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-   -   Single Heathrow Express Platform at Paddington from December (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/u-k-ireland/1994294-single-heathrow-express-platform-paddington-december.html)

EvilDoctorK Nov 6, 19 2:18 am

Single Heathrow Express Platform at Paddington from December
 
First I'd heard of this, but Heathrow Express will only have use of one platform at Paddington rather than the current two from this year ... It seems to be coming in on the December timetable change and will be this way until Crossrail properly opens ( article says 'up to a year'.. let's see how optimistic that is ) : https://www.businesstraveller.com/bu...at-paddington/

Not likely to be good news for the reasons outlined in the article , also it's likely to make the service more prone to delays and slower to recover from any delays I'd imagine as there'll be less flexibility/turnaround capacity at Paddington

flatlander Nov 6, 19 2:27 am

Does this mean that if the train has any problem at the platform in Paddington the entire HEX service stops working?

(Possibly this is off-topic for the BA forum; might be better in UK & Ireland forum)

Bohinjska Bistrica Nov 6, 19 2:34 am

Presumably this is due to the continued and increasing delays to Crossrail?

EvilDoctorK Nov 6, 19 2:35 am


Originally Posted by flatlander (Post 31706667)
Does this mean that if the train has any problem at the platform in Paddington the entire HEX service stops working?

(Possibly this is off-topic for the BA forum; might be better in UK & Ireland forum)


I guess yes on both counts ... I'll leave the latter one up to the moderators though guess it's potentially of significant interest to the audience here for a little while at least

On the other point yes if they are using a single platform at Paddington then a train stuck on that platform is going to cause complications blocking everything else ... I guess in extremis they could use other platforms .. I suppose a more likely problem is if a delay occurs and you end up with a backlog of trains it will be slower to clear them as each train has to arrive and depart from the same platform in Paddington until the one behind can get in whereas previously with two platforms service recovery would perhaps be easier

BarneyMcGrew Nov 6, 19 2:43 am

I quite liked this from the OP's linked article:


At the World Travel Market in London, Heathrow Express Head of Commercial Chris Crauford told Business Traveller that while they wouldn’t have chosen the move to a single platform., it was for the “greater good of the rail industry”.
What about the greater good of the paying passengers?

Or perhaps in this modern un-joined-up railway they don't count.

Imagine if BA said 'We are cutting our use of runways at LHR and will now only operate on a single runway for both landings and take-offs. We don’t really want to do this, but it is for the greater good of the airline industry'.

Ldnn1 Nov 6, 19 3:33 am


Originally Posted by BarneyMcGrew (Post 31706689)
I quite liked this from the OP's linked article:



What about the greater good of the paying passengers?

Or perhaps in this modern un-joined-up railway they don't count.

Imagine if BA said 'We are cutting our use of runways at LHR and will now only operate on a single runway for both landings and take-offs. We donít really want to do this, but it is for the greater good of the airline industry'.

I think his point was probably more that itíll be better for passengers on non-HEX services - which are of course the vast majority at Paddington - at the expense of those using the HEX.

Swanhunter Nov 6, 19 3:43 am

They will still be able to use other platforms so a single issue wonít crash the service. However it certainly does increase the risk of delays and lowers ability to recover the service.

stut Nov 6, 19 3:56 am


Originally Posted by flatlander (Post 31706667)
Does this mean that if the train has any problem at the platform in Paddington the entire HEX service stops working?

The HEX trains will have clearance for most, if not all platforms at Paddington, so it would be up to the signallers to reallocate accordingly. There are very few examples where platforms are specifically dedicated to an operator in the UK anyway (unless electrification/platform length/branch connections dictate). If I look at yesterday's departures, there were HEX trains reallocated to platforms 5, 8 and 11, beside the usual 6 and 7.

To make it a single platform operation (which kind of makes sense now Paddington is fully electrified and there is no longer a luggage service), the dwell time will be reduced from 20 to 7 minutes, which is obviously more efficient, but offers a lot less service recovery. I wonder if this will mean fewer units in operation too?

southlondonphil Nov 6, 19 4:07 am


Originally Posted by BarneyMcGrew (Post 31706689)
I quite liked this from the OP's linked article:



What about the greater good of the paying passengers?

Or perhaps in this modern un-joined-up railway they don't count.

Imagine if BA said 'We are cutting our use of runways at LHR and will now only operate on a single runway for both landings and take-offs. We don’t really want to do this, but it is for the greater good of the airline industry'.


To contextualise, this is all to do with the National Rail timetable changes on 15th December, from which point GWR is increasing the frequency of several services to the South West, the result of which is that additional platform space at Paddington is required to turn these trains around. Whilst TfL Rail is still operating its Heathrow service (ex Heathrow Connect) from 'upstairs' at Paddington resource is very tight and HEx has been determined as the service to take a temporary hit on its platform space, since blocking two platforms to run 4 services an hour is a somewhat inefficient use of platform space.

What's happening here is more akin to (for simplicity) BA having to repatriate its T3 services to T5 because other airlines need the gate space at T3.

Once the large (financial) drain that is Crossrail eventually opens platform capacity at Paddington will open up again.

EvilDoctorK Nov 6, 19 6:44 am


Originally Posted by stut (Post 31706800)
To make it a single platform operation (which kind of makes sense now Paddington is fully electrified and there is no longer a luggage service), the dwell time will be reduced from 20 to 7 minutes, which is obviously more efficient, but offers a lot less service recovery. I wonder if this will mean fewer units in operation too?

Suggestion elsewhere was that they'd be using both platforms at Heathrow now so the extra dwell time would 'migrate' from one end of the line to the other so may not make so much difference ... but yes on the service recovery at Paddington ( where problems most likely to arise) it will be constrained I guess

UKtravelbear Nov 6, 19 6:56 am

Given that the HEX is now operated by Great Western this really is a non issue and they will use whatever platforms are available. Just as happens day in day out on the rail network.


As for the HEX being like voss water - well I refuse to pay for overpriced water!

stut Nov 6, 19 7:15 am


Originally Posted by EvilDoctorK (Post 31707110)
Suggestion elsewhere was that they'd be using both platforms at Heathrow now so the extra dwell time would 'migrate' from one end of the line to the other so may not make so much difference ... but yes on the service recovery at Paddington ( where problems most likely to arise) it will be constrained I guess

This does indeed seem to be the case:

https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/sea...=all&order=wtt

rcspeirs Nov 6, 19 4:24 pm

The signallers can put HEx trains into just about any platform at Paddington. This will no doubt happen occasionally during service disruption.
The complication is that HEx now accepts oyster/contactless. The way that a higher fare can be charged for the journey from Heathrow for HEx services (as opposed to the lower fare charged by the tfl, formerly Connect, services) is that the gate readers at the dedicated HEx Paddington platform(s) are specifically programmed to charge a higher fare. The gates don't "know" whether any train is HEx, the system is hard programmed to say anyone using the oyster readers at that platform will be charged the HEx fare
If the HEx is routed into any of the other platforms, the system will charge oyster/contactless users the lower (tfl rate) fare. Conversely, that's also why 'normal' services will not be routed into the dedicated HEx platform, because any traveller coming in from Heathrow would be overcharged.
The same principle applies for services branded Express from Gatwick - the premium fare is charged by using specific oyster readers at the end of a dedicated platform at Victoria.

Ldnn1 Nov 6, 19 4:29 pm


Originally Posted by rcspeirs (Post 31709265)
The signallers can put HEx trains into just about any platform at Paddington. This will no doubt happen occasionally during service disruption.
The complication is that HEx now accepts oyster/contactless. The way that a higher fare can be charged for the journey from Heathrow for HEx services (as opposed to the lower fare charged by the tfl, formerly Connect, services) is that the gate readers at the dedicated HEx Paddington platform(s) are specifically programmed to charge a higher fare. The gates don't "know" whether any train is HEx, the system is hard programmed to say anyone using the oyster readers at that platform will be charged the HEx fare
If the HEx is routed into any of the other platforms, the system will charge oyster/contactless users the lower (tfl rate) fare. Conversely, that's also why 'normal' services will not be routed into the dedicated HEx platform, because any traveller coming in from Heathrow would be overcharged.
The same principle applies for services branded Express from Gatwick - the premium fare is charged by using specific oyster readers at the end of a dedicated platform at Victoria.

Indeed the same system operates at Victoria - use the GEX platforms and youíre charged the GEX fare even if itís a Southern train, and vice versa.

You can call up Oyster to get an overcharge corrected. Presumably no one calls up to pay more, but it would be possible. :)

JMcGP Nov 8, 19 2:10 am

7th nov trial
 
Yesterday there was a trial operation of just using platform 7 - any views on how it went?


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