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West Midlands West Coast Changes

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Dorridge

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Long time lurker, first time poster here.
I'm sure I saw a conversation a while ago about some London midland services transferring to Virgin (whether it will be Virgin by then?).

Is there anymore info on this?

I ask because now Wolves have been told they are transferring to a combined west midlands passenger transport exec (Centro I guess), then it won't be long before all the other stations in the west midlands come under the same.

I wonder what this means for staff at Moor street?
 
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LNW-GW Joint

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Long time lurker, first time poster here.
I'm sure I saw a conversation a while ago about some London midland services transferring to Virgin (whether it will be Virgin by then?).
Is there anymore info on this?
I ask because now Wolves have been told they are transferring to a combined west midlands passenger transport exec (Centro I guess), then it won't be long before all the other stations in the west midlands come under the same.
I wonder what this means for staff at Moor street?

Welcome to the forum.
The intention at this franchise change is to run the West Midlands franchise (currently LM) as 2 business units, a local one focussed on Birmingham and a regional one focussed on the WCML.
The plan is to devolve the local one to local West Midlands management at the next franchise change (2026?).

The ITT for the 2017 franchise is due out any day now (should have been in July), which will no doubt clarify what is planned.
As for merging the long distance half with ICWC (presently Virgin), I would doubt that in the short term.
The DfT seems set on HS2 opening in 2026 and moving high speed/long distance services to a new franchise.
They might then merge the remaining (via Rugby) services into a London commuter TOC along with the longer-distance LM services.
But HS2 isn't certain yet, so it's a bit early to decide these things.
The ICWC ITT is also due out later this year, which will determine what is going to happen in the short term (not a lot, probably).

The consultation on the next West Midlands franchise finished in March, and the results are due out along with the ITT any day now.
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/west-midlands-rail-franchise
 

adrock1976

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Regarding the transfer of local services to local management, might we see a return of a header box in the equivalent of the Great Britain Passenger Railway Timetable book "Services in this table are operated by [insert TOC] on behalf of West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive"?

I remember seeing some tables with that header a long time ago for the various PTE areas.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Regarding the transfer of local services to local management, might we see a return of a header box in the equivalent of the Great Britain Passenger Railway Timetable book "Services in this table are operated by [insert TOC] on behalf of West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive"?
I remember seeing some tables with that header a long time ago for the various PTE areas.

The body being set up to run the trains is West Midlands Rail, and it is a lot wider than the WM PTE.
It represents a consortium of local authorities including the surrounding counties, much like Rail North includes all the northern authorities, not just the PTEs.
They will eventually (post 2026) have their own autonomous TOC with full control over services and fares.
http://www.westmidlandsrail.com/
 

swt_passenger

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I doubt it will mean much for the staff at Moor St, they'll carry on working for Chiltern Railways or their successor. The party contracting some of the services will be different, i.e. not the DfT directly, but AFAICS there'll still be TOCs doing the day to day activities.
 

Francis

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I would hate to see the semi-fast London Midland service from Crewe to Euston taken over by Virgin. It's the one way of getting to London early in the morning by 0940 from the NW on a fairly cheap advance fare- about £12 advance - without being ripped off by Virgin for £50 minimum
What would the plan be for the Liverpool-Birmingham service?
 

NickBucks

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"The Times" is reporting this morning that the joint submission by Abellio / East Japan Railway & Mitsui has won the bid to become the operator of the West Midlands train franchise replacing Govia ( London Midland). The successful bid is based upon " new routes and new rolling stock". Cannot speak for the accuracy of this report but anyone want some used Desiros ?
 

Bletchleyite

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Abellio? How's about a follow on order of IC FLIRTs for the Crewe stoppers? I'd convert from Virgin for good then! :)

LM of course hasn't got any *old* rolling stock other than a few 150s and 153s (323s getting on a bit but still very modern in appearance and in excellent condition). Complete fleet replacement again? I'd be quite happy with any south WCML rolling stock change that completely prevented the operation of any 4-car sets on the south WCML.
 
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CosherB

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"The Times" is reporting this morning that the joint submission by Abellio / East Japan Railway & Mitsui has won the bid to become the operator of the West Midlands train franchise replacing Govia (London Midland). The successful bid is based upon " new routes and new rolling stock". Cannot speak for the accuracy of this report but anyone want some used Desiros ?

Not true, this is guesswork by the press. "Tipped to win" is not the same as "has won". An important difference ..... :roll:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/train-franchise-is-tipped-to-go-dutch-and-japanese-mjr376zwh
 

nuneatonmark

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Just as London Midland have finally got it's act together we're faced with yet another change! The same happened when Central Trains went, it's taken since then to get up to a good service, here we go again....
 
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The successful bid is based upon " new routes and new rolling stock".

I understood that all 323 stock operated by Northern Rail was to be transferred down to London Midland, giving them almost all of that fleet in the UK. Don't know if this was confirmed, and if so, or if it will now happen. If the fleet is to change, I wouldn't mind more of the quieter 350's running around the West Mids.
 

MCR247

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I understood that all 323 stock operated by Northern Rail was to be transferred down to London Midland, giving them almost all of that fleet in the UK. Don't know if this was confirmed, and if so, or if it will now happen. If the fleet is to change, I wouldn't mind more of the quieter 350's running around the West Mids.

Whilst this is what the ROSCO wanted, bidders don't have to use any 323s if they don't want, its down to them
 

LNW-GW Joint

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I've heard this rumour too. In a way I would be surprised if Govia won they aren't exactly flavour of the month with MPs given all the disputes at Southern.

That's not supposed to make any difference, once they have a passport.
Otherwise Abellio has a walkover.
However, there would be repercussions from passengers and unions if Govia did win.
 

Ze Random One

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I will be somewhat surprised if we hear much before 8 June. The "purdah" rules are quite clear that large contract awards should be conducted after the election unless it is in the national interest or would cause a substantial loss of money to not sign now. Given one of the parties is standing on a "nationalisation" platform, it would hamstring them if the contract was awarded 2 weeks before the election.
 

AndrewE

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I've heard this rumour too. In a way I would be surprised if Govia won they aren't exactly flavour of the month with MPs given all the disputes at Southern.

I wouldn't, after all they have only been doing what was specified in their (DfT) franchise / contract.
 

MCR247

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I've heard this rumour too. In a way I would be surprised if Govia won they aren't exactly flavour of the month with MPs given all the disputes at Southern.

Why? Its the government awarding it (you know the same people telling GoVia what to do), not the unions/press/public
 

The Planner

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Conspiracy theorists could claim that Govia will keep it on the basis of not throwing the keys in on Southern and walking away as a reward.
 

ChrisHogan

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I understood that all 323 stock operated by Northern Rail was to be transferred down to London Midland, giving them almost all of that fleet in the UK. Don't know if this was confirmed, and if so, or if it will now happen. If the fleet is to change, I wouldn't mind more of the quieter 350's running around the West Mids.

A new fleet of trains for the CrossCity line was one of the options presented to bidders in the ITT. Presumably higher-spec. trains than the 323s something akin to the performance being sought by the new South Western inner suburban rolling stock. 25% of the quality score in the bid was on the rolling stock plan so no surprise that one or both bidders is proposing this as an option.

In the interim the Northern 323s will still be needed for Bromsgrove and Rugeley extensions; the earliest new trains will be in service is sometime in 2020. The successful bidder is required to deploy a minimum of 27 extra vehicles in December 2018 and 24 more in December 2019 and these can only come from cascades from other TOCs.
 

HLE

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Cannot see why you would replace the 323's. Purpose built units - what would new units achieve? They're quick off the mark and fit the job well.
 

ChrisHogan

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Cannot see why you would replace the 323's. Purpose built units - what would new units achieve? They're quick off the mark and fit the job well.

Unfortunately they don't perform well in the autumn leaf-fall season, particularly on CrossCity. LM has been running an emergency timetable for several autumns on the line where the trains skip-stops to try and keep some semblance of the timetable. This then results in severe overcrowding. DfT is requiring a better autumn contingency from WM in the future, although making all trains 6-cars using the ex Northern 323s would help a lot.

More hard news that at least one bidder is proposing a new fleet of trains for CrossCity comes from today's RAIL that reports Alstom having offered its Coradia EMU to one of the bidders for the West Midlands (564 seats plus 70 standees per coach) but this was rejected; presumably in favour of an EMU from another manufacturer.
 
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Doctor Fegg

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I'm surprised no-one has yet suggested 707s, which are surely the new unloved 442s.
 

the sniper

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I'm surprised no-one has yet suggested 707s, which are surely the new unloved 442s.

6 x 23m carriages is the optimum solution for Cross City. Anything else and you're wasting platform length or overhanging platforms. Some stations would need very costly work to be extended.
 

The Planner

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Would hardly call LMs leaf fall timetable emergency, they bid for it as a normal occurance.
 

AndrewE

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6 x 23m carriages is the optimum solution for Cross City. Anything else and you're wasting platform length or overhanging platforms. Some stations would need very costly work to be extended.

Selective door opening works very well in these circumstances - and especially on commuter flows where passengers know the routine.
 

ChrisHogan

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Selective door opening works very well in these circumstances - and especially on commuter flows where passengers know the routine.

You wouldn't get a 10 car 707 formation into several stations on CrossCity, for example the bay at Four Oaks that's integral to the service. As per the earlier post, a 6 x 23 metre new train with better performance than the 323s is what CrossCity needs.
 
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