Oct 24 2012

Chiltern Railway – December 2012 Timetable Announced

Regular readers will recall the consultation carried out by Chiltern Railways over some proposed timetabling changes coming in from December 2012. SHARRA, the South Harrow and Roxeth Residents Association and iharrow.com put together a petition to object to the proposals which would have resulted in a significant decrease of trains via Northolt Park – an analysis of that is here.

Chiltern seem to have listened – in part – to it’s customers, and has now published it’s December 2012, with a number of changes:

Monday – Friday

  • The Southbound service was cut from 33 trains to 26 in May with 24 proposed from December. This has now been increased to 25 trains.
  • The Northbound service was cut from 37 trains to 28 in May with 22 proposed from December. This has now been increased to 28 trains.
  • The Northbound service was cut from 27 trains to 19 in May with 22 proposed from December. This has now been reduced back to 19 trains.
  • The Southbound service was cut from 29 trains to 22 in May. This has remained unchanged from the proposed 22 trains.
  • No changes made to the proposed timings.

SHARRA suggested two more trains Northbound Monday – Friday. They have put in an extra train at 19.24 but nothing between 19.52 and 20.52.

Similarly they suggested four more trains Southbound Monday – Friday during the period 17.05 – 20.05. They have changed the train times so there is some improvement however there seems a large gap between the 15.36 and 16.55.

We have gained some improvements in the timetable with our efforts and must, I suppose be grateful for that, but it is not perfect.

The complete timetable package, along with a letter to stakeholders (‘customers’ to you and I) can be downloaded here (ZIP format, contains multiple files).

Update: PDFs of each timetable can be found in this article.

As Chiltern say in their letter:

We are delighted that over 700 people responded to our invitation to provide us with feedback during the consultation period. As a direct consequence, many detailed changes have been made and we are very grateful to all those who participated.

Naturally, the aggregate effect of all the aspirations far exceeds the capacity of the railway to deliver and there are many conflicting demands. However, we share out this finite and valuable resource in a way that optimises the benefit to passengers and in compliance with our franchise agreement. This is why the consultation exercise has been so important.

On the basis that there is no room for more trains on the track at peak times, much of the refining that has taken place following the consultation has involved retiming and changes to stopping patterns of individual services. Of course any change that helps one group of passengers can have an unintended negative consequence upon a greater number of others, especially with regard to journey time, train capacity and service reliability/punctuality. As these are the most important features of our service offering from the passenger perspective, we have been mindful of them when deciding which changes can be implemented and thus we have been unable to accept all suggestions made.

Following our investment in the infrastructure which reduced journey times in the September 2011 timetable, this is the last major timetable alteration planned until services extend to Oxford.

SHARRA and iharrow.com thank all those who took the time to fill in our online petition, talk to us at the station, or who wrote independently to Chiltern.


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