Southeastern Trains have told James Brokenshire that a number of new measures have been put in place to improve reliability for passengers in the event of adverse weather in the coming months. Old Bexley & Sidcup MP James Brokenshire received the briefing on winter preparations during a behind the scenes visit on Friday.
Southeastern’s Chief Executive Charles Horton told the MP that modifications had been made to the company’s trains to prevent doors getting iced up and to enable more effective gritting of icy or slippery tracks. Network Rail which is responsible for the track and signalling were also putting in place special track clearing trains to help keep the railway running as well as a more effective communication system to alert passengers in the event of disruption. Mr Horton said that the train company was already starting to see benefits from the winter works.
James Brokenshire was also given a cab-side view of some of the significant construction works underway to increase train capacity through London Bridge which currently acts as a bottleneck during peak times. The changes will double the current track capacity for services running through the station to Cannon Street, Blackfriars and Waterloo East from two tracks to four.
Commenting James Brokenshire said:
“Last winter there were significant complaints about Southeastern’s performance particularly during the snowy conditions. It was helpful to hear that a number of lessons have been learnt, particularly about giving passengers much clearer information which was a particular cause of anger and frustration. From my briefing Southeastern and Network Rail do appear to have upped their game in terms of winter preparations. We will obviously have to wait and see how this translates in terms of reliability in the coming months.”