Busiest Services.

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ClagLover

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What would people say would be the busiest services in the UK? I know the TPE service between York and Leeds used to be rammed of an evening. I’m sure it would be tricky to pinpoint the true busiest, but what services around you are the busiest?
 
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Bletchleyite

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The most overcrowded train (in a "passengers in excess of capacity" sense) was, pre COVID, one of the evening peak departures out of Euston - I *think* the 1749 but might be a minute or two out.

Not a lot at the moment I suspect.
 

ClagLover

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The most overcrowded train (in a "passengers in excess of capacity" sense) was, pre COVID, one of the evening peak departures out of Euston - I *think* the 1749 but might be a minute or two out.

Not a lot at the moment I suspect.
Yes I probably should have specified ‘Pre-Covid’.
 

_toommm_

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There’s some info on this page. Choose your year and scroll down a few pages, and it lists the busiest trains for that year:

 

rd749249

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Yeah, pre COVID if you drove a 315 from Shenfield into London and was unfortunate enough to have the all station stopper, Forest Gate was usually a nightmare. On numerous occasions I’d have to get out and either ‘encourage’ passengers to squeeze down, or tell them bluntly that we’re not moving until some of you get off.

Miss those days…
 

yorksrob

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Middlesborough to Whitby is the busiest I've experienced since lockdown 1.
 

40129

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How are we defining 'busiest'?

Is it in terms of absolute number of passengers or number of passengers relative to the capacity of the train?

500 passengers trying to travel on a cl-185 will obviously make the train appear busier than if those 200 were travelling on a 3x cl-350 train (12 cars in total). This is why the Trans-Pennine route appears as 'busy' as it does due to the short length of the trains
 

_toommm_

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How are we defining 'busiest'?

Is it in terms of absolute number of passengers or number of passengers relative to the capacity of the train?

500 passengers trying to travel on a cl-185 will obviously make the train appear busier than if those 200 were travelling on a 3x cl-350 train (12 cars in total). This is why the Trans-Pennine route appears as 'busy' as it does due to the short length of the trains

Ths statistics do it on a percentage, so it used to be that the four-car Class 350 around 16:00 from Manchester Airport to Scotland was up there, as it was over 200% capacity.
 

swt_passenger

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It’s worth noting that DfT only does statistics about “London” and the 13 other big rail locations in their report. I think they were about London only to begin with.

So it’s possible there are other local hotspots they aren’t interested in…

How are we defining 'busiest'?

Is it in terms of absolute number of passengers or number of passengers relative to the capacity of the train?

500 passengers trying to travel on a cl-185 will obviously make the train appear busier than if those 200 were travelling on a 3x cl-350 train (12 cars in total). This is why the Trans-Pennine route appears as 'busy' as it does due to the short length of the trains
It depends on exact calling patterns. There’s a “20 minute rule”, if there are no station calls within 20 mins of the main terminus then the standing capacity is not included.
 

D6975

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Grimsby-Lincoln-Newark on a Saturday morning. I've seen pax at Barnetby travelling to London being left on the platform because the train was packed in true sardine style.
 

Robertj21a

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Surely, some of the busiest services must be those through Clapham Junction ?
 

zwk500

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Surely, some of the busiest services must be those through Clapham Junction ?
These tend to be the services with the highest capacity though, with 10-/12-car sets with 3+2 or standing-optimised layouts. So in percentage terms may not be as rammed as a 4-car out of Manchester.
 

rg177

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The 0422 Glasgow to Manchester Airport used to be one. I can imagine that it would have been akin to a ghost town out of Glasgow (especially considering that it was overtaken by the Virgin/Avanti service that followed) but wedged after Preston.
 

NSE

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Clapham Junction isn’t that bad. So many destinations are on such a high frequency. Sure it has huge numbers but it’s a frequent service, 10/12 coaches. I’ve never been left on a platform (aside from disruption) for the metro type services. Some of the half hourly/hourly might be different but I don’t commute on them.
 

RichJF

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The 07:16 from East Grinstead to London Bridge used to be the most overcrowded Southern service at one point. Not sure if that's still the case since the 700s & TL took over.
 

swt_passenger

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Surely, some of the busiest services must be those through Clapham Junction ?
Yes, but although the DfT stats have often included SWT or SWR services in their top tens, they tended to be trains that were non-stop to middle distance destinations such as Woking, or further, and in the peaks comparatively few of them actually stop at Clapham Junction.
 
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Inbound rush hour slow line services to Waterloo were usually pretty full. Over on the Windsor side evening peak trains into Clapham Junction (ie London bound could be worst. On Southern the highest counts were northbound to Clapham Jct am; maybe a quarter or more of the passengers got off there.
 

philosopher

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Inbound rush hour slow line services to Waterloo were usually pretty full.
Pre Covid these trains were usually crush loaded between eight and nine, particularly before the trains were lengthened to 10 carriages. I used to live in Earlsfield and was common to have to wait for the second and third train during this time. Trains originating from Chessington South were usually a bit quieter.
 

greaterwest

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I think at one point, the 07:32 Woking to Waterloo stopping service was dubbed Britain's Busiest Train.
 

miklcct

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Ths statistics do it on a percentage, so it used to be that the four-car Class 350 around 16:00 from Manchester Airport to Scotland was up there, as it was over 200% capacity.
And what's the loading until the train is overloaded to the extent that it's unsafe to run further?
 

Mcr Warrior

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And what's the loading until the train is overloaded to the extent that it's unsafe to run further?
Probably when passengers have to sit on the roof. ;)

Seriously though, do some more modern train carriages now have weight/pressure sensors on board which can detect how heavily loaded the train is?
 

_toommm_

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Probably when passengers have to sit on the roof. ;)

Seriously though, do some more modern train carriages now have weight/pressure sensors on board which can detect how heavily loaded the train is?

700s have them. I believe the GA FLIRTs have them too.
 

Domh245

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700s have them. I believe the GA FLIRTs have them too.

Those are just the ones that display the loading as part of the PIS! I believe that just about all new-build stock has got passenger counting equipment, and many older vehicles have also been retrofitted.
 

greyman42

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And what's the loading until the train is overloaded to the extent that it's unsafe to run further?
Trains tend to be loaded until people cannot physically board due to their being no room for passengers to move.
 
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In the days pre-COVID and 345 it was not uncommon for scuffles to breakout at Forest Gate and Manor Park as passengers were unable to board services towards Liverpool St, most services had no seats left after Romford and were full and crush loaded by Ilford. However got to say even the 7 coach 345s hover up the passengers.
 

williamn

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The only seriously over-crowded trains I've encountered in the last year have been TfW ones - the Crewe-Chester shuttle and the Chester-Holyhead train.
 
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