Regulation Question

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Failed Unit, 14 Apr 2015.

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  1. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    Hi,
    Yesterday I was on the 1500 London Kings Cross - Edinburgh service. Because of all the issues in Retford the set was late into London so we didn't depart until about 1515.

    A few questions, as to the casual passenger no attempt was made to recover the delay. In fact it was made significantly worse as we went along by things that could have go done differently.

    The first thing was that the HST that was already in Kings Cross was used to form the 1508 London - York service, but understand this could be mileage / maintence related.

    With the 15 minute delay we were therefore following the 1508 service, which we had caught up by Peterborough. Is there any reason why the fast service was not be allowed to overtake the stopping service until Retford? bearing in mind that it is 4 track until Grantham and such a move is used on to allow the 1800 London - Edinburgh to overtake the 1749 London - Leeds service? Because we were not allowed to over-take the 15 minute delay was now 30.

    Upon arrival at York we then had the pleasure of following the TPE, Liverpool - Newcastle service, again needing to stop outside Durham and Chester-Le-Street stations. I know they are both class 1 and the TPE wasn't as late as the East Coast but not sure why we were not able to pass while the TPE was in platform at Durham to try and recover some of the delay. (again if we were allowed to pass at Peterborough we would have not experienced this issue anyway as we would be ahead of it anyway at York)

    Net result over 40 minutes late into Edinburgh and lots of avoidable delay repay for VTEC to pay. Interested to know what this will be put down to? Would it be the Retford incident that made the inbound set late, or Virgin East Coast for using the set that was avaiable for another service or even network rail for not letting an express pass slower services?

    There may be good reasons for all the above, but as a passenger, it was as if VTEC had given up on the service, once it is over 10 minutes late then does it make much difference it turns into 40? This isn't a pop at signallers (as East Coast could have said we don't care, just don't delay anything else - that I will never know)
     
  2. Tom B

    Tom B Established Member

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    I may be a little cynical, but assuming that the delay was down to NR, what interest do East Coast have in putting it right? The delay repay will be claimed back from NR, together with extra payments which are not passed on to passengers, so deducting a small amount for staff overtime etc they're not losing money. I presume that once the delay was caused by NR, it is classed as such, even if East Coast could have mitigated it by doing X, Y or Z subsequently?

    Is it also not the case that if one train is running late, why delay (say) two others in order to minimise one delay - better to keep them on time and 'give up' on the late one (handily means only one set of D-R claims, too).
     
  3. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

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    All of the reactionary delay would normally be attributed to the initial incident, yes - so, arguably, it's in Network Rail's best interests to minimise the overall delay. Indeed, nipping the 1500 past the 1508 would have only incurred a two or three minute delay to the latter (holding it in the platform to turn it out fast line might be better than running it slow line to Stoke though?). I'm sure that it'd have incurred a similar delay eventually anyway, if it was regulated at Retford! It does sound very much like a difference between regulating policies, or just the approach of individual signalmen, at the two boxes concerned. There is, of course, the possibility of other trains influencing the regulating decisions!

    Incidentally, it is possible for reactionary delays to be disputed on the basis of opportunities to regulate to minimise the overall delay not being taken - probably not in this case, but where a late-running and slow freight has been kept running in front of a right-time express passenger, for example.
     
  4. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    I am not sure if it was to allow the 1508 out ahead of us, but we were certainly held at Peterborough in the centre road, so if that was to let the 1508 go then I doubt that keeping us at line speed would have had much impact on the 1508 (which as you say had the same delay at Retford). I don't think they would have needed to have kept the 1508 on the slow all the way to Stoke, from memory other place exist to switch between fast an slow.

    I had hoped the 1508 would put on platform 4 at Grantham allowing us to pass, but this would have conflicted with a EMT service to Skegness which was using platform 4.

    At Peterborough, as we had stopped you could see the monitors and the next service to use the platform the 1508 had came off was the the 1530, not sure what the logic was for not allowing the pass to take place at Peterborough. It wasn't as if the platform was needed for another service and keeping the 1508 on it would create more delays.
     
    Last edited: 14 Apr 2015
  5. D1009

    D1009 Established Member

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    Running it slow line from Peterborough would have delayed it more than holding it in the platform because of the slow crossovers at Helpston. I think only the signallers at Peterborough will know why it wasn't regulated, it's pointless anyone else trying to speculate.
     
  6. swills

    swills Member

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    mmmm cable theft Retford with multiple track circuit failures and points failures and 126 or more trains delayed, so could be there was not much chance of jiggling trains around
     
  7. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

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    It could have been turned out fast line at Tallington, but the slow speed through the crossover there (and the restrictive approach control) would almost certainly balance any time saved by running fast line from there! As above, the slow speed through Helpston Junction won't help, either way.

    As above, only the Peterborough chaps know exactly why they decided to do what they did. On the face of it, it looks bizarre (we're used to it!!), but, in fairness, we don't know what else was going on at the time, whether Control had poked their oar in etc.
     
  8. swills

    swills Member

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    As stated they would have their hands full with late running a problems at Retford, so jiggling services to save 10 mins and possibly delay other traffic elsewhere seems pointless,
     
  9. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    Actually the extra delay resulting was 30 minutes which I would argue was worth it.

    Retford was cleared up at the time. Surely minimising delays should apply to all trains? I agree it is wrong to speculate, I have seen at Lincoln the train ready signal (is pushing the button on the platform) done before the doors are shut on the unit. Much to the annoyance of the level crossing users when the doors then wouldn't shut and the crossing reopened with no train passing. It could be possible the 1508 was declared ready before it was looking at another possibility. But agree only the people on the ground will know.
     
    Last edited: 14 Apr 2015
  10. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

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    As I said, we don't know what else was going on - but the original problem at Retford, which had been sorted by then anyway, would've largely been Doncaster's problem (who did manage to regulate to get the fast train in front!). With little incentive for signalmen to go to any great effort to regulate to minimise the overall delay (it's relatively unusual for reactionary delay to be disputed on the grounds of regulation, despite my comments above, so the whole lot just gets dobbed to the root cause), who can blame them for taking the 'easy option' of keeping trains running in the order that they arrive?
     
  11. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    I did see a bad luck one.

    The 0930 Edinburgh - London was diverted, the problem was fixed so the 1000 got into London ahead of it. But they diverted for the right reason and these things happen. (Sorry off topic)

    Thanks for everyone's responses.
     
    Last edited: 14 Apr 2015
  12. swills

    swills Member

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    It's not the 'easy option' if they get it wrong and it causes more delay, then they will be disciplined, the order of the running is normally dictated by the TOC.
     
  13. carriageline

    carriageline Established Member

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    I have never known a signaller to be disciplined over a wrong reg :lol:

    Network Rail are seemingly realising now that sticking delays down to an individual signaller who is regulating to try and improve PPM is counterproductive. Simply as next time the signaller won't bother, and an possible opportunity to make up time will be lost!

    More and more routes are now saying it won't go down to the signaller if a train is wrong regged if the effort was to try and improve PPM.

    And rightly so. We know our patches well, and we know where we can squeeze trains out and where not too.

    Regulation is an art, where so many factors come in to play and sometimes you have literal seconds to analyse them and make a decision. Sometimes it plays out well, and sometimes it doesn't. The only way to try to see what works is by trying. If we get punished for trying, then we won't bother.

    It's not nice though when someone 50 miles away who can sit and watch the entire situation at half speed, and replay it over and over again then rings you up and tell you it should of been done the other way!
     
  14. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    Yeah I noticed that. Very unlucky but seemed the right decision at the time. It was 80+ late whereas following services where around 15 :lol:

    I caught the 14:45 Lds-Kgx expecting all sorts of problems. In the end we arrived Peterborough a bit early.
     
  15. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

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    I've never heard of one being disciplined for wrong regulation either. Indeed, the only examples of disputed reactionary delays on the basis of regulation that I've seen are when someone's kept things running in the same order (passenger following a very late freight) rather than regulating to minimise the overall delay. On the other hand, I've never had any comeback from regulating decisions ranging from (justifiably) nipping an early-runner through to avoid a potential conflict later, to stuffing an early morning passenger for fifteen minutes to avoid total chaos behind it (it was right time again within fifty miles!). I'm certainly not a fan of the hindsight police (and I'll say it again - we don't know what else was going on here!), but hopefully the efforts to encourage effective regulation rather than everyone being scared of it will help greatly.
     
  16. swills

    swills Member

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    Exacatly !
     
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