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Author Topic: CrossCountry oddities  (Read 7267 times)
simonw
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« on: November 14, 2016, 07:47:54 pm »

For the past three weeks I have taken CrossCountry services from BPW» (Bristol Parkway - next trains) to Bromsgrove, changing at Cheltenham and have observed a few oddities.

Everything is ok in the morning, but in the evening there are no coffee snack services on the trains or the stations. I am not a particularly demanding person, but I am puzzled no one is able or willing to sell me coffee/tea/water in the evening. The most surprising aspect is that the Cheltenham station Pumpkin area is shut from 4pm.

Also, the Cardiff-Nottingham service appears to vary is station list with each run. Sometimes, Bromsgrove/Ashchurch/Lydney and sometimes not. Why would they vary pickup/dropoff points on standard train runs? Is this common on Intercity/CrossCountry runs? I thought such lines wanted consistency of train patterns to maximise the number of trains that run on the line.

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eightf48544
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2016, 10:31:53 am »

i wonder how much the stopping pattern depends on the locals and in particular the local MP (Member of Parliament) lobbying the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) for more trains/stops.

Th DfT doesn't like stopping trains because it costs money, so unless the locals and MP lobby hard then their station is liable to get a worse service than one up the line.
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paul7575
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2016, 12:25:26 pm »

This aspect of off pattern and odd calls is being discussed at the moment in the XC (Cross Country Trains (franchise)) December 2017 timetable consultation thread.   

In the case of Bromsgrove for example, they will stop calling there at all once the LM (London Midland - recent franchise) 3 trains per hour service starts at the end of next following electrification.

Basically extra XC calls are being provided all over the place as a sticking plaster whenever the "logical" local operator cannot provide enough capacity for the peak flows.   Bath to Bristol at stupid o'clock is a typical example of this.

Paul
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simonw
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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2016, 01:22:55 pm »

With respect to Bromsgrove, the local electrification programme will (supposedly) complete in December 2017, but within a few months of that the new Worcester Parkway station should be open, but I am not sure when CrossCountry trains will be able to stop there.

The ad-hoc stops provided by CrossCountry are very useful, but when the local franchises get extra trains and are able to run more services will this adversely effect CrossCountry timings.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2016, 02:41:38 pm »

Discussed this with XC (Cross Country Trains (franchise)) & Toby Rackliff of Transport West Midlands on Saturday....nothing in XC's TT consultation as apparently they're not expecting this station to open before that TT is live. XC still won't say thatthey're stopping there once open either, presumably because the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) haven't leaned on them yet - Toby R says logically, there's no one else that could.
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JayMac
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« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2016, 04:36:01 pm »

Yes, logically it's only XC (Cross Country Trains (franchise)) that could stop at Worcester Parkway on the Bristol - Birmingham line as they are currently the only operator who use that stretch of line. Bar the Saturday only London Midland 2300 Birmingham - Gloucester 0019.

Of course the West Midlands franchisee could return to (or be made to) serve Gloucester with a frequent daily service calling at Worcester Parkway.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2016, 04:46:10 pm »

hmmm........you read my mind, which is what I was discussing with Toby!
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phile
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2016, 06:03:25 pm »

Yes, logically it's only XC (Cross Country Trains (franchise)) that could stop at Worcester Parkway on the Bristol - Birmingham line as they are currently the only operator who use that stretch of line. Bar the Saturday only London Midland 2300 Birmingham - Gloucester 0019.

Of course the West Midlands franchisee could return to (or be made to) serve Gloucester with a frequent daily service calling at Worcester Parkway.


Please correct me if I'm wrong, but could Cotswold Line trains call there with platforms on two levels ?
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ChrisB
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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2016, 06:12:14 pm »

Only if they drop calling somewhere else. The sungle line timings are very tight. Also, they don't go to Birmingham or south to Cheltenham, but into & through Worcestercor towards London. The core travel will be north/south with some towards Oxford/London, but generally only extracted from other local stations
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grahame
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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2016, 07:47:43 pm »

Only if they drop calling somewhere else. The sungle line timings are very tight.

Once you have IEPs (Intercity Express Program / Project.) rather than HSTs (High Speed Train), with automatic rather than slam doors, won't that cut station dwell times, Chris?   And would n't that (and the timetable recast that will surely come with new trains) allow a stop?

The core travel will be north/south with some towards Oxford/London, but generally only extracted from other local stations

Strikes me that although there may be some abstraction on the Cotswold line, there may also be significant opportunity for new park and ride traffic from the area to Oxford and London.  After all, it is a Parkway.
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simonw
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2016, 08:09:34 pm »

My understanding is that Worcester Parkway will be developed in three phases

  • Add station and parking for Cotswold line
  • Add platforms for Bristol/Birmingham line and more parking
  • Add shops, bus station and have station designated as regular stop on Bristol-Birmingham line

The local area suffers from terrible traffic gridlock every day, and the local train services suffer from no significant local parking and poor services to everywhere except Birmingham. The plan is essentially to make the station easy to access by car/bus and get more people on trains in the area.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2016, 09:27:26 am »

Only if they drop calling somewhere else. The sungle line timings are very tight.

Once you have IEPs (Intercity Express Program / Project.) rather than HSTs (High Speed Train), with automatic rather than slam doors, won't that cut station dwell times, Chris?   And would n't that (and the timetable recast that will surely come with new trains) allow a stop?

GWR (Great Western Railway) are telling the CLPG» (Cotswold Line Promotion Group - about) no....that & the requirement to speed up the Cotswold Line to a 2hour Worcester-London journey.

The core travel will be north/south with some towards Oxford/London, but generally only extracted from other local stations

Strikes me that although there may be some abstraction on the Cotswold line, there may also be significant opportunity for new park and ride traffic from the area to Oxford and London.  After all, it is a Parkway.

Indeed - and there's another currently being used by Worcester pax at Warwick Parkway! End to end journeys being quicker via there & the M42. I think this new station will become a lame duck unless & until the Cotswold Line offer 2tph, one being limited stop. That's a while off yet & needs some more redoubling first.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2016, 10:40:36 am by Richard Fairhurst » Logged
simonw
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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2016, 09:45:17 am »

A more popular alternative for local Worcestershire people would be Evesham, not Warwick, with a regular service to London.

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ChrisB
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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2016, 09:55:06 am »

Then why are more going to Watrwick Parkway now than Evesham?
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