The Anonymous Widower

Going South

I could have called this piece Going Southern or Wandering Through Sussex, but today’s trip was a bit of a nightmare.

I’m always a bit apprehensive going south of the Big Sewer, as inevitably when I do I get lost or something happens.

Today’s trip couldn’t have been simpler. I wanted to get to Bosham station, just to the west of Chichester to have lunch and walk by the sea with an old colleague. It appeared that now the new South London line is open, a start by going to Clapham Junction station would be a good idea.  From there I would take the 09:38 towards Bognor Regis and change off this train at Barnham station for Bosham.

The first leg went very well and just a couple of minutes late, the lightly-loaded Overground train pulled into Clapham Junction. There was a slight problem in that there are no ticket machines by the Overground platforms and you have to go outside the gated area to get a ticket. I couldn’t complain about the price and it cost me just £15.30. As one connection from the Overground to the train I wanted was just a minute, you’re a bit stumped if you cut it fine and have a ticket to collect.

I could have done it as the 09:38 pulled into the station, about ten minutes late.

We ran well until Billingshurst, but then it all started to go wrong, as a train in front had broken down. Eventually, it became obvious, I wouldn’t make my connection, so I phoned my friend and we agreed, he’d pick me up at Chichester. Which is what happened, but we finally got to the restaurant in Bosham about an hour after we planned.

We had our lunch and a walk and then I was dropped back at Bosham station to get the train home. As my ticket allowed me to go via Havant, if I wanted, I wasn’t pleased to see the westbound train steaming out of the station, as I arrived on the platform. As the trains seemed to be running to a random edition of the timetable, I thought the best thing to do, was to take the first train to arrive, as most seemed t0 be either delayed or cancelled.

So I found myself on a Brighton train and felt the best thing to do, would be to ask the conductor’s advice, as to the best route back to Clapham Junction.  But he was nowhere to be seen, so I decided to take my chances at Barnham station.

There I got advice to go to Worthing and get a London train from there, which is what I did. I finally arrived at Clapham Junction nearly three hours after being dropped at Bosham.  The trip is scheduled to take around one hour fifty minutes.

To make matters worse, i just missed an Overground train at Clapham Junction and had to wait fifteen minutes. But there were no further delays and I thought the train was surprisingly full for an early evening one. It will be interesting to see how traffic builds in the next few months.

So why were the Southern trains late?

One of the rather overworked employees said is was all down to the cold and when I said it didn’t seem to happen on the Ipswich line, he blamed the third rail electrical system. Perhaps, now the long-since dead idiot who decided to use this system, is getting the criticism he deserves.  After all Southern Railway did start electrification with an overhead system and then ripped it out in the late 1920s.

I should say too, that all the staff were very good and helped when they could.  The advice to go via Worthing was totally spot on.

I think next time, I go south, I’ll check on the weather first!

December 12, 2012 - Posted by | Transport | , ,


  1. […] one thing that worked well on my trip today, was changing at Clapham Junction station to go […]

    Pingback by Changing At Clapham Junction Station « The Anonymous Widower | December 12, 2012 | Reply

  2. […] was offered a cup of coffee from the trolley on the train back from Worthing […]

    Pingback by Starbucks On Southern « The Anonymous Widower | December 12, 2012 | Reply

  3. […] a post yesterday, I was being very hard on the man, who decided to electrify the trains south from London […]

    Pingback by The Dead Can’t Enter A Plea Of Not Guilty « The Anonymous Widower | December 13, 2012 | Reply

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