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Author Topic: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved  (Read 4903 times)
RichardB
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« Reply #60 on: May 09, 2019, 10:38:41 pm »

Yes, Umberleigh, those are the ones.  That's the future. 
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Apedlar12
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« Reply #61 on: May 09, 2019, 11:58:36 pm »


So are these the units we will be seeing on the Barney? A fellow passenger said they had been on a ‘new train’ the morning before, so maybe a unit already rostered on this line?

Yes, should be 3x 3 car 158s in the foreseeable future on the Tarka Line and yes 158957 was on that same diagram the day before, both Tuesday and Wednesday 158956/957 look to have been filling in for 2x 150/2s but was back to normal today...
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Cava
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« Reply #62 on: May 10, 2019, 02:45:32 am »

Why have Barnstaple got these trains instead of Portsmouth to Cardiff, who have now got less comfortable trains more suited to shorter distances? Shouldn't it be the other way round?
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Timmer
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« Reply #63 on: May 10, 2019, 06:07:58 am »

Why have Barnstaple got these trains instead of Portsmouth to Cardiff, who have now got less comfortable trains more suited to shorter distances? Shouldn't it be the other way round?
A very good question Cava with the answer you will get from GWR/Dft is increased capacity. I believe the original plan was to refurb the 165/166 fleet from 2+3 to 2+2 but that has been overruled by the Dft.
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Cava
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« Reply #64 on: May 10, 2019, 08:45:11 am »

Thanks Timmer, but why did Barnstaple of all places get our trains? It is only a local line after all.

I know it isn't their fault, and I would probably think it was great to get trains way above what I need, but why should we suffer as a result? It just gets to me, all this isn't it wonderful for Barnstaple while we sit cramped up in trains that are a load of rubbish!
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a-driver
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« Reply #65 on: May 10, 2019, 11:48:34 am »

Thanks Timmer, but why did Barnstaple of all places get our trains? It is only a local line after all.

I know it isn't their fault, and I would probably think it was great to get trains way above what I need, but why should we suffer as a result? It just gets to me, all this isn't it wonderful for Barnstaple while we sit cramped up in trains that are a load of rubbish!

Might have something to do with clearances, a Turbo being slightly wider than a Cl. 158. 
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phile
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« Reply #66 on: May 10, 2019, 12:20:45 pm »

Thanks Timmer, but why did Barnstaple of all places get our trains? It is only a local line after all.

I know it isn't their fault, and I would probably think it was great to get trains way above what I need, but why should we suffer as a result? It just gets to me, all this isn't it wonderful for Barnstaple while we sit cramped up in trains that are a load of rubbish!

Might have something to do with clearances, a Turbo being slightly wider than a Cl. 158. 

Just because the DFT know better than railwaymen/women.
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grahame
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« Reply #67 on: May 10, 2019, 03:24:53 pm »

Let me put a couple more points which may help address why the Tarka line trains are going to be 158s.

GWR has 43 carriages of class 158 in the franchise and the Cardiff - Portsmouth service of hourly trains has an 8 hour cycle.  At 3 cars per train, that was 24 carriages spoken for ... and two more for the Brightons and you've spoken for 30 carriages ... couple of other trains running with 158s (remember there are 13 x 3 car and 2 x 2 car) and by the time you take a couple of sets out at a time (overhaul etc)  you've used the full fleet.

Increase the 8 trains in the cycle to 5 carriages, and immediately you've used 40 out of 43.  Even if you send something else to Brighton and on rigorously remove the extra diagrams, you ain't got enough.  So how about bringing some more into the franchise?    You know how much we like the 158s - well, tough, so does everyone else and the cries of "you ain't having mine" ring out from Thurso to Norwich and Fishguard ...

What else, then?   There are 46 carriages of class 150 in the franchise - 20 x 2 car plus 2 x 3 car. I suppose all the Cardiff - Portsmouths could be 158 + 150, but the 150 units are top speed 75 mph not 90 mph, so you'll effect performance, and the 150 carriages will probably be less popular - and they're also mighty useful on stop / start lines where lots of people are getting in and out every few minutes - Devon Metro except for Barnstaple, Falmouth, St. Ives spring to mind, as well as Bristol suburbs / Bristol Metro.

You can't couple up a 2 car 165 to a 3 car 158 ... so there's another possibility gone.

Castle and Classics cannot run via Hamble, so they's out

Courgettes probably aren't cleared via Hamble either, and running new 125 mph trains on a service that's not pointing towards London would be infra dig anywhere south of the Watford Gap.

So, though there are questions on their suitability, the Cardiff to Portsmouth run's got the trains cascades from London to Reading electrification - the hand-me-downs, the rescues.  We do love our rescue dog, so perhaps we will learn to love them.   Even though better suited to shorter runs and, to be fair, lots of journeys on Cardiff - Portsmouth ARE shorter ones.  Wide mid-carriage doors help the people who pile in and out at intermediate stations  - Temple Meads, Bath Spa, Westbury, Salisbury, Southampton.

So - where do the 158s go?   They're ideal for Cardiff - Taunton - Beyond.   They're ideal for the Cornish main line, and the regional extensions of that.  They're also ideal for the Barnstaple line, as the majority of its traffic is end to end - you don't have major flows of people on and off at Morchard Road, or crowds at Copplestone so although some services stop a lot, there's no need for provision for heavy intermediate loading and unloading.

The point about gauging of the 165 / 166 has also been made ... and there is sense in keeping trains that can be coupled to each other on the same set of lines, keeping maintenance of particular types in particular depots.

I can see why there are 9 carriages of 158 (out of 43) on the Barny and, yes, I would love to see them routinely on the Weymouth run - which DOES have the metrics for which they are very suitable and 3+2 is not (long, long journeys by many people to / from Weymouth).

Long post ... some application of guesswork and logic therein, but as you shake out the figures you start to see "why". Please don't shoot the messenger - the Cardiff / Portsmouth should be running with a fleet of 12 x 4 car 172s - but that order was cancelled in favour of GWR electrification, which has brought us the turbos.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2019, 12:21:25 am by grahame » Logged

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Umberleigh
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« Reply #68 on: May 10, 2019, 08:35:36 pm »

Thank you everyone for the replies.

Somewhat ironic given the comments on here re 158s and Cardiff that the station staff and guard had to explain to passengers on nboard and on the platform that my train was NOT they late running Cardiff train...
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TonyK
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« Reply #69 on: May 14, 2019, 08:33:31 pm »

So, though there are questions on their suitability, the Cardiff to Portsmouth run's got the trains cascades from London to Reading electrification - the hand-me-downs, the rescues.  We do love our rescue dog, so perhaps we will learn to love them.   Even though better suited to shorter runs and, to be fair, lots of journeys on Cardiff - Portsmouth ARE shorter ones.  Wide mid-carriage doors help the people who pile in and out at intermediate stations  - Temple Meads, Bath Spa, Westbury, Salisbury, Southampton.

Nail hit firmly on head. A train starting at Barnstaple at peak times will largely fill en route with many more passengers getting on at intermediate stations than getting off, before emptying in Exeter. A train starting in Cardiff at peak time will lose quite a few pax at Newport, while gaining quite a few, pick up a few at Severn Tunnel Junction and Patchway, disgorge many at Filton Abbey Wood and many more at Temple Meads, before taking a whole pile of new folks to Bath. Further mixtures of old and new passengers will occur thereafter. Few will ride the train from Cardiff all the way to Portsmouth, but many will do so between Barnstaple and Exeter Central.
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Apedlar12
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« Reply #70 on: May 15, 2019, 08:43:37 am »

Seemed to notice that last night some test runs of a turbo were due to run to Barnstaple and Exmouth however this never happened... I suppose this will be re-scheduled for another time?

If this is in the wrong place then I am happy to remove it...
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Umberleigh
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« Reply #71 on: May 15, 2019, 07:46:58 pm »

Will there be an IET test run to Barnstaple? When the 125s were introduced there were at least two test runs, one of which was witnessed by school friends passing through Eggesford in - I believe -1978 (also photos out there on the internet)
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phile
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« Reply #72 on: May 15, 2019, 07:52:54 pm »

Will there be an IET test run to Barnstaple? When the 125s were introduced there were at least two test runs, one of which was witnessed by school friends passing through Eggesford in - I believe -1978 (also photos out there on the internet)

There wouldn't be any testing unless there was a definite requirement to operate along the route
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MarkHopwood
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« Reply #73 on: May 15, 2019, 10:23:24 pm »

Let me put a couple more points which may help address why the Tarka line trains are going to be 158s.

GWR has 43 carriages of class 158 in the franchise and the Cardiff - Portsmouth service of hourly trains has an 8 hour cycle.  At 3 cars per train, that was 24 carriages spoken for ... and two more for the Brightons and you've spoken for 30 carriages ... couple of other trains running with 158s (remember there are 13 x 3 car and 2 x 2 car) and by the time you take a couple of sets out at a time (overhaul etc)  you've used the full fleet.

Increase the 8 trains in the cycle to 5 carriages, and immediately you've used 40 out of 43.  Even if you send something else to Brighton and on rigorously remove the extra diagrams, you ain't got enough.  So how about bringing some more into the franchise?    You know how much we like the 158s - well, tough, so does everyone else and the cries of "you ain't having mine" ring out from Thurso to Norwich and Fishguard ...

What else, then?   There are 46 carriages of class 150 in the franchise - 20 x 2 car plus 2 x 3 car. I suppose all the Cardiff - Portsmouths could be 158 + 150, but the 150 units are top speed 75 mph not 90 mph, so you'll effect performance, and the 150 carriages will probably be less popular - and they're also mighty useful on stop / start lines where lots of people are getting in and out every few minutes - Devon Metro except for Barnstaple, Falmouth, St. Ives spring to mind, as well as Bristol suburbs / Bristol Metro.

You can't couple up a 2 car 165 to a 3 car 158 ... so there's another possibility gone.

Castle and Classics cannot run via Hamble, so they's out

Courgettes probably aren't cleared via Hamble either, and running new 125 mph trains on a service that's not pointing towards London would be infra dig anywhere south of the Watford Gap.

So, though there are questions on their suitability, the Cardiff to Portsmouth run's got the trains cascades from London to Reading electrification - the hand-me-downs, the rescues.  We do love our rescue dog, so perhaps we will learn to love them.   Even though better suited to shorter runs and, to be fair, lots of journeys on Cardiff - Portsmouth ARE shorter ones.  Wide mid-carriage doors help the people who pile in and out at intermediate stations  - Temple Meads, Bath Spa, Westbury, Salisbury, Southampton.

So - where do the 158s go?   They're ideal for Cardiff - Taunton - Beyond.   They're ideal for the Cornish main line, and the regional extensions of that.  They're also ideal for the Barnstaple line, as the majority of its traffic is end to end - you don't have major flows of people on and off at Morchard Road, or crowds at Copplestone so although some services stop a lot, there's no need for provision for heavy intermediate loading and unloading.

The point about gauging of the 165 / 166 has also been made ... and there is sense in keeping trains that can be coupled to each other on the same set of lines, keeping maintenance of particular types in particular depots.

I can see why there are 9 carriages of 158 (out of 43) on the Barny and, yes, I would love to see them routinely on the Weymouth run - which DOES have the metrics for which they are very suitable and 3+2 is not (long, long journeys by many people to / from Weymouth).

Long post ... some application of guesswork and logic therein, but as you shake out the figures you start to see "why". Please don't shoot the messenger - the Cardiff / Portsmouth should be running with a fleet of 12 x 4 car 172s - but that order was cancelled in favour of GWR electrification, which has brought us the turbos.


Grahame makes some good and fair points. Our rolling stock cascade is about trying to deliver as much improvement as we could but I recognise some people will have their issues.

Cardiff to Portsmouth is a hard route to develop a strategy for because it carries so many different passengers with different needs. I think the Class 166 is being treated slightly unfairly - until recently they were carrying passengers on journeys from Paddington to Hereford. Customers travelling long distance may choose to sit in one of the 2+2 seated areas but the benefits of a five car turbo vice a three car 158 are enormous.

In due course we may get a chance to develop the route further.
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