Class 156 Largs services

XC90

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On Saturday Scotrail were running 156s between Largs and Kilwinning due to the stormy sea tripping the overhead wires at Saltcoats.

Do guards still sign this route or were special arrangements made?

Anyone know if this will become the alternative of choice, as these situations are becoming more frequent, or is this a one off because they have spare 156s sitting around due to Covid -19?
 

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On Saturday Scotrail were running 156s between Largs and Kilwinning due to the stormy sea tripping the overhead wires at Saltcoats.

Do guards still sign this route or were special arrangements made?

Anyone know if this will become the alternative of choice, as these situations are becoming more frequent, or is this a one off because they have spare 156s sitting around due to Covid -19?
I don’t believe guards sign this route anywhere as 156s via Kilwinning stopped a couple of years back. Unless they were conducted.

I have lived on that line for 10 years and that is one of the first incidents I’ve seen of a 156 running to Largs.
 
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Was this yesterday?

If it was then it looks like the 156 was substituted on the 12:48 Glasgow - Kilwinning service, which explains how the 156 made it down there in the first place.
 

hexagon789

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Yes I guess that's more likely. Can't say I've ever been to Largs actually now I think about it.
Been quite a few times by train and even on a calm day you can see why strong winds and stormy seas can cause problems, the sea gets pretty close to the line in and around Fairlie
 
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Has there been any other instances of the 156 having made it's way to Largs?

I know they were common through Kilwinning on the Stranraer service, but it doesn't explain how the 156 got to Largs in the first place, as the unit from the 12:48 did eventually get back to Glasgow.
 

SC318250

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156432 was spare at Ayr and operated as 5Z11 from Ayr to Kilwinning via Kilwinning Loop

operated 4 return trips Kilwinning to Largs before operating ecs from Kilwinning back to Ayr Townhead CS

I would like to see Scotrail have the option if they know like yesterday an emergency timetable is required then this could be implemented in future

my way off doing it would be to use 4 car 156, by taking one from Barrhead peak and one from an East Kilbride 6 car. Yes it would be inconvenience for some on these services with overcrowding.
The 156 4 car would then operate a shuttle on Kilwinning to Largs From platform 2.
Glasgow to Largs/Ardrossan services would divert to Ayr, with Glasgow to Ayr express services cancelled. The diverted services picking up the stops from Kilwinning of cancelled express services.
Ardrossan Town and Ardrossan Harbour is within walking distance of Ardrossan South Beach. Those needing assistance tho could be helped

this would save Scotrail a fortune on hiring busses in
 

craigybagel

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I'd assume Corkerhill drivers driving conducted by Ayr-based drivers for the route knowledge.
Don't see why drivers would be an issue, as presumably Ayr drivers already sign 156s and the route anyway. I'm very curious though as to how they got around the guard issue though, as you can't run 156s DOO.
 
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156432 was spare at Ayr and operated as 5Z11 from Ayr to Kilwinning via Kilwinning Loop

operated 4 return trips Kilwinning to Largs before operating ecs from Kilwinning back to Ayr Townhead CS

I would like to see Scotrail have the option if they know like yesterday an emergency timetable is required then this could be implemented in future

my way off doing it would be to use 4 car 156, by taking one from Barrhead peak and one from an East Kilbride 6 car. Yes it would be inconvenience for some on these services with overcrowding.
The 156 4 car would then operate a shuttle on Kilwinning to Largs From platform 2.
Glasgow to Largs/Ardrossan services would divert to Ayr, with Glasgow to Ayr express services cancelled. The diverted services picking up the stops from Kilwinning of cancelled express services.
Ardrossan Town and Ardrossan Harbour is within walking distance of Ardrossan South Beach. Those needing assistance tho could be helped

this would save Scotrail a fortune on hiring busses in
I think the availability of 156s comes into play here. If this was during a normal timetable it may be difficult to source a double 156 particularly as some may be getting maintained between services as well as being required for a peak time service.

I think another issue is getting a Guard. A driver from Ayr could be sourced if the Express services were cancelled, but I believe the Ayr guards are a rather small bunch, so it might be difficult sourcing them. However, it could still work if you were to shorten the Barrhead and maybe take one off of a peak time East Kilbride service.
 

snookertam

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Given that there's few conductor operated workings out of Glasgow Central now, would it be so difficult to add the Ayr via Kilwinning and Largs branch to their route cards? Same would go for Ayr conductors. You'd at least have guards there with route knowledge for the next time that this has to be done.

The requirement to close the line usually doesnt come without warning. There's many times that ScotRail are publicising the suspension of the srvice in advance to coincide with high tide. This should allow them to have contingency plans in place for availability of both guards and a unit. This has been going on for long enough now that there's really no excuse for having a better option than a bus.
 

47827

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Don't see why drivers would be an issue, as presumably Ayr drivers already sign 156s and the route anyway. I'm very curious though as to how they got around the guard issue though, as you can't run 156s DOO.
Yes. Ayr drivers would be involved on the Girvan/Stranraer route as Stranraer is only a tiny outbase with several of each type of crew (similar to places like Kyle and Wick). There are also DMU services towards Kilmarnock and the Barrhead line that may well be covered by Ayr based crews too. 2 EMU services I landed up catching unexpectedly last year both had guards on them between Ayr, Paisley and Glasgow. Obviously somebody somewhere signs Largs and 156s other than drivers or it would have not run on Saturday.
 

hexagon789

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Don't see why drivers would be an issue, as presumably Ayr drivers already sign 156s and the route anyway. I'm very curious though as to how they got around the guard issue though, as you can't run 156s DOO.
Do Ayr drivers sign 156s then? I wasn't sure if it was only Corkerhill.
 

craigybagel

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Do Ayr drivers sign 156s then? I wasn't sure if it was only Corkerhill.
Ayr definitely do sign 156s, as pre-covid there were Girvan - Ayr and Ayr - Stranraer trains.
Although it should be said that just because a train service runs through a station doesn't necessarily mean the traincrew based there will work it and sign the relevant traction (there are countless examples of this not being the case, including at ScotRail), in this case yes I do believe Ayr sign 156s, and I think we have an Ayr based driver on the forum who can confirm that. I'm sure I read somewhere that they have a fair bit of work on them, as they also work some services between Glasgow and Dumfries and East Kilbride.
 

47827

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So they sign 380s and 156s and Glasgow-Ayr-Stranraer plus the Largs and Ardrossan branches then I take it?
Having taken a quick look at the current services. Monday to Saturday there's only 2 services to Stranraer all day which "could" all be covered by Stranraer staff. There are regular Girvan terminators still though. On Sundays a fairly normal timetable operates though so both depots would probably work the route through still avoiding the risk of lots of route refresh requests if the "virus timetable" went on too long. There are still DMU workings between Ayr and Kilmarnock which tie in with Glasgow plus Dumfries/Carlisle stuff albeit at reduced frequencies Monday to Saturday. I don't know if Kilmarnock still has traincrew but there is potentially stuff such a depot could cover if so. So nobody at Ayr should be requesting DMU refreshers just yet I imagine. If they share any of the EMU work with Glasgow based crews on the coastal route and associated branches then diesel operated trains are possible. I've no idea whether anyone in the Glasgow area knows both the Largs route and 156s, but I imagine it's possible even not in all roster links.
 

hexagon789

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Having taken a quick look at the current services. Monday to Saturday there's only 2 services to Stranraer all day which "could" all be covered by Stranraer staff. There are regular Girvan terminators still though. On Sundays a fairly normal timetable operates though so both depots would probably work the route through still avoiding the risk of lots of route refresh requests if the "virus timetable" went on too long. There are still DMU workings between Ayr and Kilmarnock which tie in with Glasgow plus Dumfries/Carlisle stuff albeit at reduced frequencies Monday to Saturday. I don't know if Kilmarnock still has traincrew but there is potentially stuff such a depot could cover if so. So nobody at Ayr should be requesting DMU refreshers just yet I imagine. If they share any of the EMU work with Glasgow based crews on the coastal route and associated branches then diesel operated trains are possible. I've no idea whether anyone in the Glasgow area knows both the Largs route and 156s, but I imagine it's possible even not in all roster links.
Stranraer must be the loneliest staff base put.

It's interesting though how the various routes and traction ties in across Ayrshire because I had assumed Corkerhill did all the 156 work and that Ayr was purely 380s
 

craigybagel

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Do guards at any of Central, Ayr, Girvan or Stranraer still sign Troon - Kilwinning- Paisley- Glasgow now the service trains run via Kilmarnock? I can see an empty 156 in the new timetable https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/Y18921/2020-06-24/detailed but no other obvious route retainers are jumping out at me.
Having taken a quick look at the current services. Monday to Saturday there's only 2 services to Stranraer all day which "could" all be covered by Stranraer staff. There are regular Girvan terminators still though. On Sundays a fairly normal timetable operates though so both depots would probably work the route through still avoiding the risk of lots of route refresh requests if the "virus timetable" went on too long. There are still DMU workings between Ayr and Kilmarnock which tie in with Glasgow plus Dumfries/Carlisle stuff albeit at reduced frequencies Monday to Saturday. I don't know if Kilmarnock still has traincrew but there is potentially stuff such a depot could cover if so. So nobody at Ayr should be requesting DMU refreshers just yet I imagine. If they share any of the EMU work with Glasgow based crews on the coastal route and associated branches then diesel operated trains are possible. I've no idea whether anyone in the Glasgow area knows both the Largs route and 156s, but I imagine it's possible even not in all roster links.
I'd be surprised if the guards who work the Stranraer to Glasgow services don't sign via Kilwinning as it seems like such an obvious diversion during disruption, and if the rules are the same as they are at my TOC they only need to travel over the line once every six months as a passenger to stay within competency.

But I'm struggling to see why any guard would have competency for the Largs branch, as normally 100% of services along it are DOO.

Stranraer must be the loneliest staff base put.

It's interesting though how the various routes and traction ties in across Ayrshire because I had assumed Corkerhill did all the 156 work and that Ayr was purely 380s
As I understand it, Stranraer is a tiny depot, very much single figures complement.
 

47827

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I'd be surprised if the guards who work the Stranraer to Glasgow services don't sign via Kilwinning as it seems like such an obvious diversion during disruption, and if the rules are the same as they are at my TOC they only need to travel over the line once every six months as a passenger to stay within competency.

But I'm struggling to see why any guard would have competency for the Largs branch, as normally 100% of services along it are DOO.



As I understand it, Stranraer is a tiny depot, very much single figures complement.
It does suggest that route knowledge is retained for at least some guards on the Largs road if last weekend is anything to go by. The easy way of refreshing it could be an odd booked TI duty along there every week on busier trains, although formal refreshers could be done of course. The other outside possibility is if any drivers are still passed out as guards for emergency shortages. That would also get around such a problem. Both of the Glasgow to Ayr services on a Saturday last September which I used had a guard on at least south of Paisley (but I think throughout). So some trains may well have them on even if not required under the rules.
 

Unstoppable

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Does anyone know where Stranraer sign to these days? I would go as far as saying they sign only to Kilmarnock. I'm pretty sure their early shift consists of a double Ayr and the back shift may be the same or is extended to Kilmarnock. With the withdrawal of the frequent services via Kilwinning to Glasgow I am less confident they still sign to the City
 

Unstoppable

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Stranraer must be the loneliest staff base put.

It's interesting though how the various routes and traction ties in across Ayrshire because I had assumed Corkerhill did all the 156 work and that Ayr was purely 380s
I am unsure if they still do but until recently Ayr used to work to Carlisle as well. Off the top of my head it was a back shift from around 4pm until midnight which consisted of something down the lines of Ayr - Glasgow 380, Glasgow - Dumfries, break, Dumfries - Carlisle - Glasgow, break, last Largs service then empty to Ayr
 

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