Cumbrian Coast Timetable - no 37s to Preston, but a best ever timetable from May 20

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by 70014IronDuke, 1 May 2018.

  1. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    Just looking at the new summer timetable on Northern's site here

    https://be803fe5c416e39d38ae-aa2108...mmer-2018-timetables/Northern-6-0418-28pp.pdf

    It means the end of loco-hauled 37s to Preston (when is the last one scheduled?) - but for normals, the new TT is surely the best ever for the Cumbrian coast? The Sunday service alone is astonishing - from four trains each way on Sunday afternoons-evenings between Whitehaven - Carlisle only, it's gone to 11 each way across the central section (Whitehaven - Barrow) and some extras at each end to boot. (If Ive counted correctly).
    On weekdays, the revamps is also significant, with 18 trains a day between Whitehaven and Barrow - including some much later trains from Barrow and Carlisle - plus some extras at the end bits.

    Is this a development by the much-maligned Northern pushing this, or a DfT directive?

    Fantastic improvements, in my view, but I suppose the question must be also raised - will these trains attract passengers, especially on a Sunday? The line, surely, has not had Sunday trains over the most part for some decades?
     
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  3. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Love the little (L) marker. Maybe they should put (IC) on there for a laugh :)
     
  4. janb

    janb Member

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    Given the present service pattern one would presume it would be the 0515 Carlisle to Preston on the 17th May. (68s on the 18th, 1156 Carlisle to Lancaster on the 19th should be 37s but only goes as far as Lancaster)
     
  5. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Has there ever been anything between Workington-Barrow other than the southbound postal? Away from home ATM so can't check...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 1 May 2018
  6. YorkshireBear

    YorkshireBear Established Member

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    It is also massively being led by cumbria county Council who are desperately trying to breath life into weat cumbria.
     
  7. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    Interesting that the 05:15 is retimed later and is no longer the hauled set. I thought it needed to be so because Carlisle depot didn't sign the coast so DRS covered it for Northern?
     
  8. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    In which case it could make an interesting case study. Of course, the benefits - assuming they come - will take time to materialise. Will be interesting to see what the loadings are like in the first summer. I bet the Ratty people are pleased - bound to facilitate extra tourism passengers for the line, surely?

    Good to see the council has faith in rail.
     
  9. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

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    I lived in Seascale from 1968-1978 and my mum still lives there, this is the best ever timetable that I can recall. Good to see later services in the week and the astounding Sunday service
     
  10. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

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    The local paper reports that Millom - the largest town on the Whitehaven to Barrow stretch - has not had Sunday services in over 40 years.
     
  11. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

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    I think I remember there being Millon-Barrow sunday services in the 70s
     
  12. Bertie the bus

    Bertie the bus Member

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    I’d wait to see what happens before getting too excited. The Cumbrian Coast has been blighted with cancellations due to shortages of staff since well before the current RDW issue.

    A timetable is just some ink on a bit of paper until Northern show they can operate it reliably.

    As for will anybody use these trains? If passenger numbers on the Floodex after the bridge in Workington reopened is anything to go by then the answer is no, and they were free.
     
  13. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

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    That was quite an exceptional set of circumstances though, and people won't change habits for a temporary service.

    With regards to 'will these trains attract passengers', I think there's four significant improvements which will find demand (speaking from experience as a Barrow resident for 20 years until the mid-2000s):

    * On the southern section, the Sunday service is going from nowt. It's not as if people don't want to travel on Sundays - it will create a lot of new otpions
    * I'm sure the enhanced evening/night service will be useful in the southern half too: the later train back from Barrow to Millom will really open things up, particularly through the Furness villages (Askam, Kirkby etc). It will help a more coherent 'regional' economy to grow.
    * Further north, the real improvement looks like its in the early evening: we jump from options of 14:54, 16:12 and 18:00 from Whitehaven to Workington/Carlisle up to 6 services between and including the 14:38-18:35. That will create more flexible options for commuters
    * These sorts of changes will really help wider connectivity too: it creates a lot more opportunities for journeys beyond the line itself. For example, the last train possible journey back from London to Millom will be an hour later.

    Where I am a touch sceptical is in demand for some of the later morning and mid afternoon departures between Barrow and Carlsile, but I guess that these are useful in providing the evening services at either end. Still, I could see these being quite empty south of Whitehaven.

    People aren't suddenly going to be travelling from Barrow to Carlisle all the time because of a few extra trains: that 'medium-distance' demand wont be huge. But I think on the Millom-Barrow and Whitehaven-Carlisle stretches they'll find demand for a lot more local journeys, and for increased use of train for longer distance travel too.
     
  14. underbank

    underbank Member

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    Yes, if there's a frequent, reasonably fast, comfortable and reliable service. At the moment, people avoid the Cumbrian Coast and the Carnforth<>Leeds line like the plague because of the awful, overcrowded slow infrequent trains - 2.5 hours in a Pacer or stood on a single car Sprinter - no thanks! It'll take time to build up new customers. At the moment, people's first thought around here is to either take their car or not bother at all. The 555 bus service from Lancaster to Ambleside via Kendal is a classic example of a well used, popular and growing service - regular timings throughout the day, comfortable new buses, wifi, charging points, etc.
     
  15. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    If it's led by the council, are they also making efforts to market the line, eg to tourists? Are there, eg connections with buses to take people into the Lake District heartland? I'd have thought this could play an important role in boosting traffic, especially on Sundays.

    I did look at one website a week or two back (Visit Whithaven, though I don't think that is an official municipal site) and, from memory, it didn't even mention rail as means of access to the town. It did list car parks in some detail, however!
     
  16. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The Windermere branch is for that. The only bit of "Lake District heartland" that tends to be accessed from the west (other than the northern bit which already has the excellent "Beeching bus" X5 and is more easily accessed from the Penrith end) is Wasdale which tends to sit somewhat on its own and be quite quiet (and very pleasant for it).
     
  17. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    But surely the hills on the west side are attractive too? (or are there no lakes, just fells?) I forget, it's so long since I was anywhere in the area.

    I mean, the Ratty advertises its rides as scenic, doesn't it?
     
  18. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The Ratty is basically the same as Wasdale (well, actually Eskdale). The layout of the roads makes most hills better accessed from the east. Even if you ran a bus up Wasdale/Eskdale it wouldn't be able to get to the busy bit, there's no road, or in the case of Eskdale only one very much not suited to buses.
     
  19. Shaw S Hunter

    Shaw S Hunter Established Member

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    This is mostly about trying to reinvigorate the communities on or close to the coast rather than Lakeland. Since the end of mining and steel-making there are few large employers left meaning that younger people are more likely to leave the area leading to a long-term decline in local economic fortunes. By improving accessibility the hope is to attract a little more inward investment without being heavily reliant on the nuclear industry for it.
     
  20. peri

    peri Member

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    I live in Hull and I travelled on the line four times last year. It's such an interesting trip. I really couldn't give a toss what's pulling it but the coaches are nice and comfy. Perhaps someone could come up with a walks leaflet and the similar blurb you get with the S & C? Now if only they can improve the trains and frequency on the Bentham line we'll have a wonderful triangle.
     
  21. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

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    Wasdale, Duddon Valley and Eskdale are three of the Lakes' best valleys (though Langdale probably beats all 3), and their fells the highest and most dramatic.

    Tourism potential is a little limited though. It's more rugged than the central / southern 'honeypot' Lakes - good walking territory but few villages and few opportunities for tea-rooms and P/pottering (pun-intended). So it's great walker territory but less good for other tourism generally.

    With regards to the railway, the line doesn't really get close enough to the walking (except Blackcombe and maybe some round Ravenglass) to be useful and as pointed out roads are too windy or absent to provide many bus connections.
     
  22. YorkshireBear

    YorkshireBear Established Member

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    Indeed that is what i was getting at not the tourist trade.
     
  23. Batman

    Batman Member

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    It’s good to see this line is now getting an improved service, particularly in Sunday’s.

    I don’t really know this line at all, so does anyone know how difficult it would be to run a clockface hourly service all the way from Carlisle to Barrow? Would it need extra double track, passing loops, re-signalling etc...?
     
  24. Batman

    Batman Member

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    That’s all very well and good, but I’ve just st has a brief look at the new timetable and there are anomalies in it.

    For example, there’s a 2 hour gap between services southbound from Whitehaven during the evening peak on weekdays, but oddly not on Saturdays. How is that supposed to provide a functional service for commuters?

    If I lived in Millom for example and worked a 9 to 5 job in Whitehaven town centre, I certainly wouldn’t use the train to get to and from work.
     
  25. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I think the single line bits would cause trouble with that.
     
  26. Shaw S Hunter

    Shaw S Hunter Established Member

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    Current timetable: 1549, 1623, 1741, 1852 (last train)
    New timetable: 1552, 1620, 1735, 1818, 1901, 2018 (last train)

    A gap of 75 minutes, reduced from 78 minutes, but certainly not 2 hours, and the 71 minute gap now filled. Just what would it take to get you commuting by train?
     
  27. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

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    I'd chose the train. Have you tried driving along the roads in the area though? The drive is 55-65 minutes along windy roads that pass through farmyards. The train is 40 minutes.

    But frankly I don't think that the scope is there for significant commuter traffic. Why would someone work in Whitehaven and live in Millom? Houses are cheap along the west coast and it's not like the Millom or Barrow job markets are so great as to have a bunch of people with workers travelling both directions. There are some people - Millom is in the southern corner of the Whitehaven travel to work area - but I don't think there's a huge untapped market.

    From a commuting perspective I think that this line is best thought of as three markets: (Sellafield)-Millom-Barrow; (Sellafield)-Whitehaven-Workington-Maryport; Maryport-Carlisle. These changes improve all of these three routes in commuting hours.

    There is demand for through traffic between these routes - it's very rural so we're talking things like hospitals, any high-end shopping, cinema etc. But I think it's better for these middle-distance journeys to think about it in terms of encouraging people to travel every couple of weeks for these sort of things, rather than daily commuters.
     
  28. Batman

    Batman Member

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    If you look at the new timetable, the 1735 runs on Saturday’s only. So what about people who used the current 1741? Are the just expected to wait for the 1818?
     
  29. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    Will have to take a spin round the Cumbrian Coast again soon. It's a line I mean to do again but usually just can't be bothered as it takes so long. Perhaps a trip on the Ravenglass to break it up a little.
     
  30. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Maybe the number of passengers wanting a train from Sellafield around 1715 is more than the number that might use a train from Whitehaven at 1709 - cuccir summarises commuting patterns well.
     
  31. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Arguably Sellafield keeps the line going, so that gets first dibs on most things.
     

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