Blackpool South Railway Closures for Golf Event.

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!5th to 22nd July. Open Champion 2012
Blackpool South, Pleasure Beach, Squires Gate, St Annes and Lytham stations will be closed for the duration of the event. :(
An hourly bus replacement service will operate between these stations.
A rail shuttle service - Preston to Ansell & Fairhaven station will operate half hourly.
A bus shuttle will be run from the Tram terminus at Star Gate to the Golf.
Also a Shuttle bus from North Station to the Golf.
http://i.visitblackpool-info.com/Cm...ormation+PDF+Email&dm_i=5Z,TTDY,1BYD3,2HYR2,1
 
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PR1Berske

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Earlier this year it was suggested that the shuttle from Preston would be run from the Royal Mail platform, though I don't know if that's still the case.
 

WestCoast

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That's going to be quite a significant bus replacement at the start of the school holidays, there tends to be lots of 'tourist traffic' heading to the Pleasure Beach and South on that line.
 

PauloDavesi

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Why is the line closed during the week when it's likely to be most needed? and give the operating company the best financial return.
 

MidnightFlyer

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Hang on why isn't the service operating from the northbound bay? Much easier to access provided everythings set up right....
At the northern end of p3?

- There's more room on the RES platforms, huge numbers are expected and the bay is very, very narrow at the southern end, and very hard to access, I'm not actually sure if passengers would be permitted to use it.
- It doesn't block the WCML using the RES platforms, using the bay would block the Down lines.
- It keeps it free for engines, which usually mill about during the day.
 

VTPreston_Tez

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IIRC you can get 4 cars up to Ansdell, did the route on Sunday and some of the stations were huge.
Also about the BPS line, wouldn't it be better to maybe bring back double track where possible I know it's been talked about to death but for events like this you could get high frequency.
 

The_Rail_WAy

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This will be an interesting event for photters/enthusiasts alike to see the use of the Preston RES platforms. One simply salviates at such an event.
 

John55

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IIRC you can get 4 cars up to Ansdell, did the route on Sunday and some of the stations were huge.
Also about the BPS line, wouldn't it be better to maybe bring back double track where possible I know it's been talked about to death but for events like this you could get high frequency.

Unfortunately the Open Golf championship is likely to visit Royal Lytham approximately every 10 years or so. The event lasts about 6 days for spectators so it means the double track would get used for golf spectators about 1 day every 2 years on average.

Hard to justify spending much money.
 

MidnightFlyer

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However a crossing loop at St Annes or nearby would allow a half hourly service, which I reckon would be highly beneficial, it would certainly pay for itself in high summer.
 

John55

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However a crossing loop at St Annes or nearby would allow a half hourly service, which I reckon would be highly beneficial, it would certainly pay for itself in high summer.
Do you think it would generate much extra money or would people just use it instead of catching an alternative train to Blackpool North?
 
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IIRC you can get 4 cars up to Ansdell, did the route on Sunday and some of the stations were huge.
Also about the BPS line, wouldn't it be better to maybe bring back double track where possible I know it's been talked about to death but for events like this you could get high frequency.
This used to be the main line to Blackpool Central, a very busy terminus.
(The Marton line (closed) was mainly used for freight and holiday trains)

Golf train times – times are tight, but the return trips will be empty. Will Northern rail profit by this service?
http://traintimes.im/location/PRE/2012/07/18/5/

The South line is heavily used, it serves a larger population than North, and the larger slice of the tourist trade. 1 train per hour, and often just a 2 coach pacer, effectively ensures it does not compete with North Station!!
Often packed, and rammed when Pleasure Beach is busy.

As much as the railway should run a decent service for the golfers, I am disappointed how regular customers, visitors, Pleasure beach customers, and those who chose to stay in Blackpool for the ‘Golf tournament’ have had their rail service closed.
The replacement bus times appear to be a pathetic option.

Unfortunately the Open Golf championship is likely to visit Royal Lytham approximately every 10 years or so. The event lasts about 6 days for spectators so it means the double track would get used for golf spectators about 1 day every 2 years on average.

Hard to justify spending much money.
I honestly believe that redoubling the track would be a huge benefit to South Shore and the Lytham corridor. South Shore certainly needs support.
The potential is huge, especially with easy parking near to South Station. More people in Blackpool would use the railway. (Imo North Station has poor access in every respect)
 

WestCoast

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Do you think it would generate much extra money or would people just use it instead of catching an alternative train to Blackpool North?
I think it would generate additional local demand as well as tourist traffic. Better still, if you could re-establish the line to the town centre, patronage would probably double over current levels in high season or even more. I say this about local traffic because, there are lot of non-car users in Lytham and St Annes who would consider switching from the high frequency buses to the train.
 

yorksrob

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Out of intest, is this a rolling stock issue - i.e. they only have one unit and have to turn it back halfway to provide capacity ?

Wouldn't it be better to just run the normal timetable but with a really long train instead ? i.e. rent some loco's and carriages and make use of the long platforms.
 

John55

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This used to be the main line to Blackpool Central, a very busy terminus.
(The Marton line (closed) was mainly used for freight and holiday trains)

Golf train times – times are tight, but the return trips will be empty. Will Northern rail profit by this service?
http://traintimes.im/location/PRE/2012/07/18/5/

The South line is heavily used, it serves a larger population than North, and the larger slice of the tourist trade. 1 train per hour, and often just a 2 coach pacer, effectively ensures it does not compete with North Station!!
Often packed, and rammed when Pleasure Beach is busy.

As much as the railway should run a decent service for the golfers, I am disappointed how regular customers, visitors, Pleasure beach customers, and those who chose to stay in Blackpool for the ‘Golf tournament’ have had their rail service closed.
The replacement bus times appear to be a pathetic option.



I honestly believe that redoubling the track would be a huge benefit to South Shore and the Lytham corridor. South Shore certainly needs support.
The potential is huge, especially with easy parking near to South Station. More people in Blackpool would use the railway. (Imo North Station has poor access in every respect)
According to the only objective source I know (ORR) the 7 stations on the Blackpool South line have a total of 483k passengers per year, only 15% more than Poulton le Fylde by itself. So it is a bit hard to say it is that busy. If the trains are busy in the summer they must be pretty empty during the other 300 days of the year and it is the all year round traffic which pays (or doesn’t pay) for the line.

Blackpool Central wasn’t that busy. My 1954 summer timetable shows 2 arrivals per hour most of the time with a total of 36 arrivals Monday – Friday. Most did stop at the stations along the line through St Annes and Lytham. Of course more trains would arrive on summer Saturdays and as excursions via the direct route. The basic service was better than todays but still not that wonderful. Blackpool North had just 19 arrivals.

My comment about it being hard to spend money was in the context of the golf championship but also applies to a lesser extent to the tourist traffic as it don’t go to Blackpool every day either.

If towns/cities/counties wish to host big events like the Open Championship then in return for the benefits of good publicity and extra income there will be some disbenefits. In general people seem happy enough to put up with a few days of inconvenience. For the 2006 & 2008 Open Championships near Hoylake and Hillside Merseyrail had to make changes to many of their services to make the enhanced services work, though only West Kirby lost its service completely.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Out of intest, is this a rolling stock issue - i.e. they only have one unit and have to turn it back halfway to provide capacity ?

Wouldn't it be better to just run the normal timetable but with a really long train instead ? i.e. rent some loco's and carriages and make use of the long platforms.
The problem is that the line is a long siding from Kirkham. So only one train in section. By turning round at Ansdell a train can get back to Kirkham within 30 minutes to let the next train in.

There are some long platforms at Lytham, St Annes and Ansdell but they are not maintained for the full length any more. If a very long train arrived at Ansdell which is next to the Royal lytham links I wonder how the crowds would get off the platform the exits are not designed for masses of people.

At Blackpool South the platform is effectively 82m long so 1 loco plus 3 coaches in the platform. Much better to run as many long dmus as possible as this will also reduce loading unloading time if they use the correct units.
 

QJ

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As much as the railway should run a decent service for the golfers, I am disappointed how regular customers, visitors, Pleasure beach customers, and those who chose to stay in Blackpool for the ‘Golf tournament’ have had their rail service closed.
Although not in the same league the FGW service between Reading and Basingstoke also gets reduced when the Henley Regatta is on. Half the service gets cancelled so the Henley branch service gets strengthened.
 
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I have been keeping an eye on the information regarding the event, and NRE, but with just 3 weeks to the event the timetables have been altered.

There was discussion on this forum suggesting the possibilities of running two trains on the branch by splitting the line in 2. Reinstating the full length of the Ansdell & Fairhaven platform & stop blocks in the middle? Or simply having one train stationed there at a time.
Will they will have a 4 coach train?
Probably pay to have spare DMU/s in case of breakdown!!
 

WestCoast

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According to the only objective source I know (ORR) the 7 stations on the Blackpool South line have a total of 483k passengers per year, only 15% more than Poulton le Fylde by itself. So it is a bit hard to say it is that busy. If the trains are busy in the summer they must be pretty empty during the other 300 days of the year and it is the all year round traffic which pays (or doesn’t pay) for the line.
Remember it's only an hourly 2-car 142 or 150 on the line, so it doesn't take that many people to fill up a train.

I'd also say that the figures are also slightly undercounted due to the unofficial acceptance of Blackpool North tickets on the line (brought about by lack of a 'Blackpool Stations' interchangeable ticket).

I strongly suspect that there is suppressed local demand on the route, where passengers choose the bus instead. I can back that up with the assertion that the roughly parallel bus route (no. 68 Blackpool - Preston via South Fylde) is operated using a double decker on an every 15 minutes basis. That's in addition to the additional two frequent bus routes that cover the corridor up to Lytham (making a roughly every 5 minutes service Blackpool - Lytham) and another additional route from Blackpool to St Annes. The Fylde is a surprisingly populated area.

Yes, you could argue that buses are more attractive for various reasons, but most of them do follow the rail line to a certain extent. The key being that the rail line terminates in South Shore at Blackpool South, rather than the town centre where the buses are heading. However, the rail line's patronage could be boosted significantly if some local traffic was won from other modes of transport. At the moment, there's no real desire for it due to line's current condition.
 
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Tomnick

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There was discussion on this forum suggesting the possibilities of running two trains on the branch by splitting the line in 2. Reinstating the full length of the Ansdell & Fairhaven platform & stop blocks in the middle?
I don't know whether anything like that has ever been done before - I don't think it'd be practical, even with something substantial separating the two sections. I suppose it might work if the ex-Preston trains entered the single line with a Pilotman (working to point of obstruction) with the shuttle beyond working in a "possession" (in the loosest sense). Leaving aside the practicalities of working a passenger train in a possession, there'd have to be a decent distance between the two 'operations' which would almost certainly prevent them from sharing the platform.
 

yorksrob

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The problem is that the line is a long siding from Kirkham. So only one train in section. By turning round at Ansdell a train can get back to Kirkham within 30 minutes to let the next train in.

There are some long platforms at Lytham, St Annes and Ansdell but they are not maintained for the full length any more. If a very long train arrived at Ansdell which is next to the Royal lytham links I wonder how the crowds would get off the platform the exits are not designed for masses of people.

At Blackpool South the platform is effectively 82m long so 1 loco plus 3 coaches in the platform. Much better to run as many long dmus as possible as this will also reduce loading unloading time if they use the correct units.
I see. Definately a good candidate for a loop I think.
 

Bald Rick

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Remember it's only an hourly 2-car 142 or 150 on the line, so it doesn't take that many people to fill up a train.

I'd also say that the figures are also slightly undercounted due to the unofficial acceptance of Blackpool North tickets on the line (brought about by lack of a 'Blackpool Stations' interchangeable ticket).

I strongly suspect that there is suppressed local demand on the route, where passengers choose the bus instead. I can back that up with the assertion that the roughly parallel bus route (no. 68 Blackpool - Preston via South Fylde) is operated using a double decker on an every 15 minutes basis. That's in addition to the additional two frequent bus routes that cover the corridor up to Lytham (making a roughly every 5 minutes service Blackpool - Lytham) and another additional route from Blackpool to St Annes. The Fylde is a surprisingly populated area.

Yes, you could argue that buses are more attractive for various reasons, but most of them do follow the rail line to a certain extent. The key being that the rail line terminates in South Shore at Blackpool South, rather than the town centre where the buses are heading. However, the rail line's patronage could be boosted significantly if some local traffic was won from other modes of transport. At the moment, there's no real desire for it due to line's current condition.
Playing devils advocate, why should we - the taxpayer - pay several million pounds to build additional infrastructure for a line that in my experience is really busy only 20 or so days a year? Particularly if the justification is to take passengers off a parallel public tranport operator that requires no taxpayer funding (other than payments for all the pensioners on free passes).
 
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Poulton Le Fylde has 3 tph, with many more coaches!
Imagine how many people would use the BPS line with a decent service!
1 pacer per hour certainly is severely limiting traffic.
Up to the 80's BPS had a hourly service to Manchester, as well as Colne.
By stopping the Manchester service they saved having to replace the second track.:(
I keep finding articles about using tram trains for this line, but I fail to see the advantages. (B council, Sintropher etc)

I think you will find it is busier for far in excess of 20 days. Many locals use the line.
Buses are slow, Stagecoach run a cheap service to Manchester, (No 68 quick change Preston!)
Just what you need after a hard days work!
Roads are becoming busier, and locally traffic on the Prom, which buses use inc No 68, is now getting very congested.
With the Town Centre Gateway scheme and a Sainsburys supermarket planned near North Station...
 
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bluenoxid

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I don't know whether anything like that has ever been done before - I don't think it'd be practical, even with something substantial separating the two sections. I suppose it might work if the ex-Preston trains entered the single line with a Pilotman (working to point of obstruction) with the shuttle beyond working in a "possession" (in the loosest sense). Leaving aside the practicalities of working a passenger train in a possession, there'd have to be a decent distance between the two 'operations' which would almost certainly prevent them from sharing the platform.
It's a shame really.

Someone would probably run a 153 down the branch then use a crane to drop some heavy concrete blocks and light the obstruction up like a Christmas Tree but we don't use that kind of thinking because the obstruction has to be a separation of rails. God knows how we would create Ormskirk and Kirkby today?
 

VTPreston_Tez

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The South line is heavily used, it serves a larger population than North, and the larger slice of the tourist trade. 1 train per hour, and often just a 2 coach pacer, effectively ensures it does not compete with North Station!!
Often packed, and rammed when Pleasure Beach is busy.
Slowly but surely, it seems that 150s are taking over the route and they boast 3 cars. This probably isn't all the time but on Sunday there were no Pacers at all from Blackpool to Colne, all 150s which was brilliant.
MattE2010 also proposed a half hourly service to St Annes with a new loop, I fully agree that this is the best option.
Following on, double track BPS line again and make BPN a small 4 platform station so BPS gets 2-3tph from Colne, Manchester, and a few peak services to York/Carlisle making it a more significant station. It could boost use of the Airport too don't forget.
(BPN would become a small shopping establishment or become the new bus station where the station is demolished)
 
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