Despatching error, or dysfunctional measurement system?

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talltim

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If Right Time Start is a metric, then a train which departs on time from the first station, is held for 5 minutes between stations and arrives and leaves the rest of its stations 5 minutes late is better than one which leaves five minutes late from its first station and then arrives and leaves the rest of its stations 5 minutes late. Despite the fact it make no difference to most passengers (they'll all be five munites late getting there), but may actually be worse for any who arrive late or on a late running connection.
One of those cases where chasing statistics makes things worse.
 

Mojo

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The RDG website on the soon to be introduced new performance measure to replace PPM states that it will monitor the arrival time, and not the departure time, at intermediate and destination stations.
 

Llanigraham

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The people on the held train would NOT be put at any disadvantage. The train originally referred to was delayed by holding it outside the station after it had departed. Holding it at the platform instead would have incurred no more delay. In fact, saving the train from having to restart a second time could even have reduced the delay it incurred.

There is another problem that seems to happen if the Cardiffs depart on time when the Plymouths are running late. Several times we have been let out, and come to a stand at St Andrews. You think "ok, they are holding us to allow the Plymouth to run first." But no, after a minute or two, we are on our way again. A couple of minutes totally needless delay. The first time it happened, I put it down to an inattentive signaller. But by the third time, there must be something else going on. I suspect that we are being held until the signaller has got permission from XC control to let us run first.

The argument about letting the train out to free-up a platform does not apply at Derby. With a few exceptions, each service has its own dedicated platform, so freeing up the platform just results in an empty platform - Derby isn't Leeds, there is no train waiting to use it.

The argument about not pressing the TRTS also does not currently apply - since the resignalling, the Derby signallers seem to clear the platform exit signals long before the train arrives. It may apply once ARS is commissioned.
And I shall repeat what I said earlier.
NO signallers take orders about anything from XC control, or any other TOC control. The only people who will tell them what to do will be Network Rail Control.
I suggest that before you make any more incorrect statements about NR signallers you do some research about how they do their job, and what it entails.
 

Llanigraham

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I think it was perhaps a bad choice of words, but if Derby is fitted with TRTS plungers then they would be operated by EMT staff.
Possibly, but the OP has again made a similar accusation (see my reply above), and this time in a situation where the presence of a TRTS button would have no affect.
I suspect that he doesn't understand how signallers work.
 

DarloRich

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And I shall repeat what I said earlier.
NO signallers take orders about anything from XC control, or any other TOC control. The only people who will tell them what to do will be Network Rail Control.
I suggest that before you make any more incorrect statements about NR signallers you do some research about how they do their job, and what it entails.
is the correct answer - however you will never convince people of that! ( Signalers are notoriously independent: even getting them to follow NR control instructions is a challenge sometimes!)
 

Bald Rick

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The concept that a signaller, controller, or indeed any member of staff could work out the financial effect of the options for a regulation decision in real time and then implement the one most advantageous to one particular company, is the funniest thing I have heard all week.
 

Highlandspring

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And I shall repeat what I said earlier.
NO signallers take orders about anything from XC control, or any other TOC control.
Apart from the boxes where they do, for example Edinburgh SC (for Edinburgh Waverley) and West of Scotland SC (for Glasgow Central).
 

eastdyke

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The concept that a signaller, controller, or indeed any member of staff could work out the financial effect of the options for a regulation decision in real time and then implement the one most advantageous to one particular company, is the funniest thing I have heard all week.
But the member of staff has to make that decision nonetheless.
Based on?
In the case of Derby of course there are only 2 TOCs (ignoring freight).
See you in The Brunswick :)
 

DanDaDriver

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I suggest that before you make any more incorrect statements about NR signallers you do some research about how they do their job, and what it entails.
Turn up to work, carpet slippers on, nothing moves until you’ve had three cups of tea, brassoed the box and read a chapter of your book? ;)
 

JN114

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And I shall repeat what I said earlier.
NO signallers take orders about anything from XC control, or any other TOC control. The only people who will tell them what to do will be Network Rail Control.
I suggest that before you make any more incorrect statements about NR signallers you do some research about how they do their job, and what it entails.
To be fair, as a TOC Controller I routinely negotiate set swaps and other such alterations directly with signallers - getting the TRC to pass messages just invokes Chinese whispers
 

jon0844

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At WGC, signallers generally work to the workings and don't always take into account delays in the most sensible way, such as a shunting train held in the reverse sidings to let a Moorgate train depart on time. The signaller will give the go ahead for the driver of the late shunt to come into platform 1 even though it then has around ten minutes before departure in public service. The train on the other side has to wait and starts 1, 2 or even 3 minutes late.

But with the way things have been, I can see why the signaller may not feel the need to sit and work everything out and just do things in the planned sequence no matter what.
 

45107

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As a TOC controller, I can state that connections like this are not routinely held unless there is prior advice about known passengers on board the late running service.
Holding on the off chance causes more delay when none/one/two people require the connection that has potentially delayed a trainload.

The financial (Schedule 8) impact is not considered. What is looked at is what effect a delay to a service will have later on, in other words the bigger picture to the many, not the the few.
 
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If holding a connection depends on knowledge that there is at least one passenger wanting to make the connection, is there any way that a passenger on a crowded, late-running, train can make such a notification if they can't locate the train staff in good time? Is there any point in phoning the TOC Customer Service number? My attempt on Tuesday evening (I am the OP) to have Customer Reception at Birmingham New Street notify my wish to make the Matlock connection at Derby was rebuffed - could I have insisted, or is any such notification seen as a discretionary kindness?
 

DarloRich

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If holding a connection depends on knowledge that there is at least one passenger wanting to make the connection, is there any way that a passenger on a crowded, late-running, train can make such a notification if they can't locate the train staff in good time? Is there any point in phoning the TOC Customer Service number? My attempt on Tuesday evening (I am the OP) to have Customer Reception at Birmingham New Street notify my wish to make the Matlock connection at Derby was rebuffed - could I have insisted, or is any such notification seen as a discretionary kindness?
the TOC isnt going to hold a connection unless there is a very good reason or it is the last train of the day. Even then it is on best endeavours
 

Dr Hoo

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Going back to the original post I am still confused as to why prompt departure of the 1951 to Matlock could not be seen as ‘necessary’. As I understand it the service comes across from Nottingham and uses Platform 5, which is the obvious platform in the new layout.
As soon as the 1951 is out of the way the following 1719 St Pancras-Derby (via Nottingham) is due to terminate, at 1955 - obviously a measurable ‘arrival’ time.
 

74A

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To be fair, as a TOC Controller I routinely negotiate set swaps and other such alterations directly with signallers - getting the TRC to pass messages just invokes Chinese whispers
negotiate being the important word. TOCs do not give orders to signallers only requests !
 

Skipness

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If holding a connection depends on knowledge that there is at least one passenger wanting to make the connection, is there any way that a passenger on a crowded, late-running, train can make such a notification if they can't locate the train staff in good time? Is there any point in phoning the TOC Customer Service number? My attempt on Tuesday evening (I am the OP) to have Customer Reception at Birmingham New Street notify my wish to make the Matlock connection at Derby was rebuffed - could I have insisted, or is any such notification seen as a discretionary kindness?
Last winter (I.e. Before the Derby resignalling) I was on a late running XC northbound train. The Matlock service on a Sunday is two hourly, and was sent out in advance of the XC. However, the train manager informed us that anybody needed the connection would be provided with a taxi rather than a two hour wait on a cold December Derby station. ( The Alexandra wasn't mentioned as an alternative!)

On another topic I often change at Par for the Newquay train. Both the mainline train and the branch are GWR services. When I queried how long the Newquay train would be held for the connection I was told that the decision was made by zGWR control.
 

Tomnick

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negotiate being the important word. TOCs do not give orders to signallers only requests !
The TOC's operations supervisor at our place issues a daily document to the signalman indicating which platform should be used for each train, with subsequent amendments throughout the day as set swaps etc. are arranged. Any delays resulting from deviation from this plan are often dobbed as O-codes. It's maybe not an order, but it sounds rather more than a mere request to me!
 
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Going back to the original post I am still confused as to why prompt departure of the 1951 to Matlock could not be seen as ‘necessary’. As I understand it the service comes across from Nottingham and uses Platform 5, which is the obvious platform in the new layout.
As soon as the 1951 is out of the way the following 1719 St Pancras-Derby (via Nottingham) is due to terminate, at 1955 - obviously a measurable ‘arrival’ time.
Am I being unreasonable in expecting that, after spending £200m to achieve greater reslience, Derby station would be capable of operation so that it would be at only the very busiest times of day when platforming constraints would see trains moved out of the station to sit at a nearby signal instead?

Given that delays on the XC northbound service due at xx40 is a reasonably frequent occurrence, then I would expect to see the default allocation of trains to platforms to achieve the promised reslience, ie the ability to tolerate at least some of the more predictable disruptions.

I accept that when the station is at its very busiest, that might not be possible. But at 1951?
 
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Belperpete

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Most Cardiff services are booked to follow a Cross city service into Birmingham from Proof House, so it will be being held to allow that to go ahead as booked.
I explicitly said that we were NOT being held to allow the XC to go ahead. Nothing went ahead of us, we just restarted again after a minute or two's wait. It is highly unlikely that there was anything ahead of us, because we would have seen it passing through Derby station. And as I have said, this has happened several times now. If you don't accept my hypothesis as to why trains are being held like this, from your obviously far greater knowledge of how the Derby signallers work, do you have an alternative explanation?
 

louis97

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I explicitly said that we were NOT being held to allow the XC to go ahead. Nothing went ahead of us, we just restarted again after a minute or two's wait. It is highly unlikely that there was anything ahead of us, because we would have seen it passing through Derby station. And as I have said, this has happened several times now. If you don't accept my hypothesis as to why trains are being held like this, from your obviously far greater knowledge of how the Derby signallers work, do you have an alternative explanation?
Cross City service not Cross Country service. Cross City is an electric service from the Aston direction. So my explanation still stands.
 

Dr Hoo

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Am I being unreasonable in expecting that, after spending £200m to achieve greater reslience, Derby station would be capable of operation so that it would be at only the very busiest times of day when platforming constraints would see trains moved out of the station to sit at a nearby signal instead?

Given that delays on the XC northbound service due at xx40 is a reasonably frequent occurrence, then I would expect to see the default allocation of trains to platforms to achieve the promised reslience, ie the ability to tolerate at least some of the more predictable disruptions.

I accept that when the station is at its very busiest, that might not be possible. But at 1951?
Noted, but in the context of the thread title this was not a ‘despatch error’. The platform staff appear to have had booked train in booked platform at booked time and ‘ready to start’. They would have known that another train was booked to immediately re-occupy the platform and to delay despatch would probably delay both trains. The platform staff are not signallers and not controllers. They did it by the book. (Spoken as a former Station Manager, used to defending his staff.)
 

Tomnick

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Cross City service not Cross Country service. Cross City is an electric service from the Aston direction. So my explanation still stands.
I suspect the St Andrews being referred to is the siding between Derby station and LNW Jn, not the one around Bordesley - it’d definitely be some forward-thinking regulating in that case!
 

Shaw S Hunter

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Am I being unreasonable in expecting that, after spending £200m to achieve greater reslience, Derby station would be capable of operation so that it would be at only the very busiest times of day when platforming constraints would see trains moved out of the station to sit at a nearby signal instead?

Given that delays on the XC northbound service due at xx40 is a reasonably frequent occurrence, then I would expect to see the default allocation of trains to platforms to achieve the promised reslience, ie the ability to tolerate at least some of the more predictable disruptions.

I accept that when the station is at its very busiest, that might not be possible. But at 1951?
Punctuality is not the only measure of resilience. In fact Network Rail gets a lot of criticism about various infrastructure failures. Things like track circuits, point motors, individual track components, signal heads, etc. While plain rail has a long life many of the above listed will not last anything like as long. So at a busy nodal point, like Derby, it is sometimes most efficient to replace a complete layout in one blockade rather than piecemeal works over a long period. None of it can guarantee anything about the operational performance of TOCs and FOCs.
 

SilentGrade

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I explicitly said that we were NOT being held to allow the XC to go ahead. Nothing went ahead of us, we just restarted again after a minute or two's wait. It is highly unlikely that there was anything ahead of us, because we would have seen it passing through Derby station. And as I have said, this has happened several times now. If you don't accept my hypothesis as to why trains are being held like this, from your obviously far greater knowledge of how the Derby signallers work, do you have an alternative explanation?
Highly unlikely but not impossible. The reasons for trains being held in certain locations are massively complicated and without individual details of dates and times of each occurrence it’s impossible to pluck a random reason out of thin air as you have suggested and say that is the cause. Sometimes it is easier to see a conspiracy when there is none
 

6Gman

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The people on the held train would NOT be put at any disadvantage. The train originally referred to was delayed by holding it outside the station after it had departed. Holding it at the platform instead would have incurred no more delay. In fact, saving the train from having to restart a second time could even have reduced the delay it incurred.
Leeds, there is no train waiting to use it.
Except that by holding the Matlock (e.g.) to connect off the late-running XC you would also have to hold it long enough for people to get from platform to platform (including use of lifts where necessary) so further delay might occur.
 

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