True stories from the Great Railway Disaster; No 90: So you want to know when the station is closed ?

Click to follow
The South London Link Travellers' Association recently won its lengthy campaign to get regular Sunday services restored on the Victoria- Denmark Hill-London Bridge route after a gap of 20 years. The new service, being run by Connex SouthCentral was due to start last Sunday, and so the association busied itself with advance publicity.

Graham Larkbey, its secretary, was therefore dismayed to discover a poster at Victoria warning that on 29 September, the station would be shut. It said: "Victoria closed. All services diverted to Blackfriars."

On enquiring, Mr Larkbey discovered that in fact Victoria would not be closed that day. The notice applied only to the trains operated by South Eastern and the half of the station normally occupied by SouthCentral and Gatwick Express would be operating normally. Mr Larkbey said: "When I complained to the pleasant young man on the South Eastern Help Desk, he admitted that the posters might be rather confusing, but no action was taken to amend them." Ironically, South Eastern will, from next Sunday, also be operated by Connex.

The "Mad" railway column is to be featured this week on the Watchdog programme on BBC1 at 7.30pm on Thursday.

Examples of railway folly should be sent in envelopes marked "Mad" to:

Christian Wolmar, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL.