Thameslink Core

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by phil beard, 15 May 2015.

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  1. phil beard

    phil beard Member

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    I keep hearing all this nonsense about 24tph passing through the core of the Thameslink system under London when the route is finished. What are the realistic chances of this happening day after day, hour after hour? I would say there isn't a chance in Hell of this being achieved consistently. All was let down when St Pancras International's Thameslink Station was restricted to only two platforms and not with loops on either side.
     
  2. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    Not sure why you think it is nonsense?! It is happening.

    There is a lot of work going into making it a possibility although there is a lot that needs doing to get there. It's impossible for it to happen with 319s etc but with the new fleet of trains, new signalling systems and all the systems being installed to try to reduce dwell times there is a chance.

    I believe personally that the largest challenge isnt anything to do with the core itself but ensuring trains arrive at the core intime considering it is reliant on the midland, East coast, west Anglia, brighton and southeastern lines all running smoothly so that the TL trains can get to places like Kentish Town, London Bridge, elephant and Finsbury Park on time.
     
  3. physics34

    physics34 Established Member

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    Many people don't realise that East croydon (especially during the peak) is gonna be the sticking point. Rarely do trains in the morning run on time. Now unless the TL services are gonna have a few mins 'standing time' at London Bridge or something everything will be late everyday!
     
  4. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    It would have been easier if the Sutton Loop lot hadn't kicked up such a fuss about losing through services- the design at Blackfriars was based on the assumption that Loop services would use the bays there.

    yes, loops at St Pancras (with essentially the outer platforms serving Great Northern, inner faces MML) would have provided a buffer for disruption but at massive cost.

    As it is, I've come to the belief that Brighton to Bedford is the wrong concept for Thameslink entirely. A far better scope would be closer to that for Crossrail (minus Reading, which is a silly overextension), running to say Stevenage and Luton on the North side and Gatwick/other places) on the South
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    The only interaction TL will have with West Anglia services is between Shelford and Cambridge
     
  5. Jordeh

    Jordeh Member

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    The Thameslink core will be using Automatic Train Operation (ATO) meaning all trains will operate in an identical manner as well as the doors opening immediately, massively boosting capacity.

    Of course it doesn't mean there won't be delays on the network anymore, it will still be vulnerable to delays but the capacity will always be there.
     
    Last edited: 15 May 2015
  6. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    I know. That's why I said west Anglia.

    Cambridge station can be busy during the peak and it's not unusual for GN services to be delayed leaving Cambridge in the peak by XC or GA trains or by late running up Lynn's. I'm pretty sure that TL trains will start being given priority but if there is disruption on the west Anglia it is likely to have an impact on Hitchin bound trains just as it does now.
     
  7. Bishopstone

    Bishopstone Member

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    If we do ever get to 24 tph, I think it will be at the cost of lots of skip-stopping and short turns at the outer reaches of the network, as service recovery becomes an absolute imperative. I wouldn't fancy commuting from Hassocks or Flitwick post-2018.

    There are plenty of bottlenecks beyond the core issues being sorted: East Croydon is a big one, as physics34 has identified.
     
  8. TheNewNo2

    TheNewNo2 Member

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    There's no reason the core can't handle 24tph - London Underground manages it quite fine, even on lines with conventional signalling. But yes, the issue will be with feeding trains into the core to begin with, with East Croydon being a major sticking point. There is talk of an ATO overlay on the MML/BML signalling, which would improve throughput.
     
  9. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    London Underground do manage it and the core isn't the issue, it's feeding trains in from several other lines and regions where they are having to be fitted around other services, some of which are coming from places as far away as northern Scotland. London Underground services can't be affected by signalling problems in Aberdeen, in theory the Thameslink can!
     
  10. MCR247

    MCR247 Established Member

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    Another major difference between TL and LU is that on LU the majority (if not all, depending on the line etc) of passengers on the platform will be wanting the first train
     
  11. higthomas

    higthomas Member

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    They get almost that many on the slows into Waterloo at the moment; and that is without fancy new signalling. I know there are differences, but it's not that implausible.

    Yes, the biggest problem is probably from knock on from late running elsewhere. I don't know if they have empty paths to allow them to pick up slack, but there definitely is a possibility of things going rather tits up at points.

    Edit: I see I am repeating what has been said since I last re-loaded the page.
     
    Last edited: 15 May 2015
  12. fgwrich

    fgwrich Established Member

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    A silly over extension it may be to you, but not to both those in the Thames Valley who will be using it through to the city and to FGW who having Crossrail terminate at Slough and Maidenhead would have meant FGW having to provide a Reading to Slough shuttle as well as all their other services. My only preference is that Crossrail gains LUL S Stock type mixed interiors than LOROL style benches.

    As for Thameslink, Siemens has put a lot of design work into the 24TPH ATO system through the core and is already testing a lot of them in London through computer simulation. Obviously not complete yet, but the first Desiro City's will also be tested on Old Dalby and then to NRs Hertford ATO loop before the core works are complete.
     
  13. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    I'm not biting. But...

    24tph happens in the core now, when there has been disruption and trains are queuing to get through.

    St P LL could not have been built as a 4 platform station without either considerable extra expense (like hundreds and hundreds of millions) and/or breaking the laws of physics.
     
  14. phil beard

    phil beard Member

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    My point was the core takes everything eventually, so whether the delay comes from elsewhere it will all swell up in the core and go badly wrong. I'm sure the idea is fine, but problems with getting the disabled on board etc and all the usual human elements will conspire against it. What will the automatic system do, shut the doors on an old man hobbling to get into his train? The lack of any track flexibility by relying on a two track railway will conspire against it. I stand to be corrected when it all starts, and the occasional successful hour or even day will be outnumbered by the times it all goes badly. A few bad days will see the press loving it and tearing the scheme to pieces.
     
  15. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    I'd do some reading up on the project before making posts like tht because scenarios such as those you describe have been planned and catered for. The 700s and core platforms will have level disabled access. ATO will not have any control over closing doors-all ATO does is allow the train to practically run bumper to bumper with the train in front.

    Also 4-tracking St Pancras won't make a difference as it still goes 2 track further into the core. If all goes wrong then St Pancras high level and kings cross are both available to turn trains around and thin the service out.

    I'm not saying it will be perfect but all of your concerns have been being addressed over the past few years and are still being worked on. Things like disabled people boarding and alighting are not issues to worry about as they have been catered for.
     
    Last edited: 15 May 2015
  16. physics34

    physics34 Established Member

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    we just hope the proposals for East Croydon/Windmill Bridge Junction/Selhurst triangle get the go ahead and get done in 2020.
     
  17. Yabbadabba

    Yabbadabba Member

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    Just have to keep a lookout for the T&W act application for the land grab for it to take place and then that will be the end of TBASC :cry:
     
  18. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    I do wonder at times that the benefits of ATO can be a little overstated. The main benefit is every train should be driven consistently, designing out the problem of different drivers driving in different ways.

    However, using the example of one London Underground line which has recently gone ATO, when waiting to enter a platform, the new system often stops the train further back from where the outer home signal used to be, and when the train ahead starts to move out of the platform the system waits longer than under colour-light signalling before giving a limit of movement authority. Often the train is still standing still at the moment when under signals all three home signals would have come off.

    The limiting factor is nearly always passenger behaviour. 24tph is certainly achievable. The Victoria Line, for example, reliably achieves 34 tph during the peaks. It will be interesting to see what happens at some of the Core stations during the peaks - the reality is there are going to be intervals to some destinations of 30 minutes. Some of these people are going to be anxious to stand in the particular spot where they know their doors are going to stop - they will be keen to secure a seat, not helped by the class 700s having fewer seats than comparable formations today. Great Northern commuters are already well versed in this at places like Hitchin and Stevenage. What effect this will have on train dispatch will remain to be seen, but if it causes a problem it's a behaviour that will be very hard to stop.

    For me, no one has yet satisfactorily addressed the concern of multiple service groups intermingling with each other, and the effect this will have on performance. Some have said performance will not matter so much because frequencies will be "turn up and go", but this is not really acceptable as most services will be half-hourly, this is certainly infrequent enough that people will expect to turn up at the advertised time and the train arrive on time. Despite the infrastructure works carried out or underway, there will still be loads of places were small amounts of late running will introduce conflicts. The long double-track section between Hitchin and Cambridge will host three different stopping patterns with a difference in running time of up to 15 mins between the fastest and slowest services - as well as conflicting with other services in the Cambridge area. The slow lines between Welwyn and Potters Bar will also host different stopping patterns with the potential for slow services to delay faster ones. Meanwhile, we have two long single-track sections north of Littleport which will be carrying an all-day half-hourly service from 2017 - twice that of today.

    No amount of modelling can predict what will happen in the real world, as we have seen at London Bridge recently. And no amount of modelling can resolve the problem of two trains arriving at a converging junction at the same time, or a fast train catching up a late-running stopping service. Only additional tracks can expand capacity in this way; apart from a bay platform at Stevenage to keep the Hertford services segregated, the Thameslink Programme appears to deliver nothing of the sort for the Great Northern network.
     
    Last edited: 16 May 2015
  19. Fincra5

    Fincra5 Established Member

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    Although EastCroydon has always been a bit of a bottleneck, lets not forget there is a complete BML timetable re-cast in December which should sort some issues and i'd imagine there'd be a another in 2018.
     
  20. Yabbadabba

    Yabbadabba Member

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    Yep a new timetable with the same old clapped out infrastructure that's full to the brim funnelling into the brand new and shiny "TL Core", so that a points failure at Preston Park can now effect even more of the nations network as the ripples radiate out. :D
     
  21. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    You cannot fit the average 50 seats per carriage required (450 per train) into the Crossrail trains by using the LO 378 style layout.

    By default the layout must be more like the S8 trains, or with even more 2+2 seating than the S8s.
     
  22. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    So not dissimilar to the 700s then, i.e. 2+2s of the same width seats as 3+2 to give plenty of room for standees. Looks like the new standard for high density commuter trains outside 'metro services'.
     
  23. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    That's what I'm assuming as well. Although the 9 car train now has 23m vehicles, the extra 3m in each vehicle is effectively cancelled out by the third set of doors. So you are restricted to possible layout that would also fit a notional 50 seater 20m vehicle.
     
  24. Class377/5

    Class377/5 Established Member

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    No, the December timetable change is for the 2018 timetable but Govia's bid brought it forward a few years. Only minor changes will happen in 2018.

    Not really. Especially as only a maximum of 6tph will go through that station.
     
  25. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    I don't see what's factually wrong with what he wrote. Based on the current plans there will be the 2tph Brighton-Cambridge service. Currently the only services which run through Preston Park are South Coast-London and Brighton-Bedford Thameslink trains. From 2019 there will also be the 2tph Brighton-Cambridge service. Should this service be delayed at Preston Park, this will now affect destinations between Finsbury Park and Cambridge (i.e. "more of the network") - both directly and with knock-on delays - which today can't happen as the two areas are physically isolated.
     
  26. The Box Photter

    The Box Photter Member

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    Has anyone noticed that the new Thameslink timetables no longer show of how many coaches each train is supposed to be formed?

    My normal 12 car train was only 8 this morning and it was full & standing by the time it left Flitwick, so there was no chance of a seat for anyone at Luton, Harpenden or St Albans.

    Has there been any alteration to the diagrams of 12-car trains?
     
  27. Class377/5

    Class377/5 Established Member

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    Major changes to the diagrams with the new timetable, however there had been some last minute alterations causing trains to be formed differently.

    The two aren't that seperate with delays transmitting across the network already. There been incidents in SWT that caused delays on the ECML already so the point is correct however the other option is not to increase capacity much is far more disruptive Add passenger numbers increase.

    The basic point of simple failures affecting the line also ignores the alternative routes meaning you can route trains around the problem in many locations.

    And for the record the Brighton to Cambridge starts in 2018 and the GN had already benefited from the Thameslink Programme.
     
  28. DelayRepay

    DelayRepay Member

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    My normally 12 car was an 8 car on the way home, and the "disruption" email mentioned another 12 car was going to be short formed. Does the new timetable actually have less 12 car trains, or is it just an unfortunate set of circumstances today? I'm guessing the fact an email was issued means it's unplanned therefore hopefully just a short term thing.
     
  29. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Unplanned.

    Both my trains today were short formed 8v12, meaning I didn't get on either of them.
     
  30. Class377/5

    Class377/5 Established Member

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    Basically unfortunate set of circumstances. As posted by someone else, 12 car 387 running only got the ok during the day hence why some trains were only 8 instead of 12 as the May timetable sees two 12 car 387s.
     
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