The next place to lose a direct London link

Next London link to be lost

  • Scarborough

    Votes: 18 20.9%
  • Henley on Thames

    Votes: 5 5.8%
  • Pembroke Dock

    Votes: 32 37.2%
  • Harrogate

    Votes: 3 3.5%
  • Fort William

    Votes: 4 4.7%
  • Inverness

    Votes: 5 5.8%
  • Bradford on Avon

    Votes: 4 4.7%
  • Halifax

    Votes: 4 4.7%
  • Other (specify)

    Votes: 11 12.8%

  • Total voters
    86
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tbtc

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With various electrifications planned (or strongly hinted at!), the service pattern on many lines is bound to change, with potentially fewer through London trains to unelectrified branches (given the cost of bi-mode, will it be worth paying the extra money for a bi-mode unit just to provide a token service to some towns?).

So, place your bets now on the next place to lose its London service:

Scarborough (if the MML is electrified and gains "pure" electric stock, rather than bi-mode 222s) then the weekend service to Scarborough may be unsustainable

Pembroke Dock (If the next GWML tender only requires one London train a day to Carmarthen then would a Pembroke Dock service be commercially required?)

Henley On Thames (Wiring the GWML but not the branches may mean some of them lose a direct London service?)

Harrogate (depending on bi-mode IEP plans?)

Fort William (how long will the Sleeper continue it's West Highland portion?)

Halifax (how much longer will GC's scenic Bradford services last?)

Inverness (takes cover :lol:)

Bradford-on-Avon (how long will SWT's token Bristol service remain?)
 
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junglejames

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Wrexham being quietly dropped is very likely.
Not sure about the next, but 2 places that must surely lose through London services, and nothing to do with electrification, are Pembroke Dock and Carmarthen. Reason being, because no lines West of Swansea will be cleared for IEP and the 26m long coaches.
 

richw

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I'm worried about direct services to Penzance, as electrification stopping at Exeter, and dont see them running diesel for such a long route.
 

Ivo

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I wonder if East Coast might take on the Scarborough service instead. They would still have some diesel stock, so why not?

With regards to one other on the initial list, I doubt Bradford-on-Avon will any time soon - not when FGW have recently introduced their own London service ;)

Also, in this poll that has appeared, why can we only select one option?
 

Zoe

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I'm worried about direct services to Penzance, as electrification stopping at Exeter, and dont see them running diesel for such a long route.
As far as I know there are currently no plans to electrify to Exeter. If however elecrification was to end at Exeter though I would be concerned that it would not only see the end of direct services to Penzance but also the end of direct services to Plymouth with everyone wanting to travel further having to change at Exeter.
 

Erniescooper

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Then why does the Great Western franchise consulation say there will be an IEP service to Carmathen?
I would imagine that some staff at the DFT would get the shovels out themselves to clear the route as it appears the business case for Bi-mode IEP now rests on one train a day from Carmarthen to Paddington.
 

richw

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As far as I know there are currently no plans to electrify to Exeter. If however elecrification was to end at Exeter though I would be concerned that it would not only see the end of direct services to Penzance but also the end of direct services to Plymouth with everyone wanting to travel further having to change at Exeter.

It was originally planned to Exeter but i believe its was dropped out of the final plans. I'd expect it at some time though in the future, but they say electrification wont be possible along the coastal route between Exeter and Newton Abbot.
 

Zoe

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It was originally planned to Exeter but i believe its was dropped out of the final plans. I'd expect it at some time though in the future, but they say electrification wont be possible along the coastal route between Exeter and Newton Abbot.
Back in 2009 Network Rail included Bristol to Plymouth and Newbury to Cogload Junction as a line for possible electrification in the future but ending the wires at Exeter was not one of the options. I have seen no evidence suggesting that Exeter was ever to be included as part of the original scheme. Network Rail did not say anywhere in the document that electrification between Exeter and Newton Abbot would not be possible.
 
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Ivo

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I failed to mention before that I would expect Pembroke Dock to be vulnerable. What purpose is there for running London trains there, besides the limited tourist potential at that range for Tenby? Would be much better to stop at Carmarthen (the likely limit of electrification within the next few decades one would expect, should it ever get beyond Swansea) and then provide extra local capacity, or even non-stop services to Tenby only?

Back in 2009 Network Rail included Bristol to Plymouth and Newbury to Cogload Junction as a line for possible electrification in the future but ending the wires at Exeter was not one of the options. I have seen no evidence suggesting that Exeter was ever to be included as part of the original scheme.
In the event this did happen, I take it Paignton would be wired as well?
 

Eire Sprinter

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Would be extremely surprising (and a very retrograde decision) for Holyhead to lose its direct links to/from London. There are several daily Virgin Trains services each way to/from Holyhead. Apart from Holyhead being a strategic (indeed the dominant) surface transportation link to/from Ireland there is a significant population at the intermediate locations along the North Wales coast (Bangor, Rhyl etc...)
 

Zoe

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I would imagine that some staff at the DFT would get the shovels out themselves to clear the route as it appears the business case for Bi-mode IEP now rests on one train a day from Carmarthen to Paddington.
Carmathen isn't the only route that will use bi-mode. Even if Swansea and Cheltenham are wired it will still be needed for Worcester/Hereford and Exeter.
 

junglejames

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Then why does the Great Western franchise consulation say there will be an IEP service to Carmathen?
I hadnt seen that. I just heard no lines West of Swansea would be cleared. Perhaps Carmarthen will now be cleared. Highly doubtful Pembroke Dock will be though.

Welcome to our future replacement for our 'go anywhere' train!!!
 

tbtc

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My monies on Wrexham quietly disappearing from the west coast timetable.
I wish I'd thought of that for the poll :oops:

I wonder if East Coast might take on the Scarborough service instead. They would still have some diesel stock, so why not?
I mentioned Scarborough assuming that it won't be wired in the TPE plans, but you never know...

As far as I know there are currently no plans to electrify to Exeter. If however elecrification was to end at Exeter though I would be concerned that it would not only see the end of direct services to Penzance but also the end of direct services to Plymouth with everyone wanting to travel further having to change at Exeter.
Diverting all Cornwall/ Plymouth services via the Basingstoke line?

Would be extremely surprising (and a very retrograde decision) for Holyhead to lose its direct links to/from London. There are several daily Virgin Trains services each way to/from Holyhead. Apart from Holyhead being a strategic (indeed the dominant) surface transportation link to/from Ireland there is a significant population at the intermediate locations along the North Wales coast (Bangor, Rhyl etc...)
The population in North Wales isn't *that* big:

Holyhead = 13,580
Bangor = 21,735
Rhyl = 24,889

Plus, whilst not on the direct London route, Llandudno = 20,090). Meanwhile, if you are looking for somewhere to extend London - Chester trains to then the current Metropolitan Borough of Wirral has a population of 312,293 people (according to the 2001 census).

That said, I'd be surprised to see Holyhead's London link withdrawn (though it's more for political reasons than anything else)

(all figures taken from Wiki)
 

imagination

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I know nothing about Scarborough, Harrogate or Halifax services so can't comment on those.

I don't think Fort William would lose anything because of electrification. It might lose it for other reasons, but for the foreseeable future I don't see it happening.

Inverness would be political suicide.

With Bradford-on-Avon remember there is the peak service to London via Newbury too. If IEP will be running trains to Westbury (as I seem to remember reading elsewhere) then I don't see why the peak trains to Frome or Bristol via Trowbridge couldn't be run as extensions of this.

Pembroke Dock seems a likely candidate. There isn't much of a service anyway, and I don't see it filling much of a purpose.

Henley I would be surprised about, but it's possible. Those trains are very heavily used, and the 7:52 from Twyford to London from Henley also allows the direct train from Reading which is always packed full of college students. I'd say Bourne End would be more likely to lose its London trains than Henley.
 

Zoe

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Diverting all Cornwall/ Plymouth services via the Basingstoke line?
I doubt there would be much benefit in that as even with a forced change at Exeter it would still most likely be quicker via Taunton.
 

IanXC

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I wonder if East Coast might take on the Scarborough service instead. They would still have some diesel stock, so why not?
The East Coast franchise consultation suggests the possibility of removing the York-Scarborough (and York-Middlesbrough) legs of FTPE and giving them to the EC franchise.

Coupled with the potential electrification situation I wonder whether its more likely Scarborough will gain a regular London service and loose its Leeds service? Strange as that sounds!

Perhaps with the Newarks extended to York, one hour continues to Scarborough and the next to Middlesbrough.
 

MidnightFlyer

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I used the Pembroke Dock Saturday service (the morning one) a few weeks ago, it was silent from Swansea-Pembroke Dock (indeed I think I was the only one from Swansea), and only about 10 passengers joined and left from Carmarthen to Pembroke Dock. The return service however was quite busy, with good numbers joining at Pembroke Dock, Pembroke and Tenby (when was the booking office removed there BTW?), certainly there must have been a good 50 or so on by the end of the branch. However, that would make good use of a DMU, not a HST, and I suspect the furthest anyone who boarded on the branch was going was Swansea...
 

GNERman

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Shouldn't expect Halifax losing its services, not when GC is applying for a fourth Bradford path!!! If anything said choice should be changed to Pontefract, as GC have stated they would like to operate all services via Hare Park, thus avoiding Pontefract altogether and saving 20 minutes...

Also, EC recently reinstated the London - Harrogate service, previously only having a service to London and no return service. Surely this is telling us something? Would they not have withdrawn Harrogate at Eureka if it was doing badly?

TBF with Scarborough, can we really say that withdrawing one service PER WEEK is a terrible thing? If anything, I could see EC or an OAO wanting to serve Scarborough, as the number of people that you see getting of TPE and walking from Platform 4 to 3 is usually a steady figure. IMHO that it should have more than 1tph SCA-YRK, I would run 1tph SCA-LIV and 1tph SCA-YRK, terminating in Platform 2 and thus not causing more problems with Platforms 3 and 5.
 

tbtc

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Shouldn't expect Halifax losing its services, not when GC is applying for a fourth Bradford path!!!
Yes, a service via Leeds, which suggests that the Halifax market isn't their main priority

If anything said choice should be changed to Pontefract, as GC have stated they would like to operate all services via Hare Park, thus avoiding Pontefract altogether
Yes, but we all know their plan to ditch Pontefract (which isn't a franchise commitment so should be much easier for them to drop), which would skew the poll.

More interesting are the places where there are no definite plans to lose their London link, but speculation about how future electrification/ franchise boundaries/ changing demands will affect things.
 

route:oxford

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Other - Scotland

I could readily imagine passengers disembarking at Carlisle and Berwick Upon Tweed to pass through Border Control and onto International Platforms for onward shuttle services to Edinburgh/Glasgow and beyond.
 

GNERman

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Yes, a service via Leeds, which suggests that the Halifax market isn't their main priority
Yep, but are you saying that the service woudn't stop at Halifax? No. So, Halifax would be gaining a service to London. not loosing it's current ones. Surely if GC wanted to ignore Halifax it could have done, and could have applied to run via Whitehall Junction (is this the right one???), and bypass Halifax and Brighouse. And, as GC stated in their proposal overview, it would allow faster journey times from Halifax and Bradford, thus showing that it is an important market for them. Are they really going for a Leeds ORCATS raid with 1tpd, and will EC be fretting over this? Doubt it.
 
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