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Author Topic: A consolation prize - 2 tph to Gatwick  (Read 3707 times)
Transport Scholar
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« on: August 01, 2021, 11:15:32 pm »

If you look at the North Downs Line service after 13th September on RTT» (Real Time Trains - website), you'll see a load of extra services to Gatwick duplicating the ones to Redhill. At the moment they are provisional "Q" services, and there are a few duplicates to Redhill too, so it's hard to work out what will really happen.

That's because these are the subject of a new track access application to ORR» (Office of Rail and Road formerly Office of Rail Regulation - about) (on form P), asking for this:
The date of commencement of these new rights is 13th September 2021, during the currency of the Subsidiary Timetable 2021,. The rights sought are for 5 Monday to Friday return journeys between Reading and Gatwick after the Brighton mainline Evening Peak; 4 Monday to Friday return journeys between Redhill and Gatwick; and 13 round trips on Saturdays between Redhill and Gatwick. The Redhill - Gatwick rights sre for extension of existing Reading - Redhill services to Gatwick.

These services form part of a package of preview introduction of GWR's franchise requirement for a service of two trains per hour between Reading and Gatwick on Mondays to Fridays and Saturdays.

Future expansion envisaged (December 2022), but not sought here, includes the extension of these services to all hours Monday to Fridays including during the Brighton Line Peaks..

During the currency of the May 2021 Timetable, Class 769 units will be infiltrated into the service on this route (including on services timetabled both through existing rights and through rights sought here) using the contingent right to use any rolling stock in the rolling stock library cleared for the route. As of December 2020, all GWR services in this service group were timed at Class 769 diesel which is the slowest of the traction types available on a practical basis to GWR for this service group.

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, this route has seen overcrowding.

This helps fulfil a franchise requirement and has continued support of the Secretary of State.

That looks like it leaves some Redhill trains unextended, so we'll have to wait and see whether all of the "Q" paths become real. This may not be quite the 3 tph we've been promised for years, but it is part of a long-standing franchise requirement. Both were part of the service pattern specified by the SRA» (Strategic Rail Authority - about) in 2005, and blocked by NR» (Network Rail - home page) ever since - though they've now run out of excuses.

If I see anyone infiltrating 769s around here, I'll let you know (or should I tell the police?).
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2021, 06:57:53 am »

Yes, an interesting choice of word.  Perhaps a nod to the military history of North Camp? Smiley

To view my GWML (Great Western Main Line) Electrification cab video 'before and after' video comparison, as well as other videos of the new layout at Reading and 'before and after' comparisons of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see:
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2021, 08:08:18 pm »

The uplift will certainly be welcome.

I only recently noticed the 2 hour gap on departures from Reading to Gatwick at 2134 before the last train at 2334. Thought it was a mistake at first, but must have been effected in the last timetable change. Hopefully that's not going to be long term.
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2021, 10:29:28 am »

The service gap between 2134 and 2334 has put me off using the train for longer trips when I'm unsure when I'll be returning to Reading. I can live with a one hour gap, but not two.

This also creates a gap in the morning peak timetable into Reading, which isn't much of an issue for me but must impact others.
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