Jump to content




Photo
* * - - - 2 votes

Will they ever restore the Oxenholme - Windermere service ?




  • Please log in to reply
349 replies to this topic

#1 davetheroad

davetheroad

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 767 posts

Posted 04 June 2018 - 14:36

I have just heard there is no service on this branch until July. Is this crazy, how many trains do they need and what happened to the previous drivers?


  • Informative/Useful x 2



#2 johnd

johnd

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 928 posts

Posted 04 June 2018 - 14:39

Turn the line over to a heritage railway with local council support  and let it become an attraction in its own right !


Edited by johnd, 04 June 2018 - 14:40 .

  • Agree x 12
  • Like x 3

#3 Wild Boar Fell

Wild Boar Fell

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,217 posts

Posted 04 June 2018 - 15:03

Turn the line over to a heritage railway with local council support  and let it become an attraction in its own right !

 

So that's what they mean when they say it's going over to Bi-Mode traction, water & coal?


  • Funny x 1

#4 woodenhead

woodenhead

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 5,557 posts

Posted 04 June 2018 - 15:18

Used to be served until May 20th by TPE units running on behalf of Northern

 

All trains now provided by Northern Rail, either they haven't trained enough drivers or it is better to cancel all services on this line to reduce the level of cancellations elsewhere during the emergency timetable to the end of July.


Edited by woodenhead, 04 June 2018 - 15:18 .

  • Informative/Useful x 2
  • Funny x 1

#5 uax6

uax6

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,732 posts
  • LocationIn the signalbox!

Posted 04 June 2018 - 17:33

But to run a shuttle Oxenholme - Windermere wouldn't cause any delay anywhere, and would also only tie up one unit a day.

 

But that would be common sense, so cannot be allowed to happen on the railway today....

 

Andy G


  • Agree x 4
  • Like x 2
  • Funny x 1

#6 Furness Wagon

Furness Wagon

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,137 posts

Posted 04 June 2018 - 18:19

4 members of staff would give a 16 hour service. As a side I got on the only northern service that was early today. thought I was going to miss it when rolled into Dalton 10 minutes early it then sat in the station for ten minutes.

 

Marc


  • Agree x 1

#7 johnd

johnd

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 928 posts

Posted 04 June 2018 - 18:25

But to run a shuttle Oxenholme - Windermere wouldn't cause any delay anywhere, and would also only tie up one unit a day.

 

But that would be common sense, so cannot be allowed to happen on the railway today....

 

Andy G

 

                    
 

Posted Today, 15:39

Turn the line over to a heritage railway with local council support  and let it become an attraction in its own right !


Edited by johnd, Today, 15:40 .

  • Tick.jpgAgree x 4
  • Thumbs.jpgLike x 2eak
  • List

And I only meant it tongue in cheek but then again !


Edited by johnd, 04 June 2018 - 18:26 .

  • Like x 2
  • Agree x 1

#8 lmsforever

lmsforever

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,685 posts
  • Locationaylesbury

Posted 04 June 2018 - 18:57

The Lakeside and Haverthaite have a spare loco so they could provide a service Carnforth have a few spare coaches or Carnforth could do the job bet the passengers would love it.


  • Like x 1

#9 Legend

Legend

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,617 posts

Posted 04 June 2018 - 19:04

It does seem incredible that the line has effectively been abandoned . In these circumstances you have to wonder if it wouldn’t be better letting someone else have a go running it.
  • Agree x 4

#10 Furness Wagon

Furness Wagon

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,137 posts

Posted 04 June 2018 - 19:06

Carlisle Dandy could be brought out of retirement might need a new horse and a bag of oats!

 

Marc


  • Funny x 10

#11 ColinK

ColinK

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,904 posts

Posted 04 June 2018 - 21:14

The line hasn’t been abandoned by Northern. Since the timetable changed on 20 May, Northern have been cancelling significant numbers of trains in North West England, with the Barrow and Windermere being probably the worst affected. Lots of reasons for the problems, not all down to Northern.

In practice, about 1 in 4 trains on the Windermere line were being cancelled, but these tended to be blocks of several hours of no service as the unit and crew work up to Oxenholme, do several trips on the branch, then work back to Preston or wherever.

Rather than have all these last minute cancellations, where it is difficult/impossible to find replacement buses, Northern have ‘temporarily’ cancelled some trains on the Morecambe line and all services on the Windermere line. Both have rail replacement coach services, which should run OK as they are planned in advance and resourced properly. When Northern have got themselves sorted out, the line should go back to trains.

I’ve been there today for 12 hours today and the rail replacement operation was running OK. No, I don’t work for Northern.
  • Informative/Useful x 4
  • Like x 2
  • Friendly/Supportive x 1
  • Agree x 1

#12 manna

manna

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,078 posts
  • LocationBooborowie S Australia

Posted 05 June 2018 - 02:43

G'Day Folks

 

All I can say is, 'What a way to run a railway'..............

 

manna


  • Agree x 12

#13 Sandpiper

Sandpiper

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts

Posted 05 June 2018 - 06:07

Unit allocation and staffing arrangements on the Windermere line in the last few years have tended to cause some confusion about who actually operates the line.

 

Prior to April 2016 the line was operated exclusively by TPE with TPE staff. Since April 2016 the line has been operated exclusively by Northern with Northern staff. At the changeover of franchises in April 2016 all of the TPE staff involved were compulsorily transferred to Northern so the same drivers and guards have continued to work the service throughout. There was no need at the franchise change for Northern to train a whole new group of staff. They already had a fully trained workforce as far as the Windermere line was concerned. Some staff training has been needed recently due to the temporary introduction of class 158 units on some of the services but this is not something that is related exclusively to the Windermere line.

 

Regardless of the type of trains used on the line, all services prior to April 2016 were TPE services, and all services since April 2016 have been Northern services. However due to some unit shortages a certain amount of subleasing of train fleets has been going on between both the present and previous TPE and Northern franchises. Changes to service patterns within the pre 2016 TPE franchise led to a shortage of class 185 units and some Windermere services were then covered by Northern class 153 and 156 units. These were still TPE services operated by TPE staff.

 

Since the 2016 franchise change, ongoing unit shortages within the new Northern franchise have resulted in four class 185s being subleased to Northern by TPE. These units work some of the Windermere services alongside Northern's own units but are still Northern services operated by Northern staff. In May this year the number of 185s subleased to Northern was reduced to two. These two units are primarily for working those Barrow/Blackpool - Manchester Airport services that combine at Preston. One of the units may continue to work evening services on the Windermere line once the full service is restored. This arrangement is due to last until the December timetable change I believe when the 185s are all needed by TPE. Windermere line services should then be operated by Northern's new class 195s assuming they are delivered on time and the current plans are not changed. 

 

Presumably Northern have decided that the traincrews who currently work the line can be more effectively used elsewhere during the current crisis leaving the relatively self contained Windermere line to be temporarily worked by buses. Whilst a single unit could no doubt be found to run a shuttle service there would be no one available to staff it. Giving the line to another operator would not really help. Any new operator would have to train their own staff or the current Northern staff would have to be transferred. Since the Northern staff involved work a number of other routes and don't work exclusively on the Windermere line this would simply create further problems elsewhere. In any case there aren't really any other operators who could realistically work the line. The only other passenger train operators in the area are TPE and Virgin. Virgin aren't really in the business of running minor branch lines and TPE would have no staff or trains to do it. Any new local niche operator would still need to source trains and staff and spend time training them.

 

The current crisis should ease once the backlog of training at Northern has been dealt with. Much of this in the north west is related to class 158 and 319 traction training, and route learning between Preston and Blackpool following electrification of the Blackpool line. I have seen it suggested elsewhere that the latter is totally unnecessary as it is just a matter of a few signals being moved a couple of feet. It is however rather more complicated than that. The route has been completely resignalled, permitted speeds have been altered, Kirkham and Blackpool North stations have been completely remodelled along with the carriage sidings and shunt moves at Blackpool are now completely different than the previous arrangements. The amount of time allocated to each driver for route learning was determined by Network Rail and not, as I have also seen claimed elsewhere, by ASLEF.

 

A further issue related to driver availability has been the end to rest day working within Northern. This is not industrial action as some people claim. There is no contractual requirement for any Northern drivers to work on their rest days. Until earlier this year there was an agreement between ASLEF and Northern whereby drivers could chose to work their rest days if they wished. This agreement had an expiry date agreed by both Northern and ASLEF and was not withdrawn by ASLEF as has been claimed. The agreement was not renewed when it expired. It is pretty much impossible to pick apart the politics surrounding this and this is all I know for a fact about this particular issue. There are lots of rumours doing the rounds about the politics of the situation but they are mostly just rumours.

 

Please note that I am not trying to defend Northern's handling of the situation nor am I criticising it. I am a Northern employee so cannot share my opinion either way on social media. The above are just the facts that I am aware of. Of course there may be other facts that I am not aware of. The staffing and unit allocation arrangements sound overly complicated but are really just a consequence of the fragmented nature of the industry and the fact that it is in a constant state of change due to the short term nature of the franchises. The industry really needs a long spell of stability regardless of who actually operates the various bits but I cannot see that ever happening with the current arrangements.


Edited by Sandpiper, 05 June 2018 - 06:37 .

  • Informative/Useful x 27
  • Like x 3
  • Friendly/Supportive x 1
  • Agree x 1

#14 johnd

johnd

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 928 posts

Posted 05 June 2018 - 06:55

The Lakeside and Haverthaite have a spare loco so they could provide a service Carnforth have a few spare coaches or Carnforth could do the job bet the passengers would love it.

 

Was thinking more along the lines of a push pull arrangement or first generation DMU for ease of operation.


Edited by johnd, 05 June 2018 - 06:55 .

  • Like x 1

#15 jjb1970

jjb1970

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 5,300 posts
  • LocationMilton Keynes, England

Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:22

I move that this thread be moved to the disused railway section :nono:  :drag:


  • Funny x 5
  • Friendly/Supportive x 1
  • Like x 1

#16 Joseph_Pestell

Joseph_Pestell

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 6,760 posts
  • LocationNorth Dorset

Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:24

The Lakeside and Haverthaite have a spare loco so they could provide a service Carnforth have a few spare coaches or Carnforth could do the job bet the passengers would love it.

Small matter of the Windermere branch being a long siding with no pointwork. So push-pull or top & Tail necessary.


  • Informative/Useful x 1

#17 Joseph_Pestell

Joseph_Pestell

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 6,760 posts
  • LocationNorth Dorset

Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:30

Full marks to Peter Hendy for going on TV last night to make clear that the timetable is a Network Rail responsibility.

 

Although some of the problems highlighted above around driver training may also contribute, it is wrong that the media have put all the blame with the train operating companies.


  • Agree x 5
  • Informative/Useful x 1

#18 roythebus

roythebus

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,870 posts
  • LocationNear the 15" gauge and the 5"gauge, far from standard gauge, but 25 miles from Calais.

Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:32

any heritage stock used on that line would have to be main line certified as would the staff operating it. I don't know if there are run-round facilities at either end which would permit loco hauled operation.

 

It is all too easy for enthusiasts to come up with fancy ideas but some really don't have a clue as to how the railway works and what is involved. I can't see a steam operation there being practical, involving up to a 20 hour day! Who would man it? Certainly not volunteers.

 

Sandpiper's comments above are I would suggest a good appraisal of the current situation. The thing I'd have a slight disagreement on is route learning. How can Network Rail dictate how long a driver needs to learn a route? surely it is down to the driver to decide when he is familiar enough with a route to sign it? Have a recommended time by all means, but to force someone to sign is criminally irresponsible.

 

Meanwhile I just hope someone in authority, whether it be the government, the TOCs or NR sort out this total cock-up the likes of which have not been seen at any time on the railway.


  • Agree x 4
  • Friendly/Supportive x 1
  • Like x 1

#19 45156

45156

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,573 posts
  • LocationNr Lancaster, or possibly stuck in traffic

Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:43

To my mind, Sandpiper has summed thus one up pretty well.  And Colin K being a coach driver on the railway replacement services in this area, also has a good idea what is happening here.


  • Agree x 3
  • Friendly/Supportive x 1

#20 ColinK

ColinK

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,904 posts

Posted 05 June 2018 - 08:07

Agree an excellent summary by Sandpiper, many thanks for posting it.

A lot of work has been done by Northern to make the temporary arrangements as seemless as possible for passengers, there is even a poster in Chineese or Japaneese (I don’t know the difference) at Windermere station.

It is clear to me that Northern are really listening to feedback from this week’s operations. I expect next week’s timetable may well be different as a result. Indeed, they have already added an extra bus journey on the Morecambe line (0645 Morecambe/0650 Bare Lane) to enable commuters to get the important 0725 from Lancaster to Preston and Manchester.
  • Friendly/Supportive x 1

#21 Sandpiper

Sandpiper

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts

Posted 05 June 2018 - 08:10

The thing I'd have a slight disagreement on is route learning. How can Network Rail dictate how long a driver needs to learn a route? surely it is down to the driver to decide when he is familiar enough with a route to sign it? Have a recommended time by all means, but to force someone to sign is criminally irresponsible.

 

 

Sorry, I didn't make that quite clear. Network Rail determined the minimum time each driver must spend on route learning the Blackpool line based on the degree of changes to the route. Individual drivers are free to request extra time if they feel they need it.

 

Some mischievous people elsewhere on the internet have been suggesting that the time allowance was in fact far too generous and unnecessary because the changes were minimal. The suggestion has been that drivers have been spending an unnecessarily long time learning the route due to demands by ASLEF and that this is exasperating the problem of driver shortages. This is not the case. The changes to the route are considerable from a driver's perspective and the minimum time was set accordingly. The minimum time set was five return trips which included learning potential shunt moves at both Kirkham and Blackpool. Personally I would have been happy with four trips and using the rest of the time to look through the route maps in more detail which I did anyway in my own time. Other people have maybe requested more time but however much time any individuals took it was not due to demands made by ASLEF.


  • Informative/Useful x 8
  • Thanks x 1
  • Like x 1

#22 APOLLO

APOLLO

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,001 posts
  • LocationNear Uncle Joe's Mintball factory !!

Posted 05 June 2018 - 08:17

Northern info here

 

https://www.northern...rary-timetables

 

Brit15


  • Informative/Useful x 1

#23 jonny777

jonny777

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 4,030 posts
  • LocationSomerset (but exiled yellowbelly)

Posted 05 June 2018 - 08:29

Ok, but a couple of questions from an ignorant. 

 

If TPE were running the Windermere branch without problems, why was the operation handed over to Northern?

 

If the Windermere branch is an extended siding with no pointwork, how many units does it need to run a regular service? (Hint: my guess is probably less than 2).

 

If refuelling and servicing is necessary during the week, can't some form of roster be devised which changes over units at the relevant time?

 

 

If Northern cannot run the Windermere branch, why would anyone think it could cope with a more complex system?


  • Agree x 1

#24 Legend

Legend

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,617 posts

Posted 05 June 2018 - 08:33

Please note that I am not trying to defend Northern's handling of the situation nor am I criticising it. I am a Northern employee so cannot share my opinion either way on social media. The above are just the facts that I am aware of. Of course there may be other facts that I am not aware of. The staffing and unit allocation arrangements sound overly complicated but are really just a consequence of the fragmented nature of the industry and the fact that it is in a constant state of change due to the short term nature of the franchises. The industry really needs a long spell of stability regardless of who actually operates the various bits but I cannot see that ever happening with the current arrangements.

 

 

 

Thanks for the detailed explanation Sandpiper.  I think we can all agree that the fragmented nature and management of the railway has been a factor in this whole sorry mess .  One of the issues I can foresee , is the question by DafT, if a rail replacement bus can operate so effectively , then why do we need to maintain the infrastructure of the railway at all .   From the normal passengers point of view its still an incredible mess.


  • Like x 1

#25 31A

31A

    Member


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 4,100 posts

Posted 05 June 2018 - 08:50

Ok, but a couple of questions from an ignorant. 

 

If TPE were running the Windermere branch without problems, why was the operation handed over to Northern?

 

If the Windermere branch is an extended siding with no pointwork, how many units does it need to run a regular service? (Hint: my guess is probably less than 2).

 

If refuelling and servicing is necessary during the week, can't some form of roster be devised which changes over units at the relevant time?

 

 

If Northern cannot run the Windermere branch, why would anyone think it could cope with a more complex system?

 

 

If I recall correctly, the Windermere line was passed to Northern as part of a DfT brokered deal arising from the transfer (due to leasing arrangements) of TPE's Class 170 to Chiltern.

 

The TPE Class 170s had been used on the Cleethorpes-Manchester route, and were replaced on this route by the 185s which had previously been used by TPE in Cumbria on the Barrow/Windermere-Manchester Airport routes.  This in turn meant that these Cumbrian routes were passed to Northern using in the main 156s (but with exceptions, see Sandpipers post above) which were displaced from the Cumbrian Coast (Carlisle-Barrow-Lancaster etc.) where they were in turn replaced by the Class 37 loco hauled operation (which in itself has not been entirely successful IMHO).

 

So the direct result of Chiltern being allowed to lease TPE's Class 170 fleet (as a product of the train leasing system) has been that Cumbrian passengers have received a worse service, in terms of having new trains replaced by old ones.  This could well be seen as "London" benefitting at the North's expense.

 

Northern has coped with the very complex system across the north of England in the past for many years - for reasons for the current situation, please refer to Sandpiper's excellent summary above.

 

Regards, Steve (Northern Rail, retired).


  • Informative/Useful x 3
  • Agree x 2