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Timetables and Traffic Requirements




A large theme of this alternate fictional universe is to give things reasons to exist. I've changed a lot from the Reverend's version, as I wanted to backdate the opening of the main Sudrian railways and give the island a chance to industrialise rapidly at the beginning of the 20th Century.


A big part of any railway is the traffic demands, these will guide what kind and amount of stock the line should have on its books.


For 'fun', I've begun to devise timetables for the NWR main line and the branches. This will tell me how many trains need to be run per day, and thus how many locomotives, coaching sets etc. are required.


The period I have chosen is high summer in the mid-late 1950s. Steam is still king (and the NWR remains un-nationalised here due to some complicated legal gubbins I won't go in to here. The IoMR remained privately owned long after 1947 so there!).


I so far have been working on these services:


Main Line (Express) - Tidmouth-Barrow non stop (with 3 services departing from the ship terminal at the docks)
Main Line (Stopping) - Tidmouth - Carnforth


Brendam Branch - Wellsworth - Brendam (but with 3 return trips per day to Tidmouth)


Ffarquhar Branch - Knapford - Ffarquhar (with quarry workers train and one direct service to Tidmouth to connect with the Wild Nor'Wester)




The Peel Godred, Kirk Ronan and Norramby branch lines still need to be worked out.


For each service I've worked out the distance, average speed over that distance, and dwell time in stations to give me the overall travel time.
The complicated bit is trying to work out how to connect services. For example, can people from town A get to town C in a decent time if they have to change trains at junction B?


The other thing that this tells me is the type of loco required, and how many of them.
Main Line (Express) - class 5-8
4 train sets
Main Line (Stopping) - class 3-5
9 train sets
Brendam Branch - class 1-3
2 train sets
Ffarquhar Branch - class 1-3
2 train sets (1 passenger, 1 quarry workers) + railcar


We can assume that each 'set' requires a loco. Plus a spare should be kept on the books for each group, assuming something will be undergoing maintenance.


These locos are solely passenger or mixed traffic, goods locos are another matter. I'll need to take a look into the industries we need to serve and work out traffic requirements on that front....

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  • RMweb Gold

Looks very good. But isn't that quite an intensive service on the Ffarquhar branch, and can it be justified?

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  • RMweb Gold

Isn't if funny how modellers' plans always end up concluding that more stock is needed? :-)


Seriously though, those are nice timetables. I'm a little confused by the class references, are they for loco type or seating classes?


I've been studying the index for the blog btw, very clever how you've used category labels (I think?) to combine all posts on a given loco build.

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  • RMweb Gold

Thanks on both counts Mikkel, I got the idea for the blog index from Ullypug of this parish :)


Class references are for power classification on locos. The NWR number system is a 3 digit one, the first digit is the power class. So No.301 Thomas Allen is power class 3, loco number 01. Likewise Suddery Cathedral is power class 8, loco number 05.


Looks very good. But isn't that quite an intensive service on the Ffarquhar branch, and can it be justified?


Yes I was wrestling with that one for a while and tried to get my head around what was needed. If we take the necessary trains, the quarry workers have to get to work and home (Train set A), people in Elsbridge need to get to work in Tidmouth etc. and home, or to Ffarquhar/Ulfstead in the other direction. Finally the connecting service with the Wild Nor'Wester must go to Tidmouth in the afternoon.

The railcar and main loco are both shedded at Ffarquhar so must start from there and return at the end of the day.


If I were to lose one, I think it would be the final FB service of the day (and the final FC working to Ffarquhar could leave later in the evening), but that would mean that anyone returning to Knapford at the end of the day would need to go on the quarry workers' train.

Then again, I could strengthen that train to a 4 wheel and a bogie coach... Yes perhaps that's the solution? Quarrymen in the 4 wheeler and the public in the bogie coach, with the local eccentric propping up the bar inside!

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Interesting. Very authentic and prototypical. Just like how a real railway is run, no doubt. The Rev himself would be very proud.

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  • RMweb Gold

I've altered the timetables after some discussion - it was pointed out that there wasn't really a morning commuter service for people travelling on the main line and going to Tidmouth. So, using Cronk as the 'middle' station, I've added two services which start there and work in either direction.

One of these (Train MI) needs to be hauled by a class 5 or above loco, as when it gets to Tidmouth it becomes an express rake and forms the 'Wild Nor'Wester' in the afternoon.

Meanwhile the other set (Train MH) fills in the gap that was in the middle of the day, although it does have a tight turnaround at Carnforth.

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