Recent Transpennine Express problems: What's going on?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by CICERO55, 25 Aug 2019.

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  1. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    Signalling issues earlier today have led to multiple delays and cancellations. Just been announced that the delayed 1648 Huddersfield to Leeds stopper will now run fast to Leeds when it eventually materialises... fair enough, this will get it back for the next Up service but surely there's a better way of handling this that doesn't inconvenience intermediate pax, who are treated as an inconvenience by TPE. Surely dropping some (but not all) stops and passing those missed ones onto any of the multitude of fast Leeds services that already exist.

    Northern aren't perfect but I'd rather they ran the stopper. TPE can have their precious intercity services at metro frequencies once the route upgrade is done.
     
  2. northernchris

    northernchris Member

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    I was at Huddersfield earlier and ended up travelling on the delayed 1648 back to Leeds. It left at 1704 and ended up passing through Cottingley at it's scheduled time. Perhaps the decision to run direct to Leeds was taken a bit too prematurely
     
  3. tpjm

    tpjm Member

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    I live on this line, and I for one would prefer TPE to run the service. The few Northern services that do run are frequently HEAVILY delayed and use rolling stock from before I was born. Looking at the Dec '19 TT, certainly on the HUD - MAN side, the service provision gets much better, especially at peak.
     
  4. northernchris

    northernchris Member

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    The December timetable change does look a lot better and a little more robust, so hopefully a lot of the current issues will at least improve. In fairness to Northern though, especially what they run around Huddersfield, most of their delays are due to waiting for late TPE services
     
  5. tpjm

    tpjm Member

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    The services I was referring to are nearly always delayed due to late units off the depot so not something that can be blamed on any other TOC!
     
  6. Tim_UK

    Tim_UK Member

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    I quite like my turn up and go to Manchester or Leeds, from Huddersfield. If one train is late, often the one in front is late too. As far as I'm concerned, its a metro service to Manchester. And the service is generally amazing. I go out for meals, meet work people, find nice pubs and meet friends in Manchester and Leeds. Sometimes I drive, usually I go on the train.

    I've friends who train to work each day in Manchester and Leeds. It works.

    And to be honest, if I end up standing for half an hour, its not the end of the world. Usually happens like every 6th trip. Peak time commuters report standing maybe once every 2 weeks. (so 1 in 10 journeys)

    Looking forward to longer trains and whatever upgrades come along. I'm pretty sure the new trains will fill up.

    Also, now I'm used to it, Victoria is way more useful that Piccadilly. Not often I ride around to Picc. And its the airport trains that are busier than the Liverpool trains.

    On a weekend, the northern stoppers were always rammed. Not ale trail, even first thing. TPE with 185 a welcome boost to these.

    I think they had a rubbish week last week, but swings and round abouts.
     
  7. mpthomson

    mpthomson Member

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    The delays have in the vast majority of cases already occurred by the time the services get to York, they don’t have any effect on the journey time between Scarborough and York except on the rare occasions where there’s an issue between the two.
     
  8. tpjm

    tpjm Member

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    What you also find is that a RT departure from SCA doesn’t equal a RT departure from York. There’s a particularly annoying XC service that always gets slotted into Platform 3 in front of the on-time TPE to LIV, which frequently pushes delay onto it, making it miss the path through Leeds and pick up more delay there. Then it gets held at Ravensthorpe for the Northern service to Castleford, and causes my stopper off HUD to get regulated!
     
  9. Jamesrob637

    Jamesrob637 Member

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    TPE delay repay is useless. I've tried to claim delay repay as I was delayed an hour a couple of weeks ago, and they came back to me saying that I arrived only eleven minutes late! I know how much I was delayed by, so why they're trying to contest this I really don't know! Needless to say I re-submitted my claim. Let's hope part 2 goes smoother and I get the thirty quid back!
     
  10. darloscott

    darloscott Member

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    They do sometimes shoot themselves in the foot though - I've had it before where the Airport-Middlesbrough turns up 4 or 5 min late at Huddersfield and they send the stopper in front of it (booked 3 min in front) which then sits at Dewsbury for 9 mins blocking the line while the Middlesbrough is also due to call there, which then results in that being 20+ min late (often getting turned at Thornaby) and knocking the Scarborough one behind to around 10 min late also.
     
  11. MML

    MML Member

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    Travelled on some TPE Class 185 services recently and I was surprised how slow they were running. The units themselves have a maximum speed of 100mph, but on occasions the speed was as low as 20mph and often no more than 60mph.
    I travelled between Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport and although the previous service had departed well in advance of our departure, we trundled along at almost cycling speed. Any ideas why it would be so slow ?

    And even on the non-stop section between Sheffield and Stockport, at no point did the train get above 60mph. Are there significant speed restrictions which prevent these excellent units reaching the top speeds of which they are capable ?
    It seems a real missed opportunity not to be taking advantage of high speeds on these routes.
     
  12. northernchris

    northernchris Member

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    There does seem to be a lack of consistency of how late trains are handled with some excellent regulation and some bizarre choices which seem to increase delays. The Scarborough service seems to be particularly problematic, it's rarely on time by Leeds which then causes other services to run late
     
  13. DC2001

    DC2001 Member

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    It's not unusual for a train to go very slow between Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport as they often get 'stuck behind' a stopping service or skip-stopping service which results in delays to services behind. Sometimes you get a train stopping at Mauldeth Road then the following one stopping at Burnage and the following stopping at East Didsbury so each train has to wait for the one in front to call before it can stop at it's station which does make it rather annoying when travelling on a so called express service.
     
  14. js1000

    js1000 Member

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    Why I've argued for a while now about reduced "padding" time against delays for TPE trains at Manchester Airport in favour of calls at selected intermediate stops between Piccadilly and the Airport which would act as the "padding" time. The platform capacity issue at Manchester Airport is only going to get worse once the new TPE 5-car sets are in service so some creative solutions will be needed to ensure platform space is vacated so TPE/Northern services are not having to be curtailed at Piccadilly etc.

    I guess it's whether both TftN and TfGM can exert some pressure as Northern and TPE would have to come to some sort of understanding. Northern abolish the hourly all-station stopping service that so often holds up delayed TPE services to/from the Airport and replace it with a semi-fast skip-stopping service. In return for the removal of the stopping service and the greater flexibility this brings to TPE, they offer their services for select station calls between the Airport / Piccadilly and Northern collect the revenue - a quid pro quo arrangement.

    Skip-stopping was introduced between Piccadilly and the Airport last May and TPE already serve Heald Green & East Didsbury as well as occasional calls at Gatley, Burnage and Mauldeth Road so not as if a basis does not exist to build on. It feels like we are gradually moving this way on this portion of line to maximise capacity.
     
  15. Basher

    Basher Member

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    I was in York on Friday and TPE were running class 68 on the Scarborough route with the new coach stock.
     
  16. DC2001

    DC2001 Member

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    Personally I also think that TPE should 'skip-stop' on the airport line. I do however think that they should keep the all-stops hourly service as it allows travel between stations on the Airport line - I have certainly seen people travelling a couple of stops along the line or even just Gatley to East Didsbury. I think that the all-stopper should be sent towards the Airport straight after a service calling at just Heald Green and straight after one just calling at Mauldeth Road towards Piccadilly.
    Currently the only station which TPE never call at is Heald Green (only Northern call at present). I believe that the Redcar Central-Manchester Airport services will all be calling at Gatley both ways from December. Maybe if something could call at Mauldeth Road (Cleethorpes) and another at Burnage (Newcastle) as well as adding a stop at Gatley to another Northern to give all of the stops 3tph which would reduce the delays suffered by passengers at local stations when Northern miss out all intermediate stops to make up time at short notice.
     
  17. MML

    MML Member

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    My usual haunt is the Thameslink route on the southern portion of the MML, so I'm used to fairly spritely EMUs with a maximum 2 hour journey time end to end. The big difference is most routes are 4 track with a fast and slow in each direction, so it's fascinating to see such a variety of services using so many routes with only 2 tracks.
    Thameslink typically operates a fleeting timetable with an express, followed by a semi-fast, followed by an all-stations and then the timetable repeats at either 15 or 30 minute intervals.
    I can imagine a similar timetable of express, semi-fast and all stations every 30 minutes could work for the Piccadilly to Airport route, however the difficulty appears to be the unreliable time-keeping of some express services with many originating as far away as Middlesborough, Scarborough, Hull, Cleethorpes and Wales. It's hardly surprising these services often formed of an overcrowded 3-car DMU laden with luggage are delayed enroute, given they are competing for track space on congested 2 track routes. While Thameslink does need to accurately deliver trains to the twin-track core section, the routes either side of the river allow trains to overtake or skip stop to achieve an on-time delivery to the Core. To be honest, a train arrival within 15 minutes for a service that started it's journey 3+ hours ago is pretty good going. The only difficulty is 15 minutes is enough to put the TPE behind the local stopper.

    I witnessed a TPE 185 from Cleethorpes arriving 40 minutes late into Piccadilly. They brought the service back to schedule for the return departure from Piccadilly by omitting the run to/from the airport. Not great for the many customers with suitcases going to the airport or those waiting at intermediate stations, but it was a wise decision to recover the timetable.

    Is the intention for TPE to keep enough 185s to ensure all TPE services are 6-car formations ? They could certainly do with longer formations to cope with the increasing passenger numbers.
     
  18. LittleAH

    LittleAH Member

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    They're keeping 30 185s to run Hull and Cleethorpes as 6 car and the stoppers too. Think the may keep all 51 if they get the Liverpool to Nottingham service.
     
  19. tpjm

    tpjm Member

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    That number seems to be changing fairly frequently so I wouldn’t treat anything as fact just yet!

    Quickly throwing some numbers out, if you made all workings that are to remain as Cl185 up to 6 cars, you’d need:
    10 units for HUL - MAN
    + 14 units for CLE - MIA
    + 2 units for MBR - MIA (due to Redcar extension)
    + 2 units for MAN - HUD stopper*
    + 2 units for LDS - HUD stopper*
    + 4 units as hot spares/exam
    = 34 Units
    *assumed running as single sets.

    With platform 0 at Leeds and combining of the stoppers in the long term, this may lead to running as double sets which could total 8 units...
    + 4 units to strengthen stoppers
    = 38 units

    Then there’s the potential of the Liverpool - Nottingham services...
    + 14 units for LIV - NOT
    = 52 units (and that takes you 1 over!)

    So there’s clearly a case for keeping them all!
     
    Last edited: 2 Sep 2019
  20. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    How come the stopper never gets let out in front when I'm on it??? <(;)
     
  21. scarby

    scarby Member

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    Well that wouldn't be so bad if I lived on York station, so I could simply pop out onto the platform when the train came in. However, for most of us we need to be there before the scheduled departure time, so if it's running 20 minutes late, it's scant consolation that it makes the York-Scarborough journey itself in 52 minutes.
     
  22. nr758123

    nr758123 Member

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    Be careful what you wish for. The stations between Huddersfield and Stalybridge had imposed upon them a skip-stopping pattern on long distance trains passing through multiple pinch points and with inadequate turnround times. The result was seven months in which Slaithwaite and Mossley stations were by a considerable margin the worst stations in the entire country for delays and cancellations.

    Proposing something similar for stations on the airport line is likely to lead to a similar outcome.
     
  23. nr758123

    nr758123 Member

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    They got very upset when the Yorkshire Post started pointing out just how awful TPEs service was at some of the smaller stations on the North Transpennine Route. Rather more upset, it has to be said, about a bit of bad publicity than about the impact on the passengers and communities affected.
     
  24. DC2001

    DC2001 Member

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    I would want them to retain the all stopping services supplemented with 2 skip-stop services per hour at each station. Currently Heald Green and East Didsbury have 2 skip-stop services per hour and Gatley, Burnage and Mauldeth Road have 1 skip-stop service per hour (not very evenly spread)
     
  25. 2L70

    2L70 Member

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    Disruption between Newcastle and Darlington this afternoon... XC and LNER talk to each other and pass each other’s tickets..

    TPE Twitter “according to Control we have ticket acceptance”

    XC Twitter “actually we didn’t but we’ve just rang your control and agreed it with you”

    Oops....
     
  26. js1000

    js1000 Member

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    Very true. Although most of those stations on the Airport line only have 2tph on the TSR requirements, many would query how justifiable services calling at xx:00 & xx:10 is. The irregularlity of that calling pattern makes it 1 and a half tph to me - not 2 tph.
     
  27. DC2001

    DC2001 Member

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    The TSR requirements are just minimum requirements; the operator can provide more services if they wish! If all stops had 3tph the maximum gap between services would at least be reduced which would likely make the maximum wait closer to around 30 minutes (if services were timetabled sensibly)
     
  28. HH

    HH Established Member

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    Their whole delay repay system is hopeless; I have spent some time looking into this and TPE are the absolute worst TOC by some margin.

    I get the feeling that First, as is their wont, have cut costs to the bone due to TPE losing money. Unfortunately this has left them direly short of competent managers, which is probably costing them a lot more money than they’ve saved.
     
  29. gimmea50anyday

    gimmea50anyday Established Member

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    As TPE delay repay and customer services is handled by Capita, don't hold out for any miracles

    (Capita, by the way, are the same bullies company who handle the TV licensing, and DWP PIP assesments)
     
  30. northernchris

    northernchris Member

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    Ah, that explains a lot! They seem to treat TPE passengers the same way!
     
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