On Sunday morning, a big sign at Hackney Downs claimed there were no trains running from Hackney Central:
The interconnecting stairs were also roped off, so I assumed it wasn’t just a leftover sign from the previous evening.
But Journey Planner had not known about the closure when I planned it a few days earlier, and still didn’t know about it ten minutes later when I attempted to replan the journey:
Similarly I couldn’t find anything in TFL Overground status to say there were any problems at Hackney Central (though I was more concerned about getting where I was going, which journey planner couldn’t do because there is no way to tell it “not going via Hackney Central”).
I think I’ve seen this before, and I wonder if it’s happening every Sunday.
The Journey Planner uses the national rail DARWIN feed to power results where live results are available.
I think in this case, the rail replacement bus service was being returnd from Hackney Central.
Looking back using RealTime Trains, I can see that these were the services running from there.
I’ll discuss it with our Journey Planner software supplier and we can see if this is the case.
I think if there’s a replacement bus, the journey planner results should find some way to make that clear. It should not simply show a journey by London Overground
In particular, it makes no sense to simply say “walk to Hackney Central Station” as an 8 minute walk, because:
- View Directions confirms this was supposed to be via the usual covered walkway linking those stations
- which I can’t get to because the entrance to the covered walkway can only accessed via the roped off steps to Platform 1
- the platform signage ought to make it clear that a replacement bus service was operating and show a map of how to get to it. I could photograph that and follow the route, but had I spoken to a member of staff (which I didn’t do because I had already been told no trains were departing) I would not have been able to remember their directions.
- 8 minutes is the normal time stated to go via the covered walkway. Going via the street involves a detour which I suspect would need at least 5 minutes longer.
If there was a replacement bus service running (which I could not see on the TFL Overground status report at the time) what I really needed to be told was to walk to the correct lettered bus stop instead of Hackney Central, and for the next step on the journey to say that it was via a replacement bus.