22 August 2012

Railway Working Timetables

I love reading articles that state "Private. Not for publication". More often than not the reason this is blazoned across the front or in huge letters at the top harps back to the days when the public weren't allowed to read the document as it was none of their bloody business. Today, with freedom of information requests, this reasoning doesn't hold up very well, so instead the organisation chooses the 'national security' angle in order to justify not publishing.

Quite how allowing a member of the public to access details of what time the HST train that forms the sole Lincoln Central - London King's Cross service departs Neville Hill depot near Leeds could result in national security being compromised is beyond me. So, I was very pleased to see that hard copies of the Working Timetable covering all railway lines here in Great Britain are now available to view online - albeit rather hidden at present.

Click here to view the Working Timetables for ALL passenger and freight services on Britain's railways.

According to Barry Doe (and who else would be connected sufficiently to bring this information to us?) the head of the National Rail Timetable hopes to make them more accessible in due course. If you just want to know a specific journey, the quickest way is to use the trains.im website that I reviewed in May. However, if you want to see that Working Timetable in more of a, well, timetable format, the above link is the place to go.

You'll need to know the Book Number in which the section of line you're interested in is contained - and there appears to be no index. A five-minute trawl through the various Book Numbers provided the following details for those wanting access sections of route in the LEYTR area:

Book YA (section 3) contains Grantham - Northallerton (via the Joint Line) (395 pages)

Book YA (section 5) contains Newark - Wrawby Junction, Peterborough/Bottesford West - Skegness (74 pages)

Book YE (section 6) contains Doncaster - Gilberdyke/Cleethorpes and the Barton Branch (81 pages)

Book YG (section 4) contains Leeds - Hull and Hull - Scarborough (418 pages)

Book YH (section 1) contains King's Cross - Tallington (85 pages)

Book YH (section 2) contains Tallington - Colton Junction (227 pages)

Book YH (section 4) contains Immingham Docks - Doncaster (216 pages)

Book YH (section 5) contains Micklefield - Selby and Goole - Hull Docks (55 pages)

Some of them are very heavy going, although it is very interesting to see the freight timetables contained in the sections serving Immingham and Hull Docks. In fact, these Working Timetables are the only way you can access the freight timetable in this manner for free as the trains.im website only contains 'in service' passenger timetables. It's very pleasing to see this information in the public domain and long may this sort of thing continue.


Gordon said...

The first charater denotes the (former BR) timing areas.

Thus all the WTTs produced at York are 'Y' something. Those from Scotland commence with a 'G' The former WR is P(addington), the former LMR WTTs are C(rewe), L cover the former Liverpool Street division, whilst the Southern ones are (you guessed it) W.

LEYTR said...

Thanks for clarifying the codes, Gordon. I suspected they related to BR codes though couldn't be sure.

Gordon said...

The Waterloo (err ex Waterloo) books also have a logic of inner (WH for the SW suburban) and WG for the main lines. Sussex works the same with WE and WF.