when does TPE end? might be extended further to 2015 to coincide with that?
I'd doubt that NT will get 2 extra years. The service isn't the best and I think another group could take it over and do better
Northern / TransPennine Express: The Department has extended the current First Keolis TransPennine Express rail franchise to 1 April 2015, with an option for the Department to terminate from 1 April 2014 to enable alignment of relevant timescales. It is anticipated (subject to discussions on the 7 month franchise extension for Northern and the exercise of the option relating to the TransPennine Express) the Northern and TransPennine Express Franchise(s) will be let as follows: OJEU notice published December 2012; invitation to tender(s) issued May 2013; award(s) announced end 2013; contract(s) start April 2014.
Whoever takes over the Northern franchise will be stuck with the same trains that Northern currently use in the first instance. They will, however, have the option of fully refurbishing stock, something Northern opted against.
Just a thought, did people think the co-termination would be good or should they be seperate? Seperate for me, they have a somewhat higher chance that they'll both go to the same operator IMHO, and that could cause trouble...
Virgin taking over TPE would be fantastic, I could picture them getting Voyagers on Manchester-Newcastle or something like that!
Virgin would never in a million years go for something like TP, and especially not Northern, it is far too removed from their brand identity.
First Great Western operate a varied array of services that encompasses everything from 125mph Intercity to local branch line trains, and successfully manage an extensive, sprawling network of local trains that are quite similar to the Northern network in terms of rolling stock used and many of the sorts of routes they operate. And lone operator SWT operate a much more intensive network of services than Northern do and have to manage what I presume is a much bigger fleet of trains. And First Scotrail look after the domestic services of an entire country (the same can be said for ATW, but outside of the Valleys rail coverage in Wales is pretty sparse) and seem to get on alright.You pose a valid point Matt. Now I note that they operate similar routes it might just be a roaring hit. However with so many trains and routes, I believe that 3 owners are needed, just as it is now (First, Serco, Abellio) however 2 might work. Certainly not one though, unless someone can convince me otherwise!
Arriva were looking to order a fleet of four carriage Voyager/Meridian units if they had been successful in their bid for the Transpennine franchise last time round. But that was with fleet replacement written into the franchise (I believe), now that TPE has the 185s, and with Transpennine North electrification on the horizon nothing is going to change in terms of rolling stock anytime soon..
Virgin taking over TPE would be fantastic, I could picture them getting Voyagers on Manchester-Newcastle or something like that! (However Richard Branson isn't that dim and Virgin-branded 185s would be ace to see, and I think services would be even more improved if Virgin took TPE over)
And as well as RENFE for Northern, joint with Stagecoach/Virgin/SNCF? Stupidity aside, two big operators working together would be perfect for a declining ToC to revive its trains and routes.
Even in Regional Railways days the Northern franchise area didn't operate as a single unit though, it was split distinctly into RR North West and North East. And in many cases the trains did carry different liveries and branding!Thing to remember is was it really better under one operator, I'm referring to Regional Railways days here with every service branded the same or have one operator but have two sub brands ie Express and Local with Express working the former TPE services and Local working the former Northern Rail services.
It isn't right for Lancashire to Scotland, if you ask me.If TPE is right for Lancs-Scotland, why not for Yorks-Scotland too?
Putting TPE in with Northern makes sense, seeing as nearly all the routes Northern run on are duplicated by TPE. Although the Scottish services are popular, I've never really been convinced that Glasgow and Edinburgh need a TPE service, and could be served just as well by Virgin.
I agree to a point. I think that there is something to be said about competition (after all, that was the point of selling off the railways!), and TPE seem to have made a pretty good name for themselves along the Scottish services.
I agree to a point. I think that there is something to be said about competition (after all, that was the point of selling off the railways!), and TPE seem to have made a pretty good name for themselves along the Scottish services. It does 'fit' them to a degree - not exactly, but it seems to be working and without serious delays or reputation damage.
Merging TPE with Northern seems to be one of the worst kept conclusions to a story since the first film version of "Titanic".
I'd then advocate joining Transpennine North with the Northern franchise. I think there's a lot of scope to develop a more extensive "Northern Citylink" network of services, as has been advocated by others on this forum, principally Nym I believe, involving things like York to Blackpool as well as the current TPE services.
Transpennine South would be combined with EMT, where it would make most sense for EMT to gain additional 158s to operate the service as part of a larger common fleet which could be obtained through 185s being used on a number of "Northern Citylink" services and displacing 158s.
TP North - transfer to CrossCountry franchise (with new EMU stock)
TP South - transfer to EMT franchise (with a suitable number of 158s)
Manchester-Scotland, TP North West and the west side of Northern into a recreated North West franchise
Eastern half of Northern into a recreated North East franchise.
I'd review whether the boundaries between LM and NW, and EMT and NE are correct, and potentially transfer services between them, thinking of the Northern island in North Lincolnshire, and maybe the Liverpool-Birmingham service.
I feel that the matter of benefits that will be afforded by the Ordsall Chord project together with both the coming Lancashire triangle electrification and the cross-Pennine electrification should be borne in mind, together with other parts that have already been given approval of the proposals contained within the Northern Hub document, should be borne in mind when formulating ideas of new franchises to take advantage of these still-to-come improvements to the rail system in the North of England.
I am in full agreement with everything you have said in your post there, but I will just add here that wasn't it ascertained a while back that the maximum train length that the platforms on the Buxton line can handle is a pair of 156s? Certainly, the longest trains I've seen in service on the Buxton line have been pairs of 150s or 156s.Manchester Piccadilly - Buxton 2tph (Very peak dependant, 6 car in the peaks, 3 car outside, running on the fasts off piccadilly, limited stop to Hazel Grove) (8dia on peak, 4dia off peak, this allows off peak maintenance things)
This leaves another 9 diagrams kicking about, either just enough to cover TPE South but doubling up diagrams on that route is a must soon, but Northern is running out of routes that are suitable for 185 operation,
They sound like perfect candidates to me. Though I hope that Ribblehead Viaduct would be up to the job Then again, given that it now deals with a regular traffic of 2,000 tonne coal trains, I don't think that the 185s would be an issue!How about these for further Northern routes for 185s?
Is it your view that my proposed remapping would prevent certain benefits being realised? If so which ones?