Settle & Carlisle Line - Past, Present & Future

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by JMPRailwatcher, 23 Apr 2019.

  1. Dr Hoo

    Dr Hoo Established Member

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    So in the context of the S&C there could be one (urban) operator for the Aire Valley electrics, one (regional) for Leeds-Carlisle and one (rural) for Leeds-Lancaster? What would the advantages be?
     
  2. geoffk

    geoffk Member

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    At least the units with contravision adverts on the windows seem to have gone. I had one on the S&C once and suppose it was just the next one out of Neville Hill. On my last trip on the line, there was a young mother with two kids who spent the whole journey glued to computer games or smart phone! I think the semi-fast northbound train in the morning is missed as this is the one which was most popular with day trippers.
     
  3. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I've not seen that concept.

    If you go over to Germany you could well end up with one operator for "S-Bahn-Leeds" which would have the electrics and a load of Pacers, and another for the regional network in that Bundesland (or a subset of it), though. It wouldn't be too hard to envisage the idea of a "Regionalbahn-Lakeland-Furneß" (sorry, couldn't resist :) ) which might encompass something like the Manchester Airport-Barrow/Windermere/Cumbrian Coast, Morecambe/Fleetwood and the Bentham Line[1], as that's all reasonably self-contained.

    [1] Is that the best name they can come up with? It sounds awful and does nothing to promote the line. It might not be strictly accurate, but something like "The South Dales Line" might sound better.
     
  4. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    Thanks. Interesting. 12 on the 11.18 may not sound like many, but I think it looks good. Of course, it is summer (pretty certain that number would be just 6 or 8 on mid-week in January) - but, given that the average usage last year was 50 per day - ie 25 on, 25 off - this is almost 25% of the average daily traffic.
    Just two boarding on the 11.32 to Carlisle doesn't seem surprising. Makes you wonder why Northern decided to put in all the stops in the May TT.
     
  5. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Yes, I had one of those once as well.

    I think Northern saw the error of their ways fairly quickly though (I think one of the Railway mag's called them out on it).
     
  6. Condor7

    Condor7 Member

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    Yes I think you are right the numbers would certainly be lower over winter. This day was sunny and understandably this will always increase numbers especially on a line such as this which relies on tourism as much as other uses.

    I am not sure why Northern introduced these stops on the ‘express’ but suspect it was down to feedback from passengers most likely via The Friends Of The Settle And Carlisle Line. I must point out though that I was on the opposite platform from the 11.32 so was only able to see those waiting, the train blocked my view as to how many got off.
     
  7. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    So what you have described is Northern and Trans-Pennine Express then..... ;)

    Seriously though, I would like the idea of TPE taking over some routes like the S&C, and dare I suggest it extending some to Glasgow.
     
  8. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I personally find TPE rather overpriced for what they are. Not sure I would trust them to continue the Dales railcard and various other offers.
     
  9. xotGD

    xotGD Established Member

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    I noticed a 156 working an S&C service a few days ago (07:xx from Leeds). A one-off or are they now back on the route with regularity?
     
  10. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    These kinds of things could be written into franchise agreements I guess. However TPE can offer things like First Class, more IC-like stock to not only attract more Dales traffic but perhaps strengthen the case for extending the route.
     
  11. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    Hmmmm. That sounds good in theory, but I wonder about the practice. In fact, it supports an idea for a thread on the problems of success with 'secondary' services.
     
  12. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Well, you don't necessarily need an IC operator to run IC stock. I think the key thing the route needs at the mo is capacity. The headline on the latest FoSC newsletter was about passengers being left behind due to overcrowding.
     
  13. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

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    Class 221s would be best, performance wise if we are talking about using existing rather than brand new stock,.
     
  14. BigCj34

    BigCj34 Member

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    I have mentioned this before but they would be ideal as they could go at 125mph between Glasgow and Carlisle, and run semi-fast to Leeds from Carlisle. If they could run every other hour, then between those hours Sprinters could run the stopping services.
     
  15. VT 390

    VT 390 Member

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    Would a hourly service off-peak be to much Carlisle to Leeds?
     
  16. BigCj34

    BigCj34 Member

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    For the tiny stations yes, but the expresses but would not stop there. The fasts would serve only serve Kirby Stephen, Appleby, Settle, Skipton, and other main settlements in which an hourly service isn't exactly overkill. Smaller stations can be served by a 2 hour stopper service. I would imagine having an alternate Glasgow Leeds service under 4 hours, possibly under 3:45 has the capacity to generate additional demand in addition to overspill from passengers who would have otherwise gone via Edinburgh, as would the convenience for the larger intermediate stations which will have more than a service every 2-3 hours and don't need to plan their day out as much.

    This is of course a postulating assumption but as it stands, the frequency of stopping or semi-fasts services is quite arbitrary in my opinion.
     
  17. VT 390

    VT 390 Member

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    I see your point now as I thought you meant both all stops to Carlisle and then fast to Glasgow. It is actually a very good idea because not only will it make Leeds to Glasgow journeys easier it should also help to free up some space on the busy XC north-east to south-west services.
     
  18. trainmananthon

    trainmananthon Member

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    They’re not very common up here.

    Cut a long story short, it’s a case of random unit generator and crew traction knowledge.

    They appear once every now and again depending on 158 and/or 153 availability and crew traction knowledge as Skipton guards, the depot with the most work up here, don’t sign 156s.

    Same for 142s/144s/150s too...if there’s no 158 or 153s to operate up here then, again crew dependant, they appear as Carlisle don’t sign this traction.
     
  19. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Never had one, but I'd love a 142 on the S&C, the all-round view would be unrivalled.
     
  20. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    Given the increase in passenger journeys in the past decade, if the various TOCs and DfT could get it together, I do wonder if a limited, three trains a day Leeds - Glasgow 158 service could work profitably.

    I wouldn't run it non-stop Carlisle-Glasgow though - if you inserted stops at Motherwell and Carstairs (the latter to gain political support for the new service as much as passengers) I think it would stand a better chance of success (available paths permitting). And south of Carlisle, it might be worth dropping Kirkby Stephen and inserting a Langwathby stop. The latter station, though in a village, could serve a larger nearby population, viz Penrith if properly promoted.
     
  21. BigCj34

    BigCj34 Member

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    Won't the 158's be a bit slow for the WCML? Even old HST's would be a better shout. Indeed Carstairs doesn't have many services and only 1 going south, but it's smaller than many S&C stops so who is it going to benefit exactly?
     
  22. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    I would agree, running via the WCML north of Carlisle, 158s would likely lose some time compared to an HST, both in speed but also in hill climbing up to Beattock.

    To day nothing of the fact that a mini-HST if used would provide more capacity (depending on trailers) and a higher performing train in general as well.
     
  23. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    There was one when the line North of Appleby was out of use, coupled to the 158.

    I had the opportunity to use it, but forwent it for the delights of the buffet trolley, which was in the sprinter.
     
  24. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    Absolutely agree. I was just pondering a minimum-case scenario. And yes, 158s just might not find a path, where a short HST would. But a short HST would be much more expensive on track access charges, i imagine.

    I think Carstairs only has one service FROM the south - a morning commuter-time TPE working- and none going south (unless something has changed?)

    Carstairs itself is small, I agree, but it would serve as a railhead (of sorts) for the surrounding area, including Lanark. Stopping there would be as much political as economic - it would be additional support that a Glasgow - Leeds service should be run. Having said that, Carstairs passenger figures have shot up over the past decade with a service that has improved, but which is still only sort of two hourly, and nothing on Sundays. Of course, most passenger will be heading to or towards Glasgow or Edinburgh, but even three trains a day to/from Carlisle would surely get some patronage.
     
  25. trainmananthon

    trainmananthon Member

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    I had one during the last week that the route was open between Appleby and Carlisle due to the landslip.

    A bit chilly on board as it was winter, but all round stunning views, and even managed to keep to time all the way to Leeds!
     
  26. John C

    John C Member

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    Was quite a fun ride down the S&C in December last year when I had 142088. On this occasion it was brought in ECS from Hexham in an attempt to restore the service due to earlier disruption in the Leeds/Keighley area.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/railp...GYS9B-2dCuSRQ-2cjmoLg-2dCuSQs-2dCuSRE-2dCuSRu
     
  27. Condor7

    Condor7 Member

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    I was back at Langwathby this morning tending the gardens between mid morning and lunch time. The only two trains were the 2H89 Carlisle to Leeds at 11.18am an the 1M53 Leeds to Carlisle at 11.32am.

    Today there was only two passengers getting on the 2H89 and three getting off. As mentioned in previous posts this is normally a popular train for sightseers but although the day turned out to be reasonably dry we have been getting weather warnings all week about storms today so suspect that would put a lot off. In fact the reason we ended up at the station was because we were driving up to a National Trust property in Northumberland and decided to cancel because of the forecast, so reasonable to think others would think the same.

    The interesting thing about this train was that it was 150121 resplendent in its refurbished livery.

    1M53 made up of four class 158’s picked up no passengers and just dropped off two. I mentioned before that this train only began stopping from the new timetable but so far on my observations it has been poorly supported. Maybe more time is needed for locals to realise it now stops.

    I must make it clear my observations are just a straw pole of occasional visits and not enough to draw any conclusions but it does raise the question as to how worthwhile it is to stop the express at Langwathby, Lazonby & Kirkoswald and Armathwaite rather than giving a speedier time into Carlisle.
     
  28. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I'd suggest that infrequent services like this should just call at all stations to keep it simple, unless there's a very strong operational reason not to (e.g. it would require an extra unit/crew if you stopped).

    You've also got the "opportunities" it might create. Sometimes on a given bus route the last bus normally runs nearly empty or actually empty. But sometimes people wouldn't use an earlier one if it didn't exist as a fallback.
     
  29. underbank

    underbank Member

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    Surely when you have a "good" line like S&C, there should at least be a decent service to enable people living on the line to commute to/from the city centres of Leeds and Carlisle so the people living along the line don't have to relocate to the already over-crowded and congested cities to get a half decent job. At the moment the timings aren't particularly attractive and journey times very long due to the number of stops.
     
  30. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    There is/are, but I suppose it depends on what you define as "decent".

    The early morning off Carlisle is due in Leeds at 08.33, which is as about as ideal as you can get, I'd posit, though it is a bit of an early start out of Ribblehead/Horton/Settle.
    In the evening, I doubt there has ever been a better service at commuter time, with trains ex-Leeds at 15.18, 16.48 and 18.18, plus, for those between Skipton and Giggleswick (walk to Settle) the 17.26 to Morecambe.

    Arguably, the thing missing is a follow up train allowing a later start from Ribblehead/Horton/Settle/Hellifield. There is nothing for about 2.5 hours out of Carlisle until the 08.24, which gets to the Craven area around two hour later - so that is a weakness.

    Serving Carlisle, you have the first down train, which is 07.18 off Appleby.

    This arrives in Carlisle at 08.02, which seems ok for flexi-time workers or an 08.30 start, but rather early for 09.00.
    Again, there is a large, approx 2.5 hour gap in terms of follow up service.

    Returning in the evening, you have a 16.18 and an 18.24.

    Obviously a second, late-commuter service to the respective cities would be nice-to-have, and arguably one into Leeds ought to be the 'next priority' improvement. Whether potential commuter traffic into Carlisle could ever justiry a second train at around 08.00 from Appleby I suspect is less likely, but perhaps Condor7 or others are better placed to opine.

    But, from what I read on here, Northern are struggling to meet crew and stock requirments in so many places where demand is heavy, I doubt the S&C can justify much more, given the recent improvements.
     

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