Diamond Jubilee Train Services

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gazthomas

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Lots of 4 car trains today - tried to get on the 13.03 SVG to KGX. More jammed than a weekday peak service!!!

I appreciate units need maintenance but given two less workin days could they have not tweaked the diagrams?

Shows the railway in a very poor light.

Now on a Ex Leeds EC service.
 
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dk1

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I can see a mad scramble of unit strengthening going on this afternoon. TV & many radio stations have voiced much criticism towards TOCs this morning. It seems Chilterns Birmingham-Marylebone has revieved a real bashing starting from a reporter unable to board at Solihull then more bad reports from Dorridge & Banbury.
 

Simon11

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All TOC's have an events planning meeting which discusses events that may impact on service and what action they need to take whether strengthening, additional services and more staff.

With the Jubilee Diamond festival, it would have been very hard for TOC's to calculate the amount of additional passengers which would have travelled on their services.

The TOC's need to way up what money they will take from additional fare payers (Note they only take 20% of this if they are in revenue support) and way this up against the additional miles costs for a unit, extra staffing and fitting in unit exams during the quieter periods so they're ready for the Olympics.

The 1 million mark was talked about quite alot in the media, however where would these people come from..... and would it really be 1 million?

I know that FCC on the TL route have 8 car services during the weekends since the new May timetable and the GN would be strengthen similar to an Arsenal Match days due to Coldplay playing at Emirates.
 

dk1

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Messages where being sent out on GA at almost hourly intervals yesterday reguarding expected attendences at Jubillee celebrations, Epsom, Wembley & Emirates Stadium (Coldplay).

Apparently today all stations where advising passengers that River viewing areas where full especially the South Bank. Also to avoid London Bridge (National & Tube) due to very serious crowding issues. Charing Cross was also closed at one point.
 

Greenback

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It must be very difficult to try to assess how many more people would have been travelling today. If there is a rugby match at the Millennium Stadium, or if it is the start of Glastonbury, organisers will be able to liaise with transport providers with information on ticket sales. Even something like the London Marathon will be easier to predict because it is annual event, and experience will show what loadings will be like on the day, even though there won't be ticket sales data.

In contrast, the Diamond Jubilee is a one off. Times are very different compared to when the Golden Jubilee took place ten years ago. Maybe the weather has also played a part - sunnier weather may have seen more people heading out to the coast, as int he previous few weekends.
 

A-driver

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Not to seem too sinical but why would a TOC care about the conditions today? They arnt making much money out of it compared to normal commuters as many will be making additional use of a season ticket or travelling on discounted advanced/off peak/group/rail card tickets etc and it would cost a lot to strengthen services. Drivers work Sundays as overtime on FCC so they would have to pay more drivers to come in, overnight engineering works last night would block rolling stock in depots in unhelpful places for start of service plus network rail have engineering work today which means slow lines are closed / have traffic restrictions in certain areas and so FCCs hands are slightly tied anyway.

Unfortunately TOCs don't really care about the crowded conditions unless there will be financial incentive. Let's face it they are onto a good thing really, the argument that it doesn't put the railways in a good lit is quite weak as after all if you live in st Neots or Royston or baldock or Huntingdon etc what other choice have you got if you want to go to London?
 

Failed Unit

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But how much more would it cost? Would the track access charge double? Would the electric charge double?

Saying that I am surprised as often it is 8 car on a normal Sunday, and 3 cars struggle to cope on the locals.
 

Greenback

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Not to seem too sinical but why would a TOC care about the conditions today? They arnt making much money out of it compared to normal commuters as many will be making additional use of a season ticket or travelling on discounted advanced/off peak/group/rail card tickets etc and it would cost a lot to strengthen services. Drivers work Sundays as overtime on FCC so they would have to pay more drivers to come in, overnight engineering works last night would block rolling stock in depots in unhelpful places for start of service plus network rail have engineering work today which means slow lines are closed / have traffic restrictions in certain areas and so FCCs hands are slightly tied anyway.

Unfortunately TOCs don't really care about the crowded conditions unless there will be financial incentive. Let's face it they are onto a good thing really, the argument that it doesn't put the railways in a good lit is quite weak as after all if you live in st Neots or Royston or baldock or Huntingdon etc what other choice have you got if you want to go to London?
In a tradiitonal business, the very idea that there would be additional customers, even if the majority just bringing some friends and family along, would be sufficient for them to try and put ona godo show to generate some repeat business.

For some reason, that does not apply to the railway. If, as I suspect and you say, it is to do with a lack of financial incentive that just shows that the whole insutry needs to be reformed, with longer franchises and more reward for growing the business.
 

nedchester

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Talk about 'financial incentive' says it all about the railways in this country.

It's pretty obvious there would be an increase in traffic today so it is not beyond the capability of all the TOcs operating into London today to put extra stock on the trains especially as on a Sunday their is more stock spare than on other days.

I know that up north companies like Merseyrail often put out 6 car train instead of 3 cars for major events.
 

Wath Yard

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In a tradiitonal business, the very idea that there would be additional customers, even if the majority just bringing some friends and family along, would be sufficient for them to try and put ona godo show to generate some repeat business.
The main point he was making was there will be repeat business regardless of how they treat passengers. As he correctly states, if you live in the SE of England and want to travel to central London you effectively have 1 option - the train. Your other option is to not go.
 

A-driver

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Think you have answered your on point by saying in a traditional business. the railways have a certain amount of garunteed customers and lets face it, very few people indeed would travel by train today and go away thinking 'that was good, I think I'll remember this company and use their trains again', no matter how well they did.

And yes, I believe track access charges are greater for longer trains and they do use more electricity to run. Plus you need to pay for them to be marshalled in depots/moved from depot to depot to join other units so you have additional paths for empty movements etc. Then once the rammed train has got into London you either pay extra costs all day to run the other services the unit forms as an 8 car or pay for the train to be split, sat in a platform or additional paths to take the additional coaches back to sidings, and then get everything moved about back in the correct place for the Saturday service tomorrow and Tuesday and then again for a weekday service Wednesday.

They prefer over crowded shorter trains that have to leave passengers behind at stations than longer trains with empty seats.

The problem is that they want to make money and that is their only goal. Loads of angry passengers today won't really have much effect on their profits.
 

Greenback

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The main point he was making was there will be repeat business regardless of how they treat passengers. As he correctly states, if you live in the SE of England and want to travel to central London you effectively have 1 option - the train. Your other option is to not go.
Another way to look at it is that it may encourage other journeys, apart from just those involving Central London, if the product is good.
 

A-driver

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Another way to look at it is that it may encourage other journeys, apart from just those involving Central London, if the product is good.
But again that dosnt really bring in any more profit for the company compared to the costs of lengthening all the services today. FCC make their money out of season tickets almost exclusivly. Same with any commuter franchise. They see very little income from leisure fares.
 

Oswyntail

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And what PR has the rail industry had from today? Massively negative, and totally avoidable. Even if there are "reasons" for not strengthening trains, these are really just excuses. The event was known about, and it was almost certain that there would be massive extra demand on all routes. Everything could have been planned.
After all, mass transportation of people is what the country subsidises the railways for.
 

richa2002

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It just shows the state of the privatised railway system if the operators feel no need to run longer trains to meet demand...
 

Class377/5

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Lots of 4 car trains today - tried to get on the 13.03 SVG to KGX. More jammed than a weekday peak service!!!

I appreciate units need maintenance but given two less workin days could they have not tweaked the diagrams?

Shows the railway in a very poor light.

Now on a Ex Leeds EC service.
There was extra units put out but a lot depends on maintance.

maybe they don't have any spare? they can't be added on if there isn't any.
I doubt that.......
It was the same on FCC Thameslink too.
Not really. There wasn't a single spare unit on Thameslink. Even the spare was brought into service to create an additional service.

The only four cars were the loop/all stations. There is a point where you run out of trains.
 

Simon11

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It's also worth considering that TOC's care about PR and I'm sure Chiltern won't be too happy with their coverage today on BBC.

TOC's will always provide extra trains/strengthen trains to reduce overcrowding if available however they are a business and if the analysis shows they will lose £000's from doing this, then it's clearly not in the business case to take action.
 

Solent&Wessex

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It was a shambles at Liverpool Lime Street earlier. No Virgin or LM services southwards due to engineering work, they were buses to Crewe. Also the EMT services were buses into Lime Street due to engineering works at Allerton Junction too. Most passengers for London and all points eastwards were heading across to Manchester via train to catch trains from there, to avoid the buses.

Combine this with TPE Sunday services currently running via Manchester Victoria, then there were a good couple of hundred people with associated luggage trying to shoehorn their way onto the 1 train per hour from Liverpool that was actually going into Piccadilly for the assorted onward connections.

This train also happens to be the (only) hourly stopping train between Liverpool and Manchester on a Sunday so it is also having to carry all the local traffic too, which even on a Sunday is quite sizeable.

Sadly that 1 train per hour was a 2 car 156, and left hundreds behind at Liverpool. It left late while they tried to get everyone to move out of the way of the doors, then got later and later as it went along towards Manchester due to the loading / unloading problems en route. This then delayed the TPE service behind, which got later and later and then lost it's slot up the Calder Valley and ended up following the stopper up there too. The TPE service was also very busy with Airport and London passengers who couldn't fit on the Airport direct train, and were trying to work out how to get to Piccadilly from Victoria with all their luggage in time to catch their trains / flights.

All in all, Jubilee or no Jubilee, it was the usual Sunday shambles of grossly overcrowded trains in the North.
 

MikeWh

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All the warnings say that London Bridge is likely to be a major hotspot during the Olympic period. Should we be worried by todays chaos which saw almost every train delayed by up to 30 minutes at one point. Or did Southeastern/Southern seriously under-estimate the number of travellers and should have considered a Saturday service?
 

Greenback

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But again that dosnt really bring in any more profit for the company compared to the costs of lengthening all the services today. FCC make their money out of season tickets almost exclusivly. Same with any commuter franchise. They see very little income from leisure fares.
Without knowing what the actual costs are for providing a longer train, I am unable to say whether it would make any money today. My point is that the TOC's only look at the short term because they have a short term business.

A normal business would also consider the long term. This isn't what happens with the railway.

And what PR has the rail industry had from today? Massively negative, and totally avoidable. Even if there are "reasons" for not strengthening trains, these are really just excuses. The event was known about, and it was almost certain that there would be massive extra demand on all routes. Everything could have been planned.
After all, mass transportation of people is what the country subsidises the railways for.
How much does negative publicity cost them in terms of revenue? Especially if it is true that no one in the SE has a choice about travel into Central London?

It just shows the state of the privatised railway system if the operators feel no need to run longer trains to meet demand...
Well, quite, that is exactly what I was getting at in my earlier post. Whether it is actually right or wrong to say that a TOC will not make a profit on today's operations doesn't matter much if the TOC's don't think it is worth it either way.

We have had similar discussions previously with regard to special events, and I have always supported TOC decisions where they have had tot ake into account engineering work, closure of signal boxes and such like.

I do support TOC's not running additional services where it is not justified, but I would have thought that doubling up units where possible would not have the same financial or oeprational impact as sticking on an extra train at 2330 to get people home from a gig.
 

Greenback

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Funny. I was 8 vice 4 all day today.

O L Leigh
Then there is nothing to debate really. Services have been strengthened where possible, TOC's are not guilty of failing to plan for this weekend and the media, as usual are glad of anything to bash the railway.

I haven't been out at all this weekend. I was ill yesterday and haven't left the house today, so I don't have nay first hand experience of the train service!
 

dk1

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London Bridge now partially closed off by police & Victoria/Waterloo/Fenchurch St are suffering. Additional relief trains have now been arranged. At the moment it appears GA have strengthened services anyway & these although packed to the rafters are coping well & taking the soggy but happy punters homeward bound,
 

Greenback

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I think MikeWh has raised a very interesting point about whether this is a portent for the Olympics. Are the plans robust enough to deal with the crowds and the issues that may occur, or will the system be so stretched that it won't be able to cope?
 

O L Leigh

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To be fair, the passenger numbers for a Sunday were enormous, far greater than I have ever seen, and it probably didn't help that a lot of lines were subject to engineering works in preparation for the Olympics, so even my 8 car was wedged. But while trains were lengthened I was not aware of any additional services.

But for the games themselves, the engineering works should be complete and the network fully open, and there should also be additional services. The other thing to bear in mind is that the numbers of people attending the games is limited to the number of tickets sold, whereas today's beano was uncontrolled and open to everyone. Perhaps we're being too quick to worry.

O L Leigh
 

Oswyntail

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....
How much does negative publicity cost them in terms of revenue? Especially if it is true that no one in the SE has a choice about travel into Central London?.....
And how much does negative PR cost in terms of future investment? The (unjust) general perception appears to be that rail is a mode of transport that is expensive, inflexible, inefficient and downright unfriendly, to be used only under duress. This is fanned by stories (of whatever accuracy) such as today's and the Guardian one about fares. And we have seen what happens when the government of the day decides that the stories reflect public opinion - Beeching. Today could have been a showcase for what the railways can do, regardless of potential cost or re jigged maintenance schedules. Instead the industry has been seen to shoot itself in the foot.
 

142094

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Although at the opposite end of the country I've just seen a 2x142 at Hartlepool on a Boro - Metro Centre working. No idea why though as you could have easily fit everyone on one carriage of a 142.
 
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