3tph on North Downs Line

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by Barn, 18 Jan 2017.

  1. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    Messages:
    8,307
    Joined:
    27 Feb 2011
    I got the impression from Reading here that there were no spare units, although if that's the case, how could 3tph ever have been implemented in the first place.

    I hope the extra staff recruited to work the extra trains are being out to good use elsewhere.
     
  2. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,647
    Joined:
    1 Mar 2014
    Presumably it relied on the Class 769s being delivered on time :lol::lol::lol:
     
  3. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    Messages:
    8,307
    Joined:
    27 Feb 2011
    I've not been following anything about them until just now.

    I guess if they aren't being delivered on time and as another thread states, they are not officially fast enough, then they can't be used even if they were delivered on time.

    I guess if they can find time to test one it might be possible they could be used in the future.
     
  4. Clarence Yard

    Clarence Yard Member

    Messages:
    823
    Joined:
    18 Dec 2014
    No, absolutely nothing to do with the 769 delivery schedule. There would be enough Turbos post December to run 3 TPH, even if not one single 769 unit enters service by that date!

    The problem is the inter-action with other TOC services. Guildford is the latest problem area and, as a result, the DfT instructed GWR not to bid 3TPH on the North Downs for Dec 2019.

    Depending on the NR offer for any revised services the SW main line, that could well be it for the North Downs 3TPH aspiration.
     
  5. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

    Messages:
    1,861
    Joined:
    29 May 2011
    Clearly, that is a real shame. However, the idea of blocking a platform at Guildford for 12 (?) minutes to allow the second Gatwick train to overtake the stopper always seemed a bit of a constraint.

    I note that SWR now get to block platform 6 at Guildford all day with 25 minute turnarounds on their Farnham service and Thameslink block platform 2 at Gatwick all day with 25 minute turnarounds on their Bedford service, not to mention what currently happens with Reading to Waterloo trains.

    Is the 2015 Arup plan really the only way to do 3tph (or at least 2tph to Gatwick)? It didn't seem to be a perfect plan.
     
  6. DelW

    DelW Member

    Messages:
    830
    Joined:
    15 Jan 2015
    That's very disappointing!

    I've forgotten the configuration of the 769s proposed for the NDL - were they due to be reduced to 3 cars or not? If not, at least there might be an increase in seats per hour to Gatwick even if not in trains per hour (though I suppose even that depends on the seating configuration, turbos are quite high capacity). That's assuming of course that the 769s (a) ever arrive and (b) can climb the NDL's hills on diesel power.

    The NDL is a useful line and a very scenic one (at least, it is between Guildford and Redhill), and it's a pity that it has often had to run on other people's half-knackered cast-offs (at least as far back as the infamous Tadpoles and probably longer). The turbos are (or soon were) probably as good as it's ever had.
     
  7. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

    Messages:
    1,861
    Joined:
    29 May 2011
    Even the Turbos were only freed up because the Chiltern Line order included a 'growth build' and the first seven 165/0s could be switched to the route (and 3-car units could be switched on other routes for those).

    Other than the leaf-fall problem, Turbos have been fine on the route for the last 25 years (although I have never travelled into Reading at peak time, over 2,500 trips the other way).
     
  8. big all

    big all Member

    Messages:
    467
    Joined:
    23 Sep 2018
    319s cannot be reduced to a 3car as power equipment is on the intermediate trailer
    off course they will get up the hills they would get up the hills dragging a second or even third dead unit as the ruling grade from memory is 1/96
    with a 3car 119 or metcam you would often have one out [engine out] and work to depot you would not normally go with 2 out[50% power] but if the last one yes

    i used to play a game going up dorking bank and at the top at welcome bridge write the max speed in pencil above the speedo it was always still in third gear but at gear change speed worst was around 42mph best around 46
     
  9. DelW

    DelW Member

    Messages:
    830
    Joined:
    15 Jan 2015
    Thanks for the confirmation on number of coaches. My comment about the hills came mainly from a post by Wilts Wanderer on the GWR 387 refit thread yesterday, stating that the 769s would not be able to meet the current timetable, but you have inside knowledge of operating the route so are much better placed than me to judge!

    Last autumn I was waiting for an early morning train from Guildford to Redhill, which arrived late from Reading. The announcement made to passengers was that the unit was low on power (not sure whether that meant one or more engines completely out of action, or running but not properly) and that the driver was unwilling to take it forward on its own. Departure was therefore delayed until the following Shalford terminator arrived, which was coupled to the back of our unit to assist it to Redhill (locked out of use because of platform length limits). So he at least must have had concerns about the gradients ahead, though of course I don't know just how serious the engine issues were.
     
  10. big all

    big all Member

    Messages:
    467
    Joined:
    23 Sep 2018
    performance is one thing ability to maintain speed is different thing
    if a unit is under powered by say 20% for a particular route you may expect between 5-10% late running
    up hilly sections quite a bit more say 20% or on level or down to keep time
     
  11. DelW

    DelW Member

    Messages:
    830
    Joined:
    15 Jan 2015
    I see what you mean, point taken, thanks for the insight.
     
  12. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

    Messages:
    3,186
    Joined:
    20 May 2012
    Location:
    Torbay
    Perhaps with reduced power on a 2 car, maybe with 1 engine out, inexplicably so far, the driver was more worried about actually making it to Redhill if the second engine started to cause trouble, and Control may have concurred, after thinking about the potential difficulties extricating the train and consequent further delay and risk involved in sending a rescue train into those long block sections.
     
  13. DelW

    DelW Member

    Messages:
    830
    Joined:
    15 Jan 2015
    The unit with engine problems was definitely a 3-car. I think the unit that coupled on behind was a 2-car, but by the time we eventually got to Redhill, I was more keen to get down the (crowded) platform and away than to count coaches. Though I did pause to tell some of the would-be passengers who were fruitlessly pressing its door buttons that they'd need to walk north to the next unit to get on :)
     
  14. SteelWeelApeal

    SteelWeelApeal Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    24 Sep 2017
    I was on a three car with an engine out a couple of weeks ago from Gatwick to Reading (the announcements and lights were also out in that coach, which was interesting through the tunnels at Guildford!). It noticeably struggled after Dorking, but only lost 3-4 minutes by the time it reached Reading, which was less than I had expected.
     
  15. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,647
    Joined:
    1 Mar 2014
    Disappointing. It seems that north / south services are more important than east to west services.
     
  16. JN114

    JN114 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,763
    Joined:
    28 Jun 2005
    I blocked a platform at Guildford for nearly an hour earlier, no-one batted an eyelid. Sounds awfully like not invented here by the DfT unfortunately.
     
  17. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    Messages:
    8,307
    Joined:
    27 Feb 2011
    I'm sure I read on here that they can't have a longer gap between services at Gatwick Airport as it would require more units. However I cannot find the post now.
     
  18. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    Messages:
    8,307
    Joined:
    27 Feb 2011
    If it's in the franchise agreement and it doesn't happen, will the DfT have to pay GWR money for lost potential revenue?

    It would be nice if more trains could run to Gatwick Airport rather than be terminated at Redhill. Being delayed by an hour or almost an hour isn't much fun.
     
  19. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

    Messages:
    1,861
    Joined:
    29 May 2011
    Nothing primarily to do with the number of units, the trains to and from Gatwick have to fit in with the Thameslink timetable which takes precedence.

    Maybe you are remembering the discussion on pages 13 and 14 of this thread.
     
  20. Clarence Yard

    Clarence Yard Member

    Messages:
    823
    Joined:
    18 Dec 2014
    It’s a change event under the FA so the franchise payments will get altered. What happens is that there is a re-calculation of both the costs and revenue associated with a particular change event and the franchise payments are adjusted accordingly.

    GWR are quite used to this as it has been dealing with numerous change events ever since this latest Direct Award started!
     
  21. TEW

    TEW Established Member

    Messages:
    5,016
    Joined:
    16 May 2008
    Not such an issue at the moment, especially if a unit is stabled at the country end of the station, allowing the Guildford to Ascot service to run using the London end of the same platform. It will probably become more of an issue from May though with the Guildford to Farnham service having long turnarounds at Guildford and effectively occupying Platform 6 nearly all day. Given that the GWR service has to fit around the Waterloo-Portsmouth service between Guildford and Shalford Junction anyway, it should largely be possible for them to use the same platforms at Guildford, provided the GWR services do not have excessively long dwells at Guildford. I would suggest platform capacity at Guildford is not the only or even main issue, but fitting the GWR and SWR services together between Guildford and Shalford Junction.
     
  22. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    Messages:
    8,307
    Joined:
    27 Feb 2011
    Thanks. I found the quotes.

    If fewer turbos are needed on a Sunday and they can use 4 units as opposed to 3 but there are enough turbos anyway, why can't 4 run during the week and make use of the sidings? They use to use the sidings in the past, when platform 7 didn't exist.

    If it's due to the costs, what makes Sunday more economicly viable than Monday to Saturday?
     
  23. big all

    big all Member

    Messages:
    467
    Joined:
    23 Sep 2018
    in the 90s we had about a 45 min turn out at gatwick in the sidings with crossover about earlswood with north and south readings
    although memory suggests there was also a time where it was also possible to start back from gatwick and be about say 7-10 mins late at redhill so think perhaps redhill to gatwick at perhaps 10 past arriving at gatwick 17 past where as the up train was leave gatwick at say 10 arrive redhill 18 for 24 departure
    but all quite fuzzy as a a driver a quarter off century ago :D
     
  24. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

    Messages:
    1,861
    Joined:
    29 May 2011
    I'm not sure how allocating an extra unit on weekdays will help with the current timetable - you would end up with each unit spending over an hour at Gatwick - is that really worth it?

    Gatwick services have to fit in with the Thameslink timetable (and Southern trains to Reigate) so they have to run in the path
    REI xx32 - RDH xx37-xx41 - GTW xx50-xx00 - RDH xx09-xx13 - REI xx17
    and presumably the same on the other side of the hour - presumably using platform 0 at Redhill in the Gatwick direction and platform 1 in the Reading direction
    REI xx02 - RDH xx07-xx11 - GTW xx20-xx30 - RDH xx39-xx43 - REI xx47

    A later departure from Gatwick isn't possible because Thameslink run at xx03 and xx33. Reigate platform 2 is occupied xx23-xx30. The GWR service is also pathed in front of SWR stoppers between Guildford and Ash and between Wokingham and Reading. Given the position of everything else, the Reading to Gatwick service is probably in as good a path as it is going to get at the moment.

    A 40-minute turn around at Gatwick doesn't work because you would need to find somewhere to park a unit at Redhill for 40 minutes as well to put the stopper on the other side of the hour and they don't have the long siding any more - so you go from 6 units to 8 units with no extra contingency at the Reading end. That just isn't how any kind of public transport service is designed to work.

    If you look at RTT for this week, GWR lost six trains to Gatwick on Monday, two on Tuesday and one on Thursday. Only the ones on Tuesday were terminated at Redhill, the others either didn't run throughout or were terminated elsewhere. Timekeeping between Redhil and Gatwick otherwise looks quite good. It doesn't seem to me that the extra unit / contingency is needed.
     
  25. VT 390

    VT 390 Member

    Messages:
    444
    Joined:
    7 Dec 2018
    If it is hard to path a 3rd GWR train on the North Downs kine then shouldn't the existing services be extended in length as when I have travelled on the line it is usually 3 (but I have had 2) coach trains to Gatwick Airport. So instead of using any extra rolling stock to have a 3rd service why not just have the existing services operate with longer trains with a minimum of 4 coach trains to Gatwick.
     
  26. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

    Messages:
    1,861
    Joined:
    29 May 2011
    With the best will in the world pairs of 2-car 165s wouldn't be the ideal rolling stock for the line - 4-car 769s are expected later this year.

    Platform lengths prevent anything longer.
     
  27. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

    Messages:
    5,371
    Joined:
    6 Jul 2012
    I do wonder if there's scope for ASDO (on units which you can walk through between drivers cabs) could allow the running of longer trains. This wouldn't need to be the case on every service, rather probably mostly on peak hour services.

    The main stations (Reading, Wokingham Guildford, etc.) wouldn't be a problem and any stations where there were large numbers of passengers (and those where extending the platforms would clear the trains from level crossings) could be extended over time.
     
  28. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    Messages:
    8,307
    Joined:
    27 Feb 2011
    Then why is it needed on Sundays?
     
  29. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

    Messages:
    1,861
    Joined:
    29 May 2011
  30. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    Messages:
    8,307
    Joined:
    27 Feb 2011
    Interestingly I departed from platform 5 today at Gatwick Airport. Don't think I've ever done that before.

    Is the reliability better this time this year compared to this time last year? Any regular travelers know?

    Obviously the most likely period when delays and stop cancellations will occur is in the leaf fall period.

    Disruption and delays aside, if a GWR train is late, financially, would it be cheaper to delay other trains than stop the train short, which counts as a PPM failure; would it be more expensive or make no difference financially.
     

Share This Page