Article on ORCATS

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Oscar

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There is an interesting article on ORCATS in "Rail" magazine this month. Of a £40.30 Sutton Coldfield - Burscough Bridge Off-Peak Return (SVR), Northern apparently gets 0.84% of the fare even though if following the Sutton Coldfield - Birmingham New Street - Wigan - Burscough Bridge route just over 9% of the journey length is on Northern and London Midland gets nothing even though just over 7% of the journey length would be on LM if following this route. The ticket is priced by Virgin West Coast so presumably most of the fare goes to Virgin. The ticket is priced at the same rate as Birmingham - Wigan. The article mentioned that "Rail" may publish how much of a Sheffield - Richmond (Yorks) fare Arriva buses get next month. The article is available free in the NRM if anyone happens to be visiting - I would have photocopied it and scanned it in but unfortunately the photocopier was not working.
 
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Wath Yard

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Although LM getting nothing and Northern just geting 0.84% seems a bit strange and unfair I wouldn't expect TOCs to get the % of the fare based on distance. InterCity journeys are more expensive, therefore I would have expected Northern to have got significantly less than 9%, though admittedly a bit more than 0.84%.
 

Eeveevolve

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I would assume that my usual commute, Huddersfield to Leeds which is run by Northern and TP only, that it would be a 50/50 split. But ya just know that would be far from what happens.
 

Oscar

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I am surprised that LM get nothing as part of the journey has to be made on one of their services?
I am equally surprised. I wonder if this revenue distribution pattern is likely to apply to most situations where a ticket is intended for travel mainly on a long distance train and for a shorter journey on a local train.
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I would assume that my usual commute, Huddersfield to Leeds which is run by Northern and TP only...
From this example I would guess that TPE get more of the fare being a longer distance TOC. I wonder if TPE also get more of the fare because passengers are more likely to use them as their trains are faster.
 

johnnycache

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ORCATS is quite complicated as you can imagine. And furthermore doesn't always do what its supposed to do. In a simple case where there is only one route between origin and destination it works like this.

By route i mean "ticketed route" such as "any permitted". Within this ticketed route various journey routings may be possible.

ORCATS draws up a list of opportunities to travel (OTTs) ie trains or combinations of trains between origin and destination which adhere to the following rules:
i) an OTT will not be selected if it starts earlier than another OTT and arrives at the same time or later unless it has fewer interchanges
ii) an OTT will not be selected if it starts at the same time as another OTT and arrives later unless it has fewer interchanges

When all the OTTs are assembled the revenue allocations to each OTT are calculated using journey profiles (the proportion of journeys that are made at different times of day and week) and interchange penalties (additional time added to compensate for the inconvenience of interchanging)

When this is done the allocations to each OTT are allocated to the train services within that OTT by mileage

It doesn't matter who sets the fare

ORCATS allocations can be over-ridden by agreement between TOCs (manual allocations)

ORCATS does not consider any of the following:
quality of rolling stock
crowding/liklihood of getting a seat
 

Mr Spock

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Sutton Coldfield to Birmingham New Street is priced by WMPTE so centro could be paying LM a lump sum to run services in their areas

edit: although this wouldn't explain why LM get nowt if via LTV is permitted

It does not matter if WMPTE are paying LM for that service any income from it should surely come to LM to be off set against the WMPTE payments somehow.
 

Skymonster

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Interesting because irrespective of how the majority of the journey is routed (via BHM or LTV?) it appears that there is no escaping using LM for the first part of the journey and NT for the last part. I therefore expected both TOCs to get at least some of the revenue, albeit a relatively small amount given the ratio of mileages on each TOC.

With those sorts of revenue shares, and particularly on flows where there are alternative routes and TOCs, you can appreciate why certain TOCs might not be that interested in attracting passengers to their particular services.

Andy
 

yorkie

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There is an interesting article on ORCATS in "Rail" magazine this month. Of a £40.30 Sutton Coldfield - Burscough Bridge Off-Peak Return (SVR), Northern apparently gets 0.84% of the fare even though if following the Sutton Coldfield - Birmingham New Street - Wigan - Burscough Bridge route just over 9% of the journey length is on Northern and London Midland gets nothing even though just over 7% of the journey length would be on LM if following this route.
TOCs can appeal ORCATS allocations. I would expect that to happen in this case!
The ticket is priced by Virgin West Coast so presumably most of the fare goes to Virgin.
You can't make such a presumption. We know from previous threads (ORCATS and Revenue distribution amongst companies) that it is based on estimates of the journeys people are likely to make, that's a fundamental aspect of ORCATS.

From this example I would guess that TPE get more of the fare being a longer distance TOC.
Not sure what you mean by this, but ORCATS does not take qualitative aspects into account if that's what you had in mind.

I wonder if TPE also get more of the fare because passengers are more likely to use them as their trains are faster.
Yes, faster and more frequent, so more likely that people will use TPE. Also if a train is overtaken by a through train it gets no revenue. Many of Northern's trains on this route are overtaken, and those trains get no ORCATS revenue for the ticket in question.

It's important to note that revenue allocation is not linked in any way to validity. So every time you hear someone say "that's not valid because we don't get any of the money" it's a null & void argument. For a ticket to not be valid, there must be a bona-fide reason as defined in the NRCoC.
 
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Oscar

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar
From this example I would guess that TPE get more of the fare being a longer distance TOC.

Not sure what you mean by this, but ORCATS does not take qualitative aspects into account if that's what you had in mind.
I thought that the fact that TPE is considered an Intercity TOC rather than a local TOC (like Northern) might have had an impact (seeing as the Intercity TOC Virgin are likely to get a disproportionate amount of the fare from the original example), but I now take it that Virgin get this cut for other reasons. The article did refer to Intercity and local TOCs - does this have no relevance?
 
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yorkie

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I thought that the fact that TPE is considered an Intercity TOC
Is it? By who? That's certainly not a traditional view as the core TPE services were never part of the InterCity sector (but the Manchester-Scotland services were).
rather than a local TOC (like Northern) might have had an impact (seeing as the Intercity TOC Virgin are likely to get a disproportionate amount of the fare from the original example)
I'm not following, what impact and for what reason?

If you mean the trains are nicer (e.g. tables, power sockets etc) this is not taken into account.
but I now take it that this is so for other reasons
My understanding of the reasons for fare allocations are simply down to journey opportunities, seats available, timetabling etc and not down to any qualitative issues or people choosing any particular brand or type of train (yes people do prefer certain types of trains in reality but this is not modelled in ORCATS according to all the articles I've read on the subject)
The article did refer to Intercity and local TOCs - does this have no relevance?
I'd suggest asking the author that. I would assume the terms are used for the benefit of explaining the process to readers rather than as terms used by ORCATS.
 

Oscar

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Is it? By who?
It's definitely an Intercity TOC in terms of PPM - as I'm sure you'll know, this was changed a few years ago.
I'm not following, what impact and for what reason?
Wath Yard wrote:
InterCity journeys are more expensive, therefore I would have expected Northern to have got significantly less than 9%, though admittedly a bit more than 0.84%.
I took this to mean that InterCity operators got a higher cut of the fare, but maybe he meant that they get a higher cut when part of the journey is almost certainly done on their services (rather than when either an Inercity or local TOC can be used for the whole journey).
 

John55

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Although LM getting nothing and Northern just geting 0.84% seems a bit strange and unfair I wouldn't expect TOCs to get the % of the fare based on distance. InterCity journeys are more expensive, therefore I would have expected Northern to have got significantly less than 9%, though admittedly a bit more than 0.84%.

As explained elsewhere the ORCATS allocations are not done on a mileage basis. However you seem to believe Inter City journeys are more expensive per mile than local journeys. This is quite wrong. On all journeys I make the IC bit is much the cheapest in terms of pence per mile.

Did the article mention terminal costs?
 
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