Friday, November 11, 2011

A matter of timing

There has been some interest, in the local online paper in Ruislip, the Ruislip Online forum and on District Dave, about changes to the Metropolitan Line timetable due to commence in December. They want to move from the current 10 trains per hour at peak times and 6 off peak, to a steady 8 tph all day. The reasoning behind this is not at all clear. The system has always run more trains at peak because, well, peak means peak, dunnit? That's when more passengers travel. Having more trains off peak that will be simply be emptier than at present, whilst forcing more people to stand for longer thanks to the fewer seats in the new S stock trains as well as a reduced service, seems fairly illogical, Captain.

Having to wait a minute or so longer for a train to arrive is neither here or there. The problem is that they fill up so quickly and any delay, or longer gap in the normal service, makes it unpleasant to travel the relatively long distance to central London. However if, as may also be planned, there will be more fast trains from Harrow then changing there may make more sense than at present, where you never quite know if the so-called fast train will actually overtake the slow train you left and whether you will get a seat on it.

These are considerations lost to passengers on all the other lines (perhaps with the exception of the District/Piccadilly junction at Acton Town) and I think they are therefore not important to the people planning the Met schedules. Shame really. When you have to pay zone 6 fares, you might at least be sure of a seat. Just think, once upon a time the Met proudly ran Pullman coaches out to Amersham, Aylesbury and on into the wilds of outer Buckinghamshire. Of course, in those days it was a proper railway service, not a business with "customers".

No comments:

Post a Comment