Map of Hourly Service Patterns

Alex1994

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24 Aug 2020
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Manchester
Long time follower of this forum, even if from behind the scenes.

Over the lockdown period I’ve killed time by mapping out every standard hourly National Rail train service. As you can imagine it’s quite a complex map, but I’m sure some people on this forum would find it interesting.

You can find it here: https://alexhancock.webs.com/Great Britain Train Services - Dec 2019.pdf

Each line is an hourly service, colour coded based on its operator and showing which stations it calls at. There are also thin lines, which represent a bi-hourly service.

Only the standard timetable is shown - one-off daily services, occasional extensions to standard services and services which only run during the peak rush hours, are not shown. Otherwise the map would become far too overcrowded.

Services which run at a limited frequency are only shown if they are the only service to call at a station. For example, the Far North Line in the Scottish Highlands only has a handful of services each day, but that's the only service the stations on that line get. Whereas the daily LNER extension from Edinburgh to Inverness is not shown, as the stations along this route are served by the usual ScotRail service. These limited services are shown as a dashed line on the map.

I have tried to keep the map as geographically accurate as possible, however with so many services, it has not always been possible.

I have used the December 2019 timetable as a guide (so pre-COVID service), and with the complexity of trying to map out the general service pattern across the country, there are bound to be some mistakes. If you spot anything, let me know and I shall update it. :smile:
 
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JonathanH

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29 May 2011
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It would be quite useful to have this as reference material in the speculative ideas area to give an idea of what level of service is actually practical on various bits of route and through route nodes - eg to only consider a certain level of uplift without infrastructure development.
 

lxfe_mxtterz

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3 Mar 2018
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269
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Horse Stables
Congrats on finding motivation to complete it - I know I wouldn't be able to, having tried (and given up on) something quite similar in the past. ;)

Excellent, a really impressive map!

Certainly looks very professional, and also very much like the Project Mapping standard!
 

Jorge Da Silva

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4 Apr 2018
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2,133
Location
Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire
Long time follower of this forum, even if from behind the scenes.

Over the lockdown period I’ve killed time by mapping out every standard hourly National Rail train service. As you can imagine it’s quite a complex map, but I’m sure some people on this forum would find it interesting.

You can find it here: https://alexhancock.webs.com/Great Britain Train Services - Dec 2019.pdf

Each line is an hourly service, colour coded based on its operator and showing which stations it calls at. There are also thin lines, which represent a bi-hourly service.

Only the standard timetable is shown - one-off daily services, occasional extensions to standard services and services which only run during the peak rush hours, are not shown. Otherwise the map would become far too overcrowded.

Services which run at a limited frequency are only shown if they are the only service to call at a station. For example, the Far North Line in the Scottish Highlands only has a handful of services each day, but that's the only service the stations on that line get. Whereas the daily LNER extension from Edinburgh to Inverness is not shown, as the stations along this route are served by the usual ScotRail service. These limited services are shown as a dashed line on the map.

I have tried to keep the map as geographically accurate as possible, however with so many services, it has not always been possible.

I have used the December 2019 timetable as a guide (so pre-COVID service), and with the complexity of trying to map out the general service pattern across the country, there are bound to be some mistakes. If you spot anything, let me know and I shall update it. :smile:
how did you make it? what program did you use?
 

Chris Butler

Member
Joined
23 May 2010
Messages
174
Hats off to you. I do these maps when I'm planning a Rover/Ranger trip. Even for such small areas they are a real effort to put together. I just can't imagine the patience to put this together.
 

jopsuk

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Joined
13 May 2008
Messages
12,426
It would be quite useful to have this as reference material in the speculative ideas area to give an idea of what level of service is actually practical on various bits of route and through route nodes - eg to only consider a certain level of uplift without infrastructure development.
except this shows nothing of ECS, peak time uplift and freight
 

Warrior2852

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Joined
27 Oct 2018
Messages
57
The map looks great, I've been looking for something like this for ages, well done! Two small things I did notice though is that you've currently got the Waterloo-Portsmouth/Haslemere services calling at Surbiton, but aside from a few early morning/late night ones they all pass through without stopping. Also Canonbury on the Overground is missing, these are only minor things though, the map is excellent.
 
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Oveloel

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Joined
20 May 2018
Messages
44
I have tried to keep the map as geographically accurate as possible, however with so many services, it has not always been possible.
The one that jumps out to me is the services into Liverpool Street not crossing the East London Line between Whitechapel and Shoreditch High Street - but I think that was the right decision; all three routes (Lea Valley, Great Eastern, East London) are very crowded and don't interchange except the former two at Liverpool Street so geographical accuracy would have looked silly
 

London Trains

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Joined
9 Oct 2017
Messages
652
Wow. That map is truly amazing. That must have taken forever!

A few minor things though:
  • Gatwick Express is 4tph with 2tph terminating at Gatwick.
  • The East Croydon to Milton Keynes service calls at Wandsworth Common.
  • Canonbury station (on the North London Line) is missing.
  • On the East London Line, Limehouse should be Shadwell.
 

tbtc

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16 Dec 2008
Messages
16,165
Location
Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire
This is one of the most beautiful things I've seen - time well spent there!

Whilst everyone will notice different bits first, the thing that your map reinforced for me is how efficient a lot of the services around London are (certainly before Thameslink expanded to serve several destinations south of the Thames), compared to the muddle of services in other parts of the UK - hence how we struggle to run many services efficiently in areas like the Castlefield Corridor (whilst tracks in the capital can accommodate a train every couple of minutes - partly due to grade separation, partly due to a fairly simple route map)

(The only minor quibble I'd mention is that the Alloa branch is east of the Stirling - Dunblane line, but I mention that guiltily because it feels really churlish to make any criticism of such a work of art!)
 

I13

Member
Joined
26 Aug 2017
Messages
173
This is absolutely brilliant, well done! This is a huge help if someone wants to get their head around the complex service patterns, branches, circulars etc. found in places like London, Glasgow, Manchester (personally, this might finally help me learn SWR's suburban network!). Also very impressive how you've made it look so stylish in the process, that can't have been easy. The hatching at places like Clapham Jn are a nice touch.

Just one point to note, that London - Eastbourne/Littlehampton used to be portion worked, attaching/detaching at Haywards Heath. This, with the 2tph Gatwick Express terminating at Gatwick, should keep the number of lines through Gatwick the same, which I hope should avoid you having to redraw the whole Brighton Main Line, should you wish to incorporate these changes!

Well done again, this is really great.
 

the sniper

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4 Sep 2007
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2,380
I can see this in the National Railway Museum in future, demonstrating the system we had pre-Covid...

Excellent work!
 

si404

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Joined
28 Dec 2012
Messages
1,267
(The only minor quibble I'd mention is that the Alloa branch is east of the Stirling - Dunblane line, but I mention that guiltily because it feels really churlish to make any criticism of such a work of art!)
Stourbridge and Redditch as well. But I like it. It's a diagram rather than an exact geographic map and sometimes a little geographic distortion is worth the clarity that provides.
 

yorkie

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Yorkshire
Looks very good.

A few minor points:
Lines are colour coded based on the train operator.
Not quite ;)

The lines denote brands; Stansted Express is a brand name of Greater Anglia, WMT/LNR are brand names of West Midlands Trains, and Gatwick Express/Southern/Great Northern/Thameslink are brand names of Govia Thameslink Railway.

I do feel this distinction is important for contractual reasons.

In terms of calling patterns:
  • London-Nottingham fasts call at Market Harborough
  • York-Blackpool North trains call at Church Fenton only between York & Leeds (these are not running at present)
  • York-Leeds stoppers are in addition to the above and generally don't call at Church Fenton (some call at Ulleskelf)
  • It may be worth showing limited stops at some stations, e.g. Dore
  • Northern services from Windermere continue beyond Oxenholme, to Manchester Airport.
 

Barn

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3 Sep 2008
Messages
1,434
Outstanding work. This is my favourite type of railway map and to see it over the whole network is incredible.
 

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