Rail operators call for leisure fares (especially day returns) to increase

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by yorkie, 18 Feb 2019.

  1. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

    Messages:
    6,029
    Joined:
    27 Apr 2011
    What exactly is an inter-city service though? (genuine question)

    Euston - Milton Keynes with Virgin?
    Paddington - Reading with GWR?

    Both operated by what we'd all consider to be inter-city trains but crowded with commuters at certain times of the day. If you banned the standing commuters by making it compulsory reservations then what trains would they travel on? The other trains between Paddington and Reading/Milton Keynes are wedged at peak times. There is no capacity to run additional trains.

    The problem is that our inter-city trains are also used for short distance journeys as well. This isn't unique to Milton Keynes and Reading. There are loads of similar instances across the country. That is the problem and I don't really know how you can balance everything.

    n my view the status-quo is probably the least worst option.
     
  2. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    39,619
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    There are ways that could be handled, e.g. free First Class upgrades.
     
  3. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

    Messages:
    3,693
    Joined:
    1 Aug 2013
    Much more so than in BR days. One of the issues is where, as commonly, separate TOCs were selected for long distance and regional services on a route, the long distance operator sees a significant advantage in grabbing the passengers and their revenue that were previously on the regional operators' trains, in the examples given and elsewhere.

    I recently started out on a 6pm weekday Kings Cross to Leeds service, at a very high Anytime fare, standing. At Stevenage half the passengers got out.
     
  4. squizzler

    squizzler Member

    Messages:
    800
    Joined:
    4 Jan 2017
    Having just discovered there is a thread on today's proposal I am hoping to shift my further discussion there. However to respond to that in progress:

    I suppose in your examples there is the WMT and (eventually) Crossrail as alternatives for those unable to book seats on the IC operator. It is assumed people will be able to book on the fast train up to time of departure, as long as seats remain, so passengers between these stations won't be forced onto slower operators with only longer distance passengers allowed on the IC operator.

    These are called 'hidden disabilities' for a reason.
     
  5. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

    Messages:
    4,685
    Joined:
    1 Sep 2014
    Location:
    here to eternity
    Which is why I'd like to see the pick up only / set down only rules reintroduced for journeys such as Kings Cross to Stevenage (on LNER) and Manchester Picc to Stockport (on Virgin).
     
  6. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

    Messages:
    6,029
    Joined:
    27 Apr 2011
    I was probably one of those passengers alighting at Stevenage

    You raise a good point about the fare box raid carried out by LNER who’ve introduced LNER only fares from Stevenage which undercut the Any Permitted fare set by GTR. The LNER only fares are useless for commuters though as there are no LNER trains from Stevenage to Kings Cross in the morning Peak.

    The Thameslink and Great Northern trains from London to Stevenage are already packed in the rush hour. How would everyone travel if Stevenage passengers couldn’t travel on the LNER trains?
     
  7. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

    Messages:
    6,029
    Joined:
    27 Apr 2011
    WMT trains between Euston and Milton Keynes don’t exactly cart fresh air around. There is a real risk of not everyone being able to travel. In the event of disruption compulsory reservations would have to be abolished and standing would have to happen.

    There are loads of other examples I could’ve used:

    Stoke to Manchester
    Derby to Sheffield
    Newport to Cardiff
    Durham to Newcastle
    Birmingham to Manchester

    If you remove standing from the inter-city trains on these routes you’d Have serious crowding issues on the remaining trains, that’s before we start looking at journey times of frequencies...
     
  8. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    39,619
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    Talking of Euston to MKC, VT carry only some of the passengers southbound and none at all northbound (there is no VTWC service to MKC in the evening peak). During the rest of the day the trains indeed don't carry fresh air, but if you extended them all to 12-car, all day every day, there would be tons of space. Primarily it's only the 4-car sets that are overcrowded off-peak - they just need to stop doing that.

    It isn't MKC-EUS that is a concern to me at all. It's more "up north" where VT is often the only local service, or where there is genuinely inadequate other capacity e.g. 2-car DMUs all over the place.
     
  9. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

    Messages:
    12,766
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    In Britain, it's really unavoidable that intercity trains carry local passengers on some routes. There simply is not enough infrastructure to run the number of local trains necessary to hive them all off long-distance services. Imagine if Virgin Trains barred Coventry <> Birmingham International <> Birmingham passengers. Where would they all go? The long-distance CrossCountry services would presumably also be barred to them? What about the long-distance service from Birmingham International to Wales? This leaves us with just one group of services to carry all of these passengers, a great many of which are already full as they must also serve all of the other intermediate stations, plus carry all of the traffic from Northampton to Birmingham. Would walk-on Rugby to Birmingham passengers be allowed on Virgin Trains in your vision of the future or not?
     
  10. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

    Messages:
    12,766
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    Mostly. Although I suspect that many so-called 'commuters' actually would take the 1620, 1643 or 1843 VT services from London Euston to Milton Keynes C, which of course they are quite entitled to do.

    The overcrowding on the 8 car 1746 Crewe service is very severe because of Milton Keynes C passengers too.
     
  11. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

    Messages:
    12,766
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    You might be able to get away a restriction for boarding at Manchester Picc for Stockport on London Euston bound services, or boarding at London King's Cross for Stevenage. This would not be without difficulty with regards to the provision of actual capacity for these passengers on alternative services, but it would probably be possible.

    What would clearly not be possible, for example, would be restricting Durham passengers from boarding LNER at Newcastle, or restricting Coventry passengers from boarding VT at Birmingham New Street. There is simply not capacity in the alternative services on these routes.
     
  12. BigCj34

    BigCj34 Member

    Messages:
    447
    Joined:
    5 Apr 2016
    What Virgin described would be very suited for an open-access service, though probably impossible to find paths on the WCML. Who knows, they could mimic Izy and sell standing-only tickets! May be possible if HS2 unleashes spare capacity for this.

    As it stands, intercity travelling and commuting is too intertwined to support abolition of non-reserved tickets due to how the network is set up. Eurostar for instance can operate on an airline basis as it was never set up for daily commuters, even buying the cheapest tickets from Lille to London could cost almost £20,000 over the year. Season tickets have never existed.

    Quite a different proposition to pull the rug from a season ticket commuter from Birmingham to London, which takes a similar amount of time.
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    39,619
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    They could really do with u/s on the Crewe services at MKC. They really are too busy and too short to be carrying local passengers. OK, some would know it stops and get on anyway but enough wouldn't.
     
  14. 87015

    87015 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,233
    Joined:
    3 Mar 2006
    Location:
    GEML/WCML/SR
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    39,619
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    Is that current? I thought one of the 1749/1752 was an 8-car so you could have the Crewe as 4 (but no MKC passengers) and that as 12.

    FWIW, if they managed to get everything in the peak to 12 it would spread itself out reasonably, and those who chose to pack in would be making a choice.
     
  16. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

    Messages:
    12,766
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    It's the most up to date version on the website. I thought a big deal was made of the 1749 going to 12 car some time ago? Maybe last May? I can't remember now I'm afraid.

    Years ago the 1746 and 1749 were just one 12 car train. Then they were split to two 8 cars, then the latter became a 12.
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    39,619
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    You are completely correct. I was thinking of the similar 18xx where the 1849 (12 car) split into 2 x 8-car trains.
     
  18. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

    Messages:
    12,766
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    Notably the current 1849 Crewe will become an 1846 Crewe from May and will no longer go via Northampton. However this is getting well off topic!
     
  19. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,580
    Joined:
    3 May 2015
    Except on Fridays when it will remain 1849 via Northampton (for the 1846 VT extra to Preston)
     
  20. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

    Messages:
    4,685
    Joined:
    1 Sep 2014
    Location:
    here to eternity
    I was thinking of the traditional set down only / pick up only points that for whatever reason have become open stops e.g. Stockport / Stevenage. I agree it would not be a good idea to introduce them at places like Durham or say for Virgin services at Wigan where there are not enough alternative services.
     
  21. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    39,619
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    Stockport was never enforced, I used it loads of times in the 1990s when it was pick up/set down only. The reason for it was primarily to avoid waiting for time blocking a platform if the train arrived early northbound. Indeed, I'm not even sure if it was pick up only southbound, it may well not have been.

    VT changed it so they could put on dedicated fares, but the post Pendolino/Voyager timetable has far less slack than the earlier one anyway, so trains don't arrive early at Stockport northbound so the issue doesn't exist anyway.

    Similarly the SWT/SWR u/s calls at Clapham Jn appear not to be enforced and to exist for similar reasons (and it's hard not to work out that a toothpaste-liveried DMU or EMU stopping at Clapham Jn southbound just might be going to Waterloo). The only one that really strictly is that I know of is Watford Junction, which I think is partly a cultural thing (as BR used to do it) and partly revenue related.
     
  22. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

    Messages:
    8,770
    Joined:
    27 Feb 2011
    I think they were talking about the anxiety one might have over whether one could board the train rather than simply whether a disabled person could board it due to space. I appricate some will have anxiety on the amount of space but others will have it on the ability to actually travel.
     
  23. Gerald Fiennes

    Gerald Fiennes Member

    Messages:
    461
    Joined:
    7 Jan 2009
    On most routes s/u trains also have shorter dwell times under the 'rules of the plan', allowing fractionally easier pathing for these trains. Because incremental gains is where it's at on most routes, even fractionally easier paths are worth having....
     

Share This Page