Does anyone know if there are concrete plans to reconnect Liverpool to XC network? No speculation!

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Mogz, 20 Jan 2020.

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  1. Mogz

    Mogz Member

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    Liverpool was disconnected from the Cross Country network in 2003.

    Before then, when Virgin ran the franchise, there were Cross Country trains from Liverpool to Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth, Edinburgh and London Paddington.

    There was mention in the aborted consultation that Liverpool could once again be served.

    There was also an article in the local press about new Cross Country services “coming soon” but that was back in 2018.

    Does anyone know (without speculating) whether the return of Cross a Country services to Liverpool is on the cards?
     
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  3. Jorge Da Silva

    Jorge Da Silva Established Member

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    As far as I am aware no. Edinburgh has been reintroduced as TPE (as has Glasgow)
     
  4. Djgr

    Djgr Member

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    If you mean, by the Cross Country TOC, then No.



    As you intimate it's a disgrace for a city of such size and popularity.
     
    Last edited: 20 Jan 2020
  5. bb21

    bb21 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    He said very specifically no speculation.
     
  6. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    The wording in the consultation, (which is now cancelled so I’m unsure why it’s still online), was pretty lukewarm:
    I read it as a bit of sop to “stakeholders”, and there’s no real intention of expanding, indeed there’s even a suggestion of cutting back from Bournemouth, justification being SWR run 3 tph anyway...
     
  7. Mathew S

    Mathew S Established Member

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    I'm not sure how there could be 'concrete plans' unless/until a franchise (or whatever replaces it) is awarded for CrossCountry post-October 2020.

    I also can't see how capacity could be found to run much more in/out of Liverpool anyway, but that's another issue and beyond the scope of the question.
     
  8. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    There's an intention by Transport for Wales to extend the Liverpool-Chester service into Wales (both along the north coast and to Shrewsbury/Cardiff).
    It's worth saying that Liverpool has not lost departures via Birmingham, it's just that the trains go on to different places (London rather than Thames Valley/south coast/south-west/Leicester/Stansted Airport).
    If anything overall capacity and speed has increased rather than decreased.
     
  9. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    I'll ponder that thought as my Liverpool - Birmingham service calls at Acton Bridge ...

    :s
     
  10. Djgr

    Djgr Member

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    and Penkridge and Coseley, those well known urban hotspots and crucial calling points.
     
    Last edited: 20 Jan 2020
  11. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    September 2002 timetable (last TT in which XC served Liverpool). Generally (from Liverpool to Brum):
    -Virgin XC every 2 hours, taking 86 minutes (when it worked...)
    -Central trains every hour, taking 103 minutes
    -In hours when both trains ran, they arrived New Street 6 minutes apart....

    Now: Half hourly service (pretty even), taking 105-107 minutes.


    Frequency much better, but fastest journey times not as fast.
     
  12. Mogz

    Mogz Member

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    Frequency to Birmingham might be better (though not speed, as you say) but the number of destinations that can be reached by direct train from Liverpool is what has been lost.

    I have elderly relatives in Liverpool who would love to be put on a train at one end, settled for the journey and met at the other end.

    Getting a slow and uncomfortable commuter train to Birmingham, then navigating New Street in the hope of making a connection is off-putting to them.
     
  13. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    There are no such plans
     
  14. Scott M

    Scott M Member

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    Liverpool to Brum is well served by London Midland, don’t see much of a point in XC doing that route too. How many people from Liverpool want to go to places like Bournemouth and Plymouth on a daily basis?
     
  15. Scott M

    Scott M Member

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    The 2x2 London Midland trains are quite comfortable I find; more spacious than voyagers. Also change at Wolverhampton instead of New St.
     
  16. Purple Orange

    Purple Orange Member

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    I don’t see why XC adding Liverpool it’s network benefits the passengers who use Lime St. XC is a terrible service; cramped, a sense of uncaring for the image and quality of the service and brand, simply not delivering on providing the expected standard of intercity services. Polluting too. Disgusting that there is no move towards using bi-modes. Absolutely disgusting.

    People deride TPE’s performance, but XC needs to push for making a similar scale of improvement in its offering to the public. The only difference is that TPE started from the position of being like Central Trains, but XC has a starting position that is now just behind where TPE have got themselves to.
     
  17. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Are there "concrete plans" for this proposal, as per the thread title? No, definitely not.

    Is there any evidence that it might happen in the future? Again, not really, no.

    I am afraid you have your answers.
     
  18. Mogz

    Mogz Member

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    Thank you.

    I think that is conclusive.
     
  19. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    I think the 2018 article in the Liverpool Echo was just reporting some wishful thinking on the part of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, in their submission to the consultation that @swt_passenger mentioned above.

     
  20. AlastairFraser

    AlastairFraser Member

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    Wait- cutting back from Bournemouth? Those trains are chocka the whole way with seaside traffic from the interior of the SE and even the Midlands? Cutting back from Weymouth was bad enough but that's crazy.
     
  21. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    I’m only repeating what was in the last consultation. But I don’t believe XC ever ran to Weymouth, except during the Olympic sailing.
     
  22. AlastairFraser

    AlastairFraser Member

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    Well, thanks for the information but that personally sounds absurd and they'd lose a lot of business from that. I said Weymouth because I swear I remember using an XC service to Weymouth- not recently though, at least 10 years ago.
     
  23. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus Established Member

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    They ran to Poole up until 2003, however I’m not sure how frequently.
     
  24. Mogz

    Mogz Member

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    I seem to remember that Summer Saturday trains that served Poole during the week were extended to Weymouth.
     
  25. Djgr

    Djgr Member

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    Well my late grandparents who retired to Bournemouth did. All they wanted was the one through train a day. The thought of them changing at Birmingham New Street is absurd.
     
  26. Mathew S

    Mathew S Established Member

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    Why? Thousands of others manage it and, for those who really don't fancy it, there's Wolverhampton.
     
  27. frodshamfella

    frodshamfella Member

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    I use LNW Liverpool to Birmingham service quite often ( actually boarding from Acton Bridge ) and apart from no catering being available, I find it quite comfortable, and the newer stock even more so. I do also travel onward to the SW with Cross Country and frankly that's the worse part of the journey.
     
  28. frodshamfella

    frodshamfella Member

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    New Street isn't good for changing its a real scrum on platforms, especially catching XC which are always packed and often short trains, certainly my mum would never manage it , she would find it overwhelming. Is Wolverhampton suitable for all destinations as a changing point ?
     
  29. Djgr

    Djgr Member

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    Because they were elderly, not good on their feet and stressed easily. They ended up on the daily coach that slowly winds its way from Hampshire to Birkenhead.
     
  30. frodshamfella

    frodshamfella Member

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    My parents are the same.
     
  31. Johnny Lewis

    Johnny Lewis Member

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    Not that long ago, somebody posted a link to the results of the Consultation that was run on the franchise renewal. I skimmed through it, and could find no mention at all of a recommendation that Liverpool be re-added to the XC network, either as part of a direct award, or of a new franchise.

    The trouble now is that there is no scope for adding Liverpool trains (or trains from the rest of the North West of England, which also lost their XC services) unless it was at the detriment of the 2tph service to Manchester, which would simply not be palatable. There's a very small possibility that portion workings could be used, but these would need to be at Stafford, rather than Crewe, since virtually all Manchester XC services are routed via Stoke, not Crewe. But I can't see that being welcomed.

    At least Liverpool now has a regular hourly (and soon to be half-hourly) link to Birmingham International and Coventry, which I think is useful, and hopefully from May this will become more robust with the planned longer dwell times at Birmingham New Street.

    But I think that Liverpool to Reading / Bournemouth / Bristol / West of England direct services are now a thing of the past, unless the clockface pattern services on XC are abandoned completely.
     
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