Alliance Blackpool service to be run by Grand Central and start spring 2020

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by The Planner, 7 Jun 2018.

  1. adrock1976

    adrock1976 Established Member

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    The only thing I can think of that is plausible looking at the timetable would be that the train crew would do an out and back trip (except the last ex Blackpool and first ex London departures), with the train crew on the final ex Blackpool overnighting in London so as to work the first ex London back.
     
  2. Mitchell Hurd

    Mitchell Hurd Member

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    Thank you, I forgot about these Blackpool trips starting. Hopefully from Oxford on the X5 then the train from there (albeit a bit longer) will be better than getting on a XC Voyager to Manchester Piccadilly then hoping for a seat on the Blackpool North train!
     
  3. irish_rail

    irish_rail Established Member

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    But an out and back trip won't give a long enough break at London on many of the trips. Over 3 hours in the seat each way will mean a PNB of absolute minimum 30 minutes plus walking time and time to dispose of and then prep the train again. Many of the turnarounds are about 35 odd minutes. It won't work I don't think.
     
  4. Aictos

    Aictos Established Member

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    It's going to look tight with regards to traincrew PNBs but surely this should have been picked up by the ORR in the first place?

    How do Grand Central operate? DO they have both a Sunderland and a London depot etc?
     
  5. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    I realise a timetable has been published, however a proposed timetable being featured on their website is different to definitely offering one up to Network Rail HQ as firm to definitely run in May 2020 timetable change afaik?
    The Planner has already said May at the earliest, despite them publishing this timetable. They have to 'offer it up' to Network Rail in good time as definite to run and it goes in the pot with the other timetables to feature on public journey planners 12 weeks before, e.g. in late February 2020 it starts appearing to the public. And has to be offered up well before that.
    You couldn't really offer it up if you weren't going to run as the trains would start showing up on real-time trains etc. Just because this timetable is online doesn't mean their trains will appear there for May because they won't if they don't offer up their timetable as firm for May (very soon?).
     
  6. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    They bid for Dec 19 and May 20, unless something has gone awry since their paths should appear.
     
  7. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    The bid has been made hasn't it?
     
  8. Bezza49

    Bezza49 Member

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    https://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/...london-are-confirmed-from-next-year-1-9838499
    Its all in progress currently. Don't sweat.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 4 Dec 2019
  9. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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  10. gingerheid

    gingerheid Member

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    Opportunity for virgin to stay involved?
     
  11. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm not sure that it's any matter of the ORR how an operator resources their operation?

    I feel like they may have a London depot now. They used to have lodge turns but I'm sure I recall reading somewhere or other that that practice ceased which suggests a London crew depot. In which case perhaps the answer is that their Kings Cross depot will sign at least part of the WCML as well and operate some of the Euston services?

    How? This new service is going to be operated by and branded as Grand Central which is a subsidiary of Arriva?
     
  12. Bezza49

    Bezza49 Member

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    It was a badly photoshopped Pendolino I'll admit, but the article is about the Grand Central plans from May 2020, not the Virgin franchise. Up here its common knowledge as being confirmed, they already have drivers and staff under contract.
     
  13. Aictos

    Aictos Established Member

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    Don't the ORR need to approve the paths in the first place and as such do they not have any say in what is a feasible path and not?

    If the Kings Cross depot will also sign part of the WCML then how far? Milton Keynes, Nuneaton? Also would they do driver changeovers en route such as a Blackpool driver working a service to London then having a relief driver take over at either of the aforementioned places on the return working?
     
  14. tiptoptaff

    tiptoptaff Established Member

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    Driver at my place decamping to Blackpool for it.
     
  15. mpthomson

    mpthomson Member

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    Strangely I think the operator may have considered this.
     
  16. irish_rail

    irish_rail Established Member

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    Well id love to know what they propose then , as short of drivers based at London , it ain't gonna work!!
     
  17. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes they do. But that's a separate issue to what the train crew diagrams look like! It's up to the operator to design their train crew resource to match the paths they are granted not for the ORR to supervise their crewing arrangements I'd have thought!
    No idea. Pure spit balling on my part that that might be the plan.
     
  18. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    Yes but at some point presumably before February the operator would have to say for sure whether they will run passenger trains which can appear in published timetables and journey planners for May timetable?
    The Planner said they bid for December 19 and May 2020 but they presumably must have informed Network Rail etc before September (19) that they wouldn't commence passenger services in December 19 even if they'd bid a timetable?
    What I guess I'm trying to get at is at what point do they have to confirm for certain whether or not their trains show up in Real-time trains, Trust, Opentraintimes and public journey planners for the public to see as definitely running in May? It must surely be before February?
    And if things were running late and you hadn't got all your train crew, control staff and trains cleared etc at what point would be the latest to stop a timetable being published to the public if you'd bid it?
     
  19. chrisdmadd

    chrisdmadd Member

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    Probably the same way as they work their Sunderland diagrams, I’m quite confident the train crew diagrams and timetables were produced hand in hand!! Unless your onto something they’ve missed, who’d have thought you need to produce train crew diagrams to fit a timetable.
    0C8CAD7E-4B66-405F-9943-8520A69DB52C.jpeg I suppose they look Impossible too? Even though they’ve been working those services for a decade.

    nope no London depots at all. Lodging very much still exists for Sunderland crews and I’m sure that’s exactly how they will run the Blackpool’s.
     
  20. irish_rail

    irish_rail Established Member

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    That's all very well but do u really think that the driver who takes the 0842 off sunderland only has 25 minutes turnaround in London before driving all the way back to sunderland on the 1257 off kx? How can that be legal? Taking into account 5 minutes walking time to messroom 5 back to the train and 5 to mobilise it again, that would give just a 10 minute break! And 10 minute break on over 7 hours of driving at high speed certainly wouldn't be allowed. So I remain intrigued how they diagram their crews......
     
  21. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Fair enough! I must have gotten the wrong end of a stick somewhere down the line!
     
  22. chrisdmadd

    chrisdmadd Member

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    Your right it’s illegal so the 8:42 lodges and the second lodge driver brings back the 12:57.
    They use a combination of lodging (2 drivers a night) and ‘double manning’ of crews to get around tight turnarounds. It’s very Costly but worth it when that’s the paths they are given to work with.
     
  23. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    They will do it on a STP basis. Process is they bid 18 weeks out for alterations (in their case, yes we will run, no we won't), NR offer back at 14 weeks, tickets at 12 weeks. The 18 weeks is often broken and they could bid later than that but would be at the back of the queue. They have until mid Jan basically to hit May 2020 STP timescales. Their paths will sit as Q paths or possible Class 5 ECS moves until they actually get going.
     
  24. Aictos

    Aictos Established Member

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    So quite feasible to do the same for the Blackpool’s?
     
  25. irish_rail

    irish_rail Established Member

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    Wow that is surprising, begs the question why they didn't opt for somewhere like Crewe for the depot as that would have allowed less lodging etc.
     
  26. Aictos

    Aictos Established Member

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    What about Nuneaton as a depot?
     
  27. 4-SUB 4732

    4-SUB 4732 Member

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    That I can tell, no trains can stable there. Crewe will be the maintenance location, so Crewe is the most acceptable place outside Blackpool for a crew base.
     
  28. Aictos

    Aictos Established Member

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    Newcastle is the maintenance location for Grand Central but you don’t see that being pushed as a most acceptable place outside Blackpool for a crew base.

    Simply while to some Crewe makes some sense, it doesn’t mean that it’s the only option.
     
  29. 4-SUB 4732

    4-SUB 4732 Member

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    Where are the GC drivers based for that? Sunderland with trains at Heaton (about 8km in a taxi) and Bradford with trains at Crofton (15km in a taxi).

    Nuneaton, as a crew depot for Blackpool trains with maintenance at Crewe, means an expensive 80+km ride. You'll be better off having a Blackpool night turn moving a train to/from Crewe depot I suspect.
     
  30. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    Excellent info.

    Guessing the potential test paths for Feb are to clear MK4s and MK 4 DVTs on the route?
    Do we know if they're still going for class 90s now?
     

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