Future service opportunities for Scotrail post 2018

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Clansman

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Just a thought, wouldn't the EGIP project create the opportunity for future services between Glasgow and Edinburgh, in the sense of shifting some from Central? For example, I'm more so thinking that a North Berwick to Glasgow in 1 hour 30 minutes would be a more viable service than the current 2 hour and 15 minute service which currently originates from Central. This could help meet the original scrapped EGIP plans for 10 minutely services between Glasgow and Edinburgh, whilst creating a fast link on the heavily commuted route to North Berwick. In that sense, would it be worth shifting some services originating from Central (ie. XC) to Queen Street to create faster journeys which could save up to 20-30 minutes? Could Queen Street cope with the additional load?
 
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najaB

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Could Queen Street cope with the additional load?
EGIP doesn't give Queen Street any new platforms, if I remember correctly and it's still a two-track approach down the tunnel. So I'm not seeing anything that indicates scope for a who lot of new services can be added.

Pretty sure that's why EGIP focuses on delivering an increase in capacity by using longer trains, rather than a greater number of services.
 

Altnabreac

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Just a thought, wouldn't the EGIP project create the opportunity for future services between Glasgow and Edinburgh, in the sense of shifting some from Central? For example, I'm more so thinking that a North Berwick to Glasgow in 1 hour 30 minutes would be a more viable service than the current 2 hour and 15 minute service which currently originates from Central. This could help meet the original scrapped EGIP plans for 10 minutely services between Glasgow and Edinburgh, whilst creating a fast link on the heavily commuted route to North Berwick. In that sense, would it be worth shifting some services originating from Central (ie. XC) to Queen Street to create faster journeys which could save up to 20-30 minutes? Could Queen Street cope with the additional load?

The whole point of the refocused EGIP is to run longer trains instead of increasing frequency.

In order to run the 6tph Queen Street High Level - Edinburgh service it was planned to carry out multiple infrastructure enhancements including especially:
Greenhill Junction Grade Separation
Dalmeny / Almond Chord

It was also planned to divert services away from Queen Street High Level from the Maryhill and Cumbernauld lines.

So to run a 6tph Falkirk High service you would need to reinstate those capital projects and divert other services. At least in the short term this is unlikely to happen. In the long term the decision will almost certainly depend on what happens with the High Speed Rail Scotland plans and how much of the Edinburgh - Glasgow demand this can absorb.
 

Clansman

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The whole point of the refocused EGIP is to run longer trains instead of increasing frequency.

In order to run the 6tph Queen Street High Level - Edinburgh service it was planned to carry out multiple infrastructure enhancements including especially:
Greenhill Junction Grade Separation
Dalmeny / Almond Chord

It was also planned to divert services away from Queen Street High Level from the Maryhill and Cumbernauld lines.

So to run a 6tph Falkirk High service you would need to reinstate those capital projects and divert other services. At least in the short term this is unlikely to happen. In the long term the decision will almost certainly depend on what happens with the High Speed Rail Scotland plans and how much of the Edinburgh - Glasgow demand this can absorb.

I understand now. What was the reason for the cancellation of the original plans in the first place as 6tph via Falkirk High was included, as well as a fast 42 minute journey via the newly proposed Dalmeny Cord?
Also, on the subject on route capacity: looking at Scotrail's timetable post 2018, there seems to be no changes in services South of Edinburgh to Dunbar. Indeed Edinburgh Waverley is running strapped for capacity at peak times, so would running "through" HSTs from Inverness/Aberdeen on a peak time basis be viable for saving space on the Southbound terminus platforms whilst improving connectivity, which could then pave way for 380s currently working on the route to serve other services which may need strengthening (North Berwick comes to mind) although 385s will take over duties anyway? Express services from Aberdeen/Inverness are often sitting in Waverley for at least half an hour anyway before being diagrammed on other services, and I can only imagine HSTs on designated routes will sit for longer, which means an extension to Dunbar might not necessarily affect times. I know 2018 is 2 years away but it does seem to me like a logical thought.
 
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Clansman

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Why would they be sitting for significantly longer?

Because the HSTs will be designated for specific services. Class 158s and 170s work between Express and Local routes so they are often bouncing between one and the other. For example a 170 just finishing an Inverness to Edinburgh service might be diagrammed on an Edinburgh to Dunblane service straight afterwards. If you are limiting the HSTs to just express routes then, pending on frequency, might be sitting for a good few minutes longer before working another Express diagram.

The 2018 express service frequency from Edinburgh will be:

Aberdeen - hourly
Inverness - 2 hourly

So going by the frequency post 2018, a HST from could be sitting for as long as an hour at Edinburgh before working the return journey back up North.
 
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Geep

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I understand where you are coming from, but there will be fewer local services anyway - Edinburgh-Dunblane will be electrified in a couple of years. In any case, it would not be a good idea to put the newly-modified HSTs onto local services that don't need that configuration. Much better to arrange the IC services so that there is adequate but not excessive turnround.

That can be done for the Aberdeen line services, but less easy for the Inverness route, though, because of the single line limitations. It is not possible to get a rigid hourly service in both directions, because of the existing loop locations.
 

Clansman

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I understand where you are coming from, but there will be fewer local services anyway - Edinburgh-Dunblane will be electrified in a couple of years. In any case, it would not be a good idea to put the newly-modified HSTs onto local services that don't need that configuration. Much better to arrange the IC services so that there is adequate but not excessive turnround.

That can be done for the Aberdeen line services, but less easy for the Inverness route, though, because of the single line limitations. It is not possible to get a rigid hourly service in both directions, because of the existing loop locations.

Can a non-stop Dunbar service be classed as a "Local Service"? I was more meaning that it could be a worthwhile move from Abellio to extend a HST service coming from up North with a long turnaround time in Edinburgh to Dunbar, which could act as a replacement for any crammed peak time services through Dunbar, thus freeing up a 4-car Class 380 to be used in conjunction with another unit to add a much needed 8-car capacity on North Berwick stoppers when the platforms at stations between Musselburgh and North Berwick are extended in the coming year or 2. This would also alleviate the limited capacity on XC services from becoming increasingly overcrowded at Peak times as well as freeing up one of the Northbound terminus platforms at Waverley. There is currently no direct Scotrail service from Haymarket to Dunbar so a direct link would cater for the commuters who have to either change at Waverley, or cram onto an already busy service bound for England. It takes 20 mins to get to Dunbar non stop (utilising the 125mph speed limits) so if you factor in the likely maximum turnaround time for a HST at Waverley, you are talking of a turnaround time of 20 minutes maximum at Dunbar which should be adequate enough.
 
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najaB

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So going by the frequency post 2018, a HST from could be sitting for as long as an hour at Edinburgh before working the return journey back up North.
I'd like to think that Scotrail are clever enough to figure out that a train that arrives from Inverness can go to Glasgow or to Aberdeen, rather than sit around for an hour waiting to go back to Inverness.
 

Clansman

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I'd like to think that Scotrail are clever enough to figure out that a train that arrives from Inverness can go to Glasgow or to Aberdeen, rather than sit around for an hour waiting to go back to Inverness.

Well I was taking into account a "Max Time" event of an Inverness to Edinburgh service arriving into Edinburgh just as an Edinburgh to Aberdeen one was leaving. So if an Inverness service departed within the hour of the Inverness to Edinburgh one arriving then the maximum time the HST has in Edinburgh could be around hour based on Abellio's commited Intercity frequency - which an event of these factors would fit around with my proposal should the train not be diagrammed to run empty to Glasgow or Craigentinny etc.
 
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najaB

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So if an Inverness service departed within the hour of the Inverness to Edinburgh one arriving then the maximum time the HST has in Edinburgh could be around hour based on Abellio's commited Intercity frequency - which an event of these factors would fit around with my proposal should the train not be diagrammed to run empty to Glasgow or Craigentinny etc.
But if you try to sweat the stock too much by joining up services, then you run the risk of delays on one service causing chaos at the other end of the network. For example a ten-minute delay between Dunbar and Edinburgh could end up causing people to miss their train to Wick.
 

Clansman

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But if you try to sweat the stock too much by joining up services, then you run the risk of delays on one service causing chaos at the other end of the network. For example a ten-minute delay between Dunbar and Edinburgh could end up causing people to miss their train to Wick.

I guess that's a major implication as well. The ECML to Dunbar is as busy as it is and one delay could be catastrophic. Most through trains at Edinburgh have an approximate wait of 5-10 minutes diagrammed into the timetable for whatever reason (your reason maybe about delays?) Although the same could be said for any service along the network connecting with a low frequency one (WHL comes to mind) but I get your point.
 

snowball

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What was the reason for the cancellation of the original plans in the first place as 6tph via Falkirk High was included, as well as a fast 42 minute journey via the newly proposed Dalmeny Cord?

To avoid spending money on the infrastructure enhancements.
 

Geep

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But if you try to sweat the stock too much by joining up services, then you run the risk of delays on one service causing chaos at the other end of the network. For example a ten-minute delay between Dunbar and Edinburgh could end up causing people to miss their train to Wick.

That is an entirely valid point, but there is a wider aspect. If that 10 min delay occurs on a N/B service, on a single line that would often cause the next S/B service to be 25 minutes late. Even allowing for some time recovery, it could well be 20 late leaving Perth. Not too much of a problem running to Glasgow, but to Edinburgh it then falls foul of a N/B service (hourly frequency including HSTs) on the single line between Hilton Jn (Perth) and Ladybank, a running time of approx 20 minutes. That is actually why diversion of the through services via Stirling (mentioned on another thread) would make sense.

The upshot is I cannot see Scotrail wanting to incur potentially significant problems by any (HST) extension to Dunbar. If that is needed, much better to think about the Dundee stoppers or the Fife Circle trains as candidates.
 

Clansman

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That is actually why diversion of the through services via Stirling (mentioned on another thread) would make sense.

The upshot is I cannot see Scotrail wanting to incur potentially significant problems by any (HST) extension to Dunbar. If that is needed, much better to think about the Dundee stoppers or the Fife Circle trains as candidates.

When Inverness to Edinburgh services are running late by 10+ minutes then they are ran as fast through Stirling which is around 10-15 minutes quicker than via Fife. I don't see why they can't just diagram via Stirling in the first place.

For Dunbar, a longer unit for the service is definitely much needed to add both capacity and a spare unit to help cope with the North Berwick peak time services. Extending a Dundee local service would free up a unit for North Berwick, but shorten capacity for Dunbar at the same time - not to mention the flexibility 170/158s have over the Scotrail network (ie switching between Express and Local) so there for it would be hard to find an hour where they can afford to go further South. Apart from the delay effects on the ECML, the HSTs would seem just as much a candidate as any service IMO.
 

Class 170101

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When Inverness to Edinburgh services are running late by 10+ minutes then they are ran as fast through Stirling which is around 10-15 minutes quicker than via Fife. I don't see why they can't just diagram via Stirling in the first place.

Because Stirling has services to Inverness from Glasgow services as where as Fife stations would not if the Edinburgh trains were run this way also.


Additionally it should be pointed out does Edinburgh have enough through platforms to link services between Dunbar and Fife / Stirling and beyond. It may just be better to have a Berwick Upon Tweed to Edinburgh service.
 
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47271

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When Inverness to Edinburgh services are running late by 10+ minutes then they are ran as fast through Stirling which is around 10-15 minutes quicker than via Fife. I don't see why they can't just diagram via Stirling in the first place.

I spend half my life on Inverness to Edinburgh trains and never once have I been on one diverted via Stirling to make up time, the single sections just make them later and later in my experience, do you have any examples?

I'm not arguing, I'm just intrigued by what you've said?
 

Clansman

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I spend half my life on Inverness to Edinburgh trains and never once have I been on one diverted via Stirling to make up time, the single sections just make them later and later in my experience, do you have any examples?

I'm not arguing, I'm just intrigued by what you've said?

I don't know if RTT keep any records but I can only account for personal experience: in Winter last year a 170 pulled into Perth station 10 minutes late with snow plastered on the wind screen and on the sides. After around 5 minutes the guard announced that all Fife passengers (none!) to move to the local service on Platform 5, as this train would be running non stop to Haymarket via Stirling. The guard was having a conversation with one of the passengers about it and he said that Scotrail do this often with Highland services.

Because Stirling has services to Inverness from Glasgow services as where as Fife stations would not if the Edinburgh trains were run this way also.


Additionally it should be pointed out does Edinburgh have enough through platforms to link services between Dunbar and Fife / Stirling and beyond. It may just be better to have a Berwick Upon Tweed to Edinburgh service.

It would definitely have enough if you are only substituting one train for another. Substitute a Class 380 (which often start from the through platforms on Dunbar peak services) for a "through" HST, and use the displaced 380 and add on to a North Berwick service in desperate need of capacity (pretty much any peak time ones which are full to the brim at Musselburgh) Why would it be better to have a Berwick upon Tweed service may I ask?
 
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Class 170101

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Single Line to North Berwick and also bigger market at Berwick upon Tweed. As I recall there was an aspiration for Scotrail to run to Newcastle via ECML anyway.
 

Geep

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Because Stirling has services to Inverness from Glasgow services as where as Fife stations would not if the Edinburgh trains were run this way also.
Mostly smaller stations on the Fife route, even Kirkcaldy does not seem to produce much N/B traffic for Perth and beyond, arguably. Anyway, that would be catered for by the existing Edinburgh - Perth local service, even if that dropped say to two-hourly.

Stirling does have through services to Inverness, but not nearly enough, so routing Edinburgh IC services that way would help, and also give Falkirk a regular service.
 

Clansman

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Mostly smaller stations on the Fife route, even Kirkcaldy does not seem to produce much N/B traffic for Perth and beyond, arguably. Anyway, that would be catered for by the existing Edinburgh - Perth local service, even if that dropped say to two-hourly.

Stirling does have through services to Inverness, but not nearly enough, so routing Edinburgh IC services that way would help, and also give Falkirk a regular service.

I agree with you on that point. Fife calls on Inverness services are just to maintain frequency to Edinburgh between Dundee/Perth/Fife Circle services I would of thought. There's not really a big enough market for travel between the Fife towns and the North (maybe Kirkcaldy). You see the evidence in Aberdeen services which run non stop from Haymarket to Cupar/Leuchars, there's not really a huge demand for it so I can't see why Inverness services would be any different. Diverting via Stirling and Falkirk would be more viable and would definitely improve Falkirk's frequency to Perth northwards (including Dundee to Aberdeen when the new Tayside services come into effect to cater for the busy Perth to Dundee market) without affecting Fife due to the increased hourly frequency between Perth/Dundee to Edinburgh by 2018 (with more carriages) anyway.

Single Line to North Berwick and also bigger market at Berwick upon Tweed. As I recall there was an aspiration for Scotrail to run to Newcastle via ECML anyway.

The platforms at North Berwick are being extended to add extra capacity to services without the need to dual the line so the single line doesn't present a huge issue as such. I'd of thought Berwick Upon Tweed has a good level of service to Edinburgh without the need for more calls, which Transpennine will be doing when they run Edinburgh to Liverpool services in the coming years. The idea for an additional service to Newcastle from Scotrail would've been a good idea a few years ago but there is already enough frequency as it is to and from Edinburgh, unlike Dunbar. Although I do think there is a sizeable market from Newcastle north of Edinburgh which would make a direct Scotrail service viable as it would also help to reduce station congestion at Waverley and improve connectivity. I will say the Chieftain sure does get busy around Newcastle northbound towards Stirling and Perth - not to mention the number of reservation cards I've seen going from Perth/Stirling/Falkirk to Newcastle! Is there any evidence of the proposal such as an application document Scotrail made or did they never try to pursue it?
 
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