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This a short Newsletter with information on the conductor strike that RMT has announced for Monday 12 March and changes to the timetable over the rest of March and the Easter period. A further Newsletter will be issued in a few weeks with full details of the May 2018 timetable changes,  membership renewal and more details of  Network Rail plans for improving our lines including a closure of the Brighton mainline over the October 2018 half-term.

RMT strike on Monday 12 March

This will be the 40th day of such action. Fortunately for members, the effects of this strike will be minimal as in other recent RMT actions. Southern expect to run most services and the following details have been extracted from the Southern website: www.southernrailway.com/travel-information/plan-your-journey/dispute

A full service on the Arun Valley line between Southampton/Portsmouth/Bognor via Horsham to Victoria and London Bridge should run.

The full service will operate on the West Coastway line with the exception of the following, which will not run:

05:49 and 07:36 Bognor Regis to Littlehampton
06:35 Littlehampton to Bognor Regis
07:12 Eastbourne to London Bridge
07:45 and 08:01 Littlehampton to Brighton
15:44 and 21:53 Littlehampton to Brighton
15:57 and 18:48 Littlehampton to Portsmouth & Southsea
16:59 and 19:59 Portsmouth & Southsea to Littlehampton
18:10 London Bridge to Littlehampton

Most Brighton to Hove shuttle services and a few Brighton to West Worthing services will not run.

A limited service will operate on the West London line at peak times only. Only the following services will operate:

06:20 Clapham Junction to Watford Junction
07:30 Coulsdon Town to Watford Junction
08:14 and 08:50 Clapham Junction to Shepherds Bush
09:24 Clapham Junction to Shepherds Bush
16:13 Selhurst to Watford Junction
17:52 and 19:54 Watford Junction to Clapham Junction

It is advised to check the live running page on the Southern website for the latest information on the day.

Engineering work in March and over the Easter period

On Sunday 11 March, there will be no trains between Redhill and Three Bridges with replacement buses between these two stations. This will extend journey times by up to an hour. A similar Sunday blockade was in place on 25 February and 4 March. On the first of these Southern failed to supply sufficient buses to meet the demand and, as you may have seen in the press and on TV there were chaotic scenes at Redhill with several hundred passengers stranded there. Last Sunday (4 March) there was an hourly service from Victoria to Gatwick via Dorking that stopped only at Horsham and Three Bridges. This offered connections at Horsham to the hourly service from Bognor to Three Bridges that avoided the replacement bus and was 30 minutes quicker. This extra service could not operate on 4 March as the Dorking route was blocked by engineering work at Sutton, but we have just heard that this additional service from Victoria to Gatwick stopping only at Horsham will run this Sunday 11 March from 07:00 to 23:00. Timings of this on 4 March were Gatwick dep 07:36, Horsham dep 07:57 Victoria arr 08:48. From Victoria dep 07:06, Horsham arr 08:04, Gatwick arr 08:29, and hourly thereafter. Again, check on the day.

Having given you all this bad news, the good news is that there are no planned engineering works affecting Arun Valley and West Coastway trains between Good Friday and Easter Monday (30 March to 2 April) inclusive.

Trevor Tupper
Membership Secretary


We now have a Facebook page at facebook.com/wsrua. Please “like” it if you want to keep in touch and contribute through that medium. 

Community Rail Partnership

WSRUA gave a brief presentation on our work and current activities at the Community Rail Partnership stakeholder event held on 1st November 2012 at Christ's Hospital School. A copy of the slide set is available to view here (PDF). We are continuing our close involvement with the CRP, of which our current secretary/treasurer is vice-chair.


Below is a Southern Press Notice about their Eyewitness initiative to deter and report low-level crime on the Arun Valley line.

Policing And Criminal Justice Minister Launches Southern’s Eyewitness Initiative

Policing and Criminal Justice Minister, Nick Herbert MP has launched Southern’s internal Eyewitness initiative to the public for the first time at Arundel railway station.

Mr Herbert joined Southern senior staff, Rail User Group and West Sussex Community Rail Partnership representatives to launch a trial of Southern’s award winning low-level crime reporting system to passengers who use Southern services between Arundel and Crawley.

Eyewitness is a scheme which allows the reporting of low-level crime by e-mail. The system has been used successfully as an in-house system where Southern staff have e-mailed members of Southern’s Safer Travel and Revenue Protection Teams to report incidences of vandalism, anti-social behaviour and fare evasion. The system allows Southern to respond quickly where officers are in the area, and to identify patterns, trends and hotspots which enables more intelligent deployment of Rail Neighbourhood Officers and Revenue Protection Officers when detailing patrols.

Commenting on the initiative, Mr Herbert said: "I was delighted to help launch the next phase of Southern's Eyewitness scheme which will provide passengers with an effective way to report antisocial behaviour on trains.

"This is further action by Southern who already fund Rail Neighbourhood Officers to help tackle crime and provide a reassuring uniformed presence on trains and at stations. The scheme doesn’t replace police officers, it adds to them, and I believe it's welcomed by the public.

"The minority who can make rail journeys miserable for everyone else need to be dealt with, and I am pleased that Southern is playing its part."

Southern’s Head of Revenue Protection and Security, Martin Grier said: “Eyewitness has been a tremendous success since we introduced it internally 18 months ago. Now we look forward to even better results now that we are asking our passengers to tell us about low-level crime that they have seen.”

In the last 12 months, reported crime on the Arun Valley has fallen overall by 71%. At Billingshurst station, incidences of crime reduced from 28 last year to zero this year.

Passengers witnessing crime between Arundel and Crawley stations can report what they’ve see, where they saw it, when they saw it and a brief description of the offender(s) by sending an e-mail to the dedicated address found on posters at leaflets at staffed stations between Arundel and Crawley.

Photograph from Eyewitness launch at Arundel station

WSRUA News Archive

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