I’ve been emailed some information which doesn’t paint Southeastern in a great light. Firstly, they are up before Lewisham Council this week to explain issues with the service. In doing so, they claim that train reliability is the best it’s ever been:


The problem with this statement is that it’s not true. I’ve been emailed from a reader with figures obtained from the latest Modern Railways magazine showing that overall reliability is down the past year. Here it is broken down by each train type Southeastern operate on the Hayes line and other Metro services.

The first four are Networker trains from the early 1990s. The last type is newer stock which dates from around 2005:

  • 465/0. Reliability down 20.1%. 50 trains of this type.
  • 465/1. Reliability up 9.6%. 47 trains.
  • 465/2. Reliability up 31%. 15 trains.
  • 466. Reliability down 16.8%. 43 trains.
  • 376. Reliability down 7.9%. 36 trains.

A 31% increase is welcome on the 465/2’s but there’s only 15 of them. The downsides outweigh the benefits looking across all trains. Maybe Southeastern wrote this to Lewisham Council before the latest figures were out.

Looking at all train types across other franchises also reveals a pretty poor story for Southeastern. Out of 35 types of trains built since the 1990s theirs are down at 22nd, 25th, 28th, 30th, 31st in the list of reliability. The only ones below were one type at Southeastern’s management company Govias (also in charge of dreaded Southern and Thameslink) London Midland franchise and four types that are brand new, when teething troubles always have an impact.

Incidentally, TfL have improved their train reliability on routes taken over in 2015 in east London by 98% on one type of train and 240% (!) on another, though admittedly from a low base with that one. And those are on trains a decade older than most of those on Southeastern.

Other snippets of information is Southeastern admitting that HS1 routes are pretty much of no benefit to those in SE London:


And they again state they have asked the DfT for more stock and request that council’s keep pressuring the DfT, who have dithered and still havn’t confirmed how many trains, if any, will arrive and on what timescale despite promises in early 2016:


Under new Transport Secretary Chris Grayling who’d be surprised if none turn up? The high costs of operating High Speed services out in Kent will also likely deny SE London the services it needs despite being of no benefit. Another reason devolution needs to happen.