Is it me, or have first trains got later over the years?

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by Comstock, 9 Dec 2019.

  1. Comstock

    Comstock Member

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    The first train from Burton to Derby is at 6.51 am.

    That's not exactly late, and admittedly the first train south is earlier, at 6.20 am but I'm sure trains ran earlier in years gone by.
     
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  3. PeterC

    PeterC Established Member

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    Looking at my only old timetable within reach of the computer, first train in 1989 was 06:30
     
  4. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member Associate Staff General Discussion

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    In most instances they have got earlier - I can cite, for example, Glasgow Central where the first service to London Euston used to be about 07.00 back in the 80's - now its at 04.25!
     
  5. Comstock

    Comstock Member

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    Is that to Derby or to Brum?
     
  6. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    Epsom to Waterloo first train used to be 05.14.

    Now it's 20 minutes later and rather annoyingly that small difference makes it impossible to catch any of the first InterCities out of London.
     
  7. Iskra

    Iskra Established Member

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    Apart from Sunday mornings I've never really noticed an issue with the times of the first trains. There is of course a certain level of lottery based on proximity to the nearest depot/stabling sidings. Everywhere I've ever lived has always had decent first trains; Chapeltown 0530- although that is 12mins later than last year I think, but that's not too bad. Leeds and the TP core have trains through the night.

    There are of course fewer sleepers and passenger-carrying newspaper trains than years gone by, which is the only negative in terms of provision.
     
  8. Dr Hoo

    Dr Hoo Established Member

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    You are quite right. In the ‘good ol’ days’ (well 1964) the first train from Burton to Derby was at 0230. Miss it and you had the 0501 to fall back on. [Times converted to 24-hour notation.]
     
  9. Whisky Papa

    Whisky Papa Member

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    Much earlier now on the Calder Valley than when I moved to Todmorden 35 years ago. Then I'm sure it was not possible to reach Manchester Victoria before 0800, now the first train arrives 0642. In fact, the emergency timetable brought in on 21.01.85 to deal with the Summit Tunnel fire allowed a slightly earlier arrival (0806) than the normal one.
     
  10. Dr Hoo

    Dr Hoo Established Member

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    Just checked the Midland Railway timetable for 1903. There was a Burton to Derby service at 00:23 [24 hour equivalent.]
     
  11. Skimpot flyer

    Skimpot flyer Member

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    I doubt that’s what the OP had in mind. The 00:23 would be the last train of the day, not the first?
     
  12. Springs Branch

    Springs Branch Member

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    Illustrating the ebb and flow of first trains over the years, here's a snapshot of first train departure times on the line between Wigan and Manchester on Mon - Fri.

    From Wigan Wallgate to Manchester Victoria in
    1950:- 05:00
    1960:- 05:39 (to Bolton, with connection to Manchester). First to Man Vic dep. 06:12
    1970:- 06:45
    1980:- 06:45
    2007:- 06:08
    2019:- 05:51 (to Alderley Edge via Oxford Rd & Piccadilly)

    From Manchester Victoria to Wigan Wallgate in
    1950:- 05:20
    1960:- 05:20
    1970:- 06:15
    1980:- 06:20
    2007:- 06:00
    2019:- 05:33

    For good measure, times of Mon-Fri last trains from Manchester to Wigan were:-
    1950:- 22:25*
    1960:- 22:45*
    1970:- 22:30
    1980:- 23:10
    2007:- 23:18
    2019:- 23:37

    (I'm missing timetables for periods around 1990 and 2000)
    * Ignoring the Manchester to Glasgow sleeper, which left Manchester Exchange around 01:00 & ran express to Wigan North Western via the Tyldesley line
     
    Last edited: 11 Dec 2019
  13. coradiafan2000

    coradiafan2000 Member

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    The first train of the day at my local station (the 0608 to Barry Island) has always been on time, as has the one after--the 0638.
     
  14. PeterC

    PeterC Established Member

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    Burton to Derby.
    I took the times for those stations, IIRC the train started from Brum
     
  15. GoneSouth

    GoneSouth Member

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    Cross country have definitely made early morning travel more difficult over the years. I remember before the voyagers being able to catch the first northbound service from Gloucester and Cheltenham to Birmingham in good time to connect with the 0700 departure to Manchester and arrive in Manchester around 0830. To achieve the same arrival time now requires departing 1 hour earlier at 0448 on GWR service to Worcester and a further 2 changes at Smethwick and Wolverhampton. Not the most relaxing stress free journey it used to be. Also worth noting this option has only just become available from the December timetable following the introduction of an earlier GWR Worcester service. I doubt it’s even a valid route to be honest.

    Cross country’s first service north isn’t until 0711 from Cheltenham which is poor in my opinion and around 1 hour and 10 mins later than it was in the nineties.
     
  16. WesternLancer

    WesternLancer Established Member

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    Am I correct in thinking that in the original privatisation franchise awards things like the 1st and last trains of the day, plus overall frequency, were generally / roughly specified on the route in order to prevent a new franchisee dramatically cutting back on provision?

    I seem to recall this getting sort of dripped in one of the 1997 govt reforms (maybe with creation of SRA) as growing passenger use figures sort of made the argument that a TOC would drop things down to a residual service far less likely than was feared at the time of privatisation. IE it was put in as a safeguard - like fares regulation - at privatisation, probably to keep potential Tory rebels on side.
     
  17. Jamesrob637

    Jamesrob637 Established Member

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    I would have thought there would be a 06:00 Bristol to Manchester which would stop in Cheltenham around 06:45... that is a bit rubbish really. There is an 09:00 arrival into Manchester but it starts from Birmingham at 07:30. Should really start from Bristol 90 min earlier.
     
  18. HOOVER29

    HOOVER29 Member

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    A lot has changed over the years regarding the railways. Used to get overnight trains. Edinburgh-Inverness, Crewe to Brighton, Crewe direct to Clapham Junction & Kensington Olympia & of course we had a sleeper service that called at Birmingham for Glasgow & Edinburgh. All were regular services for me.
     

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