Seeking info about Parliamentary services

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Harlesden

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Greetings ladies and gentleman. My first post pertains to my admittedly unusual fascination with the concept of parliamentary services on the NR network.
As I understand it, it is far easier from a legal and administrative point of view to avoid actually closing a little used stretch of line by simply running a very limited service on it, perhaps one train per day or even one train per week.
Is there a list and details of such services anywhere on the web, or are they so few in number that some kind soul could actually list them in a reply?
How different would things have been - in both an economic and a social context - if the British parliament of the 60's had actually voted against Beeching's list of closures but had instead permitted the lines identified as non profit making to be run down to the level of a Parliamentary service? Would these services have survived to the present day, or would subsequent administrations goen for total closure anyway?
 
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krus_aragon

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Greetings ladies and gentleman. My first post pertains to my admittedly unusual fascination with the concept of parliamentary services on the NR network.
As I understand it, it is far easier from a legal and administrative point of view to avoid actually closing a little used stretch of line by simply running a very limited service on it, perhaps one train per day or even one train per week.
Is there a list and details of such services anywhere on the web, or are they so few in number that some kind soul could actually list them in a reply?
How different would things have been - in both an economic and a social context - if the British parliament of the 60's had actually voted against Beeching's list of closures but had instead permitted the lines identified as non profit making to be run down to the level of a Parliamentary service? Would these services have survived to the present day, or would subsequent administrations goen for total closure anyway?

A good place to start looking for parliamentary services would be on this site, which lists services over unusual lines.
 

PFX

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Related only tenuously, the Regional Development Committee of the Norn Iron Assembly actually held a full committee meeting on board the cross-border Enterprise a few months back. They had a whole carriage reserved for the purpose.

Politics in motion... Hmmmm.
 

Tomnick

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How different would things have been - in both an economic and a social context - if the British parliament of the 60's had actually voted against Beeching's list of closures but had instead permitted the lines identified as non profit making to be run down to the level of a Parliamentary service? Would these services have survived to the present day, or would subsequent administrations goen for total closure anyway?
In a fair few cases, the operating costs of a minimal service would still have been significant (staffing stations and signal boxes, for example), and for little return with a service that's useful to no-one. One or two lines survived by having their operation very much simplified - with rationalisation of signalling, and most significantly removal of staff from stations - which allowed them to continue to operate a useful service at much reduced cost. If this option had been explored more widely elsewhere, perhaps some other lines would still be with us today (and be useful - as opposed to a few lost causes!).
 

Cherry_Picker

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They can help hugely at preventing disruption during engineering works too. The once a day Gerrards Cross - Paddington service allows drivers to retain route knowledge for a diversion which has repaid itself many times over in not needing to lay on road transport and in passenger goodwill whenever Marylebone has been closed.
 

tbtc

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The problem with that list is that people confuse "infrequent" with "Parliamentary" (once a week).

For example:

  • Sheffield to York via Pontefract Baghill (two journeys per day each way)

...that's not a Parliamentary route, that's just an infrequent one.

Barry Links and Golf Street both get a daily train service, which is more than the weekly one that would constitute a Parliamentary level of service.

The Gainsborough Central line (which Wikepedia wrongly states is on "the Sheffield–Lincoln–Cleethorpes Line") gets three trains a week - again, higher than the Parliamentary minimum.

I've seen a lot of routes (Helsby - Ellesmere Port, Carnforth - Hellifield etc) incorrectly referred to as Parliamentary services.

Sorry for splitting hairs...
 

exile

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Maybe those should be "semi-parliamentary". Not frequent enough to be useful to anybody.
 

Shaggy

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I wonder if anyone else has used a Parliamentary (or Semi-Parliamentary....) Service as often as I used to.

I used to commute to Dundee for school when I was a teenager from Carnoustie. However during my final two years at school when things got a bit serious, I started staying in the library for a couple of hours.

Therefore my train I used to get home was the service which calls at Barry Links and Golf Street (where I would alight). There would be almost no-one else on the train and I don't think there was ever a person who alighted at Golf Street with me.

Furthermore, due to the lack of passengers, the train was frequently cancelled at Dundee with taxis provided to take us to the doorstep of our homes. Not bad for a £1.40 return as it used to be!

Although in the holidays, my friend and I often used to cycle to Barry Links to get the train back to Golf Street! Getting the crackly tannoy announcing its cancellation wasn't quite so fun then.....
 

YorkshireBear

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The problem with that list is that people confuse "infrequent" with "Parliamentary" (once a week).

For example:

  • Sheffield to York via Pontefract Baghill (two journeys per day each way)

...that's not a Parliamentary route, that's just an infrequent one.

Barry Links and Golf Street both get a daily train service, which is more than the weekly one that would constitute a Parliamentary level of service.

The Gainsborough Central line (which Wikepedia wrongly states is on "the Sheffield–Lincoln–Cleethorpes Line") gets three trains a week - again, higher than the Parliamentary minimum.

I've seen a lot of routes (Helsby - Ellesmere Port, Carnforth - Hellifield etc) incorrectly referred to as Parliamentary services.

Sorry for splitting hairs...

Carnforth hellifield!!! that doesnt get much less passeneger service thatn the settle to carlisle!
So yeah i agree with what you have said in that many are just infrequent rather than parlimentary.
Like York Sheffield, two services a day yes, but countless freight a weekly XC service (i think??? or has it been removed now) and a useful diversionary route for XC too.

I think the most famous example is the stockport stalybridge service. Once a week in one direction only.
 

CarltonA

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Would the once a week service at Tees Durham Airport qualify? There are plenty of services going through but only one stops per week apparently, unless that's changed. When I lived in Eaglescliffe in the 70's plenty of trains stopped, but hardly anyone got on or off.
 
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HSTEd

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In a fair few cases, the operating costs of a minimal service would still have been significant (staffing stations and signal boxes, for example), and for little return with a service that's useful to no-one

Wouldn't the signalling equipment from all these routes be entirely removed and the line operated under a "one engine in steam" system if you were going to go down that route?

At which point I am pretty sure staffed stations and signal boxes become pointless.
 

bluenoxid

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Carnforth hellifield!!! that doesnt get much less passeneger service thatn the settle to carlisle!
So yeah i agree with what you have said in that many are just infrequent rather than parlimentary.
Like York Sheffield, two services a day yes, but countless freight a weekly XC service (i think??? or has it been removed now) and a useful diversionary route for XC too.

I think the most famous example is the stockport stalybridge service. Once a week in one direction only.

Huh. Carnforth - Hellifield is two trains per week on Summer Sundays. S&C is about seven or eight per day...
 

IanD

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I think you're getting confused with Clithero to Hellifield.

Carnforth - Hellifield is 5 per day each way, 4 each way on sundays so hardly 'parliamentary'.
 

tbtc

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IanD

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And I was agreeing with you - 4 or 5 return services cannot be considered 'Parliamentary' otherwise the HOW and sections of the Far North and West Higland lines would fall in to that category.

However, Clitheroe - Hellifield (which bluenoxid seemed to be referring to) is not a Parliamentary service either despite having only 2 trains each way on Summer Sundays. It's a seasonal service.
 

Tomnick

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Wouldn't the signalling equipment from all these routes be entirely removed and the line operated under a "one engine in steam" system if you were going to go down that route?

At which point I am pretty sure staffed stations and signal boxes become pointless.
That's the sort of rationalisation that could have saved some routes - but requires some initial investment, particularly if OTW isn't suitable (for a through route, for example). I don't know whether there was any real move towards unstaffed stations before the 'Paytrain' concept in the late 60s, but that would represent a decent cost saving on a marginal operation.
 
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Chester to Runcorn. Summer only. One train saturday only. One way. :)
Northern Rail. I'm not sure what the time is for this Summer.
 

HSTEd

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That's the sort of rationalisation that could have saved some routes - but requires some initial investment, particularly if OTW isn't suitable (for a through route, for example). I don't know whether there was any real move towards unstaffed stations before the 'Paytrain' concept in the late 60s, but that would represent a decent cost saving on a marginal operation.

Cl121s could even have kept up some modest freight workings on the lines (Vacuum Braked freight wagons were often coupled to them right?) as required with the minimum of infrastructure.

Pity we didn't see anything like that because they could even have saved the GCML corridor with such a system.
 

12CSVT

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Is the 0759 Woodgrange Park - Hampstead Heath classed as a parliamentary ?

(The only booked passenger working between Upper Holloway and Gospel Oak Junction).
 

RichmondCommu

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Carnforth - Hellifield is 5 per day each way, 4 each way on sundays so hardly 'parliamentary'.

Whats the journey like scenery wise? Worth doing? I presume the relatively poor service is due to a lack of block sections between Settle Junction and Carnforth?
 

Tomnick

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Carnforth - Settle Jn is a nice bit of railway - not as scenic as others in the area, but still worth doing (especially if you can combine it with the S&C and Cumbrian Coast on the same day). The block section Carnforth Station Jn to Settle Jn is around 26 miles (certainly the longest AB section on the network - possibly the longest of all too?), but that's certainly not limiting the level of service.
 

causton

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Is the 0759 Woodgrange Park - Hampstead Heath classed as a parliamentary ?

(The only booked passenger working between Upper Holloway and Gospel Oak Junction).

I wouldn't say so no, as the service is actually just their 'spare' train. Saying that it has started to appear in the National Rail timetable - I assumed it was just a 'this train might run but don't actually depend on it cause it might not' - but as I believe there was no service along there before it is not parliamentary.

However does this mean there will need to be a parliamentary service provided if this service stops running, now there is a service running along that track? ;)
 

tbtc

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Carnforth - Hellifield is 5 per day each way, 4 each way on sundays so hardly 'parliamentary'.

Whats the journey like scenery wise? Worth doing? I presume the relatively poor service is due to a lack of block sections between Settle Junction and Carnforth?

I think its lovely scenery - not as empty/bleak as the higher sections of the S&C (there's no significant structure like Ribblehead or heights like Dent), but its an under-rated line (which suffers from being next to a more famous scenic route).

The problem is that there's no big population on it, it doesn't attract the tourists that the S&C does and it therefore gets a fairly unattractive - the first train of the day arrives at Leeds at 09:04 (Monday to Friday) but then the next arrival isn't until 12:55 - the last departure of the day (Monday to Saturday) leaves Leeds at 16:39 (so no use for working in Leeds). Maybe its more about "operational convenience" than actually serving the market, maybe its not as profitable as running S&C services/ 333s to/from Skiption.

Of course the problem of asking people in Lancaster/ Morcambe to travel for over two hours on a Pacer may come into things too...
 

34D

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Is the 0759 Woodgrange Park - Hampstead Heath classed as a parliamentary ?

(The only booked passenger working between Upper Holloway and Gospel Oak Junction).

Can you advise whether passengers can actually travel on this from Upper Holloway to Hampstead Heath now? When it first started, I understand there were reports of it being detrained before going on the interesting stretch? Train is detailed at http://www.opentraintimes.com/schedule/L77004/2012/5/3
 

causton

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Can you advise whether passengers can actually travel on this from Upper Holloway to Hampstead Heath now? When it first started, I understand there were reports of it being detrained before going on the interesting stretch? Train is detailed at http://www.opentraintimes.com/schedule/L77004/2012/5/3

From Overground timetable:

An additional train runs Mondays to Fridays, calling at all stations from Woodgrange Park to Upper Holloway and then Hampstead Heath, to help relieve congestion in the morning peak.
This train does not call at Barking or Gospel Oak.
The times of this train are as follows: Woodgrange Park 0759, Wanstead Park 0802, Leytonstone High Road 0805, Leyton Midland Road 0808, Walthamstow Queen’s Road 0811, Blackhorse Road 0814,
South Tottenham 0818, Harringay Green Lanes 0821, Crouch Hill 0824, Upper Holloway 0827, Hampstead Heath 0834.

Pretty sure it would run in passenger service if it advertises Hampstead Heath as a stop :)
 

jonb

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Would I be right in thinking that this unit runs ECS to Woodgrange Park? If so, does anybody know where it originates?
 
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