Evening Standard article - skip stopping

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pete_m911

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http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/c...ip-stations-to-avoid-being-late-a3193596.html

Rail chiefs were today accused of stranding commuters by “skipping” stations more often to avoid trains being late.

MPs today highlighted the growing fury of commuters waiting on platforms who see their train go past rather than stopping as scheduled.

Some passengers have been unable to get off their train after failing to hear announcements that it is no longer stopping at their station.

Official figures reveal a huge rise in the number of part-cancellations, which includes “skipping” trains, in the past two years.

On Southeastern services, they jumped from 1,651 in the second quarter of 2013/14 to 2,804 in the same period for 2015/16, according to the Office of Rail Regulation.

At Govia Thameslink Railway — which includes Southern, Great Northern and Thameslink — they spiral- led from 4,148 to 6,732.....

Some fairly horrendous figures for Govia here, any idea what report the article refers to?
 
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MrB

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Southeastern seem to constantly be skipping stops on the CST-CST rounders - been mentioned on here several times before so I'm not entirely surprised by this.

Thing is, what can be done to prevent this happening? If the TOCs want to skip out stops then what is stopping them?
 

Chrisgr31

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Its a no win situation though. They are running late, without missing stops the train will still be late at the end of the journey. This means that it and the crew will be late for their next journey as well as holding up everything behind it.
 

FOH

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From the Evening Standard
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/c...ip-stations-to-avoid-being-late-a3193596.html

Govia said “skipping stations” lets delayed trains “catch up” and recover their slot in the timetable. “It’s never a decision taken lightly and only done at times of disruption so that fewer passengers are delayed overall,” it added.
Which to me seems untrue, skipping stations seems like their standard operating procedure when trains start being delayed. I recently saw a Victoria train at London Bridge which was first stop Streatham - what's the point in bothering running it?!
 
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me123

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It's not about massaging figures, of course. Although the article will go out of its way to make it sound like that's the case (it does eventually make clear that the TOC gets a "punctuality failure" for doing so).

It's miserable for the people who have been left behind, of course. I've been there. But the TOC has to keep its entire schedule running for the day. I'm sure I don't need to explain here that a late running train risks the crew being late for their next move, and the train delaying its next booked service. In some cases, a single delay can have quite significant knock-on effects for the rest of the day. It can be in the "greater good" to make up time, even if the passengers who are affected don't see it that way.
 

Bletchleyite

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It's interesting that LM (also Govia) almost never miss stops except in cases of very severe delay when there's no point making the stops because another train with capacity will be doing it shortly anyway.

The LM approach, which I think works reasonably well, is that in the event of disruption they attempt to run as much as possible of the service (i.e. the capacity) with the correct stops, even if it runs late, towards London in the morning and away from it in the evening. They then hack about with the off-peak service to try to get things back in place afterwards.

It probably helps, though, that most LM runs are quite long, which means a given unit will only usually do one or at absolute most two runs into/out of London in each peak.

The one exception is the Euston emergency timetable if one pair of tracks is lost south of MKC, but that involves cancellations (of the Tring stoppers plus one Manchester and one Birmingham VT per hour, and possibly also cutting the Chester/Holyhead back to Crewe) rather than missing stops.
 
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tcm1106

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It's not a decision that's taken lightly. 'Failure To Call' is still counted as a overall PPM failure for the service, so does impact TOC performance figures
 

Merseysider

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Happens every now and again on Merseyrail. Most people just get on with it - I've certainly never seen anyone 'furious' over it.
 

FOH

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I know it fails PPM, same as if it still ran late, difference is the late stopper gets people to work or home, the run fast just carries fresh air and a few lucky souls
 

Camden

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Think quality and timing of information to passengers is key. If they get that and the delay is 15 minutes then provided it's not happening often I think most people would be OK with it.

If you're not told and you end up with a two hour delay then you're bound to be very unhappy.
 

PHILIPE

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There are many cases of stop skipping in the Cardiff Valley Network. It is,of course, for making up lost time, but also attempting to getting a train back into it's path as the service is so intense with trains 5 minutes apart through Cardiff.
If the train was allowed to stop in such cases and remain out of course, the knock on effect would become far worse. I appreciate it may inconvenience some passengers but would benefit many more in the long run. Not a case of skipping for PPM purposes.
 

PHILIPE

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Notice that quite a few posters are now following the duplicate thread rather than the original..
 

Clip

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I know it fails PPM, same as if it still ran late, difference is the late stopper gets people to work or home, the run fast just carries fresh air and a few lucky souls

But that train still has to find a slot at London Bridge and if it misses it it will cause delays to the service it makes and then delays to services that would then use its empty platform which then knocks on all the way down the main line....

Its not an easy thing to overcome really so what is better? Delay everyone or a minority?
 

Via Bank

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Think quality and timing of information to passengers is key. If they get that and the delay is 15 minutes then provided it's not happening often I think most people would be OK with it.

If you're not told and you end up with a two hour delay then you're bound to be very unhappy.

Well, quite.

Frankly in the event of any delay, passengers have a right to be cross: the service that has been advertised, and that they have paid for, has not been provided in a timely manner. This is particularly true if you end up being turfed off a train and having to wait for the next (inevitably very crowded) one.

And while this is the Standard, so any reports of "fury" are going to be overblown, if, as seems to be happening a lot on GTR's services, the stop cancellations are not announced adequately, the passengers have an absolute right to be livid.

A friend recently spent the best part of two hours trying to travel from St Pancras to West Hampstead, because Thameslink - as well as being apparently incapable of announcing the normal stopping patterns of the services at St Pancras - were cancelling stops with little or no announcement during poor railhead conditions. Eventually he ended up travelling via St Albans, then via St Pancras again, and in considerable discomfort on a packed four car train for two of the three legs.

I don't see how this can be spun as necessary or unavoidable: it is utterly unacceptable.
 

bramling

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It's not a decision that's taken lightly. 'Failure To Call' is still counted as a overall PPM failure for the service, so does impact TOC performance figures

Yes but if a train is already not going to achieve PPM for the service, presumably it boosts the chances of the train's next service achieving PPM, which of course will benefit the scorecard.

Beneficial for the passengers on the next service, but potentially very much a disbenefit to the passengers on the first service wanting to alight or board at intermediate stations. Especially if those intermediate stations have an infrequent service. So a typical potential trade-off is everyone on the next service delayed by a few minutes, versus some people wanting the earlier skip-stopping service perhaps delayed by half an hour or an hour or whatever the timetable interval is - and of course their next service could also be late. Also bear in mind that those left at the missed stations may well be stuck for a long time at somewhere with minimal facilities - so you could for example have some people stuck for a long time at a cold windswept halt just to stop the train's next service being 10 mins late. There's no right answer, however I'd rather the decision was taken based upon thinking about causing least overall hardship rather than simply maximising PPM.

Of course, the best situation is to have everything right-time in the first place. Complicated inter-linked networks like the Thameslink Programme do not help achieve this, quite the opposite. No coincidence Govia is in there.
 
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dgl

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It's also, of course, to make sure that staff are where they need to be in the event of any disruption. If more trains have to be cancelled because there is no crew to staff them (driver/guard) then the situation can get much worse.
 

Antman

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It's also, of course, to make sure that staff are where they need to be in the event of any disruption. If more trains have to be cancelled because there is no crew to staff them (driver/guard) then the situation can get much worse.

That is a common reason for cancellations on Southeastern
 

Phil.

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because cockneys have a much lower threshold for annoyance and an inflated sense of self worth and importance. ;)

Or perhaps they just aren't prepared to put up with a service provider not providing a service?
 

ScotGG

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Skip stopping is annoying when you know it wont make up any time as behind a stopper and/or freight train. The Southeastern rounders often do this. It's only 2 an hour and could be a good link (especially when Crossrail opens) but so often if skips stations so is far from reliable. The thing is those that are made skippers are placed behind other trains so from, say Slade Green, they make up almost no time by the time they get to London Bridge. And the train they are following can be a semi-fast so not much good as a replacement for stations like Maze Hill etc.
 

Taunton

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You have to wonder how this was handled a generation ago when such tactics were generally unknown.

One of the issues is overtight scheduling of both trains and crews in the first place. Services such as Bedford-Brighton, notably prone to delay, having minimal turnrounds before the lengthy return trip. So when those write above about it being necessary to ensure the next train starts on time, it's not. But some operators seem unable to write resilient timetables any more.

When PPM was devised, it wasn't set at 100% but at a margin underneath because there was an awareness that all sorts of external issues can arise. But operators seem to think that if their target is 90% and they achieve 90%, that's perfection.
 

Tetchytyke

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It's interesting that LM (also Govia) almost never miss stops except in cases of very severe delay when there's no point making the stops because another train with capacity will be doing it shortly anyway.

Poppycock. The Tring stopper will usually do a non-stop run back to Euston if it gets to Tring more than about 10 minutes late. Apsley, Kings Langley and Bushey passengers get to watch their train sail through the station then wait thirty minutes for the next one. It happens fairly often on Sundays, too, when the trains at those stations are only hourly. Do LM put a stop order in? Ha.

The only reason why they have to do that is because the diagrams are now so tight that a 7-8 minute delay is enough to cause catastrophe later. That's a LM commercial decision to sweat their assets too much. Good to see the rest of GoVia doing the same(!)
 
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Nippy

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I've got on at Tring before and the train has gone non stop to Euston at 8am. We crawled behind a no doubt wedged unit all the way to Watford where we were tipped up the fast and it still took about 45 mins. There were about 10 of us on the 8 coach train.
 

Busaholic

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because cockneys have a much lower threshold for annoyance and an inflated sense of self worth and importance. ;)

Not many Cockneys in St Albans, or West Hampstead for that matter.:)
I speak as a non-Cockney, by the way. Now from where did that expression 'whingeing Scouser' emanate? Oh, Manchester!
 

ScotGG

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Not many Cockneys in St Albans, or West Hampstead for that matter.:)
I speak as a non-Cockney, by the way. Now from where did that expression 'whingeing Scouser' emanate? Oh, Manchester!

Funny thing is the article specifically DIDN'T mention cockney areas. No word on c2c or Greater Anglia whatsoever.
 

IKB

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If trains have only 6, 8 or 10 minute turn arounds at the end of the journey, it stands to reason that stops will get missed to get things back on track, otherwise the train would never recover the time and would get later and later all day.

Passengers want "more seats, more carriages, more trains"....downside to that is very tight timings with assets used to the max.

People can't have it both ways. Cut 25% of trains from the timetable and things would run like clockwork. Then you'd get more complaints about lack of capacity.

TOCs are damned if they do, damned if they don't.
 

infobleep

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It's interesting that LM (also Govia) almost never miss stops except in cases of very severe delay when there's no point making the stops because another train with capacity will be doing it shortly anyway.

The LM approach, which I think works reasonably well, is that in the event of disruption they attempt to run as much as possible of the service (i.e. the capacity) with the correct stops, even if it runs late, towards London in the morning and away from it in the evening. They then hack about with the off-peak service to try to get things back in place afterwards.

It probably helps, though, that most LM runs are quite long, which means a given unit will only usually do one or at absolute most two runs into/out of London in each peak.

The one exception is the Euston emergency timetable if one pair of tracks is lost south of MKC, but that involves cancellations (of the Tring stoppers plus one Manchester and one Birmingham VT per hour, and possibly also cutting the Chester/Holyhead back to Crewe) rather than missing stops.
Yes and they don't usually admit that all the Tring stoppers are cancelled on the disruption notice.

I usw to find if trains in the morning were late into Euston, they would run then fast to Tring, missing out every station.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The DfT said they
are absolutely clear that this should only be done when there is no other solution.

What are the other solutions that they should use first?
 
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30907

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You have to wonder how this was handled a generation ago when such tactics were generally unknown.

In much the same way, at least on the Southern where I worked on telephone enquiries around 1980. There were fewer trains and passengers then, but with basic frequencies half hourly, at least as inconvenient.

xx42 VA-ON calling HH, PE, BJ, BP only - have I got the old telegraph codes right?

PS to comply with forum rules it's Victoria, Orpington, Herne Hill, Penge East, Beckenham Jn, Bromley S.
 
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Tetchytyke

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I've got on at Tring before and the train has gone non stop to Euston at 8am. We crawled behind a no doubt wedged unit all the way to Watford

Yes, that happened to me depressingly regularly when I was commuting from Apsley. Of course LM didn't put a stop order in for any of the other trains, so I got to stand there watching a succession of trains trundle through the station whilst I got to stand in the freezing cold. It really makes one appreciate the finer things in life, such as any TOC that GoVia don't operate. I must have made over £200 in Delay Repay in the 11 months I was commuting from Apsley before moving closer to Hemel.
 

infobleep

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Yes, that happened to me depressingly regularly when I was commuting from Apsley. Of course LM didn't put a stop order in for any of the other trains, so I got to stand there watching a succession of trains trundle through the station whilst I got to stand in the freezing cold. It really makes one appreciate the finer things in life, such as any TOC that GoVia don't operate. I must have made over £200 in Delay Repay in the 11 months I was commuting from Apsley before moving closer to Hemel.
If they put stop orders in for other trains it would delay those passengers to. So by making you wait it helps try and keep the delays to a minimum. Lol.

Harrow was one they would miss out with the added bonus that London Midland and TfL didn't seem to like talking to one another so you wouldn't know about cancellations always. Don't know if things Ave improved since I stopped commuting there.
 
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