Psychology of Train Frequency

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by bringbackcrouc, 12 May 2019.

  1. bringbackcrouc

    bringbackcrouc Member

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    Hi,

    My family and I frequently disagree about the best way to get from central London to Greenwich. I think we should get the overground (direct, quickest, times feel erratic) but the rest of my family are all about the DLR (every 5 minutes).

    Since Greenwich is on the Thameslink service, we do get the dreaded 20 minute gap! I was just wondering if there was any academic research that explains the impact of erratic train frequencies. I remember London Reconnections doing a piece on the difference between 15/15/15/15 and 10/20/10/20 being noteworthy even though they were both 4 trains an hour.
     
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  3. BluePenguin

    BluePenguin On Moderation

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    Personally, I always go from either Charing Cross or Cannon Street. Thameslink from Blackfriars or London Bridge are good options. Only a small part of the Overground actually goes through zone 1 so getting from central London to Greenwich does not make sense to me.
     
  4. Comstock

    Comstock Member

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    Sorry, living oop North (kind of) I just had to laugh at "dreaded 20 min gap".

    Don't know your born, etc...

    Sorry.
     
  5. John Webb

    John Webb Established Member

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    Is it the feeling that you are 'on your way' rather than hanging around waiting that influences them, perhaps? Or do they prefer the views to be had from the DLR rather than being on the huge viaduct from London Bridge?
     
  6. Kingham West

    Kingham West Member

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    Yes , there is some comprehensive Swiss research , on train frequency , length of journey.
    Very simply clockwork, short gaps are key for short distance , the effect falters , on long Journeys , eg London Newquay .
    The Regional Railways story ( Ian Allen’s), gives an idea of the success , on rural and urban routes 238 % increase on Marches Line , when it went hourly .

    In north London trams and tubes , hit the LNER hard in the 1920.
    The only research into timetables , was by Midline in the late 80s , 47% of passengers did not understand how to to a timetable .
    The internet had been wonderful for Rail .
     
  7. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    It's an interesting subject. But I'd be wary of putting everything on the train frequencies because there are a lot of other things that could influence people going to Greenwich. Off the top of my head, national rail is massively quicker from central London (2nd stop out from London Bridge), but does drop you off in a non-descript residential/business area: I imagine Cutty Sark DLR station would be much more convenient for most visitors. On the other hand, I find DLR trains much less comfortable - that's usually the key factor for me: If I have a choice between DLR and SouthEastern/Thameslink, I'll almost always choose national rail just because of comfort. And although national rail is less frequent on that line, the NR app makes it ridiculously easy to see how many minutes it is till the next train. TfL don't seem (as far as I can tell) to make that information as easy to track down for the DLR. And fares are often different on pay-as-you-go: Depends a bit where you're coming from, but usually on the DLR you'll pay the Sadiq-frozen TfL fares, but on national rail you'll tend to pay the more expensive NR not-frozen fares. All those factors might be just as important as the timetable for many people.
     
  8. Master29

    Master29 Established Member

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    Used both and can`t see any difference as frequency is quite good on both counts.
     
  9. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    There is a concept known as "generalised journey time" which is used to compared the attractiveness of different services. Compared to time spent on the vehicle, time spent waiting is given a weighting (ha ha) so that it counts for more in the total, reflecting the relative unattractiveness of standing around in possibly less comfortable surroundings. The exact values probably depend but a quick search for GJT brings up several results that you might find interesting.

    For Greenwich I'd tend to choose the DLR because of the opportunity to sit at the front, the rollercoaster around Poplar and the tunnel under the Thames. A ride on a scuzzy Networker just doesn't compare. Most adademic analysis probably doesn 't include these factors...
     
  10. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Yes there’s loads of research, the results of which are all in the ‘passenger demand forecasting handbook’ (PDFH) which is an old name for what is effectively a large set of computer models.

    There’s a very coarse rule of thumb which can be used: add half the gap between train frequency to journey time to give you Generalised Journey Time. (The real models are much more complex).

    I don’t understand the 20 minute gap though, the service is a train every ten minutes in the standard off peak hour?
     
  11. squizzler

    squizzler Member

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    A lot of the more technical aspects of transport network designs and frequencies are explored on Pedestrian Observations blog.

    I fully recommend it for those who wish to develop their understanding of transport planning theory, there is also a Patreon page to donate.
     
  12. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    20 minutes if (for whatever reason) you specifically don't want the Thameslink service?
     
  13. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    You have 20 minute gaps at weekends because Thameslink are still operating only one of the intended 2tph Rainham trains. And weekday evenings when SouthEastern drop to 2tph. Thameslink run 2tph but the gaps are uneven: 10/20/10/20.
     
  14. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

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    I often do Euston-Deptford, and the missus much prefers SET/TL from LBG whereas I am quite happy with LBG to Canada Water and then the bus because it's more frequent. I guess it's down to lack of confidence
     
  15. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Ah, I didn’t realise that.
     

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