Settle Carlisle Line - Ribblehead Frequency

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by Randomer, 11 Aug 2018.

  1. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Carlisle is not a "major" anything. It's a relatively small city of relatively low modern-day economic significance (much as it's a nice place and provided I could secure employment I really wouldn't mind to live there). The majority of demand from Leeds towards Carlisle is going to be onwards to Scotland, not *to* Carlisle, and it can just as easily go via the ECML instead.

    The tourists really are the biggest potential market for the line - you could argue that they would do better with a "Glacier Express" style service than an InterCity type train if you were going to do that. (Like the West Highland Lines, it's a line I think isn't used to its tourist potential - dedicated trains with proper panoramic First Class would be money for old rope - you might almost get away with doing something like that using 68-hauled Mk3s due to the very large windows).
     
  2. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    I still think and gets mentioned a lot but through services to Glasgow should be considered . Though what stock and how it fit onto the WCML is anyones guess
     
  3. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Carlisle isnt a major anything. It is a bit of backwater with a local town for local people feel. It isnt very economically vibrant and no amount of trains to Leeds will change that. Yes, of course, the current trains are aimed at tourists/ day trippers. That is where the money and the market is! There really isnt some vast untapped commuter market between Leeds and Carlisle. Really, there isnt! There might be some untapped short distance commuting but nothing long distance. What there is untapped potential for visitors to the area. They could be served much better

    No: it isnt a MAIN LINE - no matter how much you capitalise it - it is a rural route serving nowhere in particular. The one big selling point is the scenery at nowhere in particular is fantastic. It is lovely but it wouldn't be built today as a MAIN LINE or otherwise.
     
  4. 4-SUB 4732

    4-SUB 4732 Member

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    Considering there is surely at least one path at a regular time during the day from Leeds to Skipton for 'fast' services, wouldn't it only be right to use this path (and stop it only at Shipley on the way to Skipton in order to satisfy interchange to Bradford and little else, as Keighley and Bingley take up too much capacity) for the entirety of the day?

    If this was the case, could you not offer a two-hourly 'express' up the Settle & Carlisle with the option of connecting this to the Carlisle - Glasgow via Kilmarnock and a two-hourly 'slow' service? All that would be required then would be to start and terminate the Lancaster via Bentham services at Skipton using a clockface two-hourly timetable which isn't massively resource-intensive as it would be two units and could get to Morecambe in less than 100 minutes.

    It might even be possible to offer an arrival in Lancaster at a sensible time (such as 08:15) that would enable people to go to work or education.
     
  5. underbank

    underbank Member

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    Carlisle may not be big compared with other main cities, but it's certainly important for those living/working in the huge geographical area around it. I.e. shops, employment, healthcare, etc. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a reasonably fast train service between cities, even the smaller ones when there is the existing infrastructure in place.
     
  6. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Which is an argument for a quality clockface local service, no? Not ICs from Leeds. I doubt anyone living in Leeds ever needs to go to Carlisle.
     
  7. underbank

    underbank Member

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    But what about people living near Carlisle who may need healthcare in Leeds or to travel to businesses/employment in Leeds? There are also lots of businesses in Carlisle, granted generally smaller, who may work with businesses in their nearest few cities, i.e. including Leeds?

    For example, in a previous employment, I had to go to training courses in Leeds from northern Cumbria, the only viable option being the car.
     
  8. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    Probably the same reason as why Kings Cross-Edinburgh trains don't stop at Stevenage, Peterborough, Grantham, Newark, Retford, Doncaster, York, Thirsk .... ie someone at TOC level thinks it can attract more revenue by running faster.
    Of course, as others have commented, the S&C has its own unique history of passenger workings - it was certainly built as a main line - but it oh-so nearly ended up as non-history from the very beginning. By 1970, it almost went that way again.

    It was revived as a long-distance secondary route in the 1980s, and some manager c 2000 thought it a good idea to have a stab at running one token Leeds-Glasgow through train, which was given Class 1 status and omitted most of the tiddly stops.

    Unfortunately (IMO) the timetable changes from May have rather ruined the down train, which does not live up to its Class 1 headcode. It does have a Nottingham - Carlisle train on a Sunday, but the return is all stations, with the following Class 2 running the express service to Leeds. Bit bizarre. But I suppose it's nice for any Shefflied or Nottingham students living at Armathwaite.

    There are some in here that believe - ardently - its only role should be a strictly regional all-shacks service. Personally, I think there is a case for two faster services each way (one morning, one later afternoon) a) because the smaller stations just don't attract that many passenger, at least outside commuting and tourist season times and b) to at least offer through passengers some sort of accelerated service.
    Raising line-speeds to 75 mph would certainly help all schedules, but one of our posters wth inside connections says it's been looked at on several occasions and the business case does not stack up.
     
  9. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Was that because of the extra maybe 15-20 minutes an all-stops service would add? Or was it because the service did not start early enough or finish late enough?
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I can only see a case for those *if* a 2 hourly clockface stopping service can be operated *and* those laid on top. It is my view that if a line has less than 0.5tph, trains should all call at all stations. In particular the Far North Line morning express seems silly in the extreme.
     
  11. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    Mr Speaker, I would like to express my disagreement once again with the honorouble member for Bletchley, most particularly over his OT assessment of the Far North Line service. I may be sitting in my armchair many miles distant from Invershin and Altnebreach, but there it is. I've said it.
    :)
     
  12. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    It is small, isolated by geography and self focused. It always has a frontier town feel and seems very ( happily) self sufficient. That said it isnt an economically vibrant place and there simply isnt the demand or requirement for the kind of service you suggest.

    They are going to go to Newcastle. There can be few who live in Carlisle that work in Leeds. It isnt sensible or practical. Newcastle is just about doable. Leeds not.

    Not via Manchester Piccadilly or Preston then?
     
  13. quantinghome

    quantinghome Member

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    In response to the chicken-and-egg argument, a comparison with the Chiltern main line would be useful. In that case some of the route was slated for closure in the 1980s, somewhat like the Settle-Carlisle. Both were reprieved but with other Intercity routes being available, they were both rationalised and infrastructure downgraded.

    However, starting under BR and continuing under Chiltern Railways, it has received continuous investment and has effectively regained mainline status. Why was this done on Chiltern, but not Settle-Carlisle? Because railway managers and companies could see that the line had significant demand potential and was worth investing in. By contrast, the S&C received investment, but for freight, because at that's what the demand was. If the demand were there for significantly upgraded, faster, frequent services on the S&C, Adrian Shooter or someone similar would no doubt have put a plan together and done it. However, a Chiltern-style passenger upgrade for the S&C is unlikely because Leeds is a lot smaller than London, Carlisle is a lot smaller than Birmingham and intermediate stops are all a lot smaller.
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    For the Chiltern Line, the answer is very much "because it connects Britain's first and second cities". The S&C doesn't.
     
  15. quantinghome

    quantinghome Member

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    That's the TL;DR version.
     
  16. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Yes, it seems to be a reasonably popular route between West Yorkshire and Scotland, so I could see two or three trains a day working.

    I seem to recall that the direct service between Manchester and the central belt of Scotland started as two or three 158's a day in the 90's, and look where that is now !
     
  17. matacaster

    matacaster Member

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    The line speed of 60 mph is, I suspect the result of the very high number of coal train paths that used to exist on S&C (no longer true). The track is in excellent condition and quite capable of 75 or even 90mph. However, the signalling is not well positioned for greater than 60 mph in all locations. I believe one study to consider a speed increase was conducted by a university student, such was NR's excitement at the possibility. They are likely to reconsider the line speed improvement when it gets resignalled in a few years time. Higher line speed might encourage through Glasgow workings and also WCML diversions.
     
  18. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    i suspect it was done by a graduate rather than a student
     
  19. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    And it covers a large area of Buckinghamshire so has the lucrative commuter market, which the S&C obviously doesn't....
     

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