My idea for Cross Country services expansion

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by Robbies, 29 May 2015.

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  1. Robbies

    Robbies Established Member

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    Do you think that it will be possible for Cross Country services to be expanded to bring back services from Brighton and Portsmouth to Reading and the North, plus services from Dover, Eastbourne and Folkstone at all in a few years time once all the major OHLE works have been completed?
     
  2. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Established Member

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    There has already been much very recent discussion on the Forum on the XC routes. Probably not as once withdrawn they don't usually come back.
     
  3. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    No chance. With joined up BR thinking maybe. Those days are long gone.
     
  4. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    Or for that matter services on the northern section of the WCML? I somehow doubt it.
     
  5. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Here's one: http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=114747 but there are many more.

    This subject comes up nearly as often as 442 related fantasy stuff.

    XC's old routes won't be coming back either...
     
  6. adrock1976

    adrock1976 Established Member

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    You never know, one day they might if you stop and think for a moment.

    For example, the BBC brought back Doctor Who, Cadbury's brought back Wispa bars, and Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham, and Croydon brought back trams after they were withdrawn.

    In peace

    Adam
     
  7. Robbies

    Robbies Established Member

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    If XC does not re - implement the service from Brighton or create other services from the south coast in the near future, then I think it is in XC's best interest to provide the the paths for those trains to enable SWT to provide a better Bournemouth - Reading service and then have XC trains just start from Reading as being the most Southern point that they serve.

    To me it is strange that in the next few years that you will have a service that will run from Reading to Shenfiled across London, but there is not the original service that started the idea of having cross London services which was the service from Brighton - Manchester!!

    Also, should Gatwick win the right to have a second runway surely that would mean that the services from Gatwick to the likes of Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Edingburgh should be reinstated?

    I was always told, better to have a plan and an idea in hand than to have something happen to you with no idea of what to do next.
     
  8. 43074

    43074 Established Member

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    Why would they do that? Bournemouth/Southampton/Winchester etc. are an important revenue source for XC. And which stock would SWT use for such a service considering their 158s and 159s are in limited supply anyway.

    The first cross London services ran over the Snow Hill Tunnels from 1866, and Crossrail first appeared in a 1974 London Rail report and has always been intended as a high frequency metro service, subsequently recommended and taken forward after the 1989 Cross London Rail Study, very different to a long distance InterCity service. The XC services first appeared in 1986, a very different concept to Crossrail, Thameslink etc. and more similar to the East Croydon - Milton Keynes service that runs today.

    Not with such limited pathways avaliable on the Brighton Main Line to Gatwick, and you have to remember that back then services from London to Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow etc. were not so frequent or fast as they are today.
     
  9. Robbies

    Robbies Established Member

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    I have to correct you, the first cross London XC service started in 1980 as I travelled on the Brighton - Manchester trains 2 to 3 times a year to Birmingham prior to 1986.
     
  10. 43074

    43074 Established Member

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    Well the point stands that the Snow Hill Tunnels (used by Thameslink) were opened by the London, Chatham & Dover Railway to connect their lines to those of the Metropolitan Widened Lines in 1866; Crossrail is more comparable to that than it is the Cross London InterCity service, which on further research started in May 1979.
     
  11. MCR247

    MCR247 Established Member

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    I don't see why Bournemouth services should be cut just because Brighton can't have any? Childish much?
    Why are you so interested in bringing irrelevent routes into the discussion? How does the existence of Crossrail make the case for XC to Brighton any weaker or stronger?!

    The fact is the paths aren't there and it would be an inefficent use of them, like it or not
     
  12. Robbies

    Robbies Established Member

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    Okay, let's say that Gatwick gets the second runway and you are flying from the Airport, how many times do you want to be changing trains to get to the airport and how many times do you want o be changing trains getting from Gatwick to Nottingham if Gatwick becomes the main UK airport with having the second runway?

    It is not being childish to suggest that XC should not be using paths to Bournemouth if XC services cannot provide services to/from Gatwick/Brighton when you see how many people travel between Reading/Gatwick that have travelled down from Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester such that they have to change train more than once.

    Admittedly someone like yourself only has to change once from Nottingham, which is to change at St Pancras for a Thameslink service to Brighton that stops at Farringdon, London Blackfriars and East Croydon on route or go the quicker route which at St Pancras change to the Underground to get to London Victoria and then change again for either the Gatwick Express or a semi fast service to Brighton that stops at Gatwick.

    Out of interest which route would you take from the above?
     
  13. 43074

    43074 Established Member

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    There are direct trains between Reading and Gatwick anyway, that, coupled to Thameslink with direct services to Peterborough, Cambridge, Bedford, St Pancras etc in a few years time means that there will be few places needing more than one change of train from Gatwick, undermining your entire proposal which is frankly ludicrous at best to begin with.
     
    Last edited: 31 May 2015
  14. MCR247

    MCR247 Established Member

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    Okay, I'll go along with this. If XC ran to Gatwick it'd be 1 change, the same as it is now :P Although I do appreciate your point: airport pax don't want changes
    The lower SWML doesn't have the capacity constraints that the BML has. To me it does look very childish as you seem to be saying that if (I) can't have any, no one else can. What benefit is there to terminating XC at Reading? It doesn't make Brighton services any more beneficial so I don't see any reason why? If anything, surely the Basingstoke - London will have less capacity than Basingstoke - Bournemouth, so if anything XC services to Bournemouth are better than additional Bournemouth - London services?
    Taking price out of the equation (by ignoring GatEx) I would change at StP for Thameslink*. As above, I know that airport passengers don't want changes. However, I don't expect the railway to be run purely for my convenience. I think that XC links to Airports is something that is good and should be provided where possible. However, I don't think it should be XC to Airports above anything else.

    Its interesting that your argument doesn't seem to be the same for the rest of the airports. XC want to divert their 1tph serving Birmingham Intl away from it via Solihull (doesn't provide any extra links) yet that hasn't got a mention even though keeping this service would be a lot easier than bringing XC back to Gatwick. Why no argument that the XC that currently runs via Solihull to go via Coventry? Why not eliminate the change at Piccadilly and run XC to Manchester Airport? Heathrow only has direct services to Paddington. People seem to manage.

    *In reality I probably wouldn't take the train to Gatwick anyway as the people I'd travel with would think that getting any train (changes or not) would be too much hassle :lol:

    If we want to tempt Gatwick passengers onto the train, I think offering 'Airport advances' and things like that would do a much better job
     
  15. Robbies

    Robbies Established Member

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    I agree with your comments and with regards to XC services either via Solihull or Coventry, there should really be at least one service per hour via both if possible, however having worked in Solihull for a few years I would say that there is more of a demand for the service via Coventry to be honest rather than Solihull.

    In the past when the XC services have run via Solihull, I have been the only person getting on the train around 5pm to travel down to Reading.

    I would personally have the XC services where possible go on to any Airports, but this would not just be done for the sake of providing service from the Airports, it would also help in many cases avert people traffic to already overcrowded routes. If this was done though, the services would need better advertisement than they had in the past to tempt people away from using the roads.

    People also manage with the coach service to Heathrow, which in the future once the western link has been built will change to be part of Crossrail, but I know suggestions have already been made to extend XC services termiating at Reading to Heathrow, if possible. Personally, with the existing services from Reading and any Crossrail service that may be going through via Heathrow.

    With regards the XC paths between Bournemouth to Reading, I have long thought that they could be better be used than the currently are being used. Don't get me wrong being someone that for 5 years lived in Bournemouth did find the XC trains useful. But do think that SWT could make better use of the paths, providing a service from Bournemouth via Reading to say Heathrow or Airport Junction station if it is built using class 444's.
     
  16. MCR247

    MCR247 Established Member

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    Should have been clearer, XC want 2tph non-stop Leam- Brum via Solihull instead of the current 1tph. So not even people of Solihulll benefit! [quote[
    I would personally have the XC services where possible go on to any Airports, but this would not just be done for the sake of providing service from the Airports, it would also help in many cases avert people traffic to already overcrowded routes. If this was done though, the services would need better advertisement than they had in the past to tempt people away from using the roads. [/quote]
    How is this service going to avert people from already crowded routes? :?

    So why should XC stop serving Bournemouth? You've yet to give a proper reason
     
  17. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    Forgive me if I've misread the past couple of posts, but I've believed for a long time that XC have wanted both Birmingham-Leamington services via Coventry, and nowt via Solihull?
     
  18. HilversumNS

    HilversumNS Member

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    I was under that impression too.
     
  19. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Indeed, XC would have your arm off to have both via Coventry now.
     
  20. HilversumNS

    HilversumNS Member

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    I'm guessing that there are no suitable free paths between New Street and Coventry that would suit the current XC that goes via Solihull?
     
  21. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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  22. Robbies

    Robbies Established Member

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    How is this service going to avert people from already crowded routes? :?



    So why should XC stop serving Bournemouth? You've yet to give a proper reason[/QUOTE]

    I believe that there is a class 220 stored overnight in Bournemouth, so it would stop the cost of having to do that as SWT could provide a class 444 from their Bournemouth depot or from Northam.

    When I have travelled on any of the class 220/221's from Bournemouth there has not been many people on them until the train has got to Reading and when I have been at Reading with a class 220/221 has arrived from Bournemouth not many people have got off the train. Yes, there has been about 20 or 30 people travelling from Bournemouth to stations north of Reading, but is this enough to keep the service going?

    That having been said, the above checks where done in the Autumn/Winter months and the trains going south do at times seem more packed, especially on a Saturday during the summer especially when events are on in Bournemouth.

    An alternative to SWT taking the XC paths, would be for them to run fast service from Bournemouth to Basingstoke stopping at mains stations such as Brockenhurst, Southampton, Southampton Parkway, Winchester then after stopping at Basingstoke take the place of one of the FGW trains to be a stopping service to Reading from Basingstoke, but still using class 444's as suggested before.

    My understanding is that there is very little if any paths that both the 2 tph can take between Leamington - Birmingham New Street and the local council in Solihull have also complained I believe that they should have a quick service going to New Street, being one of the most major places after Warwick on the route.. However, there is the Chiltern services that stop at Solihull that are also fast services into Birmingham.
     
    Last edited: 31 May 2015
  23. MCR247

    MCR247 Established Member

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    Ah apologies I've been misinformed then :oops:
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    So whilst admitting that pax don't like changes, XC should not run to Bournemouth so that SWT can run to Reading when that line gets electrified? I don't think an XC voyager to Brighton would be 'rammed' so I don't understand?
     
    Last edited: 31 May 2015
  24. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    There are no Voyagers stabled at Bournemouth overnight, but there are 8 (when I checked a year or two back) stabled at Eastleigh that provide all the units that start various morning services from Bournemouth, Southampton, Reading, Winchester and Guildford.
     
  25. JamesRowden

    JamesRowden Established Member

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    I have thought that in the future, when there is more stock/demand/capacity, some Bournemouth/Southampton/Basingstoke Crosscountry services could split/join at Reading to serve Heathrow Airport or Gatwick Airport in addition to Bournemouth/Southampton/Basingstoke. Serving Gatwick would effectively serve Brighton since there will be an 8tph off-peak service level between Gatwick and Brighton post Thameslink upgrade.
     
  26. MCR247

    MCR247 Established Member

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    The reason always said on here why XC won't return to Gatwick is paths
     
  27. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    & never likely to be either.
     
  28. JamesRowden

    JamesRowden Established Member

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    Once Redhill gets its new platform there will be capacity there.
     
  29. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Surely though, the extra capacity at Redhill is already clearly earmarked for the enhanced FGW service? IIRC XC's service to Gatwick/Brighton was a bit of a token gesture, and by no means a regular all day option.

    Has anyone got the final timings immediately before they ceased to hand?

    Is hindsight making these former XC services seem more regular and more important than they really were?

    ISTM that NR and DfT would prefer to see a reliable clock face Brighton to London service through Gatwick, rather than stick a few random XC's into the mix over the course of a day.
     
  30. JamesRowden

    JamesRowden Established Member

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    The extension of the Reading-Redhill service will mean that an additional 2tph will reverse one 1tph less will terminate at Redhill. Therefore the present plans seems to involve one additional platform allowing for one more Gatwick-Redhill-Reigate movement (plus additional flexibility and subsequently reliability). I expect that the new platform should be able to provide five Gatwick-Redhill-Reigate movements (to the reverse of that) per hour. Therefore it seems reasonable to assume that this spare capacity could potentially be used to increase the service between Reigate and Gatwick from 2tph to 4tph (with each additional service requiring two movements).
     
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