May 2020 timetable changes

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Jack Hay

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Still no extras to Chester and Sunday hourly then? What's it been, 3 years now?
I thought that the Mid Cheshire line enhancements had been canned indefinitely because of infrastructure issues? No paths between Piccadilly and Stockport for the weekday Greenbank service. Hourly Sunday service dependent on User Worked Crossing risk assessments, for which Network Rail has no funding.
It's just over two years since the services were required to start according to the franchise minimum service specification (December 2017).
The situation is different regarding the weekday and Sunday services.
The weekday service is stalled between Altrincham and Piccadilly owing to lack of paths at Edgeley Junction and at Piccadilly, according to Network Rail. Northern proposed an alternative Altrincham to Chester semi-fast service which was stalled by Network Rail owing to the user-worked crossing issue. Funding has been found and those crossings should be fixed before the end of this year. Chester station capacity has not been raised as an objection by Network Rail. Therefore, the Altrincham to Chester second hourly train is still a possibility in the near term (perhaps December 2020).
The Sunday service is stalled owing to Northern's shortage of drivers willing to work Sundays. Network Rail have not objected to the extra Sunday trains. Therefore there is hope for those too, if the Sunday working agreement holds.
So I do not agree that the enhancements are canned indefinitely although the second hourly service to Stockport and Manchester - which was the most sought-after enhancement - seems to be as far away as ever.
 
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Greybeard33

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So I do not agree that the enhancements are canned indefinitely although the second hourly service to Stockport and Manchester - which was the most sought-after enhancement - seems to be as far away as ever.
Thanks for the update. Hopefully OLR will follow through ARN's proposal of the Altrincham to Chester semi fast.

Presumably the Sunday working issue applies equally to the hourly Stoke service? Again, now in OLR's in tray.
 

Mathew S

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There are paths during the week, so how can they not exist on Sunday when there are fewer services, and almost no freight?
Are there? I don't mean to be flippant, but the fact that trains - many trains - are delayed in and around Manchester every day because of 'congestion' would seem to indicate otherwise.
 

markymark2000

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Looks like they've taken advantage of class 195 performance to improve pathing of Manchester-Cumbria services up the WMCL. By my counting four northbound Northern services will no longer skip Lancaster from May and two southbound. Some better northbound paths between Golborne and Preston also gives arrivals at Preston up to 11 minutes earlier.
(compare https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/Y57119/2020-05-13/detailed with https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/L17795/2020-05-27/detailed)
Is there nothing which can be done to reduce that 11 min wait at Preston? That is quite a big dwell for through passengers. I would say stop at Euxton and Leyland but it would be a 1 tpd situation which could confuse passengers.
 

FelixtheCat

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Is there nothing which can be done to reduce that 11 min wait at Preston? That is quite a big dwell for through passengers. I would say stop at Euxton and Leyland but it would be a 1 tpd situation which could confuse passengers.
It couldn't run straight on because it would block the London-Glasgow express that leaves at 19:41.

Given the delays that are encountered on the Airport branch and Castlefield Corridor, it's probably good that there's a decent chunk of recovery time in it.
 

markymark2000

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It couldn't run straight on because it would block the London-Glasgow express that leaves at 19:41.

Given the delays that are encountered on the Airport branch and Castlefield Corridor, it's probably good that there's a decent chunk of recovery time in it.
I would argue any dwell longer than 7 minutes is far too much. Even taking into account Castlefields.
 

Glenn1969

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Given that both trains call at Lancaster why does the Northern train necessarily need to be overtaken at Preston by the 1941 ?
 

FelixtheCat

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Given that both trains call at Lancaster why does the Northern train necessarily need to be overtaken at Preston by the 1941 ?
Because the Northern runs at 100mph, and the Avanti at 125mph. If the Northern left Preston at 20:33/34, it would delay the Avanti by the time they got to Lancaster. Further delays could occur to the InterCity at Carnforth North Junction.
 

markymark2000

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An interesting change which I have noticed when comparing services is that some of the Liverpool to Oxford Road stoppers (via CLC) will now use platforms 3 and 4 at Mossley Road to allow the Airport service to overtake on this section. This means the Airport 'fast' service is now sped up by 4 minutes
 

Aictos

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Apart from TL extending the Rainhams to Luton on Saturdays, what other changes are there in store for the TL?
 

30907

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Given that both trains call at Lancaster why does the Northern train necessarily need to be overtaken at Preston by the 1941 ?
I imagine that providing a Barrow connection off the 1730 EUS is useful, and even if the Northern got to Lancaster earlier, there is only one down through platform there....
 

Jamesrob637

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An interesting change which I have noticed when comparing services is that some of the Liverpool to Oxford Road stoppers (via CLC) will now use platforms 3 and 4 at Mossley Road to allow the Airport service to overtake on this section. This means the Airport 'fast' service is now sped up by 4 minutes
I caught one of these last night (10p offer!) It was 8 late out of Liverpool due to the inbound being late, however it was on time after Warrington. Those 195s really shift.
 

Staffordian

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Looking at LNER, it appears that the 0640 and 0915 Leeds - Kings Cross (1A06 and 1A19) and the 1633 Kings Cross - Leeds (1D22) no longer run from May. Are they still to be loaded or have the resources been used elsewhere ?
 

JonathanH

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Looking at LNER, it appears that the 0640 and 0915 Leeds - Kings Cross (1A06 and 1A19) and the 1633 Kings Cross - Leeds (1D22) no longer run from May. Are they still to be loaded or have the resources been used elsewhere ?
It is still sufficiently far out from May that they could still be working on timings and they just haven't been confirmed.

These three services are shown as an 'unadvertised express' in RTT as the 0640 is potentially to start at Huddersfield, the 0915 is potentially to start at Bradford Forster Square and the 1633 is potentially to end there.

Whether or not these extensions are approved it is likely that they will still run from Leeds to London.
 

berneyarms

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Looking at LNER, it appears that the 0640 and 0915 Leeds - Kings Cross (1A06 and 1A19) and the 1633 Kings Cross - Leeds (1D22) no longer run from May. Are they still to be loaded or have the resources been used elsewhere ?
Until pdf timetables come out nothing is finalised.
 

Staffordian

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It is still sufficiently far out from May that they could still be working on timings and they just haven't been confirmed.

These three services are shown as an 'unadvertised express' in RTT as the 0640 is potentially to start at Huddersfield, the 0915 is potentially to start at Bradford Forster Square and the 1633 is potentially to end there.

Whether or not these extensions are approved it is likely that they will still run from Leeds to London.
Thanks - I can see them now that I have set ‘service type’ to ’All Services’, rather than ‘Passenger calls’. Note to myself to check this in future !
 

darloscott

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Interestingly there are a handful of 'Connect' express services between Middlesbrough & Newcastle showing via the coast calling only at Thornaby, Stockton, Hartlepool and Sunderland.
 

agbrs_Jack

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Are there? I don't mean to be flippant, but the fact that trains - many trains - are delayed in and around Manchester every day because of 'congestion' would seem to indicate otherwise.
Of course there are during the week.
Our Mon-Sat hourly service isn’t that bad in terms of reliability either. Peak can have some cancellations but generally they are external issues or shortage of stock.

Again, even an hourly SOT-MAC shuttle would be better than the current ‘service’. Or some additional calls from XC.
We deserve better.
 

Mathew S

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We deserve better.
Why? Assuming that there are train paths, rolling stock, train crew and funding to operate the additional services, why is it 'deserved'? Why prioritise this particular service over addressing the issues with services that already exist?

Right now, introducing extra services into an already congested, unreliable timetable is just insanity, imo.
 

Staffordian

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Why? Assuming that there are train paths, rolling stock, train crew and funding to operate the additional services, why is it 'deserved'? Why prioritise this particular service over addressing the issues with services that already exist?

Right now, introducing extra services into an already congested, unreliable timetable is just insanity, imo.
I have never previously come across any suggestion that the WCML between Stoke and Piccadilly via Congleton and Stockport is congested on Sundays. (Weekdays are obviously a different matter, hence the difficulty in running the extra Piccadilly - Stockport - Greenbank service.)
Is there any particular reason why you believe it is congested on that day - additional freight paths, etc. ?
As far as reliability is concerned, according to post #172 the weekday service at Congleton “isn’t bad” in that respect, so at first sight bringing the Sunday service up to the same frequency (hourly rather than six trains per day) should perform similarly.
 

Glenn1969

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And the extra services for Macclesfield line and Hazel Grove which I also don't think have happened yet. Think you might need to wait for HS2 before such things can be added
 

geoffk

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Interestingly there are a handful of 'Connect' express services between Middlesbrough & Newcastle showing via the coast calling only at Thornaby, Stockton, Hartlepool and Sunderland.
At a recent Railfuture Yorkshire meeting, a Northern representative confirmed that the Middlesbrough - Newcastle 'Connect' service will start in Dec 2020 and run via the Durham coast stopping at least at Hartlepool and Sunderland. Network rail wouldn't allow it to use Stillington/ECML.
No doubt this is because of the lack of paths on ECML, with six fast trains an hour between York and Newcastle and the prospect of yet more with this First "open access" service. Why do we need so many, especially when it's to the detriment of better local services?

What are the implications for the single platform layout at Hartlepool?
 

scrapy

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Hourly mid Cheshire and Stoke on Sundays unlikely to happen before December 2021 at absolute earliest May or December 2022 more likely IMO. The interim drivers agreement on Sunday working doesn't allow for extra services to be added (it specifies a maximum number of Sundays a driver can have per year in their link) and barely covers the existing work. It wont happen until Sundays are in the working week and they can guarantee staffing. There is no reason from a pathing perspective why it couldn't work though.
 
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agbrs_Jack

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Hourly mid Cheshire and Stoke on Sundays unlikely to happen before December 2021 at absolute earliest May or December 2022 more likely IMO. The interim drivers agreement on Sunday working doesn't allow for extra services to be added (it specifies a maximum number of Sundays a driver can have per year in their link) and barely covers the existing work. It wont happen until Sundays are in the working week and they can guarantee staffing. There is no reason from a pathing perspective why it couldn't work though.
It’s already a disgrace that it’s 3.5 years late.
Stoke - Macc hourly shuttle would use fewer drivers.
Additional XC stops would use zero.

There are paths
The usage warrants it
1tp4h is abysmal
Most nearby stations have an hourly service
Most stations with similar usage nationally have an hourly service
It should be implemented as soon as possible as a priority, in any way possible.
 

Mathew S

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I have never previously come across any suggestion that the WCML between Stoke and Piccadilly via Congleton and Stockport is congested on Sundays. (Weekdays are obviously a different matter, hence the difficulty in running the extra Piccadilly - Stockport - Greenbank service.)
Is there any particular reason why you believe it is congested on that day - additional freight paths, etc. ?
As far as reliability is concerned, according to post #172 the weekday service at Congleton “isn’t bad” in that respect, so at first sight bringing the Sunday service up to the same frequency (hourly rather than six trains per day) should perform similarly.
Congleton itself may not be, but to run a meaningful service you have to go to Piccadilly, which is stupidly congested. I regularly see delays due to service congestion at Picc at 2230.... which says a lot.

More important though, as I also said, is that there simply aren't either the staff or the trains to run the services that are in the timetable now, let alone new ones.
 

Mathew S

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It’s already a disgrace that it’s 3.5 years late.
Stoke - Macc hourly shuttle would use fewer drivers.
Additional XC stops would use zero.

There are paths
The usage warrants it
1tp4h is abysmal
Most nearby stations have an hourly service
Most stations with similar usage nationally have an hourly service
It should be implemented as soon as possible as a priority, in any way possible.
At the expense of what? Which services would you take trains, crew, and paths away from to run it? Because that's what it comes down to, at Northern, especially af weekends.
 
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