Southeastern have release details regarding which stations are likely to see reduced services due to leaf fall this autumn.
This isn’t something introduced this year – it was happening last year too.
Unfortunately this year it coincides with Thameslink service cuts. Thameslink were supposed to take over two trains an hour all day on the Woolwich line yet it’s now just one an hour off-peak.
These Greenwich line stations will see see reduced Southeastern services on certain days:
- Woolwich Dockyard
- Westcome Park
- Maze Hill
Previous years saw two or more trains an hour cut on some days. Add that to Thameslink reductions and off-peak frequency could be halved.
On the Bexleyheath Line these stations will see reduced service:
On the Sidcup Line:
- Albany Park
Other stations on the network:
- Clock House
- Dunton Green
- Eden Park
- Elmstead Woods
- New Beckenham
- St Johns
- Stone Crossing
- Sydenham Hill
Despite frequent mocking of leaves on the line, it is a big problem to stop a train weighing hundreds of tonnes with greatly reduced friction at an exact platform location whilst running to time.
Network Rail have embarked on cutting vegetation and trees around lines to lessen problems but it gains them awful publicity.
Jo Johnson, MP for Orpington and Minister of State for the Department of Transport as well as Minister for London, called on Network Rail to stop cut backs in May. This could now mean a worse problem in the autumn.
I have asked Network Rail, UK's 4th largest landowner, to suspend tree felling during the nesting season and will be setting up independent review of lineside tree + vegetation management https://t.co/bwVzMypo8i
— Jo Johnson (@JoJohnsonUK) May 10, 2018
This came after stories in the Daily Mail and other papers.
Network Rail must wonder if they’re damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.