TransPennine Express North Route, New Timetable

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

  1. lejog

    lejog Established Member

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    Surely its the requirement for a 15min clockface timetable for fast trains between Manchester and Leeds that necessitates the semi-fasts? Under the previous timetable there were 6tph, but the TPE services were bunched with at least one 20odd minute window for stoppers to run in.
     
  2. mike57

    mike57 Member

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    Yesterday I went to Preston, both ways train was about 10 mins late, missed a tight but doable 6 min connection platform 13 > 14 at Man Pic going out, with it being strike day for Northern had quite a wait for next Preston service (Nothing from Man Vic due to Northern strike). Yesterday things seemed a bit better but today York > Scarborough is dire again, two cancellations this afternoon, only two on time all day, everything else 10-30mins late, and all but one of the decent connections at Seamer to Filey and Brid have been missed. Really this is unacceptable. I doubt if 10 York > Scarborough trains have been on time this week.
     
  3. Spartacus

    Spartacus Established Member

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    They could have done a much better job with less paths if that's all they wanted. It's not simply the number of trains though what's the problem, it's also what they're doing. Somewhere like Huddersfield, or the junction at Mirfield East starts getting very messy with so many paths, 9 an hour at Mirfield East/Heaton Lodge, with two down ones conflicting with 7 up ones and hour. Bunching is required to make that work. Having semi-fasts reduces that bunching because a semi fast say leaving Leeds behind an express isn't as far behind it by Ravensthorpe as a stopper would be. Also affects behind too, as trains are not booked to stop and wait and express at Heaton Lodge Jn for up to 4 minutes now, in part because they can't dive off into a bay at Huddersfield and get out of the way of the next express, in part because they're that much far in front of it that in needs a long stop, but not quite far enough to squeeze in a stop at Cottingley. Anyway, it's all a few years after I worked out what a mess it'd create and I've no graph in front of me, just timings.

    Trust me, there's no good way to make it work, although I am a bit surprised that nobody's thought to use platform 4 at Huddersfield as a loop, I'm pretty sure we had that after someone noticed 4 because somewhat underused, giving both better pathing than a stop at Heaton Lodge (probably sacrificing either Deighton or Ravensthorpe, the current two an hour at Deighton 5 minutes apart to Huddersfield might as well be one, hardly worse for passengers, especially at such a lightly used station and would be better timekeeping) with the accidental bonus of provided interchange on and off faster services.
     
    Last edited: 25 May 2018
  4. NorthernSpirit

    NorthernSpirit Established Member

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    I'd go one step further and cancel the one train an hour (I'd cut the Newcastle service and force people to travel on the Middlesbroughs or Scarboroughs so that they could change in York) in the dire attempt to save a unit (or two) which could be turned at Leeds to work to Manchester and back to Leeds. It all changes again come the 9th December, probably to an even more unworkable timetable. I do honestly think that it won't be long until passengers start striking and I do mean by refusing to pay their fare for a service that is certainly isn't value for money.

    Roll on the 2nd January 2019, all hell will break loose regarding the utter p*** poor timetable and yet another fare rise.
     
  5. Senex

    Senex Established Member

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    Given that TPE is supposed to provide the IC-quality service between Liverpool and Manchester on the one hand and Newcastle on the other, I think the Newcastle ought to be the last to be cut. In terms of long-distance usefulness, Middlesbrough should probably go first, though in terms of operational convenience it would be much better to get rid of the Scarboroughs because of the conflicts they cause across the north end of York station (rather like the conflicts TPE South causes at Doncaster station).
     
  6. notlob.divad

    notlob.divad Established Member

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    I think northernspirit was refering to the 2nd newcastle service per hour. (Presumably the one to manchester airport so dropping to 1 tpe tph around the ordsall chord.) Until the reliability and overcrowding can be improved.
     
  7. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    I fear we will have the same problems outlined above for May 2018 in December 2018. The May 2018 timetable for TPE, Northern was in some respects cobbled together after NR said it wouldn't be able to deliver Bolton Corridor wiring for May 2018 (it had already missed December 2017???) and it now seems a possibility that it will miss December 2018. This is clearly not the Timetable Planners failure but as a result of NR failure to deliver it has meant a revision to the previously planned timetable has been needed to the one we now see in operation. It does not take days and weeks to create a timetable but months (and maybe a couple of years in some cases). A lack of experienced planners within NR to turn the timetable around in days and weeks was always going to end in tears and unfortunately the failings in the NW have been laid bare for all to see with T - 6/7 weeks compliance on Informed Traveller countrywide as far as NR are concerned. A full return to T-12 isn't likely until Christmas (and I am not holding my breath on that).

    I agree with the sentiment that TOCs have been taking up the slack mainly to protect their reputations however working hours are also on the increase to cover NR failings amd point out errors that they need to fix across TOC boundaries (in my experience sometimes the TOCs have to tell NR how to fix it). Its quite interesting to see what NR think is compliant in terms of the timetable despite their own TPRs and Engineering Access Statements suggesting otherwise (not that those documents are entirely squeaky clean either).

    In terms of the staff there that I have met only a few travel by train for commuting or leisure purposes MK is a car city and thats how many staff commute to NRs offices. I have spent evenings after work with some and the first item of discussion has been about who is drinking and who is driving the rest home and indeed back to work the next morning, there is no thought about getting the train home even when it is viable. In terms of the travel perks to give up mine I would need to be very seriously compensated to join NR (to make up for their loss) or joining NR from redundancy. At the moment it seems like re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic so getting experience to go there is a hard job and as a result it fails to surprise me that it takes more staff than Leeds, Birmingham and Paddington combined to make things work, and not always come to that I am afraid.
     
  8. Chester1

    Chester1 Established Member

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    Is the problem actually running 4 fast and 2 semi fast TPE services per hour or is it a lack of recovery time and too tight turnarounds?
     
  9. BeHereNow

    BeHereNow Member

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    Too tight all round. The mark of a good timetable is how well it works on the real railway, not on a piece of paper.
     
  10. Chester1

    Chester1 Established Member

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    Once the Mark Vs start entering service hopefully there will be enough units to padd out the timetable and increase turn around times. I guess having 185s, 397s, 802s and Mark Vs won't help with increasing turnaround times e.g. at Manchester Airport, its not like a unit thats just arrived from the north east can wait a extra few minutes then run a service up the WCML.
     
  11. BeHereNow

    BeHereNow Member

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    The second point is correct - as Mk5s on Liverpool Scarborough there's no way to interwork with airport to Middlesbrough. Same with Liverpool to Edinburgh and Airport to Newcastle.
     
  12. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Difficult to predict that, even Dec 2008 VHF was a gamble and wasnt one big hit. We are meant to be nearly back to T-8 now on STP.
     
  13. BeHereNow

    BeHereNow Member

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    I know, and there's still hope for this one yet. But not without longer trains to reduce dwell times.
     
  14. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    Dwell times on the semi-fasts aren't helped by the peculiar decision* to have services pull to the very ends of platforms at almost every station. Those of us that know what the S stop boards mean can anticipate, but the average "normal" won't. If almost everyone at say Batley P2 is waiting where the shelter and benches are when the train arrives, they'll all end up crowding round the last 1 or 2 sets of doors. I can't understand why TPE do this, as Northern managed fine with 3x23m stock without any stop markers at all- let alone insisting that all services pull right to the end. At the very least, a 3-car stop marker that isn't halfway to Dewsbury [/hyperbole] would be helpful!

    *= it may well be the case that there's a good reason for this, so if anyone on here knows that reason I'm certainly curious about it.
     
  15. causton

    causton Established Member

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    Northern probably coped fine without stop car boards as 'that's how we've always done it' but TPE probably did a proper risk assessment against stop-shorts etc.

    Similar thing happened at Hatfield on platform 3 (down slow) - years ago, there were two sets of stop boards but after a few incidents of drivers stopping short, now all trains pull up to the far end which is almost halfway to Welwyn Garden City! [/more hyperbole]
     
  16. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    That makes sense in a way... though they (thankfully) didn't remove the length-specific stop boards on the down at Dewsbury! Back at Batley, it does mean that the narrowest part of the down platform is the most-used part now, which presumably has another set of safety implications.

    Ultimately there doesn't seem to be one single factor behind the poor performance over the last week- more that there are lots of things which on their own would be fine but the cumulative effect causes the whole shebang to fall apart.

    The shorter turnarounds wouldn't be a problem without the things contributing to extended dwells (including the stopping positions), and the extra stops on the semi-fasts also wouldn't be an operational problem without the short turnarounds. The new timetable just doesn't seem to have any resilience designed into it, so it doesn't take much to make a mess of the whole system.
     
  17. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    I used one of the all shacks services yesterday between Leeds & Dewsbury, and it was very noticeable just how cautious the driver was coming into the new stops. In fact without anything slowing us in front the service lost nearly 4 minutes to Dewsbury, whereas the non-stop return to Leeds I used arrived 2 minutes late but gained enough to be 2 early into Leeds. This can't be helping the timings, but as drivers learn the optimum stopping regimes hopefully things will improve.
     
  18. BeHereNow

    BeHereNow Member

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    The use of one operator on the route was supposed to mean that the local stops could be provided by other trains during disruption. It now seems to mean they just get skipped.
     
  19. northernchris

    northernchris Member

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    The TPE timetable is tighter than I first realised. Observed a Scarborough service running 18 minutes late which was amended to terminate at Malton. There was also a service today which terminated at Northallerton
     
  20. Bovverboy

    Bovverboy Member

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    Assuming you men the 1656 ex-Liverpool, it was 33L by Malton. At Huddersfield (where it was 18L) was it already shown as terminating at Malton?
    Any idea what happened to the passengers ejected at Malton? If they were obliged to wait for the following train they would have had almost an hour to wait, since that itself was running 23L.
    I see that earlier in the afternoon, a complete round trip missed (1256 ex-Liverpool, 1546 ex-Scarborough).
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2018
  21. Bovverboy

    Bovverboy Member

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    There were two, that I can see - 1247 Manchester Airport - Middlesbrough (which actually commenced at Piccadilly, 12L, at Northallerton 33L) and 1447 Manchester Airport - Middlesbrough (28L at Northallerton). The 1147 journey was terminated at York (97L - this journey took the full force of the points failure at Slade Lane), as was the 1425 Liverpool - Newcastle (16L). The 1219 Manchester Airport - Newcastle was terminated at Darlington (33L), as was the 1519 (22L).
    The reason for the termination of the 1425 ex-Liverpool is given as 'points failure' - I can only think that it had been scheduled to be taken on from York by a crew who themselves had been caught up in the Slade Lane points failure, I can't see anything which would have directly impacted on the 1425.
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2018
  22. mike57

    mike57 Member

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    Back to work this morning and looking at yesterday's performance cancellations and lateness again on the York > Scarborough route. What is being done to sort this mess out. TPE are silent as usual. Timetable is not working, are we going to have to put up with this level of service until December?
     
  23. NorthernSpirit

    NorthernSpirit Established Member

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    I was refering to both Newcastle services, of which one could be cut and curtailed at York. The other would still go to Newcastle so that the link is retained, but isn't one of the Newcastles suppose to be getting extended to either Glasgow or Edingburgh?

    The other thing about this new timetable is that people are still thinking that platform 3 at Marsden still sees regular use - not anymore it doesn't as it has caught a few people out. The same applies to the skip stopping nature of the service that calls alteratively at Slaithwaite and Marsden, from what a TPE guard told me that so far in the past few days some people have been overcarried as the service called at one station but not the other. I do think that both Slaithwaite and Marsden should be called at on the same service but skip Greenfield and Mossley and vice versa on the next service - it'll be one way to prevent any sort of overcarry.

    This I think will take some time of getting use to.
     
  24. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    Agree on the Slaithwaite/Marsden point- if the timetable would work with both stops on the same service. Unless it is absolutely necessary to only serve one, I'm wondering if TPE is trying to reduce the usage of PTE tickets. I imagine that claiming the revenue from Mcards and the like may be a long-winded process, and less lucrative than a conventional point-to-point ticket.
     
  25. Allwinter_Kit

    Allwinter_Kit Member

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    Manchester Piccadilly to Leeds is a whole new heap of awful today i see. P13/14 is horrendously overcrowded even though they have taken out the waiting room and then everyone piling onto a 3 car 185 meant practically leaving people on the platform.

    Then dwell times were increased by people having to fight their way out past everyone at Oxford Road and Victoria with luggage having come from the airporr. Combined with the weather and it made for a deeply unpleasant experience, not to mention it was (as is now standard on TPE) running late.

    My trip in wasn't much better. Leeds fell apart this morning with a truly incredible number of platform alterations meaning that all sorts of delays were occurring (or, perhaps, the former a symptom of the latter). So not only were we late but given i work at Piccadilly i had ended up on the Transpennine "Express" service that stops at every garden shed between Leeds and Manchester: Mossley, Slaithwaite, etc.

    Obviously they still need to be served but aren't these local services which were rightly with Northern? I thought TPE was meant to be the premier IC brand - this felt more like XC....

    And, of course, we were late too.
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2018
  26. YorkshireBear

    YorkshireBear Established Member

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    Think yourself lucky you didn't get the actual stopper that stops even more.

    I was on the 7:40ish to piccadilly then the 16:35 to newcastle back.

    Come back old timetable all is forgiven.
     
  27. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    The old timetable wasn't perfect, but it worked more often than not. Given the delays/cancellations/changes to electrification and other projects across the North including the TP-North upgrade, the changes made this month ought to have been postponed.

    Am I right in thinking that if that had happened TPE (and others) may have been in breach of contracts with DfT?
     
  28. Ih8earlies

    Ih8earlies Member

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    TPE Control have decided to stop using the Chord for the rest of the day. (Some exceptions may apply)
     
  29. CHAPS2034

    CHAPS2034 Member

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    Well that may at least help Northern and others who run through the Castlefield corridor. It would seem that every day since the new timetable, various of the TPE Ordsall Chord trains from and to the Airport have taken what one conductor described on train as "the scenic route" (via Guide Bridge).

    I would hope that TPE will be involved in this inquiry into the timetable farce as their operations seem to be almost as bad as Northern.
     
  30. NorthernSpirit

    NorthernSpirit Established Member

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    I think TPE have looked at how well the "Ale Trail" is used and have probably decided to split the Slaithwaite and Marsden calls to two seperate services so that TPE can get their fair share out of the weekend pub crawl, since its likely that most participating will be on WY DayRovers who'll turn back at Marsden (or since the change, be overcarried to Greenfield should they get caught out by boarding the "wrong" train).

    Either way I still think that a Slaithwaite and Marsden / Greenfield and Mossley skip stop setup would be the way to go, especially on Sunday's when you've got walkers out as well who'll be bailing out at Marsden for the Pennine Way.
     

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