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Old Yesterday, 06:36   #91
The Ham
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Originally Posted by RichmondCommu View Post
It could well do but I wonder whether that is more likely to be the case on suburban services in our major cities rather than Intercity travel.
Which is why I went on to say that some paths could be used by metro services. Although the growth tends to be lower on Intercity services there has been little in the way of service improvements compared with the metro services (the main exception is Virgn West Coast, but then that hasn't seen much change since the trains were lengthened about 5 years ago).

As such this has something of a limiting factor. Take for instance East Coast, their main fleet, the IC225's has remained the same and whilst there are some more HST's it's not a lot. You compare this with the likes of SWT and even just in the last few years there have been extra units providing extra capacity.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Intercity passenger jump over the next 4 years as significant extra capacity is added to East Coast and GWR.
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Old Yesterday, 12:59   #92
quantinghome
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Originally Posted by RichmondCommu View Post
There's no doubt that the last 50 years have seen a huge increase in the population of this country so it's hardly surprising that we've seen a increase in demand for rail travel. However given that we have an ageing population and couples are having less children I'm not so certain that we can expect the population to grow at the same rate. Not to mention the fact that the Government is determined to significantly reduce migration so I wonder whether these two factors will have an affect on future increases in rail travel.
It's not due to population growth. Rail travel started growing strongly from the mid-90s, more than doubling over 20 years. In that time the UK population has risen by about 10%. Whilst this may have given a small boost to rail travel, I think the following trends have contributed more:

1. The end of major road building, increasing traffic congestion.
2. Younger people less likely to drive due to costs of insurance.
3. Structural changes in the economy. People are more likely to work for companies that have multiple offices rather than located in one place, and more likely to need to commute into major cities than work in their local town.
4. Families living further apart, so travelling more to see each other.
5. Online advance purchase tickets making buying rail travel easier and cheaper (in the off-peak).

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Originally Posted by RichmondCommu View Post
As previously stated I think that HS2 between Birmingham and London will be a success but I wonder whether 8 trains an hour is simply there to give more choice as opposed to meeting current physical demand. Not only that but I would be interested to know how many of those who use the London Midland service actually travel all the way to London, especially given the length of the journey.

Sheffield to London is indeed much improved but I do wonder if any of those trains are full on leaving Sheffield and whether everyone travels through to London. Certainly in my experience that isn't the case and those trains only really start to fill up as they head through the East Midlands. Again I wonder if two trains an hour is really just there to give more choice. Given that I think Toton will be a disappointment will there be enough demand for a service from Sheffield that only really makes a station call in Birmingham?
If there wasn't demand, companies wouldn't run as many trains, simple as. If EMT only needed to run 1 tph from Sheffield to satisfy demand, they would do so, saving themselves a lot of money in the process and increasing their profits. However, they seem to have found that in hiring and running more trains, they have attracted more passengers and make more money.

Forgive me if I've got the wrong end of the stick, but you appear to be saying that we should only consider running more trains when the current ones are completely full. This isn't what happens. Once a service is more than 50-60% full, rail companies have tended to look to increasing capacity. In the 90s and early 2000s this was relatively easy because there was spare track capacity. Now it's more difficult as all sorts of expensive and disruptive upgrades to the existing network are needed to expand capacity.

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Originally Posted by RichmondCommu View Post
In terms of Manchester I concur that the service is pretty good but I travel up to Manchester from London around four times a month and yet in the morning and coming back in the evening both trains are far from full. Surely all those extra services are really there just to serve different routes and provide more options as opposed to physically meeting demand.
You're travelling in the opposite direction to the main peak passenger flows, so it's not surprising the trains you travel on aren't full.

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There is an easy and indeed very sensible way round that; charge passengers a premium to use HS2 as the SNCF do on their LGV routes and ensure that there is an alternative service on the WCML which is cheaper and is the same as the current timetable.
Why do you think that is a sensible thing to do? Why would pricing people off the HS2 onto a classic service be preferable to building more rail capacity?

Also, why would you want to keep the current WCML timetable? It prioritises long distance travel to London in preference to other journeys. So many passengers lose out from this. Post-HS2, the WCML timetable will in all likelihood be revised so that it provides a regular semi-fast service which will connect the major stops on the WCML which currently have a poor service.
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Old Yesterday, 14:38   #93
Roast Veg
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I'd personally like to see a slow VTWC service calling Bletchley (post EWR), Nuneaton, and Stafford towards the north. This would supplement the hourly LM Trent Valley services and give good onward journeys to travellers from Bedford/Bicester/Leicester/Coventry. It would require a fast Trent Valley path, so flighted behind a fast service seems appropriate, and my intuition is that it would see good passenger flows from the catchment area towards any of Liverpool/Manchester/Glasgow, which makes it a flexible proposition.
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Old Yesterday, 17:17   #94
The Planner
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E-W will call at MK anyway so no need for a stop at Bletchley.
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Old Yesterday, 22:46   #95
Roast Veg
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There will be more EW trains serving Bletchley, which was my rationale for suggesting it.
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Old Today, 05:36   #96
The Ham
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There will be more EW trains serving Bletchley, which was my rationale for suggesting it.
The problem is (IIRC) that Bletchley is effectively priced as a LM only ticket, meaning that if the successor​of LM runs fast services which have few calling points then a lot of people will use that service rather than the fast services from MK as it will be cheaper.
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Old Today, 05:38   #97
Neil Williams
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The problem is (IIRC) that Bletchley is effectively priced as a LM only ticket, meaning that if the successor​of LM runs fast services which have few calling points then a lot of people will use that service rather than the fast services from MK as it will be cheaper.
Indeed it is, because people were just buying LM Only MKC-EUS tickets (BoJ is and always has been permitted on these) and were complaining vociferously about Bletchley being more expensive. Silverlink ignored this for years, but LM "fixed" it quite early in their tenure.

However, that can change. I do wonder if a "Milton Keynes Stations" (I know it won't now be called that) fare grouping would be necessary under the "new order". Wolverton and MKC already have the same fares. If you want to specifically encourage people to use Bletchley the cheaper (and plentiful) car parking will already do that to some extent, though a previous attempt to move more business from MKC by reducing it further didn't really work.
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