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XC HSTs (My Idea For How Could They Be Used Better?)

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tbtc

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Rather than de-rail the thread about the new XC franchise with hypotheticals, I thought I'd start a new thread.

One of the biggest complaints from enthusiasts about XC is the poor use of the HSTs and the general "crowding" of many other services through Birmingham (a word I have to be careful to use in these Corbynesque times).

For those unaware, XC currently have five HSTs.

Two of them are in service on Tuesday/ Wednesday/ Thursday:
  • Leeds – Plymouth – Glasgow
  • Edinburgh – Plymouth – Leeds

Mondays and Fridays see three of the five in use:

  • Leeds – Plymouth – Glasgow
  • Edinburgh – Plymouth – Leeds (continues back to Edinburgh on Monday nights)
  • York – Plymouth – Leeds

Weekends see four out of five in operation, with services extending to tourist destinations like Dundee and Newquay.

I think that four out of five seems to be the maximum you’d want to have in service on any particular day (given maintenance etc). But XC are using their longest trains at the extremes of their network, rather than passing through New Street more.

So, I’d suggest keeping them all at Neville Hill/ Bristol and running them on the York – Bristol “core”.

York: 06:45 & 07:45
Bristol: 10:45 & 11:45

Bristol: 11:30 & 12:30
York: 15:30 & 16:30

York: 15:45 & 16:45
Bristol: 19:45 & 20:45


&

Bristol: 06:30 & 07:30
York: 10:30 & 11:30

York: 10:45 & 11:45
Bristol: 14:45 & 15:45

Bristol: 15:30 & 16:30
York: 19:30 & 20:30


i.e. four services every nine hours on the York – Bristol axis – so almost every other service.

York:….....06:45…..07:45....10:45.........11:45…..15:45.........16:45
Bristol:.....10:45...11:45.....14:45.........15:45.....19:45..........20:45

Bristol:..06:30..........07:30.....11:30..........12:30.....15:30........16:30
York:.....10:30..........11:30.....15:30..........16:30.....19:30........20:30

Keep the Voyagers on other diagrams, some of which would end up not going beyond Bristol – e.g.

Plymouth: 09:25
Bristol: 11:23

Bristol: 11:44
Plymouth 13:38

Plymouth: 14:25
Bristol: 16:30

Bristol: 16:46
Penzance: 20:54

Given the frequency and capacity on the ECML north of York (inc TPE going up to a half hourly Leeds – Newcastle service, some of which will extend to Edinburgh), I don’t think XC need to fill all of the other paths “lost” here. Newcastle would still get 3tp2h to Birmingham (most of which go the faster route via Doncaster).

So, you’ve got “four ninths” of services between York and Bristol formed of proper long trains.

You’ve got "five ninths” of services between York and Bristol running beyond, maintaining the direct links like Durham to Plymouth or Dundee to Exeter (to strike a balance between the everyday and the “nice to have” and avoid getting in to an argument about removal of all long distance services).

You’ve freed up more Voyagers from the “core” which would allow more doubling up on other diagrams.

What do you reckon? Any better uses for five HSTs (without getting too many crayons out)?

Current HST diagrams are here if anyone wants to use them as a template:
http://www.railforums.co.uk/showpost.php?p=1478549&postcount=5
 
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Doctor Fegg

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Smart thinking.

Of course, you could then argue that it would be sensible to subcontract the rump Penzance-Bristol diagrams to GWR (with shortened HSTs?), freeing up further Voyagers for the core.
 

PHILIPE

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Rather than de-rail the thread about the new XC franchise with hypotheticals, I thought I'd start a new thread.



Current HST diagrams are here if anyone wants to use them as a template:
http://www.railforums.co.uk/showpost.php?p=1478549&postcount=5

No. Out of date. Here:-

www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=89697&page=25

Their Depot is Craigentinny and where would they stick them at Bristol. Hardly enough room at Barton Hill considering their length. Splitting services to the West of England at Bristol TM would not be very practicable from a capacity point of view, nor would it be very convenient expecting passengers from the north to change there.
 

Class 170101

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I would stick them on the standard four diagrams as a quick win Monday to Friday.

That would release Voyagers to increase capacity on a couple of trains.

In the Medium term those HSTs not destined for Scotrail would be used between Plymouth and Edinburgh releasing Voyagers to strengthen other services on the XC route.
 

Rich McLean

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Personally I would keep it simple and have the following

Monday to Friday
1V44 Leeds - Plymouth
1S51 Plymouth Glasgow Central

1V46 York - Plymouth
1S53 Plymouth - Edinburgh

1V50 Edinburgh - Plymouth
1E63 Plymouth - Leeds

1V54 Dundee - Plymouth
1E73 Plymouth - Leeds

Saturdays
1V44 Leeds - Plymouth
1S51 Plymouth - Glasgow Central

1V54 Dundee - Plymouth
1E73 Plymouth - Leeds

1D00 Edinburgh - Glasgow
1V58 Glasgow - Penzance
2C80 Penzance - Plymouth

Sunday
1S53 Plymouth - Edinburgh

1V48 Leeds - Plymouth
1S55 Plymouth - Edinburgh

1V50 Leeds - Plymouth
1E63 Plymouth - York

1V56 Edinburgh - Plymouth
1E75 Plymouth - Leeds

All above paths are timed for HST
 

tbtc

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Smart thinking.

Of course, you could then argue that it would be sensible to subcontract the rump Penzance-Bristol diagrams to GWR (with shortened HSTs?), freeing up further Voyagers for the core.

I'd be fine with FGW running the rump stuff south/west of Bristol - whether with shortened HSTs or four coach 158s (which would have equivalent seats to a five coach Voyager, if not more).

We will have some 90mph/ 100mph DMUs coming on the market in the next few years, so if that would free up Voyagers to allow XC to provide more seats on their "core" (whilst retaining some through services) then that's a sacrifice I'd be okay with.

Would a 90mph 158 lose any/much time from Penzance to Bristol compared to current XC diagrams?

Splitting services to the West of England at Bristol TM would not be very practicable from a capacity point of view, nor would it be very convenient expecting passengers from the north to change there.

There would still be lots of through services from Devon/ Somerset to Tyneside/ Edinburgh - five out of every nine services would run the full length - but four out of every nine services would run just Bristol to York, to keep the longest trains focussed on the busiest bit of the route that XC are responsible for. Mopping up passengers for FGW isn't their responsibility though.

How many passengers per day are going from north of York to south of Bristol though?

I would stick them on the standard four diagrams as a quick win Monday to Friday.

That would release Voyagers to increase capacity on a couple of trains

It would mean more seats during the week, but it means spreading the HSTs thinly all the way from Plymouth to Glasgow (rather than changing *some* diagrams to keep the long HSTs dedicated to the busiest section from Bristol to York).

I'm just trying to strike a balance between providing more seats through Birmingham whilst also retaining some through service from one extreme to the other because it'd be politically difficult to remove a service from one end of the UK to the other.
 

Shaw S Hunter

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I sympathise with the basic idea but are the timings for all the suggested trains suitable for HST operation? Standard Voyager timings are quicker than for HSTs so that might make the plan unworkable. There's no escaping the fact that XC is as awkward to get right as ICXC was in BR days.
 

Bantamzen

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Anything that would improve capacity through the XC core at the peaks would be welcome, bearing in mind that even the HSTs can get full to rammed in sections such as 1S51 out of Birmingham towards Glasgow. Its a route I dread when meetings in Sheffield or Birmingham loom large.
 
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DarloRich

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I would like to see them used more as the space on Voyagers can be very limited at times. I know i am, according to the denizens of this board, the only person using XC for long distance travel but it can be a chore at times. If i had a choice i would prefer the HST on the longer runs (Scotland/NE - SW) allowing double ups on the shorter distance services.

I guess the limiting factors are:

  • Performance/dwell times
  • Keeping to timetables
  • access charges
 

Tetchytyke

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What's the sudden obsession with capping all XC trains at York?

The 0606 Edinburgh-Plymouth is a HST for the reason that it is one of the busiest trains into Leeds of the whole day. It is packed even from Newcastle. I've had the misfortune of catching it when a 221 has subbed, and that left people behind at Darlington. The 1125 Plymouth-Dundee is a double Voyager between Bristol and Newcastle for exactly the same reason, with similar consequences at Leeds when it runs as a single Voyager due to problems.

The XC route north of York to Scotland is very busy, VTEC don't have the capacity to take up the slack, chucking everyone out at York simply will not work.
 
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DarloRich

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What's the sudden obsession with capping all XC trains at York?

The 0606 Edinburgh-Plymouth is a HST for the reason that it is one of the busiest trains into Leeds of the whole day. It is packed even from Newcastle. I've had the misfortune of catching it when a 221 has subbed, and that left people behind at Darlington. The 1125 Plymouth-Dundee is a double Voyager between Bristol and Newcastle for exactly the same reason, with similar consequences at Leeds when it runs as a single Voyager due to problems.

The XC route north of York to Scotland is very busy, VTEC don't have the capacity to take up the slack, chucking everyone out at York simply will not work.

i agree - the HST need to be on the longer runs where their performance limitations aren't that damaging and they can shift the most people.
 

tbtc

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I sympathise with the basic idea but are the timings for all the suggested trains suitable for HST operation? Standard Voyager timings are quicker than for HSTs so that might make the plan unworkable. There's no escaping the fact that XC is as awkward to get right as ICXC was in BR days.

There's no getting away from the fact that some journeys are timed for Voyagers, which HSTs would struggle to keep up with - unless you take so many coaches out of an HST (to boost power/weight ratio) that you end up with a train that has no more coaches than a Voyager does in the first place (!) - I accept.

I just don't know what the alternative is (and running the HSTs through to Glasgow/ Plymouth means spreading XC's resources thinly at the extremes, rather than concentrating them on New Street).

What's the sudden obsession with capping all XC trains at York?

The 0606 Edinburgh-Plymouth is a HST for the reason that it is one of the busiest trains into Leeds of the whole day. It is packed even from Newcastle. I've had the misfortune of catching it when a 221 has subbed, and that left people behind at Darlington. The 1125 Plymouth-Dundee is a double Voyager between Bristol and Newcastle for exactly the same reason, with similar consequences at Leeds when it runs as a single Voyager due to problems.

The XC route north of York to Scotland is very busy, VTEC don't have the capacity to take up the slack, chucking everyone out at York simply will not work.

I appreciate that you are based in the NE, but we are entering a world where TPE will be running half hourly Leeds - Newcastle services (hourly Leeds - Edinburgh) with longer trains - a world where VTEC will be running 9x26m long Azumas.

I'm just trying to find a way to run more HSTs through Leeds each day (and provide more Voyagers through the core) at a time when other TOCs will be adding more seats between Edinburgh/ Newcastle/ York.

i agree - the HST need to be on the longer runs where their performance limitations aren't that damaging and they can shift the most people.

But that means them running to Glasgow and Plymouth rather than focussing them on the busiest bit of the XC network.
 
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DarloRich

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But that means them running to Glasgow and Plymouth rather than focussing them on the busiest bit of the XC network.

but they already run through the busiest section of the XC network. I would stick double up voyagers on those services where they can use their agility and acceleration to maximum effect.

Plus I don't get those services..............
 

Clip

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Im going to be a bit brutal here but why not just absorb most of the main routes of XC into other TOCs and bin the whole idea of it. Lets face it there isnt a thread goes by without people moaning abotu the rolling stock and them being constantly rammed.

Make people change trains at key points and then invest in longer stock for certain TOCs that will absorb their routes so at least people get a chance of a seat and those who use them to commute can also get on.

You want to go from the south East to anywhere North of London and you are gonna have to change and or use the tube to cross London so why not people from other areas of the country do the same. Its obvious that XC just isnt working and is far too expensive for most.
 

duffield

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You want to go from the south East to anywhere North of London and you are gonna have to change and or use the tube to cross London...

Does Thameslink not count for some reason?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Lets face it there isnt a thread goes by without people moaning abotu the rolling stock and them being constantly rammed.

The services are too popular so we should get rid of them?
 

Clip

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Does Thameslink not count for some reason?

Does Thameslink serve the whole of the south east with its services? If not then your point is moot and its even more moot when you consider that even if you did use Thameslink youre not going to get much further than Bedford so still its going to require a change isnt it?

The services are too popular so we should get rid of them?

Theyre popular at certain points and not much for the full throughout journey which was the whole reason of my post to absorb the pinch points into other TOCs and force long distance passengers to change - especially in the direction they are going.
 

badger1badger

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After winnng a cross country country competition for 4 first class tickets - what in people's opinion would be the best route via HST on the route - we Live in Leeds

Cheers

Paul
 

Clansman

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Their use by commuters could do with being got rid of in some way - but if they are full (and evidence is that they are) with long-distance passengers it would seem to me to make sense to resource them properly.

There is a pretty even divide in both commuter and long distance passengers on XC services. I was on the 06:32 from Dundee in August. From Dundee the train was dead, by the time we reached Cupar it was just about full, and standing by the time we reached Kirkcaldy. Most of the passengers alighted at Haymarket and Edinburgh, and a sizeable sum (including myself) stayed on to the Midlands. If you had an express train missing out commuter stops then you'd be as well run a 4 car Voyager on it, as the majority of passengers, particularly on XC, are commuters. What I'm saying is why should we cut stations to prevent commuter use? Should VTEC cut Peterborough stops out on Edinburgh (and north) services? Should VTWC cut out the Trent Valley on Glasgow services? Why cut a service which is a) heavily used in general, b) still provides a well used link to the rest of the country. The only way to cut commuter usage other wise is to increase prices for shorter distance journeys over that of the main TOC (for example XC using Edinburgh to Aberdeen as opposed to Scotrail), or to simply manage the situation and for DfT to get the finger out and invest. The commuter problem isn't as bad on VTEC because the trains are long enough to accommodate it.

After winnng a cross country country competition for 4 first class tickets - what in people's opinion would be the best route via HST on the route - we Live in Leeds

Why not go both directions. Since you live in Leeds, you are pretty centralised in terms of where XC operate. I'd recommend getting the HST to Dundee one of the days they operate (you'll find the diagrams on the previous page). That way you'll get to take in everything from the Tay and Forth Bridge's to the Riviera. If you'd rather stick going from Leeds I'd also recommend that Dundee to Plymouth HST. It will also get into Leeds at a decent time should everything run well.

Enjoy :)
 
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1D53

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Personally I would keep it simple and have the following

Monday to Friday
1V44 Leeds - Plymouth
1S51 Plymouth Glasgow Central

1V46 York - Plymouth
1S53 Plymouth - Edinburgh

1V50 Edinburgh - Plymouth
1E63 Plymouth - Leeds

1V54 Dundee - Plymouth
1E73 Plymouth - Leeds

Saturdays
1V44 Leeds - Plymouth
1S51 Plymouth - Glasgow Central

1V54 Dundee - Plymouth
1E73 Plymouth - Leeds

1D00 Edinburgh - Glasgow
1V58 Glasgow - Penzance
2C80 Penzance - Plymouth

Sunday
1S53 Plymouth - Edinburgh

1V48 Leeds - Plymouth
1S55 Plymouth - Edinburgh

1V50 Leeds - Plymouth
1E63 Plymouth - York

1V56 Edinburgh - Plymouth
1E75 Plymouth - Leeds

All above paths are timed for HST

The most sensible solution proposed by far.
 

duffield

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Does Thameslink serve the whole of the south east with its services? If not then your point is moot and its even more moot when you consider that even if you did use Thameslink youre not going to get much further than Bedford so still its going to require a change isnt it?

You originally said:
You want to go from the south East to anywhere North of London and you are gonna have to change and or use the tube to cross London

I simply pointed out that this statement isn't actually true since you can travel (e.g.) from Brighton (in the south East) to Bedford (somewhere north of London) on Thameslink without changing.

I also disagree that this is a moot point in relation to XC.

I would say there is a reasonable comparison between someone travelling from (say) Derby to Exeter having to change or not change at Birmingham, and someone travelling from Bedford to Brighton and having to change or not change in London. Even if you need changes to other services at each end, one of the main advantages of both services is avoiding having to change at Birmingham or London respectively, both of which can be a bit of a nightmare, particularly with heavy luggage.
 

Clansman

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When was the last time a XC HST went to Aberdeen?

A couple of months ago when one was loaned out to VTEC. I've no idea about XC operated ones. Only instance you'll see a XC HST up that way would be if a stand in was needed. But XC are reluctant to do so, especially diversion routes as well, so they are more inclined to cancel the service at lets say Edinburgh, than let a HST go up to Aberdeen.
 
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Clip

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You originally said:


I simply pointed out that this statement isn't actually true since you can travel (e.g.) from Brighton (in the south East) to Bedford (somewhere north of London) on Thameslink without changing.

I also disagree that this is a moot point in relation to XC.

I would say there is a reasonable comparison between someone travelling from (say) Derby to Exeter having to change or not change at Birmingham, and someone travelling from Bedford to Brighton and having to change or not change in London. Even if you need changes to other services at each end, one of the main advantages of both services is avoiding having to change at Birmingham or London respectively, both of which can be a bit of a nightmare, particularly with heavy luggage.


Thats being incredibly pedantic though dont you think?

Ok then what about someone who wants to travel from Canterbury to Macclesfield? See, they need to change and with luggage too and even if they did go to Vic and get the tube its still not different from making people change at birmingham is it? hence my original post
 
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