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ATW unbelievable (2 car on 1230 Manchester Piccadilly to Milford Haven)

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trainophile

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I'm on the 1230 Milford Haven from Piccadilly. The 1130 was cancelled due to a train fault, and this one is two coaches. Standing room only and we're not even at Wilmslow yet :( .
 
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Harbornite

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I'm on the 1230 Milford Haven from Piccadilly. The 1130 was cancelled due to a train fault, and this one is two coaches. Standing room only and we're not even at Wilmslow yet :( .

That's a shame, but what do you expect?
 

TheEdge

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I'm on the 1230 Milford Haven from Piccadilly. The 1130 was cancelled due to a train fault, and this one is two coaches. Standing room only and we're not even at Wilmslow yet :( .

Unfortunately due to the recent hot weather the magic additional unit tree is not giving much fruit... :roll:
 
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I'm on the 1230 Milford Haven from Piccadilly. The 1130 was cancelled due to a train fault, and this one is two coaches. Standing room only and we're not even at Wilmslow yet :( .

2 train loads of passengers on 1 train - it's going to be overcrowded.

ATW just don't have the capacity in rolling stock to have spare units available. If they did have spare capacity people would demand that they were out normally to strengthen existing services.

Sorry you're suffering, but that's life. Sorry.
 

DarloRich

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I'm on the 1230 Milford Haven from Piccadilly. The 1130 was cancelled due to a train fault, and this one is two coaches. Standing room only and we're not even at Wilmslow yet :( .

terrible. Why oh why did ATW not just pull extra units out of thin air? :roll: What can they do?
 

LNW-GW Joint

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I'm on the 1230 Milford Haven from Piccadilly. The 1130 was cancelled due to a train fault, and this one is two coaches. Standing room only and we're not even at Wilmslow yet :( .

The 1130 Carmarthen (0615 ex Carmarthen) turned round at Wilmslow 37 late and picked up its return path there, according to RTT.
Looks like the "brake problems" were earlier in the day.
You could have caught VT/NT to Crewe and picked it up there (if you had known in time).
At least it's not a 150 (or is it?).
If you were going to Newport or beyond, and had a walk-up ticket, you could have gone via Birmingham on XC.
 
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craigybagel

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1230 doesn't normally need any more than 2 cars. Given the decision to cancel the 1130 (from Manchester and Stockport - it started right time from Wilmslow) won't have been made until the last minute how are they expected to strengthen the train at the last minute, even if there was stock to do so (which there isn't)?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
at least it's not a 150 (or is it?).

175002
 

Russonomics

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I'm on the 1230 Milford Haven from Piccadilly. The 1130 was cancelled due to a train fault, and this one is two coaches. Standing room only and we're not even at Wilmslow yet :( .

As someone who does Bridgend-Milford regularly, I can empathize with you. It's always a completely jam packed two carriage unit and I'm often left standing in a sweaty and cramped vestibule, sometimes as far as Carmarthen.

However, like me, you're just going to have to accept that this is the way of life in ATWland. There simply isn't enough rolling stock to bolster services, and I don't believe it's in ATW's franchise agreement to procure more stock (if someone could fact check that, that'd be great).

I'd hate to say "deal with it", but sadly that's what we've all got to do unfortunately.
 

northwichcat

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ATW unbelievable

I'm on the 1230 Milford Haven from Piccadilly. The 1130 was cancelled due to a train fault, and this one is two coaches. Standing room only and we're not even at Wilmslow yet :( .

Obviously you missed the other week when Northern cancelled one service (booked as a 4 car 150), then cancelled the next (booked as a 2 car 142) and the next (booked as a 2 car 150) without organising any replacement buses and then ran a 142+142 on the following service. How did they think around 650 passengers would fit on a pair of 142s?
 

trainophile

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Okay all comments taken on board and I do realise that the inbound two-coacher would have been scheduled for the return trip, and I appreciate the finite number of units. I'm okay actually, I do have a seat, but there are now people sitting on the floor in the aisles!

There's often an ATW train seemingly "parked up" just outside Piccadilly. I thought that might be a spare set for this sort of situation.

Digressing here because I doubt it deserves its own thread, but how do Merseyrail manage to run 6-coach trains, i.e. 2x3s linked up, all day at weekends, on the same 15 minute frequency as weekdays off peak, when they only use 3-coaches except for when there's some major event?
 

Doctor Fegg

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I don't believe it's in ATW's franchise agreement to procure more stock (if someone could fact check that, that'd be great).

Indeed it isn't, but that doesn't stop them doing it. Central Trains got 170s when it didn't have to. (F)GWR got the 180s back when it didn't have to. Chiltern snaffled TransPennine's 170s when it didn't have to. ATW just doesn't give a s--t.

Were I being mischievous (and I know it's probably not practical for a million reasons) I'd suggest they might talk to their sister franchise and borrow one of the HSTs which sit in the depot for half the week... ;)
 

northwichcat

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There's often an ATW train seemingly "parked up" just outside Piccadilly. I thought that might be a spare set for this sort of situation.

That'll be the unit off the Llandudno-Manchester service on it's 50 minute layover between workings. If you take that unit then they'll be nothing to work Manchester to Chester and even then it might not be the case that ATW have a spare unit sat at Chester which they can use on the Chester to Llandudno section.
 

craigybagel

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There's often an ATW train seemingly "parked up" just outside Piccadilly. I thought that might be a spare set for this sort of situation.

That unit is from the hourly Llandudno - Manchester service, which used to have a 55 minute layover in Mayfield loop between trips. Since the new timetable many of the daytime services have been extended to Manchester Airport so that is no longer the case.

In theory, there should be a spare 150 at Chester during the day, and another at Canton, and that's about it. Even if there was a spare 150 available, they can't run in multiple with a 175 to strengthen it anyway.
 

northwichcat

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Indeed it isn't, but that doesn't stop them doing it. Central Trains got 170s when it didn't have to. (F)GWR got the 180s back when it didn't have to. Chiltern snaffled TransPennine's 170s when it didn't have to. ATW just doesn't give a s--t.

ATW is one of the most highly subsided operators, they can't just incur additional operating costs without getting approval from the bodies subsiding them. That's particularly frustrating for passengers on the two Manchester routes which ATW run as they are apparently profitable, unlike routes like the HOW and Conwy Valley.

I don't know if a unit might be freed up if ATW and Northern worked together on the Manchester to Chester routes instead of ATW running late/early services via Northwich for route knowledge retention purposes and Northern running ECS movements between Manchester and Chester?
 

craigybagel

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Indeed it isn't, but that doesn't stop them doing it. Central Trains got 170s when it didn't have to. (F)GWR got the 180s back when it didn't have to. Chiltern snaffled TransPennine's 170s when it didn't have to. ATW just doesn't give a s--t.

ATW didnt have to get the extra loco hauled set on the North Wales coast. And regardless, there are no unallocated units anywhere in the country to take on. Which TOC would you like them to steal from, and would you in turn acuse that TOC of not giving a s--t either?

Were I being mischievous (and I know it's probably not practical for a million reasons) I'd suggest they might talk to their sister franchise and borrow one of the HSTs which sit in the depot for half the week... ;)

Like you say, not practical for a million reasons
 

Doctor Fegg

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ATW is one of the most highly subsided operators, they can't just incur additional operating costs without getting approval from the bodies subsiding them.

I agree: but so was Central Trains back in the day when it acquired the 170s over and above their franchise requirements. Essentially ATW was let as a "zero-growth" franchise and Arriva have chosen not to go over and above that. That's their prerogative, of course, but it's not the only way to do it.

The ATW/Northern suggestion is interesting.

ATW didnt have to get the extra loco hauled set on the North Wales coast. And regardless, there are no unallocated units anywhere in the country to take on.

I am strenuously trying to avoid mentioning D-Trains. :D :D

More seriously, somehow GWR and Chiltern managed to find them, both at a time before electrification was coming on-stream. Both operators saw an opportunity to grow their business.

The point is moot right now because, no matter how wedged the services might be that the OP or I or anyone else catch, ATW aren't interested. What's more important is that, given we're only two years from the new Wales franchise, and given that more and more EMUs are starting to come on-tap, this is the time to start talking about growth. The new Wales franchise-holder needs to fight for more stock in the way that other operators have done and ATW hasn't.
 
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northwichcat

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The ATW/Northern suggestion is interesting.

When FNW first got the 175s there was something like a 06:50 Chester-Altrincham-Piccadilly-Warrington-Llandudno working which was a 175 and a 06:40 Chester-Warrington-Piccadilly-Altrincham-Chester working which was a 150. That carried on for a while even after the Llandudno route went to the new Wales & Borders franchise.

More seriously, somehow GWR and Chiltern managed to find them, both at a time before electrification was coming on-stream. Both operators saw an opportunity to grow their business.

5 x 180s were secured by NXEC. As a result of the government not agreeing with NX's plan after they were stripped of the franchise it freed up 180s.

Chiltern probably realised they wouldn't get the TPE 170s when Manchester to York got electrified so used a back door method of obtaining them, given they couldn't tag on to another DMU order like they did for the 172s. Ironically Arriva owned Chiltern finished up creating a problem which Arriva owned Northern had to work to find a solution for.
 
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LNW-GW Joint

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Digressing here because I doubt it deserves its own thread, but how do Merseyrail manage to run 6-coach trains, i.e. 2x3s linked up, all day at weekends, on the same 15 minute frequency as weekdays off peak, when they only use 3-coaches except for when there's some major event?

It is indeed true that Merseyrail has stock idle during the day.
Actually they don't like doubling up to 6 coaches and there are very few such services except on event days.
It's a 3-car railway with a few extras, not a 6-car railway with a few shortages.

There are also vast numbers of commuter EMUs parked in London sidings between the peaks, but they are no use to ATW.
There is one perennial annoyance about ATW's LHCS operation - the Holyhead-Cardiff WAG parks up in Cardiff all day.
But that's at the wrong end of the country.
There's also at least one class 175 in bits at Chester, maybe more.
 

bb21

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Did station staff advise catching a connecting service to Wilmslow for the train that turned short?
 

northwichcat

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Did station staff advise catching a connecting service to Wilmslow for the train that turned short?

Normally they make frequent announcements to do that in such circumstances but checking the times anyone who didn't arrive 25 minutes or more ahead of the scheduled ATW departure time from Manchester wouldn't have arrived in time to do that.
 

craigybagel

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Normally they make frequent announcements to do that in such circumstances but checking the times anyone who didn't arrive 25 minutes or more ahead of the scheduled ATW departure time from Manchester wouldn't have arrived in time to do that.

Indeed - I can't speak for today but normally the trains that start at wilmslow leave there nearly empty - very few passengers make it in time.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I am strenuously trying to avoid mentioning D-Trains. :D .

FWIW I think the D trains would actually be an excellent short term fix for the Valleys, freeing up 150s for the rest of the network (provided they were set up for guard operation of course). There's not a hope it'd happen though - the predictable reaction from the Welsh Assembly would kill it.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I don't know if a unit might be freed up if ATW and Northern worked together on the Manchester to Chester routes instead of ATW running late/early services via Northwich for route knowledge retention purposes and Northern running ECS movements between Manchester and Chester?

I can't speak for Northern but ATW's presence on the Cheshire Lines is negligible these days - I'd be very surprised if there were any economies to be made there.
 

father_jack

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2 train loads of passengers on 1 train - it's going to be overcrowded.

ATW just don't have the capacity in rolling stock to have spare units available. If they did have spare capacity people would demand that they were out normally to strengthen existing services.

Sorry you're suffering, but that's life. Sorry.

2 trainloads weren't on one if one turned around at Wilmslow except for the first few stops. It would actually be quieter as earlycomers down the line would probably get the late previous one.
 

trainophile

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2 trainloads weren't on one if one turned around at Wilmslow except for the first few stops. It would actually be quieter as earlycomers down the line would probably get the late previous one.

When I first posted I didn't realise that it turned at Wilmslow, and assumed it had been taken out of service due to whatever the fault was.

By the time we reached Wilmslow it was already full and standing, and as most people seemed Cardiff bound, there wasn't much turnover of seats at subsequent stations. Luggage was the usual inevitable problem too, the coach end racks were at capacity before we left Manchester, and people were shoving cases between the seat backs that were already full.

I must say, those stupidly shallow overhead racks are no use whatsoever for anything bigger than a briefcase - loads of people tried to force their small cases up there, but to no avail, which all adds to the ground clutter problem.

Apparently the passengers who intended to travel on the "cancelled" (between MAN and WML) train had been told to claim delay repay, so that's some consolation for them.
 

PHILIPE

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That'll be the unit off the Llandudno-Manchester service on it's 50 minute layover between workings. If you take that unit then they'll be nothing to work Manchester to Chester and even then it might not be the case that ATW have a spare unit sat at Chester which they can use on the Chester to Llandudno section.

The traincrew wouldn't have been there, anyway.
 

6Gman

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I'm on the 1230 Milford Haven from Piccadilly. The 1130 was cancelled due to a train fault, and this one is two coaches. Standing room only and we're not even at Wilmslow yet :( .

In what sense is this "unbelievable"?
 

ChiefPlanner

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In what sense is this "unbelievable"?

Try dealing as a passenger with a total service collapse on Thameslink or Southern when you have the best part of 15,000 passengers in a peak - and no service for say an hour.
 

trainophile

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In what sense is this "unbelievable"?

I exaggerated :oops: . I was alluding to the fact that a two coach train turned up where a three would have made sense, given the situation. However I now appreciate that a two coach train was all that was available.

I noticed that the Journey Check page did not list any "train formation updates" whatsoever at the time this was occurring, so presumably the 1230 is not considered to be anything other than a two coach on a regular basis.
 

razor89

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It is indeed true that Merseyrail has stock idle during the day.
Actually they don't like doubling up to 6 coaches and there are very few such services except on event days.
It's a 3-car railway with a few extras, not a 6-car railway with a few shortages.

They have stock idle during off peak hours during the day. On the Northern line they form 6 of the 10 southport-hunts cross services, and I think 3 of 6 ormskirk-Liverpool services as 6 cars during the peaks. Much less 6 car working on the wirral but the demand isn't as high. During peak times i believe 52 out of 59 units are in use. Given the age of the stock it shouldn't be surprising that there will often be 4 or 5 units in for maintenance which means there isn't any realistic scope for more 6 car running.

Sorry for off topic.
 
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