TPE 350s Scotland

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by mrmartin, 1 Jun 2015.

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  1. mrmartin

    mrmartin Member

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    Had a few trips recently to/from Scotland since the 350s were introduced.

    Some are 8 car and some are 4 car. This seems madness, 8car is almost always way too much (for now) but 4car can be very congested. 6 car would seem to be just right.

    Why is it like this? Even having the 8 car be 2 separate 4 car would make more sense to me, as it could wait a little while and set off 1 hour later giving much needed more frequent journeys (and spread the capacity a little better)?
     
  2. superalbs

    superalbs Member

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    They are two seperate four car aren't they?
     
  3. hassaanhc

    hassaanhc Established Member

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    Surely a little spare capacity is a good thing, in case of disruption or other very busy periods? :idea:
    Also, 6 cars of 185 are as long as 7 cars of 350.
     
  4. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    Its already 1tph alternating Glasgow/Edinburgh, add in the other connections and its at least 2tph to both cities.
     
  5. D6975

    D6975 Established Member

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    I travelled on an 8 car set recently and it was absolutely wedged out of Picc on its way North. People were having to walk down the platform to find a door with standing space in the vestibule so that they could get in.
     
  6. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    The 8 cars are indeed packed at times, 4 car is always an under provision though. Its remarkable how fast passenger numbers rose after they replaced 185's not that they are a significant increase in capacity.
     
  7. Quakkerillo

    Quakkerillo Member

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    I myself went from Mauldeth Road to Glasgow via Crewe last year, to get in a pendolino instead of going into TPE via Manchester.
    With these new trains, I'd also think I'd go with TPE, as service levels are expected to be a bit higher. Clearly, other people also like to use these a lot.
     
  8. Chrism20

    Chrism20 Member

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    Almost always too much?

    I've been working in Preston for a few months now (Live in Edinburgh) and very rarely see a TPE that isn't bordering on chocca whether it's 3, 4, 6 or 8 cars.

    From Wigan onwards towards the North though the difference in pricing between VT and TPE makes them much more attractive compared to VT. as the TPE advances as usually always cheaper than VT which adds more people onto an already cosy service.

    You can't blame people for picking the cheaper option though, I do it myself and for the TOC it's all about revenue.
     
    Last edited: 3 Jun 2015
  9. TheJRB

    TheJRB Established Member

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    I have only used the route once and even then only between Bolton and Manchester on a weekend with 2 x 185s. It was full with plenty standing including me! So I wouldn't say 6 would be the perfect number. Ideally they'd all be 8 surely if stock was available?
     
  10. Camden

    Camden Established Member

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    Interesting subject been exposed to recently. What you say seems part of the problem, and this is mixed with one other, which is commuter use between Preston and or Bolton and Manchester.

    In a nutshell, Prestonians(?) pack the trains out back home, where they empty out and then this gets filled up again with people joining the train towards Scotland.

    It's a fascinating picture given all it merges and the questions it raises, such as

    Does the crowding up to Preston put people off travelling to Scotland from Manchester on these services? How best to cater for Manchester to Preston home time traffic. Arguably better and more appropriately served by 319 type services, same as towards Liverpool?

    Given the loading and unloading at Preston, would it be better to have four carriages from Manchester to Preston joined by another four from Liverpool, where it is the case that the lack of direct services will suppress demand, and is where a lot, perhaps the majority, of passengers joining at Preston have originated.

    Complicating all this are those ticket sales, advance versus walk up, and the purchase of advance fares both from Wigan for VT and Preston for Transpennine by passengers from Liverpool whose original starting point was Lime Street station (uncounted/miscounted present day demand). The Transport for Scotland response to the consultation was interesting.
     
    Last edited: 3 Jun 2015
  11. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    No would have thought the opposite was the better strategy, rather than making them shorter make the trains as long as possible so they can accommodate the peak demands without standing with room for both short distance and long distance consumers and then sell discounted tickets to load balance quieter periods. Its better to have an overprovision of capacity than an under provision.

    Despite what many would believe the costs faced are mainly fixed rather than variable as rolling stock leasing only makes up around a quarter of costs, therefore the longer the train the cheaper per passenger it costs to operate, similar to aircraft.
     
    Last edited: 3 Jun 2015
  12. Haydn1971

    Haydn1971 Established Member

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    I'm unfamiliar with services between Wigan and Manchester but could extra paths be accommodated if there was stock available ?

    If so, could shortened 225's be cascaded onto the Scotland - Manchester route with double the frequency so the 350's could be better used elsewhere ?
     
  13. 40129

    40129 Member

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    Whilst shortened IC-225s might be suitable for longer distance passengers, their Achilles heal on this route would be the fact that mk-4 carriages only have end doors which would add to dwell times especially between Manchester and Preston
     
  14. Iskra

    Iskra Established Member

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    ...But TPE don't/can't compete on fastest journey time against Virgin anyway. They're faster than 350's so surely the overall time would be similar. Additionally, there would be a significant capacity/comfort uplift and TPE would make more money on catering and 1st class tickets.

    This is the best proposed use of 225 sets I've seen thus far.
     
  15. cjmillsnun

    cjmillsnun Established Member

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    Are they faster though?

    The 350s out accelerate most other trains and the 225s are known for being slow to accelerate being loco hauled and the 91s being geared for 140MPH.

    Unless there was a long period of high speed (125) running, then the 350s would be quicker.

    Catering on trains is becoming more about at seat trolley services instead of the traditional buffet car (mores the pity IMO). Most catering is farmed out to private companies. So I don't see TPE making extra money on that. What is needed is more capacity, and TBH shortened 225s won't offer that.
     
    Last edited: 3 Jun 2015
  16. Iskra

    Iskra Established Member

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    They're obviously not the perfect solution (nor are 350's), but I think they'd do a decent job and as I say TPE already can't compete on time anyway.
     
  17. MCR247

    MCR247 Established Member

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    Maybe its not so much about competing on time but for paths? For Piccadilly and Oxford Road I'd imagine dwell times are quite important
     
  18. Haydn1971

    Haydn1971 Established Member

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    To clarify, my thinking was more along the lines of having a second TPE service an hour by utilising the cascaded 225 rather than a like for like replacement - a 8 car 350 has 460 (inc 36 first) seats in 160m, a six carriage 225 using a single first class carriage could give you 416 (inc 40 first) in about 178m - run two an hour and you have a step change in capacity and 10 spare 350's for Liverpool-Manchester
     
  19. MCR247

    MCR247 Established Member

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    I'm not sure there would be paths for that as I believe currently trains on the northern part of the WCML are flighted due to freights
     
  20. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    Yeah at the moment there isn't particularly room for extras however more could be accommodated with relatively minor works, package of minor interventions for the line to Scotland are being worked up as part of HS2 I believe.
     
  21. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Established Member

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    225s would be limited to 110mph on the WCML, just like the 350s, because they don't tilt.
    The TPE bids on the table with DfT will surely include a new express EMU?
    The 350s can then become Northern's prime mover on the Blackpool route.
     
  22. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Arguably it would make more sense to arrange a common new fleet between TPE and Northern Regional services, and send the 350s to LM. Avoids a microfleet.
     
  23. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Established Member

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    It does depend on what new EMUs TPE goes for, and how many before TP wiring.
    But 350s and 185s are both Siemens Desiros based at Ardwick.
    Splitting the 185s between TPE and Northern is already on the cards.
    Northern may not get any new EMUs in the short term, just upgraded 319s.
     
  24. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I guess given that the 319 and 321 body are very similar, the Class 321 heavy refurb being planned could also be applied to Class 319s. That would produce quite a pleasant unit if fitted with decent 2+2 seating and tables.
     
  25. Philip C

    Philip C Member

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    Decent 2+2 seating and tables being the key issue. I've had an aversion to the 321s ever since they appeared at Bishop's Stortford as a replacement for whatever slam-door EMUs we had in the late 1980s (were they 308s?). There was one sat in the sidings south of the station on a Sunday afternoon and I thought "wow that looks good" and couldn't wait for one to come my way in service. The disappointment, in terms of leg-room as much as anything, was massive. Since that time I've gone out of my way to avoid them.
     
  26. gimmea50anyday

    gimmea50anyday Established Member

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    Problem with 225's as you say is acceleration. Although hauling a shortened 6 car set would certainly pick up the pace. Re-gearing for a lower top end speed would also significant increase the acceleration rate. But then we have the dwell time issue. TBH for a long distance operator end doors are preferred, but TPE is trying to be intercity AND commuter at the same time. So 1/4 3/4 would be more preferable.
     
  27. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Could 91s be modified so one could be at each end, dumping the DVT?

    As for end doors, the Scotland services really shouldn't be commuter services and so the argument doesn't apply in the way it does for the rest of TPE.
     
  28. D365

    D365 Established Member

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    Would be more effective to lease some 90s, which are already geared for 110mph and have been used by GNER before...
     
  29. gimmea50anyday

    gimmea50anyday Established Member

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    Personally the scotland and the newcastles should be in the hands of something more substantial that 185's. 180's would have been a better choice for the newcastle work while a 444 equivalent should perhaps been deployed on the scotland stuff. Newcastles would also benefit from extending to edinburgh stopping at morpeth, alnmouth, berwick, dunbar and musselburgh in so providing a better service along the coast than the spartan skip stop services occasionally provided by EC and XC.

    Some interesting times to come for TPE especially once the knitting is strung up.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Give 90050 a lick of paint in flying f colours? Resplendant! :lol:

    Image courtesy of Richard New, Withdrawn Locomotives Facebook Group
     

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    Last edited: 4 Jun 2015
  30. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    To me 350s made sense as a stopgap and to go to LM afterwards as the main operator of 350s, thus allowing their south WCML commuter services to be operated by a single fleet. It would always have made sense for a follow-on order of whatever electrics TPE get (or indeed something else e.g. LHCS) to replace in due course.
     
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