1S51 Plymouth-Glasgow 07/03/16

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gpmartin

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Travelling from Leicester to Durham yesterday, I got lucky and picked up this train at Chesterfield. At this point it was running about 45 minutes late - it then diverted between Sheffield and York, missing out Wakefield and Leeds, and making up 20 minutes in the process. As a result I got to Durham about half an hour ahead of schedule (and spent most of my journey on a three-quarters-empty HST, with four seats and a table to myself!).

I assumed it would travel via Doncaster instead of Leeds, but in fact it took a route I've never travelled before - heading north after Moorthorpe and on through Pontefract. I was just wondering how common or unusual it is for Cross Country trains to be diverted this way?

Train in question is here: http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/C13292/2016/03/07/advanced
 
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D1009

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Travelling from Leicester to Durham yesterday, I got lucky and picked up this train at Chesterfield. At this point it was running about 45 minutes late - it then diverted between Sheffield and York, missing out Wakefield and Leeds, and making up 20 minutes in the process. As a result I got to Durham about half an hour ahead of schedule (and spent most of my journey on a three-quarters-empty HST, with four seats and a table to myself!).

I assumed it would travel via Doncaster instead of Leeds, but in fact it took a route I've never travelled before - heading north after Moorthorpe and on through Pontefract. I was just wondering how common or unusual it is for Cross Country trains to be diverted this way?

Train in question is here: http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/C13292/2016/03/07/advanced
That is the Swinton and Knottingley (S&K) route. XC train crew keep their route knowledge this way should there be any problem with either of the other routes, or if they need to recover time. Although it would probably be quicker via Doncaster if there was nothing in the way, this is rarely the case.
 

Crossover

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Fairly common diversion for XC, via Baghill, in times of problems. As an aside, I wonder what route it took between Bristol Parkway and Cheltenham
 

DarloRich

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Travelling from Leicester to Durham yesterday, I got lucky and picked up this train at Chesterfield. At this point it was running about 45 minutes late - it then diverted between Sheffield and York, missing out Wakefield and Leeds, and making up 20 minutes in the process. As a result I got to Durham about half an hour ahead of schedule (and spent most of my journey on a three-quarters-empty HST, with four seats and a table to myself!).

I assumed it would travel via Doncaster instead of Leeds, but in fact it took a route I've never travelled before - heading north after Moorthorpe and on through Pontefract. I was just wondering how common or unusual it is for Cross Country trains to be diverted this way?

Train in question is here: http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/C13292/2016/03/07/advanced

I had something similar on Sunday 6th .

Stood at Doncaster awaiting the 13:52 XC to Exeter. It was caught up in delays around Berwick and arrived at York 116L. It then ran fast to Doncaster ( missing out Leeds & Wakey) to leave only 69L! it arrived Derby where I alighted a mere 60L

On the positive side it ran as an HST ( result!) and went via Toton which gave me a nice view of the class 60 grave yard and the RTC. I also think we went via Coleshill Parkway as an added bonus

Did it then turn around and work straight back to Leeds?
 

swt_passenger

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Fairly common diversion for XC, via Baghill, in times of problems. As an aside, I wonder what route it took between Bristol Parkway and Cheltenham

Am I right in remembering that was the normal route of the Newcastle to Bristol and SW services back in the seventies? I travelled up and down a lot and don't remember ever going via Leeds at all...
 

Senex

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That is the Swinton and Knottingley (S&K) route. XC train crew keep their route knowledge this way should there be any problem with either of the other routes, or if they need to recover time. Although it would probably be quicker via Doncaster if there was nothing in the way, this is rarely the case.
An absolutely clear road would give you 40 minutes Sheffield to York via Doncaster, which is better than anything possible via Pontefact. But as D1009 indicates, that would be an almost unheard-of luxury. Normally you're very conscious in both directions of the amount of pathing-time added into the timings between Sheffield and Doncaster. (It's very interesting to compare some of the XC times of today with the proposals in the early Operation Princess draft timetables.)
 
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This was diverted between Bristol Parkway and Cheltenham, Via Severn Tunnel Junction, and Lydney due to a reported Kink in the rail on the Up line at Coal Pit Heath by 2o90. :)
 

Crossover

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Am I right in remembering that was the normal route of the Newcastle to Bristol and SW services back in the seventies? I travelled up and down a lot and don't remember ever going via Leeds at all...

I'm not old enough to know, I'm afraid :P
 

gpmartin

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Thanks everyone, interesting to hear this background. It was a new route to me, anyway! I gather from Wikipedia that it doesn't see much passenger traffic these days, presumably precisely because it cuts between all the major conurbations of South and West Yorkshire.
 

Welshman

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IIRC, the decision to route Cross-Country services away from the S&K in the 70s was for two reasons:-

1] Mining subsidence on the S&K meant faster journeys could be made via Doncaster[especially as the East Coast line was being developed at this time]. Mining subsidence was also the reason for closing the neigbouring Midland route from Sheffield to Normanton via Wath].

2] Leeds was seen as a more commercially-important centre than Pontefract!
 

Requeststop

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Am I right in remembering that was the normal route of the Newcastle to Bristol and SW services back in the seventies? I travelled up and down a lot and don't remember ever going via Leeds at all...

Yes, as others have said it was the normal route to York and beyond way back in the seventies. I travelled over that route a few times heading to York and Newcastle.

Also back in the day, you had the chance to take the West Coast route to Glasgow and Edinburgh from the South Coast and Wales and the South West with the train splitting at Carstairs. I don't understand the routing on XC to Edinburgh and Glasgow via Wakefield and Leeds, and then up to Newcastle and Berwick. If anyone was driving from Birmingham and the south it's not the route they'd take to get there.
Surely it would be better to travel to New Street and then change to Virgin West Coast to get to Glasgow/Edinburgh, so much better than having to endure XC noisy, rumbling Voyagers for five hours to Edinburgh and six hours to Glasgow.
 

PHILIPE

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Yes, as others have said it was the normal route to York and beyond way back in the seventies. I travelled over that route a few times heading to York and Newcastle.

Also back in the day, you had the chance to take the West Coast route to Glasgow and Edinburgh from the South Coast and Wales and the South West with the train splitting at Carstairs. I don't understand the routing on XC to Edinburgh and Glasgow via Wakefield and Leeds, and then up to Newcastle and Berwick. If anyone was driving from Birmingham and the south it's not the route they'd take to get there.
Surely it would be better to travel to New Street and then change to Virgin West Coast to get to Glasgow/Edinburgh, so much better than having to endure XC noisy, rumbling Voyagers for five hours to Edinburgh and six hours to Glasgow.

From Bristol Temple Meads if it is a through train to Glasgow/Edinburgh, Journey Planner keeps you on it, but if not it gives you a service by changing at New St to VT and West Coast. Journey Planner always gives the quickest time from A to B whatever route or however many changes. There is currently a thread on the Forum re changing at the first suitable point.
 

Dr Hoo

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As an aside on the original diversion, I happened to be on Sheffield station as the train arrived. Passengers for Leeds, already 50 late, might have hoped for a reasonable connection onto a fast Northern service via Barnsley but it was cancelled. Rather unfortunate.
 
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