TPEs 350s - will they really help?

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MCR247

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On Monday 30th I boarded the slightly delayed 1211 Carlisle - Edinburgh (delayed by the Glasgow voyager which was delayed by the Glasgow pendo!) and was surprised at how busy it was.

All three coaches had standing passengers and I only got a seat because I had a reserved seat. I mean I'd expect it to be busy between Manchester and Preston but I wasn't prepared for how busy it was this late in the journey.

So yeah, my question is will 4 car 350s really be enough to solve this since they increase in seats isn't that great? I don't believe enough have been ordered to operate 8 car services have they?

The train was also overcrowded luggage wise more than i'd expect!
 
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ThirdBrad

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London Midlands operate class 350s where i live. They are very nice trains but i believe it won't be enough to stop overcrowding, if they ran them in 8-car format it most certainly would be, but the 350s get pretty crowded sometimes over here.
(they're still my favourite train though :P)
 

aformeruser

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I saw that train at Bolton. It looked like no-one who boarded there got a seat and a number of the passengers boarding were families with children and luggage and yes while Bolton-Preston is usually busier there's plenty of TPE services arriving at Preston from the Lancaster direction that are rammed.

They are very nice trains

Not really a good choice for a 4 hour regional express/Intercity service

if they ran them in 8-car format it most certainly would be

The proposed timetable TPE have submitted to the ORR indicates a 2 hourly Glasgow service and a 2 hourly Edinburgh service, so unless that changes the only way there will be 2 x 350s operating is if some Scottish services remain operated by class 185s or if the TPE get more than 10 x 350s.
 
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VTPreston_Tez

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Well I was on that Pendo (it had to call additionally at Crewe) for a bit of fun trivia!

350s will certainly help, an extra carriage, more capacity per carriage, faster which allows for even more improvement... how couldn't they?
 

tbtc

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The proposed timetable TPE have submitted to the ORR indicates a 2 hourly Glasgow service and a 2 hourly Edinburgh service

As the current service is roughly every four hours to either Scottish city, the frequency increase should ensure that the 350s cope okay with passenger numbers (even though an 80m 350 is only a few metres longer than a 69m 185).
 

aformeruser

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As the current service is roughly every four hours to either Scottish city, the frequency increase should ensure that the 350s cope okay with passenger numbers (even though an 80m 350 is only a few metres longer than a 69m 185).

There's 16:00, 17:00 and 18:00 Scottish departures from Manchester Airport though, so at one of the busiest times of the day there will be no increase in frequency.
 

tbtc

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There's 16:00, 17:00 and 18:00 Scottish departures from Manchester Airport though, so at one of the busiest times of the day there will be no increase in frequency.

Your are right, the 17:00 is an additional service, hence me putting roughly in italics.

But since the OP was talking about a busy lunchtime service, I expect that an hourly service (bi-hourly to Glasgow/ Edinburgh) during the daytime will have an impact on that.
 

dk1

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There was a good report in MR recently. TPx will endevour to operate some 8-car trains on the Edinburgh route Friday-Monday. Apparently the possible passenger growth on this route is 'huge' at weekends & 6-car 185s operate on some already. Heavy maintainance will take place Tue/Wed/Thu to allow greater availability.
 

aformeruser

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Your are right, the 17:00 is an additional service, hence me putting roughly in italics.

But since the OP was talking about a busy lunchtime service, I expect that an hourly service (bi-hourly to Glasgow/ Edinburgh) during the daytime will have an impact on that.

The Scottish departures from Manchester Airport aren't really a standard pattern, even though we normally see it as a 2 hourly Scottish service with some extras. The northbound departures are 05:45, 06:18, 07:25, 09:00, 10:00 (the service that leaves Carlisle at 12:11), 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 16:00, 17:00 and 18:00.

The Blackpool/Windermere portion working leaves Preston 13 minutes before the Edinburgh service referred to in the OP, which is probably why a lot of the people on that service south of Preston didn't alight at or before Preston and continued to Carlisle or Edinburgh.
 

WatcherZero

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The combination of fewer Bolton commuters (though that will be offset by Wigan commuters) and near doubling of frequency will provide a large capacity increase, pricing and more frequent services should distribute travellers who have a choice of travel time further from peaks. TPE also plan to strengthen some peak services with coupled 185's.

Ultimately however its a stop gap until the TPE franchise (in whatever form it will be) orders a large batch of long distance electric rolling stock for multiple routes at once. Simply ordering a short production run of half a dozen units of any class for the Scotland service would have been prohibitivley expensive
 

aformeruser

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The combination of fewer Bolton commuters (though that will be offset by Wigan commuters) and near doubling of frequency will provide a large capacity increase, pricing and more frequent services should distribute travellers who have a choice of travel time further from peaks. TPE also plan to strengthen some peak services with coupled 185's.

I do think without exact passenger figures for all journey options it's difficult to say how much of an impact the 350s will make.

I imagine the Wigan commuters will love to see 350s on express services to Manchester with them being used to seeing so many 142s. At least Bolton-Manchester commuters see a higher number of Sprinters and even saw 180s at one point so the difference in the quality of rolling stock is not as severe.

Ultimately however its a stop gap until the TPE franchise (in whatever form it will be) orders a large batch of long distance electric rolling stock for multiple routes at once. Simply ordering a short production run of half a dozen units of any class for the Scotland service would have been prohibitivley expensive

You may well have some inside knowledge but at this stage no new EMUs have been proposed for TPE publicly (other than the 350s.) How far IEP goes could have a say in ordering new units for TPE. One media source suggested TPE would likely get refurbished 365s which would be replaced by commuter IEP, while commuter IEP could also free up 350s on Northampton-London. Personally I think if the proposed half-hourly Newcastle-Liverpool via Victoria TPE goes ahead then it would go nicely to the East Coast franchise to be operated by short formed Mallard sets or new IEP sets. (The government review in to rail franchising did suggest the possibility of some TPE routes going in to the East Coast franchise.)
 

6Gman

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Class 350s are splendid units but there is absolutely nowhere to put luggage. Bit of a problem for an Anglo-Scottish service!
 

David10

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You may well have some inside knowledge but at this stage no new EMUs have been proposed for TPE publicly (other than the 350s.)
Maybe not publicly confirmed, but when the TransPennine route from Leeds to Manchester is electrified in 2018, new stock will be required for this and it is expected enough will be built to replace the 350s that will then move to London Midland.
 

IanXC

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You may well have some inside knowledge but at this stage no new EMUs have been proposed for TPE publicly (other than the 350s.) How far IEP goes could have a say in ordering new units for TPE. One media source suggested TPE would likely get refurbished 365s which would be replaced by commuter IEP, while commuter IEP could also free up 350s on Northampton-London. Personally I think if the proposed half-hourly Newcastle-Liverpool via Victoria TPE goes ahead then it would go nicely to the East Coast franchise to be operated by short formed Mallard sets or new IEP sets. (The government review in to rail franchising did suggest the possibility of some TPE routes going in to the East Coast franchise.)

The East Coast franchise consultation includes options for transferring services into the new EC franchise, however with the exception of services between Doncaster and Sheffield they are entirely located east of the ECML. I think that potentially is a reaction to the creation of a "rump Northern" which would be devolved to SYPTE, WYPTE, TfGM and Merseytravel - ensuring that the vast majority of services fall within their boundaries (or at least the boundaries of the relevant Local Enterprise Partnerships which are of course the City Deal areas). Another service group suggested for a potential move to the EC franchise are the Kings Cross-Cambrige/Kings Lynn services, which would in my view strengthen the case for IEP on that route, so making the 365 move to the North more likely.

The TP routes then become a difficult compromise, if the boundary is important then the 2x York and 1x Selby TP services suggested in the CP5 announcement could logically fit in the "rump Northern" franchise, however the 2x Newcastle and 1x Hull services then could go to East Coast, rump Northern or (my preference) CrossCountry. XC operate at both ends of the route, and with the electrification to the South Coast there is the opportunity for XC to have an "Electric hub" at Manchester with 1 fleet for TP North, Manchester-South Coast and (potentially) TP Scotland services (and potentially eVoyagers serving Hull).
 

aformeruser

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Maybe not publicly confirmed, but when the TransPennine route from Leeds to Manchester is electrified in 2018, new stock will be required for this and it is expected enough will be built to replace the 350s that will then move to London Midland.

You mean York-Manchester. DfT made an error when they originally announced Leeds-Manchester and then proposed a fast EMU service between Newcastle and Liverpool.
 

WatcherZero

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Class 350s are splendid units but there is absolutely nowhere to put luggage. Bit of a problem for an Anglo-Scottish service!

This subclass will have baggage space like those used for the Birmingham airport services.

Yes I think TPE will order new build stock, its had new build stock before and is one of the few franchises outside London that can afford the higher leasing costs of new rolling stock due to long distance services being more profitable. The 365's wouldnt be fast enough to take advantage of higher line speeds in places and the low stopping pattern as outer suburban units. Numbers probably would work either, 40x4 car, if as planned we go to strengthened/splitting services 20 would be needed for Manchester-Scotland only leaving 20 for all TPE's other routes. Remember theres 51 185's and a similar number at least would be needed for electrified routes!
 
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Waverley125

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I'd hope TPE will move towards an OHL version of the 344 for its services, including a proper onboard buffet & first class coach, with enough units for some to work in tandem (i.e. 10 coach trains) at peaks. With the dropping of Dewsbury & Stalybridge calls from most long-distance services, dwell times shouldn't be a problem in station calls.
 

tbtc

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Numbers probably would work either, 40x4 car, if as planned we go to strengthened/splitting services 20 would be needed for Manchester-Scotland only leaving 20 for all TPE's other routes. Remember theres 51 185's and a similar number at least would be needed for electrified routes!

Sorry to be pedantic, but there is one corner of the TPE map that won't see EMUs (the Cleethorpes route) - the 170s aren't enough to run this.
 

WatcherZero

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Sorry to be pedantic, but there is one corner of the TPE map that won't see EMUs (the Cleethorpes route) - the 170s aren't enough to run this.

Not really sure what your being pedantic about? The freed up 185's will be enough for the few remaining diesel routes and some new services along with the occasional diesel strengthening of single EMU routes. The nine 170's would probably be cascaded to another franchise.
 

aformeruser

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it's immaterial, south TPE will get wired in CP6.


I think Waverley125 means South TPE west of Doncaster might be wired in CP6.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Yes I think TPE will order new build stock, its had new build stock before and is one of the few franchises outside London that can afford the higher leasing costs of new rolling stock due to long distance services being more profitable. The 365's wouldnt be fast enough to take advantage of higher line speeds in places and the low stopping pattern as outer suburban units. Numbers probably would work either, 40x4 car, if as planned we go to strengthened/splitting services 20 would be needed for Manchester-Scotland only leaving 20 for all TPE's other routes. Remember theres 51 185's and a similar number at least would be needed for electrified routes!

I think the media report saying that 365s may finish up on TPE routes was only referring to North TPE. Manchester Airport to Scotland might not even be in the same franchise as North TPE by the time Manchester-York is electrified.
 

rail-britain

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On Monday 30th I boarded the slightly delayed 1211 Carlisle - Edinburgh and was surprised at how busy it was.

All three coaches had standing passengers and I only got a seat because I had a reserved seat. I mean I'd expect it to be busy between Manchester and Preston but I wasn't prepared for how busy it was this late in the journey
All the Scotland - Manchester services are pretty much running at capacity now
This is pretty much due to the service pattern that is now in place; virtually the only operator calling at Lockerbie, competitive advance fares, etc
If you think it is bad now, wait until 2014 when several services currently operated by Class 390 swap over to Class 185 / 350
 

aformeruser

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competitive advance fares

Unless it's changed recently, VWC + connections advance fares for Manchester to Cumbria/Scotland tend to be cheaper than TPE advance fares, even though the VWC + connections tend to mean travelling on TPE services south of Preston.
 

Batman

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Maybe not publicly confirmed, but when the TransPennine route from Leeds to Manchester is electrified in 2018, new stock will be required for this and it is expected enough will be built to replace the 350s that will then move to London Midland.

Why do you think LM will need 185's?

Once the Snow Hill lines are electrified (which I think will happen in CP6), LM will only need DMU's for the hourly Birmingham - Shrewsbury stopping service with peak extras. For this they only need three 3 car units and five 2 car units for the basic hourly service, peak extras and emergency and maintenance cover. 170's can easily provide this.
 

aformeruser

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If you think it is bad now, wait until 2014 when several services currently operated by Class 390 swap over to Class 185 / 350

Out of curiosity which services are they?

As far as I'm aware Glasgow will likely get more London services and more capacity on existing services, through there being more Pendolinos available and 11 car sets. However, I've also heard suggestions that Glasgow-London services will be speeded up by missing out Lake District calls, meaning more reliance on TPE for picking up those passengers.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Why do you think LM will need 185's?

Re-read David10's post. He is referring to TPE 350s moving to LM, not to TPE 185s moving to LM.
 

Nym

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Unless it's changed recently, VWC + connections advance fares for Manchester to Cumbria/Scotland tend to be cheaper than TPE advance fares, even though the VWC + connections tend to mean travelling on TPE services south of Preston.

Quite, but that is easily reversed by the 50% off deals that TPE offer on their services for students travelling, was looking recently for PNR to BON and TPE came up cheapest, but a while back when I wanted GLC to BON it came up as VWC+Connections being cheaper, that was partly due to it being the last pendo of the day and me being influenced by free booze though.

I think what makes TPE more attractive personally is the direct service aspect of their services, they cover a lot of the population of Manchester.

If these services where being run by 6 car pendos from Manc Airport to Scotland then they'd be just as, if not more popular than the 185s due to the better offering of catering and 1st class service. (I'd have two 1st and four standard, with kitchen in the leading 1st and shop in the trailing 1st with doorey things into 1st class. approximately 38F and 220S seats)
 

aformeruser

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Quite, but that is easily reversed by the 50% off deals that TPE offer on their services for students travelling, was looking recently for PNR to BON and TPE came up cheapest

But then there is also an advantage of the Virgin advance tickets - they are available for destinations beyond Manchester in Northern's South Manchester group.
 
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