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#1 Matthew (MPJ/Admin)

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 09:56 PM

The Harrow Observer, Pinner Observer, etc, have started a "Save Our
Seats" campaign on their front pages regarding the planned S Stock
seating layout, which would be common to the whole sub-surface network
(rather then being different according to the needs of each line, as
at present).

They say that the design of the new stock has entered its first phase
of consultation, and that the reduction in seats on the Metropolitan
would amount to 30%.

(Unfortunately this is only in the paper editions - there doesn't seem
to be much information available about)

This post is on the Usenet news group uk.transport.london

You can read this at

http://groups.google...d0749fd4bdad7ae

Although the new trains will be faster, fewer seats will be a problem for the run out to Amersham / Chesham and surrounds, especially in the evenings on the way home.

Should we also start a campaign?
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#2 Tallguy

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 10:00 PM

Yes Matthew, we should start a campaign. I have commented on this elsewhere on the forum previously. Coming out of London in the evenings I often have to stand to Preston Road, sometimes Harrow until I get a seat. With the new traimns having a 30% reduction in seats I will definately have to stand to Harrow, possibly Rayners Lane (I use the Uxbridge branch).

The current seating design isn't perfect but it is high capacity.

#3 KevinR

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 11:50 AM

Matthew I agree with you and Tallguy - we should start a campaign. The train requirements of long distance Amersham commuters (and other travellers) are different to the majority of other underground train users. Unless we speak up our 'minority' views will not be teken into account.

One issue with a campaign though is exactly what we are campaigning against! I followed the Google link you gave at the front of the post and the second reply confused things for me ...

"I believe Metronet are considering adding some extra seats to the 8-car (Met Main) formations now.
When all deliveries are complete and timetable improvements take place these might then be removed without reducing seats-per-hour from A Stock days. Well that's what the propoganda says"


We need a clear view on what Metronet are actually proposing in order to capaign effectively.

KevinR

#4 Matthew (MPJ/Admin)

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 07:59 PM

There are some suggested pictures of S Stock at

http://www.metronetr...D=1088068912937

Whatever is finally produced, if we make a noise now, hopefully we will be heard.
Matthew P Jones
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#5 ndg019

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 04:10 PM

Definitely

Am a Chesham resident and what with the proposed reduction in the Chesham service (currently shelved we think) and now the reduction in the Chiltern line, we are getting the raw end of the deal. Less seats will be a nightmare although I get on at Chesham and off at Aldgate so hopefully I can find a seat! As we are outside the TFL area, Ken thinks he can give us the rough edges.

The 17:30 fast Chesham is full and standing by Farringdon every night - when it runs

The 07:20 fast Aldgate is full and standing by Chorleywood most mornings.

On another note -

I was on a Met train the other day and there was two Metronet guys saying the Chesham branch was going to close for at least week shortly with a replacement bus as the track is in such bad repair and needs total replacement - there has been a 20mph speed restriction for most of the line for the last few weeks. Does anyone know anything of this?? :o

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#6 Matthew (Admin/MPJ)

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 04:17 PM

I understand there are many places on the track which need attention, not just the Chesham branch.

I also heard (and there is another thread about this) that the new stock won't be suitable for the Chesham branch, too long.

With regards the shortage of seats, I have emailed TFL and wait for their reply
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#7 ndg019

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 04:20 PM

The rumour at Metronet or so the same guys said is that the Chesham trains will run to Watford around the traingle so providing extra trains south to Ricky. All it means for Chesham is even worse timekeeping as far as Chesham is concerned but should give them "better flexibility". It will mean they need more stock and drivers and paths which seems plain daft!

#8 Weezer

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 06:46 PM

The rumour at Metronet or so the same guys said is that the Chesham trains will run to Watford around the traingle so providing extra trains south to Ricky. All it means for Chesham is even worse timekeeping as far as Chesham is concerned but should give them "better flexibility". It will mean they need more stock and drivers and paths which seems plain daft!


I'd take anything anyone at Metronet says with a pinch of salt. LUL are the people to ask regarding the train service provided, or any future service. Metronet purely maintain the infrastructure and stock and have no real say in what type of service pattern (or the frequency) LUL/TfL run given the limitations of the infrastructure.

Also, I can't see a Chesham to Watford service being operated as this would introduce the possibility of too many conflictions with Chiltern between Chalfont and Rickmansworth (plus Met Main services) and also the Local line Watford service. One of the reasons the through Chesham trains were being considered for removal in the first place was because of the extra conflictions at Chalfont with crossing moves taking place that happen now.

#9 Giles S

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 08:30 PM

I noticed two Lu Emergency / Repare lorries driving out of Chesham towards Amersham this morning (8.05am), not sure if passing through or viewing the Chesham Branch line.

#10 Matthew (MPJ/Admin)

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 08:33 PM

There was no Chesham service this morning owing to something on the line, don't know what it was though
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#11 KevinR

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 07:56 AM

An announcement at Rickmansworth station said that there was a tree down on the Chesham line yesterday.

#12 Matthew (MPJ/Admin)

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 11:17 AM

The Victoria line is getting new trains in 2009 (there current trains were introduced in about 1967/69, the Met's 1960/62!) and a mock up is being placed outside Euston station for passengers to comment on.

It would be useful if they did the same for the new S Stock so we could have our say.
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#13 alfa-man

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 07:46 AM

The Victoria line is getting new trains in 2009 (there current trains were introduced in about 1967/69, the Met's 1960/62!) and a mock up is being placed outside Euston station for passengers to comment on.

It would be useful if they did the same for the new S Stock so we could have our say.



When LUL started to refurbish the District D stock a train was left in a bay road at either Richmond or Wimbledon for passenger comment.

AS for the seating arrangements I know that Tfl equate the running times between stations on the Met as similar to the east end of the District Line and therefore they dont peceive the need to retain the seating arrangements.

So if we want the seats to stay the same we need to stand up and be counted !!

#14 Rob75

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 07:55 AM

So if we want the seats to stay the same we need to stand up and be counted !!


Was that pun intentional? If so, very good!

#15 KevinR

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 10:17 AM

Hi - I sent an email to Metronet Rail asking for more information on the seating capacity changes for Amersham arising from the new trains on the Met line and what the consultation process was. This was the reply I got from Kelly Evans (a Metronet Rail Customer Services Administrator):

Each train on the Metropolitan line has currently a nominal 448 seats. However many of these seats are bench seats that are designated as holding 3 people, but are not up to current standards as they are only 420mm wide per seat place. The new trains will have 307 individual seat places, each at a width of 495mm.

We are required by legislation to provide wheel chair spaces on new build trains which reduce the number of fixed seats available.

The total seating capacity of the line remains largely unchanged. For example on the Uxbridge branch there are currently 4700 seats per hour, and there will remain a similar number. The amount of standing space will increase by approx. 40%.

A customer testing exercise was undertaken in May and June of this year across the whole SSL network. Digital representations and artists impressions of the designs were used to gauge the customer’s likes and dislikes. About 90% thought the new design was good, which is an exceptional result and tribute to the design teams involved.

The next step is to carry out customer testing in the autumn of this year with an emphasis towards the Metropolitan line customer, using a virtual reality model of the train which will give us further feedback on items such as seats, grab poles and information displays. Next year we’ll build a mock-up of the train, similar to what has been done for the Victoria line new trains currently on show at Euston to complete the customer consultation process.

Train service frequency will be increased by approx. 50% on the service through Harrow. For example, Uxbridge trains will increase from 10 per hour to 15 per hour, and Chalfont services will increase from 5 per hour to 7.5 per hour.


Full marks to Metronet Rail for a prompt and informative reply (the larger seats will be welcome) though inevitably it does raise a few follow up questions including:

(1) The seats capacity per hour figures for Amersham rather than Uxbridge (and the times of day that these apply, particularly the morning and evening commuting peak periods).

(2) The implication is that the total seat capacity of the line "to remain largely unchanged" by increasing Chalfont services from 5 per hours to 7.5 per hour (there does need to be a 50% increase in services for the seat total to remain the same). How will this happen during peak periods? (given the current issues with train scheduling and signalling on the Amersham line this would seem to involve some big expensive changes in addition to the train stock changes such as signalling/line changes/LUL-Chiltern scheduling)

(3) How to get involved in the customer testing for the Met line

I'll report back with updates.

Kevin

#16 Matthew (Admin/MPJ)

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 10:31 AM

Good you got a reply, I did not get a reply when I contacted TFL on the issue.

The signalling is set to be upgraded / replaced, it is 46 years old in places!

Whether this all happens at the same time I don't know.

The Federation of Metropolitan Line Users' Committees perhaps should have some input. I was in touch with them several years ago and made a web page for them at

http://www.metroland...fmluc/index.htm

but I don't know how active they are
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#17 Tallguy

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 07:00 PM

On the Uxbridge branch (which I use daily) it sounds like the new signalling will allow the running of more trains. Whilst each of those trains will have fewer seats, there will be more trains per hour to compensate for this.

Whether the signalling works or not remains to be seen.......

#18 Matthew (Admin/MPJ)

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 09:58 AM

I have now received a reply from TFL regarding the reduced number of seats
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

9 August 2006

Dear Mr Jones

Thanks for your recent feedback about the seating on the proposed S-stock trains.

I understand your concern and hope I can offer you some reassurance.

While it is true to say that the new trains will have fewer seats compared
to the present trains, Metropolitan line customers will benefit from a
faster, more frequent service, so the number of seats per hour will remain
broadly the same.

We are at present at the planning stage and the train design is in the early
stages of customer acceptance testing, which will conclude next year. A
full-size mock-up train will be built in due course. This will enable as
many people as possible to see the new design before production starts.

So far, the response to the design has been overwhelmingly positive.

I hope this is helpful.

Please contact us again if you need any future help on this or any other
issue concerning the Underground.

Yours sincerely

Customer Service Team Manager
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Will be good to see the mock up and have our say, but I do wounder who at present is seeing the designs.
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#19 Tallguy

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Posted 11 August 2006 - 09:22 PM

Have you asked if you can see the designs or give input on them?

#20 Matthew (MPJ/Admin)

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 11:19 AM

Have you asked if you can see the designs or give input on them?


I do know that Metronet will be wanting some formal feedback. It may be possible to get involved with this, more information if I find out more.

The following links -

http://img.photobuck...orman/plans.jpg

http://img.photobuck...rman/plans1.jpg

show designs. They have been provided on another forum, see

http://billz1064.pro...read=1127836738

The designs shown are old and it seems still being developed

There is also

http://www.metronetr...D=1088068912937
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#21 KevinR

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 10:26 AM

Following up on my previous response from Metronet I got the following answer from a helpful chap in the LU Stakeholder Communications team (he has quite reasonably asked me not to publish his email address on a public forum, but has said that he is happy to answer further questions if he can if I gather them up and pass them onto him. Please post any other questions here and I'll pass them on and publish the replies).

I am writing in response to the questions you put to Metronet with regard to the new trains planned for the Metropolitan line. These have been passed to me for reply as they deal with areas that are the responsibility of London Underground.

To recap, from 2009, starting with the Metropolitan line, the entire fleet of trains on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines
- collectively known as the Sub-Surface Railway (SSR) - will be replaced with new trains. The new stock is part of a larger plan to upgrade the SSR network. The trains are currently at concept design stage which incorporates the first phase of customer acceptance testing.

The proposed concept draws on the best features from each of the existing SSR fleets. It creates a common stock with consistent seating layouts and onboard facilities, with wider doorways, wheelchair spaces, multi-purpose areas for buggies & luggage and transverse seats for longer journeys - in response to the concerns of Metropolitan line users. The concept design has also been driven by a number of legislative requirements.

One of the major benefits of having a single sub-surface fleet is that the trains will have consistent dwell times and running times, which will allow us to make a significant improvement to the operation of the service through central London. Currently, Metropolitan line trains and Circle line trains have different dwell times, which leads to delay in the central area and can cause major delay to Metropolitan line services north of Baker Street. In short, having the same type of train will help make the Met line more reliable.

In addition to the performance benefits, the new fleet will provide an improved passenger environment. The trains will have through walkways between carriages, allowing passengers to move more freely through the length of the train, reducing 'bunching' and improving safety. A new customer information system will be installed which will relay real-time information both visually and audibly. Perhaps the greatest improvement, uniquely for London Underground (LU), is that the trains will be fully air-conditioned.

While individual Metropolitan line trains will have fewer seats than the current rolling stock, the service improvements will ensure that 'seats per hour' will remain much the same as today. The alteration to the seating layout, improved standing room, wider seats and the other saloon improvements will ensure that customers' journey experience will be much improved. At present we do not have precise figures for the projected seating capacity figures for Amersham services, these are being revised and we will share them once they become available. All comments about seating mentioned are only for London Underground services, and not Chiltern services.

As mentioned, the SSR upgrade includes a signalling upgrade and as part of a different, but associated programme, track will be replaced. These improvements will allow for increased capacity. Work will begin shortly on the Chesham, Watford, Amersham and Uxbridge to Northwick Park area of the line.

The customer acceptance testing to date has included people from all over the SSR lines so we get a representative view of the proposals. LU have a dedicated team looking at the designs, incorporating feedback from customer acceptance testing as well as comments from stakeholder liaision meetings with transport user groups and local boroughs.

You may be aware that a mock-up of the new Victoria line trains due to enter passenger service from 2009 has been on view at Euston Square Gardens, as part of the customer acceptance testing for that rolling stock. A similar event is planned for the S-Stock carriages, in the summer of 2007, and we would be very keen that customers come to see the design. We have not yet decided where this mock-up will be displayed, but we are conscious of the keen interest, so the location will be chosen accordingly.

I hope that this answers your questions, however I am happy to answer any further questions you or the readers of your website may have.


#22 David P

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 04:57 PM

Just out of interest, what's a 'dwell time'?
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#23 alfa-man

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 05:17 PM

Just out of interest, what's a 'dwell time'?



Dwell time, is the length of time a train spends in the platform, there are different dwell times for different sizes of station and different times of day.

The real reason Met trains lose time in the city is that they have to cede to the Circle and Hammersmith trains as these already have a poor performance and any extra lost time probably has a detrimental effect on the snapshot.

#24 Matthew (MPJ/Admin)

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 07:27 PM

Dwell time, is the length of time a train spends in the platform, there are different dwell times for different sizes of station and different times of day.

The real reason Met trains lose time in the city is that they have to cede to the Circle and Hammersmith trains as these already have a poor performance and any extra lost time probably has a detrimental effect on the snapshot.


Not scientific, but Met trains have 8 cars compared to the Circle and H&C trains which have 6, so although the non Met trains have more doors, the spread along the platform of the longer Met trains in my mind makes for faster getting on and off as the people are more spread out. Also, the more seating on the Met trains means when people get on they try and sit down. On Circle and H&C trains, they tend to stand, blocking more of the door ways. I know this is only an observation and someone with a stop watch will prove me wrong, but I think the longer distance commuter in central London will try and find a seat, getting out of the way of those who stand for a couple of stops. If more people are forced to stand, more people will get in each others way.

Some questions for KevnR's contact

1) How will the inter connection between cars be designed? Will there be sliding doors between the cars like Chiltern, or will it all be open. I ask because if it is open, then standing in this area may be uncomfortable and if it is also open, perhaps noisy. If there are doors, then standing by these doors will force them to open and close all the time if they are automatic. But if they are not automatic, people will not so easily be able to walk down the train as people will block the door ways.
2) Will passengers be able to walk through all 8 cars or a train, or only 4, i.e. the maximum of one unit length, perhaps not being able to pass through a driving cab within the centre of the trains. if the entire train cannot be walked through, it reduces the usefulness of this feature. On some of the Chiltern trains, you can only move to one other carriage, not really much good if the train is full.
3) What will the percentage of transverse seating be? I don't think sitting sideways going at 70 mph will be that pleasant. Will the seats have high back rests, again low seats at 70 mph may not be that appealing.
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#25 KevinR

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 12:42 PM

Here are the answers to many of the outstanding questions on this thread provided by the extremely helpful chap from the LU Stakeholder Communications team (I've cut & pasted them exactly as received). The slight delay in posting these is down to me rather than him - I have to say a big thank you to him for being so responsive:

Question 1.

How will the inter connection between cars be designed? Will there be sliding doors between the cars like Chiltern, or will it all be open. I ask because if it is open, then standing in this area may be uncomfortable and if it is also open, perhaps noisy. If there are doors, then standing by these doors will force them to open and close all the time if they are automatic. But if they are not automatic, people will not so easily be able to walk down the train as people will block the door ways.

Answer
Inter connection between cars will be completely open. This will allow those customers who cannot find a seat in the car they have boarded, to walk through the train to find more space or another seat. It also will give more overall capacity as these gangways are being designed so that customers can stand there comfortably if the rest of the carriage is busy. They are also flat, so people in wheelchairs, or people with luggage or prams can also move along the train.

Question 2.

Will passengers be able to walk through all 8 cars or a train, or only 4, i.e. the maximum of one unit length, perhaps not being able to pass through a driving cab within the centre of the trains. if the entire train cannot be walked through, it reduces the usefulness of this feature. On some of the Chiltern trains, you can only move to one other carriage, not really much good if the train is full.

Answer
Customers will be able to walk through the complete 8-car train.

Question 3.

What will the percentage of transverse seating be? I don't think sitting sideways going at 70 mph will be that pleasant. Will the seats have high back rests, again low seats at 70 mph may not be that appealing.

The percentage is roughly 42% transverse and 58% longitudinal. Four carriages will have 16 transverse and 22 longitudinal, the two end carriages will have an additional two longitudinal seats behind the cab, and the two carriages with official wheelchair spaces will have one fewer. I will have to get back to you on the seat height as I don't have that information to hand. The seats will be 495mm wide, and will be individual seats with arm rests, not bench seats. The increase in seat width meets a long standing passenger aspiration.

Dwell Time

The comments about the relative dwell times of the various stock in the same post as the questions above are incorrect.

The large doors and good standing room in the Circle and H&C line trains
(C-stock) means that they are far more efficient at loading and unloading than the A-stock where people can't get down the gangway and do not like to sit on the bench seats unless they absolutely have to, because of the width.
This means the C-stock has a much shorter dwell time at stations, which you can observe if you watch the service at King's Cross during the morning peak.

By having a single stock type which has wide doors (1.6m in the S-stock) and a wide gangway (1000mm), we can keep dwell times short and uniform, which will allow us to run more trains through the central area. This is one of the reasons we can increase the service on the Met line, and will also improve the realiability of our services.

#26 johnbriggs

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 10:58 PM

Hi Matthew!
Matthew I agree with you and Tallguy - we should start a campaign. The train requirements of long distance Amersham commuters (and other travellers) are different to the majority of other underground train users. Unless we speak up our 'minority' views will not be teken into account.

Thank you!

#27 Eaton

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 05:00 AM

I'd forgotten about this, a couple of weeks ago my husband caught a very late train (possibly the last train) to Chesham on one of the new trains. He said he didn't notice any difference in the smoothness of the ride but he did say that it seemed to take forever so it doesn't appear that there's any noticable speed improvement either.
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#28 ianbartlett

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 07:53 AM

I'd forgotten about this, a couple of weeks ago my husband caught a very late train (possibly the last train) to Chesham on one of the new trains. He said he didn't notice any difference in the smoothness of the ride but he did say that it seemed to take forever so it doesn't appear that there's any noticable speed improvement either.


That'll be because the late evening Cheshams call at all stations north of Harrow on the Hill. This was introduced as part of LU's cost-saving measures to reduce the number of trains operating to Watford while maintaining the same number of services calling at stations between Harrow and Moor Park. As a Chesham traveller, I find it makes for an irritatingly slow journey. Also, seeing as most Amersham travellers have the option of using the faster Chiltern trains, I don't see why the Amershams can't stop all-stations leaving the Cheshams to run non-stop.

#29 Matthew (Admin/MPJ)

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 08:04 AM

I'd forgotten about this, a couple of weeks ago my husband caught a very late train (possibly the last train) to Chesham on one of the new trains. He said he didn't notice any difference in the smoothness of the ride but he did say that it seemed to take forever so it doesn't appear that there's any noticeable speed improvement either.


I think it may be too late to alter the seating on the trains now, but I do agree there will be too few for those having to commute from Rickmansworth southwards. This is because TFL want a standard type of train for all their sub surface lines - Met, Circle, Ham & Cit & District. The problem is one train cannot be suitable for all the lines. I have travelled on a new train in central London and fewer seats there are useful as more people can get on, but TFL have run mixed types of trains for years, so more seats on Met trains (as there are, but not as many as now) could work.

Anyway, the new trains have a maximum speed of 60 mph, 10 mph faster than the current trains are allowed to go now, but 10 mph slower than the maximum speed of the current trains when they were first introduced in 1961. However, the acceleration and breaking are much better, but the performance of the new trains is being held back at present to match the current trains, as they have to run to the same timetable and timings..

More trains and thus more seats have been promised when all the new trains are running as more capacity will be introduced on the line with a new signal system, but this is only now being put out to tender, so we will have many years of fewer seats and not more trains.
Matthew P Jones
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#30 PeterC

PeterC

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 09:14 AM

@johnbriggs
This thread is nearly five years old and the new trains are in production, its a bit late for a campaign.

Actually they now have more seats than originally planned on the new trains but as was noted in one of the official replies above people don't like the three person bench seats and often stand rather than use them. My train this morning pulled out of Kings Cross with empty seats and the vestibules jammed with standing passengers.


PeterC aka Chilternbirder