Sliding doors

This morning was one of those times when the public transport system decides to play a game with us.

The 8.04am train (arrived Brockley 8.06, natch) broke down just outside New Cross Gate and limped in to the station, where upon we were notified that some men would be along to fix it “shortly”.

At times like this, commuters are faced with a complex risk-reward matrix – a range of options, with uncertain outcomes.

So, we could stay on the train and hope it got fixed quickly, make our way to the other platform to try and squeeze on the next London Bridge-bound service, catch the train back the other way to get a later service from Brockley, catch a bus, or walk to New Cross station and get a train from there.

It’s all very exciting.

In the end, we took the last of those options and were delayed only by a total of 20 minutes.

We reckon we did the right thing and patted ourselves on the back when we pulled in to London Bridge but ordinarily, we have no way of knowing whether the people who took other options did better.

Thanks to the power of Brockley Central, we now have a chance to find out how the other options worked out for people.

So, were you on that train? If you were, what did you do and how much were you delayed? Did Brockley Central manage to beat the system?

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

You lot are so funny - beat the system, class!

lb said...

Nope, I was intending to get on the train behind it - the 8.16 or whatever it was. Anyway, it showed no inclination to actually arrive, so rather than face an inferno of sweaty, distressed commuters I walked back to St Johns (the station I usually use) and went from there.

Bea said...

Phew - I was on the train before, the 07:47 which arrived on time - thank goodness.

I just hate it when the trains stop and have to take an alternative route.

However, I would have made the same decision as you and walked to New Cross to get a train from there.

Anonymous said...

I took the 172 bus and, after getting leaving Brockley station at about 9:10, was in work at 10:00 with enough time to stop for a drink on the way. It was surprisingly quick and only cost 90p...

Sat next to a very nice girl too. :)

Danja said...

I got to NXG at 9.15, and the broken train was still there, broken, with nothing going through to London Bridge. So a good decision.

Ada said...

i checked the national rail site before leaving home, as it offers an allegedly real time tracking service for trains ('live departure boards'). At 9.10 am, it showed that the 9.04 from Brockley was running late and the 9.18 cancelled. Foolishly, I believed it and went along to the station to catch the 9.27, which should have been on time. At 9.20 at Brockley station, i learned that all trains to LB were cancelled. So, I got on a 171 -- forgetting how much worse that is than the 172 -- and arrived at work at 10.25, having missed a meeting. If their online info had been correct, I would have just gone along to St Johns and gotten a train there.

shb said...

I went for the 9.27 too - didn't fancy 'circulating via Norwood Junction' so walked to New Cross and got to London Bridge for 9.55. No eye-candy on the train though...

Hugh said...

Another option would be to walk to St Johns station, where the class of commuter is somewhat higher.

lb said...

I was just about to say that. A very bijou little station.

Anonymous said...

I sat next to a Korean tucking into a Labrador bap.

Anonymous said...

I wonder whether Hugh and Andy are related? they certainly appear to troll brothers in arms. What Andy does for race, Hugh does for class.

Hugh's mildly more entertaining, but that's only because class baiting is slightly less contentious. I

Brockley Kate said...

I was on the 8.04am train too. I waited on platform 4 of New Cross Gate station, whence they diverted the 8.20-something train, and got on it.

Made it to my meeting about 20 minutes later than I'd planned.

I think this strategy produced the best outcome, BUT it was also the highest-risk option.

Anonymous said...

the 10.06 was cancelled as well as were all the trains in the next hour. 172 took around 1 hour to the Stand. Speedycars are happy!

mljay said...

was on the broken train - took the 172 to st pauls. Took about an hour and was in work 20m late.

mljay said...

was on the broken train - took the 172 to st pauls. Took about an hour and was in work 20m late.

drakefell debaser said...

I saw the instruction to ‘circulate’ too but I had no idea what that actually involved. Does anyone know?
After waiting half an hour or so at Brockley I made my way to New Cross to avoid any potential disappointment or seat scrums at New Cross Gate. I got to work 40 minutes late.

Brockley Boy said...

Waited on the platform at brockley station for the 8.16 which never came - the computer recorded apology over the speakers was a lovely touch. Very personal. Not.

Anonymous said...

When I got to the station it was a proper person making the apology

Circulate means to get the Victoria bound train to Norwood Junction or somewhere then I assume to go to London Bridge from there if that's possible

Tressilliana said...

Very unusually, I was going to get the train from Brockley this morning, at around 8.30. This is probably why there were problems as whenever I travel from Brockley (on a work day, anyway) something goes wrong. Deducing after a few minutes that I wasn't going to get to Covent Garden for my meeting by 9.30 I doubled back to Crofton Park and went to Blackfriars instead, then got the bus. Ten minutes late.

I'm probably tempting fate but we hardly ever have problems like that on the Crofton Park line.

Anonymous said...

Never an issue on Ladywell either, and you can usually get a seat.

Brockley Kate said...

That's partly because you have fewer trains. You need to look at percentage of journeys disrupted, rather than discrete number of instances.

Headhunter said...

I cycled and arrived at Chancery Lane in 25 mins (he says smugly)

Brockley Kate said...

Gah, forget the immigration rows, BC is plagued by a swarm of smug cyclists!
;-)

Tom said...

It takes at least two to form a plague ... so yes, just a 25 minute ride also for me this morning, Brockley to Blackfriars.

drakefell debaser said...

I haven’t experienced any issues with the commute from Brockley for some time now so I hope today was a one off. You will rarely get a seat in the mornings but it was not so long ago that you couldn’t actually get on the train. I remember many commutes to London Bridge where we stood in the passage behind the driver’s cockpit having forced the door open - around 10 people could fit in this way. One memorable occasion was getting off the train at London Bridge only to find that the train doors had a fault and all those travelling ‘illegally’ spilled out onto the platform unaware whilst those in the carriages were stuck inside waiting for the driver to open the doors. We were caught red handed but I think it proved a point as the frequency of trains has been better since.

Tressilliana said...

Good point, Kate. At peak hours Crofton Park has three trains an hour - is it four or six an hour from Brockley? A good few more, anyway.

Headhunter said...

Haven't seen you coming out of UBR since last week, Tom, may be I'll almost crash into you another time soon ;)

Brockley Nick said...

@anon 11.30

They are most certainly different people and I imagine one would be mortified to be compared to the other.

Anonymous said...

I rarely use the train & seem to experience difficulties whenever I do . Usually a smug cyclist or happy runner . . .

BUT today I went for the 8:16 which was delayed until 17, 18, 19, 20 . . . Eventually about 8:30 there was an incomprehensible announcement and then the *;26 & 34 were posted as cancelled. I got a 172 to Goldsmiths and then a train from new cross. 30 min late for my up-town appointment . . . .

BUT what really gaulled me is that the second track was apparently clear & trains that appeared relatively empty where speeding down to LB. I cannot be beyond the abilities of Network rail and Southern Railways to divert one of them onto the slow line at brockley to pick us up and then onto the fast line to bypass the broken train? ? ? ? ? ?

b. said...

left my bike at work last night (drinking... again) - and what a mistake it was

well done brockley central - i tried the 172 straight to holborn. mistake number 2. the bus didnt move and 20 (very hot) minutes later i was only at queens road.

went up to the platform to find the next train arriving imminently. or so i thought - 15 minutes later the train pulled in and off to london bridge it was. the change to charing cross was as breezy as ever.

all in all a journey which takes 35 minutes by bike took 1 hour and 30 minutes. bring on the cycle lanes!

Hugh said...

For a right-on and green neighbourhood, you lot don't seem very interested in reducing your carbon Ugg prints.

I cycle to work and back from Brockers most days of the year.

Anonymous said...

Not everyone is a 'green' - personally I can't stand them.

Monkeyboy said...

Must be difficult cycling in plus fours, a deerstalker while chomping on a fat cigar? Or maybe he cycles while his chauffeur follows on behind with his Savill Row suit? Don't know why I have that image of Hugh, must be my festering working class resentment.

(well, working class-ish. Born in Muswell Hill, home of the Champagne Socialists)

Headhunter said...

Actually, weren't plus 4s and plus 2s invented by the Victorians to cater for an increasing interest in sports including cycling? They allowed freer movement of the legs and meant that trousers didn't get caught in chains. They were the skin tight lycra of their day...

fabhat said...

Hugh, although obviously walking and cycling are the greenest forms of transport (not including the maunfacture of the bikes) trains are still fairly green in comparison to driving - so perhaps it's fairer to call it more of a pale green commute...

Tamsin said...

Only one of you has mentioned the Nunhead/Crofton Park option.

The Cat Man said...

I didnt cycle this morning, but I got it down to 20mins from brockley station to london bridge!

Somewhat bizarrely, I also enjoy cycling in the rain!

Tamsin said...

All my husband's fault. Public transport does not like him. Tuesday he was going in to Canary Wharf so that the DLR didn't work. Today he had meetings in the City - and timed his arrival at New Cross Gate with the train that got stuck.
QED

Paddyom said...

Having read some of the comments in here yesterday and given the sunny weather I decided to try out St. Johns on my way home from work yesterday and was pleasantly surprised. It was only a 15 minute walk to my home on St. Margarets Road which work out the same as if i had stayed on the train to Ladywell and walked from there. It was a much more pleasant walk up through the conservation area. I would recommend it to anyone for a change of scenary.

Anonymous said...

That's why I go to Ladywell rather than Brockley. Much more pleasant.

Hugh said...

Some bird at St Johns this morning handed me a card advertising Open Gym, which seems to be personal training on Hilly Fields.


If that takes off then we may have turned a corner.

Nick - have you persuaded LBC to approve a Cafe Nero in the park yet? Please see to it.

Tressillian James said...

Paddyom - St Johns is a great little station - would like a few more trains in the evening - but it is, in my one year experience of using it, reliable.

Someone in an earlier thread was wondering what the arch was that leads to the bridge to get to the station. Turns out that where the mini-car park is now, used to be the Ticket office - and the arch was part of that building. It also used to have 2 seperate platforms (the second now is a scrub like non-accesible bank), which also shows many more trains stopped there in the past.

Monkeyboy said...

I've seen a gym bunny putting a stressed and sweaty banker through his paces on 'the field' before, now I know why. I though they were dogging.

Anonymous said...

I fancy a sniff of that...

tyrwhitt ali said...

I've seen two different lots actually. One is Open Gym, which is a group thing which I keep meaning to try. The other is Burn It which is one on one personal training. For the moment, I'll keep on borrowing my friend's dog and walking her when the weather is nice :-)

Hugh said...

I like the sound of the gym bunny. Are we talking hot pants and a pert manner?

Monkeyboy said...

Hugh, more brisk and efficient I'd say. Ex-public school boys would perhaps enjoy her stern manner.

She also had a large rubber ball and other pieces of equipment.

Hugh said...

Did the ball have a tube attached?

Vikki said...

Always St John's for me. Though the queuing outside London Bridge has been awful this week.

Also I got the train very late last night and thought the car park end of the bridge was very dark - isn't there usually a light underneath the arch thingy? Or am I remembering wrong?

I'm planning to give Open Gym a go at some point. The lady who runs Burn It is called Sara and she's absolutely brilliant. She does group sessions on Blackheath and would probably do group sessions on Hilly Fields if there were enough people interested. However she's just had a baby so I'm not sure what her exact plans are at the mo. though she was planning to start things going again pretty soon after the birth if she could.

tyrwhitt ali said...

I think Sara has someone covering for her whilst she's on maternity.

Brockley Kate said...

I think Monkeyboy has just gone into the Big Brother house ...

Brockley Nick said...

Mb must be hairier

Anonymous said...

Anonymous can safely say they would give one to the blonde bird.

Brockley Kate said...

Hmm perhaps we need a BC version of Big Brother?

Put Hugh, Monkeyboy, Andy, Nick and various other local characters in a room and see who comes out alive ...

The Cat Man said...

I'd give myself 10 minutes max.

Anonymous said...

i'd say about 2.

Anonymous said...

The whole project would get canned as soon as someone pointed out that the illuminated eye above the front entrance to the house was against Conservation Area guidelines.

Monkeyboy said...

I'm a Guardian reader, get me out of here!

drunk, Whopper, bed......

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