Apology from South Western Rail for poor train service this week

Here is a copy of a letter I have received from South Western Rail:

I am very sorry for the disruption on parts of the South Western Railway network on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 February, which was caused by one of our mainline train services suffering a major air leak at Berrylands shortly after the driver reported hitting something, and a points problem in the Vauxhall area during the morning peak.

Despite taking technical advice over the phone from our engineering staff based in the joint Network Rail / South Western Railway Control Centre, it was not possible to immediately move the train yesterday. This meant that all trains heading out of London had to use the one remaining track, causing a considerable backlog and congestion in the area.

Given the relative position of the lines through Berrylands, it was necessary to block the remaining country-bound track (as well as the London-bound line used by fast services) at various times to enable response staff to access the stricken train which further exacerbated the delays.

It was only eventually possible for the train to move at slow speed to Surbiton after engineering staff attended the site and undertook temporary repairs.

The train was then moved to our Wimbledon depot overnight where a thorough inspection, supported by CCTV footage, took place to try and ascertain what caused the damage.

Unfortunately, disruption continued this morning (Tuesday 26 February) following a points problem at Vauxhall in south London. Network Rail engineers worked to fix this problem as soon as it was reported and lines reopened shortly after the morning peak. However, many customers will have had delays and crowded journeys as a result of this incident.

We know that both of these incidents caused considerable disruption and discomfort for customers travelling in peak times and that’s why we are working very closely with Network Rail to prevent these issues from reoccurring.


South Western Railway

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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