Author Topic: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route  (Read 6540 times)

Offline Suzy Scott

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New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« on: January 19, 2014, 11:51:38 AM »
I got a text from Caroline with a photo of this on it's first morning - beating me to it as it was news to me! So I dug a bit deeper... photos are copyright First Capital Connect media team 2014.

Passengers could have been excused for thinking they were boarding a brand new train on the Great Northern route today.

The first of 40 upgraded class 365 First Capital Connect trains has entered service. Over the next two years, as more are transformed, passengers on the Great Northern route will be travelling in better, brighter and more modern and comfortable carriages giving them better value for money.

This train is the first to have been given a  new look on the inside and out with fresh seat upholstery, new flooring, refurbished finishes and external livery designed to be neutral to save the public purse money when the franchise takes on a new name in September 2014. It has also been through a major engineering overhaul to maintain its excellent levels of reliability.

Other trains in the fleet will be fitted with enhanced features for people with disabilities and mobility impairments from summer 2014 which will later be retrofitted to earlier trains that have already been refreshed. These features will include a new fully automated passenger information system with audio and visual announcements.

David Statham, First Capital Connect Managing Director, said: “The upgraded train looks and feels like a new train and I am delighted our passengers can now enjoy a more comfortable and modern travel environment reaching several exciting destinations between London King's Cross and Cambridge, Peterborough, and King's Lynn

“This major upgrade provides better, brighter, new look trains, and will soon include enhanced accessibility features and improved on-board information.

“Since we took over this franchise we have added over 12,500 extra seats at the busiest times of the day on the Great Northern route through new trains and longer services. Now we're giving people even more of what they want - better trains to travel in.”

Andy Course, Chief Operating Officer of Eversholt Rail, said: “We are all delighted to deliver the first refreshed Class 365 back to First Capital Connect and their passengers. Investing in the Class 365 fleet, and all of our rolling stock, demonstrates our long term and continued commitment to enhancing our assets.”

Francis Paonessa, President, Rolling Stock & Services, Bombardier UK said: "Bombardier is pleased to be delivering the upgraded and modernised 365 units, providing increased comfort, reliability and accessibility for passengers travelling on the Great Northern route.  Our team in Ilford have done an excellent job in delivering a quality product including a significant transformation of the passengers' environment, just 9 weeks after contract signature on November 7th."

This new train will give passengers better value for money together with the current January ticket sale where off-peak tickets are discounted by 10% when bought online from firstcapitalconnect.co.uk/tickets-and-fares/off-peak-tickets/january-sale/ .

The work to upgrade the fleet, which carries passengers on FCC’s Great Northern Route, is undertaken at Bombardier’s Ilford site in Essex

The first trains will feature new livery, new seat covers, new floor covers, new internal paint, both of which will ensure it meets regulations for people with restricted mobility.

From spring 2014 they will additionally feature the following to bring them in line with the latest disability regulations:

• Two wheelchair bays installed

• New external push buttons

• New vestibule grab handles

• A new wheelchair-accessible toilet in each 4-carriage unit

• A new fully automated passenger information system with audio and visual announcements

• Call for aid installed at wheelchair and toilet areas

Eversholt Rail awarded Bombardier Transportation a contract in excess of £30 million to undertake the enhancement and heavy maintenance of its fleet of Class 365 trains which are leased to FCC.

The Class 365 fleet carries many of the 86,000 passengers travelling daily on the Great Northern Route between London Kings Cross and Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn.

There are 40 4-carriage Class 365 trains in the First Capital Connect fleet. They were built by ABB at York from 1994 to 1995.

The trains operate services out of King’s Cross to Peterborough, Cambridge and on to King’s Lynn.

The new livery is a neutral grey, designed to be ready to apply a new brand when the new Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise begins in September 2014. It was felt that to reapply the First Capital Connect livery just nine months before the end of its franchise (the name will change irrespective of who wins the next franchise) would be a waste of public money.

Eversholt Rail Group

Eversholt Rail Group owns approximately one third of the UK’s stock of passenger trains – some 3,500 vehicles - and more than 1,000 freight wagons and locomotives. Over the past two decades, it has invested more than £2bn in rolling stock and today is a supplier to many the UK’s leading Train Operating Companies. Eversholt Rail Group is wholly owned by Eversholt Investment Group, which is owned by a consortium consisting of investment funds managed by 3i Infrastructure plc, a Jersey-incorporated, closed-ended investment company, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, a leading infrastructure investment platform, and STAR Capital Partners, an independent investment fund manager.

Further information can be obtained on www.eversholtrail.co.uk and www.eversholtrail-innovations.co.uk
Suzy Scott
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Offline Suzy Scott

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2014, 11:53:40 AM »
.... two interior shots.... standard class...
Suzy Scott
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Offline Suzy Scott

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2014, 11:56:53 AM »
... and First class....

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Offline TCD813

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2014, 05:36:28 PM »
An improvement, certainly.

The main thing that's wrong with them, especially as far as Fen Line services (King's Cross - Cambridge - King's Lynn) are concerned, is the lack of a 'splittable' cab to enable a corridor connection between units.

It's not uncommon to have vacant seats in one unit and standing passengers 'trapped' in the other. And (font=ironic bold)great fun(/font) for King's Lynn-bound passengers sprinting along the platform at Cambridge to join the front unit.

Still, as I recall, when they were built it was decided that a lovely, smooth, rounded cab would look aesthetically pleasing.  ::)
TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
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Offline barryb

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2014, 08:37:11 PM »
That floor is going to look lovely and clean for about... 8 minutes?

Offline David Goddard

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2014, 09:59:45 PM »
A nice job done on what were already very nice units.

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2014, 11:32:45 PM »
A nice job done on what were already very nice units.

Landed it tonight not as good as the photos looks like a south eastern 466

Offline TCD813

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2014, 11:37:12 AM »
That floor is going to look lovely and clean for about... 8 minutes?

Agreed!
TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
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Offline AE55DKN

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2014, 10:12:28 PM »
They would look nicer in East Coast Livery.....Bring on the thameslink contract

Offline TCD813

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2014, 09:28:43 AM »
They would look nicer in East Coast Livery.....Bring on the thameslink contract

Ah, yes, the 'Thameslink 2000' contract. 'On time and on budget' anyone?
TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
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Offline AE55DKN

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2014, 04:03:19 PM »
Ah, yes, the 'Thameslink 2000' contract. 'On time and on budget' anyone?

Can see the cambridge express and kings lynn, going over to east coast very soon :D

Offline TCD813

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2014, 05:38:52 PM »
Can see the cambridge express and kings lynn, going over to east coast very soon :D

I'll have a look through my FLUA newsletters, Jack. There are some details about intended service patterns in there, I seem to recall.

Await further details…
TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
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Offline barryb

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2014, 06:34:10 PM »
Can see the cambridge express and kings lynn, going over to east coast very soon :D
 

I remember reading my father's New Civil Engineer magazine round about new year at a time that would have been in about 1992/1994.

The cartoonist had, as always in those days, done a large sketch featuring gloomy and sarcastic predictions for the coming years, all of which seemed needlessly grim at the time.  One was that the in 2000 the CTRL (as HS1 was then known) rail link route (which was subject of a lot of controversy) would be agreed and that politicians hoped construction would start shortly.

Another was that in 2010 a revised timetable for Thameslink 2000, now to be known as Thameslink 2020, would be drawn up.

I fear his predictions were all too hopeful :-(

Offline AE55DKN

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2014, 11:54:18 PM »
If the Cambridge express services are to receive, iep trains, it would make sence to run the same trains with the same operator(much easier to move stock about and routes),  i know talking to drivers on that route, there is certainely a feel that they will be split up into seperate companies .

Offline barryb

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2014, 05:43:14 PM »
If Cambridge expresses go to IEP then East Coast running it makes sense.

However I don't think IEP makes sense for Cambridge / Kings Lynn in the first place.  It's a commuter route, not a long distance service. 

Offline David Goddard

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2014, 10:10:59 PM »
If Cambridge expresses go to IEP then East Coast running it makes sense.

However I don't think IEP makes sense for Cambridge / Kings Lynn in the first place.  It's a commuter route, not a long distance service.

I think this makes a lot of sense.  The Cambridge fasts are, as far as the ECML South of Hitchin is concerned, express services, and provision of Express stock can only help to maintain their status.  They are the superior service compared to the Cambridge stoppers (which rightfully belong in Thameslink, along with the Peterborough stoppers) so separation is a good idea.

The southern part of the East Coast operation is, just like other long distance routes (take Bristol to London), becoming more of a commuter service at peak times, with trains from York, Leeds and anywhere South thereof packed in the morning and evening commutes.  The Cambridge Services are a good match for these, and upgrade to IEP may even see enhancement of on board services as well.....

Offline barryb

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2014, 05:54:48 PM »
Perhaps what I meant to say was that it's a short distance commuter route rather than a long distance commuter route!  I hope it turns out well, but I worry about whether space on the trains will get wasted by facilities that are only needed on long distance routes when what Cambridge needs is just as many seats as possible. 

Further, it seems to go against a reasonably successful trend.  We have been seeing developments like London Midland's and Chiltern's commuter services to Birmingham (and soon also Oxford) relieving pressure on the intercity services, and longer ago WAGN taking over commuter services from Peterborough.

I also worry that the split might make it operationally harder to minimise disruptions.  If something goes wrong, where is the nearest spare East Coast driver going to be?

Offline chopper

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2014, 06:40:41 PM »
Grantham and possibly Newark are now longer distance commuter routes. Should not FCC run north of Peterborough at peak hours to those two points and relieve pressure on East Coast services. The latter can then be speeded up. There is already a Grantham starter in the morning peak.

The current fast peak FCC services to Peterborough should be strengthened to 12 cars (if not already) and the front four coaches run forward from Peterborough. The reverse applies in the morning peak.

Seems to me to make sense. It is seats that are required, not catering facilities.

Any other views?


Offline AE55DKN

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2014, 11:00:41 PM »
Then again,  if your on a train for hour and half, your going to choose east coast over fcc.

If iep was to replace some of these fast services, it would certainly appeal to more people, to avoid east coast mainline services.


Offline TCD813

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2014, 07:09:29 AM »
David, Chris and Jack all make good points.

Extending FCC, or those of their successors, north of Peterborough would seem to make sense.

And I understand that the thinking behind the introduction IEP stock for the fast Cambridge/King's Lynn and Peterborough services is that they can maintain pathways south of Hitchint.

This will, of course, have the added advantage of improved timings south of Hitchin, and for the overall journey.

As far as Peterborough services are concerned, the improved stock would mean that shorter distance commuters would not be tempted to crowd out the longer distance East Coast trains.
TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
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Offline Julia_Hayward

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2014, 07:07:55 AM »
The current fast peak FCC services to Peterborough should be strengthened to 12 cars (if not already) and the front four coaches run forward from Peterborough. The reverse applies in the morning peak.

The Peterboroughs at 1740, 1810 (both fast 12s), 1744, 1814 (semi-fast 12s) and 1840 (fast 8 car) are all full to standing every night. No room for Grantham people!

Offline TCD813

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2014, 04:54:39 PM »
Can see the cambridge express and kings lynn, going over to east coast very soon :D

As promised, some info from The Fenman. Newsletter of the Fen Line Users Association (FLUA)

Quote from: The Fenman, Newsletter of the Fen Line Users Association, Issue 1/2013
Franchising

LAST TIME, we asked what sort of franchise would be coming next. The government has now set out an outline of its plans. The current FCC franchise will be extended until the end of March 2015, then there will be an interim contract (expected to be awarded to FCC) for up to another 2 years.

We don’t know what choice between ‘Thameslink, Southern & Gt. Northern’ and ‘East Coast’ is being made, but we do know the former is likely to be let as a 7-year management contract. The government says it will publish more information in the Spring.

Some have asked when that commitment to a half- hourly frequency will be. Realistically, given that the Ely North Junction upgrade has to be installed first, half-hourly trains running to Lynn seem unlikely during the currency of the interim contract.

We ask politicians to make sure the interim contract includes a requirement for the train company to facilitate and enable the eventual half-hourly Kings Cross-Kings Lynn frequency.
https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/rail-franchising--16

Quote from: The Fenman, Newsletter of the Fen Line Users Association, Issue 2/2013
Fresh start for franchising

THAT’S how the government describes its new franchising process, following certain local difficulties in a Hemisphere Other Than Our Own.

Competition for the combined Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise has restarted, except that it’s now a ‘management contract’ and not a franchise.

A management contract is where the Government retains revenue risk (the chance that income might be different from that budgeted) and where the train operator is contracted to undertake specific additional tasks (in this case, preparing for the enhanced Thameslink service in 2018). Got all that? Good!

Good because our King’s Lynn-King’s Cross services might be included in it. Alternatively, they might be included in the East Coast franchise (a conventional franchise, this one).

Which of the two will include Fen Line services has not yet been announced by the Government. But it has announced “increased passenger services between Cambridge and King’s Lynn and Cambridge and Norwich following work to improve Ely North Junction.” (Link) FLUA

Quote from: The Fenman, Newsletter of the Fen Line Users Association, Issue 4/2013
Small print (sorry, there’s lots of it!)

HERE’S what the government’s ‘Invitation to Tender' (ITT) specifies for May 2017 onwards. We’ve set it out under the headings of our seven aspirations (shown in bold) published in The Fenman, 2/2013.

IMPORTANT: The ITT sets out minimum requirements, shown here for Mons-Fris. (“tph” means trains per hour).

1 All-day, half-hourly frequency King’s Lynn-Cambridge-King’s Cross

(i) Direct services to/from London (defined in the ITT as King’s Cross, Moorgate or St. Pancras International, and taken here as King’s Cross) from all six Fen Line stations must run with a frequency of at least 1 tph.
(ii) 2 tph from King’s Lynn, Downham Market and Ely must arrive London between 0700-2159 (save that this may be reduced to 1 tph in up to two hours of the day between 1000-1959 to let freight services run).
(iii) 2 tph to Ely, Downham Market and King’s Lynn, must leave London between 0700-2159 save that this may be reduced to 1 tph in up to two hours of the day between 1000-1559 to allow freight services to run).
(iv) Services must provide “broadly regular intervals between services to afford passengers well- spaced services rather than services that meet the ... requirements but are tightly bunched.”

Quick verdict: pretty much a half-hourly Fen Line King’s Cross service for the larger stations.

2 Maximum key journey times/all trains non-stop between Cambridge and King’s Cross

(i) Maximum key journey times are not specified, but services must offer “journey times that are not unreasonably extended. In particular, timing allowances for performance, pathing and engineering time and differentials between public and working timetables must be kept to a reasonable minimum.”
(ii) Only ‘Cambridge Express Services’ (mostly non-stop, see below) and ‘ECML Outer Services’ (more stops) may serve our six Fen Line stations.
(iii) Before/during the morning peak, most southbound ‘Cambridge Express Services’ are required to call at Letchworth and/or Royston. These may run non-stop south of Cambridge at other times.
(iv) In the afternoon peak/ during the evening, most northbound ‘Cambridge Express Services’ are required to call at Letchworth and/or Royston. These may run non-stop south of Cambridge at other times.

Quick verdict: our fast ‘Cambridge Express Services’ to/from the Fen Line are part of the deal.

3 Cambridge Science Park station

(i) There is no mention in the ITT of the planned Cambridge Science Park station.

Quick verdict: no planning permission etc yet, so unsurprising. But vital for the Fen Line future.

4 Longer trains/’IEP’ standard or better

(i) “Rolling stock must be provided of a standard that passengers can reasonably be expected to perceive as being of comparable or better quality than stock typically in use on the same route at the time of issuing the ITT.”
(ii) Bidders must fit any new rolling stock or must retro-fit existing rolling stock “that will be needed to operate on the [by then] existing ERTMS-enabled sections of the East Coast Main Line” with ERTMS.
(ii) Bidders must fit any new rolling stock or must retro-fit existing rolling stock “that will be needed to operate on the [by then] existing ERTMS-enabled sections of the East Coast Main Line” with ERTMS.

Quick verdict: ERTMS (cab signalling) required from 2018 on, old or new stock - will bidders excel?
[…]
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/thameslink-southern-and-great-northern-2013-invitation-to-tender

Forum members will have read some of this information elsewhere, no doubt.

The Fen Line Users Association (FLUA) represents passengers using the 'Fen Line' stations (King's Lynn, Watlington, Downham Market, Littleport, Ely, Waterbeach and Cambridge).

If you use these stations, then I'd recommend that you join!
TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
There's all 'manor' of stuff on my Twitter A/c.

Offline AE55DKN

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2014, 07:31:19 PM »
Certainely my thoughts about east coast came up. I would not surprised if it went to east coast.

Let's pray Fcc dont get a 2 year extension


Offline TCD813

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2014, 09:50:53 AM »
Certainely my thoughts about east coast came up. I would not surprised if it went to east coast.

Let's pray Fcc dont get a 2 year extension

As a Cambridge resident, using the train mainly to London for leisure trips, my concern is about inter-availability of tickets on the Cambridge-King's Cross/Thameslink route.

I imagine that passengers from Peterborough and south to Hitchin will have similar concerns.
TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
There's all 'manor' of stuff on my Twitter A/c.

Offline Steves

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2014, 07:27:01 PM »
As a Cambridge resident, using the train mainly to London for leisure trips, my concern is about inter-availability of tickets on the Cambridge-King's Cross/Thameslink route.

I imagine that passengers from Peterborough and south to Hitchin will have similar concerns.

There will be an inter-available fare set by one of the operators but that leaves the other operaotrs to set their own "Own TOC only" fares as Greater Anglia already do.  I wrote dominant operator originally but that does not always seem to happen.  The Cambridge fasts and the Cambridge slows (Meldreth, Foxton etc) will not be going through the Thameslink tunnels but the current semi-fasts will in the off peak.  In the peak, it potenetially changes with more GN services starting from King's Cross.

Even if "East Coast" wanted to apply their higher pricing model to Cambridge northwards, they would be constrained by the rules which apply to all TOCs on fares.

Siemens are saying that they can build an emu for the Oxfords  with a 110/115 top speed that will keep up with IEPs on the GW main line .  If they get the contract, it would make sense for some to come the GN as well but that is too organised for the current railway.

Offline Suzy Scott

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2014, 08:26:15 PM »
So the question has to be; if the Thameslink/Southern/SouthEastern new franchise had a one-day Go Anywhere ticket (Thameslink and Southern do, GN does not, SE has only within Kent itself) would you buy it? If so, how much would you go up to? At the moment it's currently about £18 for the Thameslink (St Albans - Brighton etc.) but say £20-£25 for off-peak and a little more for peak? I know the Downlander tickets from SR have two variations i.e. coast or network, and might be an idea.

So, where would I go on the first day  ;) ;D :o we can hope although they weren't extended across the GN routes years ago.
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Offline AE55DKN

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Re: New-look train enters service on FCC Great Northern route
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2014, 10:44:55 PM »
Drivers have been told at kings Lynn, its very unlikely the 700 series will go up there, and 365's will carry on service there. the question is whether it will split to another franchise.