Weekend train maintenance

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Failed Unit

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From the Jubilee thread a couple of themes have came up to stop more trains running.

1. Staff availability. - cant argue with that.
2. Maintenance of train sets.

Point 2 got me thinking, do depots have more staff working at the on a Sunday than the rest of the week? Are more exams done at weekends. Ie depots chose to do lots of the shorter ones rather than the longer ones to get more units around.

I don't dispute maintenance needs to be done, but was just surprised that it disrupts availability so badly. Yesterday was exceptional of course, but the Edinburgh Festival for example isn't but you still get a lot of 2 coach trains into Edinburgh when the frequency is also reduced compared to weekdays. Is maintenance really preventing 4 car operations?
 
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A-driver

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No, not alone. Doubling up services isn't as simple as joining a few units together. Most companies have sets berthed all across the network-take FCC GN for example, they berth units at kings x, hornsey, WGC, letchworth, the nene and Cambridge. Those units berth in sidings depending on where they finish service at night and start again in the morning. If you need to strengthen a 4 car to 8 from Cambridge for example but the only spare set is at the nene sidings then they need to get a path to work the train from peterbourgh to Hitchin and back to Cambridge. If there are overnight engineering works then this may be impossible. Those coaches may be booked to spend Sunday in the nene to form the first train to London Monday morning and so at some point the coaches need to be returned to the nene, again engineering works etc can prevent this.

It's all down to logistics as much as booked maintenance. The stick needs to be back in place or else the next days service will suffer aswell.
 

OxtedL

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In The Tube documentary they certainly said that Sunday was one of their busiest days in the depot as there were many more trains on the depot all day. It wouldn't be surprising if there was a similar phenomenon on Network Rail as well.

I can see that it'd be a massive logistical nightmare to systematically lengthen trains, but aren't there whole departments within TOCs who are employed to work it out?
 

142094

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In a theoretical sense, if there is no engineering works and the paths are available etc, how much more does it cost for an additional unit to be added to an existing service to increase capacity?
 

OxtedL

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I realise that that post makes me look like I've completely ignored what you've just said, which I haven't, I'm just thinking out loud a bit.

Presumably diagrams are, broadly speaking, balanced across the day? So if x sets start out from depot A, more or less x finish at depot A at the end of the day?

This may be less well balanced on a Sunday, but hopefully reduces the logistical difficulties of lengthening lots of trains by removing the need to move lots of empty trains around at the end of the day? London TOCs do have a heck of a lot of stock that they can rustle up for the rush hour...
 

142094

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It depends on the depot, and in some areas it might be the case. I know of a few areas where the diagrams are a bit different, think King's Lynn is one, where there are more trains incoming at night, which then stable overnight but are doubled up and form less frequent services the next day.
 

OxtedL

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Damn, why does real life always have to be more complicated than what's on paper...
 
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