SWT and the Olympic challenge

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PhilipW

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For months now the train companies have been telling us how much they are gearing up for the Olympics and yesterday on 'Super Saturday' ATOC put out a Press Release saying how half a million extra seats would be available.

Undoubtedly true as that was in many parts of the country, I am not sure the word has got down to South West Trains.

I travelled up to Waterloo yesterday. The upward journey was on the 11.38 from Southampton Parkway. In rolled an 8-car Class 450. What surburban stock is doing on their premiere main line service from Weymouth is a question in itself. However if a 10-car Calss 444 was not available, at least it should have been a 12-car Class 450. The service was full plus.

For the evening returns, SWT have decided that there is no need to run any extra services to Southampton and beyond. Just 2 services (00.05 and 01:05 deferred run 30 mins later). So if there is no need for extra services, presumably the logic would be then be that the existing services are to be strengthened. Not so, it would seem on the 23:05 to Poole which I was on last Wednesday and Saturday which remained a 5-car Class 444. On Wednesday everybody just fitted but on Saturday it was standing room only before we left Waterloo with stops still due at Clapham Junction and Wimbledon to pick up. It was standing only in my carriage all the way to Basingstoke.

Surely it does not need many brain cells to forecast that a train like the 23:05 will be overcrowded on the key Saturday night of the Athletics. If there are not enough 444s around (which I doubt) to make it a 10-car formation, why not add a 450 to make it a 9-car formation. SWT have done that before. Prediction to SWT - the service will be full again next Friday and Saturday. Are you ready ?

So what exactly are SWT doing for the Olympics ? No extra trains on their main line service from Waterloo and precious little signs of any train strengthing of obvious late night key services.
 
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Robbies

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I think from lokking at the timetables, that extra services are being run through the the Olympics than would normally be run, however this does not mean that existing services which you may have been using would be longer as the extra trains would more than likely be using the carriages that would have extended the trains.

For me, it is like when Royal Ascot took place back in June. SWT for the Royal Ascot week where proving extra services. However, most part of the class 458 fleet was in the sidings at Clapham Junction on the Royal Ascot Saturday. Instead, SWT where using class 455 units coupled together and class 450's with a few class 458's.
 

lj9090

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The stengthening is all down the other end... :)

My usual 5 car 444 has been replaced with a 8 car 450 which runs through to Weymouth - formed as a 12 car down to Southampton instead of it's usual 10, and atleast 5 busses are sat fully staffed waiting outside Bournemouth to deal with any unusual loads. Speaking to staff they haven't been used...
 

fgwrich

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There have been a few extra past 01:05 Services, but these are run in a similar fashion to the LHCS sets on the other mainlines, As required and when - Unfortunatly though, some advertising would help to ease the crowding on some of these services and spread the passenger loadings around.
 

PhilipW

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I think from lokking at the timetables, that extra services are being run through the the Olympics than would normally be run, however this does not mean that existing services which you may have been using would be longer as the extra trains would more than likely be using the carriages that would have extended the trains.

Not quite sure what point you are trying to make.

My point is that there are no additional services on the Southampton/Bournemouth main line route, just two services (00.05 and 01.05) retimed to run 25 mins later. Additionally from my own experience and from comments on another thread there seems to be little or no evidence that fairly obvious services that are likely to be overcrowded (e.g 22:35 and 23:05) are lengthened in any way.

Given all the hype there is about the railways and the Olympics, it all seems rather strange to me.
 

ushawk

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Cant add additional coaches to trains if they are all already in use on other services !!! There is a finite amount of stock and control would use the coaches they do have on services they would expect to busy from the statistics for people attending events and at what time, of course there is the sailing down in Weymouth too, so the 444s are probably down there.
 

PhilipW

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Cant add additional coaches to trains if they are all already in use on other services !!! There is a finite amount of stock and control would use the coaches they do have on services they would expect to busy from the statistics for people attending events and at what time, of course there is the sailing down in Weymouth too, so the 444s are probably down there.

Saturday night from 22:00 onwards. You are saying that there are no spare Class 450s around - I don't believe it.

SWT have had months to plan for the Olympics. Major evening athelics at the main stadium and someone thinks that late night services don't need strengthening. Pull the other one, please.
 

ushawk

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Saturday night from 22:00 onwards. You are saying that there are no spare Class 450s around - I don't believe it.

SWT have had months to plan for the Olympics. Major evening athelics at the main stadium and someone thinks that late night services don't need strengthening. Pull the other one, please.

And your an expert in how a train company operates i guess ?

With an increased use during the day, stock will need to be serviced/cleaned/attended to in whatever way at night instead of when its at the depot during the day.

That and the stock needs to be in the right place for the following morning.
 

PhilipW

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And your an expert in how a train company operates i guess ?

With an increased use during the day, stock will need to be serviced/cleaned/attended to in whatever way at night instead of when its at the depot during the day.

That and the stock needs to be in the right place for the following morning.

Sounds as if you are saying "Forget about the Olympic crowds trying to get home, our operational procedures come first. So no late night lengthening is possible".
 

ushawk

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Sounds as if you are saying "Forget about the Olympic crowds trying to get home, our operational procedures come first. So no late night lengthening is possible".

Well if a train has a potential fault which could be missed if they dont go through safety check, and then that fault causes an incident of some kind, then there will be uproar that stock wasnt being checked.

Would you rather have a crowded train or a train with a safety fault on it which is unknown by engineers as there has been no time to check it ?
 

D1009

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It seems additional trains were operating on all major routes from London except the Basingstoke direction. Why is it that other TOCs were able to provide additional capacity when SWT were not ? Even more strange when you consider how much SWT stock is not used on Sunday mornings.
 

Monty

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SWT have run additionals on an as required basis, on the evening of the opening ceremony not everyone could board the last train scheduled out of Waterloo so SWT ran an extra at very short notice.

Speaking personally I've not seen a huge issue with the services in and out of Waterloo and I have found them to be no busier than at peak time Monday morning, with the exception of trains going to Windsor & Eton Riverside which have been rammed.
 

David Goddard

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There is a fleet of eight x 8car EMUs sitting around not being used much at the moment. Would have been ideal for providing additional trains to take the punters home....
 

richw

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In reference to the original question why 12 cars cant be used to weymouth, I'm sure the electric supply can not handle more than 10 car train to be within weymouth at any one time
 

Helvellyn

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There is a fleet of eight x 8car EMUs sitting around not being used much at the moment. Would have been ideal for providing additional trains to take the punters home....
And where do you find the crews to work these trains?
 

Urban Gateline

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There may not have been many extra services on the SWT network during the past few days, however yesterday and today I was pleasantly surprised to see 8 car 455/450's on suburban routes instead of the usual 4 cars run on the weekend! Therefore what PhilipW mentioned about 10pm Saturday is not necessarily true as many of the 450's would still be in use on strengthened suburban services.
 

David Goddard

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And where do you find the crews to work these trains?

Where there's a will. If excursions can work with pilotmen etc then with enough preparation the same could happen for additional passenger trains.

Yes I posted this with reference to stock, not going into other considerations, but there should be a way somehow. Even if the 460s covered GatEx so some 442s would be free to work down the South Western.

All of the Train Companies Working Together. I seem to remember this quote being used, just needs to happen more often.
 
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