Thameslink CAT/TAT (Southern Metro)

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Sparks169

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Have there been any more documents released or proposals for service frequencies/patterns regarding the new Thameslink franchise?

Particularly I'm interested in the Southern metro area (my line being CAT). I've seen lots of suggestions/proposals for the service patterns here, the most common one being:

2tph Caterham - St.Albans
2tph Caterham - Welwyn Garden City
or
4tph Caterham - St.Albans
4tph Tattenham Corner - Welwyn Garden City

These seem to be the most common patterns I've seen suggested, so I'm guessing either way Caterham is going to lose a direct link to Victoria?

I did see someone propose a 6tph service to Caterham (4 Thameslink & 2 Vic stoppers) which would be nice to have a frequency like this but would be very unlikely and does anyone know if Caterham can handle a 6tph frequency?

I know Tattenham Corner can (due to 3 platforms) as it did so on Derby Day, however Tattenham line would less likely benefit from a higher frequency as the line is less busy than Caterham.

Also been reading alot of NR docs about capacity improvements, and increasing CAT/TAT to 10 coaches, most likely for capacity increase north of Purley when joined there. Have seen people hinting at platform extensions on the 2 branch lines to accommodate 8 coaches in future? This would cover future growth of the area but don't think I can see the money being stumped up for this.

Any more information on the service proposals in general would be interesting though!
 
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Class377/5

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Have there been any more documents released or proposals for service frequencies/patterns regarding the new Thameslink franchise?

Particularly I'm interested in the Southern metro area (my line being CAT). I've seen lots of suggestions/proposals for the service patterns here, the most common one being:

2tph Caterham - St.Albans
2tph Caterham - Welwyn Garden City
or
4tph Caterham - St.Albans
4tph Tattenham Corner - Welwyn Garden City

These seem to be the most common patterns I've seen suggested, so I'm guessing either way Caterham is going to lose a direct link to Victoria?

I did see someone propose a 6tph service to Caterham (4 Thameslink & 2 Vic stoppers) which would be nice to have a frequency like this but would be very unlikely and does anyone know if Caterham can handle a 6tph frequency?

I know Tattenham Corner can (due to 3 platforms) as it did so on Derby Day, however Tattenham line would less likely benefit from a higher frequency as the line is less busy than Caterham.

Also been reading alot of NR docs about capacity improvements, and increasing CAT/TAT to 10 coaches, most likely for capacity increase north of Purley when joined there. Have seen people hinting at platform extensions on the 2 branch lines to accommodate 8 coaches in future? This would cover future growth of the area but don't think I can see the money being stumped up for this.

Any more information on the service proposals in general would be interesting though!
No-one yet knows what's going to happen as the new bidders for the Thameslink franchise are having input into the new service plan.

We'll have a better idea late next year/early 2014. But send off your thoughts/ideas to the DfT who are looking for input into the new franchise.
 

swt_passenger

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Nothing I've ever seen supports 4 tph 'Thameslink' to both of Cat AND Tat.

The London and SE RUS had 2 tph to each, then that route diagram posted here a few months back had 4 tph to Cat and none to Tat.

Given there are only up to 14 tph proposed for the total service through East Croydon, it is highly unlikely that you are looking at more than 4 tph for those routes combined, as Brighton has always had 4 tph, and they want another 4 tph through Three Bridges to allow semi fasts via Redhill. There are also likely to be 2 tph from East Grinstead peak only. Eventually you run out of slots given that 14 tph total...

But as Class377/5 has said, the current Thameslink/Southern consultation will result in even more proposals towards the final decision, so it's really a question of waiting.
 
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paul1609

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Nothing I've ever seen supports 4 tph 'Thameslink' to both of Cat AND Tat.

The London and SE RUS had 2 tph to each, then that route diagram posted here a few months back had 4 tph to Cat and none to Tat.

Given there are only up to 14 tph proposed for the total service through East Croydon, it is highly unlikely that you are looking at more than 4 tph for those routes combined, as Brighton has always had 4 tph, and they want another 4 tph through Three Bridges to allow semi fasts via Redhill. There are also likely to be 2 tph from East Grinstead peak only. Eventually you run out of slots given that 14 tph total...

But as Class377/5 has said, the current Thameslink/Southern consultation will result in even more proposals towards the final decision, so it's really a question of waiting.
i think there are also issues with the Power supply and with paths through Windmill Junction (north of East Croydon).
When Thameslink was first mooted it was going to take over the current London to Coastway services (littlehampton & Eastbourne/ Hastings) but this was subsequently dropped.
I think the services now proposed exceed capacity without some new flyovers on the BML.



 

hwl

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i think there are also issues with the Power supply and with paths through Windmill Junction (north of East Croydon).
When Thameslink was first mooted it was going to take over the current London to Coastway services (littlehampton & Eastbourne/ Hastings) but this was subsequently dropped.
I think the services now proposed exceed capacity without some new flyovers on the BML.



From the CP5 HLOS illustrative options document which seems to provide some potential answers:
 Uckfield line platform lengthening for 10-car operation,
 Norwood Junction capacity enhancement,
 Traction power upgrade – Kent, Sussex, Wessex, Anglia, LNE,
 South London HV traction power upgrade, and
 Depot and stabling enhancement for extra trains
 

cle

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I think the Cambridge / Peterborough trains which will link to Three Bridges/Horsham will almost certainly be paired as the slow trains (i.e. stopping at Potters Bar) and the fast trains (Finsbury Park then Stevenage) - to ensure the service is balanced both sides.
 

swt_passenger

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I'd agree about Horsham/Three Bridges remaining 'Southern' destinations as you point out.

I'm firmly of the view that whatever NR have already proposed over quite a few years is still the most likely for the Brighton line and its branches. They employ all the timetabling experts after all. How many of these consultations ever change much in the final analysis?
 

HSTEd

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Its a pity we don't have anything firm at the moment, as without said information we can't attempt to calculate how many trains will be released from Southern by the arrival of the Class 700s. (In excess of the majority of the FCC fleet).
 

Sparks169

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Nothing I've ever seen supports 4 tph 'Thameslink' to both of Cat AND Tat.

The London and SE RUS had 2 tph to each, then that route diagram posted here a few months back had 4 tph to Cat and none to Tat.

Given there are only up to 14 tph proposed for the total service through East Croydon, it is highly unlikely that you are looking at more than 4 tph for those routes combined, as Brighton has always had 4 tph, and they want another 4 tph through Three Bridges to allow semi fasts via Redhill. There are also likely to be 2 tph from East Grinstead peak only. Eventually you run out of slots given that 14 tph total...

But as Class377/5 has said, the current Thameslink/Southern consultation will result in even more proposals towards the final decision, so it's really a question of waiting.
Yes you are right sorry, it has been proposed either 2tph on each branch or 4tph on Caterham branch.

What I'm wondering is if the 2 branches are split with 2tph, would Caterham retain another 2tph to Vic to maintain the level of service currently running through Purley. I think the most recent proposal is the 4tph of Thameslink to Caterham, so maybe Tattenham will adopt Caterham's current service of 2tph LBG stoppers and 2tph VIC stoppers.

Or could it be an idea to have 4tph Thameslink on Caterham as well as 2tph to VIC during high peak? (6tph total) This may seem excessive, but considering this would provide a better service and more capacity north of Purley through Croydon, and may encourage some people who live around the Upper Warlingham/Whyteleafe areas to ease off the East Grinstead line and reduce some of the overcrowding towards Croydon there, or at least spread it out more.

The trouble with the Croydon area is capacity is much needed from Purley/East Croydon and northbound, and maybe smaller stations could play a bigger role in spreading out the crowding.

I'm sure alot of people who live around the Whyteleafe area tend to use Upper Warlingham and Sanderstead more because they are guaranteed a 377, likely to get a 12-coach service and a slightly quicker journey time. So perhaps improving services on Caterham line could encourage more people to spread out, and would also cater for any future growth of the areas?

Maybe I'm just being too ambitious and have a selfish interest ;)
 
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swt_passenger

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The South London RUS definitely had Caterham to Victoria as well as to Thameslink, but it's now four years old so pretty stale info.

But the other fly in the ointment is splitting and joining. This won't apply to Thameslink as they're expected to be fixed formation 8 car on that route, but could still apply to Victoria services?
 

Sparks169

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The South London RUS definitely had Caterham to Victoria as well as to Thameslink, but it's now four years old so pretty stale info.

But the other fly in the ointment is splitting and joining. This won't apply to Thameslink as they're expected to be fixed formation 8 car on that route, but could still apply to Victoria services?
Yes, the Thameslink stock will be separate services and if Tattenham do not get any this will not apply anyway, but if Caterham were to also run VIC services they could still split/attach with Tattenham stoppers to reduce the paths.

Extra frequency such as 6tph (4 TL & 2 SN) would not currently be required to address any capacity issues on the branch, however would provide extra capacity northbound and as said before would accommodate for any increase in passenger numbers on the branch and possibly encourage more people to use it and ease off other over-crowded lines to spread the load.

The TL 8 coaches would only currently benefit from Purley onwards as the branches cannot accommodate for this length, I know Tattenham stations (except Chipstead) can accommodate 6 coaches and the Caterham branch also 6. I very much doubt money would be spent on extending platform lengths on Caterham branch, but could provide useful in the future if demand increases.
 

Class377/5

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Its a pity we don't have anything firm at the moment, as without said information we can't attempt to calculate how many trains will be released from Southern by the arrival of the Class 700s. (In excess of the majority of the FCC fleet).
Yes, the Thameslink stock will be separate services and if Tattenham do not get any this will not apply anyway, but if Caterham were to also run VIC services they could still split/attach with Tattenham stoppers to reduce the paths.

Extra frequency such as 6tph (4 TL & 2 SN) would not currently be required to address any capacity issues on the branch, however would provide extra capacity northbound and as said before would accommodate for any increase in passenger numbers on the branch and possibly encourage more people to use it and ease off other over-crowded lines to spread the load.

The TL 8 coaches would only currently benefit from Purley onwards as the branches cannot accommodate for this length, I know Tattenham stations (except Chipstead) can accommodate 6 coaches and the Caterham branch also 6. I very much doubt money would be spent on extending platform lengths on Caterham branch, but could provide useful in the future if demand increases.
I wonder with walk through design will it be permitted for 8 car 700's to stop at six car platforms?
 

Sparks169

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I wonder with walk through design will it be permitted for 8 car 700's to stop at six car platforms?
Good point, but from what I've seen everywhere there is no intention of platforms being lengthened, in fact I saw somewhere it was not recommended by NR. Just that 8 coaches should be the minimum for the branches and using SDO for branch stations.

There are currently plans to increase both CAT/TAT branch trains to 10/12 coaches (pre-TL and upon joining at Purley) using SDO for the branch stations and providing more capacity from Purley onwards. This is scheduled for CP5 I believe.
 

Class377/5

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Good point, but from what I've seen everywhere there is no intention of platforms being lengthened, in fact I saw somewhere it was not recommended by NR. Just that 8 coaches should be the minimum for the branches and using SDO for branch stations.

There are currently plans to increase both CAT/TAT branch trains to 10/12 coaches (pre-TL and upon joining at Purley) using SDO for the branch stations and providing more capacity from Purley onwards. This is scheduled for CP5 I believe.
Sounds like SDO is the way forward then. Perhaps the 377's released from Southern can extend these services by using the 2x three car 377's then 12 cars north of Purley without needing to spend any money?
 

Sparks169

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Sounds like SDO is the way forward then. Perhaps the 377's released from Southern can extend these services by using the 2x three car 377's then 12 cars north of Purley without needing to spend any money?
I think that is the plan, eventually both CAT & TAT will run 6 coaches each possibly (which can be fully utilised on both branches without SDO) and then attach to form 12 coaches from Purley. Any 8 coach services in the evening peak including the TL stock will most likely just use SDO between Purley and Caterham/Tattenham.
 

Class377/5

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I think that is the plan, eventually both CAT & TAT will run 6 coaches each possibly (which can be fully utilised on both branches without SDO) and then attach to form 12 coaches from Purley. Any 8 coach services in the evening peak including the TL stock will most likely just use SDO between Purley and Caterham/Tattenham.
Is Caterham or Tattenham 8 cars?
 

Sparks169

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Is Caterham or Tattenham 8 cars?
Any TL stock that will serve either or both branches will most likely be 8 cars minimum on each.

Currently 8 cars are used individually on each branch for some morning and evening peak services (usually 377s), but these do not split/attach at Purley and use SDO for the branch stations.

I think Tattenham can only accommodate 6/7 coaches the same as Caterham. There is a map which shows this info from NR I'll have to look.
 

Class377/5

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Any TL stock that will serve either or both branches will most likely be 8 cars minimum on each.

Currently 8 cars are used individually on each branch for some morning and evening peak services (usually 377s), but these do not split/attach at Purley and use SDO for the branch stations.
Well our nice new 700's only come in 8 or 12 car variants :D

I was wondering if the final stations on the line could take an 8 car. I know the 450's in 12 cars can start in 8 car platforms as I've caught a 12 car 450 fom Alton with London end four cars off the platform.
 

Sparks169

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Well our nice new 700's only come in 8 or 12 car variants :D

I was wondering if the final stations on the line could take an 8 car. I know the 450's in 12 cars can start in 8 car platforms as I've caught a 12 car 450 fom Alton with London end four cars off the platform.
Just checked, yes both Caterham & Tattenham support 8 cars.

The branch stations vary most supporting 6 max as follows:

CATERHAM BRANCH:

Caterham: 8
Whyteleafe South: 5/6
Whyteleafe: 7
Kenley: 6
...

TATTENHAM CORNER BRANCH:

Tattenham Corner: 8
Tadworth: 6
Kingswood: 6
Chipstead: 6
Woodmansterne: 6
Coulsdon Town: 8
Reedham: 8
 

Minstral25

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I suspect Thameslink will end up on the Caterham branch because of Length (Shorter journey to terminus) and passenger numbers (The largest station on the TAT branch is Reedham which has significantly less passengers than Kenley, Whiteleafe and Caterham).

On a recent visit to Caterham I saw a double Class 377 come into the platform so 8-cars are already being used
 

Sparks169

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I suspect Thameslink will end up on the Caterham branch because of Length (Shorter journey to terminus) and passenger numbers (The largest station on the TAT branch is Reedham which has significantly less passengers than Kenley, Whiteleafe and Caterham).

On a recent visit to Caterham I saw a double Class 377 come into the platform so 8-cars are already being used
The largest station in terms of size on the TAT branch (except Tattenham itself) is Coulsdon Town (Smitham). The busiest station in terms of annual footfall and peak loadings is Woodmansterne.

But yes for the size of the CAT branch a much higher number of passengers use it, the two busiest stations being Caterham & Kenley with almost equal loadings at peak time.
 
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