St Albans Thameslink train passengers suffered 100 hours of delays in one month, report reveals

PUBLISHED: 06:00 15 November 2017

One of the new Class 700 Thameslink trains.

One of the new Class 700 Thameslink trains.

Archant

Thameslink passengers were delayed over 100 hours between St Albans and London in August, new data has shown.

A Freedom of Information request issued by the Herts Advertiser revealed that Thameslink trains on the line between St Albans and Blackfriars were delayed 6,587 minutes in August, equating to 110 hours of waiting.

In the months of June, July and August combined, trains were delayed 21,569 minutes – just short of 360 hours.

Andy, a regular commuter on the Thameslink line between Harpenden and London Thameslink, said: “My view is that Thameslink frankly don’t care about passengers and will do anything to manipulate statistics to make them seem better. For example, my train on Friday evening was running late so they missed out six stops including St Albans and Harpenden so they could presumably get to Bedford and seem less late.

“The issue is almost certainly the new Class 700 trains. They are the worst trains I have ever had the misfortune to travel on and are regularly cancelled because they’ve broken down again. The previous Friday we were told to get off my train home because only one of the pantagraphs were working - although apparently it kept going after kicking us off.

“That said, the cancellations still mean that the big delays are less than they were a year ago.”

A standard anytime single from St Albans to London terminals sets passengers back £11.80, while an anytime day return amounts to £20. For passengers with a 16-25 railcard, a £12 minimum fare is imposed during weekday morning peak times - so tickets actually become more expensive when a railcard is applied. This rule excludes public holidays or throughout July and August.

A spokesperson for Thameslink said: “We are working really hard along with our partners at Network Rail to modernise the railway and give Thameslink passengers a better service. Delays in August fell to almost half the figure for the same period last year, which equates to just 38 seconds for each train travelling this 32 or 47 minute journey.

“Our rail modernisation plan has already given St Albans new and longer trains, boosting peak capacity to London. Next year London Bridge will re-open to Thameslink, giving passengers more services, faster journeys south of Blackfriars and fresh connections to new destinations, such as the Jubilee line for Canary Wharf.”

Network Rail was approached for comment but did not respond.

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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