Midland Mainline timetable changes May 2018

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by LowLevel, 11 Dec 2017.

  1. MML

    MML Member

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    Will EMT take the opportunity to utilise MK3 stock now stored at Ely to extend HST formations to 8 carriages ?
    Surplus coaches which are not destined for ScotRail could be used to alleviate overcrowding until 2020.
     
  2. MichaelAMW

    MichaelAMW Member

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    Indeed, I agree, In fact, why is the timetable needing to be recast at all? Unless I've missed something in this thread, the prime issue is removing London area stops on EMT services in the peak so why not do just that and otherwise leave the timetable the same, apart perhaps from some padding to allow for those missed stops?
     
  3. AgentSmith

    AgentSmith Member

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    Everyone travelling through, but not to/from, the GTR region with the peak flows (with Luton Airport Parkway connectivity maintained).

    The 2nd track will be 're'-commissioned soon, ahead of the timetable change.
     
  4. AgentSmith

    AgentSmith Member

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    HST formations are already 8 coaches.
     
  5. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    Not the ones coming from Grand Central.
     
  6. louis97

    louis97 Established Member

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    The timetable is being recast to fit around the new Thameslink timetable, of which the first phase begins in May.
     
  7. Senex

    Senex Established Member

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    Exactly. And letting the London commuter timetable dictate the pathing of the long-distance inter-city services seems to me quite the wrong way round. In particular, this seems to be another example of Sheffield getting shafted by DfT, following hard on the heels of Grayling's cancellation of the electrification. And as I wrote above, the minutes to be expensively saved by infrastructure improvements are squandered by additional pathing allowances to suit Thameslink. Or maybe these extra pathing allowances are just to prepare for no upgrade to 125 to the wires south of Bedford so there will be no decelerations when Graying's beloved bi-modes come on the scene.
     
  8. A0wen

    A0wen Established Member

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    I guess the changes to infrastructure can't be made with the existing timetable in place - hence these changes. For example the work at Market Harborough is going to lead to speed restrictions given the nature of the work. The electrification of the slow lines between Kettering & Bedford may also lead to speed restrictions - it also may mean the freights which are currently routed via the slow lines will have to use the fasts and need a path for those.

    It was exactly the same on the WCML during that modernisation - several places saw a degraded service for a period of time until the works were complete.
     
  9. A0wen

    A0wen Established Member

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    Given the use of those commuter services is *much* higher than the Inter City services, it makes perfect sense. The rail network is about moving as many people as possible as efficiently as possible. And to be brutally honest if adding 5 minutes to a Sheffield service allows another 12 car train to leave Bedford for the south then that's going to benefit far more people.
     
  10. MichaelAMW

    MichaelAMW Member

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    And, indeed, benefit those on that Sheffield train if they are more likely to get a seat out of St Pancras in the evening rush hour.
     
  11. A0wen

    A0wen Established Member

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    Quite, rather than having to wait until Bedford to get a seat as they currently do.
     
  12. A0wen

    A0wen Established Member

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    If you mean the second track between Kettering & Corby, you may be right. But there's still quite alot of single track between Kettering and Bedford on the slows - that all needs doing as well and I suspect that might take a bit more than 5 months.

    As for wiring - there's a few bits where masts are in place between Kettering & Corby, but again very little between Bedford and Kettering.
     
  13. 43074

    43074 Established Member

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    The new timetable in some cases is actually slightly faster, which debunks the suggestion that it's to do with allowances for speed restrictions and infrastructure works: where journey times are lengthened it's usually a case of fitting the paths for EMT services in the Midlands around the new Thameslink paths - in some cases it has been possible to amend the paths in the Midlands to match the new paths further South, and in the process protect (or improve) the existing journey times, whilst in other cases it clearly hasn't and pathing time has been used to make the paths fit, extending journey times. The likelihood is that works at Harborough and Derby will be carried out with a completely amended timetable anyway, the same applies for possessions relating to electrification: it's unusual for the long term plan* to reflect this sort of thing, e.g. on Great Western journey times on weekdays have been largely unaffected.

    * The long term plan (LTP) is the timetable which only changes in December or May. Amendments to services for possessions etc are usually carried out under an amended timetable, known as the short term plan (STP).
     
  14. 43074

    43074 Established Member

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    Competitive journey times for Nottingham, Derby or Sheffield are important where demand is more responsive to this sort of thing and the revenue per passenger is much higher than that of commuters using season tickets, who in many cases will have to travel regardless of changes to journey times etc. Given that the entire timetable further south is being recast for the Thameslink project it surely makes more sense to plan TL around East Midlands services than the other way around, particularly as retimings to services further North are more limited than, say, on the Brighton main line where the entire timetable is being recast anyway.
     
  15. asylumxl

    asylumxl Established Member

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    Do you have any statistics to back that statement up?
     
  16. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    Yes I quite agree - given that the 2018 Thameslink timetable has been known about for quite some time and it has been clear that there were significant conflicts between the slow diesel fast line trains and the 700s using the fast lines it's astonishing something wasn't done sooner to sort out the problem... Fundamentally the ongoing use of HSTs (at least, 2+8 ones for sure) is not really compatible with the high-intensity Thameslink timetable, so a fudge is needed. What's more the DfT's idea of how to solve the problem using bi-modes seems to have been to request a train with performance and technical characteristics that don't exist.

    This, with no new (faster!) rolling stock would have resulted in fewer Thameslink services than promised. What was the point of the billions spent on rebuilding London Bridge, and Blackfriars, ATO, Canal Tunnels, etc etc if the benefits were not to be realised because too many of the fast line trains on the MML are too slow?

    However, I agree completely that the compromises on IC services appear pretty significant and I wonder if there is more to come in this regard - this is also not what the Thameslink programme was supposed to deliver.

    It's astonishing that this has been planned for years and nothing done about the EMT rolling stock situation.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2018
  17. Qwerty133

    Qwerty133 Established Member

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    Its basic economics. People aren't going to quit their jobs en masse if the train becomes slower but longer distance passengers with other options for their journey may be more inclined to take the coach or drive if the time differential doesn't make up for the price differential. Or in this particular case it can be simplified further to that people aren't going to stop travelling because journey times are staying the same but may if journey times lengthen.
     
  18. louis97

    louis97 Established Member

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    The second track between Kettering and Corby, plus re-signalling between Kettering North and Manton Junction, is to be commissioned towards the end of next month.
     
  19. asylumxl

    asylumxl Established Member

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    That doesn't answer my question at all - please show me figures which show revenue per passenger is higher for long-distance journeys versus commuters using season tickets.

    ORR's data portal says something quite different.
     
  20. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Perhaps some confusion between revenue per passenger and revenue per journey. Long-distance passengers will pay more per trip but most season ticket holders will contribute more revenue.
     
  21. Envy123

    Envy123 Member

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    Here's my viewpoint on everything.

    Since Bedford's express TL services apparently will only stop at one additional station compared to the slowest EMT services, I think it would be a viable stopgap measure until the Corby section is fully electrified. This is coming from someone who inherently dislikes the seats in the 700s.

    The bigger problem is that eventually, Bedford will lose all direct services to Nottingham, Leicester and Sheffield (please correct me if I'm wrong - I read it as only the Corby EMT services will serve Bedford). A part of me hopes that once HS2 goes up to Sheffield, then maybe these services would be restored due to more available paths. But that's a long way away, and compared to MK and Stevenage, Bedford is really getting a raw deal.
     
  22. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    That doesn't sound too bad for travel between Bedford and London but still doesn't solve the bustitution between Bedford and Wellingborough.
     
  23. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    Whilst I understand the issue with platform capacity at Bedford southbound which is shared with Thameslink terminating services why is the northbound evening peak service affected? The northbound platform at Bedford is used by MML alone. (Its not wired either as I recall).
     
  24. A0wen

    A0wen Established Member

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    Part of the problem is demonstrated by the 17.30 St P - Nottingham service.

    This runs first stop Bedford and is full to standing - it goes from being overcrowded to fairly busy after the Bedford stop.

    So why should people travelling to Leicester or Nottingham have to put up with an overcrowded train for the first 30 mins of their journey, when there are many, many more seats being provided by Thameslink on services to Bedford.

    If Bedford fares charged a premium to use EMT then fine, but they don't - the commuters who are overcrowding the EMT services are to Bedford are getting much cheaper fares - take a look at the price difference for a travelcard from Bedford compared to Wellingborough for example.

    This is the same debate as is going on the thread about WCML stoppers - people in relatively insignificant places (Bedford, Nuneaton, Tamworth) thinking they ought to have Inter City standard services rather than travel on commuter EMUs.
     
  25. Envy123

    Envy123 Member

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    It's more to do with the Inter-City timings being significantly shorter than the commuter timings, rather than the rolling stock itself.

    I'm fine with Stevenage mainly having GTR services, because the semi-fast services are only a few minutes slower than VTEC.

    I'm fine with Milton Keynes mainly having LM services, because there are regular expresses that are close to VTWC timings.

    And if there will be the outlined TL express from Bedford, as outlined in the OP, it wouldn't be much longer than the slowest EMT service anyway.

    But I do have a problem with Tamworth and Nuneaton - as the LM services are significantly slower than the VTWC ones. Until HS2 comes along, these towns will get a raw deal, because I don't think there are spare paths/stock to run LM expresses to these towns.
     
  26. asylumxl

    asylumxl Established Member

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    I have couple of questions regarding your post.

    Firstly, don't both Leicester and Nottingham passengers have the option of services which do not stop at Luton Airport Parkway, Luton or Bedford? For example, would it not make more sense for passengers to Leicester to wait for the 1757 which is first stop Leicester? While it departs later, it only arrives 10 minutes later than the train you mentioned and would not pick up any TL passengers. Currently the EMT long distance trains supplement TL services and provide much needed capacity for the southern end of the MML.

    Secondly, Bedford only has Any Permitted fares while many stations served further north have other options (e.g. Nottingham has via Grantham). While they aren't charged a premium there aren't cheaper, restricted fares available. Even some nearby stations like Milton Keynes have options (Virgin Trains Only etc). I agree Wellingborough does get the shaft, but isn't that down to EMT as the fare setter more than anything? Split ticketing used to make it considerably cheaper but EMT upped the relevant fares to prevent any savings. Captive market, enough said.

    Finally, how do you decide whether a station is deserving of Inter City standard service? It's rather subjective. There are many places both closer and further from London which probably don't require an IC service and yet see IC trains stopping. Could this not be due to a lack of capacity to operate local trains or franchise commitments? GWR IC services are a good example of the former.
     
  27. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    In the current timetable no weekday service from St Pancras has a first stop north of Bedford between 1657 and 1757 and no Nottingham service does so for two hours between 1615 and 1815. This means that the Nottingham trains in particular are slower when most people want to use them. Thameslink provides a massive boost in capacity to Bedford and the provision of fast Thameslink services, and later fast Corby trains, mean that if lack of capacity or journey time on Thameslink is a reason for EMT trains carrying shorter distance commuters today then it won't be for much longer.
     
  28. asylumxl

    asylumxl Established Member

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    But A0wen is talking about his views on the current situation, not the future (May 2018 or 2020) timetable.
     
  29. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    So a train leaves St Pancras at 1730 full and standing. So do trains leaving every other London Terminal at that time.

    The Thameslink services that you want Bedford commuters to use don't just cart fresh air around, they are fully wedged too.

    I agree about price of fares from Wellingborough - they're horrendous and really need to be reduced.

    If there are 'fast' Thameslink services that replace the lost EMT services at Bedford then that would be reasonably acceptable. What absolutely isn't acceptable is requiring passengers from Leagrave, Harlington, Ampthill, Bedford or passengers from the Marston Vale Line travelling to the north having to use a rail replacement bus service between Bedford and Wellingborough.
     
  30. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Your point in #146 was also about the current timetable so I have quoted the current times in the first part of my post to indicate it's not as clear-cut as you suggest. And then got back on topic by pointing out that this changes in May 2018!
     

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