If you live within easy reach of Slade Green or Abbey Wood stations and work in north London you may be in for a treat in four weeks time. On 20th May a new service will connect Rainham and Luton running on the North Kent line via Blackfriars, Farringdon and King’s Cross. It will be nice to be able to avoid that rather dreadful interchange between the main line and the Underground at London Bridge but maybe not so nice that you will only have a train every 30 minutes and it is slow. The 11:15 from Dartford is typical, it doesn’t get to London Bridge until 11:58 (43 minutes) and that is after missing three stations.
A few years ago an all stations train would do the journey in 39 minutes. Where has all that money gone?
On expensive slogans perhaps?
For the past three or four weeks I have most days seen the Thameslink test train head down towards Rainham and back again at midday. Today I decided I should try to get some pictures.
The train was ten minutes late due to a broken down Southeastern train and a trespasser on the line near Dartford. It went racing through Abbey Wood which didn’t seem like much of a test to me. Aren’t they going to practice stopping?
The Siemens built class 700 train is new and has already acquired a dubious reputation. Passengers complain of hard seats and 29 degrees Celsius on board temperatures.