Tomorrow marks the start of a new timetable across the UK. I thought a post about the changes across the network with some numbers would be an interesting post and also quite nicely demonstrates some of the new developments behind the scenes here at Realtime Trains. The data tables, methodology used and exclusions are listed at the bottom.
We’re using a primary metric of ‘passenger service mileage’ as this is a better reflection of what train services do. This is primarily due to the ability of TOCs to merge services together which may reduce the total count but makes no difference to the distance travelled. This is simply a sum of the distance travelled by each service on the network.
- Over 153,000 services covering nearly 7 million miles every week
- 1400 extra services every week - 244 on average on a weekday, 24 on Saturday and 194 on Sunday
- 171,000 more miles covered (2.5% increase) - 25k on a weekday, 20.5k on Saturday and 25.7k on Sunday
- Great Western Railway have the highest increase in service mileage - 50,100 miles
- TfL Rail have the highest increase in service mileage in percentage terms - 46.98%
Largest and smallest
- GTR - largest franchised TOC, operating 23,331 weekly services covering 852,000 miles
- Northern - largest brand, operating 18331 weekly services covering 690,000 miles
- Caledonian Sleeper - smallest franchised TOC, operating 60 weekly services covering 15,800 miles
- Island Line - smallest brand, operating 461 services covering 3,700 miles1
Across the entire week:
- Great Western Main Line timetable recast:
- TfL Rail take over many local services between London and Reading
- The recast then creates a net increase in 127 GWR services a week
- Transpennine Express introduce new timetable for their ‘Nova’ fleet expanding their network
- LNER add 74 services and increase service mileage by 13,200 miles
Weekend service changes:
- GWR and TPE both substantially adding services and service mileage
- GWR add 68 services and 16,178 miles
- TPE add 40 services and 10,457 miles
- Transport for Wales increase Sunday service adding 159 services and 3,877 miles
- GTR merge services on Thameslink and Great Northern, service mileage remains near static
- c2c remove summer only services from the timetable
I’ve found looking at these data tables and comparing the service changes list with how the stats bear out. Operators sometimes make press releases along the lines of a given number of new services but this timetable change, apart from on the Great Western Main Line, sees a substantial number of service extensions instead. The average service on the network in the 2019 timetable was 44.5 miles and it increases to 45.2 miles (+1.6%) this time around. Transpennine Express and Great Western are the biggest winners in this respect increasing by 10.7 (+9.25%) and 4.1 (+8.15%) respectively. TfL Rail do increase their average by more but this is more in relation to the transfer of Reading services.
c2c are dropping services from the plan which they’ve cancelled for a while - summer crowdbusters - which I believe will be back in May. Caledonian Sleeper have a drop in mileage despite no apparent service changes, this relates to a change in planned route on their Sunday/Monday overnight services on the West Coast in the Trent Valley.
Data tables are aggregated for their weekly totals. Govia Thameslink Railway has an additional row to cover the total of its sub-brands - not counted in final totals.
|Avanti West Coast||2043||2050||7||0.3%|
|East Midlands Railway||3095||3155||60||1.9%|
|Great Western Railway||10496||10623||127||1.2%|
|GTR - Gatwick Express||973||972||-1||-0.1%|
|GTR - Great Northern||2692||2639||-53||-2.0%|
|GTR - Southern||14332||14333||1||0.0%|
|GTR - Thameslink||5453||5387||-66||-1.2%|
|GTR - Total||23450||23331||-119||-0.5%|
|SWR - South Western Railway||11702||11798||96||0.8%|
|SWR - Island Line||461||461||0||0.0%|
|Transport for Wales||6652||6822||170||2.6%|
|West Midlands Trains||8404||8575||171||2.0%|
|TOTAL of all operators||151595||153124||1429||0.94%|
Mileage totals (values in ‘000s)
|Avanti West Coast||432.7||434.0||1.3||0.30%|
|East Midlands Railway||267.2||267.6||0.5||0.18%|
|Great Western Railway||529.6||579.7||50.1||9.46%|
|GTR - Gatwick Express||37.7||37.6||0.0||-0.07%|
|GTR - Great Northern||96.5||96.9||0.4||0.46%|
|GTR - Southern||371.1||371.2||0.1||0.03%|
|GTR - Thameslink||346.1||346.1||0.0||0.01%|
|GTR - Total||851.4||851.9||0.5||0.06%|
|SWR - South Western Railway||482.4||487.4||5.0||1.04%|
|SWR - Island Line||3.7||3.7||0.0||-|
|Transport for Wales||293.6||299.5||5.9||2.01%|
|West Midlands Trains||347.9||354.0||6.1||1.75%|
|TOTAL of all operators||6755.7||6926.6||170.9||2.53%|
Methodology & Exclusions
Two sample weeks were chosen from each timetable. For the current timetable, the week commencing 4th November was used. For the new timetable, the week commencing 6th January was used. All services Monday to Sunday that run in the base timetable (WTT services as shown on RTT) are included. The distance database used was that provided by RailMiles. Passenger service mileage is defined as the distance travelled by a service.
Calculations are performed on the basis of day of train departure from its origin even if it runs substantially the next day. Portion working is disregarded and assumed as if the trains start and terminate as per normal - for example, Caledonian Sleeper run 10 services Monday to Friday on this basis instead of four.
The following operators were excluded:
- All metro operators operating on Network Rail metals
- London Underground
- Tyne & Wear Metro
- Sheffield Supertram
- North Yorkshire Moors Railway
If you spot any errors, then please contact us.
- This does not reflect the recent frequent cancellations of the service, halving the service pattern [return]