die belebende Bedenkung

Euston Greengauge dissemblance problem

with 2 comments

In December 2012, Greengauge 21 stated that claims about trains leaving Euston in the evening peak being only half full were ‘wrong’.


[Greengauge 21]

While this is true for Virgin Trains (52% seats occupied),

(So, Greengauge 21 accepted it was true, as far as intercity was concerned.)

[Greengauge 21]

Network Rail has pointed out that London Midland – which runs the commuter services – is at 94% capacity, and traffic levels are growing at 4% a year.

If London Midland was at ‘94% capacity’ around 2012, and traffic levels grew at 4% a year, surely that would mean it was at ‘97.7% capacity’ a year later, and ‘101.6% capacity’, a year after that.

But according to London Travel Watch, London Midland’s “passengers in excess of capacity” (PiXC) count in 2014 was lower than in 2013.

London Travel Watch, 'PixC, London and South East train operators 2013 and 2014'

London Travel Watch, ‘PixC, London and South East train operators 2013 and 2014’

The statement that London Midland was ‘at 94% capacity’ looks like misleading nonsense.

There is enormous scope for increasing commuter capacity out of Euston (by running longer trains, intensifying the use of the slow lines, etc).

Written by beleben

April 4, 2017 at 9:48 am

Posted in HS2, Politics

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2 Responses

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  1. How can peak period use of Virgin Trains be artificially depressed by off-peak travel restrictions? Peak hour use is undoubtedly artificially depressed by high fares which, used properly, could be a sensible way of matching demand to capacity. De-classifying some first class seats or refitting some first class coaches with second class seats would provide many more seats quickly and cheaply. “Long distance” is used to refer to all Virgin trains, even though some trains call at Miton Keynes. Of course, if the information was available as to the number of passengers and capacity of each train it would be possible to determine the scale of the problem.


    April 4, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    • A bizarre but true fact (confirmed by FoI) is that the ‘capacity’ of commuter trains is a secret. Standard class train capacity is made up of a known number of standard seats (A) plus a secret ‘standing allowance’ (B) where train stops are not more than 20 minutes apart. The Department for Transport won’t say what (B) is, for any given type of train, or train operating company.


      April 5, 2017 at 9:44 am

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