Liverpool Norwich service to be split at Nottingham

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by Chester1, 10 Apr 2019.

  1. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    I would hope "most" refers to all except a few early and late short workings - having random gaps in an hourly service during the day makes it a bit pointless.
    Trent was renewed as a double lead junction in 2008 so isn't the bottleneck it once was, and there's probably less freight in the area too with the reduction in coal traffic.
    The unit mileage is the same as the original plan, and as long as the swapping of destinations doesn't create any overly long turnarounds it should use the same number of units. I suspect that would be a given in any change to the plans, as adding an extra unit would knock a hole in the finances.
     
  2. DDB

    DDB Member

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    I don't think the unit mileage is the same if they don't merge the Derby Norwich with the Matlock Nottingham as there would be 3 EMR services an hour between Derby and Nottingham not 2. I hope they do do this because that would mean 5 services in hour including crosscountry so more chance of them being reasonably evenly distributed around the hour without large gaps.

    EMR might have more units than they really want as I assume each rosoco will have wanted to rent all their available 170s not all but 1 or 2, so EMR may have ended up with an imperfect number.
     
  3. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    I seem to recall that its still a very slow junction and curve between Derby and Nottingham routes with the faster route to and from London in both cases.
     
  4. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    The previous plan was Norwich-Matlock, Crewe-Nottingham and Matlock-Newark - I think - so still three EMR services between Derby and Nottingham. They've just swapped around the destinations but assuming each service runs hourly the mileage is the same.
    30mph through the junction at Trent and round the curve itself, dropping to 15mph eastbound and as little as 10mph westbound over Sheet Stores. The latter junction is optimized for running to/from the south and has a diamond with a horrible negative cant for trains coming from Nottingham. There have been plans to re-align this and I believe the railway actually bought the necessary land, but it seems unlikely to ever happen. With only 2TPH to/from the south the slow running doesn't create much conflict - but along with reversal at Derby it helps to explain why Nottingham-Birmingham is so slow.
     
  5. Grecian 1998

    Grecian 1998 Member

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    Bristol and points SW have lost services in the last 20 years to Liverpool and up the WCML to Preston and Carlisle. You now have to change at Birmingham New Street and or Wolverhampton. However, whilst direct services have been lost, this has been offset by fairly good and generally reliable connections onto quiet environmentally friendly 350s or 390s. These usually have far more space in my experience than the 4 and 5 carriage Voyagers that passengers from the SW primarily travel on to Birmingham.

    My point? Losing direct services from Liverpool to Norwich may be annoying, but if it allows more effective use of capacity given that services west of Nottingham are much busier than east of it and connections are reliable (which I appreciate is the big issue), it's worth it IMHO given my experience of travelling north from Bristol. I appreciate that some passengers may be averse to changing and it can be an irritant, particularly when trains are running late and you can't be sure of a connection. However it simply isn't possible to run direct services from everywhere to everywhere. Nottingham is also a much less unpleasant and confusing place to change trains than New Street .
     
  6. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Exactly. People thought the world would end (as they always do) when the northern WCML was split off from XC. It didn't. In fact, far more capacity is provided overall as a result of the split (paeticularly on the WCML) and more efficient rolling stock utilisation, benefitting far, far more people overall.

    Folks travelling cross-Nottingham are in the minority of both the usage of the current Liverpool-Norwich service, and of Anglia-North West demand overall. It is not reasonable to continue designing the service around those passengers (most of whom would still travel after the service was split anyway) to the detriment of a far bigger number of people everywhere else.
     
  7. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Taking those points in turn in respect of Liverpool-Norwich:
    • Connections: As you acknowledge this will be a big issue and we just don't know how well it will work.
    • Quiet environmentally friendly units: Not applicable here, both parts of the split service will be worked by DMUs fairly similar to those that work the through service now.
    • More space west of Nottingham: Most trains are split/joined and run as 4 cars west of Nottingham (and could be upgraded to 6 if demand warranted it) so the current service provides this already.
    • Changing at Nottingham: It's a traditional Edwardian station rather than a concrete 60s creation, both refurbished fairly recently and both providing enough places to shop and eat between trains. But Nottingham is not an ideal place to change, especially if the trains are on different islands and one or both is platformed near the eastern end. The lifts are on the very western end and the "centre" stepped footbridge isn't much closer, whereas New Street has several places to transfer between platforms along their length and the lifts are near the midpoint. The canopies at Nottingham don't extend to the eastern end and don't provide protection against cold wind or driving rain, whereas nearly the whole length of New Street is under cover. Enclosed waiting areas at platform level are limited to a couple of small lounges, bus shelters on the eastern ends and nothing on platform 7 (the First Class Lounge is not relevant as at least one half of the split service won't have First so virtually everybody making the connection will be travelling Standard).
     
  8. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    How could they re-align Sheet Stores? Without demolishing quite a lot of houses I don’t see how they could.
     
  9. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    If the onward service was being electrified, it would make the truncation much easier to understand but it's not and Nottingham is not a nice station to change or wait at and so it feels like DfT is punishing Anglia again, like giving the main franchise to an operator sending its current trains away before enough new ones are in use and failing to delivery many other bid promises.
     
  10. DDB

    DDB Member

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    No that isn't right as that would imply 2 trains an hour to Matlock which isn't possible with all that single line running.

    The current service pattern is Nottingham-Norwich (part of Liverpool-Norwich, Crewe-Derby and Matlock-Newark. I.e. 1 EMR per hour Derby-Nottingham

    I belive the original plan was Norwich-Matlock and Crewe-Newark which is 2 EMR per hour Derby-Nottingham.

    It sounds like the new plan is Norwich-Derby Matlock-Nottingham and Crewe-Newark. So 3 EMR per hour Derby-Nottingham due to worries about knock on delays. I hope it's true as a regular traveller between Derby-Nottingham. But there are a lot level crossings that are going to spend a lot of time with the barriers down on that route!

    DDB
     
  11. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Yes you're right, sorry for confusion. I knew there was an increase between Derby and Nottingham but I was thinking the original plan was up to 3 not 2 (plus 2 XC in each case). On the face of it this would need one extra unit in service, which is quite a bit cost hit although extra Nottingham-Derby revenue might offset a bit of it.

    Matlock-Nottingham is uncomfortably close to an hour and when EMT ran this service they used 3 units. They may intend to run it with 2 to bring the numbers back to the original plan, perhaps by transferring some stops east of Derby to the Crewe or the Leicester-Lincoln, but even so it would be tight if they did that.
     
  12. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Agreed!

    Too often on here, the minority make more noise than the majority, so we end up with inadequate provision for the bulk of passengers just so we can maintain a direct link that people might use once a year (e.g. maintaining links to a far away Airport).

    re the above two comments - I don't know where would be more suitable for a split service (if the aim is to chop the Norwich - Liverpool service somewhere more suitable for the small number of passengers making end to end journeys)? I'm not sure that there's much space at Sheffield for long layovers (and only really one southern bay platform capable of taking a train of any length). But where else?

    It could even be that the Nottingham - Derby services run differently in each direction - if all "ex-Central Trains" EMR services are to be run by 170s then it doesn't matter too much if it's sometimes Norwich - Nottingham - Derby - Crewe - Derby - Nottingham - Newark - Nottingham - Derby - Matlock - Derby - Nottingham - Norwich (for example).

    The "through" market is going to be so minimal that they may decide that they can't match up the eastbound and westbound services well enough that it makes more sense to have different eastbound and westbound services.

    I'm basing this on nothing other than the fact that the Norwich service will be constrained by the tight path on the ECML, the Matlock services have to have a layover that fits with the single track branch, the ideal would be keeping the two services per hour from Nottingham to Newark and Grantham well enough spaced apart to be nearly half hourly, the other services have to fit around the long distance XC/ EMR services through Derby/ Nottingham... so it might not be simple to get things paired up in both directions. If everything is a Turbostar then it won't matter so much (as long as diagrams are reliable and not worked to the bone).
     
  13. Killingworth

    Killingworth Established Member

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    Sheffield will have to be remodelled sooner or later, but probably not for at least 5-10 years.

    2c only takes 2 coaches so already becoming inadequate when Hope Valley stoppers become 4 car more frequently, as some already are. It could be lengthened by demolishing some platform buildings, but I doubt that would be easily allowed.

    7 is sometimes used by the Liverpool-Norwich services, but more often to hold shorter St Pancras units.

    Platforms 1, 2, 5, 6 and 8 are theoretically all able to hold a single train up to 16 coaches so a little bit more pointwork and signalling might open more possibilities there to use them for two shorter trains from both north and south ends - eventually.

    There's also plenty of space in the centre roads to hold stock (they're well filled with Pacers on Sundays), but operationally that may be challenging. That said the ability to readily split Manchester Airport - Cleethorpes services might also come in handy too.

    Which maybe brings us back to TPE taking over the Liverpool - Nottingham section with the same class of rolling stock offering further options.
     
  14. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    Nottingham is a terrible station to change at because it feels like one of those London suburban road bridge stations which has grown too big. The building is at one end and the combination of preserved old buildings, nearby buildings and the bridges over it make me think it will be difficult to ever make nice. There are also too few services there.

    Looking at the services map, it seems that Sheffield is an obvious candidate to become a hub station because it already has multiple operators and services in all directions except Worksop.

    Looking at the stations, it seems like Derby might be the easiest to turn into a good hub, with lots of modern building already and a central concourse building on one side and two ways across the tracks (bridge and subway) but it would need more services to create more competition for XC and EMR and I am not sure there is the will to invest that much in an East Midlands hub because it is neither "South-East" nor "Northern Powerhouse". That reminds me that the HS2 station called "East Midlands Hub" could have been a solution to this if they had selected East Midlands Parkway or Breeston not Toton but East Midlands is again victim of penny-pinching and short-term single-operator thinking.
     
  15. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    If the service gets split, many passengers won't end up changing at Nottingham anyway. It'll be Doncaster or Leeds instead (for example), as they're much faster.
     
  16. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    To change at Doncaster or Leeds, they must pay more (typically between £25 and £60) and change at Peterborough as well, which often reduces "much faster" to 10-20 minutes faster on a 4 hour journey. It is a big service downgrade for most journeys to/from East Anglia.
     
  17. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    If it really mattered it looks like there is loads of room to put in a transfer only footbridge at the Eastern end, which could also be a useful extra access for football and cricket crowds.
     
  18. 43074

    43074 Established Member

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    This is almost certainly not happening, and operationally everything is too intertwined in your proposal, which is a factor of the West Midlands timetable which has been problematic. From Dec 2020 it will be 1tph Matlock to Nottingham, 1tph Newark to Crewe with 1tph Derby to Norwich following in Dec 2021.
     
  19. geoffk

    geoffk Established Member

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    Use of 170s rather than 158s will offer some improvement.
     
  20. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Virtually no difference where it matters - the relatively short distance between Grantham and Stoke Jn on the two track section, where trains are still acceleraring/braking anyway. Even at full speed it's 36 seconds per mile versus 40 seconds per mile - so for even half a minute pathing benefit that requires *flat out* running for 7.5 miles.

    And rolling stock makes not one jot of difference for Up trains needing to get across the Down line at Grantham on departure. These paths really are wedged in where they are.
     
  21. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    I regularly do it, and Advances are routinely cheaper via LNER. Plus people travelling for work would gladly pay a slight premium to get home quicker anyway.

    I did Oxford Rd to Cambridge last week. I had a choice of the 1638 EMR changing at Ely, or the 1638 TPE (via Ordsall Chord) changing at Leeds and Peterborough. The planned journey time being *45 minutes* faster via Leeds (with LNER facilities from Leeds) made it something of a no-brainer to get home at a decent hour.
     
  22. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    An a no brain can see it's just one journey that was 45 minutes different not the typical 10-20 and it's to the special case of Manchester-Cambridge where EMR, XC, LNER & VTWC compete on fares so the premium is often only £5. Now try that from Ely or Bury St Ed! Split tickets and much messing fighting journey planners!
     
  23. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    It's not a one off journey, it happens every hour of the day...

    I'm going to go on a limb and suggest that Cambridge generates far more demand than Ely, Bury St Edmunds, Thetford, Norwich etc. What's the point of a service like Liverpool-Norwich if it's not picking up the market it's there to serve?
     

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