Thameslink weekend services

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Edvid

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Before weekend cross-London services on the Thameslink route become the norm in the timetable starting 20 May, these services are currently planned to run on the following days as well:

25 March
21/22 April
28 April
12/13 May
19 May


In contrast, the core route through London will be closed on the following days (in addition to the typical weekends):

6 April (Good Friday)
9 April (Easter Monday)
7 May (May Day Bank Holiday)
 
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tsr

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This information has been on NRE for some time, and the Engineering Works section has been kept up to date with various Core closures during these works. For further reference, I would advise passengers to check the usual page:

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/today.html

These works are normally to be found at the very bottom of the list of "Current engineering work".

Personally, I am surprised at the Easter closures, because I imagine there will be a good number of people visiting relatives or going on holiday and using these services (perhaps in particular to Gatwick Airport) at this point in the calendar. However, I feel that most passengers have coped with these closures quite well, despite the inconvenience. I myself have had to make a number of journeys avoiding the Core due to weekend closures, and whilst it has sometimes been inconvenient to drag luggage around, I haven't found it to be too much of a chore (the caveat that I am extremely familiar with the Tube does apply). That said, I think people will be relieved once it reopens for good (except for the frequent catastrophic failures that seem to occur...).
 

Mutant Lemming

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Saturdays have been pretty abysmal for local Thameslink passengers for a while now.

* 15 minute frequency cut to half hourly

* Trains terminating at Kentish Town

* Trains deliberately not connecting at West Hampstead to and from St/Pancras services

* Lack of on-train and station information regarding planned tube closures on the Jubilee or Northern Line

The long suffering FCC customers are obviously looking forward to end of these works and a new timetable but I suspect most are looking forward even more to the end of FCC.
 

Firestarter

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Saturdays have been pretty abysmal for local Thameslink passengers for a while now.

* 15 minute frequency cut to half hourly

* Trains terminating at Kentish Town

* Trains deliberately not connecting at West Hampstead to and from St/Pancras services

* Lack of on-train and station information regarding planned tube closures on the Jubilee or Northern Line

The long suffering FCC customers are obviously looking forward to end of these works and a new timetable but I suspect most are looking forward even more to the end of FCC.
Are stations north of west hampstead under any obligation to advise about TFL works??
 

Class377/5

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This information has been on NRE for some time, and the Engineering Works section has been kept up to date with various Core closures during these works. For further reference, I would advise passengers to check the usual page:

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/today.html

These works are normally to be found at the very bottom of the list of "Current engineering work".

Personally, I am surprised at the Easter closures, because I imagine there will be a good number of people visiting relatives or going on holiday and using these services (perhaps in particular to Gatwick Airport) at this point in the calendar. However, I feel that most passengers have coped with these closures quite well, despite the inconvenience. I myself have had to make a number of journeys avoiding the Core due to weekend closures, and whilst it has sometimes been inconvenient to drag luggage around, I haven't found it to be too much of a chore (the caveat that I am extremely familiar with the Tube does apply). That said, I think people will be relieved once it reopens for good (except for the frequent catastrophic failures that seem to occur...).
Before weekend cross-London services on the Thameslink route become the norm in the timetable starting 20 May, these services are currently planned to run on the following days as well:

25 March
21/22 April
28 April
12/13 May
19 May


In contrast, the core route through London will be closed on the following days (in addition to the typical weekends):

6 April (Good Friday)
9 April (Easter Monday)
7 May (May Day Bank Holiday)
The Easter closure is need to commission the bay platforms at Blackfriars. Best time to do this is at a 4 day bank holiday or either you can't commission the bays or shut the Core on weekdays. The latter is unacceptable to all.
 

paddy1

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Saturdays have been pretty abysmal for local Thameslink passengers for a while now.

* 15 minute frequency cut to half hourly

* Trains terminating at Kentish Town

* Trains deliberately not connecting at West Hampstead to and from St/Pancras services

* Lack of on-train and station information regarding planned tube closures on the Jubilee or Northern Line

The long suffering FCC customers are obviously looking forward to end of these works and a new timetable but I suspect most are looking forward even more to the end of FCC.
There is also FCC's 'obsession ' about trains being formed of 4 coaches only at weekends (other the the few 'token' 8 coach trains on Saturdays) when the service terminates at St Pancras/Kentish Town, compared to far more 8 coach train formations when the weekend services runs cross London.

As well as this, the 15 minute frequency to/from Bedford goes down to half hourly much earlier on a Saturday evening than it does when the services runs through to Brighton, so you suffer the double inconvenience of shorter trains running less frequently, resulting in significant overcrowding.
 

tsr

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There is also FCC's 'obsession ' about trains being formed of 4 coaches only at weekends (other the the few 'token' 8 coach trains on Saturdays) when the service terminates at St Pancras/Kentish Town, compared to far more 8 coach train formations when the weekend services runs cross London.

As well as this, the 15 minute frequency to/from Bedford goes down to half hourly much earlier on a Saturday evening than it does when the services runs through to Brighton, so you suffer the double inconvenience of shorter trains running less frequently, resulting in significant overcrowding.
To add to such problems this weekend, they might be short of a 377. One of them was taken out of action with a major door problem today, following issues all the way from St Pancras to East Croydon. It was taken out of service at East Croydon at about 1010hrs with half the doors refusing to close in sync (I noticed this myself). I hope it's back in service shortly...
 

causton

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There is also FCC's 'obsession ' about trains being formed of 4 coaches only at weekends (other the the few 'token' 8 coach trains on Saturdays) when the service terminates at St Pancras/Kentish Town, compared to far more 8 coach train formations when the weekend services runs cross London.
Probably due to all the carriages being stuck the other side of the river! Don't know that much about FCC depots but I heard that is a reason/excuse they have...
 

benk1342

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The long suffering FCC customers are obviously looking forward to end of these works and a new timetable but I suspect most are looking forward even more to the end of FCC.
What is so bad about FCC? I have always found their service to be quite satisfactory, aside from the filthy trains. Or is the Thameslink route substantially worse than the Great Northern (which I use)?

It seems to me that most of the problems on the Thameslink right now are due to Network Rail's upgrades to the route, and would be the same no matter which company held the franchise.
 

Firestarter

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There is also FCC's 'obsession ' about trains being formed of 4 coaches only at weekends (other the the few 'token' 8 coach trains on Saturdays) when the service terminates at St Pancras/Kentish Town, compared to far more 8 coach train formations when the weekend services runs cross London.

As well as this, the 15 minute frequency to/from Bedford goes down to half hourly much earlier on a Saturday evening than it does when the services runs through to Brighton, so you suffer the double inconvenience of shorter trains running less frequently, resulting in significant overcrowding.
I take it your not aware that their is a service that needs to be run between London and Brighton? Hence the obsession with 4 coaches at weekends.
 

Mutant Lemming

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Are stations north of west hampstead under any obligation to advise about TFL works??
When works on their trains mean your journey is cut short necessitating using either of those lines then it might be useful for their paying passengers to know, as opposed to being turfed off at West Hampstead or Kentish Town only to find there is then no tube for them to continue their journey.
 

Class377/5

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Probably due to all the carriages being stuck the other side of the river! Don't know that much about FCC depots but I heard that is a reason/excuse they have...
It's not an excuse. Only depots that can look after a 319 are Bedford Cauldwell and Hornsey. From Friday until Monday units trapped south of the river cannot be properly looked after.

To add to such problems this weekend, they might be short of a 377. One of them was taken out of action with a major door problem today, following issues all the way from St Pancras to East Croydon. It was taken out of service at East Croydon at about 1010hrs with half the doors refusing to close in sync (I noticed this myself). I hope it's back in service shortly...
Short of trains generally.

There is also FCC's 'obsession ' about trains being formed of 4 coaches only at weekends (other the the few 'token' 8 coach trains on Saturdays) when the service terminates at St Pancras/Kentish Town, compared to far more 8 coach train formations when the weekend services runs cross London.

As well as this, the 15 minute frequency to/from Bedford goes down to half hourly much earlier on a Saturday evening than it does when the services runs through to Brighton, so you suffer the double inconvenience of shorter trains running less frequently, resulting in significant overcrowding.
basically FCC has run the trains so hard they need a lot of maintance at the weekends. As the demand is lower (ie no actually peaks) and the spilt service meaning less units available all round, they try to use less units. I think people forget as part of KO0 they were ran into the ground to keep the service going after the late delivery of the 377/5. At this point there were 3 trains spare at any one time, that's including planned maintance. They never recovered properly. Not to mention they were due to be withdrawn from next year as well when the franchise was organised.

As for a few token 8 cars on a Saturday, the number of 377 out doing 8 cars increased recently on the north side. Most of the day they run as 8 cars. Where as the Brighon line went every 15mins but with 4 cars instead of 30 with 8 cars.
 

jon0844

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Unless there are a lot of events on, 4 cars at a regular frequency should be okay - but I would hope that on a Sunday afternoon/evening, they consider more 8 car trains given the general increase in usage that becomes much like the weekday peak... lots of people coming home at the same time, having perhaps gone out at varying times from Friday afternoon-Sunday morning.
 

tsr

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...basically FCC has run the trains so hard they need a lot of maintance at the weekends. As the demand is lower (ie no actually peaks) and the spilt service meaning less units available all round, they try to use less units. I think people forget as part of KO0 they were ran into the ground to keep the service going after the late delivery of the 377/5. At this point there were 3 trains spare at any one time, that's including planned maintance. They never recovered properly. Not to mention they were due to be withdrawn from next year as well when the franchise was organised.

As for a few token 8 cars on a Saturday, the number of 377 out doing 8 cars increased recently on the north side. Most of the day they run as 8 cars. Where as the Brighon line went every 15mins but with 4 cars instead of 30 with 8 cars.
I hope I don't sound stupid saying this, but couldn't half the 377s on each side of the Thameslink core be run as 4 car 377s, and the other half of them be run as 8 car 377s?

I'm thinking that perhaps they could have 2tph 4 car and 2tph 8 car on each side.

Forgive me if I am overestimating the number of 377s available.
 

Class377/5

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I hope I don't sound stupid saying this, but couldn't half the 377s on each side of the Thameslink core be run as 4 car 377s, and the other half of them be run as 8 car 377s?

I'm thinking that perhaps they could have 2tph 4 car and 2tph 8 car on each side.

Forgive me if I am overestimating the number of 377s available.
Simply put yes, north side could do it, but when the 377 run as 4 car, there isn't much more demand. It's only later in the day they get upped to 8 cars when it's busy.

Note that FCC has 17 377 units at weekends, (4 south of Thames, 6 with Southeastern & 377/2 at Selhurst under Southern) giving a total on the north of 13 units. Note you still need to do maintance as well as in the week 24 out of 26 units are required for service.

South of the river, it's more about berthing issues than anything else.
 
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