A later London Midland Trent Valley service from Dec 2016 (but still not late enough)

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All Line Rover

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Currently the final "fast" London Midland Trent Valley departure from Euston is the 17:46.

From 12 Dec 2016, additional departures are being introduced at 19:46 and 20:46.

This is welcome, although I would question the lack of 21:46 and 22:46 departures.

Nonetheless, the 20:46 departure highlights just how slow the 22:00 departure, operated by the "intercity" Virgin Trains, is. Its schedule remains unchanged from December. Compared to the 20:46, it is slower to Milton Keynes, Rugby and Nuneaton. Then, despite skipping stations such as Atherstone and not going on a detour via Stoke on Trent (unlike the 20:46), the journey time to the mutual destination - Crewe - is a mere 7 minutes faster than the 20:46: 2h 17m versus 2h 24m.

If the 20:46 no longer went on a detour via Stoke on Trent (as is planned for the future by the DfT for all LM Trent Valley services), the 350 Desiro would be faster than the 221 "Super" Voyager despite calling at more stations!

It's not that all late evening Virgin Trains services are slow. The 21:40 to Manchester runs non-stop to Stoke on Trent in a mere 1h 24m, which is the fastest journey time available from Euston to Stoke.

Would it not make more sense for London Midland to operate 21:46 and 22:46 departures, with the 22:00 being re-timed to run fast to Crewe and then through to Manchester (as used to be the case)? At present, the last clockface departure to Manchester is the 21:40 (arrival: 23:50), with the following departure not being until 23:00 and not arriving into Manchester until 2am. It seems to be a regular occurrence for business passengers to miss the 21:40 and be forced to have their journey considerably lengthened.
 
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The Planner

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It shuffles around between slow and fast lines so it isn't going to be fast. Slow from Bourne End to Hanslope, slows for Tamworth and Lichfield and slows from Stafford. Factor in that 350s have less dwell than a 390 or 221 it adds up.
 

A0wen

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I'm sure someone mentioned on here when I queried a couple of the really slow journey times on late evening services out of Euston that they are timed as 'slow line' runs, so as to allow closure of one pair of lines for engineering works from about 10pm - presumably this still applies?
 

gordonthemoron

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I'm sure someone mentioned on here when I queried a couple of the really slow journey times on late evening services out of Euston that they are timed as 'slow line' runs, so as to allow closure of one pair of lines for engineering works from about 10pm - presumably this still applies?

That doesn't include the 22:00 but does include the 22:30 and later Virgin services
 

causton

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I'm sure someone mentioned on here when I queried a couple of the really slow journey times on late evening services out of Euston that they are timed as 'slow line' runs, so as to allow closure of one pair of lines for engineering works from about 10pm - presumably this still applies?

Yes. Most evenings two of the four lines on the WCML are closed, not usually all the way from Hanslope to Euston (the only bit I really focus on) and it changes some nights. (For example the 2250 from Euston, an LM stopping service, sometimes is timetabled to be overtaken by the 2300 Euston-Manchester and sometimes it isn't).
It is roughly 10pm normally as the 2149 ex Euston is the last fast Euston - Leighton Buzzard service (and the last to Birmingham!) and the 2134 stopping service from Euston is extended to Bletchley vice Tring (where it finishes for the night) as there is no guarantee the Tring turnaround will be possible if the slow lines are shut by the time it gets past Bourne End!

Disclaimer: all times are off the top of my head ;)
 

All Line Rover

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Yes. Most evenings two of the four lines on the WCML are closed, not usually all the way from Hanslope to Euston (the only bit I really focus on) and it changes some nights. (For example the 2250 from Euston, an LM stopping service, sometimes is timetabled to be overtaken by the 2300 Euston-Manchester and sometimes it isn't).
It is roughly 10pm normally as the 2149 ex Euston is the last fast Euston - Leighton Buzzard service (and the last to Birmingham!) and the 2134 stopping service from Euston is extended to Bletchley vice Tring (where it finishes for the night) as there is no guarantee the Tring turnaround will be possible if the slow lines are shut by the time it gets past Bourne End!

Disclaimer: all times are off the top of my head ;)

Bearing in mind that the 22:00 VT arrives into Milton Keynes just behind the 21:49 LM, this would suggest that the 22:00 could run non-stop to Crewe in 90-ish minutes (like the 21:40 does to Stoke) without encountering any possessions.

That there is a "fast" Euston to Birmingham service operated by London Midland as late as 21:49 does rather highlight my point that a final Trent Valley departure at 20:46, though an improvement on the current timetable, is still unduly early.
 

Ianno87

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Bearing in mind that the 22:00 VT arrives into Milton Keynes just behind the 21:49 LM, this would suggest that the 22:00 could run non-stop to Crewe in 90-ish minutes (like the 21:40 does to Stoke) without encountering any possessions.

That there is a "fast" Euston to Birmingham service operated by London Midland as late as 21:49 does rather highlight my point that a final Trent Valley departure at 20:46, though an improvement on the current timetable, is still unduly early.

That is "fast" via Northampton of course. I can't remember what the late evening arrangements are regarding late night Pendolinos are - I believe after a certain point they're timed to allow diversion via Northampton for when Weedon is closed? That might prevent the 2200 being reliably timed via Weedon if it can't make Hilmorton Jn in time.
 

Comstock

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Is this going to be Saturdays too?

And just out of interest, what do you class as 'slow' in this context, in mph?
 

sd0733

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The new 1U99, the 20:46 will run via Hixon guessing for route knowledge purposes so the detour via Stoke is nowhere near as noticeable on that one. Means no stops at Stafford though.
Something else must also change in December as an extra unit appears at Crewe now each evening. Possible i suppose that the 5:21 runs as an 8 car throughout rather than have an attachment take place at Northampton.
 

All Line Rover

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Is this going to be Saturdays too?

Sadly not. The final departure will still be the 18:46.

And just out of interest, what do you class as 'slow' in this context, in mph?

For Trent Valley services, "fast" means avoiding Northampton (i.e. Euston to Milton Keynes, Rugby, then all stops to Crewe).

For Northampton services (most of which continue through to Birmingham), "fast" means no more than three intermediate stops, which typically means a journey time of no more than 1h.

These aren't official definitions. They are just a way of differentiating different types of services.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The new 1U99, the 20:46 will run via Hixon guessing for route knowledge purposes so the detour via Stoke is nowhere near as noticeable on that one. Means no stops at Stafford though.
Something else must also change in December as an extra unit appears at Crewe now each evening. Possible i suppose that the 5:21 runs as an 8 car throughout rather than have an attachment take place at Northampton.

The 20:46 is basically the 20:13 re-timed to avoid Northampton. The 20:13 already runs via Hixon. At least another ten minutes could be saved on the journey time, however, if the 20:46 took the most direct route to Crewe.
 
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sd0733

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Sadly not. The final departure will still be the 18:46.



For Trent Valley services, "fast" means avoiding Northampton (i.e. Euston to Milton Keynes, Rugby, then all stops to Crewe).

For Northampton services (most of which continue through to Birmingham), "fast" means no more than three intermediate stops, which typically means a journey time of no more than 1h.

These aren't official definitions. They are just a way of differentiating different types of services.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


The 20:46 is basically the 20:13 re-timed to avoid Northampton. The 20:13 already runs via Hixon. At least another ten minutes could be saved on the journey time, however, if the 20:46 took the most direct route to Crewe.

Yes the 20:46 basically replaces the 20:13 as from Rugby onwards they are near enough the same time.
The 19:46 though is an extra train to Crewe so one more unit ends up there. There is no longer an ecs from Kings Heath on RTT to couple onto the 5:21 crewe-euston so it looks as if that one will be 8 car throughout to balance the units.
 

FordFocus

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Is there a demand for extra LM services to Crewe after 2100? What would happen to the additional units once they are at Crewe?
 

Class 170101

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That doesn't include the 22:00 but does include the 22:30 and later Virgin services

The 22:00 is affected by the two track and is planned slow line between Bourne End and Hanslope Jns.

Its a shame it isn't extended to Liverpool Lime Street calling there only so it can be routed via one of Runcorn, Wigan NW with reversal or Wavertree.
 

driver_m

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The 22:00 is affected by the two track and is planned slow line between Bourne End and Hanslope Jns.

Its a shame it isn't extended to Liverpool Lime Street calling there only so it can be routed via one of Runcorn, Wigan NW with reversal or Wavertree.

No one signs St Helens Central so you'd have to rule that Wigan run out for a start. You'd also have to find somewhere to put the set.
 

MKB

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The late-night VT departures from Euston frequently run much faster than the times allocated, resulting in long dwells at MKC and/or RUG.

BR's solution was to run these WCML services as set-down only so that they can depart early. I certainly wouldn't advocate a return to that.

But why can't these services be timetabled with negative dwell time? Published arrival time would be as now; published departure time would be the earliest possible departure time.
 

The Ham

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The late-night VT departures from Euston frequently run much faster than the times allocated, resulting in long dwells at MKC and/or RUG.

BR's solution was to run these WCML services as set-down only so that they can depart early. I certainly wouldn't advocate a return to that.

But why can't these services be timetabled with negative dwell time? Published arrival time would be as now; published departure time would be the earliest possible departure time.

I would guess that it is down to ensuring that if there are engineering delays (such as having less lines and being such behind a stopper then no delay payments need to be made).

However, it could be possible to have a timetable that has a punished departure time but with a note starting that the train could be up to, say, five minutes after this time if circumstances need it to be - please check station screens or online for the actual departure times.

That would mean that trains could run a little faster allowing people to get home a little sooner, but still ensure that there is flexibility in the timetable if needed.
 

Class 170101

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No one signs St Helens Central so you'd have to rule that Wigan run out for a start. You'd also have to find somewhere to put the set.

I'm sure they could learn it. Some ECS moves to / from Preston that could be re-routed for this purpose.
 

The Planner

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They would expect NR to pay for it and unless there was work that required it the chances are slim, schedule 4 compensation for cancelling the train would probably work out cheaper.
 

MKB

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I would guess that it is down to ensuring that if there are engineering delays ....then no delay payments need to be made...

Negative dwell times would mean that delay repay does not apply when a train runs to time and the train can also run early without penalty.

E.g.
EUS d 23:30
MKC a 00:27
MKC d 23:58
RUG a 01:11
RUG d 00:20
etc.

I suspect the real reason this isn't done is because no-one wants to pay to upgrade any IT systems that can't handle negative dwell times.
 

Amy Worrall

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The late-night VT departures from Euston frequently run much faster than the times allocated, resulting in long dwells at MKC and/or RUG.

BR's solution was to run these WCML services as set-down only so that they can depart early. I certainly wouldn't advocate a return to that.

But why can't these services be timetabled with negative dwell time? Published arrival time would be as now; published departure time would be the earliest possible departure time.

I'd love that. I often get the 22:30 (and sometimes the 23:30) from Euston to Coventry, and it's very frustrating when we sit at Milton Keynes or Rugby without moving for 20 minutes.

Amy
 

thenorthern

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In the days of British Rail I think it was there was a call at Tamworth and Nuneaton every 2-3 hours and even more irregularly at Lichfield by West Coast Main Line trains and there was the two hourly Stafford to Nuneaton local service which by todays standards would be considered useless.

Later Trent Valley services are needed but I think realistically the service needs to be doubled in frequency between Nuneaton and Stafford but its not going to happen.
 

sd0733

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You mean the 20:46 ex Euston doesn't call at Stafford or doesn't provide for a LM Liverpool connection there?

It goes via Hixon, so non stop from Rugeley to Stoke, so no Stafford call. Even if it did call if it was to the same timings as the others it wouldn't arrive until 22:35 so the last Liverpool LM would be gone anyway.
 

DynamicSpirit

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Negative dwell times would mean that delay repay does not apply when a train runs to time and the train can also run early without penalty.

E.g.
EUS d 23:30
MKC a 00:27
MKC d 23:58
RUG a 01:11
RUG d 00:20
etc.

I suspect the real reason this isn't done is because no-one wants to pay to upgrade any IT systems that can't handle negative dwell times.

I suspect that a more serious issue would be that it would be incredibly confusing to the average passenger. I'd guess that many, possibly most, people, seeing a timetable like that, would conclude that there was a serious misprint in the timetable, and would therefore feel very uncertain about what time the train was actually going to run, or (if joining at an intermediate station) what time they actually need to arrive at the station.

However, it could be possible to have a timetable that has a punished departure time but with a note starting that the train could be up to, say, five minutes after this time if circumstances need it to be - please check station screens or online for the actual departure times.

That would mean that trains could run a little faster allowing people to get home a little sooner, but still ensure that there is flexibility in the timetable if needed.

I guess that could be the least-bad solution in some situations, but it does have the disadvantage that it'd mean people intending to join the train at a station without an exact departure time wouldn't know what time they are supposed to turn up at the station. And it somewhat runs contrary to the usual expectation of railways, that trains normally run to a certain definite time - which is arguably one of the big benefits of rail over road.

The current situation, in which trains are timetabled to run slower than they often could run, does have the obvious advantage that it gives people certainty and consistency of timings while also being easy to understand.
 
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gray1404

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It goes via Hixon, so non stop from Rugeley to Stoke, so no Stafford call. Even if it did call if it was to the same timings as the others it wouldn't arrive until 22:35 so the last Liverpool LM would be gone anyway.

Thanks for the clarification. Even without the LM connection to Liverpool at Stafford, its a shame that the last service doesn't call there and does seem like a strange decision to make, to omit Stafford.
 
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