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Suggestion: Traditional L&NWR IC services post HS2

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adrock1976

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Mods: Apologies if this thread is in wrong section - I could not make my mind up whether to post here or in the High Speed sub forum.

Thinking about what a future service pattern may look like for the traditional Intercity services along the London & North Western Railway section between London Euston and Preston, Liverpool, Manchester, and Birmingham after HS2 reaches Preston, my thoughts are below. I would like to note that I am assuming the present EUS - Glasgow Central via Trent Valley Railway will transfer to HS2 between EUS and PRE, then run along conventional tracks via Lancaster & Carlisle Railway and Caledonian Railway.

Here goes:

xx:00
Manchester Piccadilly calling at Milton Keynes Central, Nuneaton TV (every 2 hours alternating), Lichfield TV (every 2 hours alternating), Stoke on Trent, Macclesfield, Stockport, and Manchester Piccadilly.

xx:07/xx:08
Liverpool Lime Street calling at Watford Junction, Rugby, Tamworth, Stafford, Runcorn, and Liverpool LS.

xx:15
Birmingham New Street calling at Milton Keynes Central, Coventry, Birmingham International, and Birmingham NS.

xx:22/xx:23
Preston calling at Watford Junction, Rugby, Crewe, Warrington BQ, Wigan NW, and Preston. Extended every 2 hours to Blackpool North/Talbot Road calling at Kirkham & Wesham and Poulton-le-Fylde on the way.

xx:30
Manchester Piccadilly calling at Milton Keynes Central, Rugby, Stoke on Trent, Macclesfield, Stockport, and Manchester Piccadilly.

xx:37/xx:38
Liverpool LS calling at Milton Keynes Central, Rugby, Nuneaton TV, Crewe, Runcorn, and Liverpool LS.

xx:45
Wolverhampton calling at Watford Junction, Coventry, Birmingham International, Birmingham NS, Sandwell & Dudley, and Wolverhampton. Extended every 2 hours to Shrewsbury calling at Telford Central and Wellington Telford West along the way. Furthermore, this extension would connect with the Aberystwyth - Shrewsbury short workings.

xx:52/xx:53
Chester calling at Milton Keynes Central, Rugby, Crewe, and Chester. Extended every 2 hours to Holyhead.

Both the present Birmingham NS and Manchester services would be reduced in frequency from every 20 minutes to every 30 minutes, but is compensated for by the higher frequency HS services. The Trent Valley Railway would see regular traditional Intercity services restored to and from London and the North West, plus Watford Junction and Rugby would have its Intercity services to and from London and the North West restored. Plus Liverpool LS would see its frequency doubled too.

Furthermore, the number of traditional Intercity services to and from EUS would be reduced by one from 9 to 8, making it slightly easier for an even interval service, as 60 divided by 9 does not go, but 8 does, making it every seven or eight minutes.

I have deliberately not made reference to the present day Birmingham NS - Glasgow and Edinburgh via Preston service, as that may or may not revert back to IC Crosscountry, or may operate as an independent service. Furthermore, I have also deliberately not made reference to the East - West Reading - Manchester/Midland Railway service as I have previously mentioned that in the Midland Railway suggestion thread I started recently.
 
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A0wen

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aside from stopping all services at MKC, seems reasonable

Surely the Birmingham services should stop at Rugby?

No Manchester services via the Styal line?

I'm not sure a 33% reduction in Manchester and Birmingham services will be well received.

Too many are calling at both MKC and Rugby.
 

hwl

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Surely the Birmingham services should stop at Rugby?

No Manchester services via the Styal line?

I'm not sure a 33% reduction in Manchester and Birmingham services will be well received.

Too many are calling at both MKC and Rugby.

Lots of MKC stops seems to be the preferred pattern as is resolves pathing efficienty issues of Pendolino or equivalent (125mph stock) and 350 or equivalent (110mph stock) enabling more services on the fasts overall.
 

Bald Rick

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Very optimistic. Particularly doubling the Liverpool service compared to today!

I'm sure the residual service specifications are out there somewhere, but I would be surprised if there were more than 4-5 long distance services per hour left on the classic WCML south of Rugby. 2 to W Mids, 1-2 to Manchester via Stoke, + one other probably Chester.
 

Bletchleyite

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aside from stopping all services at MKC, seems reasonable

I would stop all services at WFJ and MKC, personally. Probably also RUG.

This isn't going to be a fast service - it's going to be a service aimed at quality connectivity.

FWIW I'd also extend all Chester services to Holyhead, and all Preston services to Blackpool assuming it is wired.

Ideally I would also retain an hourly "slow" Scottish service - the present one is very popular indeed.
 
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LNW-GW Joint

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I'll bet that the DfT starts from the point where all fast services south of Lichfield/Curzon St will run via HS2 (else why build it?).
I suspect no more than hourly direct services on WCML South, concentrating on places like Coventry, Stoke and Chester, who probably won't have HS2 services.
The big increase will be regional (LM today) services involving Watford Jn, MKC, Northampton, Rugby, Nuneaton, Tamworth, Coventry.
Plus east-west options via Bletchley.
Life would be a bit different if Crewe-Chester and Wolverhampton-Shrewsbury were wired, but there's no apparent plan to do that by 2026.
Hopefully they will be included in the plan for HS2 to reach Crewe by 2027.
 

AndrewE

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I would stop all services at WFJ and MKC, personally. Probably also RUG.

This isn't going to be a fast service - it's going to be a service aimed at quality connectivity.

FWIW I'd also extend all Chester services to Holyhead, and all Preston services to Blackpool assuming it is wired.

Ideally I would also retain an hourly "slow" Scottish service - the present one is very popular indeed.

It's a pity you won't be in charge!

I would agree about WJ and Rugby (unless MK is OK for that purpose) it gives a Northampton to the NW and Scotland service, but that shouldn't be on trains that waste an hour going via the West Midlands. Not saying those should be withdrawn though.

Clearly this is a case (in fact it is now the time) for a strategic re-think of services. Anyone want to propose the structure for a Taktfahrplan for the classic WCML? The pre-Pendolino services calling at Rugby, Crewe and Preston an hour apart worked very well, but (I hope) it will all be to a bit quicker tempo in future...
 

Bevan Price

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We will have to wait and see what happens. No doubt DfT & HS2 management will hope for reductions in services on the southern part of WCML. But people at places without stations on HS2 will make a big fuss if they are given slower, less frequent services than at present. And local MPs seeking re-election will support such demands.

For example, Stockport & Stoke will want to retain some services running fast between Stoke & Euston.
 

AndrewE

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For example, Stockport & Stoke will want to retain some services running fast between Stoke & Euston.

Exactly so. Places not on HS2 need a good service (e.g. cities need Inter-City services) and not just to London! As I said earlier, it's time for a Taktfahrplan approach.
Mind you, I expect Stockport will have local trains to Picc and trams to the airport by then, 2 ways of accessing HS2.
 

thealexweb

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Virgin and First Group expressed the desire to extend some Manchester Piccadilly services north to Bolton. By 2018 Platform 5 will be in place and electrification, resignalling, higher running speed (100mph), etc will all be in place. Can we expect this to still happen? Platforms 3 and 4 are long enough to accommodate for a nine car Class 390 and double Class 221s.
 

Ianno87

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Thats an appaling use of capacity if its based on fast line running.

Not necessarily; if one aspires to have more Fast Line stops at Watford, MK etc in future, then the best strategy is to not fling out lots of trains on consecutive 3 minutes headways, as is done today, as one needs to allow for a platform reoccupation at these stations
- MKC for example, only allows this [really] in one direction at a time using Platform 5.

In his proposed pattern, there are still 3 gaps left per hour in which one could dump the [currently London Midland] Leighton Buzzard/Northampton fast paths (that have otherwise been ignored)
xx.03 (ish)
xx.18 (ish)
xx.41/xx.42 (ish)

These would be placed in the vacant paths immediately ahead of the Watford Junction stoppers. IIRC a 350 (at 100mph) can depart 4 minutes in front of a 390, and remain in front if the 390 stops at Watford.
 

A0wen

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I would stop all services at WFJ and MKC, personally. Probably also RUG.

Which is particularly daft and would slow down most long distance services out of Euston.

Look at the other lines radiating from London as an example:

Kings X - first stop for IC services is either Stevenage (25 miles) or Peterboro.

St P - first stop for IC services is one of the Luton stations or Bedford

Paddington - first stop is usually Reading (do some HSTs still stop at Slough?)

Liverpool St - Stratford (only 1 tph) then Chelmsford / Colchester

To put 3 stops into long distance services in the first 100 miles is mad. Over on the MML a number of the Sheffield services have Leicester as their first stop.
 

Bletchleyite

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The "LM" services could do with a recast, really - they only exist because "VT" don't primarily serve MKC commuters - but that would to some extent change. I can see no need for them other than as peak extras with most long-distance traffic on HS2.

The people of LBZ may not like it, but there is no particular reason for them to deserve a fast service over Tring, from which indeed there is more demand.

I think for "LM" services I'd go for something like:-

- 2tph Northampton-Wolverton-MKC-Bletchley-Leighton-Watford-Euston (on fasts from Ledburn)
- 2tph MKC-Bletchley-Leighton-Cheddington-Tring-Watford-Euston (on slows)
- 2tph Tring-all stations-Euston (on slows)

plus 2tph "Southern service" in some form; I'd argue one fast one slow for these if at all possible, and peak duplicates/extras if necessary.

The 2tph Northampton service could extend to New St if desired.

No 4-car working - all off-peak 8 car, all peak 12-car.

Because each of these either overlaps or calls at the station before it starts running fast, it provides better connectivity and a more consistent, understandable timetable.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Which is particularly daft and would slow down most long distance services out of Euston.

But post HS2 these will not be key long distance services. They will be regional express/inter-regional services whose primary purpose is connectivity from intermediate stations.
 
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87015

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The "LM" services could do with a recast, really - they only exist because "VT" don't primarily serve MKC commuters - but that would to some extent change. I can see no need for them other than as peak extras with most long-distance traffic on HS2.

The people of LBZ may not like it, but there is no particular reason for them to deserve a fast service over Tring, from which indeed there is more demand.

I think for "LM" services I'd go for something like:-

- 2tph Northampton-Wolverton-MKC-Bletchley-Leighton-Watford-Euston (on fasts from Ledburn)
- 2tph MKC-Bletchley-Leighton-Cheddington-Tring-Watford-Euston (on slows)
- 2tph Tring-all stations-Euston (on slows)

plus 2tph "Southern service" in some form; I'd argue one fast one slow for these if at all possible, and peak duplicates/extras if necessary.

The 2tph Northampton service could extend to New St if desired.

No 4-car working - all off-peak 8 car, all peak 12-car.

Because each of these either overlaps or calls at the station before it starts running fast, it provides better connectivity and a more consistent, understandable timetable.

How do you work out Tring has higher demand than Leighton Buzzard?!?! Ttring is a ghost staion off-peak as it only serves as a commuter park and ride. Your proposal destroys most of the long standing local flows to/from Hemel, but other that that...
 

Ianno87

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How do you work out Tring has higher demand than Leighton Buzzard?!?! Ttring is a ghost staion off-peak as it only serves as a commuter park and ride. Your proposal destroys most of the long standing local flows to/from Hemel, but other that that...

I doubt, even post-HS2, you'd be able to path trains to run run Tring-Watford-Euston (only) on the Slow Lines. These would almost certainly want to (and need to) pick up Berko and Hemel along the way.
 

Bletchleyite

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I doubt, even post-HS2, you'd be able to path trains to run run Tring-Watford-Euston (only) on the Slow Lines. These would almost certainly want to (and need to) pick up Berko and Hemel along the way.

Fair point.

But with regard to LBZ it does not specifically deserve a fast service - it merely has had it for operational convenience since the mid-2000s recast. It didn't, if I recall correctly, before.

In any case my proposal doesn't remove it :)
 

A0wen

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The "LM" services could do with a recast, really - they only exist because "VT" don't primarily serve MKC commuters - but that would to some extent change. I can see no need for them other than as peak extras with most long-distance traffic on HS2.

The people of LBZ may not like it, but there is no particular reason for them to deserve a fast service over Tring, from which indeed there is more demand.

I think for "LM" services I'd go for something like:-

- 2tph Northampton-Wolverton-MKC-Bletchley-Leighton-Watford-Euston (on fasts from Ledburn)
- 2tph MKC-Bletchley-Leighton-Cheddington-Tring-Watford-Euston (on slows)
- 2tph Tring-all stations-Euston (on slows)

plus 2tph "Southern service" in some form; I'd argue one fast one slow for these if at all possible, and peak duplicates/extras if necessary.

The 2tph Northampton service could extend to New St if desired.

No 4-car working - all off-peak 8 car, all peak 12-car.

Because each of these either overlaps or calls at the station before it starts running fast, it provides better connectivity and a more consistent, understandable timetable.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


But post HS2 these will not be key long distance services. They will be regional express/inter-regional services whose primary purpose is connectivity from intermediate stations.

2TPH for Northampton - I assume you're having a laugh?

Most of the trains which leave Northampton currently (3 TPH) do so with a decent load already. If anything Northampton should be receiving a 4 tph service - which is almost certainly what Wellingborough will have post electrification of the MML.

You really haven't thought this through have you?
 

notlob.divad

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xx:00
Manchester Piccadilly calling at Milton Keynes Central, Nuneaton TV (every 2 hours alternating), Lichfield TV (every 2 hours alternating), Stoke on Trent, Macclesfield, Stockport, and Manchester Piccadilly.

xx:07/xx:08
Liverpool Lime Street calling at Watford Junction, Rugby, Tamworth, Stafford, Runcorn, and Liverpool LS.

xx:15
Birmingham New Street calling at Milton Keynes Central, Coventry, Birmingham International, and Birmingham NS.

xx:22/xx:23
Preston calling at Watford Junction, Rugby, Crewe, Warrington BQ, Wigan NW, and Preston. Extended every 2 hours to Blackpool North/Talbot Road calling at Kirkham & Wesham and Poulton-le-Fylde on the way.

xx:30
Manchester Piccadilly calling at Milton Keynes Central, Rugby, Stoke on Trent, Macclesfield, Stockport, and Manchester Piccadilly.

xx:37/xx:38
Liverpool LS calling at Milton Keynes Central, Rugby, Nuneaton TV, Crewe, Runcorn, and Liverpool LS.

xx:45
Wolverhampton calling at Watford Junction, Coventry, Birmingham International, Birmingham NS, Sandwell & Dudley, and Wolverhampton. Extended every 2 hours to Shrewsbury calling at Telford Central and Wellington Telford West along the way. Furthermore, this extension would connect with the Aberystwyth - Shrewsbury short workings.

xx:52/xx:53
Chester calling at Milton Keynes Central, Rugby, Crewe, and Chester. Extended every 2 hours to Holyhead.

I have some issues with some of these. Mainly because these trains need to be focused on giving the intermediate stations good services to the Northern Cities as well as the focus on London.

For Example. Manchester has 2 services that stop at Milton Keynes, but no service that stops at Watford Junction.

Equally what is the reasoning behind a Rugby stop on both Liverpool services, but no stop at Litchfield.

I would be dubious about alternating stops on a 2 hourly basis. End to end times on these will not be important as the HS trains will be better for that, so these services should be aimed at providing connectivity. I think stopping every train everywhere is excessive. But if you have 2 tph between Liverpool/Manchester and London there is no reason why places shouldn't have an hourly connection to each.
 

Bletchleyite

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2TPH for Northampton - I assume you're having a laugh?

Most of the trains which leave Northampton currently (3 TPH) do so with a decent load already.

Largely coming from north of Northampton. That traffic wouldn't need considering post-HS2 - the "cheap slow option" would be the ex-VT services on the regular WCML. It would be a nonsense to keep cramming people onto those local trains at non-financially-viable fares long-term once HS2 is online.

It might I suppose be worth routeing 1tph IC via Northampton? Not sure which one though.

And yes I have thought it through. It's based on the principle that the WCML is overloaded at present and thus tends to fall apart when someone breathes on it, so it needs the frequencies dropping a little on both fasts and slows, but capacity providing by getting all busy trains to 12-car and ceasing all 4-car operation (and by having some people use HS2 instead). 2tph that people would want to use (i.e. the faster ones) is roughly the off-peak service most of the stations have except the very busiest.
 
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AndrewE

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I have some issues with some of these. Mainly because these trains need to be focused on giving the intermediate stations good services to the Northern Cities as well as the focus on London.

For Example. Manchester has 2 services that stop at Milton Keynes, but no service that stops at Watford Junction.

Equally what is the reasoning behind a Rugby stop on both Liverpool services, but no stop at Litchfield.

I would be dubious about alternating stops on a 2 hourly basis. End to end times on these will not be important as the HS trains will be better for that, so these services should be aimed at providing connectivity. I think stopping every train everywhere is excessive. But if you have 2 tph between Liverpool/Manchester and London there is no reason why places shouldn't have an hourly connection to each.

Rather than argue endlessly about the specifics of a particular line that we (individually) may have a special interest in, should we maybe start a new thread on what principles might apply and how a Taktfahrplan might work? Then apply it to this line.
Admittedly it would have to accommodate existing commuter flows but there are some people here (e.g. me and Notlob.Divad) who have to keep pointing out the need to cater for for passenger flows other than to Euston, a topic seemingly overlooked by most other contributors.
How can you possibly
"deliberately not [make]e reference to the present day Birmingham NS - Glasgow and Edinburgh via Preston service"
? The WCML doesn't just serve Euston commuters, or only people wanting to go to London, chaps (and chapesses)!
 
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Ianno87

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Why? Is there a New Town project to increase its size?

Yes - loads of housebuilding in recent years to west side of town, plus regeneration around station.

Stand and watch a 12-car evening peak train disgorge its load onto Plalatforms 2/3.

Don't forget that, as well as the London flow, Northampton-Milton Keynes is about the busiest non-London flow on the entire WCML.
 

Hadders

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Why? Is there a New Town project to increase its size?

Massive growth area. It'll need more than 2tph and a fast service under an hour which you won't achieve with the number of intermediate stops you propose.
 

DarloRich

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Why? Is there a New Town project to increase its size?

There is loads of new development around Northampton as people are being pushed further north by house prices. Soon that wave will be past Northampton and approaching Rugby. I looked at Northampton but didn't like it although would have lived there on affordability grounds. There is also a good Northampton - MKC commuter market which also includes Wellingborough people driving into Northampton for the journey.

EDIT: are we certain long distance express services wont still be a feature of WCML services post HS2? Wont the franchise holder try to complete on price with HS2?
 
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