The Sorry Error, whoops, Surrey Mirror reported yesterday that….
Signalling problems causing delays of up 30 minutes for Redhill commuters
COMMUTERS are facing delays of up to 30 minutes this morning due to signalling problems around Redhill railway station.
Southern Rail tweeted to say: “Signalling problems in the Redhill area are creating delays of up to 30 mins, with short notice cancellations & alterations”.
And a statement on the company’s website says that vandalism over the weekend has disabled thirty of its carriages, which has added to the cancellations.
I was trying to get to Kew Bridge via Clapham Junction on Monday morning, and was caught up in the above delays. If I hadn’t been trying to get somewhere, the half hour spent on Redhill station would have been most interesting.
First, the First Great Western DMU from Reading (through Reigate) came in. Instead of the driver immediately walking from one end of the train to the other to reverse direction down to Gatwick, he took the train into the headshunt at the north of the station. A platform announcement said that the next train to Gatwick would be in about 15 minutes time.
Next a Southern EMU came down from London, bound for Reigate (the end of electrification, just two miles from Redhill.) Instead of stopping at platform 3 and taking the double junction onto the Reigate branch, the train crossed over onto the up line just north of the station, and did a little wrong-road running to enter platform 2. Obviously, the signal failure had taken out platform 3. After a few minutes, it left for Reigate.
Another EMU came up from the south and Horsham, headed for East Croydon and on to London Bridge. It stopped in platform 1. I was hoping for the advertised Victoria train, but the announcer suggested changing at East Croydon, so I joined this train.
No doubt, after I had left, the DMU would have pulled back into platform 1 or 2 and headed south for Gatwick.
And all this gave an idea for operating a model station. How about ‘modelling’ a signal failure? Like Redhill yesterday, assume one running line and platform is non-operational, so you have to keep the timetable moving, as much as possible, on the available track with some careful planning of moves and a little wrong-road running. This would work better with the American operating techniques, with a dispatcher, than with our usually timetable based operations, but I’m sure it could work.
If a signal failure isn’t obvious enough at an exhibition, perhaps a broken down train or a minor derailment could provide a more obvious reason for the games on the other line?
As for my day, I got to East Croydon and then changed trains to get to Clapham and on to Kew. Once on a train, there were a number of seats marked off by black and yellow tape. No doubt more, if less serious, vandalism. Fortunately, coming home was easy, if crowded, with everything absolutely on time.