THAMESLINK services to Kent and Sussex routes 2018

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by Minstral25, 15 Jun 2016.

  1. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Your 2nd para sums it up perfectly.

    The Kent timetable for services ex Cannon St run on a 20 minute cycle (off peak) and 22 minute cycle (peak). Note this doesn't mean a 3tph service to certain destinations, rather it is train paths that do roughly the same thing in the Metro area. E.g. 1702 Hastings, 1724 Ramsgate, 1745 (46) Folkestone, 1808 Ramsgate all have the same routing.

    Trains coming out of the TL core via London Bridge to Kent would have to fit into this cycle. But as we know, the TL trains would be in some form of half hourly cycle. So it won't work, at least not reliably and not without plenty of pathing time. Unless, of course, you completely recast the Kent Metro timetable to fit around a handful of Thameslink services.

    Hence why it would be somewhat easier from a timetabling perspective to keep TL services via London Bridge heading down the Sydenham corridor, and anything going to Kent to be routed via Bromley South.
     
    Last edited: 20 Apr 2017
  2. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    There are loads of trains on the Brighton Main Line though and the Thameslink services have never been evenly spread from Brighton because they have different calling patterns. Add to that the issue of pathing a non-stop service to Gatwick and you can see why 15 minute gaps wouldn't actually help planning.

    Looking at the consultation document, the Bedford to Gatwick service calls at Norwood Junction so won't have the same running time between East Croydon and London Bridge as the Bedford to Brighton service. At the moment, Bedford departures from East Croydon off peak are 13 / 17 minutes apart (xx25 from Brighton, xx38 from Three Bridges).

    If there will be six trains an hour from Redhill to East Croydon, it makes lots of sense for the services to be exactly 10 minutes apart even if two go to Victoria and four go to London Bridge. If they are 10 minutes apart at Redhill and they have different calling patterns, they will be a bit closer to each other at East Croydon.

    Whilst we are told that the timetable is starting from a blank sheet of paper, lots of it is fixed by what happens elsewhere eg Arun Valley to Portsmouth / Southampton by times west of Havant. There was also the suggestion that the Quarry line off-peak service south of East Croydon from 2015 is in its future form already. That has Thameslink trains to Brighton departing East Croydon at xx19 / xx26 / xx49 / xx56 so not well spaced.
     
  3. Minstral25

    Minstral25 Established Member

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    Some good points but I don't grasp why having evenly spaced trains cause timetable issues. From a passenger perspective they are very good.

    I can understand why if you have different calling patterns you'd get some variations but leaving London/East Croydon where calling is the same should be fine. Then South of East Croydon the slightly different pattern will mean different arrival time but as the stations are evenly balanced (both Brighton trains south of East Croydon have 6 stops (mostly different) for example) it won't be that far out at Brighton.

    On Redhill route you point out 10 minute spacing but that is not good for the customer as it becomes LBG/LBG/VIC - OK for VIC as half-hourly, but 10/20 on LBG - from Redhill 98% of passengers either want LBG or VIC but not either.

    I'm sure there are lots of other problems in the mix but when the opportunity is to fully rebuild a whole timetable do you leave these issues in place?
     
  4. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Some clever people not too long ago designed a computer algorithm than could beat an advanced human player at Go.

    Frankly, that's a doddle compared to automating train planning.
     
  5. 43074

    43074 Established Member

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    Thanks for the explanation, that makes sense.
     
  6. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    Well there's always the option of doing away with the Charing X to Gravesend via Sidcup service? Cut that back to Dartford, and keep the Woolwich service along with the Thameslink service, this would be better surely?
     
  7. ScotGG

    ScotGG Member

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    So the temporary service cuts on the Greenwich line introduced since 2015 due to London Bridge rebuilding work are to stay after Jan 2018 in Southeasterns planned timetable?!

    Surely it was supposed to improve our journeys! It cut nigh on half the capacity in the evening peak from central London and that remains? How is that justified - there's trains only every half hour or near enough in the rush hour to busy stations but we weren't told it would last into 2018.

    https://fromthemurkydepths.wordpres...ondon-bridge-rebuild-now-permanent-from-2018/
     
  8. LA50041

    LA50041 Member

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    Better for who?
    Certainly not for those that use the sidcup line
     
  9. Class 466

    Class 466 Member

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    It has always been publicised that the changes were permanent.
     
  10. ScotGG

    ScotGG Member

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    Can you link to anything that said the large cuts introduced since 2015 were permanent?

    We were always told it would revert back to the pre-2015 levels when building work was complete. That was at public meetings, meet the manager events, on leaflets and in every line of communication. It was never stated at any event that the North Kent line would see such large permanent peak time cuts.

    What's happening to all the train paths that existed before 2015? I can't see any improvements elsewhere.
     
  11. ijmad

    ijmad Member

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    Cannon Street has dropped from 25tph to 22tph capacity due to the Thameslink works eating up ECS capacity, and longer trains, which means a few paths disappeared.

    The Kent Route consultation has a big diagram on page 20 that shows all the morning peak paths, which are:

    - 5tph on the Greenwich Lines (2 Dartfords, 2 Gillinghams, 1 Slade Green)
    - 18tph via New Cross & Lewisham (3 Barnehursts, 2 Crayfords, 1 Dartfords, 3 Hayes, 3 Sevenoaks, 2 Broadstairs, 1 Dumpton Park, 1 Ore, 1 Ashford, 1 Ramsgate)

    So that's where the paths are and it seems they shall remain. I don't know what wasn't on the Greenwich Lines before 2015 that is now.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jun 2017
  12. ScotGG

    ScotGG Member

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    To give a comparison to pre-2015 services, the evening peak has dropped from 8 trains an hour to about 2 for the busiest period. A big drop. Even accounting for 25 tph becoming 22 tph, Greenwich and stations around there see a bigger reduction.

    The reduction in peak capacity at Cannon Street was brought up in meetings and events with NR and Southeastern and assurances were made that it wouldn't be a big factor. Certainly not to this extent. The main cuts are in the evening peak which is more than 5 tph paths that should exist.

    In terms of longer trains the reverse has happened through Greenwich. Many 10 car services are now 6 or 8.

    I'm sure the thinking may be well why don't people take a DLR. Yet that is increasingly busy, has no new trains coming for quite a few years and people in, say, Westcombe Park near the large new developments are not that close to the DLR. It's a bus ride on busy roads and more cost. And reductions for stations like Dartford where there's no alternative to central London will hit hard. 3 tph from Charing Cross still seems to give a net reduction from before.
     
  13. Class 466

    Class 466 Member

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  14. ScotGG

    ScotGG Member

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    I knew about the Charing Cross link being permanently cut and a reduction in tph Cannon Street can handle but the cuts are still bigger than 4 across the evening peak and that article claimed longer trains would compensate - this never happened. Southeastern cut the remaining services to 6 or 8 carriages.

    I find it amusing that Deptford High Street is having millions spent right now to upgrade it and one main reason given is many new homes being built such as Convoys Wharf (3k homes) and many other large scale housing projects nearby that will bring many more commuters.

    Thameslink via Greenwich will help in late 2018. Still a net cut for some stations though. And if it's a 8 car 700 that's not much better than a 10 car 376 being cut, or even 10-car 465.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jun 2017
  15. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    Presumably from December '18 they are also expecting 12/6tph (peak/off peak) Crossrail to hoover up lots of local passengers from Abbey Wood - Woolwich areas with lots of space on trains created passengers from further out changing at Abbey Wood for Crossrail, leaving more room fro Greenwich - Deptford ara users (in theory by we all know what growth rates are actually like which tends to destroy assumptions...)
     
  16. ijmad

    ijmad Member

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    It's looking like Crossrail off-peak services will be more like 10tph rather than 6pth on the branches now, but otherwise yes. You'd imagine some other people might end up reversing the direction of their commute as well, someone from Plumstead might go one stop east to pick up Crossrail at Abbey Wood rather than getting on a Westbound service in to Cannon Street.

    There is some thought being given to taking Crossrail out to Gravesend which would undoubtedly help a lot more.
     
  17. ScotGG

    ScotGG Member

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    That seems to be the thinking. I do have some doubts about that, but it's mostly anecdotal. I can't see many backtracking from, say, Charlton or even Plumstead to get a Crossrail if working in the City. All time advantages are lost by changing and its more expensive if going to Abbey Wood from Plumstead or Woolwich from Charlton. Plumstead folks could change at Woolwich but the station is a bit of a walk away - say 5-10 minutes transfer negating faster Crossrail journeys if going to the City or Canary Wharf.

    As you say, forecasting is often well out. House numbers being built and planned are simply vast and way more than justifying reducing Deptford-Greenwich to 2 trains an hour in the PM peak, Crossrail or not.

    Anyone who takes a train through Deptford can see about 4-5 large developments (few hundreds homes in each) built right now and the same in planning.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jun 2017
  18. Barn

    Barn Established Member

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    Sorry if I've missed something above, but where has it been suggested a drop to 2tph? Isn't it 2tph Thameslink plus at least 4tph Southeastern?
     
  19. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    Where have longer trains resulted in fewer paths?
    Is it a case of blocks and distances between Junctions being too short for a 12 car train? If so was it truly the best decision to lengthen them, if so many trains remain at 6/8 coaches? Which junctions or signals in particular cause the loss of paths? Or is it down to something more subtle?
     
  20. ScotGG

    ScotGG Member

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    At the busiest time of the evening peak (5:30ish to 6:30ish) trains from Cannon St (and soon to be London Bridge) to Deptford, Greenwich, Maze Hill and Westcombe Park have a 25 mins gap then around another 25 mins gap. Normally its 10 mins gap off-peak. Frequency was far higher before Thameslink and London Bridge work.


    The 25 mins gap is often longer due to late trains. The trains are often packed, and that delays things further.
     
  21. Barn

    Barn Established Member

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    Yes, good point. I use this line myself but head home a little later into the evening and by that point the service has improved a bit again. It's striking how much worse the peak service is to the off-peak.
     
  22. ScotGG

    ScotGG Member

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    Same issue again tonight. The train leaving Cannon St to Greenwich was late due to issues elsewhere, meaning a 30 min gap, then slows down due to crowding and again terminated at Dartford instead of Gravesend. Same as last night.
     
  23. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    Reminds me of the awful service we had to endure on the Orpington-Victoria line when Eurostar went into Waterloo. My sister lost two sales on her West Dulwich home because the prospective buyers tried the train service for size and found it so wanting!
     
  24. NorthKent1989

    NorthKent1989 Member

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    I know there are logistics as to why maybe Crossrail couldn't be extended to Gravesend but I still prefer this to Thameslink,

    Extend Crossrail to Gravesend and have that replace the SE stopping services and absorb all intermediate stations up to Abbey Wood into the service, while the Gillingham semi fasts will skip these stations as they do already, this happens on most parts of the TfL rail network where the tube will be the "all stops" service while the National rail services run along side these routes as "fast" and "semi fasts" ie: The Met line/Aylesbury line, District line/LTS line and the Bakerloo &Overground lines/Euston to Birmingham line.

    The Thameslink will be counter productive for those in Erith & Belvedere and for the Dartford routes as a whole, as not only does this seem to be last minute (The Thameslink Dartford routes were originally supposed to have absorbed the Woolwich semi fasts and Sidcup line only at peak times but this was dropped in the early 2000s) but it will inconvenience commuters from the Medway having their long standing, semi fast train replaced by a stopping metro service, this will be a double hit since the Bromley lines are now basically a skip stop/stopping service as far as Bromley South.
     
  25. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    On the SE side part of the reason the reason is much more subtle and simply that longer trains take longer to clear junctions e.g.
    At 20mph the difference between 10 car and 12car is 4.5s per train which at 28tph totals 125.1s /hr but the destructive effect is far greater as NR time to 30s intervals so the extra 4.5s can actual have direct impact of 30s and indirect impact of 30s on the train after that.

    At 15mph the difference between 10 car and 12car is 5.9s/train which at 28tph totals 192.4s /hr.

    Most of the junctions outside CST and CHX are 15mph.

    The reduction from 29tph to 28 tph at CHX is just due to this but the reduction from 25 to 22tph at CST is due to 3tph of ECS that used to escape Cannon Street via the Metropolitan Curve to the siding just before Blackfriars before reversal and running via Elephant and Castle can no longer do this with due to the works and ultimately 16tph of Thameslink in each direction they have to cross. Hence at CST you might as well try to run as many as possible at 12car because it isn't the limiting factor but they don't have the units because they have been used on CHX services that stop at LBG at the moment where as the CST ones currently don't...

    If you want to see 12car (or 10car) car train cause massive problems due to 8/10car distances between junctions then look at the Windmill Bridge complex of junctions (See London Reconnections Sussex Part 7 or Part 9 articles for the full detail...)
     
  26. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    Don't worry the current local MP like being photographed at West Dulwich complaining about the bad Southern Service to London Bridge...:lol::lol::lol:
     
  27. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    Yes, I've never managed to find one of those services - many's a time of an evening when a LB-WD would have been a godsend. Even Herne Hill is difficult from LB, with no direct bus these days.
     
  28. ijmad

    ijmad Member

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    We will be losing the Kent House Thameslink service in the morning and evening after May next year, I think? Always found those useful when I'm running late for work... or leaving early.
     
  29. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    To be replaced by SE services to the Blackfriars bay platforms (i.e. going back to what it was as it was pre 2009 and Thameslink KO0)
     
  30. louis97

    louis97 Established Member

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    You do realise that length of the train is, generally, irrelevant in relation to clearing of junctions/platforms,etc. In my experience, having worked on relevant projects, calculated junction margins, platform re-occupation margins and headways are calculated using maximum length trains, so 12 car trains in this case. So therefore are a worse case scenario.

    Worth remembering that the loop services out of Cannon Street are limited to 10 cars in length because of the length of and location of signals on connecting spurs between routes.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jun 2017

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