know if it’s because I live early enough on the line, but I am always able to get a seat on the train. The morning train is on time virtually every day. I can only remember it being late once in three months.
The evening trains are a bit different. I pick up the train at its second station, so it’s always pretty full by then, but even so I can usually get a seat. I would say maybe once every fortnight the evening train may be late, but often no more than 10 minutes.
Once in nearly 4 months has their been a significant delay, and that was when there was a lightning strike that took out most of south londons train network. On this occasion I was 40 minutes late. Annoying but eased by the fact that southeastern run a “delay repay” scheme which will refund you part, or all of your train ticket depending I the length of your delay. On this occasion I knew people in the office who took 3 hours to get home rather than their usual 35 minutes. As they were with a different operator they were not entitled to any refund as they don’t operate the above scheme.
There is the occasional time when the train will be made up of only 8 carriages rather than the scheduled 12, and whilst this is annoying I’d much rather arrive on time, but slightly cramped, than be delayed.
On the whole I’m happy with the service I get, and would just like to thank southeastern for the good work. They’re not perfect, but can a train network really be perfect? From what i hear they’re one of the better. My car isn’t perfect, it breaks down sometimes, there are accidents which shut roads, yet we still put up with that.
My only real complaint is the cost, works out about £15 per day. Why can’t I buy a season ticket on direct debit? Just stupid in my mind. If you did this it would enable more people to buy season tickets (thus saving 2 months in cost) and might get rid of some of the bad feelings over the hefty cost. Can someone sort it out please.