Southern East/West Coastway to London unfairness

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Robsignals

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I live in Worthing [WRH] West C/W and am annoyed at getting a worse deal than Eastbourne [EBN] our East C/W equivalent. EBN first arrival in London is earlier, off-peak portion working seems to always be an overcrowded WRH 4 and a half empty EBN 8.

The killer though are Advance Singles, on Sats last year WRH had them from Victoria arr 0728, now first through train is 0828 (0740 with the hassle of changing at Brighton) while EBN has them on first train arr 0657 (also first train from WRH!). All days last WRH dep Victoria 2147 (Sun 2117) too early for a cultural evening out, EBN is 2247.

WRH has the bigger population so why do we get so badly treated?
 
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ushawk

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Well, the 4 car/8 car alternates throughout the day, sometimes just being 4-cars to both. Whatever direction you put the 4-car on - it will be crowded and if its an 8-car, it wont be very busy.

First trains to both Eastbourne AND Worthing from Victoria on Saturdays is 0747, dividing at HHE. The last train from Victoria is at 0005 (0040 for Olympics) and again divides. On a Sunday, Worthing actually gets a later train from Victoria than Eastbourne at 2317 (2247 to EBN).

Connections are better from Worthing to Brighton too, so that also has to be in mind.
 

Robsignals

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Yes, but when I travel it's always 4car from/to WRH! Brighton express's used to be formed of 3car units so why not use these to make up 6+6 portions.

I'm quoting times for first and last trains that Advance Singles are available on, I won't pay higher fares for leisure travel.

I avoid going via Brighton - losing the will to live on a C/W stopper, joining the VIC train a few mins before dep so no good seats left and there's some odd/annoying people in Brighton...
 

ushawk

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Yes, but when I travel it's always 4car from/to WRH! Brighton express's used to be formed of 3car units so why not use these to make up 6+6 portions.

I'm quoting times for first and last trains that Advance Singles are available on, I won't pay higher fares for leisure travel.

I avoid going via Brighton - losing the will to live on a C/W stopper, joining the VIC train a few mins before dep so no good seats left and there's some odd/annoying people in Brighton...

Your very unlucky then !! All the 3-cars were moved up to the London Metro area to have 10-car services up there, so Brighton fasts are now usually 8-car 377s or 442s. All depends where you sit on the London train at Brighton, usually more seats towards the front you get (had a whole carriage to myself on the 1449 BTN - VIC the other day until ECR).

I thought at weekends all trains were available for advance tickets, would probably also depend on how many advances have already been sold for that certain service.

As for East Coast/West Coast differences, the first through train on Saturday mornings from EBN arrives at VIC at 08.28, so its the same as Worthing. Earlier and again its changing at Brighton.

The 0657 arrival at VIC from EBN you mentioned in the OP requires a change at Three Bridges
 

Robsignals

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Your very unlucky then !! All the 3-cars were moved up to the London Metro area to have 10-car services up there, so Brighton fasts are now usually 8-car 377s or 442s. All depends where you sit on the London train at Brighton, usually more seats towards the front you get (had a whole carriage to myself on the 1449 BTN - VIC the other day until ECR).

I thought at weekends all trains were available for advance tickets, would probably also depend on how many advances have already been sold for that certain service.

As for East Coast/West Coast differences, the first through train on Saturday mornings from EBN arrives at VIC at 08.28, so its the same as Worthing. Earlier and again its changing at Brighton.

The 0657 arrival at VIC from EBN you mentioned in the OP requires a change at Three Bridges

Earlyish trains from Brighton on Sats are busy and regulars know to go to the front, first few coaches likely to be full.

Advances are only available as I've shown. I queried the change for Worthing with SN, reply confirmed it but weren't sure why - would review it at next timetable and.. the next train lost Advances too!

First through train on Saturday mornings from EBN actually arrives VIC at 07.58, the first dep 0503 is direct to Gatwick. The change is always best made at Haywards Heath and it's onto the first train from WRH arr VIC 0657. EBN has Advances on it WRH doesn't - infuriating.
 

TrainBoy98

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I live in Worthing [WRH] West C/W and am annoyed at getting a worse deal than Eastbourne [EBN] our East C/W equivalent. EBN first arrival in London is earlier, off-peak portion working seems to always be an overcrowded WRH 4 and a half empty EBN 8.

The killer though are Advance Singles, on Sats last year WRH had them from Victoria arr 0728, now first through train is 0828 (0740 with the hassle of changing at Brighton) while EBN has them on first train arr 0657 (also first train from WRH!). All days last WRH dep Victoria 2147 (Sun 2117) too early for a cultural evening out, EBN is 2247.

WRH has the bigger population so why do we get so badly treated?

I live in WRH too, and ive always wondered why we get a worse service, just seems that EBN has bigger capacity for more trains. :(
 

MidnightFlyer

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OP: A small point perhaps but are you sure Worthing has a bigger population that Eastbourne? I seem to recall EBN having some 120,000+ residents; I don't think Worthing is close to that at all. Of course if you mean population served by the actual service it may be higher, as you could count Hove and Shoreham in the West, and Lewes and Bexhill / Hastings in the East.
 

ushawk

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Wouldnt say Worthing has a "worse service" anyway, the trains to/from London have an East Coastway portion on them and it alternates with the train length too.

Should be pointed out also that the East Coastway line also serves Lewes (which serves a large area of people - also connection to/from Seaford), Polegate (which serves the nearby town of Hailsham) and of course Eastbourne, Bexhill and Hastings - several well sized areas.
 

bb21

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TOCs are not obliged to offer Advance fares on trains which they have no problem filling. If you say Worthing trains serve a bigger population then unsurprisingly Southern see no need to lure more passengers onboard with cheap offers, while at the same time risk losing revenue on those who were willing to pay walk-on rates anyway.
 

Robsignals

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OP: A small point perhaps but are you sure Worthing has a bigger population that Eastbourne? I seem to recall EBN having some 120,000+ residents; I don't think Worthing is close to that at all. Of course if you mean population served by the actual service it may be higher, as you could count Hove and Shoreham in the West, and Lewes and Bexhill / Hastings in the East.

Wikipedia gives Worthing as 183,000 from Lancing to Littlehampton, Worthing Borough is 103,000 against Eastbourne 99,000. Hove and Shoreham are in effect part of Brighton complete with night buses (much of Hove can and does use Brighton station for the better service), there pop is much greater than Lewes/Seaford/Polegate and Hailsham is smaller than Steyning & Bramber. There's about zero beyond Eastbourne, from Bexhill it's quicker to change at St Leonards WS to SE Hastings - London service.
 

N Levers

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about zero beyond Eastbourne, from Bexhill it's quicker to change at St Leonards WS to SE Hastings - London service.

Sorry Rob but it's a bit naive to say nobody east of Eastbourne use Victoria services. It may be quicker to change at St Leonards but there are very few/no advanve tickets for that flow as Southern want to encourage people to use Victoria as it is better
for them in terms of ticket revenue.

If no advance tickets are available for Worthing it may well be the quota for those trains have been sold.
 

Robsignals

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TOCs are not obliged to offer Advance fares on trains which they have no problem filling. If you say Worthing trains serve a bigger population then unsurprisingly Southern see no need to lure more passengers onboard with cheap offers, while at the same time risk losing revenue on those who were willing to pay walk-on rates anyway.

So why at busy times does Eastbourne always get the longer portion? The early Sat trains from WRH that used to have Advances were nowhere near as busy (probably quie empty now) as later trains that still do have them, though it's near impossible to get the lowest price. With no seat reservations Advance holders joining from WRH onward may have to stand.
 

ushawk

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Wikipedia gives Worthing as 183,000 from Lancing to Littlehampton, Worthing Borough is 103,000 against Eastbourne 99,000. Hove and Shoreham are in effect part of Brighton complete with night buses (much of Hove can and does use Brighton station for the better service), there pop is much greater than Lewes/Seaford/Polegate and Hailsham is smaller than Steyning & Bramber. There's about zero beyond Eastbourne, from Bexhill it's quicker to change at St Leonards WS to SE Hastings - London service.

Populations mean nothing really, you could have a very low population, but a lot of that use rail services and you could have the opposite. Both lines serve near enough the same amount of people and dont have a much different service pattern to their respective destinations on each line. (IE, Brighton to Worthing and Lewes is every 10 minutes to each and then generally between 15-30 minutes further along the lines)

Both services could do with an additional service to London whilst were at it - posted an idea in the Gatwick Express topic which could allow a 3rd train an hour to serve each line, which would be a faster service, which could reduce crowding on current services.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
So why at busy times does Eastbourne always get the longer portion? The early Sat trains from WRH that used to have Advances were nowhere near as busy (probably quie empty now) as later trains that still do have them, though it's near impossible to get the lowest price. With no seat reservations Advance holders joining from WRH onward may have to stand.

Would be down to Southern viewing passenger flows, if there is a strong London/Haywards Heath to Lewes/Eastbourne flow at say 4PM on a weekday afternoon and it would have more passengers than the Worthing service, then an 8-car would be put on the East Coastway service and its exactly the same for the other way around. Another possible reason is that sometimes when an 8-car arrives at EBN, it divides with 4 coaches going into the sidings for peak-time workings into London.

Generally during the day though its 4-car to each destination and in the peaks, 12-car services run from both lines.
 

Robsignals

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Sorry Rob but it's a bit naive to say nobody east of Eastbourne use Victoria services. It may be quicker to change at St Leonards but there are very few/no advanve tickets for that flow as Southern want to encourage people to use Victoria as it is better
for them in terms of ticket revenue.

If no advance tickets are available for Worthing it may well be the quota for those trains have been sold.

I'm comparing population size for the fastest journeys to central London. The main use of VIC trains beyond EBN is for travel to or via Gatwick, Croydon, Clapham Jct also changing at Lewes for Brighton. SE don't have Advances so people have to use SN if they don't mind the time penalty.

SN have confirmed that Advances aren't available as stated but couldn't say why, seems to come down to "Computer says no"!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Populations mean nothing really, you could have a very low population, but a lot of that use rail services and you could have the opposite. Both lines serve near enough the same amount of people and dont have a much different service pattern to their respective destinations on each line. (IE, Brighton to Worthing and Lewes is every 10 minutes to each and then generally between 15-30 minutes further along the lines)

Both services could do with an additional service to London whilst were at it - posted an idea in the Gatwick Express topic which could allow a 3rd train an hour to serve each line, which would be a faster service, which could reduce crowding on current services.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


Would be down to Southern viewing passenger flows, if there is a strong London/Haywards Heath to Lewes/Eastbourne flow at say 4PM on a weekday afternoon and it would have more passengers than the Worthing service, then an 8-car would be put on the East Coastway service and its exactly the same for the other way around. Another possible reason is that sometimes when an 8-car arrives at EBN, it divides with 4 coaches going into the sidings for peak-time workings into London.

Generally during the day though its 4-car to each destination and in the peaks, 12-car services run from both lines.

To be clear Brighton to Lewes is 6 tph unevenly spaced and Brighton to Worthing is 4tph plus 2 connections at Hove into trains from VIC. On Sats one pair of trains used to both run independently to VIC, the timetable seems designed to allow this, but has now ceased.

My point is flows should be identical and yet Worthing is treated worse for no apparent reason.
 

ushawk

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To be clear Brighton to Lewes is 6 tph unevenly spaced and Brighton to Worthing is 4tph plus 2 connections at Hove into trains from VIC. On Sats one pair of trains used to both run independently to VIC, the timetable seems designed to allow this, but has now ceased.

My point is flows should be identical and yet Worthing is treated worse for no apparent reason.

The Hove connections leave within 5 minutes of the original train getting there, so can be treated as a service to Brighton (albeit with 1 change of course). Brighton to Lewes isnt that unreasonably spaced as they leave at 10, 22, 32, 40, 52 - so 5tph at roughly 10 minute intervals, except between the 52 and 10 trains.

Flows would never be identical, 1 route would always have a slightly higher passenger usage at a certain time of day and that service would get the longer train where possible. It may seem like Coastway West is being treated worse, but this could be down to a slightly smaller flow and that there are 6 tph from Brighton to London, with 4 direct tph from Worthing to Brighton.
 

JamesRowden

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To be clear Brighton to Lewes is 6 tph unevenly spaced and Brighton to Worthing is 4tph plus 2 connections at Hove into trains from VIC. On Sats one pair of trains used to both run independently to VIC, the timetable seems designed to allow this, but has now ceased.

Actually there are only 4 offpeak services per hour between Lewes and Brighton:

Brighton - Lewes
Brighton - Seaford
Brighton - Ore
Brighton - Ashford


The Bexhill - Warrior Square - Charing Cross journeys are:

d'02' - a'03' (2h 1m)
d'39' - a'33' (1h 54m)


While the Bexhill - (Hampden Park) - Victoria journeys are:

d'04' - a'57' (1h 53m) (direct train)
d'35' - a'28' (1h 53m)


And for completeness the Bexhill - Ashford - St Pancras journeys are:

d'24' - a'29' (2h 5m)


Therefore journeys from Bexhill to London via the Brighton mainline are faster and simpler than going via Warrior Square and they are cheaper even without an advance ticket.

Also, when looking at the total demand for London along the East Coastway one must consider the Seaford branch and those coming from Hastings looking for a significantly cheaper ticket.
 

Robsignals

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The Hove connections leave within 5 minutes of the original train getting there, so can be treated as a service to Brighton (albeit with 1 change of course). Brighton to Lewes isnt that unreasonably spaced as they leave at 10, 22, 32, 40, 52 - so 5tph at roughly 10 minute intervals, except between the 52 and 10 trains.

Flows would never be identical, 1 route would always have a slightly higher passenger usage at a certain time of day and that service would get the longer train where possible. It may seem like Coastway West is being treated worse, but this could be down to a slightly smaller flow and that there are 6 tph from Brighton to London, with 4 direct tph from Worthing to Brighton.

It's true that Worthing - Victoria via Brighton isn't much slower but in practice it often means leaving WRH 6 mins after a through train that you could've got on!

It seems really unfair when combined (or connecting) trains arr/dep VIC with Advances for EBN but not WRH. Ok you can say that the two portions are really different trains (on Sat the first through train from WRH doesn't have Advances but EBN does connecting into it, explain that). You'd think that if there's space for EBN Advances only it should be possible to re-allocate some for WRH, it all generates a lot of bad feeling. Note this only applies to a few early Sat and late trains M-Su so differing portion lengths isn't the reason as Advances for both routes are available on all off-peak trains the rest of the day.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Actually there are only 4 offpeak services per hour between Lewes and Brighton:

Brighton - Lewes
Brighton - Seaford
Brighton - Ore
Brighton - Ashford


The Bexhill - Warrior Square - Charing Cross journeys are:

d'02' - a'03' (2h 1m)
d'39' - a'33' (1h 54m)


While the Bexhill - (Hampden Park) - Victoria journeys are:

d'04' - a'57' (1h 53m) (direct train)
d'35' - a'28' (1h 53m)


And for completeness the Bexhill - Ashford - St Pancras journeys are:

d'24' - a'29' (2h 5m)


Therefore journeys from Bexhill to London via the Brighton mainline are faster and simpler than going via Warrior Square and they are cheaper even without an advance ticket.

Also, when looking at the total demand for London along the East Coastway one must consider the Seaford branch and those coming from Hastings looking for a significantly cheaper ticket.

We're both wrong, Seaford's are half-hourly so 5 tph, honest!

Thanks for the Bexhill timings, interesting. There's a general assumption that VIC trains are slower but maybe it just seems like it, plus a dislike of portion working (up-to 10 mins stood at Haywards Heath, ouch) and changing at windswept Hampden Park (the other one).

Fares - SE cheaper for return in the Evening Peak, see: http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=69549 Seaford branch+Lewes/Polegate etc. population much less than Hove/Shoreham, but I have to agree Bexhill/Hastings may be a significant source of Advance and Super Off Peak via Hay Heath traffic.
 

johnnycache

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I work for Southern.

A couple of comments.

First there are 5 trains per hour between Brighton and Lewes
2 x Seaford, 1 x Ashford, 1 x Ore, 1 x Lewes shuttle

Next, looking at the Saturday morning services to London, Eastbourne might feel aggrieved that its first direct train to London at 0624 (arriving Victoria 0758) arrives over an hour after the first direct train from Worthing (0542 arriving Victoria 0657)

The non-availability of Advance tickets on the 0542 and 0605 from Worthing does look a bit of an anomaly and i'll look into that.

The new combined Thameslink/Great Northern/South Central franchise is out for consultation so it would be worth expressing any views you have about how services could be improved to the Department for Transport as well as to the current operator.
 

Robsignals

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I work for Southern.

A couple of comments.

First there are 5 trains per hour between Brighton and Lewes
2 x Seaford, 1 x Ashford, 1 x Ore, 1 x Lewes shuttle

Next, looking at the Saturday morning services to London, Eastbourne might feel aggrieved that its first direct train to London at 0624 (arriving Victoria 0758) arrives over an hour after the first direct train from Worthing (0542 arriving Victoria 0657)

The non-availability of Advance tickets on the 0542 and 0605 from Worthing does look a bit of an anomaly and i'll look into that.

The new combined Thameslink/Great Northern/South Central franchise is out for consultation so it would be worth expressing any views you have about how services could be improved to the Department for Transport as well as to the current operator.

Thanks. On Sats the 0503 from Eastbourne has a 31 min connection at Haywards Heath into the 0542 from Worthing or 5 min into an FCC arr London Bridge 0630, neither shown on Table 189. Mon - Fri the 0508 from Eastbourne arrives Victoria 0632 but Worthing has nothing to London earlier than the 0541 arrive Victoria 0700, which is a bit late nowdays.

Looking at Sats in October Advances are not showing on the 0635 either, are they released late on this and all xx36 deps? Also from Victoria last dep is 2147 Mon - Sat, 2117 Sun but Eastbourne is an hour later.

For the future I'd like an end to portion working, failing that 6 car portions or better still 16 car working on the combined train! Not sure there's much point suggesting that to DfT.

Regards, Rob.
 

ushawk

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For the future I'd like an end to portion working, failing that 6 car portions or better still 16 car working on the combined train! Not sure there's much point suggesting that to DfT.

Regards, Rob.

Neither of those would probably happen for the following reasons -

Splitting/Attatching - this only happens because there simply is not the paths for individual services to run, unless you reduce it to an hourly service for each line (like on Sundays).

16-car trains - you would need to extend every platform in the South to do it and at some stations it just isnt possble because of trackwork etc.

6-car portions wouldnt be too bad as Southern do have 3-car 377s, but these are used in the London area for 10-car operation.
 

Robsignals

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Neither of those would probably happen for the following reasons -

Splitting/Attatching - this only happens because there simply is not the paths for individual services to run, unless you reduce it to an hourly service for each line (like on Sundays).

16-car trains - you would need to extend every platform in the South to do it and at some stations it just isnt possble because of trackwork etc.

6-car portions wouldnt be too bad as Southern do have 3-car 377s, but these are used in the London area for 10-car operation.

Splitting/Attatching - a few years ago one pair of Sat morning trains *didn't* combine and ran separately to VIC the first just ahead of the normal path, the standard hour timetable is designed to allow this both ways though one train may not be able to call at Clapham Jct. SN now use one path for the third Brighton fast not calling at Haywards Heath where it passes the Coastway service while it's dividing/attaching. SN also wanted the other path but FCC's objection was upheld by the Regulator.

Another advantage of portion working is reduced crewing costs and possibly track access charges. Disadvantages are up-to 10 min time penalty, passenger confusion with some going the wrong way and on busy 12 car trains overcrowding in the 4 car portion. From VIC part of the problem is the way pax going no further than Hay Heath don't care about portion lengths causing unnecessary crowding of the 4 car for those who need to be in it.

16-car trains - were being considered in the '70s for non-stop Brighton fasts, I'm only suggesting it at principal stations on the BML. VIC P12> could handle them but may need a bit of tweaking now, Brighton could be done by restricting East branch access. Clapham Jct, Gatwick & Hay Heath all have room for extended platforms. E Croydon will be more difficult though operators have been asking for more flexibility ever since the present layout was done so a possible BOGOF?

Gatwick is getting a new Dn Fast Loop platform, don't know if this will be a problem but it needn't be, might have to take a bit of car park. Other problem is power supply...
 

ushawk

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Splitting/Attatching - a few years ago one pair of Sat morning trains *didn't* combine and ran separately to VIC the first just ahead of the normal path, the standard hour timetable is designed to allow this both ways though one train may not be able to call at Clapham Jct. SN now use one path for the third Brighton fast not calling at Haywards Heath where it passes the Coastway service while it's dividing/attaching. SN also wanted the other path but FCC's objection was upheld by the Regulator.

Early morning trains do run at different times in the mornings and arent the same as the clockface timetable through the day. 8 or 12 car units which may be stabled at Littlehampton or Eastbourne may of needed to be ran from only 1 of the stations to Victoria, in order to run a service back down, which would split. Its likely its changed though if these services no longer run, stock may come ECS from Selhurst Depot to form Coastbound services.

Another advantage of portion working is reduced crewing costs and possibly track access charges. Disadvantages are up-to 10 min time penalty, passenger confusion with some going the wrong way and on busy 12 car trains overcrowding in the 4 car portion. From VIC part of the problem is the way pax going no further than Hay Heath don't care about portion lengths causing unnecessary crowding of the 4 car for those who need to be in it.

Can cause confusion of course, thats why there are frequent announcements, problems occur however when passengers ignore the announcements.

16-car trains - were being considered in the '70s for non-stop Brighton fasts, I'm only suggesting it at principal stations on the BML. VIC P12> could handle them but may need a bit of tweaking now, Brighton could be done by restricting East branch access. Clapham Jct, Gatwick & Hay Heath all have room for extended platforms. E Croydon will be more difficult though operators have been asking for more flexibility ever since the present layout was done so a possible BOGOF?

Victoria is one of the stations that couldnt be extended as the extensions would stretch into the throat of the "fast" platforms, would block the slows as well if you extend 12/13. P19 could possibly be done though with a bit of work maybe. CLJ could possibly done with a bit of work, Gatwick couldnt because of the trackwork, HHE could be done and BTN could never be done because of trackwork and because Lovers Walk Depot is in the way. You cant extend platforms which then block of the Coastway East line as it would effectively force the closure of the line !!

Gatwick is getting a new Dn Fast Loop platform, don't know if this will be a problem but it needn't be, might have to take a bit of car park. Other problem is power supply...

It might mean an extra path on the Down Fast which could run fast through Gatwick overtaking a stopper, possibly could be the same for the Up Fast too, no doubt would the path be used by a BTN service though. Power supply would be a big problem though as you say, i think a 16-car 377 would be thirsty to say the least !!

Replies in bold, just easier to do it that way.
 

Robsignals

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Early morning trains do run at different times in the mornings and arent the same as the clockface timetable through the day. 8 or 12 car units which may be stabled at Littlehampton or Eastbourne may of needed to be ran from only 1 of the stations to Victoria, in order to run a service back down, which would split. Its likely its changed though if these services no longer run, stock may come ECS from Selhurst Depot to form Coastbound services.

These were mid-morning and there's plenty of stock on the coast on Sats. They ran seperatly so both 'portions' could be 8 or 12 car but as pax still spread themselves over other trains it didn't solve overcrowding and was discontinued.

Can cause confusion of course, thats why there are frequent announcements, problems occur however when passengers ignore the announcements.

More than once I've been on a train from VIC with blank displays and no announcements until after dividing! Guards check tickets for correct portion but if people have to move it's usually impossible to walk through. Many pax are clearly worried and regulars can be confused as alternate trains reverse portions.

Victoria is one of the stations that couldnt be extended as the extensions would stretch into the throat of the "fast" platforms, would block the slows as well if you extend 12/13. P19 could possibly be done though with a bit of work maybe. CLJ could possibly done with a bit of work, Gatwick couldnt because of the trackwork, HHE could be done and BTN could never be done because of trackwork and because Lovers Walk Depot is in the way. You cant extend platforms which then block of the Coastway East line as it would effectively force the closure of the line!!

Victoria before the 80s resignalling, which I was involved in, platforms (9 - 14?) had 'Inner' and 'Outer' sections that could handle two 8 car trains independently, 4 tracks between outer platforms, though not normally used. They did have room for 16 car, the throat has to be beyond Ebury Bridge but crossovers now encroach into the plats and the buffer stops were moved to enlarge the concourse - could move them back. Gatwick - Fast plats have room at the south end with a simple move of the Loop exit points, Slows are more difficult but possible if required. Brighton - East Branch from P6 - 8 only and maybe reinstate P9. Access to Lovers Walk can be via Preston Park.

It might mean an extra path on the Down Fast which could run fast through Gatwick overtaking a stopper, possibly could be the same for the Up Fast too, no doubt would the path be used by a BTN service though. Power supply would be a big problem though as you say, i think a 16-car 377 would be thirsty to say the least!!

Gatwick Dn Fast Loop P7 is to allow P5 & 6 to be dedicated to Gatwick Express freeing the Slow lines. A 16 car will use 34% more power than 12 car.

Thinking about it reverting to hourly East & West trains might be a good idea - time saving, no 'right portion' worry and 12 car when needed would be an improvement for me. Most pax on that length of journey plan ahead so hourly is fine, not sure many even realise it is now half hourly.
 

ushawk

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These were mid-morning and there's plenty of stock on the coast on Sats. They ran seperatly so both 'portions' could be 8 or 12 car but as pax still spread themselves over other trains it didn't solve overcrowding and was discontinued.

In all fairness ALL portions on Saturdays, especially Summer Saturdays, are going to be busy with all the daytrippers/foreign tourists etc.

More than once I've been on a train from VIC with blank displays and no announcements until after dividing! Guards check tickets for correct portion but if people have to move it's usually impossible to walk through. Many pax are clearly worried and regulars can be confused as alternate trains reverse portions.

Yes sometimes there are a lack of announcements and/or the train is too busy to walk through by the guard and/or announcments are inaudible. Although when there is announcments, its fine. Maybe keeping the location of the portion the same (IE front portion Littlehampton, rear portion Eastbourne) then people might get used to it.

Victoria before the 80s resignalling, which I was involved in, platforms (9 - 14?) had 'Inner' and 'Outer' sections that could handle two 8 car trains independently, 4 tracks between outer platforms, though not normally used. They did have room for 16 car, the throat has to be beyond Ebury Bridge but crossovers now encroach into the plats and the buffer stops were moved to enlarge the concourse - could move them back. Gatwick - Fast plats have room at the south end with a simple move of the Loop exit points, Slows are more difficult but possible if required. Brighton - East Branch from P6 - 8 only and maybe reinstate P9. Access to Lovers Walk can be via Preston Park.

Never knew that, would cost a fair bit though and it would be an awful lot of money to "reverse" the work or change all the track work, would be a lot of disruption on the Mainline too. And then theres the power upgrades that would be needed !!

Gatwick Dn Fast Loop P7 is to allow P5 & 6 to be dedicated to Gatwick Express freeing the Slow lines. A 16 car will use 34% more power than 12 car.

Thinking about it reverting to hourly East & West trains might be a good idea - time saving, no 'right portion' worry and 12 car when needed would be an improvement for me. Most pax on that length of journey plan ahead so hourly is fine, not sure many even realise it is now half hourly.

Can you imagine the huge uproar if that happens ?? Both lines are trying to get additional services to London and removing them, just so they get extra coaches isnt the way to go as then the passengers who cant go on the removed train will travel on the remaining one, making that busy. Would be better adding an extra service (IE like the GatEx suggestion) as that could free-up space on the semi-fast London services that would remain.

Need to say something here or i cant post it.
 

JamesRowden

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Maybe a better service pattern would be for one of the semi-fast East/West Coastway combined services to become two 6-car fast services that do not join but run one in front of the other and stop at alternate stations. At Victoria the serperate fast services would join to become the down semi-fast service. An an up semi-fast service would seperate at Victoria to become seperate fast down services.

An example of the idea is:

1 tph Semi-fast Victoria - Haywards Heath (Splitting):
- Semi-fast service from Haywards Heath-Littlehampton
- Semi-fast service from Haywards Heath-Eastbourne

1 tph Victoria - East Croyden - Haywards Heath - (Semi-fast to Ore)

1 tph Victoria - Clapham Junction - Gatwick - Hove - (Semi-fast to Littlehampton)

This would substantialy reduce journey times and by doing so might reduce the amount of stock required to run the services (but it would require stock capable of running 6 car trains or one of the fast trains to only be 4 car).
 

Robsignals

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Maybe a better service pattern would be for one of the semi-fast East/West Coastway combined services to become two 6-car fast services that do not join but run one in front of the other and stop at alternate stations. At Victoria the serperate fast services would join to become the down semi-fast service. An an up semi-fast service would seperate at Victoria to become seperate fast down services.

An example of the idea is:

1 tph Semi-fast Victoria - Haywards Heath (Splitting):
- Semi-fast service from Haywards Heath-Littlehampton
- Semi-fast service from Haywards Heath-Eastbourne

1 tph Victoria - East Croyden - Haywards Heath - (Semi-fast to Ore)

1 tph Victoria - Clapham Junction - Gatwick - Hove - (Semi-fast to Littlehampton)

This would substantialy reduce journey times and by doing so might reduce the amount of stock required to run the services (but it would require stock capable of running 6 car trains or one of the fast trains to only be 4 car).

That seems like a lot of complication for little benefit, if there are 4tph Victoria - Haywards Heath then both East & West can be half-hourly 12 car on a faster timing. All the current calls are important traffic generators, Gatwick especially from the coast, so not likely to be dropped, even if they were it wouldn't save enough time to reduce stock requirement.

Discussion should probably transfer to the 'Gatwick Express' thread http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=69565
If Gatwick traffic is put onto coast services I won't be travelling any more.
 

ushawk

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Discussion should probably transfer to the 'Gatwick Express' thread http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=69565
If Gatwick traffic is put onto coast services I won't be travelling any more.

I know its stretching into the GatEx topic, but the other suggestion is to just re-brand GatEx as "Gatwick Connect", scrap the stupid fares for it and have it to call at ECR and CLJ. Id also have the Sussex Coast services set down only towards London at ECR and CLJ and pick up only at the same stations, so they wont get even busier. The "connect" services would cover the stops missed on these services, as they would have the capacity.

Would be easier if there was new "airport" stock on these services, maybe a new form of 377.
 

Robsignals

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I know its stretching into the GatEx topic, but the other suggestion is to just re-brand GatEx as "Gatwick Connect", scrap the stupid fares for it and have it to call at ECR and CLJ. Id also have the Sussex Coast services set down only towards London at ECR and CLJ and pick up only at the same stations, so they wont get even busier. The "connect" services would cover the stops missed on these services, as they would have the capacity.

Would be easier if there was new "airport" stock on these services, maybe a new form of 377.

The stupid fares are a nice earner, early on GX was so profitable it was transferred to the InterCity BR business sector which is probably the origin of today's differences. Having paid £x00s for flights pax aren't bothered by another £10 or £20! I'm suggesting GX running time be the same as for making ECR & CLJ calls but line capacity especially at CLJ may not allow stopping. Pick-up/Set-down will be largely ignored with most regulars being blissfully unaware of it. GX may appear empty but you can't see the mounds of luggage and at busy flight times carries a lot of pax. Would airport 377s have some seats replaced by luggage stack areas? Expect howls of protest from unseated commuters!

I would like to see GX moved 5 minutes earlier from VIC, matching HEX, and Brighton fasts at xx00 & xx30, another path would be available at xx57 etc providing GX doesn't call at CLJ.
 
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