Uckfield Line train services were supposed to be “back to normal” yesterday (January 24) but descended into chaos before dawn.
Many commuters had feared “normal service” would mean cancellations, late-running and short-formed trains. Their fears were not misplaced.
The first train of the morning from Uckfield, the 05:16 was cancelled. The 07:05 pulled into London Bridge nine minutes late.
The piece de resistance of the morning timetable was the 07:31 which departed Uckfield three minutes late. It missed all intermediate stops to Oxted before going on to East Croydon where it terminated – late, according to passengers.
The 10:34 was cancelled, which was unsurprising given this train was the same units as the 07:31 which went out of service.
The 11:34 continued the pattern with at late arrival at the London terminus.
First train of the afternoon peak at 16:08 was cancelled.
The 15:34 from Uckfield arrived in the capital only one minute before it was due to return to Uckfield at 17:08; leading to inevitable delays because of the time needed for passengers to disembark and to load the large number of home-bound commuters.
It got away from the platform eight minutes late…and was 30 minutes down when it finally arrived..
The Oxted-Uckfield shuttle service also suffered from cancellations. Buses replaced some train services. Train faults were blamed.
Southern’s catalogue of late running on the Uckfield Line continued throughout the afternoon peak and into the evening.
Scorn poured down on train operator Southern with many questioning why trains had not been serviced and overhauled during the days of strikes in the last few months.
Others copied Wealden MP Nus Ghani into their social media messages.
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