The Pain of London Overground

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Deepgreen, 5 Jun 2015.

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  1. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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    Yesterday I had no option but to use LOROL from Clapham Junction to Imperial Wharf and back and it reminded me of just how painful it is! Apart from being absolutely packed (I can take this for a short journey) it reminded me just how excruciatingly slow it is over most of the network. Right from the start of the journey, the mysterious and ludicrously long PSR out of Clapham Junction means that trains crawl in and out (on both routes), and then similarly crawl round the curve to join the other line before crossing the Thames. Approaches to, and departures from all stations on the LOROL network are far slower than on other operators' lines, and station dwell times are leisurely to say the least. It's both baffling and frustrating how slow the whole operation is.
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2015
  2. Urban Gateline

    Urban Gateline Established Member

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    If you think that short Journey is painful, I used to commute between Watford Junction and Richmond via Willesden Junction, now that is painful!
     
  3. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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    Virtually fatal, I would have thought! I just cannot understand why the LOROL operation is so leisurely.
     
  4. NSEFAN

    NSEFAN Established Member

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    The routes used by LO have traditionally been slow. They could probably go faster but would require more work from NR to provide infrastructure that's up to the job. Also, unlike LUL, they are a TOC and so are penalised for every minute of delay. I wouldn't be surprised if the timetable has a lot of padding to ensure reliability.
     
  5. JauntyAlan

    JauntyAlan New Member

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    I think they have reduced the padding somewhat; it used to be quite hefty, but that meant that there was an awful lot of wasted time for passengers changing from the H&I section to the Willesden Junction one.

    There still is far too much, to be honest, but that's minor compared to the godawful trundling. I sit and watch my speedometer on my phone and it struggles to bother 20mph at times.

    Most annoying is when the Southern trains on the same routes are much more spritely (in particular on the approach to Clapham Junction)
     
  6. Dr_Paul

    Dr_Paul Member

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    What really annoys me is that all the seats face inwards, making it very difficult to look out of the windows.
     
  7. telstarbox

    telstarbox Established Member

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    Remember that the trains have to fit between non-LO services on some sections.
     
  8. TheNewNo2

    TheNewNo2 Member

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    That's true, but it's better for the services they operate.
     
  9. telstarbox

    telstarbox Established Member

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    Longitudinal seating works well. I wish Southeastern would use it for some of their 465 coaches, or even remove all the seats between the doors on one coach per unit to make a 'standing coach'. At the moment passengers can't or won't move down to stand between the 3+2 seats and it effectively reduces capacity.
     
  10. blotred

    blotred Member

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    Yeah agreed.
    I must be the only commuter in the world who wants less seats lol...

    On a serious note, I used to take the Overground every day as a commuter, and whilst the train was slow, its punctuality was pretty good (presumably because it had lots of slack in the timetable). It was nice to know I could depend on getting my connection.
     
  11. Minstral25

    Minstral25 Established Member

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    Honestly no! They are rubbish. However it is irrelevant as I use these trains daily (WBJ-CLJ) and they are far too crowded. It's one thing for it to be a bit tight but when folks have to force their way on to the trains it is ridiculous. Even more so when TfL thought 5 coaches would fix it! No way!

    LO was once a jewel in the crown but now it is a hopeless mess - PPM is good due to padding but customer experience isn't by a long way
     
  12. Harlan Cage

    Harlan Cage Member

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    The LO from Clapham Jct. is really the old Other Circle that that was never completed in years gone by albeit you have to change trains on route to complete a full circle! I agree it is slow however a lot of passengers are only travelling a few stops in true metro style! The LO has been made up by linking up existing lines rather than building totally new infrastructure although there are new lines, bridges, stations etc.

    All trains will be 5 car 378's on the original Overground soon, having started off as 3 car units which proves how successful the line is.

    In an ideal World maybe a new Light Rail System might have been a better solution, however with space in London at a premium this would almost certainly prove to be too expensive!

    Travelling on the NLL a long gone Class 501's in the 1960's -1980's was certainly fun but nowhere as efficient and clean as the service is now.

    HC
     
  13. Kristofferson

    Kristofferson Established Member

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    Wait, you actually use it to get from A to B?? :lol:

    I was under the impression it was built as a place for the teens of inner city London to hang out, play loud music, take selfies and talk about their "fam". <D
     
  14. Alan White

    Alan White Member

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    Not only that, but the design results in fewer seats. Standing for the hour it takes to crawl from SRA to RMD isn't amusing.
     
  15. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    On a busy metro line, total passenger capacity is more important than numbers of seats. The average journey time per passenger on LO must be less than 30 minutes.
     
  16. Mutant Lemming

    Mutant Lemming Established Member

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    They were much more comfortable trains and the line was sparsely used back then so you would usually get a seat but the service started later and finished earlier, was less frequent and was prone to last minute cancellations up to and including the last train on some occasions. The stations weren't pleasant places to be at night either.
     
  17. michael74

    michael74 Member

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    Was once forced to go from Watford Junct to Euston on LO after the LM service was cancelled due to overhead problems.... I was quite ready to have myself sectioned by the time I got to Euston.
     
  18. Harlan Cage

    Harlan Cage Member

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    I quite a soft spot for the NLL and the Class 501's you might find this Facebook Page interesting https://www.facebook.com/groups/1444798942404267/

    HC
     
  19. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    In normal circumstances no one would choose LO over LM on the journey from Watford Junction to Euston, due to the number of stops more than anything else. However, faced with the prospect of the LM service being cancelled surely taking the LO was better than say taking the bus?
     
  20. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    When TfL took over it was operated by knackered old 313s, and between Willesden and Clapham Junctions it was 2tph. Overground has been an enormous success, as shown by how busy it now is.

    I can only assume that those who complain about Overground were not there in the dark Silverlink days.

    As for getting to Watford on Overground, it depends which part of Watford you're off to. It's probably no slower to the town centre on Overground than walking from Junction.
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2015
  21. michael74

    michael74 Member

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    Don't get me wrong it was certainly better than a bus, but I have been on faster tractors (I do live in Devon)
     
  22. Andrewlong

    Andrewlong Member

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    I find the seats hard and very 1970s!
     
  23. Philip C

    Philip C Member

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    The average journey time is of no interest to real passengers - the issue is your own journey time and whether the facilities are suitable for the actual journey being undertaken. I regard extended standing travel and sideways seated travel as a clear indication that civilization has taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way!

    Southern advanced similar average journey time arguments in support of use of toilet-less Class 313s between Brighton and Portsmouth. Telling someone who wishes to travel between those two points that toilets are unimportant because most journeys made on the service are short ones misses an important point.
     
  24. CapitalStar378

    CapitalStar378 Member

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    The point of most LO routes is that they avoid Zone 1 and the associated changes to get from A to B. The train might not be going at 60mph but how else would you get from Clapham Junction to Shepherd's Bush in 12 mins?

    There are many more examples of why many LO routes are the faster option than other routes or buses. The exponential increase in passenger numbers on the NLL/WLL/ELL and SLL show how these lines have a massively improved service on their predecessors.
     
  25. Harlan Cage

    Harlan Cage Member

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    Agree as the speed of the train is only one component of the journey:D

    HC
     
  26. physics34

    physics34 Established Member

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    its awful. you are forced to look at the person opposite!
     
  27. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    However in all honesty what other options do TfL have? In terms of people forcing their way on to trains have you ever used Bank tube during the Peak? As a Londoner I have come to accept this as a way of life, as have in my opinion the vast majority of other TfL users.

    I would be interested to know what solution you have in mind for TfL and LO in terms of over crowding as its hard to see how they could fit more trains on to the current LO network.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    What are you expecting to see, its hardly the West Highland or the Settle and Carlisle. With one or two exceptions you are essentially traveling past the back yard (or if you can afford it) the back garden of Greater London.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Well exactly.
     
  28. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    But how many people actually make that journey? More likely that most people would take the faster route via Waterloo. Yes some people might choose to take the slower and cheaper LO route, but there is such a regular turnover of short-distance passengers en route that (other than in extreme conditions, such as a tube strike) I really cannot imagine anyone having to stand for the whole journey.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Many of the stations were fairly unpleasant during the day!

    As an aside: in less than 30 years, the central part of the NLL has gone from haveing 2-EPBs every 20 mins to 5-car Capitalstars every 7-8 mins - or from 6 cars per hour to 40 cars per hour. Each 5-car train has a passenger capacity of approx 850, so that's almost 7,000 passengers per hour. I think that's pretty impressive by any standards.
     
  29. moogal

    moogal Member

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    Quite - unless you're one of those who persists in standing in the doorway it's usually quite possible to get seats at various points (when the train starts at Stratford, at the mass exodus for interchange stations such as Highbury & Islington or West Hampstead...) - if you're standing all the way through then you're either exceptionally unlucky or really not trying.

    Much as some complain about the longitudinal seating they really wouldn't work any other way. Peak loadings (and even off peak on the NLL/WLL) are such that every bit of standing space is at a premium - there's much more in common with a tube line than a suburban commuter railway.
     
  30. JaJaWa

    JaJaWa Established Member

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