323s vs 331s on Northern

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py_megapixel

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Hi, just a quick question,

In the Liverpool and Manchester areas, do the units mentioned above have their own diagrams? That is, will a service that is booked for a 331 one day always be booked for a 331 (even if it's a different 331 the next day), and a service booked for a 323 one day always be booked for a 323? Or do they mix them around from day to day?

If the former, can anyone tell me which diagrams are 331s and which are 323s? I'm particularly interested in Manchester to Stoke-on-Trent and Hazel Grove to Blackpool on Monday to Friday
 
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_toommm_

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Hazel Grove to Blackpool will always be 331s, often pairs of. 323s don’t operate to Blackpool.

I’m sure 331s probably have been to Stoke, but that route is prettty much always 323s.
 

Purple Orange

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It’s been a while since I was regularly travelling from Wilmslow to Manchester, for obvious reasons, but prior to covid, there appeared to be 331s on some occasions, 323s and 319s on others working the hourly EMU via Stockport, with the usual mix of 150s on the hourly DMU via Stockport to Southport.
 

py_megapixel

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It’s been a while since I was regularly travelling from Wilmslow to Manchester, for obvious reasons, but prior to covid, there appeared to be 331s on some occasions, 323s and 319s on others working the hourly EMU via Stockport, with the usual mix of 150s on the hourly DMU via Stockport to Southport.
Were the 331s and 323s usually at the same respective times each day, if you see what I mean?
 

_toommm_

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Were the 331s and 323s usually at the same respective times each day, if you see what I mean?

You will very very rarely find 319s in Manchester now. They’re occasionally on Liverpool to Manchester Airport runs (what used to be Liverpool to Crewe via MIA).
 

Philip

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331s don't work south Manchester routes anymore, only enough for the Bolton line workings from the Castlefield corridor, which need to be double sets. The rest of the 3-car fleet work Liverpool to Wigan and Blackpool.

323s are still very much the south Manchester EMU, 319s still work Liverpool to Man Airport and Crewe via Chat Moss, along with Man Vic to Preston.
 

scrapy

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They will generally stay on the same diagrams so a service booked a 323 will almost always be a 323. Different depots sign different traction so once you start altering this it gets complicated. Take Liverpool to Manchester Airport/Crewe via Newton le Willows. Certain time trains are booked 323s and the rest are 319s. Between Liverpool and Manchester services are worked by Liverpool, Man Vic and Wigan crews however out of those 3 only Liverpool crews sign 323s. So if a 323 is put on a 319 diagram it is likely that at some point in the day there would be crew who do not sign it. In this instance a 319 could be put on a 323 diagram and it wouldn't matter although lots of other factors such as where the unit is stabled (and if there would be room for it have to be taken into account).

Even swapping one diagram creates a lot of extra work for control teams so a unit type would only be swapped as a last resort. There are some unit types that can be more easily swapped such as 156 and 150s so they can almost appear as random but even then there can be complications.
 

bnsf734

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Northern unit allocations are shown on Realtimetrains, so you can check the allocations as often as you like. From my experience Class 323s and 331s will stay on their own diagrams. They have different stabling and starting places and opportunities for swapping are limited. Class 323s work out of Longsight but no 331s stable there.
 

voyagerdude220

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You will very very rarely find 319s in Manchester now. They’re occasionally on Liverpool to Manchester Airport runs (what used to be Liverpool to Crewe via MIA).

319s usually form the Manchester Victoria to Preston services and v.versa which serve Lostock/Blackrod/Adlington every hour (amongst other Stations.)
 

Llama

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From May the Man Vic to Preston stoppers are changing to 331s (and reverting to two-hourly as they were before December IIRC).

The units most likely to stay on their own diagrams are 323s as only Piccadilly (who don't sign via Huyton) and Lime Street crews work 323s. 331s might be more likely to be substituted with 319s due to the 331 yaw damper issue recently identified.

I did work a Lime Street train from Blackpool a few months ago that was booked 2x 331 and 2x 3-car 195s were on it instead, suspect that was used as a positioning move to get the 195s somewhere they were needed.
 

ABB125

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I did work a Lime Street train from Blackpool a few months ago that was booked 2x 331 and 2x 3-car 195s were on it instead, suspect that was used as a positioning move to get the 195s somewhere they were needed.
Interesting - what was the performance like? Did any delays accrue due to being a DMU rather than EMU?
 

Kite159

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Hazel Grove to Blackpool will always be 331s, often pairs of. 323s don’t operate to Blackpool.

I’m sure 331s probably have been to Stoke, but that route is prettty much always 323s.

In a normal timetable there is an early morning Stoke - Blackpool service which will be 331s. (Assuming it comes back of course)
 

Jamesrob637

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In a normal timetable there is an early morning Stoke - Blackpool service which will be 331s. (Assuming it comes back of course)

It's just another Hazel Grove to Blackpool North right now. Picks up the Stoke to Blackpool timings past Stockport.

Interesting - what was the performance like? Did any delays accrue due to being a DMU rather than EMU?

I'd hsve thought not (wasn't me on it, but I know that these services can be done with 319s and 195 has far superior acceleration to 319 despite being diesel vs electric. New diesel FTW!)
 

ABB125

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I'd hsve thought not (wasn't me on it, but I know that these services can be done with 319s and 195 has far superior acceleration to 319 despite being diesel vs electric. New diesel FTW!)
That would be my thought too.
I wonder how much the Victoria-Preston stopper could be accelerated by as a result of changing to class 331s? I'm assuming it's currently run by the lethargic class 319s (at least, when I saw a few workings at Preston back in July, it was).
 

317 forever

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Hazel Grove to Blackpool will always be 331s, often pairs of. 323s don’t operate to Blackpool.

I’m sure 331s probably have been to Stoke, but that route is prettty much always 323s.
I caught a stopper to Stoke early on March 27th and it was a 323. While I was waiting for an onward connection a 331 turned up at the southbound platform. As it arrived while I was in the waiting room I could not tell whether it had been in service or was on a training run. I expected terminating trains to keep to the bay platform.
 

_toommm_

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I caught a stopper to Stoke early on March 27th and it was a 323. While I was waiting for an onward connection a 331 turned up at the southbound platform. As it arrived while I was in the waiting room I could not tell whether it had been in service or was on a training run. I expected terminating trains to keep to the bay platform.

There's been a lot of 5Zxx training runs to/from Stoke/Crewe/Oxford Road recently with 195s and 331s so it may be that.

Example from Wednesday:

 

323235

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Northern unit allocations are shown on Realtimetrains, so you can check the allocations as often as you like. From my experience Class 323s and 331s will stay on their own diagrams. They have different stabling and starting places and opportunities for swapping are limited. Class 323s work out of Longsight but no 331s stable there.

I don't think you will find any 323s at Longsight routinely anymore, their home depot is Allerton and Ardwick is where you will find them for overnight stabling + Stockport carriage sidings.
 

jonesy3001

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There's a 323 between Manchester and Preston on driver training runs this week on 5z40 to 5z45.
323238 did today's runs
 

davyp

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Not specifically about 323 or 331, but the 'random unit generator' that has been operating for decades seems to be slowly disappearing! The Manchester to Buxton services could provide any combination of 150/1, 150/2 or 156. No longer - over the past three months or so the service has been 150/1, have only seen 1 x 150/2 and 1 x 156 in all that time. And, there seems to be an attempt to have consecutive numbered units when operating in pairs.
 

323235

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Well this clearly shows there is more of a systematic process in the allocation of units than simply chucking stuff out at random, perhaps linked to improved maintenance processes. Do they have preventative monitoring equipment on any of the non-CAF fleet?
 

agbrs_Jack

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For the Stoke line:
0600 MAC-CNG-SOT is usually a double 331 (Not been running on covid timetables, returns in May)
0629 SOT-MAN-BPN is formed from the above

Everything else is 323s usually, although from December 2019 up until covid lockdown the severely limited Sunday service was primarily 331s with the occasional 323 pop up.

(I've also had 319s and even 150s and a 156 pop up when travelling between Congleton and Stoke in late 2019/early 2020)
 

py_megapixel

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(I've also had 319s and even 150s and a 156 pop up when travelling between Congleton and Stoke in late 2019/early 2020)
There was one point at which the Northern franchise of the time (can't remember if it was Serco-Abellio or into the Arriva days) was short one 323 and so Pacers commonly appeared on the Stoke line too I believe.
I assume if it's been a 319 in the past it would have to terminate in the through platforms at Stoke? (I don't believe a 319 will fit in the bay).
 

agbrs_Jack

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There was one point at which the Northern franchise of the time (can't remember if it was Serco-Abellio or into the Arriva days) was short one 323 and so Pacers commonly appeared on the Stoke line too I believe.
I assume if it's been a 319 in the past it would have to terminate in the through platforms at Stoke? (I don't believe a 319 will fit in the bay).

A 319 does fit in Stoke’s Bay platform, however it’s a tight squeeze!

B989D0A1-A9CD-4159-8AB2-C2346E2EF83A.jpeg
 

scrapy

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319s, 150s and 156s are generally not given permission to go South of Macclesfield for pathing reasons unless on early morning or evening services when Avanti and Crosscountry services aren't as frequent or aren't running.

There was one point at which the Northern franchise of the time (can't remember if it was Serco-Abellio or into the Arriva days) was short one 323 and so Pacers commonly appeared on the Stoke line too I believe.
They were often used in the Crewe line, and there was the one Macclesfield to Manchester morning peak service which was booked 2*142s but often shortformed to 1 unit (was pathed for 75mph pacer so wasn't holding anything else up). They didn't run to Stoke often, if at all, Stoke and Hadfield routes had priority for 323s would be swapped off an airport, Alderley or Crewe service instead if short.
 
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Meyrick

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In a normal timetable there is an early morning Stoke - Blackpool service which will be 331s. (Assuming it comes back of course)

Hey, it's back now. 0629 formed of a 331. (I think it should be a double but today was a single)
 

Wtloild

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So are 323s generally going to be limited to Liverpool & south Manchester?
I'm in Chorley & we regularly have 319s on our route (Preston-Vic), so was presuming we'd start seeing 323s going past here soon.
Had wondered if a 3-car 323 would fit into the bay platforms at Preston.
 
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