Department for Transport launches CrossCountry franchise consultation

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by jcollins, 7 Jun 2018.

  1. XCTurbostar

    XCTurbostar Member

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    There are already at least three cases of where Turbostars run in 4 and 5 carriage formations without SDO:

    1P04 - LEI to BHM - SSuX is 4 Carriages
    1P24 - LEI to BHM - SSuX is 5 Carriages
    1P34 - BHM to LEI - F is 4 Carriages
     
  2. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Even if you had a 7 coach unit with the same sort of capacity per central coach then it would be of a similar capacity as a pair of 4 coach units (both circa 400 seats).


    A 9 coach 80x has circa 600 seats, so would be comparable to three 4 coach Voyagers, so a very significant increase in capacity compared to what already exists.


    I've previously looked at the capacities and likely costs before:



    Following on from the last paragraph, there's the chance that if there's not a total fleet replacement there could be scope to retain the 5 coach units and just have bimodal units for the 7 coach units. Possibly still costing less than if XC gained the 222's and gaining more seats. Although possibly with less flexibility.
     
  3. 4-SUB 4732

    4-SUB 4732 Member

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    You are correct that there isn't pathing for a third passenger train each way in the hour. However, what was being suggested was that the local unit does not go to Leamington and instead goes back to a Coventry - Nuneaton shuttle. Let us be clear: Kenilworth has a much bigger population than Brockenhurst, Alnmouth/Alnwick, Morpeth, Berwick or Dunbar and with no demonstrable tourist industry, it serves to reason that a number of Kenilworth residents would be both leisure or commuter passengers into Birmingham. With this in mind, it would be the case that provision of a longer and perhaps more important direct train to Birmingham than the 'Dogbox' that currently operates to Coventry and forces a change of journey.

    Also, given the need for capacity between Birmingham and Coventry and between Brum Airport / Cov and the likes of Leamington, Banbury and further down places like Oxford and Reading makes the need for a better Cross Country service greater.
     
  4. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    If that was the case for Kenilworth, why didn't XC demand a 5 car platform they can use during its development? They weren't bothered in the slightest.
     
  5. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    I can suggest why, most of the places listed as having a smaller population (but presumably similar) add upto 235,000 passengers a year to the XC network (mostly less).

    Compare that to Coventry and Leamington Spa which are both about 1.2 million passengers each and you can see why they may not be that bothered.

    Add in that it would allow down services between two of their busiest stations (Reading and Birmingham) and it probably isn't worth it.

    (All numbers taken from the last few pages of the consultation document which is available from the website linked to in the OP.
     
  6. SeanM1997

    SeanM1997 Member

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    What about a CrossCountry service which avoids Birmingham. Manchester could then operate 2 trains an hour and Liverpool 1 an hour:
    1 - Liverpool Lime Street, Liverpool South Parkway, Runcorn, Crewe, Stafford, Nuneaton, Coventry, Kenilworth, Leamington Spa, Banbury, Oxford, Reading, Winchester, Southampton Airport Parkway, Southampton Central, Brockenhurst and Bournemouth
    2- Manchester Piccadilly, Stockport, Macclesfield, Stoke On Trent, Stafford, Wolverhampton, Birmingham NS, Cheltenham Spa, Bristol Parkway, Bristol Temple Meads, Taunton, Tiverton Parkway and Exeter St Davids
    3 - Manchester Piccadilly, Stockport, Macclesfield, Stoke On Trent, Stafford, Wolverhampton, Birmingham NS, Birmingham International, Coventry, Leamington Spa, Banbury, Oxford and Reading
     
  7. DenmarkRail

    DenmarkRail Member

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    Perhaps some of this conversation should be moved to the “What should happen in the next Cross Country franchise”... I feel this has gone a fair bit away from the survey
     
  8. s'land

    s'land Member

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    I know local MP's and various political parties are campaigning for better inter-city type services from/to Sunderland, so there may be something to this. Also there appears to be some movement on the improvement of Sunderland Train Station.
     
  9. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    How many coaches do South Wigston and Narborough accommodate? I'd be surprised if they can take five without SDO or UDS?
     
  10. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    The service avoiding Birmingham would have been useful for several journeys I've made over the last few years. Even for those going to Birmingham it would be easy enough to change at Banbury or Coventry to another service. It would also be good if there's actually two XC trains an hour between Basingstoke and Reading (it would be better with 3, but that's not likely anytime soon) rather than the 1.5tph that there is now.
     
  11. XCTurbostar

    XCTurbostar Member

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    From the Sectional Appendix, along the Birmingham to Leicester route the platform Lengths are;
    South Wigston - P1/P2 both 100m
    Narborough - P1/P2 both 100m
    Hinckley - P1/P2 both 104m
    Nuneaton - P6/P7 both 149m
    Coleshill Parkway - P1/P2 both 125m
    Water Orton - P1/P2 both 104m
     
  12. 4-SUB 4732

    4-SUB 4732 Member

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    The north of Northallerton conundrum is definitely the most interesting part of the consultation document.

    I suppose the question is that if there is only capacity for 6tph between Northallerton & Darlington (in theory) and TPE get 2 paths, ICEC get 3 paths and XC gets 1, is that the best use of capacity.

    The answer would be no purely from the perspective of 4 coaches instead of 9 (maybe) is no good; but do Newcastle, Durham and Darlington need a third train an hour to London if it’s an extension of the York slow services? Or is that even the service that would be offered?

    Surely if the capacity doesn’t exist for the use of the flat junction at Northallerton, then the ICEC Middlesbrough service should go slow lines from Longlands or Thirsk and avoid Northallerton?

    I don’t find the use of Stillington or the Durham Coast at all likely to be honest; nor even a Sunderland or Middlesbrough connection. Suspect DfT will lazily chuck one train an hour into the bay at York. Question is: should they send it via Leeds; and the Anglo-Scot via Doncaster to save time and prevent overcrowding or do they send both via Leeds?
     
  13. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    Ok and how does that translate with regards maximum number of cars?
     
  14. the sniper

    the sniper Established Member

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    A 170 carriage is 23.62m, do the math. He's done the hard bit. :p
     
  15. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Plus Morpeth, Brockenhurst, et al are more towards the fringes of the XC network (albeit still on the hourly bits). Kenilworth is nigh on at its heart.
     
  16. Iskra

    Iskra Established Member

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    Perhaps XC could use one path by splitting and joining at York. If one portion set off via Leeds and the second followed via Doncaster running X minutes behind it could run on to the back of the Leeds service at York and then use one path northwards. It could then split again at Newcastle or Edinburgh. XC trains already have long dwells so it shouldn’t affect reliability too much.
     
  17. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    You'd be adding a heck of alot of operational complexity for not much benefit. In your proposal, you'd still only have one effective train per hour from north of York to Sheffield and beyond - nobody would get on the via Leeds portion to travel south of Wakefield from north of York.

    TPE would still link Leeds to Newcastle etc (capacity provided through train lengthening) - and you're better just adding all the capacity onto the via Donny XC services rather than forcing it to be 'short' south of York.
     
  18. Iskra

    Iskra Established Member

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    Perhaps that’s what’s needed as the Leeds services are busier than the via Doncaster ones, it could balance the loading better, but yes it’s far from a perfect solution. I don’t see how it’s that operationally complex, even TPE have mastered splitting and joining services!
     
  19. Kingsbury Jn.

    Kingsbury Jn. Member

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    Coleshill Parkway can just about accommodate a 5-car consist. I witnessed that during the Sutton Park diverts. The 6th car of a double, 3-car 170, was off the platform.
     
  20. XCTurbostar

    XCTurbostar Member

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    There aren't any diagramed 6 car workings although I know that it does tend to happen about once every two weeks with 1P24 (LEI to BHM).
    In this situation, the first unit which runs from BHM to LEI is a SSD terminator and goes back to LEI as 1K21. The second unit which runs ECS from Tyseley depot to BHM and should be a 2 coach unit (although it isnt always) this then leaves BHM as 1K23 when it arrives at LEI both units join and form 1P24 back to BHM.

    Now that I'm at a computer. From the Sectional Appendix, along the Birmingham to Leicester and Nottingham routes the platform Lengths are;

    Stansted Airport - P2 106m
    Audley End - P1/P2 both 248m
    Ely - P1/P2/P3 all 256m
    March - P1/P2 both 114m
    Stamford - P1/P2 both 92m
    Oakham - P1 132m, P2 101m
    Melton Mowbray - P1/P2 both 85m
    South Wigston - P1/P2 both 100m
    Narborough - P1/P2 both 100m
    Hinckley - P1/P2 both 104m
    Nuneaton - P6/P7 both 149m
    Coleshill Parkway - P1/P2 both 125m
    Water Orton - P1/P2 both 104m
    Wilnecote - P1/P2 both 89m
    Tamworth (High Level) - P3/P4 both 245m
    Burton-on-trent - P1/P2 both 217m
    Willington - P1/P2 both 81m
    Spondon - P1/P2 both 72m
    Long Eaton - P1/P2 both 110m
    Attenborough - P1 99m, P2 97m
    Beeston - P1/P2 both 142m
     
  21. Kettledrum

    Kettledrum Member

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    Starting and terminating all these services at B'ham New Street is very tricky. Platforms are already very crowded, and you risk making the station very dangerous with all the passengers on these trains needing to get on or off. You also have the problem of increased time that units will spend in the platforms - taking up space and capacity that just isn't there.
     
  22. Kettledrum

    Kettledrum Member

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    I thought it was a missed opportunity, when some of the HST trains became available and went to Scot Rail. They were designed for long distance routes like XC and are route cleared already.

    Sure the're not ideal in terms of high track access charges, poor door layout for the commuters using XC, and not as good at accellerating away from the frequent XC service stops, but they are so much better than anything suggested in the consultation about capacity.
     
  23. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Indeed. What it boils down to is that they have lots of capacity and a high quality interior. Given the journey times on Cross Country, this is far more important than a slight increase in journey times associated with poorer acceleration.
     
  24. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Or even a lower top speed. It occurred to me while making a journey on a Chiltern Class 168 (with an interior designed to look and feel of very high quality) that that kind of setup would suit XC much better than the Voyagers - and as Turbostars are much cheaper, they could probably have had 7 or even 8-car formations for the price of a 5-car Voyager.
     
  25. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Member

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    Indeed, I recently went on a 168 for the first time and was very surprised at how well equipped/designed it was. Puts the alternative of Virgin Pendolinos or WMT Desiros to shame!
     
  26. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Considering they are still looking at reducing journey times on all their routes, I doubt that will be an option.
     
  27. XCTurbostar

    XCTurbostar Member

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    I think there’s a fairly good chance that all 222s will end up with XC and that the HSTs will be planned to leave pretty early during the new franchise. There should then be an opportunity to put 4 car Voyagers onto CDF-NOT and BHM-SSD and make all others 5 car or more.

    It will be interesting to see how bidders propose to get around the ‘sea water’ issue mentioned in the consultation.
     
  28. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Thats true. I suppose it depends on whether farepayers are prepared to cough up for another new fleet.
     
  29. 4-SUB 4732

    4-SUB 4732 Member

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    The alternative is to terminate the ‘via Leeds’ at Leeds; and then run the ‘via Doncaster’ to Scotland. The only problem is the TransPennine Edinburgh is going to be just 5 coaches - an XC service could be 4/5/8/9/10 if required.

    Has any consideration been given to TransPennine not running to Edinburgh and their running somewhere else?
     
  30. 4-SUB 4732

    4-SUB 4732 Member

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    No. No. No. It’s not about trains starting/terminating at New Street...

    It’s about imagining the trains as ‘bits’ and then building the routes based on the times the paths are in and out of New Street; aka don’t assume it has to be Plymouth to Edinburgh, but instead could be Plymouth to Manchester or even Plymouth to Nottingham.
     

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