Victoria to Pompey/Bognor on a Sunday

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by Iggy12a, 2 Sep 2018.

  1. Iggy12a

    Iggy12a Member

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    The typical Sunday service is for 12 coaches from Victoria to Barnham, where the train divides. The front 4 coaches form the Portsmouth service and the rear 8 are the Bognor service.
    Why 8 coaches to go one stop to Bognor with a few passengers and lots of air, whilst the 4 coaches to Portsmouth make 7 stops and are heaving?
     
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  3. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Good question. But my take on it would be to send 4 cars to Southampton, although that would probably be better as another train entirely. The service could usefully be more like Mon- Sat altogether...
     
  4. GW43125

    GW43125 Established Member

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    Because most of the stations between Barnham and Portsmouth will only take 4 carriages.
     
  5. Iggy12a

    Iggy12a Member

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    Only Emsworth and Southbourne surely?
     
  6. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    There are various reasons for this sort of thing, and some are more easily explained than others.

    There are some benefits purely from an operational view. For example, it's a useful contingency measure to send the longer train on the shorter journey because it gives more options for subsequent stock use. If the 8 coach train is heading all the way to Portsmouth, you have less time and fewer opportunities to split the train, balance stock and send it elsewhere along the coast. This is also a consideration on the Victoria-Ore services - it takes so long for the units to get to Ore that it can seriously muck up the stock allocations later in the day if anything needs to be changed. I've worked with Southern Control on this one in the fairly recent past and there's been a lot of head-scratching at times about how to retrieve a train which is merrily enjoying a round trip of several hours away from where it actually needs to be. This is why you get stock swaps or portions detached at places like Eastbourne. Unfortunately the West Coastway and routes via Barnham are somewhat less flexible in this regard until you reach the termini - attempting extra manoeuvres at multi-directional hubs like Barnham can be a risky business if you are tight for crew or pathing, so you have to wait until the terminus with more space and more capability.

    Special events, popularity of destinations, ticket prices, etc. can all skew loadings but this is not always easy to tell. Sometimes it's seasonal, eg. links from the South Coast via Gatwick are usually at least slightly more popular around summertime, but other times the fluctuation with all the different special events, carnivals, festivals etc. is difficult to predict, given the diverse choices that passengers will make about how they'd like the destinations and large towns on Southern's network to link up for them.

    Absolutely nothing to do with it. SDO has been operational on 377s for well over a decade and is frequently used for coastal services. The more minor ones typically have the shorter platforms (though not always) and passengers quickly adapt anyway. (This is often seen with commuter stations as well - for example, Ifield is fairly well-used, but only a maximum of 5 coaches can be accommodated - less than half of many train lengths calling there!)
     
  7. pompeyfan

    pompeyfan Established Member

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    Very informative, although it does need to be noted that 4 cars to Portsmouth and Southampton aren’t enough from experience, don’t get me wrong there’s still seats available but it requires sitting in the middle of a 3 or similar. In fact I’d go as far as saying that southern services are probably busier in the Portsmouth area outside peak times than SW services. Even when one Southern turns at Fratton there’s usually a couple of hundred on the platform waiting for Southsea or the harbour.

    One thing I’ve also found odd is the last service to Portsmouth from Victoria is an 8 car (which means SDO gets used everywhere!) but seems totally unnecessary. I’m sure London end it’s justified but by Havant there’s usually hardly anyone on.
     
  8. ashworth

    ashworth Established Member

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    As the original post was about Sunday services to Portsmouth I really can’t see the problem of sending 8 coaches all the way to Portsmouth and just 4 to Bognor.
    I can understand the issue of not sending extra stock too far to the edge of the network when it needs to get back for peak time use out of London, but surely not on a Sunday when Southern have loads of trains available.
     
  9. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR Established Member

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    I thought that too. Why do they divide at Barnham and not Horsham as on weekdays? I thought the whole idea was to not force the longer distance pax to have to call at Barnham to Horsham stations, but the Bognor portion to do that.

    Also, why not 4 cars to Bognor, four to Pompey and 4 to Southampton?
     
  10. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    Splitting at Barnham instead of Horsham saves considerably on traincrew requirements.

    Someone has presumably decided that Southampton doesn't need direct trains to Gatwick and Victoria on Sundays.

    I suspect that the demand is broadly satisfied by the timetable offered on Sundays.

    As regularly noted the apparent availability of rolling stock in sidings on a Sunday may well not fit with maintenance schedules for the rest of the week.
     
  11. 387star

    387star Established Member

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    Sunday services used to run via Hove and attach/detach at Worthing

    They now stop all stations uo the Arun Valley plus Redhill and Coulsdon South adding 15 minutes to the weekday journey

    It is rare to see an 8 car 377 west of Barnham even rarer a 12... think the 0533 off Chichester to Vic is booked an 8 possibly starts Havant

    The coast way service isn't great. Southampton isn't served by Southern to Vic on a Sunday

    I avoid the 313 services as they are packed midweek and horrid trains. More coaches needed through Chichester for sure which is a very popular destination
     
    Last edited: 4 Sep 2018
  12. 387star

    387star Established Member

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    The two after that are 8 cars but both terminate at Chichester. Although the first of those divides at Barnham with the rear four to Bognor
     

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