Media picks up on transport disparity between London and "the North"

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by AndrewE, 8 Jun 2019.

  1. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    I was. I knew it was busy from visiting ( mainly weekends and after 9 am arrivals) but had no idea. None. The number of people cramming onto some of those trains is mind boggling.
     
  2. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    Indeed, and I think concepts like the morning peak starting at 0500 are also lost on people.

    It’s still common to read on here of people talking about “the evening commuter train out of Leeds being packed”. I know things can be manic at many of the northern major stations at certain times, but the rush hour simply doesn’t last as long, and in most cases nor does the train stay busy for as long.

    I don’t disagree that something should be done about some of the avoidable northern overcrowding, especially things like TPX, but the idea some have about lavish gold-plating in the SE is completely wide of the mark. Things run on the brink most of the time in many areas, here it only takes a small blockage on a motorway for there to be complete total paralysing gridlock over a wide area for several hours.
     
  3. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    1. DfT aren't agreeing to any new CP6 CAPEX till the spending review so Feb/March 2020ish for that.
    2. Northern and TPE have enough to be getting on with implementing all the other change and aren't covering themselves in glory on that! So DfT in not much of a hurry.
    3. Lots of Northern fares in ex PTE areas are in the 35-45p/mile bracket out of the main city stations but you won't find anything below 50p/mile in L&SE with most being 70p/mile+. The PTE areas didn't get the NSE fares escalator so they are still lagging the historic fares ramping.
     
  4. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    agreed - there is some terrible overcrowding on northern services out of Leeds but the numbers involved and the times those numbers are involved is a fraction of the SE. That doesn't mean money isn't needed to fix these issues. It is.
     
  5. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    Agreed - the solutions to the crowding problems won't be the same across the country either. Often on Northern the solution is as simple as more units/cars as everything else is already in place.
    More electrification will also help improve the TOC economics on many Northern /TPE corridors.
    There are surprising few real pinch points outside TP Upgrade + electrification that need addressing to make a significant impact e.g. Leeds P0 + Picc P15 &16
     
  6. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Correct - and it is bonkers money hasn't been found for proper electrification of TPE and Leeds/Manchester urban networks.
     
  7. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    They were not of relevance to my point which is why I did not quote them.
     
  8. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    That may well be so (though financially it clearly does stack up to keep long formations all day else they wouldn't do it) but it has nothing to do with relative service provision in the North as against the South. 5 coaches of third-rail EMU in the sidings at Bournemouth can't be used to strengthen a TPE service later that day.
     
  9. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    And I don't disagree with that.

    What is also bonkers is that the Chiltern Line is not electrified. Same with Uckfield, a bizarre island of diesel in third-rail land. Windermere, too - possibly one of the cheapest ones to do, and it would avoid hundreds of miles of diesel running under the wires every day. Those examples exist everywhere. Same with the Snow Hill lines in Birmingham.

    Clearly, a rolling national electrification programme is required.
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It isn't. That was precisely my point. You can come up with examples of quiet trains which are longer than needed at that point in their journey because they need to be longer earlier or later in said journey, or because they're minimum length for that area and you don't want a gap in a regular interval timetable, from all over the country.
     
  11. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Start with Bank Northern Line platforms in the evening rush hour. The first thing will strike you is how nobody dies there daily as people walk and stand within about 3" of moving trains because there's simply nowhere else to go. But the main thing is the sheer, sheer volume of people - long trains packed full on a 30 second-2 minute headway.

    The other good place to see it is to walk along the banks of the Thames near Waterloo Bridge and watch the thick traffic jam of them snaking its way across to the City.
     
  12. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    standing still in that station at such a time may result in you being swept away by the tide of humanity! You might well end up in Morden or somewhere!
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    There's also the marketing angle. If you're LM and you run 4-car sets around with standing loads on a Saturday and Sunday to save 50p on the Class 350/2 lease, people won't like you very much. Run longer trains, and you might actually find your custom grows because families can sit together and the likes.

    Down South we recognise that sometimes the train is maxed out and is still full and standing, but running 4-car sets around with standing loads on weekends is not acceptable practice.
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It makes Picc P13/14 at the height of the peak look a bit like Altnabreac, does it not? Nobody shouting at you, either. The dispatcher will no doubt be waffling on with a running commentary, but he will be waffling to himself as the 1000+ people present are just ignoring him as they do every day.

    (Actually, one thing Londoners and commuters are good at is dealing with it, though - you would very rarely get someone diving under your arm to board before you've alighted as has happened to me up North a number of times, and if you did they would almost certainly not be a regular. There is a very clear recognition of the importance of personal space even on those absolutely rammed trains)
     
  15. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    The full sentence changed the context which the little bit you quoted was to be read in, rendering your commenting on it redundant (in the context as a response to my observation).
     
  16. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    I'd go for my local station to Waterloo, chose the right carriage and you can get 190 passengers per coach later on the journey with some passengers only being able to get on the third train (at 18tph)
     
  17. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Exactly. If these things had been underway over the last twenty years, or even done properly recently, there wouldn't be the issue. Having 8 carriage trains across the Pennines for example would solve a lot of problems. Yet still we have such things being stopped and unfinished.

    Whilst I don't disagree with electrification of the diesel islands in the South, for something like trans-pennine, you really would get a greater amount of bang for your buck. And it would help to alleviate, rather than exacerbate the regional disparity.

    My point was that around the South East, they attempt to cater for the peak, which is why you can get a relatively roomy evening train quite often.

    In the North, you're stuck with your 2 or 3 carriage DMU and it's likely to be reasonably busy all day (electrified suburban services in Airdale are more like the South East in that respect as they cater for the peak).
     
  18. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    Actually I'm not sure I'd agree that kind of thing doesn't happen. SWR regularly shorten their metro services to 4-car on weekends, and likewise the DLR Bank-Woolwich route is shortened form 3 cars to 2 cars. In both cases that often results in full and standing trains. I'm not sure why they do that - whether it's to save money, or because units are needed for maintenance and there aren't enough units to run them full strength at weekends or for some other reason. But from a purely passenger passenger perspective, it looks daft and annoying.
     
  19. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Much like those 2 carriage DMU's out of Manchester Victoria on a Saturday evening, whilst Newton Heath is full of units.
     
  20. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    That was similar to a couple of years ago. I was on the end of platform 3 (or 5) at Paddington with LDECRexile as he wanted to see and ride on the class 8xxs. He was similarly gobsmacked as train after train of 8-car 387s left with most seats occupied, and that was around 15:00 hrs. He is no stranger to London rail stations, but was very surprised at how busy Paddington had become with outer-suburban trains departing so frequent and full in what was really still off-peak time.
     
  21. ohgoditsjames

    ohgoditsjames Member

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    Sheffield doesn’t have a single electrified line running through it, it’s the largest city in the country to not have any 25kV wires, criminal.
     
  22. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Peak time in other areas in the South East can be quite an eye opener as well, if you ever get chance to be at Farnborough Main at about 8am and watch a 12 coach train arrive and the number of people which get off it only to be replaced by a similar number of people getting back on who are heading towards London (most of those getting off have come from the previous 4 stations).

    Likewise watch any of the trains arriving into Guildford during the morning peak FROM London where there's 4tph with 10-12 coaches and the sea of people getting off.

    Even off peak there's a significant flow of passengers to/from these stations.

    Neither of those places are major cities (the Borough of Guildford has a population of circa 100,000 whilst Farnborough is about 1/3 of that and has a second station, which is also a sight to behold with regards to the numbers getting off a 3 coach train during term time). Both would likely benefit significantly from investment in "London" in the form of Crossrail 2 and/or Southern Approach to Heathrow, yet would likely see a jump in rail growth to fill the capacity created.

    Dues that mean that we shouldn't invest in the North, certainly not. However lengthening platforms and investing in 6-8 coach trains would probably do it for a bit at a cost of £1bn to £2bn due quite a large area; probably much larger than you'd get by building the Southern Approach to Heathrow which also sits in that price range.
     
  23. Adsy125

    Adsy125 Member

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    There’s always going to be a largest city without electrification, until everything is electrified, unfortunately at the moment it is Sheffield. Sheffield’s problem is location, if it was on a more major through line it would likely be electrified, but it isn’t. The MML really should be electric throughout IMHO, sadly the case is hard to make now it will get Bi-modes.
     
  24. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Agreed! The London commute is very busy but extremely civilised. People know the rules, they queue up to get on, let people off first, no pushing etc. It's all a bit different when the tourists descend at weekends though. Still the worst I ever experienced was at Manchester Victoria when I was trying to get off a packed tram and a load of people insisted on barging their way on first. That sort of thing just doesn't happen in London.
     
  25. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Commuters in the South are known for not taking, yet you get someone barge onto a train or otherwise not follow the rules and they will soon know about it!
     
  26. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Not of course to mention that ALL coaches are quiet coaches on trains arriving in London between about 0700 and 0930 on weekdays, and departing it between about 1630 and 1900. Woe betide anyone who does not comply! :)
     
  27. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Absolutely. When I commute into London I travel on an 8 coach train, all seats taken (if i’m lucky I sometimes get a seat in the rearmost carriage). 3 minutes before there’s another 12 carriage train which is proper full and standing.

    The train’s are like a library. Wow betide anyone making a phone call!
     
  28. Meerkat

    Meerkat Member

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    It’s got quite a bit of electrified tram though eh?
     
  29. ohgoditsjames

    ohgoditsjames Member

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    A tram that literally goes nowhere. It’s nothing like the original tram network that Sheffield once had and it’s nothing like Manchester’s or Nottingham’s.

    What have trams got to with my post? Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow have had the wires for over 50 years, Peterborough, Doncaster, Wakefield, Leeds, York, Darlington, Durham, Newcastle, Edinburgh for over 30 years. Then there’s Sheffield, Nottingham, Derby and Leicester who get shown the finger.

    If this was any other country, a city the size of Sheffield would have been wired up years ago.
     
  30. PeterC

    PeterC Established Member

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    I remember somebody at a busy suburban station somebody pushing on and blocking a guy trying to get off. He got a briefcase against his chest and ended up with his back against the waiting room window.
     

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