Rail Ombudsman service

The Rail Ombudsman is an independent, not-for-profit organisation. They offer a free, expert service to help sort out unresolved customer complaints about service providers within the rail industry.

"Our vision is to inspire customer confidence and to deliver our service fairly to ensure the right outcome in every case. We also support the rail industry to raise standards."

Website: https://www.railombudsman.org/




Cycling event at Shenfield Station and survey

There was a cycling engagement event taking place outside Shenfield railway station on Wed 28 Nov 2018 This was a joint event between Cycle Brentwood and MTR Crossrail/TfL Rail.

The aim of the event was to encourage cycling in the area, publicise the work of Cycle Brentwood and help cyclists with anything they may need to keep riding.

There is a Cycle Brentwood survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/cyclebrentwood01



Funding for Platform 4 access


Brentwood Access Group has been campaigning for over three years for access to platform 4 from the Brentwood Station booking office. Network Rail had claimed that a culvert had prevented the installation of a lift.

However, they did admit that with additional funding, a lift could be provided. The Brentwood Access Group had pointed out that all stations on the Elizabeth line were having major upgrades but Brentwood was being treated as second class.

The Brentwood Access Group together with the Brentwood MP, Alex Burghart and with the backing of Brentwood Bus and Rail Users Group has applied for funding for these essential works.




Three months of weekend rail works January to March 2018

On Saturday 20 January there will be a reduced service on TfL Rail. Trains will run every 15 minutes between Liverpool Street and Chadwell Heath, and every 30 minutes between Chadwell Heath and Shenfield.

There will be no service between Stratford and Shenfield on Sunday 21 and 28 JanuaryRail replacement buses will run every 10-15 minutes.

 Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 February There will be no service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. Rail replacement buses will run: • Stratford – Forest Gate – Manor Park – Ilford – Seven Kings – Goodmayes – Chadwell Heath – Romford • Newbury Park (for the Central line) – Chadwell Heath - Romford – Gidea Park – Harold Wood – Brentwood – Shenfield

Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 February Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 February Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 February Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 March There will be no service between Stratford and Shenfield. Rail replacement buses will run: • Stratford – Forest Gate – Manor Park – Ilford – Seven Kings – Goodmayes – Chadwell Heath – Romford • Newbury Park (for the Central line) – Chadwell Heath - Romford – Gidea Park – Harold Wood – Brentwood – Shenfield

Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 March Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 March Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 March There will be no service between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. Rail replacement buses will run: • Stratford – Forest Gate – Manor Park – Ilford – Seven Kings – Goodmayes – Chadwell Heath – Romford • Newbury Park (for the Central line) – Chadwell Heath - Romford – Gidea Park – Harold Wood – Brentwood – Shenfield

The Chair of BBARUA, Cllr. David Kendall, has expressed concern about the effect on Brentwood and Shenfield rail users and has asked what compensation is available to to them and what the criteria for elegibility are.


Brentwood Station - no lift for platform 4

Network Rail has decided not to install a lift at Platform 4, despite calls by Brentwood Access Group. The group claims that Brentwood is being treated as "second class" and that buggy users and disabled people are being penalised (Essex Live).




Crossrail works 2017

Our Chair, Cllr David Kendall, has received the following from Network Rail:

" Dear Cllr Kendall

I am writing to update you on work Network Rail will be carrying out over the Christmas period and into 2017 as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.

This work carries on from the vital package of upgrade works already started in autumn 2016, which includes delivering the Crossrail programme and removing long-standing heat related speed restrictions.

We will continue to install new overhead wires that will make the railway more reliable. During 2016, more than 31,000 metres of overhead wire has been installed and a speed restriction between Shenfield and Chelmsford has already been removed.  

These and other important upgrades will continue for 10 days over the Christmas and New Year period, and will affect Greater Anglia and TfL Rail services into Liverpool Street and across to Cambridge. Further work to improve the line will take place over a number of weekends from January to May 2017, meaning some journeys will be longer and involve rail replacement buses from Essex into London.

The programme of work includes:

·  Major Crossrail works being delivered by Network Rail to remodel the track and provide an extra platform at Shenfield for future Elizabeth line services will take place from Tuesday 3 January 2017 meaning there will be no TfL Rail services between Brentwood and Shenfield until late May. During this time, a frequent rail replacement bus service will run between the two stations.

· Crossrail construction work will also continue at key stations between Shenfield and London Liverpool Street providing better station facilities step free access and longer platforms in preparation for longer Elizabeth line trains that will arrive from 2019.

- The complete remodelling of an important junction at Shenfield to help deliver more reliable journeys for passengers travelling from London to Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich by May 2017. These improvements will enable passenger and freight trains to travel through the area more freely, reducing the risk of delays to other services.

· Work to replace overhead wires between Shenfield and London Liverpool Street. This £250m project will improve reliability and significantly reduce the impact of heat-related disruption during the summer when overhead wires sag and speed restrictions are imposed.

-  Work continues at Ilford depot to provide a space for keeping and maintaining new trains that will operate on the TfL Rail route from May 2017 and later the Elizabeth line.

This work is key to building the foundations for the robust and reliable railway our passengers deserve. We would like to take every opportunity to thank them for their continued patience. We’re working closely with our colleagues at Greater Anglia and TfL Rail to. Passengers should always check for updates before they travel on National Rail Enquiries www.nationalrail.co.uk or with the train operator. "

We have received a pdf copy of the leaflet from TfL with arrangement details.

There is also an update received on January 31st 2017 and a further update concerning works to be carried out over Easter 2017.

There is further information about parking restrictions that will be in force during the period of the works:

Brentwood station 27 December 2016 onwards

Shenfield station 27 December 2016 onwards


East Anglia rail franchise consultation

The Department of Transport ran an East Anglia rail franchise consultation to seek passengers' views on the future of rail services across the region. The consultation closed in March 2015.
Information at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/passengers-in-east-anglia-consulted-on-rail-services


Crossrail drop-in sessions

The Crossrail Train Operating Company will be taking over responsibility at Brentwood Station, and all other stations along to Maryland, from the end of May 2015. Shenfield and Stratford (high level) will remain the responsibility of the Greater Anglia Franchise, currently Abellio Greater Anglia.

Network Rail, on behalf of Crossrail, held two public information drop-in sessions in July 2014 regarding the works planned for Brentwood and Shenfield.

There was a further event on Thursday 27 November 2014.



Greater Anglia have released a new train!

Well, we say new, it's actually an old train but it's been completely stripped down and rebuilt inside. It's running on a number of routes in the coming twelve months for you to review.

So what can you expect from this sparkly new train?


Well, first of all, you'll notice that the doors rattle! This isn't a new thing, the doors on the existing trains rattle, but on the new train everything else has been sealed. It's air-conditioned, so the windows don't open, making for a quiet ride, apart from the rattly doors.

There are new seats (well, in half the train there are new seats). They've kitted it out with two types of seat - half the train has our existing seats, but raised and re-built / re-upholstered. The other half has a 'metro' layout - which allows for much more standing room, and fewer seats.


carriage view

There's a new loo - fully wheelchair accessible - and a little area for bikes and pushchairs, etc.

There's completely new lighting which is brighter, and in the 'metro' end of the train, some dinky little blue mood lights to help you relax on your way home.

What else is new? Well, there's first class - if you're feeling flush - it's got slidy leather seats, electric power sockets and lots of leg room. And a fancy gold button to operate the electric doors to let you into the vestibule - just so you're sure you're travelling with the elite!



There are some pretty odd features - like the fact there's a bank of seats where only a group of small children could get their knees in, and the way they still have a toilet that empties onto the tracks - it's nearly 2014 for heaven's sake!

But overall, it's a pretty good job. Let's hope that in 2015 (the target date) the DfT manage to find some of our hard earned pounds to pay for some new trains. If you get to travel on it, give them your feedback at www.greateranglia.co.uk/class321 

Stuart Wilks



Crossrail map

The map of the forthcoming Crossrail route showing connections and accessibility can be seen here



Oyster cards from 2 January 2013

From 2 January 2013, passengers are able to use their Oyster cards at Brentwood and Shenfield.
For zones 1-6 and Brentwood, the charges will be: £7.30 peak single and £5.20 off-peak single.
For zones 1-6 and Shenfield, the charges will be: £8.30 peak single and £5.70 off-peak single. Information here



Greater Anglia Brentwood station lifts

We have been informed by Greater Anglia that the Brentwood Station lift will be completed in March 2013. We hope that this will be the case.



Greater Anglia customer relations sent the following email to a local rail user in October 2012:

I am sorry that Brentwood is not staffed 24 hours. We base our station staffing levels on a number of factors, and these indicate that currently Brentwood is staffed appropriately for the number of trains serving the station, and the tasks requiring a staff presence. We keep our toilets locked when the station is not staffed, as otherwise they are open to misuse and vandalism. Our Metro trains do not have toilets, as there is no legal responsibility to do so over this short a journey.

Whilst there is currently no lift at Brentwood, the station is part of Network Rail’s ‘Access for All’ project, which will eventually see stair-free access at the station. According to the current timetable published on Network Rail’s website, work will start at Brentwood in 2013. Until then, we ask that any passenger experiencing access difficulties call our Assisted Travel team on 0845 600 7245 (option 4).

Car parking prices are agreed between ourselves and NCP, who manage our car parks. The prices at Brentwood are comparable with other local stations, and in many cases, cheaper.

Harold Wood lies within the London Zones, and as such, fares from this station are regulated by Transport for London. As Brentwood lies outside this area, it is not subject to the same fares structure. In addition, fare levels are not priced purely on mileage. There are a number of other commercial considerations taken into account such as to what is deemed the appropriate market rate for a given journey. As the operator setting the fare, we develop appropriate pricing policies for journeys by taking into account the market demands and competition for a particular flow/route, as well as the commercial pressures that apply in seeking to run an efficient business. This same system is adopted by other train operating companies, and also applied under British Rail ownership when the network was managed on a sector-by-sector basis.

C2C’s fares have been lower than other train operating companies due to issues they experienced some years ago. The company was forced to lower fares due to poor performance, at a time when other train operating companies were raising theirs. Since then, C2C’s fares have remained relatively lower than ours, as they cannot, under government regulation, raise their fares by more than an agreed percentage.

Shenfield has a great deal of rail traffic due to its geographical position on the network. Whilst Brentwood’s position on the Metro line means that trains are more likely to be stopping services, Shenfield serves as a station from which customers travel further North or East, meriting the timetabling of faster services. As you may be aware, plans have been in the pipeline to extend Oyster coverage as far as Shenfield, and we anticipate that this will become a reality in Spring 2013. It is hoped that this will make travel simpler for customers in your area.

Brentwood station will benefit from the improvements scheduled to take place due to the construction of Crossrail, with work due to take place at the station in the run-up to the new line’s opening in 2018. In the meantime, we are working hard to provide a good service at all of our stations in the area, and I am sorry that you feel that we have let you down.

Abellio plans for Greater Anglia Rail

Abellio has given BBARUA further information about its inntentions, including more security, station refurbishment and new ticketing including Oyster cards.

Improvements to the service will include: a messaging service to warn of disruptions and an information desk at Liverpool Street Station.

The contract will start in February 2012 and last for 29 months

The following press release has been sent to us:

So What is Greater Anglia Going to Offer

20 January 2012

The Greater Anglia franchise is Abellio’s first solus rail operation in the UK. The Group was awarded the contract in October 2011 and it starts operating on 5th February 2012 and will provide intercity, commuter and rural services throughout the region including the Stansted Express service. The duration of the contract is 29 months (32 railway periods).


Upon taking over the contract Abellio will be responsible for almost 3,000 employees and the safe operation of 43,000 services per month. It will service 174 stations and carry two million passengers per week. Initially the Greater Anglia team will ensure priority is given to delivering a seamless transition and provision is in place for the Olympics in 2012. Preparation to deliver the improvements in customer service, station condition and operational performance will also be undertaken with implementation throughout the contract period.


Exciting additions to stations are planned within the short franchise term including the development of a new CyclePoint at Chelmsford, additional car parking spaces and electrical charge points and the trial of a shuttle bus service between Saffron Walden and Audley End making towns without stations accessible to more travellers.


Refurbishment will be undertaken at stations across the network with a focus on higher footfall stations. We will also be heavily involved in the development of plans at Cambridge station in partnership with Network Rail.


Safety and security is also a priority. Passengers will see more travel safety officers on the network to provide a visible and reassuring presence in and around stations. In addition trains will be deep cleaned to enhance the passenger journey experience.


New ticketing solutions including a mobile app and print at home service will be introduced to make booking travel quicker and easier wherever a passenger maybe. There will be additional ticket machines for those who wish to collect tickets on departure too. Access to information will be improved for those registered on the new Greater Anglia website (www.greateranglia.co.uk) with SMS and email alerts and service status just a mouse click away (not be available until 5/2/2012).


The extension of Oyster Pay as You Go to 10 additional stations on the Shenfield and Hertford East lines will be introduced as will information kiosks which will be added to help customers at the larger stations.


New initiatives to help people to have a more comfortable and smooth journey will be introduced. This will involve the creation of zones on platforms to indicate where coaches will stop, better communications systems at stations and tools for roving staff to provide announcements to passengers as to where to stand for less busy coaches or services available from other platforms. New colour coded timetables will be introduced to indicate the level of crowding on different services which will help customers make choices about the train to use. Stansted Express and Intercity passengers travelling in first class will have complimentary refreshments made available to them during the journey.


From day one a priority for the Greater Anglia team will be to ensure that the Greater Anglia network is ready to offer a major transport link to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We will work alongside the incumbent’s team and in addition deploy multi-lingual staff to ensure visitors feel assured when travelling on the network. Customer service training will be given to any agency employees deployed within the network during the Games period.


The Greater Anglia team is committed to improving performance and transparency when it comes to providing information to customers. A process of providing four weekly performance updates by line of route will be in established and this information will be made available at every station and on the website. It will tell customers how many trains were on time, how many trains were cancelled, what the major causes were behind incidents and what Greater Anglia is doing to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.


Ruud Haket, Mobilisation and Transition Director for Abellio Greater Anglia Ltd comments:
“We are delighted to have won the Greater Anglia franchise at such an exciting time. The challenge to ensure we are resourced and ready to deliver for London 2012 is key, but we are working now to be ready with implementable plans to deliver the improvements to the service and travel experience for residents of the region.”


Note - information about the Greater Anglia services can be found here.


Brentwood station official opening

David & Colin
Wendy Way, Chair of Brentwood Bus and Rail users association with Cllr David Kendall,Secretary and
area local county councillor
and Colin Mac Connaghie of National Express.



Stakeholders group photograph.






Senior rail cards

Senior rail cards are now avalable from Brentwood town hall. They are currently priced at £20.50 at the town hall whereas at the station they would cost £26. Payment must be made by card or cheque, not cash.


Brentwood Station improvements definitely happening

Secretary of the Brentwood Bus & Rail Users Association, Cllr David Kendall had a meeting with the Manager with responsibility for Brentwood Station, Colin MacConnachie and the Chairman of the Independent Taxi Drivers, Keith Copsey on Tuesday 9th November to discuss the improvement programme which is due to start at the Station over the next 10 days.Cllr Kendall was told that:

  • The improvement work at Brentwood Station will start in the next ten days.
  • A temporary ticket office will be installed at the bottom of the steps by the taxi rank very shortly.
  • The improvement works are due to take five months to complete.
  • At least one gate will remain open giving access / exit from the platform to the taxi rank during and after the improvement programme has been completed.
  • The three passenger lifts are due to be installed in 2012 /13

Speaking after the meeting which Cllr Kendall arranged he said “ As Secretary of the Association I was delighted to be able to clarify and obtain assurances on a number of points with Colin MacConnachie and ensure that Keith Copsey’s concerns was addressed. Train users will be very pleased to hear that the improvement work is definitely starting this month (November) and I am sure when it is finished we will have a Brentwood Station we can all be proud of. Whilst it is disappointing that the passenger lifts won’t be installed until 2012/13 at least there is a firm commitment that they are definitely going to happen.

I would like to thank all the members of the Brentwood Bus & Rail Users Association for all the lobbying they have done over the years to get these much needed improvements. I am sure that now the improvements have been given the green light others will try and take the credit but hopefully rail users will see through these phoney claims and treat them with the contempt they deserve.”


Political group claims credit for our campaign

Following an article in the Brentwood Gazette claiming that the local Conservative party is to launch a bid to have Brentwood Station rejuvenated, Wendy Way, the Chair of the Brentwood Bus and Rail Users' Association has issued this itemised statement:

1. How dare the Tories try to claim credit for getting improvements at Brentwood Station (they are due to start in next week).
2.There have been many years of meetings, campaigning and lobbying by the Association to get improvements.
3. The Association has over 80 members.
4. Tory councillors have been asked if they wanted to join in the past and they have never wanted to know.
5. Where have they been all this time??

6. Their action is electioneering of the worst kind.

7. Work at the station is due to start this month.

8. Passenger lifts will be installed in 2012/13 which was disappointing news .We will keep pushing for that works to happen sooner.
We had the Manager from Romford Station attending our AGM on the 30th November 2010, he had all the details of the improvements ie. new ticket office, entrance hall, toilets  etc all showing on a large board for members of our Association to see.



Statement on the National Rail Strike issued 1st April 2010

The Brentwood Bus & Rail Users Association would like it to be known that they are not backing either side in the national rail dispute. The Association wants talks to take place as soon as possible to resolve the dispute and is very keen to avoid any strike action.

A misleading article has appeared in this weeks Brentwood Gazette (31/3/10) stating that the Association is backing the national rail strikers. This statement is untrue and does not reflect the position of the Association.

The statement was part of an article which featured Richard Enever who is a member of the Association. Richard was expressing his own personal views when backing the unions and was not speaking on behalf of the Association or its membership.

Wendy Way

Chairman – Brentwood Bus & Rail Users Association

Call to end cheap day evening return ban

Passengers buying cheap day return tickets to London are banned from using them to return to Brentwood between the hours of 4pm and 6.30pm. This has meant that those wishing to catch a bus from Brentwood station have been unable to do so as the bus services stop running before the trains arrive. Passengers who do not own cars have been forced to use taxis. At the BBARUA AGM the Chair, Wendy Way, asked the Brentwood Station Manager, Kirit Varsani, to look into reversing this ban.

Station refurbishment update

We have been informed by the Brentwood Station Manager, Kirit Varsani, that the refurbishment works will be carried out in the beginning of the 2010 financial year, including refurbishment of the booking hall area and the toilets. The lifts to all platforms will be put in place later in the year.

Oyster Card discounts

At the 2009 BBARUA AGM, a member advised the meeting that a Senior Citizen's Railcard could be used to get a discount on Oyster card use on London Underground. This also applies to Disabled Persons railcards. More information is available from Transport for London here

Romford access ramp

Richard Enever has reported that the gate to the access ramp at Romford Station has been locked. This ramp was essential for people who could not climb the stairs to the platforms. Richard is taking the issue up with the rail companies. A camera is now to be installed with a button that can be pressed to alert a member of station staff who will be able to open the entrance.

Archived News

Rail strike called off

We now understand that the rail strike due to take place on National Express East Anglia from the 21st to 26 September 2009 has been called off.

We had received the following communication from the Managing Director:

I am writing to update you on the situation involving the train drivers’ trades union ASLEF.  Last month we reached an agreement with ASLEF on all their industrial relations issues and offered a salary increase of at least 4% in just over 12 months. ASLEF agreed to put this offer to their members in a referendum.  We have not been formally notified of the votes cast, but it is telling that ASLEF have not revealed the exact numbers and we believe that only a minority of our drivers have actually voted to reject the deal .  Despite this position, ASLEF have chosen to announce six continuous days of strike action from Monday 21 September to Saturday 26 September on National Express East Anglia services.

We are extremely disappointed and unhappy that they are planning to cause further unnecessary and totally unjustified disruption to our customers, who have already suffered enough through the earlier series of strikes. Such a threat is utterly inappropriate given the offer that the company has made.  Members of the RMT and TSSA unions have recognised that the offer being made by the company is very reasonable in the current economic circumstances and have agreed the deals with over 80% of them voting in favour of the company’s offer.We are holding talks with ASLEF to try to avert any further strike action and will keep you updated of developments.

I can assure you we will do everything to prevent further disruption, without giving in to unreasonable behaviour.

We are working on contingency plans in case industrial action does proceed and we will publish these early next week.

I will keep you updated on the situation. If you have any queries about this note, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Chivers

Managing Director

ASLEF had stated:

Strikes by train drivers working for National Express East Anglia (NXEA) which were suspended last month will begin again after a ballot conducted by the train drivers’ union ASLEF revealed that its 800 members in the company did not accept the proposed revised deal.

Further days of industrial action will be announced in the near future, but the first date for the resumed strikes will be 21 September. The action will continue for the entire week.

West Horndon - huge fare increase

The return ticket from West Horndon to London has risen from £8.60 to £13.60. Wendy Way, the Chair of BBARUA, said that she could understand the commuters' frustration and that things were getting out of hand.


Railcard price hike

The price of a Network Railcard was set to rise by 25% on 17th May, from £20 to £25. For students and over 60's the price was due to rise from £24 to £26. The Transport Salaried Staffs' Association issued a news release:

Railcard daylight robbery by greedy rail firms

A new row over "rip off" rail fares erupted today after a shock 25% increase in the costs of Railcards from next Sunday (17 May 2009).

The price of a Network Railcard will increase from £20 to £25 - the third hike in overall fares since January.

Releasing details of the increases, which were sent out to his booking clerk members this week, TSSA leader Gerry Doherty said:

"This increase is outrageous even by the low money grabbing standards usually employed by the private rail companies. It is the third price hike in just five months.

"This is daylight robbery but even Dick Turpin would have thought twice about holding up the same stagecoach three times in five months."

All fares increased by an average of 6% in January and off peak fares were increased again last week by up to 11%.

Only last week the union leader dubbed Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon "Buff Hoon" for failing to stop regular price hikes by the private rail companies. The union leader had asked for all fare rises to be limiited to one annual increase

Hoon refused to intervene to stop the companies increasing off peak fares and railcard charges whenever they liked. Only regulated fares - peak fares and season tickets-are limited to annual increases.

As well as Network Railcards going up by 25%, the minimum fare for the card users will rise by 30% from £10 to £13.

Student and old peoples’ Railcards will increase from £24 to £26 from 17 May 2009. Student and armed forces minimum fares will jump by 50% from £8 to £12.

"I would urge Buff Hoon to now act against these greedy firms who have turned our industry into the rip off capital of Europe," added Mr Doherty.

"But he will continue to sit on his hands and do nothing while Britain has the most expensive fares in Europe and the most overcrowded trains in Europe."



Train delays and cancellations

Information on delays and cancellations here.

"One Trains" is now National Express

Richard Enever met managers of National Express East Anglia on March 3rd 2008 at Liverpool Street.
He took up the following issues:
Toilets at Brentwood station were not being opened when they should be. On Saturday, March 3rd the BBARUA Chair saw that they were locked at 10am. Richard saw them open at 2.15pm but closed on 2nd March.
Extra shelter on platform one.
Trains being filthy.
At least one train an hour to and from London.
Engineering works - Shenfield station closed all over Easter, Liverpool Street Sunday and Monday.

Richard Enever on radio on 5th January 2008

Richard Enever was on Phoenix Radio  talking about the recent chaos on the railways and the state of the trains. He said that he was supposed to be informed about any disruption to services, but that this did not happen. He said that First trains were supposed to be cleaned at Shenfield, but they were in a filthy state and covered in graffiti, even early in the morning.

Brentwood station facelift

Brentwood Bus and Rail Users Association is pleased to hear that after our long campaign to get the station improved, Network Rail has approved a £5 million plan to install a new footbridge and three lifts suitable for wheelchair access to the platforms.

In an interview with the Weekly News, David Kendall, the BBARUA Secretary, said: "It is something we have wanted for a long time, the general state of the station is diabolical. Hopefully it will make it a much more attractive environment. It is definitely something we welcome and it is a result for everybody in Brentwood."

Network Rail also intends selling some of the land used by the current car park to build a multi-storey car park.

Major rail disruption over, more works to come.

It had been anounced that there would be no trains between Liverpool Street and Stratford between 23rd December and 1st January 2008, due to works being carried out to the East London line. The works were not finished by the stated date, causing inconvenience to passengers. There will be further disruption of Southend services on weekends. The latest information can be found here .

Brentwood Station toilets left open

Richard Enever, the Brentwood Bus and Rail Users Association Rail Services Officer has complained that since the toilets have been opened, they are not being closed at night, making them a potential target for vandals.

Crossrail approved

Many residents of Shenfield will be disappointed to learn that Crossrail has been approved. The disruption that is envisaged by the building of the terminus at Shenfield, together with the potential for congestion, blight and environmental damage has been raised as an issue by local residents, by Eric Pickles, MP, and by Brentwood Council.

The Crossrail website can be viewed here

Filthy trains

Richard Enever has met with David Winder, the "One" trains business director and shown him the state of some of the trains serving Brentwood. Richard and other commuters have expressed their deep dissatisfaction at the filthy state of the rolling stock used by One trains. BBARUA want Mr Winder to take action on this as One were supposed to be improving the rolling stock rather than let it go to rack and ruin.


Brentwood left out of service improvements?

David Winder "One" Railways business director has announced two extra trains on the Metro service from Shenfield to Liverpool Street to give 303 more seats. This is due to be for six months while the company upgrades its rolling stock. He has said that this will provide more train services from Harold Wood, Gidea Park and Romford. He did not mention Brentwood, so it is to be hoped that this was an oversight on his behalf rather than the intention for the service to miss out Brentwood. We shall see.

Meeting with Metro director on 21 May 2007

The Committee of BBARUA met with David Winder, the One trains Metro business director.
Mr Winder reported some of the steps that were being taken to improve the condition and service at Brentwood Rail Station. Works in progress are the redecoration of the ticket office and treatment of the booking hall floor. He was confident that the the ticket office would be fully staffed.
He said that he is trying to resolve the issue of the toilet closures and considering the use of automatic toilets, but needs to get an agreement on their positioning.
Train carriages are undergoing refurbishment, including securing the cushions on the seats.
When the works are carried out to the lines and signalling over the August Bank holiday, there is due to be a shuttle train in operation.
We shall be having further meetings with David Winder and hope that this will prove fruitful for the long-suffering Brentwood rail passengers.


Booking office closed - but inspectors available to nab rail users

Rail travellers on Brentwood station on the 24th April were treated with the company of no less than 10 revenue inspectors. It appears that the rail companies can afford to pay them but not to provide an afternoon service at the booking office. Rail users are still having problems with the ticket machines, so the staffing issue is of major importance.

Loss of card for Brentwood rail traveller

On the 4th April 2007, due to the fact that no staff were available in the ticket office at Brentwood station, a potential traveller used the ticket machine. Unfortunately, it took a dislike to his card , which it refused to give back - consequently, he could neither travel or retrieve his (valid) card. The problem of relying on these machines is something that BBARUA have been warning about but have been consistently ignored by the railway companies.
We need staff at the station. Join us and campaign!


Prospects mixed for Brentwood rail travellers

Meeting with Metro Business Director for "one" In March 2007

Richard Enever met with David Winder, the Metro Business Director for ‘one’.

Richard told Mr Winder that the toilets on Brentwood station needed to be kept open longer and asked that the booking office staff lock and unlock them. Richard had explained that there is a need for toilets despite the frequency of service as the needs for some passengers can be serious. Mr Winder said that there was no need for the toilets to be kept open later or longer.

In reply to Richard's enquiry as to whether the current rolling stock would be replaced, Mr Winder told him that the present stock used on the Metro will be used until the end of the franchise. He did, however, say that the rolling stock would be going through a heavy steam cleaning process at Gidea Park, and he expected the stock to be "relivered" by the end of the year.

Richard asked on behalf of passengers that there could be faster services from Brentwood to London. Mr Winder said "no".

Richard Enever asked Mr Winder that additional stops could be made by trains operating beyond Shenfield in the event of disruption to services as occurred on March 19th. Mr Winder said he would look into it but could make no promises. When asked by Richard about an additional stop at Brentwood in the event of short notice cancellations due to unit failures and staff shortages, Mr Winder said this would affect services on the main line.

Richard asked when the Brentwood station booking office which is plagued by staff shortages would be operating fully again. Mr Winsor said that he hoped that the staff problems would be resolved in the next fortnight. Richard will be checking that this is the case.

Richard complained that the station was filthy. Mr Winder said that it was cleaned daily, but Richard said that it was still absolutely filthy even when there were no rail services operating on February 25th.

Mr Winder said that the company was liaising with local police particularly as youth are congregating on Brentwood station at night.

Meeting with Network Rail management

Richard Enever met with the Network Rail management at the same meeting as that with Mr Winder.

Richard asked that BBARUA be kept informed about planned rail service disruption and raised concern that BBARUA had not been told in advance about work between Chelmsford and Shenfield.

Forthcoming planned service disruption
Network Rail has announced that that Liverpool Street station will be closed for nine days around Christmas 2007 for the removal of a viaduct to build the East London extension. Major work will be undertaken at Shenfield on the points and work will also be carried out at Stratford. Network Rail have promised to send Richard further details.

Richard Enever has heard that the substitute buses took two hours to reach Ilford during the engineering work of February 24th and 25th. Richard was also told that an employee on London Underground was turned back home from Stratford instead of travelling into work because parts of the Underground were closed during February 24th and 25th and had his pay docked as a result.


Brentwood Rail station

On Monday 19th March 2007, passengers at Brentwood rail station were stranded on both platforms as a result of delays and cancellations to services following a major signal equipment failure at Liverpool Street station. Richard Enever, the BBARUA Rail Services Officer, met the Retail Manager for the Southend Victoria and Metro services at Shenfield to complain about the operator not allowing services beyond Shenfield to stop at Brentwood to pick up the backlog of passengers.
He also complained about the following issues:
the booking office at Brentwood station being regularly closed in the afternoons;
the state of Brentwood station;
the ticket machines not working properly;
the need for extended opening hours;
replies to letters to David Winder, the Divisional Director coming from Customer Services at Norwich - Richard has requested for David Winder to reply personally. He has subsequently met with Mr Winder (see article above)

Action Replies
The Retail Services Manager replied that they were not happy with the state of the station.
The old authorisation to travel ticket machines were being removed.
He would ask Mr Winder to reply personally to Richard Enever's letter as Mr Winder was out of the office all that day.
Richard Enever has also requested that all existing ticket machines be upgraded to take discounted fares.

Brentwood Rail Station is due for renewal and refurbishment for the 2012 Olympics. The Association will be following this proposal and be stressing the passengers' needs to the authorities and companies involved in the works. It is understood that there will be a passenger lift included in the refurbishment of the station.

Lack of facilities at Brentwood Rail Station
When a woman collapsed on the station, there was nowhere she could be taken while waiting for an ambulance. There are no wheel chair facilities. This hopefully will be remedied when the station is remodelled for the Olympics, but the Association will press to ensure that such facilities are included. To find out what (limited) access provision there is at Brentwood station click on this link to National Rail Enquiries. Also see this "agreement" by One trains to improve their services for disabled people.

Police presence
The police increased their presence at the station in the evenings when we complained about the rough element of teenagers hanging around with nothing to do.
We understand that police made several arrests on the night of 12th January 2007. There have been further incidents since. The rail companies are liaising with the police(see first article)