Last call for the Charing Cross to Gillingham via Woolwich semi fasts

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by NorthKent1989, 17 May 2018.

  1. Barn

    Barn Established Member

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    Frankly I don't think any station on that line *needs* 8tph off-peak, but Plumstead is essentially in the same category as Charlton. It saw its usage increase by 41% last year, and I think that is probably still an under-report due to many passengers buying season tickets to Abbey Wood (same price) and sadly ticketless travel to local stations.

    Plumstead's service is generally good. It has 8tph off peak (as you say) but in the high peaks the service can be worse (e.g. a 20 minute gap between 1820 and 1840 from London Bridge).
     
  2. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    These two proposals seem contradictory. If you sent Thameslink trains via Lewisham, and restored 2tph to Cannon Street (presumably meaning all 6tph via Greenwich would go to Cannon Street - which actually wouldn't be a bad idea if paths were available as it'd mean a much more regular service) then there would be no CHX-Dartford services any more.

    Yes and no. I think 6tph would be adequate if those 6tph were regularly spaced every 10 minutes. That was the case when the semi-fasts went via Lewisham, because you had an all-stops via Greenwich every 10 minutes, and a half-hourly semi-fast via Lewisham adding a couple of extra trains at selected stations. But now the semi-fasts go via Greenwich, and that makes it impossible to keep to a train every 10 minutes at all stations. If the Thameslink train didn't stop at Plumstead or Slade Green, then those stations would have gaps of up to nearly 15 minutes between trains - as already happens at Woolwich Dockyard, Belvedere and Erith. That's already pretty awkward at those stations and I can't see it being at all appropriate at the much more heavily used Plumstead.
     
  3. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    There does seem a disconnect between current TL and SE operations, in that the SE trains are shorter 4/5 car off peak, but then increasing to 10/12 car during the peak, whereas the fixed 8 car TL trains are a bit excessive off peak but too short during the peak.
     
  4. hkstudent

    hkstudent Member

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    TL trains lack the flexibility to decouple. But mind you, the central section may still requires at least 8 cars to run during off peak.
     
  5. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    There is though something to be said for fixed-length trains. It makes it much more predictable to passengers where on the platform trains will stop. And if it's a 4-car train stopping at a 12-car platform then it's possible for people to be waiting on the platform a looong way from where the train actually stops. Seeing the number of times at Abbey Wood that 4-car trains end up waiting for people who were standing in the wrong place to run practically half the length of the platform, I'd hazard a guess that running 4- or 5-car trains has at least some impact on punctuality.

    Also I have been on 4-car and 5-car trains off-peak and at weekends that have actually been very full.
     
  6. hkstudent

    hkstudent Member

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    Yes, short trains at weekends on Southeastern metro services are quite crammed to be honest, especially at Lewisham.
     
  7. 387star

    387star On Moderation

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    15 minutes is nothing !
     
  8. 387star

    387star On Moderation

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    Perhaps only every second TL service shoukd stop stone crossing swanscombe and northfleet
     
  9. 387star

    387star On Moderation

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    I was on the service shortly after inception and a woman on the train was very unhappy about it swearing down the phone at how long the journey now took

    Of course no-one in their right mind would use it to get to the medway towns from London
     
  10. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    I wasn't necessarily agreeing with the use all the time of short trains!

    It will be interesting what happens when the SE franchise is finally awarded and new trains are ordered, how they are made up
     
  11. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    How many years away is that. With a potential extension being announced and the Williams review any new franchise has been kicked firmly down the road. With the delay to the Maidstone and Ashford routes too; any timetable reshuffle is a long way off.

    For the new trains, there was a specified minimum length in the ITT but that has been effectively ripped up and thrown in the bin.
     
  12. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    Sorry I just realised I was proposing a return to the pre 2018 timetable :)

    It would be less jarring if Plumstead and Slade Green went back to 6tph with even spacing than if stations on the Greenwich branch were reduced to 4tph
     
  13. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    With the amount of new housing being built near Swanscombe which will make doing that harder over time.
     
  14. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    In reality i can see any thing being rejigged till Crossrail opens!
     
  15. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    Yeah I can imagine some regigging of the timetable once CrossRail opens, for one thing 2tph from Gravesend to Abbey Wood isn’t enough, this will have to be upped to 4tph
     
  16. cle

    cle Established Member

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    I think every ten minutes (evenly spaced) is great, and works well on the NLL. When you're moving to 8tph, it gets thrown off.

    I could see each being 10-12tph in future, as should be a proper metro. There is a lot of development along the Northern route, plus Crossrail to come. With the DLR links and City Airport access, and employment throughout the spine - I can see demand outside of the M-F peaks.
     
  17. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    And which termini are those 10-12tph services going to go to as they are all full?
     
  18. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    10tph is realistic but the NKL will never be 12tph
     
  19. Andrew S

    Andrew S Member

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    Nothing runs with 12 cars on the route through Abbey Wood.
     
  20. hkstudent

    hkstudent Member

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    Indeed. The nightmare of Crayford and Slade Green Junctions hinder the maximum capacity of NKL.
     

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