Thameslink 2023 timetable

SE%Traveller

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I'm not sure those changes free up many 700s. Luton - Rainham via Catford looks to take the same time as via Greenwich based on the Gillingham - Victoria (to Bromley South) and Sevenoaks - Blackfriars (from Bromley South). Turning back at Beckenham Junction saves 1 unit at most two and Maidstone via Bromley South takes a bit longer though might not need an extra unit. To introduce the originally planned Maidstone would need at least 5 units so expect there still be a shortfall.

How workable it is in general would depend on passenger numbers and what changes Southeastern make in future. An all stops Rainham - Luton via Catford and Sole Street could be overcrowded as with redirection to Blackfriars it's unlikely to be overtaken since the peak Maidstone East services currently go via Catford. Pre-pandemic the Rainham services had some merit, the Cannon Street lines had capacity constrains further in so the flat moves didn't really impact overall capacity. These days there's fewer peak services to Cannon Street so diversions are easier. Also likely to be quite a big timetable change, as Blackfriars Junction services aren't all paired by service group so rearranging via London Bridge to via Elephant isn't trivial.

I'd personally expect services to be more like May 2022 longer term, with the Orpington - Luton only operating at peak/school times, no Thameslink Littlehampton services or extensions to Maidstone with maybe East Grinstead services added back. The May 2022 timetable needs 100ish class 700s in service according to my code. Potentially the Rainham - Luton services could turnback further south at Kentish Town or Cannon Street off peak but unclear how much this would actually save.


I'd hope May 22 is not the long term plan, Leaving a whole load of stations in Zone 2/3 with a 2tph service into london is pretty poor. I understood the lack of Orpington to Kentish Town service at the moment is down to a shortage of drivers.
 
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It would probably be much better to focus on a few selected routes south of London, as this would make the Thameslink operation much simpler and much more reliable, and mean less driver route knowledge are required. Peak routes arent even needed anymore due to reduced demand due to Covid.

So south of London I would have only these routes have Thameslink services:
Brighton Mainline (and Three Bridges to Horsham)
Sutton loop
Blackfriars to Orpington/Sevenoaks
 

Failed Unit

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I would agree.

It would be a pity if the Cambridge - Blackfriars (semi fast) never happened, but maybe not to Maidstone. As I said earlier in the thread, it is more generally useful to the network then the Kentish Town - Orpington (ie merge them form Cambridge - Maidstone)

I have noticed that even now, a lot of people get on the train at Finsbury Park for the core. Many of them like myself have just got of the Cambridge service (although I lot are doing this from the Hertford line). I am not sure if this is because of the Northern Line closure, but extra services from Finsbury Park would definitely be welcome. May 2022 will be in interesting observation to me, as I will be staying on from the direct services from WGC - Sevenoaks. I will make some observations to how many others do. I suspect some of the loadings from the KX services will drop as well.
 

SE%Traveller

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I'd agree, I'd be happy enough that they ran Orpington to Blackfriars Off Peak. Or tie it up North of the river with another all day service (such as Cambridge) and tie the peak Luton extras with a Peak southern extras

One of the infuriating things they've done in the May timetable is start some of the Peak Orpington's from Blackfriars. So in order to get the would be XX:17 or XX:47 you have to catch the XX:12 or XX: 42 to Sutton which is only 5 minutes after the Welwyn Service. (XX:07; XX:37). So handy if you just miss the Sevenoaks service but otherwise it's useless. It wasn't so bad when it was the Sevenoaks service from Blackfriars because the 20/10 minute interval didn't work against you then.

I still harbour a suspicion that they didn't link either of the Bromley South Services to an all day service North to future proof against a reversal of sending the Suttons through the core. Otherwise why not just run Cambridge to Sevenoaks (all Day)
Luton To Orpington (all day)
Luton to Beckenham Junction (Peak only)
Welwyn to Maidstone East (Peak Only)

Maidstone East going all day was fairly last minute as was going to Rainham at all. You could argue it would have been better off had done neither....
 

NorthKent1989

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It does feel that Thameslink will eventually have a rump set of services.

The Maidstone service is now a South Eastern operated feeder service, the Kings X-Cambridge service may quietly revert back to being a Great Northern service.

I can see the Rainham service reverting back to becoming a South Eastern service with the service, either being changed so that after London Bridge it absorbs a Southern service (possibly the Epsom one) or rerouted serve a destination running via Elephant & Castle.

I’ve noticed throughout covid this is the service they normally reduce or axe entirely and the Luton-Rainham service always seemed like a consultation prize for the Greenwich line after it lost its Charing Cross trains
 

ScotGG

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Not much of one either as the Rainham via Greenwich has been one train per hour for much of its life, if that.

If they can't run 2tph leading to big service gaps then returning to SE would be welcome
 

NorthKent1989

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Not much of one either as the Rainham via Greenwich has been one train per hour for much of its life, if that.

If they can't run 2tph leading to big service gaps then returning to SE would be welcome

Trains are currently 3tph on the Greenwich line, 2tph to Cannon Street, 1tph Thameslink, as you say it’s been pretty shoddy for most of its existence.

When you compare to pre 2018 that line had a clock face 6tph
 
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Trains are currently 3tph on the Greenwich line, 2tph to Cannon Street, 1tph Thameslink, as you say it’s been pretty shoddy for most of its existence.

When you compare to pre 2018 that line had a clock face 6tph
The 1tph Thameslink is temporary though. It goes back to 2tph from May.
 

NorthKent1989

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The 1tph Thameslink is temporary though. It goes back to 2tph from May.

It’s been 1tph on Thameslink before though, for much of 2018 and into 2019 it was 1tph, really don’t see the point in Thameslink running this service, for the sake of a better service it should revert to South Eastern
 

HST43257

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How about replacing Rainham with the London Bridge to Epsom Southern service?
 

NorthKent1989

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How about replacing Rainham with the London Bridge to Epsom Southern service?

I’ve heard this suggested before, if it doesn’t effect Windmill Junction as it serves West Croydon it could be possible, if this scenario happened I’d advocate that service being extended out to Guildford if it were possible :)
 

cle

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I’ve heard this suggested before, if it doesn’t effect Windmill Junction as it serves West Croydon it could be possible, if this scenario happened I’d advocate that service being extended out to Guildford if it were possible :)
Sounds familiar!

It makes sense in theory, albeit 8-10 car limits I recall - but not sure on the pathing. Would add another Norwood Junction frequency to the core too, as well as the West Croydon + onwards new connections. TL could interwork via Sutton if ever needed too.

Curious on the fastest Sutton->Blackfriars route with this in place.
 

JonathanH

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Would add another Norwood Junction frequency to the core too, as well as the West Croydon + onwards new connections.
Four minutes after the existing Norwood Junction stop.

As for Guildford, it would hardly be a through route.
 

flyerr88

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I drive for crossrail, and travel from Chatham. Thameslinks 1 tph now is making my life pretty miserable!! I should just drive for Thameslink! If you can’t beat em, join em!! :))
 

cle

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Four minutes after the existing Norwood Junction stop.
Perhaps that goes. Or it could call at New Cross Gate instead then? Or the first one does.
That was well-used, and if the ELL frequency is going to go up in future (with Canal Rd? - TfL budget crisis assuming a longer delay though) - it would be an even better connection point. And that is without the Bakerloo conversation.
 

Mikey C

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What's also irritating about the Thameslink Rainham service, is that when there are engineering works ANYWHERE on the route, they chop it altogether. Today, for example due to works in the Gravesend area, the whole service has been dropped, leaving the Greenwich line with a pathetic 2 trains an hour
 

JonathanH

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What's also irritating about the Thameslink Rainham service, is that when there are engineering works ANYWHERE on the route, they chop it altogether. Today, for example due to works in the Gravesend area, the whole service has been dropped, leaving the Greenwich line with a pathetic 2 trains an hour
Not quite anywhere. It has run to and from Dartford and via Lewisham in the past.
 
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What's also irritating about the Thameslink Rainham service, is that when there are engineering works ANYWHERE on the route, they chop it altogether. Today, for example due to works in the Gravesend area, the whole service has been dropped, leaving the Greenwich line with a pathetic 2 trains an hour
Its a combination of that and the fact that the Midland Main Line has a 2 track possession on meaning everything is running on the slow lines. So there isn't the capacity for Thameslink Rainham services to run onto the Midland Main Line. And Thameslink are running from Strood to Rainham.

Also tommorow there is a possession at London Bridge which blocks the Rainham services from running anyway.

Also the Rainham services are frequently diverted via Lewisham and Bexleyheath, so its not like they are binned off when there is even any hint of engineering works.
 

Mikey C

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Its a combination of that and the fact that the Midland Main Line has a 2 track possession on meaning everything is running on the slow lines. So there isn't the capacity for Thameslink Rainham services to run onto the Midland Main Line. And Thameslink are running from Strood to Rainham.

Also tommorow there is a possession at London Bridge which blocks the Rainham services from running anyway.

Also the Rainham services are frequently diverted via Lewisham and Bexleyheath, so its not like they are binned off when there is even any hint of engineering works.
But today there was nothing to stop a service from London Bridge to Dartford or Northfleet via Greenwich. A route which by itself should be a metro route
 
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But today there was nothing to stop a service from London Bridge to Dartford or Northfleet via Greenwich. A route which by itself should be a metro route
Capacity to terminate the trains at London Bridge is what was stopping it or making it much more complicated.

I do agree a service could have been ran if possible, but there were a lot of mitigating factors this weekend that meant no service was ran.
 

NorthKent1989

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But today there was nothing to stop a service from London Bridge to Dartford or Northfleet via Greenwich. A route which by itself should be a metro route

I have noticed that the Rainham service is always the one to be binned off.

They don’t even seem to run the Bexleyheath diversion as often as they used to when there are engineering works, more often than not they run a Dartford to Rainham shuttle.

Is it still 1tph or has normal service resumed?
 
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I have noticed that the Rainham service is always the one to be binned off.

They don’t even seem to run the Bexleyheath diversion as often as they used to when there are engineering works, more often than not they run a Dartford to Rainham shuttle.

Is it still 1tph or has normal service resumed?
Normal service resumes in May.

They do run the Bexleyheath diversions often.

They do often run a Dartford to Rainham shuttle, but that is usually due to possessions going on at London Bridge, the Thameslink Core or the Midland Main Line which either means they can't run to London Bridge as it is under possession, or there are capacity issues further north meaning it has to run to and terminate at Dartford as there is no capacity to turn trains back at London Bridge.

Also another big issue is where they can stable units, the only place they can really stable units between London Bridge and Gravesend is at Plumstead where they can only stable 1 unit. And even then there is no guarantee they can use Plumstead as it is a Southeastern site.
 

Mikey C

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Also another big issue is where they can stable units, the only place they can really stable units between London Bridge and Gravesend is at Plumstead where they can only stable 1 unit. And even then there is no guarantee they can use Plumstead as it is a Southeastern site.
Which is where the artificial divides caused by separate franchises/operating companies causes unnecessary problems, when compared to the previous situation where Southeastern ran all the services in the area.
 

JonathanH

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I have noticed that the Rainham service is always the one to be binned off.
There are other services, particularly Bedford to Gatwick, that get binned off, just as much as the Rainham one, for two track railway or London Bridge closures.
 
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There are other services, particularly Bedford to Gatwick, that get binned off, just as much as the Rainham one, for two track railway or London Bridge closures.
I'd say Bedford - Gatwick Airport gets binned off south of London Blackfriars by far the most. Pretty much whenever the line via Sydenham is blocked, London Bridge is blocked or any 2 track possession on the Brighton Main Line from Windmill Bridge Junction it will run as a Bedford - London Blackfriars servce.
 

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Could Thameslink eventually become a single, high-intensity metro route? Would probably be quite popular if transferred to London Overground and Camberwell/Walworth stations reopened.

Obviously Bedford-Brighton would stay.
 

JonathanH

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Could Thameslink eventually become a single, high-intensity metro route? Would probably be quite popular if transferred to London Overground and Camberwell/Walworth stations reopened.

Obviously Bedford-Brighton would stay.
Isn't there a contradiction in the two suggestions?

How much could the frequency of longer distance services be reduced to allow frequent short distance ones? St Albans to London is a highly desirable commuting route which would be diminished if all the trains stopped all stations to London.
 
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Could Thameslink eventually become a single, high-intensity metro route? Would probably be quite popular if transferred to London Overground and Camberwell/Walworth stations reopened.

Obviously Bedford-Brighton would stay.
That is an awful idea and will never happen
 

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