Future of Cross Country Services?

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SkinnyDave

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With the new proposed services for TPE in Scotland on the East Coast Mainline starting in 2019, will there still be a need for XC services in Scotland in their new franchise?
I may be over thinking it but it seems that the Scottish Leg of the ECML South of Edinburgh may be getting a bit busy by the end of this decade..
 
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randyrippley

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other than for getting matelots to Plymouth, was there ever a need for XC services in Scotland?
 

najaB

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With the new proposed services for TPE in Scotland on the East Coast Mainline starting in 2019, will there still be a need for XC services in Scotland in their new franchise?
I can't see demand for Scotland to Leeds/Sheffield decreasing so all you would do is move people from one to the other as far as Edinburgh. And Aberdeen loses it's services.
 
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MidnightFlyer

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And of course these days all bar one of Glasgow's services to / from the ECML come from the CrossCountry franchise. There's also the issue of what you do with the fairly substantial traincrew depot there, as well as the various Voyagers and HSTs that get serviced at Craigentinny.
 

SkinnyDave

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And of course these days all bar one of Glasgow's services to / from the ECML come from the CrossCountry franchise. There's also the issue of what you do with the fairly substantial traincrew depot there, as well as the various Voyagers and HSTs that get serviced at Craigentinny.

Glasgow could get put back to EC franchise
Craigentinny will be busy with IEP for TPE, and VTEC plus Scotrail EMUs
And yes the Traincrew is one of the reasons I was putting question out there! Its a reasonable size of depot..
NajaB Do not think Scotrail would complain about XC losing Aberdeen, would be interesting to see the figures for Passengers travelling from Sheffield up to Edinburgh.
 

Blindtraveler

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I think we'll see XC continuing to serve Scotland but would personally love all Aberdeen workings to be HST with enhanced Catering as an acknoladgement of the fact these journeys do carry a surprising number of through pax and given what they pay they get a poor deal IMO, both in terms of service quality and the timings of it.

It might not be a bad idea iether for the xAberdeen/Dundee trains to be cut back to Birmingham and for all XC trains to be sped up with the majoritty of Dunbar, Berwick etc calls taken by TPE and Scotrail
 

tbtc

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If there's going to be two or three VTEC services per hour (to London), one TPE service per hour (to Manchester etc) and a First service some hours (to London) then I wouldn't argue with anyone who suggested that this level of provision meant that there were better uses of four XC Voyagers most hours than maintaining the XC services in Scotland during the daytime.

Pre-Princess, there were only three a day north of Newcastle - parallels with the current EMT service to Leeds - as much about placing journeys to the depot as anything else.

TPE will be providing an hourly service from Leeds, there are much faster journeys from the West Midlands (via the WCML), ScotRail are providing a regular fast service from Edinburgh to Glasgow Central (if part of the justification for the maintaining of the XC service there is connections to stations beyond Central).

I'd lose out (as a Scot living in Sheffield), but the scarcity of Voyagers means it feels like a bit of a luxury when there are many services from Leeds to Bristol that could do with being doubled up.

Keep something like BR had (a handful of services from Craigentinny via Waverley in the morning, a handful in the evening), but if there are four other services an hour provided by the others then the number of seats on a Voyager will be lower than the total increase in capacity.

I think that the bigger problem would be the psychological one of places hundreds of miles apart losing a direct service - like the headlines I remember about Edinburgh losing its direct service to Brighton - the number of passengers who'd lose a direct service on a typical day would be pretty tiny.

If the next XC franchise includes an order for bi-mode IEP and that means plenty of extra capacity (as well as running on electric mode north of Wakefield/ York then by all means keep them running to Scotland, but at the moment the need for extra Voyagers on the XC "core" is more important to me than getting a direct train north of the border.
 

MidnightFlyer

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Craigentinny will be busy with IEP for TPE, and VTEC plus Scotrail EMUs

I meant more what do you do with the displaced Voyagers and HSTs? I appreciate if we were to hypothetically rewrite the timetable with everything turning back at Newcastle it would look very different, but do the depots elsewhere have the capacity or resources to hold extra Voyagers and HSTs overnight?
 

MidnightFlyer

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It might not be a bad idea iether for the xAberdeen/Dundee trains to be cut back to Birmingham and for all XC trains to be sped up with the majoritty of Dunbar, Berwick etc calls taken by TPE and Scotrail

That's not a bad point with regards to the stopping patterns: the stretch between Newcastle and Edinburgh seems to be one of the final frontiers of non-clockface inter-city timetabling. I know Morpeth is cited as one of the calling points on the new TPE services, however I do wonder how the locals would react to losing services from the XC and East Coast franchises in favour of a more standardised timetable all round and gaining a better service but only on 'local' services. The rail user group at Morpeth reacted rather angrily to losing an attractive train from London in the evening (or something similar) when Eureka! was implemented, and it ended up getting changed, so I can't imagine on that basis they'll take any loses towards London or Birmingham nicely.

Keep something like BR had (a handful of services from Craigentinny via Waverley in the morning, a handful in the evening), but if there are four other services an hour provided by the others then the number of seats on a Voyager will be lower than the total increase in capacity.

Never thought about that, and of course you are correct that frequent CrossCountry services via Berwick are a relatively new creation. I suppose that does make sense and as you say would allow for more doubled up services through the network core closer to the Midlands, subject to having the correct staff numbers available etc, with say the final few trains at night and the first few in the morning coming to an from Edinburgh, which also then of course keeps the need for some staff to be based there and doesn't leave them trying to find a home for several dozen Drivers and Guards.
 

SkinnyDave

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I meant more what do you do with the displaced Voyagers and HSTs? I appreciate if we were to hypothetically rewrite the timetable with everything turning back at Newcastle it would look very different, but do the depots elsewhere have the capacity or resources to hold extra Voyagers and HSTs overnight?

Point Taken but as has been mentioned above the if XC services were to be strengthened further South the Voyagers would need a new place to have a kip and I do not think they would keep leasing their HST sets.
 

47271

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The removal from Scotland of Cross Country's horrible overpriced trains isn't a possibility that had occurred to me before now. It sounds like a splendid idea. It would create an opportunity for services, whether provided by Scotrail, Virgin or Transpennine, that I'd be prepared to use.

I'm only half joking, but wouldn't it also mean that they could strengthen services south of Newcastle? Would it really be such a loss?
 

Philip Phlopp

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What is it with people over-thinking something and the first answer being to cull services ?
 

LNW-GW Joint

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That's dependent on VTEC wanting it back.
I'm sure that they wouldn't, but it's the whole "We're losing our direct train to..." thing that needs to be dealt with.

Glasgow left EC (bar one token service) only because they didn't have enough trains to run the enhanced frequencies to other places.
After IEPs come in the ground might shift again.
Also, VTEC won't get to vote if DfT decide to remap XC.
It will be decided between DfT and the SG (DfT owning cross-border services and SG domestic).
Having said that, nothing is likely to change until XC is retendered fully in 2019, and maybe not even then.
 

SkinnyDave

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Glasgow left EC (bar one token service) only because they didn't have enough trains to run the enhanced frequencies to other places.
After IEPs come in the ground might shift again.
Also, VTEC won't get to vote if DfT decide to remap XC.
It will be decided between DfT and the SG (DfT owning cross-border services and SG domestic).
Having said that, nothing is likely to change until XC is retendered fully in 2019, and maybe not even then.

And I believe it is 2019 that the new TPE Edinburgh to Liverpool via Newcastle service will start. That was making me think could there be big changes with XC potentially be the biggest loser in respect of services..
 

LNW-GW Joint

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And I believe it is 2019 that the new TPE Edinburgh to Liverpool via Newcastle service will start. That was making me think could there be big changes with XC potentially be the biggest loser in respect of services..

It depends if DfT has a wider plan for XC.
They are due a Direct Award by October (3 years to 2019), which might give some pointers.
 

Blindtraveler

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Personal opinion here only but the removal of XC from Scotland would be a good thing in terms of freeing trains for the core and paths in Edinburgh area in particular, the Glasgow Central stuff could be covered by Scotrail or Transpenine
 

Harbornite

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I doubt the residents of Birmingham (albeit servied by Virgin), , Cheltenham, Bristol and Plymouth would appreciate losing their through services to the North and Scotland.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Personal opinion here only but the removal of XC from Scotland would be a good thing in terms of freeing trains for the core and paths in Edinburgh area in particular, the Glasgow Central stuff could be covered by Scotrail or Transpenine

I disagree, I like having trains from the southwest to Scotland and the northeast.
 
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Richard_B

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For everyone south of Birmingham I would be surprised if there was much backlash if all XC services from south of Bristol got turned at Newcastle. Yes, it means Bristol to Edinburgh now involves a change, but it's (currently) cheaper and significantly faster to make that change.

I think on the whole it is a good plan to alleviate the problems that XC has with capacity - though it is not tackling the underlying problem of too few trains - it has merit as at least a medium term solution. But when XC has sufficient stock in a few years time if the paths can be refound to run to Edinburgh that would make sense.
 

SpacePhoenix

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If all XC trains were terminated at Newcastle would that give any scope to restoring any sections of routes that were culled during Operation Princess?
 

edwin_m

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When first introduced at the time of electrification the ECML extensions to Glasgow provided competitive London journey times and they alternated with WCML services to provide an approximately hourly London-Glasgow link. However with increased speed and frequency of WCML services the East Coast was no longer competitive for this journey. Hence it was mostly replaced by an XC service that maintained the link between Glasgow and Newcastle but provided better links to Leeds as well.

The TPE service won't provide this because the trains via Leeds and Newcastle won't go beyond Edinburgh, so taking the XC service off would require a change at Edinburgh for journeys between Glasgow and north-east England. Ideally that flow would have been transferred to TPE, with the Liverpool-Edinburgh extended to Glasgow using bi-modes in electric mode rather than diesels under the wires. But it was probably too complicated to mess around with the franchises in that way.
 

Ianno87

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I doubt the residents of Birmingham (albeit servied by Virgin), , Cheltenham, Bristol and Plymouth would appreciate losng their through services to the North and Scotland.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


I disagree, I like having trains from the southwest to Scotland and the northeast.

I think they would more appreciate longer trains turning up for their commutes on the Yorkshire-Derby-Birmingham-Bristol axis than for a through train they might only take a handful of times per year (if that).
 

JonathanH

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If all XC trains were terminated at Newcastle would that give any scope to restoring any sections of routes that were culled during Operation Princess?

Is there any point in doing so?

Liverpool to Birmingham is a perfectly credible and frequent service under London Midland. How many people are really inconvenienced by changing at Wolverhampton?

Why would XC trains terminate at Newcastle if they pulled out of Scotland - surely the core route ends at Leeds or York. Beyond, it represents duplication - indeed you could argue that an concentrating the network on an X ending at York/Leeds, Manchester, Bristol and Reading is probably all that is really needed.
 

swt_passenger

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Surely the easier option would have been to keep XC 'as is', and forego the TPE extensions north of Newcastle, and the doubling of TPE frequency? There was however no indication given in the DfT's consultation stuff about TPE that anything would replace XC IIRC.

What may be logical for XC is that there will be little point in extending any South Coast <> North East services beyond Newcastle. Example being the once a day Southampton to Edinburgh service?
 

Rich McLean

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That's not a bad point with regards to the stopping patterns: the stretch between Newcastle and Edinburgh seems to be one of the final frontiers of non-clockface inter-city timetabling. I know Morpeth is cited as one of the calling points on the new TPE services, however I do wonder how the locals would react to losing services from the XC and East Coast franchises in favour of a more standardised timetable all round and gaining a better service but only on 'local' services. The rail user group at Morpeth reacted rather angrily to losing an attractive train from London in the evening (or something similar) when Eureka! was implemented, and it ended up getting changed, so I can't imagine on that basis they'll take any loses towards London or Birmingham nicely.



Never thought about that, and of course you are correct that frequent CrossCountry services via Berwick are a relatively new creation. I suppose that does make sense and as you say would allow for more doubled up services through the network core closer to the Midlands, subject to having the correct staff numbers available etc, with say the final few trains at night and the first few in the morning coming to an from Edinburgh, which also then of course keeps the need for some staff to be based there and doesn't leave them trying to find a home for several dozen Drivers and Guards.

In Theory, you could have the Aberdeen and Dundee trains still run as per normal.

Example:
Southbound in the mornings from Newcastle in order
1V83 0625 NCL - RDG
1V48 0645 NCL - PLY
1O84 0725 NCL - SOU
1V50 0606 EDB - PLY (HST)
1V85 0625 EDB - RDG
1V52 0601 GLC - PLY
1O86 0935 NCL - SOU
1V54 0632 DEE - PLY (HST)
1V87 1035 NCL - RDG
1V56 1042 NCL - PLY
1O88 1135 NCL - SOU
1V58 1144 NCL - PZN
1V89 1235 NCL - RDG
1V60 0820 ABD - PZN (9 car set from NCL to PLY)
1O40 1335 NCL - GLD
1V62 1343 NCL - PZN
1V91 1435 NCL - RDG
1V64 1442 NCL - PLY
1V96 1535 NCL - RDG
1V66 1541 NCL - PLY
1V93 1635 NCL - RDG
1V68 1641 NCL - PLY
1O94 1735 NCL - SOU
1V70 1741 NCL - BRI
1M72 1835 NCL- BHM
1V71 1843 NCL - BRI
1M76 1935 NCL - BHM
1M00 1942 NCL - BHM

Northbound arriving at Newcastle
1E34 Ex Derby arr 0838 forms 1O86
1S31 Ex BHM arr 0927 forms 1V87
1E38 Ex BHM arr 0947 forms 1V56
1S33 Ex BHM arr 1030 forms 1O88
1E42 Ex BHM arr 1045 forms 1V58
1S35 Ex BTH arr 1129 forms 1V89
1E79 Ex GLD arr 1145 combines with 1V60 to form a double set as far as PLY
1S37 Ex PLY arr 1229 forms 1O40
1E82 Ex RDG arr 1245 forms 1V62
1S39 Ex PLY arr 1329 forms 1V91
1E86 Ex WIN arr 1345 forms 1V64
1S41 Ex PLY arr 1429 forms 1V96
1E32 Ex RDG arr 1445 forms 1V66
1S43 Ex PZN arr 1529 forms 1V93
1E36 Ex SOU arr 1545 forms 1V68
1S45 Ex PLY arr 1625 splits, with front portion departing for ABD at 1637, rear portion forms 1V96
1E40 Ex RDG arr 1645 forms 1V70
1S47 Ex PZN arr 1725 forms 1M72
1E44 Ex SOU arr 1745 forms 1V71
1S49 Ex PLY arr 1833 splits. Front portion to DEE dep 1840, rear portion forms 1M76
1E48 Ex RDG arr 1845 forms 1M00
1S51 Ex PLY arr 1932 dep 1935 to GLC (HST)
1S52 Ex SOU arr 2001 (Terminates)
1S53 Ex PLY arr 2032 dep 2035 to EDB (HST)
1E56 Ex RDG arr 2042 (Terminates)
1S55 Ex PLY arr 2128 dep 2135 to EDB
1E60 Ex SOU arr 2144 (Terminates)
1E64 Ex RDG (Terminates)

That should work, leaving enough spare sets to double sets up through the core, while the off peak daytime traffic North of Newcastle is handled by VTEC and TPX. HST diagrams unaffected. Aberdeen and Dundee runs plus one Glasgow run per day each way also unaffected

Codes:
NCL = Newcastle Central
EDB = Edinburgh
RDG = Reading
PLY = Plymouth
SOU = Southampton
GLC = Glasgow Central
DEE = Dundee
PZN = Penzance
ABD = Aberdeen
BRI = Bristol Temple Meads
BHM = Birmingham New Street
BTH = Bath Spa
WIN = Winchester
GLD - Guildford
 
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Class 170101

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What about those from Burton, Derby, Sheffield and Wakefield who rely on XC to provide direct services to Scotland and the rest of the East Midlands with one change at Sheffield every hour to reach Scotland?
 

Doctor Fegg

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The removal from Scotland of Cross Country's horrible overpriced trains isn't a possibility that had occurred to me before now.

Don't get your hopes up. Failing to provide any services on a flow doesn't usually stop CrossCountry trying to price it...
 

dk1

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People keep saying about how overpriced XC is but I randomly put in Darlington to Newton Abbot in a couple of weeks expecting something around 06:00 then nothing till mid afternoon. Instead I was pleasantly surprised to see an AP single for just £69 & at the very civilised departure time of 09:13 & its direct to boot. Not bad at all.
 
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