What parliamentary trains have a future?

markymark2000

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11 May 2015
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789
Location
Cheshire
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.
I stand by my view that it's cheaper in the long run and any hurdles could be overcome as has happened in the May2019 timetable.

Perhaps you have a sense of loyalty to the line or are 1 of the very few who use the passenger service.
 
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Zooty

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27 Aug 2009
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53
I stand by my view that it's cheaper in the long run and any hurdles could be overcome as has happened in the May2019 timetable.
Until you produce the fully costed business case, we'll never know.

Perhaps you have a sense of loyalty to the line or are 1 of the very few who use the passenger service.
I'd rather not see services cut or useful infrastructure removed without a valid reason.
 

tbtc

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16 Dec 2008
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15,999
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Yorkshire, Yorkshire, Yorkshire
The problem with talk of "parliamentary" services is that nobody seems to know where to draw the line (no pun intended) of what is/isn't "parliamentary".

A lot of the time it gets muddied with "the minimum required in the franchise" then e heck mom a lot of services are like that - probably most of the services on the ScotRail/ Northern/ Merseyrail/ Wales & Borders franchises (given how loss making they are), probably chuck in all of the Sprinter operated bits of EMR/GWR - I doubt many of those services are profitable enough to be more than the base minimum agreed to in the franchise terms.

Sometimes you see a service diverted an unusual route to maintain route knowledge described as "parliamentary" when it's more about the need to keep up the route knowledge of staff (even if that's inconveniencing the passengers).

So any quirky service that doesn't fit nearly into the hourly service pattern gets called "parliamentary" by at least some enthusiasts - e.g. the York - Pontefract - Sheffield service or the Grimsby - Brigg - Sheffield service - both of which have operated several times a week rather than the "once a week" minimum that seems to be the minimum required to tick a parliamentary box.

There's also the question of how much of a line is the minimum distance to require some "parliamentary" service to keep it open ( e.g. we don't have to run trains into ever single siding on a weekly basis to keep them open, or every loop). There must be some chords on the network that don't see regular action - there are surely loads of bits of "freight" lines that can go over a week without seeing a train running over them, without fear of closure.

As for Lancaster - Morecambe - I don't know why this wasn't replaced by a separate shuttle many years ago - other than some nostalgia for Victorians having a tradition of West Yorkshire workers going on holiday at Morecambe. Chop it at Morecambe, run a much more frequent shuttle service to Morecambe, rather than having the branch on the west coast determined by how many paths down the Aire Valley into Leeds you can find for a Sprinter. Stagecoach run a pretty frequent bus service from Lancaster to Morecambe, the road has always been busy when I've visited, there'd surely be demand for a better shuttle service (even with a fairly basic DMU - doesn't need to be anything more complicated than a 230!).
 

Zooty

Member
Joined
27 Aug 2009
Messages
53
The problem with talk of "parliamentary" services is that nobody seems to know where to draw the line (no pun intended) of what is/isn't "parliamentary".

A lot of the time it gets muddied with "the minimum required in the franchise" then e heck mom a lot of services are like that - probably most of the services on the ScotRail/ Northern/ Merseyrail/ Wales & Borders franchises (given how loss making they are), probably chuck in all of the Sprinter operated bits of EMR/GWR - I doubt many of those services are profitable enough to be more than the base minimum agreed to in the franchise terms.

Sometimes you see a service diverted an unusual route to maintain route knowledge described as "parliamentary" when it's more about the need to keep up the route knowledge of staff (even if that's inconveniencing the passengers).

So any quirky service that doesn't fit nearly into the hourly service pattern gets called "parliamentary" by at least some enthusiasts - e.g. the York - Pontefract - Sheffield service or the Grimsby - Brigg - Sheffield service - both of which have operated several times a week rather than the "once a week" minimum that seems to be the minimum required to tick a parliamentary box.
Indeed.

There's also the question of how much of a line is the minimum distance to require some "parliamentary" service to keep it open ( e.g. we don't have to run trains into ever single siding on a weekly basis to keep them open, or every loop). There must be some chords on the network that don't see regular action - there are surely loads of bits of "freight" lines that can go over a week without seeing a train running over them, without fear of closure.
Possibly. But you'd need weekly to keep up driver knowledge in a typical passenger driver link.

As for Lancaster - Morecambe - I don't know why this wasn't replaced by a separate shuttle many years ago - other than some nostalgia for Victorians having a tradition of West Yorkshire workers going on holiday at Morecambe. Chop it at Morecambe, run a much more frequent shuttle service to Morecambe, rather than having the branch on the west coast determined by how many paths down the Aire Valley into Leeds you can find for a Sprinter. Stagecoach run a pretty frequent bus service from Lancaster to Morecambe, the road has always been busy when I've visited, there'd surely be demand for a better shuttle service (even with a fairly basic DMU - doesn't need to be anything more complicated than a 230!).
At risk of heading OT, the Morecambe service IS provided by a dedicated shuttle. There are only 5 services a day (2 at the moment) that come across from the east. Up until a couple of years ago the Morecambe shuttles interworked with Cumbrian coast services but it's now a dedicated uint that stays on the branch all day. A more frequent, clock-face shuttle would be great but you've still got to find the paths on the WCML and to reverse them at Lancaster.
 

swt_passenger

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7 Apr 2010
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22,778
IIRC from a discussion a few years back, there was no evidence of a franchise requirement for Chiltern to run into Paddington at all, hence it was solely at their option for route retention.
 

Ianno87

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Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
7,789
IIRC from a discussion a few years back, there was no evidence of a franchise requirement for Chiltern to run into Paddington at all, hence it was solely at their option for route retention.
Correct. Their train service requirement simply stated the number of direct services required from each of their stations to "Marylebone or Paddington". It did not say there had to be at least one to both..
 

Eloise

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Joined
14 Jan 2020
Messages
60
Location
Midlands
In summary then:

- they may well be run for a reason, route retention being one
- cheap enough to run in most instances
- like anything on the railway some love em and want more more more and some hate them so get rid

I do agree with if you take something away you will never get it back, especially infrastructure.
 

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