Non-passenger train movements delaying passenger trains.

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by infobleep, 12 Nov 2011.

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  1. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Hi there

    I understand there is also more to sometime then it appears from the outside but why do they have to do ESC or any non-passenger movement shortly before a passenger service is due to cross the line? What's more important, delaying a non-passenger service or a passenger service? They talk about passengers delaying trains and they have a point but what about delays but non-passenger services?

    I have two examples recently of this happening. Today I was waiting for a train and it was on time. They even had made the first automated announcement, so I know it was due on time. Then it got past the time it should have left and it hadn't arrived. I then noticed what looked like an ESC movement cutting across the line my train would take to reach my platform. My train left 4 minutes late as a result. This meant it missed it's slot into Gatwick, as it got stuck behind another train; the delay in total becoming 8-9 minutes. In turn this meant I missed my connection to Brighton and I had to eventually got a late running stopping all stations train to Brighton at 11.15, arriving into Brighton at 11.48.

    Two weeks ago I was at another station and I was waiting for a connection going North. There was a engineering train in the sidings. After the train I arrived on had left and I waited for my connecting train, no trains passed through the station heading south. Just before my connecting train north was due to arrive, they decided to move the engineering train south, across the line my train. I even saw my train having to wait. My train was 4 minutes late leaving as result and delayed the train that was due in behind it because my train was only leaving when that train should have arrived.

    Of course I have been delayed at various times stuck behind fright services heading south from Harrow and Wealdstone. It's a shame, they can't be overtaken because the delay usually starts at 2-3 minutes leaving the station and ends up being 10 minutes late as we keep stopping behind the fright train.

    Kind regards
     
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  3. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Ususally a bigger picture to it, maybe the signaller thought that if he/she didnt get the ECS where it needed to be when they did there wouldnt' be a slot for it to make it's next booked working. Same goes for the engineers train, the small delay to the passenger train may have been the lesser of two evils. If the delay was considered to be the signallers fault he would get an O code for it.
     
  4. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    What is an O code?

    I once half joked to my brother-in-law, who works for the railways, that they would run much better if they didn't carry any passengers. He agreed.

    Of course there was no apology for the delay into Gatwick Airport. Why bother apologising if a train is late. It's not the guard or drivers fault. Perhaps train company's should no longer apologise at all when problems occur.

    I guess I was lucky that my train to Brighton was only 5 minutes late in, as it was an FCC and as I found out later on, they were having problems running due to signalling issues at Hendon.
     
  5. HH

    HH Established Member

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    At one time freight trains were very unlikely to get paths in the peak. Now they seem to get more and more, and they run late as often as not. I agree that this is madness, but I reckon there are political reasons for it - the government wants to be seen to be green by encouraging freight services.
     
  6. Oliver

    Oliver Member

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    Er, just to get this straight.....do you think the government shouldn't encourage rail freight? Or is it that the government wants to encourage freight operators to run trains during the day, to demonstrate their green credentials, even though it results in passenger trains being delayed?

    Freight trains don't actually have votes, so I suspect the government is rather more interested in passenger trains running on time.
     
  7. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    Freight companies and their customers have money, and also employ people...
     
  8. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Nothing against fright trains. I think rail fright is to be encourage. However I always thought the general idea was they would allow passenger trains to overtake fright trains where possible as it was of less important if a fright train was delayed than a passenger train.

    May be that isn't the case or may be the possibilities of over taking have been greatly reduced since many sidings and goods yards have closed.
     
  9. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    An O code is basically blaming the signaller if something goes tits up, there are bucket loads of them, if we balls up (insert smartarse answers later....) we get a Q coded delay. As for the freight, in the vast amount of cases you really dont want to stop them, getting a 2000 tonne coal train going from a stand is a damn site worse than keeping it trundling on yellows behind something else.
     
  10. GB

    GB Established Member

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    Its a delay code used for TRUST which is a train schedule monitoring system.

    "OB" and "OC" are the ones the siggies have to watch out for otherwise they can (and are) hauled over the coals if they get too many.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---

    Freight trains are getting longer and the room to recess them to allow passengers to pass is diminishing quite rapidly. Where freights are late they are regulated as best as possible but keep in mind freight is also time sensitive.

    In my (no doubt biased) opinion, right time freight should not be regulated for late running passengers.
     
    Last edited: 12 Nov 2011
  11. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    I totally agree, in most cases a class 4 that gets a good run isn't going to massacre a following service. As for longer freights, it is getting worse and worse for us, it is a nightmare trying to get a 100+ SLU class 6 a path now, there just aren't the loops.
     
  12. HH

    HH Established Member

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    It's the length of the Freights that is causing the problem. As I frequently see them with numerous empty units I have to wonder whether this is a deliberate tactic by the FOCs.
     
  13. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Most container sets are fixed formations normally and if there arent enough boxes to fill it they still go (unless they are DRS services, but thats a different story....)
     
  14. GB

    GB Established Member

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    Indeed, the longest we run is a 28 set and even if it only has 1 box on it will run.

    Once upon a time a standard set was 20-22 wagons, from there it has gone 24, 26, 28 and the odd 30. The current infrastructure was not designed to accommodate such lengths yet both the FOCs and NR continue to push for ever longer sets.:roll:
     
  15. HH

    HH Established Member

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    I'm guessing that the NR logic is that fewer but longer trains are better as less paths are taken, ignoring the problems that longer trains cause.
     
  16. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    I had a real laugh out loud moment there. No, they expect more and more paths than what they already have. In all my years, the un-used freight paths I have been asked to remove I can count on my fingers.
     
  17. GB

    GB Established Member

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    More paths used = more revenue for NR;)
     
  18. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Define used...
     
  19. mallard

    mallard Established Member

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    Looks like another case where the most profitable way to run the railways is opposed to running the most efficient, reliable and useful service.

    Why anyone thinks running public services for profit is a good idea is beyond me...
     
  20. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    Try taking off the glasses and look at most other Countries abroad, where privately operated suburban systems are run quite well and profitably - The Far East, (Singapore/Hong Kong), Brazil (Sao Paulo/Rio de Janeiro) are just a handful that immediately spring to mind.
     
  21. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I don't see the point. Our railway was run well enough before it was flogged off.
     
  22. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    Yes but the issue was always one of where the money for improvements was going to come from. It would never have happened under Labour had the Railways been nationalised, even Bliar states that in his autobiography.
     
  23. O L Leigh

    O L Leigh Established Member

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    There are so many issues tied up together here, including delay attribution.

    Rightly or wrongly every company involved with running the railways is looking at every other company in order to pass the buck along when it comes to delay. Provided it's not the fault of the signaller, NR isn't concerned if they delay services provided that the original reason for the delay lies elsewhere. They will just run them in the order they are booked to go. For example, if an ECS service is late away because of a technical fault Nitwit Rail won't care if it delays a passenger service because they can book the delays down to the TOC. In fact, I have heard down the grapevine that if a signaller interferes with the running order of the trains, any delay left over no matter what the reason goes down to Nitwit Rail. Therefore there is actually pressure on the signallers to do nothing about it.

    However, a lot of the time that you get conflicting moves causing delays at one location is because of the "bigger picture". It may not seem like much if an ECS is held for a moment, but that initial delay is going to have an impact further down the line also and can quickly balloon into astounding proportions.

    O L Leigh
     
  24. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Fair enough, but I can't think of that many improvements that came about anyway (Blair was hopeless). Apart from the West Coast upgrade not a lot really happenned to the railway throughout the whole Blair Government. It just rattled on, expensively.
     
  25. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Sorry that's just not true. Signallers are expected, nay required, to regulate trains to minimise overall delay. In some IECCs, Liverpool Street being a great example, ARS is not that clever and will often do stupid things, unpredictably.
     
  26. Minilad

    Minilad Established Member

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    Any chance you could let the signallers at Wolverhampton and Stafford know about that then please.
     
  27. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Do the railways still run by the old principle, whereby express trains are given priority over stoppers, and stoppers get priority over freight etc ?

    This seems to be at the heart of this thread ?
     
  28. Minilad

    Minilad Established Member

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    No they very definitely do not
     
  29. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Fair enough. I would definately class that as a problem in that case then.
     
  30. O L Leigh

    O L Leigh Established Member

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    Really...? I only mention it because I heard it from a signaller. It also backs up my own experiences.

    As for Liv St's ARS, +1. :-x

    O L Leigh
     
  31. heart-of-wessex

    heart-of-wessex Established Member

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    It could be an ECS that needed to be in service after though, these run under Class 3 headcodes which means Priority ECS, so that it doesn't get held up everywhere and being delayed from the start.

    I'm sure the Brighton Mainline has a few Class 3 services too, especially Hove Sidings/Brighton Lovers Walk to Victoria
     
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