Trivia: Stations with more platforms than they need for regular service

plugwash

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The only platform that's arguably surplus to requirements is platform 1 (which has approach control for the 10mph turnout), but even this sees some use to allow trains to be looped.
Platform 1 is also the only route from the bolton and atherton lines to the northbound WCML and vice-versa, While I don't think any scheduled passenger services take that route there do appear to be some empty coaching stock moves and I'd imagine it's a useful option to have during engineering works (though it's usefullness is limited right now by the lack of electrification).
 
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Kite159

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The bay platform (3) never used any more I think.
Same with the bay at Bolton.

Other than a few services at the start/end of the day for the bay at Blackburn. A victim of Covid cuts with the 2nd hourly Blackburn - Bolton - Manchester - Rochdale service seemingly permanently cut.

Bay at Bolton I believe has no regular use, might come into use during engineering works
 

BeijingDave

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Plymouth: I don't think Platforms 1 and 2 are ever used or even if they are useable. Only Platforms 3 to 8 are used and most of the time these are empty.

The first time I went to Plymouth in about 1987, as a relatively young enthusiast dragged along by my older uncle while on a family holiday in Devon, I was gutted at how desolate it was and how little action there was.

I knew it was a major city, and of course marked with a big black dot and capital letters on the BR map.

I was expecting somewhere with the bustle of Manchester Victoria or Crewe.
 

Requeststop

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The first time I went to Plymouth in about 1987, as a relatively young enthusiast dragged along by my older uncle while on a family holiday in Devon, I was gutted at how desolate it was and how little action there was.

I knew it was a major city, and of course marked with a big black dot and capital letters on the BR map.

I was expecting somewhere with the bustle of Manchester Victoria or Crewe.
Yes you are correct - it is the most unimpressive station and depressing too.
 

cornishjohn

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Plymouth: I don't think Platforms 1 and 2 are ever used or even if they are useable. Only Platforms 3 to 8 are used and most of the time these are empty.
If you mean the two bay platforms on the down side facing London, these are marked on the sectional appendix as "Docks 2 3" and indicate not for passenger use.

I have only ever really seen post office trains in these tracks (and not for a long time either). Maybe the occasional light engine.

I have never seen anything in "Dock 4" which is the short country end bay next door to platform 3. Any one know if there was a "Dock 1"?
 

318259

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Kilmarnock. It’s a big station with two through platforms and two bay platforms.

It’s one of those stations that was just never the same after the Beeching axe, with most of its lines closed.

It has a half hourly service to Glasgow which is usually just a two-car 156 and is partly single-tracked. There’s about half a dozen services to Ayr, Girvan and Stranraer a day, and half a dozen through trains towards New Cumnock, Dumfries and Carlisle.
 

Mcr Warrior

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Kilmarnock.

It has a half hourly service to Glasgow which is usually just a two-car 156 and is partly single-tracked. There’s about half a dozen services to Ayr, Girvan and Stranraer a day, and half a dozen through trains towards New Cumnock, Dumfries and Carlisle.
Actually eight daily (two on Sundays) towards Dumfries, Carlisle and/or beyond and a further eight daily (none on Sundays) towards Ayr, Girvan and/or beyond.

Between Kilmarnock and Glasgow Central, 34 (broadly half hourly) services on a weekday but just 13 (hourly) on a Sunday.

Some double-counting there depending on whether a train to/from Glasgow Central actually starts or terminates at Kilmarnock or is part of a longer service.
 

Efini92

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Wigan North Western now only has 5 platforms since platform 2 was closed to allow platform 3 to be lengthened.

The only platform that's arguably surplus to requirements is platform 1 (which has approach control for the 10mph turnout), but even this sees some use to allow trains to be looped.

Platform 3 is needed to allow the Leeds terminator to run into the station without conflicting with WCML traffic; platform 6 is needed for equivalent purposes by the Liverpool terminator.

Warrington Bank Quay doesn't strictly need 4 platforms and could mostly make do with just 2 on the Fast Lines. However having more gives additional flexibility when timetabling.
Platform 1 also allows trains to be diverted from the WCML towards Manchester via Bolton and atherton.
 

Watershed

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Platform 1 also allows trains to be diverted from the WCML towards Manchester via Bolton and atherton.
Indeed, although this is quite a rare diversion nowadays, as few crew sign both the WCML north of Wigan and via Westhoughton/Atherton.
 

plugwash

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Indeed, although this is quite a rare diversion nowadays, as few crew sign both the WCML north of Wigan and via Westhoughton/Atherton.
I'm sue I spotted some northern ECS moves using the route on realtimetrains not long ago, I can't seem to spot any at the moment though.
 

Kite159

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Platform 1 at Wigan North Western also allows the token EMUs from Liverpool via Newton-Le-Willows to terminate (or depart from) [and I guess from December, will allow the peak time Wigan commuter trains to use them, assuming those will be pairs of 331s.
 

DannyMich2018

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Wellingborough has 4 platforms, platforms 2 and (particularly 3) don't see a lot of use certainly not in the daytime anyway.
 

Mcr Warrior

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Wellingborough has 4 platforms, platforms 2 and (particularly 3) don't see a lot of use certainly not in the daytime anyway.
Does anything calling at Wellingborough still use platform 3 any more?

(Think platform 2 still gets just four services calling during the week, but considerably more on Sundays for some reason).
 

HamworthyGoods

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If you mean the two bay platforms on the down side facing London, these are marked on the sectional appendix as "Docks 2 3" and indicate not for passenger use.

I have only ever really seen post office trains in these tracks (and not for a long time either). Maybe the occasional light engine.

I have never seen anything in "Dock 4" which is the short country end bay next door to platform 3. Any one know if there was a "Dock 1"?

There was a 2 car 150 in the Dock 4 this afternoon.
 

Old Yard Dog

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The bay platforms which were the originally the terminal platforms for the Mersey Railway are used for stabling at quiet times so I suppose are used. Most BLS railtours including this year's Batteries Not Included usually stop have a stop in the bay. Hooton has the curious terminal platform 1 which has also been used occasionally for a rail tour and of course the unnumbered platform which could be used to turn around loco hauled excursions as the run round lies beyond the bridge.


Actually saw a train stabled in 1 during the day about 2 weeks ago.

Having used the Ellesmere Port line a few times in the last year or so - it does appear rather lightly used during the day compared to Liverpool - Chester.

One wonders if a shuttle could not operate out of P1 to Ellesmere Port and connect with Chester / Liverpool trains and give P1 some more usage off peak?

Oh thank you very much John! Remove the through trains from Ellesmere Port to Liverpool so P1 can have more usage. Isn't a 15 min service good enough for Liverpool - Chester passengers?

When I was on the old Ellesmere Port & Neston Public Transport Liaison Committee, we fought tooth and nail against silly ideas like this.

I was also fuming when this idea was suggested on the front page of Rail North West, the magazine of the NW branch of Railfuture. It was put there, apparently, by the editor without even consulting the Wirral TUA. I threatened to resign.

Were this scheme to be implemented, Ellesmere Port - Liverpool passengers would have to negotiate two sets of stairs (or two lifts) - and four sets if they needed the ticket office or toilet. With a huge car park at Hooton, and much cheaper fares in many instances, services on the Ellesmere Port would wither and die.

Getting back to the thread - Hooton also has a non-electrified P0 which has been used for loco-hauled specials in the past. I caught one to the Highlands in the past, alighting at Pitlochry to visit a home-brew pub and a distillery..
 

ChiefPlanner

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Could Watford Junction manage with 2 or 3 platforms for the Overground services instead of 4, whilst Watford Met has 2 for the same (or higher during peak times) frequency?

Stock berthed overnight at Watford Junction , and in the past , Watford Met...
 

John Luxton

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Oh thank you very much John! Remove the through trains from Ellesmere Port to Liverpool so P1 can have more usage. Isn't a 15 min service good enough for Liverpool - Chester passengers?

When I was on the old Ellesmere Port & Neston Public Transport Liaison Committee, we fought tooth and nail against silly ideas like this.

I was also fuming when this idea was suggested on the front page of Rail North West, the magazine of the NW branch of Railfuture. It was put there, apparently, by the editor without even consulting the Wirral TUA. I threatened to resign.

Were this scheme to be implemented, Ellesmere Port - Liverpool passengers would have to negotiate two sets of stairs (or two lifts) - and four sets if they needed the ticket office or toilet. With a huge car park at Hooton, and much cheaper fares in many instances, services on the Ellesmere Port would wither and die.

Getting back to the thread - Hooton also has a non-electrified P0 which has been used for loco-hauled specials in the past. I caught one to the Highlands in the past, alighting at Pitlochry to visit a home-brew pub and a distillery..
I have used the Ellesmere Port line a few times in the past year and compared to Liverpool to Chester usage appears low. A one unit shuttle might be more cost effective and put P1 to good use. There are lifts for those who do not want to climb the stairs!
 

Old Yard Dog

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I have used the Ellesmere Port line a few times in the past year and compared to Liverpool to Chester usage appears low. A one unit shuttle might be more cost effective and put P1 to good use. There are lifts for those who do not want to climb the stairs!

So what?? Liverpool - Chester has a perfectly adequate service and passengers do not like changing trains, particularly those who are old or mobility impaired or carrying luggage or have children with them. I don't suppose you fall into any of these categories otherwise you wouldn't be coming up with such ideas. You are beginning to sound like Dr Beeching! It takes long enough to get from Ellesmere Port to anywhere as beyond the Merseyrail zone as it is without adding additional changes for no obvious reason.

(And you're trying to solve a problem which doesn't exit. Chester has 4 tph, Ellesmere Port 2 tph which works perfectly well and reflects the different loadings on the two branches)

FYI - P1 is used for stabling units overnight.
 
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MedwayValiant

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Now that Medway Valley trains run fron Strood to Tonbridge seven days a week, does anything use the Paddock Wood bay?
 

scrapy

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Platform 1 at Wigan North Western also allows the token EMUs from Liverpool via Newton-Le-Willows to terminate (or depart from) [and I guess from December, will allow the peak time Wigan commuter trains to use them, assuming those will be pairs of 331s.
Expected to be single 323s

Other than a few services at the start/end of the day for the bay at Blackburn. A victim of Covid cuts with the 2nd hourly Blackburn - Bolton - Manchester - Rochdale service seemingly permanently cut.

Bay at Bolton I believe has no regular use, might come into use during engineering works
2nd hourly Blackburn to Rochdale was part of the plan for December 2022. Not heard for definite whether it will happen but users of Smithy Bridge have been told they will get they're 2nd train per hour back (the Blackburn via Todmorden train will call instead of calling at Mills Hill) so I assume Mills Hill will get the second hourly service via Darwen to compensate)
 
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John Luxton

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So what?? Liverpool - Chester has a perfectly adequate service and passengers do not like changing trains, particularly those who are old or mobility impaired or carrying luggage or have children with them. I don't suppose you fall into any of these categories otherwise you wouldn't be coming up with such ideas. You are beginning to sound like Dr Beeching! It takes long enough to get from Ellesmere Port to anywhere as beyond the Merseyrail zone as it is without adding additional changes for no obvious reason.

(And you're trying to solve a problem which doesn't exit. Chester has 4 tph, Ellesmere Port 2 tph which works perfectly well and reflects the different loadings on the two branches)

FYI - P1 is used for stabling units overnight.
Well I am on my third year of a Senior Railcard! Thus I suppose I am old even if I don't feel any different than I did when I was 20.

I don't think I am being a Dr Beeching but I often look at how things are done and often try to think about how things could be more cost effective.

Perhaps due to my grandfather and parents had a retail business from from 1930s to the early naughties I tend to more aware of the need to control costs.
 

Old Yard Dog

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It might, perhaps, be simpler if you thought of Hooton P1 not as a platform but as a siding. It is used primarily to stable stock and, very occasionally, to turn shuttles when engineering works closes the line further north.

There are other sidings, and platforms used as sidings, at several other stations on the Merseyrail network. For example, Southport, New Brighton, Rock Ferry and Birkenhead Central. And of course there is the rarely used platform 2? at James Street.

Nobody is suggesting curtailing services at Rock Ferry or James Street purely to bring these short sections of track into use.

"Shuttles" rarely work - you only have to look at the history of the Ellesmere Port - Helsby shuttle to see that. Or the underuse of Watford Jn - St Albans Abbey due to the lack of through workings to Euston.

The people who advocate shuttles are usually the people who don't have to use them. I change at Hooton a lot when travelling to and from Chester. It's not the greatest interchange station. The shop has closed, it can be cold and wet and there are only a couple of tiny waiting rooms and shelters. It's saving grace is the toilets, ME trains being toilet free, but these could go if the powers that be close the ticket office.

I am afraid we must agree to differ. I take a much more passenger focussed view than you. Cut the branches off a tree and the whole tree withers. Make journeys for Ellesmere Port passengers more difficult and many will choose other means of transport. And you will lose money not save it.
 
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