Grand Central services delayed

Status
Not open for further replies.

CallySleeper

Established Member
Joined
27 Jun 2006
Messages
1,662
Location
trentbartonland
I have heard from an industry railway magazine that the opening of Grand Central has been postponed a further 6 months to May 2007. Their services are also no longer in the National Rail planner.

Grand Central are also apparently to buy 6 class 43 locomotives to be converted to 1000v ETS and 24 Mk 3 coaches from Porterbrook.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

paul1609

Established Member
Joined
28 Jan 2006
Messages
4,612
Location
Wittersham Kent
I had a look at MK3 wiring when CDL was fitted to HSTs in Plymouth Dockyard. If this plan goes ahead the chances of having the trailers rewired for the service to start in May 07 is next to nothing. I doubt a 2007 start of all 3 diagrams is possible unless a lot of railway electrical contractors have sprung up in the last few years.
 

David

Established Member
Joined
9 Jul 2005
Messages
5,103
Location
Scunthorpe
I had a look at MK3 wiring when CDL was fitted to HSTs in Plymouth Dockyard. If this plan goes ahead the chances of having the trailers rewired for the service to start in May 07 is next to nothing. I doubt a 2007 start of all 3 diagrams is possible unless a lot of railway electrical contractors have sprung up in the last few years.

It's either that, or GC have a serious amount of money to spend to get everything ready by then....
 

David

Established Member
Joined
9 Jul 2005
Messages
5,103
Location
Scunthorpe
does the ECML really need more services!
Simple answer is yes. Most services along the ECML are getting very close to capacity. (1 example, the 2023 NCL - KX on 24/09. every seat on the train was reserved, with some seats having 2 reservations. I had to stand in the vestibule area because there was no seats left.)

The capacity problems aren't limited to GNER either. TPE, VXC and even Hull Trains are having problems with capacity.
 

richa2002

Established Member
Joined
8 Jun 2005
Messages
2,153
Maybe someone could knock it into TPE's head that they have to run longer trains than 3 car ones. The same applies to Hull Trains and Virgin Cross Country (4 car) , these should be 8/9 coach trains!
 

Dennis

Established Member
Joined
8 Aug 2005
Messages
2,676
Location
Trowbridge
Or they could cut out the stupidly cheap advance purchase fares on busy services.

Thought just entered my head...buy up the whole quota of the very cheapest advance fares on one service. Turn up to travel but tell everyone who tries to sit in the seats you have been allocated to bog off as you have reserved those seats. Wonder what the reaction of the full-fare paying passengers would be.
 

CallySleeper

Established Member
Joined
27 Jun 2006
Messages
1,662
Location
trentbartonland
Or they could cut out the stupidly cheap advance purchase fares on busy services.

Thought just entered my head...buy up the whole quota of the very cheapest advance fares on one service. Turn up to travel but tell everyone who tries to sit in the seats you have been allocated to bog off as you have reserved those seats. Wonder what the reaction of the full-fare paying passengers would be.

I don't think anybody here has the time, effort nor money to do this!! Nice plan though.

A thought also, there are now 7 months to go. Can unit preparations and personell training be completed in that time? I'm assuming not all the route learning needs to be done in HSTs.
 

Dennis

Established Member
Joined
8 Aug 2005
Messages
2,676
Location
Trowbridge
I don't think anybody here has the ......money to do this!! Nice plan though.

Money isn't the issue; if I decide tomorrrow morning that I want to go to London it could cost me over £40; if I was sure a week or more ago that I wanted to go to London tomorrow then it would have cost less than a tenner.

That's the whole point of my idea - my life is not planned months in advance. I want to decide tomorrow morning where I want to go and not to be financially penalised for doing so, nor do I want to travel on trains stufed full of people who paid £5 for a seat that might well have cost me ten times that amount; the journey experience is the same.

Just imagine going into a shop or restaurant and the price of food being determined by when you decided to go! These are public services we are discussing.
 

devon_metro

Established Member
Joined
11 Oct 2005
Messages
7,666
Location
London
Although for the people who book in advance *ahem* cheap advance fares are brilliant. If i wanted to go to York tomorrow then it would cost me £100s...

Whereas booking in advance i can get them for £20 rtn ish from Newton Abbot.
Unless all fares were equivalent of advance puirchase tickets i doubt there would be much support amongst us bargain spotters ;)
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
53,208
Location
Yorkshire
What a surprise! But really, does the ECML really need more services!
I take it you've not travelled on the ECML much. GNER has the highest loadings of any InterCity operator, and anyone who has travelled on the route during busy times will know the answer is "Yes" without hesitation!


Although for the people who book in advance *ahem* cheap advance fares are brilliant. If i wanted to go to York tomorrow then it would cost me £100s...
No, it wouldn't. It would cost you £66.50 for a walk-on ticket.
Whereas booking in advance i can get them for £20 rtn ish from Newton Abbot.
Unless all fares were equivalent of advance puirchase tickets i doubt there would be much support amongst us bargain spotters ;)
Yes, quite probably you could get it for £20. When doing a journey like that I always used to go CrossCountry, but now Voyagers have taken over I'd pay the extra to take GNER+FGW, it's worth it IMO.
 

devon_metro

Established Member
Joined
11 Oct 2005
Messages
7,666
Location
London
I take it you've not travelled on the ECML much. GNER has the highest loadings of any InterCity operator, and anyone who has travelled on the route during busy times will know the answer is "Yes" without hesitation!

I clearly haven't i just presumed that it was a pretty busy service having lately been doing the KX Simsig, appears about 2 trains North per hour, With the addition of Hull Trains. Surely it would be asier for GNER to operate these services, and standardise the ECML Intercity route?

Yorkie said:
Yes, quite probably you could get it for £20. When doing a journey like that I always used to go CrossCountry, but now Voyagers have taken over I'd pay the extra to take GNER+FGW, it's worth it IMO.

Yes, i would probably want to choose that option, which in some cases is slighly quicker. Although that extra £20 or so can be used in far better places. Don't get me wrong though; i'm dreading the long voyager trip!
 

paul1609

Established Member
Joined
28 Jan 2006
Messages
4,612
Location
Wittersham Kent
It's either that, or GC have a serious amount of money to spend to get everything ready by then....

Apparently the plan is to modify the GC HST power cars to provide loco hauled ETH as this is simpler than rewiring the trailers. Its an innovative idea, I'm impressed GC. It does however mean they will be not be able to hire in cover from other TOCs.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
53,208
Location
Yorkshire
Bring on 9 car meridians :D
Totally unsuitable for TPE for so many reasons, too numerous to list them all.

But here's one: Meridians are 125mph trains with a tilt profile (Yes I know they don't tilt), chosen mainly because the Voyager production run was already running, etc...

There are no more Meridians being produced, and it would be totally crazy to build more.

They are totally unsuitable for the TransPennine route, which usually sees trains restricted to 90mph* - and often considerably less than this.

Also, while TPE are often very busy, it is total madness to suggest they should run 9-car sets.

The Desiros (apart from their weight - but that's another story..) are an ideal sort of train for TPE to use, but more services should be 6-car rather than 3-car.... alternatively it may make more sense for there to be a trailer vehicle added to make the trains 4-car (the depot facilities have been designed with this in mind apparently).

I still think that a more sustainable solution would be electric traction - as discussed elsewhere on this forum, but that'll never happen now.

* To those who say the ECML is 125mph north of York - yes this is true, but they generally use the slow lines to Northallerton (75mph IIRC), and Darlington-Newcastle has some curves that restrict the speed often below 125, and it would be crazy to have 125mph trains that only reach 125mph very briefly. I think it's a bit 'overkill' going for 100mph, to be honest.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
53,208
Location
Yorkshire
I clearly haven't i just presumed that it was a pretty busy service having lately been doing the KX Simsig, appears about 2 trains North per hour, With the addition of Hull Trains. Surely it would be asier for GNER to operate these services, and standardise the ECML Intercity route?
It's generally 1 or 2 per hour to Leeds, 1 to Scotland, 1 to Newcastle, but at busy times it's not enough. There is very little air competition on this route (due to the speed and convenience of rail) and the A1 isn't great, while the M1 is a longer way round - so rail wins hands-down, leading to huge demand.

Regarding Hull Trains - if you did what you propose, you have (at least) 2 problems:-
1) these trains are far, far, more lightly loaded than GNER trains, hence why they are so short and offer far fewer seats. It's still easier to get a seat on them.
2) HT have a contract in place which you can't just take away. And do you make them franchised services? If so, a premium needs to be paid which would threaten to make them unviable. It's basically an anomaly that open-access TOCs don't have to pay a premium (equally, they don't get subsidised. So, on the ECML where GNER pays a premium, they're all queuing up! While on the WCML, there is no competition for subsidised - to the tune of £billions - Virgin!)
 

Nick W

Established Member
Joined
5 Nov 2005
Messages
1,436
Location
Cambridge
Funny, I thought that TOCs chose whether or not to pay a bribe/premium when bidding.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
53,208
Location
Yorkshire
Anyway, back to Grand Central...

PRESS RELEASE
6 October 2006


Grand Central is delighted to announce that rolling stock has been secured to ensure the start of its rail services between London and the North East.

The purchase of three – 125mph - High Speed Train sets (HST) has been agreed with Porterbrook Leasing, and these will undergo a full re-furbishment and re-engineering programme to have them ready for main line duties in 2007. Over £5 million will be invested in this rolling stock over the coming months.

Managing Director Ian Yeowart stated:

After many years of hard work we are naturally delighted that the securing of quality rolling stock means our services are guaranteed. The support of Porterbrook Leasing has ensured the long term future of services, and we are grateful for the professional manner in which this transaction has been brought about”.

“Alongside this we are working hard to secure short term suitable rolling stock, and in particular colleagues at National Express, Maintrain, Porterbrook Leasing and Angel Trains are trying to ensure stock can be made available for a start prior to our own trains coming out of works”.

Initially 125 mph HSTs will be used to start the service - with discussions currently on-going for the replacement new build 140 mph trains which it is expected will replace the HSTs and enter service in 2009/2010.

When Grand Central initially announced plans to operate services in 2004 it was envisaged that the then surplus Class 222 trains would provide the rolling stock, but a series of continuing delays meant that option could not be taken – and they were leased elsewhere.

Ian Yeowart continued:

“We are also grateful to Dr Mike Mitchell and his team at the Department for Transport (DfT) in agreeing to the initial sale that made this interim stock available and which has allowed dialogue on sub-leasing to continue. Without the help of industry colleagues, it is unlikely services would have become operational until very late in 2007”.

“Although this stock is seen as an interim solution, it is a fact that HSTs are still regarded by many as the premier train on the network, and the challenge will be to ensure that its replacement in a few years rekindles that iconic status”

A further announcement regarding the start date for the new services will be made within the next few days.

ENQUIRIES:

Fraser Eagle Group
Kevin Dean, Managing Director Tel: 08700 842 713
Andrew Taylor, Group PR Manager

College Hill
Gareth DavidTel: 020 7457 2020 / 07774 444162


NOTES TO EDITORS

Fraser Eagle Group
Fraser Eagle Group is a multi-million pound group of companies with operations in the coach, bus and rail sectors. It also specialises in taxi services, corporate travel, incident management, event transport, interior design and hotel refurbishment. Fraser Eagle employs around 350 people nationwide and is the largest supplier of managed transport services to the UK rail industry.

Grand Central Railway Company Limited
Grand Central aims to deliver a high quality, affordable and accessible train service to communities across the North of England who are remote from direct services to London. Grand Central’s Monday – Saturday service will be:

Code:
Sunderland     0653 1230 1730
Hartlepool     0716 1253 1755
Eaglescliffe   0738 1315 1814
Northallerton  0759 1336 1835
Thirsk         0808 1345 1844
York arrive    0838 1407 1903
York depart    0847 1410 1906
Kings Cross    1042 1605 2108

Kings Cross    0804 1127 1650
York arrive    1006 1319 1844
York depart    1014 1322 1847
Thirsk         1029 1337 1903
Northallerton  1038 1346 1915
Eaglescliffe   1057 1403 1933
Hartlepool     1116 1423 1955
Sunderland     1150 1450 2035[/FONT][FONT=Fixedsys]

Timings are still subject to possible changes by Network Rail. Sunday timings are to be confirmed.
 

David

Established Member
Joined
9 Jul 2005
Messages
5,103
Location
Scunthorpe
Non stop from KX-York?

Yep. And that is just 1 of the reasons that GNER are so p****d off about the whole thing, because they stand to lose more revenue that way than if there was an intermediate stop (such as Grantham or Newark)
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
53,208
Location
Yorkshire
Yep. And that is just 1 of the reasons that GNER are so p****d off about the whole thing, because they stand to lose more revenue that way than if there was an intermediate stop (such as Grantham or Newark)
No, the more intermediate stops the more money GC could make - by getting a slice of those tickets as well, unless it caused GC's trains to be overtaken - only then would they'd get less money.

HT's original service was unattractive and often overtaken by GNER, so GNER didn't complain too much, but once HT got a foothold they were able to increase the speed and quantity of services, which abstracted revenue from GNER. Now the precendent has been set for HT, it is only fair that GC be treated the same way.

I don't think HT / GC will ever be allowed to call at Peterborough, due to shortage of platforms. Doncaster is also under a lot of pressure. Calling at Retford is probably not worth it for GC due to the time penalty. That still leaves Newark and Grantham, so maybe one day GC will call at either, or both, of those places. But for now, I think they don't want to upset GNER too much ;)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top