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East Midlands franchise prospectus

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thenorthern

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One thing that did come up was what I thought of the links to Luton Airport by East Midlands Trains.

I thought hmmmmmmn, its not well advertised as it should be but its rather odd that Sheffield has direct links to the stations that directly serve Luton Airport, Manchester Airport and Southampton Airport but does not even have a bus to Doncaster-Sheffield Airport.
 
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jamesontheroad

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One thing that did come up was what I thought of the links to Luton Airport by East Midlands Trains.

I thought hmmmmmmn, its not well advertised as it should be but its rather odd that Sheffield has direct links to the stations that directly serve Luton Airport, Manchester Airport and Southampton Airport but does not even have a bus to Doncaster-Sheffield Airport.

Off piste, but see my thread in the Orher Transport > Bus forum. Stagecoach are having another crack, limited stop route 737 launches between Sheffield and DSA later this year. < / thread drift >
 

matacaster

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Although a minor matter, I would be quite excited if EMT could offer a better selection of food / drinks on Sunday evening. I asked what was available (first class) and apart from tea and coffee, no other drinks. Just five packets of chocolate biscuits left and NO other food or snacks at all. I had to go to the Coop in Nottingham while the train sat in the station for 20 mins before proceding.
 

Class 170101

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Part of me thinks the DfT are just looking for ways for TPE to keep all the 185s!
Just double up the 3 car 185 services between Manchester and Leeds and between Manchester and Sheffield / Doncaster that are staying as 185 operation.

What I'd like to see from the new EMT franchise...

London Services...
* half hourly services to both Nottingham and Sheffield with 90 minute and 120 minute journey times respectively
* Sunday service improved to be the same as above
* Suitable length trains to match demand and cater for growth so that nonsense like the first off peak train from London in the evening (1915 to Nottingham) being a very overcrowded 5 car 222 doesn't happen
* Existing peak hour service from Melton and Oakham to be retained

Derby-Crewe...
* Longer trains
* Trains extended through to Nottingham and Manchester Airport
* Earlier Sunday service though I accept that the current signalbox hours prevent this

Matlock-Derby-Nottingham-Matlock...
* Extra capacity in the peaks
* Extended through to Lincoln to give a half hourly Nottingham-Lincoln service though I doubt ECML capacity would allow it
* Sunday service to be similar to the weekday service

Nottingham-Mansfield-Worksop...
* Longer trains in the evening peak (1655, 1725, 1755 ex Nottingham)
* Sunday service to Mansfield to be increased to hourly
* Services extended to/from Sheffield
* Mansfield services extended to reopened Ollerton and Edwinstowe stations

Leicester-Nottingham-Lincoln (Ivanhoe Line)...
* Service withdrawn between Nottingham-Lincoln
* Sunday services

Nottingham-Grantham-Skegness...
* The morning west bound and evening east bound gaps in the current timetable filled (0650 ex Boston/1945 ex Nottingham)
* All services to call at Grantham (3 currently do not) to give it an hourly service all day
* Extra summer fast trains avoiding Grantham to provided quicker times from the East Midlands and to provide much needed extra summer capacity
* Existing extra summer strengthening to continue
* The continued use of HST equivalent trains on Summer Saturdays to provide much needed extra capacity
* Regular stopping service for stations between Grantham and Nottingham, possibly a stand alone service to retain the current 2 trains an hour Nottingham-Grantham
* Better Sunday services all year round though I accept that the current signalbox hours prevent this
* More luggage capacity on the rolling stock
* Journey time improvements particularly between Nottingham and Grantham

Nottingham-Lincoln...
* Hourly service to/from Birmingham using the existing paths of the XC's Nottingham-Birmingham and EMT's Lincoln-Nottingham-(Leicester)
* Longer trains
* Reduced journey times

Lincoln-Doncaster...
* Hourly service
* Sunday service

Newark-Lincoln-Grimsby...
* Hourly service
* Longer trains
* Better Sunday services all year round though I accept that the current signalbox hours prevent this

Lincoln-Peterborough...
* Hourly service all day
* Longer trains
* Reduced journey time taking advantage of the recent Joint Line upgrade
* Sunday service similar to weekday service though I accept that the Sleaford signalboxes hours prevent this

Liverpool-Nottingham-Norwich...
* Transfered to TPE
* Use the 22x185 that TPE are planning to release so that the service is 6 car west of Sheffield and 3 car south to Cambridge
* Service diverted to Cambridge giving Peterborough-Cambridge a half hourly service
* Service rerouted via Loughborough to free up more ECML capacity at Grantham (The 15 mph layout at Grantham for up trains crossing from Platform 4 is a real capacity eater)

Nottingham-Birmingham-Cardiff...
* Nottingham Cardiff to remain with XC but Long Eaton and Beeston stops removed
* All trains to be 3 car 170s or longer
* Nottingham-Birmingham to be transfered to EMT and extended to Lincoln as detailed above
* Long Eaton and Beeston stops for all services
* All trains to be 3 car or longer
* Hourly service for Willington/Wilnecote

Birmingham-Stansted
* Transferred to EMT
* All service to be 3 car 170s or longer
* Cambridge North stop added
* Existing Birmingham-Leicester stopper extended to/from Norwich, possibly avoiding Ely to improve the Peterborough-Norwich journey time and connecting Norwich with Leicester and Birmingham
* Sunday service similar to weekday service though I accept that the current signalbox hours Frisby to Uffington prevent this
* Extra Leicester-Birmingham stopper to give 3 trains an hour and a half hourly service for Narborough/Hinckley

Leiceter-Derby-Manchester
* New service avoiding Sheffield
* Journey time of less than 120 minutes from Leicester/ 90 minutes from Derby

Leicester-Coalville-Burton...
* I don't expect to see it re-opened for passengers
* I would like to see the various bodies develop a plan for reopening along with large scale housing developments/eco towns/garden towns along the line with services to Leicester/Derby/Birmingham

Rolling stock...
* HSTs replaced by Meridian equivalent (or better) trains
* 153s replaced by cascaded 156s/158s/170s from elsewhere (Anglia/Scotrail???)
* More luggage space particularly on the 158's

Just my uneducated thoughts, feel free to agree/condemn/add to/ignore/improve etc etc...

Not convinced about EMT running Norwich to Liverpool, Lincoln to Nottingham nor Birmingham to Stansted (as proposed above) - these should remain with XC. However I cannot believe it's not possible to extend the current Newark Castle terminator across the Crossing, however what might do is fix the timetable on both axis of the crossing - east/west as well as north/south due to the number of parallel moves required to maximise capacity. Whether a timetable could be devised to do this I wouldn't like to say.
As for the Leicester to Manchester service I would run that to London in lieu of one of the Corby paths reducing Corby to an hourly through service with a second train provided shuttling to / from Kettering. So a London to Corby back to Kettering and return to Corby then becoming a Corby to London service.

Lots of opinions and ideas here, but can I make a courteous reminder that you should share them with the DfT as well :)

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/630614/east-midlands-rail-franchise-public-consultation.pdf - comments are due no later than 11 October 2017.

If you reply by email instead of the web form, make sure you answer the numbered questions at the back of the consultation document. Off piste narratives about what you think should be done are less likely to be included.
Oh don't worry I intend to, when I get a moment. However I don't expect the DfT to take any notice. They are only looking for the bidder offering the highest premium payment.
 

IanXC

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Just double up the 3 car 185 services between Manchester and Leeds and between Manchester and Sheffield / Doncaster that are staying as 185 operation.

Given the plans to do that on many services already, I suspect finding homes for the remaining 22 185s entirely by strengthening would result in 9 car operation!!
 

northwichcat

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According to Tony Miles the current EMT franchise will be required to procure new trains, and the ITT for the next franchise will state they have to use the new trains already being procured.
 

MCR247

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Sorry but yet again this subject rears its head again.

Norwich to Liverpool should be part of the Cross Country franchise with Cardiff to Nottingham NOT leaving it!

J



Not convinced about EMT running Norwich to Liverpool, Lincoln to Nottingham nor Birmingham to Stansted (as proposed above) - these should remain with XC.

Why does Liverpool - Norwich make any sense with Cross Country? If you're about to say because it is a route that goes across the country....
 

LowLevel

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They're all routes that spend most of their mileage in the East Midlands and Eastern Counties with a tiny foray into the West. There's no reason at all why the EM franchise (which has for the last 10 years combined local and long distance routes perfectly well) couldn't operate them and also get rid of most of the anomalies in station operations.

Liverpool Norwich would be an awful fit into Cross Country making it well and truly out on a limb (much as it would with TPE hence having it on good authority TPE want nothing to do with the Eastern side of things).

As for Lincoln - Nottingham that is more East Midlands than anything else being a short distance interurban service crewed fairly efficiently by two depots in Lincs and one at Nottingham.
 
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maire23

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It would be good if there was more than one train an hour PBO-LEI. I do this journey a lot and I usually have to wait an hour after connecting from the VTEC from NCL or YRK. The capacity is terrible- 9 times out of 10 when I get on with my wheelchair at PBO I have to politely ask people with buggies/bikes/luggage/just sitting in that space to move but often there is just no space for them to move to. The carriages can be like giant sardine cans sometimes but XC just bleat 'nothing we can do'
 

XCTurbostar

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It would be good if there was more than one train an hour PBO-LEI. I do this journey a lot and I usually have to wait an hour after connecting from the VTEC from NCL or YRK.

Agreed. I think the benefits of transfering the BHM - LEI - SSD vastly outweigh the disadvantages. That route has always been a bit of an odd ball in the CrossCountry franchise beacuse it is more regional than cross country. Not to mention that South Wigston, Narborough and Hinckley are already EMT stations!

Thanks,
Ross
 

cle

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How well used is the Luton Airport Parkway stop from north of Bedford, i.e on the IC services?

And will 2tph to Corby instead in future be better or worse? I'm assuming most users are from closer than say Derby or Nottingham, but perhaps not?
 

Class 170101

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Why does Liverpool - Norwich make any sense with Cross Country? If you're about to say because it is a route that goes across the country....

It was with Central Trains before. However I would argue it should be resourced from Norwich, Leicester and Manchester especially in light of the 04+00ish ECS from Nottingham to Liverpool. This is wasteful.
 

43074

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It was with Central Trains before. However I would argue it should be resourced from Norwich, Leicester and Manchester especially in light of the 04+00ish ECS from Nottingham to Liverpool. This is wasteful.

Why Leicester? You'd need 5ish ECS moves from Leicester to Nottingham if that were to happen, that's not particularly efficient. Also the ECS from Nottingham to Liverpool takes in Toton, Dore South Curve, Marple and Newton-le-Willows, it's an efficient way of keeping handy diversionary route knowledge anything else aside.
 

bb21

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You can make that ECS a passenger move. ;)

To be fair Leicester could do with an earlier northbound move than the current arrangement. The first northbound service is not until 0712. (There's the 0626 Nottingham stopper but it's advantage over the 0712 is pretty much wiped out if you start heading further north.) I have no doubt the current situation is not helped by a lack of crew depot for the regional operator.
 

bnsf734

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There are already 5 or 6 Class 170s and an EMT 156 stabled overnight at Leicester. I caught the 0414 Leicester to St Pancras last week (0445 diverted via Manton) and saw them all stabled on Platform 1 and 4 and in the sidings. Not a lot of room to stable anything else!
 

XCTurbostar

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There are already 5 or 6 Class 170s and an EMT 156 stabled overnight at Leicester. I caught the 0414 Leicester to St Pancras last week (0445 diverted via Manton) and saw them all stabled on Platform 1 and 4 and in the sidings. Not a lot of room to stable anything else!

Yes you are correct. This is also the reason that there isnt earlier trains between LEI and BHM.

Thanks,
Ross
 

jamesontheroad

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Not convinced about EMT running Norwich to Liverpool, Lincoln to Nottingham nor Birmingham to Stansted (as proposed above) - these should remain with XC.

Why does Liverpool - Norwich make any sense with Cross Country? If you're about to say because it is a route that goes across the country....

They're all routes that spend most of their mileage in the East Midlands and Eastern Counties with a tiny foray into the West. There's no reason at all why the EM franchise (which has for the last 10 years combined local and long distance routes perfectly well) couldn't operate them and also get rid of most of the anomalies in station operations.

It was with Central Trains before. However I would argue it should be resourced from Norwich, Leicester and Manchester especially in light of the 04+00ish ECS from Nottingham to Liverpool. This is wasteful.

In summary, this route doesn't fit in any franchise, at least not according to the arbitrary mapping of franchises by geographical regions. If you think it's odd seeing the words "East Midlands Trains" in Liverpool you will understand why it's also odd here in Norwich.

It would be good if there was more than one train an hour PBO-LEI. I do this journey a lot and I usually have to wait an hour after connecting from the VTEC from NCL or YRK. The capacity is terrible- 9 times out of 10 when I get on with my wheelchair at PBO I have to politely ask people with buggies/bikes/luggage/just sitting in that space to move but often there is just no space for them to move to. The carriages can be like giant sardine cans sometimes but XC just bleat 'nothing we can do'

If I had a penny for every time a franchise said there's "nothing we can do" about over crowding, I could afford to lease another train for them to use :roll:

XC have found a certain degree of stability operating a BHM-LEI stopper and a BHM-LEI express that continues to SSD. With just a handful more Turbostars in the fleet (3 or 4?) the stoppers could indeed be extended to PBO. But that is beyond the imagination of Arriva, who are going to sit this franchise out making as much as possible from what they are obliged to operate, and nothing else.

Why Leicester? You'd need 5ish ECS moves from Leicester to Nottingham if that were to happen, that's not particularly efficient. Also the ECS from Nottingham to Liverpool takes in Toton, Dore South Curve, Marple and Newton-le-Willows, it's an efficient way of keeping handy diversionary route knowledge anything else aside.

If we assume the route remains LIV-NRW, Nottingham is a pretty reasonable place for the operator to base their trains. Also, EMT are to be recognised for having resolved what CT never really managed to, which is running a pretty reliable operation of doubling units LIV-NOT and splitting for stations to NRW. It's not ideal, but it's the best use of limited rolling stock and it is mostly reliable.

Both Turbostars and Sprinters are going to be rendered surplus to requirements by new fleets elsewhere in the country. I'm a bit disappointed that XC and EMT haven't been more (visibly) proactive in petitioning the powers that be to be first in line for this trains to strengthen their fleets and expand services. But as I moaned about above, the franchising system allows a TOC to hide behind their contractual commitments with little incentive during a franchise to do more.
 

Tomnick

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You can make that ECS a passenger move. ;)

To be fair Leicester could do with an earlier northbound move than the current arrangement. The first northbound service is not until 0712. (There's the 0626 Nottingham stopper but it's advantage over the 0712 is pretty much wiped out if you start heading further north.) I have no doubt the current situation is not helped by a lack of crew depot for the regional operator.
There used to be an earlier one (to Derby?) formed of what's now one of XC's early morning ECS moves from Leicester. I'm not sure how long it lasted as a passenger service after the end of Central Trains though. Bringing it back under EMT might provide more incentive to reinstate it as a passenger service, and maybe a later evening service on the Up from Derby too. It might also mean that one or two of the other ECS moves can be dispensed with, Birmingham trains starting at Nottingham being stabled at and crewed by Notts instead (subject to there being any spare stabling capacity there!). It does seem to make a lot of sense.
 

LowLevel

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In summary, this route doesn't fit in any franchise, at least not according to the arbitrary mapping of franchises by geographical regions. If you think it's odd seeing the words "East Midlands Trains" in Liverpool you will understand why it's also odd here in Norwich.



If I had a penny for every time a franchise said there's "nothing we can do" about over crowding, I could afford to lease another train for them to use :roll:

XC have found a certain degree of stability operating a BHM-LEI stopper and a BHM-LEI express that continues to SSD. With just a handful more Turbostars in the fleet (3 or 4?) the stoppers could indeed be extended to PBO. But that is beyond the imagination of Arriva, who are going to sit this franchise out making as much as possible from what they are obliged to operate, and nothing else.



If we assume the route remains LIV-NRW, Nottingham is a pretty reasonable place for the operator to base their trains. Also, EMT are to be recognised for having resolved what CT never really managed to, which is running a pretty reliable operation of doubling units LIV-NOT and splitting for stations to NRW. It's not ideal, but it's the best use of limited rolling stock and it is mostly reliable.

Both Turbostars and Sprinters are going to be rendered surplus to requirements by new fleets elsewhere in the country. I'm a bit disappointed that XC and EMT haven't been more (visibly) proactive in petitioning the powers that be to be first in line for this trains to strengthen their fleets and expand services. But as I moaned about above, the franchising system allows a TOC to hide behind their contractual commitments with little incentive during a franchise to do more.

EMT are trying to get additional trains with funding in place for several extra units but none immediately available - less orthodox solutions also being considered so watch this space. No point putting information out until you have something to announce.
 

Class 170101

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Why Leicester? You'd need 5ish ECS moves from Leicester to Nottingham if that were to happen, that's not particularly efficient. Also the ECS from Nottingham to Liverpool takes in Toton, Dore South Curve, Marple and Newton-le-Willows, it's an efficient way of keeping handy diversionary route knowledge anything else aside.

Why Leicester? You'd need 5ish ECS moves from Leicester to Nottingham if that were to happen, that's not particularly efficient. Also the ECS from Nottingham to Liverpool takes in Toton, Dore South Curve, Marple and Newton-le-Willows, it's an efficient way of keeping handy diversionary route knowledge anything else aside.

Leicester because that happens to be where the XC depot is currently. But you could shrink or modify Leicester depot's establishment and open an XC Train crew depot at Nottingham to remove ECS moves between Nottingham and Leicester and vice versa.

Leicester may well need a bigger establishment if extra services east of there are operated as several peiople have suggested over the years.

As for the Nottingham ECS to / from Liverpool why not just run the first and last trains of the day via these routes in service, as other posters have suggested? Yes Sheffield would probably lose out because of Dore South curve. But in relative terms not serving Warrington or Stockport is probably not a big loser.
 
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edwin_m

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As for the Nottingham ECS to / from Liverpool why not just run the first and last trains of the day via these routes in service, as other posters have suggested? Yes Sheffield would probably lose out because of Dore South curve. But in relative terms not serving Warrington or Stockport is probably not a big loser.

Many of the routes it could and sometimes does use avoid Manchester as well as Sheffield. A Nottingham-Liverpool non-stop wouldn't carry many passengers.
 

bb21

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Which route do they sign that avoids Manchester? I was under the impression that EMT crew only sign the various routes via Piccadilly.
 

LowLevel

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They don't avoid Manchester but it does avoid Sheffield.

The times vary considerably even day by day at times so it wouldn't be an efficient passenger service by anyone's standards, sometimes leaving Nottingham varying between 0330 and 0407.

If it was worth doing it would have been done at some point in the last 25 years it's been running.
 

David Sinnett

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Looking at the consultation I see there's also one for Thameslink which ends tomorrow. Wasn't aware of that even though I travel with them daily.
 

Kneedown

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If you think it's odd seeing the words "East Midlands Trains" in Liverpool you will understand why it's also odd here in Norwich.

I don't quite understand why it is considered "odd" for an East Midlands train to be seen in Liverpool or Norwich. It's certainly no odder than seeing a Trans Pennine service in Scotland, or an Arriva Trains Wales service in Birmingham or Manchester, or a Northern service at Nottingham.
 
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ivanhoe

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I don't quite understand why it is considered "odd" for an East Midlands train to be seen in Liverpool or Norwich. It's certainly no odder than seeing a Trans Pennine service in Scotland, or an Arriva Trains Wales service in Birmingham or Manchester, or a Northern service at Nottingham.

I totally agree. The train is going to and from the East Midlands. In Lime Street at any one time, you will see the colours of Virgin, London Midland, TPE,Northern and EMT. The destination and stations it's calling at, are uppermost in passengers minds. The current service works and gives many opportunities for passengers to travel East without change of train. I would also agree that the Standsted Birmingham route would be best back in EMT's remit. I've been impressed the way EMT have handled the Liverpool Norwich route.
 

dosxuk

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I don't quite understand why it is considered "odd" for an East Midlands train to be seen in Liverpool or Norwich. It's certainly no odder than seeing a Trans Pennine service in Scotland, or an Arriva Trains Wales service in Birmingham or Manchester, or a Northern service at Nottingham.

It doesn't fit in with some peoples firmly decided lines along which the franchise boundaries should be drawn. No train from the wrong franchise in each area, unless it's a well publicised one-off charter.

See also - those who suggest new (or discontinuing) routes / services because it makes their idea of a franchise 'tidier' regardless of the real world benefits / usage.
 

Kneedown

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It doesn't fit in with some peoples firmly decided lines along which the franchise boundaries should be drawn. No train from the wrong franchise in each area, unless it's a well publicised one-off charter.

See also - those who suggest new (or discontinuing) routes / services because it makes their idea of a franchise 'tidier' regardless of the real world benefits / usage.

We'd better rename "Grand Central", "Grand Northeastern" then, and British Airways can stick to domestic flights! :)
 

dosxuk

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We'd better rename "Grand Central", "Grand Northeastern" then, and British Airways can stick to domestic flights! :)

I've seen similar things said about the BA flights from Singapore to Sydney - "they can't be British Airways because they don't fly to Britain".
 
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