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

Djgr

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Bournemouth and Huddersfield do have similar populations, but Huddersfield is actually far better served, with 10tph, compared to Bournemouth's 4tph, who would've guessed that when there are more trains more people would use them!

I'm not sure what trains you're travelling on between Bournemouth and Southampton but they're very different to the ones that I use!
But Bournemouth's trains have twice the carriages of Huddersfield's! How many people are standing on the trains out of Bournemouth at say 11am?
 
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Adsy125

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Looking further at your example, let's look at Huddersfield-Manchester compared to Southampton-Bournemouth. Off Peak Return Manchester-Huddersfield £15.10, 25 miles,within a month. Off Peak Day Return Southampton-B £15.50, 28 miles. From Manchester-Huddersfield you have 6tph, useful. Southampton-Bournemouth, 3tph useful. Quickest journeys are both around 30min.

I'm not sure in what way Huddersfield doesn't have a more useful service. I'm also not arguing that Huddersfield doesn't need longer trains, it clearly does, and that's happening. The only reason Bournemouth gets the services lengths it does is because during the peaks the trains are completely rammed with commuters to London, especially beyond Southampton, whereas 4/6tph from Huddersfield terminate at Manchester.
 
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It won't. But it's a symptom of a longstanding situation where resource, jobs and money are thrown at one part of the country and not at another.
Although I do not for a moment accept your assessment, I make my usual point that if there is any such imbalance, it is the fault of your elected politicians at both national and local level. It is their responsibility to argue for investment in your area's infrastructure.
 

AndrewE

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What "extra shiny stuff"? Class 450s are how old now - 10 years? St Albans uses 319s which are, what, 30-40 years old?
The 319s are 30 to 40 yrs old? We'd never have guessed, as they are giving us a step-change in quality and capacity in the north-west all the same... Funny, that!
Compare that to Huddersfield, which will be getting "extra shiny stuff" pretty soon.
Really? We live in hope... but I don't think anyone is holding their breath! How long is it since the Mk3 trains were supposed to be introduced, or when other Trans Pennine stock was due? We've read about lots of light engines shuttling between York and Scarborough. When are there actually going to be more coaches and seats between Leeds and Manchester?
I look forward to the engine spotters breathlessly telling us daily the locos and number of coaches/seats on services on the route. It's a bit quiet at the moment...
 

Djgr

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Although I do not for a moment accept your assessment, I make my usual point that if there is any such imbalance, it is the fault of your elected politicians at both national and local level. It is their responsibility to argue for investment in your area's infrastructure.
Although I do not for a moment accept your assessment, I make my usual point that if there is any such imbalance, it is the fault of your elected politicians at both national and local level. It is their responsibility to argue for investment in your area's infrastructure.
And I would suggest to you that is incredibly naive and ignores the underlying real power dynamics within the country.
 

Djgr

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Looking further at your example, let's look at Huddersfield-Manchester compared to Southampton-Bournemouth. Off Peak Return Manchester-Huddersfield £15.10, 25 miles,within a month. Off Peak Day Return Southampton-B £15.50, 28 miles. From Manchester-Huddersfield you have 6tph, useful. Southampton-Bournemouth, 3tph useful. Quickest journeys are both around 30min.

I'm not sure in what way Huddersfield doesn't have a more useful service. I'm also not arguing that Huddersfield doesn't need longer trains, it clearly does, and that's happening. The only reason Bournemouth gets the services lengths it does is because during the peaks the trains are completely rammed with commuters to London, especially beyond Southampton, whereas 4/6tph from Huddersfield terminate at Manchester.
The only way in which it doesn't have a more useful service is because there are NO seats (not just in peak) because the trains are TOO short!
 

AndrewE

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We've got some too. The extra capacity they provide is welcome.

We've also got 230s that were pooh-poohed by the North. They're not bad, you know!
I note that you aren't impressed by the quality upgrade (that the 40-yr old trains are giving us!) 230s might be useful (almost any 3-car is better than no 3-car, after all) and I haven't heard anyone say they would be unwelcome on the Wrexham - Bidston or Conwy valley services. They might even provide an increase in capacity to the existing overcrowded 2-car shuttles between Crewe and Chester, but I can't see the "powers-that-be" risking the ridicule that would follow such a use. Connecting the Premier Line to Chester? Never! Similarly, why aren't they proposing to use the 3-car capacity on the Windermere shuttles?
 

Bletchleyite

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Similarly, why aren't they proposing to use the 3-car capacity on the Windermere shuttles?
Because they're using 3-car Class 195s on it. This, like the Lymington branch's 4-car units, is for reasons of operational convenience - the operating pattern is roughly every 3 hours send a unit up from Manchester Airport, then it does a couple of shuttles, then goes back to be replaced by another one. (In the other two hours the unit from the airport does a run to Barrow instead, with a shuttle there in the third hour).

You could cut it back to a shuttle only, but I doubt people would like that. I could see a case for turning it into a tram line and running it down the road to Bowness, but without something like that people probably prefer the through service.

My preference for those routes would be to run a pair of 3-car 195s from Manchester Airport splitting/joining at Lancaster, FWIW.
 

AndrewE

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Because they're using 3-car Class 195s on it. This, like the Lymington branch's 4-car units, is for reasons of operational convenience - the operating pattern is roughly every 3 hours send a unit up from Manchester Airport, then it does a couple of shuttles, then goes back to be replaced by another one. (In the other two hours the unit from the airport does a run to Barrow instead, with a shuttle there in the third hour).

You could cut it back to a shuttle only, but I doubt people would like that. I could see a case for turning it into a tram line and running it down the road to Bowness, but without something like that people probably prefer the through service.

My preference for those routes would be to run a pair of 3-car 195s from Manchester Airport splitting/joining at Lancaster, FWIW.
OK, it (the Windermere's) been a 2-car when I last saw it. I'll look out for it when I go past this week.
 

Djgr

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We know TPE is a mess. We aren't arguing with that.
To be honest I don't think we are really arguing about the Lymington branch, as I have given a reasonable explanation. It would be nice though if the South would throw a few crumbs up to Manchester to sort out P13/14 at Pic.
 

AndrewE

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My preference for those routes would be to run a pair of 3-car 195s from Manchester Airport splitting/joining at Lancaster, FWIW.
Which would be nice... but to refer back to the topic, what chance do you think there is of that sort of resource becoming available for local services in the NW, or of a TOC paying for that sort of rolling stock and capacity?
p.s. just spotted your acknowledgment that the Windermere trains are not 3-cars. I wonder when (if?) that will happen? Always "jam tomorrow"...
If I may say so, it's a real/typical London-centred view. "Of course it's fine... they are 3-cars..." "Ahem, sorry they are only 2-car trains. Never mind, I'm sure you'll be getting some 3-cars one day. It would be nice if they were 2x3-cars."
Dead right, but stop winding us up with hopeless aspirations!
 
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bramling

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Then surely the answer is to move stock around so there is shorter stock based nearby!?
How are you going to do that? If you have an area where 4-car trains are the norm, there’s no simple way of maintaining a different unit. Yes you could do it if you really wanted to, but then you have a non-standard unit, which in the long-run is more problematic.

To turn the argument on its head, does the Glossop line need 3-car units right through the day?
 

bramling

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Yep and I'm sure peak hour commuters into Manchester and Leeds crammed into 2 cars will buy this argument.

As ever, there is always a reason why the South should have it all.
Firstly one could seriously question whether Lymington is “the South” when much of the Northern victimism we read here makes comparisons with the London & south-east area. Not so many miles down the same line one will find 2-car DMUs on Weymouth/Bristol services, grossly overcrowded at times.

Secondly, Lymington is a special case more because it happened to get electrified as a spin-off to a larger scheme. If this wasn’t the case it would almost certainly be served by 2-car DMUs.
 

Djgr

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How are you going to do that? If you have an area where 4-car trains are the norm, there’s no simple way of maintaining a different unit. Yes you could do it if you really wanted to, but then you have a non-standard unit, which in the long-run is more problematic.

To turn the argument on its head, does the Glossop line need 3-car units right through the day?
Well according to Wiki Glossop on its own generates nearly twice the passengers of the two Lymington stations combined. Then we need to add in the intermediate stations plus Hadfield. So the answer is probably yes.

Back of a "fag packet" it looks like the Glossop branch carries 5 times as many passengers as the Lymington branch. I would imagine the vast majority into Piccadilly. And on that basis 3 cars doesn't look over-generous.
 
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big all

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to me the number off coaches is not important
its whats available at the most economical cost
you will often get infill trips that seem bizare or wasteful but because its from down time cost is minimal
simply using the the best stock to comply with loading requirement especially if many miles off empty traveling connected to training costs for non standard stock in the area
it could be cheaper to run an hst to say north berwick rather than a say loco hauled as its an available unit when none other are available
in other words you need the full picture rather than a blinkered possibly one sided veiw ;);)
 

AM9

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... Secondly, Lymington is a special case more because it happened to get electrified as a spin-off to a larger scheme. If this wasn’t the case it would almost certainly be served by 2-car DMUs.
That is the nub of the situation on the Lymington branch, just like the St Albans Abbey, Romford-Upminster and Wickford-Southminster branches. 'Twas a time when sensible decisions that included minor add-ons to major electrification projects despite the low patronage of them. The omission of some others are being felt daily like the Felixstowe branch, the Uckfield line and Marshlink line where passenger levels continue to rise but there seems to be no movement on removing these non-electrified islands.
As far as deliberately running short trains on OLE lines are concerned, the last 2-car 25kV EMUs in UK mainlines were the class 309/1s, 100mph corridored stock introduced in 1962 ,all converted to 4-car by the early '80s and scrapped 2004. As has been stated here elsewhere, there are operational reasons why 2-car OLE powered EMUs are not deployed in the UK.
 

jagardner1984

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And all this plays into the old Tory trick of playing one group of people against another, handily deflecting from their own incompetence. (and its a trick other politicians have used too).

The fact is London Underground is very congested and connectivity between key points - Canary Wharf and the West, Heathrow and the Thameslink corridor, etc etc, is woefully slow and congested. Crossrail is a good strategic investment to give a step change in capacity.

Northern Powerhouse rail is desperately needed to address journey times, capacity, electrification, service length, service speed across the north. There is clear evidence of economic suppression caused by poor infrastructure. Its a good strategic investment to give a step change in capacity.

That one is a good idea does not negate the other ! The reasoning given in the latest leadership campaigns on Northern rail, South West Rail, HS2, is just utterly populist and without logic or proper thought. Wouldn't it be refreshing to hear a politician defending HS2 because of its strategic capacity increase on North/South routes, rather than playing to an audience in Devon and Cornwall saying, HS2 does nothing for you, you are still knocking around in a Pacer, this is outrageous. We need to get past the petty politics of envy and introduce some STRATEGY.

The bus fare issue is a bigger one, and given the absolute decimation of regional bus services, and even sharper fall in usage, a national pricing strategy is surely needed. Something akin to the London £1.50 Hopper fare (though the time limit might need to be extended - many out of London routes lack more than an hourly service). A nationwide scheme to standardise ticketing, support for contactless etc. The fact I can make short journeys in a taxi for less than the bus fare here in Glasgow demonstrates what a spectacular failure bus deregulation has been. Until demand is driven up however (albeit artificially, or through taxation of whatever form), bus services will remain in terminal decline, and the cost of providing them to those with a social need (the elderly etc) will continue to increase.
 

Djgr

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That is the nub of the situation on the Lymington branch, just like the St Albans Abbey, Romford-Upminster and Wickford-Southminster branches. 'Twas a time when sensible decisions that included minor add-ons to major electrification projects despite the low patronage of them. The omission of some others are being felt daily like the Felixstowe branch, the Uckfield line and Marshlink line where passenger levels continue to rise but there seems to be no movement on removing these non-electrified islands.
As far as deliberately running short trains on OLE lines are concerned, the last 2-car 25kV EMUs in UK mainlines were the class 309/1s, 100mph corridored stock introduced in 1962 ,all converted to 4-car by the early '80s and scrapped 2004. As has been stated here elsewhere, there are operational reasons why 2-car OLE powered EMUs are not deployed in the UK.
What would be the theoretical issue in a fleet of 2 car emus that could be joined/split as required to form 4 cars? Does the stock serving the Lymington branch ever leave the branch during its daily diagram?
 

Djgr

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Clearly you are determined to believe what you want to believe, and neither facts nor logic will be allowed to sway you.
So as an example the general public, the regional press and the elected politicians in the North West have all made it absolutely clear that they want Northern to have its franchise removed.

Are their wishes going to be met? And how come a whole region is rended powerless?
 

bramling

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What would be the theoretical issue in a fleet of 2 car emus that could be joined/split as required to form 4 cars? Does the stock serving the Lymington branch ever leave the branch during its daily diagram?
It would be madness to have a fleet with double the number of driving cabs (and therefore wasted passenger space), accessible toilets and the like, just for one branch line, plus all the extra shunting involved.

Do some more electrification in the area like Southampton to Salisbury, and perhaps Totton to Fawley reopened, and it might be possible to introduce a small fleet of shorter units to the area. Could even use some 1970s 313s! Slight problem that DC electrification is currently well out of favour.
 

Bletchleyite

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to me the number off coaches is not important
its whats available at the most economical cost
you will often get infill trips that seem bizare or wasteful but because its from down time cost is minimal
That's even more visible with buses, where a one man and his dog rural route is run using a tri-axle decker, which seems silly until you realise it and its driver are spare between school runs so the marginal cost is next to nothing compared with obtaining a minibus for it.
 

Bletchleyite

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To turn the argument on its head, does the Glossop line need 3-car units right through the day?
That of course almost proves the Lymington argument - even if it doesn't, 3 cars is the minimum length for a UK 25kV EMU, so if you want to use fewer you've got to use diesel, and diesel under the wires is undesirable.

OK, there are 2-car third rail EMUs, but there are not very many of them and they are busy being used to max out train lengths to 10x20m on certain lines which won't take 12.
 

Djgr

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It would be madness to have a fleet with double the number of driving cabs (and therefore wasted passenger space), accessible toilets and the like, just for one branch line, plus all the extra shunting involved.

Do some more electrification in the area like Southampton to Salisbury, and perhaps Totton to Fawley reopened, and it might be possible to introduce a small fleet of shorter units to the area. Could even use some 1970s 313s! Slight problem that DC electrification is currently well out of favour.
Though interestingly the Stourbridge branch seems to operate happily with a (tiny) unit bespoke to the branch and none of the above arguments about small fleet/operational flexibility seem to have been employed.
 

Djgr

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That of course almost proves the Lymington argument - even if it doesn't, 3 cars is the minimum length for a UK 25kV EMU, so if you want to use fewer you've got to use diesel, and diesel under the wires is undesirable.

OK, there are 2-car third rail EMUs, but there are not very many of them and they are busy being used to max out train lengths to 10x20m on certain lines which won't take 12.
I think I rattle against the assumption that the Glossop branch is a quiet rural backwater. I don't think any of the lines coming into Manchester are, although the frequent use of 2 car trains may suggest otherwise (and I was nearly left behind on a SUNDAY morning several years back on a Sheffield Manchester local that was 2 car)
 

Bletchleyite

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I think I rattle against the assumption that the Glossop branch is a quiet rural backwater. I don't think any of the lines coming into Manchester are, although the frequent use of 2 car trains may suggest otherwise (and I was nearly left behind on a SUNDAY morning several years back on a Sheffield Manchester local that was 2 car)
For the record I don't think they should use a 2-car unit on the Glossop branch. It's basically Manchester's Merseyrail, and 3-car units are about right for that, too.

(The FLIRTs will be 4, but they're 4 shorter ones, the units are only very slightly longer)
 

big all

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Though interestingly the Stourbridge branch seems to operate happily with a (tiny) unit bespoke to the branch and none of the above arguments about small fleet/operational flexibility seem to have been employed.
you wont know the additional costs involved you may have perhaps double maintanance costs to ensure reliability
it may cost far more than a traditional train but be a loss leader i simply dont know
you need the full facts to form a correct opinion
 

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