Dear Southeastern trains…

A picture of me, weeping

Me weeping a single tear over Southeastern's dreadful service

Today, I started to wonder how many of the unfortunate souls that fling themselves beneath your trains every year, do so as a direct result of your shoddy service.

This morning, despite the clement weather and ideal travelling conditions, my train to work (London) was 30 minutes late. I was consequently late for work, despite catching a whole train earlier than I need to to account for this type of occurrence.

As it happened, despite having to make up the time after work, I needn’t have worried about missing my usual train home. Thanks to a ‘broken down train’ in the Sole Street area, I, alongside many hundreds of other passengers, was left stranded in the cramped and sweltering conditions of Victoria Station for a full hour.

So, in just one day, you have managed to steal over 90 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back. But the real shitter is, that no matter how many times you delay my trains and make me late, I receive no compensation on my season ticket and I’m charged an increased fare every January.

As I’m unable to choose my train provider, I’m forced to rely on your despicable service, all for the princely sum of £3600 a year (and that’s without tube travel). You extort 15% of my salary from me and yet continue to unapologetically provide me with a massively inadequate experience.

Maybe you feel that, as I have no other options, you’ve no motivation to improve your service? Of course you haven’t. Thanks to you, despite careful planning including time allowances for the delays I’ve come to expect, I have been late for work, job interviews, social occasions and transport links more times than I care to remember.

Commuting to work is not an enjoyable experience. I can’t blame anyone who refuses to give up their car when yours is the service they’re faced with as an alternative. Please spend a little time in the future attempting to make your service a little more bearable, as I feel your ineptitude has contributed disproportionately to my cynicism and negative outlook on life.

On a side note, please learn to use the air conditioning on your trains. Just because it is warm outside, does not mean that we all wish to freeze while we travel home.

Yours Sincerely

Ensign Jen


4 Responses to “Dear Southeastern trains…”

  1. Well, you have just about squeezed all the romanticism out of riding the rails. Of course, if everyone is pissed, there might just be a crime. Murder on the Orient Express? Probably not. More like Slap Fight on the Broken Down SouthEastern. P.S. Loved your story!

  2. 2 Ciff Parker

    You have aircon on your southeastern trains? We are left to cook on our delays on the Dartford – charing cross lines 😦

    Massive fail southeastern… useless bunch of … 🙂

    • I catch one of the ‘newer’ trains that is air-con equipped (I suppose I should count myself lucky for that) – many of the older SE trains aren’t but they tend to run those for the slow service or during the day. However, the only setting seems to be ‘Arctic chill’!

    • It depends on the trains, but usually the air-con is either on or off regardless of the weather (same goes for the heating).

      The so-called newer trains however are worse than the older ones, and not maintained… the times where the smell’s unbearable (due to the maintenance leaving the sewage caps off) is usually once or twice a week, or a working toilet on the train would be nice.

      At least I’ve not seen raw sewage on one recently – I kid you not, about 6 months ago we had one carriage with it literally running down the middle isle…

      I’m working from home today due to last night’s fiasco – trying to recover from flu recently and standing around waiting for additional connections because of the delays just did me in.

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