[Information Request] 1996 Timetable

 
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Does anyone know what services the '96 timetable ran? I understand it was a disaster, but I'm interested in what services ran and why it failed. I'd like to lay my hands on a complete timetable, but that's likely impossible, so I'm not holding out hope; I'll be happy with a rough indication, e.g. services and their tph values. I'm especially interested in the South and Cumberland.

Also, I once saw a map indicating (among other oddities) a peak South Line service running fast on the Fairfield branch and the old fast Hornsby service - does anyone know when these ran?

Thanks in advance - I'll really appreciate this study.

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  abesty1 Chief Commissioner

Location: The CityRail Network
You can find scans of the inaugural Cumberland Line timetable here:
http://sydneyconnections.blogspot.com.au/search/label/Cumberland%20line
  Aurora8 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I think the only timetable I have from 1996 is from the Hunter Line with the rest of my stuff being 1997 so can't help you unfortuntely.

So there was a '96 timetable and it was redone for 1997? Is this what happened?
  art83 Station Staff

I may be able to help, however there were a few timetable changes in the 1996-1997 years... I have copies of the following:

(1) North Shore and Northern line timetables effective from 25 February 1996 (oldstyle layout)
(2) North Shore, Northern, Central Coast lines effective 3 November 1996 (switched to the current layout/size)
(3) North Shore, Central Coast lines effective 19 October 1997 (and Northern line effective 15 June 1997) - so I'm unsure when this new timetable was actually released

Had a look through all 3, it looks like that the Jun/Oct 97 timetable is based on the Feb 96 timetable with a few minor changes, whereas the Nov 96 timetable was completely reworked but lasted less than a year...

so if you could provide a little more information I may be able to help
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
I'd be pretty interested if a scan of the northern line in particular could be posted.

The way I remember it, there were two northern line patterns off peak, one was Red/Bur/all to Hornsby, the other Red/Str/West Ryde/Eastwood/All to Hornsby.  Possibly adding Burwood and/or Meadowbank.  Central Coast timetable likely shows the problems - too hard to get them through!  Then try and add some freighters.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.

You can find scans of the inaugural Cumberland Line timetable here:
"abesty1"


Ah, thanks! An interesting read!

I think the only timetable I have from 1996 is from the Hunter Line with the rest of my stuff being 1997 so can't help you unfortuntely.


So there was a '96 timetable and it was redone for 1997? Is this what happened?
"Aurora8"


It's alright - I believe there was a 1996 overhaul of the timetable which was disastrous, and I'm trying to find it.

I may be able to help, however there were a few timetable changes in the 1996-1997 years... I have copies of the following:


(1) North Shore and Northern line timetables effective from 25 February 1996 (oldstyle layout)
(2) North Shore, Northern, Central Coast lines effective 3 November 1996 (switched to the current layout/size)
(3) North Shore, Central Coast lines effective 19 October 1997 (and Northern line effective 15 June 1997) - so I'm unsure when this new timetable was actually released

Had a look through all 3, it looks like that the Jun/Oct 97 timetable is based on the Feb 96 timetable with a few minor changes, whereas the Nov 96 timetable was completely reworked but lasted less than a year...

so if you could provide a little more information I may be able to help
"art83"


I think I'm looking for the complete rework that lasted less than a year...

I'd be pretty interested if a scan of the northern line in particular could be posted.


The way I remember it, there were two northern line patterns off peak, one was Red/Bur/all to Hornsby, the other Red/Str/West Ryde/Eastwood/All to Hornsby.  Possibly adding Burwood and/or Meadowbank.  Central Coast timetable likely shows the problems - too hard to get them through!  Then try and add some freighters.
"simonl"


The map I found appeared to have Redfern, Burwood, Strathfield, all to Epping, all to Hornsby and Redfern, Strathfield, Meadowbank, West Ryde, Eastwood, Epping, all to Hornsby.

This is proving interesting indeed, and I'd like to thank all contributors as we go along.
  abesty1 Chief Commissioner

Location: The CityRail Network
I believe this 7 (Nightly) News report is on those disastrous timetables:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCpIlqsy-oc
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
The video comments indicate I'm looking for the November 1996 timetable.

EDIT: I've found this, and it had some interesting comments. The report effectively states that the November 1996 timetable failed due to over-ambitious timetabling leading to a collapse of on-time running. However, I don't fully understand what the report meant by 'over-ambitious'.

I originally believed the timetable failed due to insufficient rolling stock or some similar problem. However, with a maximum fleet utilisation of 88%, I consider it unlikely - but it cannot be ruled out, since the November 1996 timetable added over a hundred new services. The on-time running data only indicates a general percentage and does not declare any values pertaining to cancellations versus delays.

Still, if the problem was over-ambitious running times, would it not have been possible to pad out the timetable to improve on-time running as per the September 2005 'great slow-down'? Could there have been problems with insufficient spacing between trains leading to knock-on delays of some kind?
  jaseee Chief Train Controller

Interesting video! Fast forward 17 years, whats changed? Not much...70 services on the Cumberland line cut back to 5.
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
Still, if the problem was over-ambitious running times, would it not have been possible to pad out the timetable to improve on-time running as per the September 2005 'great slow-down'? Could there have been problems with insufficient spacing between trains leading to knock-on delays of some kind?
"Watson374"

That would require more employees and the point of the increase was to do it without more crews, at least based on that news report.  So instead of hiring more crews to increase margins, they cut services.  ARGH!



  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Still, if the problem was over-ambitious running times, would it not have been possible to pad out the timetable to improve on-time running as per the September 2005 'great slow-down'? Could there have been problems with insufficient spacing between trains leading to knock-on delays of some kind?
"Watson374"

That would require more employees and the point of the increase was to do it without more crews, at least based on that news report.  So instead of hiring more crews to increase margins, they cut services.  ARGH!
"simonl"


Insufficient crews. ARGH.
  Aurora8 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
EDIT: I've found this, and it had some interesting comments. The report effectively states that the November 1996 timetable failed due to over-ambitious timetabling leading to a collapse of on-time running. However, I don't fully understand what the report meant by 'over-ambitious'.

I originally believed the timetable failed due to insufficient rolling stock or some similar problem. However, with a maximum fleet utilisation of 88%, I consider it unlikely - but it cannot be ruled out, since the November 1996 timetable added over a hundred new services. The on-time running data only indicates a general percentage and does not declare any values pertaining to cancellations versus delays.

Still, if the problem was over-ambitious running times, would it not have been possible to pad out the timetable to improve on-time running as per the September 2005 'great slow-down'? Could there have been problems with insufficient spacing between trains leading to knock-on delays of some kind?
"Watson374"

I wouldn't call (just under) 82% a collapse. Definitely a noticeable drop from 90+% but not a collapse IMO. CountryLink - now there's a collapse!
  Aurora8 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Would anyone be able to provide more specific insight into the problems with the November 1996 TT? Would be much appreciated.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
I wouldn't call (just under) 82% a collapse. Definitely a noticeable drop from 90+% but not a collapse IMO. CountryLink - now there's a collapse!
"Aurora8"


I would argue that it was a significant drop by suburban standards, but my choice of words was indeed sub-optimal - and yes, CountryLink is a collapse, what with the return Melbourne XPT's on-time running...

I'm also interested in deeper insights into the Nov 96 TT failure.
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
Would anyone be able to provide more specific insight into the problems with the November 1996 TT? Would be much appreciated.
"Aurora8"

Increased service with no further increases in staff leads to decreased reliability.  What's hard to understand about that?

Are you looking for "Turnaround at x decreased from y to z"
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Would anyone be able to provide more specific insight into the problems with the November 1996 TT? Would be much appreciated.
"Aurora8"

Increased service with no further increases in staff leads to decreased reliability.  What's hard to understand about that?

Are you looking for "Turnaround at x decreased from y to z"
"simonl"


Oh, so that's it?
  Aurora8 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Would anyone be able to provide more specific insight into the problems with the November 1996 TT? Would be much appreciated.
"Aurora8"

Increased service with no further increases in staff leads to decreased reliability.  What's hard to understand about that?

Are you looking for "Turnaround at x decreased from y to z"
"simonl"

No I'm looking for factors such as what you mentioned or tight turn round times and (if we're lucky) perhaps a story or two from people who were involved stakeholders at that time (e.g. passengers, staff). Taking into mind the context of many readers of this particular forum and a portion of them's interest in CityRail you'd hope maybe one or two people would be able to provide additional insight into this.

But perhaps it was as simple as just not having the crew available to facilitate the increased services such as train crews to operate the services.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Does anyone know what services the '96 timetable ran? I understand it was a disaster, but I'm interested in what services ran and why it failed. I'd like to lay my hands on a complete timetable, but that's likely impossible, so I'm not holding out hope; I'll be happy with a rough indication, e.g. services and their tph values. I'm especially interested in the South and Cumberland.

Also, I once saw a map indicating (among other oddities) a peak South Line service running fast on the Fairfield branch and the old fast Hornsby service - does anyone know when these ran?

Thanks in advance - I'll really appreciate this study.
"Watson374"


I know I've told this anecdote before here, but you might not have seen it.

During 1996 and in the preceding years, I was living and working on sector 1: Living at Engadine and working near Martin Place.

I remember always getting on a train at about 8:10, and (almost) always getting to work just before 9, or an 8:55 arrival time at MP, suggesting a 45min run time.

In the lead up to 1996, each year they shaved a minute off the tabled run time.  The train always left Engadine at 8:10, but would be scheduled to arrive at MP progressively earlier.  But it never did.  The run time was always 45 minutes.  By the 1996 timetable they'd cut the scheduled time down to ~39min IIRC.  In 1996 period the train regularly missed it's path (the Waterfall trains ran on the locals nth of Hurstville then), and I started becoming regularly late for work, until they reverted to the prior timetable.

Since the 2005 slowdown, to get to MP before 9:00am from Engadine means getting on a train *before* 8:00.  The runtime is now >50min IIRC

No one really worries too much about a train being a few minutes later here or there, except perhaps the stats keepers.  So long as it's only a few minutes.  When trains regularly miss their paths that means random 10+ minute delays, cancelled services and other cascading effects.  That is what people find unacceptable: regular significant delays.  2min late almost every trip is no biggie.  But 15min late twice a week is a disaster.

You need to be a bit careful about prior year timetables, because even if they were considered successful in their time, it doesn't mean trains necessarily were able to adhere to them.



  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
Oh, so that's it?
"Watson374"

Perhaps others can add some other factors.

I wouldn't call (just under) 82% a collapse. Definitely a noticeable drop from 90+% but not a collapse IMO.
"Aurora8"

Ditto.  Give me the extra services even with the unreliability.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
I know I've told this anecdote before here, but you might not have seen it.

During 1996 and in the preceding years, I was living and working on sector 1: Living at Engadine and working near Martin Place.

I remember always getting on a train at about 8:10, and (almost) always getting to work just before 9, or an 8:55 arrival time at MP, suggesting a 45min run time.

In the lead up to 1996, each year they shaved a minute off the tabled run time.  The train always left Engadine at 8:10, but would be scheduled to arrive at MP progressively earlier.  But it never did.  The run time was always 45 minutes.  By the 1996 timetable they'd cut the scheduled time down to ~39min IIRC.  In 1996 period the train regularly missed it's path (the Waterfall trains ran on the locals nth of Hurstville then), and I started becoming regularly late for work, until they reverted to the prior timetable.

Since the 2005 slowdown, to get to MP before 9:00am from Engadine means getting on a train *before* 8:00.  The runtime is now >50min IIRC.
"djf01"


No, I've read this one before, but you didn't state exactly what it was, only the timetabled running time getting shorter in spite of the same real run time.

However, this falls squarely into one of my questions, which was:

Still, if the problem was over-ambitious running times, would it not have been possible to pad out the timetable to improve on-time running as per the September 2005 'great slow-down'?
"Watson374"


No one really worries too much about a train being a few minutes later here or there, except perhaps the stats keepers.  So long as it's only a few minutes.  When trains regularly miss their paths that means random 10+ minute delays, cancelled services and other cascading effects.  That is what people find unacceptable: regular significant delays.  2min late almost every trip is no biggie.  But 15min late twice a week is a disaster.


You need to be a bit careful about prior year timetables, because even if they were considered successful in their time, it doesn't mean trains necessarily were able to adhere to them.
"djf01"


No, I agree; but stretching a timetable slightly may be as worthwhile still.

  djf01 Chief Commissioner


No, I agree; but stretching a timetable slightly may be as worthwhile still.
"Watson374"


All I'm saying is there isn't any point in stretching a timetable if the trains don't/can't adhere to it.  All timetables need *some* padding to deal with dwell time (and other) variance, so a timetable which is *slightly* overambitious may well still work.  WIthout any real evidence to the contrary, I expect the timetables immediately preceding the 1996 timetable fell into that category. 
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.

No, I agree; but stretching a timetable slightly may be as worthwhile still.
"Watson374"


All I'm saying is there isn't any point in stretching a timetable if the trains don't/can't adhere to it.  All timetables need *some* padding to deal with dwell time (and other) variance, so a timetable which is *slightly* overambitious may well still work.  WIthout any real evidence to the contrary, I expect the timetables immediately preceding the 1996 timetable fell into that category. 
"djf01"


That's what I mean...
  art83 Station Staff

ok I've scanned and uploaded the Nov 96 timetable for the North Shore and Northern lines, weekdays

North Shore:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/85529074@N02/sets/72157631223794186/

Northern:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/85529074@N02/sets/72157631223794174/
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Thank you!
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
Very interesting.  Shows the service slow down is around 10%.

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