Pressure is on for train companies during Olympics


The train companies say 4,000 extra trains will operate during the Olympics

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The train companies are under a lot of pressure to deliver a decent service during the Olympic Games.

Not least because during the Jubilee they badly underestimated the number of extra passengers and only put on an enhanced Sunday service.

They were eventually hauled in front of London Mayor Boris Johnson to give him assurances.

I've been contacted by quite a few Olympic volunteers and transport workers who have concerns about how they're going to get to the Games early and return late at night.

The train companies will hold trains if an event overruns and they are putting on an extra 4,000 services during the Games.

But there are no extra late night services to all stations and many in London have none after midnight at all.

Balancing act

You will have to keep a close eye on timetables coming out over the next few weeks to see if more services are scheduled.

Of course, trains can't run 24 hours a day and the companies don't want to run empty trains.

It is a tricky balancing act.

Another interesting point is that after the debacle of the Jubilee I tried, on a number of occasions, to get the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) to do an interview.

They declined.

On Tuesday, when I approached them they declined again.

Isn't it the whole point of an umbrella organisation to speak on behalf of the operators, especially when the allegation is they are not prepared for the Olympics?

Let me know if you have a surprise when you look at your train timetables.

Will the train companies cope?

Tom Edwards Article written by Tom Edwards Tom Edwards Transport correspondent, London

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  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Only LB Tower Hamlets tells me, indirectly via a planning application, that Overground westbound trains won't call at Hackney Wick. This wasn't on the 'Hackney' leaflet TfL left in my letterbox. Any more local alterations we still don't know about? I'm a former planner and operations worker - the system will not cope and the level of intelligible information is appalling.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    I am sorry, as I am going to add to the preasure of the transport system as I am going to a couple of events. However my main concern is the early morning arrival at Stratford for the hockey. As I will be coming into from Crawley, However I do not support the comments of poster 6. I thought the government said "we were all in this together?" Lol Still can't wait for the games though.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    I don't believe anyone in London who uses public transport believes it is going to cope. I don't even believe TFL think it will, given their ever increasing estimated delay times. They are just sticking to the propaganda that "all will be fine", although they do tend to add "if commuters change their travel times" in a whisper to the end of statements.

    The same goes for the road system.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    I am staggered by the poster who thinks Olympic volunteers should get priority treatment on public transport. They should, and will, take their turn in the queue like the rest of us who have to struggle to work while the circus is in town.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    I also hope volunteers get priority to get on trains over visitors and commuters especially at London Bridge. I'm certainly not going to wait in a queue!

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    I'm a games maker at the Olympic Park and will be late for some shifts as they start at 6am and will have to leave early for others as they end at 2am.
    For example, the last tube on Sunday 12th August is 0102 from Stratford. I hope TFL and Southern trains run more late night services.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Capacity is one issue, but details of extra early & late services needs to released now!

    I know Olympic volunteers that have grossly underestimate how difficult it is to travel after the last train. Some volunteers have shifts that START at 5AM, or FINISH at 2AM and have received no real information about extra services.

    How can we plan to change our travel plans without knowing the Timetables?

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    I plan to be nowhere near the trains during the Olympics. They can't cope at the moment during the morning and evening rush hour, so how people believe they will be able to cope during the games is beyond me.

    Personally I think commuters with season tickets should get a refund for the games period as the posters on the trains tell me to go early or late to avoid the rush.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    I'm concerned about queues at ticket offices/ticket machines. Situation at Cambridge is dire already.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Given that the train companies frequently can't cope with the morning/evening commuter traffic, it seems highly unlikely they'll be able to deal with a higher number of people travelling - not that TfL is likely to do much better…



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