The Anonymous Widower

Funding Secured For New Entrance At Stratford Tube Station

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on IanVisits.

The new entrance will give those coming from the Carpenters Estate direct access to Stratford station.

This Google Map shows the South East section of the station.

The main station building has the two station symbols on the top and the Jubilee Line platforms run Southwards from the building.

It would appear that the new entrance will be close to the Southernmost corner of the station building in a staff car park.

Knowing the station well, I suspect it will be a very useful new entrance for both residents and visitors to the Olympic Park.

It will make it easier to avoid the clutches of Eastfield.

The only details on the cost of the scheme is this sentence from Ian’s article.

Newham council has agreed to contribute £1 million to the scheme, which is being funded from its Community Infrastructure Levy.

As it incorporates some extra lifts in the station, the scheme is probably going to be more than a million pound one, but the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) is involved, I suspect that everything is securely funded.

Should There Be Other Small Schemes Like This?

At Shepherd’s Bush station on the Overground, in 2015, a new entrance was built to give better access to Westfield. It is not very busy during the day, but I suspect that workers at Westfield use it more than shopper. Wikipedia says it cost £1.35 million, so I should think that the Stratford scheme wouldn’t cost a great deal more.

I believe there are other places, where extra entrances could be built.

Simple Ungated Entrances

Entrances don’t have to be grand, as I showed in An Ungated Entrance Used To Create Step-Free Access At Crofton Park Station.

These two entrances are just a hole in the station fence, Oyster readers and a bit of tarmac. There must be other places, where these entrances can be installed.

An Entrance At Hackney Central Station Into Graham Road

In It Looks Like The Hackney Downs/Central Link Is Ready To Open, I also talk in detail about adding a Southern entrance to Hackney Central station, that would lead directly into Graham Road. Eith a pedestrian crossing and changes to the bus stops, it would be a very useful step-free entrance for those living between the centres of Hackney and Dalston.

A Second Entrance At Highbury & Islington Station

In Could We Create A Second Entrance To The Overground At Highbury And Islington Station?, I investigated creating a West-facing entrance at Highbury & Islington station, that would improve access for those going to football.

Conclusion

I believe that a lot of stations can be improved, by adding extra entrances in convenient places.

It is probably easier to do in London’s Oyster/contactless card area, as a couple of readers can sort out ticketing.

 

May 18, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Mayor Drops Plans To Close London Overground Ticket Offices

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The Mayor of London has dropped plans to close ticket offices at 51 London Overground stations.

Busy stations will continue to operate as usual, though many will have opening hours reduced to just two-and-a-half hours per day, City Hall said.

Although the Unions objected to the Mayor’s original plans and this has probably prompted the Mayor’s U-turn, I think that staff in ticket offices will disappear within perhaps five years.

The only time, I see anyone use the Ticket Office at Dalston Junction station, is probably to sort out a ticketing issue with the machines, which are becoming increasingly rare, as Transport for London are increasing their numbers and replacing older machines with better designs.

Also as Dalston Junction is a busy station, there is usually someone manning the gate-line, who can help.

But over the next few years, the following will happen.

  • More and more passengers will use contactless ticketing with bank cards.
  • Contactless ticketing will expand widely, so that for most journeys in the UK, you would just touch-in and touch-out.
  • Oyster will cease to be used and be withdrawn.
  • Gateline technology will get better.
  • Staff working on the gateline and platforms, will be better equipped with mobile technology to sort out problems.
  • Ticket machines will develop into sophisticated multi-language help points.
  • Cash will disappear from daily life and stations.
  • Train companies will continue to be short of drivers and will look for other staff that can be retrained.

On a related note, increasingly, London Underground and Overground are being targeted by organised gangs of beggars. This means they need more staff on the gateline to control the problem.

I can see a time, when working in a ticket office will be a very lonely and boring job, that no-one will want to do.

So like the dinosaurs, they will just die out!

 

 

April 19, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

An Ungated Entrance Used To Create Step-Free Access At Crofton Park Station

Crofton Park station is not step-free and has the usual staiircases.

As I passed through today, I noticed that an ungated entrance had been used to create step-free access.

Passengers are expected to touch-in and out on the touch pads.

I suspect most do!

But it’s a clever idea to build an affordable step-free entrance.

I suspect this type of entrance might become more common in the Oyster-card area.

After all, there are several Overground stations without ticket gates.

April 7, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

DfT Consulting On Plans To Expand Pay-As-You-Go Rail Travel Nationwide

The total of this post is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

I can’t see what the problem is.

  • My bank card would be linked to my Freedom Pass and Senior Railcard on either a ticketing web site or even better on my on-line bank account.
  • If it were the latter, then when I checked my bank account, as I do regularly, I could also check my travel.
  • I would then just touch in and touch out for each journey.
  • The central computer would then give me the best price for my journey.

As an example, if I went to say Oxford, I would only be charged between the Zone 6 boundary, which is my Freedom Pass limit and Oxford station.

I would not need to buy an extra ticket.

This is all well and good for those with UK bank accounts, but how would it handle other eventualities?

Overseas Visitors

If say one of my overseas friends was in the UK, they would just use a contactless bank card.

If they had a Railcard, as several do, they would register the link on a ticketing web site.

Advance Tickets

These could still be bought on-line or at a booking office as now.

Buses, Taxis and Trams

The system should be extended to buses, taxis, traims and any other future transport systems like cable-cars and pod systems.

Conclusion

It would be a very complicated computer system to program, but most of the work has already been done for London and is working successfully.

It would make the UK’s public transport system one of the most passenger-fruendly in the world.

What would that do for ridership? And tourism?

 

February 8, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Should High Speed Two Use Contactless Ticketing?

Ask Londoners what they think of contactless ticketing and the views, will generally be positive.

Londoners are also increasingly travelling with their credit and debit cards instead of London’s Oyster Card.

Other city’s like New York, are also going London’s way and are basing ticketing around bank cards.

High Speed Two’s Phase One Network

IWhen Phase One hopefully opens in 2025, according to this section in Wikipedia, this could be the service pattern in trains per hour (tph)

  • 3 tph – Birmingham Curzon Street calling at Old Oak Common (OOC) and Birmingham Interchange
  • 3 tph – Birmingham Interchange calling at OOC
  • 2 tph – Liverpool Lime Steet calling at OOC, Stafford (1tph), Crewe (1tph) and Runcorn
  • 3 tph – Manchester Piccadilly calling at OOC, Wilmslow (1tph) amd Stockport
  • 1 tph – Preston calling at OOC, Crewe, Warrington Bank Quay and Wigan North Western
  • 1 tph – Glasgow calling at OOC and Preston

This is a very simple network and consists of the following stations.

  • 3 tph – Birmingham Curzon Street
  • 5 tph – Birmingham Interchange
  • 2 tph – Crewe
  • 2 tph – Liverpool Lime Street
  • 3 – tph – Manchester Piccadilly
  • 13 tph – Old Oak Common
  • 2 tph – Preston
  • 2 tph – Runcorn
  • 1 tph – Stafford
  • 3 tph – Stockport
  • 1 tph – Warrington Bank Quay
  • 1 tph – Wigan North Western
  • 1 tph – Wilmslow

This is just thirteen stations..

Fitting these large and medium-sized stations with ticket barriers able to accept all forms of ticketing, that can handle hundreds of passengers is the sort of operation, that Transport for London has been doing for years.

High Speed Two’s Phase Two Stations

After completion of Phase Two, these stations will be added to the High Speed Two Network.

  • Carlisle
  • Carstairs
  • Chesterfield
  • East Midlands Parkway
  • Edinburgh
  • Edinburgh Haymarket
  • Leeds
  • Manchester Airport
  • Newcastle
  • Sheffield
  • York

This is another eleven stations.

Fares On High Speed Two

Wikipedia has a Section called Fares in their entry for High Speed Two.

This is said.

There has been no announcement about how HS2 tickets will be priced, although the government said that it would “assume a fares structure in line with that of the existing railway” and that HS2 should attract sufficient passengers to not have to charge premium fares. Paul Chapman, in charge of HS2’s public relations strategy, suggested that there could be last minute tickets sold at discount rates. He said, “when you have got a train departing on a regular basis, maybe every five or ten minutes, in that last half hour before the train leaves and you have got empty seats…you can start selling tickets for £5 and £10 at a standby rate.

I also have my views.

Capacity

I will look at current and future capacity to Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester

Note the following capacities of the various trains.

  • Class 390/0 – 9 cars – 469 seats
  • Class 390/1 – 11 cars  589 seats
  • High Speed Two – 1000 seats.

I am not making any class distinction.

Capacity To Birmingham

Currently, Virgin run three tph to Birmingham, which if they were all eleven car trains, which they aren’t would be a capacity of 1,767 seats per hour.

Phase One of High Speed Two will have six tph to the two Birmingham stations, which would be a capacity of 6,000 seats per hour.

This will be an increase in capacity of over three times.

Capacity to Liverpool

Currently, Virgin run one tph to Liverpool, which if it is an eleven car train, this would be a capacity of 589 seats per hour.

Phase One of High Speed Two will have two tph to Liverpool, which would be a capacity of 2,000 seats per hour.

This will be an increase in capacity of over three times.

Capacity to Manchester

Currently, Virgin run three tph to Manchester, which if they were all eleven car trains, it would be a capacity of 1,767 seats per hour.

Phase One of High Speed Two will have three tph to Manchester, which would be a capacity of 3,000 seats per hour.

This will be an increase in capacity of nearly twice.

Is Manchester Missing Out?

Mancunians will probably say they are being short-changed as their capacity increase is less than Birmingham and Liverpool.

But it should also be noted that Preston will have a High Speed Two service of two tph from London and Warrington Bank Quay and Wigan North Western, will each have one tph.

So travellers will be able to use High Speed Two without going to Manchester Piccadilly.

Fares And Ticketing

If I want to buy an Off Peak Return ticket on Virgin between Euston and Birmingham for a few days in the future, it will cost me £56.70 without a railcard.

Off Peak Returns to Liverpool and Manchester are £89.60 without a railcard.

Paper And E-Tickets

The current ticketing systems will probably still be available and just as you do with airlines, you will probably be able to buy tickets over the Internet and douwnload to your phone or print a paper ticket.

Contactless Cards

I would think, that it would be very likely that an Off Peak Single ticket to Birmingham will be under the contactless payment limit.

We don’t know how contactless is going to advance in the next few years, but, I suspect certain companies will be allowed a higher limit, if they take some of the risk.

I also think systems will get more sophisticated, so your bank might allow a railcard to be associated with your bank card.

This would reduce your Liverpool/Manchester fare to £59.15, which means each way is under the current contatless limit.

The longest Off Peak Return journey from Euston to Glasgow is only £98.00 with a raiicard.

Given these current ticket prices, I believe that contactless ticketing could be used to sell tickets on High Speed Two.

What Advantages Would Contactless Tickets Have For Passengers?

Convenience would be at a high level. You would do the following.

  • Turn up at the gate, where a display might say, that the current Single fare to Birmingham is £20 and the train leaves at 10:20.
  • Touch in at the gate.
  • Go through the gate, after your bank card had been checked.
  • Get on the train and find your seat.
  • Travel to Birmingham
  • Get off the train.
  • Touch out at the gate.
  • Go through the gate, after your bank card has been successfully debited with the fare.

What could be simpler?

Earlier, I indicated that Wikipedia says that standby fares will be available.

But imagine, if High Speed Two’s computer, adjusted the fares, so that the trains attracted a high level of passengers. Ryanair and EasyJet have been doing something similar for years.

So I think, that if High Speed Two get this right, they will do that difficult trick of making money and giving passengers low prices.

But the biggest advantages for passengers, is that they won’t have to plan their journeys in advance.

So supposing you work for a software company and one of the company’s clients in Birmingham, needs an urgent visit.

You can just go and know you’ll get the cheapest fare.

What Advantages Would Contactless Tickets Have For High Speed Two?

Contactless ticketing is so much more affordable than using paper or e-tickets.

IIt should also attract more passengers to use the train.

Conclusion

There are winners all round.

 

 

p

February 3, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | 2 Comments

Oyster Card Scheme Extension Agreed

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC,

This paragraph describes the extensions.

Its extension, due in early 2019, will include Hertford North, Welwyn Garden City, Luton Airport Parkway and Epsom.

As the Oyster Card extension will also include intermediate stations, the following stations will be included on the four routes.

  • Hertford North – Crews Hill, Cuffley and Bayford.
  • Luton Airport Parkway – Radlett, St. Albans City and Harpenden
  • Welwyn Garden City – Potters Bar, Brookmans Park,Welham Green and Hatfield

All intermediate stations to Epsom are already in the Oyster Card Scheme.

Fourteen new stations will be added.

These are a few random thoughts.

Contactless And Oyster

Oyster card and most contactless payment methods with a card or mobile device can be used on Oyster Card reader, so in this post, I will use contactless to cover all methods.

I believe that in a few years, Oyster could be phased out, as cards and mobile devices will take over the ticketing.

Luton Airport Parkway

Adding Luton Airport Parkway station to the network, brings Luton Airport in line with Gatwick and Heathrow Airports.

This is very much a logical extension.

Airport Services

This is a list of the current times for airport services from London.

  • Gatwick – Express – 29 minutes – Thameslink – 39-60 minutes
  • Heathrow – Express – 15 minutes – Crossrail – 28 minutes
  • Luton – East Midlands Trains – 21 minutes – Thameslink 30-47 minutes
  • Southend – 52-53 minutes
  • Stansted – 49-52 minutes

If you look at the passenger statistics for Gatwick Airport station, they have been rising at around a million passengers a year for the past few years. How much of the recent rises have been due to the station going contactless in January 2016?

Certainly, if you’re late for a plane, contactless ticketing might save a couple of minutes.

I always remember an incident at Southend Airport station.

My plane was late and arrived very close to the departure time of the last train to London. There had recently been a lot of arrivals and the queues for tickets were long.

So a Greater Anglia employee took the decision to tell everybody to get on the train and we all went to London without tickets.

If ticketing had been contactless, Greater Anglia might have collected some fares.

But contactless at an airport is not solely about making money, but getting the passengers away from the airport quickly.

Hertford East And Hertford North Stations

Hertford East station accepts contactless cards.

Adding the facility to Hertford North station may open up some journey possibilities and ease ticketing.

The National Rail web site recommends that to go between Ware and Bayford stations on either side of Hertford, that you walk between the East and North stations.

An anytime ticket will cost you £19.50.

But buy two separate tickets between Ware and Hertford East stations and Hertford North and Bayford stations and it’ll cost £6!

Using contactless ticketing and touching in at all stations will save £13.50! Will this cost difference encourage more journeys with a walk in the middle?

When I visited the Hertford East Branch recently in mid-morning, I thought that it was surprisingly busy. Does lower-hassle contactless ticketing encourage more passengers?

Analysis of contactless touches will provide the answers to my two questions.

St. Albans City And St. Albans Abbey Stations

The Abbey Line between Watford Junction and St. Albans Abbey stations is not contactless, although Watford Junction station is so enabled and St. Albans City station will be.

There is surely a case for adding contactless ticketing to this short line of five intermediate stations.

Welwyn Garden City Station

Enabling Oyster on the route to Welwyn Garden City station, will mean that all stations on the Great Northern Route from Moorgate station will be enabled except for Watton-at-Stone  and Stevenage.

This would surely be less confusing for passengers, than the current arrangement, where Oyster tickeing is stopped at Hadley Wood and Gordon Hill stations.

Hopefully a suitable announcement would wake-up accidental fare avoiders at Hertford North station.

Epsom Station

The two routes to London from Epsom station are both fully Oyster-enabled, so surely adding one station to the routes shouldn’t be a difficult problem technically.

Further Routes For Oyster

Distances of the new Oyster-enabled stations, with a few existing ones, by rail from Central London are as follows.

  • Epsom – 16 miles from Victoria.
  • Gatwick Airport – 26 miles from Victoria
  • Hertford North – 20 miles from Moorgate
  • Luton Airport Parkway – 29 miles from St. Pancras
  • Shenfield – 20 miles from Liverpool Street
  • Welwyn Garden City – 20 miles from Kings Cross

So what other stations could be added?

Southend And Stansted Airports

Airports seem to like Oyster and as I said earlier, it can help to sort out ticketing problems at certain times.

  • Southend Airport station is 39 miles from Liverpool Street and there are five other stations between Southend Airport and Shenfield stations.
  • Stansted Airport station is 36 miles from Liverpool Street and there are six other stations between Southend Airport and Broxbourne stations.

This story on ITV is entitled Rail Minister Urged To Roll Out Oyster Card Payments To Stansted, Luton And Southend Airports.

Luton Airport will soon be Oyster-enabled, so hopefully Stansted and Southend Airports will be enabled soon.

Thirty Miles From London

There are a lot of places within thirty miles of London on commuter routes, that I’m sure eventually will be Oyster-enabled.

  • High Wycombe and Aylesbury – Chiltern have ambitions for this.
  • Rochester – 30 miles from London and on Thameslink.
  • Windsor

There will be other suggestions.

Extending Freedom Pass

I’d like to be able to just touch-in and touch-out to go to any station in the Oyster card area.

My Freedom Pass would be connected to a bank or credit card and I would be charged beyond the Freedom Pass area.

If Oyster cards can be linked to a bank or credit card, surely London’s control computer can be programmed to do something very powerful for Freedom Passes.

It could be a nice little earner for cash-strapped Transport for London.

Conclusion

Oyster is extending its reach and after this flurry of extensions in the next few months, lot of places will be wanting to be Oyster-enabled.

I suspect the only objector to this roll-out, will be the RMT, who have made the Luddites look like pussycats!

 

 

 

December 15, 2018 Posted by | Computing, Transport | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

50% Of All TfL Pay As You Go Journeys Are Now Made Using Contactless Payments.

The title of this post is the same as the title of this article on SmartRailWorld.

This is the first paragraph.

Londoners and visitors to the British capital have embraced the contactless way to pay, with more than 17 million pay as you go journeys on bus, Tube and rail services made a week using the technology according to the latest figures from Transport for London (TfL). This total equates to around half of all pay as you go journeys now being made using contactless payment cards or mobile devices.

The article goes on to say New York and Sydney are going to similar systems.

Can anybody tell me, why other large cities and conurbations in the UK, aren’t installing similar systems based on contactless payments?

Especially, as London ain’t seen nothing yet!

April 25, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Ticketing On Heathrow Southern Railway

This article on City AM is entitled New Elizabeth Line Services Are Coming To Heathrow’s Terminal 5 After Airport Strikes Deal With The Government and TfL. It contains this paragraph.

Heathrow has also announced that it is introducing Oyster and contactless payments for all rail services going into the airport. From May 2018, new ticket readers will be installed at Heathrow, so anyone using Heathrow Express and TfL Rail will be able to use an Oyster or contactless.

When I passed through Heathrow a couple of weeks ago, there was evidence of new ticket gates being installed.

Heathrow Southern Railway’s Proposed Services

Heathrow Southern Railway are proposing four services to the West of Terminal 5 at Heathrow.

  • Heathrow Express from Terminal 5 to Woking, Guildford and Basingstoke, with an additional stop at Farnborough Main.
  • Crossrail from Terminal 5 to Staines
  • A service from Terminal 5 to Waterloo with stops at Staines, Clapham Junction and possibly Ashford, Felham, Twickenham, Richmond and Vauxhall.
  • A service from Terminal 5 to Weybridge with stops at Egham, Virginia Water, Chertsey and Addlestone.

Some of the stations like those between Feltham and Waterloo already accept contactless ticking, but surely all of them must if Heathrow Southern Railway is built, as you’ll be able to use contactless ticketing at Heathrow, but not at say Woking or Basingstoke.

Onward From Basingstoke, Guildford And Woking

A proportion of travellers from places like Bournemouth, Exeter, Portsmouth, Salisbury and Southampton will use Heathrow Southern Railway to get to the airport, with an appropriate change at Basingstoke, Guidford or Woking.

Will these travellers want to use contactless ticketing?

Conclusion

There will be a lot of discussions about ticketing on the Heathrow Southern Railway.

These ticketing issues, help to make it very understandable, why MTR, a partner in South Western Railway, want to join the Heathrow Southern Railway, as I wrote about in MTR Vying To Join Heathrow Southern Rail Bid.

Travellers want the ticketing system with the least hassle and as London is proving, contactless ticketing with bank cards works well!

 

 

 

April 8, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

More Train Services Between Leeds, Huddersfield And Manchester

This article on the Huddersfield Daily Examiner is entitled Important Timetable Changes For Huddersfield Rail Passengers Heading To Manchester.

It is a good explanation of the major changes that will take place to TransPennine Express services after the 20th of May.

  • There will be four fast trains between Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester Victoria station
  • There will be two slow trains between Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester Piccadilly station
  • But nothing is said about Northern services.

I suspect, it will be sorted by the time the service starts.

I would check before you travel.

Hopefully, if you want to go to Piccadilly and get on a train that only goes to Victoria, it will be a same platform interchange to continue, your journey if your ticket is marked Manchester Stastions.

I would assume that you won’t be able to touch in with a contactless card on this short journey as is becoming the norm in a lot of the World.

Ticketing in the North is so Nineteenth Century.

 

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 5 Comments

Do A Lot Of Other Cities Need An Overground?

This article on the MayprWatch web site is entitled London Overground Celebrates Ten Years Of Transforming Rail Travel In The Capital.

The principles behind the Overground are simple.

  • Bring run-down suburban railways under local control.
  • Clean everything like crazy.
  • Run four trains per hour on all routes.
  • Introduce contactless ticketing with Oyster and bank cards.
  • Have lots of visible well-trained staff.
  • Upgrade stations and step-free access, when money allows.
  • Increase train length to match passenger numbers.
  • Allow disabled passengers to just turn up and get the assistance they need.
  • Add lots of passenger information.

The principles certainly appear to have worked. This is from the MayorWatch article.

This investment, which started under Mr Livingstone and was continued by his successor Boris Johnson, has helped the London Overground become one of the UK’s most successful rail services, with independently measured passenger satisfaction scores routinely above 80%.

Since launch, more than a billion passenger journeys have been made on the network which now serves 23 of the Capital’s boroughs as well as southern Hertfordshire.

The investment is continuing.

  • In 2018, new Class 710 trains will replace the thirty-year-old Class 315 trains on West Anglia routes to Cheshunt, Chingford and Enfield Town.
  • In 2018, the newly-electrified Gospel Oak to Barking Line will change over to four-car Class 710 trains to double capacity.
  • In 2018, Friday and Saturday night services will start on the East London Line.
  • By 2020, service frequencies on the circular North, East, South and West London Lines will have increased to decrease the overcrowding.
  • In 2021, the Gospel Oak to Barking Line Extension to Barking Riverside will open to serve ten thousand new homes.
  • In 2026, the North London Line will join the big party at Old Oak Common station, when HS2 opens.
  • Could the West London Orbital be the next project?
  • Transport for London would love to get their hands on the Northern City Line. This proposal is supported by many Londoners, polticians and rail professionals like Chris Gibb.

So long as passengers turn up, we will see increasing amounts of orange on London’s Rail and Tube Map.

Celebrating Ten Years

To celebrate ten years, London Overground have released a map showing attractions that are accessible from the Overground.

The Overground could become a tourist attraction in its own right.

  • No special ticket required – Just touch in and out!
  • Many of the attractions served by the Overground are affordable or free.
  • Trains have a frequency of at least four trains per hour.
  • Stations generally have good directions to local attractions.

In addition, Overground trains have better views from the windows than Underground trains.

The Overground Has Certainly Been A Success

When I moved to Dalston in 2010, the Overground had just opened to four station within walking distance; Canonbury, Dalston Junction, Dalston Kingsland and Haggerston.

New three-car Class 378 trains ran to Clapham Junction, Crystal Palace, New Cross, Richmond, Stratford and West Croydon, every fifteen or so minutes.

Now the trains have grown to five-cars and there is an extra route across South London to Clapham Junction to complete the circlke around Central London.

Passenger numbers have grown with the capacity and the railways have transformed Hackney and Dalston in particular.

Other Overgrounds In The UK

Several cities in the UK have their own local rail networks that are heavily used for commuting, leisure, shopping and tourism.

I’ve rode on systems in Birm,ingham, Glasgow and Liverpool, but none of these railways is as easy to use and as travel information-rich as the London Overground.

Not one of the UK’s local networks for instance, allow ticketing by using a contactless bank or credit card.

But then, with only a couple of exceptions, European networks are no better than the abysmal norm!

Contactless Ticketing

I believe that every local rail or Metro network, should support ticketing using contactless bank or credit cards.

  • There is no need to buy a ticket or a special electronic travel card.
  • A maximum daily, weekly or monthly cap can be applied.
  • \Entry and exit at stations is quick and easy.

I also feel that cities that don’t go this route will lose out, as tourists will go elsewhere.

Network Maps

New Metros in Europe and the rest of the world, shameslessly copy the features of London’s iconic Tube map for one of their networks. But often for various reasons, they position them high-up and make it that you need to be over six foot tall to read them.

Every network, should have a large map, that is at least the size of London’s with the stations laid out in an easy-to-read format, that can be read by anybody from an eleven-year-old child to an eighty-yrear-old with failing eyesight, sitting in a wheelchair.

London’s maps aren’t perfect, but they are a good start!

Merseyrail

I know the Merseyrail network well and it probably comes closest to the London Overground in terms of operation.

But, in terms of Marketing, I don’t think it does is best to sell itself to visitors.

Birmingham

Is a big change about to happen in Birmingham?

This article in the Railway Gazette is entitled West Midlands Trains Announces London Northwestern Brand.

This is also said about services in Birmingham.

Services operating around Birmingham are to use the West Midlands Combined Authority’s West Midlands Railway branding, with a view to facilitating the possible future devolution of responsibility for these services from the national Department for Transport to the authority.

So will Birmingham improve its local rail offering?

It’s certainly going to have new trains and an expanded service, so will they add the following.

  • Contasctless bank card ticketing.
  • A route pattern and map, that is understandable to non-Brummies.
  • Dedicated local platforms at New Street station.
  • More visible staff on the platforms.
  • More information.

The bare bones are there, but they need a lot more flesh!

Conclusion

The world needs to develop more Overground networks as London has done!

 

 

November 11, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment