West Coastway timetable changes May 2021

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Deleting Sunday GWR services to Brighton is absurd as they are always very busy.
 
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Deleting Sunday GWR services to Brighton is absurd as they are always very busy.

As has been pointed out numerous times the May changes for most operators have been resource led making best available use of the traincrew they have.

Only Fratton GWR sign the route to Brighton and the decision has obviously been made they aren’t going to be able to robustly resource the pre-Covid level of service for this timetable.

It might seem absurd to someone like yourself as the end user but there is no point over promising and then cancelling week in week out as the plan was too optimistic.
 

JonathanH

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Deleting Sunday GWR services to Brighton is absurd as they are always very busy.
They tend to be parallelled by Southern services in any case. It just meanss one extra change and a slightly longer journey.
 

Bald Rick

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Deleting Sunday GWR services to Brighton is absurd as they are always very busy.

Out of interest, are these services popular with people travelling from west of Southampton to east of Havant? Or is it mostly people using them between stations on the route Southampton to Brighton?
 
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Out of interest, are these services popular with people travelling from west of Southampton to east of Havant? Or is it mostly people using them between stations on the route Southampton to Brighton?

They are quite popular for stations Bristol/Bath/Westbury/Salisbury to Havant and beyond but also like the Pompey - Cardiff’s there is quite a bit of local ‘churn’ too.
 

Kite159

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They tend to be popular than the Southern services as they were more limited stop.

On Sundays the Brighton - Southampton services call everywhere Brighton - Chichester (then semi-fast towards Havant/Southampton), the Brighton - Portsmouth trains call at all the stations (other than Hilsea). After a while the "This is the Southern service to" announcement gets annoying.
 

Bikeman78

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They tend to be parallelled by Southern services in any case. It just meanss one extra change and a slightly longer journey.
The Southern trains are filling up rapidly on the south coast. 1108 off Barnham to Brighton was full from Shoreham by sea with many standing. Seaford to Brighton trains were also well loaded. By comparison, the four trains per hour south of Horsham are lightly loaded. Some juggling of units and crew is needed.
 

southern442

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The Southern trains are filling up rapidly on the south coast. 1108 off Barnham to Brighton was full from Shoreham by sea with many standing. Seaford to Brighton trains were also well loaded. By comparison, the four trains per hour south of Horsham are lightly loaded. Some juggling of units and crew is needed.
I'd say perhaps an additional south coast express service (following the same pattern as GWR services, maybe even continuing east of Brighton?) is what's needed in an ideal world to help regulate the traffic flows a little bit.
 

yorksrob

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The Southern trains are filling up rapidly on the south coast. 1108 off Barnham to Brighton was full from Shoreham by sea with many standing. Seaford to Brighton trains were also well loaded. By comparison, the four trains per hour south of Horsham are lightly loaded. Some juggling of units and crew is needed.

Are they all running at maximim length ?

It used to be 8 carriages I think.
 

swt_passenger

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I'd say perhaps an additional south coast express service (following the same pattern as GWR services, maybe even continuing east of Brighton?) is what's needed in an ideal world to help regulate the traffic flows a little bit.
No, continuing east of Brighton is effectively the opposite of ideal, because the station throat layout is so restricted.
 

yorksrob

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I've only ever known it to be single units from Brighton towards Havant, only doubles came from the Littlehampton - Hove - London trains.

I wonder if they've got any scope for having shorter London trains and longer Coastway ones !
 

Bikeman78

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I wonder if they've got any scope for having shorter London trains and longer Coastway ones !
I'm not sure how long the platforms are. Pairs of 313s might be possible on some routes. If there are crews available, running the Brighton to Worthing stoppers again would be a big help.
 

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I'm not sure how long the platforms are. Pairs of 313s might be possible on some routes. If there are crews available, running the Brighton to Worthing stoppers again would be a big help.

I thought I’d read that Southern’s 313s weren’t permitted to double-up in passenger service, but may have mis-remembered.

I don’t recall seeing 2x313s combos when services are strengthened for football at the Amex, for example.
 

southern442

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I wonder if they've got any scope for having shorter London trains and longer Coastway ones !
Perhaps a start would be to split the Portsmouth/Southampton and Bognor services up as they did with the Littlehampton and Eastbourne services, and have each of them run as 8-car minimum, then you'd get at least half of the services along that bit of the West Coastway Line doubled up. I appreciate that's easier said than done, but permanently scrapping GatEx would create an extra 2 paths that would allow for this, although it would still be a tight squeeze.
 

yorksrob

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I'm not sure how long the platforms are. Pairs of 313s might be possible on some routes. If there are crews available, running the Brighton to Worthing stoppers again would be a big help.

I must admit, it's more the East Coastway I've used, but I'd be surprised if the West wasn't the same.

Perhaps a start would be to split the Portsmouth/Southampton and Bognor services up as they did with the Littlehampton and Eastbourne services, and have each of them run as 8-car minimum, then you'd get at least half of the services along that bit of the West Coastway Line doubled up. I appreciate that's easier said than done, but permanently scrapping GatEx would create an extra 2 paths that would allow for this, although it would still be a tight squeeze.

I suppose it would do, however wouldn't more people be heading along the coast to Brighton ?
 

JonathanH

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Perhaps a start would be to split the Portsmouth/Southampton and Bognor services up as they did with the Littlehampton and Eastbourne services, and have each of them run as 8-car minimum, then you'd get at least half of the services along that bit of the West Coastway Line doubled up. I appreciate that's easier said than done, but permanently scrapping GatEx would create an extra 2 paths that would allow for this, although it would still be a tight squeeze.
That doesn't really help with Brighton though does it. The suggestion was that the pressure is into Brighton rather than Portsmouth or Bognor.
 

Kite159

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I'm not sure how long the platforms are. Pairs of 313s might be possible on some routes. If there are crews available, running the Brighton to Worthing stoppers again would be a big help.

377s do have SDO which will help with those stations with short platforms, with pairs running on the Littlehampton - Hove -> London services, which in a previous Covid timetable called everywhere. Only issue might be some of the stations between Havant & Chichester as pairs of units will overhang level crossings where they might not have "grandfather" rights to do.

But those stations are generally served Monday - Saturday by the Portsmouth - Littlehampton stoppers, the only times the trains to/from Brighton call are on Sundays, plus some oddities at the start/end of the day. Emsworth will be fine as that isn't a crossing, but from memory all the others are level crossings.

Splitting/Joining at Barnham probably isn't ideal [with the rear unit carrying on to Bognor to get it out of the way].

Certainly I can recall one of my first trips to Southern land was on a day of Brighton Pride and the 377 was pretty much wedged out from Fareham
 

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From the May change engineering work allowing there appears to be one GWR service on a Sunday to Brighton arriving 1449 and departing 1746
 

southern442

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I would imagine whatever stock replaces the 313s would most likely be 4-car, and would be able to fairly easily operate in multiple with SDO etc. Really at least one of the Portsmouth - Brighton and Southampton - Brighton could do with being 8-car, I've been on some pretty full trains on the latter route (including one where the Soton-Victoria service was cancelled, and the Brighton train was standing room only from Southampton!)
 

yorksrob

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I do feel some sympathy for the railway being hydebound by not allowing longer trains than platforms where there are no grandfather rights (In my day it was up to passengers to check whether there was a platform outside your door anyway).

I wonder, if it's only a small number of stations, if there's a case for having local/guards door operation for those stops to allow longer trains.
 

Tomp94

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Would be good to get those Brighton to Portsmouth services reverted to 377s instead of the bangers!
 

zwk500

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I do feel some sympathy for the railway being hydebound by not allowing longer trains than platforms where there are no grandfather rights (In my day it was up to passengers to check whether there was a platform outside your door anyway).
In those days the passenger opened and closed the doors themselves though. We've moved on, for better or worse.
I wonder, if it's only a small number of stations, if there's a case for having local/guards door operation for those stops to allow longer trains.
If the issue is overhanging the level crossing then SDO potentially increasing dwells isn't going to help the LX risk assessment.
 

yorksrob

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In those days the passenger opened and closed the doors themselves though. We've moved on, for better or worse.

If the issue is overhanging the level crossing then SDO potentially increasing dwells isn't going to help the LX risk assessment.

Ah yes. There are a lot of those on the West Coastway.
 

SargeNpton

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Deleting Sunday GWR services to Brighton is absurd as they are always very busy.
And often as not affected curtailed due to engineering work anywhere along the route. Often diverted to/from Portsmouth, or do not run south of Westbury.
 

Bikeman78

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Are they all 313s at the moment? I'd quite like to have a go on one to be honest :D
The 0900/1000 Brighton to Portsmouth repeating every three hours are 313s on weekdays. The third diagram seems to be a 377.

In those days the passenger opened and closed the doors themselves though. We've moved on, for better or worse.

If the issue is overhanging the level crossing then SDO potentially increasing dwells isn't going to help the LX risk assessment.
Doesn't seem to be a problem at Littlehaven. We've gone from a few peak trains overhanging to every half hour all day every day. The daft thing is that it was lengthened from four to eight cars not long before the 12 car 700s appeared. Doh!
 

zwk500

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Doesn't seem to be a problem at Littlehaven. We've gone from a few peak trains overhanging to every half hour all day every day. The daft thing is that it was lengthened from four to eight cars not long before the 12 car 700s appeared. Doh!
It's not an insurmountable problem anywhere. Depends on the local circumstances, what the risk is and how it can be mitigated. However, I'm not involved in the assessments in any way so have no ideas about individual locations or how various factors are weighted in any way.
 

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