Reading-London slow trains service pattern

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by nickw1, 10 Aug 2015.

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  1. nickw1

    nickw1 Member

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    Can't remember if this has come up before, apologies if so.

    Over the weekend I was staying with someone in Maidenhead and travelling into London regularly. In doing so I observed a few issues with the service (which I also noticed some time ago when I travelled Reading to Ealing Broadway)

    Firstly, why are the smaller stops (Taplow/Burnham and Langley/Iver) alternated between trains? Would it not make more sense for two of the four trains (probably the Oxford ones, to speed up times into London) to miss out all four stops, and the two others (the Reading terminators) stop at all four? This would improve journey times between say Maidenhead and London or Reading and Ealing Broadway.

    Secondly the trains get quite full after Slough (standing in some cases), could they introduce additional Slough-London locals?

    Thirdly the Sunday morning train seemed to have a very quick turnround (3 mins) at Paddington!

    I'm sure there are reasons, just curious!
     
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  3. Mike395

    Mike395 Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    The answer to the first two parts of your query is likely to be the same - pathing. Basically, it's likely that the two trains in each hour are designed to fit in specific 'paths' that take the same total amount of time. Put simply - planning to run one fast and one all-stations is likely to mean that you're then having to reshuffle a lot more than just those trains! Extra Slough-London locals are unlikely to fit within other existing trains either (plus the issue around resourcing these)

    Re: the quick turnaround, I agree that 3 minutes is quite tight - but the inbound working might be heavily 'padded' (so it usually arrives before it's booked time) or it may simply be that the outbound path is available at that point on a Sunday.

    (There are also several other reasons why this might be the case in all three sections of your query - but these are the most common I think!) :)
     
  4. Hornet

    Hornet Member

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    Burnham a smaller stop? Really?

    Entrance/Exit figures for 2013/14 (from ORR Docs)

    Burnham:- 1,226,532
    Taplow:- 217,438
    Langley:- 710,440
    Iver:- 193,540

    Burnham is the 434 busiest station on the network according to those figures behind Hounslow at 433rd busiest and beating Swanley (435) and New Barnet at 436.

    Burnham is the Primary Station for Slough Trading Estate and is close to several large housing estates (Cippenham, Priory, Britwell).

    Don't dis the Station of the village of my birth!:lol:
     
  5. gazthomas

    gazthomas Established Member

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    In my experience Burnham is very busy, especially at the peaks, with the aforementioned Slough Trading Estate and many large housing estates being the key drivers
     
  6. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    In practice, there aren't any Paddington to Slough stopping trains because they were effectively diverted to Heathrow when Heathrow Connect was introduced. Before then, the Paddington to Oxford train was quicker than the Paddington to Reading train. Once the extra stops had to be introduced at Langley and Iver, the timetable was evened out.

    The timetable on a Sunday has to fit in with a two track railway over some part of the route between Reading and Airport Junction.
     
  7. nickw1

    nickw1 Member

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    Sorry! ;) It was actually based on the objective measure of which stations only have two an hour, that's what I meant by smallest.

    Anyway thanks for the replies, TBH I got the impression that the slow lines were fairly self contained and isolated from the intercity and longer-distance services so there would be room for manoeuvre, but this appears not to be the case. Idea I thought that "might work" was a 10-minute interval service on the slow lines, e.g. xx00 principal stations to Reading, xx10 Ealing, Southall and all stations to Reading, and xx20 Ealing, Southall and all to Slough.

    I guess Crossrail will render all this irrelevant before long though!

    Incidentally how do they fit in those extra Henley, Bourne End, and Oxford (fast-ish to Reading then slow) services in the rush-hour? Do they use the slow or fast lines?
     
    Last edited: 10 Aug 2015
  8. MarlowDonkey

    MarlowDonkey Member

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    Actually it won't. You think the Maidenhead service is slow outside peaks, which it is, not least because it calls at West Drayton, Hayes and sometimes Southall. Just think what will happen if the service is all stations Crossrail.

    I think the plans are that FGW will continue to run the semi fast or limited stop service. From Maidenhead, I would expect it always to be faster to join or leave Crossrail at Paddington, or at a pinch Ealing Broadway if it's a same platform interchange.
     
  9. Rich McLean

    Rich McLean Established Member

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    The Paddington to the Branches direct services take the path of an Oxford Stopper, where the Oxford stopper will run fast to Maidenhead or Twyford, then pick up the normal path on the Relief line (RL), so only an extra path on the fasts is required up until a certain point.

    Example is 1718 to Oxford runs fast to Maidenhead Platform 3, crossing over to the RL at Maidenhead East then picks up the normal calling pattern. The 1722 to Hereford follows this, but is fast to Reading, and overtakes the 1718 just before Twyford. There are similar instances also
     
  10. nickw1

    nickw1 Member

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    Wasn't there something on here the other week which said this i.e. the Oxford service will still run (non-Crossrail) and provide the faster service? ISTR the stops would be Ealing, H+H, Slough, Maidenhead and Twyford - which is confirmed by a Crossrail map at the works at Farringdon where the above stations have "BR" symbols next to them. Not sure where it would go (fast or slow lines) mind - maybe fast lines to Slough and then slow?

    Somewhat OT: if Newbury (and intermediate stations) are to get an enhanced service too might one speculate these will actually be Oxford/Newbury splitters?
     
    Last edited: 10 Aug 2015
  11. Hornet

    Hornet Member

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    Proposed off peak Crossrail times from Maidenhead are 37 mins to Padd and 48 mins to Liverpool Street. (Peak Padd services will be quicker).

    http://www.crossrail.co.uk/route/western-section/maidenhead-station
     
  12. hassaanhc

    hassaanhc Established Member

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    At least those stations have a proper 30 minute interval. At Southall it is only 2 of the 4 FGW trains that call during off-peak (the peaks have all 4 call). As the Heathrow Connect is just minutes before the 2 off peak FGW that call, it leaves two trains in 7 minutes and nothing for 23 minutes. At least the train after 23 minutes is the 5-car Heathrow Connect, almost always empty (especially in the front 2-3).

    Towards London at Southall, Mon-Sat:
    HC xx06/xx36.
    FGW xx13/xx43.
    (The 2tph that don't call pass at about 29/59 minutes past).

    The 13-29 and 43-59 gaps is where the 2tph Greenford fits in further down the line.
     
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