Transport Scotland Rail 2014 consultation

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by marks87, 15 Nov 2011.

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  1. marks87

    marks87 Established Member

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    http://mobile.transportscotland.gov.uk/files/documents/reports/j203179/j203179.pdf

    The two biggest, and utterly ludicrous, points are:

    > Proposal to cut all cross-border services north of Edinburgh, forcing passengers onto ScotRail
    > Proposal to cut at least one of the Caley Sleeper routes

    The gist of the argument for the first one is "we don't want those nasty English companies taking money from the Scottish operator".

    The second one is a bit more restrained, talking in terms of the cost and age of the stock (it would be cheaper to replace only half the vehicles than all 66 etc.). However, although the sleeper is perhaps underused, I'm not convinced there would be enough capacity on a single service to take everyone from the Highland and Lowland.
     
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  3. YorkshireBear

    YorkshireBear Established Member

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    Surely removing london services would be a very backwards step...... I cant imagine people taking nicely to that.

    The sleeper may need some changes to make it more efficient but i strongly doubt it will get withdrawn, like they say it just needs some more specific management.
     
  4. Train Pilchard

    Train Pilchard Member

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    There should be more direct trains down south not less, I know I hate having to change in Edinburgh to get down the ECML when the every decreasing number of trains that go down that route from Glasgow don't suit my schedule.

    It also proposes to ban alcohol on all trains. What a load of crap.
     
  5. OxtedL

    OxtedL Established Member Quizmaster

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    It's interesting that this proposal comes from that side of the border. Cutting cross-border services back to Edinburgh would potentially be operationally advantageous in many ways, largely eliminating the need for HSTs on the ECML, freeing up voyagers, letting EC shut a depot (?) and freeing up paths to help improve Scotrail services, where the money is more likely to go. Yet as you say, I doubt anyone would be thrilled to lose a direct London service, other than perhaps the more literal members of the SNP. :)

    Any such decision will have massive political consequences and I'm not convinced I can see it happening, but stranger things have occured.

    For anyone who is unable to look at the document (or can't be bothered :p) the section is this one:

     
    Last edited: 15 Nov 2011
  6. cle

    cle Established Member

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    Stupid.

    Aren't Aberdeen trains at 4 per day to London? And also XC. They could easily have twice that. Plenty of people don't fly - or do odd journeys which need changes at York or Peterborough.

    And Inverness could do with a second London train I think.
     
  7. BR Blue

    BR Blue Member

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    If cross-border services are to end at Edinburgh, then what does this mean for the bi-mode version of the IEP? It won`t be needed at all for East Coast services.
     
  8. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    From Aberdeen there are three trains a day to London and one to Leeds (EC), as well as a couple of XC workings to the South West.

    Shame for people who need connections at Peterborough like you say, it was cut as a stop from most Anglo-Scotland trains in the May timetable :roll: :(
     
  9. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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    Why is everyone against cutting cross-border services north of Edinburgh?

    1. There are no cross-border services north of Glasgow (apart from the sleeper), even though I appreciate that most towns north-west of Glasgow are much smaller than Aberdeen or Inverness.

    2. Are East Coast services from Inverness and East Coast / CrossCountry services from Aberdeen packed until Edinburgh? Not really. So are these services justifiable economically?

    It only takes 5 minutes to change at Haymarket or 10 minutes to change at Waverly. I don't think it would be "dreadful" to cut these cross-border services, although extra ScotRail services would probably be needed between Inverness/Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
     
  10. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    For me it all depends on what is running instead of the HSTs/ Voyagers to Dundee/ Aberdeen/ Inverness.

    At the moment FSR run a variety of 3/4/5/6 coach DMUs (Combinations of 158s and 170) on these routes. There's no (FSR) capacity to take on the passengers from the HSTs at the moment, but if (post central belt electrification) the Scottish Government was planning on one fleet of longer distance units to replace the 158/170s etc...
     
  11. marks87

    marks87 Established Member

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    A lack of services north of Glasgow is dictated by the NE/SW split in Scotland. Besides, the major towns (Stirling onwards) are served by East Coast (only once a day in each direction, but served nonetheless).
    Is the current service level north of Edinburgh set in the franchise agreement?
     
  12. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    That is a good point about the Bi Mode SET, if Transport Scotland want everything terminating at Glasgow or Edinburgh...

    ICEC's bi-mode or diesel stock would only be needed for Hull... and that could dissapar with TPE N Electrification.

    So.. Then the only Bi-Mode you'd need would be for the ICGW Franchise, and that can be fufilled by electrification of the MML and cascading 222 units.
     
  13. marks87

    marks87 Established Member

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    That's what concerning me -- this could be the perfect excuse to abandon bi-mode, but with Transport Scotland getting the blame for no services north of Edinburgh. Win-win for Westminster.

    And yet it would be incredibly short-sighted, because I'm pretty sure that Edinburgh-Aberdeen will be electrified eventually, but by that time the East Coast franchise will have long since had that section dropped.
     
  14. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Plus the Harrogate loop.

    But, yea, this could change things significantly, if it were to happen.

    Plus if FSR ordered new 222 equivalents (say, six coaches) for their Edinburgh/Glasgow - Dundee/ Aberdeen/ Inverness services then thats a decent number of 158s/170s that could be cascaded south for Pacer replacement?

    (can opened...)
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    ...but then if it is electrified in (say) ten years time then through services will become a lot easier again (no need to keep a small fleet of trains just to maintain the through service, as there is now)
     
  15. BR Blue

    BR Blue Member

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    The Scottish government won`t allow something like this to benefit "English" passengers.

    It`s more probable, they`ll keep all the diesel units released by EGIP and use them for Aberdeen/Dundee/Inverness to Edinburgh shuttle services.
     
  16. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    Bear in mind that all of Scotland's stock is owned by 'English' ROSCOs for the most part...
     
  17. route:oxford

    route:oxford Established Member

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    Does this sit well with the various European laws on competition etc?

    I can imagine that Open Access operators will be looking at the potential with great interest.
     
  18. IanXC

    IanXC Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There is also a suggestion of whether the Scottish Government should split services into more than 1 franchise, maybe separate Sleeper, Inter-regional and local franchises.

    It does fit rather nicely doesn't it. How much EC and XC unit time would be saved? XC would clearly use the extra for more double formations, not sure what EC could do, increase Leeds frequency to 20 minutes a la Virgin to Manchester?!

    This also fits nicely!
     
  19. YorkshireBear

    YorkshireBear Established Member

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    And i think the worms may be everywhere...... !

    sounds like a good idea, would love it to just be all electric on ECML and if you scrap harrogate services the ECML may not need it by the time TPE north is done. Lovely jubbly :P
     
  20. ajax103

    ajax103 Established Member

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    Hang on a second, didn't the good people of the Highlands recently fought proposals to reduce their direct services to London?

    It was bad enough dropping Peterborough from the East Coast services serving stations to Inverness and Aberdeen but to further cut services is suicide.
     
  21. David

    David Established Member

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  22. marks87

    marks87 Established Member

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    Yes, but by that time the franchise would have been changed so that the ECML stopped at Edinburgh (well, possibly Glasgow) with no "northern branch". We'd need to wait until the next franchise renewal AND hope that whoever happens to be in charge by that time is prepared to look into re-extending services.


    Well, quite.

    Of course, what would be good there is if trains operated like planes: heavy luggage (and, if so desired, 4-year-olds :lol: ) is stowed separately and transferred onto your next service.

    Actually, I tell a lie. That would be nothing like planes...
     
  23. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    The central belt electrification will free up almost fifty DMUs (the Edinburgh - Falkirk High - Glasgow needs sixteen units at peak times, so almost twenty when you factor in "spares").

    Given the age of the 158s, and the unsuitability of coupling 158 to 170, there's a chance that the Scottish Government would want a fleet of longer distance DMUs for the Central Belt - Aberdeen/Inverness services (like they had in the days of 47/7s on the push pulls).

    Really, my view on the cutting of services at Edinburgh depends greatly on what replaces them north of Edinburgh. Replace an HST with a 158 and you are obviously taking a step backwards. Replace all services (HST, 158, 170) with something like a 222 (100mph only needed) and it'd be a step forward for most passengers.

    (And I say this as someone who grew up on the line between Aberdeen and Edinburgh and has used the "through" services hundreds of times)
     
  24. cjohnson

    cjohnson Member

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    More important than any of this cross-border trains issue, see section 10.18:

     
  25. Train Pilchard

    Train Pilchard Member

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    Out of interest what kind of thing do you think could happen as far as Open Access goes?
     
  26. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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    And the problem with that is?...

    • Less drunkards
    • Less anti-social behaviour
    • Less intimidation toward other passengers
    • A better travelling experience for the majority of passengers who do not drink alchohol whilst travelling
    • etc, etc...

    An excellent idea! :D
     
  27. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    I don't think there's really much scope for any Open Access in Scotland (ignoring the steam services on the WHL for a moment...) because there's no routes being ignored by FSR (e.g. no equivalent of somewhere like Sunderland having no link to the capital), and no spare capacity in/out of Glasgow/Edinburgh.
     
  28. Train Pilchard

    Train Pilchard Member

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    No it's a terrible idea and another example of the SNP getting things wrong. It isn't going to stop drunk people on trains. If I am getting a train back to Glasgow late on a Saturday after an away football game and a day in the pub having a couple of cans on the train will make no difference to anything. The SNP need to stop meddling in people's lives.

    I find teenagers playing music on their phones more annoying, I find people talking on phones annoying, I find groups of women sitting at a table talking (drunk or not) annoying. Just leave us to get on with things.

    And who is going to enforce this? If they do bring in a ban are they going to sniff everyone's coke bottle to make sure there is no rum in it?
     
  29. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    A truly horrifying notion to contemplate. :lol: Indeed, I think that Scotrail should be moving in completely the opposite direction on its' long distance services, with longer trains with buffets serving draught beer! :D Sipping a refreshing pint while passing through the Cairngorms, bliss...

    I feel reasonably confident that the Aberdeen route will be electrified by 2025 at the latest. As such, I feel that it would be a great waste to withdraw through trains from the ECML to Aberdeen so much earlier than the benefits could be reaped from such a scheme, tied in with replacement of the 225 fleet so that there are sufficient trainsets available to work the service. I think that there is too great a demand for through journeys up the east side of Scotland from south of Edinburgh for the Aberdeen services to be dropped in the first place.

    As for the Inverness trains, I thought that the assumed "flexibility" of the IEP trains was intended to eradicate any problems of overcapacity there might be; with a pair of five car IEP trains running up the ECML as a ten-car set, and then splitting at Edinburgh with just one 5-car train continuing on north of there.
     
  30. ajax103

    ajax103 Established Member

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    As I've stated above, I found a article about the proposed cuts at the time dated August 2010:

    Minister vows to fight for rail links


    By Ryan Crighton and Lindsay Watling

    Published: 30/08/2010

    Scottish Transport Minister Stewart Stevenson will hold urgent talks with the UK Government amid fears that direct train links between the north, north-east and London are on the verge of being axed.

    Expensive plans to replace all of Britain’s ageing high-speed intercity rolling stock were put on hold by the former Labour government in February after the deal ran into financial problems.

    UK Transport Secretary Philip Hammond is expected to decide on the 800-carriage scheme in October, but it has since emerged that a major review of the project has targeted Inverness, Aberdeen and Dundee as areas where money can be saved.

    The government is being urged to reconsider whether it has a “sacred duty” to provide a direct train service north of Edinburgh.

    However, Mr Stevenson said last night that he is ready to fight to save the link.

    He added: “I shall be meeting with Theresa Villiers, the UK rail minister, in the very near future. It is absolutely vital to us that we have direct routes to London.”

    Former Audit Commission chairman Sir Andrew Foster, who was asked by the government to review the rolling-stock deal, said he believed that “passenger-friendly train changes” in Edinburgh could save the government tens of millions of pounds.

    But Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire’s regional transport partnership Nestrans fears it could have major implications for the north-east economy.
    Representatives from two committees of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry are also concerned about the economic impact of removing the services.

    In a letter sent to Mr Hammond on Friday , Joe Moore, chairman of the Highlands and Islands committee, and Duncan Skinner, chairman of the North East committee, highlighted the importance of “direct connectivity with London”.

    The letter said: “The committees are fully aware of the pressure on transport spending.

    “Members believe that investment in new infrastructure and services will be needed to enable our economies to achieve their potential, but that a high priority must be the maintenance of economically significant services including direct connectivity with London.

    “East coast trains are increasingly popular services for businesses and for visitors to the regions. Direct connectivity with the east of England and London is considered important by a range of industry sectors.

    “Journey times to London are uncompetitive with air services and they are unsuitable for linking with international air routes via Heathrow, but east coast services are reliable and offer facilities for working, such as Wi-Fi, which makes them a good option for some journeys.”

    The matter was also the main item on the agenda at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) board meeting, held at the Marine Operations Centre at Aberdeen harbour on Friday.

    The SCC is campaigning to ensure trains from north of Edinburgh to London are maintained, and chairman Mike Salter has already written to Liberal Democrat MP Sir Robert Smith, who has agreed to set up a meeting with Mr Hammond.

    SCC chief executive Liz Cameron said yesterday: “The UK Government must recognise the east coast mainline route north of Edinburgh services a population 29.7% greater than the population of Edinburgh and Glasgow combined.

    “The area contributes 46% of the total turnover of all Scottish businesses, yet looks set to face the brunt of government cutbacks.”
    Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce chief executive Bob Collier said: “The Chamber Transport Campaign has already highlighted the poor rail services that the north-east gets. We are right behind the SCC in defending our direct services.”

    The east coast line has one service daily between King's Cross and Inverness and four to and from Aberdeen.

    The Inverness service passes through Aviemore, Pitlochry and Perth, while the Aberdeen train has stops at Stonehaven, Montrose, Arbroath and Dundee.

    With electrified railway lines currently ending in Edinburgh, new bi-mode trains, which have an electric motor and a diesel engine, had been earmarked to maintain the “through service” to Aberdeen and Inverness.

    But Mr Foster said there were “widespread concerns” about the trains, and is worried they could prove to be an “expensive stopgap” should the whole network become electrified in the future.

    Instead, he believes electric trains should be run between London and Edinburgh, with the final leg of the journey on existing diesel engines.

    The overnight Caledonia Sleeper, which is run by the Scottish Government-controlled First ScotRail, would not be affected by the plans.

    http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1891267?UserKey=

    Therefore is it really wise to cut back these services to Edinburgh or Haymarket?
     
  31. marks87

    marks87 Established Member

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    If these plans go ahead, though, places like Aberdeen, Dundee, Stirling and Inverness (i.e. 4 of Scotland's 6 cities) will need a change at Edinburgh for London, in the same way that Sunderland, pre-GC, needed a change at Newcastle.

    But I agree that right now there's not really any scope, unless someone wanted to do a XC-style service from Inverness-Stirling-Edinburgh-Leeds-Birmingham, although the Highland Main Line is already at capacity (I think?) which would put paid to that.
     
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