Circular Services and the Routeing Guide (and break of journey)

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by First class, 9 Oct 2011.

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  1. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    Good point. Looking at it this way, the concept of a through train is intimately linked to the timetable, as it is the timetable alone that defines whether one train has ended (and is perhaps immediately associated with another one heading back again), or the same train is continuing. Note that I am arguing that a passenger can change train without getting out of their seat - in my view a "train" is a passenger service as defined in the timetable.

    Of course that still leaves the argument as to which timetable is the one that defines what is and isn't a continuous train. NRE claims to be definitive and appears to use the working timetable, but I doubt that settles anything...
     
  2. Solent&Wessex

    Solent&Wessex Established Member

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    As it is mine. I have no problem with the concept of a ticket being valid on a through train as advertised in the timetable, but in most cases the passenger timetable does not show the situations we have discussed as through trains. NRES does, but I believe that to be wrong. Whether they'll fix it or not remains to be seen.
     
    Last edited: 13 Oct 2011
  3. tony_mac

    tony_mac Established Member

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    it's slightly different here as if they were separate services then they must overlap, so there isn't really anywhere for one service to end and the other to begin.

    But I don't think that anyone can really say a 'direct' train stops at the origin again before reaching the destination, despite the literal meaning of the rules.
     
  4. Solent&Wessex

    Solent&Wessex Established Member

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    The train itself doesn't need to show exactly what is correct (as per the timetable) on the front. At Leeds trains to York via Harrogate are never advertised as York, and the trains rarely say York on them. The screens say Poppleton, and the trains normally display "Harrogate" on the blind until some point in the journey when they change them to "York". At York the platform screens say "Burley Park", the announcer always announces it as the train to "Harrogate" and then saying "Platform 8 for the xx.xx train to Harrogate, calling at Poppleton,........ Starbeck and Harrogate, then continuing to Hornbeam Park....... and Burley Park", whilst the train normally says "Harrogate" on it.

    The train can display whatever is practical. In this case it would be practical to show Liverpool until you get to James St, then Chester thereafter, even though on paper the train terminates somewhere in the loop before becoming a "new" service.
     
  5. tony_mac

    tony_mac Established Member

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    Which would mean a Moorfields to Chester direct train would not be a direct train (or a Chester to Liverpool Central train isn't). Which I think is as nonsensical as claiming a Bache to Chester via Liverpool train is a direct train.
     
  6. Solent&Wessex

    Solent&Wessex Established Member

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    Which is probably why in the passenger timetable they are shown as overlapping.
     
  7. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    I am not sure what 'error' in my thinking you are referring to.

    My thinking (which you will note makes no reference to 'timetables') is as follows:

    * The circular trains on Merseyrail run from Ellesmere Port to Ellesmere Port. They do not terminate in Liverpool or anywhere else on route. Between, say Moorfields and Lime St, they could quite legitimately be conveying passengers from Overpool to Liverpool Central and from Moorfields to Ellesmere Port. The passengers from Overpool will not have been advised to change trains at any point before arriving at Central. Similarly the passengers joining at Moorfields are not advised to alight/change trains before reaching Ellesmere Port.

    * I have no personal experience of the Hull - Manchester - Hull trains, but I would assume that upon approach to/arrival at Piccadilly passengers are advised the train will terminate and that they should therefore alight. Certainly that is what happens here in Sheffield - a local from Leeds will be announced as terminating and people are told to alight. The same unit will then form a train back to Leeds.

    So, no, I would not call the Hull - Manchester - Hull example a through train and the same with Leeds - Sheffield - Leeds. In these cases passengers (should) have been told to alight at a clearly designated terminus. This is unlike those passsengers in Merseyside who are not told to alight at any point before they get to Ellesmere Port.

    Now, with short turnarounds, I can quite believe that passengers could remain on the unit in either Manchester or Sheffield without being spotted, but in both cases they have been told to alight prior to the unit forming the next train out.
     
  8. John @ home

    John @ home Established Member Fares Advisor

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    And this overlap is the kernel of the argument for those who believe that the Merseyrail services are indeed through services from, for example, Chester to Chester.

    In this respect they are different from Shipley to Leeds via Heysham.

    If a dispute were to reach a Court over whether a Chester - Chester Merseyrail service constituted a through service or not then evidence both in favour and against the proposition would be presented to the Court. I do not pretend to know which way the Court would decide, but the relative skill of the advocates would have some bearing on the outcome.

    These services are shown in different parts of Table 106 as arriving and departing Moorfields at the same minute, then two minutes later arriving and departing Liverpool Lime Street at the same minute, then two minutes later arriving and departing Liverpool Central at the same minute. It seems to me that this could cast doubt on a train company's assertion that they are separate inbound and outbound services. If this doubt is sufficiently strong, the railway company may well be advised that it may not be in their interest to pursue the matter as far as a Court.
     
  9. Eagle

    Eagle Established Member

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    And of course the fact that the train bears the same headcode the whole way from Chester back to Chester... I'd say that's pretty compelling evidence.
     
  10. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    Just thought I would add to the discussion with......

    The services from Chester to Liverpool to Chester are listed on the Live Departure Board as a through service (staff and public) with the same headcode (staff board).

    The services from Edinburgh to Kirkcaldy to Edinburgh are listed on the Live Departure Board as a through service with the same headcode.

    The services from Glasgow Central to Cathcart to Glasgow Central are listed on the Live Departure Board as a though service with the same headcode.

    The services from Luton to Sutton to Luton are listed as Luton to Sutton and Sutton to Luton services with separate headcodes (they used to be the same headcode and shown as through services in the timetable under Thameslink).
     
  11. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    Apologies for bumpimg this up, but I am still intrigued as to what my 'error in thinking' is. Post #97 refers.

    Always willing to learn :)
     
  12. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    Where do the rules on this stand? Another one of my local examples: Thirsk to Middlesbrough is only permitted via Yarm as they share a routeing point in common and via Darlington is over 3 miles longer. Yet some through trains (The 0610, and in reverse the last train back from Middlesbrough) run via Darlington. Because they are through trains that makes going via Darlington okay. But would I be allowed to break my journey? Say I took the 0610 on a ticket to Middlesbrough and decided to get off at Darlington. Would my ticket be valid, as travel via Darlington normally isn't. I presume I would not be able to get on a Northern service to complete my journey would I be allowed to take the train back apart from the last departure?

    I'm just posing this as a hypothetical question but it may come in useful to know the rules around this one day.

    Incidentally, in the days when you were allowed to take any reasonable route was this route allowed even if changing trains? Has it only been not permitted to go via Darlington since the routeing guide came in?
     
  13. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    No, because this is not, as defined in NRCoC (see post #8 by Mojo) "a through train".

    Clearly, if it's not a through train it's not allowed, but there is some debate over whether you can get off a through train, then do a break of journey, then get on another through train. Is that intended to be allowed? Certainly not! But you can argue the semantics forever. As a result of this lack of clarity, I fully expect ATOC to "clarify" the rules (and not in the customers favour) at some point when they get round to it. It is my understanding that ATOC are obviously already aware of this issue, and even more so given recent debates on this forum!

    For the view of a guard, who operates trains that take routes that, for certain tickets, are permitted only by the "direct trains" rule, see post #30 by me (which quotes reb0118 posting in the Fife Circle topic a couple of months ago).
     
  14. tony_mac

    tony_mac Established Member

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    I actually think it is intended, but in normal usage where a through train is a sensible route, but not quite the shortest.

    I don't think it was intended for stupidly long (or circular) services - I don't think these were actually considered at all.
     
  15. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Another example - at the weekend, Reading-Waterloo trains were diverted from Twickenham via Kingston - Kingston not being on a permitted route from Reading to London. On a Reading-London SVR, I went initially to Richmond (changing at Twickenham, following a mapped route) and finished there. The following day, I boarded a Waterloo-Reading train at Kingston.

    If there were a blanket "you may only break your journey if travelling on a mapped or shortest route" (or similar), this would not be permitted, though boarding at the preceeding or subsequent stop would have been fine. I think any "clarification" would have to be carefully worded.

    reb0118's point is a pragmatic approach which seems to me fair on both sides. However, it's not actually the rule is it? I'm sure ATOC would like to be able to apply that rule to all journeys though!
     
  16. Solent&Wessex

    Solent&Wessex Established Member

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    My argument with your thinking is as follows:

    You originally start by stating that For the purposes of this Condition, a “through train” is one which may be used by a passenger to make their entire journey without changing trains..

    You then go on to state that the timetable (public or working) is irrelevant.

    Thus, it must be assumed that you are saying that provided you don't get off the train, you are on a through train, as you may physically make your journey from A to B without actually changing trains.

    Using this reasoning the idea of the Brough - Manchester - Hull or Shipley - Heysham - Leeds journey must therefore be valid.

    But you then go on to say these are not the same, and furthermore they are not valid as there are announcements to say the train is terminating at a clearly designated terminus.

    But they are only shown as terminating at a clearly designated terminus because of the timetable.

    And in the timetable the other examples are not shown as through trains in that respect, event though you may be able to infer that they are, nothing actually says this.
     
  17. Daz28

    Daz28 Member

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    One circular route that thoroughly confuses me is the Cannon Street (CST) to Cannon Street via Sidcup and Woolwich Arsenal, and the reverse route via Woolwich Arsenal and Sidcup.

    NRE is very inconsistent as to how this service is shown, it appears to change dependent on time and day.

    e.g. the 13:40 today from Cannon Street today is displayed as destination "London Cannon Street (Circular Route) via Sidcup and Woolwich Arsenal" at both Cannon Street and London Bridge outbound.

    The same service at 13:49 from New Cross is displayed as destination "Woolwich Arsenal", however if you click to see the detailed list of stops, you get to see all of the circular route.

    At Crayford, the destination changes to "London Cannon Street via Woolwich Arsenal and Greenwich"

    At Erith, the destination changes again to "London Cannon Street via Greenwich"

    and finally at Westcombe Park it becomes the "London Cannon Street" service.

    At all points, clicking on the detail shows the full circular route from CST to CST.

    However the service one hour later, leaving at 14:40 is presented differently. From New Cross to New Eltham it is "London Cannon Street via Sidcup and Woolwich Arsenal". From Sidcup to Erith it is "London Cannon Street via Woolwich Arsenal and Greenwich", and from Belvedere to Charlton it is "London Cannon Street via Greenwich.

    Half hour later, and the service terminates at Woolwich Arsenal for stations from New Cross to Sidcup, but this time the detailed list of stops only shows stations from CST to Woolwich Arsenal, it doesn't look like a circular route at all. However from Sidcup onwards, it shows as destination CST, and the detail once again shows CST to CST circular.

    So in the above cases, it appears random as to where the service is going. My experience at the stations is that the local displays and announcements are not in sync with NRE. And the front of the train typically will say "Slade Green" and not change until it gets there.

    The reverse route is just as random, often showing as terminating at Hither Green, sometimes as a through circular route, and again the detailed list of stops changes along the route.
     
  18. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I see you have again brought 'timetables' into your argument. I deliberately made no reference to 'timetables' in my argument. This means we are 'arguing' about different things.

    Clearly we will not agree on what is and is not a through train, so best leave it at that.
     
  19. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    It looks like one of those dreaded arguments where each participant thinks their key fact is more important than the fact the other thinks is most important.

    For me, there does seem to be a fundamental difference between the two scenarios. Where a train arrives at a terminus like Manchester Picadilly and then goes back out the way it came several minutes later I believe that there is no way that anyone would try to consider that as one train service. Yes, you could stay on the train, but you'd need two tickets to do so because it is two distinct journeys. The expectation of the railway company is that everyone will alight on arrival at the terminus. There might also be announcements to that effect to back things up. It also can't be guaranteed that the physical train will form the expected next service because the train company could change the diagram at the last minute for whatever reason and not need to tell the public.

    In the case of a circular service on the Wirral Lines it is significantly different. At no point does the company expect everyone to get off. People on the train when it arrives at Moorfields become fully aware that the train is continuing out of Liverpool back towards Birkenhead and beyond. However, I do think that the fact that in the timetable there is no indication of what the train will do other than by cross-referencing the inward and outward halves of the table is significant. The Wirral lines are unusual as far as circular routes go because the circular bit is small and at one end of the journey.

    Other circular services like my local one, the Cannon Street to Cannon Street via Sidcup and Woolwich are more clearly through trains because the majority of the journey is in the circular bit. The station announcements on this route will change as the train goes along based on what the train company believes is the most logical furthest destination at that time. For example, at Lewisham on the way towards Sidcup it would be far quicker to use a direct service to Woolwich via Blackheath than the direct circular service via Crayford and Slade Green. But there is no attempt to hide the fact that the trains are circular.

    In terms of the concept of through trains and break of journey it is clear that there is a simple change to the conditions and/or routeing guide required. There needs to be a small (hopefully) set of negative easements which can be applied to through trains to prevent abuse.
     
  20. island

    island Established Member

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    There is, however, a negative easement saying that journeys to/from/via London may not go through more than one of Crayford, Barnehurst, and Slade Green.
     
  21. mallard

    mallard Established Member

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    Except that easements are part of the Routeing Guide and only apply when you use it. If you're travelling on an advertised through train then the RG is irrelevant.
     
  22. 4SRKT

    4SRKT Established Member

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    I've just had a thought about the Fife Circle skip. Since the evening departure doesn't stop at Dalmeny on its way out, but does on the way back, would the cheapest way to do it all the way around be a CDR from Edinburgh to Dalmeny? Surely the answer is 'yes' because on the 17:08 Edinburgh > Edinburgh the first call at Dalmeny is on the way south.
     
  23. hairyhandedfool

    hairyhandedfool Established Member

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    If you believe what the NRCoC says (it is part of the contract after all) then yes, it is valid as a direct train.

    If you believe the easements listed in the Routeing Guide apply then it might not be valid (there are some easements for the Fife circle, although I don't recall offhand exactly which stations are mentioned).
     
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