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Overcrowding on South West Trains

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I commute daily to the City of London from Surrey.  I use South West Trains to get into Waterloo everyday and I have to say their service is appalling.  My gripe isn't about delayed or cancelled trains - I can deal with that every once in a while.  What I am having problems accepting is the insane overcrowding on my line that in my opinion is just plain dangerous!

As far as I am aware there are maximum capacities for most buildings/vehicles etc - for example perhaps your local Sainsburys has a capacity of five hundred people.  If they allow more people in than that, then they would be in breach of health and safety regulations and the fire department would be on their case.

South West Trains, Waterloo Station - Photo courtesy of (c) transportimages.com, photographer Luke Gardner They cram so many people on their carriages - people arguing with each other

However, on South West trains there appears to be no such restrictions in place.  They cram so many people on their carriages that I have on many occasions seen people arguing with each other and fighting to squeeze onto the carriage.

I have taken the matter up with South West trains who said that there is no maximum capacity on their trains and this is something that I find absolutely incredible.  Imagine if a train derailed and fell onto its side - people would be crushed to death and suffocate - no doubt about it.  Is there anyone else out there who feels the same way I do?

I mean anyone would think that South West trains are running a similar service to that in India where people literally hang out the windows and on the roof etc.  I tough the UK was a developed country not a third world place.

By: Extremely annoyed South West Trains Commuter


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Friday Lunchtime

Friday Lunchtime

I use SW trains a fair amount and find them very good in general. I don't travel during peak hours with the great unwashed hordes, and I always buy a first class ticket although it is disappointing that some services only have pleb class seating.

Correct timing and the correct ticket generally solves the problem.

(Hoping to score a lot of red arrows for this one!)
Friday Lunchtime
23rd Oct 13 04:10

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-6
Incensed of Worcester Park

Incensed of Worcester Park

I am incensed on a daily basis by the blase attitude of South West Trains
Always delayed
Always hot
and above all Always overcrowded to the point peoples faces are squashed up to the windows - it scares me - if there was an accident people would sufficate
Is this really a civilised way to run a company...where is the health and safety zealots when you need them
And to put the cherry on the cake - it's expensive
Personally my journey is so horrendous that, if I didn't have to get into town for work, I wouldn't travel on these trains if THEY paid me
I emailed and complained (actually I do this on an almost daily basis) and they sent me a reply today to the tune of ....TOUGH!
The problem is that we have no other choice - and they know it
I would love to make a stand and ask EVERYONE not to pay for one week and we storm the barriers
Incensed of Worcester Park
22nd Oct 13 03:10

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Charlie Spoons

Charlie Spoons

if i dont get a seat i refuse to show my ticket, usually gets soe exciteent from the guard especially if hes young, and any times a call to revenue has been made at Waterloo who often are on the patform when i arrive but never smart enough to stop e, even if they did i have a valid ticket. small protest but one more of us should do.
Charlie Spoons
27th May 13 01:05

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-6
Angry Autistic Female

Angry Autistic Female

I believe trains would be less overcrowded if they made separate family carriages on them. What happened if a small kid got squashed? Also I see small children needing to walk around and it is not possible if there are so many people around them so therefore they scream the place down because they are that bored. Also it is not nice for other passengers who don't have kids of their own to be subjected to uncontrolled kids on a train who are let to kick you on the seat behind and parents do nothing about it. It makes the experience much worse and only creates friction with the parents in my view. Overcrowding is a real risk to health and safety, especially with families of young children so why aren't train operators doing something about this problem then? My idea could really help this issue.
Angry Autistic Female
10th Jun 12 01:06

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-6
Ken

Ken

:So, the powers that be want to increase rail fares! I don't like paying £100+ to travel standing up for an hour there and an hour back which would only cost me £30 in petrol. Carbon footprint? What about my wallet? Comfort? Leg/back ache v a leisurely drive. Timing? In my car I can travel when I want, not wait for off-peak. The government can only gain by increases in oil prices through fuel tax and vat. I have no choice but to drive a round trip of 56 miles a day to work. No pay rise for 3 years but fuel up around 50%. It might help if there were more than 2 trains a day locally - timed exactly when I start and finish work (I can't run that fast!).
Ken
20th May 11 08:05

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-21
brandweer112

brandweer112

I live in Glasgow and visited my sister who lives near salisbury I somehow expected the service to have improved from Salisbury to Bristol since my last visit several years ago but it was just as bad,the train was busy when it arrived at Salisbury and at every station more people piled on,there were people standing everywhere and I could not believe that people here should have to put up with such a crap service,i had to stand for an hour and had to pay 18.50 for the privelige,in Scotland a journey of the same duration from say Glasgow to Edinburgh would certainly not set you back 18.50...why are these train companies allowed to charge such high prices yet get away with treating the traveling public like cattle..
brandweer112
17th May 11 06:05

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3
Wellwisher

Wellwisher

It could all be done deliberately. Why? Read "Going Off The Rails - the madness of John Biddle" by Keith Mapp to find out. It won't make the trains run any better, but it might make you laugh while they don't.
Wellwisher
30th Mar 11 08:03

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-14
Paul

Paul

You buy a ticket to travel from A to B you do not buy a ticket to travel on a specific train. From Guildford to London there are about 8 trains an hour in the rush hour. No one is forced to get on the train if it is crowded wait for the next one, or maybe once all the seats are taken we stop people boarding the train that would be much safer all though we would probably have a safety issue on the platform because of the amount of passengers we would leave behind. As for cleanliness the trains are cleaned every night perhaps you need to think where you put your cups and newspapers when you get off the train. I lived in Germany for 6 years you get far more trains between major stations than they do, and the Americans think our service is wonderful or so they tell me and they don't understand what all the complaining is about. But if you had nothing to complain about how else would you fill your time while traveling on our overcrowded trains that are probably running late or have been cancelled. By frustrated train crew
Paul
1st Dec 10 08:12

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Matt

Matt

I commute from Farnborough to waterloo on a regular basis and am also completely fed up with the overcrowding. It's ridiculous, why can't they just put on some extact coaches. Also, why should those having to stand have to pay the same amount of money as someone in a seat.
Matt
20th Oct 10 10:10

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-3
Craig from Basingstoke

Craig from Basingstoke

I totally agree with the above report. I have been getting the Basingstoke to London train ( and yes, Basingstoke is a London overspill town so damned right I can live there and work in my countries capital ) Since the snow this year, most of the services have been reduced from 12 through to 8 coaches and others from 9 down to 6. This has meant that most trains are now seriously over crowded. I suffer from anxiety attacks and one of the triggers if feeling enclosed. It has certainly got worse since the turn of the year so, my course of action, resign from my job. Yup, well done south west trains, you have actually run such a bad service, in a recession, someone would rather stack shelves at their local supermarket rather than use your service to get into the city to earn a decent wage. I find it ironic as well that on most of these services, there are at least 2 first class coaches which are half empty. Here is an idea SWT, remove a first class coach and put a standard class one on the train instead. That way at least there will be 50 more seats. Also, I dont understand why they wont increase their rolling stock, surely causing people not to use their service is bad for business, rejig some of the non peak time services to lesser frequency or shorter trains and bolt these on to the peak time trains where you are getting more revenue.
Craig from Basingstoke
18th Feb 10 05:02

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Alexis - Why are things like t

Alexis - Why are things like t

I email SWT this January in relation to overcrowding caused by a lack of rolling stock. Trains that were normally running as twelve coaches were eight or even four. The guards normally providing various reasons for the lack of rolling stock. I liked the one saying the carriages being out of service for modifications, only thing I can think of is they are going to remove all the seats.

SWT answer is below, not exactly encouraging, it sounds like they have just enough rolling stock to provide a service, if any break down then there is no standby rolling stock.

Thank you for your email of 03 February 2010.

Unfortunately, if any train fails or there is a problem, we are forced to run the train with less carriages than normal. We do not have any plans to purchase additional stock.

As advised in my previous email, we will run any train with less carriages than advertised rather than cancel the service.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

Kind Regards
******
Customer Relations Officer
Alexis - Why are things like t
4th Feb 10 01:02

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-7
considerate commuter

considerate commuter

If you're so concerned about boarding a crowded train why don't you catch the next one? There's plenty of them but of course you would want everyone else to get off, wouldn't you? I get on these trains and see every other seat unoccupied while people stand because they don't want to sit next to someone else. I bet you are one of those inconsiderate people who sits in the aisle seat and puts you bacg/coat on the window seat and only begrudingly moves if someone has the audacity to ask to to move your stuff
considerate commuter
2nd Feb 10 09:02

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2
Gainsborough lad.

Gainsborough lad.

What goes on here laura? surely there wouldn't be that much extra running costs for an extra couple of carriges on the end of the train?

But this has been going on for years with the train companies,

About time it was re-nationalised.
Gainsborough lad.
18th Nov 09 10:11

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-7
Laura - Very annoyed!

Laura - Very annoyed!

Hello.

I totally agree with you! I came across your post just now as I am trying to find out if there are restriction on the trains. I was on a train from London Waterloo to Portsmouth yesterday and I ended up blacking out from being so crammed in! My partner had to carry me of the train at the next stop! It was rediculous! I could not move or breathe- hence blacking out! This should not be allowed! There was about 15 of us crammed in between the doors in between carriages- it was not bad when I got on at London Waterloo but then more people were allowed to get on at the next stop! Crazy and I am going to take this further! I paid almost £30 for my ticket and do not expect to pay that and then have to travel in those conditions!

I am certainly going to take this further and ensure it is not something that is just brushed under the carpet!
Laura - Very annoyed!
18th Nov 09 11:11

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2
Terry

Terry

The reason South West Trains services are overcrowded is because people travel too far into work each day. If employers in the City started only employing Londoners in those jobs, we would soon see the present dangerous levels of overcrowding disappear.

Bring this country back to what it used to be: people living near their work. Millions of people commuting into London every day is just nonsense!
Terry
1st Sep 09 12:09

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-14

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