Southern Timetable Changes

The new timetable – the timing of Senior Railcard and Network Railcard services to St.Pancras

As readers will be aware, Southern’s new rail timetable is due to come into effect on 20 May: MLAG will endeavour to release practical information about the new services running up to the start date.

Several passengers have pointed out that there is a notice pinned up at Rye Station about the early morning trains that are designated Peak, Off Peak and Super Off Peak – this, of course, has an impact on the Railcards that can be used on any particular service and therefore the cost.

The notice did not comply with the information MLAG previously received and therefore we have discussed the situation with Southern who advise, for trains from Rye to St.Pancras:

  • departures up to the 08.16 will be Peak;
  • Off Peak services for the use of Senior Railcards are dependent on the arrival time in London being after 10am and, in the new timetable (because of the earlier running of the trains) the first scheduled departure from Rye satisfying this requirement is the 09.48 arriving St.Pancras at 10.55 (compared with the current departure at 08.56 arriving St.Pancras at 10.21). Because of this far later arrival time at St.Pancras, Southern have agreed an “Easement” (meaning a variation from the normal rule) for the departure from Rye at 08.48 but only if connecting at Ashford to a service that is scheduled to arrive at St.Pancras after 10am. Unfortunately, for the earliest Off Peak arrival at St.Pancras, this means taking the 08.48 from Rye arriving Ashford at 09.10; allowing the first Javelin (at 09.16) to pass; and waiting for the 09.43. This is why for a year or so now, MLAG has advised in Press Releases that the travel time for the first Off Peak will be longer than currently – i.e. 93 mins v 85 mins (the difference being accounted for by the earlier departure from Rye). For all later services from Rye to St.Pancras, the journey time will be 67 mins (a time saving of 18 mins);
  • for Network Railcardholders there is currently an informal “Easement” which permits passengers to take the 09.56 from Rye and Southern have agreed that this Easement will also apply from May to the 09.48 ex Rye. They have also confirmed that the Easement will apply to the service departing Appledore at 09.57 that would otherwise be affected by the restriction on use of the Network Railcard.

Southern have confirmed they will advise the booking office in Rye of their Easements and arrange for the notice to be changed.

MLAG will seek similar confirmations from Southern for services to Charing Cross.

Stuart Harland, MLAG Chairman