Birmingham to Cheltenham Yesterday

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dangie

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Hello from an amateur.
Travelled on CrossCountry yesterday morning from Birmingham New Street to Cheltenham. Haven't done this route many times so not sure of route out of New Street but sure yesterdays was different to normal. First few miles were very slow with quite a few changes of direction. We also went past what I think was Birmingham City football ground. Is this the normal route?
 
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SS4

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Sounds like you went via Camp Hill which is basically a loop between BHM and Kings Norton bypassing the stations in between

Presumably to avoid reversing at BHM
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
To add, Camp Hill does go via the Birmingham City Football Ground and it certainly wasn't Villa Park (you'd recognise it from the aura of awesome around it ;))
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Hill_Line
 

sprinterguy

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The hourly Manchester to Bristol services run via the Camp Hill line to avoid the train having to reverse direction in New Street station. That is definitely the route that this particular service has taken, as SS4 has thoroughly outlined.
 

Zoe

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The hourly Manchester to Bristol services run via the Camp Hill line to avoid the train having to reverse direction in New Street station.
What's so difficult about reversing a Voyager at Birmingham New Street?
 

sprinterguy

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What's so difficult about reversing a Voyager at Birmingham New Street?
It's just easier not to have to do it. Plus of course it means that in the normal course of events there's one less train to try and fit down the Cross City south.
 

SS4

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What's so difficult about reversing a Voyager at Birmingham New Street?

Time, and as sprinterguy says it's simply easier not to as well as freeing up capacity on the XCity south which already gets at least 6tph between BHM and Barnt Green
 

SS4

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I doubt it takes that long to reverse a Voyager.

Takes even less time not to reverse it. I can't remember where but someone (XCDriver?) posted that it takes a minimum amount of time (8mins?) to reverse a voyager. I'm not sure if that can be done when passengers are boarding but I could well be wrong.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Apart from the eyesore that is St Andrews ;))) the Camp Hill line makes a nice change of scenery
 

The Planner

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5 minutes is the minimum agreed turnaround for a 22x at New St. The bit about going via the Cross City and needing a reverse is irrelevant as they sit in the platform for ages. It is more about the platforming itself as they tend to sit in 1 and you can't get across to the Gloucester's from there.
 

Geezertronic

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To add, Camp Hill does go via the Birmingham City Football Ground and it certainly wasn't Villa Park (you'd recognise it from the aura of awesome around it ;))

[DIGRESS]
You mean the stench of a relegation scrap caused by Agent McLeish :D
[/DIGRESS]
 

neilmc

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One of my regular trains is the 15.00 from Bristol TM to Manchester and this never uses the Camp Hill route even though this often means a crawl into Birmingham behind a local train, then a reversal. I've always wondered why this is - is it so the formation has the first class section nearest to the barriers at Manchester?
 

PHILIPE

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One of my regular trains is the 15.00 from Bristol TM to Manchester and this never uses the Camp Hill route even though this often means a crawl into Birmingham behind a local train, then a reversal. I've always wondered why this is - is it so the formation has the first class section nearest to the barriers at Manchester?
Could be a pathing confliction at that particular time each hour so preferable to keep going head on
 

L&Y Robert

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Could be a pathing confliction at that particular time each hour so preferable to keep going head on

Quite often at New Street, the platform roads contain two trains at once, the second train arriving behind the first under permission of a "Calling ON" signal. I have often experienced this on the Reading-Newcastle (which does reverse) where passengers for the connecting Manchester are directed to the north end of the same platform. It's so busy at New Street all the time that this facility is often used, and it might be the reason for the routing in question - "to keep going head on" simply because the sig. box (desperately?) needs the other half of the platform. So there's somebody behind us!
 

D1009

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One of my regular trains is the 15.00 from Bristol TM to Manchester and this never uses the Camp Hill route even though this often means a crawl into Birmingham behind a local train, then a reversal. I've always wondered why this is - is it so the formation has the first class section nearest to the barriers at Manchester?

This is a strange situation, but the current "normal" timetable has the Manchester - Bristol service running via Camp Hill in the southbound direction and via Selly Oak (and reversing) in the northbound direction. It is purely to do with platforming constraints and conflictions with other trains at New St. There is one regular northbound train via Camp Hill which is the 0625 Plymouth, the 1003 from Birmingham via Derby which means a reversal the other way round. There is no effort to keep XC voyagers same way round for this reason.
 
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