Central Trains - Central Trains Service Changes - B

Central Trains - B
Central Trains Service Changes
Central Trains 1990s New Long Distance Services
In the late 1990s, Central Trains began publicising additional long-distance through journeys, by amalgamating previously self-contained services in its timetables. For example, where a train had previously been timetabled to work a Shrewsbury to Birmingham service followed by a Birmingham to Leicester service, the workings were combined and shown as a single direct Shrewsbury – Birmingham – Leicester service in the public timetable.
This resulted in some particularly lengthy services such as those from Aberystwyth in Mid Wales to Grimsby on the opposite coast of the UK.
Additionally, direct services from Birmingham to Stansted Airport were introduced during May 1998.
Central Trains 2001 Mid Wales Service Transfer
Services west of Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth, Pwllheli and Chester were transferred away as part of the formation of a new combined Wales & Borders franchise in late 2001. Eleven Class 158 units were transferred to the new operator at this time.
Central Trains 2004–2005 Service Changes
Central Trains had a major shakeup between 2004–2005 to prepare them for the eventual break up of the franchise. In 2004, services from Leamington Spa to Birmingham Snow Hill & Stratford upon Avon were transferred into Chiltern Railways, but the company maintained a peak hour service to and from Leamington Spa. The service between Birmingham and Stourbridge was increased to every 10 minutes and this in turn increased the Kidderminster service, as a part of the new Stourbridge line timetable all remaining Birmingham New Street trains were diverted into Birmingham Snow Hill.
Liverpool Lime Street to Stansted Airport split at New Street to form two services due to problems with delays. Previously Central Trains ran services from Birmingham New Street to Nottingham via Leicester as well as Derby, this service was split, the Leicester to Nottingham service was merged with the hourly Ivanhoe Line service to Loughbourgh and was extended past Nottingham all stations to Lincoln.
During 2004, Trent Valley local services that ran generally between Stafford and Nuneaton (some extended to / from Coventry or Rugby) were discontinued due to a Driver shortage and not restored until over year later, when they were replaced by an electric service from Northampton to Crewe. Another fatality of the 'lack of Drivers' was the service between Birmingham to Stafford via Walsall, services were cut back (as today) to run between Birmingham and Rugeley Trent Valley.
Central discontinued their single Northampton service a day which ran to Nottingham (and other locations) via Birmingham once they gained the Birmingham to Northampton route from sister company Silverlink Trains in 2004–2005. Two trains per hour from Birmingham New Street – London Euston via Northampton was replaced by one train per hour to Northampton which connected badly with onward services to London Euston (although a few trains a day did run straight through to / from London as an unofficial joint service). The Northampton service started off as an hourly express service until it was merged with the local service to Coventry adding more journey time.
Coventry to Nottingham via Leicester services were discontinued after engineering work at Nuneaton station made it impossible for trains from Coventry to join the line towards Leicester and no attempt was ever made to rectify this. This service was restored in 2005 as an hourly shuttle to Nuneaton, with passengers requiring changing at Nuneaton for Leicester (and change again at Leicester for Nottingham).
The local service to and from Coventry to Wolverhampton calling all stations was also changed in 2004. It was split at Birmingham New Street as Central Trains starting operating Class 321 EMUs. A later development was implemented that had trains running express from New Street to Birmingham International (with some stops at Marston Green) then all stations to Coventry and services to Walsall were extended to Birmingham International calling all stations, Adderley Park station was cut down to one train per hour shortly after this.
Central Trains operated train crew depots at:
Birmingham New Street, Birmingham Snow Hill, Boston, Cambridge, Coventry, Crewe, Leicester, Lincoln, Machynlleth (until 2001), Norwich, Nottingham, Pwllheli (until 2001), Shrewsbury, Stourbridge Junction, Leamington Spa, Wolverhampton and Worcester Shrub Hill
Central Trains maintained and stored trains at:
Birmingham New Street, Birmingham Tyseley, Boston, Cambridge, Coventry, Crewe, Leicester, Lincoln, Machynlleth (until 2001), Norwich, Nottingham, Pwllheli (until 2001), Shrewsbury, Smethwick Soho TMD, Leamington Spa, Wolverhampton and Worcester Shrub Hill
Central Trains Performance
Considering the difficulties with which Central Trains contended, including sharing tracks with so many other operators, it did not perform too badly in its twilight months. The last figures released by the ORR (Office of Rail Regulation) rated Central Trains' performance at 84.8% for the PPM (Public Performance Measure) over the third quarter of the financial year 2007/8. This was an improvement over the same period the previous year, during which they achieved 82.7%. Their final MAA was 86.6%.
Central Trains Overview
Central Trains Franchise(s): Central Trains
2 March 1997 – 11 November 2007
Central Trains Main Region(s): Midlands (East, West)
Central Trains Other Region(s): North West England, East Anglia, South East Wales
Central Trains Fleet Size: 156
Central Trains Stations Called At: 232 (193 operated)
Central Trains Parent Company: National Express
Central Trains Reporting Mark: CT
Central Trains Predecessor: Regional Railways
Central Trains Successor: London Midland
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