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Thameslink Services/Timetable from May 20th 2018

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by blakey1152, 17 May 2018.

  1. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    You can't get from London Bridge to the bays at Blackfriars.

    Is a terrible option. You don't turn at West Hampstead. You take it ECS to Cricklewood and turn back in the depot. It's not very efficient and although happens frequently, I'd like to see it done away with.

    Other than the Airport you also have the RAF Museum at Hendon and Brent Cross (soon to be modernized)

    All services that operate through the core tend to be a service of two halves. People travel into and out of the core, rather than through it. You can be packed to the rafters and by the time you exit the core; it's empty. By cutting services off early, you lose a service going in the other direction. Anyone who does want somewhere North<>South ends up changing trains. The advantage of having a through service is cutting down the movement of people. Rainham/Sevenoaks/Orpington services going through the core certainly changed peoples commute into the core quite dramatically.

    When the Canal tunnels really start to be used to full effect Sevenoaks up to Welwyn Garden City will see a similar change as it removed the need to change twice. It also connects people to that football team with the cannon on their shirt...
     
  2. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    As I just mentioned (you post popped up as I was typing) It is much more efficient to get rid of the need to change. It reduces congestion, journey times, and overcrowding. It also provides greater flexibility during disruption.
     
  3. The Box Photter

    The Box Photter Member

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    But Rainham - Luton calling at all stations is a ridiculous end to end service. No one in their right mind would ride it end to end. Just because it's possible to run a service doesn't mean it should be run. If anything, it would make sense to run all stations to St Pancras from Rainham (or somewhere closer to London like Dartford) then semi-fast to Bedford calling at W Hampstead and all stations north of Luton Airport Parkway.

    The all-stations from Luton services shouldn't go down the North Kent line but should run through to Elephant or some other nondescript south London suburb with a turnback facility.
     
  4. 700007

    700007 Member

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    Personally I would rather the Luton to Rainham service was a Luton to Three Bridges via Redhill service that was essentially a stopping train north of the ThamesLink core (including Kentish Town, Cricklewood and Hendon) and semi-fast like the Horsham or Gatwick Airport terminators that go via Redhill. The Rainham service can run elsewhere.
     
  5. londonteacher

    londonteacher Member

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    I don't see anything wrong with the Rainham service (although there are people whose opinions strongly oppose the service), but I do think it should terminate at Kentish Town or West Hampstead Thameslink rather than continue north. Then, terminators from Sutton can continue to Luton.
     
  6. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    That doesn't match the 8-car and 12-car service groups north and south of the Thames very well.
     
  7. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    The fixation on viewing this as an end to end service doesn't help. When it comes to the movement of people, we need to do this efficiently.

    People south travel into the core and there is a clear benefit to that. That shuffle of people in the core needs to be prevented or at least limited. Same with a change at London Bridge. It needs to be limited to stop the needless shuffling about of people. Previously there was a lot of people who would travel into Cannon then walk down towards Blackfriars or jump straight onto the tube and go round that way. Getting into that part of the City from Kent had to be done via the tube or a punishing morning walk. With the service coming up through Kent and through into Blackfriars a lot of that movement has been stopped. That is a huge benefit to the commuters. Same with those who used to come up from the South London Side of Kent and change trains at Blackfriars. The platforms were a nightmare for overcrowding and confusion. Again, by running services through the core all that has been ameliorated. I don't travel North to South but when I drive it you see the same happening. People travel into the core, not through it. I couldn't tell you where people changed because I haven't experienced it.

    The end to end mentality can also be said of Brighton <> Bedford. No-one in their right mind uses it end to end. I find it odd that there isn't the same call to cull their services. Or cut them short at Kentish etc.

    The end to end service makes perfect sense to me because I see it as two halves. People who travel Kent <> Core and those who travel Bedford <> Core with some crossover of those who need the more leisure based destinations or those who live on the fringes and travel North <> South.

    Ideally there has to be 3 service patterns. All stations, Semi-Fast, and Fast. This gives passengers and commuters flexibility and greater choice as well as reduced journey times. Something has to run all stations Core <> North. Personally I couldn't care if this was a Brighton, Sutton, or Rainham service. I think the problem is that there isn't anywhere South that is realistic to turnback on a regular basis. Theoretically you could run Luton <> Beckenham Junction or using the same mentality as West Hampstead you could run Luton <> Blackfriars <> ECS to Herne Hill. It just becomes stupidly complex and wastes pathways for no real reason. Playing crayons with trains is silly. We have to think about moving people and the most efficient way to do it. If you had a service running North <> Core and a service running South <> Core you are running two services. Having longer and through services just creates that link and combines them into a single more efficient service.

    All stations > Core > All stations
    Semi Fast > Core > Semi fast
    Fast > Core > Fast

    Where they come to and from I personally don't care. Rainham as the all stations serves the purpose because it's metro based and there are other options traveling from Kent into London.

    Rainham going down via the North Kent is a tedious debate but that side of Kent absolutely needed the option to run into and through the core. Core <> London Bridge <> Kent really is a game changer and something I fully support. The other side of Kent is served by services coming up from Sevenoaks/Orpington. The future is going to link Maidstone and Ashford to that part of London. The options for the Kent passengers have increased. This is a huge benefit for the passenger.

    If these services existed years ago I would have saved a fair few quid and quite a bit of time. I know more than a few people who see the same benefits and from an anecdotal perspective, watching the change to how the people move about I really have seen a dramatic change.

    When I get a train, all I see is where I get on and where I get off. I choose the most efficient way of doing it. Least changes and quickest time. I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't care where the train came from or where its going to.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jan 2019
  8. londonteacher

    londonteacher Member

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    A brilliant post!
     
  9. BRX

    BRX Established Member

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    Yes exactly.

    The London Underground works in much the same way. Hardly anyone travels from one end of the Northern Line, or District Line, or Central Line, to the other.
     
  10. MCSHF007

    MCSHF007 Member

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    In a nutshell. Superb assessment.
     
  11. Bedpan

    Bedpan Member

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    I agree entirely with you on this point. That's presumably why there was such an outcry from the Wimbledon Loop commuters when it was originally planned to terminate their trains at Blackfriars, and similarr;y why I earlier quoted the options of running to Kentish Town/West Hampstead (regardless of the logistics, didn't the Sevenoaks trains terminate at one or other (or both) of these stations previously? Don't know why I mentioned Blackfriars as I know you can't get to the terminal platforms from London Bridge.

    I do and a lot of people from my area do, although admittedly we are 25 miles south of Bedford. It's handy for a day out by the sea. How else would we get there? It's quite a trek round the M25 and there's the problem of parking at the destination. Most people go to London but its not at all unusual to have a few passengers going all the way. Brighton is an attractive destination with plenty to do and makes a good day out. Also connections onto the East and West Coastway along with other connections on the way if you need them. All in all an ideal destination point for Thameslink.

    Yes but they should be two equal halves in relation to stopping patterns, as was originally proposed back in the early 90s.

    Agreed but this should be distance based too. The old idea of City Metro and City Flyer worked well.


    But its too long a route to be metro based. I agree with 700007 (5614) , London Teacher and The Box Photter (partly) who have posted further up the page. If it were possible to do so, I would terminate the present North Kents at Dartford. Alternatively have them as stoppers from Rainham to Dartford and then fast to London.

    Yes but the advantage is South of the Thames to London only.

    Well I don't necessarily care where it's come from but I do care where it's going to and how long it will take to get there. You mentioned RAF Museum at Hendon earlier, but I did an opposite but similar sort of trip to Chatham Dockyard museum a few months ago. I could have caught one train all the way, but saved half an hour osr so in each direction by changing at St Pancras. And in time to come, if I didn't want to pay the HS1 surcharge, I will be able to change at Farringdon and again at Abbey Wood and maybe still save time. So.....nobody in their right mind would be likely to use this service end to end.

    Compare this with the 90s. Two trains an hour to Brighton which were a darned sight faster than they are now - (and it was indicated that journey times would improve when London Bridge and Blackfriars had been remodelled). Two an hour from Luton or Bedford to Guildford - semi fast either side of the core, and the Luton Sevenoaks stoppers. Lots of reasonable journey opportunities. Then they changed to running the stoppers round the Wimbledon loop and in general terms that worked okay too. not the fastest journey to Wimbledon but quite convenient if you were going to Kingston or anywhere else in South West London. They wer journeys you would do, rather than direct routes which would be stupid to take.

    Back to the whether anybody in their right mind would use Bedford - Brighton end to end..... I must say that with every timetable amendment over the last few years the prospect does become a little bit less attractive what with longer journey times and, more recently, concrete seats. All in all, a huge disappointment after all the promises of the last 25 years.
     
  12. Bedpan

    Bedpan Member

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    Because its too slow and generally speaking it doesn't end anywhere of note. Upminster/Ealing Broadway/Edgware/Morden/Ruislip/Epping etc is hardly Cambridge or Brighton or even Bedford or Peterborough.
     
  13. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    Like many long journeys it is possible not many do it end to end. London - Aberdeen? But you get significant flows on parts such as Aberdeen- Newcastle.

    Back to Thameslink
    Peterborough- Horsham.
    Some do use it from the north to Gatwick airport. Others prefer speed and to change onto a Brighton service. I am sure Gatwick to stations north of Finsbury Park will get a reasonable demand but people will look for the faster Cambridge services.

    Cambridge- Mainstone fits into exactly what ComUrTor posted above. No-one cares where it goes south. People from the north are happy to get to the core as are people from the South. Someone may decide that we have a direct train to Cambridge and try visiting but I can’t see it simulates much demand. But personally getting to London Bridge is brilliant to avoid the northern line and change to many destinations.

    I think from great northern then Cambridge to Brighton will get reasonable cross London traffic simply because of the tourist destinations it serves on both sides. As Bedpan states avoiding the M25 and a direct train is welcome. But the other great northern services probably not so much.
     
  14. 700007

    700007 Member

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    I hadn't realised that, I have a tendency to forget South of the Thames (towards Gatwick Airport) all TL services are generally 12 car. It doesn't need to be Three Bridges per se but I reckon that there is a good demand for faster north to south local travel in London than what the likes of the Northern line and London Overground provide and I thought a service like that, especially serving places like East Croydon and Gatwick Airport would do well.
    That's incredibly insightful and I do agree with you. I do think initially to begin with yes North side people will all be dumped in the core and South side people will get on but as the years go on by there will be a flow that stays on through the core knowing there is a rail link providing new journey opportunities, hence my aforementioned suggestion.

    I also 100% agree that services should essentially be a flyer or a metro service throughout and not just two random services joined on together. I do admittedly find it weird that there is a fast service from Bedford that terminates eventually as a stopping service to East Grinstead.

    I also think the Dartford all stations or Rainham semi fast doesn't sound bad as well, as suggested by @Bedpan
     
  15. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Sevenoaks always used turn back in the bay. The main reason why the station got flipped was to remove the conflicting moves so that everything coming up from London Bridge went through and everything coming up from Elephant side shuffles in behind. Sadly, and typical of the railway... The conflict still exists, still causes delays and still creates issues. The planners must have a nightmare. The original intent changed, there are too many trains, and it will always be a huge bottleneck (which I am on the side where I just see it getting worse)

    Which is exactly why I don't like terminating any of the services short. It removes the options for the passenger.

    That's because we are a better class of passenger <D

    Time or convenience. The railway never seems to provide both. My Son has discovered he can get to Westfield by train. He can take many different routes but the Rainham service is the most convenient as it goes straight to St Pancras. (all options go via St Pancras)

    I am reminded of a quote about pleasing some or all of the people...
     
  16. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    Given Windmill Bridge Junction is effectively maxed out that can't happen till after the massive East Croydon rebuild, the lack of capacity at XWB was the reason for reducing the planned number of trains through the Thameslink Core from East Croydon by 4tph and adding 4tph to "SouthEastern" destinations including the 2tph Rainham instead.

    One of the reason for all stops of the TL Rainhams is revenue grab, if they don't stop then the operator (DfT in GTR's case) don't get share of the revenue.
     
  17. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    Agreed. The future of services through the core look very interesting with plenty of journey opportunities. I would have a semi-fast and a stopper from each side and better links where you can interchange but I just don't think the core can cope or there are enough pathways. I am unsure of the multi destination into and out of the core mentality from an operational perspective but I support it in terms of passenger choice and opportunity.

    Regardless of stopping patterns, termination points, turnbacks etc. I just want the services going through and linking North <> South everything else is playing crayons and I'll leave to the experts.
     
  18. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    A big issue is that what typifies semi-fast services North and South of the river on individual routes varies quite a bit. On the BML routes a big category in "Semi-fasts" is fast to East Croydon then all stops e.g. the East Grinstead* which is a bit different to north of the Thames

    The number of potential fast /semi-fast / stoppers each side of the Thames doesn't match hence there have to be compromises. Ditto 12car and 8 car capable routes and then throw in DfT not ordering enough 12 car.

    Hence there will always have to be some "random" joinings it is impossible not to.

    *The limited stop service to Oxted is provided by the Diesel 171s as the acceleration of DMUs is much worse hence the better acceleration of EMUs is used for the all stop service.

    There seems to be quite a lot of lack of understanding of infrastucture issues on the network in these discussions. The Sussex route pretty much wins on the number of complex infrastructure interactions.
     
  19. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    The current way things operate isn't the final plan for many of the individual services as the MML wasn't fully ready for the maximum service in May '18 (e.g. Bedford sidings works and no TMS).

    The Sutton services normally all go to St Albans, if you want to get to Luton from Sutton you are best hoping off in the Core and getting one of the fast services 5 minutes behind which will get you there quicker.

    The Suttons going to Luton wouldn't work because of the timing of the paths for those services in both directions south of Blackfriars post May '18 needed to make the whole timetable work, hence going to Luton would need more stock and the trains spending some time at Luton Possible in the sidings so they didn't get int he way while waiting for their slot to head south. St Albans is a very good natural turnback location for the Suttons now.
     
  20. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    Is there any more sidings work to come in Bedford? As I noted above, there are five 700/0 diagrams on the Bedford-Brighton/Gatwick/East Grinstead routes constrained by the need to use Bedford Carriage Sidings for stabling, plus one other out and back working from Three Bridges on these routes. 55 700/1s isn't quite enough for all services on the 12-car routes based on previous analysis so presumably some workings remain 8-car on these routes forever.
     
  21. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    Once CrossRail finally opens, Heathrow will be the airport the majority of people will travel to, a change at Abbey Wood and your on your way to the UK’s biggest airport, demand for Luton will drop, if there ever was a demand for Luton in the first place
     
  22. Failed Unit

    Failed Unit Established Member

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    You will be surprised. Horrible airport (but improving) with many flights that are cheap. Once the rapid transit opens from the Airport- Parkway I am sure someone budget conscious will pick Luton if the price is right. Fast link to London and once the bus is gone - good transfer. I am sure people will not really care which airport they arrive at
     
  23. ComUtoR

    ComUtoR Established Member

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    The Lizzy line will open up a whole new dimension to cross London travel. Will there be a shift towards people changing at Abbey Wood or will it just reduce the overcrowding. Personally I can't see people traveling backwards on themselves just to use Abbey Wood or Woolwich but those are particularly busy stations so any reduction in overcrowding will be welcome.

    Crossrail is another prime example where you aren't running end to end and is there to link both sides of the city and to help take pressure off the tube. From what I see of the route, it appears to do the same style of job that Thameslink achieves. I wonder how much cross London commuter travel will be absorbed by Crossrail. From bedpan's point about speed. It will be interesting how quick it will be from Abbey Wood into Farringdon and indeed how many people want Liverpool Street which is another short but punishing morning walk for Kent commuters.

    Airport wise. I don't travel enough to make an informed comment. Whenever I have flown my airport is determined by the travel agent and my destination. However, for Heathrow I would certainly ride on Lizzy.
     
  24. cle

    cle Established Member

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    Equally Crossrail will unlock access to Luton from east and west, via Farringdon. The South East needs all of the airports it has, and all perform different functions.

    Aren’t Wizz Air the largest airline at Luton now? How well does Heathrow serve their customer base?
     
  25. londonteacher

    londonteacher Member

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    The destinations available from Luton are in contrast very different to that of Heathrow. They cater for different audiences. Yes Heathrow overall has many more destinations, but Luton also caters for leisure passengers with many destinations not served by Heathrow. But yes, once Crossrail opens people will use that from North Kent destinations to get to Heathrow and they will use others (either direct or with a single change) to get to Gatwick and Luton.
     
  26. Class 403

    Class 403 Established Member

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    Not at all, when you count both regular and seasonal destinations you get Easyjet with 70 destinations and Wizzair with 59 destinations so I would say Easyjet is the biggest airline at Luton judging by the number of destinations that they serve.

    As to Heathrow, they serve a different market to Luton, Stansted and to a degree Gatwick so have different needs.
     
  27. extendedpaul

    extendedpaul Member

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    I've been an end to end user having travelled from Luton, from Harpenden and from St Albans through to Rainham (where I live) three times now, all late evening. I could have gained half an hour by changing at St Pancras on to HS1 but once on board I chose to stay on the same train. Also I'm fed up that my valid tickets are regularly rejected at the St Pancras Intl barrier and as for one particular HS1 train manager who makes people show the signature on their railcards every single time.......

    I do think Luton to Rainham should be a semi fast service from London Bridge to Gravesend with the same calling pattern as the much-missed Charing Cross to Gillingham service
     
  28. londonteacher

    londonteacher Member

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    I agree, speeding up the service so that it has the same pattern as the old Charing Cross to Gillingham service would be good.
     
  29. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    Axing a fair few stations alongthe North Kent side would make this service more attractive, it’s unreasonable for a service that goes way beyond the M25 to be all stations.

    The issue with that, is if it were semi fast this would leave Deptford with 4tph, along with Maze Hill and Westcombe Park, (Plumstead and Slade Green will just revert back to the 6tph they had before May last year and the shacks between Dartford/Greenhithe & Gravesend don’t need 4tph) do you suggest re-routing this via Lewisham, so that the above mentioned stations could maintain their 6tph? I understand that this is a contentious issue

    Regarding Luton, is it the third or fourth busiest “London” airport after Heathrow and Gatwick?
     
  30. londonteacher

    londonteacher Member

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    No, I would suggest keeping it to go via Greenwich and from London Bridge calling at Deptford (because of housing developments and requirements to have more trains stopping), Greenwich, Charlton, Woolwich Arsenal, Abbey Wood, Erith (because of the new housing developments there), Slade Green, Dartford, Greenhithe, Northfleet, Gravesend and if it must then all stations to Rainham. However, terminating at Gravesend could be a good idea.

    Luton is the fourth largest. It goes Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton.
     

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