VTEC HST on the Durham Coast Line

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HugePilchard

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I'm used to seeing Grand Central ECS moves on the Durham Coast Line, but as I was looking out of my kitchen window this morning, I saw a VTEC HST trundle past heading towards Newcastle.

I've never seen before. Does anyone have any idea why that might have happened?
 
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HugePilchard

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Thanks Sidmouth.

I'm just wondering what a VTEC train is going out that way in the first place - I know they're starting a Sunderland - London service, but that's not due to start until the 14th, I thought.
 

142094

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Route refresher training is normally done by hiring a 67 from DB Schenker or using the thunderbird at Newcastle. Not sure how guards do their route learning, so might have been using the HST stock to train them up for dispatch etc.

However from all accounts it caused a few delays, with Metro services disrupted for a while. In hindsight the other platform at Sunderland should have been reopened when they last did the refurbishment work.
 

47403

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In hindsight the other platform at Sunderland should have been reopened when they last did the refurbishment work.
Could never understand, why that never happened in the first place to be homest. No doubt down to money, would save looking at that stupid computer generated thing, where it looks like people are walking past, mind you, I suppose it offers some light to the dingey hole that is Sunderland Station.
 
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sprinterguy

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Could never understand, why that never happened in the first place to be homest. No doubt down to money, would save looking at that stupid computer generated thing, where it looks like people are walking past, mind you, I suppose it offers some light to the dingey hole that is Sunderland Station.
Personally, I think that the light wall is about the only thing that is good about Sunderland station (well, that and Milligan's upstairs :)). I do agree that they should have put the Metro on the disused, western island platforms though: The current layout doesn't give much flexibility in enhancing the conventional Durham Coast line service, or providing recovery during disruption.
 

s'land

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Route refresher training is normally done by hiring a 67 from DB Schenker or using the thunderbird at Newcastle. Not sure how guards do their route learning, so might have been using the HST stock to train them up for dispatch etc.

However from all accounts it caused a few delays, with Metro services disrupted for a while. In hindsight the other platform at Sunderland should have been reopened when they last did the refurbishment work.
I couldn't agree more.
 

sprinterguy

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Wonder how much the VTEC diagrams will affect Grand Central?
I don't think the early departure and late arrival times will affect Grand Central's passenger numbers very much, but the division of revenue on open tickets will affect Grand Central's share of revenue on Sunderland to York/London flows. I suppose that how much of an impact this has will depend on how much Grand Central's north east business is buoyed by passengers travelling on open tickets.

Am I right at all in thinking that ORCATS revenues are split based on number of seats provided per day/week/whatever? Genuinely curious about this dark art of the railways.

I would expect to see an increase in marketing from Grand Central in a concerted effort to push their own advance tickets on the Sunderland route. After all, at a corporate level their owning group Arriva have great form in this regard with respect to Chiltern versus Virgin West Coast, where billboard competition at the Birmingham end between the rival companies is fierce!
 
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142094

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Hard to say how popular it will be, seeing as the morning departure is very early and will benefit business travellers the most. However, seeing as it departs before the first Metro arrives and there is limited/no parking near Sunderland station for an all day trip, leisure users are hardly going to be enticed.

With the ticketing if it is a GC only ticket Grand Central get all the revenue. So the only tickets Orcats would affect are non-TOC specific.
 

Tetchytyke

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I don't think the early departure and late arrival times will affect Grand Central's passenger numbers very much
They will: the early train leaves Sunderland just before the first Grand Central train, and the late train leaves Kings Cross just after the last Grand Central train. These are the two Grand Central trains which are "peak", attracting the highest fares.
 

sprinterguy

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They will: the early train leaves Sunderland just before the first Grand Central train, and the late train leaves Kings Cross just after the last Grand Central train. These are the two Grand Central trains which are "peak", attracting the highest fares.
Well, the early morning train departs Sunderland a full hour (plus change) ahead of the Grand Central service, and is surely of limited utility to anybody other than those in a hotel directly in the city centre, due to the limited interchange options at that time of the morning (car, bus and Metro) as 142094 points out above.

I'll concede that there might be more competition between the evening return services, however, though personally I wouldn't be encouraged to spend an additional 42 minutes in London for the sake of an arrival in Sunderland that is well past 11pm. Due to the lack of onward connections to and from the absurdly early/very late Virgin East Coast times, the new service will also have no effect on Grand Central's intermediate traffic at Hartlepool and Eaglescliffe, I wouldn't have thought.
 
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wensley

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They will: the early train leaves Sunderland just before the first Grand Central train, and the late train leaves Kings Cross just after the last Grand Central train. These are the two Grand Central trains which are "peak", attracting the highest fares.
1N96 1918 Kings Cross - Sunderland is not a peak service if you check the timetable!

As stated the 0540 departure isn't highly appealing, but it will doubtless attract some folk who have to be in London before the first GC arrival and currently travel to Newcastle by other means.

The evening one will be interesting, but I reckon you'll find that there are plenty of passengers to go around. ORCATS wise the steady and constant rise of AP popularity may mean that this isn't such an issue, although VT will certainly increase there share of associated flows.

It'll be hard to tell if VT actually make money on this one as it's part of their franchise obligations. There will certainly be additional costs associated (fuel, shuffling dispatchers, extended traincrew diagrams).

Time will tell ... VT are lucky that the launch wasn't this week given ongoing events at Brockley Whins.
 

gimmea50anyday

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Its a headline grabbing exercise imho to make the franchise look good so they can say "look what we have done!" just as the flying scotsman is a headline train. but in order to make that train look good, its running actually causes delay and disruption to other trains in is wake, as it did to 07:08 NCL-LIV today causing people on that train to miss MIA, KGX and other connections! 10 minutes delay to 1F73 gave 1E01 just 2 minutes in gain on its delay.
 

wensley

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Its a headline grabbing exercise imho to make the franchise look good so they can say "look what we have done!" just as the flying scotsman is a headline train. but in order to make that train look good, its running actually causes delay and disruption to other trains in is wake, as it did to 07:08 NCL-LIV today causing people on that train to miss MIA, KGX and other connections! 10 minutes delay to 1F73 gave 1E01 just 2 minutes in gain on its delay.
How very cynical of you :lol:
And it was clearly the right regulatory decision ... 1E01's PPM was saved ;)
 

47271

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I travel with work between Sunderland and King's Cross quite a bit.

There's no chance of getting me on the early morning Virgin train.

However, so long as it's competitively priced I may well try the 2000 out of King's Cross rather than the slightly earlier Grand Central, the main reason being that the GC at that time has been a ghastly 180 the last few times I've used it.
 

s'land

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VTEC's plans even post IEP is one train each way per day so hardly going to affect GC's long term plans.
IIRC it will go up to 2 return services a day, although it isn't exactly ground breaking stuff.

By the way how many coaches were not platformed, I may be wrong but I think Sunderland Station can fit a 7 car HST.
 

Stats

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IIRC it will go up to 2 return services a day, although it isn't exactly ground breaking stuff.
Correct. A second service is introduced in 2020. Both services are subject to ORR approval (the service starting today is only approved until the end of the current track access agreement next year)
 
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