Predictions for how new timetable will cope on May 20th and 21st

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by bringbackcrouc, 29 Apr 2018.

  1. bringbackcrouc

    bringbackcrouc Member

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    When the new timetable comes, what are your predictions?

    Absolute chaos or serene efficient tranquility?
     
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  3. Ih8earlies

    Ih8earlies Member

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    Chaos.
     
  4. 142blue

    142blue Member

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    Chaos as services are amalgamated into longer services thus having higher chance of encountering delays
     
  5. LeeLivery

    LeeLivery Member

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    "We're sorry to announce..." lol. I'd like to be optimistic, but I'd rather be proven wrong than let down.
     
  6. robbeech

    robbeech Established Member

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    There are some noticeable improvements but there are also some significant concerns. I don’t necessarily think it will be chaos but I do think there will be a lot of apologising for any inconvenience caused.
     
  7. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    I heard on BBC Radio 5 this morning, an amazing travel announcement:
    "There will be no Heathrow Connect trains today between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport.
    This is because of a timetable error"
    .
    This might be a harbinger of things to come...

    Actually, NRE says trains resumed mid-morning after over-running engineering work.
     
  8. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    In respect of the Thameslink core which seems to have the highest number of doom and gloom pundits, I think there will be a few hiccups whilst they are getting used to the impact of certain patterns of disruption and learning how the Traffic Management System can best be used to sequence trains and mitigate their knock-on effects through the core. Then, following some adjustments to the timetable, things will improve somewhat. This will probably be repeated in December 2018, May 2019 and December 2019 as the rest of the routes are introduced taking core throughput up to it's full service capacity.
     
  9. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    It depends where you look.

    The timetable is a disaster for East Midlands Trains, who require more mainline sets in daily service to deliver a timetable that's actually slightly slower than the current one.

    It is pretty darn good for Thameslink and Southern, with the elimination of all sorts of awkward and unreliable driver changes, attachments and detachments, routes which conflict at station throats and variable peak-only patterns. The new timetable will be implemented over a couple of weeks in order to move the stock around, with certain services not running in the first few weeks to compensate.

    Northern, quite the opposite, appears to have been planned mostly on the basis of what was possible to meet the requirements in short order and some of the ideas are a little off the wall so it remains to be seen what will happen. It looks like a desperate attempt to get something together after much of their previous (rather good looking) plan was ditched.

    SWR are not changing times as comprehensively as the others but they report that there will be "considerable strengthening of trains" on all days of the week. Presumably this is mostly just shifting things around so that they are most effective now that the new trains are all in service.
     
  10. xotGD

    xotGD Established Member

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    I anticipate confusion at Manchester Oxford Road when the train to Leeds is suddenly heading in the opposite direction.
     
  11. Senex

    Senex Established Member

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    Doesn't it actually look as if—for some of the up trains at least—extra pathing time for the sake of Thameslink is costing EMT more than the benefit obtained from all the money spent on the upgrade to 125-mph running? And that the benefits obtained from the works being done at Market Harborough, Leicester, and Derby won't wholly make good the decelerations?
     
  12. 700007

    700007 Member

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    Depends on the operator. I think TSGN should improve in reliability however the West TfL Rail may go through new hitches with the 345s....
     
  13. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    As has been posted many times, it's not really the Thameslink core which is likely to be the main issue - although that will naturally cause utter chaos on the occasions it does fall over.

    The bigger risk is the effect of petty delays multiplying across the system. Having had some annual leave recently with not much to do because of the rainy weather, I've spent a bit of time putting the May timetable into King's Cross Simsig, which is a pretty accurate representation of reality as far as things go. I'd say there's likely to a be a few wrong signals and/or trains signalled in the wrong order in the early days - in particular the new timetable doesn't use different reporting codes for different stopping patterns (e.g. Hertford loop to Moorgate) which doesn't exactly make life easy for the signallers, for example today something using the Up Slow No2 from Alexandra Palace will get a 2U** reporting number instead of a 2J** to make it stand out. No doubt the new stopping patterns may catch out the odd driver too. However apart from a couple of small glitches the timetable does work reasonably well when run with no delays - albeit of course with certain journeys having a considerably extended journey time compared to today.

    *However*, when run with random relays being introduced the signaller workload increases *very* considerably, and things start to fall apart very rapidly unless there is quite aggressive intervention. Turning short isn't always an option in real life due to crew diagrams, so one suspects running fast to make up time is going to be commonplace. I'd be very worried if my station had only an off-peak half-hourly Thameslink service from May, like many Great Northern stations will (e.g. Peterborough-Horsham), as I think there will be some lengthy unpredictable waits on core platforms and/or getting turfed off when the train runs fast to make up time. I think at times the KX-Ely/Kings Lynn service will see poor performance, although possibly not until such time as the KX-Cambridge/Cambridge North stopping services merges into Thameslink, if of course that ever happens. May sees the Cambridge branch receive only one of the four envisaged Thameslink through services per hour - I think this says everything about the industry's confidence in Thameslink Programme. So much for all the planning and resilience measures certain people on here have talked about in the past...

    Likewise much of the predicted jousting between the 313 services and the Cambridge stopping service won't flare up in May again due to the lack of Thameslink through working - especially as the Cambridge services get very long layovers at King's Cross (off-peak over 25 minutes), therefore there's little operational problem in just letting them run late, no matter how inconvenient this may be for the passengers. I suspect the 313s will generally get priority as they often have shorter turnrounds. When (if?) these services run into Thameslink it will be much more of an issue, as any delay picked up will mean someone else's outbound service is delayed, along with conflicts through key junctions on the southern region, et cetera.

    In that sense I don't really get the phased Thameslink introduction - to me this is the industry saying it has cold feet about the Thameslink Programme's ambitions. Surely it's a bit late for that now after all the investment? We could have just lengthened Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton and kept the service running with 365s, perhaps with a few seats taken out round the doors to provide extra standing room...
     
    Last edited: 29 Apr 2018
  14. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    I wouldn't like to comment in quite those terms but I will say that a deceleration of 10 minutes or more as applies to some making Nottingham or Sheffield to London journeys is a big deal and will not be good for business, or easy to undo.

    Of course, the alternative is that billions of pounds worth of taxpayers' and farepayers' money spent on new depots, new trains, ETCS and the enormous London Bridge rebuild will not be generating the benefits that their business cases relied on.
     
  15. faltskog36abba

    faltskog36abba Member

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    Manchester Piccadilly should be fun and games when commuters turn up and realise there is no longer four express trains to Leeds. Instead there will be two fast and two semi fasts. When the Windsor link opened-Many passengers wishing to travel to Blackpool and Southport still turned up at Victoria in the early 90s expecting direct trains-Only to be told they no longer run-Myself included.
     
  16. IKB

    IKB Member

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    In theory the Thameslink 'Core' should work ok because, even if the ATO and associated systems fail, conventional signalling remains in place as a fallback option. The modest increase in frequency can be supported with traditional four aspect signalling, although not the case when the service ramps up another notch next year.
     
  17. Fisherman80

    Fisherman80 Member

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    Apart from Sundays........Bradford Interchange will be fun when passengers realise there is no longer a through service to Blackpool!
     
  18. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    Whilst I agree with all the above, none of this will of course help if a train sits down somewhere like Farringdon for an hour. It's noticeable that cancellations and delays on GN at present seem to disproportionately involve the class 700s, so evidently things are still in the developing stage with regards to reliability - either due to the trains or associated issues like driver availability. Needless to say all this should have been sorted long in advance rather than being run close to the wire.
     
  19. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    I'm not looking forward to the new GN timetable - this sums it up to me. Historically GN has been pretty reliable and I fear what will happen when delays from south of the river are introduced.
     
  20. 185143

    185143 Established Member

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    I might have to have a wander down to Birchwood and see how my old daily train copes under Northern. Currently a full and standing 6 car 185...
     
  21. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    One could argue we already have trouble from south of the river in the form of Govia / GTR and being part of the Southern franchise. GN reliability noticeably dived upon GTR taking over, and it's never recovered. In fact, I'd say things have gone downhill since WAGN under National Express went. National Express's "London Lines" management really knew how to operate a railway, even if things like station ambience was neglected. GTR really is the pits though.
     
  22. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

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    If so this will be a repeat of when the first stage of HS1 opened for Eurostar, from Swanley down to the Channel Tunnel. After spending the billions, journey times were improved by 15 minutes. Meanwhile, at the same time, check-in times at Waterloo were increased from 15 to 30 minutes due to "security measures" (euphemism for not enough security staff on duty). Result, after all the expenditure - no difference in overall jiourney time.
     
  23. IanXC

    IanXC Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Only effectively an extension of the service available during the Blackpool blockade....
     
  24. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    I wonder if any of the commentators here have even the slightest clue how difficult it has been to put this timetable, particularly the northern & TL timetables, together. Perhaps think about that when using your undoubted experience to criticise others.
     
  25. YorkshireBear

    YorkshireBear Established Member

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    You should know by now members. Of this forum know best.

    The only fault i can give at moment is they are not advertising major changes hard enough at stations.
     
  26. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Changing at Preston is hardly difficult.
     
  27. 87015

    87015 Established Member

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    Maybe, but saying it’s been down well is equally ridiculous. Knock-on TOCs by GTR are still being told to look at changing things to accommodate despite being locked down for crew diagrams and the like. That’s without going back to the T-12 removal largely driven by GTR Tinetable management in the SouthEast (not that GTR have been bidding to timescales for years)
     
  28. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    Given the timetables have been rushed through and seem to contain occasional mistakes, what's the likelihood of the rosters containing errors and a train being cancelled because the driver available doesn't sign the route and one who does has just taken out a service which the available driver could have worked?
     
  29. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    That working is supposed to be a 4 car 156 so the drop in standard class seats shouldn't be all that many, even if there's less standing space and no first class. Although, there is of course the chance of a 150+156 or a 142+156 turning up.
     
  30. Fisherman80

    Fisherman80 Member

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    Your right.......it isn't difficult. But believe me there are going to be an awful lot of angry people! Firstly, Bradford (my home city) will be losing an hourly direct service which we have enjoyed for over 30 years. Secondly....when the train to Blackpool from Bradford Interchange does arrive it has already picked up passengers in Leeds and York.....so getting a seat is a challenge. Finally......if you are going for a day away to Blackpool which thousands of people from West Yorkshire do each year you will be looking at roughly an hour and a half travel time extention.....with a change of train thrown in.
     
  31. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    Indeed, rail is only competitive with the car because of its journey times.
    I don't see anything deterimental in terms of journey times, just that the times have shifted.
    However it is a recipe for disaster, as an East Grinstead - Bedford TL arrives at St Albans at the same time as a STP - Sheffield service passes St Albans.
    Hopefully the EMT gets the priority.
    I just don't like the bunching of departures around the Sheffields.

    I just wish the TL programme could be carried out without shafting the East Midlands
     
    Last edited: 30 Apr 2018

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