CrossCountry sticking to a set formation?

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thenorthern

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Over the past few weeks I have noticed that CrossCountry Voyager services from Manchester seem to be sticking to a set formation with First Class (Coach A) being at the front of the train when heading south (obviously for the Bournemouth trains this changes at Reading).

Is this a new thing? Personally I find it very useful as its common place on Virgin Trains and makes life easier.
 
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rdeez

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I hope not. Playing 'which way round is my train' is one of my favourite games! :lol:
 

scotsman

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I hope not. Playing 'which way round is my train' is one of my favourite games! :lol:

If the stations read their Tyrell messages, they'd know which way round they were
 
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thenorthern

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Virgin Trains and Virgin Trains East Coast seem to be the best at running set formations with set coaches at each end but given that I don't think under normal circumstances either of them change direction en-route its not that hard. With CrossCountry though many services change direction en-route sometimes several times which makes set directions harder.

I was at Manchester Piccadilly the other day and I was confused why the front coaches of the Norwich train detached and terminated at Nottingham and then I realised that once they get to Nottingham the front coaches become the rear coaches.
 

Crossover

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Greater Anglia also have set formations, with the FC at the London end along with the loco and the DVT on the Country end.

As others have said, it depends on the routes. XC got turned all over the place. TPE, too. VTWC/VTEC and the like tend not to end up being turned quite so much
 

Philip C

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............

I was at Manchester Piccadilly the other day and I was confused why the front coaches of the Norwich train detached and terminated at Nottingham and then I realised that once they get to Nottingham the front coaches become the rear coaches.

It has been suggested to me that the only remaining three portion working is for some of the xx47 trains from Victoria which run with the front four carriages for Eastbourne, the middle four for Ore and the rear four for Littlehampton. Is anyone aware of other such workings on a regular basis?

Another curiosity of 'the old days' on the Central Division was that when a train, subject to separation during the journey, was formed in the opposite way to normal (eg. A Victoria to Brighton/West Worthing train, with division at Haywards Heath, running with the West Worthing portion leading) it was announced as being 'reverse loading'. This always put me in mind to get on the train backwards!
 

James Wake

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It has been suggested to me that the only remaining three portion working is for some of the xx47 trains from Victoria which run with the front four carriages for Eastbourne, the middle four for Ore and the rear four for Littlehampton. Is anyone aware of other such workings on a regular basis?

Another curiosity of 'the old days' on the Central Division was that when a train, subject to separation during the journey, was formed in the opposite way to normal (eg. A Victoria to Brighton/West Worthing train, with division at Haywards Heath, running with the West Worthing portion leading) it was announced as being 'reverse loading'. This always put me in mind to get on the train backwards!

There is the 1757 Victoria to Seaford and Ore, front 4 detach at Lewes for Seaford, rear 8 go onto Eastbourne, the front four (originally the middle 4) detach at Eastbourne, then the rear 4 reverse out of Eastbourne and head over to Ore.
 

najaB

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Virgin Trains and Virgin Trains East Coast seem to be the best at running set formations with set coaches at each end but given that I don't think under normal circumstances either of them change direction en-route its not that hard.
Not en-route while in passenger service, but they do while travelling ECS.
With CrossCountry though many services change direction en-route sometimes several times which makes set directions harder.
But they could, if they wanted to, make sure that the formation was the same for any given service at any given station along the route from day to day.
 
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brompton rail

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Virgin Trains and Virgin Trains East Coast seem to be the best at running set formations with set coaches at each end but given that I don't think under normal circumstances either of them change direction en-route its not that hard.
Not en-route while in passenger service, but they do while travelling ECS.
But they could, if they wanted to, make sure that the formation was the same for any given service at any given station along the route from day to day.

That would only work if each depot and overnight stabling point had a triangular junction nearby so as to turn sets each day before starting. Remember Voyagers can be terminated at (say) New Street on late services. They may then be used to cover for other services away from their diagram.
Not an easy matter to resolve unlike East Coast, West Coast and Great Western where trains run back and forth without reversing during the normal duties, and therefore remain 'First Class' at London end all day.
 

scotsman

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It has been suggested to me that the only remaining three portion working is for some of the xx47 trains from Victoria which run with the front four carriages for Eastbourne, the middle four for Ore and the rear four for Littlehampton. Is anyone aware of other such workings on a regular basis?

I think there's at least one per day (at least in Summer) which is formed of 3x156 as Oban/Fort William/Mallaig
 

Iskra

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Not en-route while in passenger service, but they do while travelling ECS.
But they could, if they wanted to, make sure that the formation was the same for any given service at any given station along the route from day to day.

Some VTEC HST's do turn around en route. I've been on the 0710 Leeds-Aberdeen when it has circled around Newcastle to enter the station from the North and then a different driver has taken what was previously the rear powercar Northwards.

Also I've been on the VTEC 1818 Aberdeen-Leeds when it has taken a very circuitous route into Leeds, approaching the station from the South, thus turning the set again.

I too have noticed XC trains seem to have 1st class to the South more often recently. I don't know if it is intentional or not though.
 

D1009

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Over the past few weeks I have noticed that CrossCountry Voyager services from Manchester seem to be sticking to a set formation with First Class (Coach A) being at the front of the train when heading south (obviously for the Bournemouth trains this changes at Reading).

Is this a new thing? Personally I find it very useful as its common place on Virgin Trains and makes life easier.
As the Manchester - Bristol services reverse at New Street in one direction but not the other, I find this somewhat surprising.
 

sprinterguy

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Some VTEC HST's do turn around en route. I've been on the 0710 Leeds-Aberdeen when it has circled around Newcastle to enter the station from the North and then a different driver has taken what was previously the rear powercar Northwards.
I don't believe that's a booked route for that service though. The Newcastle loop does however prove very useful in turning a set if there is some sort of cab fault that precludes the train being driven from that power car/91/DVT, or to return a set to its' correct orientation if it has become reversed at some other point in the diagram.
I too have noticed XC trains seem to have 1st class to the South more often recently. I don't know if it is intentional or not though.
Taking all the services that departed Manchester yesterday as an indicative example, there seems to be a pretty even split of units running with first or standard class leading.
 

najaB

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And how are they going to do this then?
By using the various triangular junctions that exist (e.g. Carstairs, Newcastle bridges) to turn units. It's not a priority and I understand why they don't bother, but that's not the same thing as saying not possible.
 

Haydn1971

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By using the various triangular junctions that exist (e.g. Carstairs, Newcastle bridges) to turn units. It's not a priority and I understand why they don't bother, but that's not the same thing as saying not possible.


Alternatively, provide a system that works at every station that tells passengers were first and non-reserved carriages are and make sure the trains stop at the same position, mark the platforms and colour the doors on the train so passengers have an extra means of knowing what door... Oh and big numbers near the doors for seat numbers !
 

PHILIPE

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By using the various triangular junctions that exist (e.g. Carstairs, Newcastle bridges) to turn units. It's not a priority and I understand why they don't bother, but that's not the same thing as saying not possible.

Where are you getting a driver from to go miles just to turn a set ? On GWR. the HSTs run to Paddington from the Country with First Class leading. If the set has got turned for any reason, announcements are made to inform waiting passengers that the train is in reverse formation. (do miss on occasions though !!!). If time allows at the London end can be turned round the Greenford Loop.
 

IanM

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I think there's at least one per day (at least in Summer) which is formed of 3x156 as Oban/Fort William/Mallaig
Correct, the 1221 ex GLQ in high summer: front 2 to Oban, leaving 4 going on via Rannoch, the front of that pair (i.e. middle from Glasgow) terminating at Fort William and rear 2 going on to Mallaig (having reversed at the Fort).
 

Philip C

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There is the 1757 Victoria to Seaford and Ore, front 4 detach at Lewes for Seaford, rear 8 go onto Eastbourne, the front four (originally the middle 4) detach at Eastbourne, then the rear 4 reverse out of Eastbourne and head over to Ore.

I think there's at least one per day (at least in Summer) which is formed of 3x156 as Oban/Fort William/Mallaig

Correct, the 1221 ex GLQ in high summer: front 2 to Oban, leaving 4 going on via Rannoch, the front of that pair (i.e. middle from Glasgow) terminating at Fort William and rear 2 going on to Mallaig (having reversed at the Fort).

Thank you for your replies.
 

jopsuk

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Pretty sure SWT at least try to keep the 444s- and possibly the 159s- with 1st Class at the London end.

As for splitters, GN have an evening peak service that splits at Royston with the front part going fast to Cambridge and the rear part all stops to Cambridge
 

asharpe

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Where are you getting a driver from to go miles just to turn a set ? On GWR. the HSTs run to Paddington from the Country with First Class leading. If the set has got turned for any reason, announcements are made to inform waiting passengers that the train is in reverse formation. (do miss on occasions though !!!). If time allows at the London end can be turned round the Greenford Loop.

I've often wondered why this train happens.
http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/Y80500/2016/02/20/advanced
http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/Y80145/2016/02/20/advanced

Is it all for route knowledge? I was thinking that if they just need to turn it around then could they not go via Bradford Forster Square or just turn around at Engine Shed Jn.? It needs a change of end at Leeds anyway.
 

Welshman

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I've often wondered why this train happens.
http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/Y80500/2016/02/20/advanced
http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/Y80145/2016/02/20/advanced

Is it all for route knowledge? I was thinking that if they just need to turn it around then could they not go via Bradford Forster Square or just turn around at Engine Shed Jn.? It needs a change of end at Leeds anyway.


I suspect the first is to retain route knowledge. There is one EC service which approaches Leeds through Normanton and the ex Midland Main line [2330 off the Cross], but, as far as I know, no service booked out of Leeds this way, therefore this covers the route in the opposite direction in case it ever needs to be used in an emergency, etc.

Regarding the second, I seem to remember reading somewhere that that service goes via Hambleton because of pathing problems on the usual line via Wakefield Westgate. It also retains route knowledge for when other services are diverted away from Wakefield Westgate.
 
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Crossover

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Some VTEC HST's do turn around en route. I've been on the 0710 Leeds-Aberdeen when it has circled around Newcastle to enter the station from the North and then a different driver has taken what was previously the rear powercar Northwards.

Also I've been on the VTEC 1818 Aberdeen-Leeds when it has taken a very circuitous route into Leeds, approaching the station from the South, thus turning the set again.

I too have noticed XC trains seem to have 1st class to the South more often recently. I don't know if it is intentional or not though.

The 1818 could conceivably run via Castleford (either booked for engineering work or for some other reason) - doing so would end up with the set reversed
 
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