What parliamentary trains have a future?

Zooty

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Based on the Wiki list above, here are my opinions.


Bare Lane - Hest Bank: Scrap it. The curve is basically useless now. I believe it has no future potential and provides no benefit operationally.
Apart from:
* The weekly nuclear waste train which will be running for some years yet
* The triangle is frequently used to turn on-track plant and units with a defective cab/coupler
* It is used in some timetable periods to accommodate Leeds-Morecambe services that can't be pathed via Lancaster in both directions
 
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Eloise

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Based on the Wiki list above, here are my opinions.



Bristol East Curve: Bit useless. Just as easy to change at Temple Meads. I think skipping Temple Meads will drop the passenger numbers considerably.
Surprisingly busy, appears to be a train timed for kicking out time at the offices near Bristol Parkway. Almost full and standing when I caught one.
 

Eloise

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The marginal cost of running some of these is minimal. Battersea Park for East London services serves an already open station and the service is there primarily to retain driver route knowledge. Why not open doors if the crew is there and the station open.

I often think of Dronfield, had a poor service until ten years ago, now hourly, can't see that being taken away in a hurry.

Wedgewood and Barlaston must be on borrowed time I'd have thought. Eturia... suspect there was a a business case to close that and straighten the tracks and increase line speed. Minute off journey times = £££

Polesworth, one train per day in one direction. Not sure whether the timetable is built to serve that each hour in theory in both directions.

Sometimes just easier to serve the station. Stop, open doors, close doors, go. Saves the closure process, I've read some of them and some... i don't know the words... frustrating objections... from people who live 300 miles away from a station serving nothing. Each has to be looked into and replied. Cheaper to stop, open doors, close doors, go.
 
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I13

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Surprisingly busy, appears to be a train timed for kicking out time at the offices near Bristol Parkway. Almost full and standing when I caught one.
I believe it's to serve MoD staff from Abbey Wood, some of whom relocated from Bath but still live there.
 

SargeNpton

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" Polesworth, one train per day in one direction. Not sure whether the timetable is built to serve that each hour in theory in both directions. "

The lack of a footbridge to the Up platform doesn't help.
 

Eloise

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I know it's missing a bridge, I'd say in the grand scheme of things that's a relative minor obstacle. If you can't find the paths to call, or they simply don't exist, bridge won't go back in.

And yes, I get it will be an astronomical bridge spanning four tracks, the wires, ramps / lifts etc so not trivial either.
 

markymark2000

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Do people proposing that the current parliamentary service into Battersea Park extends to Victoria realise there’s no track connection anymore?

P1 has no track, and the P2 track terminates at a set of buffers behind the 10 car extension of P3, which resulted in the complete removal of the junction.
I didn't explain it well but I would replace the Battersea Park service with additional stops on the SouthEastern services (Wandsworth Road and Clapham High Street). Southeastern have already got one or two services which do this so my proposal is basically to expand this service offering.
 

SargeNpton

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I know it's missing a bridge, I'd say in the grand scheme of things that's a relative minor obstacle. If you can't find the paths to call, or they simply don't exist, bridge won't go back in.

And yes, I get it will be an astronomical bridge spanning four tracks, the wires, ramps / lifts etc so not trivial either.
The questions you need to know the answers to are "why was the previous bridge demolished in 2005?" and "why has it not been replaced in the intervening 15 years?".
 

Class 170101

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I know it's missing a bridge, I'd say in the grand scheme of things that's a relative minor obstacle. If you can't find the paths to call, or they simply don't exist, bridge won't go back in.

And yes, I get it will be an astronomical bridge spanning four tracks, the wires, ramps / lifts etc so not trivial either.
Should just use the existing road bridge rather than expensive DDA compliant Bridge.
 

markymark2000

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Apart from:
* The weekly nuclear waste train which will be running for some years yet
* The triangle is frequently used to turn on-track plant and units with a defective cab/coupler
* It is used in some timetable periods to accommodate Leeds-Morecambe services that can't be pathed via Lancaster in both directions
Weekly neculear train I didn't know about.
For turning trains around, does it really happen that often.
Leeds-Morecambe the vast majority of services are pathed via Lancaster. I'm sure that work could be undertaken to in the relevant timetable periods to get all trains via Lancaster

I suppose the question I ask is, if the line didn't have the curve towards Carnforth, would it be put forward to be built? I say no since the use is so limited. trains can go via Lancaster.
Anyway, if the track stays, so beit but there doesn't need to be a parly train in the TSR over it.

Surprisingly busy, appears to be a train timed for kicking out time at the offices near Bristol Parkway. Almost full and standing when I caught one.
I believe it's to serve MoD staff from Abbey Wood, some of whom relocated from Bath but still live there.
Interesting. Would I be right in thinking there isn't a morning equivalent though? From what I can see, morning trains go via Temple Meads in which case, surely this is suitable in the afternoon as well.

The marginal cost of running some of these is minimal. Battersea Park for East London services serves an already open station and the service is there primarily to retain driver route knowledge. Why not open doors if the crew is there and the station open.

I often think of Dronfield, had a poor service until ten years ago, now hourly, can't see that being taken away in a hurry.

Wedgewood and Barlaston must be on borrowed time I'd have thought. Eturia... suspect there was a a business case to close that and straighten the tracks and increase line speed. Minute off journey times = £££

Polesworth, one train per day in one direction. Not sure whether the timetable is built to serve that each hour in theory in both directions.

Sometimes just easier to serve the station. Stop, open doors, close doors, go. Saves the closure process, I've read some of them and some... i don't know the words... frustrating objections... from people who live 300 miles away from a station serving nothing. Each has to be looked into and replied. Cheaper to stop, open doors, close doors, go.
Wedgewood and Barlaston have proposals to reopen i think with WMT.

Polesworth I can see it having some potential if introduced. I do wonder why a subway can't be built here rather than going for a costly bridge with lifts. Subways can then just have ramps since they don't go as low down as a bridge goes high (if that makes sense).

Some things which are cheaper short term cost more longer term as the tracks need maintaining (if it's line not used much), there is the cost of 1 less path perhaps or just the cost of people not wanting to use the stations due to the journey time increase. As you've said above, reduced journey time means more money.
 

Class 170101

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Ruislip-West Ealing: May continue purely because of the benefits it brings to driver knowledge.
Bristol East Curve: Bit useless. Just as easy to change at Temple Meads. I think skipping Temple Meads will drop the passenger numbers considerably.
Ely Queen Adelaide Loop: Freight uses the line regularly so the parly train isn't needed.
LO Lea Valley service via South Tottenham: Scrap it. The service generally doesn't run this way anyway. The south Tottenham to Seven Sisters curve could be shut but it probably provides a decent emergency diversion.
Brigg line: Unless there is significant through demand, just sack off passenger services. Freight uses the line so it's still needed.
Alrewas line: Potential for regular services but they need to stop. I think if it was going to happen, it would have to be Derby to Birmingham via this line. XC or EMT operated.
Ruislip to West Ealing also has Greenford Triangle useful for turning trains the wrong way round if thats important
Bristol East curve useful for diversions when Swindon to Bristol Parkway is blocked
Ely West curve - Freight doesn't mean the Parly train isn't needed also useful of Ely Station north southwards is blocked.
South Tottenham disagree actually surprised that LO don't run a Stratford to Enfield Town service
Brigg - how much freight now? Coal is no longer King should extend Gainsborough Central services via this route.
Alrewas, would actually extend WMT either to Burton or Derby. Too slow for XC / EMR due to being part of Birmingham suburban south of Lichfield Trent Valley.
 

I13

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Interesting. Would I be right in thinking there isn't a morning equivalent though? From what I can see, morning trains go via Temple Meads in which case, surely this is suitable in the afternoon as well.
No morning equivalent, no, couldn't tell you why. Perhaps someone else might be able to comment.

On that curve, though, I've seen it used for London - South Wales trains on diversion and I've certainly seen freight on it too.
 

Bletchleyite

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I know it's missing a bridge, I'd say in the grand scheme of things that's a relative minor obstacle. If you can't find the paths to call, or they simply don't exist, bridge won't go back in.

And yes, I get it will be an astronomical bridge spanning four tracks, the wires, ramps / lifts etc so not trivial either.
It would be trivial to put a ramp up to the road and tweak the layout slightly to provide a safe pavement wide enough for a wheelchair over the bridge.

The problem with Polesworth, though, is that its inhabitants mostly want to go to Birmingham, which the layout of the lines don't provide for.
 

Eloise

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Polesworth I can see it having some potential if introduced. I do wonder why a subway can't be built here rather than going for a costly bridge with lifts. Subways can then just have ramps since they don't go as low down as a bridge goes high (if that makes sense).

Some things which are cheaper short term cost more longer term as the tracks need maintaining (if it's line not used much), there is the cost of 1 less path perhaps or just the cost of people not wanting to use the stations due to the journey time increase. As you've said above, reduced journey time means more money.
I'm no civil engineer but Polesworth is on the flat as it were, I imagine a bridge is much much easier and cheaper than a subway here. Given footfall I imagine ramps would be used.

Atherstone benefits from a subway, well I thought it was the one time I got off, really low bridge, I'm only little but even I could touch the top. Then I had a car bearing down on me as I sauntered down the middle of what turned out to be a road.
 

Eloise

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It would be trivial to put a ramp up to the road and tweak the layout slightly to provide a safe pavement wide enough for a wheelchair over the bridge.

The problem with Polesworth, though, is that its inhabitants mostly want to go to Birmingham, which the layout of the lines don't provide for.
Quick change at Tammy, not direct, no, but seen much worse.
 

Killingworth

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I often think of Dronfield, had a poor service until ten years ago, now hourly, can't see that being taken away in a hurry.
For the better part of 3 months Northern's Nottingham - Leeds service has been suspended and Dronfield has had bus substitution. Few have used it. From this Monday the Nottingham - Sheffield section is back, but the Leeds - Sheffield section is mostly missing. It remains to be seen how ridership will recover. There had been many cancellations before COVID so users had been abandoning trains even before March.
 
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markymark2000

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Ruislip to West Ealing also has Greenford Triangle useful for turning trains the wrong way round if thats important
Bristol East curve useful for diversions when Swindon to Bristol Parkway is blocked
Ely West curve - Freight doesn't mean the Parly train isn't needed also useful of Ely Station north southwards is blocked.
South Tottenham disagree actually surprised that LO don't run a Stratford to Enfield Town service
Brigg - how much freight now? Coal is no longer King should extend Gainsborough Central services via this route.
Alrewas, would actually extend WMT either to Burton or Derby. Too slow for XC / EMR due to being part of Birmingham suburban south of Lichfield Trent Valley.
Ruislip-West Ealing, the Greenford Triangle clearly provides operational convenience as i've heard of trains turning around there quite a few times. The line should remain intact for the operational benefits. If Chilterns plan is still to divert into Paddington should something happen at Marylebone, it does help route knowledge as well.

Bristol East Curve, ir provides operational benefit, I agree.

Ely West - I would argue that if freight uses the line so frequently, a parly train to 'keep the line open' is just silly. If the parly train wasn't there, the line would remain open for the freight. If the train has to go a certain way due to paths, ok but it shouldn't be contracted in.

South Tottenham, I think LO service from Stratford to Enfield would be useful but could complicate the network a little bit. With the curve only being single tracked and the fact you can't stop at South Tottenham due to the point locations, I think it might be flogging a dead horse.
Brigg - How much potential is there for passenger use. We already have routes which rely heavily on subsidy, adding more lines which needs subsidy means funds are effectively diverted away from areas which need the money more. I'm sorry, capacity upgrades can't happen because 100 people per week want to travel between Gainsborough and Brigg. We all want everywhere to be connected by the railway but we need to be realistic and any line needs to at least be used by a decent amount of people.
Alrewas, I would agree with extending WMT but there is no OHLE so you are either downgrading a Cross City service to diesel or you are to the cost of making the line available for regular use.
 

Zooty

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Weekly neculear train I didn't know about.
For turning trains around, does it really happen that often.
Only a couple of times a year for units, sometimes in service, sometimes ECS. It's the only triangle between Farington and Carlisle (and Shipley to the east), so not having it would result in some Barrow or Leeds services being cancelled or short-formed if a unit can't be turned. OTP is turned more frequently.

Leeds-Morecambe the vast majority of services are pathed via Lancaster. I'm sure that work could be undertaken to in the relevant timetable periods to get all trains via Lancaster
The May 2019-onwards timetable does indeed have them all pathed via Lancaster but that is the first one for many years. Northern get the dregs of the paths after Avanti/TPE/freight and then prioritise their Cumbria-Airport services so it's not always possible to make everything fit.

I suppose the question I ask is, if the line didn't have the curve towards Carnforth, would it be put forward to be built? I say no since the use is so limited. trains can go via Lancaster.
Possibly when they built the power stations. But not for soley passenger use. That doesn't mean they should get rid of an asset that gives flexibility, especially if there is a high cost in closure.

Anyway, if the track stays, so beit but there doesn't need to be a parly train in the TSR over it.
There does if you want to maintain passenger use of the line. I have no idea of the financials involved in closing a line so don't know what the difference would be between going freight only and closing completely.
 
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cactustwirly

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Ruislip-West Ealing, the Greenford Triangle clearly provides operational convenience as i've heard of trains turning around there quite a few times. The line should remain intact for the operational benefits. If Chilterns plan is still to divert into Paddington should something happen at Marylebone, it does help route knowledge as well.
Chiltern can't divert into Paddington anymore, unless it's a planned move and GWR/TfL Rail services are cut to provide capacity for it.
The West Ealing move doesn't provide route knowledge into Paddington anyway
 

Trainfan2019

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I can't help but like the fact that there are these odd parliamentary ghost trains and stations around. Mainly remnants of long gone former regular services but still hanging on there just.
 

pdeaves

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There does if you want to maintain passenger use of the line. I have no idea of the financials involved in closing a line so don't know what the difference would be between going freight only and closing completely.
In some cases the cost is not so much the cost to remove but the cost to reactivate after a period of non-use. Engineering works? Can't divert to such-and-such route any more as the drivers don't sign it. Many (not all) of the 'odd moves' are to maintain crew route knowledge.
 

markymark2000

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Only a couple of times a year for units, sometimes in service, sometimes ECS. It's the only triangle between Farington and Carlisle (and Shipley to the east), so not having it would result in some Barrow or Leeds services being cancelled or short-formed if a unit can't be turned. OTP is turned more frequently.
OTP?

The May 2019-onwards timetable does indeed have them all pathed via Lancaster but that is the first one for many years. Northern get the dregs of the paths after Avanti/TPE/freight and then prioritise their Cumbria-Airport services so it's not always possible to make everything fit.
I know it can happen where not all are pathed via Lancaster but it can be done even if it is difficult to do. You can't just keep a line open just in case. Upgrade the WCML where possible to accommodate these trains since any upgrade there will be used a hell of a lot more than this curve.
The railways expenditure is huge and that is not helped by having some silly lines with very little benefit.

Possibly when they built the power stations. But not for soley passenger use. That doesn't mean they should get rid of an asset that gives flexibility, especially if there is a high cost in closure.
I can see the appeal then but now it's not needed as much. It's worth noting that no station closures would be needed and only 1 freight train per week and sometimes a northern service use is part of the curve. I can't see there being much costs to closure on the basis of it not being of much use. Newhaven Marine has recently gone through the official closure process and that doesn't seem to have caused that much upset so I can't see this generally disused line being much cost or cause upset.

There does if you want to maintain passenger use of the line. I have no idea of the financials involved in closing a line so don't know what the difference would be between going freight only and closing completely.
For the Ely West loop, it provides zero use for passenger services with the exception of this 1 parly train and if it really has no use into Ely, just make use of the BiDi capabilities of the line and make the driver switch ends (or even better, run the train to Ely to keep things consistent) Just relegate it to freight only use.
For Hest Bank, there are so few trains which use the line, make it freight only for a few years then sack if off if the Nuclear train ever stops.

Chiltern can't divert into Paddington anymore, unless it's a planned move and GWR/TfL Rail services are cut to provide capacity for it.
The West Ealing move doesn't provide route knowledge into Paddington anyway
That is/was the reason for the parly train, for Chiltern drivers to keep their route knowledge over the line incase their services have to divert. IF that can't be achieved at all, the parly train is then useless. As i've said though, the loop is useful for turning trains around if it's needed.
 

pdeaves

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On track plant ('yellow machines')

Newhaven Marine has recently gone through the official closure process and that doesn't seem to have caused that much upset so I can't see this generally disused line being much cost or cause upset
Newhaven Marine is closed for passengers. It remains as a freight line.
 

markymark2000

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On track plant ('yellow machines')


Newhaven Marine is closed for passengers. It remains as a freight line.
Thanks

Newhaven is downgraded then which could be done for now on the Hest Bank to Bare Lane curve while the nuclear train is on. If/when that finishes, look at it's future potential. Can ECS use freight lines?
 

Zooty

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On-track plant

I know it can happen where not all are pathed via Lancaster but it can be done even if it is difficult to do. You can't just keep a line open just in case. Upgrade the WCML where possible to accommodate these trains since any upgrade there will be used a hell of a lot more than this curve.
The railways expenditure is huge and that is not helped by having some silly lines with very little benefit.
It will be done when it's possible. It can't be done when it's impossible. The problem with trains from the north reversing at Lancaster is they have to cross the main lines and run wrong direction for a a bit either on the way in (platforms 1/2/3) or the way out (platforms 4/5). There are occasions where it's just not possible to fit a train in. Alleviating that issue would be rather expensive given the whole formation has to come down to two lines in short order to cross the river. Far cheaper to just make use of an existing facility as and when needed especially as it gives other benefits too. Are you seriously suggesting the railway should invest a huge amount on a "solution" that gives fewer benefits than the status quo? I know railway expenditure is crazy, but...
 

markymark2000

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It will be done when it's possible. It can't be done when it's impossible. The problem with trains from the north reversing at Lancaster is they have to cross the main lines and run wrong direction for a a bit either on the way in (platforms 1/2/3) or the way out (platforms 4/5). There are occasions where it's just not possible to fit a train in. Alleviating that issue would be rather expensive given the whole formation has to come down to two lines in short order to cross the river. Far cheaper to just make use of an existing facility as and when needed especially as it gives other benefits too. Are you seriously suggesting the railway should invest a huge amount on a "solution" that gives fewer benefits than the status quo? I know railway expenditure is crazy, but...
Any track changes at Lancaster will benefit all services through the station rather than a one or two services. Yes there's some, very slight benefit but not much in the grand scheme of things. Who would you rather benefit from improvements, 2 trains per week with few people onboard or in the region of 100+ trains per day each way with thousands of passengers.
 

Zooty

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Any track changes at Lancaster will benefit all services through the station rather than a one or two services. Yes there's some, very slight benefit but not much in the grand scheme of things. Who would you rather benefit from improvements, 2 trains per week with few people onboard or in the region of 100+ trains per day each way with thousands of passengers.
The changes at Lancaster to accommodate more reversals wouldn't really help with the main WCML traffic. That is limited by the freight paths every hour and a whole lot more infrastructure changes would be needed to sort that. Have you given any thought to how ludicrously expensive it would be to change the formation north of Lancaster? New bridge across the river? Compulsory purchase of a housing development that isn't even finished yet? Not going to happen. Far cheaper to make use of what's there already.

The line's main use is the freight and it will remain in place while that is still necessary and/or desirable - which could be well beyond the end of this century if Heysham 3 gets built. While the track is there, may as well keep it in scope for passenger use. And when the track isn't there, they'll just cancel the services that don't fit the available paths.
 
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