Thameslink introduced an interim timetable of an interim timetable last week. Despite being another attempt at cobbling together a service and bringing large reductions in service levels it could well be here for the long haul.
And for the Woolwich line it officially reduced services to just one an hour for much of the day.
The interim timetables showed the same reduced service on a Saturday of one an hour. Except yesterday no trains were running whatsoever.
Why were they all cancelled? How can you just cancel an entire days worth of trains?
— Connor the Grey (@drakekin) July 21, 2018
Thameslink seemed flummoxed on Twitter. Their own timetables still show a Saturday service albeit reduced from two an hour to one. Yet none in reality are running anytime soon.
So that’s two out of six trains an hour gone for stations from Westcombe Park to Deptford including the very busy Greenwich stop.
Nothing here does a thing to rectify the widespread view that the entire Thameslink operation is a shambles.
Not a franchise
One more thing; people keep calling for Thameslink’s “franchise” to be stripped. It’s not a franchise but a direct management contract let by the Department for Transport who are on the hook for all revenue loss. Well, the taxpayer is. This must be costing them big. The impact on future franchise awards i.e. Southeastern will be interesting.
Thameslink’s parent does have to pay compensation to the DfT if it fails to meet certain targets, yet the DfT have let Thameslink pay a very modest sum this year in advance for failures meaning there’s little incentive to improve.
This is the same department managed by Chris Grayling who denied TfL operating Southeastern Metro as he thought the DfT could do a better job.