May 2020 timetable changes

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Kite159

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The Blackpool - York services have been around for what felt like ages, although until only recently had they been sped up between Leeds & York as previously they were all stops. They are useful for anybody starting at York wanting to head to Leeds as they start at York so a better chance of a seat.

The York - Scarborough services will be popular as they will start from York so more chance of getting a seat, rather than gambling that there will be seats left on the Liverpool - Scarborough services if & when they tip up. A bit like how TPE in recent years has run an additional shuttle from York to Scarborough to cope with the York - Scarborough flow.
 
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Yea but how many passengers actually board at Bellshill headed for Motherwell or beyond? From my experience the trains from Glasgow tip out plenty at Bellshill but outside peak times pick up very few passengers. Bellshill is served by four trains an hour from Central, dropping to three will surely not be too much of an issue.
Bellshill has fairly decent flows towards Motherwell actually. It’s also a very busy station which serves a LOT of Glasgow commuters. The service reduction will most definitely not be welcomed. The Shotts services are a lot better now which may soften the blow, but this seems like another case of ScotRail reducing direct links to save themselves elsewhere.
 

agbrs_Jack

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In the morning on a Sunday it is congested because you have to plan for a two track railway from Slade Lane to Piccadilly to allow for maintenance - it's not unusual to have to queue. The afternoon is alright though generally.
However, that's irrelevant as the SOT-BPN paths have been approved by Network Rail and have appeared in RTT at least once before being removed. The issue is drivers, not paths.
 

Mariner16

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Blue sky thinking, but as a lot more of the new trains will be on operation then, are they possibly wanting to do what they do with York and have overnight services to the Airport? I notice there's also a departure just before 01:00 to the Airport running from Cleethorpes.
RTT have removed the 2309 Cleethorpes to Manchester Airport, but the 0310 Manchester Piccadilly to Cleethorpes remains
 

Starmill

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Where has this been (authoritatively!) said?
It hasn't, but the need for two Northern services per hour is rather questionable given the large number of others.
As well as the Halifax/Bradford-York link which is hardly insignificant, the service currently provides Church Fenton with its Leeds link.
These aren't new. When the stopping service and the services to Blackpool North were the same service they provided all of these functions.
 

Starmill

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Could TPE 'counter-raid' on certain routes operated by Northern? In and around Manchester/Liverpool for instance? Partially a deterrent to stop any further 'cornering' on their perceived franchise TSR/territory.
They kind of already have - they have increased Manchester services from Gatley and Stalybridge in December, and between Morpeth and Newcastle. In 2018 they began cutting into Northern's revenue by taking Liverpool passengers at Newton-le-Willows and Lea Green also.

They didn't have a great deal of choice in most cases though. Same as how Northern don't when it comes to Scarborough.

Large parts of TPE's business were moved across directly to Northern too. First in 2016 with services to Blackpool, Barrow-in-Furness and Windermere, and then in 2018 with services to Warrington. In the other direction, stopping trains between Manchester and Leeds have been moved to TPE.
 

Starmill

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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.
It is difficult for me to understand why you're (apparently) happy with the idea that hourly services from Stoke-on-Trent to Manchester Monday to Saturday do not cause unacceptable levels of "congestion", that services from Stoke-on-Trent that arrive in Manchester on Sundays at 1029, 1138, 1428, 1730 and 2129 do not cause an unacceptable amount of "congestion", but that if services arrived on Sundays at roughly 1230, 1330, 1530, 1630, 1830, 1930, 2030 and 2230 you would describe those ones as insanity because of the congestion that might be created? Do you know something we don't? Do you have special problems with those hours?

Why exactly are Glossop and Hadfield entitled to half-hourly service on Sundays, Buxton is entitled to a (fairly sparsely used) hourly Sunday service, along with the intermediate stations between Wilmslow and Crewe, but the intermediate stations between Cheadle Hulme and Macclesfield, or Congleton, are not entitled to even a bare bones 2 hourly service?

Take a look at the following departure times from Levenshulme for trains to Manchester on a Sunday, and let me know if you think that any changes in this area would also be "insanity":

0907
1021
1121
1226
1420
1428
1721
2028
2121
2240
2341
2351
 
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Mag_seven

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Glasgow Central to Lanark services are retimed. One per hour is diverted to run direct from Uddingston to Motherwell, but then sits at Wishaw for about 5 minutes.
Does anyone know why?

Also notable is that the services that run direct to Motherwell, skipping Bellshill, leave Motherwell at inconsistent times e.g. M-F during the day:

1007
1108
1206
1308
1406
1510
1606

Whatever happened to the statement "and at the same minutes past each hour" that you used to see in suburban timetables?
 

Ianno87

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Does anyone know why?

Also notable is that the services that run direct to Motherwell, skipping Bellshill, leave Motherwell at inconsistent times e.g. M-F during the day:

1007
1108
1206
1308
1406
1510
1606

Whatever happened to the statement "and at the same minutes past each hour" that you used to see in suburban timetables?
The practicality of timetabling on a busy mixed use two track railway with flat junctions is what.
 

Jamesrob637

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It is difficult for me to understand why you're (apparently) happy with the idea that hourly services from Stoke-on-Trent to Manchester Monday to Saturday do not cause unacceptable levels of "congestion", that services from Stoke-on-Trent that arrive in Manchester on Sundays at 1029, 1138, 1428, 1730 and 2129 do not cause an unacceptable amount of "congestion", but that if services arrived on Sundays at roughly 1230, 1330, 1530, 1630, 1830, 1930, 2030 and 2230 you would describe those ones as insanity because of the congestion that might be created? Do you know something we don't? Do you have special problems with those hours?

Why exactly are Glossop and Hadfield entitled to half-hourly service on Sundays, Buxton is entitled to a (fairly sparsely used) hourly Sunday service, along with the intermediate stations between Wilmslow and Crewe, but the intermediate stations between Cheadle Hulme and Macclesfield, or Congleton, are not entitled to even a bare bones 2 hourly service?

Take a look at the following departure times from Levenshulme for trains to Manchester on a Sunday, and let me know if you think that any changes in this area would also be "insanity":

0907
1021
1121
1226
1420
1428
1721
2028
2121
2240
2341
2351
There's no 12:26 which makes things even more insane. Can we please have more engineering works at Cheadle so that at least an hourly Piccadilly to Stockport shuttle can run in addition to one or two ex-Chesters?!
 

snookertam

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Does anyone know why?

Also notable is that the services that run direct to Motherwell, skipping Bellshill, leave Motherwell at inconsistent times e.g. M-F during the day:

1007
1108
1206
1308
1406
1510
1606

Whatever happened to the statement "and at the same minutes past each hour" that you used to see in suburban timetables?
This was what I was thinking recently as well. This is something that affects people's decision whether or not to use train services. When it comes to suburban services, passengers shouldn't have to repeatedly refer to a timetable to know how long they need to wait for the train they require. That consistency means they don't have to refer back all the time. It's similar on the Cathcart routes where the departures can change by the hour, varying by only a few minutes, but remember people get used to them being at certain times and those couple of minutes can result in people missing the train.

The same point goes for Lanark departures from Glasgow Central - from currently being XX:20 and XX:50 for the entire day, they will be ranging between XX:15 and XX:20, and XX:41 to XX:50. And yet had they continued to all run via Bellshill, they'd stay out the way of the XX:00 Avanti or X-Country departure which they now wait at Wishaw for. Luckily for ScotRail there's still three months to sort it, but right now it looks absolutely shambolic, you'd think they were trying to discourage people from using the train at times.
 

Aictos

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The Blackpool - York services have been around for what felt like ages, although until only recently had they been sped up between Leeds & York as previously they were all stops. They are useful for anybody starting at York wanting to head to Leeds as they start at York so a better chance of a seat.
The York to Blackpool North service has been around since the days of British Rail's Regional Railways minimum as I used the service a few times a year in the 80s to early 90s visiting family and going for a family holiday in Blackpool.
 
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This was what I was thinking recently as well. This is something that affects people's decision whether or not to use train services. When it comes to suburban services, passengers shouldn't have to repeatedly refer to a timetable to know how long they need to wait for the train they require. That consistency means they don't have to refer back all the time. It's similar on the Cathcart routes where the departures can change by the hour, varying by only a few minutes, but remember people get used to them being at certain times and those couple of minutes can result in people missing the train.

The same point goes for Lanark departures from Glasgow Central - from currently being XX:20 and XX:50 for the entire day, they will be ranging between XX:15 and XX:20, and XX:41 to XX:50. And yet had they continued to all run via Bellshill, they'd stay out the way of the XX:00 Avanti or X-Country departure which they now wait at Wishaw for. Luckily for ScotRail there's still three months to sort it, but right now it looks absolutely shambolic, you'd think they were trying to discourage people from using the train at times.
It also disadvantages Bellshill.

Their Glasgow trains all come within 20 minutes of each other, leaving a gap of 40 minutes.

Trains to Glasgow:
1046
1050
1130
1146
1156

I feel whoever is doing the timetable changes haven't looked at it properly, a 3tph service needs to be evenly distributed.
 

Mathew S

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It is difficult for me to understand why you're (apparently) happy with the idea that hourly services from Stoke-on-Trent to Manchester Monday to Saturday do not cause unacceptable levels of "congestion", that services from Stoke-on-Trent that arrive in Manchester on Sundays at 1029, 1138, 1428, 1730 and 2129 do not cause an unacceptable amount of "congestion", but that if services arrived on Sundays at roughly 1230, 1330, 1530, 1630, 1830, 1930, 2030 and 2230 you would describe those ones as insanity because of the congestion that might be created? Do you know something we don't? Do you have special problems with those hours?

Why exactly are Glossop and Hadfield entitled to half-hourly service on Sundays, Buxton is entitled to a (fairly sparsely used) hourly Sunday service, along with the intermediate stations between Wilmslow and Crewe, but the intermediate stations between Cheadle Hulme and Macclesfield, or Congleton, are not entitled to even a bare bones 2 hourly service?

Take a look at the following departure times from Levenshulme for trains to Manchester on a Sunday, and let me know if you think that any changes in this area would also be "insanity":

0907
1021
1121
1226
1420
1428
1721
2028
2121
2240
2341
2351
I mean, they do cause congestion on weekdays (okay, they don't specifically, but the quantum of services overall does). But my bigger objection is that Northern shouldn't be introducing new services when it doesn't have the trains and/or staff to run the ones that already exist.
 

Starmill

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I mean, they do cause congestion on weekdays (okay, they don't specifically, but the quantum of services overall does). But my bigger objection is that Northern shouldn't be introducing new services when it doesn't have the trains and/or staff to run the ones that already exist.
Do they really cause congestion though? It's a pretty weak argument for Stoke-on-Trent to Manchester Piccadilly services given their timings and interactions. If they weren't there any more, little would improve. By contrast if you withdrew trains between Hazel Grove and Preston or between Manchester Victoria and Manchester Airport a lot could change.

As for your second point, how long do you advocate the situation as it stands continuing? We are talking several more years here not a few weeks. Would it not be more equitable to run 2-hourly to Stoke-on-Trent and 2-hourly to Buxton? Hazel Grove and New Mills have ready alternatives, so it's only Disley and stations south of New Mills to Buxton that lose out. But a large number of stations go from an almost unusable service to a 2 hourly one. And it would reduce the overall number of train movements on Sundays too, given your concerns about that.

Of course your real objection is probably more in that you don't use this line on a Sunday (or ever?) and you'd rather your own services were operating reliably.
 

agbrs_Jack

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As far as I've ever been aware, pathing has never been a problem for the Stoke - Congleton - Macc - Manchester (- Preston - Blackpool) hourly Sunday service.
The issue was (and I think still is but with the franchise changing hands no developments at all are happening) about drivers not having to work on Sundays.

The track access has been approved by Network Rail. If the paths caused conflicts I doubt Northern would've submitted them and NR likely wouldn't have approved them.

I struggle to think of another station with around 314,000 pax numbers* that has such an abysmal Sunday service.

*(reduced (for first time in 14yrs) from 348,000 mainly due to strikes and service cuts)
 

Kite159

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I bet any remaining passengers of Stone will be looking forward to the improvements to the Birmingham - Stoke - Crewe services so they don't get skipped so frequently. After all it appeared yesterday there was a 4 hour gap in Stoke bound services with several 2 hour gaps heading towards Stafford.
 

Class 170101

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I bet any remaining passengers of Stone will be looking forward to the improvements to the Birmingham - Stoke - Crewe services so they don't get skipped so frequently. After all it appeared yesterday there was a 4 hour gap in Stoke bound services with several 2 hour gaps heading towards Stafford.
Stone punters presumably will also have to change for London, losing their through service (albeit via Birmingham).
 

Old Yard Dog

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The York to Blackpool North service has been around since the days of British Rail's Regional Railways minimum as I used the service a few times a year in the 80s to early 90s visiting family and going for a family holiday in Blackpool.
In BR days up to the early 1980's, the Copy Pit line (Hebden Bridge - Rose Grove) only used to run on summer Saturdays and was given a small grant each year for its upkeep. The line seemed doomed.

Then, thanks to an unexpected turn of events, regular passenger trains returned to the Copy Pit route in 1984. From 14 May the National & Provincial Building Society (formed by the amalgamation of the Provincial and Burnley building societies) chartered a daily weekday train to transfer staff and internal mail between its main offices at Bradford and Burnley. And then from 1 October a regular advertised passenger service commenced on the ‘Roses Link’.

Burnley Manchester Road station reopened in October 1986.
 

agbrs_Jack

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Skegness with 350,000 pax numbers has 4 arrivals and 4 departures on a Sunday with first train being 14.00 and last train 19.00 that I image is far worse.
That is not a good service at all and Lincolnshire in general don't seem to get very good rail services:

Some points however:
Congleton has a higher population than Skegness
Skegness gets more Sunday departures in the summer period where it increases to 9 each way (still rubbish really but better than 4!)
 

bunnahabhain

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Skegness with 350,000 pax numbers has 4 arrivals and 4 departures on a Sunday with first train being 14.00 and last train 19.00 that I image is far worse.
The vast majority of those passengers are quite heavily loaded in the summer season. For example I did a headcount recently between Boston and Skegness and I got as far as 2.
 

Mathew S

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Do they really cause congestion though? It's a pretty weak argument for Stoke-on-Trent to Manchester Piccadilly services given their timings and interactions. If they weren't there any more, little would improve. By contrast if you withdrew trains between Hazel Grove and Preston or between Manchester Victoria and Manchester Airport a lot could change.
I agree. But that's not what was being advocated. Simply adding another service is pointless, in my opinion, when there aren't the trains and staff to operate the services that are already planned. Of course, if wider changes are made to enable extra services to be added, then that's a different issue.
As for your second point, how long do you advocate the situation as it stands continuing? We are talking several more years here not a few weeks. Would it not be more equitable to run 2-hourly to Stoke-on-Trent and 2-hourly to Buxton? Hazel Grove and New Mills have ready alternatives, so it's only Disley and stations south of New Mills to Buxton that lose out. But a large number of stations go from an almost unusable service to a 2 hourly one. And it would reduce the overall number of train movements on Sundays too, given your concerns about that.
I think the situation has to continue pretty much as is until the December timetable change. I was hoping that wider changes could be made in May, but it seems that's not going to be the case. Come December, well, I think the whole timetable should be up for grabs. My personal view is that there's no reason it shouldn;t be possible - with enough investment in new staff and reliable trains - to run an hourly service to/from every station on a Sunday. In fact, I would argue that should be the bare minimum service required across the network. But that would require big, big changes to be made, and I'm not convinced that the capacity exists within the rail industry at the moment to achieve that.
So I suppose my answer is I don't want to see it continue for any longer than is absolutely necessary BUT that, for now, I don't think there's any realistically achievable alternative.
Of course your real objection is probably more in that you don't use this line on a Sunday (or ever?) and you'd rather your own services were operating reliably.
Actually I rarely travel on a Sunday at all - and if I do it tends to be to London or Glasgow - so I don't really have a personal stake in this at all, other than a desire to see the published timetable, whatever it might be, actually happen in reality.
 

Stathern Jc

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Much of interest on this thread.
Was wondering. Are there "target dates" for the changes to be finalised / published / tickets made available, ahead of 18th May?
Presume we should soon be getting beyond the stage of this being work in progress, and just leaving scope for any fine tuning?
 

swt_passenger

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Much of interest on this thread.
Was wondering. Are there "target dates" for the changes to be finalised / published / tickets made available, ahead of 18th May?
Presume we should soon be getting beyond the stage of this being work in progress, and just leaving scope for any fine tuning?
Broadly speaking, the deadline is supposed to be 12 weeks out, known as T-12. So journey planners should have been showing the finalised timetable by now.
 

Stathern Jc

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Broadly speaking, the deadline is supposed to be 12 weeks out, known as T-12. So journey planners should have been showing the finalised timetable by now.
Thanks
That's about what I'd anticipated.
Had done a timetable enquiry for 25th May on the LNER website this morning and got a "We haven't finalised our timetables" message. Nothing urgent, I can have another look in a week or two.
 

GTR fail

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Personally I would like to know what is happening with the Great northern timetable changes. Is there a total revamp? When will it be published?
 
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