Remaining Great Northern services post Thameslink to be rolled into London Overground and LNER?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by plcd1, 16 May 2018 at 14:04.

  1. plcd1

    plcd1 Member

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    Mod Note: Post #1 split from this thread.

    Interesting to note in the Ministerial statement this juicy element about possible changes to Great Northern services.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/east-coast-rail-update
    I imagine this may please some forum members and enrage others given the apparent dislike of TfL having responsibility for National Rail services.
     
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  3. TheDavibob

    TheDavibob Member

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    Both rolling the Northern City (Moorgate) line into the Overground and the remaining GN fasts into LNER make sense, and have been suggested by forum members in the past. The latter allows the East Coast franchise some fixed (commuter) revenue stream.

    To be honest, the NCL reverting to London Transport control is almost unarguable: full metro, broadly segregated, connects very well with the existing lines (as well it should, given its history).
     
  4. OxtedSignaller

    OxtedSignaller Member

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    Thameslink should be the principal operator on the Brighton Mainline and Midland Mainline(slow lines)

    Southern should focus on the coastal local services and coastway London bound services as well as the Uckfield/EGR, Caterham and Tattehham lines, Gatwick Express, Tonbridge, Dorking-Horsham and the other bits and pieces outside London.

    WLL and Metro services should be transferred over to TfL.

    Great Northern split seems to be logical.

    Just shows all of this integration and DOO battle was completely unnecessary as they have worked on one method of working and strategy only for them to break it up. Hopefully Southern can use this as an opportunity to rebuild their customer focus and focus more on their longer distance coastal routes.
     
  5. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    I'm not sure the GN fast users would like some of the East Coast prices though!
     
  6. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Why would the government give control of lines to the mayor. I mean Chris Grayling said himself he'd only give over greater running rights if the mayor was a Conservative The current mayor isn't that
     
  7. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    That is the worst possible justification for such a thing though, so it's possible that he will see sense...
     
  8. CapitalStar378

    CapitalStar378 Member

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    Yes, maybe Grayling has left infants school and intends to try using sense as motivation rather than petty political point scoring.

    The Mayor could agree to take the NCL if he can have SE and Southern Metro too.
     
  9. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

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    Doesn't the mayoral election take place every 4 years maybe he is heging his bets on khan being out by 2021


    Doesn't the tsgn franchise end in 2021 near the next mayoral election maybe he is heging
     
  10. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    GN will require minimum investment at the point of take over as it will already have new stock. TfL doesn't have the money to sort out SE or Southern Metro and SE in particular is a bit to integrated between short and Long distance to split out. Hence I suspect just GN - Moorgate might be agreeable to both.
     
  11. CapitalStar378

    CapitalStar378 Member

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    More likely this arrangement would suit Grayling, taking the KX services into LNER would make the line more attractive financially and the Moorgate lines are too small to let separately.

    I doubt any bets are being hedged on Labour losing the London mayoralty, I don't think the Tories have been less popular in London than at present for quite some time!
     
  12. The Box Photter

    The Box Photter Member

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    So we're about to endure the pain and suffering associated with DfT's crazy plan to stuff the Great Northern services through the Thameslink core and Grayling suddenly announces that the TSGN franchise is to be split in 2021.

    Do these buffoons have no self-awareness? As per OxtedSignaller's post above, the whole thing needs to be downsized and recast in a way that benefits passengers, not the operators. I agree that GN Moorgate and Metro services should go to LO, but why not do the same with Wimbledon/Sutton services and return to the "terminate in the bay platforms at Blackfriars" plan. There's no logical reason why any services going any further north than West Hampstead should penetrate the core.

    The ludicrous situation under the new timetable means that passengers will be forced to change trains at Blackfriars to complete their northbound journeys whilst Wimbledon Loop services block up the core just because the local Wimbledon MP kicked up a fuss as a vote-winner.

    Let's get the railways out of the control of Government and have them operated and managed by professional railway people. But more importantly, let's have them run for the benefit of the passengers.
     
  13. OvergroundMatt

    OvergroundMatt New Member

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    This would be the first LO takeover that didn't require an investment in new stock. That said, the deep-level stations between Moorgate and Drayton Park are *desperately* in need of sprucing up, which LO tends to be quite good at. Not bank-breaking, but neither would be it be a minimal amount of investment.
     
  14. Emblematic

    Emblematic Member

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    For many Londoners the only use they see for the mayor and assembly is to keep the tubes and buses running. Although Mr Kahn has stopped expenditure on such wastes as the Boris vanity buses, the fares freeze has contributed to the current financial bind that TfL finds itself in. Reduction is central government funding is also a factor, but it's the mayor's fares policy that will be blamed for any cutbacks come the mayoral election. So maybe Chris Grayling has good reason to think we'll have a new mayor in 2020.
     
  15. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    TFL operating as far north as Stevenage then?

    I didn’t think we’d see Oyster coming this far north.
     
  16. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

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    Stevenage is closer to London than Reading which might get Oyster once Crossrail is up and running
     
  17. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

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    Even if the tories lose the next mayoral all grayling has to say is that the transfer is not in the best needs of people outside london/Tfls financial position makes the transfer impossible etc etc and cancel it.
     
  18. plcd1

    plcd1 Member

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    Despite Mr Grayling's deserved reputation as an ideologue I think there is also an occasional recognition of "pragmatism" in his declared preferences. He clearly did say what you quoted but that was more in the context of trying to refute demands from the Mayor of London for large scale takeovers of South Eastern and Southern. Mayor Khan went through a quite ridiculous "grandstanding" phase over Southern Railway's performance and problems at London Bridge. Unsurprisingly this went down like a lead balloon at the DfT and wasn't exactly flavour of the month at TfL either. It also didn't work and seriously undermined what relationship there was between City Hall and the DfT.

    Trying to "sort out" the future shape of the GTR franchise has clearly forced some pragmatism with the possible TfL takeover of part of Southern's WLL service and now the GN Inners. These are all fairly small scale and self contained operations. They are also "distractions" in the context of the franchises they currently belong to. So it's no great leap of faith by Grayling towards devolution, more a dumping of "problem children" at the Mayor's doorstep.

    I also think two other things *might* be in play. One is a hope that Khan won't run for / win a second term. He fervently wants to be Labour Party Leader and then Prime Minister. At some point he will want out of the Mayoralty if the opportunity presents itself. Boris set the precedent for this. The second aspect is that by dangling rail devolution "carrots" that may prove irrisisitible to the Mayor Mr Grayling has the chance to set controls around what the Mayor can do. I remain of the view that Grayling wants to seriously undermine the fares freeze policy and also to prevent Crossrail 2 happening. These are major manifesto commitments for Khan and I think the ever political Grayling would love to play his part in trashing those commitments.
     
  19. plcd1

    plcd1 Member

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    I suspect that TfL might still get a fright over the cost of "sprucing up" the tunnel stations - some are in a parlous state. One big advantage is that TfL would be able to bring "one team" management at Moorgate, Old St, Highbury and Finsbury Park so there is scope for cost and staffing rationalisation there. I do think it makes sense to shift the GN outers to TfL control - none of the franchises post BR have properly looked after that service. I think the usual simple "Overground" things like full day staff presence, a greater "street presence", Oyster ticketing and "line on the tube map" could work very well for the GN Inners.
     
  20. 03_179

    03_179 Member

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    I stated to colleagues that this would happen some 4 years ago when Southern got the franchise ...

    I said the GN trains would go to either GA and become WAGN again or to the East coast operators and the locals would go to TfL/Lorol.

    Watch this space.
    Southern Metro, Southeastern Metro and some others will en up under TfL control.
     
  21. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

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    Absolutely. Finally into the hands of an operator that actually gives a damn.

    The possible transfer of the remaining GN services to KX over to the new LNER operator (and thus the future franchisee) is interesting -like others have said, it would provide some financial stability for that franchise.
     
  22. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That's always been on the cards. TSGN was always a stopgap to get Thamselink in and delivered with the huge changes across multiple different areas (Midland, Brighton and East Coast Main Lines) with the intention of splitting it back up again in the future. Why else, for example, would you keep four TSGN different brands?

    On the topic at hand I have to say that I think this is a good move. The rump of GN doesn't really sit sensibly as it's own operator so moving the remaining KGX stuff into LNER with the Moorgate services joining LO (where they can benefit from the LO touch) makes a lot of sense. So I very much hope that it comes to pass!
     
  23. Andyh82

    Andyh82 Member

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    Can someone clarify what remaining Kings Cross services Great Northern will still run once Thameslink is fully rolled out?
     
  24. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I'm not so sure this would be so simple; the stations work on different non-compatible systems with difficulties to move and integrate both physical components and the organisational side of things. LUL staff wouldn't be able to undertake many tasks relating to the operation of NR trains (eg. train dispatch at Moorgate & Finsbury Park) and even if so the higher cost of employing LUL staff vs. London Overground staff might not make any rationalisation make financial sense. The plans to take away London Overground staff from stations like Highbury/Islington were watered down last year. Changing things the other way, I am not sure if the reduction in reliability associated with the removal of LUL staff would be acceptable either. More likely, the two different reporting lines and management would remain, as seen at locations like Walthamstow Central, Stratford, etc.
     
  25. abn444

    abn444 Member

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    Why? Same goes for transferring the Moorgate services to TfL, what exactly would it achieve other than some TfL branding? Some of these services go way outside the Greater London area anyway
     
  26. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    I reckon it's something like
    Kings Lynn (or Ely) via Cambridge <> Kings Cross.
    Peterborough <> Kings Cross, but peak fast services only.
    It isn't much at all. Basically comes down to whatever the 387 and 365 fleets are still operating when the Class 700 introduction concludes.
     
  27. LeeLivery

    LeeLivery Member

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    Khan will never be PM, let's say...too many people read the Daily Mail. As for Crossrail 2, not advocating this but, the best way to annoy the Mayor is to develop it with Network Rail or others instead of TfL, like Thameslink. There's no reason TfL must run XR2.
     
  28. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

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    • Pre 9:30 am freedom pass validity
    • Oyster available over the whole route
    • Appropriate Fare revenue splits between finsbury park and moorgate
    • Freedom pass available over the whole route.
    • First to last train staffing
    • A penalty structure on the operator that is tougher than the tocs
    • Full LUL ticket availability throughout route.
    • Consistent signage /mapping
    • Potential for night services
    • No disjointed closures for maintenance.
     
  29. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Summary:
    -All day 2tph King's Cross-Ely/King's Lynn
    -Peak 2tph King's Cross-Peterborough fastish
    -Peak 2tph King's Cross-Baldock semi-fast

    That's pretty much it for residual GN King's Cross services after December 2019
     
  30. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    We might also see the cheap Super Off Peak tickets at weekends withdrawn from outside the Zones along with the withdrawal of paper off peak tickets, depending on whether TfL, Thameslink or LNER set the fares....
     
  31. plcd1

    plcd1 Member

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    Well I didn't say Khan would be PM, only that it is his political ambition. Here's not the place for further musing on that.

    I think we may need to disagree on CR2. TfL has the statutory remit to develop and integrate London's transport system subject to Mayoral strategies / policies. I don't see how CR2 could be independently developed by Network Rail. For one thing they don't possess the planning expertise to take forward such a huge scheme. Before you chuck Thameslink Project back at me that predates TfL by many years and originated in BR that *did* have a planning function. The DfT and TfL are joint sponsors for CR2 which recognises the legislative position and also the precedent that was agreed for Crossrail (a scheme that again originated in BR but which has had a very long term LT / TfL involvement. I have Crossrail stuff from the 90s from my time at LU).
     

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