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Author Topic: Scotrail route by route key metric assessment  (Read 557 times)
Mark A
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« on: February 07, 2022, 06:40:34 pm »

Not the sort of thing you see every day. Or perhaps you do...

https://www.scotrail.co.uk/sites/default/files/assets/download_ct/20210823/unvyb8g0C5sQnWhXVKIcsKZDpiZk8wjsQRfGj9d8GSU/scotrail_route_by_route_key_metric_assessment.pdf

(Plucked from a twitter thread: https://twitter.com/BrynleyHeaven/status/1490251765387833345 )
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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2022, 07:54:41 pm »

Genuinely fascinating. I wasn't expecting such a difference in subsidy per journey between the West Highland Line and the Far North Line.

One would hope that the quasi-nationalisation under GBR (Great British Railways) would result in these figures being available for the rest of the network. I'm not holding my breath though!
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eightonedee
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2022, 10:28:47 pm »

Quote
Genuinely fascinating. I wasn't expecting such a difference in subsidy per journey between the West Highland Line and the Far North Line

There's only one thing to do to reduce that subsidy- write a wildly successful children's fiction series set in the Flow Country (or set a film based on it there).
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Mark A
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2022, 11:27:38 am »

Genuinely fascinating. I wasn't expecting such a difference in subsidy per journey between the West Highland Line and the Far North Line.

It might be that the far north line is a lot more remote from centres of population and also, end-to-end journeys are wildly uncompetitive in terms of time.

Long distance journeys are likely to need an overnight break  Connections to Orkney aren't really set up to be useable as there's a void between Thurso station and the ferry terminal at Scrabster. The morning ferry arrival hits Scrabster at a time when a lot of the town's transport is tied up in the start of the school day. For people who've not made advance preparations, the ferry company has a list of various Thurso taxi phone numbers which looks encouraging - but the first one you ring, after confirming they've nothing available, is likely to warn you against ringing the other numbers as the calls all come in to the same office.

Anyone heading to Inverness will step on to the X99 coach that meets the boat at the ferry terminal and takes people both to Inverness city centre and the city's hospital.

Then, there's the rail fares - if you're heading to/from Scotland, without knowing split ticketing, long distance travel now often involves anytime fares. The southern end of the far north line has a train that connects into LNERs» (London North Eastern Railway - about) Highland Chieftan with advance fares often available from stations south of a place called Ardgay that's at the outer edge of the Inverness rail commuting distance, anything else long distance off the far north line, to the uninitiated or those buying tickets from machines, involves anytime fares only.

In contrast, the West Highland line's daytime long distance fares are off-peak for some reason possibly to do with ferries to the islands.

Dragging this towards the west country for a moment, Crosscountry's 08:20 departure from Aberdeen to Bristol is timetabled to key in to the overnight ferry from Orkney/Shetland. Advance fares are subject to availability otherwise it's an anytime £260 per person for a day in a 4 car Voyager.

In that Scotrail document, the notes are illuminating.

To boost tourist use of the system, perhaps there's mileage in promoting tie-ins between accommodation and rover tickets. All starting to sound a bit 'Railway hotel' though, but over to you, Premier Inn Thurso. :-)

Off topic: the distance from Glasgow Queen Street to Glasgow Central Station is much the same as the distance between Glasgow Central's platform ends and the front of the station.
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2022, 04:56:59 pm »

The Far North line was not far off a four hour run in 1965 ... and remains not much off a four hor run today.  Driving from Inverness to Thurso would have taken almost 4 hours in 1965 .. today, Google tells me it's 2 hours and 24 minutes.

Old road route (before Kessock Bridge, Dornoch Causeway, etc)
at current road timings.  Call it 4 hours on old roads themselves.
Inverness to Beauly   12.6   27
Beauly to Tain      31.6   42
Tain to Lairg      25.4   36
Lairg to Helmsdale   35.3   49
Helmsdale to Wick   35.0   47
Wick to Thurso      20.4   27
         -----   ---
Total         160.3   228

Current road route:
Inverness to Thurso   110.4   144
(4 cutoffs from the 1965 route)

1965 fastest train time:
Inverness to Thurso   -   250

Current fastest train time:
Inverness to Thurso   -   230

So - the roads have been improved, the rails haven't, and they are now uncompetitive.

Comparison - Glasgow to Mallaig. One huge road improvement - Loch Leven ferry replaces by bridge - but nothing like the scale of the Far North.  It's still faster, though, to drive.

From Inverness the bigger places aren't all that far ... Dingwall, and Invergordon.  You then get to some intermediate sized places as far as Helmsdale, then you wander through Flow country and reach that dreaded decision at Georgemas - Wick or Thurso?  Hardly great for route-long loading

Comparison - Mostly long journeys on the West Highland - all the way from Glasgow to Fort William and a non-insignificant Mallaig at the end beyond the end.  Even local journeys between Fort William and Mallaig.
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