Alliance Blackpool service to be run by Grand Central and start in 2021

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pt_mad

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Driver (passing) route learning is now taking place. There are drivers in Grand Central uniform north of Crewe gaining route knowledge and spending some time looking at station layouts.
 

Aictos

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Driver (passing) route learning is now taking place. There are drivers in Grand Central uniform north of Crewe gaining route knowledge and spending some time looking at station layouts.
Excellent news, hopefully this means that a May launch of their services is still viable?

I look forward to a trip to Blackpool :smile: Do wonder if the interiors will be changed at all as the HSTs that used to operate on the Sunderlands had quite good leg room.
 

tiptoptaff

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No big deal, don’t the Voyagers have a similar labelling system?
Yes, but my point was, there's only 5 coaches on the plan and there will be 6 in the rake, so where's the sixth? If it's the same layout as another vehicle, fine, but why wasn't it labeled as being coach D+for example, A
 

swt_passenger

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The A coach in the rake might be the DVT...

The missing letter D might be because the coaches are designated just as they were received from LNER. Just because the TAA showed 6 coaches doesn’t guarantee they’ll have that many ready to start with?
 

Bertie the bus

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Yes, but my point was, there's only 5 coaches on the plan and there will be 6 in the rake, so where's the sixth? If it's the same layout as another vehicle, fine, but why wasn't it labeled as being coach D+for example, A
The 6th carriage is the DVT. Passengers aren't interested in the internal arrangement of the DVT.

If you are suggesting there should be 6 passenger carrying vehicles then this was changed a while back. There is a letter somewhere from Grand Central to the ORR detailing this but I've no idea where to find it.
 

ainsworth74

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One does wonder though if D has been missed so that it would be easy to insert an extra vehicle if required in the future...
 

Starmill

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If this actually happens, one thing it certainly will do is really show up Avanti West Coast for their lack of action on getting all of their services to call at Kirkham & Wesham and Poulton-le-Fylde. It has been notable just how absurdly empty their services which don't make these calls really are between Preston and Blackpool North. In two years they apparently can't insert them. They did however succeed in extending their Friday nights only service from London which does call at these stations.
 
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If this actually happens, one thing it certainly will do is really show up Avanti West Coast for their lack of action on getting all of their services to call at Kirkham & Wesham and Poulton-le-Fylde. It has been notable just how absurdly empty their services which don't make these calls really are between Preston and Blackpool North. In two years they apparently can't insert them. They did however succeed in extending their Friday nights only service from London which does call at these stations.

I’ve seen them for myself, they are extremely quiet with a handful of people onboard. They get some usage after Preston but not much.
 

Starmill

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Another thought that occurs is that it is a real shame that the proposed 1622 departure from Preston cannot make its Milton Keynes Central call.

Currently such passengers as there might be for Preston to Milton Keynes of an afternoon receive an exceptionally poor deal. They have a choice between the following options:

1559 Preston to Warrington Bank Quay
1626 Warrington Bank Quay to Frodsham
1644 Frodsham to Runcorn
1703 Runcorn to Milton Keynes Central
arriving at 1826

and

1617 Preston to Crewe (Avanti West Coast)
1707 Crewe to Stoke-on-Trent (East Midlands Railway)
1750 Stoke-on-Trent to Milton Keynes Central (Avanti West Coast)
arriving at the later time of 1846

Both of which are pretty much totally crazy; the irony is that via Frodsham (!!) is the quicker of the two, but there you have it. I wonder if the Grand Central will pass Milton Keynes Central before both of those two trains have arrived.

If you wait until the 1717 from Preston, you get a far less crackers journey plan with a single change of trains at Crewe but you have a 32 minute wait there, so don't really save time. Same story on the 1817. A direct (and very fast) train leaves at 1905.
 
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Bertie the bus

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All xx:17 departures from Preston call at Milton Keynes and the reason Avanti services are empty between Preston and Blackpool is because there is a massive over provision of services on that route in the winter. During the day many Northern services are also virtually empty. If Preston didn't have such a poor layout for terminating services there probably wouldn't be as many services to Blackpool.
 

Bletchleyite

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All xx:17 departures from Preston call at Milton Keynes
...having trundled their merry slow way via Birmingham. Personally I usually go via Manchester anyway. I've not come across a silly route like the above before - normally if you put it in a planner you get offered a choice between the direct, via Manchester or a change at Crewe.
 

Starmill

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All xx:17 departures from Preston call at Milton Keynes and the reason Avanti services are empty between Preston and Blackpool is because there is a massive over provision of services on that route in the winter. During the day many Northern services are also virtually empty. If Preston didn't have such a poor layout for terminating services there probably wouldn't be as many services to Blackpool.
The fact that going via Frodsham is quicker than via Wolverhampton tells you everything that you need to know.
 

Bertie the bus

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That virtually nobody from Preston wants to go to Milton Keynes. Why travel over 150 miles to look at some concrete cows when we have the real thing up here?
 

Driver068

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Unsure if already mentioned but id assume by looking at the timings, the Blackpool drivers will be lodging in Euston over night?
Also ive noticed after a week of closing a vacancy has opened up again for Qualified Train Drivers for Blackpool, unusual possibly as already advertised??
 

swt_passenger

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Unsure if already mentioned but id assume by looking at the timings, the Blackpool drivers will be lodging in Euston over night?
There was a discussion in early December, referencing how they operate the Sunderland services, which have similar issues. Post #510 onwards. Combination of lodging and double manning apparently.
 

Clip

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If this actually happens, one thing it certainly will do is really show up Avanti West Coast for their lack of action on getting all of their services to call at Kirkham & Wesham and Poulton-le-Fylde. It has been notable just how absurdly empty their services which don't make these calls really are between Preston and Blackpool North. In two years they apparently can't insert them. They did however succeed in extending their Friday nights only service from London which does call at these stations.
The 1502 was quite busy yesterday - though possibly for people going out for the night but as a regular user i dont seem to find them absurdly empty at the times i use them.
 

Bletchleyite

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And there's no whippets down there :)
:D

There are a lot of Northerners living in MK for work purposes, I am not the only one. This service might also be useful for connecting into other services to travel further north from Preston, though admittedly there's already a decent connection at Crewe or the slower through service if you prefer.
 

Driver068

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Cheers, appreciate it
Also out of curiosity, how will the formation form, class 90 at the rear and pushing set towards London, as LNER on the east coast?

There was a discussion in early December, referencing how they operate the Sunderland services, which have similar issues. Post #510 onwards. Combination of lodging and double manning apparently.
 

wensley

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On a train...somewhere!
One does wonder though if D has been missed so that it would be easy to insert an extra vehicle if required in the future...
Correct!

Cheers, appreciate it
Also out of curiosity, how will the formation form, class 90 at the rear and pushing set towards London, as LNER on the east coast?
Cl.90 at the country end as per ECML.
 

tiptoptaff

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Correct!


Cl.90 at the country end as per ECML.
Country end for the loco was standard practice on push/pull services. The only exception is/was the GEML, it was easier for access to Crown Point to have the loco on the London end for swaps at Norwich.
 

pt_mad

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Is it known who will run the catering on these services? Who runs it on their ECML services?
 
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