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Red Leicester

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About Red Leicester

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  1. Here's the stats for London Underground lift (elevator) availability. Can't find escalators https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publications-and-reports/lift-availability
  2. Hello from London, To give a view on this from across the water, and apologies for reviving an old thread, but we have a similar loop on the London Underground Northern Line at Kennington, trains terminate in a southbound platform, passengers alight, trains then travel around a three-quarter mile loop and reappear in the northbound platform. Passengers are expected to alight though you can find the "we shouldn't have done this" Youtube video. A number of reasons passengers are not allowed to travel around: 1 - It may not be passenger rated track - many lines in the UK are for freight only and are barred to passengers, if you want to run Charter (special) passengers train you have to get it approved and track people have to go out and secure points (switches) and other things, no paperwork = train doesn't run; 2 - Services can get regulated on the loop, you could end up sat for hours in theory if they want you out the way or your train has failed for some reason; and 3 - It's possible trains terminate in the southbound platform, run round the loop and run empty to a depot. There are special charters that run round the loop every so often, that maybe how the City Hall loop is done by tours.. Have I done it? No, I'm always nervous of 3). Is it illegal? Well, probably far worse crimes but people getting over-carried into depots, loops and sidings is serious enough to be reported in daily logs on the railway. Mostly it's innocent passengers but the British Transport Police can take a dim view if they find it's enthusiasts trying to "tick off" some rare track, sadly the small minority give the majority a bad press. Hope this gives a different perspective. Always happy to give info on our networks here.
  3. I'm sure this has been mentioned on this forum before, so apologies, but if I come to New York and take a photo as I wait for a train will I get some strange looks? Here in the UK most stations allow photography as long as you stay out the way of the travelling public and don't use the flash. Depots are more difficult but books are produced detailing locations, how to get there and the best places to view the traction from. The largest has a large grass hill next to it and tens of enthusiasts stand there all day with cameras and binoculars. Some stations are enthusiast friendly and the station staff love it, they discourage anti-social behaviour and are seen as an extra pair of eyes. Most staff aren't fussed, some are enthusiasts themselves, others aren't, fail to see the attraction and shrug their shoulders and leave them to it. One or two are anti-enthusiasts and can be rude or obnoxious. A few have made the national press with stories and complaints and surprisingly the trains companies usually side with the enthusiast "they are doing no harm" and some On the Tube it's trickier but on one line (the Bakerloo) Northbound trains are routed through one of the depot roads, actually through the shed! Again photography is tolerated. A lot of tourists photograph each other on the platforms and on the trains. I have a picture of one sign at a station which reads: "Network Rail and South West Trains welcome rail enthusiasts to Eastleigh. However we would like to remind you of a few important things while you are here: - Please stay behind the yellow line on the platform. - Please don't use flash photography. It can distract train drivers and station staff. - Please don't wear clothing similar in colour to safety clothing such as high visibility jackets. This can also be distracting to train crew and station staff. - Please stay in public areas. Anyone found to be in an unauthorised area will be asked to leave the station. A full list of guidelines for enthusiasts can be found on the Network Rail website. Thank you for your co-operation."
  4. Hello, Some thoughts from the UK on this interesting post and one I know a bit about as I plan schedules over here, albeit on the heavy rail system rather than the Subway. We have what are called Timetable Planning Rules, these dictate the headway on the lines (the time we have to allow between two trains), junction margins (for conflicting moves) and just about everything else including turnround times for trains at terminal. THis varies by train type, length and company. You can have two identical trains operated by different operators (think companies rather than people) at the same station and one needs 6 minutes to change ends and the other operator needs 7 minutes. A lot of that is dictated by the unions. There's a procedure to make changes to the Rules, I "own" some of the them, they're done geographically, but I can't change them without consulting out to operators. We also have rolling stock restrictions so certain types of trains are not cleared for certain lines or platforms. It can get very complicated! There's also "stepping back" on our London Tube whereby train driver one brings train one in but train driver two takes train one out as the driver can't walk along the platform in time. So driver one may take out train three or four. If anyone's interested the link to the Rules can be found here, they are made available publicly... Network Rail - Operational rules Scroll to the bottom, it's the last link with "View the TPR online (includes the EAS)"
  5. Hello, Yes I believe the tube is open 24/7 but "thinned out" overnight to allow essential checks to take place. The tube also runs 24/7 on special occasions such as New Years Eve / Day to discourage drink driving and move crowds (it's also the only time it is free for passengers to travel) and during the Queens Jubilee celebrations. Heavy rail services are also running later into the night during the Olympics and trains are being strengthened in terms of number of carriages being run on services. I work in Ops Planning writing timetables (schedules) for London and the south east and we've had to alter our timescales and processes for the Olympics. Normally you can book a ticket 12 weeks before you want to travel but for the Olympics and Paralympics two weeks this changed to 52 weeks out.
  6. Hello, Here are my thoughts from across the Atlantic, sorry to keep doing this but thought it might give a good comparison! Hardly anything runs overnight on the UK rail network full stop! We have a token number of sleeper trains and an hourly service from London to Gatwick Airport, not even Heathrow is served 24 hours. The underground shuts down for 4 hours in London. We have a pretty good bus network overnight in London but move 15 miles out of London and there's... nothing! Closing stations doesn't save that much money. All stations on the underground here are staffed on eight hour shifts and eight hours times three = three shifts per day. Shutting for four hours means you end up paying for people to do absolutely nothing as it doesn't fit in with shift patterns but people will still want paying. Overnight stations are still staffed as works take place, cleaning etc so the marginal cost of keep a station open is quite small. It's a bit like 24 hour supermarkets, the staff are there anyway filling shelves so why not open up to the public! London Underground is trying to remove staff from some lightly used stations, hardly anyone is buying tickets, they did a survey once and 90% of people either use an Oyster card or buys their ticket from a machine but there are issues of passenger safety and the unions have also got involved and threatened to strike. I think I'd live with a few stations being shut but a 24 hour service, I think New York is very lucky to have one.
  7. In London in the UK sections of he underground are shut most weekends, ranging form lightly used sections out the countryside (Loughton - Epping on the Central line must be 15 miles from Central London) to section of line in the centre of London. Transport for London try to co-ordinate closures so that parallel routes are not shut at the same time, but London doesn't have the luxury of being able to divert services down another line in most cases. The London Underground is also shut from 01:00 - 05:00 most morning but to do the big works they have to take weekend possessions and put buses on instead. This does have the benefit of be able to blitz the work and do far more in one 52 hour block than can be done in one four hour block. Remember the last train has to run, everyone be satisfied everyone is clear, switch the current off, put on protection (just in case a train routes through), do the work, get everyone off the track, safety checks, turn the current back on, hand the line back to operations and trains can run. Actually working time is much less than 4 hours. Bus operators love it, it's a huge business laying on replacement buses.
  8. What's the window etching problem like in New York? As I hinted at in an earlier post this used to be a huge problem in cities like London and Birmingham on both buses and trains in the UK but seems to have, thankfully, died down.
  9. Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning their activity, I work for the railway and it pains me to see the network abused and it can actually affect my bank balance, more money spent cleaning the railway = less money to go in the pot for the annual rise. Luckily money doesn't drive me but the passion to have a clean efficient railway people feel reassured about using does. On occasions local artists are given a wall at a station to draw a mural or whatever and they are pretty good. But as you say there are not enough. Penalties are tough over here, people use the same tag so once caught it is easy to see where they've been and they have all the "previous" pinned on them. At the end of the day people shouldn't be doing this in the UK, Europe, the US, anywhere...
  10. To give a UK slant on things graffiti we suffer tagging on the railway here. Retaining walls and trains are targets but to be honest it's becoming a bit zero tolerance and companies are swift to react and clean it off where they can. Five to ten years back window etching was all the rage on buses and trains but that seems to have died out, perhaps film on windows helps. London Underground had unpainted trains in the 60s - 80s but these got tagged and left a stain behind when removed so to smarten up the trains the Red, white and blue livery was chosen. They had three trains for a year or so with different liveries, thankfully the one where the top half of the train was blue and the bottom half white with a red front wasn't picked! Since then it is rare to see a heavily tagged Underground train. If trains are tagged they are generally withdrawn form service at the earliest moment and treated, the belief being the taggers will be put off if they cannot see their work. There are also known locations where tagging is rife so these are either heavily patrolled or trains don't stable there overnight. Every now and again someone accesses a depot and either steps on a live rail or gets hit by a train leading to big campaigns about trespassing. I thought it was bad in the UK until I went onto mainland Europe. My last trip to Budapest was an eye opener, the UK does not really have a big problem. Buildings, streets, all buses, trams, the Metro are coated, it was appalling. I not being drawn into the debate about punishments etc but my own view is why can't we give these people a legitimate avenue to express themselves? Some have real talent but I'd rather see it portrayed legally rather than on the side of a train.
  11. Hello, Sorry for the delay in replying but I've been away on leave. To answer you KGTeleport the answer is both! They go into the heavy rail WTT because Network Rail still signal the East Putney - Wimbledon line but don't maintain it. Likewise any non-London Underground trains using the section go into the District Line WTT. For the record there are at least two South West Trains (non-underground) passenger services a day that use the Wimbledon - East Putney section at the start and end of each day. These are "route retainers" for drivers so that they have the chance to go over the route, this must be done every few months so that the drivers and guards still "sign" the route in the event of a diversion being required. There are also a large number of empty coaching stock moves that use this line as well. RL
  12. Thanks for the info, it sounds very much like it's done the same as over here. As someone pointed out that's the theory, in practice as soon as the first incident happens the timetable is in bits and pieces on the floor! We have a separate set of working timetables for freight too, except we have freight that's booked to run in a booked path and freight that is planned on a short term basis, so operators ask for a train on Monday that will run on a Wednesday, that sort of stuff never makes the timetable. Interestingly London Underground trains make it into the heavy rail working timetable where they run over Network Rail lines.
  13. Hello All, I'm based in the UK and actually work as a timetable (schedules) planner on the railway and have a question regarding how things are done over there. For the UK national rail network we produce a National Rail Timetable (also known the public book) which covers all services in the UK and is available for the public to download. Operating Companies produce their own slimmed down version for specific routes which are much easier to read. As a Planner though I plan what is called the Working Timetable, this is the one for industry use and provides drivers and signallers much more detail about the running of the train, headcodes, lines to run over, arrival and departure times at each station, passing times at key junctions (where a station may not actually exist and the train does not stop), platforming details and empty coaching stock moves to / from the depot. London Underground produce a Working Timetable for drivers but not a public timetable (bar first and last trains) as the service is always frequent. So my question... Does something similar exist over there on the Subway, LIRR etc? Thanks!
  14. Anything you want to know about the UK ask away. I'll dig out some photos
  15. Boo, Man U! Not a football fan really but if push came to shove I'm a Nottingham Forest fan as I grew up in Nottingham (think Robin Hood territory). Interestingly Old Trafford where Man U play boasts it's own station, albeit a halt and served on match days only. Trains normally run non-stop by.
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