A week of poor performance by Southern Rail
Many readers will be unsurprised to hear that I dislike privatisation and even less surprised to know that I am very unhappy about the privatised rail companies. Lewisham is "blessed" by three of the worst train operators in the UK, all owned by the same company - Govia Thameslink Railway. This company is in turn owned by Goiva, a joint venture between Go-Ahead (65%) and Keolis (35%). The interesting fact about Keolis is that is owned by the French state national railway, SNCF (70%) and Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (30%). So while the Tories hate British state owned rail companies, they are quite happy for other countries to own our train services and take tax payers and hard working commuters money to subsidise train services abroad. A contradiction that seems ridiculous and shameful at the same time for the union flag waving Tories. This week, has seen terrible performance by Southeastern and Southern, two out of the three. The third company is Thameslink - they are always poor, referenced to other people's tweets and my own experience. On Thursday, my train, 19:33 was late with a missing driver. After sitting on the train for 12 minutes, they announced the driver was found. But in order that this train company did not get fined, Southern decided to skip my station and run "fast" - no I am not joking - to a few stops down the line. So I got off the train and waited for 19:52, only to find that this train had disappeared from the station and no one knew where it was. Finally, I got on the 20:06 which left the station at 20:13. If only this was an isolated incident. It isn't. So why is nothing ever done? Corrupt politics and ideology is my view. So while ordinary workers are taxed to get to and from work via train fares, and despite paying the highest fares in Europe, that is still not good enough for Govia. I've lost count, how many times I've tweeted for Southern to leave the contract and for the Department of Transport to act. The response has always been silent. If only more passengers rebelled, the government of the corrupt in Westminster might listen.