Prophetic words - something has indeed had to give...
The latest TFL weekend travel update includes.
"On Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 February, there will be a reduced service between Gospel Oak and Barking. Trains will run every 15 to 30 minutes all day on Saturday and after 12:30 on Sunday. Trains will run every 15 to 30 minutes between Gospel Oak and South Tottenham only on Sunday until 12:30. ...
A reduced weekend service will continue on this route until further notice due to a lack of available trains. We will continue to run a full timetable on the busier weekday service."
Obviously the weekday service needs to be prioritised but what exactly is happening on Sundays? Anyone able to shed light on this as the official statement has not been drafted with clarity in mind..
My read is that on Saturdays and after midday on Sunday there will be a reduced service operating every 15 or 30 minutes.
But what is happening on Sunday morning? Is there no service at all between South Tottenham and Barking - or is the full normal weekend service operating between Barking-South Tottenham until midday on Sunday? That press release could imply either conclusion.
Hey ho at least they tried.
To be fair not that prophetic. We've had the funny 15-30 min interval service for many weeks now. This is to try to preserve the weekday service by releasing two trains for maintenance at weekends. If that principle applies when the 172s have gone then 1 378 in service means a train every 90 minutes! You might as well not bother. Even 2 trains in service is a train every 45 minutes - again why bother with such a shambles? We are only 3 weeks away from the 172s going and I doubt we will be told anything about the future service level before the Thursday or Friday before they actually leave. TfL seem very reluctant to give people decent advance warning so they can plan how they will commute once the service has to be reduced. There are certainly no more trains they can pull out of a "magic hat" to replace the 172s.
The eastern end of the line has also had multiple Sunday and half Sunday closures recently. There is a major blockade on the GEML this weekend for Crossrail works and that often also knocks out the eastern end of the GOBLIN. Sometimes NR undertake "opportunity works" on the GOBLIN when there are other closures. Sometimes the eastern end of the route through Woodgrange Park is used for engineering train access. On one recent weekend the S Tott - G Oak service was reduced to half hourly rather than the mixed 15-30 headway.
The TfL travel info notices are often not well worded in terms of separating out the reduced frequency from lack of trains and the impact or otherwise of engineering works.
The severe delays on the Goblin seem to now be so common that even when they are advertised at the bottom of the information boards, the official designation is "Good Service"...
I tend to agree with the sentiment that if the service on a line drops below a half hourly service then most passengers (especially for commuter routes in any metropolitan area - not just London) would fail to see that as a "Good Service". However in the world of DFT - provided the rail operator (in the case of Goblin - Arriva Rail London/TFL) run most if not all the "scheduled" services then it qualifies as providing a "good service" even if in truth they have just massively cut back the "scheduled service frequency".
However this exchange is not really a function of 4 car 378s, and rather off topic - is their a more general "Goblin" thread where this might be better relocated or should a new thread be created?
Had a ride on the Goblin yesterday and managed to nab a 378. What a difference electric traction makes! Felt odd because all I’ve ever known on that line are DMU’s.
Did the 378’s have the Goblin destinations in the PIS (Passenger Information System) prior to their use on the line, or did they have to be added?
It is a very odd sensation, as you say, to be on an EMU rather than DMU. Apparently the 710s are extremely nippy so the difference will be even more marked when passengers are eventually allowed on one.
I understand the GOBLIN was always in the 378's PIS. There is that infamous video on Youtube where the PIS had a "nervous breakdown" and went through every single message in the system including the GOBLIN stations.
Do they have the Romford to Upminster stations in there as well?
Short answer - don't know.
My guess is not given that West Anglia was added to Overground much later and there's never been an expectation that rolling stock from "North London Railways" lines would be used on West Anglia and vice versa. I would expect the 710s for West Anglia to include Romford - Upminster. I've no idea whether the 710s will have PIS info for all Overground routes or whether there will be some element of geographic restriction. In theory the GOBLIN / Watford ones could run on West Anglia if needed. Obviously the West Anglia ones would have limited coverage on the "North London Railways" lines because of the remaining third rail sections including for some access routes to Willesden depot. It might be easier for Bombardier and TfL to have one PIS script for 710s that covers all routes / all stations. Keeps things simple even if some of the script may never be used in normal circumstances.
Do they have the Romford to Upminster stations in there as well?
snoggle is indeed as usual correct. The Lea Valley Lines and the Romford-Upminster shuttle announcements are stored on separate drives being effectively a legacy system from the previous operator which does the job it needs to. The arrival of the new fleet may result in the interworking of LO stock being reconsidered but that's well into the future.
Child of Middlesex, student of the City, resident of the Metropolitan
still far better than passengers on one section of railway in North London which closed for electrification but never reopened and another where the electric rails were actually installed but again because of civil servants who thought buses would manage the line ended up closing
I am thinking of the Northern Heights services to Alexandra Palace and Mill Hill East - Edgware.
Admittedly the situation is truly dire but at least the Goblin passengers have a reasonable expectation of their new trains 'eventually'. Northern Heights passengers have to contend with buses on congested roads which have also been slowed by 20mph speed limits.
So that's it - goodbye class 172s on the GOBLIN and hello to a half hourly service for the foreseeable future with 3 4-car class 378 units. The 172s go off lease with Arriva London Rail so will probably trundle to Ilford over the next few days for overhaul and addition of accessible toilets. TfL are apparently going to try to run a half hourly seven days a week but we'll see how long that lasts. Supplementary bus links kick in next week but will be further amended in a week's time when single deck buses become available. Single deckers can get closer to some GOBLIN stations as they can get under the low clearance bridges that feature on this rail route.
There is a suggestion, and I put it no more strongly than that, on another forum that a 4th class 378 will be converted to 4 car length. There's no comment on this anywhere else so I'm treating it with due caution. Apart from giving some operational resilience for the GOBLIN I'm not sure I see the point. It will run the rest of the class 378 fleet very tight indeed and it's already fragile enough given recent breakdowns causing disruption on other Overground routes.
I highly doubt that a fourth 378 will be sent over, there is already way too many trains being taken out of service due to faults, causing cancellations and fines due to no train to be able to swap with. Bombardier can't take the financial penalties from TfL.