22% quicker times on the Jubilee Line coming

This hopelessly rosy account of the Jubilee Line upgrade in Rail.co explains how the 33% capacity increase will be delivered when it's finally working properly:

So how are the statistics which kicked off this article made up? Moving from six cars to seven added 17% to the line’s capacity. Reducing headways and running trains more frequently will add the rest. Shorter waiting times at stations and the ability to run faster as distances between trains are reduced account for the 22% improvement in overall journey times. There will also be reduced congestion at stations as passengers are picked up more frequently, greatly enhancing the travelling experience.

So there won't only be longer (compared with 2005), more frequent trains, but they will be quicker - cutting journey times on the line by 22%. Apologies if you all knew that, but we didn't.

23 comments:

IanVisits said...

I actually wondered about this as well recently, and finally dug out the catalogue where I saw it mentioned.

If I read the document correctly, the 33% increase is from 2006 - which is after the extra carriage was added.

Brockley Nick said...

Hi Ian

If I understand correctly, what it's saying is that 17% capacity increase was achieved in 2006, but as soon as the signalling is sorted out later this year, we'll get another 16% increase against the original capacity. Plus the 22% reduction in journey times.

Tamsin said...

"[T]he ability to run faster as distances between trains are reduced" sounds like something from Through the Looking Glass.

Doesn't a certain logic dictate that if distances between trains are reduced the stop and slow signals would kick in sooner so you actually run slower....

Monkey boy - enlighten us. Or is it just inpentrable guff designed only to bedazzle, befuddle and bamboozle?

Tempted to send it in to New Scientist for their feedback column.

Mb said...

I think it's just badly worded. I'm no signaling chap but I think this kind of signaling allows trains to run closer together when they are slow, increasing the distance as they speed up. The system knows exactly where the trans are and how fast they are so it can regulate appropriately, like stopping distances in your car. The old system was fixed so you may well have had more space then you needed while the trains were speeding up.

I think......

Brockley Nick said...

@Tamsin - every now and then you come out with some real tin foil hatisms. How on earth do you think they would get away with an out and out lie? Why would they lie?

When new technologies are adopted, sometimes the theoretical benefits aren't achieved as hoped. I suppose you could be legitimately cynical about whether it will work as planned, but you seem to be suggesting that there is a conspiracy to lie about the science. That is loony tunes.

Anonymous said...

@Nick. Have you ever heard of Ben Goldacre's Bad Science column in the Guardian:

Each week, Ben Goldacre skewers the enemies of reason. If you're a journalist who misrepresents science for the sake of a headline, a politician more interested in spin than evidence, or an advertiser who loves pictures of molecules in little white coats, then beware: your days are numbered

Its an interesting read!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tamsin said...

I'm simply querying the concept which, you must surely agree, does sound strangely inverted.

It might just be a mistaken use of language. But if they mean cutting down waiting times by being able to reduce the distances between trains with improved signalling and braking technology, and so run more trains more frequently, they should say so.

If they mean the ability to run faster, say reaching a speed of 30mph rather than 25mph between stations, because of the said improved technologies - again make this clear. It is the apparent causal link between the reduction of distances between trains and the trains being able to go faster that, with some justification I feel, I was calling into question.

And I hate percentages in headline statistics - reminiscent of the worst type of advertising. "Use our expensive conditioner - 84% more shine." Although I agree this is not really comparable.

Anonymous said...

My concern is what if this Jubilee upgrade diverts traffic into the Telegraph Hill area? The noise would be unbearable for a start and what about the trees on Jerningham rd? In 1943 a bomb landed on a house and that is very interesting because in 1943 there was a war. I have a charcoal rubbing of it..

Tamsin said...

@ Anon - meoww...

@ Monkeyboy - thanks. That's the kind of clarification that was needed. They should have you writing their blurbs. When you've got cutting edge technology - boast about it rather than coming out with statements that simply do not hang together.

Anonymous said...

..and I do cat sounds too and will be setting up a Telegraph Hill cat sounds group where we can sing songs from the war that happened in 1943 but with in the style of cats meaowing - but group members are advised not to brings cars within the boundaries of Telegraph Hill because of the unbearable noise and damage to the trees on Jerningham road...

Brockley Nick said...

@Tamsin - by "they", you mean the website from which that para was taken. If you have any issue at all, it's with them, not the "powers that be".

And no, it doesn't sound like an inverted concept to me.

@Anon - yes, I know Ben Goldacre and have even met him. Not sure whether you're trying to suggest that his column is evidence that we should query science, but if so, his target is not generally scientists, but those who make stuff up (like Supermoons or Homeopathy) or grossly misrepresent science to suit their own rhetorical or political ends. That's not the case here, obviously.

If the train doesn't go faster, people will notice...

Tamsin said...

I, for once, did not mention "the powers that be".

My issue is with whoever wrote "the ability to run faster as distances between trains are reduced". A constuct which does seem to say - the distances between trains are reduced therefore (causal link) they can run faster.

"Distances between trains reduced so a more frequent service" makes sense. As does what I surmised and then saw that Monkeyboy had said "Improved technology so faster speeds possible" and "Improved technology so reduced distances between trains, so more frequent service."

Mb said...

From an internal staff briefing.....

What is “moving block” signalling?
The existing Jubilee line signalling system is designed to ensure that a fixed minimum distance is kept between trains regardless of speed or indeed whether the trains are moving at all. These are physically measured out between joints in the rails (known as “Fixed Block”).
“Moving Block” signalling allows the space between trains to be varied dependent on their speed. This space or safe zone known as the moving block is maintained in front of the train by the ‘track to train’ communication red wires on the track changing its length dependent on the speed of the train.

For instance if the trains are running at half speed their braking distance required is reduced allowing the trains to drive closer together. As their speed increases then the distance is enlarged to ensure that a safe braking distance is maintained. If the train ahead is berthed in a platform the signalling system will gradually slow the train behind allowing it to creep up much closer to the train ahead. As the train ahead pulls further away the train to the rear can begin to move soon afterwards allowing greater number of train paths and higher throughput of trains.

Tommo said...

I believe the new automatic system also allows harder acceleration and braking which contributes to a higher frequency of trains, as well as the other factors already mentioned.

At the moment the line is still running to the old timetable which means journey times are very similar to the old system. Only once a new timetable is implemented later in the year will the full benefits be realised.

A train only runs full tilt at the moment when it is running slightly behind schedule. I've been on a couple of trains which have had noticably faster runs than was the case before.

Tamsin said...

Thanks Mb - the constant balance between safety and efficiency that railways always strive for. I'm always so impressed how even when the systems were purely mechanical things were made to interlock so that, for example, the points could not be pulled over unless the relevant signals were set.

mb said...

As a system railways are safer than ever before..... just so long as the operator can do CNTRL+ALT+DELETE before he plows into the siding..... ;-)

Lou Baker said...

Much as I welcome such improvements, I doubt we'll see journey times improve as much as they say.

And I don't doubt the carriages will be full to bursting before long.

And I don't doubt the stations will still be busy.

In other words this will not transform your journey.

The most basic problem we have with our public transport in this country is that we tinker. And that's all we do. We change the signals, we lengthen the platforms, we upgrade the trains. All of which are welcome but we'r basically running to stand still.

What we desperately need is extra capacity, new routes, new journey opportunities AND new infrastructure. It takes us decades in this country to get an idea from being an idea to being built.

The French, who know a thing or two about decent railways, decide they need one and start building the next day. That's why they have close to 3,000 miles of high speed railway already and we have 67 miles of it. And, if we do get anymore, it won't be for another 15 years.

And it's all down to two things. 1) too many NIMBYs who have too much say and 2) we view new infrastructure as an unnecessary expense not as an investment. Frittering money away on benefits which keep people out of work or getting the census leaflets translated into 147 languages - those are expenses. Building a new railway which will connect people for the next 200 years - that's an investment.

Thank God the Victorians were much more enlightened about this than we are - otherwise we'd all be walking to work.

Tommo said...

@ Lou

Crossrail will take pressure off the Jubilee and Central lines, however it is likely that Canary Wharf will expand as a result. Growth of business districts such as Canary Wharf is limited by transport capacity and as transport capacity grows, more commuters will come along to fill it. That's just the way that cities evolve - look at the development along the Metropolitan line in Victorian times.

If you want more high speed railways, are you as a taxpayer willing to pay for them? The French public pay a huge amount in taxes towards their high speed railways. The British public are never quite as willing to pay for 'les grands projets' as our continental neighbours.

Lou Baker said...

Yes I am willing to pay for them.

Decent infrastructure is a decent investment that's worth making.

The problem is that too much of the tax we pay goes in useless spending which does not add to the national wealth.

Crossrail again is predominantly tinkering. Take an existing railway line to the east and an existing one to the west (both of which are seriously short of capacity and overcrowded) and stick them together with a shortish new tunnel. Crossrail is, of course, welcome in central London but where's the extra capacity at the edges? They're not adding extra tracks.

As a country we have become seriously under-ambitious with this stuff. Take a look at the Viaduct de Millau in France. This incredible structure was built so a moderately busy motorway could by-pass a moderately busy town. The scale and ambition of it all is incredible. This is the sort of stuff the Victorians used to do here - when we were the richest, most prosperous and most powerful nation on earth. The ambition has gone and we'd rather spend our money on pointless social projects which have consistently failed to delivery rather than on grand schemes which leave a lasting legacy.

mb said...

maximising the capacity of existing infastructure is a reasonable thing to do, isn't it?? The victorians and their sucessors did by introducing faster trains, new signalling, escalators, larger ticket halls, wider platforms etc. etc..... sounds familiar.

Yes AND more lines, extensions and the rest.

Lou Baker said...

Yes, maximising capacity is inherently sensible.

Sadly on many lines capacity maxed out decades ago and, this is the crucial point, there are no committed plans to add more.

We all know these plans take decades to come to fruition. Thameslink 2000, for example, will be finished in 2019. 19 years after it was anticipated. 19 years during which commuters have had miserable journeys.

On many routes we're at - or close - to capacity. Plans are afoot to extend platforms and trains, but the tinkering is virtually done.

30 years from now we need new lines. We need a Crossrail 2, a Crossrail 3, High Speed 2 and more. And the only way to ensure they're ready for when they're needed is to start planning and building now.

And you shouldn't complain. If I had my way you'd have a job for life (think of how many tea breaks that is)?

Mb said...

Trouble is no government or political career that lasts at what ten years? Seems to have the stomach for commuting to something they will not see complete and grab the glory. The PPP was a cunning plan to give thirty years of secure funding and an integrated replacement ofife expired assets and significant capacity upgrades. That's fallen apart, luckily most of the upgrades had gone too far to be stopped but some, lime the pic line upgrade, have been "'defered". The private companies involved just were not prepared to take the risk so the only way to engage them was to underwrite the risk. It started going wrong, they bailed out, and we're still paying. Transport infrastructure needs to be a public asset, yep the French and Germans recognise that.

I'd write more but it's the afternoon foot massage and Linda does NOT like to be kept waiting.

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