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Journey by Journey => Cross Country services => Topic started by: readytostart on November 26, 2021, 03:36:41 pm



Title: XC short notice alterations due to driver unavailability.
Post by: readytostart on November 26, 2021, 03:36:41 pm
XC are starting to mothball the HST fleet, split some double unit allocations and cancel other services entirely, due to driver unavailability. This is due to the expiration of drivers test day working agreements with ASLEF. major overcrowding is expected side to cancellations and short formations of services sold as double units or HSTs.

 https://www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/disruption (https://www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/disruption)



Monday 29th November to Friday 3rd December Impact (Note: may be subject to minor amendment)

The following services are cancelled and will not run:
• 0714 Reading to Manchester
• 0812 Bristol to Paignton
• 1712 Bristol to Paignton
• 1014 Paignton to Bristol
• 2020 Paignton to Bristol
• 0658 Cardiff to Bristol
• 0515 Cambridge to Birmingham
• 2022 Birmingham to Cambridge
• 1427 Stansted Airport to Birmingham
• 1527 Stansted Airport to Birmingham
• 0922 Birmingham to Stansted
• 1022 Birmingham to Stansted
• 0652 Birmingham to Leicester
• 0752 Birmingham to Leicester
• 1752 Birmingham to Leicester
• 0818 Leicester to Birmingham
• 0915 Leicester to Birmingham
• 1918 Leicester to Birmingham
• 0907 Nottingham to Cardiff
• 1107 Nottingham to Cardiff
• 1245 Cardiff to Nottingham
• 1445 Cardiff to Nottingham
• 1950 Cardiff to Nottingham
• 0719 Birmingham to Nottingham
• 0912 Birmingham to Nottingham
• 1819 Birmingham to Nottingham
• 0737 Nottingham to Birmingham
• 1641 Nottingham to Birmingham
• 1845 Nottingham to Birmingham
 
 The following services are subject to alterations
• 1427 Manchester to Bournemouth terminates Southampton
• 1945 Bournemouth to Manchester starts Reading
• 1927 Manchester to Southampton starts Birmingham
• 1845 Bournemouth to Manchester terminates Birmingham
• 1327 Stansted Airport to Birmingham start at Cambridge
• 1411 Birmingham to Stansted terminates at Cambridge
• 1730 Nottingham to Cardiff terminate at Birmingham

HST utilisation will result in the services below running as a 4 car voyager
• 1V44 0611 Leeds to Plymouth
• 1S51 1227 Plymouth to Edinburgh
• 1V50 0606 Edinburgh to Plymouth
• 1E63 1527 Plymouth to Leeds
• 1V54 0808 Edinburgh to Bristol Temple Meads
• 1S53 1535 Bristol Temple Meads to Edinburgh

As a result the following services will be running as single Voyager sets
• 1S29 05.43 Leeds to Edinburgh 5 car voyager
• 1V52 07.01 Edinburgh to Plymouth 4 car voyager
• 1E67 16.27 Plymouth to Leeds 4 car voyager
• 1S35 06.34 Bristol Temple Meads to Edinburgh 4 car voyager
• 1O26 16:27 Manchester to Birmingham
• 1O30 18:27 Manchester to Birmingham
• 1O04 05:11 Manchester to Bournemouth
• 1O14 10:27 Manchester to Reading
• 1M46 11:45 Bournemouth to Manchester
• 1M50 14:15 Reading to Manchester
• 1M78 19:45 Bournemouth to Birmingham
• 1V60 08:20 Aberdeen to Bristol

Saturday December 4th Impact (Note: may be subject to minor amendment)
The following services are cancelled and will not run:
• 1V41 0810 Bristol to Paignton
• 1M41 1010 Paignton to Bristol
• 1V13 1607 Nottingham to Cardiff
• 1M85 2000 Cardiff to Nottingham
• 1N40 0515 Cambridge to Birmingham
• 1L30 0722 Birmingham to Stansted
• 2K58 2027 Stansted to Cambridge
• 2K98 2327 Stansted to Cambridge
• 1B61 2135 Aberdeen to Edinburgh
• 1C80 1900 Glasgow to Edinburgh
• 2A01 0642 Dundee to Aberdeen
• 1H09 0557 Birmingham to Manchester
• 1O02 0604 Birmingham to Reading
• 1M26 0815 Reading to Manchester
• 1O18 1227 Manchester to Reading
• 1M58 1615 Reading to Manchester
• 1G81 2027 Manchester to Birmingham
• 1E38 0630 Birmingham to Newcastle
• 1V87 1035 Newcastle to Birmingham
• 1E44 1428 Birmingham to Newcastle
• 1M72 1835 Newcastle to Birmingham
• 1S43 1035 Bristol Temple Meads to Glasgow
• 1M00 1808 Edinburgh to Birmingham
• 1P30 2018 Leicester to Birmingham
• 1D74 1812 Birmingham to Nottingham
• 1K25 1752 Birmingham to Leicester
• 1P28 1918 Leicester to Birmingham
• 1L44 1422 Birmingham to Stansted
• 1N67 1827 Stansted to Birmingham
• 1L40 1222 Birmingham to Stansted
• 1N63 1627 Stansted to Birmingham
• 1K09 0952 Birmingham to Leicester
• 1P12 1118 Leicester to Birmingham
• 1K29 1952 Birmingham to Leicester
• 1P32 2118 Leicester to Birmingham
• 1L28 0622 Birmingham to Stansted
• 1M99 1245 Cardiff to Nottingham

Part cancellation:
• 1D65 1412 Birmingham to Nottingham terminates Derby
• 1L00 0705 Gloucester to Stansted terminates Cambridge
• 1N53 1127 Stansted to Birmingham starts Cambridge
• 1L48 1622 Birmingham to Stansted terminates Cambridge
• 1L54 1922 Birmingham to Stansted terminates Cambridge
• 1N69 1927 Stansted to Birmingham starts Cambridge
• 1L46 1522 Birmingham to Stansted terminates Cambridge
• 1L50 1722 Birmingham to Stansted terminates Cambridge
• 1O06 0642 Nottingham to Reading terminates Birmingham
• 1O08 0727 Manchester to Bournemouth starts Birmingham
• 1S45 0927 Plymouth to Aberdeen terminates Edinburgh
• 1V60 Aberdeen to Penzance starts Edinburgh
• 1M80 1709 Edinburgh to Birmingham starts Newcastle
• 1S53 15.35 Bristol to Edinburgh terminates Newcastle
• 1V06 0907 Nottingham to Cardiff terminates Birmingham
• 1V46 0611 York to Plymouth starts Derby
• 1S55 1427 Plymouth to Edinburgh terminates Newcastle
• 1N51 1027 Stansted to Birmingham starts Leicester
• 1N53 1127 Stansted to Birmingham starts Cambridge

HST utilisation will result in the services below running as a 4 car voyager
• 1S33 0703 Birmingham to Newcastle
• 1V50 0606 Edinburgh to Plymouth
• 1V52 0701 Edinburgh to Plymouth
• 1E67 1627 Plymouth to Leeds
• 1S29 0738 Newcastle to Edinburgh 4 car voyager


Title: Re: XC short notice alterations due to driver unavailability.
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 26, 2021, 03:49:43 pm
Worrying to hear.  Especially given that XC have only been running half the normal timetable on many routes (albeit mostly with double sets), and with Christmas coming up.


Title: Re: XC short notice alterations due to driver unavailability.
Post by: grahame on November 26, 2021, 03:50:47 pm
XC are starting to mothball the HST fleet, split some double unit allocations and cancel other services entirely, due to driver unavailability. This is due to the expiration of drivers test day working agreements with ASLEF. major overcrowding is expected side to cancellations and short formations of services sold as double units or HSTs.

Whatever happened to having a reliable product and customer service?


Title: Re: XC short notice alterations due to driver unavailability.
Post by: readytostart on November 26, 2021, 03:58:35 pm
major overcrowding is expected side to cancellations and short formations of services sold as double units or HSTs.

Whatever happened to having a reliable product and customer service?

Don’t shoot the messenger!


Title: Re: XC short notice alterations due to driver unavailability.
Post by: grahame on November 26, 2021, 05:17:17 pm
major overcrowding is expected side to cancellations and short formations of services sold as double units or HSTs.

Whatever happened to having a reliable product and customer service?

Don’t shoot the messenger!

Wasn't my intent ... sorry if it came across as than - indeed, thank you, messenger for bringing this to our attention.


Title: Re: XC short notice alterations due to driver unavailability.
Post by: rogerw on November 26, 2021, 05:28:37 pm
Cross country seem to have given up on running a train service. They are running about half of the pre-covid services so why is there a driver shortage. They should not have been heavily relying on rest day working unless their drivers have been poached by other operators. A;lso I fail to see why the lack of drivers should result in short formations, A train. however long, only requires a single driver.


Title: Re: XC short notice alterations due to driver unavailability.
Post by: readytostart on November 26, 2021, 05:45:27 pm
The problem I believe is heightened by a lack of HST trained drivers, as many new starts have been taken on over the last couple of years but Covid has meant there have been limits to training opportunities. This lack of HST trained drivers had been mitigated by RDW of those with the skills but with that coming to and end a decision was made to mothball the fleet. This means that services which currently run doubled are being short formed to compensate.


Title: Re: XC short notice alterations due to driver unavailability.
Post by: broadgage on November 26, 2021, 06:36:23 pm
The problem I believe is heightened by a lack of HST trained drivers, as many new starts have been taken on over the last couple of years but Covid has meant there have been limits to training opportunities. This lack of HST trained drivers had been mitigated by RDW of those with the skills but with that coming to and end a decision was made to mothball the fleet. This means that services which currently run doubled are being short formed to compensate.

No doubt, but to the average passenger or news reporter this looks like ANOTHER case of storing (and then presumably scrapping) serviceable older trains whilst passengers have to stand on the new shorter trains.

Whilst the railway industry no doubt regards shorter trains flexible train length as an improvement, those who used to get a seat on a full length HST but now have to stand on a newer shorter train may not agree.

Likewise, withdrawing older trains and being totally reliant on new shorter units no doubt reduces training requirements, but is hardly an improvement for passengers.

I, and many others, were very critical of the new Voyagers as being too short. Advocates of the new shorter trains pointed out that;
1) They would be more frequent.
2) That selected services would be "double length" (i.e. a pair of 4 car units with nearly as many seats as ALL the old trains had)
3) That some HSTs would be retained to provide extra capacity.

And look at what has been achieved, reduced services, single units replacing doubled up ones, HSTs "mothballed" which is probably code for "about to be withdrawn"

It was such a success that a another load of new shorter trains were ordered for GWR, with similar promises made about running them in pairs, and retaining some HSTs for longer distance services.


Title: Re: XC short notice alterations due to driver unavailability.
Post by: Timmer on November 26, 2021, 09:33:19 pm
Cross Country was always known as the Cinderella of the Intercity network. You couldn’t even call it that now.

What a pathetic service this has become. The rot set in as Broadgage points out when short rolling stock in the form of Voyagers replaced full length HSTs and the loco hauled sets.


Title: Re: XC short notice alterations due to driver unavailability.
Post by: eightonedee on November 27, 2021, 04:36:30 pm
Quote
The rot set in as Broadgage points out when short rolling stock in the form of Voyagers replaced full length HSTs and the loco hauled sets.

As the forum's spokesman for its minority "we quite like Voyagers" group, could I point out that when they were introduced they were a huge improvement over the tired old mark 2 sets we used to have (I remember the "how many toilets are out of action on today's train" gamble you would take towards the end of their use), avoided the need to run a locomotive around the set at Reading, and in the year after Virgin introduced them it was reported that the "Reading to Birmingham corridor" experienced the largest growth in passenger traffic in the country.

OK, it's a shame they didn't respond by lengthening all sets to 5 car sets in response to the demand, but the switch from locomotive hauled to multiple unit working was not a step back - it was a big one forward, just like the introduction of HSTs 25 years before.

I agree though that XC is a Cinderella service, and really hope that here on the south-eastern leg we'll be back to the pre-covid hourly direct services to Manchester, Southampton and Newcastle and thereby the twice an hour service to Birmingham. 


Title: Re: XC short notice alterations due to driver unavailability.
Post by: didcotdean on November 27, 2021, 04:44:27 pm
The rot really set in for me with DfT no growth assumption contracts which froze out stock increases. Although the half length but double frequency service struck problems from the start around peak local times and that in some areas such as Leamington to Birmingham NS via Coventry the frequency could not be doubled (the alternate services going via Solihull).


Title: Re: XC short notice alterations due to driver unavailability.
Post by: 1st fan on November 28, 2021, 01:46:45 am
Quote
The rot set in as Broadgage points out when short rolling stock in the form of Voyagers replaced full length HSTs and the loco hauled sets.

As the forum's spokesman for its minority "we quite like Voyagers" group, could I point out that when they were introduced they were a huge improvement over the tired old mark 2 sets we used to have (I remember the "how many toilets are out of action on today's train" gamble you would take towards the end of their use), avoided the need to run a locomotive around the set at Reading, and in the year after Virgin introduced them it was reported that the "Reading to Birmingham corridor" experienced the largest growth in passenger traffic in the country.

OK, it's a shame they didn't respond by lengthening all sets to 5 car sets in response to the demand, but the switch from locomotive hauled to multiple unit working was not a step back - it was a big one forward, just like the introduction of HSTs 25 years before.

I agree though that XC is a Cinderella service, and really hope that here on the south-eastern leg we'll be back to the pre-covid hourly direct services to Manchester, Southampton and Newcastle and thereby the twice an hour service to Birmingham. 

My Dad who was keen on the Voyagers told me how  frequency doubling was the answer to the shorter trains. So then he actually used one during a peak hour and it was packed to the rafters like a tube carriage. He revised his opinion after that. I seem to remember the Voyagers having toilets that needed to be reset or rebooted. If somebody went in there locked the door and didn't use the toilet, (just washed their hands for example) unlocked and left the toilet then the thing locked up. It displayed "out of order" and needed to be reset or rebooted by the train manager.  Also the smell from the toilets was horrendous I think these may be fixed now.


Title: Re: XC short notice alterations due to driver unavailability.
Post by: Mark A on December 02, 2021, 12:41:57 pm
Is it still the case that use of Crosscountry is tilted heavily towards shorter journeys, with long distance travel in the minority?

With their network now massively capacity constrained, advance purchase fares will no longer be a thing for the time being.

Also, anecdote: from Bristol/Bath, for long distance journeys especially north of Birmingham, people tend to be pulled to travel via London for reasons of space/train smell/cost/. Bristol to Manchester was good, but it's gone.


Title: Re: XC short notice alterations due to driver unavailability.
Post by: Henry on December 03, 2021, 03:06:49 pm
https://www.rmt.org.uk/news/members-updates/senior-conductorstrain-managers-duties--cross-country171121/

 I believe, not confirmed, that the above industrial action is also a contributing factor.


Title: Re: XC short notice alterations due to driver unavailability.
Post by: eightonedee on December 03, 2021, 06:41:37 pm
Quote
Is it still the case that use of Crosscountry is tilted heavily towards shorter journeys, with long distance travel in the minority?

And that is no bad thing! It is good for those of us around here to have non-stop Reading to Basingstoke trains, and extra Reading-Oxford through trains, trains to Banbury that do not stop at Heyford, King's Sutton and Banbury, and so on. Anyone elsewhere on the XC network will be able to substitute similar additional useful services they provide. I think it is a win-win situation when there is a service that provides a service to places throughout the country that save changing trains or going through London, and provides additional (and in some cases better) services between the places they stop at on the way. What is not to like?


Title: Re: XC short notice alterations due to driver unavailability.
Post by: Oxonhutch on December 03, 2021, 08:57:19 pm
Just done a return trip Manchester - Cholsey on a very reasonable (by comparison  :o) first class open return on a Senior Railcard. No host or or snacks in the rear half (unreserved) but this isn't my first rodeo. Survived quite comfortably with the help of Mr Tesco (proof of age required) before I hit Piccadilly.


Title: Re: XC short notice alterations due to driver unavailability.
Post by: trainbuff on December 03, 2021, 09:17:30 pm
https://www.rmt.org.uk/news/members-updates/senior-conductorstrain-managers-duties--cross-country171121/

 I believe, not confirmed, that the above industrial action is also a contributing factor.

There is no RMT action at the moment. But there is a ballot ongoing. Also plans to use some HST's on Sundays


Title: Re: XC short notice alterations due to driver unavailability.
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 15, 2022, 02:12:31 pm
HSTs "mothballed" which is probably code for "about to be withdrawn"

XC have started to use their HST fleet again.  Specifically for this week there's at least two diagrams helping to provide additional capacity for Cheltenham Festival racegoers.



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