Thursday, 17 June 2010

Lincoln's loss as Eurek undone!

As predicted by Eye on Tuesday there is bad news for the East of England


Train operator East Coast has today announced a number of amendments to the planned introduction of a new timetable from May 2011.

Under the amendments, most of the planned new London King’s Cross – Lincoln services will now operate between King’s Cross and Newark, with one through train per day in each direction between Lincoln and King’s Cross. As a consequence, it will not be necessary to introduce an additional fleet of trains (five Adelante Class 180s), and the daily service to and from Lincoln/King’s Cross will be resourced from within the existing East Coast fleet.

The amendments to the timetable changes proposed will result in a net saving of £9 million per year compared to the original plans.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Elaine Holt, Chief Executive of Directly Operated Railways and Chairman of East Coast, said: “I know this will come as a disappointment to many people, especially to those in Lincoln who were looking forward to a much improved direct service to London.

“We had believed the proposed new Lincoln services would provide more through trains for customers from the region – and this formed an important part of the Eureka! timetable changes. However, given the very tough economic climate, all parts of the Government are looking to see where efficiencies can be made.

“We’re very pleased that two through services will be retained for Lincoln.”

East Coast mounted an extensive information and consultation programme earlier in 2010 in England and Scotland to communicate details of the proposed Eureka! timetable. As a result, the company processed 1,500 feedback enquiries and the results of this work were passed to Network Rail, the Office of Rail Regulation and the Department of Transport.

East Coast will be communicating the details of the latest changes to stakeholders over the next few days.

Seven weekday trains in each direction had been planned for the new Lincoln/London King’s Cross services, using the Adelante Class 180 trains.

Now, the modified service pattern will include a single direct service from Lincoln, in the morning departing at 07.22, arriving at King’s Cross at 09.21 (calling at Newark, Grantham, Peterborough, Stevenage, and London King’s Cross). During the evening peak, a single direct service will leave King’s Cross at 19.06, arriving at Lincoln at 21.00.

Four additional services will be available in each direction between Newark and London King’s Cross, provided by East Coast’s nine-carriage trains, and providing valuable extra capacity on this busy route. These will link to connecting services between Newark and Lincoln.


Lincoln must be pleased it elected a Tory MP.

UPDATE: This from Tony Miles...

The campaign to keep the three Adelantes with Northern Rail, pending the delayed return of its Class 142 Pacers from FGW because of the 172 fiasco now steps up.

No doubt the various ITAs will be asking for Northern to be allowed to borrow the other two 180s currently at Bounds Green until the Government does something about serious overcrowding in "The North".

The North, for members of the new Transport Team, is that place above Watford that you have probably read about in books.

UPDATE: This from a Southerner...

Whilst Parliamentary Under-Secretary Mike Penning is the only Minister without a direct rail remit, he is MP for that well-known constituency of Hemel Hempstead, which when seen from the glorious south (of the Thames) is very definitely North of Watford.

Admittedly it may not be as far north of London as Stretford - but there again, Miles' own country might be considered to be 'deep south' by the denizens of Thurso.

Meanwhile, if Northern wants the 180s, they are welcome to them. At least we don't [yet] have to worry about them appearing on the Lymington branch.

UPDATE: This from Live Culture...

There will be no money for the ITA's to take the Adelantes on.

So that leaves the open access mob to scrap it out.

Unless Sir Humphrey can suddenly find a pot of gold to stop them.

UPDATE: This from a Mr Damon Powell (presumably in Lincoln?)...

Its OK, as long as they terminate them at Newark, we can get there, because a week or so ago, Stagecoach in Lincolnshire launched their new bus service from Lincoln to Newark North Gate (which originates at Grimsby - fancy that, just like the train!).

Its supposed to link us to Newark North Gate so we can get London trains there.

Here is the interior which admittedly is much superior to a 153:

Now, I can't figure out what's best about the service...

a) The fact that it's Stagecoach Bus competing with Stagecoach EMT


b) That most of the buses are timed to leave Lincoln 5 or 6 minutes before or after the train to either Newark Castle or Newark North Gate, but takes twice as long as the train does!

Shurely a case of Stagecoach 'improving the efficiency and value for money of rail franchises'. Ed

UPDATE: This from Tony Miles...

Perhaps I could point out that Northern already has the funds for three Adelantes as they are "in lieu" of the Pacers loaned to FGW at the DfT's request. I'm sure any shortfall is made up by the DfT as it brokered the loan.

If DfT decides the Pacers will have to stay with FGW longer (it has decided this actually) then it'll have to let Northern keep the 3 Adelantes a bit longer.

As for the other two, well GMITA is very miffed that WYITA got local support for additional rolling stock & nobody in the N West was as generous.

Maybe it's time for them to start a campaign in the spirit of the Wars if the Roses over who will fund two more trains?

UPDATE: This from King Henry...

The question now is whether ORR's forthcoming 'lessons learned' review of the East Coast saga is ruthlessly honest about the collective madness or whether it is another outpouring of guff.