LM from Crewe not connecting with SM to Clapham Jcn at Milton Keynes

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by gray1404, 19 May 2015.

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  1. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Heading South, I have a serious issue with the fact that when I travel on the hourly LM service Crewe to Milton Keynes Central service, it misses the also hourly SN service from MKC to Clapham Junction by one minute. Passengers are then forced to wait 59 minutes for the next service at MKC.

    LM arrival from Crewe at MKC is at xx:14 minutes past the hour.
    SN departure from MKC to Clapham Junction is at xx:13 minutes past the hour.

    Heading North however the 2 services connect nicely with what is normally an 18 minute connection at MKC.

    SN arrival at MKC from Clapham Junction is at xx:01 minutes past the hour.
    LM departure to Crewe from MKC is xx:19 minutes past the hour.

    I understand that these services used to connect in both directions and it would be nice if they did again. It would take an hour off the journey. What would need to be done for this change to occur?

    I have emailed both LM and SN tonight asking them to pass on my concerns to the right people within the company.
     
    Last edited: 19 May 2015
  2. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    They would have connected when the Crewe service went via Northampton. Project 110 speeded up the LM service considerably between Euston and Crewe as the trains now go via Weedon. This has meant that some of the connections aren't quite as good as they once were.

    To be honest I doubt very much you'll get it changed. There isn't sufficient flexibility in the West Coast timetable to delay the SN train by 5 minutes to make the connection.

    Not being funny but you can't expect everything on a long distance journey costing £7.25 ;)
     
  3. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    When I'm in work 0. Might have chance to submit a quick delay repay if I'm delayed on business or commuting. When I'm off work on leave (like now), about a million a minute. hehe My first job after college was in the poitical sector in lobbying lol.

    Very true re ticket price and what you can expect! lol Although do note that they do a walk-up on a same TOC only routed fare costing £49.10/£106.40 (Off Peak/Anytime).

    But SERIOUSLY. a timetabled good connection would be good on this one. Although yes, esp WCML has its limitations. Just frustrating knowing it 1. connections in one direction but not the other and 2. it used to connect but no longer does.
     
    Last edited: 19 May 2015
  4. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Project 110 broke two useful connections - that one, and the one to Liverpool at Stafford. Would be interested to know if passenger numbers have been higher before or after as a result. I guess overall the reduced journey time has provided the most benefit.

    Used to be a very similar 59 minute connection from the Scotland-Brum to the North Wales-Euston services at Crewe southbound on a Sunday, which was a nuisance, but that of course was fixed by running through via Brum.

    In a way a pity these services don't stop at WFJ any more, as if they did it'd connect there.
     
  5. sd0733

    sd0733 Member

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    The crewe fasts have bad connections throughout especially northbound.
    As an example i worked one today and saw several connections leave:
    Nuneaton missed the hourly Stansted by seconds
    Tamworth the half hourly Nottingham leaves as we arrive
    Lichfield the cross city is tight but doable if spot ontime
    Stafford the half hourly Liverpool arrived side by side with us
    Stoke we wait outside for the hourly northern to depart
    Crewe the roughly half hourly Chester goes as we arrive.

    southbound apart from the southern at MKC the connections are pretty good really. I know pathing is a hard art but managing to miss pretty much every connection going takes some doing!
     
  6. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Hi sd0733

    assuming your Northbound today was on time, it sounds like if the service was booked to run 5 minutes earlier (yes that is SOooo easier said then done esp given it has to find a path in 2 sector tracks to still allow the VT fasts though) then it would open up so many good connections, like those you list, given most of those stations you mention only require a 5 minute connection.

    Wondered if you happen to be working (by chance) any of the LM services ill be catching this Friday or next week -as per my other post (can give details if needed) :)
     
  7. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    Closest you could probably get is the xx33 path (xx43 is Scotland via Birmingham, calling Keynes then Coventry; xx40 is Manchester, first stop Crewe), but that Manchester service would be right up behind it by the end of the one Down line at Attleborough.
     
  8. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    ... which you can use via London Euston.

    Anyway, there are Virgin Trains services that will allow you to connect to the Southern service without the need to wait there for a whole hour... Not great if you have to use the LM from Crewe... that burgeoning Atherstone to Bletchley market ;)
     
  9. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    The Crewe services have a lot of growth and there is a lot of talk of 8 cars. LM get the dregs really with the 110 paths as they fit in around Virgin, start moving them around and it starts to become a re-write. Move something to the xx.33 path and I can imagine a certain open access operator getting a tad annoyed.
     
  10. A0wen

    A0wen Established Member

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    I can only assume such traffic flows are minimal.

    The way to address it would be to add a WFJ stop onto the Crewe services - it would easily pass the Southern service which has several stops to WFJ.
     
  11. sd0733

    sd0733 Member

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    Yes we were ontime.
    5 mins earlier unfortunately wouldn't work as there is the xx:40 and xx:43 virgin services from Euston, it was probably the only way of getting the fast line path.
    Going south a Watford stop couldn't happen without either holding up a Virgin service or running slow line and so voiding most of the advantage of 110mph running. Its annoying all the bad connections but realistically paths are so limited it is a compromise to run it.
     
  12. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    as most of the Crewe trains don't stop at Bletchley these passengers will need to change at MKC anyway ;)
     
  13. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    I can imagine that VT's objections may be more than just about the operational impact on their services, - it also keeps the low-cost alternatives offered by LM less competitive than they could be, hence protecting their high-priced product.
     
  14. plastictaffy

    plastictaffy Established Member

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    Unfortunately, Maps has stopped.
    There are some services that are booked as 8 cars. I know of another that splits at Stafford, caused LM a real PITA last year, for reasons I could go into another day. The 8 cars that do run require UDS at certain stops, and as I understand it, are quite awkward, at one station 4 carriages hang off the back fouling a junction. sd0733 would know as he signs it, whereas I don't!!!
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Nope, there's a Virgin about half a dozen signals behind, and usually another right behind him running yellows.
     
    Last edited: 20 May 2015
  15. Trainfan344

    Trainfan344 Established Member

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    The junction sounds like Stone, trains in the up direction would foul the hixon line junctions!
     
  16. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Either that or Kidsgrove on the down.
     
  17. sd0733

    sd0733 Member

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    NOne split at Stafford anymore, that was the 1646 which now goes through as an 8 car an splits at Crewe with one going to the shed and the other the 2010 back to Northampton. Changed back in December sadly for us at Crewe!!! It calls only at Stafford-stoke-crewe now due to no UDS allowed at Stone, kidsgrove or Alsager so 8 cars dont foul a junction as cant stop. Only places we do UDS on the Trent are Rugeley and Atherstone.
     
  18. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Complaints such as these have been coming in since the railway started. Everybody wants the connections for their journeys to be convenient.

    The simple truth is that you can't please everyone all the time.

    Whilst it doesn't connect with the Crewe train, it does connect very well with Virgin services from Scotland via the West Mids, Chester, and the LM service from Birmingham. Between them these capture a huge range of journey opportunities. The only places of note that have the 59 minute connection are Stoke, Stafford and the Trent Valley towns.
     
    Last edited: 20 May 2015
  19. Kristofferson

    Kristofferson Established Member

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    Most "connections" with the hourly Southern stopper throughout its route are pretty poor. But that's fine, because there's generally a more regular alternative service (LM on the WCML and Overground on the WLL).

    I'm not really sure why that service even exists... and I use it daily :lol:
     
  20. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Because it takes a lot of time and hassle off cross-London journeys from local stations on the south WCML. It's very well-used, and if the frequency was increased it'd be even better used.
     
  21. Kristofferson

    Kristofferson Established Member

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    IMO it's not vastly quicker or more convenient than going Watford - Willesden and onto the WLL from there.
     
  22. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Eh? If you're going to CLJ that takes at least an extra half hour from MKC. Across London can be quicker, but it's, umm, across London and a massive faff.

    I'd concede to it being withdrawn if they added slow-line platforms at Willesden and stopped all LMs that stop at WFJ there as well.
     
  23. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    It's more than you'd think: Southern take 11 minutes Watford Junction to Wembley Central, Overground takes 24. Factor in the interchange times at Watford and Willesden, and it's probably more like 20 minutes faster on the direct train.
     
  24. MK Tom

    MK Tom Established Member

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    It's very useful for Southern's cheaper fares to places like Gatwick, Brighton and Eastbourne for me. I just wish it was a bit more limited stop, like the old Connex one was.

    Also, why does it have to be so slow between Wembley and Shephard's Bush? Surely they could fix that 10mph speed limit...
     
  25. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Received a reply from SN. Still waiting for reply from LM about the 2 not connecting. Hopeless reply from Southern Customer Services: -
    "... I would like to offer you my apologies for the inconvenience that this is causing to you. Generally, May timetable changes are minor tweaks so no consultation is required or carried out. However, this May?s timetable was focused on creating a timetable which will work with the current constraints at London Bridge following the poor performance in January. Initially, we implemented 5 weeks of timetable changes from January to try to improve the service and to identify how those changes were affecting performance. As a result, the May timetable change has meant a number of re-times and changes to calling patterns along the Brighton mainline to provide a robust timetable. The new timetable also had to be approved by Network Rail so unfortunately there was not enough time for a formal consultation. That said, we do usually consult passengers when making more significant changes; for instance, the consultation for the December 2015 timetable went out in November 2014 for a period of three months. Ultimately, these changes were needed and had to be implemented in a short space of time to improve our services. All the changes were also agreed with the Department for Transport. I hope that I have clarified this for you..."

    I have emailed back asking that they "forward my request to the department that details with timetabling so I can receive a detailed reply. I would like to know if it might be possible for my comments to be taken on board and acted upon. I feel like thus far they have been brushed aside. Those services connecting again, as per my first email, would greatly enhance [the] service to customers."
     
  26. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    I suggest that 99% of the emails they get about timetabling are about the effects of the London Bridge work. Your problem has nothing to do with this, IIRC it is a result of retiming the LM service, which happened a while ago.

    So although they've answered it they've completely missed the point, they probably haven't even read your email properly and have just sent out the generic reply...
     
  27. MCR247

    MCR247 Established Member

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    Realistically whatever reply you get, your comments will still be 'brushed aside' so I don't see any point worry. A recast of the WCML TT allow this connection to be made simply isn't going to happen
     
  28. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    I haven't looked it up but I suspect that when there was a better connection at Milton Keynes the Crewe service ran via Northampton which is significantly slower.

    The overall journey time probably hasn't increased, it's just that instead of ambling round the Northampton loop you now wait on a platform at MKC!
     
  29. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Established Member

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    TOCs rarely do seem to reply directly to the point in question and usually ramble on with a bit of "PR Spin" - We do this, we do that etc.,
     
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