For my commute into work in Leeds, I get a train that goes along the Bradford Forster Square to Leeds line. The train I get on goes along the following route:

  1. Bradford Forster Square
  2. Shipley
  3. Apperley Bridge
  4. Leeds

Here is a map of that route:

Map of Bradford Forster Square train station to Leeds train station

I have circled the stations on the route. Bradford Forster Square is in the bottom left corner of that map. Next is Shipley. Then Apperley Bridge. And Leeds is in the bottom right corner.

Approximate distance to Leeds from each of the stations? Here they are”

  1. Bradford Forster Square: 16 miles.
  2. Shipley: 12 miles.
  3. Apperley Bridge: 8 miles.

So this morning I looked at the prices of a single journey from the Bradford Forster Square to Leeds at various points of the journey.

  1. Bradford Forster Square to Leeds: £4.00
  2. Shipley to Leeds: £3.90
  3. Apperley Bridge to Leeds: £3.80

Knowing the distance and the cost, I wondered what a relative cost for the journeys were for passengers getting on at each station. Cost per mile should be a reasonable measure of that.

  1. Bradford Forster Square to Leeds cost per mile: £0.25
  2. Shipley to Leeds cost per mile: £0.33
  3. Apperley Bridge to Leeds cost per mile: £0.48

In short: As the train progresses the cost per mile increases.

By the time the train gets to Apperley Bridge, point number 3 of its journey - and where I get on - the chance of getting a seat is very slim.

I spoke to some friends who regularly get in the train at Bradford Forster Square and Shipley to ask them what chance they have of getting a seat.

  1. Bradford Forster Square: Lots of seats to sit on. (It is the start of the journey.)
  2. Shipley: A few seats to sit on, usually get one. Some people are left standing.
  3. Apperley Bridge: Very few seats available, many passengers end up standing.

For each step of the journey I graded the chances of getting a seat, from 3 to 0: 3 being Guaranteed Seat to 0 being No Seats Available.

  1. Bradford Forster Square: 3
  2. Shipley: 2
  3. Apperley Bridge: 1

I collated all this info in a quick Google Sheet.

The difference between the start station and the last stop before Leeds in distance is 8 miles (of a 16 miles journey). That is halfway.

The difference between the start station and the last stop before Leeds in getting a seat slides from definite to unlikely.

The difference between the start station and the last stop before Leeds in money is 20p.

I asked raised this with Northern on Twitter. They messaged me back to say “You ticket entitles you to your journey, we do not guarantee a seat with this.”

I replied “As seats cannot be booked on the Brad Fors Sq to Leeds line, should we expect standing as standard and sitting as a bonus?”

Their response: “We are building new trains to help rectify this issue.”

TL;DR – Until these new trains are built and on the lines getting in halfway along this train line saves 5% of the cost of an end-to-end journey, with a massively decreased chance of sitting.

In other words, it feels to me like getting on the train later in the rush hour journey, and halfway along the line to Leeds, is punished by having to stand on the train and not having anything like any proportional monetary saving on either level.

Still, I get to work, eh,

← Previous post
Public Design WY
Next post →
Being in the same room