Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Are the trains running on Sunday?

I'm seriously considering running a Chocolate Teapot 2009 award for companies working in the Charlton area and I think I've found my first nomination.

I've been helping a friend make some travel arrangements for the coming weekend and had heard that the Southeastern train service through Charlton wasn't running due to engineering. I thought I'd better check up on it.

So to Southeastern's web site I go where there's a nice bold link claiming Southeastern helps visitors get to The O2 on Jan 3 & 11, seeing how the 11th is this Sunday I thought I'd have a look at it as it could give me some clues as to what's going on.

That page all sounds good, the train line must be up and they've even laid on a special bus service from Charlton to connect to the O2.

However my friend had said that the line was definitely down, so to double check I dig down into the Southeastern site to find out. Now that's not so easy, unlike the O2 news there's no helpful link on the front page.

You have to click on the Plan my journey link, then on the Engineering Work link before finally clicking on Sunday 11 January.

When you finally get there you discover that There are no train services calling at Abbey Wood, Belvedere, Charlton, Deptford, Erith, Greenwich, Maze Hill, Plumstead, Slade Green, Westcombe Park or Woolwich Dockyard.

Oh. Right. Ok.

I thought that "Southeastern has teamed up with the O2 to help people going to see Chris Brown at The 02" on Sunday. They even told me that "one of the easiest ways to get to The 02 is to get a train to Charlton and then catch a special free bus service to the venue."

The O2 themselves are even talking about this on their web site. They make it sound like TFL stitched them up when "recently announced" that the Jubilee line would be closed.

They've got a document here that says that in association with Southeastern trains they've laid on special buses from Charlton.

Well it appears that Southeastern have stabbed the O2 in the back as well and have now turned the trains off.

Or have they? Which page is right? The nice obvious link on the front page or the engineering information that's buried deeper in the site.

I'll try and find out, well to be more accurate I need to find out so as to help my friend out.

Anyway don't you just love Londons's coordinated and linked up transport policy!

Updated: I've just called Southeastern and there are engineering works so Charlton station will be shut. I asked about the special free bus service to the O2 from Charlton and apparently it is still running.

To use it though you'll have to get on the wonky replacement bus service running from Deptford to Slade Green.

Blackheath station will be open however and I'll probably route my friend through it, why they don't divert the special O2 bus to there is a bit of a mystery...

So will there be a lot of Chris Brown fans who have read the news on the O2 and Southeastern's web sites expecting Charlton Station to be open?

Do I do the decent thing and phone the O2 to ask if they know?

Anyhow I've certainly got my first Chocolate Teapot 2009 nomination, Southeastern trains for running and boasting about a special free bus link to the O2 from a station that they then go and close.


darryl853 said...

Line closures are down to Network Rail, not Southeastern, and are often scheduled at short notice.

It is bloody stupid, though - and that's another closure of the Greenwich line on the same day as the Jubilee Line is closed (Tube closures get planned further in advance).

Charlton Average said...

It's very stupid, and possibly very misleading.

You'd have thought that they would have updated their web sites with accurate travel information. I wonder how many people will trust the easy to access headline messages that advise that there will be trains running...