DfT Consultation on TL/GN/SN Combined Franchise

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LNW-GW Joint

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This consultation has been kicked off by the DfT in advance of the October ITT.
http://assets.dft.gov.uk/consultations/dft-2012-23/consultation-thameslink.pdf

Lots of detail about the progessive merger and proposed services.
However, a quick skim did not reveal anything about rolling stock plans, nor about potentially devolving some inner suburban services to TfL.
Looks like passengers are being softened up for service reduction during the various Thameslink upgrade phases (eg turning round half of the Brighton trains short).
It looks a massive job.
 
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LE Greys

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Q.13 What destinations on the Great Northern route do respondents consider would be appropriate to become destinations for trains which serve the core Thameslink route?
Q.14 Do respondents believe Great Northern trains which do not serve the Thameslink core route should remain as part of this franchise or be transferred to the new Inter City East Coast
franchise?
Q.15 What improvements would respondents like to see made to Great Northern services as part of the combined franchise and what is the rationale for this?

I guess these three would affect me the most. I'm still not sure if the Moorgat inner-suburbans will be affected much, but quite like the idea of transferring them to TfL. The Cambridge fasts, I don't know. As for destinations, Brighton is obvious, as it gives access to Gatwick as well as the coast, but I'd also like at least one train to Kent, and one each way along the Coastaway route. That's just personal preference. Improvements? 90s and MkIIIs on the Cambridge/Peterborough fasts (wishful thinking) but definitely quicker electric stock. Keep a genuine outer-suburban unit with medium-distance-type seating (2+2) on the route so that the off-peak trains stay fairly comfortable. Quadruple through Welwyn (please)?
 

Class377/5

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Just read on pages 27-28 the 4tph Bedford to Brighton will be cut back to 2tph from Thameslink Core - Brighton. However 2toh need to be turned around at Gatwick or Three Bridges. Seems sensible the 2tph through the Core will be 12 cars, where they run to will be in question.

Reason for this is there won't be enough units to provide 4tph with extended jounrey times when diverted via Crystal Palace for three years from December 2014 timetable change
 

red_star

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When I read this, and when I read the London Mayor report for greater control over services in London, I cant help think that both recommendations seem to require larger and more complex organisations to operate larger and more complex networks.

Wasn't the whole point of Privatisation to rid the network of a large inefficient organisation?

Yet this report and the London Mayor report, desire larger bodies - to ensure tax payer and passenger value for money. No doubt the desire is really to exploit economies of scale and other Adams/Thatcheresque babble to make rich folk richer. I don't believe for one moment that the tax payer or the customers of TOCs will have 'value for money'.

The passenger survey results show the current Southern network in a favourable light, and in my opinion this is justified. What annoys me, is that the folk who work for this organisation have worked hard to gain this, and to be merged with the appalling standards on the current FCC network would rather disappoint me. Living at one time or other in North London and South London, I was defiantly let down more often with FCC than Southern. Don't get me started in SE.

I welcome change and for improvements in our rail network. But making larger organisations I do not believe in. Especially in the lie of "to create the biggest franchise that has ever been let in order to realise benefits for passengers and taxpayers."
 

swt_passenger

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However, a quick skim did not reveal anything about [...] potentially devolving some inner suburban services to TfL.

Despite it being proposed here about once a fortnight?

Remarkable that the DfT don't have the same policies as our experts...

In all seriousness though, even if the fast services to Kings Lynn that were earlier supposed to be operated by IEP might have fitted in with the East Coast franchise, the inner suburban Moorgate services do not fit in at all - and if they weren't to be kept with 'new Thameslink', LO seems the only sensible place for those services...
 
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ntg

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Quadruple through Welwyn (please)?

I think that ones been thoroughly mooted as too expensive regardless of the option. The RUS glazes over it with the idea that Hertford Loop capacity will make that problem go away...only if you're planning on reconnecting Welwyn to Hertford, which no one is.

Or as they say "Further north, there is a well-known constraint where the four-track main line becomes two for a short distance through Welwyn North because of the local topography. It would not be practical in the next decade to widen the railway at this point, but improvements to the timetable and to the capability of the parallel route via Hertford will make maximum use of the main line capacity and contribute to the flexibility and resilience of the railway on its approach to London."

In other words, it's about to hit capacity and there's nothing we can do about it.

Despite it being proposed here about once a fortnight?

Remarkable that the DfT don't have the same policies as our experts...

Wasn't that Boris's proposal originally?
 

Class377/5

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The passenger survey results show the current Southern network in a favourable light, and in my opinion this is justified. What annoys me, is that the folk who work for this organisation have worked hard to gain this, and to be merged with the appalling standards on the current FCC network would rather disappoint me. Living at one time or other in North London and South London, I was defiantly let down more often with FCC than Southern. Don't get me started in SE.

I welcome change and for improvements in our rail network. But making larger organisations I do not believe in. Especially in the lie of "to create the biggest franchise that has ever been let in order to realise benefits for passengers and taxpayers."

What appalling standards? I'd like some example of what you mean please.

Some selective quoting by myself including Thameslink peak services to Dartford, re-routing all Southern services through the Core in 2018 via Herne Hill not London Bridge, 'only' 16 tph to London Bridge, handover of Southeastern/FCC joint services and the possibility of future service patterns coming from public ideas......

The rail industry's work on this suggests that the current pattern of four trains an hour from Brighton that serve both London Bridge and the Thameslink core will need to be replaced by two trains per hour to London Bridge (low level station) and two trains to the Thameslink core. There will be insufficient rolling stock and insufficient track capacity for all four trains (two from the Thameslink core and the two from London Bridge) to reach Brighton, so two trains per hour will have to turn back at Gatwick Airport or Three Bridges.*

However, achievement of this density of service on the Thameslink core route is an extremely demanding challenge and the decision has been taken that the service will only operate reliably if Automatic Train Operation (ATO)6 technology is deployed between St Pancras International low level and London Blackfriars. Development of ATO cannot begin until the new Thameslink trains are available, so it will not be possible to introduce the 24 trains per hour service until December 2018 at the earliest. Therefore, the build-up to the 24 trains per hour full service will be achieved progressively during 2018. There are likely to be incremental changes to the timetable during 2018 to achieve this. *

The services that are currently jointly operated between FCC and Southeastern will continue to be jointed operated until they transfer to the combined franchise in their entirety from 1 April 2014.

We have yet to confirm the exact scope of services that we will transfer from Southeastern in 2018 and we are seeking respondents' views as part of this consultation. Current thinking is that in addition to Thameslink core services serving Sevenoaks, these will be expanded to include Maidstone East. It is also possible that in peak hours this may include some services from Dartford and Orpington.

One particular conclusion has emerged from this work: if services between Kent and the Thameslink core route run via London Bridge it becomes physically impossible, within the envisaged infrastructure available at that time, for the present level of service to continue to run into and out of London Cannon Street. In view of the high demand for Cannon Street services, we believe it may be best for services between Kent and the Thameslink core to run only via Elephant & Castle. We are seeking respondents' views on this and the destinations in Kent that it would be appropriate for Thameslink core services to operate to and from.

The BML timetable pattern will be dictated by the timings of trains as they enter and leave the Thameslink core. We intend to specify the numbers of trains that run on the BML and each of its feeder routes to and from London, but to leave bidders to determine the best pattern of service, and calling patterns, south of Gatwick.

In order to ensure that a sensible pattern of services can be achieved for stations south of Gatwick both to and from Victoria, it may be necessary to make greater use of the practice of operating the non-stop Victoria-Gatwick services (Gatwick Express) as through trains to and from Brighton. This may be best achieved by restoring the practice of detaching (southbound) and attaching (northbound) a portion of the train so that airport passengers can have more time to alight from the train (southbound) and to join (northbound).*

The current FCC franchise includes all suburban services on the Great Northern route. This route serves destinations such as Peterborough, Cambridge, King's Lynn, Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City and Hertford into and out of London Kings Cross and London Moorgate. From 2018, up to eight trains per hour from the Great Northern route will run via the Thameslink core route. Work is currently underway to determine the optimal destinations for these trains. Whilst we do not have proposals as yet, we are considering whether or not it might be appropriate that services that are not serving the Thameslink core route should transfer to the new Intercity East Coast franchise.*

Many stakeholders are aware that Network Rail has recommended, in both the South London and London and South East Route Utilisation Strategies, that Wimbledon loop services should start and terminate at Blackfriars. Network Rail wishes to see trains presented to the Thameslink core punctually, and it sees the crossing moves that the Wimbledon loop trains have to make south of Blackfriars as potential conflicts with other trains, and thus a threat to punctuality. At peak times, from December 2018, it will be possible for up to 16 trains per hour to approach Blackfriars from the south route via Elephant & Castle, but for no more than eight of these to proceed through the Thameslink core. The other eight must terminate in the new platforms on the west side of Blackfriars station. All these trains will approach Blackfriars either from the Denmark Hill direction (including Catford loop trains) or from Herne Hill (including Wimbledon loop trains). The question to be decided is which six or eight trains (depending on whether 16 or 18 approach from London Bridge) go through the Thameslink core and which terminate. Trains that use these routes today come from Sutton, Wimbledon, Ashford (via Maidstone East), Rochester, Sevenoaks, Orpington, Beckenham Junction and Kent House. We are seeking respondents' views on which of these service groups should run through the Thameslink core and which should terminate at Blackfriars.

What this does is reveal that the entire Thameslink programme is still fluid in terms of final output.
 

swt_passenger

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If IEP happens, I thought the Cambridge cruisers would be getting it? Which would basically entail being transferred to East Coast.

They aren't guaranteed to get IEP now though. One of the DfT responses to 'applicant clarification questions' for the Thameslink franchise (on their website) allows for bidders being free to use IEP or their own solution:

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/rail-franchise-clarification-questions/bulletin1.pdf

This news was available in January, and I see in Roger Ford's latest article summarising the position of IEP he also seems to think IEP to Cambridge/Kings Lynn is a dead duck...
 
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Failed Unit

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They aren't guaranteed to get IEP now though. One of the DfT responses to 'applicant clarification questions' for the Thameslink franchise (on their website) allows for bidders being free to use IEP or their own solution:

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/rail-franchise-clarification-questions/bulletin1.pdf

I guess the only thing that is certain is that they will remain operating between Kings Cross and Cambridge. Using what is the big question. Get some more 395s ;)
 

LE Greys

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I guess the only thing that is certain is that they will remain operating between Kings Cross and Cambridge. Using what is the big question. Get some more 395s ;)

Actually, that's not a bad idea, although I can imagine the lights dimming as a pair of them goes through Baldock. They would also have to be used on the Peterborough commuter fasts, and some could shuttle to York and back in place of 225 sets off-peak.
 

Failed Unit

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Actually, that's not a bad idea, although I can imagine the lights dimming as a pair of them goes through Baldock. They would also have to be used on the Peterborough commuter fasts, and some could shuttle to York and back in place of 225 sets off-peak.

It is a pity that network rail is so against splitting / joining services. You could maybe have service every hour doing

London, Stevenage, Peterborough, Grantham, Newark, Retford, Doncaster, {Split} York & Wakefield, Leeds.

then we could have

London, Grantham, Wakefield, Leeds, Shipley, Bradford every hour as well as the London, Peterborough, Doncaster, Wakefield, Leeds service.
 

swt_passenger

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What this does is reveal that the entire Thameslink programme is still fluid in terms of final output.

That's always the DfT party line, but I can't really think of any of these sort of 'remapping' consultations where the final ITT has introduced earth shattering changes. I mean, when they remapped the Midlands area I don't remember any shocks when the final decisions were made, can anyone else?

My gut feeling is that when the ITT comes out, it will be very close to what Network Rail have been drip-feeding into the public domain over the last few years in the various RUSs for the relevant areas.

For an external 'stakeholder' to come up with something completely novel at this stage, including sufficient timetabling evidence to shift NR off their current course, I think it would be pretty unusual. And they only have 3 months...
 

calc7

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The calling patterns on the ECML suffer from the comparitively low amount of services operating to a large amount of destinations. The WCML has 10 ICtph (including the Birmingham to Scotland) and so it is much easier to get a 'balance' of calls betwen 'larger' and 'smaller' stations (eg 2tph to Stoke but only 1 to Macclesfield). The fact that only 2tph run to Leeds means you can either have one fast and one slow, or both semi-fast. If there were a third one, this could well be all-stations, with the others maybe being KGX-PBO-DON-WKF-LDS and KGX-(NNG/GRA)-DON-WKF-LDS.

It is for the same reason that the Liverpool service suffers on the WCML - with only 1tph you either stop it at Milton Keynes and/or Crewe, or, as now, expect passengers from those stations to change at Crewe onto LM for onward journeys to Liverpool.
 

tbtc

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I think that ones been thoroughly mooted as too expensive regardless of the option. The RUS glazes over it with the idea that Hertford Loop capacity will make that problem go away...only if you're planning on reconnecting Welwyn to Hertford, which no one is.

Or as they say "Further north, there is a well-known constraint where the four-track main line becomes two for a short distance through Welwyn North because of the local topography. It would not be practical in the next decade to widen the railway at this point, but improvements to the timetable and to the capability of the parallel route via Hertford will make maximum use of the main line capacity and contribute to the flexibility and resilience of the railway on its approach to London."

In other words, it's about to hit capacity and there's nothing we can do about it

The only thing that we can really do is extend the short services that run over it (five coach Open Access 180s, four/eight coach Peterborough/Cambridge EMUs) to try to soak up some of the capacity.
 

LE Greys

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That's always the DfT party line, but I can't really think of any of these sort of 'remapping' consultations where the final ITT has introduced earth shattering changes. I mean, when they remapped the Midlands area I don't remember any shocks when the final decisions were made, can anyone else?

My gut feeling is that when the ITT comes out, it will be very close to what Network Rail have been drip-feeding into the public domain over the last few years in the various RUSs for the relevant areas.

For an external 'stakeholder' to come up with something completely novel at this stage, including sufficient timetabling evidence to shift NR off their current course, I think it would be pretty unusual. And they only have 3 months...

The calling patterns on the ECML suffer from the comparitively low amount of services operating to a large amount of destinations. The WCML has 10 ICtph (including the Birmingham to Scotland) and so it is much easier to get a 'balance' of calls betwen 'larger' and 'smaller' stations (eg 2tph to Stoke but only 1 to Macclesfield). The fact that only 2tph run to Leeds means you can either have one fast and one slow, or both semi-fast. If there were a third one, this could well be all-stations, with the others maybe being KGX-PBO-DON-WKF-LDS and KGX-(NNG/GRA)-DON-WKF-LDS.

It is for the same reason that the Liverpool service suffers on the WCML - with only 1tph you either stop it at Milton Keynes and/or Crewe, or, as now, expect passengers from those stations to change at Crewe onto LM for onward journeys to Liverpool.

It's a bit off-topic, but yes, this makes sense. To me however, the ECML method seems like the rational way to do things for people at intermediate stations, which is why a lot of HS2 proposals don't seem to make much sense. But then, the flow pattern is different, since destinations such as Newcastle and York are part of the core route (effectively terminating short), and Aberdeen, Inverness and Glasgow fan out at the top end (natural extensions of the Edinburgh service), leaving Leeds as the only major destination away from the core. The WCML spreads out a lot more, with Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Holyhead all off the core route.
 

tbtc

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It's a bit off-topic, but yes, this makes sense. To me however, the ECML method seems like the rational way to do things for people at intermediate stations, which is why a lot of HS2 proposals don't seem to make much sense. But then, the flow pattern is different, since destinations such as Newcastle and York are part of the core route (effectively terminating short), and Aberdeen, Inverness and Glasgow fan out at the top end (natural extensions of the Edinburgh service), leaving Leeds as the only major destination away from the core. The WCML spreads out a lot more, with Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Holyhead all off the core route.

Depends how you look at it - Hull and Sunderland are becoming established services on the ECML (even if GC's scenic route between Bradford and Doncaster isn't quite), Lincoln has a daily service (dumbed down from previous plans for a bi-hourly one).
 

Class377/5

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That's always the DfT party line, but I can't really think of any of these sort of 'remapping' consultations where the final ITT has introduced earth shattering changes. I mean, when they remapped the Midlands area I don't remember any shocks when the final decisions were made, can anyone else?

My gut feeling is that when the ITT comes out, it will be very close to what Network Rail have been drip-feeding into the public domain over the last few years in the various RUSs for the relevant areas.

For an external 'stakeholder' to come up with something completely novel at this stage, including sufficient timetabling evidence to shift NR off their current course, I think it would be pretty unusual. And they only have 3 months...

True but considering they are almost half way through spending £6bn on the Thameslink Programme, seems strange that don't actually know what this money is giving them?

I thought after the NR timetable that it was more or less sorted. As for shifting things, should be interesting to feed information to them and see what comes back.
 

Bald Rick

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Bear in mind that a team of very clever planners with the best planning systems available has spent the best part of 6 months devising a 2018 timetable for all of the current FCC, SET and Southern routes plus a bit more up the ECML and MML. It just about works. On a good day. It's possible that a consultee may be able to come up with something better, but then it's possible that I'll get six numbers on the lottery on Saturday.

So the paths are essentially sorted from the Thameslink core and London Termini for the first 15 miles or so. What the consultation asks is what destinations and calling patterns should the paths serve beyond that. Many respondents will want a service from their local station fast to London (choice of London stations), plus direct fast links to Gatwick / insert popular regional centre. In reality, bidders will be free to choose much of this, and they will choose what drives the greatest revenue so that they win the franchise.

The purpose of the consultation is therefore to help highlight to bidders where their models may need tweaking to pick up potential demand they may not know about. Of particular interest is the ECML <> south of river flows, as no-one really knows the potential here yet.
 

LE Greys

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Bear in mind that a team of very clever planners with the best planning systems available has spent the best part of 6 months devising a 2018 timetable for all of the current FCC, SET and Southern routes plus a bit more up the ECML and MML. It just about works. On a good day. It's possible that a consultee may be able to come up with something better, but then it's possible that I'll get six numbers on the lottery on Saturday.

So the paths are essentially sorted from the Thameslink core and London Termini for the first 15 miles or so. What the consultation asks is what destinations and calling patterns should the paths serve beyond that. Many respondents will want a service from their local station fast to London (choice of London stations), plus direct fast links to Gatwick / insert popular regional centre. In reality, bidders will be free to choose much of this, and they will choose what drives the greatest revenue so that they win the franchise.

The purpose of the consultation is therefore to help highlight to bidders where their models may need tweaking to pick up potential demand they may not know about. Of particular interest is the ECML <> south of river flows, as no-one really knows the potential here yet.

Well, ticket issuing systems should help. However, I reckon Brighton is obvious, possibly at the expense of one or two Bedford services to save paths south of Hayward's Heath. I reckon these will be the semi-fasts, one from Cambridge, one from Peterborough. The stoppers are not so certain, with Ashford, Guildford, Eastbourne and Littlehampton most likely. Stopping the Cambridge fasts/Peterborough commuter fasts at Stevenage and Hitchin (something I've been writing letters about for years) would be very useful in maintaining the King's Cross link, although all the others will stop underneath St Pancras anyway.
 

Class377/5

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Bear in mind that a team of very clever planners with the best planning systems available has spent the best part of 6 months devising a 2018 timetable for all of the current FCC, SET and Southern routes plus a bit more up the ECML and MML. It just about works. On a good day. It's possible that a consultee may be able to come up with something better, but then it's possible that I'll get six numbers on the lottery on Saturday.

So the paths are essentially sorted from the Thameslink core and London Termini for the first 15 miles or so. What the consultation asks is what destinations and calling patterns should the paths serve beyond that. Many respondents will want a service from their local station fast to London (choice of London stations), plus direct fast links to Gatwick / insert popular regional centre. In reality, bidders will be free to choose much of this, and they will choose what drives the greatest revenue so that they win the franchise.

The purpose of the consultation is therefore to help highlight to bidders where their models may need tweaking to pick up potential demand they may not know about. Of particular interest is the ECML <> south of river flows, as no-one really knows the potential here yet.

I thought as you did that it was all sorted until I saw this

We have yet to confirm the exact scope of services that we will transfer from Southeastern in 2018 and we are seeking respondents' views as part of this consultation. Current thinking is that in addition to Thameslink core services serving Sevenoaks, these will be expanded to include Maidstone East. It is also possible that in peak hours this may include some services from Dartford and Orpington. The rail industry has recently been engaged in an exercise planning the timetable that could operate when the Thameslink Programme is completed. This work involves all the affected operators and Network Rail. One particular conclusion has emerged from this work: if services between Kent and the Thameslink core route run via London Bridge it becomes physically impossible, within the envisaged infrastructure available at that time, for the present level of service to continue to run into and out of London Cannon Street. In view of the high demand for Cannon Street services, we believe it may be best for services between Kent and the Thameslink core to run only via Elephant & Castle. We are seeking respondents' views on this and the destinations in Kent that it would be appropriate for Thameslink core services to operate to and from. When considering these views and deciding whether or not to include this in the specification we will consider the affordability of proposals as well as balancing the needs of all users on the route.

Fact NR and the TOC's see Thameslink - London Bridge - Kent as bad in timetables now seems to indicate that those planners aren't so sure now.

The ECML to south destinations is an interesting point you've raised.
 

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So Dartford appears to be out, at least via Greenwich.

Littlehampton and Eastbourne I don't think are within the scope any more.

I think there are some tables but the most recent thoughts had:
Brighton 4tph
East Grinstead 2tph
Horsham 2tph
Three Bridges 2tph
Caterham 2tph
Tattenham Corner 2tph (all the Norwood Junction fasts)
Sevenoaks 2tph - and 4tph more via Catford Loop.
and then peaks.

This makes a lot more sense than either Coastway route, which are much further for unit utilisation. That said, rather than Brighton, it'd be great if a couple of trains (or Gatwick Express trains) started at Hove in the peaks.
 

LE Greys

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So Dartford appears to be out, at least via Greenwich.

Littlehampton and Eastbourne I don't think are within the scope any more.

I think there are some tables but the most recent thoughts had:
Brighton 4tph
East Grinstead 2tph
Horsham 2tph
Three Bridges 2tph
Caterham 2tph
Tattenham Corner 2tph (all the Norwood Junction fasts)
Sevenoaks 2tph - and 4tph more via Catford Loop.
and then peaks.

This makes a lot more sense than either Coastway route, which are much further for unit utilisation. That said, rather than Brighton, it'd be great if a couple of trains (or Gatwick Express trains) started at Hove in the peaks.

From Brighton: Bedford, 2tph; Peterborough, 1tph; Cambridge, 1tph

That's the important route, the rest can be decided by a combination of convenience and traffic demand (they have to fit into the same paths through Welwyn as they do now).
 

cle

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Which is why Welwyn GC is so handy and will have possibly 4tph terminating!

There will be 8tph serving Gatwick, which is good. Hopefully they will have a faster Brighton service - sub 55 mins from London Bridge would be great. Maybe Three Bridges and Haywards Heath could be removed from the fast trains off peak.
 

Class377/5

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Which is why Welwyn GC is so handy and will have possibly 4tph terminating!

There will be 8tph serving Gatwick, which is good. Hopefully they will have a faster Brighton service - sub 55 mins from London Bridge would be great. Maybe Three Bridges and Haywards Heath could be removed from the fast trains off peak.

Unlikely, Haywards Heath it's an important station and stops were recently added to all Thameslink services for Three Bridges. All Thameslink Core services will have better acceralation than today justifying the calles. Besides which would you really save tat much time by missing these stops out?
 

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Unlikely, Haywards Heath it's an important station and stops were recently added to all Thameslink services for Three Bridges. All Thameslink Core services will have better acceralation than today justifying the calles. Besides which would you really save tat much time by missing these stops out?

Agreed, but then if it were up to me I'd stop everything at Gatwick and at East Croydon too (which would slow down the Brighton "fasts" and Gatwick Express, but would give a more efficient use of paths)
 

Class377/5

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Agreed, but then if it were up to me I'd stop everything at Gatwick and at East Croydon too (which would slow down the Brighton "fasts" and Gatwick Express, but would give a more efficient use of paths)

Agreed. As shown in research timing isn't everything but connectivity is.

Going back to the issue of cutting the Thameslink Bedford - Brighton services down, been thinking why isn't there enough stock to run 2tph Bedford to BML and 2tph London Bridge LL - BML with some terminating at Gatwick/Three Bridges and half at Brighton. I'm now assuming that there will be more Bedford - Elephant & Castle to give the 4tph current set up as no way would it work to have 2tph x12 car Bedford - BML to give roughly simlar capacity.

That said there's nothing to stop a FCC/Southern pre-merger joint services using 377/5 and 377/2's together to provide capacity before the new 700's come into service a year later. This may be linked to introduction of 377/6 giving a few extra units and messing around diagrams around to change the service pattern. Especially as Southern will be running less into the LL platforms at London Bridge. Thinking linking some new services up temporary.
 

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I'm now assuming that there will be more Bedford - Elephant & Castle to give the 4tph current set up as no way would it work to have 2tph x12 car Bedford - BML to give roughly simlar capacity.
Oh dear. The 2011 RUS said the capacity through Herne Hill's junctions used by Brighton trains would be turned over to local services once all Thameslink 'mainline' trains were running via London Bridge, but if they're actually going to keep running long distance (and presumably 12 car) trains via HH then the only substantial benefit of the Thameslink Programme for passengers between HH and Blackfriars (creating space for more urban commuter trains) will be wiped out. Also, if the trains do come via HH, they'll have to cross the junctions to Denmark Hill and London Bridge on their way to the core, which will likely irritate Sutton Loop passengers who have already been told such movements wouldn't be operationally viable.

As someone who uses Loughborough Junction, this is quite frustrating. Years of disruption and the result will likely be the same number of overcrowded trains but with a forced change at Blackfriars. I know they're planning to double the number of Sutton Loop trains and run half of them to London Bridge from 2018, but I don't see how this would relieve crowding on trains between HH and Blackfriars as anyone going to London Bridge can already change at Tulse Hill.
 

swt_passenger

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Oh dear. The 2011 RUS said the capacity through Herne Hill's junctions used by Brighton trains would be turned over to local services once all Thameslink 'mainline' trains were running via London Bridge, but if they're actually going to keep running long distance (and presumably 12 car) trains via HH then the only substantial benefit of the Thameslink Programme for passengers between HH and Blackfriars (creating space for more urban commuter trains) will be wiped out.

But this is only for the duration of the London Bridge rebuild isn't it? I think some of this discussion has lost track of that point. For three years, no 'Thameslink route' trains will go through London Bridge - as in the peak periods today. AFAICS the 2011 RUS is still basically valid for when all the Thameslink trains from the Southern side revert to going through London Bridge
 

Tommy3000

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AFAICS the 2011 RUS is still basically valid for when all the Thameslink trains from the Southern side revert to going through London Bridge
This quote from the consultation doc suggests there will be long distance trains going via HH after 2018:
The rail industry has recently been engaged in an exercise planning the timetable that could operate when the Thameslink Programme is completed... if services between Kent and the Thameslink core route run via London Bridge it becomes physically impossible, within the envisaged infrastructure available at that time, for the present level of service to continue to run into and out of London Cannon Street. In view of the high demand for Cannon Street services, we believe it may be best for services between Kent and the Thameslink core to run only via Elephant & Castle.
A few Brighton trains already go via HH during the peaks; this will go up to four tph all day during London Bridge's closure. If that capacity is handed over to Thameslink Kent services in 2018, there will be no room for additional local trains.
 
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