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Author Topic: £140 million plan to address Paddington - Reading shambles  (Read 2355 times)
TaplowGreen
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« on: February 27, 2024, 07:02:45 »

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/elizabeth-line-paddington-delays-network-rail-track-sadiq-khan-b1141676.html

Will be interesting to hear the detail, but at last it would appear that something is to be done to address the constant meltdowns.
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Worcester_Passenger
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2024, 07:17:14 »

It would be interesting to be able to find the editorial material in the article amongst all the adverts - I hadn't realised that the Standard is even worse than our local "newspaper" websites.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2024, 07:26:05 »

It would be interesting to be able to find the editorial material in the article amongst all the adverts - I hadn't realised that the Standard is even worse than our local "newspaper" websites.

A plan has been announced to address problems that have plagued the Elizabeth line west of Paddington in recent months.

Network Rail revealed details of the £140million plan following a meeting with London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who said the issues over the past six months were “not acceptable”.

The money will be allocated from existing budgets to tackle the issues, with the majority set aside from Network Rail’s CP7 budgets from 2024 to 2029, the mayor’s office said in a statement.

No additional taxpayer funding has been requested, it added.

Work will begin immediately to stabilise the network, while the following 12 months will see longer-term improvement.

Mr Khan said recent performance on the Elizabeth line has been “below the high standards set”.

“The Elizabeth line has been transformational, seeing well over 4.5 million journeys every week, but it’s clear that the recent performance on the Elizabeth line has been below the high standards set when the railway was opened,” he said.

“I have been absolutely clear with Network Rail, MTR (the line operators) and TfL» (Transport for London - about) that the issues we have seen over the last six months are not acceptable.

“I am pleased that they have brought forward a comprehensive plan to resolve the problems on the line, and I will continue to hold them to account.”

Services to the line were affected on Monday with a landslip between Twyford and Reading impacting routes to and from London Paddington.

Last December, thousands of rail passengers were stranded for hours on the Elizabeth line and other trains when overhead power cable blocked all lines in and out of Paddington.

About 4,000 travellers had to wait about four hours to be rescued when seven trains – four Elizabeth line, two Heathrow Express and one Great Western Railways intercity service – were brought to a halt near Ladbroke Grove. Passengers, including parents with young children, had to be led to safety along the train tracks.




Being widely reported on the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) and elsewhere this morning too.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2024, 07:34:31 by TaplowGreen » Logged
infoman
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2024, 09:05:32 »

What ideas do members think could solve some of the problems in the short and long term.

These are a couple of mine,could trains be drawn up along side one another to take passengers back to where they come from?

if possible could passengers alight at the station platforms at least passengers could make there own way from the station to where ever.

If the problem is between slough and Paddington could half the trains do a shuttle to and from Slough and Paddington,at least you could get a bus/coach to your destination

Long term: extra cross overs?

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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2024, 10:40:09 »

I would hope the money is spent on addressing causes rather than symptoms.

Good on Mayor Khan for sticking his head above the parapet like this and pointing out that NR» (Network Rail - home page)'s performance is unacceptable.

Certain TOC (Train Operating Company) MDs could learn a bit from that.
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JayMac
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2024, 11:37:05 »

It would be interesting to be able to find the editorial material in the article amongst all the adverts - I hadn't realised that the Standard is even worse than our local "newspaper" websites.

Brave browser on macOS, Windows, iOS or Android. Or use an ad blocker add on for Chrome or Edge browsers on Windows.
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"Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for the rest of the day. Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."

- Sir Terry Pratchett.
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2024, 11:38:14 »

What ideas do members think could solve some of the problems in the short and long term.

These are a couple of mine,could trains be drawn up along side one another to take passengers back to where they come from?

if possible could passengers alight at the station platforms at least passengers could make there own way from the station to where ever.

If the problem is between slough and Paddington could half the trains do a shuttle to and from Slough and Paddington,at least you could get a bus/coach to your destination

Long term: extra cross overs?



Current TFL (Transport for London) contingency plans seem to assume the availability of alternative public transport. This doesn't work if you're at Maidenhead or Twyford as there's very little alternative. During disruption there ought to be some GWR (Great Western Railway) stop orders (perhaps for the Oxfords?).

There is significantly more use of points in the current timetable with services moving to/from mains and reliefs. I'm not sure this can be avoided but that means that maintenance has to be significantly increased. If NR» (Network Rail - home page) can't increase reliability, I think the Didcot and Newbury semi-fasts should not run on the reliefs and cross over. They should either be curtailed at Reading or run down the mains. If necessary, start a 12 car 387 short at Reading and run them as a queue buster for Twyford/Maidenhead only (Reading commuters wouldn't use this because they'd rather have an IET (Intercity Express Train)).

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didcotdean
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2024, 12:16:33 »

One thing that the Standard report doesn't include maybe because it is a bit longer term is the replacement of the old overhead wiring into Paddington that was done on the cheap 30 years ago for the Heathrow Express.

There are a number of people I am aware of that from Didcot regularly use the semi-fast service into London splitting tickets at Maidenhead as a cheaper alternative than the fast service, especially in the peak. They may not be any significant factor in the overall thinking but naturally they get the short straw every day during disruption as these trains are top of the pile for being sacrificed.

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stuving
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2024, 13:03:59 »

One thing that the Standard report doesn't include maybe because it is a bit longer term is the replacement of the old overhead wiring into Paddington that was done on the cheap 30 years ago for the Heathrow Express.

Paul Clifton's BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) piece does mention that - maybe.:
Quote
Network Rail has announced a recovery plan for the Reading-London Paddington route after months of poor performance.

It made national headlines when broken wires left 4,000 passengers stranded on trains for four hours at night, near Ladbroke Grove, on 7 December.

Most passengers had to walk along the tracks to reach safety. There have also been a spate of failures, including broken rails and signalling faults.

The route is now set to be overhauled in three phases over 18 months.

"Our performance hasn't been good enough," admitted Network Rail's new route director Marcus Jones.

"We have been consistently letting down customers. They cannot guarantee a service every day."

Steve Smith, of the Bedwyn Trains Passenger Group, described it was "absolutely appalling".

"Only one in three of our Paddington trains is on time," he continued.

"We have infrastructure failures, train failures, lack of trains and bad weather, causing flooding. Ultimately this is about lack of investment."

For the next four weeks, there will be fewer trains late at night, while engineers carry out remedial work to the tracks, signalling and overhead wires.

For the last couple of hours each evening, only two of the four tracks will be open.

A six month period of work to stabilise performance, will follow, then a year-long programme to put long-term solutions in place.

Beyond that, the overhead wires will be replaced in west London. They are 30 years old and were installed when the Heathrow Express began.

Services on the Great Western Main Line became so bad that in November the Rail Regulator launched an investigation into whether Network Rail was manging its assets appropriately.

Network Rail's regional managing director, Michelle Handforth, resigned in December. A new team is now in place.

Since Elizabeth Line services started running from Reading, track use has increased by 17%.

The total weight of trains on the route has increased by 38%. The infrastructure has not coped well - there is a fault very nearly every day.

Plus the tracks are now so busy that when things go wrong, delays build up more quickly.
'Pre-empting failures'

"The picture includes Covid and industrial action during which we lost work time," Mr Jones said.

"We are bringing forward planned track work. We are fitting monitoring equipment to pre-empt future failures."

Mr Jones said the Elizabeth Line trains were not to blame.

"The trains are longer and heavier," he said.

"But the evidence we have is that it is not the train causing the failures but the phenomenal growth in services,"

Extensive work to build Old Oak Common station in west London for the interchange with HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)) is planned, with about 70 days of closures over five years.

Network Rail aims to dovetail its Great Western work with the closures already booked, in a bid to minimise the impact on passengers.

Funding will come from within the existing route budget.

"People are not getting a consistent service," said Mr Jones. "We are determined to put that right."

That might just mean replacing the contact wires, of course, though I don't think those can have lasted 30 years unchanged.
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Electric train
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2024, 14:17:18 »


That might just mean replacing the contact wires, of course, though I don't think those can have lasted 30 years unchanged.

25 years is seen as the asset life for contact wire.  The ware is measured during maintenance inspections and there are places of high ware which are more closely monitored.

The OLE (Overhead Line Equipment, more often "OHLE") out of Paddington until 7 or 8 years ago saw very low levels of (electric) traffic so ware would be lower than say Euston.

I am guessing that the Western and Wales Region are accelerating their CP7 renewals in the Paddington area, some of the CP7 renewals may have originally be timed to coincide with the development of Old Oak Common station.  They may also be addressing emergency evacuation routes / access as that was one of the major criticisms from the 7 Dec 23 incident

The work between Paddington and Didcot could mean that there will be CP7 projects elsewhere on the W&W (Wales and West - (before Wessex Trains!)) Region that could be deferred into CP8 or 9
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Starship just experienced what we call a rapid unscheduled disassembly, or a RUD, during ascent,”
broadgage
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2024, 15:45:32 »

What ideas do members think could solve some of the problems in the short and long term.
These are a couple of mine, could trains be drawn up along side one another to take passengers back to where they come from?
if possible could passengers alight at the station platforms at least passengers could make there own way from the station to where ever.
If the problem is between slough and Paddington could half the trains do a shuttle to and from Slough and Paddington,at least you could get a bus/coach to your destination
Long term: extra cross overs?

And require that all new electric trains be fitted with a battery or a diesel engine so as to permit running at much reduced performance when the wires come down, or are otherwise unavailable.
When signalling failures render movement impossible then this battery or engine would allow for basic on board services to operate for some hours. Toilets, part lighting, ventilation, public address system etc.


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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
Noggin
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2024, 18:48:02 »

What ideas do members think could solve some of the problems in the short and long term.

These are a couple of mine,could trains be drawn up along side one another to take passengers back to where they come from?

if possible could passengers alight at the station platforms at least passengers could make there own way from the station to where ever.

If the problem is between slough and Paddington could half the trains do a shuttle to and from Slough and Paddington,at least you could get a bus/coach to your destination

Long term: extra cross overs?



Well I should imagine that replacing the headspans with some solid F&F kit would be a good start.

Of course if it's built to spec, Old Oak Common station should help as it is designed to enable a full GWML (Great Western Main Line) service to be turned around in the event that Paddington is closed for any reason.
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infoman
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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2024, 19:27:17 »

That's good news about old oak common,but can trains not now be turned round at Slough?

taking into account if the "problem" is between Slough and Paddington
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ellendune
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« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2024, 21:12:40 »

That's good news about old oak common,but can trains not now be turned round at Slough?

taking into account if the "problem" is between Slough and Paddington

If you could turn trains round at Slough that wouldn't be no use as passengers would have no way of onward travel. Old Oak Common should have links into London. 
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Electric train
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« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2024, 18:03:13 »

That's good news about old oak common,but can trains not now be turned round at Slough?

taking into account if the "problem" is between Slough and Paddington

I think the ability to turn trains around at Slough no longer exists or is very limited. 
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Starship just experienced what we call a rapid unscheduled disassembly, or a RUD, during ascent,”
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