Extra carriages for high demand?

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by andykn, 1 May 2015.

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  1. andykn

    andykn Member

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    Southend United are playing at Morecambe tomorrow and have sold over 2,000 tickets, principally because of some auspicious results the previous Saturday. A significant minority of those travelling, myself included, will be travelling by train, most of us using the 9.40 Euston to Lancaster, for which no reservations were available any more when I booked my tickets.

    Is there any chance Virgin will have noticed the higher than usual demand and add an extra carriage or two to the train?

    As there's engineering works further North the train pattern may not be as per usual, any way to find out the layout and what the unreserved carriage(s) are in advance?
     
  2. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Not really. They operate only fixed formation EMUs (and some short DMUs) after all.

    What you might hope for is that'll either use an 11 car Pendolino rather than a 9 car, or if the service happens to be Voyager operated they'll hopefully use two coupled together...
     
  3. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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  4. Simon11

    Simon11 Member Jobs & Careers Assistant

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    Due to engineering, there will be a limit of the number of services wrong and it appears that your service will take longer. Thus Advance tickets have been pulled to prevent overcrowding on our services.

    As for "high demand", there would be more pressing matches that VT would be interested in accommodating the demand where possible. Hardly going to be many people making this journey for this match from London.
     
  5. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    from which orifice shall Virgin trains extract said carriages?

    The unreserved carriage on Virgin is:

    Carriage U (there is only a U on an 11 car) and sometimes Carriage F
    Carriage E on a 9 car train

    If you are getting on at Euston head straight there, early, and bag the best seats
     
  6. andykn

    andykn Member

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    Advance tickets were available but only at the higher price levels.

    However, I've got an of peak return and wanted to book seats on that 9.40 service as I would normally expect to be able to do.
    Southend have sold over 2,000 tickets for this match. Most will be travelling via London, those by car and coach using the M25, those by train mostly on the 9.40 from Euston.

    Whilst it's not a big match in the scale of things, I was hoping Virgin might have noticed all the reservable (not necessarily advnace) seats being sold out quicker than usual if that's the case and taken steps to prevent possibly quite a few people having to stand for hours.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I assumed they don't run as many services on a Saturday as a weekday.

    I also assumed they had spare carriages in case of faults/damage.
    I intend to, but my limited experience of Euston is that the train is not available for boarding that far ahead of departure.

    The "best seats" is waaay over my ambitions, any seat will do, but with maybe 200-300 people chasing one unreserved carriage I'm not holding out much hope.

    Is there only one unreserved carriage on an 11 car train?
     
  7. W230

    W230 Established Member

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    With respect, many people aren't aware that you can't just add a couple of carriages anymore or that trains are nearly all fixed formation EMU/DMU etc.
     
  8. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Unfortunately mate the Pendolinos are fixed units of either 9 or 11 cars. There are no spare cars and I'm not sure there are any stations in the country that can take an 18, 20 or 22 car double unit.
     
  9. andykn

    andykn Member

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    It's difficult to understand what makes them "fixed formation". South-West trains seem to have varying numbers of carriages to suit.

    I appreciate that each carriage now tends to be distinct according to its place in the train but it seems a bit bizarre to design out any flexibility so that the odd extra carriage can't be slotted in.
     
  10. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    South West Trains are still made up of fixed length units. They aren't adding one or two carriages, they are adding a whole unit. Long distance inter city units are generally longer.

    I can't say I particularly like everything being operated by multiple units but it is cheaper for the operator so that is how it is.
     
  11. andykn

    andykn Member

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    So the 5 car sets now in use were all newly bought? None of them were four car units with an extra carriage added?
     
  12. NSEFAN

    NSEFAN Established Member

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    If you mean the class 458/5 units, these are a hybrid of two other trains, class 458 (4 cars and currently on Waterloo-Reading duties) and class 460 (former 8 carriage Gatwick Express trains). These trains have been refurbished and reformed to make the 5 car class 458/5 sets, but units are not normally split up into smaller lengths except in case of emergency or maintenance work.

    In almost every case, train companies will have maybe a few spare entire units (so that they can be maintained whilst the others are in service) but not a couple of carriages, as coupling units together is much simpler than reforming a single unit. In the case of Virgin, their units are already at least 9 carriages long so coupling two together would produce an 18 carriage train. This can be done but only in emergencies, as the resulting train would be far too long for most stations!
     
  13. CallySleeper

    CallySleeper Established Member

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  14. NSE

    NSE Established Member

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    Extra carriages can be added into multiple units (Pendos themselves began as 8 car I believe, then to 9, now a large number up to 11. 378's began as 3 car and are now up to 5 carriages). However this isn't something that can be done quickly, for peak demand for example. The problem also relies on the fact all the components that make it 'go' are spread underneath the train. In a very rough explanation (also because I'm no expert in the engineering field), in a four car unit the carriage ends are both necessary because they have driving cabs, the second coach is necessary as it has the engine, and the third carriage because it has the transmission (again, I know this isn't spot on, but it's just a rough explanation before the pedants start homing in). Therefore you couldn't take any carriages away due to their mechanical purpose, regardless of passenger numbers. Therefore, while adding an unpowered trailer carriage (literally just a carriage, no unique mechanical gubbins) could be and is done, the trains on board computer has to be set up to 'accept it'.

    Therefore SWT can add carriages (seemingly) much more easily, because they have emus in 4/5 car formation on the mainline which are both compatible with eachother also. Therefore for a football match, a load of four car services can be beefed up to eight car services, or twelve, not by adding individual carriages, but by adding a whole new unit to it. Whilst Virgin could in theory couple two pendos together, they are so long, no stations would be able to hold them and it would be an operational nightmare. Therefore (while their five car diesel trains can double up) if there is an increase in service for a football match or such, with Virgin it would more likely be an extra service rather than 'extra carriages'
     
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    CallySleeper: With VT the paths and booked traction tend to be the same, because Voyagers are slightly slower than Pendolinos on some sections of line due to the lower degree of tilt. So while what you say is often correct, with VT it is very likely that the booked traction is the same as the path. Not guaranteed, of course, but then it's not guaranteed that the diagrammed traction turns up anyway.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Yes it is:
    http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/P50734/2015/05/02/advanced
     
  16. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Well I don't know which units you are talking about so I couldn't really say. What I will say is an extra carriage wasn't slotted in because they thought it would be a busy day.
     
  17. CallySleeper

    CallySleeper Established Member

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    Since it's a VAR timetable there's even less guarantee that it will be a 390 (though it's still likely).
     
  18. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Quite. The fifth cars in question are as a result of a very time-consuming 'midlife refit' done in a remote railway works, to create a 36 strong fleet of differently specced trains, to coincide with a multi million pound platform lengthening project, that's nothing like the sort of day to day tweaking suggested to cope with requirements of a random football match.
     
  19. Trainfan344

    Trainfan344 Established Member

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    The reason for the VAR timetable is due to it diverting via Stoke-on-Trent.
     
  20. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    As others mentioned, unlike loco-hauled rakes, you cannot simply add an extra coach or two to a unit for a one-off event. All works that have been done to extend units by some extra coaches are for the long-term.

    There are several options if you don't necessarily need to get the 0940. The 0836 is an obvious one assuming that you can get to Euston early enough for it. Otherwise you could get the 0954 to Manchester Piccadilly and change there for the 1216 TPE service. You have 9 minutes for that interchange so not lots of time but if not delayed then you should be able to make it comfortably, if you go up the stairs in the middle of the platform at Piccadilly. That train will get you to Lancaster just 20 minutes behind the 0940, and you end up on the same train to Morecambe.

    The 1024 from Euston also goes direct to Lancaster (via Manchester), arriving at 1342, so only half an hour behind the TPE. I don't think there is a connection off that one to get you to the game comfortably, but you can walk to the bus station (a comfortable 10-minute walk), and catch the 6A bus departing at 1400. It only takes 25 minutes to Morecambe and will drop you right outside the ground as opposed to the railway station. (Timetable) You will have to pay separate (of course) but it's only about £3 I think.
     
  21. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    Oh for goodness sake there is NO NEED to be ao fussy.

    Given Virgin Trains only run two types of unit, there ain't many 390 paths that are going to be diagrammed as Voyagers and vice versa now are there.

    Take a look at the proportion of the fleet that is not 390s and apply a bit of common sense now. Yes it might be two voyagers, or even one on its own. But if all is as it should be, that's very unlikely.
     
    Last edited: 2 May 2015
  22. voyagerdude220

    voyagerdude220 Established Member

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    Euston to Lancaster trains this morning:
    07:53- 390107
    08:36- 390112
    09:40- 390127
    10:24- 390045
    11:04- 390138
    12:08- 390152
    All 11-car Pendolino trains apart from 9-car on the 10:24. Allocations subject to change, they're by no means guaranteed.
     
  23. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    even if you could "slot in" extra carriages to a Pendolino, if it's an 11-car unit the platform lengths prevent it!
     
  24. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    I wonder how busy the Lancaster - Morecambe connection will be?

    :D
     
  25. andykn

    andykn Member

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    Thanks. Luckily I know the drill and was able to dash for the train as soon as it was announced and get a table in the unreserved carriage, foregoing my usual Burger King breakfast treat.

    I was thinking more about the railway industry wanting to keep people who didn't travel by train as often, who maybe have the choice of going by car, say to away matches usually, but might try the train for this one due to the more extreme distance. The fact that the train was full and standing for three hours would probably put them off ever doing it again.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    It wasn't too bad and luckily the Southend supporters mostly congregated in the rear coach so didn't notice the Lancaster University cheerleading squad in the front coach on their way to do the half time slot at the match.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    A Virgin member of staff told me he thought it was supposed to be a 9 car.

    As it turned out there were problems on the Birmingham branch so all the units were swapped around anyway.
     
  26. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    "We don't want all the traffic we can get. We want all the traffic we can operate economically" comment made to me by a senior manager c.1992.

    The comment was prompted by an incident in East Anglia. A primary school decided to take 50 children on a walk to the next village, and then catch the train back. Unfortunately the train was a 153, already 70% full, and they gave no advance notice.

    We are not going to use a 2 car in place of a 153 on the off chance that once or twice a year we will sell 4 adult and 50 child singles for a 3 mile journey!

    But boy, did we take flak in the local press! :roll:
     
  27. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    That's good old fashioned honest answers from the railway in my book. Today we seem to almost apologise for appologising <D
     
  28. Philip Elliott

    Philip Elliott Member

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    With very few exceptions (read: mistakes), services diagrammed for Voyagers are always timed 221T and Pendolinos use 390 times. When they are planned to be swapped, STP timings are produced with the correct timing loads so your rolling eyes are misplaced.
     
    Last edited: 5 May 2015
  29. andykn

    andykn Member

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    Which is fair enough.

    But, to an outsider, it seems a bit strange to have a system with inflexibility designed in when you should be able to predict demand from advance booking rates.

    And it should be the aim of Govt to make sure the railways DO "want all the traffic we can get" to keep it off the roads.
     
  30. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    At the same time, they need to do everything possible to keep costs under control - there's no point having a railway that is moving empty carriages most of the time.
     
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