ECML closed PBO to KGX Aug Bank Holiday routing

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Metal_gee_man, 4 Jun 2019.

  1. Metal_gee_man

    Metal_gee_man Member

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    So the ECML is closed for the August bank holiday weekend 24th, 25th & 26th from Peterborough to King's Cross, and TOCs do make me laugh, they will force customers onto lines that can't handle the numbers involved or make them travel miles out of the way, but the shorter quieter MML is not an authorised route see the options

    Screenshot_20190604_183724.jpg Screenshot_20190604_183700.jpg Screenshot_20190604_183623.jpg
     
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  3. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    The MML isn't particularly quiet, the other 2 routes should have more capacity.
     
  4. 717001

    717001 Member

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    The southern part should be back open on Mon 26. Believe NR and TOCs are still working on detailed plans and more info for this closure and other work along the line will be added to the dedicated website, once available https://eastcoastupgrade.co.uk
     
  5. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    May I politely ask what your better alternative is to "forcing passengers onto lines that can't handle the numbers" given the nature of the work to be done?
     
  6. Metal_gee_man

    Metal_gee_man Member

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    I guess there will have to be rail replacements, certainly in places like Huntingdon, Sandy, Biggleswade etc moving those passengers towards the Bedford for Thameslink services or Thameslink Cambridge services ultimately the problem is expecting Cross Country to shoulder the burden of getting people to other South bound services would be nightmarish hence buses being needed
     
  7. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    They really need to think seriously about what options they provide.

    If too many people try to travel via Leicester and Bedford (not permitted) or via Ely and Cambridge (which is permitted) it will overwhelm the tiny 2-coach XC trains. This could have seriously detrimental impact to people making local journeys from stations such as March, Oakham etc who may not be able to board their intended trains.
     
  8. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    Having options involving the Midland Main Line (even if creating temporary easements) makes more sense than making passengers go via Ely (like Yorkie says either on a 2-coach 158 to Norwich, or a 2/3 coach XC (or the 2-hourly 170 to Ipswich).

    York/Leeds -> Go to Manchester for Virgin to Euston or via Sheffield.
    Doncaster/Retford -> Go to Sheffield for EMT to St Pancras
    Newark/Grantham -> Go to Nottingham for EMT to St Pancras

    Maybe LNER can lend EMT (or EMR?) a HST or two to allow some of the Nottingham/Sheffield fasts to be doubled up to cope. Maybe free up space at St Pancras by running the Corby service as a shuttle.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2019
  9. 700007

    700007 Established Member

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    I agree. I obviously understand the complex nature of the work that needs to take place and by all means let it happen, but there needs to be a cross effort co-operation between DfT, Network Rail and the TOCs that use, cross or run near or to the affected portion of the East Coast Main Line.

    If train services that run into London King's Cross can be diverted elsewhere, then that should happen if it is realistically possible to do so. Services on the Midland Main Line and the West Anglia Main Line should really be lengthened to the maximum amount of carriages they can where possible. Greater Anglia for example should be offered paths paid for by Network Rail for the weekend to run 12-car express trains between London Liverpool Street, Tottenham Hale, Cambridge and stations up to Ely to handle the extra London to Cambridge flow.

    CrossCountry should also try if possible to run extra or lengthened trains, but obviously I know how stretched the current XC fleet is and am aware we have a DMU crisis effectively in this country. Some pie in the sky suggestions but this closure does really need to be thought through.

    Rail replacement should also connect passengers to different lines at different stations and not try collectively dump everyone at the same place (other than Peterborough for obvious reasons) otherwise it will cause chaotic crowds that will quickly become unmanageable. Try and send some passengers on buses to the Midland Main Line for example to connect with trains to London.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2019
  10. farci

    farci Member

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    As a non-railway person may I ask if this is an example of TOCs not talking to each other? Or is it a Network Rail problem?
     
  11. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    Nothing has been finalised yet, so I'm really not sure what the problem is?

    I am somewhat sceptical that via Nuneaton and Leamington Spa is a permitted route, btw.
     
  12. Metal_gee_man

    Metal_gee_man Member

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    The timetables have been set, the routing has been set, but as you say OBVIOUSLY nothing has been finalised yet! It seems a bit planned, and set in stone the blockade will happen, and as railway enthusiasts we can blatantly see the challenges that lay ahead! This is just a spit balling session where we pick holes and hope we don't need to be using trains on these days
     
  13. 717001

    717001 Member

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    I think the discussions are happening and we’ll see a range of provisions put in place, but there simply isn’t enough rail / bus capacity available to cater for everyone who would normally travel - hence the early warning. It seems to be being handled similarly to the Brighton mainline closures and drawing on the experience gained from those.
     
  14. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    The advice for the Saturday and Sunday seems to be quite clear:

    Pathetic is what I'd call it.
     
  15. Fuzzytop

    Fuzzytop Member

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    I am sure I read a Network Rail document that suggested the plan was for LNER to run one HST an hour into St Pancras. (Apparently one of the reasons they're seeking dispensation for six sets until Summer 2020 is to run trains into terminals other than King's Cross.)

    Initially this was to originate/terminate in Newcastle, but that may now be York or scratched completely. Looks like Hull Trains are running three services into St Pancras each day, though.
     
  16. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    What solutions do you suggest?
     
  17. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    I don't see how this is going to happen, St Pancras and the rest of the MML is full with the existing services.
    If they could fit in a LNER service, they'd have to get rid of Thameslink services to achieve this
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2019
  18. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Good question, but if anyone wishes to reply to it, please do so in the Speculative Ideas section (to avoid this thread becoming a speculative ideas thread), thanks :)
     
  19. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Its a repetitive one though that occurs on many threads, people bang on about how we should enhance and modernise the railway but don't like the disruption that has to happen to deliver it.
     
  20. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I dunno. Do we get many complaints on here about well planned alternative offerings, such as alternative through trains by diverted routes, or well-coordinated replacement buses where there is no prospect of any alternative?

    We get complaints when rail replacements are badly coordinated, and rightly so, and people don't like it if the alternative arrangements are inadequate, and that's understandable too.

    If there are threads where people bang on about enhancements while disliking disruption I'd be happy to receive a list of links to look at...
     
  21. OFFDN

    OFFDN Member

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    For the avoidance of doubt, and for those who seem to have every knife and dagger aimed at the DfT/NR/TOCs at every opportunity possible... this has been planned thoroughly and the essentials are this:

    There have been comprehensive, well attended, sometimes terse and frank, thorough, honest, sensitive, multiple all-day meetings on this project between ALL parties concerned. At one point there was a meeting with almost every single UK TOC represented in one room (aside from TfW, GWR, SWR, c2c and SE). I refute any claim that NR haven’t talked to the TOCs, vice versa, that it’s poorly planned or that it’s pathetic. This is a genuinely collaborative piece of work between TOCs/NR that I have never seen before.

    This work absolutely has to happen and the length and distance the block covers is essential - there are no alternatives. The most significant worksite being undertaken is resignalling of the ECML to York ROC, but it also includes some work in Stevenage platform 5 and some work around King’s Cross. To say it doesn’t have to be that weekend, or that it doesn’t need to be so disruptive, is wrong.

    Every single possible permutation of alternative routes has been considered and fleshed out in detail. If it was possible, it would be done. If it is not being done, it was not possible. For example, the offer was given for TOCs to loan stock to other TOCs for the weekend - some TOC execs approved some very interesting offers to loan units/coaches elsewhere, but these were declined for various reasons (driver traction knowledge, driver resource/cover availability, route clearance). Diverting trains on alternative routes into alternative terminus was also fully discussed, but there were caveats to that too (driver route knowledge lacking and failing that a severe lack of freight driver availability to pilot crews, lack of capacity on alternative routes, lack of platforms at alternative terminus, etc). And yes, AGA will be running longer trains, strengthening to 12 where possible and starting their Bishop Stortford to Stratford services back from Cambridge.

    There are also a number of planned alternative travel opportunities (bus/coach services) - some of which will be advertised, some unadvertised to soak up extra passengers on the day - which are yet to enter the public domain.

    The work must happen and the alternative travel options in place are the very best that the TOCs can implement. Hence the very strong message for the weekend is DO NOT TRAVEL. If you know people - friends, family, work colleagues, even spotters and enthusiasts - planning to travel that weekend, warm them now not to.
     
  22. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    It's worth noting that the MML has a significantly reduced service on Sundays, with trains already busy, so it's best if passengers are sent via different routes in the 25th
     
  23. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I see very few forum members (bear in mind, at the time of writing, no fewer than 262 members have read this, not including any guests) posting in this thread who could be argued to have posted in a manner that meets the above description ;)

    There was also a member who merely asked if the TOCs had not talked to each other; clearly that member is now informed that they have :)

    Anyway thanks for the insight; well done to GA! Not so well done to whichever unnamed TOCs refused to accept the offers made by other TOCs!
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2019
  24. Andyh82

    Andyh82 Established Member

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    The BBC are reporting on it, and those who love a good BBC News train picture will enjoy this one

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-48510971
    The link shows a picture of a GNER train with interim National Express branding illustrating one of the trains that will be affected by the closure.
     
  25. Master29

    Master29 Established Member

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    I understand the work has to happen and the many connotations and variables that go with it, i.e. diversions, rail replacement transport and upgrades etc. You say it`s plain wrong for anyone to say it doesn`t have to happen this weekend. May I ask why as you have given no explanation. If it is simply that there is likely to be less passengers on these days then it makes sense and I totally accept that. Otherwise it does lend to the idea of the parties involved that they don`t want to offend the business community with rail replacement transport and thus dump it on the unfortunate people who may have to travel on these days. This isn`t a criticism or disagreement as to what needs to be done workwise but merely asking for explanations as to the timing perhaps.
     
  26. Metal_gee_man

    Metal_gee_man Member

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    Respect where respect is due thanks for posting the meeting details, my original post wasn't a let's bash GA or LNER etc for trying, it was more a why is a 3h49m journey shown as valid, when a 2h19m journey on the MML not valid, assuming all the legal battles that Stagecoach are throwing around they aren't being the most co-operative unlike GA, Chiltern, LNWR/WMT & XC who want to provide options
     
  27. Gus

    Gus Member

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    Do we know which TOC will be operating the MML in late August? It may be too soon for Abellio to get involved with this diversion operation.
     
  28. DanDaDriver

    DanDaDriver Member

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    There’s a lot of the highlighted word happening here...
     
  29. bspahh

    bspahh Member

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    In January there was a planned closure between Peterborough and Hitchin, LNER ran an hourly service from Kings Cross via Cambridge to Peterborough, Doncaster and York. It was ~60 minutes slower. They used a mixture of HSTs and diesel-hauled class 91s.
    https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/204399.aspx
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 5 Jun 2019
  30. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    @Metal_gee_man Peterborough to London isn't valid via the Midland Main Line for fairly sensible reasons, and I've sent you a PM about the other thing.
    Yes, there was a time years ago under previous operators of the franchise that you'd have been stuck on a bus, but they do now go via Cambridge where possible these days, but it's not possible this time as King's Cross itself is completely shut.
     
  31. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    Why aren't they running some to Cambridge to ease pressure on the short already-often-overcrowded 170s and 156 or 158s used on Peterborough-Ely/Cambridge by various operators? Then it would connect with the regular Liverpool St service and the extended Stratford ones.
     

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