ECML closed PBO to KGX Aug Bank Holiday routing

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

  1. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

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    Of course. The people who organise these things must do the best they can within the limits of the resources available to them. Railway engineering works necessarily disrupt someone, somewhere, sometime and Bank Holidays are reasonably considered to be the best time to minimise that disruption. I'm just trying to point out that less disruption isn't the same thing as no disruption. You may not be able to reduce the disruption by very much, even on a Bank Holiday. And it's a pity that the quickest rail route between Edinburgh and London will partly be closed over a long distance on probably its most in-demand weekend of the year, thus maximising public dissatisfaction and minimising public esteem for the project.

    As a regular railway user and enthusiast, it's frustrating to feel that the railway is actually doing its job better than many lay people would perhaps feel inclined to give it credit for, but could still improve a lot and majorly improve its PR with just a few tweaks in things like project planning and technological improvements, and by making itself easier to deal with, by orders of magnitude, when things (inevitably and unavoidably) go wrong - but that's another story for another thread.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jun 2019
  2. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

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    I think much will depend on how well organised and managed the alternatives are, how good the communication is and how approachable and helpful the relevant bits of the railway make themselves appear.

    Particularly if a knackered 91 sits down just south of Temple Hirst and the excrement comes into contact with the air moving machine.
     
  3. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Access is agreed in collaboration with TOC/FOCs and NR routes taking into account various factors such as resource, clashes, known major events (which is subjective in itself) etc from 2-3 years out. I know for a fact 2021 has been discussed with operators for many many months and the first version of the 2021 Engineering Access Statement comes out in Autumn. Access for 2022 will already have been penciled in.
     
  4. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

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    And no doubt everyone's crossing their fingers and hoping against hope that the DfT don't decide to welch on the deals, rip up the agreements and ride roughshod over everything before waltzing off into the sunset blaming it all on someone else! :rolleyes:

    That said, it would be better if us lowly paying passengers could feel more confident in general that the railway's component parts were genuinely all pulling in the same direction and not having to battle against endless fragmentation making everything take n times as long and cost n times as much...and a key bit of the network didn't end up being closed when unusually increased numbers of us might otherwise plan to use it.

    Bear in mind that the Edinburgh Festival is a huge cultural event of international renown. Many 100,000s of people will come from all over the world to attend and take part.. The railway needs to be ready to play its part. It seems odd to hinder a key bit of it from doing so at such a crucial time. I don't think it's unreasonable to wonder whether these works couldn't have been scheduled better, and whether the short, medium and long-term planning systems could be improved. I find the apparent level of both defensiveness to challenge and resistance to change within the railway rather odd at times.

    Slightly edited for clarity and typos
     
    Last edited: 12 Jun 2019
  5. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    The issue is still when the works happen, not everything can be done in a 54 hour possession over a weekend, it is often not cost effective to do it that way either spreading the works out. Operators expect big pieces of work to sit in bank holidays and Christmas, unless a step change happens where TOCs will accept closures of two days or more in a normal working week affecting commuter traffic then its unlikely to change a great deal. It isn't being defensive at all and the industry certainly doesn't sit their arms folded and say "its always been like this, we aren't changing". NR would gladly do work outside of public holidays as it would spread resource demand and also make things cheaper.
     
  6. AndyW33

    AndyW33 Member

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    But how many of the 100,000s of people attending or performing at the Edinburgh Festival, which runs from 2 August to 26 August, will still be around in Edinburgh on 24/25/26 August and also need to travel by train to points south of Peterborough on those dates? Very few performers and even fewer spectators are there for the entire three and a half weeks, and most will always have planned to be elsewhere by 24 August. For sure there is an impact on a significant number of people, but implying that engineering works on the last three days of the festival would seriously disrupt the entire event is hyperbole. A lot of the people attending the festival from overseas get to Edinburgh by air anyway because there are direct or easy connecting flights from their home countries to Edinburgh Airport, compared to arriving in London, transferring self and baggage from Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton or Stansted to Kings Cross and then making a lengthy train journey. It is overseas visitors to the Festival who would use Eurostar that are mainly affected, or those that want to combine it with a stay in London.
     
  7. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    no one suggests there is no distribution just that there is less distribution on a weekend or bank holiday weekend when most people have options than there would be at other times. It may change with the putting passengers first programme but that wont defeat the reality of time or that the TOC's want the work done over bank holidays. If the companies directly responsible for passengers want those dates that must tell us something!

    as an aside it is clear posters here have little knowledge of or interest in what actually goes on to agree, plan, resource and deliver a big possession. It isnt something chucked together that can be moved at a whim. It often takes years of work and relies on incredibly intricate resource plans to just get the materials and equipment to site let alone actually fix what ever it is you need to fix.

    Therefore IF you decide to move a big piece of work like this you have to look at SO many downstream issues. What is the knock on effect? What resources are now not available? What has happened to the deliverbility of other projects? What else is moved, postponed or cancelled to accommodate people going to a festival. What is the economic impact of a TSR at the location you didn't fix for another 6 months? What happens when you cant get the Kirow for your work because they are all booked? What happens to the work that you cancel to provide the crane for this site as it is more important? What about the TOC's/FOC's? What about conflicts with other closures ( WCML v ECML). What about the costs? What if you cant get the manpower? Etc etc.

    My central point is you cant just look at one piece of work in isolation. It is a jigsaw with lots of pieces, some of which you cant see and most of which you don't "own"

    I am not sure how you think "better technology" will help in this case. Can you explain further. How do you think better project planning would help in this situation? Can you provide a bit more information? How will making the railway easier to deal with help in this situation? I am not sure this has much to do with the point under discussion ( or as an aside as widely as people here like to think!)

    I am not trying to be difficult but can you suggest a better way and time in which the work planned for this bank holiday weekend can be accommodated? The options, in no particular order, are:
    • Bank holiday block
    • standard weekend possession
    • overnight possession
    • week time blockade
    • a mixture of the above
    • not doing the work

    BTW no one is showing defensiveness to challenge and resistance to change. It isnt so much the weekend that is important but the extra day a bank holiday weekend gives you. You keep saying these works could be scheduled better. Please explain how. The exam question is this:

    How do you fit 72 hours of work into a 4 or 48 hour window.
     
  8. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

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    I don't understand why my point is so controversial. Whilst I agree that a B/H weekend is the best time to carry out a major project like this, I'm just trying to point out to those who seem (unless I've misinterpreted or misunderstood, either or both of these things being distinctly possible or even highly likely) to believe, when it comes to scheduling major engineering projects, that any old B/H weekend will do, that they aren't necessarily correct in that belief, especially regarding this particular B/H weekend for this particular project. However, I'm not trying to imply that this project will disrupt the "entire" Edinburgh Festival - I'm just saying it will have an impact, which it will. How great that impact will be, I have no idea; only time will tell. But it will have an impact of some kind.
    Not everyone who goes to the Festival (whether technicians, performers or audience members) will be there for the whole run, that is true. But some will, especially the techies who often work the whole run either for the same company or a variety of different ones. And some performers and audiences who may well have planned only to be in Edinburgh for the final week or this final weekend of the Festival will be disrupted by this.

    Also, foreign visitors matter just as much as domestic ones, especially in Scotland where the economy is hugely reliant on the tourist trade. It would be a major mistake for anyone to assume that the opinions of overseas visitors either matter less than those of domestic visitors, or do not matter at all.

    This is a busy event. According to Wiki (I know, I know), nearly 3m tickets for Fringe events were sold last year and the ticket sales figures have been rising steadily for the last 3 or 4 years. As I've already said, the railway needs to be ready to play its part. I don't see what is particularly controversial about that.
     
  9. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    There are large events on almost every weekend of the year so there will always be people who believe they are being disproportionate affected with several threads a year on the topic.

    Football matches and running events have featured in the 2019 threads so far.
     
  10. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

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    We're in danger of going off-topic here, so I'll keep my answers brief and invite you to PM me if you want to discuss this further.

    Yes - most likely that they want to minimise their reputational damage and the number of complaints they get as they have to account for these to the DfT.

    In my case - little knowledge, perhaps (as distinct from no knowledge at all) but plenty of interest. I've never knowingly implied that a slapdash approach is or has been taken here. For the removal of any lingering doubt, let me state categorically, certainly in the absence of any clear evidence to the contrary, that that is not my belief.

    Also, I haven't ever suggested that this project should be re-scheduled now that it has been scheduled. I've simply wondered whether it couldn't have been scheduled better and I don't see what is so apparently unreasonable about questioning whether any improvements could be made to project planning/implementation. I don't think anyone would suggest that there is nothing to learn from any other major railway engineering projects, whether in terms of the scheduling or any other aspect, so why should this one be free of scrutiny?

    (My emboldening). These were more general points not necessarily in reference to the subject of this thread. To be fair, I did point that out at the end of that paragraph.

    Those are good questions, which were very well put and definitely deserve good answers! I'm not the one to give them, though. But that doesn't mean I'm not entitled to ask.
     
  11. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    And, by the same token, I do not feel you are willing to look beyond one project and one date. Euston has been closed or badly disrupted during the previous 2019 bank holidays. The East and West Coasts can not be closed at the same the time therefore reducing your opportunities for work. That therefore leaves you, if you want a BH weekend, August or Christmas. It might, honestly, be a case of this bank holiday or not for a couple of years because of what else is on the books and in particular the ERTMS work on the southern end of the ECML & HS2 at Euston which i am sure will get first dips on resources of all kinds. Add the MML works into the list and suddenly your jigsaw got harder. Add in all the other works taking the opportunity of a wheels free period to squeeze in a bit of "free" access and suddenly you are looking at a high number of inter dependent projects that all have to be rescheduled.

    Important people chose this date in the full knowledge of the events taking place, the expected passengers travelling, the disruption fall out, the economic impact, the train crew/stock availability, maintenance resource, equipment resource and the wider work bank. The question is whether, or not, those factors are correctly weighted ( and, btw, i think that is a fair question) but I will return to the fact that the TOC's want the work done at bank holidays. They must have modelling that supports that decision.

    but in asking you must have an opinion or your wouldn't ask ;)
     
  12. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

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    I've never denied that. What I have done, repeatedly, is try to point out that this particular weekend is (with some justification), probably one of the busiest of the year, specifically/especially where Edinburgh is concerned. For similar reasons, when the Henley Regatta is on, you might try to avoid doing major works on the GWML (Great Western Main Line), particularly in the Reading area, or between Reading and London, or on the Henley line itself. The Henley Regatta is nowhere near as big and busy as the Edinburgh Festival - I cite it merely as an illustrative example of the point I'm trying to make. I don't want to go off-topic so if there's anything you're still not clear on in relation to this, please PM me.
     
  13. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

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    I'm just trying to stay on-topic, Rich. That's honestly all there is to it. I'm not trying to diminish the importance of the other projects you mention or dismiss your argument out-of-hand but they are not the subject of this thread and the Forum rules are clear on this point.

    I would imagine so, yes. They also have reputations to try to protect, and bollockings from the DfT, Transport Select Committee and local MPs to try to avoid.

    Not necessarily. Questions are often asked to facilitate learning and inform opinion, rather than seek to reinforce an opinion already held. I'm just an interested lay person, and I really do wish you'd stop suggesting/inferring/implying otherwise.
     
  14. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    WCML is two track south of MKC all weekend, so heavily reduced timetable (1tph to each of Wolverhampton, Manchester, Liverpool and Scotland)
     
  15. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Won't be that bad, should be 2 Birmingham's with one carrying on to Scotland, 2 Manchester's, the Liverpool and the Glasgow.
     
  16. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    It was on NR saying 1tph and now it's not there at all. Have they cancelled the work?
     
  17. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    Or perhaps the Edinburgh Festival might consider its own scheduling ... ?
     
  18. TUC

    TUC Established Member

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    I do think the ‘do not travel’ message is helpful. Yes, disruption is inevitable, but saying not to travel on a weekend when lots of people will be travelling longer distances because of the bank holiday weekend to attend events, visit families etc., gives the impression of the railway thinking it has the right to expect the public to accept being instructed to not travel and change their plans. Far better to say, that it will involve changes of train and be likely to add up to ‘xxx’ to journey times (even if the exact figure isn’t known as yet).
     
  19. Skimble19

    Skimble19 Established Member

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    That's all well and good for LNER, but down in GN land it won't involve changes of train etc. as there will be no trains at all, as such what else could be said?

    Plans are being worked on but any replacement bus services will be very limited compared to the train service - for starters, the amount of buses that would be required to provide anything even vaguely close would be astronomical.

    Even if you could source enough buses, the length of time the journies would take, the changes that would need to be involved and the practicalities of actually running such a service would be extremely difficult to manage, no doubt resulting in lots and lots of angry passengers.

    With that in mind using "Do not travel" to try and put off anybody making non-essential journies seems fairly reasonable.
     
    Last edited: 14 Jun 2019
  20. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    It's probably accurate, though. It needs to be spelled out that a usual service won't be provided and the alternative RRB will be very busy. We saw on the Brighton Main Line that RRBs, no matter how well organised, can't cope with normal travel demands. If you think how many coaches would be needed to replace one LNER train...
     
  21. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    It also needs to be very clear that where alternative services/routes exist they will be extremely busy. There's absolutely no point in shying away from it.
     
  22. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    No, its a track renewal job.
     
  23. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    It would be an insane amount.
     
  24. BluePenguin

    BluePenguin On Moderation

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    Of course they are, nobody wants to spend 1 hour on a 700 Thameslink trundling through North London and Hertfordshire to get to Bedford if they can easily shave off off 25 minutes by taking East Midlands Trains instead - ain’t nobody got time for that! However, on a serious note this is a big problem which does need addressing.

    Passengers travelling to/from the north would argue Midlanders should be grateful they have a service at all compared to them but what can you do?
     
  25. SC43090

    SC43090 Member

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    Correct any services that operate on the Saturday & Sunday from Scotland, North East West Yorkshire Doncaster will start & terminate at Peterborough are all diverted between Doncaster & Peterborough via joint line Gainsborough, Lincoln & Spalding...... Also on Bank Holiday Monday services are also diverted via Joint Line.... KX should be open assuming the engineering works are completed on time......
     
  26. Skimble19

    Skimble19 Established Member

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    Basic outline of the plan for GN is as follows:

    Do not travel is still and will remain the main advice, however, the following will be in place for those that still need to travel:

    • Shuttle train service between Kings Lynn and Cambridge
    • Buses between Peterborough- Hitchin, Hitchin - Potters Bar, Hitchin - Cambridge, Stevenage - Enfield Chase
    • Buses between St Neots - Bedford, Hitchin - Luton Airport Parkway, Stevenage - Luton Airport Parkway
    • There will be no "fast" buses all the way to London, only the routes above which link to buses over to Thameslink / TFL
    • Full Ticket acceptance on Thameslink (Bedford Line), with some form of free parking to be allowed at select stations, details TBC
    • Ticket acceptance with Greater Anglia into London, as well as TFL Underground and buses etc.
    • Ticket acceptance with local buses where available
    • Some GN car parks will either be fully or partially closed to allow the significant rail replacement service to operate
     
  27. Benjaminmorgan

    Benjaminmorgan Member

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    Will there be another bus from Potters Bar or Enfield Chase to London
     
  28. Skimble19

    Skimble19 Established Member

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    No, it'll be use TFL Buses or nearest Underground stations. There will be no replacement bus services heading any further south than that. The idea is not to use the various GN replacement bus services for getting to London, but for getting to an alternative way of getting to London, I.e Thameslink or TFL
     
  29. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    "We undertake this work when the railway is traditionally quieter but alternative routes will be extremely busy" - how does that work?
     

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