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Yet Another Snub For Wakefield Residents - This Time Grand Central

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yorksrob

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Whilst doing my recent investigations for tickets from London to Yorkshire, I couldn't help but notice that Grand Central's last trains of the evening no longer seem to call at Wakefield.

Having recently discovered that the final train of the night from Kings Cross to Leeds had been permanently diverted away from Wakefield a few years ago for the convenience of Network Rail, is this just another example of the low esteem in which residents of this part of the county are held by the railway industry ?
 
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Eagle

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What about the low esteem that is held for the residents in another part of the county, Huddersfield? The latest train to London leaves some time in the 1980s!

Get a grip, it's not like it's inconvenient for you to change somewhere. Last service from Wakefield to London is 21.34, change at Doncaster. There are many places much closer to London that don't have such a late option.
 

calc7

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In terms of InterCity services, with all XC and all but one EC per week calling at Westgate I wouldn't call that low esteem. (I frequently travel to Huddersfield, often changing at WKF).
 

Eagle

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In terms of InterCity services, with all XC and all but one EC per week calling at Westgate I wouldn't call that low esteem. (I frequently travel to Huddersfield, often changing at WKF).

Exactly. Two 9-car trains an hour to London is very generous for a town of its size and distance north. Liverpool further south can only dream of that.

Or, to put it another way, be thankful that the GNR built their Leeds route via Wakefield, rather than via Micklefield, otherwise it could have been another Huddersfield.
 

yorksrob

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I'm sorry, but it just annoys me that the Wakefield stop always seems to be expunged at the drop of a hat.

Needless to say, those of us who don't qualify for any sort of discount whatsoever will not now be able to take advantage of these advanced fares that GC have been trumpeting, unless we travel in the middle of the day.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Exactly. Two 9-car trains an hour to London is very generous for a town of its size and distance north. Liverpool further south can only dream of that.

Or, to put it another way, be thankful that the GNR built their Leeds route via Wakefield, rather than via Micklefield, otherwise it could have been another Huddersfield.

Actually, I live in a town that has an even worse service than Mirfield. I rely on Wakefield as the nearest inter-city railhead, so any chipping away at the service to Wakie has an even worse effect as long taxi journeys become necessary.
 
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Eagle

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I'm sorry, but it just annoys me that the Wakefield stop always seems to be expunged at the drop of a hat.

I'm sure that if it weren't a franchise requirement Wakefield would have gone to 1tph long ago. It doesn't need two, it's just that everything seems to have to stop there (like Stockport).

In fact sticking a curve where the Leeds–Hull line crosses the ECML proper and routing Leeds services that way was a serious proposal by GNER, and it would speed up Leeds services quite a bit.
 

yorksrob

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Actually, Huddersfield has better evening connections from London than Wakefield on account of it's night time services via Leeds.

Services to the Wakefield area of an evening aren't very good from anywhere.
 

Eagle

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Actually, I live in a town that has an even worse service than Mirfield. I rely on Wakefield as the nearest inter-city railhead, so any chipping away at the service to Wakie has an even worse effect as long taxi journeys become necessary.

Well, I live in a town that's at least £15 by taxi from the nearest station. And I come from a village where the nearest stations are 20 miles away and the last bus is at 5pm (so it's get a lift off a friend or bust, basically).

You really don't have it at all bad.
 

Max

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I don't think all the comments in this thread are entirely fair. I think the issue is that those travelling from Wakefield on Grand Central tickets are now much more restricted on when they can travel northbound. It's also especially daft as the train still passes Kirkgate but without stopping! I remember reading somewhere that it was due to platforming difficulties? Still seems a bit odd though.
 

455driver

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It passes Kirkgate at 2201, there is a Westgate to Knottingley service due off P3 (the normal platform for GC) at 2200, the GC service uses the non platform line so is (I think) the only timetabled passenger service to use this line.
There is plenty of padding between Kirkgate and Mirfield (it normally arrives 3 or 4 minutes early at Mirfield) so it could possibly stop at Kirkgate with a bit of creative planning, but of course planners have to stick to the normal running times.
Alternatively it sits at Doncaster for 11 minutes, to allow a stopper to get out the way, so it could leave there 3 minutes earlier (any earlier and it would catch the stopper up before Hare Park jn) to allow the Kirkgate stop to be made before the Knottingley train arrives, but again its not really practical as it does not give the GC time to clear the line before the Knottngley train arrives from Westgate).

Both options would be VERY tight on conflicting moves though so what we have at the moment is the best possible within the current framework (Delay Attribution is king) and the probable costs of getting in the way of another train (especially 2 trains trying to use P3 at Kirkgate within a few minutes of each other) outways the passenger benefits.

Of course GC passengers for Wakefield could get off at Doncaster (arr2122) onto the EC service which leaves Doncaster at 2143 and arrive at Wakefield Westgate at 2206 for the princely sum of £8.20, not exactly a deal breaker and not the major problem this thread would make it out to be.
 

Welshman

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AFAICR this problem has only arisen since the December 2011 timetable change, so what happened prior to this, and could we not revert to it?

Failing that, couldn't the padding 455driver mentions be moved from the Wakefield-Mirfield section to the Hare Park Junction-Wakefield Kirkgate section? The GC train would then be clear of the main line through to Westgate, and where's the harm in it even sitting outside Kirkgate station for 4 or 5 minutes for the Knottingley to clear the platform, if it's absolutely essential the Knottingley goes just then?

All perfectly simple to me, sitting in my armchair 100 miles away, with no knowledge of any other movements in the Kirkgate area at that time!
 
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TinyTim89

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Being very knowledgable on the subject, the problem has only occured from the Dec 11 timetable change, the padding cannot be moved to before wakefield kirkgate as the timings through south kirkby junction are extremely tight between 21:37 and 21:50 four services pass south kirkby towards leeds, the GC being at 21:47

also prior to the Dec 11 change the GC used to be sat at kirkgate from 22:08 - 22:20 as the 22:07 northern to sheffield was given priority and there is also an unused freight path (freightliner i believe) going through at 22:13 and then conflicts occured at Heaton Lodge (TPE), Bradley Wood (Northern) and Dryclough (Northern) junctions if it left any earlier than 22:20, by missing out Wakefield Kirkgate and going around the avoiding line at kirkgate all these conflicts are avoided and providing a 20 min reduction in total journey time. if wakefield was re-instated with the current situations it would lose the time saved by going mainline doncaster-hare park junction and it'd be back to square one and extended journey times.....

they are hoping to put wakefield back into the late service but at the minute it just cannot fit, and the savings in time to brighouse, halifax and bradford are deemed more benficial than a wakefield stop and extending the journey by 20 mins

hope this shed some light on the situation
 

Eagle

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I think the issue is that those travelling from Wakefield on Grand Central tickets are now much more restricted on when they can travel northbound.

True that; but remember GC services are a privilege, not a right... Arriva could suddenly decide to shut up shop at any time in the West Riding (and they do have prior experience of doing so :lol:).
 

yorksrob

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Wow - thanks for the very detailed and interesting explanations.

I'm aware that Wakefield does have a pretty good service throughout the day - it's just that last year, GC was a handy option (which I used on some occasions) and now it isn't.

Incidentally, since they spend a fair amount of time meandering around Pontefract anyway, is there any reason why they couldn't reverse via Castleford than resume through platform 2 at Wakefield, avoiding the Pontefract stopper ?
 

Crossover

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It was the conflicting movements I'd heard as to why the GC misses out WKK on the last train of the day. I think this one also misses Ponte as well so I think it takes an alternative route.

As for reversal at Castleford, driver signing and platform lengths would probably be an issue, and that's before any potential pathing issues too.

For GC it could also mean having a set in reverse formation possibly
 

tbtc

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since they spend a fair amount of time meandering around Pontefract anyway, is there any reason why they couldn't reverse via Castleford than resume through platform 2 at Wakefield, avoiding the Pontefract stopper ?

From TinyTim89's post, it sounds like Wakefield passenger numbers (on that service) aren't great enough to justify disrupting things for Brighouse/ Halifax/ Bradford passengers (?)
 

GNERman

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Whilst doing my recent investigations for tickets from London to Yorkshire, I couldn't help but notice that Grand Central's last trains of the evening no longer seem to call at Wakefield.

Having recently discovered that the final train of the night from Kings Cross to Leeds had been permanently diverted away from Wakefield a few years ago for the convenience of Network Rail, is this just another example of the low esteem in which residents of this part of the county are held by the railway industry ?

Excuse the rant.

Wakefield is in a better state than most places. Two railway stations. On average 2tph to London. 5tph to LDS (from WKF) and 2tph (fast) from WKK to LDS. WKK also has services to London. 3tph to SHF.

GC's 1D95 (1948 from KGX) hasn't stopped since December, but now stops at Mirfield. It now also does KGX - BDI in exactly 3 hours, a very repectable time. This omission of WKK isn't by choice, as I believe the post above explains. It has to run "round the back" due to the collision with 2F89 WKF - KNO. Due to missing out PFM and stopping at Mirfield, this is the only path available, at the moment.

If this is a problem, then why not get 1D31 from DON, or KGX if you fancy, to reach WKF.

Surely if there was "low esteem in which residents of this part of the county are held by the railway industry" then why would GC serve WKK? Why would XC want to divert their Newcastle - Reading services via Leeds and stop at WKF? Why would Northern have introduced another fast Sheffield service? I am of the opinion that the people of Wakefield should be grateful of the services they have. Not many places have two operators serving London, giving better value for money with there being more tickets available. I'm sure that GC will be working with NR to try and stop at WKK once again, as i'm sure they're working with NR on the development of the station.

Rant over.
 

Requeststop

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is this just another example of the low esteem in which residents of this part of the county are held by the railway industry ?

We wus so 'ard dun by wen I wus a kid we 'ad to sleep in't middle of road with 40 tun juggernauts passin us by wif just 'alf inch of ur 'eads. And do peeple belive us when we tell'em?

Some don't realise how lucky they are!:rolleyes:
 
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yorksrob

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Excuse the rant.

Wakefield is in a better state than most places. Two railway stations. On average 2tph to London. 5tph to LDS (from WKF) and 2tph (fast) from WKK to LDS. WKK also has services to London. 3tph to SHF.

GC's 1D95 (1948 from KGX) hasn't stopped since December, but now stops at Mirfield. It now also does KGX - BDI in exactly 3 hours, a very repectable time. This omission of WKK isn't by choice, as I believe the post above explains. It has to run "round the back" due to the collision with 2F89 WKF - KNO. Due to missing out PFM and stopping at Mirfield, this is the only path available, at the moment.

If this is a problem, then why not get 1D31 from DON, or KGX if you fancy, to reach WKF.

Surely if there was "low esteem in which residents of this part of the county are held by the railway industry" then why would GC serve WKK? Why would XC want to divert their Newcastle - Reading services via Leeds and stop at WKF? Why would Northern have introduced another fast Sheffield service? I am of the opinion that the people of Wakefield should be grateful of the services they have. Not many places have two operators serving London, giving better value for money with there being more tickets available. I'm sure that GC will be working with NR to try and stop at WKK once again, as i'm sure they're working with NR on the development of the station.

Rant over.

Well, now you mention:

Rant resumes

It's a culmination of annoyances of which the GC not stopping was the tip of the iceberg (more because I'd been lulled into a false sense of security since it arrived, only to find it gone).

Frankly, if the evening train from London isn't going to stop at Wakefield, there's little point of serving it at all - (although having read this thread, I accept that it may now come back)

It also rankles (as I mentioned in the first post) that the last train from London, whilst taking in such metropolitan hubs as Grantham and Newark still misses out Wakefield - which, lets not forget, serves as a railhead for a well populated hinterland of West Yorkshire as well as the town itself. You can have as many trains through the day as you like, but its the last train of the night that is the limit if you're going anywhere for a purpose.

And it's not just inter-city. Leeds is the cultural capital of West Yorkshire, yet if I want to go to a gig or a play, the last train to Wakefield is ten past eleven which is (sometimes) just about doable (albeit with a taxi as the last train to my local stop is 10:37), but on Saturday it's twenty to eleven so fat chance of catching it, making Wakefield easily one of the worse served areas out of Leeds locally.

Rant over.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Of course GC passengers for Wakefield could get off at Doncaster (arr2122) onto the EC service which leaves Doncaster at 2143 and arrive at Wakefield Westgate at 2206 for the princely sum of £8.20, not exactly a deal breaker and not the major problem this thread would make it out to be.

I would be easily placated if this were included in the overall ticket price. It might not seem like much but once you include the outward journey and travel the other side of London, it all adds up.
 
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GNERman

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I don't deny that it is a shame that 1D36 doesn't stop, in fact its a shame that EC doesn't lay on a bus to transfer pax to Wakefield.

In fact, it's also a shame there's no 2230 from KGX to LDS, it's either 1D33 2135 or 1D36 2330 to LDS. It might be worth contacting EC and telling them about your Wakefield problem...
 

yorksrob

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I don't deny that it is a shame that 1D36 doesn't stop, in fact its a shame that EC doesn't lay on a bus to transfer pax to Wakefield.

In fact, it's also a shame there's no 2230 from KGX to LDS, it's either 1D33 2135 or 1D36 2330 to LDS. It might be worth contacting EC and telling them about your Wakefield problem...

As it happens, I have done (it was they (or it may have been National Express - I can't remember now) who told me that NR had requested the omission of the stop). I did contact NR to suggest they reinstated it but didn't hear anything back.
 

Eagle

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As it happens, I have done (it was they (or it may have been National Express - I can't remember now) who told me that NR had requested the omission of the stop). I did contact NR to suggest they reinstated it but didn't hear anything back.

Well you don't know why they decided to divert 1D36 via Pontefract. Could be route knowledge, conflict with overnight freight, could be to enable a longer period for overnight engineering...
 

yorksrob

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Well you don't know why they decided to divert 1D36 via Pontefract. Could be route knowledge, conflict with overnight freight, could be to enable a longer period for overnight engineering...

Still not good for the residents of wakefield though. If it's route knowledge, it'd be better to divert something in the middle of the day. Conflict with overnight freight - divert it or make it wait.

Longer period for overnight engineering ? Well maybe, but does it need to be all year round ? can't they just use a replacement bus for the times when they need a long posession.
 

tbtc

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Still not good for the residents of wakefield though. If it's route knowledge, it'd be better to divert something in the middle of the day. Conflict with overnight freight - divert it or make it wait.

Longer period for overnight engineering ? Well maybe, but does it need to be all year round ? can't they just use a replacement bus for the times when they need a long posession.

Is it not a bit like the late night/ overnight TPE services through Leeds (which don't stop at Stalybridge/ Huddersfield/ Dewsbury/ Garforth, for those occasions when engineering etc means that they had to divert a different route)? Same goes for the late/overnight TPE service from Sheffield to Manchester which doesn't stop at Stockport IIRC(?)

Not a Wakefield conspiracy, just standard practice on late services
 

Eagle

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One of the late Virgins doesn't stop at Stockport either; this is so it can be diverted via Heald Green as necessary. Also the first XC out of Manchester doesn't call either; this time the list of routes it can be diverted over includes via Earlestown and Crewe!

I'd imagine 1D36 is the same (it's booked via Pontefract, but I'd guess it can be routed elsewhere).
 

yorksrob

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Is it not a bit like the late night/ overnight TPE services through Leeds (which don't stop at Stalybridge/ Huddersfield/ Dewsbury/ Garforth, for those occasions when engineering etc means that they had to divert a different route)? Same goes for the late/overnight TPE service from Sheffield to Manchester which doesn't stop at Stockport IIRC(?)

Not a Wakefield conspiracy, just standard practice on late services

Not really. I don't have a problem with occasional diversions - it's just that this ones been diverted since (around) 2005. And I'm not arguing for trains throughout the night like on TPE.
 

Eagle

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Not really. I don't have a problem with occasional diversions - it's just that this ones been diverted since (around) 2005. And I'm not arguing for trains throughout the night like on TPE.

These diversions aren't occasional, they're common, depending on where exactly needs overnight engineering work. The timetables are designed so you can send the train any of a number of ways without affecting the calling pattern and timings.

The ultimate in this is the Night Riviera, which simply has three and a half hours to get from Reading to Exeter by any route; the route it takes changes between one of about eight or nine permutations seemingly at random. (The Caley sleepers are slightly more limited due to the use of electric traction.)
 

yorksrob

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These diversions aren't occasional, they're common, depending on where exactly needs overnight engineering work. The timetables are designed so you can send the train any of a number of ways without affecting the calling pattern and timings.

Yeah, but not permanent is the point I'm making.
 

yorksrob

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I'm sure that never used to be the case !

As I said before, I'm not arguing for an all night service to Wakefield. I'm not even against running a train at some other time over another route for route knowledge (there are 2 an hour afterall) just not the last one of the night, as this is the one that stops people going to gigs etc.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
And another thing:

Considering how many problems they have on the mainline, wouldn't they be better off sending one via Cambridge for route learning ? They could even market it as the student special :D
 
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