Thameslink - is there something wrong with the timetable when:

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bakerstreet

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... over 13 performance periods, the most recent poster now on display says

real time on time is between 48.5% and 66 per cent on time. Results in the 40s and 50s are quite frequent on the graph.

Even ppm is only between 73.6% and 85.1%

You can get on a train off peak at St Pancras Int where it sometimes sits for timetable padding and by the time it reaches W Hampstead Thm or Cricklewood it can be late by a few mins.

I know Thameslink is one of the more complex lines but don't these type of results over 13 performance periods suggest maybe it's the timetable that's wrong as much as the day to day problems Thameslink may encounter?



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Deepgreen

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... over 13 performance periods, the most recent poster now on display says

real time on time is between 48.5% and 66 per cent on time. Results in the 40s and 50s are quite frequent on the graph.

Even ppm is only between 73.6% and 85.1%

You can get on a train off peak at St Pancras Int where it sometimes sits for timetable padding and by the time it reaches W Hampstead Thm or Cricklewood it can be late by a few mins.

I know Thameslink is one of the more complex lines but don't these type of results over 13 performance periods suggest maybe it's the timetable that's wrong as much as the day to day problems Thameslink may encounter?



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Yes. It's only workable in a perfect world, if then.
 

QueensCurve

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I know Thameslink is one of the more complex lines but don't these type of results over 13 performance periods suggest maybe it's the timetable that's wrong as much as the day to day problems Thameslink may encounter?k

It is due to get a lot more complex in 2 years time. How are they going to ensure 24tph present on time in the right order to go through the core?
 

Bald Rick

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It is due to get a lot more complex in 2 years time. How are they going to ensure 24tph present on time in the right order to go through the core?

The beauty of 24tph is that they don't necessarily need to be in the right order and it will still work reasonably well.
 

Bald Rick

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You can get on a train off peak at St Pancras Int where it sometimes sits for timetable padding and by the time it reaches W Hampstead Thm or Cricklewood it can be late by a few mins.

I must say this isn't my experience although I don't travel off peak much. The only timetable reason for delaying a northbound slow train between St P and Cricklewood is if another train is in front. The southbound 'fasts' from Bedford are timetabled to cross over at Carlton Road Junction immediately after the northbound slows, so if the slow is more than a couple of minutes a late it is likely to be held for a right time fast. But it has always been like that.

Current PPM is, I'm afraid, more to do with the recent shortage of drivers than anything else.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
That sounds like a recipe for chaos to me?

Why? It's how the Circle / Met / District / H&C has worked for decades. Ditto Munich S-Bahn. Ditto Paris RER. Etc.
 

QueensCurve

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I must say this isn't my experience although I don't travel off peak much. The only timetable reason for delaying a northbound slow train between St P and Cricklewood is if another train is in front. The southbound 'fasts' from Bedford are timetabled to cross over at Carlton Road Junction immediately after the northbound slows, so if the slow is more than a couple of minutes a late it is likely to be held for a right time fast. But it has always been like that.

Current PPM is, I'm afraid, more to do with the recent shortage of drivers than anything else.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


Why? It's how the Circle / Met / District / H&C has worked for decades. Ditto Munich S-Bahn. Ditto Paris RER. Etc.

I was thinking about trains arriving at the core from far afield on multiple routes presenting out of course at the core. If they simply go through when they turn up, they then delay other workings through the core which spread reactionary delay far afield onto multiple routes over a long period of time.

This is not an issue that faces the Circle / Met / District / H&C (are they paragons of operating virtue?) and I am guessing the Munich S-Bahn and Ditto Paris RER operate a bit more reliably?
 

Bald Rick

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I was thinking about trains arriving at the core from far afield on multiple routes presenting out of course at the core. If they simply go through when they turn up, they then delay other workings through the core which spread reactionary delay far afield onto multiple routes over a long period of time.

This is not an issue that faces the Circle / Met / District / H&C (are they paragons of operating virtue?) and I am guessing the Munich S-Bahn and Ditto Paris RER operate a bit more reliably?

But that's the point. On a 2.5 minute frequency, with sufficient 'slack' in the system to go to a 2 minute frequency to recover, if one turns up late it will slot in 2 mins behind the next one, with the three trains behind that then 1.5 / 1 / 0.5 mins late. All easily recoverable. If multiple trains are late, then holes appear in the 2.5 min frequency such that a late train will fit into a spare slot or cause minor delays to others one of which will slide back into a spare slot.

Also, all trains will have at least 1 minute recovery time approaching the core to iron out minor delay, and probably another minute leaving the core to fit into the right slot on the MML / ECML / Brighton Main line etc.

Also I can't speak for the RER, but I wouldn't say the Munich SBahn is particularly reliable. Whenever I've used it there have been been delays, most recently due to single line working caused by daytime engineering works.
 
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kdoganorak

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Current PPM is, I'm afraid, more to do with the recent shortage of drivers

Hopefully will be sorted by 2018?

The beauty of 24tph is that they don't necessarily need to be in the right order and it will still work reasonably well.

What concerns me is crowding and confusion on the platforms. Already a bit hairy at Farringdon now at peak times when things are running a few minutes behind. Passengers might need a bit of instruction about where to stand when waiting for their train...<(especially the ones who currently have a habit of standing right on the edge of the platform in front of the doors of a train they are not boarding<(
 
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Myb

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Well being from Paris I can't say the RER is a paragon of reliability either. Only the RER E performs reasonably well being entirely self-contained except for a viaduct. It seems to me that the more self-contained a line is, the better it will perform.
 

Busaholic

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Hopefully will be sorted by 2018?



What concerns me is crowding and confusion on the platforms. Already a bit hairy at Farringdon now at peak times when things are running a few minutes behind. Passengers might need a bit of instruction about where to stand when waiting for their train...<(especially the ones who currently have a habit of standing right on the edge of the platform in front of the doors of a train they are not boarding<(

Farringdon post-Crossrail will inform whether Thameslink are ever going to be able to maintain 24 tph in the peaks on a daily basis, just as the post- Battersea extension on the Northern Line and possible division into two lines with increased service can only happen if trains are able to leave each platform at Camden Town at regular two minute intervals in each peak - Japan we are not (in many ways, thank goodness!)
 

physics34

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It is due to get a lot more complex in 2 years time. How are they going to ensure 24tph present on time in the right order to go through the core?

we await the chaos that will happen..

if you asked any railway people they will tell you that this 24tph will be comical.
 

W230

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I must say this isn't my experience although I don't travel off peak much. The only timetable reason for delaying a northbound slow train between St P and Cricklewood is if another train is in front. The southbound 'fasts' from Bedford are timetabled to cross over at Carlton Road Junction immediately after the northbound slows, so if the slow is more than a couple of minutes a late it is likely to be held for a right time fast. But it has always been like that.
Now this I must query (I know you're a TL guru so i'll be polite!) Often in the peak a sb fast is delayed for a nb slow at West Hampstead South Junction BUT aside from then, on a nb service I am often pathed after a sb fast. I'm on time probably 19 times out of 20 on a St Albans or Luton service (hard for many to believe I know!!) but consistently get slowed down for two yellows at Carlton Rd and crawl through Belsize tunnel waiting for a late running sb Brighton or Three Bridges. In a fair few of the jobs there is extra time at West Hampstead to make up for this but by no means all. Often the sb service makes me late.
 

jopsuk

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the armchair money spender:
St Pancras should have been a four platform station.
Obviously the Sutton loop shouldn't be Thameslink, instead being Blackfriars terminators, with all TL going via London Bridge.

The GN Fasts should go through the unused eastern bore of the Copenhagen tunnels, the GN Suburbans through the middle and the Thameslink through the centre, with an even more complex grade separation scheme to sort everything from "by use" to "by direction" without conflict. Into a full rebuild 8-track, 6-platform Finsbury Park and rebuilt stations at Harringey, Hornsey and Alexandra Palace to get all the Moorgate services out of the way
 

QueensCurve

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the armchair money spender:
St Pancras should have been a four platform station.
Obviously the Sutton loop shouldn't be Thameslink, instead being Blackfriars terminators, with all TL going via London Bridge.

It seems odd that the Sutton loop makes a flat junction with Thameslink at the boundary of the core.
 

Bald Rick

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Now this I must query (I know you're a TL guru so i'll be polite!) Often in the peak a sb fast is delayed for a nb slow at West Hampstead South Junction BUT aside from then, on a nb service I am often pathed after a sb fast. I'm on time probably 19 times out of 20 on a St Albans or Luton service (hard for many to believe I know!!) but consistently get slowed down for two yellows at Carlton Rd and crawl through Belsize tunnel waiting for a late running sb Brighton or Three Bridges. In a fair few of the jobs there is extra time at West Hampstead to make up for this but by no means all. Often the sb service makes me late.

Quite correct, I wasn't thinking straight. Off peak is on minimum margin for a s/b fast after a n/b slow for alternate trains. The n/b slows have, in theory, a fair bit of spare ti in them, with 1 minute dwell at each stop and 2 minutes engineering allowance. So a s/b fast running a couple late will get priority, to further delay it risks a PPM failure, whereas delaying the n/b slow by a couple of minutes doesn't.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
the armchair money spender:
St Pancras should have been a four platform station.

I've explained this before, so won't do the detail again, but a 4 platform St Pancras low level station was (is) not possible without building significant additional lengths of new tunnel, including taking the tunnels for the ECML to at least Holloway bank.
 

Busaholic

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the armchair money spender:
St Pancras should have been a four platform station.
Obviously the Sutton loop shouldn't be Thameslink, instead being Blackfriars terminators, with all TL going via London Bridge.

The GN Fasts should go through the unused eastern bore of the Copenhagen tunnels, the GN Suburbans through the middle and the Thameslink through the centre, with an even more complex grade separation scheme to sort everything from "by use" to "by direction" without conflict. Into a full rebuild 8-track, 6-platform Finsbury Park and rebuilt stations at Harringey, Hornsey and Alexandra Palace to get all the Moorgate services out of the way

Sutton loop was a political decision thanks to intervention from the Wimbledon MP who's a Hammond but not the Foreign Secretary one - naked opportunism that should have been resisted.
 

cjohnson

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Cynice in me suggests that once 24tph through the core starts and the timetable falls over, the Sutton loop services are "temporarily" curtailed at Blackfriars to increase overall resilience...
 

NSEFAN

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Will the Thameslink core be working to a timetable, or will it work like the up fast to Victoria at Clapham Junction, with trains simply departing when ready?
 

Bald Rick

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Will the Thameslink core be working to a timetable, or will it work like the up fast to Victoria at Clapham Junction, with trains simply departing when ready?

Yes to a timetable, as there are multiple destinations.
 

Class377/5

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People seem to forget that they are comparing a very different Thameslink today to what 2018 will see. The fact there's a big hole in the middle right now means that the service is not quite as operationally separate as it has/will be.

As for dwell times, I've said it before and I'll say it again. 319s have been able to have dwell times similar to what the Class 700 will be expected to come 2018. And these trains are designed to support high capacity changes. Its about a bunch of stuff happening together not one or two isolated things.
 

kdoganorak

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Farringdon post-Crossrail will inform whether Thameslink are ever going to be able to maintain 24 tph in the peaks on a daily basis, just as the post- Battersea extension on the Northern Line and possible division into two lines with increased service can only happen if trains are able to leave each platform at Camden Town at regular two minute intervals in each peak - Japan we are not (in many ways, thank goodness!)

I think Crossrail and new destinations available via thameslink could mean more ppl interchanging at Farringdon which will require some serious crowd management. With the exeption of the extra 4 carraige lengths added under cowcross st the platforms are too narrow.

Class377/5 said:
As for dwell times, I've said it before and I'll say it again. 319s have been able to have dwell times similar to what the Class 700 will be expected to come 2018. And these trains are designed to support high capacity changes.

Better circulation within the trains is certainly going to help. I'm a bit annoyed they are rolling out the 12 car versions of the 700s first as at present it is the routes restricted to 8 cars that would really benefit from that little capacity boost (although i guess if we look at indvidual diagrams on 12 car capable routes some will be newly 12 car so ppl will enjoy their 4 whole extra cars in those instances)

I'm not a conspiracy theorist and I know that a lot of work must have gone into working out how it will all run.... then I do a sideways shuffle along platfrom 3 at farringdon in the evening and the doubts start flooding in
 

Bald Rick

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With the exeption of the extra 4 carraige lengths added under cowcross st the platforms are too narrow.

And guess where the connections between the Thameslink and Crossrail platforms will be? It's almost as if they did it on purpose!
 

kdoganorak

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And guess where the connections between the Thameslink and Crossrail platforms will be? It's almost as if they did it on purpose!

Well yes I did notice that so probably didn't word the last post in the intelligent sounding way:oops: but that space is already largely used by the current passengers.

Obviously all this work is having to be done enhancing what has been there for over a hundred (in some cases 150) years so I'm not suggesting the narrow bits were a choice either. I'm not criticising the design just curious how things will pan out and what solutions may be needed.

When I travelled on the through platforms at manchester piccadily(10 years ago) I remember being requested by big signs not to go to down to the platform until my train was due. I can't rember how exactly it was done but it was done in a way that made me and plenty of others follow the orders.:D
 

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Someone earlier said it would work because there will be a train every two minutes or so, so it doesn't matter when the trains are delayed because there will be one through in two minutes time, like on the tube. But that works on the tube, because the vast majority of passengers want the next train. You don't often notice delays on the tube because of the sheer high frequency of it. With Thameslink the trains are going completely different directions. So if there is a delay and the next three trains all turn up 2.5 minutes after the previous, sure, your passenger at Farringdon going to St Pancras is fine. But if they are all ECML services and you want a MML one, you're knackered. I've never been a massive supporter of Thameslink going to such far out destinations. I think using it on services going much shorter distances makes sense. Diverting the Metro services from their respective terminals rather than the outer suburban services. But hey. Just my two cents.
 

jon0844

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If trains can get out of order, that's going to cause chaos too. If people aren't listening, they may miss a change for the next service and board without realising it isn't the one they want. No doubt then hearing or seeing the error when they board, they'll want to get off again.

In the peak, I can see loads of problems - especially as so many people will bunch up around the escalators and not move down to where it will likely be quite quiet even on a bad day.
 

AM9

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If trains can get out of order, that's going to cause chaos too. If people aren't listening, they may miss a change for the next service and board without realising it isn't the one they want. No doubt then hearing or seeing the error when they board, they'll want to get off again.

In the peak, I can see loads of problems - especially as so many people will bunch up around the escalators and not move down to where it will likely be quite quiet even on a bad day.

Maybe with the planned development of St Albans station increasing the capacity of the down fast exit, and the gentle pressure to make more drivers use the new car park south of Victoria St, there will be a reduction in passengers congregating in the old part of Farringdon NB platform. If there was a second footbridge at the southern end of St Albans, this would move a large proportion of those boarding at Farringdon to the rear of the trains. Has anybody seen where the 8-car stop boards are at Farringdon NB?
 

Class377/5

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Better circulation within the trains is certainly going to help. I'm a bit annoyed they are rolling out the 12 car versions of the 700s first as at present it is the routes restricted to 8 cars that would really benefit from that little capacity boost (although i guess if we look at indvidual diagrams on 12 car capable routes some will be newly 12 car so ppl will enjoy their 4 whole extra cars in those instances)

There isn't going to be that much difference between getting the 12 cars and 8 cars into service.

If trains can get out of order, that's going to cause chaos too. If people aren't listening, they may miss a change for the next service and board without realising it isn't the one they want. No doubt then hearing or seeing the error when they board, they'll want to get off again.

In the peak, I can see loads of problems - especially as so many people will bunch up around the escalators and not move down to where it will likely be quite quiet even on a bad day.

Considering the new displays showing train length means the information will be there. Sure there is a bunch of people who never listen but how is this different to the Tube sat at Kings Cross St Pancras where you get multiple routes with some services only half hourly and there isn't the massive issue with small stock and platforms.

Someone earlier said it would work because there will be a train every two minutes or so, so it doesn't matter when the trains are delayed because there will be one through in two minutes time, like on the tube. But that works on the tube, because the vast majority of passengers want the next train. You don't often notice delays on the tube because of the sheer high frequency of it. With Thameslink the trains are going completely different directions. So if there is a delay and the next three trains all turn up 2.5 minutes after the previous, sure, your passenger at Farringdon going to St Pancras is fine. But if they are all ECML services and you want a MML one, you're knackered. I've never been a massive supporter of Thameslink going to such far out destinations. I think using it on services going much shorter distances makes sense. Diverting the Metro services from their respective terminals rather than the outer suburban services. But hey. Just my two cents.

The thing is there are multiple service to many destinations with only the outer edges getting less services. Some people will be prepared to change to get home quick (and they will work out the best way to get home), others will want to stay where they are and get the direct service.
 

bramling

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There isn't going to be that much difference between getting the 12 cars and 8 cars into service.



Considering the new displays showing train length means the information will be there. Sure there is a bunch of people who never listen but how is this different to the Tube sat at Kings Cross St Pancras where you get multiple routes with some services only half hourly and there isn't the massive issue with small stock and platforms.



The thing is there are multiple service to many destinations with only the outer edges getting less services. Some people will be prepared to change to get home quick (and they will work out the best way to get home), others will want to stay where they are and get the direct service.


The only Underground destination from KX with a half-hourly service is Chesham and sometimes Amersham. Hardly the same passenger volumes as Thameslink. In any case, it's rather well known that passengers from the outer reaches of the Met Line have tended to migrate towards Chiltern in recent years.

Many Thameslink routes are only half-hourly. For the Peterborough route the peak service is planned to be awkwardly split between Thameslink and King's Cross. The Tattenham Corner-Cambridge service is undesirable for passengers travelling to Stevenage or beyond being slower and with shorter trains. Likewise Cambridge itself has the same awkward split as the Peterborough route.

The difficulty will be when someone travelling to, say, Letchworth turns up 15 mins early and decides to park themselves and belongings on the spot where they know their desired door will stop, and does everything they can to avoid moving in order not to lose their position in what they see as a queue. With at least five separate northbound flows sharing the same space this is going to cause problems, let's hope it doesn't affect dwell times or else 24tph isn't going to happen.
 
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