Thursday, November 03, 2005

Connex reply why the 5.45 got axed

I wrote to Connex asking why the 5.45pm Westbound rail service has been axed . Here's Connex's reply:
The new timetable represents an important step forward for Auckland rail, offering an overall service increase of 25%. This includes extra peak and off peak services, new Sunday services and extended late-night Friday and Saturday services.
One of the key focuses for the new timetable is to increase the frequency of services across the network and make efficient use of the available rolling stock. Services on all lines have been re-timed and some express services will now stop at all stations. The new sectional running times better reflect the current operating conditions on the Auckland network. We understand from your comments that some changes in services may not longer be as convient for some individuals but the changes are part of a wider plan of improvement which will continue to permit further development on the network.
Thank you for you comments with regards to the 5.45pm service from Britomart to Waitakere. Your concerns have been forwarded to the Connex operations department for consideration.
Your understand during this period of upgrading and improvement is greatly appreciated.
Yours sincerely
Craig Inger
Train services manager

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Blogger James Pole said...

The reason for the dropping of the 5:45pm service is mainly due to the new 37mins frequency. The advantage of the new timetable, however, is that more trains now run on time on the Western Line! I do wish they had a extra express 1 hour or so after the current one.

8:09 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Trouble is, the 25% extra service is all off peak (in the west anyway). The peak capacity is actually reduced based on this calculation: 37 minute schedule replaces 30, that's .8 of the frequency. So about 750 seats an hour (2 4 carriage ADLs) turns into 600. The express is one new train currently with 200 seats. Peak is 2 hours long. Fewer seats in peak, and some of them can't be accessed from some stations. Calculation doesn't count standing places.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Miles said...

Good points guys. Keep them coming.

6:57 PM  
Blogger James Pole said...

The reason for many peak-time delays on the Western Line was due to the 30-mins frequency, so I don't want to see it brought back.

From what I heard computer modelling showed that 30-mins frequencies were very difficult to achieve. Trains kept arriving at Waitakere too late, and thus the late return trip would force west-bound trains to be held at either Avondale or Henderson.

The extra 7mins have given the trains more breathing space when there are unforeseeable delays and thus allows them to run on time more often, even if the previous service was late.

The timetable has not been running for long, but so far I have not seen a train being held at Avondale for the east-bound train, which happened all the time under the old peak timetable. This is a positive thing as it allows me to have confidence that the trains will run on time.

However Charles has a good point regarding the frequency. But I wouldn't blame Connex, as their hands are tied. I would put the blame on the government and the old tranzrail for not double-tracking the Western Line earlier. Had the double-tracking been done 20 or 30 years ago, we would not be having these problems now!

11:32 AM  

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