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The World's First Railway SystemEnterprise, Competition, and Regulation on the Railway Network in Victorian Britain$

Mark Casson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199213979

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199213979.001.0001

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(p.472) APPENDIX 6 Excerpts from the Counterfactual Timetable

(p.472) APPENDIX 6 Excerpts from the Counterfactual Timetable

Source:
The World's First Railway System
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

(p.472) APPENDIX 6

Excerpts from the Counterfactual Timetable

The World's First Railway System Appendix 6

The derivation of a railway timetable is a major task, but it is much easier to achieve for the counterfactual network than for the actual UK network. This is because the counterfactual network is designed to achieve a high degree of connectivity using a relatively parsimonious set of linkages. The emphasis is on through lines rather than dead‐end branches, as through lines not only provide cut‐offs for less direct long‐distance routes but also allow traffic to leave intermediate towns in two directions rather than just one. The timetable can therefore be drawn up by scheduling trains running over a small number of long‐distance routes rather than over a proliferation of minor branches.

Timetabling has been further simplified by imposing an equal‐interval service (Peeters 2003), with a normal frequency of two hours (which implies a higher local frequency where several long‐distance routes share the same tracks).

There is a fundamental problem, however, that any timetabler must confront, but which is particularly acute on a well‐connected network. It is normally impossible to schedule a long‐distance through train so that it connects conveniently with other long‐distance through trains on every route that it intersects. For if intersecting trains are to be scheduled so that they all make convenient connections with trains on a particular route, then these connecting trains cannot also be scheduled to connect with each other at other places—namely hubs on either side of the route. There are only a few degrees of freedom to play with—namely the relative timing of the trains on the various routes—but many more constraints, arising from the need for good connections at all the various hubs. Requiring that all trains connect conveniently with each other therefore leads to an over‐determined system to which there is no solution.

Various remedies are possible: trains can be held at hubs to await the next available connection before they depart, but this not only delays through passengers but also leads to congestion at hubs because of the number of waiting trains that may build up. The frequency of service can be increased, so that ‘another train will be along shortly’ even if an earlier connection is missed. This increases operating costs, however, although it has the advantage that passengers do not necessarily need to study the timetable before they commence their journey—they can just ‘turn up and go’.

Two main solutions are used in this study. The first is to reduce the number of required connections by introducing a system of priorities. In the present context, connections between trunk routes are prioritized. Not all trunk line connections are prioritized, however, but only those that involve substantial traffic. If, for example, a hub affords the shortest trunk line connection between two major centres then the connection will be prioritized, whereas if the same connection can be made more conveniently using some other hub then it will not. The timetabling of trains over the rest of the network is subordinated to these requirements. Thus regional subsystems are timetabled so that local traffic feeds in conveniently to trunk line trains at the major regional hubs.

The second solution involves timetabling trains in opposite directions along a route so that they meet at convenient points. There is only one degree of freedom available, (p.473) however—the timing of trains passing through the network in one direction can be fixed relative to the timing of all the trains going in the other direction, but timings cannot be altered independently on different routes because this would destroy connections.

The timetable used in this study was constructed on the principle that long‐distance connections would not be made in central London but at hubs elsewhere—including satellite hubs around London itself. A system of regional connectivity was therefore established to begin with, and London traffic was then fitted in with this. Connectivity was prioritized by establishing a grand circuit of the core of the country. This route skirts all the main peripheral areas, passing through hubs at which traffic to or from the peripheral areas feeds into the core system. It begins at Dover, runs along the South Coast to Southampton, turns north to Bristol and Gloucester, and then divides. The right‐hand fork serves Newcastle via Birmingham, while the left‐hand fork serves Glasgow via Stoke‐on‐Trent and Carlisle. At Stoke‐on‐Trent north‐bound traffic from Cambridge via Nottingham feeds in from the east. As this line runs along the inland boundaries of peripheral areas, it picks up and deposits traffic for each area. Thus a north‐bound train collects traffic from South Wales at Gloucester and deposits traffic for North Wales at Stoke‐on‐Trent. It then picks up more north‐bound traffic from Wales at Warrington, including traffic from Swansea via Chester. These connections are not intended for travel within the region—thus there are other more direct links between North and South Wales—but rather to feed trunk line traffic from various parts of the country into the region concerned through convenient regional hubs.

Trains along this main circuit are scheduled to cross at Gloucester. They stop at Gloucester for a short time to allow connections to be made with trains from London to South Wales, which also cross at Gloucester. The crossing at Gloucester is also convenient because it is compatible with similar crossings at other hubs on the system. Trains are also held at other hubs for short periods in order to optimize connections; in addition, trains are sometimes held for a short time at intermediate stations on cross‐country lines in order to ensure convenient connections at either end.

Optimizing the timetable with respect to connections can create difficulties with the utilization of rolling stock, as a train may arrive at a terminus just as a train in the opposite direction is ready to depart, so that the incoming locomotive and coaches have to wait for nearly two hours before they can commence their return journey. The timetable has been designed to eliminate serious waste of this kind, but control of such waste has not been taken as a high priority. A common example of this problem involves a dead‐end branch line whose services connect with main line trains that pass through the hub in opposite directions about an hour apart. If the branch line train takes more than an hour for a return trip, then two trains are required to provide connections with main line trains in both directions. On the actual system, economy was usually achieved by providing connections only to London, but on the counterfactual the more expensive alternative has sometimes been adopted of providing two trains instead.

The full timetable is available from the author (m.c.casson@henley.reading.ac.uk). An example of how the timetable works for a small region of the country is presented in Table A6.1.

(p.474)

Table A6.1. Excerpt from the timetable: Hampshire and Dorset T1

London–Winchester–Southampton–Poole–Weymouth–Fortuneswell (TR7/PF5)

Winchester–Romsey (TK2)

Wareham–Swanage (LB3)

A

B

C

C

B

A

London(NW)

dep

5.54

7.02

arr

11.08

12.16

Staines

6.16

7.24

10.46

11.54

Chobham

6.27

7.35

10.35

11.43

Ash

6.41

7.49

10.21

11.29

Farnham

6.49

7.57

10.13

11.21

Bentley

arr

6.55

8.03

dep

10.07

11.15

dep

7.00

8.03

arr

10.07

11.10

Alton

7.09

8.12

9.58

11.01

Winchester

7.36

8.39

9.31

10.34

Southampton

arr

7.53

8.56

dep

9.14

10.17

dep

XXX

8.57

arr

9.13

XXX

Lyndhurst

9.12

8.58

Brockenhurst

9.19

8.51

Christchurch

8.28

9.37

8.33

9.42

Bournemouth

8.37

9.46

8.24

9.33

Poole

8.44

9.53

8.17

9.26

Wareham

D

10.07

8.03

D

Dorchester

9.23

10.32

7.38

8.47

Upwey

9.30

10.39

7.31

8.40

Weymouth

9.36

10.45

7.25

8.34

Fortuneswell

arr

9.44

10.53

dep

7.17

8.26

Winchester

dep

8.44

arr

9.26

Romsey

arr

9.01

dep

9.09

Wareham

dep

10.12

arr

9.58

Swanage

arr

10.41

dep

9.29

Note: A: London–Portsmouth; change at Bentley for train to Southampton; B: London–Fortuneswell; C: Brockenhurst–Lymington–Poole; D: Yeovil–Fortuneswell.

For other trains between London, Staines, and Chobham see the London–Staines–Reading summary table and the notes thereto.

T2 Stockbridge loop: Romsey–Andover–Whitchurch (SN1)

Romsey

dep

9.11

arr

10.59

Mottisfont

9.17

10.53

Stockbridge

9.31

10.39

Andover

9.45

10.52

9.18

10.25

Whitchurch

arr

10.00

11.07

dep

9.03

10.10

T3 Basingstoke–Aldermaston (SK7)

Basingstoke

dep

10.32

arr

11.38

Tadley

10.46

11.24

Aldermaston

arr

10.55

dep

11.15

Reading

arr

11.14

dep

10.56

(p.475)

T4 Shaftesbury loop: Yeovil–Salisbury–Andover–Basingstoke–Ash–London (SN4)

A

B

B

A

Yeovil

dep

12.41

arr

15.29

Milborne Port

12.55

15.15

Wincanton

13.04

15.06

Shaftesbury

13.28

14.42

Salisbury

arr

14.11

dep

13.59

dep

14.16

15.38

arr

12.32

13.54

Idmiston

14.28

15.50

12.20

13.42

Andover

14.52

13.18

Whitchurch (Hants)

15.07

13.03

Overton

15.15

12.55

Basingstoke

15.31

12.39

Odiham

15.46

12.24

Ash

16.07

12.03

Chobham

16.18

11.52

Staines

arr

16.32

dep

11.38

dep

16.35

arr

11.35

London

arr

16.57

dep

11.13

Note: A: Taunton–Salisbury–London (NW); B: Salisbury–Amesbury–Devizes.

T5 Amesbury link: Salisbury–Idmiston–Manningford Bruce–Devizes (SK13)

A

B

B

A

Salisbury

dep

9.38

10.16

arr

9.54

10.32

Idmiston

arr

9.50

10.28

dep

9.42

10.20

dep

9.50

10.33

arr

9.37

10.20

Amesbury

9.58

10.41

9.29

10.12

Manningford Bruce

10.23

9.47

Devizes

arr

10.36

dep

9.34

Note: A: Salisbury–Devizes; B: Yeovil–London; change at Idmiston for Amesbury connection.

For other trains between Manningford Bruce and Devizes see the London (NW)–Penzance table.

T6 Ringwood link: Christchurch–Salisbury (PK2)

Christchurch

dep

8.46

9.42

arr

8.28

9.24

Ringwood

8.59

9.55

8.15

9.11

Downton

arr

9.16

10.12

dep

7.58

8.54

dep

9.16

10.32

arr

7.38

8.54

Alderbury

9.22

10.38

7.32

8.48

Salisbury

arr

9.28

10.44

dep

7.26

8.42

for other trains between Alderbury and Salisbury see the Dover–Bristol timetable.

(p.476)

T7 Lymington loop: Brockenhurst–Christchurch–Poole (LC3)

Southampton

dep

8.57

arr

11.13

Brockenhurst

dep

9.24

arr

10.46

Lymington

arr

9.39

dep

10.31

dep

9.54

arr

10.16

Christchurch

10.28

9.42

Poole

arr

10.44

dep

9.26

Note: For other trains between Christchurch and Poole see the London (NW)–Fortuneswell timetable (T1).