East Midlands Railway short formed services

Failed Unit

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Going around Lincolnshire I didn’t see a single 170. All trains I travelled on / passed were 15x. I could hazard a guess that is why. They have selected a unit all crew could drive so the services they have cut the units are now used to replace 170s on routes like Leicester - Grimsby.

Sensible if they are short of people signing these units.
 
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cnjb8

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Going around Lincolnshire I didn’t see a single 170. All trains I travelled on / passed were 15x. I could hazard a guess that is why. They have selected a unit all crew could drive so the services they have cut the units are now used to replace 170s on routes like Leicester - Grimsby.

Sensible if they are short of people signing these units.
To add on to this today, 170s were out on Derby to Matlock service. The 16:06 (delayed by 7 mins) Alfreton to Nottingham was a 158 coupled onto a very squeaky 156.
 

Alfie1014

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It does show that for a risk free bid you should order new stock. If it is late you get to keep what you have previously (Anglia and West Midlands) and it whoever the old stock gets cascaded to that loses out. It also shows the perhaps forcing the 153s away hasn’t help. A 153 is better than no train(but not much) or a bus.
Going for new isn’t risk free either, look at GA’s rural services which were decimated when the Stadler bi-modes were delayed in entering service but the conventional trains went to their new homes. And now the 720s are 20+ months late entering full service and again the conventional trains have either gone to new homes, 360s to EMR and 317s and 321s have been disappearing off to the scrap yard at regular intervals.
 

Failed Unit

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Going for new isn’t risk free either, look at GA’s rural services which were decimated when the Stadler bi-modes were delayed in entering service but the conventional trains went to their new homes. And now the 720s are 20+ months late entering full service and again the conventional trains have either gone to new homes, 360s to EMR and 317s and 321s have been disappearing off to the scrap yard at regular intervals.
They didn’t. They kept the 156s until they were sorted. EMT passengers lost out as a result.
 

Failed Unit

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We shouldn’t be surprised. It’s always the bridesmaid of railway areas.
Rural areas are never going to get much patronage. Saying that I was on the 1750 Lincoln - Peterborough service tonight. 10 people on it between Sleaford and Spalding. Not bad considering that was impossible to do last month and during COVID. I digress, but it shows sometimes build it and they shall come.
Norwich even got one of the ex-anglia 156s back today. Didn’t see which one.
 

Bald Rick

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And now the 720s are 20+ months late entering full service and again the conventional trains have either gone to new homes, 360s to EMR and 317s and 321s have been disappearing off to the scrap yard at regular intervals.

And Anglia performance has never been better! The absence of the 720s isn’t an issue (yet).
 

dk1

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Rural areas are never going to get much patronage. Saying that I was on the 1750 Lincoln - Peterborough service tonight. 10 people on it between Sleaford and Spalding. Not bad considering that was impossible to do last month and during COVID. I digress, but it shows sometimes build it and they shall come.
Norwich even got one of the ex-anglia 156s back today. Didn’t see which one.
Been plenty of 156/9s out East of late.

And Anglia performance has never been better! The absence of the 720s isn’t an issue (yet).
Quite agree. Hopefully more 720s will be arrive after the current acceptance break. As you say they are smashing the performance now on GA.
 

Bald Rick

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As you say they are smashing the performance now on GA.

That’s what happens when you take a few trains out of the peak. Would be interested to know what peak loading are like on the GE with the current service.
 

dk1

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That’s what happens when you take a few trains out of the peak. Would be interested to know what peak loading are like on the GE with the current service.
Seem to be pretty busy Tuesday-Thursday at least. Car parks have suddenly started to be getting used again in the last couple of weeks. Diss in particular surprised me today with how many spaces where taken. Off peak has really taken off again in some cases comparable with before lockdown.
 

londonmidland

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Looks like we’re still experiencing the same old issues. Particularly with there being quite a few short forms, with 2 vice 4 coaches.

It doesn’t help with EMR saying that it’s because of the restrictions being eased, rather than acknowledging that there’s short forms.

Even the Mainline services are taking a hit, with the Sheffield service I am currently on being a 5 coach 222, which is full and standing.
 

yorksrob

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They should never have withdrawn the HST's until there was enough stock to replace them.
 

Llandudno

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Aren’t EMR running a reduced timetable due to staffing issues caused by Covid, surely in this case they should have sufficient stock to strengthen the services that they have decided they can run…?
 

STINT47

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Aren’t EMR running a reduced timetable due to staffing issues caused by Covid, surely in this case they should have sufficient stock to strengthen the services that they have decided they can run…?
They are but even with the reduced timetable short formed services and cancellations due to staff shortages are still far to common. It's also not helped by the fleet having a poor level of reliability, the 170s are an improvement for passengers but are pretty worn out.

On the mainline side five car services ate now the norm. With reduced passenger numbers they cope in the peaks and the week but at weekends with leisure use increasing it's common for them to be full. Before May the HSTs covered some diagrams allowing 222s to be coupled up but that's no longer an option.

Hopefully short formed services will get less as EMR get on top of their issues. However somewhat worryingly looking at the number of trains on order I think they will still struggle to meet demand. The new mainline fleet only offers a small increase in the number of coaches compared to now and 170s have less seats than the sprinters they ate replacing.
 

43055

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They should never have withdrawn the HST's until there was enough stock to replace them.
There is enough stock just for some reason the current timetable run off mostly single sets at the moment for some reason. For example on a weekday:
Only 4 7 car 222's out instead of 5 before May
1 4 car and 2 5 car diagrams start in the evening

overall diagramed:
4 car 222: 3 = 1 Spare/Maintenance
5 car 222: 14 = 3 Spare/Maintenance
7 car 222: 4 = 2 Spare/Maintenance
5 car 180: 2 = 2 Spare/Maintenance
Aren’t EMR running a reduced timetable due to staffing issues caused by Covid, surely in this case they should have sufficient stock to strengthen the services that they have decided they can run…?
Not all to do with Covid. There is also the issue of training on the 170's so some services that are booked for a 170 might have to be substituted for a 15x.

Showing as short form on EMR website:
1 diagram 2v3 on Worksop and Skegness
2v4 on the 1451 Liverpool - Nottingham (Norwich)
No short forms on Intercity or Connect.
 

Bald Rick

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They should never have withdrawn the HST's until there was enough stock to replace them.

There was.

Unfort7nately, EMR, like many TOCs, have a large number of staff off work due to leave, illness and particularly self isolation. Whilst this is most obvious with drivers, it is also significantly affecting depot maintenance staff. Thus more trains are stopped awaiting attention, and many are in service with non critical but ‘customer affecting’ faults, eg toilets out of service, issue with kitchens etc.

Most operators are running reduced services, so the effect is limited as ther I more spare (although GWR and LNER are getting tight due to the ongoing Class 800/801 issues). But EMR on the MML are still essentially operating a full service, so shortage of rolling stock is really biting. On the regional side they are suffering too, and Class 156 reliability is apparently appalling.
 

yorksrob

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There was.

Unfort7nately, EMR, like many TOCs, have a large number of staff off work due to leave, illness and particularly self isolation. Whilst this is most obvious with drivers, it is also significantly affecting depot maintenance staff. Thus more trains are stopped awaiting attention, and many are in service with non critical but ‘customer affecting’ faults, eg toilets out of service, issue with kitchens etc.

Most operators are running reduced services, so the effect is limited as ther I more spare (although GWR and LNER are getting tight due to the ongoing Class 800/801 issues). But EMR on the MML are still essentially operating a full service, so shortage of rolling stock is really biting. On the regional side they are suffering too, and Class 156 reliability is apparently appalling.

Staff being off wouldn't account for 4/5 carriage 222's being used in place of full length trains.

Even before the pingdemic, I remember trying to catch my usual evening train towards sheffield which had previosly been an HST. This was a preposterously short 222 and consequently a bit cosy.
 

londonmidland

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Staff being off wouldn't account for 4/5 carriage 222's being used in place of full length trains.
This is where the issue lies with the mainline services. Previously the use of HSTs, as well as 9 & 10 coach 222s, is now down to 5 & 4 coach 222s.

It’s mad that 4 coach 222s are now a regular thing on the Sheffield services. Just as the passenger numbers are starting to increase.
 

yorksrob

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This is where the issue lies with the mainline services. Previously the use of HSTs, as well as 9 & 10 coach 222s, is now down to 5 & 4 coach 222s.

It’s mad that 4 coach 222s are now a regular thing on the Sheffield services. Just as the passenger numbers are starting to increase.

Indeed.

Whilst I take @Baldrick's point that the pingdemic will be causing issues, I think the fact that full length trains have had to be replaced by ones that are too short is something that is a structural issue and is borne of the Government introducing legislation to signal its virtue, without coughing up the dosh to pay for it fast enough.
 

edwin_m

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I think if it weren't for Covid EMR would be in even bigger problems with capacity on the MML until the 810s arrived.
 

WesternLancer

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Abellio's stewardship of EM franchise has shown itself to be very poor compared with Stagecoach. Management must be poor and not up to it, franchise plan based too much on theory that turned out to be unable to be delivered. Passengers have had no great compensation for all this as fares have continued their govt dictated rises.

Had of DfT behind all of this but of course the brown end of the stick is what the traveler has to put up with.

As Arthur Seaton might have said "...all the rest is propaganda" !
 

Bald Rick

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Staff being off wouldn't account for 4/5 carriage 222's being used in place of full length trains.

It will in some cases, as when there aren’t enough units some trains that should have been double units will only have one.
 

Skymonster

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This weekend casual observation at Derby and Sheffield suggests there were far more solo 4- and 5-car 222s out than in previous weekends when they have usually been paired. The EMR website also reported several trains southbound from Derby and north from St Pancras full and standing on Sunday. So now, whatever the true excuse is, its seemingly starting to affect the Intercity route as well as Regional. Meanwhile I very rarely see the 180s out at the weekend, although they could be sneaking into and out of Nottingham. If its down to onboard staffing, its absolutely nuts that a pair of 222s can't operate with the driver in the front unit and the guard / TM in the rear unit given such arrangements are allowed at other TOCs. At some point, someone in the management team needs to stand up and say they are going to do it for the sake of the fare-paying customers (yes, yes, I know someone is going to say the union won't allow it [see 360 topic] but the railway needs to function for customers as much as employees - and management should tell the staff to switch of the NHS Track and Trace app too!).
 

Skymonster

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What is the situation with the 156/9. Seems criminal that some of these are stored when we have daily short forms.
I think most of them are back and there are only a couple still squirreled away at Barrow Hill now. They seem to be doubling them up on the Skeggys - with the interconnections that might not be a bad thing for the rest of the school holidays.
 

Mugby

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1332 St. Pancras - Sheffield on Saturday was only a 4-car 222, really not good enough for such a service!
 

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