TransPennine Express North Route, New Timetable

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by tothetrains, 20 May 2018.

  1. Wilts Wanderer

    Wilts Wanderer Member

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    Network Rail timetabling incompetence has been a growing problem ever since they scrapped all the regional planning offices and centralised in Milton Keynes about 7 years ago, losing many experienced (and ex-BR) planning staff along the way. Since then, TOCs have been upstaffing their own timetable planning offices (partly to mitigate the ever increasing workload created by Network Rail errors and foul ups) whilst Network Rail reduced their staffing levels to save money and ‘increase efficiency’. Given their salary levels are very poor in comparison with the TOCs and there are no travel perks, retaining staff is difficult. The geographical location of Milton Keynes doesn’t help with commuting. You now have MK offices filled with enthusiastic but extremely inexperienced staff, burdened with exceptionally bureaucratic procedures - all in the name of COMPLIANCE, which is mistakenly believed to be analogous to ROBUSTNESS - so all tasks take 10x as long as they should, the output quality is abysmal and the national timetable suffers as a result.

    What May 2018 is, is the first nearly nation-wide timetable recast involving multiple interacting TOCs. Only a centralised planning centre can coordinate this, and a competent and well run organisation would have struggled. Network Rail’s process has utterly collapsed, to the extent that this weeks permanent timetable was still being finalised last week, rather than last year.

    I personally believe NR planning has had its Railtrack moment. The damage was done with the MK move, the TOCs planning offices have been holding the tide back since then, but this week the inevitable has finally happened. Where we go from here, I have absolutely no idea.
     
  2. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    Presumably Mayfield Loop
     
  3. TUC

    TUC Established Member

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    It's the nationalised part of the rail system that is at the heart of these problems!
     
  4. Kieran1990

    Kieran1990 Member

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    Could it be argued/ point made the issues affecting TPE is that- TPE have introduced the fully proposed North TPE timetable, while northern have a cut and shifted there proposed timetable and train lengths to form a hybrid temp timetable until the Bolton line is fully electrified. Thus the timetable currently in operation can’t cope due to TPE running a full one based on northerns proposed May timetable but due to infrastructure not being there and the quickly thrown together timetable it just doesn’t work. TPE also don’t have there 2 loco hauled stock out, stretching the Class 185s.
     
  5. BeHereNow

    BeHereNow Member

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  6. Spartacus

    Spartacus Established Member

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    It was pretty clear this mess was likely as soon as 6tph was proposed. A few years back when I was in Leeds when it was first being talked about before even 5tph came in, I tried to work out how it could be done, and the only possibility was a timetable very much like the one that they’ve come up with. It was clear back then that it was only held together by the thinnest of threads, too complicated for it’s own good, and that it was impossible to truly cater it for passengers. In other words it was a bloody bad idea. Trouble is these things get written into franchise requirements by people with no idea what the infrastructure is capable of carrying, let alone passenger needs, then there’s nobody high enough at Network Rail with balls big enough to stand up and say what chaos it’ll cause (if they’re not too deluded to realise), that it’s a bad idea from the start and put their foot down and say NO!
     
  7. nr758123

    nr758123 Member

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    Six tph was always a silly gimmick. I notice in some quarters that’s still what is being advertised, even though one train is overtaken en route.

    Whoever thought this up may not have been aware that there were places in between. Chances are they have moved on to pastures new, and don’t have to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

    Slaithwaite, Marsden, Greenfield and Mossley are particularly badly hit, with the peak service to/from Manchester being much less convenient in terms of timings than before, with Victoria and Salford Central being much less accessible than before, with Marsden/Slaithwaite to & from Manchester in the peak being less frequent now than pre-privatisation.

    Already it’s apparent that the numbers of passengers at Greenfield and Mossley are well down, with a lot of commuters driving to their nearest Metrolink stop instead.

    Accessibility at Marsden has been reduced from 50% to 0%. To speed the trains up at Marsden by 1½ minutes almost all westbound trains (I won’t say Manchester-bound, because on several occasions this week the trains only made it as far as Stalybridge) now use platform 2, accessed by some steep steps and with a big gap (both height and distance) between train and platform edge.

    But hey, someone can proclaim there are 6 trains per hour between Manchester and Leeds, so that’s worth the sacrifice some of us are unwillingly making.
     
  8. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    I hadn't realised that they had taken p3 completely out of use - that's complete lunacy! Even disregarding the accessibility issues (which shouldn't be disregarded) surely timetabling into the loop gives more opportunity for looping of a slower train for fast one, even if not routinely (looking today within the last couple of hours, I reckon they could have saved some delay on an Airport train (which didn't make it there!) if it could have passed the stopper at Marsden.
     
  9. Spartacus

    Spartacus Established Member

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    It wasn’t planned, more an issue with the supply of the decking so it’s unable to be commissioned.
     
  10. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    I guess this is related to a platform extension?
     
  11. Spartacus

    Spartacus Established Member

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    Sorry, yes.
     
  12. NorthernSpirit

    NorthernSpirit Established Member

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    There a Northern stopper from Huddersfield to Man Vic at 6am Monday to Friday, I presume that this is only to retain route knowledge over Standage should the Northern stopper return.
     
  13. IanXC

    IanXC Emeritus Moderator

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    Theres more than one, they're peak time additionals and they all go to/from Piccadilly.
     
  14. scarby

    scarby Member

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    I thought an 06.00 departure from Scarborough to Manchester Airport would be a welcome boost, allowing people in Scarborough (and Seamer/Malton) to get to the airport at 08.36 for morning flights from around 10am onwards. (with the old timetable it was 6.30 out of Scarborough, arr Manchester Airport 09.10)

    So far: Monday terminated at Manchester Picc 20L, Tuesday terminated at Manchester Picc 32L, Wednesday got to Manchester Airport 13L, Thursday got to Manchester Airport 14L and Friday terminated at Manchester Picc 21L.
     
  15. nr758123

    nr758123 Member

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    It's in Northern's franchise to provide a small number of additional trains at peak times, which is about providing capacity and frequency at peak times. Up to a point, it does this, but the timetable appears to have been based on the assumption that there is no cross-boundary commuting.
     
  16. nr758123

    nr758123 Member

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    My understanding is that only one train in the early morning is intended to use platform 3 (one which is overtaken), and use of platform 2 instead is about speeding the trains up by not having to put them through the loop at Marsden.
     
  17. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    Not only does it assume minimal cross-boundary commuting, it also disregards local flows within boundaries: if the timetable allowed either the Southport to call at Batley; or the Hull-Piccadilly to call at Mirfield (it could even use P2 to save time) it would certainly make my life easier... unfortunately the timetable barely functions as it is.

    One might expect bus companies to perhaps exploit the neglect of local flows... not holding my breath, Arriva Yorkshire!
     
  18. Bovverboy

    Bovverboy Member

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    The last one of the day actually goes to Victoria, then ECS to Newton Heath.

    Q: There's an imbalance in the journeys, there's one fewer eastbound, the stock for the first westbound comes from Huddersfield sidings. Assuming that all journeys are operated by Manchester-based crews, how do they get to Huddersfield for the first departure?
     
  19. Loop & Link

    Loop & Link Member

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    Taxied or a passenger on a TPE up there.
     
  20. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    Looks like I got lucky with my journey from Huddersfield to Batley this afternoon. The 1522 to Hull was held in P4b after being turned at HUD due to issues earlier, and was simply showing as "delayed" up until departure at 1536, on both NRE and the screens at the station. As the 1552 to Leeds has been cancelled too, I narrowly avoided a 50 minute wait!

    I feel for anyone hoping to travel from West of Huddersfield though...
     
  21. Solent&Wessex

    Solent&Wessex Established Member

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    A quick look on Traksy and also other sources would indicate that both Oxford Road and Victoria are getting snarled up with abandoned driverless or late running Northern units which is causing congestion.

    Just to give an idea as to how tight the timetable is and how delays spiral:
    The 1522 from HUD towards HUL was started from there as it has never recovered from delays first thing this morning. The delay is being attributed to a fault on 2D34 at Darlington at 0634 this morning. Looking back in the history of things I can see:
    The 1522 is formed by the unit off 1K20. This started from Hull 26 minutes late due to waiting for traincrew to take their break.
    1K20 (and crew) are formed by the inbound 1K13. This arrived 33 minutes late. It arrived 33 minutes late because it left Piccadilly 5 minutes late. Because of that 5 minute late start it lost it's path and was regulated at Dewsbury for 1P19 and 9E09 to overtake. They were running late. 1K13 then left Dewsbury 14 minutes late. It then lost it's path after Leeds and the rest of the time was lost "Follow on time" - following other trains that were on time.
    1K20 left Piccadilly 5 minutes late because it's inbound 1K10 arrived 5 minutes late as a 6 car and had to divide upon arrival.
    1K10 arrived 5 minutes late because it left Hull 3 minutes late.
    It left Hull 3 minutes late because it's inbound 1K03 arrived 11 minutes late. It has a 15 minute turn round during which time it needs to attach to another set to form 6 carriages.
    1K03 arrived late because it left Leeds 7 minutes late due to, what looks like, a shortage of staff to dispatch the train. The additional 4 minute delay was caused by an error in the signalman's instructions at Hull regarding the platforming of the train.

    For info, 1P19 which overtook at Dewsbury was late because it was delayed en route to Manchester following behind late running 1K08 initially, then other trains thereafter.
    1K08 was delayed as it was regulated at Micklefield for late running 9M04 to go in front. 9M04 was 8 minutes late due to being delayed at Darlington due to broken down Northern 2D34.

    So,
    the 1522 from Huddersfield to Leeds was cancelled from Manchester because it was delayed going towards Manchester because the crew were taking a break at Hull because they arrived late on their inbound working which was delayed because it was late leaving Manchester and because it held at Dewsbury to be overtaken. It was late leaving Manchester because it arrived at Manchester late and was held at Dewsbury because other trains were running late. It arrived at Manchester late because it left Hull late. It left Hull late because it arrived late. It arrived late because of a staff shortage at Leeds at 0630. The trains doing the overtaking were late because they were late going to Manchester. They were late going to Manchester because they followed other late running trains en route to Manchester. The late running stopping trains they followed were late because they were held at Micklefield to allow late running express trains to go in front. The express train the stopping train wa smade to wait for was running late because a Northern train broke down at Darlington at 0634.

    You see, 2 fairly minor delays at 0630 in the morning soon spiral out of all control due to the tight nature of the crew and unit diagrams. Various opportunities to recover weren't available due to the tight crew and unit diagrams which have no slack.
     
  22. Solent&Wessex

    Solent&Wessex Established Member

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    Incidentally current delays at HUD on services from MIA are due to congestion at Deansgate. The congestion is reportedly due to Northern 2N69 sitting at Deansgate blocking the line for 15 minutes due to overcrowding. The report says that the train was so full, passengers and the guard were unable to board, and passengers refused to move out of the doorways.
     
  23. Buspilot

    Buspilot Member

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    With the total shambles, why has nobody taken the decision to scrap the new timetable and reinstate the old one?

    Then start again on a new timetable with a blank piece of paper.
     
  24. hibtastic

    hibtastic Member

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    That was my point before, this timetable is not robust at all and the slight delay has serious knock on effects. At least with the previous version there was a bit more scope to recover. I fear it is going to be like that for a while now.

    I would be interested to know out of all the TPE services heading to Manchester Airport (excluding the Scottish ones), how many have actually made it there since Sunday.
     
  25. Solent&Wessex

    Solent&Wessex Established Member

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    Between York - Leeds - Huddersfield - Manchester there are no more trains now than there were before. There were 6 trains and hour in the old timetable. 5 x TPE and 1 X Northern all stations each side of HUD. That is 6 paths occupied. There are still 6 paths occupied.

    The difference now is the interaction those trains have with other trains and TPE are running these extra (to them) trains using the same number of units and similar number of traincrew as before. The result is that all the crew and unit diagrams are significantly tighter than before and there is simply no room for recovery. Trains often ran late before, and Northern's stoppers were frequently very late due to being held for late running TPE trains. A late stopper would delay a late TPE train.

    The difference was that each stopper might have 15 to 20 mins turn round at each end, with the long distance TPE trains having 20 minutes plus. All trains now have around 10 minutes or less at each end. Add in crew diagrams which give a driver say a 35 minute break in a 40 - 45 minute turn round, then a 10 minute late arrival means a 5 to 10 minute late departure and so on.
     
  26. Bovverboy

    Bovverboy Member

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    2N69 was subsequently rescheduled to skip Salford Crescent, Lostock, Horwich Parkway, Chorley, and Leyland, which is how I presume NT managed to persuade sufficient passengers to alight from the train. It was terminated at Preston (instead of Blackpool), despite being only 9L by that time.
     
  27. pdq

    pdq Member

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    I wonder what those in the know think is a realistic timescale to iron out the issues on this route.
    There may be a little goodwill for a week or so as most passengers will realise that major change can take a while to bed in, but I would think that goodwill will rapidly expire if trains don't start reliably running as published very soon.
     
  28. Spartacus

    Spartacus Established Member

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    I’d be surprised if there was that contingency, there wasn’t with the terrible implementation of the Train Planning System (the ORR had a field day with that), especially as the timetable requirements are built into the franchises, and there’s nobody in the right place with the balls big enough to say no. I know a group of people who have a very particular set of skills they have acquired over very long careers who could fix it, but.....
     
    Last edited: 25 May 2018
  29. Spartacus

    Spartacus Established Member

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    I know that all too well, currently sat on one, but it’s the 6tph requirement that makes this daft semi-fast timetable a nessesary, it won’t work at all any other way.
     
  30. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Excellent post, and its now nigh on 8 years since the move. There are actually now more staff than were at Birmingham, Leeds and Paddington combined prior to the move.
     

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