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. SeanM1997

    SeanM1997 Member

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    I still think this service should call at Crewe. Would allow passengers to connect onto services to Chester/Shrewsbury/Stoke/Wilmslow/Liverpool, and relieve some pressure on VT services. Crewe is the main hub on the WCML, its stupid how poor connections are between Preston and Crewe, and Nuneaton and Crewe, which this could have helped rectify
     
  2. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Its purpose isn't to provide connectivity onto the existing network - its purpose is to make money for its shareholders!

    The best solution for connectivity from the north WCML to Crewe would be to extend the LNR Euston-Crewe service to Preston, which has been proposed a number of times but never actually happened. That, or introduce the Crewe-Carlisle stopping service FNW proposed (but had no EMUs for) using Class 319s.
     
  3. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Calling at Crewe would probably negatively affect the abstraction test though.
     
  4. furnessvale

    furnessvale Established Member

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    So trains that could be out there carrying passengers and earning money will not do so because they are to go in a museum?
     
  5. DanNCL

    DanNCL Member

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    There are 31 class 91s - only a small number would be needed for this open access operation, the rest all have no home to go to after LNER have finished using them in 2020, so yes, they can go to a museum.
     
  6. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    The locomotives don't carry passengers. It's generally accepted that the Mk4's are in a suitable enough condition to carry on, most likely hauled by other locomotives. The Class 91's on the other hand are dying.
     
  7. a_c_skinner

    a_c_skinner Established Member

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    It would augment the lamentable service north from Crewe up the WCML.
     
  8. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    Unfortunately though, afaik the DFT placed a restriction on LM and the West Midlands franchise in general that they can only run two trains per hour north of Crewe in each direction, and they must go off via Weaver Junction to and from Liverpool. So as far as I can see it's outside the operator's control.

    Great point. Alliance will have had to choose only calls which fit the paths, timings and pass the revenue tests. If it was to be deemed that a Crewe stop would take away more revenue from current operators than new revenie that it would generate, then it's a fail.

    Do we have a source to say that these sets are going into preserved status anywhere?
     
    Last edited: 23 Oct 2018
  9. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    It's the Virgin Blackpool 390s that should call at Crewe (or LNR extend to Preston as noted above).
    It's not GNWR's job to fill in for franchise services.
     
  10. a_c_skinner

    a_c_skinner Established Member

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    Everything should stop at Crewe. Yes I know that isn't practical, but we could make inroads.
     
  11. aformeruser

    aformeruser Veteran Member

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    The number of calls had to be reduced due to not using tilting stock, plus it had to provide a different calling pattern to existing Virgin services to/from London to satisfy the ORR on revenue subtraction criteria. The original proposal included calls at stations like Warrington and Winsford.
     
  12. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    Are they? The 86s are still pulling freight. 90s are still in hourly service. Surely the 91s have got yonks of life left in them?

    Many would agree with that, but any poor service north of Crewe isnt Alliance's fault or issue to solve. They put forward their business case and ORR passed it as viable.

    Good point. If the service is poor north of Crewe then the WCP need to address this.
     
    Last edited: 23 Oct 2018
  13. aformeruser

    aformeruser Veteran Member

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    There were a lot of objections when Virgin transferred the Crewe call from the Euston to Scotland service to the additional Euston to Manchester service, as it halved the frequency between Warrington and Crewe but other than that I've not heard of any specific objections to services missing Crewe.
     
  14. furnessvale

    furnessvale Established Member

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    I was simply responding to the suggestion not only that 91s would be doing the job, but that 2 specific ones would not be allowed to work because they are destined for a museum. A sad state of affairs.

    As far as I am concerned, operators should have first pick as to what to use. Museums can have what's left.
     
  15. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    90's are in service at LNER for this very reason, the 91's are struggling. Reliability and availability seems to be as bad as it has ever been.Some will suggest maintenance has been let go at this point because of the incoming Hitachi IEP.

    I've never been a fan of comparing other classes, in this case because they are all electric locomotives. Very different uses/availability/maintenance.
     
  16. a_c_skinner

    a_c_skinner Established Member

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    I understand that mk4s run on the ECML at more cant deficiency than allowed for non tilt on the WCML and that speeds for mk4s on the WCML might be reviewed. This isn't simply made up but please don't ask where I heard it. Meanwhile 1TPH Preston to Crewe is lamentable.
     
  17. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    WCP will address what the DfT have specified them to provide. Unless there is cash in it for them they won't do it.
     
  18. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Not before GNWR start they won't, and even then I doubt it will happen unless they stump up the cash for NR to look at it.
     
  19. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    And presumably the DFT will have specified the service they think is required and necessary and will take into account the passenger rail survey. So it comes back to the DFT deems that the minimum service spec for the WCP north of Crewe is adequate without any open access operator.
     
  20. a_c_skinner

    a_c_skinner Established Member

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    Yes, clearly, but they are wrong. Crewe is a place to change trains, reduce the service, changes become less attractive, demand falls, DFT says demand met, no way back from this.
     
  21. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    I think what Crewe passengers take issue with is that they only really have one service an hour going north for Warrington and Wigan. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing bit many feel it's not enough. DFT obviously think that is enough as the minimum.

    The Nuneaton rail group used to raise similar complaints about the service to London being worse after 2008 than it was before the VHF timetable. Especially between 2009 a d 2012 when the LM service used to go via Northampton all day. Looks like Alliance found a business case in this and chose Nuneaton because there is currently no express service going North in the day time and only the Desiro going south in much of the off peak. Plus, possible improved connections to and from Eastern England could attract new passengers and new revenue.

    But how can we say they are wrong? They have all the figures, stats, trends, passengers survey results, revenue information, profitability based on current financial results.
     
    Last edited: 23 Oct 2018
  22. The_Engineer

    The_Engineer Member

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    In reply to many, many earlier posts on this thread today. Alliance Rail did apply to stop at Crewe and one or two other main-line stations too. But the ORR (not DfT, corrected as below) in their infinite wisdom, for EITHER pathing or failure to pass revenue extraction test reasons, did not approve them and the station stops approved passed both. No matter how many times you say I want these trains to stop at whatever others stations, they will not...…..
     
    Last edited: 23 Oct 2018
  23. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    ORR surely? It isn't a DfT responsibility to approve/decline Open Access applications.
     
  24. a_c_skinner

    a_c_skinner Established Member

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    Oh, yes, we know, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't rail against the folly and missed opportunity.
     
  25. E6007

    E6007 Member

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    Others beat me to it!

    [You mean ORR did not approve them!]
     
  26. The_Engineer

    The_Engineer Member

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    I stand corrected on that point, good sire! (And Ainsworth74 - thanks!) However, although on topic, it's becoming repetitive and boring. I shall unwatch this thread :)
     
    Last edited: 23 Oct 2018
  27. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    The only real news is that The Planner mentioned that things are going on in the background relating to September 19 that are wider than GNWR. Which sounds exciting and intregeing.
     
  28. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    Not sure how the 10:33 GNWR SX service works with a 10:38 VT Euston to Blackpool North unless the VT service doesn't have rights.
     
  29. cle

    cle Established Member

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    Another hourly service north of Crewe to at least Preston would be enough. I don't think 'everything' needs to stop there, it is a nothing place in itself, and more people go between London and Glasgow/Manchester/Liverpool than join trains for those places at Crewe.
     
  30. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The VT will overtake the GNWR while it sits at Milton Keynes Central platform 5.
     

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