Train planning: who decides platform allocations?

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by woodmally, 10 Aug 2018.

  1. woodmally

    woodmally Member

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    I find this utterly ridiculous. Every morning the 07:02 to Nottingham from Sheffield is down for leaving from platform 6b. Yet every morning its changed to 8a. Why do they not change the platform permanently. Are other train stations that chaotic that they never run to plan.
     
    Last edited: 10 Aug 2018
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  3. Surreytraveller

    Surreytraveller Member

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    Train planning decide which platform a train is booked to depart. Operational considerations on the day may mean the booked platform cannot be used. A signaller would usually be the one to decide, although other people, such as control, station staff or someone else may have made a request.
    Or it might be its operationally easier to use a different platform, as there might be conflicting moves not taken into consideration by the planners. Perhaps there is an ECS move running early or something.
     
  4. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    That I must see. Nottingham only has 7 platforms!
     
  5. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I would take a guess that he meant the 0702 Sheffield to Nottingham, not from.

    Comes off an ex-Retford, so 6 or 8 equally convenient for the service, and cross-platform for customers, although the Retford appears to be booked into 8. May have seen diagram changes since the last LTP implementation.
     
  6. 700007

    700007 Member

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    Finsbury Park is another annoying one southbound where trains towards London King's Cross or the ThamesLink core often switch between platforms 1, 2 and 4 all the time. It involves a lot of running around as the change is only shown at the last second when the train is halfway pulling into the platform.
     
  7. jdxn

    jdxn Member

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    Can’t answer for that particular service but the ultimate decision rests with the signaller. It’s not unknown for the planning not to work and at a busy station it could be that the incoming move clashes with something else or a late runner. If another platform is free for that period then why not? It’s possible for the signaller to contact CIS to change the screens to give the passengers notice.

    It’s not all about the platforms, it’s the conflicting moves on approach or departure that determine the best desicion.
     
  8. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Member

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    It's annoying, I grant that. I'm just not sure what could be done. Signallers decide what's best for the overall smooth running of trains, and will do very short-notice alterations if it means that the main line is cleared or the scheduled platform is blocked for whatever reason.
     
  9. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Network Rail assigns platforms when it validates the timetable, and should be offered to operators in line with Timetable Planning Rules and also respecting the operators' stock diagramming.

    Locations can sometimes work to their own local plan for a variety of reasons:
    -Genuine error by the planners resulting in a schedule clash
    -Restrictions in the layout that are not written down in Timetable Planning Rules
    -Local knowledge, such as one route being slightly quicker than another, for example

    Good practice is to feed back to train planning to put it back in the timetable. Sometimes they'll even get the local person in to do it!
     
  10. Surreytraveller

    Surreytraveller Member

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    It could be that the CIS/NRES is wrong, and the train is using the booked platform. Just the wrong platform being advertised to the public .
     
  11. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    CIS should be fed from Train Service Database which is in turn fed from the platform information inputted into the timetabling system.
     
  12. 306024

    306024 Established Member

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    Whilst NR have the final say, an intensively worked timetable such as at Liverpool St relies on the TOC planning the platform working to get their timetable bid to work in the first place. Parallel moves across a station throat are a key component of any well planned timetable. NR would only have to change it if they identified a clash with another operators bid.
     
  13. D1009

    D1009 Established Member

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    In many places CIS also takes account of platform alterations made by the signaller, and will announce them as platform alterations. The problem seems to be that it does not activate sufficiently quickly.
     
  14. woodmally

    woodmally Member

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    Yep I have now corrected that. Thank you for pointing out my error. I meant the Sheffield to Nottingham.
     
  15. woodmally

    woodmally Member

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    What could be done simple. Set it to start from platform 8. It always goes from that platform anyway why pretend its going off platform 6.
     
  16. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Member

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    The service was originally timed to depart from platform 6, but signallers have found it easier to send it into platform 8. As 6 is still the official allocation, the PIS will always assume 6 until the signaller alters it to 8.
     
  17. woodmally

    woodmally Member

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    Thanks for that. One question then how easier is it to change PIS to platform 8 permanently then. Or is that too complex with the current broken up rail network.
     
  18. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Member

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    See this post:
    IE: One would have to update the database, which will happen, but will take a while.
     
  19. 306024

    306024 Established Member

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    Depends on how far to the rear the diversionary points are. For example at Stratford a train altered from 10 to 8 will get plenty of warning as the last diversionary point is back at Bethnal Green. A train altered from 8 to 10 would get less notice as it may have been crossed at Bow Jn which is nearer Stratford.
     
    Last edited: 10 Aug 2018
  20. Seanesheep

    Seanesheep New Member

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    Depends on who's in charge of the PIS at that individual station.
    On Realtimetrains for Nuneaton, 1143 is the only Birmingham booked in platform 7 and 1852 Stansted is the only Leicester bound train booked in platform 6.
    Some may think that 1143 overtakes a freight, or 1852 uses 6 for a freight to run from Leicester line to Trent Valley via North Chord.
    Nothing is booked for these so I change it in the Master Timetable on LICC to normal platforms.
    When NR do a timetable update it changes back and I have to change it again !
     
  21. Loop & Link

    Loop & Link Member

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    I suppose the controller could do a block edit in LICC to have the platform permanently altered, or an update to the TTP is needed. Or just manually change it start of service each day.
     
  22. 306024

    306024 Established Member

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    Couldn't be easier. Just takes a moment of a NR planners time, if they've got a moment to spare of course.
     
  23. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    Are there any unit restrictions at Sheffield Platform 6 so Platform 8 has to be used instead? Remember with all the changing of the timetable at Northern there may have been some unit changes too.
     
  24. Wilts Wanderer

    Wilts Wanderer Member

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    They don’t apparently, which is why Dec 18 timetable change is pretty much cancelled.

    Platform working of complex stations is often planned by the predominant TOC, but ultimately they still rely on NR planning department to input the data correctly into the master systems. This is becoming increasingly challenging of late due to the national backlog of work.
     
  25. 306024

    306024 Established Member

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    Indeed they don’t, hence my hint. If the TOC bid through the electronic interfaces between the various planning software and include the platform working in the schedule, NR need do nothing other than publish the schedule. Where, for whatever reason, NR input the data manually, this not only takes longer, but can be more prone to human error, especially when working under pressure.

    Back at the original point, seems like NR planner, TOC planner, NR signaller and TOC station staff just all need to be in the same page. I recall someone suggesting a few years ago that the platforming at Sheffield was agreed locally then given to NR to publish. Don’t know if that was or still maybe the case.
     
  26. D1009

    D1009 Established Member

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    That can only happen if there is only one TOC involved, and even then NR Train Planning is still responsible for the validstion of the timetable against the Train Planning Rules, and once so validated will be responsible for any delays arising from errors.
     
  27. 306024

    306024 Established Member

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    Or if the TOCs concerned talk to each other first, which is a much more sensible approach rather than individually presenting NR with a potentially intractable problem. Cambridge always needs a lot of sorting out but the excellent signalling staff ensure all the TOCs and NR planners are involved to agree the solution.
     
  28. robbeech

    robbeech Established Member

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    I appreciate how annoying this can be. Especially for people with luggage or mobility issues. Some of the reasons have been outlined here already but as others have touched upon it is rather lucky that 6 to 8 is about a 10 yard movement away. 6 to 5 would be much worse.

    None at all that I know of, certainly not for the stock used on these services.
     
  29. geoffk

    geoffk Member

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    Often a train is held at Deansgate (Manchester) waiting for the booked platform 4 at Oxford Road when platform 3 is unoccupied (as it usually is). It's not usual to switch trains into platform 3 at short notice to prevent delays. I experienced this on a late-running evening train from Glasgow, when we were delayed several minutes and nothing had used 3 for some time but another train was in 4 in front of us. Changing the platform means passengers having to cross the bridge, with luggage if going to the airport, but is there also a signalling issue here?
     
  30. D1009

    D1009 Established Member

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    I don't know the station, but if departure of a train from platform 4 fouled the overlap of the starting signal from platform 3,then this would explain it.
     
  31. GW43125

    GW43125 Established Member

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    Yes, the overlaps foul each other, the reduced overlap route for arriving can only be used for four cars max else you foul the station throat.
     

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