Standing on a Sunday morning…

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Llandudno

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This is not a Commodore’s song!

Is it acceptable for passengers having to be crammed in like sardines on a Sunday morning when there is a depot full of trains sitting there doing nothing, or indeed, the frequency is so poor that all intending passengers have to cram onto one train because the gap in frequency is so great?

Sun 8 Aug
1020 Holyhead to Cardiff. 3 Car 175. Full and standing from Abergele.
Lots of suitcases, pushchairs etc. Train losing time at every station as passengers cram on board.

Are there many other full and standing trains on Sunday mornings?
I think the mid Cheshire line sometimes suffers from this as the Sunday frequency is a train every 2 hours!
 
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142blue

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Or are we seeing an exceptional number of people taking holidays in the UK which we've never seen anything like before which is just making it much worse?
 

43055

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This is not a Commodore’s song!

Is it acceptable for passengers having to be crammed in like sardines on a Sunday morning when there is a depot full of trains sitting there doing nothing, or indeed, the frequency is so poor that all intending passengers have to cram onto one train because the gap in frequency is so great?

Sun 8 Aug
1020 Holyhead to Cardiff. 3 Car 175. Full and standing from Abergele.
Lots of suitcases, pushchairs etc. Train losing time at every station as passengers cram on board.

Are there many other full and standing trains on Sunday mornings?
I think the mid Cheshire line sometimes suffers from this as the Sunday frequency is a train every 2 hours!
On the tracker on the EMR website yesterday some London services were showing as full and standing. Some services were still just 5 cars even though there were what looked like spare units on Etches Park.
Or are we seeing an exceptional number of people taking holidays in the UK which we've never seen anything like before which is just making it much worse?
It took a good 5-10 minutes to offload a 9 car 800 from Cornwall at Paddington last night.
 

73001

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This is often a symptom of parts of the economy thinking Sunday is a normal day and the rest thinking it's a day of rest. All of the shops and leisure facilities are open but we still have Sunday timetables... I saw this 20+ years ago when I worked in transport and it generally hasn't been improved. I'm not getting into a Sunday working discussion (this needs to be sorted out between staff and companies) but it is the reason why it still happens.
 

jopsuk

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pre-pandemic this was a frequent issue on Cambridge fast trains on Sundays- packed 8 car services to London were common
 

dk1

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pre-pandemic this was a frequent issue on Cambridge fast trains on Sundays- packed 8 car services to London were common
They are struggling for drivers now with cancellations on Sundays so very little chance of anyone available to attach/detach/shunt extra units.
 

tom1649

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pre-pandemic this was a frequent issue on Cambridge fast trains on Sundays- packed 8 car services to London were common
You're lucky didn't send 4 cars out like some operators would.
 

wobman

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This is not a Commodore’s song!

Is it acceptable for passengers having to be crammed in like sardines on a Sunday morning when there is a depot full of trains sitting there doing nothing, or indeed, the frequency is so poor that all intending passengers have to cram onto one train because the gap in frequency is so great?

Sun 8 Aug
1020 Holyhead to Cardiff. 3 Car 175. Full and standing from Abergele.
Lots of suitcases, pushchairs etc. Train losing time at every station as passengers cram on board.

Are there many other full and standing trains on Sunday mornings?
I think the mid Cheshire line sometimes suffers from this as the Sunday frequency is a train every 2 hours!

The problem is Sundays are covered by committed overtime and volunteers on overtime, its also a full complement of leave used at All depots. Then there's a huge amount of new drivers that don't sign a lot of the routes, so it's just unfortunately the perfect storm on TFW Sunday services at this present time.

Plus as previously mentioned there's bigger numbers of people having staycations, the railways plan years in a advance so planning for this kind of demand increase due to covid is near enough impossible unfortunately.

Things are planned to improve in the future once the new traincrew are fully trained up and new trains are passed out with the increase in timetables. But that's all in the future.
 

Taunton

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Chiltern sent out a 2-car set on the first service to Marylebone one London Marathon Sunday morning, the only one which got to London in time for the race. Those further down the line couldn't even get in.

The major mismatch in the industry is between the commercial side, keen to have as many paying patrons as possible, and the operators and their budgets, tasked with a minimum cost for each service to be provided. The concept of "marginal costing" of increasing provision at quiet times like Sunday mornings has to a considerable extent been lost as various key suppliers have moved on to usage-based charging. The infrastructure is charged for by the car mile, so a doubled formation is a doubled cost. Train lessors likewise charge by the vehicle mile, taking the "averaging out" themselves, so again doubled-up sets at any time of the week are double the cost.

And because there is no connection between revenue and cost, and because everyone is forced to buy before travel, there's no loss of revenue from those who have paid full price and have to stand, or can't get in. Can you imagine say a restaurant where you had to pay first before going in through the door, then immediately found there were no tables available, nor even anyone around to give you your money back ...
 

geoffk

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This is not a Commodore’s song!

Is it acceptable for passengers having to be crammed in like sardines on a Sunday morning when there is a depot full of trains sitting there doing nothing, or indeed, the frequency is so poor that all intending passengers have to cram onto one train because the gap in frequency is so great?

Sun 8 Aug
1020 Holyhead to Cardiff. 3 Car 175. Full and standing from Abergele.
Lots of suitcases, pushchairs etc. Train losing time at every station as passengers cram on board.
The next train to call at Abergele would not have been for four hours!
 

choochoochoo

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They are struggling for drivers now with cancellations on Sundays so very little chance of anyone available to attach/detach/shunt extra units.
They don't struggle as much on a sunday as they do on a saturday. Most drivers like their Sunday enhancement too much. Usually easy to find volunteers to cover jobs on a sunday.

Think the other problem is that TOCs use weekends to do bigger maintenance projects on their stock, so have fewer serviceable trains available to put on their services.
 

Y Ddraig Coch

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They don't struggle as much on a sunday as they do on a saturday. Most drivers like their Sunday enhancement too much. Usually easy to find volunteers to cover jobs on a sunday.

Think the other problem is that TOCs use weekends to do bigger maintenance projects on their stock, so have fewer serviceable trains available to put on their services.
TfW had a lot of cancelations yesterday due to a lack of train crew. As the day went on the more cancelations there was.
 

Mag_seven

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When I was young the (in the 70s) the railway could get away running a skeleton service because generally everything was shut and the streets were deserted. Now the country has moved on but the railways in some respects still seems to be stuck in the 70s.
 

Taunton

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Think the other problem is that TOCs use weekends to do bigger maintenance projects on their stock, so have fewer serviceable trains available to put on their services.
I think this one is a bit of a myth. One can commonly notice the same stock all in position in sidings on Sunday evening as it was at the end of Friday. There are not scads of fitters who all come in to work over the weekend.
 

Y Ddraig Coch

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When I was young the (in the 70s) the railway could get away running a skeleton service because generally everything was shut and the streets were deserted. Now the country has moved on but the railways in some respects still seems to be stuck in the 70s.

Exactly this. A Sunday is just another day now. Shops open all day, pubs open all day sporting events on into the evening. Theatres and shows on.
 

Sleepy

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When I was young the (in the 70s) the railway could get away running a skeleton service because generally everything was shut and the streets were deserted. Now the country has moved on but the railways in some respects still seems to be stuck in the 70s.
Certainly some parts of the country are stuck in the 70's but take East Anglia - Norwich to London had train every 2 hours at best, now it's hourly with additional journeys at certain times and similar on the branch lines (Ipswich to Lowestoft & Cambridge were 2 hourly until couple years ago) Pre - Covid mainline was planned to increase Sunday frequency. In contrast East Midlands Railway & Cross Country services from Norwich and Cambridge are very poor on Sunday mornings.
 
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setdown

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To be fair, this is something London Midland used to be really poor about on Sundays (4 car trains full and standing late at night), but the new operator did the right thing and made the services 8-car.
 

Bletchleyite

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To be fair, this is something London Midland used to be really poor about on Sundays (4 car trains full and standing late at night), but the new operator did the right thing and made the services 8-car.

Yep, one of the few really good things Abellio did on taking over was to near enough eliminate 4 car working (there are still a few but not many), despite the high cost of using the 350/2s due to the limited mileage leases they are on.
 

bramling

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When I was young the (in the 70s) the railway could get away running a skeleton service because generally everything was shut and the streets were deserted. Now the country has moved on but the railways in some respects still seems to be stuck in the 70s.

It isn’t just a railway thing. The country as a whole can’t quite make its mind up what it wants. There’s a lot of people who simply hate the idea of working weekends, and this isn’t just unique to the railway. Of course, people expect everything to be laid on, just not at work themselves - the same attitude we see at Christmas.

I’m not sure it’s something which will ever be fully reconciled.
 

Bletchleyite

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It isn’t just a railway thing. The country as a whole can’t quite make its mind up what it wants. There’s a lot of people who simply hate the idea of working weekends, and this isn’t just unique to the railway.

Which is fine. There are plenty of jobs - I'd probably say the majority of them - where you will either never or very rarely have to work a weekend. Almost all non-customer-facing office jobs, for example. If not working weekends is important to you, you need to bear that in mind when selecting/changing your career.

IT is my thing and I've avoided going into the support side of that because I don't want to work weekends.
 

dk1

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They don't struggle as much on a sunday as they do on a saturday. Most drivers like their Sunday enhancement too much. Usually easy to find volunteers to cover jobs on a sunday.

Think the other problem is that TOCs use weekends to do bigger maintenance projects on their stock, so have fewer serviceable trains available to put on their services.
Ticket acceptance was in place all yesterday with GA due to GN crew issues. Becoming the weekend norm now.
 

bramling

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Which is fine. There are plenty of jobs - I'd probably say the majority of them - where you will either never or very rarely have to work a weekend. Almost all non-customer-facing office jobs, for example. If not working weekends is important to you, you need to bear that in mind when selecting/changing your career.

IT is my thing and I've avoided going into the support side of that because I don't want to work weekends.

The problem is people take on jobs which involve weekend work, and then do everything possible to avoid it. I’ve seen this over many years, and it’s endemic. Short of throwing serious money at people, I can’t see a full solution.

From a railway perspective it doesn’t help that weekend demand is highly unpredictable. Until Covid peak demand could be predicted almost to the number, with slight variations for Monday and Friday. Weekend demand is heavily influenced by factors such as weather and events.

I simply don’t think there’s ever going to be the will to fully resolve it.
 

Blurb

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Other issues that may limit Sunday services relate to infrastructure and Network Rail e.g. a line may not be open/available on a Sunday morning due to a need to have people to operate manual level crossings and signal boxes etc. Recruiting and training is not instant/ needs planning. Also the cost implications may be severe e.g. needing a whole extra shift to be able to cover a small extra amount of operation at weekend. Not everything is in the control of the TOC or solvable by them alone.
 

choochoochoo

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I think this one is a bit of a myth. One can commonly notice the same stock all in position in sidings on Sunday evening as it was at the end of Friday. There are not scads of fitters who all come in to work over the weekend.

You don't need a large quantity of fitters to do larger maintenance jobs. Just more time in which to inspect, repair, etc. Also certain maintenance procedures may involve long curing/drying times.

Another thing less stock on the weekend might be down to leasing requirements. Not sure exactly how TOCs are charged but if it's by mileage, then the planners may have to factor in running less stock to keep costs at what was budgeted for.
 

sw1ller

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They don't struggle as much on a sunday as they do on a saturday. Most drivers like their Sunday enhancement too much. Usually easy to find volunteers to cover jobs on a sunday.

Think the other problem is that TOCs use weekends to do bigger maintenance projects on their stock, so have fewer serviceable trains available to put on their services.
This is completely wrong for TfW drivers. We get paid better for working a rest day that ISNT a Sunday. Our depot really struggles to find volunteers and every week the resource department spend most of the 3 days running up to Sunday trying to fill the gaps.
 

choochoochoo

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This is completely wrong for TfW drivers. We get paid better for working a rest day that ISNT a Sunday. Our depot really struggles to find volunteers and every week the resource department spend most of the 3 days running up to Sunday trying to fill the gaps.
Good job I was talking about GTR then :)
 

Bill57p9

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Whilst I don't disagree with the OP, at least TfW are offering a Sunday service...
Such luxuries seem a distant memory to those of us living in Scotland.
 

Starmill

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Whilst I don't disagree with the OP, at least TfW are offering a Sunday service...
Such luxuries seem a distant memory to those of us living in Scotland.
It does mean of course that there's not an overcrowding issue on routes with no service.
 

geoffk

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When I was young the (in the 70s) the railway could get away running a skeleton service because generally everything was shut and the streets were deserted. Now the country has moved on but the railways in some respects still seems to be stuck in the 70s.
The situation is the same with buses, a big reduction in service from weekdays to Sundays, and what's more a Sunday service on Bank Holidays and generally nothing at all on New Year's Day. Don't buses operators generally work a rolling seven-day week? In continental Europe many countries have not deregulated their Sunday trading laws to the extent that the UK has, yet the public transport offering on Sundays often differs little from weekdays.
 
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Falcon1200

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My local rail route normally has the same frequency on Sundays as off-peak weekdays and all day Saturday, albeit with a later start. **Disclaimer; At the moment there is no Sunday service at all due to the Scotrail/RMT dispute**.
Of the three local bus routes however, two do not run on Sunday, at all, and the one that does starts way later, finishes way earlier, and runs at half the frequency.
 
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