Thameslink officially cuts timetable frequency on Greenwich line

Well, I think they have. The service is such a mess that a new timetable seems to be introduced every week.

But anyway another is introduced from 15th July, and the frequency along the Greenwich line seems to be one an hour during the evening peak as well as off-peak. It can be seen by clicking here.

Don’t bank on getting a Thameslink from here

Its pretty much been that anyway for weeks. What this does do is mean they are less liable to pay compensation if a train is cancelled as they only have to cobble together half the originally planned service.

Medway service

I had my first experience of the “service” in Kent recently. I knew it would be bad, but not quite so bad. Southeastern no longer provide a service from Gillingham, Chatham or Strood via any Dartford line to London Bridge so its Thameslink only.

For over three hours from 7pm there was not a single train from Medway to anywhere in south east London. After three hours one train turned up and ran to Dartford only. For a new train is was in poor condition too. I’m guessing morale is rock bottom with staff.

People working or visiting family or friends in London from Medway (hardly a rarity) are having a completely crap time of it right now.

Another thing is the impact on the next Southeastern franchise. Thameslink is NOT a franchise. Unlike a franchise there is no revenue risk to Thameslink’s parent company. The DfT pays them a set fee and receives all fare revenue. The current mess will mean reduced income to the DfT, who already had the heaviest cuts in budget for any Government Department in the last spending review and are also feeling the impact of cocking up franchises such as Virgin East Coast.

That all means less money. Cut backs for the next SE franchise incoming?

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    11 thoughts on “Thameslink officially cuts timetable frequency on Greenwich line

    • Not only that, but (as I’ve said before) passengers who normally use Southeastern services on the North Kent line have basically suffered a 30% service reduction for no real benefit.

      • Yep and worst for those at Greenwich and Deptford. The service is so threadbare it hasn’t even really been tested to see if it’ll work as planned yet when crossing services near London Bridge.

        • Not to mention Woolwich Dockyard, Belvedere and Erith. Passengers at other stations at least have the option of getting to London Bridge on the Thameslink services that bother to show up.

          • Those three stations are served entirely by Southeastern – unless I’m missing something, they had 6tph Southeastern to London Bridge before and they have 6tph Southeastern to London Bridge now.

    • You’re absolutely right, the evening service has been non-existent on the Rainham line. If the timetable is being altered I would expect that Thameslink actually starts run a service in the evening. It does take away compensation but at least it removes trains from the timetable that Thameslink are unable to run. There aren’t even replacement buses from Dartford to Rainham -which is a disgrace considering the level of disruption and lack of trains compared to the SouthEastern service. A few weeks before Thameslink took over, I found myself catching the last train home from Gravesend to Abbey Wood. Under Thameslink I would have been stranded and forced to take a taxi! Failing Grayling has to be accountable for the shambolic roll out of the new timetable. His name and that of the DfT were all over the consultation document and they were overseeing its implementation. He needs to step down or be removed.

    • I appreciate the concerns about the ramifications of the Rainham service and the Thameslink meltdown on the Greenwich line and Medway services, although it is slightly misleading to imply that Gillingham / Chatham / Strood are deprived of services to London and that “people working or visiting family or friends in London from Medway … are having a completely crap time of it right now”.
      There are plenty of services from the Medway towns to London : Chatham has five tph to London off peak to Victoria / St Pancras (six if you include the Thameslink service), Gillingham has seven tph (including the two Luton services if they run) . Strood does not do so well and is more reliant on the Luton trains, although Rochester is not far away. Travel between Medway towns and towns on the Dartford lines is certainly heavily impacted but the suggestion that somehow Medway towns are ‘cut off’ from London is untrue.

      • In terms of getting to the useful TfL and other rail line connections as easy as before then the Medway is indeed cut off from theses hubs, ie the DLR connections at Woolwich Arsenal, Greenwich and Lewisham, urban centres in SE London etc, not to mention Crossrail in a few months time, I hate to say this but I had a feeling that this service wouldn’t work out, it’s nearly two months since the change in timetable and there has been no end of distruption, this won’t be forgotten any year soon, I sincerely hope that Thameslink is withdrawn from the Medway.

    • Am I right in thinking this means the Greenwich line is down to 5tph – and no direct service to Charing Cross? Ie the Thameslink 2000 programme has spent a huge amount of money to make the service substantially worse.

      • Correct, the Greenwich line (Deptford, Greenwich, Maze Hill and Westcombe Park) relies on the full Thameslink service running to retain its 6tph and the loss of the direct Charing Cross trains is permanent.

        The Thameslink Programme was never really designed to improve our area. The main benefits are a nicer London Bridge station and a smoother run in on the final approach to London Bridge.

    • Thameslink trains on the Greenwich line are as rare as hens teeth. I changed from the DLR at Greenwich station and not a single London bound Thameslink train was up on the board.

    • Why is this not a bigger issue?! It’s impossible to find any news or groups complaining that service on the Greenwich Line is much worse now. Where we had weekday trains to London Bridge every 10 minutes (easy to remember), now they run with 10 or 20 min gaps! And at the weekend there are only 3 trains now!!!!!!!!


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