Overcrowding on North Wales Coast When The Sun Shines This Summer

Llandudno

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According to the new PDF timetables on the TfW website a covid reduced timetable will still be operating this summer (May-Sept) on the north Wales Coast line.

There are some large gaps in the timetable, which could well lead to severe overcrowding on certain trains, unless trains of 6+ coaches are operated, which knowing TfW will be highly unlikely.

Potential pinch points are:

Eastbound back towards Chester and beyond
No train from Colwyn Bay, Abergele, Rhyl & Prestatyn for 2 hours between 1645 and 1845 Mondays to Fridays

The Saturday service between Chester and Llandudno Junction is more or less hourly all day, this could well be an issue with all the caravaners at Abergele, Rhyl and Prestatyn. On normal half hourly summer Saturdays many trains have standing loads, how will they cope with 50% service reductions and more staycation holidaymakers and day trippers.

I think it might take my chances on the A55, or more likely the back roads!
 
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The frequent bus service is a good alternative for holiday day trips, up to four times an hour, stops by Little Orme, I really fancy a walk there. Cheap and slow. I shall not be travelling for a while, waiting until 2022 when things are quieter.
 

Kite159

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Knowing TfW the first train after than 2 hour gap will be a single 150 :lol: Hourly wouldn't be so bad if the trains were longer, but even 3 coach units will be busy at times.

But agreed, some of those trains will be very busy with both day trippers & weekend getaways to the North Welsh Coast. The days of using the Mk3 set on limited stop additional weekend services to cope with the crowding is gone.
 

Llandudno

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The frequent bus service is a good alternative for holiday day trips, up to four times an hour, stops by Little Orme, I really fancy a walk there. Cheap and slow. I shall not be travelling for a while, waiting until 2022 when things are quieter.
Not much use for day trips from Chester, Warrington, Manchester and Liverpool though...!
 

Andyh82

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From Rhyl there are two services quite close behind each other at 1640 & 1655 so if everyone remembers they need to aim for one of those, it might not be too bad and they won’t have to wait for the 1855.

Still pretty poor to have a 2 hour gap at any time of day though

Also has it always been the way that Llandudno has hardly any direct service to Chester and Manchester now or is this a Covid change? Seems to be only every few hours with the last one at 1440, so presumably everyone as to change at Llandudno Junction.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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According to the new PDF timetables on the TfW website a covid reduced timetable will still be operating this summer (May-Sept) on the north Wales Coast line.
There are some large gaps in the timetable, which could well lead to severe overcrowding on certain trains, unless trains of 6+ coaches are operated, which knowing TfW will be highly unlikely.
Added to which the Avanti timetable remains very thin, with just 2 through services to London southbound (early and mid-day) and only 1 northbound (evening).
There are a couple of additional services from Chester, otherwise just a few connecting Crewe-Holyhead workings.
Presumably one problem is that with double Voyagers operating (if they are), there are too few units to operate anything like a full service.
Shrewsbury has no Avanti services as far as I can tell.
Connecting TfW services will therefore be further stretched.
 

frodshamfella

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How about the Liverpool to North Wales direct service, I imagine this should have started by now had we not had Covid19. When can we see this happening now ?
 

Llandudno

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How about the Liverpool to North Wales direct service, I imagine this should have started by now had we not had Covid19. When can we see this happening now ?
The Liverpool to Llandudno through trains are not planned to start until December 2022.

To make matters worse the Chester via Frodsham to Liverpool service is continuing to operate only every 2 hours after the upcoming May timetable change and the last train in both directions is still missing.
 

Bletchleyite

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The Liverpool to Llandudno through trains are not planned to start until December 2022.

To make matters worse the Chester via Frodsham to Liverpool service is continuing to operate only every 2 hours after the upcoming May timetable change and the last train in both directions is still missing.

This is not a major issue because you can just use Merseyrail instead.
 

Starmill

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The service is quite expensive and not very frequent, so it will probably put people off bothering enough to keep numbers down. If you live in Warrington a day out to Llandudno is £25.30 per adult. Or if you're really savvy two adults and two kids is £42.80 on a family railcard, which would come to £72.80 total. Probably not going to be that attractive. Especially because through trains aren't going to be returning this summer judging by the current timetable. That means two changes of train.
 
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It is expensive yes. I'm thinking of doing a Coasts and Peaks Rover which is the only way I'll get along that route - probably two of the four days. But I'm not sure I'd look forward to it if the trains are going to be rammed.
 

Llandudno

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This is not a major issue because you can just use Merseyrail instead.
Unless you want to travel from Liverpool South Parkway or Runcorn to Chester, or travel from Helsby or Frodsham to/From Liverpool

The Halton Curve reopening took years to come to fruition and now TfW are running a half baked service, I wonder if it is something to do with the route operating totally in England...?
 

Bletchleyite

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Unless you want to travel from Liverpool South Parkway or Runcorn to Chester

Go via Liverpool.

or travel from Helsby or Frodsham to/From Liverpool

Go via Chester and Merseyrail.

The Halton Curve reopening took years to come to fruition and now TfW are running a half baked service, I wonder if it is something to do with the route operating totally in England...?

I think it's a very solid "last in, first out" principle, i.e. cut the thing that hasn't been around long, isn't well-used (and likely won't be until it operates through onto the Coast) and has frequent (if slow) alternatives. I'm sure it'll be back.
 

PHILIPE

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Unless you want to travel from Liverpool South Parkway or Runcorn to Chester, or travel from Helsby or Frodsham to/From Liverpool

The Halton Curve reopening took years to come to fruition and now TfW are running a half baked service, I wonder if it is something to do with the route operating totally in England...?

It started as an hourly service but since COVID it has been reduced to two-hourly.

Will the Mk4s be ready by then?

It's been posted elsewhere in the Forum but TFW are hoping to start running the Mark 4s between Shrewsbury and Holyhead (Covid reduced service) in the Summer and then run 3 in each direction per day between Cardiff and Holyhead later in the Summer.
 
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Llandudno

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Go via Liverpool.



Go via Chester and Merseyrail.



I think it's a very solid "last in, first out" principle, i.e. cut the thing that hasn't been around long, isn't well-used (and likely won't be until it operates through onto the Coast) and has frequent (if slow) alternatives. I'm sure it'll be back.
In other words don’t bother, or take the car if you have one...
 

Starmill

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In other words don’t bother, or take the car if you have one...
Most people will be doing that regardless of whether the Halton Curve is running, as the train is so expensive and relatively inconvenient.
 

Llandudno

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Most people will be doing that regardless of whether the Halton Curve is running, as the train is so expensive and relatively inconvenient.
OPR Frodsham to Liverpool £5.70 direct on TfW, seems pretty good value to me, Frodsham to Liverpool via Chester OPR £8.10 not so!
 

Starmill

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OPR Frodsham to Liverpool £5.70 direct on TfW, seems pretty good value to me, Frodsham to Liverpool via Chester OPR £8.10 not so!
Interesting that an Off Peak Day Return from Frodsham to Liverpool via Runcorn is so much cheaper than a Runcorn to Liverpool, although I'm not sure I'd want to be publicising that to widely if it were me.
 

frodshamfella

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This is not a major issue because you can just use Merseyrail instead.

If you are in Chester, less handy for Helsby and Frodsham passengers.

Most people will be doing that regardless of whether the Halton Curve is running, as the train is so expensive and relatively inconvenient.

Not so, its well used. I used to go Acton Bridge to Lime Street, but switched to Frodsham when it started, much cheaper fare.
 

Starmill

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Not so, its well used. I used to go Acton Bridge to Lime Street, but switched to Frodsham when it started, much cheaper fare.
A well used 2 car train every hour. Touristm in North Wales attract rather more than that!
 

Urban-Savage

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Having used one of these trains from Colwyn Bay last Saturday - after the two hour gap in service mid early afternoon I can confirm that the 2 car train that did rock up was indeed carnage - rammed solid and people being left behind beyond Rhyl to Chester. Little evidence of any mask wearing either. Big flaw in the easing of the lockdown seems to be the continued limited train service that cellar isn't fit for purpose now.
 

Llandudno

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Having used one of these trains from Colwyn Bay last Saturday - after the two hour gap in service mid early afternoon I can confirm that the 2 car train that did rock up was indeed carnage - rammed solid and people being left behind beyond Rhyl to Chester. Little evidence of any mask wearing either. Big flaw in the easing of the lockdown seems to be the continued limited train service that cellar isn't fit for purpose now.
Unfortunately Tf(for south)Wales have little idea of passenger flows in the north.
After a late afternoon 2 hour gap in the timetable and then send a 2 car set, when it’s patently obvious that is the most popular time for day trippers to return is ridiculous - wait until the summer!

It’s not fair for station or on board staff to have to handle the displeasure (and I fear abuse) of customers returning from the seaside many of which may have had a few drinks.
 

krus_aragon

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Eastbound back towards Chester and beyond
No train from Colwyn Bay, Abergele, Rhyl & Prestatyn for 2 hours between 1645 and 1845 Mondays to Fridays
That sounds remarkably like the situation eastbound from Bangor a few years back. Two of the three evening departures were non-stop Llandudno Jn to Chester. Passengers for intermediate stops had to change at LLJ for a connecting stopper, a 10 minute connection off the 6pm train, or something closer to 35 off the 4pm train (iirc).

To paraphrase, TfW/ATW have form in this area.
 

Bletchleyite

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That sounds remarkably like the situation eastbound from Bangor a few years back. Two of the three evening departures were non-stop Llandudno Jn to Chester. Passengers for intermediate stops had to change at LLJ for a connecting stopper, a 10 minute connection off the 6pm train, or something closer to 35 off the 4pm train (iirc).

To paraphrase, TfW/ATW have form in this area.

How's their fleet at the moment? I recall that before COVID they only had enough units for a single one on each service, and they have lost the Pacers.
 

PHILIPE

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How's their fleet at the moment? I recall that before COVID they only had enough units for a single one on each service, and they have lost the Pacers.


Having to substitute for 769s far too often and waiting 230s and Mark 4s to enter service with training started.
Possibly Depot work a little slower due to social distancing measures. The Pacers haven't quite been lost yet with 5 out a day.
 

Wilts Wanderer

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Given the scenic nature of the North Wales Coast and the obvious demand for travel when the summer comes around, it’s a pity there isn’t an enterprising charter operator able to provide some extra capacity. I know practicalities make this difficult but if Open Access actually worked as intended (without having to leach revenue via ORCATS raiding to break even) then this is the sort of situation it should be suited to.
 

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