Thameslink Inter-Station Run Times
Client: L B Southwark, Nov 2014 - Feb 2015
The London Borough of Southwark has had a long-standing objective of improving transport in the Camberwell area. The provision of an additional station on the Thameslink route, at Camberwell would help to achieve this. The previous station on this site closed in 1916, but the re-opening of the cross-London Thameslink rail service in 1990 removed the main deficiency of the old station, as direct trips could now be made across London, as well as just to Central London. However, Camberwell station was not an element of the Thameslink Upgrade project proposed by Central Government/Transport for London, and project which is now underway. Instead, L B Southwark has taken the initiative to develop a scoping study for the station and it turned to the Railway Consultancy for help on operational issues.
The insertion of a new station clearly adds journey time to those already on a train across three elements: braking, during the station stop and accelerating again. However, these three elements need to be applied to a base position which is fully understood, and that was not the case with the existing Thameslink timetable: no research appeared to have been undertaken on the management of the key station on the route (Elephant), whilst substantial amounts of recovery time in the timetable meant that the run-times actually required (as opposed to those planned) were not known either.
The Railway Consultancy therefore undertook a programme of timed run surveys on trains between London Blackfriars and Denmark Hill/Loughborough Junction across different times of day and days of the week, although this proved quite challenging in crowded trains during the hours of darkness. These timing runs were supplemented by station stop surveys at Elephant, in which it was possible to assess the reasons for the duration of station stop times and any delays. The two sets of analysis enabled the real situation currently provided to be fully understood, whilst recommendations were also made about potential improvements to the train service.
Last updated: Sunday, 18th December 2016
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