Ealing Broadway-WLL-Wandsworth Road Service Withdrawal

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LNW-GW Joint

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The celebrated parliamentary service from Ealing Broadway to Wandsworth Road via Kensington Olympia is proposed for withdrawal from Dec 2012.
The DfT 32-page consultation is here: http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/dft-2012-17
Part of the rationale is the new LO service into Clapham Jn starting on that date.

So is it a case of manning the barricades against a possible new Beeching round, or more like a deep sigh that it takes so long and uses up so much management time to "close" a few hundred yards of route which nobody uses, and which are in any case continuing in regular use for freight and special workings?

I regularly used the old XC trains via the WLL, including to Folkestone as well as Brighton before privatisation.
Two engineering diversions were interesting:
a) East Croydon-Reading via Crystal Palace, Brixton, Clapham Jn and Staines
b) Reading-Chatham via Ken O, Nunhead, Lewisham, Chislehurst and Swanley
Pity such routes aren't possible by scheduled train today, but with new WLL, Thameslink and HS1 services from Kent and Sussex to well north of the Thames they are not needed.
 
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Eagle

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The Ealing half of that route has been bustituted since 2008 (apparently there are slots available but Southern choose not to use them as it'd need a DMU and they don't have any of those in that area), and the Wandsworth half is adequately covered by the new ELL–Clapham Junction services. I don't see what the problem is...
 

cle

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It's stupid as the train never stopped at Ealing - they're not closing the line so I don't see the problem...
 

tsr

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Two engineering diversions were interesting:
a) East Croydon-Reading via Crystal Palace, Brixton, Clapham Jn and Staines
b) Reading-Chatham via Ken O, Nunhead, Lewisham, Chislehurst and Swanley
Pity such routes aren't possible by scheduled train today, but with new WLL, Thameslink and HS1 services from Kent and Sussex to well north of the Thames they are not needed.
As you may know, we have very recently discussed what could be considered alternatives to this route by using the NDL route for services between Reading and Kent/Surrey. I think a fair conclusion would be that the line between Reading to Tonbridge could be put to good use for the services you list, so they don't have to go via the busy lines around London, but this would require added investment.

The old diversions and IC/cross-country routes via the line we speak of here were a bit sluggish and perhaps not the best gateway between the central South-West and the South-East.

I am sure there will be a proper use for passenger services for this line, but I am not sure when.
 

JGR

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Having just read it, that document is about three times as long as it needs to be, however the strongly implied conclusion cannot in my opinion be argued with.

A weekly or even daily service along that route is not really much use to anyone, especially at such an awkward time of day. They should just get on with axing it, in my opinion.
 

swt_passenger

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The Ealing half of that route has been bustituted since 2008 (apparently there are slots available but Southern choose not to use them as it'd need a DMU and they don't have any of those in that area), and the Wandsworth half is adequately covered by the new ELL–Clapham Junction services. I don't see what the problem is...
There was another slightly different explanation doing the rounds, that SN do have DMUs available during the offpeak, but the problem is that they cannot be rescued while on the GW, because they had the couplers changed, so NR will not accept the risk. If they were still 170s rather than 171s they might be OK.

Doesn't alter my view that closure procedures should have been taken when XC stopped running the route. This whole saga has become riculous - the northern part of the issue should have been written off early on, because LU provide a perfectly reasonable alternative between Shepherds Bush and Ealing Broadway. All they had to do was a deal to make NR tickets jointly available on the route - not rocket science is it, and probably cheaper than the bustitution.

The fact LU run on separate tracks is hardly worth worrying about surely?
 

34D

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So is it a case of manning the barricades against a possible new Beeching round, or more like a deep sigh that it takes so long and uses up so much management time to "close" a few hundred yards of route which nobody uses, and which are in any case continuing in regular use for freight and special workings?
Its good that the state of limbo will be ended, and apart from the principle, it is hard to argue against it really. The infrastructure will of course be unaffected.

Doesn't alter the fact that they have been in breech (in my opinion) due to the way the previous passenger service was withdrawn and not replaced.

It will also affect ticket validity for some passengers (stations on GWML).
 

JonathanH

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Its good that the state of limbo will be ended, and apart from the principle, it is hard to argue against it really. The infrastructure will of course be unaffected.

Doesn't alter the fact that they have been in breech (in my opinion) due to the way the previous passenger service was withdrawn and not replaced.

It will also affect ticket validity for some passengers (stations on GWML).
The last point is true. As mentioned earlier in the thread, certain tickets marked "Not London" between Reading and South London should become valid on the Central Line between Ealing Broadway and Shepherds Bush (although Shepherds Bush (WLL) wasn't open when the service was first withdrawn) as part of mitigation for this closure.
 

STEVIEBOY1

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The celebrated parliamentary service from Ealing Broadway to Wandsworth Road via Kensington Olympia is proposed for withdrawal from Dec 2012.
The DfT 32-page consultation is here: http://www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/dft-2012-17
Part of the rationale is the new LO service into Clapham Jn starting on that date.

So is it a case of manning the barricades against a possible new Beeching round, or more like a deep sigh that it takes so long and uses up so much management time to "close" a few hundred yards of route which nobody uses, and which are in any case continuing in regular use for freight and special workings?

I regularly used the old XC trains via the WLL, including to Folkestone as well as Brighton before privatisation.
Two engineering diversions were interesting:
a) East Croydon-Reading via Crystal Palace, Brixton, Clapham Jn and Staines
b) Reading-Chatham via Ken O, Nunhead, Lewisham, Chislehurst and Swanley
Pity such routes aren't possible by scheduled train today, but with new WLL, Thameslink and HS1 services from Kent and Sussex to well north of the Thames they are not needed.
Yes, I used the old IC/XC route, joining at Oxford, Via Reading, Acton, Kenny O to Clapham Jct. It was very handy. The train carried onto Gatwick & Brighton, a very useful link for people travelling from the North & Midlands to that Airport with luggage and not having mess around changing in London. I don't thnik any XC goes to Brighton/South Coast that way now, only Via Reading & Basingstoke to Bournemouth/Poole.
 
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swt_passenger

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You're forgetting that Shepherd's Bush WLL station didn't exist when XC withdrew the service.
I thought there was a couple of months overlap. AIUI AXC ran Brightons until Dec 2008, (ie one year into their franchise), and Shepherds Bush opened Sept 2008? (It should have opened in 2007 under Silverlink - remember that it was originally branded Silverlink before opening?)

Can anyone confirm the end date for XC - I have a summer timetable up to Sep 2008, they must have issued a new one for the last few months of the year that I don't have...

Whatever the actual dates its suitability as a partial alternative should have been foreseen by DfT at the time and the bus only used until it did eventually open.
 

cle

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It's stupid - a complete waste of time, money, resource and fuel. There should be some flexibility. I don't even see this as a railway closure - just a service being removed which isn't suitable. No track or stations have lost rail service altogether.
 

swt_passenger

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This is the problem. Objectors with nothing better to complain about will no doubt protest that without a passenger service NR will be able to just walk in and lift the tracks, but without some miracle of re-routing freight will always keep the route in use.

There's too much pussy footing around - just get on and do it.

If all else fails, use LO to keep the southern section of the route in use. Once a day (at start or end of service), run a SLL/WLL service with a suitable reversal. From the SLL to Clapham Jn via Imperial Wharf (and vice versa) might do the job... :D
 

andykn

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I'm puzzled, when I used the Cross Country service to go southwards from Olympia it went through Clapham Junction and Wandsworth Common, not Wandsworth Road.
 

Hearadh

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This is the problem. Objectors with nothing better to complain about will no doubt protest that without a passenger service NR will be able to just walk in and lift the tracks, but without some miracle of re-routing freight will always keep the route in use.

There's too much pussy footing around - just get on and do it.

If all else fails, use LO to keep the southern section of the route in use. Once a day (at start or end of service), run a SLL/WLL service with a suitable reversal. From the SLL to Clapham Jn via Imperial Wharf (and vice versa) might do the job... :D
LO will be covering the SLL to Clapham Junction from December 2012. The WLL is already served.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I'm puzzled, when I used the Cross Country service to go southwards from Olympia it went through Clapham Junction and Wandsworth Common, not Wandsworth Road.
This would have been the XC service to Brighton. The XC service to Folkestone travelled via Wandsworth Road.
 

JGR

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I'm puzzled, when I used the Cross Country service to go southwards from Olympia it went through Clapham Junction and Wandsworth Common, not Wandsworth Road.
Presumably that was along the MK to South Croydon route?
That route is not affected.

The current service to Wandsworth Road terminates there (which is part of why it's not much use to anyone).
 

andykn

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This would have been the XC service to Brighton. The XC service to Folkestone travelled via Wandsworth Road.
Ah, I just don't remember that one at all. I lived near Olympia for many years and always kept an eye on the timetable at the station for additions or deletions. I remember being puzzled when Imperial Wharf and Shepherds Bush appeared before any work had even commenced at Shepherds Bush.

But I don't remember a Folkestone service in that time (approx 1989 to 2007).
 

acg5324

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You'll find that the reason the Ealing broadway to wandsworth Rd service never started with Southern operating a c171 was due to NR Great Western declining the pathway as a performance risk. Driver training was done with Norwood drivers and a c171 spare after the am peak.

For many more details on the XC services to Brighton and into Kent have a look at my website http://www.1S76.com
 

swt_passenger

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LO will be covering the SLL to Clapham Junction from December 2012. The WLL is already served.
You haven't read the report properly. The new LO SLL service will NOT cover the whole route, because the SLL services go into Clapham Jn using the Ludgate lines. The section of route up for withdrawal of the passenger service is effectively the 'third side of the triangle', as they clearly describe.

The section of line that the current SN service covers is from Wandsworth Rd via Factory Jn, Longhedge Jn, the Kensington lines and Latchmere Jns. It does not involve Clapham Jn, but was in use by XC up until Dec 2008, but only a few services. It is explained in the PSUL archives for 2008...

0754 SO Manchester Piccadilly / 0933 SO Birmingham New Street - Brighton
0915 SO Brighton - Birmingham New Street
0545 SO Gatwick Airport - Birmingham New Street [except 24 May until 6 September]
1454 SSuX Manchester Piccadilly - Brighton

From http://www.psul4all.free-online.co.uk/2008.htm
 

infobleep

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Does any one know where this bus service departs from? I may be tempted to get it one Tuesday morning.

I don't object to the bus service closing but do object to the lack of train services that avoid London. There are plenty of services from Southampton and Bournemouth but only 1 a day from Guildford and a handful form Brighton which go to Wales.

Are such services not popular enough. Perhaps us Southerns hate the idea of travelling north of Watford and prefer to stay local.

I'd much rather avoid travelling through London even if it takes slightly longer. To be fair the Guildford service isn't busy to start or end with but then I doubt many trains at 6am are busy, nor would be many trains arriving into Guildford 11pm, except the fast trains from Waterloo perhaps.

The tube is congested as it is so removing people from it could only be good. Personally I think the Reading to Redhill line is under used. It only has 2 trains an hour outside of peak rush hour and only 1 most of Sunday so there must be some space. There certainly seems to be when engineering work diverts the XC trains to Bournemouth on Sundays.
 

tbtc

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It's stupid - a complete waste of time, money, resource and fuel. There should be some flexibility. I don't even see this as a railway closure - just a service being removed which isn't suitable. No track or stations have lost rail service altogether.
Long overdue. And time to get some others sorted as well.
I agree with both of you - no point shedding crocodile tears for a service that nobody will miss (when there are many more routes that deserve attention/ time/ money it seems daft that we have to obsess about these kind of services, wasting a few quid to tick a box somewhere)
 

STEVIEBOY1

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Does any one know where this bus service departs from? I may be tempted to get it one Tuesday morning.

I don't object to the bus service closing but do object to the lack of train services that avoid London. There are plenty of services from Southampton and Bournemouth but only 1 a day from Guildford and a handful form Brighton which go to Wales.

Are such services not popular enough. Perhaps us Southerns hate the idea of travelling north of Watford and prefer to stay local.

I'd much rather avoid travelling through London even if it takes slightly longer. To be fair the Guildford service isn't busy to start or end with but then I doubt many trains at 6am are busy, nor would be many trains arriving into Guildford 11pm, except the fast trains from Waterloo perhaps.

The tube is congested as it is so removing people from it could only be good. Personally I think the Reading to Redhill line is under used. It only has 2 trains an hour outside of peak rush hour and only 1 most of Sunday so there must be some space. There certainly seems to be when engineering work diverts the XC trains to Bournemouth on Sundays.
I Agree with you, I would be happy taking a through train with a longer journey time, rather than having to change stations in London. Thameslink is already being improved. It would be good to bring back some of the XC/IC services that used to come through and stop at Kensington Olympia and Clapham Junction onto Gatwick and then perhaps Brighton or Eastbourne that was a very useful link for people travelling from the North & Midlands to Gatwick Airport with luggage and not having mess around changing in London, as I have mentioned before.
They could also speed up and extend the southern service that Operates from Croydon to Milton Keynes, perhaps as it was before from Gatwick & Brighton, upto Northampton, Rugby, then maybe to Coventry, & Birmingham, perhaps if no room at New St, then to the International Station. Another cross London service that was tried but did not last was by Anglia trains and which linked Colchester and sometimes Norwich, through via the NLL to Staines & Woking to Basingstoke using little 3 car units.

Does anyone also remember in the 1970s and early 1980s, when the West London Line was not used so much for passenger trains, a service than used to come down from the Banbury/High Wycombe area, to K. Olympia,and Clapham Jct (I don't know if it stopped at those stations) then onto to Gatwick. I presume it would have been operated by DMU's?
 
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infobleep

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Outside Ealing Broadway station,
Thanks for that. I'll try and take a day off work later in the year just to travel on it.

Another day I might do the Southern service too. Given Southern would be closing the service, I'm surprised they extended the service to Clapham High Street. In fact when announcing train timetable changes on posters, that service change was mentioned.

I thought this meant they were actually interested in running the service more often. Not so. Not that I'm saying they need to of course.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I Agree with you, I would be happy taking a through train with a longer journey time, rather than having to change stations in London. Thameslink is already being improved.
That's fine for people living on the Thameslink route but not for anyone else. I live in Guildford which isn't near any Thameslink station.

I can get to reading of course and change their and sometimes I do. However most cheap train tickets do route you via London because there are just so many more train from London.

Another cross London service that was tried but did not last was by Anglia trains and which linked Colchester and sometimes Norwich, through via the NLL to Staines & Woking to Basingstoke using little 3 car units.
I actually got that train to visit Frinton-on-Sea once. Seem to think it was after work but not sure now. Perhaps such a service wasn't popular enough.

Perhaps what they need is another cross London route from the southwest side of London. Waterloo I believe is one of Britain's busiest railway stations so being able to avoid it or pass through it without having to change trains might be good. Of course all these things cost money.
 
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If all else fails, use LO to keep the southern section of the route in use. Once a day (at start or end of service), run a SLL/WLL service with a suitable reversal. From the SLL to Clapham Jn via Imperial Wharf (and vice versa) might do the job... :D
Presumably the platform layout at Clapham Junction will allow movements from Plats 1 and 2 to both the SLL and the WLL?
 
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