One line, one TOC

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David Sinnett

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Whilst sorting out my Stockport Bedford journey whilst EMT were on strike I thought about the fact there is only one TOC north of Bedford on the MML. I know the WCML and ECML has two TOCS from London for a good distance.
Is two TOCS on any stretch of line a good plan, is it common practice and the MML an oddity?
 
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Schnellzug

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Well, the Western Region, east of Bristrol at any rate, is a monopoly, of course, and so's the SW main line east of Basingstoke, and I expect the same is true of most of SouthEastern. And then there's large parts of Wales and Scotland. I think that seperating commuter and local from long-distance operations is an idea that has some merits, since (for example) would Virgin really be interested in the Cumbrian Coast line, or local services around Manchester?
 

HSTEd

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Isn't the only section of the MML with only one TOC Bedford to Long Eaton?
ie. Is there not a Nottingham-Derby XC service (the one with Turbostars?)
 

Andrew Nelson

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Whilst sorting out my Stockport Bedford journey whilst EMT were on strike I thought about the fact there is only one TOC north of Bedford on the MML. I know the WCML and ECML has two TOCS from London for a good distance.
Is two TOCS on any stretch of line a good plan, is it common practice and the MML an oddity?
There's at least three as far as Doncaster, (At least 4 to Peterborough)
3 Doncaster to York, 3 York to Northallerton, 2 Northalleton to Darlington, 3 Darlington to Newcastle,3 Newcastle to Chathill, only 2 Chathill to Drem, and 3 Drem to Edinburgh.
 

jopsuk

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Even where there is more than one TOC per line, they tend not (generally- you can name countless specifics) to provide a competing service. Generally one will run a more limited service- either in terms of stops (EC versus FCC on Peterborough-London- EC doesn't serve most intermediate stations) or in freqeuncy (the c2c services between Liverpool Street and Stratford for example)
 

Failed Unit

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Even where there is more than one TOC per line, they tend not (generally- you can name countless specifics) to provide a competing service. Generally one will run a more limited service- either in terms of stops (EC versus FCC on Peterborough-London- EC doesn't serve most intermediate stations) or in freqeuncy (the c2c services between Liverpool Street and Stratford for example)
That sums it up well. If you live at Newark and want to go to London you are stuffed without east coast. (bad example as people will say go via Nottingham) but it does bring me onto the next point that the problem is bad when you have one TOC per station, there are many examples of these. Most of Scotland would suffer without Scotrail.
 

dvboy

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Even where there is more than one TOC per line, they tend not (generally- you can name countless specifics) to provide a competing service. Generally one will run a more limited service- either in terms of stops (EC versus FCC on Peterborough-London- EC doesn't serve most intermediate stations) or in freqeuncy (the c2c services between Liverpool Street and Stratford for example)
4 TOCs run between Birmingham International and Wolverhampton. Of those, only LM stop at every station, and XC only stop at those two and Birmingham New Street. VT stops additionally at Sandwell & Dudley, AW stops additionally at Smethwick Galton Bridge.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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In the first round of franchises (Opraf-managed) more was thought to be better, so multiple TOCs were generally offered on each main line into London (north of the Thames).
In the second round (SRA-managed) the aim was one-TOC-per-London-terminal, as this was said to optimise capacity.
This was implemented at Paddington (was GW and Thames) and Liverpool St (was Anglia, GE, WAGN), but not at Euston, King's Cross or St Pancras.
The DfT could have merged West Coast and LM in the current round but has evidently chosen not to.
Merging East Coast and FCC would have also been a lot of fun (instead they are merging FCC and Southern).

It also affects the desired closer integration of railway operation.
NR and SWT could only set up their joint operation out of Waterloo because SWT is the only TOC in sight.
Maybe the next such NR/TOC integration will be GW or GA, for similar reasons.
Much harder on the WCML/ECML/MML with multiple TOCs.
 

HSTEd

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King's Cross will effectively be EC and Open Access after the Thameslink Programme runs its course. (Or could be if the remaining Hertford Loop services were put into Moorgate all the time ratehr than just peak times).

Which means you could stuff the Open Access trains into the Suburban platforms and just have EC in the main station.
 

Ivo

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Might I mention the Brighton Main Line here?

Five years ago there were no less than six different TOCs operating on the route, most of which catered for different markets. FGW gave passengers to the west of the route a link to Gatwick, VXC ran long-distance services avoiding London, and GX gave passengers travelling to Gatwick (!) a special express service from London, while SE concentrated on the route east of Redhill and gave it links to Gatwick (and Horsham) to the south and London Bridge to the north. This left only SN and FCC, who for the most part serve different markets on the route, with FCC covering both locals and fast services to London Bridge and SN covering routes diverging away from the line, as well as the Brighton Express. Thus, most of the competition was between SN and FCC - the former of which was operated by the latter's former operator.

Now, two of those no longer serve the route, and a third has been swallowed up by one of the others, and in the future the main competitors are set to merge leaving only the SN/FCC giant against FGW, which only runs Redhill to Gatwick non-stop (and then only hourly) anyway...
 

Harlesden

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King's Cross will effectively be EC and Open Access after the Thameslink Programme runs its course. (Or could be if the remaining Hertford Loop services were put into Moorgate all the time ratehr than just peak times).

Which means you could stuff the Open Access trains into the Suburban platforms and just have EC in the main station.
Hertford Loop services run to Moorgate throughout the day - 20 minutes frequency off-peak - from around 6AM until a little before 10PM.

The rural line between Barnetby and Cleethorpes is served by three TOC's
 

aformeruser

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Had Manchester-Scotland services stayed with Virgin then all services heading for Scotland from Preston would be Virgin.
 

David

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But only one day a week I believe.
Nope... TPE (from Manchester) is once an hour, Northern (from Barton) is two-hourly, EMT (from Newark) is about six times a day to Grimsby and slightly less to Cleethorpes.
[pedant mode]

He's correct, as Northern only serve Barnetby - Cleethorpes on a Saturday. However, it is 3 different TOCS between Cleethorpes/Grimsby - Haborough (next station along from Barnetby) where the Barton line diverges.

[/pedant mode]

:P
 

scrapy

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Isn't the only section of the MML with only one TOC Bedford to Long Eaton?
ie. Is there not a Nottingham-Derby XC service (the one with Turbostars?)
XC also operate on a short stretch of the MML through Leicester
 

Rich_D3167

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Nope... TPE (from Manchester) is once an hour, Northern (from Barton) is two-hourly, EMT (from Newark) is about six times a day to Grimsby and slightly less to Cleethorpes.
Pendant mode: Newark Northgate/Lincoln to Grimsby Town/Cleethorpes is 7 to Grimsby/Cleethorpes & 8 from Grimsby/Cleethorpes Monday - Friday (roughly 2-hourly), 7 each way Saturdays (with one Newark Northgate - Market Rasen) (again, roughly 2-hourly) & 3 each way on Summer Sundays.

As has been said, the Cleethorpes - Barton on Humber Northern Rail services don't call at Barnetby, as they turn off the main line at Habrough Junction on the single line to Ulceby. The only Northern Rail services to call at Barnetby are the Saturdays-only Sheffield to Cleethorpes via Brigg services (3 in each direction).
 

ChiefPlanner

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In Sir Alasdair Morton's brief period at the SSRA , there were some short term and sensibly discounted ideas of having a South London Metro TOC , Gatwick Express and the present "Southern" operation for the longer distance services. (+ Thameslink ! - and a few XC services) - on the London - Brighton corridor -good job that came to nothing I say.
 

Andrew Nelson

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[pedant mode]

He's correct, as Northern only serve Barnetby - Cleethorpes on a Saturday. However, it is 3 different TOCS between Cleethorpes/Grimsby - Haborough (next station along from Barnetby) where the Barton line diverges.

[/pedant mode]

:P
Thankyou.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Nope... TPE (from Manchester) is once an hour, Northern (from Barton) is two-hourly, EMT (from Newark) is about six times a day to Grimsby and slightly less to Cleethorpes.
Wrong I'm afraid.

Northern only do it on Saturdays.
 

Tiny Tim

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As someone has already pointed out in another thread, the only real competition on our railways is during a franchise frenzy. Once a franchise has been determined, the holder is protected from both other TOCs and open access operators. More than one operator on a line doesn't lead to a better service or cheaper fares - that's already been fixed when the franchise was won. Although politicians pretend that there is real competition, the ORR has long since stopped worrying if one operator has a monopoly over large swathes of the network. Open access operators (already restricted from competing with franchised services) were never much competition, and now they're being bought up by the TOCs. Hey presto, zero competition.
 

Failed Unit

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What journey is has the most choice?

I can't think of more than 6 on Manchester - Stockport.
Xc, EMT, transpennie, Virgin, Northern, ATW

Quite a few with 5 I can think of such as Edinburgh - Haymarket (transpennie, Scotrail, virgin, east coast and XC)

The same applies to Glasgow - Motherwell.
 
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