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London Midland


villanwesty88
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Hi All, 

Would really appreciate some advice in seeking compensation with the cretins at London Midland. My partner was on a train on Friday evening evening at 17:39, due at it's destination at around 18:00. Unfortunately the power on the lines above went off so the train was stuck. The train was in darkness and all passengers had to wait on board as there was no where to get off of the train safely. At 20:00 they got the passengers onto another train. This train then took all of the passengers back to where they started and they had to get another train at 20:29 to start the journey again. 

They had to take a diverted route by and ended up arriving at around 21:10, 3 hours after they were supposed to have. Not ideal after a long day at work by any means. 

The train operator, London Midland, do offer compensation (http://www.londonmidland.com/your-journey/more/delay-repay/) but I feel it's insufficient when you have been trapped on a train in the dark and cold for so long with no access to toilets or water. The passengers had no choice to find another way home. My partner has a pass that she pays £107 per month for and dividing that by 30 days equates to £3.50 ish per day - so if the compensation is £3.50 I don't think that is fair at all but I see them fobbing people off with this on Twitter all the time. 

Has anyone got any similar experiences and I'd be interested in knowing the best way to approach this as I think it is a pretty big inconvenience - they are quick enough charging their £10 "admin" fees if you want to change a ticket or anything minor. 

Thanks very much

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If you have travel insurance eg with your bank, check whether that covers three hour delays.

Otherwise I think you are limited to a proportion of the season ticket as they've said. I don't really see what you expect them to do. What do you do when you get stuck on the motorway for a few hours? It's just something we have to put up with.

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London Midland are dodgy.

Both trains I got to and from London to Tamworth over Christmas were a joke. Both times the train only consisted of 4 carriages when it was easily booked for double that. Luckily on the journey from London to Tamworth I got a seat but most people had to stand the whole journey which was going to Crewe.

On the way back down to London the train again only consisted of 4 carriages. This time whilst waiting for the train they ran this lovely message "This train is reported as running full, our apologies".

Thankfully managed to squeeze on as I had only a small bag but this one family, who were taking selfies before hand at the station and obviously missed the announcement, were left with a load of other people at the station.

They added 4 extra carriages at Milton Keynes, over halfway through the journey but all this did was accommodate the 4 carriages worth of people already waiting at Milton Keynes.

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I get London Midland twice a day, and Cross Country once a day and the service evens itself out, I am on the whole happy with it. I get that casual users would be a little fed up with the over crowding, but on the whole, as I expect it, it doesnt bother me. I find London Midland to have pretty good customer service overall.

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London Midland's service on the cross city line has been pretty terrible in my experience as a regular user over the past 8 years (awful delays despite the massaged stats, farcical pricing (e.g. some shorter journeys more expensive than longer journeys on the cross city line, despite all services calling at the same stations), terrible implementation of the leaf fall timetable which saw them reinstating services due to awful planning etc etc etc)

the franchise is up this year i think, or at least there are consultations going  on in the early part of this year

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The cross City line can't be upgraded as it's at capacity. It can have any rebuilding as there is no room in the timetable to allow any work.

The chronic underinvestment over many years means that we need HS2 to ease the load and allow this line to be improved. Or we need to do what London is doing and build an entire new line under the city. There are very few other options now.

I use the Snow Hill line most weekdays and it rarely has any issues. The cross city line is always crap regardless of operator.

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1 minute ago, limpid said:

The cross City line can't be upgraded as it's at capacity. It can have any rebuilding as there is no room in the timetable to allow any work.

The chronic underinvestment over many years means that we need HS2 to ease the load and allow this line to be improved. Or we need to do what London is doing and build an entire new line under the city. There are very few other options now.

I use the Snow Hill line most weekdays and it rarely has any issues. The cross city line is always crap regardless of operator.

perhaps,

but then some other operators might pay their staff a proper wage (in the context of train drivers) meaning they don't have to cancel or delay nearly 1000 services over a 2 or 3 month period.

and some other operators might not charge more on the southern section of the cross city line to travel to five ways/university than to new street, despite both stations requiring shorter journeys on the same services.

I am aware of the infrastructure constraints that the TOC's are subjected to, particularly on the cross city line, but there service has still been p1ss poor imo and the two examples of poor service highlighted above should have been easily avoidable

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I regularly have to berate London Midland on twitter but you just get the standard reply that it's someone else's fault and not their own, which in a lot of cases it usually isn't I suppose. 

I think they have just agreed a new deal and promised £13m investment in their stock. I doubt 13 million goes very far for a railway operator?

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New Street is the bottleneck.   There has been talk for years at building two chords connecting the Camp Hill lines to the Snow Hill lines at Bordesley, if that gets done then it would enable all the trains which enter New Street through the Derby tunnel (things coming in from Tamworth, Derby, Nottingham, Nuneaton, Leicester) to be diverted into Moor Street or Snow Hill and it will free up much needed capacity at New Street.   You'd probably see a reopening of stations on the Camp Hill line (Camp Hill, Balsall Heath, Moseley, Kings Heath) for a service into Moor Street or through to Stourbridge.  Unfortunately it's years away from ever happening. 

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Yeah it was.  The £13m investment is for their express services as far as I can tell, the Birmingham - Liverpool trains and the faster Euston services which run down through Stafford, Tamworth, Nuneaton and Rugby.  Those things are overcrowded so it's much needed.  Seems they are installing WiFi on them too. 

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5 minutes ago, The_Rev said:

New Street is the bottleneck.   There has been talk for years at building two chords connecting the Camp Hill lines to the Snow Hill lines at Bordesley, if that gets done then it would enable all the trains which enter New Street through the Derby tunnel (things coming in from Tamworth, Derby, Nottingham, Nuneaton, Leicester) to be diverted into Moor Street or Snow Hill and it will free up much needed capacity at New Street.   You'd probably see a reopening of stations on the Camp Hill line (Camp Hill, Balsall Heath, Moseley, Kings Heath) for a service into Moor Street or through to Stourbridge.  Unfortunately it's years away from ever happening. 

It needs to be done really but as you saw won't happen until HS2 is up and running which is at least 10 years away.

What is ridiculous is that places like Kings Heath and Moselely don't get stations, the line is still operational for Freight and diversion routes. We all know how congested South Brum gets even in off peak hours so at least give people the option of a train line.

The biggest problem I find is lack of rolling stock. Routes North to South are fine and frequent although connections from major cities to others are lacking a bit e.g. from Liverpool but I use the Cross City and the biggest frustration is 3 carriage trains turning up at half 8 to a rammed platform. You eventually get to New Street and you see a 6 car train heading out with about 3 people on.

Same with Crosscountry, 4/5 cars for most parts of the country (and one of those is first class) which makes it very difficult to travel at peak times. Also interesting to read that bit about London Midland from London as I've sometimes got the 16.46 up to Lichfield from Euston and they have been 8 car coaches on a couple of occasions so must've been connected to xmas and lack of units. 

Is the train service as bad as made out in this country? No balance I'd say no? Is it value for money compared to so many other counties, No chance.

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7 minutes ago, Dr_Pangloss said:

lol I was overrating, but investment has been woefully insufficient country wide and it is appalling value for money. 

There is plenty of investment going on, given how old some of the lines are and the state they're in.

When I was growing up in the 90s there were plenty of crashes happening, Hatfield and also one outside Watford. Thankfully there has been nothing major for a long while now so that's a much needed improvement.

You'd also be surprised going back to the 90s how some of the routes you take for granted now were only once or twice a day e.g. no major frequency.

There is stuff that can be done better though for the investment e.g. more Wifi is all well and good on trains but people want seats to enjoy it in comfort rather than being crushed in the Vestibules so I'd say more carriages at peak times should be a bigger priority.

More Electrification aswell, they were talking about this a while back...down from Brum to Bristol and also up to Leeds but little seems to have been done.

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2 minutes ago, VillaChris said:

More Electrification aswell, they were talking about this a while back...down from Brum to Bristol and also up to Leeds but little seems to have been done.

 

There has been quite a bit, a couple of minor things around here, Walsall to Rugeley which fills a non electrified gap in the almost completely electrified railway to the north and west of Birmingham, it probably allows LM to release the diesel trains running along the Chase Line to work elsewhere.  Bromsgrove station is being done too and that will be huge for the people who live down that way as it means they will get trains to Birmingham every 15-20 minutes instead of once an hour.  Most of the money is being spent on the Great Western Mainline between Paddington and Cardiff and the Midland between St Pancras and Sheffield is supposed to be getting done too (but the recent drop in the price of oil seems to have caused the Tories to think twice about it) and there is some suburban stuff between Liverpool and Manchester.  

Bristol - Birmingham - Leeds is quite far down the queue of lines to get done as far as I'm aware.  It's behind Birmingham - Oxford - Southampton (an important freight route) and that's been put on hold for now.   Longer term I wouldn't' be surprised to see the Snow Hill lines between Leamington and Worcester and the Chiltern route into London done. Some of the busiest stations in the country which don't get served by electric trains are on that route. 

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