Under/Over-Served areas in the network.

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peteb

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Aldridge (pop. 40,000) on the freight line between Walsall and Water Orton sees plenty of freight yet no passenger services, and buses though plentiful are slow compared to trains covering say Aldridge to Sutton Coldfield and Aldridge to Walsall to Birmingham routes. Reinstating passenger services on a Birmingham-Sutton-Aldridge-Walsall-Wolverhampton route would provide useful connectivity and be much faster than bus on the very congested road network.
 
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Taunton

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One of the most consistently overserved markets of all is contra-flow peak travel, out of the metropolitan centre in the morning. Some places more than others - out of Paddington in the morning to Slough/Reading is pretty well loaded, but out of Liverpool Street is dead. Likewise the Great Northern suburban services. But you still find frequent full length 12-car trains, with hardly anybody in them. It's a real efficiency downside for the railway; whereas car commuters keep their car with them all day and only use it when actually travelling, the railway has to do this double mileage with morning peak trains because stabling them all in the city is too expensive.

There are some further oddballs. Out of Waterloo is likewise pretty dead in the morning peak, but goodness, do the trains then pick up some loads at Clapham Junction to carry on west, sometimes 3 or 4 times what it carried initially from Waterloo.

Liverpool to the Wirral on Merseyrail at 8am was similarly empty. A generational difference - time was when Cammel Laird shipyard workers etc used to pack out the Rock Ferry service. Nowadays it's empty.
 

Jamesrob637

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Aldridge (pop. 40,000) on the freight line between Walsall and Water Orton sees plenty of freight yet no passenger services, and buses though plentiful are slow compared to trains covering say Aldridge to Sutton Coldfield and Aldridge to Walsall to Birmingham routes. Reinstating passenger services on a Birmingham-Sutton-Aldridge-Walsall-Wolverhampton route would provide useful connectivity and be much faster than bus on the very congested road network.

As I have experienced only today, indeed a few hours ago. The 25 bus from Wednesfield to Willenhall stops at 6pm too - useless for evening journeys.
 

agbrs_Jack

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Congleton station being 30m walk away from the town CENTRE (not the town, just the high street, there are loads of estates and houses within a 1, 5 and 10 minute walk from the station) is not a reason to not serve it properly.
Mon-Sat should be 2 tph, Sunday is completely unacceptable and should've been hourly years ago.

There are hundreds of stations with far lower usage stats but a better service, especially on Sundays.

With respect, I live here. I know about the area and what people are likely to do, local knowledge is valueable!
 

D6975

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Is Westbury not a three platform station? The fourth face always used to be a freight line set away from the platform.

Probably not over served as it provides connections between a wide range of services and also serves a large rural hinterland.

Avoncliff, with a roughly hourly daytime service, is probably overserved for a few houses and a pub.
Close... The fourth face always used to be a platform. The track was slewed away from the platform edge sometime in the late 80s/early 90s and became freight only.
 
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Dr_Paul

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Also sunnymeads and wraysbury have 2tph service all day to and from Waterloo and Clapham junction, I know we have discussed the reasoning why, you in great length on this forum but like the fact Sunnymeads and Wraysbury get 2tph from Clapham and Brighton gets none.

The intermediate stations between Windsor and Staines are pretty lightly used, but it's fair to see the Windsor service as effectively a local stopper after Staines, having been up to then a semi-fast from Waterloo. The same goes for the Reading service, which stops at fewer stations than the Windsor one up to Staines, then stops at every station afterwards (with the exception of a few rush-hour extras which miss some stations). Short of having alternate all-station and fast services between Staines and Windsor, with Wraysbury, etc, having just an hourly service, I don't know what the answer would be.
 

Old Yard Dog

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The Deeside conurbation (Queensferry/Shotton/Connah's Quay) is one of the largest urban areas in North Wales. However express trains run non-stop through Shotton, stopping at the much smaller town of Flint instead. This is despite the fact that Shotton offers interchange opportunities with the Wrexham - Bidston line.

As a major tourist destination, Whitby is also very poorly served. Trains only run to Middlesbrough & Darlington, take forever, and connections are poor. And there are very few useful bus connections to the NYMR at Pickering. I have had to travel to Whitby by bus from Scarborough a couple of times and found the buses to be insufficiently frequent and hence overcrowded.
 
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Ianno87

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One of the most consistently overserved markets of all is contra-flow peak travel, out of the metropolitan centre in the morning. Some places more than others - out of Paddington in the morning to Slough/Reading is pretty well loaded, but out of Liverpool Street is dead. Likewise the Great Northern suburban services. But you still find frequent full length 12-car trains, with hardly anybody in them. It's a real efficiency downside for the railway; whereas car commuters keep their car with them all day and only use it when actually travelling, the railway has to do this double mileage with morning peak trains because stabling them all in the city is too expensive.

Some operators, like, LNW, GA and SWR are a bonanza for cheapo Advances on such trains!
 

frodshamfella

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That’s a bit harsh, there are times when loadings are light on the shuttle trains, sometimes because there are no decent connections at the Junction.

Under normal pre-Covid circumstances the through trains to Chester and beyond load quite well from Llandudno and Deganwy, it’s having to change trains at the dingy Llandudno Junction station that is the deterrent. If you couple this with a non clockface service, gaps of around 70 minutes at certain times of the day, plus regular rail replacement buses, because some of the services utilise the non operating Conwy Valley unit, then it’s inevitable many folks will use the Junction as their railhead.

Hopefully things will improve in 2022? When Llandudno gets its hourly (hopefully clockface) Service to Liverpool.
I look forward to the Halton Curve service really offering what it was designed for....ie direct Welsh services

Hooton is really a mini-interchange between the Chester and Ellesmere Port spurs so it makes sense for all trains to stop there. I'm not convinced Chester trains need to call at all stations between Hooton and Birkenhead though.

It also attracts a large amount of park and ride passengers who commute to Liverpool due to its frequent service.
 

peters

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It also attracts a large amount of park and ride passengers who commute to Liverpool due to its frequent service.

What I was getting as is whether all stations between Hooton and Birkenhead Central really need 6tph to Liverpool (compared to the 4tph they used to get), with Hamilton Square getting 14tph to Liverpool (compared to the 12tph it used to get.) I get the impression that part of the reason for all trains stopping at all stations from Hooton onwards is because it's easier for the planners and drivers.
 

frodshamfella

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What I was getting as is whether all stations between Hooton and Birkenhead Central really need 6tph to Liverpool (compared to the 4tph they used to get), with Hamilton Square getting 14tph to Liverpool (compared to the 12tph it used to get.) I get the impression that part of the reason for all trains stopping at all stations from Hooton onwards is because it's easier for the planners and drivers.

There is often talk about ' fast ' Chester services and I can understand the reasoning if you are doing the whole stretch of the line.
 

backontrack

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The level of service at Ford is incredible for a station in the middle of nowhere. I know there is interchange potential there but seems to me most people change at Barnham
Oxenholme is a bit similar; it's a bit like 'Kendal Parkway' but isn't really close at all.

Hate to say it, but my current town of Northallerton is almost certainly over served in comparison to towns of similar sizes.
Decently-sized catchment area, though. It's the station for Catterick.
 

Djgr

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What I was getting as is whether all stations between Hooton and Birkenhead Central really need 6tph to Liverpool (compared to the 4tph they used to get), with Hamilton Square getting 14tph to Liverpool (compared to the 12tph it used to get.) I get the impression that part of the reason for all trains stopping at all stations from Hooton onwards is because it's easier for the planners and drivers.
Yes, fast trains can be difficult to timetable and there is quite a lot of merit in a Tube style turn up and go service, which is what it is. And the trains are generally well used.

In the dying days of Liverpool Exchange (mid 1970s) there used to be an hourly Southport express, which only stopped three or four times, but it disappeared, probably for similar reasons.
 

MarkyT

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Yes, fast trains can be difficult to timetable and there is quite a lot of merit in a Tube style turn up and go service, which is what it is. And the trains are generally well used.
The new trains are over three times as powerful per unit of weight than today's rolling stock:
merseyrail train power.jpg
That should make a significant difference to acceleration, allowing journey times to be reduced for an all stations calling pattern.
 

Jozhua

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Hey all!
Just been having a chat with Yorkie about the direction of the thread. I think the conversation about how we might go about resolving some of these existing imbalances is a really interesting one and one that I'd like to be unhindered, without people worrying about pulling this conversation off topic. I think we'll set up a thread titled "Resolving current imbalances in the railway network" over in speculative, as the intention of this thread was more to point them out and understand the historical context for their existence.

Finding all of these posts really interesting!

Edit:
I created the thread!
https://www.railforums.co.uk/thread...served-locations-how-would-you-fix-it.210629/
 
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Yodiethedog

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Is Westbury not a three platform station? The fourth face always used to be a freight line set away from the platform.

Probably not over served as it provides connections between a wide range of services and also serves a large rural hinterland.

Avoncliff, with a roughly hourly daytime service, is probably overserved for a few houses and a pub.

Oh yes, the freight line is not a platform. I would of thought Bradford on Avon/ Trowbridge/ Frome/ Bruton/ Castle Cary are better stations for accessing the rural hinterland, as you don't have to walk through much town to get into the countryside. But Westbury is served by more trains than those so maybe you're right and it is not over served.

I don't think Avonmouth is over served because it is quite a large suburb of Bristol and there is also some quite large industrial areas and Avonmouth docks nearby.

However I think that Severn Beach is over served. As far as I can tell, it's a small village with a muddy beach. And it's got a terminus station with trains roughly every 2 hours?
 

Wyrleybart

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Aldridge (pop. 40,000) on the freight line between Walsall and Water Orton sees plenty of freight yet no passenger services, and buses though plentiful are slow compared to trains covering say Aldridge to Sutton Coldfield and Aldridge to Walsall to Birmingham routes. Reinstating passenger services on a Birmingham-Sutton-Aldridge-Walsall-Wolverhampton route would provide useful connectivity and be much faster than bus on the very congested road network.
One of several parts of the West Mids and South Staffs which are conveniently ignored on railway maps.
Cannock is another with no direct link to the County town of Staffordshire ten miles away. Ironically, before the chase line was electrified there were through DMU services from Birmingham to Stafford via Walsall and Rugeley, but these were cut back to Rugeley Trent Valley, possibly due to the 75mph paths on the WCML.
After a small fortune was spent electrifying and resignalling the Chase I was expecting loads more connectivity, including reinstating a through service between Cannock, Stafford and further north. Sadly nowt, and when it comes to evenings and Sundays forget it. Arriva's buses stay locked up on Sunday.

Rail Passengers have to endure a bus shelter waiting room at Rugeley Trent Valley and miss the northbound connection by 5 minutes. Example 2H25 arrives Rugeley TV 1136, just after 2U29 departed 3 minutes earlier. Next train 57 mins later at 1233. The southbound connection is very slightly less irksome - only 50 minutes wait, allowing plenty of time to perambulate from the upside platform over the bridge and down to the downside branch platform for the Birmingham train.
 

ANDREW_D_WEBB

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better stations for accessing the rural hinterland, as you don't have to walk through much town to get into the countryside.
By ‘rural hinterland’ I mean lots of smaller settlements and isolated dwellings, the inhabitants of which which will drive to stations such as Westbury to access the rail network. This is one of the ideas behind occasional suggestions to build a station in the vicinity of West Lavington between Westbury and Pewsey. Whilst the village itself is quite small, it would be convenient for access to Devizes, a market town currently without rail access.
 

Parallel

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Is Westbury not a three platform station? The fourth face always used to be a freight line set away from the platform.

Probably not over served as it provides connections between a wide range of services and also serves a large rural hinterland.

Avoncliff, with a roughly hourly daytime service, is probably overserved for a few houses and a pub.

I actually don’t think any of these stations in this area are over served. Possibly just Avoncliff but that’s also walking distance from the villages of Westwood and Turleigh and used to generate a fair amount of peak time travel pre-COVID.

I think Warminster and definitely Frome are both underserved.
I think a re-opened station at Littleton Panell (on the outskirts of Lavington) would be reasonably popular if it had a good sized car park as there are a lot of villages with fairly poor infrastructure in that part of Wiltshire.
 

Philip

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There used to be more direct trains between Scotland and the Midlands before the Operator in your picture decided they wanted the route...

That's not correct, the Scotland-Manchester-West Mids-South Coast service was split at Manchester well before TPE took over Manc-Scots service. Virgin CC ran a two-hourly Manchester to Scotland service with Voyagers for about three years before TPE took over in December 07. There was only one direct train which went further south than Manchester and it was an evening departure from Edinburgh, and I don't think there was anything northbound. Other than removing this, TPE didn't reduce the direct service to the West Midlands when they took over, Virgin CC did.
 
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