Question regarding Hertford Loop timetable improvements

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Aictos

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While having a look at the last forum questions and answers, it's now known why the existing timetable between Stevenage and Hertford isn't going to be improved greatly any time soon.

Question number 8

From Martin Reynolds

Q

Around 15 to 20 years ago, the service beyond Hertford North to Watton at Stone & Stevenage was provided by fast trains to Peterborough, running non stop from Finsbury Park to Hertford North. Whilst appreciating the current service frequency may preclude a reintroduction of this, why not reinstate at least an all day semi-fast service for this section of line, similar to that which operates during the peak period? This would offer faster journey times from Hertford North & Watton at Stone to London and back, rather than the current slow trundle calling at every station off peak.

A

Thanks for this query,

The timetable has evolved to serve the exploit the journey time benefits to/ from London via WGC together with the associated flexible line capacities of a(mainly) four track railway .

As you say. the Fracnhise commitment to maintain a stopping service via Hertford North now locks the opportunity for any faster services to be permanently diverted, although this is a practice with is used in times of disruption by thinning the quantum of train paths.

All elements of the timetable will be reassessed as part of new Franchise opportunities, but I suspect that the line capacity issues will continue to prevail

Thanks again for your input
 
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Class377/5

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When when the franchise was let the expanded Thameslink services to the GN were expected in 2015. The problem is that date has gotten later and later, mening over crowding is just increasing more and more.

As part of the bidding process, bidders are able to suggest calling patterns and services. Hertford Loop will hopefully get a better stopping service but this will kill of the chance for fast trains without intrastructure works.
 

jopsuk

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Isn't part of the Hertford-Stevenage section going to be (for operational purposes) single track for a while whilst one line is used as a test track?
 

Class377/5

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Isn't part of the Hertford-Stevenage section going to be (for operational purposes) single track for a while whilst one line is used as a test track?

Believe that's for overnight.
 

Aictos

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Believe that's for overnight.

And during the day as well during the off peak which I believe is between 10:39 and 16:09 northbound / 09:33 and 16:33 southbound.

Bi-directional signalling is going in to allow this which considering the existing service is only a hourly service is easily catered for.

The main problem is the very long signal sections between Stevenage and Hertford but also between Crews Hill and Hertford, sort out the signalling and any service improvement is a lot easier to do.
 

stut

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For Hertford, maybe. I can't see the commuters from north of Hitchin (of which I am one) being overly enamoured with extended journey times.
 

Aictos

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For Hertford, maybe. I can't see the commuters from north of Hitchin (of which I am one) being overly enamoured with extended journey times.

I hope you did read the quote I supplied as it quite clearly stated that services used to run fast between Finsbury Park and Hertford North then all stations to Peterborough. I know the 0325 Peterborough to Kings Cross takes about 34 minutes between Stevenage and Finsbury Park however if it's timed to depart ahead of a stopper and was non stop from Hertford to Finsbury Park then there's no real reason why it couldn't be done with much better times.

Yes I can see your point but it would ideally be a hourly basis alternating between Cambridge/Peterborough OR wait for the Hitchin Flyover to be done then extend a existing Hertford though to Letchworth.

That said, I wonder if a hourly Royston terminator via Hertford would be attractive?
 

stut

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Thing is, when you're in the outer reaches of commuterland, you're pretty much on the edge of what is an acceptable commuting time. An extra 10 minutes may not sound like much, but can easily mean the difference between a bearable journey to work, and an unsustainable grind (particularly when you add in the often long journey to the station, too).

There's also a question of capacity - currently, the 8-car semi-fasts tend to be full and standing from Hitchin, and certainly from Stevenage. Unless HFN is going to be upgraded to take 12 cars, there's not that many going to fit on.

The ex-Royston semi-fasts provide much-needed capacity from Letchworth and Hitchin.

Unless, of course, you're talking about using this route to add additional capacity. But then, it's already pretty restricted at Finsbury Park. Maybe once Thameslink 2000 is finally up and running...
 

cle

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I think the skip stopping they use now is the best solution for the Hertford Loop. Peak stopping patterns are quite random, but enable ok journey times and the perception of a quicker journey (passing stations psychologically has this effect).

If Harringay and Hornsey are not going to be served by Hertford trains due to the new lines not having platforms there, then that'll chops off a few mins always.
 

Class377/5

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I think the skip stopping they use now is the best solution for the Hertford Loop. Peak stopping patterns are quite random, but enable ok journey times and the perception of a quicker journey (passing stations psychologically has this effect).

If Harringay and Hornsey are not going to be served by Hertford trains due to the new lines not having platforms there, then that'll chops off a few mins always.

Theres no plans to not serve Harringay and Hornsey in the future.
 
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