Southeastern rail misery continues

It’s been another morning of problems across Southeastern rail services today as train and track issues have cancelled services.

Barely a day has gone by since the new timetable was introduced without issues and reports of overcrowding on some lines.

Some issues are not the responsibility of Southeastern but Network Rail, including this track issue near Swanley today, though reducing services on some lines impacts upon resilience when issues do arise.

Courtesy Network Rail

Of metro routes, the Sidcup line appears to be suffering most from overcrowding.

It lost loop line services to Abbey Wood and links to the Elizabeth line under the new timetable.

If at Sidcup station, you’ll also see two substantial developments rising in the near vicinity. One is a new block of flats covered here.

Currently under construction directly beside Sidcup station

The other is a short walk north.

Albany Park has also seen peak time services halved. When you have issues such as today, the new 30 minute peak service interval gets worse. It was more than an hour between London-bound trains this morning.

Albany Park station last year saw 502,000 passenger journeys, so is hardly a backwater.

With trains on each line generally now heading only to one terminal, passengers are being encouraged to change at London Bridge. That’s not the easiest for mobility impaired passengers in particular.

I’ve been keeping tabs on service information and non-functioning lifts to platforms at London Bridge appears to be an issue in recent weeks.

Today the lift to Platform 1 is not working. Last week it was Platform 5.

Taken from Southeastern website

Southeastern have stated they will look again after controversial changes were implemented in December without consultation.

However little looks likely before May 2023, and is likely dependent on the Department for Transport and Treasury who have been pushing for heavy cuts to rail services.

It should be noted that Southeastern is now a wholly-owned company under the DfT, and like all franchises, all fare income goes straight to the Treasury.

Rail operators, whether private or state-owned, now get given a set fee for operating services. Government continue to hold overwhelming sway on services, timetables, fares, staffing and much else.



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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.

3 thoughts on “Southeastern rail misery continues

  • It’s not just Southeastern. You would not believe it but there are 10 minute gaps in the Elizabeth line schedule from Abbey Wood in the “off-peak hours”. Absolutely rammed when it happens. Standing room only from Abbey Wood, crammed from Woolwich. Not a good look for London’s brand newest “high-frequency” line. It certainly belies TfL’s propaganda claiming that the Elizabeth line runs every 3 minutes

    • TfL do not claim every 3 minutes from Abbey Wood. The interval was every six minutes until through running when it went to every 8 mins.

      Service reliability has however decreased since through running commenced.

  • Every single one of my trains to/from London on the Sidcup line have been delayed since the new timetable was introduced.
    To add to the joy, they’re also overcrowded so I spend most of the time standing like a sardine.


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