Contents Listing - Articles & Features in this issue
LOCOMOTIVE CAUSERIE - Norman Harvey THE LONDON TILBURY AND SOUTHEND LINE SINCE THE WAR - 2 - P. I. Poton THIS MONTH'S CENTENARIES 1. - Spencer Gilks HALF A CENTURY OF TRAIN TRAVEL - Cecil Allen LIGHT RAILWAY NOTES - W. K. Danes THE RAILWAYS OF MACCLESFIELD - R. Keys A GLIMPSE OF THE RAILWAYS OF ANDALUSIA AND THE LEVANTE - 2 - L. G. Marshall COLNE VALLEY NOTEBOOK - W. K. Dories LETTERS BOOK REVIEWS CLUB NOTES RAILFANS REGISTER FRONT COVER: W.R. 4-6-0 No. 6964 Thornbridge HcH prepares to leave Wembley Hill with a returning football excursion to Shrewsbury on April 26, 1958.
RECENTLY a questionnaire was addressed by the London Midland Region inviting regular passengers to answer the question whether they would prefer to have a timetable which would reasonably guarantee punctual arrivals during the present difficult period when work on main line electrification requires many speed restrictions, or whether they would like accelerated schedules with no such guarantee. As to what the response was we have no information; but it would seem to us that what is required is considerable cuts in overall schedules with punctuality at the same time. When the lavish recovery times were first inserted in the main Euston-Rugby-Birmingham-Crewe-Manchester-Liverpool timetable of the Western Lines, the majority of the trains were still being worked by steam power. Today Type 4 diesel-electric units of 2.000 and 2,300 h.p. are in almost complete control; with powers of rapid acceleration from slacks considerably greater than those of "Royal Scot" 4-6-Os, and, in their present condition, probably of Class 8 Pacifies also. Because of the late start of some of the engineering work south of Rugby, for months past up expresses have been reaching Euston at all hours, in some cases from 20 up to even 30min ahead of time. This may be highly spectacular to the railway enthusiast, but it would be impossible to describe such happenings as timekeeping. Attention has been drawn to the plight, say, of a mother with a family travelling on one of these trains and expecting to be met, but, needless to say, finding no one waiting when the arrival is so far removed from what is shown in the timetable. What is the position also of signalmen charged with the complicated task of train regulation when trains run so far out of course? It seems beyond all reason to extend recovery times to no less than 30min over the 82} miles between Euston and Rugby alone; this may help the L.M.R. punctuality figures, but it may also reap an unfortunate tjarvest by encouraging slack driving, upsetting operation and, indeed, losing traffic owing to the unconscionable slowing down of the train service. It should be completely impossible, for example, for a non-stop journey from Manchester to Euston to be allowed as much as 4hr for the 188^ miles with modern diesel power, as is the case with the up "Mancunian." Unfortunately the present timetable has up to June 17, 1962, of its currency still to run, but it is earnestly to be hoped that as the result of the change of management from January 1 some drastic alterations will be made in the L.M.R. Western Lines timetable from the date of its next revision.
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