TPX and/or virgin trains to aberdeen?

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Will this ever happen, perhaps running one train a day in both directions to and from London/Manchester airport meaning a turn around at Edinburgh and calling at haymarket twice
 
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MidnightFlyer

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I doubt it, I don't think there's even near enough demand to justify the rediagramming and training of staff or the rejigging of units and their diagrams, or any of the other seemingly infinite obstacles. SR provide good connections as it is, I can't see why you'd take TPE stock that far away from the core when it'd not only be empty but so desperately needed elsewhere. Before the 350 / 3s arrive I doubt they actually could cover it, and I doubt Virgin's stock availability either would cover it.
 

HH

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Agreed. The practicalities of it are horrendous; on top of the rolling stock issues there's also a question of who would drive them. Running one train a day somewhere is never likely to be a good idea.
 

calc7

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What a horrific waste of rolling stock capacity.
 

reb0118

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However if we had a single entity running our railways (public or private is immaterial in this scenario) then these through workings would be much less of an operating problem. The train would only stop at Haymarket once though! :D

People do like through trains, they also like a regular clockface timetable.

In a proper joined up railway these facts are not mutually exclusive.
 

tbtc

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There used to be regular services from the WCML (Birmingham*, Manchester, Preston, Carlisle) to Dundee and Aberdeen. Whenever there's a thread about the old Cross Country links lost, people tend to mention some "cut" links (Portsmouth to Liverpool etc) but never seem to mention the Aberdeen/ Dundee services down the WCML.

However any service nowadays would be a long way from the TOC's "core", and a "once a day" service is never going to compete with air for the "end to end" passengers. If anything, the Aberdeen/ Dundee part of XC may be cut back to Edinburgh (replaced by FSR services) - I'd put money on that happening before a WCML service to Aberdeen/ Dundee.

There's only a link to Birmingham down the ECML now (via Newcastle/ Sheffield)
 

tsr

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Between the parallel lines
Whenever there's a thread about the old Cross Country links lost, people tend to mention some "cut" links (Portsmouth to Liverpool etc) but never seem to mention the Aberdeen/ Dundee services down the WCML.

Or, indeed, the Intercity services between places such as Brighton and Glasgow, which, whilst not directly relevant to this thread (since they did not head far enough north for them to really be considered here), prove that there are probably viable ideas out there which could learn from the mistakes and problems of previous efforts, and provide additional long-distance north-south services, should the facilities be made available.

It has always been my position that an Ashford International - Aberdeen service, if sensibly timed, would be no less viable than a Penzance - Aberdeen service, for example.
 

ATW Alex 101

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I doubt it, I don't think there's even near enough demand to justify the rediagramming and training of staff or the rejigging of units and their diagrams, or any of the other seemingly infinite obstacles. SR provide good connections as it is, I can't see why you'd take TPE stock that far away from the core when it'd not only be empty but so desperately needed elsewhere. Before the 350 / 3s arrive I doubt they actually could cover it, and I doubt Virgin's stock availability either would cover it.

I agree. There is no demand to waste time and units to run up far north when the demand isn't high. The links are fines at Edinburgh and Glasgow (Which are both served by VT and TPE). Also calling at Haymarket twice wont do much good as it would be a wasted journey. Maybe turning the unit round at Haymarket and offering a connection for Edinburgh might slightly improve such a service
 

LE Greys

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Well, I would have to disagree. The point of a direct Aberdeen-Birmingham (for example) service would not be to take end-to-end traffic, it would be to reduce pressure on Waverley because of all the people changing there. Once again, I can't argue from the actual figures because I don't have any, but I can say that I've done Aberdeen-Lancaster, Oxenholme-Aberdeen and various other routes, and having to change at Edinburgh is a problem that might well be suppressing demand. I didn't have much luggage (or much choice) but I'd definitely have preferred not to have to change anywhere. It might also cut out some of the 'walk-throughs' between Glasgow Queen Street and Glasgow Central, another route I've done out of expediency (with heavy luggage a few times).

Really, this needs more research. For instance, who does Dundee-Carlisle and why? Is there exceptionally high car use on the M8? How many people on Aberdeen-Manchester flights go north after they arrive at Manchester or South after they arrive at Aberdeen?
 

rail-britain

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For instance, who does Dundee-Carlisle and why? Is there exceptionally high car use on the M8?
The comparable Motorway is the M9 / M80 / M73 / M74, the M8 is more parallel to the localised Glasgow - Edinburgh services and the Airdrie - Bathgate rail service is more closer now that it has opened

There are parallel options to rail travel between the north of Scotland and North West / Midlands / South East / South West, however road transport journeys don't really compare as their times are considerably longer
The main advantage to most flights are the lack of need to change journey, which is now almost always required in a rail journey, and that is pretty much unchanged in over 20 years
 

calc7

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The main advantage to most flights are the lack of need to change journey, which is now almost always required in a rail journey, and that is pretty much unchanged in over 20 years

Huh? How many people's final destination is the Gatley area of Manchester or the edge of Crawley?
 

tbtc

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Really, this needs more research. For instance, who does Dundee-Carlisle and why?

Rail's strength is on the biggest flows, like Aberdeen - Dundee - Edinburgh, which people use daily.

Whilst there will be demand to get between Dundee and Carlisle (in the way that there's demand to get between any two connurbations) it's far too marginal for rail to focus heavily on.

If lots of shorter journeys can be tagged together (like the Edinburgh - Plymouth XC service) then fair enough, that allows some tiny flows to get a direct service, but its not worth messing up stable services for these small markets. Any spare resources should be concentrated on improving the current busy services.
 

shedman

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If someone was to suggest running a Kings Cross to Inverness service once a day (forgetting it already exists) then would people say the same? Yes I know why its run and it began back in the day when the railway was one but still its a similar thing surely?
 
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rail-britain

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Huh? How many people's final destination is the Gatley area of Manchester or the edge of Crawley?
In that case you would use one single flight journey, ie Aberdeen to Manchester, or Aberdeen to London
You would then use a different transport method before and after each airport
 

calc7

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In that case you would use one single flight journey, ie Aberdeen to Manchester, or Aberdeen to London
You would then use a different transport method before and after each airport

IMO that still constitutes a change, which one doesn't need to do when travelling by car.
 

HH

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If someone was to suggest running a Kings Cross to Inverness service once a day (forgetting it already exists) then would people say the same? Yes I know why its run and it began back in the day when the railway was one but still its a similar thing surely?

It's an MP's special. The bit to/from Inverness is simply a PITA; it's slow, usually loses time and always loses money. The same would be true of the OP's suggestion. It's absolutely nothing to do with not "being one railway", outside there being a bit more commerciality about services. If there was money to be made from a through service then it would be done.
 

hluraven

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If someone was to suggest running a Kings Cross to Inverness service once a day (forgetting it already exists) then would people say the same? Yes I know why its run and it began back in the day when the railway was one but still its a similar thing surely?

While I fully agree, that could be said of many many services and stations. Using current criteria for new stations, most existing stations would fail if the same methodology were applied to them.
 

reb0118

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If there was money to be made from a through service then it would be done.

Ah, but here is the rub! The way the railway was privatised into many separate TOCs has artificially increased costs and specifically in this case made through running trains more expensive.

Just look at the additional costs involved in rostering drivers for East Coast's "North of Edinburgh" services to Inverness & Aberdeen with the resulting lodging turns and non productive time with staff travelling passenger due to the infrequency of these services.

Under BR Edinburgh depot covered as far South as Preston & Newcastle, as far West as Glasgow, & North via Stirling, Perth, & Dundee to Aberdeen (& all points East of that axis) - regardless of the type of traction. Lots of trains ran to through destinations but the crews changed as required.

Now you could say that over the various TOCs that operate out of Edinburgh we now have a slightly greater geographical coverage in absolute terms - XC sign to Leeds, EC to Inverness, SR (Train Managers only) to Euston, some Virgin crews may have Birmingham? This is at the expense of operational flexibility as there is no real cross coverage between TOCs. Traction knowledge has also been lost - ScotRail can't work HSTs, nor XC work 156s. EC certainly don't do turbos.

All in all this increases the staffing levels required and makes additional through trains away from a TOCs core less likely due to the increased negative economies of scale. With these negative economies removed (by having ONE railway) there may be some economic justification, not to mention social, for bringing back former lost through connections.
 

tbtc

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If someone was to suggest running a Kings Cross to Inverness service once a day (forgetting it already exists) then would people say the same? Yes I know why its run and it began back in the day when the railway was one but still its a similar thing surely?

True - a lot of routes would no longer exist if we were starting with a blank sheet of paper. But the move is generally towards simplifying services (like the XC "Operation Princess") rather than complicating them with lots of irregular trips.

Ah, but here is the rub! The way the railway was privatised into many separate TOCs has artificially increased costs and specifically in this case made through running trains more expensive.

Just look at the additional costs involved in rostering drivers for East Coast's "North of Edinburgh" services to Inverness & Aberdeen with the resulting lodging turns and non productive time with staff travelling passenger due to the infrequency of these services.

Under BR Edinburgh depot covered as far South as Preston & Newcastle, as far West as Glasgow, & North via Stirling, Perth, & Dundee to Aberdeen (& all points East of that axis) - regardless of the type of traction. Lots of trains ran to through destinations but the crews changed as required.

Now you could say that over the various TOCs that operate out of Edinburgh we now have a slightly greater geographical coverage in absolute terms - XC sign to Leeds, EC to Inverness, SR (Train Managers only) to Euston, some Virgin crews may have Birmingham? This is at the expense of operational flexibility as there is no real cross coverage between TOCs. Traction knowledge has also been lost - ScotRail can't work HSTs, nor XC work 156s. EC certainly don't do turbos.

All in all this increases the staffing levels required and makes additional through trains away from a TOCs core less likely due to the increased negative economies of scale. With these negative economies removed (by having ONE railway) there may be some economic justification, not to mention social, for bringing back former lost through connections.

Agreed - the situation is much more complicated these days - how much money is wasted by the inefficient East Coast staffing rotas for their services north of Edinburgh... daft!
 

rail-britain

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Under BR Edinburgh depot covered as far South as Preston & Newcastle, as far West as Glasgow, & North via Stirling, Perth, & Dundee to Aberdeen (& all points East of that axis) - regardless of the type of traction. Lots of trains ran to through destinations but the crews changed as required
When I worked at InterCity (Edinburgh), we only covered Edinburgh - Carlisle
The Glasgow staff covered Glasgow - Preston

Virgin crews currently cover Edinburgh - Preston (as far as I am aware)
Every train I have used has a crew change at Preston (both Euston and Birmingham)
 

paul1609

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Ah, but here is the rub! The way the railway was privatised into many separate TOCs has artificially increased costs and specifically in this case made through running trains more expensive.

Just look at the additional costs involved in rostering drivers for East Coast's "North of Edinburgh" services to Inverness & Aberdeen with the resulting lodging turns and non productive time with staff travelling passenger due to the infrequency of these services.

Under BR Edinburgh depot covered as far South as Preston & Newcastle, as far West as Glasgow, & North via Stirling, Perth, & Dundee to Aberdeen (& all points East of that axis) - regardless of the type of traction. Lots of trains ran to through destinations but the crews changed as required.

Now you could say that over the various TOCs that operate out of Edinburgh we now have a slightly greater geographical coverage in absolute terms - XC sign to Leeds, EC to Inverness, SR (Train Managers only) to Euston, some Virgin crews may have Birmingham? This is at the expense of operational flexibility as there is no real cross coverage between TOCs. Traction knowledge has also been lost - ScotRail can't work HSTs, nor XC work 156s. EC certainly don't do turbos.

All in all this increases the staffing levels required and makes additional through trains away from a TOCs core less likely due to the increased negative economies of scale. With these negative economies removed (by having ONE railway) there may be some economic justification, not to mention social, for bringing back former lost through connections.

I cant help but feel that even without privatisation much of the perceived advantage of BR would have vanished now with the changing safety culture, in BR days many people signed traction as grandfather rights, i dont believe ORR, DFT or whatever would allow that today same with route knowledge i would suggest.



 

HH

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I cant help but feel that even without privatisation much of the perceived advantage of BR would have vanished now with the changing safety culture, in BR days many people signed traction as grandfather rights, i dont believe ORR, DFT or whatever would allow that today same with route knowledge i would suggest.

Agreed. It's also the case that multiple traction & routes for everyone is not efficient anyway, and is a great big red herring. If it was a profitable service to run, ways would be found to deliver it. The fact is that money is made on fast services between big centres. "Stoppers" make less money, and when they run through low population areas they lose money. Anything going much north of Edinburgh-Glasgow is not going to make money.
 

LE Greys

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Rail's strength is on the biggest flows, like Aberdeen - Dundee - Edinburgh, which people use daily.

Whilst there will be demand to get between Dundee and Carlisle (in the way that there's demand to get between any two connurbations) it's far too marginal for rail to focus heavily on.

If lots of shorter journeys can be tagged together (like the Edinburgh - Plymouth XC service) then fair enough, that allows some tiny flows to get a direct service, but its not worth messing up stable services for these small markets. Any spare resources should be concentrated on improving the current busy services.

Let's be honest, this was more about personal preferance than any real idea of what is going on. Dundee-Carlisle was an example - I could list everything from Aberdeen-Manchester to Inverkeithing-Lockerbie, but it would be a bit pointless. It's just that I prefer the direct trains model to the hub/spoke model (one reason I think they've got HS2 wrong, but that's another issue). In some cases, it clearly does not work, but the idea of combining services to allow through journeys was made to work by BR.

However, you're probably right from a purely financial point of view, so it depends on the old business vs public service arguement, which I won't go into here.

IMO that still constitutes a change, which one doesn't need to do when travelling by car.

Precisely! In the examples I gave above (Aberdeen-Oxenholme by air and rail vs Oxenholme-Aberdeen by rail only, done in 2005) both journeys took about the same length of time, but the air version proved a nightmare with luggage and had four changes, while the rail version took about the same time, but only had one change at Waverley. Had an HST for the last section as well.

By road, it would have taken a long time (I've never done it for precisely that reason) but it's worth considering for a door-to-door approach if you have loads of luggage.
 

reb0118

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When I worked at InterCity (Edinburgh), we only covered Edinburgh - Carlisle
The Glasgow staff covered Glasgow - Preston

Link 1 Edinburgh guards definately had Preston in their book.

Virgin crews currently cover Edinburgh - Preston (as far as I am aware)
Every train I have used has a crew change at Preston (both Euston and Birmingham)

Hence my [?] after the comment - I do know that their catering staff travel to Birmingham & back - I was living with one for a while <(

Regardless of the above specifics it is a fact that the break up into various franchises has curtailed through workings. I do not mind changing trains (I travel light & like to cross off stations), others with lots of luggage, children, &c like through trains - the current set up works against this.
 

MidnightFlyer

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All guards and drivers change at Preston, however some CSAs have through jobs to / from Euston and Birmingham. Polmadie, Edinburgh and Preston Top Link all sign Edinburgh-Carstairs.
 
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