Saturday, December 31, 2011

The (Half) Year in Numbers

Summary figures for train travel in the second half of 2011 are:
  • July: 2130mi 66ch
  • August: 2002mi 26ch
  • September: 3513mi 04ch
  • October: 3824mi 76ch
  • November: 3573mi 35ch
  • December: 2683mi 59ch
This means that in the second half of 2011 I have travelled 17,728 miles 26 chains by rail, not including the London Underground.

In that time, I have spent 14 days, 5 hours and 8 minutes on trains and have been delayed by 1 day, 16 hours and 49 minutes.

I think that is quite enough of numbers for now, that is all!

December Trains

Ok, that's me done for trains for 2011.

Statistics for the month of November 2011 are as follows:

Miles Travelled
Chiltern Railways
South West Trains
Total for Month

That's the lowest in a month since August.

Sugar Rush for the End of the Year

I've had three days at work this week - as usual it was surprisingly busy (primarily because enough people were allowed to take the week between Christmas & New Year as holiday).

After work on ThursdayI had a house party to go to, which was most pleasant. So much so that I had to return yesterday evening to retrieve my car. Hic!

Tonight is off to some friends to see in the New Year. I said that I would supply the desert.

There won't be that many of us. I think I may have gone overboard.....

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

A line that I did not want to cross

I've just checked the new price of my season ticket. £4,008! Yes over Four Thousand Pounds!

Fortunately my ticket lasts another five months, but it is still a rubicon.

Some Chiltern Railways passengers have been moaning because they are currently only offering a 5% renewal discount until 13th January.

A 5% renewal discount applies for annual tickets if peak time punctuality falls below 92% over the previous 12 months. By my way of thinking, if punctuality has been less than 92% for the last 12 months, they will have to have exceptional performance for the figures to go above 91.9% by June. Here's hoping that my mathematics is correct, anyway.

Four Thousand Pounds!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

End of holiday family evening

Tonight we had a really good (for me) end to the family Christmas.

Six of us went along to Twickenham for the Harlequins -v- Saracens rugby match.

There was a sell out 82,000 capacity crowd, a world record for a normal club rugby match. Saracens beat Harlequins 19 points to 11, breaking the Harlequins' all season unbeaten run in the Premiership. Hah! Merry Christmas!

The temperature was remarkably mild for a 1630 end of December kick-off. The ages of our party ranged from 13 to 69 and we all had a good time.

Next, we have to beat Gloucester at Vicarage Road on New Year's Day. Roll on Sunday!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

How not to speak to customers

I don't do it very often, but I am going to name and shame.

This evening I went out to try to complete my usual last minute Christmas shopping.

I was in the ladies department of House of Fraser in the Eden Shopping Centre in High Wycombe.

I sought advice from a shop assistant as to style suitability for a top for my Mother. I do try not to buy vouchers every year. The response I got was:
"No, my Grandmother wouldn't like that."


Monday, December 12, 2011

Track Bashing the Chiltern Mainline - Again

Three months ago, Chiltern Railways launched their new 'Mainline' service and timetable, to much fanfare.

It would be fair to say that implementation was not glitch free. That is an understatement.

Since implementation of the new timetable, the Public Performance Measure ("PPM") has been below the franchise requirement of 93.75% and monthly season ticket holders have recently been receiving 5% discounts upon renewal. That is not good.

To give absolute clarity, I detail at the foot of this note the PPM measures as reported by The Office of Rail Regulation, for each of the individual 2012 industry reporting periods to date. The Moving Annual Average PPM moved up from its low of 92.6% to 92.7%, for the most recent period.

Back in September I blogged upon my experiences of the first day of the new timetable. It is probably fair to say that I stress tested the timetable and it was not a rip-roaring success.

Today Chiltern Railways had the first weekday of the new Winter Timetable. There are not many changes to the September effort, and the changes that have been made aim to improve reliability and (in the main) the passenger experience.

Today I had a couple of bimbles up and down the line and, as in September, I present the facts and figures on today's track bash.

For the record, this time my travelling today started during the morning peak and finished not long efter the end of the evening peak. The journeys were evenly spread throughout the day although, almost certainly, will not necessarily reflect a sample of every journey type.
  • Total number of individual train journeys: 11
  • Total distance travelled: 388 Miles
  • Longest train journey: 92 Miles
  • Shortest train journey: 5 miles
  • Highest individual average journey speed: 77.9 mph
  • Average speed of all journeys: 60.5 mph
  • Cumulative delay: 29 minutes
  • Number of cancellations experienced: 0
  • Number of times my train was pulled over to allow a Mainline (express) service to overtake: 0
While not perfect, a comparison with 5 September 2011, shows a considerably improved passenger experience. The 11 minute delay in the morning was caused by a track circuit failure just north of Bicester North, while the final journey delay was as a result of a late start, due to waiting for a late-running Mainline service to pass through. I do know that there were problems that did not affect me - for example I saw one Londonbound train from the West Midlands pass through High Wycombe almost half an hour late.

The evening peak service from Marylebone is clearly still not fully sorted yet. There are one or two stations in the Chilterns that are still unhappy with the impact of the new timetable, and the availability of rolling stock is clearly still an issue.

Once again, all of this was made possible thanks to the good people at Chiltern Railways. No free tea today, but altogether a more pleasurable experience than three months ago. Back to normal commuting next week.

PPM: Source Office of Rail Regulation. Extracted 13 Dec 2011.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

New Platform Allocations for Marylebone from 12 December 2011

The new Chiltern Railways timetable started today. This means that some trains will have had their allocated platform slots changed at Marylebone.

The table below shows the current planned departure platforms from London Marylebone, for the normal weekday afternoon / evening peak timetable.

A big thank you to Tom Cairns and his web based Timetables App via whom I sourced the Network Rail data. He is a very clever chap.

I cannot stress strongy enough that these platforms are not guaranteed, and are all subject to change at short notice!

You have been warned.

London Marylebone between 1600 and 1859 weekdays from 12th December 2011

Dep Departs to Platform
1600 Gerrards Cross 1
1607 Birmingham Snow Hill 3
1610 Bicester North 2
1613 High Wycombe 4
1626 Aylesbury 2
1630 Birmingham Snow Hill 4
1633 Bicester North 6
1636 High Wycombe 5
1640 Gerrards Cross 1
1643 Aylesbury Vale Parkway 5
1646 Birmingham Moor Street 3
1649 Banbury 2
1653 Aylesbury 3
1656 High Wycombe 4
1707 Kidderminster 1
1710 Stratford-upon-avon 2
1713 Aylesbury 6
1716 Aylesbury Vale Parkway 5
1719 High Wycombe 2
1723 West Ruislip 5
1727 Aylesbury 4
1737 Birmingham Snow Hill 3
1740 Bicester North 3
1743 Princes Risborough 2
1746 Aylesbury Vale Parkway 4
1750 High Wycombe 3
1756 Gerrards Cross 5
1759 Aylesbury 6
1807 Kidderminster 2
1810 Stourbridge Junction 5
1813 Banbury 3
1816 Bicester North 1
1819 Aylesbury Vale Parkway 6
1822 Aylesbury 4
1825 High Wycombe 6
1829 West Ruislip 4
1833 Aylesbury 2
1840 Birmingham Snow Hill 3
1844 Leamington Spa 2
1847 High Wycombe 5
1850 Aylesbury 4
1853 Bicester North 6
1856 Aylesbury 3
1859 High Wycombe 6


Monday, December 05, 2011

The Early Bird Catches the Worm

A few weeks ago, I blogged about my homeward bound journey experiences, using the new Chiltern Railways timetable that started on 5 September 2011.

I now tend to catch the same train to work most mornings. The general view of the recent performance of Chirltern Railways is that it has been fairly poor. My own experience is that the performance of my normal morning train has been pretty good.

Because I can geek for England, I tend to record details of my train journeys. Please see below for the detail.

The train (1H03) has been short formed twice (three carriages instead of four). I have had a seat on every day, except for one of the short-formed days.

Chiltern Railways had have had a lot of stick recently from disgruntled customers. It's a real shame that I have had to start travelling at stupid o'clock in the morning to have a decent journey to work - If everyone could have my experience, then there would be lots of contented customers around.

Date Origin Destination TOPS Dep Arr
(see note)*
Av Spd
12-Sep-11 PRR MYB 168217 06:36 07:06
On time 72.6mph
14-Sep-11 PRR MYB 168217 06:36 07:10
0h 04m 64mph
15-Sep-11 PRR MYB 168107 06:34 07:05 - 0h 01m 70.2mph
16-Sep-11 PRR MYB 168005 06:37 07:18
0h 12m 53.1mph
19-Sep-11 PRR MYB 168219 06:36 07:06
On time 72.6mph
20-Sep-11 PRR MYB 168215 06:34 07:04 - 0h 02m 72.6mph
21-Sep-11 PRR MYB 168219 06:33 07:02 - 0h 04m 75.1mph
22-Sep-11 PRR MYB 168001 06:33 07:03 - 0h 03m 72.6mph
23-Sep-11 PRR MYB 168002 06:33 07:05 - 0h 01m 68mph
26-Sep-11 PRR MYB 168003 06:35 07:05 - 0h 01m 72.6mph
27-Sep-11 PRR MYB 168215 06:34 07:04 - 0h 02m 72.6mph
29-Sep-11 PRR MYB 168001 06:33 07:06
On time 66mph
30-Sep-11 PRR MYB 168106 06:35 07:05 - 0h 01m 72.6mph
03-Oct-11 PRR MYB 168003 06:38 07:09
On time 70.2mph
04-Oct-11 PRR MYB 168005 06:35 07:05 - 0h 04m 72.6mph
05-Oct-11 PRR MYB 168001 06:34 07:07 - 0h 02m 66mph
06-Oct-11 PRR MYB 168005 06:34 07:04 - 0h 05m 72.6mph
07-Oct-11 PRR MYB 168216 06:37 07:07 - 0h 02m 72.6mph
10-Oct-11 PRR MYB 168217 06:35 07:05 - 0h 04m 72.6mph
11-Oct-11 PRR MYB 168003 06:38 07:14
0h 05m 60.5mph
12-Oct-11 PRR MYB 168215 06:37 07:11
0h 02m 64mph
13-Oct-11 PRR MYB 168216 06:35 07:09
On time 64mph
14-Oct-11 PRR MYB 168106 06:37 07:09
On time 68mph
17-Oct-11 PRR MYB 168106 06:35 07:05 - 0h 04m 72.6mph
18-Oct-11 PRR MYB 168001 06:38 07:11
0h 02m 66mph
19-Oct-11 PRR MYB 168002 06:34 07:05 - 0h 04m 70.2mph
20-Oct-11 PRR MYB 168106 06:38 07:09
On time 70.2mph
25-Oct-11 PRR MYB 168005 06:35 07:15
0h 06m 54.4mph
26-Oct-11 PRR MYB 168110 06:36 07:06 - 0h 03m 72.6mph
27-Oct-11 PRR MYB 168002 06:34 07:08 - 0h 01m 64mph
28-Oct-11 PRR MYB 168216 06:35 07:05 - 0h 04m 72.6mph
01-Nov-11 PRR MYB 168002 06:33 07:05 - 0h 04m 68mph
03-Nov-11 PRR MYB 168109 06:35 07:06 - 0h 03m 70.2mph
09-Nov-11 PRR MYB 168106 06:35 07:05 - 0h 04m 72.6mph
11-Nov-11 PRR MYB 168002 06:33 07:03 - 0h 06m 72.6mph
14-Nov-11 PRR MYB 168216 06:34 07:05 - 0h 04m 70.2mph
15-Nov-11 PRR MYB 168217 06:33 07:05 - 0h 04m 68mph
17-Nov-11 PRR MYB 168003 06:34 07:05 - 0h 04m 70.2mph
18-Nov-11 PRR MYB 168216 06:34 07:04 - 0h 05m 72.6mph
21-Nov-11 PRR MYB 168217 06:33 07:05 - 0h 04m 68mph
22-Nov-11 PRR MYB 168005 06:35 07:06 - 0h 03m 70.2mph
24-Nov-11 PRR MYB 168003 06:34 07:05 - 0h 04m 70.2mph
29-Nov-11 PRR MYB 168005 06:33 07:04 - 0h 05m 70.2mph
30-Nov-11 PRR MYB 168216 06:35 07:05 - 0h 04m 72.6mph
05-Dec-11 PRR MYB 168216 06:35 07:06 - 0h 03m 70.2mph

*NB A Minus Sign (-) in the 'Delay' column indicates that the train was early.