[Trivia] What is the definition of a 'Parliamentary' train?

What is a parlimentary train?

  • A service that runs once a week

    Votes: 61 67.8%
  • A daily token service

    Votes: 18 20.0%
  • Don't know

    Votes: 11 12.2%

  • Total voters
    90
Status
Not open for further replies.

NoMorePacers

Established Member
Joined
18 Feb 2016
Messages
1,268
Location
Humberside
This may have been covered before but lets get on with it: list any parliamentary trains or rarely-used stations that you know of.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

aformeruser

Veteran Member
Joined
23 Jan 2009
Messages
30,636
Every time parliamentary comes up people start arguing what the definition is. Some people think it only includes services once a week in one direction only, others think it includes lines with a token daily service.
 

backontrack

Established Member
Joined
2 Feb 2014
Messages
6,031
Location
The UK
STATIONS: (off the top of my head)
Tees-side Airport
Shippea Hill
Coombe Junction Halt
Polesworth
Lakenheath
Buckenham
Berney Arms
Clifton (Manchester)
Spooner Row
Pilning
Breich
Sugar Loaf
Chapelton
Lapford
Golf Street
Barry Links
Balmossie
Altnabreac
Kildonan
Scotscalder
Dunrobin Castle
Invershin
Culrain
Achanalt
Duncraig
Gainsborough Central
Kirton Lindsey
Brigg
New Clee
Heysham Port
Lelant
Reddish South
Denton
Longcross
Snaith
Rawcliffe
Hensall
Whitley Bridge
 
Last edited:

Ianno87

Veteran Member
Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
12,805
The following link gives a good starting point (and acts as my definition of "Parliamentary" services, although many are strictly only for driver route knowledge retention or operational/timetabling reasons and so are not "Parliamentary" as such)

http://www.psul4all.free-online.co.uk/2016.htm
 

Ianno87

Veteran Member
Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
12,805
I don't agree with any of the answers in the poll. A service can be token in nature irrespective of whether it is provided once a week, once a day, twice a day or several times a day.

For example, Longcross station has a 'token' off peak call in each direction (presumably to meet an SLC requirement), in spite of having a more regular peak service.
 

yorksrob

Veteran Member
Joined
6 Aug 2009
Messages
28,335
Location
Yorks
I would say, any service runs purely to avoid the cost of closure. So once a week would definitely qualify.

Conversely, something like Knottingley - Goole, which has about three trains a day, or the Brigg line, with it's three return journeys, are above and beyond what would be needed to legally avoid closure. They are obviously there for some sort of market. They just represent an unusually bad service.
 

NoMorePacers

Established Member
Joined
18 Feb 2016
Messages
1,268
Location
Humberside
Knottingley - Goole is open because Drax PS is on the line. If the line where to close (it won't), Drax would be cut off.
 

yorksrob

Veteran Member
Joined
6 Aug 2009
Messages
28,335
Location
Yorks
Knottingley - Goole is open because Drax PS is on the line. If the line where to close (it won't), Drax would be cut off.

True, but that doesn't automatically lead to a daily passenger service. This seems to be more geared towards commuting into Leeds.
 

NoMorePacers

Established Member
Joined
18 Feb 2016
Messages
1,268
Location
Humberside
Why not just get a train from Goole to Gilberdyke and get a train there? Because the only trains from Hull to Leeds are the TPE services (will change) which occasionally call there.
 

yorksrob

Veteran Member
Joined
6 Aug 2009
Messages
28,335
Location
Yorks
Knottingley - Goole is open because Drax PS is on the line. If the line where to close (it won't), Drax would be cut off.

Why not just get a train from Goole to Gilberdyke and get a train there? Because the only trains from Hull to Leeds are the TPE services (will change) which occasionally call there.

I think that Snaith and some of the other intermediate settlements would justify a better service.
 

southern442

Established Member
Joined
20 May 2013
Messages
1,974
Location
Surrey
If we are talking about services too then there is the Paddington - West Ruislip and LO to Battersea Park, both to keep lines open.
 

IanXC

Emeritus Moderator
Joined
18 Dec 2009
Messages
5,910
Why not just get a train from Goole to Gilberdyke and get a train there? Because the only trains from Hull to Leeds are the TPE services (will change) which occasionally call there.

For this particular scenario of the only 2 trains that call at Gilberdyke and Leeds, one calls at 0607 which is well before any service from Goole, and the other calls at 2157, when the previous service from Goole to Gilberdyke arrives some 90 minutes earlier.

Journies from Goole to Leeds would be better via Doncaster if the direct service were inconveniently timed or unavailable.
 

thenorthern

Established Member
Joined
27 May 2013
Messages
3,810
From what I understand a Parliamentary Service is The legal minimum level service requirement for a station or line that on classed as open for regular passenger services.

Why I say this is because some lines such as Stockport to Stalybridge are regular open lines so are required to have passenger services once per week. Some lines such as Halton Curve are classed as Summer Only so the once per week requirement is only required during the summer months. Finally some lines such as the Burton-on-Trent to Lichfield Trent Valley line carry regularly booked services but there is no legal requirement to do so.
 

najaB

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Aug 2011
Messages
24,024
Location
Scotland
Either of the first 2 poll responses could be correct.
Agreed. A parliamentary train service is any service that exists purely to meet legal requirements, rather than for commercial or social benefit.

It could be daily, weekly or even less frequent than that.
 

SeanG

Member
Joined
4 May 2013
Messages
801
I wouldn't say Heysham Port is a parliamentary station. The only trains to go there go for a purpose, as they serve the boat, Any other passenger trains wouldn't really have any purpose and so there is no market for them
 

backontrack

Established Member
Joined
2 Feb 2014
Messages
6,031
Location
The UK
I wouldn't say Heysham Port is a parliamentary station. The only trains to go there go for a purpose, as they serve the boat, Any other passenger trains wouldn't really have any purpose and so there is no market for them

But the only train to Heysham Port leaves after the ferry has departed.
 

SeanG

Member
Joined
4 May 2013
Messages
801
But the only train to Heysham Port leaves after the ferry has departed.

Incorrect.

Ignoring the current times as the Ben My Chree is having its service:

Ben My Chree arr 1215
Train arr 1301
Train dep 1317
Ben My Chree dep 1415

This gives ample time for UK bound passengers to disembark and get the train, and for Isle of Man bound passengers to get off the train and onto the boat (remember they'll be foot passengers so they can get on/off the boat quickly)
 

Glenmutchkin

Member
Joined
14 Dec 2011
Messages
617
Location
Scotland
STATIONS: (off the top of my head)
Tees-side Airport
Shippea Hill
Coombe Junction Halt
Polesworth
Lakenheath
Buckenham
Berney Arms
Clifton (Manchester)
Spooner Row
Breich
Sugar Loaf
Chapelton
Lapford
Golf Street
Barry Links
Balmossie
Altnabreac
Kildonan
Scotscalder
Dunrobin Castle
Invershin
Culrain
Achanalt
Duncraig
Gainsborough Central
Kirton Lindsey
Brigg
New Clee
Heysham Port
Lelant
Reddish South
Denton
Longcross
Snaith
Rawcliffe
Hensall
Whitley Bridge

I'm not sure that Dunrobin Castle can be classed as a station that receives only a Parliamentary service. It is a seasonal station that opens just before Easter and closes sometime in the autumn. When it is open it gets 3 trains per day in each direction.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
53,255
Location
Yorkshire
This may have been covered before but lets get on with it: list any parliamentary trains or rarely-used stations that you know of.
By definition a "parliamentary" train is one that operates once a week, as that is the minimum requirement for a line to be considered open.

Colloquially people may use the term to mean any service that isn't frequent, and different people will have their own ideas as to what those are.
 

najaB

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Aug 2011
Messages
24,024
Location
Scotland
By definition a "parliamentary" train is one that operates once a week, as that is the minimum requirement for a line to be considered open.
I don't know of any examples but it is possible that a train might only operate once a week because that's the only time there is a requirement for it. An example might be a service to a football stadium station. I think that to be a true parliamentary it has to operate at least once a week for no other reason than to fulfil the legislative requirement.

So I'd class as parliamentary a train that stops at a station several times a week, but at a time that is inconvenient/useless for the population - e.g. a late night or early morning service with no return working.
 

Parallel

Established Member
Joined
9 Dec 2013
Messages
3,104
STATIONS: (off the top of my head)
Tees-side Airport
Shippea Hill
Coombe Junction Halt
Polesworth
Lakenheath
Buckenham
Berney Arms
Clifton (Manchester)
Spooner Row
Breich
Sugar Loaf
Chapelton
Lapford
Golf Street
Barry Links
Balmossie
Altnabreac
Kildonan
Scotscalder
Dunrobin Castle
Invershin
Culrain
Achanalt
Duncraig
Gainsborough Central
Kirton Lindsey
Brigg
New Clee
Heysham Port
Lelant
Reddish South
Denton
Longcross
Snaith
Rawcliffe
Hensall
Whitley Bridge

Sugar Loaf is a request stop for all ATW trains that are scheduled to run through, (think there are four a day in each direction, as are many other stations on the HoWL). Lapford also gets (I think) four trains a day in each direction. Portsmouth Arms on the same line gets a less frequent service, similar to that of Chapelton (2 a day in each direction?).

I'd add Pilning to the list getting one train a week in each direction (on Saturdays).

I personally would say a parlimentary train/service is an absolute minimum (nothing more than one train in each direction a week) running for operational reasons and not for passenger convenience.

Stations like Chapelton that get a service of two a day (in each direction) will often run in the morning/evening peak, making it vaguely usable to anyone who would use it to commute. Compare that to Pilning, or some stations Northern Rail run - Near impossible.
 
Last edited:

southern442

Established Member
Joined
20 May 2013
Messages
1,974
Location
Surrey
I don't know of any examples but it is possible that a train might only operate once a week because that's the only time there is a requirement for it. An example might be a service to a football stadium station. I think that to be a true parliamentary it has to operate at least once a week for no other reason than to fulfil the legislative requirement.

So I'd class as parliamentary a train that stops at a station several times a week, but at a time that is inconvenient/useless for the population - e.g. a late night or early morning service with no return working.

I would agree here. Stations such as Manchester United Football Ground are served by trains only on certain days that are in some cases far more than a week apart, but it isn't a parliamentary service as it isn't run to keep a line open, it is run for football fans. On the other hand, LO serve Battersea Park twice a day but that is a parliamentary service as it is run to keep the line open.
 

Mojo

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
7 Aug 2005
Messages
18,464
Location
0035
I would agree here. Stations such as Manchester United Football Ground are served by trains only on certain days that are in some cases far more than a week apart, but it isn't a parliamentary service as it isn't run to keep a line open, it is run for football fans. On the other hand, LO serve Battersea Park twice a day but that is a parliamentary service as it is run to keep the line open.

l think that the matter for discussion is whether a service is run for regulatory reasons (ie. "a parliamentary" to avoid having to go through the formal closure process), or for route retention purposes.

On the Underground there are a number of timetabled what are known as "rusty rail" moves. These serve a number of purposes but as the name suggests they have the benefit of ensuring that points and signalling equipment that would otherwise only be used during periods of service disruption, such as crossovers or sidings that would enable a train to turn back short. I'm sure there must be similar moves on the NR network that run for this purpose but are not "parliamentaries."
 

PHILIPE

Veteran Member
Joined
14 Nov 2011
Messages
12,915
Location
Caerphilly
Agree with Mojo. Here is the definition of a Parliamentary train although things have changed since 1844:):)

Parliamentary trains in the UK were passenger services required by an Act of Parliament passed in 1844 to allow cheap and basic railway travel for less affluent passengers. The legislation required that at least one such service per day was run on every railway route in the United Kingdom.

Such services are no longer a legal requirement, and the term has come to be used instead to describe train services that continue to be run to avoid the cost of formal closure of a route or station, but with services reduced sometimes to one train per week, and without specially low prices. Such services are also often called "ghost trains".[1]

Extract from Wikipedia.
 
Last edited:

backontrack

Established Member
Joined
2 Feb 2014
Messages
6,031
Location
The UK
I'm not sure that Dunrobin Castle can be classed as a station that receives only a Parliamentary service. It is a seasonal station that opens just before Easter and closes sometime in the autumn. When it is open it gets 3 trains per day in each direction.

Sugar Loaf is a request stop for all ATW trains that are scheduled to run through, (think there are four a day in each direction, as are many other stations on the HoWL). Lapford also gets (I think) four trains a day in each direction. Portsmouth Arms on the same line gets a less frequent service, similar to that of Chapelton (2 a day in each direction?).

I'd add Pilning to the list getting one train a week in each direction (on Saturdays).

I personally would say a parlimentary train/service is an absolute minimum (nothing more than one train in each direction a week) running for operational reasons and not for passenger convenience.

Stations like Chapelton that get a service of two a day (in each direction) will often run in the morning/evening peak, making it vaguely usable to anyone who would use it to commute. Compare that to Pilning, or some stations Northern Rail run - Near impossible.

Ah. I was not just counting parliamentary stations, but also ones with low usage. As the first post says:

This may have been covered before but lets get on with it: list any parliamentary trains or rarely-used stations that you know of.

A good shout on Pilning, though! :D
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top