The Anonymous Widower

London To Rainham And Back On Thameslink

Today was the first Monday of a new timetable and I took a trip to Rainham (Kent) station from London Bridge on the new Thameslink service,, before returning to Abbey Wood station.

Note.

  1. I took a picture at each station as we went out to Rainham.
  2. There is a lot of housing and commercial development going on by Dartford and Rochester stations.
  3. Thameslink are scheduled to run trains between Luton and Rainham (Kent) stations every thirty minutes.
  4. There were two Class 345 trains at Abbey Wood station.
  5. I went in a Class 700 train with eight-cars.

There was the odd cancelled train on the route, but what surprised me on the return journey, was that my train passed four Class 700 trains going in the other direction.

I must assume, that Thameslink were training more drivers for the route.

The Service I Took

The Thameslink service between Luton and Rainham, that I took from London Bridge to Rainham is a replacement for the Southeastern service between Charing Cross and Gillingham.

  • Both services use the same route between London Bridge and Gillingham.
  • Both services stop everywhere between London Bridge and Gillingham.
  • Both services are well-connected to other services at Abbey Wood (Crossrail), Woolwich Arsenal (DLR), Greenwich (DLR) and London Bridge (Northern and Jubilee).
  • The previous Southeastern service took 66 minutes between London Bridge and Gillingham,
  • The current Thameslink service is timetabled to take 82 minutes.
  • The Thameslink service takes over forty minutes to turn round at Rainham.

Given that the Thameslink Class 700 trains are 100 mph trains and the previous Class 465 trains are only 75 mph trains, I find it extraordinary that faster and more modern trains are delivering a slower service.

Complaints

There have been complaints about the new timetable, so I asked a couple of station staff, what they felt about the new Thameslink service from Luton to Rainham.

They seemed in favour and added, these points about the service.

  • It would help with getting the service out of trouble, when there were delays East of Rainham.
  • It gives a direct connection to Dartford.
  • The extra capacity will help.

The service to Rainham will surely act as a collector service for those changing to Crossrail at Abbey Wood.

Rainham to Bond Street with a change at Abbey Wood, should be under an hour and a half.

May 21, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Thameslink To Rainham

Modern Railways in August 2016, said that Thameslink would be running a two trains per hour (tph) service between Luton and Rainham via Greenwich and Dartford.

GTR’s Proposals

This document on their web site gives these outline proposals for Kent Thameslink services.

This is the opening paragraph.

Proposed new all-day Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday Thameslink service on the North Kent line via Greenwich, Dartford and Medway Towns.

They describe it in more detail later.

New cross-London journey opportunities providing multiple connectivity opportunities will be created between Luton – St Albans City – West Hampstead Thameslink – Central London (via London Bridge) – Greenwich – Abbey Wood – Dartford – Rochester – Rainham. This new route will provide multiple new connections with the new east to west Elizabeth Line (formally Crossrail) at Abbey Wood. The route can also be operated by 8 or 12 car trains.

I will now add a few comments.

The Eastern Terminal

In Rainham (Kent) Station, I took a look at the proposed terminal.

  • Rainham station is Thameslink-ready with a bay platform 0 of sufficient length for a twelve-car Class 700 train.
  • Rainham station can probably handle the two trains per hour (tph) from Luton without undue fuss.
  • Rainham as a terminal means the string of important stations in the Medway towns, which includes Gravesend, Strood, Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham, could all be served by Thameslink.
  • The only other station beyond Gravesend with a bay platform is Rochester.
  • Terminating at Rainham doesn’t increase the train frequency over the busy level crossing.
  • Terminating at Rainham gives 5 tph from Gravesend to Rainham and 7 tph between Rochester and Rainham, which creates a high-capacity frequent route through the Medway Towns.

It would appear to be the sort of choice, that is difficult to fault.

Should The Thameslink Service Stop At More Stations?

Coming back from Rainham today, I took a Highspeed service to Gravesend, from where I caught a Gillingham to Charing Cross service that was following a few minutes behind.

As there are several stopping services on the line, perhaps stopping at a few important stations will be sufficient.

  • Greenhithe for the shopping at Bluewater.
  • Dartford for all the connectivity.
  • Abbey Wood for Crossrail.
  • Greenwich for the culture and the Docklands Light Railway.

Stopping patterns could be altered to fit traffic patterns, passengers requirements and new property developments

Eight-Or Twelve-Car Trains

It would all depend on the traffic, but there doesn’t seem to be any reason why either train size can’t be used between Luton and Rainham.

Related Posts

A Design Crime – Ebbsfleet International Station

A Trip To Sheppey

A Twelve-Car Ready Railway

Along The North Kent Line

Between Abbey Wood And Belvedere Stations

Connecting North Kent And The Medway Towns To Ebbsfleet International Station

Extending Crossrail To Gravesend

Rainham (Kent) Station

Through The Medway Towns

What Do You Do With A Problem Like Sheppey?

 

September 20, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 12 Comments

Rainham (Kent) Station

There are two stations with the same name and this Rainham station is the one in Kent, which is to the East of Gillingham on the Chatham Main Line.

It is a busy station, which has these typical off-peak services.

  • 2 trains per hour (tph) to London St Pancras via Chatham and Ebbsfleet International
  • 3 tph to London Victoria via Chatham and Bromley South (1ph calling at Denmark Hill)
  • 1 tph to Sittingbourne and Faversham only
  • 2 tph to Dover Priory via Canterbury East
  • 2 tph to Ramsgate via Margate

Adding them up gives 5 tph in both directions, with a choice of Highspeed or traditional services to and from two London termini.

The station has benefited from the East Kent Resignalling Project. This is said in Wikipedia.

Rainham has a new bay platform off the up-line, which can accommodate a 12-car train, labelled Platform 0. It is now being used as a Terminus for a couple of evening rush hour trains.

It would appear to be an extra platform, that has been fitted well into the layout of the station.

If Thameslink does run a service from Rainham to Luton from 2018, the platform would have no difficulty turning the two trains per hour.

This will give a 2 tph service to three London termini; London Bridge, Blackfriars and St. Pancras on its way to Luton.

The level crossing at the station, probably limits the number of trains through Rainham station, despite the fact that some may be timed to pass in the station, which reduces the number of times it closes to road traffic.

So using the bay platform 0 for Thameslink, increases the frequency to the West of the station to 7 tph, but leaves that through the crossing at 5 tph.

It seems to be a sensible way to increase train frequencies without choking road traffic too much.

I very much like the thinking behind the design.

Related Posts

A Design Crime – Ebbsfleet International Station

A Trip To Sheppey

A Twelve-Car Ready Railway

Along The North Kent Line

Between Abbey Wood And Belvedere Stations

Connecting North Kent And The Medway Towns To Ebbsfleet International Station

Extending Crossrail To Gravesend

Thameslink To Rainham

Through The Medway Towns

What Do You Do With A Problem Like Sheppey?

 

 

September 20, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 9 Comments