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Journey by Journey => TransWilts line => Topic started by: grahame on February 25, 2014, 03:08:26 PM



Title: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on February 25, 2014, 03:08:26 PM
The current service of eight trains per day - i.e. a train every two hours through the day, in additional to the previous early morning and early evening trains that strengthened the near-peak - was (in my view) a sensible minimum service level for the new TransWilts service.  With a service at this level, potential passengers can plan for most journeys requirements and be able to travel with a maximum shift (forward of backward) in their plans of under an hour; with a lesser level, the line would be "cherry picking" at specifically timed flows, and excluding the passengers who thought that a train was probably the one they would catch, but they needed fallback and fallforward services if their plans changed.

There's a target of an average of 20 passengers per train [average over a year]. Passenger levels on the peak trains are already up around the 50 level, but those necessary and sensible fallback and fallforward trains are unlikely to load as well - indeed we have been anticipating that spring / summer / autumn leisure traffic will be vital to bring the numbers up.

However - I had an opportunity today to be at the station [Melksham] for the 09:15 southbound train and the 14:30 northbound.

09:15 ... 20 passengers on the train when it arrived in Melksham, 5 got off and 4 got on, and it left with 19. That's 24 passengers served on the TransWilts unique section between Chippenham and Trowbridge.

14:30 ... 17 passengers on the train when it arrived in Melksham, none got off and 5 got on, and it left with 22.  That's 22 passengers served on the TransWilts unique section between Trowbridge and Chippenham.

For later reference.   It's a Tuesday in February, during school term.   It's showers and sunny periods - certainly not a wonderful day to go out.   Talking to people waiting for the train ... leaving on the 09:15 to visit family in Southampton, and leaving on the 14:30 for Swindon and for Hayes and Harlington having visited two different businesses in the town.  All three were using the train for the first time from Melksham, and both the afternoon leavers reported a positive experience on the journey to Melksham in the morning.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Trowres on February 25, 2014, 09:15:28 PM
Was one of the passengers on the 14:30 a smartly dressed gent? - Someone was dropped off at the station at about 13:20, so would have had a long wait  :o


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on February 25, 2014, 09:40:38 PM
Was one of the passengers on the 14:30 a smartly dressed gent? - Someone was dropped off at the station at about 13:20, so would have had a long wait  :o

Not waiting at the station when I got there about 20 minutes before the train was due, but quite a smart gent did appear a few minutes before the train was due, and he caught it.  We chatted / he gave a very positive report and wasn't in the slightest grumpy / didn't comment about the infrequency.  He was delighted with the relaxed nature of his journey down, but somewhat breath-taken at the high price he had had to pay.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on February 25, 2014, 10:56:17 PM
That sounds very encouraging. I presume when you talk about the peak trains you mean the arrival into Swindon around 0810 and the 1736 back, rather than the services that run in the former Transwilts service timings, which are more shoulder-peak (particularly the evening one). If so, then 50 pax is around 70% capacity, which is not bad at all after 2 months. 


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on February 26, 2014, 07:51:34 AM
The 07:48 arrival into Swindon is also running at around 35 to 50 passengers, and the 18:50 from Swindon's at around 30 to 40.  You'll note the vagueness in my figures as I haven't counted very recently.   We were concerned about these two existing trains becoming quieter than last year as existing users moved to the new services, but in practise this movement has happened, but been compensated by new traffic.  They feel quieter than the other services running, though, because they're longer trains.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on February 26, 2014, 08:02:21 AM
That sounds very encouraging.

Just picking up on that John, Yes.   And in spite of the weather too.  The publicity machine telling people not to travel to the South West, and showing pictures of flooding and broken seawalls, has depressed traffic and continues to do so.  We've had people cancelling visits to Wiltshire until "things are running normally again" (a real shame when the train they had been scheduled to be on from London was just 2 minutes late into Swindon, and the connection perfect!), and for this coming weekend we've been busy assuring people that Melksham is not flooded as they were wondering if they should pull out.

The "don't travel unless you have too" advise widely broadcast had a depressing effect over a far wider area than was really closed, and has a very long tail in that people remain concerned;  I guess that I'm well "au faite" with our geography in these parts, but others may not be.   After all, how many Wiltshire based people could put Chelmesford, Clacton and Colchester in order on the way out from London?



Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bobm on February 26, 2014, 10:39:29 AM
These geographical terms are fraught with difficulty. For some things Swindon is in the South East. As far as Royal Mail is concerned we are in the South West. We get ITV West while a few streets away they get ITV Meridian for the South.

Saw the 08:18 TransWilts arrival into Swindon this morning. I was over on platform 4 but looked to be 22 or 23 get off.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bignosemac on February 26, 2014, 10:43:47 PM
And I saw the 1736 depart Swindon today. The 153 looked almost full.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on February 26, 2014, 10:51:24 PM
I notice nothing has been using platform 4 at Swindon since around 6.15. Anyone know why?


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bignosemac on February 26, 2014, 10:57:01 PM
The lighting failed under the canopy, leaving the platform in darkness. 'Elf 'n Safety dictated that no trains could call.

So, it was back to the old days with everything using one side of the station. Could almost have been 2002 again. ;)


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on February 28, 2014, 07:57:48 AM
I had to drop urgent papers "need a signed original by the end of the month" in Trowbridge today, so took the early train ...

The 06:12 from Swindon arrived in Melksham with 7 passengers. 1 got off, 4 on.  That's 12 passengers served on the TransWilts unique section between Chippenham and Trowbridge.

Returning on the 07:10 from Trowbridge, there were 38 passengers (and 3 cycles) travelling. 4 got off at Melksham and 7 on. That's 45 passengers served on the TransWilts unique section between Trowbridge and Chippenham.

It's Friday, 28th February - a cold and quite pleasant morning and a normal working winter friday. No major rail disruption anywhere, no know events causing or suppressing flow.  Train Manager of the 07:10 describes the train as 'getting noticeably busier' which is heartening, and doubly so as there's another one half an hour later which is the real peak train into Swindon  ;D

Couple of constructive comments back which I'll feed into CRP channels.  Nothing unexpected / new, but we need to be discussing any suggestions - especially repeated ones - in good time.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bignosemac on February 28, 2014, 08:13:16 AM
No major rail disruption anywhere

Those in Somerset and Devon, or wishing to get to those areas may disagree.  ;)

As, possibly would some folk in the Bristol area who experienced delays, cancellations and short formations this morning due to 3 DMUs failing to get away from St Philip's Marsh depot.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on February 28, 2014, 08:26:30 AM
No major rail disruption anywhere

Those in Somerset and Devon, or wishing to get to those areas may disagree.  ;)

As, possibly would some folk in the Bristol area who experienced delays, cancellations and short formations this morning due to 3 DMUs failing to get away from St Philip's Marsh depot.

OK - I was being regionalist ... let me re-phrase.  "Nothing short term / unusual that would effect usage.  Somerset and Devon are settled into a pattern of operation for the present, and there were a handful of trains that weren't available somewhere on the FGW network ... as happens from time to time"


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on March 01, 2014, 07:26:40 PM
Saturday, 1st March. 

07:48 Melksham to Swindon. 12 passengers on into Melksham. 1 off and 8 on. That's 20 passengers served on the TransWilts unique section between Trowbridge and Chippenham.

08:48 arrival into Chippenham - observed to have around 30 passengers on when it arrived in Chippenham

08:44 [1Z04] Chippenham to Exeter St. David's via Westbury.  Left Chippenham with approx 90 passengers for the TransWilts section (had to guess coach H in First class; was travelling on a standard ticket and couldn't see through).

16:32 Westbury to Swindon.  Left Westbury with 11 and Trowbridge with 26 passengers. 10 got off and 2 more got on at Melksham. So that's 28 passengers served on the TransWilts unique section between Trowbridge and Chippenham.

Notes ... a fine, cold day. 


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bobm on March 01, 2014, 07:32:39 PM
That is encouraging.  It is still early days, but I must admit I was a bit downhearted in the early days with numbers and then a spate of weather related and mechanical problems, however the figures are certainly looking up.

It will certainly be the one train I don't mind having to stand on!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Lee on March 01, 2014, 07:56:16 PM
That is encouraging.  It is still early days, but I must admit I was a bit downhearted in the early days with numbers and then a spate of weather related and mechanical problems, however the figures are certainly looking up.

It will certainly be the one train I don't mind having to stand on!

I don't think we were doing too badly even back then. We managed 60 passengers on the 1736 from Swindon on one evening during the first week, and it was always going to take a little while for off-peak traffic to start to build up.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on March 01, 2014, 08:31:21 PM
At TravelWatch SouthWest today, First Directors Matthew Golton and Ben Rule had growth histograms for community / branch lines in the South West and Wessex.   I noted  2012 to 2013 growth:
10% Exmouth
13% Barnstaple
14% Severn Beach
26% TransWilts
and those were the highest growths. Others as low as 2%, some 5%, etc.   In numeric terms, the TransWilts was very much the minnow, and I really appreciate us being included.   It also showed starkly how small our minnow is to many other lines.

Now - I think those were probably financial year figures, so that 26% growth is based on what - growth in the area? - increase publicity? - bit of both?   Even if the figures were January to December, they will only have included a couple of weeks of new running before the weather problems that beset the south west from 24th December.

I am so tempted to guess for the next year, but I won't - at least until I know the year end.  But in terms of percentage rise, "you ain's seen nuthin yet!", I don't think!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on March 02, 2014, 06:53:12 PM
17:31 (Sunday) Melksham to Swindon today.  Grotty weather.  18 passengers on the train into Melksham; 1 got off (with a cycle) and 1 on. Making 19 passengers using the Trowbridge to Chippenham section. Noticably 8 got off (and more on) at Chippenham; traffic over quite short distances seems to be finding the service. There were already a handful of people waiting at Melksham for the next southbound train when I was there (about 20 to 25 minutes) for West Wilts and Frome.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: brooklea on March 15, 2014, 11:10:19 AM
Thursday 13th March

The 0748 arrived at Melksham with 43 passengers on board. 3 people left and 7 joined the train at Melksham.
17 off and 8 on at Chippenham.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on March 15, 2014, 10:05:10 PM
The 8 on at Chippenham is interesting as the service follows fairly closely behind a London service. I wonder do some passengers bound for Swindon now have a more relaxed view about getting the 0755, knowing that if they've cut it too fine there's one close behind.  17 off at Chippenham would either imply there are a lot commuting to Chippenham or maybe they are new commuters heading to Bath and Bristol.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Cynthia on March 17, 2014, 10:19:41 PM
Well, Echo and I had a nice time out today, utilising the TransWilts service, albeit only to Trowbridge and back, making use for the first time, of my shiny new Senior Railcard.  Trains there and back were right on time, and as on my previous outing the conductors were friendly, helpful and chatty, and didn't even moan about the fact that Echo was sitting on my lap! 

I was so busy keeping Echo under control I didn't take too much notice of passenger numbers, but I know that on the 11.13, three of us got on, but I think there was only one other passenger already on the train.  Later, in Trowbridge there were about 8 people on the platform, I thought awaiting the returning 14.20, but I think only 2 got on, the rest must have been waiting for the Cardiff train, which was late.  5 people, I think, already on the train. 

A very worrying attitude from a member of the younger generation later in the afternoon.  When I dropped Echo off at the kennels  :'( (Where she'll have to stay while I'm having my knee op).  I asked if someone could deliver Echo home for me following my discharge, as I'd be unable to drive for 6 - 8 weeks.   :o  'Can't drive???  How on earth will you cope?' (Jaw drops to floor level) I explained that I'd be using buses and trains to get around, and took the opportunity to mention the new TransWilts service. 'Buses and trains' the young lady whispered incredulously.  Oh dear, a long way to go before we get some of our youngsters out of their cars.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on March 18, 2014, 03:33:48 AM
When I dropped Echo off at the kennels  :'( (Where she'll have to stay while I'm having my knee op).  I asked if someone could deliver Echo home for me following my discharge, as I'd be unable to drive for 6 - 8 weeks.   :o  'Can't drive???  How on earth will you cope?' ...

Good luck with the Op, Cynthia - p.m. sent.

We have an educational opportunity with a proportion of younger people brought up without using public transport.  More so in towns like Melksham where there hasn't been a permanent viable train service for a long time, but elsewhere too.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: stuving on March 18, 2014, 08:23:48 AM
We have an educational opportunity with a proportion of younger people brought up without using public transport.  More so in towns like Melksham where there hasn't been a permanent viable train service for a long time, but elsewhere too.

I wonder whether there is an age/status/peer respect issue here, affecting those who do have trains to use.

Trains are an important way for younger teenagers to become independent - otherwise they have to use the family taxi-cum-spy service. So I can see that, for those just a bit older and able to use a car, that becomes important to demarcate themselves from "kids". But I don't have a lot of direct interactions with this age group, so is that anyone else's view?

There is another aspect to this - the cost of cars for the young. My understanding is that insurance, particularly in London and other big cities, has now reached such a level that car ownership among has fallen quite a bit. That's one of the factors driving all public transport use, and bikes as well, in London. If you don't own a car you need trains to go outside London (and may have trouble hiring a car too).

PS: I meant to add that some of this group become supporters of public transport, or pro-cycling, in the way typical of young people. Others are reluctant, and resent not having access to their own mobile private-space-in-a-box.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Cynthia on March 18, 2014, 08:55:31 AM
When I dropped Echo off at the kennels  :'( (Where she'll have to stay while I'm having my knee op).  I asked if someone could deliver Echo home for me following my discharge, as I'd be unable to drive for 6 - 8 weeks.   :o  'Can't drive???  How on earth will you cope?' ...

Good luck with the Op, Cynthia - p.m. sent.

We have an educational opportunity with a proportion of younger people brought up without using public transport.  More so in towns like Melksham where there hasn't been a permanent viable train service for a long time, but elsewhere too.



Thanks very much, grahame, she says, using laptop in hospital ward!  That's an improvement on my visit here last year, and it's a wonderful distraction from all the activity going on!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: trainer on March 18, 2014, 06:09:59 PM
Cynthia, I'm sure we all echo ;) the good wishes and hope you will be hopping (!) onto a train before too long to boost the numbers.  I hope to do my bit before long.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on March 21, 2014, 07:07:32 AM
15:39 Chppenham to Westbury ... 15 on from Chippenham (many / most joining there); 3 off and five on at Melksham. Total traffic on Chippenham - Trowbridge section 20 passengers.

Arrived at Chippenham about 5 minutes early.   Waited there (tickets checked before we left!) and then waited for the single track too - freight had gone ahead about 8 or 9 minutes before the train had arrived in Chippenham. Still more or less on time at Melksham as there's plenty of slack - 56 minutes from Swindon to Westbury v 45 minutes on following service at 17:36.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Cynthia on March 21, 2014, 10:18:19 PM
Cynthia, I'm sure we all echo ;) the good wishes and hope you will be hopping (!) onto a train before too long to boost the numbers.  I hope to do my bit before long.

Ha!  Very good, trainer!  Thanks for your good wishes, I have been discharged home from hospital now, and Echo has been delivered back into my care, so I'm hoping it won't be long before we're regular travellers on the TransWilts line and beyond.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on March 26, 2014, 08:10:07 AM
Not so much "daytime" traffic ... 2 off and 8 on at Melksham at 07:48 this morning, 37 through passengers making a total of 47 using the Trowbridge - Chippenham section in some form.   That's a train that didn't exist a few months back.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bobm on March 26, 2014, 08:37:55 AM
Not sure what happened to that train on Monday - according to the arrival screens at Swindon it was due to arrive there four minutes after leaving Melksham....

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/swin2403.jpg)


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on March 26, 2014, 09:00:41 AM
As a guess, Bob, it got confused with the 07:20 from Melksham, due into Swindon at 07:48, on the display.

According to real time trains ... 2M03 (due at 07:48) arrived a minute early and 2M04 (due 08:18) arrived 3 minutes late on Monday into Swindon.  No unusual reports; no sightings of rocket propelled trains that could have achieved the performance forecast by the arrival screen.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bobm on March 26, 2014, 09:07:19 AM
I can certainly confirm a train arrived at 08:21 - I saw it as I waited over on Platform 4 for the 08:27.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on March 26, 2014, 03:00:46 PM
... and the 11:13 at Melksham arrived from Swindon with 11 passengers on board.  2 more joined and 5 got off - that's 13 passengers on the Chippenham - Trowbridge section.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on March 26, 2014, 07:24:02 PM
Not so much "daytime" traffic ... 2 off and 8 on at Melksham at 07:48 this morning, 37 through passengers making a total of 47 using the Trowbridge - Chippenham section in some form.   That's a train that didn't exist a few months back.
Hmmm: 3 records of that service in March and in chronological order, loadings north of Melksham have been: 50,47,43.  Not quite the trend I was hoping for.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on March 26, 2014, 07:33:07 PM
... and the 11:13 at Melksham arrived from Swindon with 11 passengers on board.  2 more joined and 5 got off - that's 13 passengers on the Chippenham - Trowbridge section.
That means we now have observations on 7 of the 8 southbound services, with only the last service missing. The most recent record of each service gives a total of 143 passengers between Chippenham and Melksham, with 34 passengers alighting at Melksham.  That would imply around 18,000 entries and exits on Monday to Friday alone, compared with 12,000 in the recent ORR figures (which includes weekends.)


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on March 28, 2014, 04:42:29 PM
From a reliable source - yesterday

Quote
0849 Swindon-Westbury.

Swindon 9 on.
Chippenham 5 off, 5 on.
Melksham 2 off, 1 on.
Trowbridge 4 off, 0 on.
Westbury 4 off.
=15

0948 Westbury-Swindon.

Westbury 14 on.
Trowbridge 0 off, 5 on.
Melksham 1 off, 2 on.
Chippenham 10 off, 6 on.
Swindon 16 off.
=21

1047 Swindon-Westbury

Swindon 9 on.
Chippenham 0 off, 5 on.
Melksham 5 off, 0 on.
Trowbridge 2 off, 2 on.
Westbury 9 off.
=14

And first hand

18:03 at Melksham
9 off and 4 on at Melksham leaving 53 on the train
=62


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on March 28, 2014, 07:16:56 PM
On the 25th Feb there were 20 people on the 0849 south of Chippenham, so only 9 today is surprising for what should have a core of commuters. However, the 1736 from Swindon (1803 at Melksham) seems to be steady at around 60 pax south of Chippenham. That's around an 80% loading on the TransWilts section.

We haven't had a report of the  0948 ex Westbury before, so good to see healthy loadings on that service. I'm guessing it probably loads well with shoppers, being the first service after the peak.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on March 29, 2014, 08:47:13 AM
On the 25th Feb there were 20 people on the 0849 south of Chippenham, so only 9 today is surprising for what should have a core of commuters. ...

Alas ... this train is slightly too late for peak commuters ... :-\

I stand by / support the decision to run the additional train up from Westbury at around 07:30 to Swindon at 08:18 - that's a large commuter flow and it's joined-up thinking to have the two morning trains up and two afterwork trains back including the peak 17:36 (first peak train for years!) which as you comment is doing nicely.

However ....

Having got to Swindon at 08:18, I would love to see it set back off at 08:36 rather than 08:49, and follow the same timing pattern in the hours that the 17:36 does.   That means ...
Chippenham at 08:53 (rather than 09:06)
Melksham at 09:03 (rather than 09:13)
Trowbridge at 09:13 (rather that 09:31)
Westbury at 09:21 (rather than 09:42)

Advantages:
* Staff at major employer near to Trowbridge station with flexitime / core time from 09:30 would be able to use the train.
* Makes train a practical way to get to Melksham for 09:30 business meetings (and training courses  ;) )
* Connection at Westbury - forward at 09:28 to Weymouth and at 09:39 to Salisbury / Waterloo
* Possible connection at 09:16 at Trowbridge to Bath Spa, Bristol Temple Meads, Filton Abbeywood and South Wales

Disadvantages:
* Earlier London departure (07:30 rather than 07:45) to connect into this train

Potential operations issues:
* Freight path needs to be modified - here's a Westbury pass.
0921      Didcot T.C.   DR   FRGT   ZZ   Warminster Mod (Army) Sdgs   0923   (Q)
"As Required" - how often does that run???
* Platforming at Westbury on days when services are delayed; (?) slightly less robust
* Break of 31 minutes at Swindon reduced / may effect staffing rostas and break periods

Quote
However, the 1736 from Swindon (1803 at Melksham) seems to be steady at around 60 pax south of Chippenham. That's around an 80% loading on the TransWilts section.

It's getting to the point (grumble, grumble  :D ) where people are having to move up to make more seating room for others.   And it's getting up to its full quota of bicycles too.

John - many thanks for your work in keeping tabs on these figures / reports - it's helping to fill in the picture for us!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on April 01, 2014, 10:53:38 PM
I managed to do half an observation of the 1736 ex Swindon on its departure from Chippenham this evening. I counted at least 62, and there may have been another couple standing out of sight, so very consistent with the loading seen on 27th March. Appeared to be between 15 and 20 boarding at Chippenham although as I was distracted by a phone call so I couldn't get an exact number.

Then it was back to Swindon to get the laptop that I forgot when leaving the office this evening.  >:(


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on April 02, 2014, 04:52:34 PM
Then it was back to Swindon to get the laptop that I forgot when leaving the office this evening.  >:(

OOps ...

Numbers looking good.

Today - "16:31" from Melksham / actually left at 16:40.   4 off and 5 on at Melksham leaving 15 on the train. So that makes 19 users for all or part of the Trowbridge to Chippenham stretch.

6 off and 14 on at Chippenham, by the way.

Melksham taxi driver reports ... "I have been to the station more times in the last six weeks that I had in the past six years".


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on April 02, 2014, 05:58:21 PM
So that makes 19 users for all or part of the Trowbridge to Chippenham stretch.
...compared with 12 in the early part of March.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on April 03, 2014, 09:09:25 PM
20:12 from Swindon, today, 3rd April ... just three passengers from there.  Plus six on at Chippenham (and minus none).  Two off and two more on at Melksham, making 11 passengers using the train on the Chippenham - Trowbridge section.



Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on April 03, 2014, 11:34:44 PM
Thank you. First record for this particular service. Not particularly surprising that numbers are low given its the last train.

We now have a complete set of records for each Mon to Fri southbound service. The latest record of each service totals 146 passengers between Chippenham and Melksham, which seems quite respectable for a service that's only been going for 4 months.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on April 04, 2014, 09:12:23 AM
Thank you. First record for this particular service. Not particularly surprising that numbers are low given its the last train.

It's a journey that's additionally important for those users who need a "plan B" if they're delayed from their normal travel time - late at the office for an international conference call, going to Alison's leaving "do", etc. If in doubt about the ability to get home late, these people will drive to Chippenham - or drive every day - and these potential passengers will be lost from not only the occasional journey on the 20:12, but also from lots of other journeys on other services.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on April 05, 2014, 11:14:33 PM
Saturday 5th April 2014.  Not really a special day in any way. Overcast with some light to middlin rain.
07:47 ex Melksham ... -2 +1 -> 10 = 12 on Trowbridge to Chippenham section
16:48 ex Melksham ... -3 + 2 -> 7 = 10 on Trowbridge to Chippenham section


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bobm on April 09, 2014, 10:43:54 AM
Heard for the first time on a Bristol bound HST arriving at Swindon (19:00 ex PAD last night) "Change here for Melksham, Trowbridge and Westbury"


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Andrew1939 from West Oxon on April 09, 2014, 02:42:59 PM
"If in doubt about the ability to get home late, these people will drive to Chippenham - or drive every day - and these potential passengers will be lost from not only the occasional journey on the 20:12, but also from lots of other journeys on other services."
Graham is very right on this statement. 26 years ago I became a daily Cotswold Line commuter from HND to OXF. I only took up the train when additional services were introduced allowing me to finish work around mid-day, or leave work an hour so earlier than normal or leave work an hour or so later than normal. I did not use those extra trains very often but they made daily commuting feasible. Too often transport providers look at off-peak services and slash them when the numbers using them are low and uneconomic to operate profitably. However this then means that peak hour services that are profitable become unprofitable as regulars desert. Its that old vicious circle of consequences. What we on the Cotswold Line have seen in recent years that the TOC has been persuaded to operate more frequent services, traffic has risen overall. I was amazed yesterday to count 60 people boarding the 08.39 HND departure (Cathedrals Express) after nearly 200 people had boarded earlier trains at HND. I thought that it was the tremendous road chaos in Oxford was causing more people to more from car to train but my daughter who was standing on the train said that only a couple of people alighted at Oxford from her carriage, so it must be traffic to Reading and Paddinton that is increasing.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on April 18, 2014, 09:51:42 AM

Potential operations issues:
* Freight path needs to be modified - here's a Westbury pass.
0921      Didcot T.C.   DR   FRGT   ZZ   Warminster Mod (Army) Sdgs   0923   (Q)
"As Required" - how often does that run???


Bumping this topic / logging this train.  A further week has passed (I can log week by week) and it's a further week of the train not running even once.

Why should a substantial passenger flow be turned away / inconvenienced because of a freight train that might run, occasionally, for the MOD?  Would it make any difference to the safety and security of the UK if the MOD train ran - if required - 13 minutes later from Swindon / at 08:49, taking over the path of the TransWilts passenger train?


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on April 18, 2014, 01:30:24 PM
This train has the head code 6C07, and googling that and Warminster found a proposed rights table from 2009 which shows the train as a "new flow" (or should that be a trickle).

Of interest, it has a reference to "flexing rights +-30 mins".  Does that mean NR can flex its timing, or is that the prerogative of the operator of the service?




Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on April 23, 2014, 11:03:21 PM
Wednesday, 23rd April,

09:15 at Melksham.  23 on from Chippenham. 3 off and 7 on. 30 users on the Chippenham to Trowbridge section

09:38 arrival from Andover / 09:42 departure to Stratford on Avon. Approx 200 on from Trowbridge, 0 off and 58 on. About 258 users on the Trowbridge to Chippenham section.  There were some 125 to 130 people on the platform, so that's around 70 there just to see the train off

21:14 arrival from Stratford on Avon / 21:22 departure to Andover.  Approx 258 on train from Chippenham to Melksham - 58 off, approx 200 stayed on, no extras joined. So 258 users Chippenham to Trowbridge

Latter two services steam hauled by Braunton.  Arranged and tickets sales by Steam Dreams.  Not sure if they should be included in our stats ... but then the 2 original franchise services ARE included ...


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on April 28, 2014, 06:50:46 PM
This train has the head code 6C07, and googling that and Warminster found a proposed rights table from 2009 which shows the train as a "new flow" (or should that be a trickle).

Of interest, it has a reference to "flexing rights +-30 mins".  Does that mean NR can flex its timing, or is that the prerogative of the operator of the service?



This rather unusual light engine move would have conflicted with an earlier departure for the 0849. Why would it be routed from Trowbridge to Bath Spa via Thingley? Lack of route knowledge is the only thing I can think of.

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/R02222/2014/04/28/advanced


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bobm on April 28, 2014, 07:29:30 PM
Possibly to turn the locomotive?


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on April 28, 2014, 07:53:42 PM
Aren't clearances at Avoncliff and Dundas tighter than anywhere else along a direct route?

Any reason why the light loco couldn't have run after an 08:36 from Swindon rather than before the 08:49?  Just a swapping of paths, I suspect, with it running as it did because it could use the path reserved for (but again not used by) the train to the army sidings at Warminster.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on May 03, 2014, 03:26:42 PM
Wednesday, 30th April, 12:02 Melksham to Swindon
8 on into Melksham.  1 off, 7 on = 15 using Trowbridge -> Chippenham stretch

Friday, 2nd May, 20:12 Swindon to Westbury
12 on from Swindon.  2 off, 2 on at Chippenham. 3 off, 2 on at Melksham
= 14 using Chippenham to Trowbridge stretch

Neither what I would have expected to be busy trains. For future readers, NB this Friday was the day before a Bank Holiday.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on May 17, 2014, 07:42:09 PM
Thursday, 15th May 2014.

From Westbury at
07:04  32 +14 -0 = 46/14 
07:32  44 +9 -3 = 53/12
09:48  5 +5 -1 = 10/6
11:47  5 +2 -1 = 7/3
14:14  16 +2 -2 = 18/4
16:15  25 +2 -5 = 27/7
18:32  13 +0 -2 = 13/2
19:32  17 +0 -2 = 17/2

From Swindon at
06:12  11 +3 -1 = 14/4
08:49  11 +3 -2 = 14/5 Official Connection from London missed
10:47  13 +4 -1 = 17/5 Official Connection from London missed
12:47  6 +1 -1 = 7/2
15:14  32 +2 -10 = 34/12
17:36  57 +1 -15 = 58/16
18:50  9 +1 -7 = 10/8 Train delayed. Passengers sent via alternative
20:12  7 +0 -1 = 7/1

Notes added where the numbers may have been effected unusually by line incidents

Numbers are passengers into Melksham, number on, number off, total journeys on Chippenham-Trowbridge section and total journeys starting / ending at Melksham.

We have data for Westbury - Trowbridge and Chippenham - Swindon too. Thanks to FGW for permission to ride, count, and make sure that customers were aware of the new timetable from Monday.  The data gathered and comments received are invaluable!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on May 18, 2014, 10:17:42 AM
So using the northbound trains, that's a daily total of 157 pax south and 185 north of Melksham. That's an average of 23 per train into Chippenham.

And the Melksham count of around equates to around 26000 entries and exits, just on Mon to Fri services.   


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on May 19, 2014, 01:49:30 PM
I stopped by Melksham Station a few minutes ago to see what timetable posters we have up ... and (joy!) a train happened to call while I was there.  So - for the stats:
12:47  6 +2 -1 = 8/2
Again interesting to learn journeys - gentleman arriving had come from Liverpool this morning; phoning for a taxi for the final leg home across town.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on May 20, 2014, 09:58:57 PM
... and today ... a trip to London (more about that anon!)

07:20 Melksham to Swindon. 51 on into Melksham, 1 off and 10 more on ... 61/11
Of the 10 joining at Melksham, 4 had arrived at the station on the bus, 2 on foot, 2 had driven, 1 had cycled and 1 had been dropped off.

17:36 Swindon to Melksham. 57 on the train from Swindon.  10 off and 29 on at Chippenham (making 76). 13 off and 4 on at Melksham.  80/17
5 left the station on the bus; most of the rest were walking.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on May 20, 2014, 10:20:47 PM
That means we have, I believe, the first recorded case since the new service of a service that was "standing room only". (Yes, other services may have had people standing, but they could have found seats.)

And the 61 on the 0720 is around 50% higher than the number seen back in February, which is very encouraging for the earlier of the two commuter services.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on May 21, 2014, 08:00:49 PM
Thursday, 15th May 2014.

From Swindon at
18:50  9 +1 -7 = 10/8 Train delayed. Passengers sent via alternative


Tonight ... (Wednesday 21st May)
18:50  24 +3 -5 = 27/8

Extra reading which I will use in place of 10/8 from last Thursday to make a complete midweek day's figures for this month.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on May 22, 2014, 06:08:25 AM
... so that makes daily figures for a complete day
Northbound from Westbury: 191/50
Southbound from Swindon: 178/53
Overall - 369/103  or 23.0625/6.4375 per journey

Taking a Saturday figure of 420/215 (see http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=13855.0)
And a Sunday guess of winter 150/50 and summer 200/75
Some estimates ...

252 "regular" weekday in year ->  totals 92,988/25,956
52 Saturdays -> 21,840/11,180
32 Winter Sundays -> 4,800/1,600
20 Summer Sundays -> 4,000/1,500
6 Bank Holidays -> 900/300 (using Winter Sunday figure as I want to come up with a cautious total)
Christmas Day -> 0/0
Boxing Day -> 0/0

Grand total (52 weeks / 364 days) -> 124,528/40,536 ... and I would be surprised to be more than 15% out


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on May 26, 2014, 05:00:43 PM
I'm going to revise my figures bearing in mind observations of numbers yesterday (Sunday - see http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=14052.0 ), and an expectation that Sunday numbers at present are around average - they will rise in the summer (as some flows were missing yesterday) and they will fall in the winter.

252 "regular" weekday in year ->  totals 92,988/25,956 (measured 15th May 2014)
52 Saturdays -> 21,840/11,180 (measured 17th May 2014)
52 Sundays -> 16,536/3,588 (measured 25th May 2014)
6 Bank Holidays -> 1,200/200 (estimated)

Grand total (52 weeks / 362 days) -> 132,564/40,924 ... if the current pattern was repeated over a full year.

First figure in each pair is the number of passenger journeys on Swindon - Westbury services on the Chippenham - Trowbridge section of the line (i.e. this number excludes incidental journeys from Swindon to Chippenham and from Trowbridge to Westbury, for which other services are available)

Second figure is the number of passengers leaving or joining trains at Melksham station - the intermediate station between Chippenham and Trowbridge which is served only by trains on this line.

In most years, a significantly number of passengers also used the Chippenham - Trowbridge section of line on long distance express trains diverted onto the line due to engineering works or operational incidents.  These passengers are not counted in the number above.   Where a volunteer has been travelling with the purpose of counting passenger numbers or otherwise evaluating the service, that volunteer has not been counted either.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on June 06, 2014, 05:52:27 AM
Tuesday 3rd June.
07:20 at Melksham +13 -1 -> 54 .. 55/14
07:48 from Melksham observed at Chippenham was -25 + 10 -> about 40 thereafter (%)

Wednesday 4th June.
11:47 from Westbury with 11 on. -2 + 13 at Trowbridge. -3 +5 at Melksham .. 27/8

Thursday 5th June.
06:38 at Melksham -1 +4 -> about 15 (%)

(%) - Observed through windows / approx count only.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on June 06, 2014, 08:25:15 AM
That seems like a very encouraging loading for a lunchtime train?


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: thetrout on June 06, 2014, 04:58:44 PM
12 off at Westbury from the 15:14 Swindon - Westbury yesterday (05/06/2014)

Connection into 1C86 worked well also for those to the West Country (Certainly 2 Passengers heading beyond Exeter St Davids from that train)

However it just misses 1J99 to London Paddington. That is a real shame as that train calls at Pewsey, Hungerford, Newbury, Great Bedwyn, Thatcham and Theale.

So You could complete the TransWilts triangle by retiming 1J99 slightly. It sits in WSB for 5 minutes and has a few minutes slack between WSB and RDG.

That being said 1J99 Allows passengers from Taunton, Castle Cary and Frome to Connect to Melksham and beyond :)


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on June 06, 2014, 05:01:19 PM
That seems like a very encouraging loading for a lunchtime train?

Indeed ... and from today, a couple of extremes:
06:38 from Melksham -0 +2 -> 9 ... 9/2   >:(
16:15 from Westbury ... 46 on from Trowbridge, at Melksham -11 +4 ... 50/15   ;D


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on June 06, 2014, 07:04:29 PM
The 1615 northbound from Westbury is interesting. I've noted four observations, with pax numbers between Trowbridge and Melksham as follows:-

10 (March)
14 (April)
25 (May - the all day survey)
46 (June).



Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on June 06, 2014, 07:36:14 PM
The 1615 northbound from Westbury is interesting.

Indeed .. this is the train I hanked for being 15 minutes later, but I'm now slightly less sure of that hankering.  Perhaps it's because it's a Friday?  Summer?  ... that it got so busy today?  I do suspect that the return journey (17:36 off Swindon) may have been a bit slacker than usual (POETS day) judging by the lack of cars parked at Melksham when I got there, but having been out since 06:30 and in adrenaline-coarsing presentations and discussions, I was too tired to hang around.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on June 20, 2014, 08:18:01 AM
This morning (Friday, 20th June). Lovely sunny day.
06:38 at Melksham. 10 on into Melksham, -0 +4 = 14/4
07:20 at Melksham. 38 on into Melksham, -2 +6 = 44/8
07:48 at Melksham. 35 on into Melksham, -2 +10 = 47/12

I travelled on the 06:38 to Trowbridge to drop papers off in the town, back on the 07:10.  Nine of the passengers got off the 06:38 when we got to TRO - 5 heading into the town and 4 over the bridge for Bath / Bristol services.  An about 10 more got on.

The 07:10 coming back dropped off three people arriving from Westbury, and picked up 25.

Lots of cycles from Trowbridge on the 07:10 ... when I got off at Melksham, 3 on the cycle stands there too.  Looking rather green  ;D  ... lots of people appearing at the station on foot too!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on June 26, 2014, 09:46:48 PM
07:48 at Melksham.  5 got off, 13 got, train left with 48 passengers. 53/18 <-see discussion / correction in following posts

20:12 from Swindon, left there with 8. 7 more on at Chippenham, 4 off (none on) at Melksham. 15/4

Of the 13 who joined the morning train
4 arrived at the station on the rail link bus
2 got a lift there (1 car)
1 cycled
3 drove and parked
3 walked

All 4 who got off the evening train walked from the station


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on June 26, 2014, 10:28:35 PM
48 north of Melksham on the 0748 is well down on the number seen on the 15th May (60). [note subsequently discovered was actually 50, not 60] I wonder whether recent unreliability has taken its toll given the flurry of evening cancellations? On the flip side, 13 boarding at Melksham is the highest yet for the service (7 in March, 9 in May, now 13.)

The 2012 from Swindon looks good, with 15 south of Chippenham also a new record.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bobm on June 27, 2014, 05:54:53 AM
Just for the record.

Wednesday (25th) 18:32 Westbury to Swindon diverted via Bathampton, not calling at Melksham.

Thursday (26th) 14:15 Westbury to Swindon 21 minutes late at Chippenham.

Both due to signalling problems on the single line.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on June 27, 2014, 05:58:45 AM
48 north of Melksham on the 0748 is well down on the number seen on the 15th May (60). I wonder whether recent unreliability has taken its toll given the flurry of evening cancellations? On the flip side, 13 boarding at Melksham is the highest yet for the service (7 in March, 9 in May, now 13.)

I have another (slightly embarrassing) explanation.   The count was given to me by the conductor vey shortly after we left Melksham, and rather than walk through what was a very busy train I accepted his number.  In hindsight, he hadn't had time to count post-Melksham (hadn't been through the train) and the on / off numbers were perhaps too high for his to note / adjust during the loading / unloading.   So that may have been 48 into Melksham ... minus 5, + 13 -> 56 on board north of Melksham. So 61/18.   From all the various counts I've done on 153s, that is probably the real number ... in fact I'm almost certain.

I tend not to report third hand generalities, but i understand the 17:36 back from Swindon was "heaving" last night - that from crew who did the 20:12 too.  No numbers, but that fits the "busy day" scenario with trains well loaded in both peaks.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on June 27, 2014, 10:16:26 PM
I have another (slightly embarrassing) explanation.  

If it makes you feel any better - I noticed this evening an error in the recording of the 0748 on the 15th May. The number north of Melksham was 50, not 60, which is somewhat embarrassing for someone who's job involves numbers.  I'll edit my post of yesterday to set the record straight.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on July 02, 2014, 01:29:41 PM
Today - 2nd July, Wednesday
11:13 to Westbury arrived with 11 on.   2 got off and 9 more got on. 20/11
Business types arriving (not together); leaving were groups, Mums and babies / leisure.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on July 25, 2014, 06:50:33 AM
TransWilts yesterday - some passenger numbers

4th July ... 07:48 at Melksham.  -2 +8 -> 55 = 57/10
A lot off and a lot more on at Chippenham - 90 into Swindon - a late running HST was behind rather than in front of us

18:32 from Westbury. 11 ex Trowbridge; -6 +3 at Melksham -> 14/9


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Alan Pettitt on August 01, 2014, 01:50:30 PM
1st Aug 2014  1313 Melksham to Westbury:
Melksham: 3 off  5 on
TRO:  10 off. 4 on
WSB:  13 off

(edited to change WSB figure 12 to 13, I forgot myself!)


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on August 01, 2014, 02:11:33 PM
Thanks, Alan ... I make that 19 into Trowbridge - so 22/8 for the stats.

As the 3rd quietest service of the day (after the 06:38 and 20:38), that's pleasantly good.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: TeaStew on August 13, 2014, 12:44:13 PM
John R kindly asked if I would do some counts if I got a chance. I have finished my travels for the week so here is what I have...:

Weds 06/08/14 || 18.48 || 11 passengers || 7 off 0 on

Mon  11/08/14  || 07.20 || 37 passengers || -3   +8
Mon 11/08/14   || 18.48 || 11 passengers || -5   +0

Tues 12/08/14  || 07.20 || 32 passengers || -4   +9
Tues 12/08/14  || 18.48 || 18 passengers || -14  +2

(just for info, the passenger number is number arriving at the station. i.e. before people on or off)

[edit: just occured to me that the station is a bit vague. It is Melksham]


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on August 13, 2014, 02:45:38 PM
Thank you TeaStew. As I'm currently away I can't make any insightful comments as to how they compare with previous readings, but I'll update my spreadsheet on my return.  Although I do notice the similarity of the Wed and Mon readings on the 1848 and then a big increase on Tue, which emphasises the need to have several readings, in case one is unusual for some reason.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on August 13, 2014, 04:43:14 PM
The 18:48 is an excellent example of an evening return commuter train that doesn't do terribly well.   It's a little later than idea for returning commuters from Trowbridge (e.g. Wiltshire Council staff) leaving there at 18:38, and from Westbury (West Wilts Trading Estate) leaving there at 18:32 ... but the big "gotcha" is that there's no suitable morning commuter train to balance it.   The 06:38 from Melksham arrives at Trowbridge at 06:47 and Westbury at 06:55 (and that makes for far too long a day for commuters) and the following train doesn't dawdle into Trowbridge until 09:31 and Westbury at 09:42,  somewhat after even flexible hour employers like Wiltshire Council will accept.

There would be an immediate improvement for commuter traffic to Trowbridge and Westbury if the morning train were to be retimed to arrive at Trowbridge at 09:12, and Westbury at 09:20 as it already does on Saturdays; it would still have 13 minutes to turn round at Swindon after the "up" run, arriving there at 08:18 and leaving at 08:36.   And that would also have that morning train arrive in Westbury before the connections to Frome (and Weymouth) and Warminster (and Salisbury) left.

What you currently see in the 18:32 from Westbury is exactly what you used to see in the 18:44 from Swindon - lots of empty seats.  And for the same reason that the 18:44 used to be empty - nothing sensible into Swindon to match it for commuting.   The 18:44 (now 18:52) is now much improved, and the current 18:32 also would be if there were a matching morning service ... so my diagnosis of the issue is very much evidence based. Please, Mr FGW and Mr Network Rail, move your Monday to Friday train to match your Saturday one!

There would be a huge improvement for this same commuter traffic if an extra service was provided in the morning within the peak gap that's currently 164 minutes into Westbury - 06:55 to 09:42.   That's a plugging of a gap which makes the service unusable to most people who might wish to use it in the same way that the current extra services (6 each way per day) have boosted passenger numbers from around 60 to around 450 per day.

If there were a spare 153 (!) it could attach to the 07:04 Westbury to Swindon, then form an 07:52 back (same timings in the hour as the 18:52), giving a Melksham departure at 08:19, Trowbridge arrival of 08:28, and Westbury arrival of 08:35.  In the evening, running a 17:15 from Westbury (17:21 Trowbridge, 17:31 Melksham) would take the 153 back to Swindon, where it could join the 18:52 train mirroring its morning behaviour.  You've then established a similar pattern in down commuter services to up commuter services, with a true "tight" peak and a backup service in each direction, and our "into Swindon" research which shows just how many people use a mixture of the old and new trains would apply ... so I predict (with some degree of authority!) a huge boost to commuter traffic to the south.

One of the reasons for suggesting the 153 working in this way is because there is an element of doubt over whether there will still be a local service from Swindon to Cheltenham once bimodes from London are in use on the route, so there's a change that the unit being coupled up to in my suggestion - currently the Tranwilts extension train - won't be around.   By adding in an extra unit very soon, an assurance of continuity and a route for that continuity is provided, as well as solving the very real southbound commuter flow which, although small in comparison to the Swindon flow, is worthwhile.

Finally, have I gone and specified an extra carriage just for 2 round trips a day?  No! ... it would also form the other TransWilts extension trains into the future, an additional very early service from Westbury to Swindon, and an additional late train back.   And allow a little bulking out of the daytime service too, together with a sensible service extension to Salisbury, sorting out the "curiously erratic" service at Dilton Marsh when the timetable of West of England services gets recast in a few years, and releasing other unit(s) at Westbury either for efficiency, or to provide a resource which would remove the one of the stumbling blocks to improvements south from Westbury on the Heart of Wessex line.

P.S.  The current 18:48 is the return working of the 18:03 arrival from Swindon (using Melksham times as per TeaStew) which is oft reported "full and standing".  That's pretty good going in 6 months from a zero start ... and it's perfectly within (or rather over) target for the 18:48 to run as it is.  However, we can do much better as outlined above.  ;D


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on August 13, 2014, 06:59:46 PM
A couple of observations/questions:-

Firstly, it was noted about a month ago that FGW have found stock from somewhere to strengthen peak Tarka Line services from December. I did pose the question as to where that unit had been conjured up from, but nobody seemed to know. But it shows that if there's a will.....

Secondly, given the service is doing so much better than expected, how does the subsidy provided to FGW get adjusted? If it's been reduced accordingly, is there justification to use that saving to provide the additional services you suggest, subject to suitable rolling stock of course.

Finally, I suspect many of the 1832 ex Westbury passengers are commuters from Bath/Bristol, as the Chippenham connections are rather unattractive in the evening. If so, it is serving one flow, but as you say, could be so much better.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on August 14, 2014, 07:13:09 AM
John,  I've stopped short of getting into the labyrinth of financial arrangements (which I have only some elements of insight into, not a full picture) when it comes to the success, monitoring, and future direction of the service.     Whilst I'm sure that farebox income is greatly in excess of the forecast, it's not going to be in excess in direct proportion to the ratio of passenger numbers over target. Numerous reasons:

a) The journey mix will differ from what was anticipated. All categories are probably meeting the passenger number targets, but full line length (Swindon -> Salisbury) journey numbers are less dramatically over than more local traffic. Interestingly, traffic for beyond the boundary of Wiltshire past Salisbury (Southampton direction) seems good - no official data at the moment.   With the journey mixed varied, the average fare per journey will vary.

b) I am unclear as to whether the lower level "via Melksham" fares were factored into initial calculations, and at what level.  A commercial decision by First to make this change, and do so at such an excellent level as far as passengers are concerned, will have reduced the average fare per passenger but has (I believe) increased the business - a net improvement of the income, but meaning that it's not above target in proportion to the passenger numbers

c) The target was a conservative one, and I don't know if it was used for the calculation of pricing models, or whether First took a commercial risk in bidding for and starting up the service in the belief that it would do rather better than it needed to in order to make the BCR add up.  Few people are surprised that passenger targets are being exceeded, although many are gobsmacked by just how far.

d) The cost of collecting the extra fare numbers to date has been marginal (I believe). However, there's a limit to that fare collection capability without further cost / investment.  At times, it gets beyond practical for the conductor to check / issue tickets where necessary to everyone on the train who's joined at a station where they can't pay - remember that in addition to Melksham, you're looking at Trowbridge outside the hours it's staffed too.  On the TransWilts at peak times, the conductor needs to be able to issue / check tickets every 8 seconds ... checking possible at this rate, issuing implausible if a lot are needed.   We know from many discussions that there are difficult revenue collection issues on many lines; TransWilts is no worse than most, but the proportion of passengers not paying (either by deliberate avoidance or because they have no opportunity) is going to be far higher than it would have been if passenger numbers had been 45k per annum rather than the 160k we seem to be headed for.

It probably looks like I'm "going on a bit" there, but there's also the issue of the new TransWilts service being a commercial deal like all other line operations, with train company motives (long/franchise/agreement term profits), governmental motives (best achieved BCR) and community motives (good passenger numbers, maximum quality of life benefits) usually but not always pulling us in the same direction.  Motives have been simplified in this paragraph - a whole new story to be had there!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: brooklea on August 14, 2014, 09:37:28 AM
Commenting here (a good opportunity) on counting methods for any technical reader ... the enumeration approach I take (and encourage) is to count all human passengers, including under-5s.  Babies yet to be born are not counted, however - "this is my last week before I go off on maternity", regrettably, was just a count of one.  Staff at work are not counted, employees of the railway travelling in the passenger accommodation and not working are counted (sometimes, of course, we can't tell).   Dogs and other pets are not counted.   The person counting is only counted if he / she is travelling for purposes other than the count - i.e. would have been on the train anyway.
Having checked grahame's counting methodology above, I submit this count for the 1147 from Westbury on 12th August:
Westbury 6
Trowbridge 15 (9 boarding)
Melksham 25 (11 boarding/1 leaving)
Chippenham 17 (8 boarding/16 leaving)


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on August 14, 2014, 11:29:28 AM
Having checked grahame's counting methodology above, I submit this count for the 1147 from Westbury on 12th August:

A very interesting set of metrics from each station, thank you ... and an excellent current measure of the flows.   In the bald "how are we doing against target" it reads 26/12 - that's 26 passenger journeys on the Trowbridge - Chippenham section that's not potentially just abstracted from other services.

So ... what might we have expected from this train on a typical day in the third year of operation - 2016 - when the target was / is an average of 20 passengers per train?   An educated guess would have a distribution of the 160 journeys needed northbound as follows: 35 - 35 - 20 - 12 - 12 - 20 - 15 - 11 on trains at 07:20, 07:48, 10:04, 12:03, 14:30, 16:31, 18:48 and 19:47 at Melksham with numbers just 42% of those in 2014, with an initial target of 45,000 (versus 108,000 for the third year)

In other words (!) we get rather blas^ about numbers just a bit over 20, or at least I do, but we forget that the 20 is supposed to be an average and not what every train achieves ... and we forget that we're talking third year not first year.  In practise, we're looking at exceeding passenger numbers expected this year massively - and had that train carried under a half of what it actually had, it would most likely have been part of a pattern which was on target.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: TeaStew on August 16, 2014, 07:01:12 PM
Almost forgot that on the week of the 4th - 8th I got talking to another passenger who was going to Temple Meads for work that week for a change and was using the train. He had what I suspect is a familiar story... "been living in Melksham for 15 years and never used the train!"


Finally, I suspect many of the 1832 ex Westbury passengers are commuters from Bath/Bristol, as the Chippenham connections are rather unattractive in the evening. If so, it is serving one flow, but as you say, could be so much better.

I know for a fact that just under 10% is! And in fact there is usually another who uses the same trains as me and I think goes to Bath or Keynsham.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on August 27, 2014, 07:05:19 PM
Wednesday, 27th August (Bank Holiday week)   18:03 arrival into Melksham.  25 got off, 1 got on. 52 (+-2) through passengers. 78/26

P.S. Observed on a walk at the station.   LOTS of cars in station car park and extra spaces. Couple of cycles at the station too.  Good bunch getting on the bus - regular bustling little place  :D .   Took the "puppy" who we're fostering at the moment to introduce him to trains.  Not the greatest of successes as he LOVES everyone including people who really don't want to love him and had to be rather held off to one side. Bit of training needed there!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Lee on August 28, 2014, 09:16:33 PM
It has to be said that pinning down with any certainty how we are going to end up doing in terms of passenger and revenue figures has always proved notoriously difficult.

For example, in their first (and successful) Local Sustainable Transport Fund (http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/lstf-application-form.pdf) bid, Wiltshire Council (whilst pointing out that such things were difficult to forecast) expected demand for the new service to be about 45k passengers per annum in the first year, rising to reach about 120k passengers per annum after five years. Resulting revenues were similarly expected to increase from ^220k per annum to about ^600k per annum.

Alternatively, our own December 2006 Open Access Proposal (http://www.savethetrain.org.uk/open.html), which was based on a similar level of service, and validated by senior figures from both franchised and open access TOCs, expected demand for the new service to be 120k passengers per annum in the first year, rising to reach about 295k passengers per annum after four years. Resulting revenues were similarly expected to increase from ^600k per annum to about ^1.8m per annum.

However, the current projections of 160k passengers per annum in the first year appear to suggest that both of the above reports underestimated demand by quite some way. Just where will we eventually end up in terms of passenger and revenue figures? Who knows - The sky really does seem to be the limit.

One thing I can say for certain is this - playing my own small part in helping to create scenes such as those described by grahame at Melksham station yesterday is exactly what I am in this game to achieve - It's an uncertain world out there these days, with more than its fair share of daily bad news, but I think of that image - the embodiment of what the TransWilts stands for - and it genuinely makes me smile.

What more could a man ask for?


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: eightf48544 on August 29, 2014, 10:34:34 AM
As a thought what difference do you think it would make if Melksham had some form of staff presence say during the morning?


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: TeaStew on September 01, 2014, 04:08:13 PM
Almost forgot an "extracurricular" journey last week:

28/08/14    15.53 to Westbury arrived at Melksham with 45. 13 came off and 3 of us got on.


An off-peak Young Person (just!) return to Bath Spa for ^5 is fantastic in my opinion.


As a thought what difference do you think it would make if Melksham had some form of staff presence say during the morning?

I felt rude ignoring this question to post, even if I don't feel like the intended recipient. My experiences of the morning services have all been pre-8AM so from what I have seen a staff member at the station would just be a colder replication of the on-train staff. However I have heard there are other parts of the morning...?


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 01, 2014, 04:26:10 PM
... even if I don't feel like the intended recipient.

That doesn't really matter, TeaStew: many thanks for posting your useful comment and suggestion anyway.  ;) :D ;D


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on September 01, 2014, 04:48:24 PM
Almost forgot an "extracurricular" journey last week:

28/08/14    15.53 to Westbury arrived at Melksham with 45. 13 came off and 3 of us got on.


An off-peak Young Person (just!) return to Bath Spa for ^5 is fantastic in my opinion.


As a thought what difference do you think it would make if Melksham had some form of staff presence say during the morning?

I felt rude ignoring this question to post, even if I don't feel like the intended recipient. My experiences of the morning services have all been pre-8AM so from what I have seen a staff member at the station would just be a colder replication of the on-train staff. However I have heard there are other parts of the morning...?

48/16 is pretty good going for the 15:53 arrival - or rather it's several times what I would have guessed we would get at that time a year ago, but is probably now in line ...

TeaStew - you're probably as well placed as many to answer about staffing Melksham in the morning peak.  ;D ... the question I would ask is "for what purpose?".  Many early morning passengers are regular commuters / have tickets already on most days, or quickly ask for what they need.  So the train manager is just about coping with ticket issues and will be much more able to cope once the TVM arrives.  As an information source, most passengers for the 06:38, 07:20 and 07:48 know what they're catching and can read the display (when it's working) and carry with them interpretive manuals ("no report" means it's left Trowbridge, for example!) and pinches of salt.    However, I suspect that some business could be done in hot cups of coffee and bacon butties in the few minutes before the train left. I note that lots of people are cutting it very fine, so the opportunity window is short.

After the 07:48, nothing calls until 09:15.  There are indeed other parts of the morning, but the bits that butt up to the peak service aren't well entrained at the moment.   Come IEP to Cheltenham Spa, the 07:20 from Melksham (retimed a few minutes earlier) would make another trip, call again at 08:10 on its way to Westbury, and at 08:45 on its way to Swindon, and hopefully by that time we'll have persuaded the 09:15 to become the 09:03, with the following service being the existing train at 10:04 to Swindon.  And at that point, a facility (perhaps a private or community one) as the station each day and including Saturdays and Sundays would move from the fantastic to the feasible.

Completing the pattern of changes this describes, the stock for the 18:52 from Swindon (Melksham 19:18) would come off a working from Westbury that called at Melksham at around 17:36, having gone down there at about 17:03. Brings us full circle to the 15:53 arrival which was busy and shoulder-peak, yet there is at the moment a peak gap to 18:03.  That train in the gap would, in my view, load better that the 15:53 and indeed lead to all trains being busier as true service choice would be provided with gaps plugged at both ends of the day.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on September 05, 2014, 06:33:01 PM
5th September
16:31 at Melksham.  -10 + 6 ->36   46/16 -19 +5 @ CPM
18:03 at Melksham arrived with 67 on -16 + 1 68/17 (was about -10 +30 @ CPM)


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: TeaStew on October 23, 2014, 09:43:45 AM
I have been counting numbers on the 18.32 from Westbury for a little while but haven't got round to getting them on here until now. Apologies in advance for the wall of numbers. These are all that same service that I join at 18.38 in Trowbridge which gets to Melksham at 18.48.

02/09  14 leaving TRO   -6+2 at MKM
16/09  8                       -2+2
17/09  8                       -6+3
23/09  14                     -8+2
29/09  8                       -3+0

01/10  12                     -2+0
06/10  8                       -5+1
08/10  16                     -8+0
15/10  8                       -4+1
20/10  13                     -10+1

[I can see the numbers that Graham is turning counts into but wasn't sure about purple/whether I should, can do that in future though if it helps]


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on October 23, 2014, 04:57:54 PM
TeaStew

Thanks very much for this. It's very helpful.

What you've done is fine for my purpose. Interesting to see that the numbers exiting at MKM varies between 2 and 10! I'd suggest looking at the variability should be useful for those analysing the results of the recent four day count as the number onboard seems to vary by up to 100%.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on October 30, 2014, 04:33:07 AM
Yesterday evening

20:12 ... 9 ex Swindon +3 -0 @ CPM   +2 -6 @ MKM  14/8

Tight connection off a late running 19:00 from Paddington, though most of the traffic was already there when the 19:00 got in.  Left 1 minute late; didn't notice how we were doing by Melksham, but we had had a good fast run so were probably pretty well on time.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on November 06, 2014, 08:14:45 AM
Yesterday ...

12:03 Melksham to Swindon +9,-1@ MKM -> 25, 26/10
Noted 12 off and 3 on at Chippenham

15:14 from Swindon. 25 ex Swindon, -5+18 @ CPM, -17+3 @ MKM   41/20
Left Swindon about 7 minutes late / behind the Cardiff.  Still early and waiting time by Melksham!

Arrival at Swindon at around 15:05 had about 15 passengers

Nothing especially unusual about the day or the look of the traffic - good solid business.

Side question - why is there only a DAY return from Melksham to Bristol Airport ... surely most people who make such a journey are going to want to come back a few days of a week later?


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bignosemac on November 06, 2014, 10:45:06 AM
There are only Day fares available to Bristol Temple Meads from Melksham and it would appear that the destination BRISTOL AIR BUS takes Bristol Temple Meads as its fares cluster point.

Other origins in the west that have period returns to Bristol Temple Meads have the same period return ticket types to BRISTOL AIR BUS.

I agree it makes little sense to only have day fares to an airport, but that's the way the fares system is set up. If Melksham were to get period return fares to Bristol Temple Meads then the airport would also get them.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: stuving on November 06, 2014, 11:16:40 AM
From Wokingham to Gatwick there is a full range of fares, including anytime returns - by both routes (and set by FGW or SWT). All are either twice the (day) single, or a little higher. I think that's quite common, so all you are missing is the convenience of not buying the return single.

Of course you might prefer the single anyway, since by the time you come back either your plans,  the trains, or the flight may not be as expected and a bit of flexibility might be worth having.

And that "full range" of fares still leaves out some possibilities, like 1st off-peak non-day and off-peak singles (via London).


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on November 06, 2014, 11:59:53 AM
I think that's quite common, so all you are missing is the convenience of not buying the return.

Two singles is fair enough - but can I buy my return Bristol Airport to Melksham ticket when I get back to the airport?  A single bought in advance isn't going to be much good if I fly out on a business trip of indeterminate duration.

I called National Rail to check this ... and they don't know if there's a ticket office at Bristol Airport to buy the ticket to come back.   After being on hold for a long time, they admitted that "the page isn't coming up for us" ... and suggested that the best way is to fly in, but a ticket for just the bus to Temple Meads, then buy another ticket at Temple Meads for the ongoing journey to Melksham.   They assure me it won't cost any more, but my goodness this seems like how NOT to encourage people to use the train when they're flying out from their local airport.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on November 06, 2014, 12:21:03 PM
Yesterday ...

12:03 Melksham to Swindon +9,-1@ MKM -> 25, 26/10
Noted 12 off and 3 on at Chippenham

15:14 from Swindon. 25 ex Swindon, -5+18 @ CPM, -17+3 @ MKM   41/20
Left Swindon about 7 minutes late / behind the Cardiff.  Still early and waiting time by Melksham!

Arrival at Swindon at around 15:05 had about 15 passengers

Nothing especially unusual about the day or the look of the traffic - good solid business.


These numbers are well up on those captured recently in the survey. 17 off at Melksham seems a very good flow for a service outside the peak on a weekday.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on November 06, 2014, 12:46:32 PM
These numbers are well up on those captured recently in the survey. 17 off at Melksham seems a very good flow for a service outside the peak on a weekday.

No grouping or cluster reason I could see, either.  A number of regulars I'm getting to recognise, a school / college flow, and a number of "miscellaneous".  Apparently, that 26 on the up train was the quietest run of the day in that direction up to that point, and based on the number arriving on the next train into Swindon that was roughly as busy.  All remarkably satisfactory.   Of the 17, 2 drove from the station, one was picked up, one cycled, one was hanging around I suspect for a lift and the rest walked purposefully as if they knew where they were going.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on November 15, 2014, 08:18:12 PM
Two dozen helpers over 60 trains over four days from 11th to 14th October ... approaching 600 survey forms returned from the first three days are now nearly all entered (just the difficult - to - interpret ones to go and a few late hand-ins), and we have on and off passenger counts all up the line for 58 of the 60 trains where, alas, our team got so involved in surveys they didn't note the numbers.  Anyways ... a month later, a similar Saturday timetable, and I quietly travelled on the nearest equivalent train today to come up with a suitable estimate - or rather I intended to.

15:14 from Westbury - in summary form as we report here:  26 ex Trowbridge, 6 off 0 on at Melksham - 26/6

The it went a bit belly up.  In October, with the Cheltenham line shut, it was the same train up and back.  Today, we were on swap over turn - swapping a westbury layover train with a swindon layover one.  Both timed to depart Chippenham at the same time ... and alas as I crossed the platform the lights went out on the door buttons.  :'(  ... and after the 15:38 the next train wasn't due until 18:03.   Watching it as it pulled out, there were around 35 passengers.

Every cloud has a silver lining ... an opportunity to pop up to Swindon, measure up for the grotto, and see how the 17:46 was doing.   Oh - my - goodness.  "Full and Standing", 116 on a 153 off Swindon.   One lad passed out and I was part of the group tending him as we got to Chippenham - so I missed offs and ons there.   However, 24 off and 3 on at Melksham leaving 79 on the train.   That means exactly 100 from Chippenham to Melksham.  So 103/27




Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on November 15, 2014, 08:29:12 PM
Gosh. I expect a combination of early Xmas shoppers and Swindon Town playing their local rivals probably swelled the numbers somewhat. But if this is what we can expect in the run up to Xmas then I wonder whether FGW can find a two car unit from somewhere on a Saturday. (I guess the same problem will exist elsewhere though.)

And of course, it would mean that the services into SWI in the morning would also have been busy, though maybe spread a little more.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on November 16, 2014, 07:12:54 AM
Gosh. I expect a combination of early Xmas shoppers and Swindon Town playing their local rivals probably swelled the numbers somewhat. But if this is what we can expect in the run up to Xmas then I wonder whether FGW can find a two car unit from somewhere on a Saturday. (I guess the same problem will exist elsewhere though.)

"Swindon Town at home" was the main cause of the upward blip ... but being a local derby only added a small "delta" - they're at home some 20 Saturdays in the year, and a significant traffic surge happens on each of them!   There was indeed shopping traffic on there too.  I would be surprised (but happy) to see a 2 car unit on the TransWilts shuttles on match Saturdays, bearing in mind that (over the next month) the Bath Christmas Market will such in the spare stock such as it is; it's no co-incidence that Santa can come on a Sunday rather than a Saturday to these parts.  It's ironic that the trains that run on the TransWilts during the match, when the fans are otherwise occupied in the County Ground, are 2 car as they provide a service by doing a set swap between the South Cotswold line and the Westbury area!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on November 16, 2014, 09:57:59 AM
Having checked RTT I also notice that the 1734 departure via Chippenham didn't leave until 1754, so for the first leg of the journey you probably had a lot of passengers (particularly fans, given the timing) who would naturally have been on the earlier service. Though that would only explain the severe overcrowding as far as Chippenham, and shouldn't detract from the very healthy flow beyond that point.



Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: thetrout on November 17, 2014, 04:19:11 PM
Two singles is fair enough - but can I buy my return Bristol Airport to Melksham ticket when I get back to the airport?

There is an FGW Ticket Machine in the arrivals section of Bristol Airport. So yes you can :)

I agree it makes little sense to only have day fares to an airport, but that's the way the fares system is set up.

I slightly disagree with that for a couple of reasons. Mainly some work at the airport where a Day Return is cheaper than a season ticket because of the shift patterns so travelling off peak. There is also those who travel with someone to the airport to see them off or meet and greet on their return. Then of course there are the Aviation Enthusiasts who go to the airport for the day.

I recall an article in Rail Magazine where National Express East Anglia where criticised for their lack of Day Return and Off Peak fares on Stansted Express Services. I think there was something mentioned about buying a ticket to Clapham Junction which gave a Day Return fare for significantly less than the SOR and FOR's offered.

That article was around 6 years ago so I apologise if I got that slightly wrong.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on December 07, 2014, 08:51:07 PM
It's a month since any weekday service figures were posted here, so the spreadsheet I've been keeping is looking somewhat empty of late. If anyone does travel the line then it would help me, and those I provide the stats to, to note as best you can the number on each of the legs between Trowbridge and Chippenham and the numbers boarding/alighting at Melksham.  Appreciate that people might want to avoid drawing too much attention to themselves walking up and down the train, and with some of the services much more busy than a year ago then it's not as easy to be accurate, particularly in terms of Melksham stats.  But any information you can provide would be much appreciated.

Thanks


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: TeaStew on December 09, 2014, 01:55:29 PM
That is a fairly strong reminder to upload my counts now I have my phone back! But by way of compensation - this morning:

07.20 at MKM -6 +9 with 48 then onwards to CPM.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on December 09, 2014, 09:24:11 PM
Teastew - if it had been a personal dig then I would have PM's you, but I'm aware of at least one other journey which hasn't been recorded here. But yes please, please do dig them out, and I'm very pleased to hear that you've got your phone back!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: TeaStew on December 10, 2014, 06:45:44 AM
Not to worry, I had not taken it personally, it was a self-dig as it were.

Not so many this time I am afraid though.

04/11   30          -8+4
on the 19.09-19.19(?) CPM-MKM train.

10/11    9          -3+0 [need to check this one]
17/11    9          -9+0
02/12    9          -5+0
on the 18.38-18.48 TRO-MKM section.

[I did try posting this last night but had trouble getting on the site]


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on December 11, 2014, 08:00:16 PM
18:52 off Swindon  ... arrived into Melksham with 37 on. 7 got off, 3 got on.  40/10


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on December 12, 2014, 08:02:18 PM
New timetable starts on Sunday, and I have just received a print run of TransWilts timetables, so got them out to the regulars in tonight's peak.  Here are the numbers

16:31 ex Melksham @ 16:42. 2 off, 6 on became 21 23/8
4 off and 9 on at Chippenham

17:36 ex Swindon left with 69. -10 +19 @ CPM -> 78, -25 +5 @ MKM -> 58 83/30
-36 +7 TRO -> 29 @ WSB

18:32 ex Westbury left with 13 -2 +9 @ TRO -> 20 -6 +4 @MKM -> 18 24/10
-6 +15 CPM

18:52 ex SWI -4 +3 @ CPM -> 10, -3 +0 @MKM -> 7 10/3


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on December 19, 2014, 08:01:32 AM
Wednesday, 17th ... 20:12 off Swindon.  10 on, -1 +5@ CPM, -5 +1 @MKM = 15/6


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: TeaStew on December 19, 2014, 08:45:31 AM
I completed my final (intended) TransWilts journey of the year on Wednesday, so here are my final figures and some notes on them...

09/12     0720 at MKM     -6+9    -> 48

10/12     0720 at MKM     -4+11  -> 50
             1848 at MKM     -13+0   -> 8      [of the -13 8 seemed to be one family group heavily laden with shopping]

16/12    0720 at MKM      -2+11  ->56
            1848 at MKM       -9+1   -> 7

17/12    0720at MKM      -2+20  -> 63  [many turned up at the last moment,the 0749 was cancelled that morning... maybe coincidence]
            1848 at MKM      -9+1    -> 8   [one of the -9 was a "merry" fellow who, unable to drive, had been told to get to his partners house on "the free bus". He had no idea where he was going and refused to believe that such a bus existed but seemed pretty grateful that it did. While maybe not an exemplary passenger it seems knowledge of the train and bus is definitely getting out to people who may not normally use it!]


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on December 20, 2014, 03:46:11 PM
Many thanks for those figures, Teastew ... the railway services is especially useful for those who cannot drive (for any reason) and when using / justifying a train service they are very much VIPs.  They're also to be respected for their decision not to even attempt to drive, but rather to appreciate their limits.



I had deliveries to drop off in the centres of Chippenham and Trowbridge this morning, and took the trains

09:48 from Melksham.  -2 +28 at Melksham, and I then counted 63 on the train - 65/30

10:40 from Chippenham (engineering change / usually 10:53). 25 on from Chippenham. -4 +11 at MKM  - 36/15

11:38 from Trowbridge. 63 from Trowbridge -5 +32 at Melksham - 95/37



Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on December 20, 2014, 06:34:11 PM
Many thanks for those figures, Teastew ... the railway services is especially useful for those who cannot drive (for any reason) and when using / justifying a train service they are very much VIPs.  They're also to be respected for their decision not to even attempt to drive, but rather to appreciate their limits.



I had deliveries to drop off in the centres of Chippenham and Trowbridge this morning, and took the trains

09:48 from Melksham.  -2 +28 at Melksham, and I then counted 63 on the train - 65/30

10:40 from Chippenham (engineering change / usually 10:53). 25 on from Chippenham. -4 +11 at MKM  - 36/15

11:38 from Trowbridge. 63 from Trowbridge -5 +32 at Melksham - 95/37



And many thanks from me to Teastew.

Graham, was it a 153 today, as 90 is a very healthy load north of Melksham.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on December 20, 2014, 06:40:40 PM
Graham, was it a 153 today, as 90 is a very healthy load north of Melksham.

Indeed it was a 153.   I got off at Melksham - already busy into there.  Yep, it would have been comfy beyond, but they did all fit.   Conductor was commenting that he expected the 17:36(isn? today) to be rather well filled on the way back from Swindon.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on December 29, 2014, 01:51:43 PM
13:13 at Melksham today .. 6 off from Swindon, 5 joined, 5 through passengers - 17/11


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on December 31, 2014, 03:04:18 PM
14:33 at Melksham today.  26 on from Trowbridge, 4 off and 5 on so 27 continuing to Chippenham. 31/9

A very interesting day's metrics.    Town centre / most small shops closed and yet many people walking about.  Supermarkets look packed.   Industial Estate leading to Station looked quieter than a Sunday except for activity at the station.   Goodness how things change!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: TeaStew on January 08, 2015, 01:32:59 PM
I completed my final (intended) TransWilts journey of the year on Wednesday, so here are my final figures and some notes on them...

....

19th December - 19.19 into MKM from CPM. -9 +2 with 32 then onwards to TRO. [an unintended journey after work Christmas lunch ran on a bit...]


05/01/15      18.48 at MKM    -6+1 ->  6 onwards
06/01/15      18.48 at MKM   -6+0 -> 6

My first days of travel [and first post here] this year!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: NickF on January 10, 2015, 07:39:07 PM
Today 0919
18 already on board CPM to MKM
3 off at MKM,  9 on
24 MKM to TRO
10 off at TRO, couldnt see how many got on

Today 1512
10 already on board SWI to CPM
2 off at CPM 9 on
17 CPM to MKM
2 off at MKM, 0 on

Please take these figures as estimates, it is slightly difficult to count whilst trying to chaperone 2 train mad toddlers


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on January 16, 2015, 09:17:27 AM
18:52 from Swindon last night ... 29 passengers on into Melksham.  7 off and one on.   30/8


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on February 04, 2015, 12:02:28 PM
11:04 from Chippenham ... Into Melksham 24 on board +3 -4 -> 23   So that's 27/7
(i.e. 27 journeys made on the Chippenham -> Trowbridge section of which 7 were to / from Melksham)


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on February 13, 2015, 07:00:41 AM
12th Feb, 18:52 from Swindon.   28 on into Melksham, 9 off and 2 on; 30/11

Note that the connecting trains from London were running late any anyone on the 17:45 from Paddington (the advertised connection) or the earlier Cheltenham Spa train won't have made that 18:52 ...

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/miscon.jpg)


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on February 13, 2015, 12:08:28 PM
This (Friday) morning. 07:49 ex Melksham, where 2 got off and 25(isn) joined, making 68 - 70/27 ... some seats unoccupied, but some people standing. Around 30 off and 20 more into Swindon (all seated). Full car par at Melksham.  "Much busier than 6 months ago" says a regular.

10:47 back from Swindon - 16 on from Chippenham.  10 off and 12 on at Melksham. 28/22.  Around 30 for off that train when it arrived in from Westbury at 10:34. 


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on February 15, 2015, 08:55:27 PM
That's quite significant. The highest noted yet for the 0749 service, it's around 10 up from the time of the October survey, all of which appears to be MKM generated. What's more, Fridays are normally quiet, and last Friday appeared even more so, probably because of the half term starting, so I would expect the underlying figures to be even higher. Which might imply around an extra 1 commuter per week being added.

Given that there's a more even spread of traffic across the two morning northbound services, but the evening return is much more heavily weighted to the earlier service, I'd expect the 1736 from Swindon to be regularly standing room only now between Chippenham and Melksham, if the morning 153 is just about full. And if my theory is right and numbers are still rising, how long before we start getting complaints about overcrowding?   


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on February 15, 2015, 09:03:46 PM
Thanks for those very thought-provoking comments, John R.  :)

Overcrowding on the TransWilts: whatever next???  :o


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on February 16, 2015, 07:02:44 AM
The 17:36 ex Swindon is indeed being reported back as "full and standing" on a regular basis, and cries of "can we have another carriage" are to be heard.

The immediate answer, I'm afraid has to be "there's nothing spare at the moment" and/or "adding an extra carriage for just  10 / 20 / 25 / 50 minutes per day is hard to justify financially"  but tempered very much with "people ARE aware". It's notable that the complete rail replacement from 18th to 31st July that we anticipated has morphed into "most rail replacement and a peak train service should run" and I'm pretty sure that wouldn't have been the case if we still had just under 50 journeys per day rather than approaching 500.

* There is stock availability (not sure on crew rosters, or ability to reverse at Melksham) for a 16:36 Swindon to Melksham, arriving there at 17:03.   Return service from Melksham at 17:19, arriving Swindon at 17:48.  There are passengers on the 17:36 who would love an earlier train, but I'm not sure how much this would relieve the 17:36 and how much it would encourage extra passengers on the line in general, as people learned of the choice, and actually mke the 17:36 busier.   Note - extension to Trowbridge / Westbury may be possible if the timing issues with a unit that its over at Westbury can be resolved. Note also - no freight (at least today) on the TransWilts at the time the new train would be there, and the times I have given are already tried and tested in other hours of the day into the regular pattern of mainline passenger trains.

* Come cascade / anticipated 16x units in 2 or 3 years, and we'll go up to a 2 car minimum.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Lee on February 16, 2015, 07:22:16 AM
As long as someone lets Control know to change the Default "cancel TransWilts peak first" setting, along with the Default "one taxi for Melksham" for the Default "couple of passengers"...


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bobm on February 16, 2015, 08:17:31 AM
The 07:33 from Westbury was delayed by 13 minutes waiting for the stock to form it which came in on a service from Bristol.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on February 26, 2015, 06:31:59 AM
Yesterday evening ... an interesting contrast!

12 in my carriage on 17:15 ex Cambridge (12 cars to King's Cross)
110 in my carriage on 18:45 ex Paddington (8 cars to Swansea)
15 on 20:29 ex Chippenham (1 car to Westbury) (and 5 off at Melksham / none on so 15/5 )

A middle carriage from Cambridge - 12 car was probably excess provision but I can't speak for the return run of the same train from London to Cambridge. 

Carriage "A" on the 18:45 from Paddington - Standing, crammed all up the aisles to Twyford - an extra stop - as the 18:47 to Cheltenham Spa was cancelled, so this figure is exceptionally high.

By half past 8, trains are getting much quieter and the TransWilts loading was quite reasonable for a Wednesday.  Of note - its use by a couple of regulars I expect to see on the 17:36 or 18:52 off Swindon - re-enforcing the need for this later train as a backup for people working late, who may be lost to rail if they didn't have the option for when they need it.

Pity the crowds for the 18:47 from Paddington for the Stroud valley who had a wait of 30 minutes for the 19:35 ex Westbury 2 car unit rather than a through HST.  It looked like it was going to be cosy!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bobm on February 26, 2015, 06:45:12 AM
Initially the 18:45 was cancelled and the 18:47 booked to run, but then they were swapped.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on February 26, 2015, 07:18:25 AM
Initially the 18:45 was cancelled and the 18:47 booked to run, but then they were swapped.

Ssshhh - don't tell that to the people who were waiting on the platform at Swindon for the 150 from Westbury, or queuing up at the unable-to-cope buffet counter for a drink and food!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on March 04, 2015, 07:28:27 AM
Oh ... my ... goodness

The joke in the lean years prior to December 2013 was that the 06:12 Swindon to Southampton was excellently timed because 100% of the one or two passengers on board when surveyed said it ran at a good time for them, and the next train (at 18:44) would have been too late for them.

We anticipated that the 06:12 would be one of harder ones to fill even after extra services were added, and I expected the train to fall below the average of "20 per train by the third year".   It was heartwarming to see - on the Tuesday of our October count - that the service was up to 18 passengers making use of it on the Chippenham to Trowbridge stretch.

This morning, 4th March, a Wednesday, I've used this train ... and I'm delighted to report that 7 people got off and 9 on at Melksham.   A count on the way to Trowbridge gave 25 passengers, so the stats are 32/16.   Wow - it looks like even the toughest nut has - in the second year - risen above the overall average we were set as the target for the third year (and we're even a long way ahead of year 5 targets).

The 07:04 Westbury to Cheltenham Spa via Swindon left Westbury with 20 people on board already; on past form, it picks up the same number again (perhaps a few more) at Trowbridge, and an increasing number (someone has suggested we're getting 1 new commuter per week) at Melksham.  The emphasis now is on maintaining these numbers / this growth which to some extent is the purpose of my visit to Westbury!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on March 04, 2015, 11:32:13 AM
Following on ... I came back on the 09:48.   Another "it's not going to be busy" train - after the morning peak and in the lull.   And only 7 on from Westbury  :'(

However ... +15 -0 at Trowbridge (checked / count 22 onwards) and +6 -1 at Melksham = 28/7

I really must remember not to be disappointed if a train leaves Westbury with low numbers on board ... there's likely to be many more passengers joining along the way  ;D


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Cynthia on March 05, 2015, 07:40:06 AM
The 17:36 ex Swindon is indeed being reported back as "full and standing" on a regular basis, and cries of "can we have another carriage" are to be heard.

The immediate answer, I'm afraid has to be "there's nothing spare at the moment" and/or "adding an extra carriage for just  10 / 20 / 25 / 50 minutes per day is hard to justify financially" 

Is no-one asking the question 'why?' :o

It's not as though the passenger numbers suddenly jumped beyond those anticipated; there has been a heartening increase in footfall since the improved TransWilts service began.  It must seem a bit of a smack in the face for the new passengers, to expect to tolerate being conveyed in discomfort.  How long will it be before they get fed up with doing sardine impressions, and revert to other modes of transport?




Edit note: Quote marks fixed, for clarity. CfN.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: phile on March 05, 2015, 12:32:15 PM
The 17:36 ex Swindon is indeed being reported back as "full and standing" on a regular basis, and cries of "can we have another carriage" are to be heard.

The immediate answer, I'm afraid has to be "there's nothing spare at the moment" and/or "adding an extra carriage for just  10 / 20 / 25 / 50 minutes per day is hard to justify financially"

Is no-one asking the question 'why?' :o

It's not as though the passenger numbers suddenly jumped beyond those anticipated; there has been a heartening increase in footfall since the improved TransWilts service began.  It must seem a bit of a smack in the face for the new passengers, to expect to tolerate being conveyed in discomfort.  How long will it be before they get fed up with doing sardine impressions, and revert to other modes of transport?

Perhaps they already know that there is no spare stock available anywhere.




Edit note: Quote marks fixed, for clarity. CfN.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on March 05, 2015, 03:02:00 PM
The 17:36 ex Swindon is indeed being reported back as "full and standing" on a regular basis, and cries of "can we have another carriage" are to be heard.

The immediate answer, I'm afraid has to be "there's nothing spare at the moment" and/or "adding an extra carriage for just  10 / 20 / 25 / 50 minutes per day is hard to justify financially" 

Is no-one asking the question 'why?' :o

It's not as though the passenger numbers suddenly jumped beyond those anticipated; there has been a heartening increase in footfall since the improved TransWilts service began.  It must seem a bit of a smack in the face for the new passengers, to expect to tolerate being conveyed in discomfort.  How long will it be before they get fed up with doing sardine impressions, and revert to other modes of transport?

I can tell you - somewhat - as to "why".

The TransWilts was cut back in 1966 to a daily train service, and the intermediate stations closed ... and that daily train service dropped to a summer saturday (only) service a couple of years later.   One of the intermediate stations was re-opened about 20 years later, with a service that limped along with various trials and tribulations, with a service from 2006 described as "providing a peak commuter service to Swindon from West Wiltshire" but in practise carrying an average of less than 10 passengers per train.   The line had become, frankly, the example to be held up as an example of a hopeless case, and there was extreme scepticism as to whether the trial service would bring in sufficient passengers to reach targets in year 1 of 45,000, in year 3 of 108,000 or in year 5 of 120,000.   

With 120,000 journeys a year,  you're looking at an average of 23 passengers per train, and so (the thought went) even if targets are reached, there will be plenty of space.  Of course, some services will be busier than others, but "even if a train is 3 times as busy as the fifth year forecast, there will be seats for everyone".

We are starting to see a realisation that passenger number are reaching the sorts of numbers that the optimists amongst us expected, rather than just the targets which were set, but there are no short term fixes - rather we need to look forward with a 2020 vision to retaining the service beyond the end of the current trial next year, and making it appropriate to the traffic that will wish to travel in 5 years time and beyond.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on March 16, 2015, 09:08:45 AM
Sunday 15th Match - Rail Replacement Bus - circa 19:00 between Melksham and Trowbridge - observed with approx 15 on board. (Considering RR services have historically carried much less than a third of the original numbers of the equivalent train, that represenst around 50 people)

Monday 16th March.  07:20 Melksham Rail Link Bus
+3 people on at start of Route (Melksham Oak)
+2 @ The Pilot
+1 @ Snowberry Lane
+1 @ CranesBill
+1 @ Skylark
+3 @ St Andrews Church
+4 @ Pig and Whistle
+1 @ Forest Road
====> 16 people on Bus
-2 @ Lowborne / Buds
-1 @ The Bear
-13 @ Railway Station

07:48 trains to Swindon
6 off and 32 on at Melksham -> 78 (84/38)
(-about 20, + 17 at Chippenham)
Conductor had insufficient time to go through whole coach to sell tickets.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on March 16, 2015, 11:23:18 AM

07:48 trains to Swindon
6 off and 32 on at Melksham -> 78 (84/38)
(-about 20, + 17 at Chippenham)
Conductor had insufficient time to go through whole coach to sell tickets.

I'd suggest that these numbers bear out my thoughts in mid Feb after the count on a Friday.  Numbers are indeed growing at around 1 per week, and a goodly proportion of these are from Melksham (and encouragingly are using the bus).  I'm guessing that around 20 to 25 can comfortably stand for the 10 mins to and from Chippenham, so around the timetable change in December we could start to get some serious complaints about overcrowding, maybe earlier on the return journey.  Not sure what the answer is given the lack of available stock, although SWT seems to have lots of 159s coming free for additional services...


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Lee on March 17, 2015, 07:40:00 AM
Given that the Melksham Rail Link bus appears to be performing at the very top end in terms of passenger numbers in comparison to similar services elsewhere, will the extremely short-sighted decision to withdraw it in the near future now be reversed?

It would be a terrible shame if the all-too-familiar "sorry, but decision already made, so nothing we can do" attitude were to prevail in this case.

From what I can see, the body of opinion expressed not only by those within the CRP, but also from the more progressive factions within Wiltshire Council and FGW, who together always maintained that Rail Link Bus passenger numbers would take time to build up as people gradually made decisions to take jobs based on the journey opportunities that it provides, are on the verge of being entirely vindicated.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on March 17, 2015, 08:37:05 PM
This evening ... 38 passengers off Chippenham on the 18:52 from Swindon, 9 off and 2 on at Melksham 40/11

3 onto the bus ... but the drive tells me 13 (Thirteen) on the bus earlier, and that it's really taking off.  Let's see tomorrow morning too.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on March 18, 2015, 07:56:08 AM
06:38 at Melksham this morning ... 4 off, 9 on -> 20 24/13

Heavy ons / offs at Trowbridge (where the Gloucester train started just as we came to a final halt) and at Westbury (where it provides a good London connection)

24 on train from Westbury +2,-0 @ Dilton Marsh (school traffic both)
Warminster -15 + 35 (estimates)

Rails at Warminster MOD depot would suggest occasional use, but sidings empty today.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: TeaStew on April 16, 2015, 11:41:55 AM
So... not posted here in a while, sorry about this:

DATE        MKM arr
27/01         18.48      6    -5+1

17/02         18.48    30  -16+3

16/03         18.48    12    -6+1
17/03         18.48      9    -6+3
24/03         18.48    10    -4+0
30/03         18.48    13    -4+1
31/03         18.48    10    -5+1

01/04         The previous train on my connecting route was delayed so I carried on to WSB to pick up my usual TW train there...! WSB[18.32] 11   -2+5 at TRO[18.38] =14 to MKM[18.48] where -5+0


14/04         18.48    11    -3+4
15/04         19.19    23    -9+0


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on April 28, 2015, 10:26:01 PM
2012 Swindon to Westbury - left Chippenham with 9 on board this evening.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: devon_metro on May 15, 2015, 08:02:14 PM
I see as of the new timetable one transwilts round trip has been extended to Frome

"1247 Swindon to Westbury and 1414 Westbury to Swindon will both be extended to/from Frome."


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on May 15, 2015, 11:05:27 PM
I see as of the new timetable one transwilts round trip has been extended to Frome

"1247 Swindon to Westbury and 1414 Westbury to Swindon will both be extended to/from Frome."

Indeed ... takes advantage of a TransWilts layover to fill one of the holes in services to Frome, and good in that it starts to integrate "the TransWilts trial service" with other services around them.   

It would be rather nice if the 07:33 from Westbury started back at Frome too - first run of the day, comes in the middle of the 1 hour gap from Frome in the morning peak (07:04 to 08:02). However, that timing may conflict with the SWT proposals for a Yeovil to Waterloo via Westbury.    Also the 17:36 from Swindon to continue to Frome.  Don't be fooled into thinking that train has too tight a turn around at Westbury, as it's the point at which the 153s are swapped and there are two at Westbury at once, and two drivers ... just a conductor short.    Not only would these give Frome a direc commuter run to and for Swindon, but also extra connections breaking up the hour gaps t / from Bath and Bristol in the peak, with a Westbury change.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: phile on May 16, 2015, 11:11:22 AM
People seem to have the impression that the 17 36 ex Swindon unit comes out of the working on arrival at Westbury to changeover.
However, Real Time Trains show it is booked to arrive in Platform 2 and the 18 32 to Swindon departs from Platform 2 indicating this is what the unit does.   The unit attached to the 16 30 Cardiff to Portsmouth Hbr is booked to go to the sidings to stable.   This unit, I believe, starts off the working the next day and the 18 32 unit on returning at 20 13 attaches to Bristol later.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on May 16, 2015, 11:24:59 AM
People seem to have the impression that the 17 36 ex Swindon unit comes out of the working on arrival at Westbury to changeover.

However, Real Time Trains show it is booked to arrive in Platform 2 and the 18 32 to Swindon departs from Platform 2 indicating this is what the unit does. 

Ah - whenever I've been there at Westbury the 17:36 has arrived into platform 2, and the 18:32 has departed from Platform 1 a few minutes later.   The 18:32 has been waiting when the train from Swindon has arrived and the conductor has made a very sharp transfer via the subway, especially if the 17:36 has been delayed.

Perhaps the method of operation changes with the new timetable on Monday, or perhaps the occasions that I've been there (such as various counts where I have run under with the conductor) have been exceptional days.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: phile on May 16, 2015, 05:04:37 PM
Diagrams are broken all the time for one reason or another.   The same working is shown for the new Timetable also.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on June 04, 2015, 11:30:54 AM
Thursday, 4th June 2015 - a typical Thursday morning?

10:03 Melksham to Swindon
14 joined and 2 left the train, leaving 28 on board
4 joined and 7 left at Chippenham, leaving 25 on board to Swindon
30/16

Car parking:
8 occupied and 11 available in the new car park
1 occupied and 1 available (spaces for rail just outside that car park)
4 occupied and 1 available in the long-established car park
Taxi and disabled spaces both unoccupied
1 extra vehicle parked where there isn't a space!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on June 04, 2015, 05:20:13 PM
16:10 arrival into Westbury, 16 got off

16:15 departure was with 7; + 20 - 0 at Trowbridge; -2 + 3 at Melksham; 30/5

These figures from today very much in line with the late May counts, and healthy.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on June 11, 2015, 11:43:08 AM
06:12 ex Swindon this morning
8 from Swindon, +7-4 @ Chippenham -1+2 @ MKM -7+9 @ TRO;  28 users in total, 13/3

10:04 yesterday
13 on arriving into Melksham.  -3 +7   20/10


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on September 05, 2015, 01:49:12 PM
Note - today is the first "normal" Saturday since 11th July - and today is 5th September.

-2+4 ->20 (22/6) / 07:48 ex MKM; 13 off 1 on at CPM

11:20 arrival @ WSB from SWI - 17 off

11:32 return - 12 @ WSB
-2+10 @ TRO -> 20
-3+8 @ MKM -> 25; 28/11


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on September 06, 2015, 04:52:37 PM
16:09 at Melksham today (Sunday) 12 -4 + 5 > 13  17/9
@TRO -5 + 8

16:30 WSB to SWI left with 84 (yes, eighty four) on board.   Probably something to do with the 11:40 PNZ to PAD missing its 15:53 call, rather than all late traffic for the Melksham River Festival!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on September 06, 2015, 08:58:24 PM

 Probably something to do with the 11:40 PNZ to PAD missing its 15:53 call, rather than all late traffic for the Melksham River Festival!

That appears curious. Was there a problem at Westbury that prevented it coming into the station?

Being terribly pedantic (for which apologies), shouldn't the last couple of posts have been in the "weekend traffic" thread?


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bobm on September 06, 2015, 09:30:14 PM
Points failure at Fairwood Junction.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on September 06, 2015, 09:33:19 PM
Points failure at Fairwood Junction.
Ah, that's explains it (together with the delay to the service from Weymouth). Thanks bobm.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on September 06, 2015, 09:36:03 PM
And, yes, they should probably be in the other thread ...

Should have heard the comments as they got on, full and standing from Westbury ... "What happens when you reduce and 8 coach train to 1".  Not strictly true of course, but at least they all got on and I now have a Sunday "full and standing report" to put alongside the other 6 days.    Those are pretty standard mind - this was an exception!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on September 10, 2015, 08:31:00 PM
19:32 ex Westbury tonight ... "just  a normal evening".  24 on from Trowbridge, -7 +3 at Melksham 27/10


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on September 14, 2015, 07:45:52 PM
Couldn't believe it ... 17 off the 15:53 arrival at Melksham from Chippenham, 2 on and left 25 passengers. So I make that 42/19

Onwards and upwards - perhaps I SHOULD believe it ...


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on October 26, 2015, 08:02:50 AM
07:20 to Swindon from Melksham ... 3 off and 20 on, then 71 travelling - this Monday morning.  74/23


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on October 26, 2015, 08:27:33 AM
Not bad for a service that was averaging between 50 and 55 last December. It shows that 2 years into the service it is still attracting new business. Some of these may be converts to rail and others may have taken employment in the knowledge that the service exists.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Lee on October 26, 2015, 08:34:52 AM
Still need to plug the peak commuter gaps into Trowbridge and start making concrete moves towards an hourly service through to Salisbury though - we are currently missing out on an awful lot of Wiltshire Council passengers that would use the train if they could.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on October 26, 2015, 11:50:39 AM
Still need to plug the peak commuter gaps into Trowbridge and start making concrete moves towards an hourly service through to Salisbury though - we are currently missing out on an awful lot of Wiltshire Council passengers that would use the train if they could.

Totally agreed, Lee.    Our initial analysis was that a TransWilts service running as it is tuned for peak flow into Swindon would cover around 65% to 70% of the traffic, with us initially having to say "sorry" to the other 30% to 35%.

On target numbers of 120,000 by year 3 (that's 2016), that means turning away around 60,000 journeys.  However, with current nu,beds for 2015 headed for 240,000, it looks like we're turning away 120,000 journeys - which more than justifies a second class 153 train running in the opposite pattern to the current one - i.e. (Monday to Friday) from Swindon at 07:49, two hourlyish to 16:36.  And from Westbury at 08:35, two hourlyish to 17:15, and with a later evening round trip too.

Amazingly with our figures, we would have reached target even if the one train had run on the opposite flow to the one we pressed for!!!

And, yes, Lee - these should all usefully extend to Salisbury, mopping up the Westbury - Warminster locals.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on October 26, 2015, 08:27:14 PM
The 18:52 from Swindon (19:18 at Melksham) ... 32 on from Chippenha, -7 + 3 at Melksham -> 35/10

Longest journey - an arrival from Romania into Melksham, and the question "where are the taxis" ...  until July, the answer would have been "take that bus - it will drop you at the end of the street you need", but alas the council decided to "pull" that service ... and I do miss the regulars we used to see on the train who used that bus - for sure we're still growing, but not as well as we could/should have done.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on October 27, 2015, 08:26:52 AM
It's good to see people walking to the station (or being dropped off) - 18 joined at Melksham on the 07:49 this morning. [[ 7 got off, 80 on board to Chippenham - 87/25 ]] And it's excellent to see people coming on to the platform and buying their tickets from the machine while awaiting the train. A very great pity that for this train (in particular), we're half a dozen faces missing from the Spring, as there's no longer a Melksham Rail Link Bus; a handful of the previous customers are still to be seen, and I can only hope that the others have found alternative ways to get to their work.

Probably a good job that tickets can be bought at all the statiosn from a machine (at least if you're using a credit or debit card) as tickets weren't for sale on the train this morning, nor were they checked: "Due to a fault in the ticket machine it's not possible to purchase tickets on the train. Can all passengers please make sure they purchase tickets before the start of their journey - Thank You".

Chippenham - -40 +11 - so 50 on into Swindon


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on October 27, 2015, 09:30:13 AM
Back in Feb you recorded 68 on from Melksham and I noted that this was around 10 higher than the Oct 14 survey. Now we have 80, and that's in a half term week, so I would expect numbers to be around 10% down from usual.

That might suggest that in a year we've gone from around 58 to an underlying of, say, 90 on the service.  Added to the 70 or so on the earlier train, that's around 160 on the northbound commuter run.  Quite how they all fit in on the way home I'm not sure given most will be using the 1736 from Swindon.

Can we really wait until May 17 for an extra carriage?  And if electrification delays release of the turbos, what happens then?





Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on October 27, 2015, 11:35:24 AM
Back in Feb you recorded 68 on from Melksham and I noted that this was around 10 higher than the Oct 14 survey. Now we have 80, and that's in a half term week, so I would expect numbers to be around 10% down from usual.

That might suggest that in a year we've gone from around 58 to an underlying of, say, 90 on the service.  Added to the 70 or so on the earlier train, that's around 160 on the northbound commuter run.  Quite how they all fit in on the way home I'm not sure given most will be using the 1736 from Swindon.

Can we really wait until May 17 for an extra carriage?  And if electrification delays release of the turbos, what happens then?


Good questions, John.   I have no immediate answers.   

The proposed relief of overcrowding by allowing passengers to use the 234 bus from Chippenham in the evening (so giving 17:00 and 18:00 departures from Swindon with a change at Chippenham) have been rendered impractical by the withdrawal by First Bus of the 234 service that would have been used.  I still like the idea of a 16:36 from Swindon running to Warminster, to run the 17:28 from there, and a balancing working from Westbury - but timing is tight.  And frankly these extras are likely to simply create even more demand by providing new opportunities, rather than providing relief to the existing 17:36.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on October 27, 2015, 03:20:39 PM
Good questions, John.   I have no immediate answers.   

... but then again we keep our eyes open ...

First IEP (800002) delivered to North Pole Depot last Friday night:

http://www.railmagazine.com/news/network/2015/10/26/inside-north-pole-as-first-800-reaches-hitachi-depot


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on October 28, 2015, 07:51:41 PM
18:52 off Swindon tonight ... 43 into Melksham, 14 off and 3 on ... 47/17


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on October 29, 2015, 11:13:48 AM

Good questions, John.   I have no immediate answers.   

... but then again we keep our eyes open ...

First IEP (800002) delivered to North Pole Depot last Friday night:

http://www.railmagazine.com/news/network/2015/10/26/inside-north-pole-as-first-800-reaches-hitachi-depot

I guess GWR is going to need to train staff in their use, and also a bit of running rather than just sitting lying idle would be preferable. So why not replace the two units that currently shuttle up and down the Swindon to Cheltenham route with 800s - a route which after all they will be operating on in due course. That would release two units for use elsewhere, although with the current timetable the 800s would occupy Platform 1 at SWI for quite a lot of the day.   Of course one of those units forms the shoulder peak services on the TW, so that could create more opportunities as the timings would no longer need to fit with the northern leg of their journeys.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 29, 2015, 11:56:30 AM
It'll be interesting to see how the training programme takes shape.  A very high percentage of the current GWR drivers will need to 'sign' them, and a fair few will need to learn the other new electric traction and/or cascaded diesel traction.  It will test GWR's driver availability to the limit, though, to be fair, quite a lot of the current route/traction knowledge backlog I commented on a year or so ago is now completed or in-hand.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on October 29, 2015, 06:55:57 PM
Thursday, 29th October.  Autunmal day during half term week.
Personal observations.

12:47 Swindon to Frome
12 on from Swindon, 2 off 7 on at Chippenham, 11 off, 4 on at Melksham
23/15

16:15 Westbury to Swindon
3 off, 12 on at Melksham -> 35 on board
38/15

17:36 Swindon to Westbury
61 on from Swindon and 82 on from Chippenham, 22 off and 6 on at Melksham
88/28

P.S. Arrivals included 2 from Berlin ... again surprised at the lack of taxis at Melksham Station


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Lee on October 29, 2015, 07:12:55 PM
I had the interesting experience of observing grahame from the platform at Chippenham, when the 1736 from Swindon pulled in with him on board observing the passengers...don't think he spotted me though  ;)  ;D


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: ellendune on October 29, 2015, 07:15:21 PM
... again surprised at the lack of taxis at Melksham Station

I can appreciate that the demand may not be high enough (yet) to warrant a taxi sitting to wait for a fare, but could a taxi phone not be provided or at least a board with some phone numbers?


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on October 29, 2015, 07:22:40 PM
I had the interesting experience of observing grahame from the platform at Chippenham, when the 1736 from Swindon pulled in with him on board observing the passengers...don't think he spotted me though  ;)  ;D

He would have done if you had got on or off  ;) - it's getting far too busy to count people waiting for other trains on the platform too!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 30, 2015, 12:16:04 AM
... again surprised at the lack of taxis at Melksham Station

I can appreciate that the demand may not be high enough (yet) to warrant a taxi sitting to wait for a fare, but could a taxi phone not be provided or at least a board with some phone numbers?

At Nailsea & Backwell station, there is one poster, up on the railings on platform 2, which does give some local travel connections information - including a number for a local private hire company.  There is no taxi rank, and indeed no room for one.  There is one public telephone kiosk (card payment only) at the foot of the pathway up to platform 1.  And we are a Great Western main line railway station.  :P


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 30, 2015, 06:29:43 AM
... again surprised at the lack of taxis at Melksham Station

I can appreciate that the demand may not be high enough (yet) to warrant a taxi sitting to wait for a fare, but could a taxi phone not be provided or at least a board with some phone numbers?

........shouldn't be too difficult to hail down a passing horse and cart?  ;)


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Lee on October 30, 2015, 06:46:32 AM
... again surprised at the lack of taxis at Melksham Station

I can appreciate that the demand may not be high enough (yet) to warrant a taxi sitting to wait for a fare, but could a taxi phone not be provided or at least a board with some phone numbers?

........shouldn't be too difficult to hail down a passing horse and cart?  ;)

Does this mean you are in favour of dangling carrots in front of transport providers to ensure greater integration?...


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on October 30, 2015, 07:24:02 AM
... again surprised at the lack of taxis at Melksham Station

I can appreciate that the demand may not be high enough (yet) to warrant a taxi sitting to wait for a fare, but could a taxi phone not be provided or at least a board with some phone numbers?

........shouldn't be too difficult to hail down a passing horse and cart?  ;)

At Nailsea & Backwell station, there is one poster, up on the railings on platform 2, which does give some local travel connections information - including a number for a local private hire company.  There is no taxi rank, and indeed no room for one.  There is one public telephone kiosk (card payment only) at the foot of the pathway up to platform 1.  And we are a Great Western main line railway station.  :P

I suspect it's a generic issue at smaller and middle sized stations and even some larger ones where the predominant flow is regular commuters.   The horse and cart shortage lack of taxis waiting for "next fare" is understandable where the incoming services are sporadic, and with no guarantee (or near-guarantee) of a fare; for sure (taking the Melksham example) passenger numbers are up, but never the less:
* on "only" two of my four early evening arrivals this week were people standing around wondering "where are the taxis"
* on a third, the one group standing around looking lost had pre-ordered a taxi that hadn't yet arrived
* on the fourth, no takers for a taxi

Problem is
... anything more than a very occasional person stranded indicates a need for taxis
... anything less than a fare on the vast majority of speculative visits isn't commercial sense for the taxis

One of the notice boards does include three taxi numbers if you know where to look (which board, and where in the notice). Good for people who habitually travel by train, and are familiar with this signage standard.

An "enterprising" local taxi operator has "flyposted" the station with their stickers.  Not sure I approve, yet it does make a number more obvious.

And  there's no phone ... though most people have their own mobiles these days.  Cell reception is sporadic at times ... the WebTIS (?) system is often out and it's thought by us uninformed people that this is due to reception problems. I am relieved that the ticket machine doesn't appear to suffer the same problems.

I'm very much aware that my post - thus far - describes an issue without offering practical solutions / improvements - ideas would be welcome.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on October 30, 2015, 07:27:42 AM
I'm very much aware that my post - thus far - describes an issue without offering practical solutions / improvements - ideas would be welcome.

........shouldn't be too difficult to hail down a passing horse and cart?  ;)

Does this mean you are in favour of dangling carrots in front of transport providers to ensure greater integration?...

Love it - YES - provided that it's a truly sustainable solution and doesn't solve the issue for a while, get  people using a service until it's decided to withdraw the carrots.

All groups would have been solved this week by the rail link bus, and all groups would have happily been fare paying passengers on it.  But what we have at the station is an unnerved bus stop with an unifying notice from Wiltshire Council blaming government for ending funding of a much-used service, when we're all supposed to be working together for total transport.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on October 30, 2015, 07:33:31 AM
But what we have at the station is an unnerved bus stop with an unifying notice from Wiltshire Council

Ruddy smell checker ...   "unserved" bus stop.   "Un-edifying"notice!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bobm on October 30, 2015, 12:28:21 PM
Given the time it took to get a landline connection for the TVM I wouldn't see a taxi phone being installed anytime soon.

They don't do party lines anymore!   ;D


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on November 03, 2015, 10:08:58 PM
1736 from Swindon.  Around a full train (75) from Swindon to Chippenham with the few spare seats offset by a similar number of standees.  A few more between Chippenham and Melksham - would estimate around 85 in total.

A somewhat bizarre and concerning incident on the first leg - a man dressed exactly as Dennis the Menace (and with hair to match) started pacing up and down the unit from end to end, first slowly, and then quicker and in a more agitated manner. He then stopped half way and started shaking out the contents of his plastic bag (toiletries and chocolate amongst other things) in the aisle. He then continued running up and down the train for several more minutes before one by one opening all the windows down one side as the train approached Chippenham. (Not surprisingly, when passengers realised what he was doing they opened the windows before he arrived, to prevent him leaning over them, and in some cases leaning on them.)

By this time the guard had been summoned from the back cab by concerned passengers, but I overhead him say "It's ok, he's got a ticket".  >:( To be fair I think he wanted to avoid a confrontation as the train was by then only a couple of minutes away from Chippenham, where support would be on hand.  As we arrived the man finished opening the windows, left the train and up the steps, before anyone could stop him, leaving a train of somewhat perplexed passengers, and his debris in the aisle.

It's when he started emptying his bag that I suspect many of us started having misgivings as to what was going on. Thankfully it wasn't sinister, but what was interesting was that nobody (myself included) stopped him or took him to task. I certainly didn't want to start a confrontation with someone appearing to be (to put it mildly) acting irrationally.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bobm on November 03, 2015, 10:16:17 PM
That explains a conversation I heard between a passenger and the guard at Trowbridge where I boarded.  I also noticed it took a minute for all the passengers to alight at Trowbridge.

It seems the 153 which works that service is no longer swapped out for a new one for the 18:35 return working.  The 18:35 train was noticeably "dirty" with discarded Metro newspapers as well as lager cans, sandwich wrappers and other detritus having plied the TW all day. 


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Adelante_CCT on November 04, 2015, 07:14:49 AM
Strange looking man..... Boarding the 17:36 from Swindon..... Walking up and down the unit..... Acting suspiciously....
I really did think this story was leading to a certain grahame, up until the part where the man didn't exit the train at Melksham  ::)


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on November 04, 2015, 08:29:43 AM
Strange looking man..... Boarding the 17:36 from Swindon..... Walking up and down the unit..... Acting suspiciously....
I really did think this story was leading to a certain grahame, up until the part where the man didn't exit the train at Melksham  ::)

And on a very serious note - "Many a true work spoken in jest".   We're very much aware for / amongst our volunteers (as well as me personally) to act in an appropriate manner ... in fact part of our briefings are to remind our team ...

Knew it wasn't me that had been observed when John R mentioned chocolate.  Never carry the stuff / can't eat it.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: phile on November 04, 2015, 09:46:15 AM
That explains a conversation I heard between a passenger and the guard at Trowbridge where I boarded.  I also noticed it took a minute for all the passengers to alight at Trowbridge.

It seems the 153 which works that service is no longer swapped out for a new one for the 18:35 return working.  The 18:35 train was noticeably "dirty" with discarded Metro newspapers as well as lager cans, sandwich wrappers and other detritus having plied the TW all day. 

Never has been booked to be swapped out at 18 35.   People seemed to get that impression because it might have happened on a couple of occasions for some reason.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bobm on November 04, 2015, 08:23:10 PM
Knew it wasn't me that had been observed when John R mentioned chocolate.  Never carry the stuff / can't eat it.

This bit of earth shattering news from the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34718668) won't worry you then....

Quote
Cadbury has upset some fans of its Fruit and Nut bar by adding sultanas to the recipe as well as raisins.

After 90 years in production, the firm said sultanas had been included "to add more variation" and "ensure it's still an affordable treat".

But some chocoholics accused Cadbury of putting cost - sultanas are cheaper than raisins - ahead of taste.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on November 07, 2015, 09:03:26 AM
A really grotty day (Saturday) weather wise, and all the football teams playing at distant grounds, trains running a bit different to normal as Wilts and Berks services diverted via TransWilts..  08:37 at Melksham (to Swindon) +5, -1 -> 28 .. 29/6


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Phil on November 07, 2015, 10:17:29 AM
all the football teams playing at distant grounds

Que? Melksham Town are at home in a local derby with Bradford (on Avon)


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on November 07, 2015, 10:33:10 AM
http://www.lincolnshireecho.co.uk/Lincoln-trains-overcrowded-services-allocated-new/story-28115060-detail/story.html?

Not from our area, but reference to 169 people alighting from a Class 153 commuter service recently.   :o  So looks like the 1736 has some way to go before it can truly be described as full. 


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 07, 2015, 10:52:16 AM
all the football teams playing at distant grounds

Que? Melksham Town are at home in a local derby with Bradford (on Avon)

Hopefully both spectators and the dog will manage to keep dry  :)



Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bobm on November 07, 2015, 11:23:34 AM
all the football teams playing at distant grounds

Que? Melksham Town are at home in a local derby with Bradford (on Avon)

Isn't a derby "local" by definition?  ;D


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 07, 2015, 05:12:00 PM
all the football teams playing at distant grounds

Que? Melksham Town are at home in a local derby with Bradford (on Avon)

Isn't a derby "local" by definition?  ;D

There are plenty of non local derbies..........the "Dockyard Derby", Plymouth v Portsmouth being one example.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on November 07, 2015, 09:51:58 PM
A really grotty day (Saturday) weather wise, and all the football teams playing at distant grounds, trains running a bit different to normal as Wilts and Berks services diverted via TransWilts..  08:37 at Melksham (to Swindon) +5, -1 -> 28 .. 29/6

18:19 back from Chppenham - 2 off and 15 on at Chippenham / then 45 on train.  14 off and 6 on at Melksham  51/20.  Class 158, so single door.  Except a second door was required for cycle(s) ... and by the time that's done and folks have to off and on we're going to start needing another minute in the schedule. Wonderful to have the problems of growth - and to look forward to the day that people can leave the station direct to their homes rather that though the industrial estate.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on November 14, 2015, 07:35:16 PM
Another Saturday report. 'orrid weather again.
07:48 Melksham to Swindon -1 +7 -> 22 23/8 (then -10 + 13 at CPM)
18:19 from Swindon observed at Trowbridge -17 +7 -> 35 52/24
18:38 ex Trowbridge 9 into Melksham -5 + 6 -> 10. 15/11



Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on November 22, 2015, 07:37:02 PM
16:47 bus - Chippenham to Westbury.   Melksham -2 + 1 -> 8  ... 10/3

As past performance for buses in place of trains has been dreadful (perhaps traffic down to between an eighth and a fifth of normal if it had been a train), these numbers look not un-reasonable.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on November 23, 2015, 06:19:21 PM
16:47 bus - Chippenham to Westbury.   Melksham -2 + 1 -> 8  ... 10/3

As past performance for buses in place of trains has been dreadful (perhaps traffic down to between an eighth and a fifth of normal if it had been a train), these numbers look not un-reasonable.

Noting today that there were no fewer than 9 buses each way yesterday, versus 5 or 6 trains - good idea as people were having slower journeys into Chippenham and it would have been adding insult to injury to make them wait for a long period for a bus.   But of course it means that passengers were spread out, and actually makes the numbers encouraging.

Today (Monday) - 6 off and 5 onto the 09:15 at Melksham - Swindon to Westbury service.   No count of numbers on board so that's ??/11 ...


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on November 26, 2015, 05:01:19 PM
15:14 ex Swindon left with 10. -2 +20 CPM; -10 +2 MKM => 30/12
16:31 Melksham to Swindon. -1 + 10 => 43; -20 +8 CPM -> 31.  44/11


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on November 26, 2015, 10:29:59 PM
Compared with the two survey days in Oct 14 we have (in terms of pax between MKM and CPM, and ons/offs at MKM)

1514:  Increase from 20 to 28 travelling,  ons/offs from 9 to 12

1631:  Increase from 16 to 43 travelling, ons/offs from 7 to 11.


So it's not just the commuter traffic to/from CPM and SWI which is growing strongly.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on November 29, 2015, 04:02:36 PM
Sunday 29th November - 14:50 Melksham to Swindon.

At Melksham -10 +7 => 23 33/17
-14 +5 at Chippenham.   And for the 15:35 return looked like it was about half filled off Swindon.

Excellent to see it hold back a few seconds to check that no-one off the delayed Cheltenham Spa service was sprinting for the connection before it took off about a minute late.   I've noted an element of a pride and service culture in taking a quick look around before departure from Swindon - especially an issue when (not today) the Westbury train is parked out beyond a 150 or 158 sleeping between excursions to Cheltenham Spa.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on November 30, 2015, 10:21:58 PM
Monday 30th November.  20:12 Swindon to Westbury ... about 3 minutes late waiting path behind the 19:00 from Paddington which didn't arrive until 20:10.   Weather "awful" - the tail end of Hurricane Clodagh I think the Metro said, alongside words being added to discourage casual travel.

From Swindon - 6 passengers.  At Chippenham, no-one got off and 7 got on.  At Melksham, 6 off and none on - so that's 13/6


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on December 06, 2015, 03:31:00 PM
Sunday 29th November - 14:50 Melksham to Swindon.
At Melksham -10 +7 => 23

Quieter today ... but really horrid weather.   -2 +7 => 14  16/9


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bignosemac on December 19, 2015, 09:01:08 AM
Cancellations of TW services this morning due to a Track Circuit Failure at Rushey Platt.



Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on December 19, 2015, 09:21:05 AM
Cancellations of TW services this morning due to a Track Circuit Failure at Rushey Platt.

Yep, bang goes my journey to Frome!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bignosemac on December 19, 2015, 09:23:44 AM
Melksham pax from Swindon were advised to go to Chippenham to pick up onward road tramsport. Hope there weren't too many as Chippenham has no platform staff to help this morning.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: ellendune on December 19, 2015, 09:26:31 AM
Cancellations of TW services this morning due to a Track Circuit Failure at Rushey Platt.

Is this old signalling or new that is the problem (Rushey Platt is the boundary at the moment)?
Do the bits of Swindon signalling area that have been transferred to TVSC still use track circuits or are they now on axle counters? 


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bignosemac on December 19, 2015, 09:51:38 AM
Well, Network Rail say it's a TCF, showing occupied when clear, with no voltage to the relay.

So I'd safely assume from that that there are still TCs in the area.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bobm on December 19, 2015, 10:06:13 AM
Cancellations of TW services this morning due to a Track Circuit Failure at Rushey Platt.

Yep, bang goes my journey to Frome!

As Jethro would say TransWilts don't call Frome Saturdays  ;D

For the record the two cancellations were the 08:36 Swindon to Westbury and 09:30 Westbury to Swindon.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on December 19, 2015, 02:11:24 PM
As Jethro would say TransWilts don't call Frome Saturdays  ;D

For the record the two cancellations were the 08:36 Swindon to Westbury and 09:30 Westbury to Swindon.

TransWilts is a connectional service - with around 80% of journeys invoking a transfer to and from another wheeled vehicle at one or more (i.e. two) end(s) of the journey.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on December 20, 2015, 12:35:46 AM
Including trams?  :o ::) ;D

Melksham pax from Swindon were advised to go to Chippenham to pick up onward road tramsport.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 21, 2015, 05:54:32 AM
Including trams?  :o ::) ;D

Melksham pax from Swindon were advised to go to Chippenham to pick up onward road tramsport.

...........probably should have read "tractor"  ;)


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bignosemac on December 21, 2015, 06:48:32 AM
Including trams?  :o ::) ;D

Melksham pax from Swindon were advised to go to Chippenham to pick up onward road tramsport.

Hoist by my own petard. (see signature below)  :-[


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Adelante_CCT on December 23, 2015, 06:32:02 AM
Swindon to Westbury a bus this morning due to signal failure between Chippenham and Swindon, also affecting Bath and Bristol passengers. Expected to last till late morning


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on December 23, 2015, 09:15:42 AM
Swindon to Westbury a bus this morning due to signal failure between Chippenham and Swindon, also affecting Bath and Bristol passengers. Expected to last till late morning

Not a 'clever' morning ... with problems rather wider than the TransWilts ... I'm guessing there might be just one line open between Chippenham and Royal Wootton Bassett, judging by the number of Bristol to London (and vice versa) services cutting out Bath Spa and Chippenham.

List of buses accepting train tickets - notable by its absence from the list is the Faresaver x34, now the only Trowbridge - Melksham - Chippenham bus after First's ending of the commercial 234 at the start of August, and Wiltshire Council's removal (without public consultation) of the subsidised evening service.   That latter is a real issue still - I came home from London last night on the 20:45 ex Paddington and would have caught the final bus were it still running.   As it was, I paid 20 quid for a taxi - and the driver told me he gets "a couple of runs a week" from Chippenham Station to Melksham.   If you multiply that up by the number of taxis operating from Chippenham Station ...

Back to this morning, noted that the 07:04 Westbury to Cheltenham Spa did run. Small problem ... diverted via Bristol, so any traffic from Westbury or Trowbridge to Gloucester or Cheltenham was catered for.   Just a problem for users of Melksham, Chippenham, Swindon, Kemble, Stroud and Stonehouse ... who constitute the vast majority of passengers (I would be tempted to say the WHOLE passenger flow, but there may just be people going all the way!)

I may sound negative - however these things happen and in the wider picture it's not just TransWilts.   But - my goodness - it's frustrating ...


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bignosemac on December 23, 2015, 09:16:19 AM
More TCFs. This time in the Christian Malford area on both the Up and Down Mains between Wootton Bassett Junction and Chippenham.

Total Block Working was put in place. Some issues remain as at 0900 with one signal refusing to clear.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: SandTEngineer on December 23, 2015, 09:32:39 AM
More TCFs. This time in the Christian Malford area on both the Up and Down Mains between Wootton Bassett Junction and Chippenham.

Total Block Working was put in place. Some issues remain as at 0900 with one signal refusing to clear.
Hi BNM.  Think that should be Temporary Block Working ;)


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on December 23, 2015, 10:03:28 AM
Swindon  Advertiser
http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/14163218.UPDATE__Signalling_problems_cut_trains_from_Swindon/

Quote
FEWER trains were running from Swindon to Bristol Temple Meads this morning and services are still being delayed.

A signalling problem between Chippenham and Swindon is to blame, says Great Western Railway.


Services were running again by 9am but with delays of about half an hour.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bignosemac on December 23, 2015, 01:54:01 PM
More TCFs. This time in the Christian Malford area on both the Up and Down Mains between Wootton Bassett Junction and Chippenham.

Total Block Working was put in place. Some issues remain as at 0900 with one signal refusing to clear.
Hi BNM.  Think that should be Temporary Block Working ;)

You are indeed correct. No idea where I got 'Total' from.  :-[


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on December 24, 2015, 09:55:22 PM
Blame it on autocorrect.  ;D


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on January 21, 2016, 09:59:31 PM
Travelled by train from Melksham to Taunton and back ... had to stand from Melksham to Chippenham and back from Chippenham to Melksham ... 96 passengers, with 28 off and 3 on at Melksham.   Morning was about 20 on and 6 off, with 86 into Chippenham.

Oh - some of the regular folks I know were saying it was much quieter than usual this evening - "we're usually standing all the way up the carriage and not just at the ends ...". I'm ... quietly pleased  ;)


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on January 29, 2016, 04:23:16 PM
14:30 to Swindon at Melksham today.  +12 -2 ... about 35 on when the train left.   Gobsmacked - this is supposed to be the quiet middle of the day!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on January 30, 2016, 08:02:47 PM
The surveys done in 2014 had around 16 on beyond Melksham in May, and 8 or 9 on for the two days in October.  Similarly, only 2 or 3 people joined at Melksham on those three days.

So I'd agree, it's a remarkable increase.  If this is indicative of loadings then it would reinforce the fact that an hourly service would not be underused. 


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on January 30, 2016, 09:20:55 PM
I travelled home on the TransWilts about 10 days ago - Thursday, 17:36 off Swindon.    The regulars were apologetic - "sorry - not as busy as usual - we're only standing in carriage end tonight - not all the way up the carriage".  Made it about 95 on that evening - as usual, busier from Chippenham to Melksham than Swindon to Chippenham.   Good - timetable's designed to do that!

On yesterday afternoon, I suspect (educated guess) that it was because it was POETS day. (Piss off early - tomorrow's Saturday).


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on April 09, 2016, 07:01:41 AM
Friday, 8th April 2016.

16:27 to Swidnon ... 4 off and 4 on at Melksham then 71 passengers on; 3 off and 8 on at Chippenham making it 78 from there - 75/8

17:20 from Swindon ... 228 on board on departure; estimated 114 off at Chippenham and 41 on (counted 155 on leaving). 30 off and 4 on at Melksham - 159/34

With Swindon to Portsmouth trains serving the TransWilts this week, the figures tell us nothing about the naturally TransWilts traffic - except those figures for Melksham cannot be due to the engineering can they? It does serve to remind us how lucky we are that the line survived for the occasional freight services and passenger diversions from 1966 through 1985 - and indeed how the diversionary status has remained important and ensured quality running lines.

People pushing through the train to get to the single opening door at Melksham on the 3 car 158, and the need for the conductor to the open a second door too (manually via the platform) for cycles and people finding it hard to push all the way through indicates the need to step up to a platform capable of having all doors opened.  With a 2012 figure of 2 or 3 people (averages) getting off and on each train that called, it worked fine, but with the average up to about 10 off and on, and longer trains that won't tit like the 153 does due to arrive next May, the situation needs to be (and is being) addressed.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 09, 2016, 09:34:21 AM
Friday, 8th April 2016.

People pushing through the train to get to the single opening door at Melksham on the 3 car 158, and the need for the conductor to the open a second door too (manually via the platform) for cycles and people finding it hard to push all the way through indicates the need to step up to a platform capable of having all doors opened.  With a 2012 figure of 2 or 3 people (averages) getting off and on each train that called, it worked fine, but with the average up to about 10 off and on, and longer trains that won't tit like the 153 does due to arrive next May, the situation needs to be (and is being) addressed.

.......damn those trains that refuse to tit!  ;D


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on April 09, 2016, 11:13:08 AM
Digging through posts back to October, 22 left the equivalent service at MKM, yesterday was 30, both being in school hols so probably slightly down on normal numbers. So evidence of continued growth in commuter traffic two years into the trial period.

Curious about the reference to the 153 due to arrive next May. Surely the current stock is a 153?  Is the plan to double up with two and then off peak step down to just one unit? 


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on April 09, 2016, 12:22:52 PM
Digging through posts back to October, 22 left the equivalent service at MKM, yesterday was 30, both being in school hols so probably slightly down on normal numbers. So evidence of continued growth in commuter traffic two years into the trial period.

Curious about the reference to the 153 due to arrive next May. Surely the current stock is a 153?  Is the plan to double up with two and then off peak step down to just one unit? 

Yes - looking through the fog of diversions, it does seem that local traffic continues to do well. A couple of other lots of sensible numbers this morning, with 18 off and 4 on to the southbound 10:44, and 8 off and 5 on to the northbound 11:26.   Southbound swelled by the Wiltshire Ramblers group; northbound no significant  'out of the ordinary' group.

Very poor writing on my part about the 153.   The 153 (which fits in Melksham platform ) goes off lease next May, to be replaced by a 2 car train.  Good to see yesterday and today that turn back as Swindon is working for the longer trains (150926 all the way up from Portsmouth this morning, and headed back down there) ... even before the Gloucester / Cheltenhams all become through services from London.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on April 09, 2016, 12:38:30 PM
Ah, yes I see now.  Thanks for the clarification.

30 (and still rising) off or on through one door will start to increase dwell times too, although I suppose that would be speeded up with the wider turbo door.  On it's own that wouldn't be enough justification for platform lengthening, as it's probably one one train each way with that sort of numbers, but does marginally add to the case.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on April 09, 2016, 08:20:59 PM
And calls today:
10:44 (Southbound) -18 +4 (most off for an organised walk)
11:26 (Northbound) -8 +5 then 75 on to Chippenham - 83/13
19:26 (Northbound) 61 on into Melksham, -8 +3 there - 64/11

Yes, single door takes distinctly longer.   11:26 was 150926 (all the way from Portsmouth, and heading back there) and the Melksham stop wouldn't have been as delayed if it wasn't for passenger issues.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on May 07, 2016, 10:17:45 AM
To a very great extent "no news is good news" and I have been keeping an eye on TransWilts loadings during the day at regular times - with big thanks also to those who feed the numbers back to me - really appreciated.  Headline is "gently growing" - though what I regard as gentle for the TransWilts could be regarded as explosive elsewhere!

I travelled on the 12:03 from Melksham yesterday - business meeting to do with my IT training across beyond London and was one of 12 people joining the train at Melksham; a further 7 joined at Chippenham (and 10 got off) and I made it 26 users on the "TransWilts section".

Coming back on the 17:36 from Swindon, I'll admit to being disappointed at just 56 passengers - but then a further 30 got on at Chippenham, with a few (in single figures) getting off there.  It was "POETS" day (P*** off early - tomorrow's Saturday) and I understand from train crew that there had been 45 on the 15:12 from Swindon on part of the route.  About 30 off the 17:36 at Melksham.

I got off at Melksham Station and hung around there (chatting with a community team chap, more anon) until the train came back at 18:48 ... 6 or 7 off, 3 or 4 on.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on May 21, 2016, 08:20:02 PM
With the timetable change last weekend, new (mini)timetables are available ... and I spend the first hours of this morning's service handing them out and seeing how we were dong with passengers, also dropping by the statin at Melksham later - a happy co-incidence as the 18:03 called

07:48 ... +0 -3 => 9  (12/3)
08:37  -4 + 13 => 26 @ MKM (30/17)
09:02  21 ex CPM; -4 +5 @ MKM (26/9)
09:48 18 + 9 -1 @ MKM ; (27/10)
18:03 -12 + 4 => ~35 @ MKM (~47/16)

A damp Saturday, outside the football season save it was FA cup final day (Sadly, Crystal Palace didn't win  :-\ ) so I would have expected below average numbers ... the figures here aren't too shabby!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on May 22, 2016, 08:53:53 PM
A damp Saturday, outside the football season ...

Erm, no: the football season won't be over until next Monday week: http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Plymouth-Argyle-Derek-Adams-surprised-rush/story-29298513-detail/story.html  ;) :D ;D


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on May 22, 2016, 08:57:15 PM
Don't know whether to laugh or cry ... very poor showing indeed for day trippers to Weymouth on the first running of the 09:26 Swindon to Westbury today for the summer season.  On the other hand, a total of 46 different passengers used the train on its round trip between Trowbridge, Melksham and Chippenham for all sorts of other journeys, including between 15 and 20 who would use it on a regular basis all year.   And remember - this was the first run of this train this year, so we've not built up yet.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on May 22, 2016, 09:04:44 PM
A damp Saturday, outside the football season ...

Erm, no: the football season won't be over until next Monday week: http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Plymouth-Argyle-Derek-Adams-surprised-rush/story-29298513-detail/story.html  ;) :D ;D

As far as I'm concerned, the season's over when Palace are knocked out of the cup  :-\


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bobm on May 22, 2016, 09:06:26 PM
Some of us are already working on next season.  ;D


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on May 22, 2016, 09:08:23 PM
Yes, but you have funny shaped balls.  :-X


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on May 29, 2016, 10:52:31 AM
Sunday 29th ...

08:46 at Melksham toward Swindon 8 on, none off -> 43   43/8
09:53 at Melksham toward Westbury. Arrived with 36, 2 off 14 on -> 48 50/16

Nice sunny bank holiday Sunday.   Lots of longer distance journeys ... London, Weymouth, Didcot, Bristol all mentioned in passing.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on June 21, 2016, 07:36:31 AM
(http://www.wellho.net/pix/ltr.jpg)

A note of how valuable the 'intelligence' from the passengers is.  Certainly getting busier - I was on the prior train on Thursday of last week (15:12 off Swindon) and that too was distinctly busy; part of a group (of 6) and we had to split over quite an area - I estimate between 40 and 50 passengers in the single carriage - rather more using the train during its run as people got off and on at all intermediate stations.  Again the local intelligence very helpful - noted quite a few people off that 15:12 (which was retimed a few minutes earlier from last December) making the new connection to the Portsmouth train.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on July 23, 2016, 09:26:48 AM
It seems to just grow ...

Full and Standing on the 09:02 from Melksham - 3 or 4 off and 15 on in Melksham;   so full that station duties delayed while everyone packed in, then had to pack in further to make space for the conductor ... left with somewhere just over 100 in a single carriage.

Oliver time.  "Please sir, I want some more"


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on July 23, 2016, 04:51:04 PM
Looks like a 2 car unit can't come quickly enough. I know it was originally scheduled for next May but is there any concern that delays in electrification may put that at risk?


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on July 23, 2016, 05:21:38 PM
Looks like a 2 car unit can't come quickly enough. I know it was originally scheduled for next May but is there any concern that delays in electrification may put that at risk?

Yes indeed there is concern.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on July 30, 2016, 10:25:02 AM
It seems to just grow ...

Full and Standing on the 09:02 from Melksham - 3 or 4 off and 15 on in Melksham;   so full that station duties delayed while everyone packed in, then had to pack in further to make space for the conductor ... left with somewhere just over 100 in a single carriage.

Oliver time.  "Please sir, I want some more"

Bit of an overcast day ... similar numbers at Melksham this morning, but pretty close to every seat taken rather than "heaving" with through passengers.   Just about perfect for the capacity we have - lots more opportunity to market it, though, should it be a bit longer and more exciting.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on July 31, 2016, 10:27:50 AM
Another busy train this (Sunday) morning ... the 09:52 to Westbury arrived in Melksham with 54 on board and a further 16 joined - so up so 70.  2 coaches, so comfortable.

Wish we didn't have to wait another 2 hours for the first train from next month  >:(


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on November 29, 2016, 07:48:28 AM
Reviving an old thread for public view ... I'm commuting Melksham to Didcot this week ... trains getting busier still.  28 joined and 6 left the 07:20 at Melksham on its way to Swindon this morning - educated guess that numbers were around 80 on the train into Chippenham - so 86/34.  Yesterday was much the same. And I suspect the next train - the peak one at 07:49 - is about the same.

Evening train back arriving Melksham at 19:15 had around 40 on it / 18 off and 3 on - 43/21. Reports of 17:36 off Swindon are "crammed" and the 15:12 is now being reported as "standing room only" from Chippenham, though I suspect there are still odd seats to be found.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on November 30, 2016, 08:19:54 AM
Reviving an old thread for public view ... I'm commuting Melksham to Didcot this week ... trains getting busier still.  28 joined and 6 left the 07:20 at Melksham on its way to Swindon this morning - educated guess that numbers were around 80 on the train into Chippenham - so 86/34.  Yesterday was much the same. And I suspect the next train - the peak one at 07:49 - is about the same.

07:49 this morning ... 10 left and 33 joined at Melksham, then 84 on to Chippenham - 94/43


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on November 30, 2016, 09:50:30 PM
Good to get readings of the two morning trains so close together.  From MKM we seem to have around 60 on and 15 off (rounding slightly), so that's about a solid base of around 37,500 ons and offs a year just from those two services (and assuming they all return home in the evening).

In total north of MKM we now have around 160 -170 pax on the two trains, fortunately evenly spread.  But as is well documented, the evening load peaks on the 1736 ex SWI - hardly surprising when you consider the times of the trains on either side of it.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on December 01, 2016, 08:07:06 PM
In total north of MKM we now have around 160 -170 pax on the two trains, fortunately evenly spread.  But as is well documented, the evening load peaks on the 1736 ex SWI - hardly surprising when you consider the times of the trains on either side of it.

Somewhat over 100 tonight on the 17:36 ... some standing from Swindon to Chippenham where quite a few left the train but many more got on ... and thereafter there were 25 to 30 standing from what I could see, yet still with 2 or 3 seats not taken. Well over 30 off at Melksham - can't give you an exact number as I was in the middle of the carriage; 6 or 7 on, I believe.  Needless to say it took a bit of time even with 2 doors as standees to Trowbridge let seated people to Melksham pass them to get off.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: froome on December 02, 2016, 09:35:55 PM
Just for info:

I was returning today from Portsmouth on the Cardiff train that was due to arrive at Westbury at 19.10, and the TM made it very clear in announcements that anyone travelling onward to Chippenham or Swindon was 'very strongly advised' to get off at Westbury and catch the 19.32 to Swindon rather than stay on to Bath Spa, due to the large numbers at Bath Spa station. I've not heard anyone advising that before on that route (and obviously it was advised today because of the Bath Christmas market). Anyone else aware of that advice being given (which was obviously sensible) and any idea whether most passengers travelling from Salisbury/ Warminster to Chippenham/Swindon do change at Westbury, or do most travel via Bath?


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on December 02, 2016, 11:17:56 PM
Anyone else aware of that advice being given (which was obviously sensible) and any idea whether most passengers travelling from Salisbury/ Warminster to Chippenham/Swindon do change at Westbury, or do most travel via Bath?

From Warminster, there is an encouragement to change at Westbury or at Trowbridge in the form of lower fares to Chippenham and Swindon "via Melksham" than "Any Permitted".  In the opposite direction, there are two through trains from Swindon to Salisbury each Monday to Friday, and with some other trains such as the 15:12 from Swindon you can see a body of people flow from the train when it arrives in Westbury to the platform for the Portsmouth train.    These are major flows and we at the TransWilts CRP would welcome further though services and better connections too at Westbury.

Announcements which were once rare about connections onto TransWilts trains have much more common, and it's something we're encouraging.   Personally I travel into Swindon on the trains from London far more than on the trains into Westbury from Salisbury so my comment's much more about that service. 


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on December 03, 2016, 06:34:11 PM
69 on the 18:03 arrival into Melksham this evening (17:36 off Swindon). About 24 off and 12 on. 81/36. If those figures look a little lower than usual for the 17:36, note that today's a Saturday and there are no football matches / spectators anywhere in the area!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Adelante_CCT on December 03, 2016, 07:06:17 PM
Quote
and there are no football matches / spectators anywhere in the area!

Chippenham Town were at home! Though sadly the game didn't make the distance.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on December 03, 2016, 07:26:07 PM
Quote
and there are no football matches / spectators anywhere in the area!

Chippenham Town were at home! Though sadly the game didn't make the distance.

Ah ... not a noticeable traffic on the TransWilts.  Perhaps some marketing / informing to be done?

18:32 off Westbury had 28 on into Melksham, 13 off and 4 on so 32/17. It seems really odd that this is the last Saturday direct train from Westbury to Swindon, yet there's on just after 19:30 every other day of the week ...


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on December 06, 2016, 07:25:48 AM
Not sure if exactly "daytime" but 06:38 at Melksham this morning ... 3 off, 12 on ... 26 on board to Trowbridge
29/15

Big changeover at Trowbridge - lots of people off and on there. And again lots off and on at Westbury.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on December 06, 2016, 10:27:26 AM
Not sure if exactly "daytime" but 06:38 at Melksham this morning ... 3 off, 12 on ... 26 on board to Trowbridge
29/15

And certainly daytime - the 09:48 off Westbury / 10:04 at Melksham.  Just 15 into Melksham, 2 off and 20 on - so that's 35/22


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on January 06, 2017, 07:43:57 AM
07:20 from Melksham this (Friday 6th January 2017) morning.  -3 + 20 -> 60. 63/23


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bobm on January 06, 2017, 10:53:58 AM
From Journeycheck

Quote
12:20 Westbury to Swindon due 13:05

Facilities on the 12:20 Westbury to Swindon due 13:05.
Will be formed of 3 coaches instead of 2.

A bonus!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on January 28, 2017, 08:37:01 PM
Not really "daytime" but rather the 19:36 off Swindon this Saturday evening. I thought we were under performing with just 2 off Swindon ... but rose to 18 at Chippenham; 8 off and 2 on at Melksham which makes it 20/10.   

On the way up - the 13:48 / I didn't count but it was plenty over twenty, and when you think about it the 20 is the average we look(ed) for so I would expect to be a few down on some trains. In fact the 19:36 on a Saturday off Swindon and the 06:12 on Monday to Friday are perhaps the least likely to make target - but I've used both this week and they both have!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on February 25, 2017, 07:08:44 PM
Still a'counting ... just not quite as frequently. Still keeping note of passengers and traffic with a view to spotting opportunities and issues and learning where to target promotion.

11:48 Melksham to Swindon, -4 +5 at Melksham -> 30  34/9

17:36 Swindon departure was with 42 (Saturday, Swindon town playing away).
-4 +11 at Chippenham
-11 +5 at Melksham
54/16

Noting virtually no ticketless travel - good checking but (apart from Melksham joiners, as the TVM is out of order) no fares taken.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on February 28, 2017, 07:14:41 AM
06:38 this Tuesday morning. +8 -> 16 at Melksham headed toward Trowbridge.  16/8
Not brilliant, but we must remind ourselves that 3 was the average for this train before extra services were added.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on March 06, 2017, 08:10:49 AM
Monday Morning ... the 07:49 at Melksham dropped off 10 and gained 29.  Full and standing to Chippenham - estimated passenger numbers 95. 105/39. Conductor tried to get through but only able to get about half way along the carriage by Chippenham, where I counted 37 off and a further 20 on.  Still standing on our way to Swindon, though a few seats occupied by bags for which I presume a ticket has been bought  ;)

Passenger count toward Swindon confirms above numbers above estimate about right.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on March 28, 2017, 10:25:06 PM
We got problems.  "Couldn't get through to count" ... message to be about passengers on the 17:36 ex Swindon between Chippenham and Melksham.    But I counter 40 off and 5 on at Melksham (where I joined the train) and there were then 70 on to Trowbridge.  So I make that 110/45

New user joining train ... as it pulled in she said "we're never going to get on that" but I re-assured her there would be plenty getting off ...


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on March 29, 2017, 06:10:46 PM
We got problems...

Hmm.  ::)

Someone ought to be able to invent a really catchy new phrase to sum up that situation.

Perhaps something memorable like, 'You've become the victim of your own success'.   ;) :D ;D



Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on April 01, 2017, 04:58:04 PM
Saturday 1st April 2017, and the 11:02 to Trowbridge and Westbury pulls into Melkhsam

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mkm_20170401_1102.jpg)

Four people got off, 33 people got on, and the train left for Trowbridge with 48 on board. 52/37

Whisper it very quietly, but the canal and river side walk back from Trowbridge was a huge marketing success - with lots of people being made aware of the opportunity and responding positively to the idea.  But as they were otherwise engaged today, that walk was a flop from a sales view point, and the numbers above weren't effected by more that 2 as a result of that activity.  Ironically, "spray transport use" was generated for the x34 bus - returning from Melksham to the villages between Trowbridge and Frome.    Shows up the whole "network thing".


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on June 17, 2017, 02:58:27 AM
Friday 16th June 2017

19:32 from Westbury to Swindon

26 from Westbury; 2 off and 4 on at Trowbridge; 10 off and 2 on at Melksham.  30/12

Had to remind myself that had this been 16.6.13 not 16.6.17, I might have reported 5/3 and considered it above average.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on June 18, 2017, 08:13:49 PM
Friday 16th June 2017

19:32 from Westbury to Swindon

26 from Westbury; 2 off and 4 on at Trowbridge; 10 off and 2 on at Melksham.  30/12

Had to remind myself that had this been 16.6.13 not 16.6.17, I might have reported 5/3 and considered it above average.

From today ... depressing news - of far more concern than it would have been 4 years ago ...

Quote
19:41 Westbury to Swindon due 20:26
19:41 Westbury to Swindon due 20:26 has been cancelled.
This is due to a fault on this train.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on June 18, 2017, 08:50:49 PM
I guess what's important is what provision has been put in place for passengers to and from MKM and how well that has been communicated, particularly for those waiting at MKM.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on June 19, 2017, 05:46:22 AM
I guess what's important is what provision has been put in place for passengers to and from MKM and how well that has been communicated, particularly for those waiting at MKM.

On this occasion, JourneyCheck said nothing (sometimes it does these day, which is good). 

The help point at Melksham is one of many which is intermittent at best and limited in what it can do.  Upgrades are planned to make these units much, much more reliable and to be able to make an announcement to those standing nearby.  We have put in a plea for Melksham, which is unstaffed and where virtually every train - including the ones at the quietest of times of day - has people waiting for it to be amongst the first.

A note that as well as Melksham, thought should be given to ensuring that people waiting at Trowbridge - also unstaffed at that time of day - would be informed not only about the cancellation but also about what do do to complete their journey.

Personal note ... I'm on that train tonight (it runs six days - Saturday excepted for some weird reason!) and really hope it's AOK ... as it is, it's a journey start that won't see me to my hotel until nearly midnight!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on June 25, 2017, 09:11:45 PM
Sunday 25 June 2017. 
Northbound 19:47 dropped off 6 and picked up 3, left with about 30 on.   36/9
Southbound 20:21 dropped off 9 and picked up 4, left with about 25 on.   34/13


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on June 29, 2017, 04:06:07 PM
1512 ex SWI. 24 on to CPM, 3 off and 19 on giving 40 onward to MKM.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on June 30, 2017, 02:56:40 PM
1512 ex SWI. 24 on to CPM, 3 off and 19 on giving 40 onward to MKM.

Looking good, John ... and I expect it will be busier today.

Today ... 14:30 at Melksham.  5 off (from Westbury) and 9 on towards Swindon.  Not sure on through passengers


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on July 28, 2017, 06:50:07 PM
Well ... earlier this month we had no trains for 9 days from Swindon to Chippenham, and for 4 of those days no trains onward to Westbury or to Bath either.  Planned engineering works, advised well in advance, and few taken by surprise (even if for some it meant over an hour of extra travelling!).  It's anticipated that there will be other stoppages relating to engineering next year - probably "just as bad if not worse than this year" across GWR land. I'm thankful for the planning and early advise with these things, and the opportunity we've had this time to review points from which little bits of tuning could make big differences next time.

So ... number were decimated from 8th to 16th July.

Have we recovered?

Today, Friday 28th July 2017
10:04 Melksham to Swindon. 5 off and 10 on at Melksham; left with about 70 passengers - 75/15
15:12 Swindon to Melksham. 83 on into Melksham, 20 off and 18 on - 101/38
... err that's not bad for a 153 that's not even the peak train!

These services both have connections at Westbury from / to Salisbury.  The connection failed on the morning service, so numbers were probably a bit low.  The afternoon train was on time and going to make the connection (but goodness station stops are getting longer these days as passenger numbers build!)

School holidays - general metrics showed a younger element present that would normally be in education!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on July 28, 2017, 09:29:22 PM
Today, Friday 28th July 2017
10:04 Melksham to Swindon. 5 off and 10 on at Melksham; left with about 70 passengers - 75/15
15:12 Swindon to Melksham. 83 on into Melksham, 20 off and 18 on - 101/38
... err that's not bad for a 153 that's not even the peak train!

That's terrific.  Full trains off peak! And even if the strengthening of the unit had happened according to the original timetable, it would still be a half full unit, which would not be at all shabby for an off peak service. Numbers to/from MKM are also very encouraging, particularly the afternoon service, where the flow is not only strong but nicely balanced, with similar numbers travelling to/from the north and south. 


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on August 01, 2017, 07:27:33 PM
12:37 Melksham to Swindon - +8 -0 -> 13 ... 13/8 ... not clever, but then 30 minutes after the previous train and in the middle of the day.

17:36 from Swindon.  84 on from Chippenham,  at least 37 off and at least 11 on at Melksham, 95/48 ... and "it was much busier yesterday" says a regular.   Getting hard to count when arriving on the train - lots of young families around at present as well as commuters; summer holiday mixture?


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on August 09, 2017, 08:03:05 AM
Tuesday 8th August 2017

16:37 at Melksham to Swindon. 5 off and 6 on, 22 passengers to Chippenham.  27/11

17:53 Chippenham towards Melksham - around 90 on board (11 standing in the luggage area and lobby, but could have got more on my getting people to move down inside.  Other lobby also full and standing).  Around 35 off and 5 on at Melksham (again, hard to count - we need 2 people specifically tasked these days). 95/40

Reliabiity issues have raised there head again ... about 9 trains out of 10 are running, but if this level of short term cancellation sets in as the standard, it's going to make it much harder to get any but the hardy or desperate to use the service.  Discussion started (here) (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18561.msg218348#msg218348) on the community board within the Coffee Shop.   That board is open only to interested members to avoid flooding people from all across the GWR area with specifics about our one line.  If you can't see that post but would like to, please send me a personal message and I'll add you to the group.  In practise, it's no more than a 5% increase in the posts and replys you'll see.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: ChrisB on August 09, 2017, 09:26:19 AM
Your peak train into Swindon (& its return) cancelled today.....driver shortage


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on August 09, 2017, 09:43:50 AM
Your peak train into Swindon (& its return) cancelled today.....driver shortage

One of the regulars posts on Facebook ...

Quote
2 hour commute to work today ... hoping my day improves....

Covered at http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18561.0 on the TransWilts CRP board - available to registered members of the Coffee Shop for the asking / access limited to only those who ask due to past complaints that there was too much TransWilts stuff on the forum!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on August 11, 2017, 04:38:24 PM
12:03 Melksham to Chippenham   +8 -1 -> 20 = 21/9

13:04 Chippenham to Melksham 37 <- -8 + 6 = 43/14

Good grief ... I remember under Wessex trains (late 2015) when the one and only middle of the day train struggled to make single figures ...


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on August 11, 2017, 08:14:07 PM
Not just daytime passenger traffic!



The Westbury to Swindon line through Melksham and (pictured here) Chippenham only survived from 1966 to 1985 because of the occasional freight train. Today, rather than a sleepy backwater with two freights a week and a passenger train each week on summer saturdays, and no intermediate station, we have up to 9 passenger trains each way per day, long freights knitting in with them ... the fastest growing line in England.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on August 16, 2017, 12:00:32 PM
47 off the arrival into Swindon at about 10:35 (that's the 10:04 off Melksham).  Not really anything to add to formal counts - don't know how many used it from beyond Chippenham - but would guessed on typical form that would have been 55 to 60 on the train when it left Melksham.

Not so good headed back - 10:48 off Swindon was just 14/8


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on August 17, 2017, 09:57:26 AM
And later on, 4 off and 6 on the 1430 northbound departure from Melksham leaving 22 onboard.  26/10


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on September 04, 2017, 08:56:22 AM
Sunday 3rd September (2017) ... wet, wet, wet ...

09:56 (Southbound) call at Melksham - 8 on and 2 off
12:46 (Northnound) call - 2 off and 15 on

Monday 4th September

07:49 (Northbound) call at Melksham - 11 off and 44 on. Somewhere between 100 and 110 on to Chippenham (couldn't get through to count).  So that's between 111/55 and 121/55.  I understand passenger numbers from Westbury up due to a London cancellation from there, but Melksham numbers are good, and wouldn't have been effected by that!

Pity the TVM is out of order and the train was too busy for the train manager to get through; good to see new train managers under training.

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mkm_20170904.jpg)


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 04, 2017, 09:40:22 PM
Sunday 3rd September (2017) ... wet, wet, wet ...

09:56 (Southbound) call at Melksham - 8 on and 2 off
12:46 (Northnound) call - 2 off and 15 on

Monday 4th September

07:49 (Northbound) call at Melksham - 11 off and 44 on. Somewhere between 100 and 110 on to Chippenham (couldn't get through to count).  So that's between 111/55 and 121/55.  I understand passenger numbers from Westbury up due to a London cancellation from there, but Melksham numbers are good, and wouldn't have been effected by that!

Pity the TVM is out of order and the train was too busy for the train manager to get through; good to see new train managers under training.

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/mkm_20170904.jpg)

Are blue faces normal for Melksham or was it just chilly?


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on September 09, 2017, 10:17:11 PM
08:37 (Saturday 9th September 2017) at Melksham to Swindon (2 car)
-1 + 45 -> 42+57 = 99  ( 100/46 )

21:34 arrival (from Swindon) (2 car / 1 in the dark, out of use)
-27 + 2 -> 21(ish) ( 48/29 )

We could really do with the station lights being switched on now that the days are getting shorter

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/nolightsmkm.jpg)



Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: bobm on September 09, 2017, 10:18:08 PM
Good grief - not just for the passengers but also the CCTV!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: ChrisB on September 10, 2017, 10:55:46 AM
Surprised they're not on a light sensor these days


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on September 10, 2017, 11:05:56 AM
Surprised they're not on a light sensor these days

Indeed.

Has just struck me as odd as I wrote this that we're under "DAYTIME Traffic on the TransWilts".  ;D


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on September 16, 2017, 06:18:26 AM
Friday 15th September.

14:35 Melksham to Swindon -6 +9 => 45 (51/15)
19:14 Melksham to Westbury 49 => -11 +6 (55/17)

Observation of 18:01 at Chippenham - some off, lots joining (need counters at each door these days to have a hope of an accurate number!), train left with them standing up the aisle and vestibules uncomfortably jammed.  Guess would be between 105 and 110 on board.

All three trains running a bit late - 5 to 10 minutes. With London to South Wales express trains diverted through Chippenham at present, and a lot more freight there than I'm used to seeing, the TransWilts times are amended to maximise slots.   Customers seem to have little issue with a few minutes delay even on the new schedule. There is comment about a couple of regulars who have been put off by lack of reliability at present, and lack of capacity; I confess to being personally astonished at how robustly numbers are being maintained.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: phile on September 16, 2017, 09:37:06 AM
4 cancellations later today due shortage of guards


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on September 16, 2017, 10:26:05 AM
4 cancellations later today due shortage of guards

Indeed. Now 24 journeys cancelled out of 135 scheduled since start of business last Saturday.

Here's yesterday's 18:00 (ish) at Chippenham - note that this is just an intermediate stop, with the majority of passengers already on board from Swindon.

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/ran_1_20170915.jpg)

On Saturdays - especially when Swindon Town are at home as they are today - this can be even busier.   But today's count will be 0/0 .

Separate "Meltdown" thread at http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18682.0 - TransWilts has far and away the largest percentage of cancelled services ("bottom of the pile") but other Westbury based services are being hit too.  Last Sunday, first three trains from Frome to Westbury were cancelled, previous Sunday (I think it was - though it could have been the one before that), first Portsmouth - Cardiff started at Westbury and second one isn't until 2 hours later.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on September 17, 2017, 10:23:03 AM

Here's yesterday's 18:00 (ish) at Chippenham - note that this is just an intermediate stop, with the majority of passengers already on board from Swindon.

On Saturdays - especially when Swindon Town are at home as they are today - this can be even busier.   But today's count will be 0/0 .


It was re-instated (thank goodness) ... though I don't have a passenger count; once a service is cancelled, people tend to make other plans and even if they know it's re-instated may not undo those other plans.   Headline though - good it came back!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on September 17, 2017, 10:36:21 AM
Last minute timetable change - so late that it's not even on the engineering change posters for this weekend, or on the printed timetable at Melksham Station - we now have an earlier Sunday morning train from Westbury to Chippenham. Runs until 3rd December; from 10th December runs 3 minutes earlier and extended to Swindon.  Excellent stuff - further post and lots of positive marketing to follow.

So how did that train that's slipped into the system do today?
-2 +6 at Melksham northbound (09:32 rather than regular 09:20) => 18.   20/8
-1 +0 at Melksham southbound (09:49 schedule; 10:00 actual => 16.  17/1

One sample doesn't make a pattern, especially with a lack of planning marketing and publicity, but I suspect that GWR's decision to run to Chippenham rather than turn around at Melksham is a very wise one indeed!


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: RA on September 17, 2017, 12:16:20 PM
I am a long time lurker but first time contributor!

Last minute timetable change - so late that it's not even on the engineering change posters for this weekend, or on the printed timetable at Melksham Station - we now have an earlier Sunday morning train from Westbury to Chippenham. Runs until 3rd December; from 10th December runs 3 minutes earlier and extended to Swindon.  Excellent stuff - further post and lots of positive marketing to follow.

So how did that train that's slipped into the system do today?
-2 +6 at Melksham northbound (09:32 rather than regular 09:20) => 18.   20/8
-1 +0 at Melksham southbound (09:49 schedule; 10:00 actual => 16.  17/1

One sample doesn't make a pattern, especially with a lack of planning marketing and publicity, but I suspect that GWR's decision to run to Chippenham rather than turn around at Melksham is a very wise one indeed!

It seemed a bit odd having a service that 'turned round' at Melksham. I am not sure that the signalling permits it. The Melksham single line is operated by Track Circuit Block, but the section in the middle is supplemented with axle counters. At the southern end the axle counter is located at Staverton near to the River Avon bridge, and at the northern end near to Catridge Farm between Beanacre and Lacock. This is to allow lengthy trains to reverse immediately behind the signals at either end of the single line without fouling the axle counters. With Melksham being in the middle of the axle counter section, it is my understanding that the train would have to pass both sets of counters to confirm that the train is complete and allow the signalling to function correctly, although I am happy to be corrected. Running the train through to Chippenham overcomes this and at the same time provides a much more useful service.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on September 17, 2017, 12:55:36 PM
I am a long time lurker but first time contributor!

Welcome - as a member and a contributor.

Quote
It seemed a bit odd having a service that 'turned round' at Melksham.

Indeed it did.

Ever since the 2011 summer Sunday morning trial, there has been an aspiration for an all year service on Sunday mornings, early enough for people to go out for the day / reach Sunday jobs.   The original target of that trial - for just seven Sundays - was to get lots of passengers to travel from Swindon, Chippenham and Melksham for a day out at the seaside, and to provide evidence as to whether or not the communities could actually persuade people to use the train.   Only by a bit of gentle nagging and an application of logic was the up service run for passengers and stopping along the way, rather than being an empty train movement; we were given that with a somewhat begrudging "I suppose we may as well see what it will do" ... and actually it rose to a peak of 69 passengers into Swindon that summer.    Talking with these passengers, many of them were not on seasonal journeys and case was made (very unexpected in some quarters!) for a northbound train off Westbury as early as 07:30.

Behind the scenes prior to the LSTF grant trial from December 2013 to December 2016, strong inputs had to be made to ensure that any Sunday service at all was provided, as it was felt in some quarters that poor Sunday figures could drag the whole thing down.  And even further inputs needed to have the earlier train in summer.  We were refused the earlier train outside of high summer because of the line being closed / not available until mid to late morning.

In the last few years, winter Sunday services and Sunday morning services have been improved / started across many lines, and we have / had TransWilts data that suggested that such a service was not only wanted but would be used here. However, the issue remain(ed) of line availability.   For this Autumn, permission was given up to and including the single track and as something of a gesture / move in the right direction, GWR planned a short tun from Westbury to Melksham as being "all that we can do while the main line is having major works done".   Much as I love Melksham, and much as my heart would like to hear announcements for the "09:00 Melksham train", my head told me this was going to be a very difficult one to bring reasonable passenger numbers on board.  I was slightly less worried than I might have been, being assured that it wasn't going to be an expensive service to run, and that low numbers would be understandable.

So - seeing last minute poster changes saying that it's going to Chippenham as from today (so last minute that some posters including the one at Melksham Station still say it's turning back there!) is massive good news.  With Swindon accessible via connections this autumn (and perhaps direct in the not too distant future) this now gives us a 7 day, all day service - and those people who live in West Wiltshire who want to take Sunday retail jobs in Chippenham and Swindon can now do so.

Quote
I am not sure that the signalling permits it. The Melksham single line is operated by Track Circuit Block, but the section in the middle is supplemented with axle counters. At the southern end the axle counter is located at Staverton near to the River Avon bridge, and at the northern end near to Catridge Farm between Beanacre and Lacock. This is to allow lengthy trains to reverse immediately behind the signals at either end of the single line without fouling the axle counters. With Melksham being in the middle of the axle counter section, it is my understanding that the train would have to pass both sets of counters to confirm that the train is complete and allow the signalling to function correctly, although I am happy to be corrected. Running the train through to Chippenham overcomes this and at the same time provides a much more useful service.

I suspect you're right (that 100% assurance and detail tells me you know a bit about this  :D ) in which case the arrive of the service to Chippenham a bit earlier than we were told was possible might be a fortunate piece of operational convenience.

I have indeed seen trains turn around at the end but not in the middle of the single track, even including one that got up to Thingley and then turned back; that may have been a special case due to an operating issue though.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on September 19, 2017, 08:41:09 AM
Tuesday, 19th September, 08:30. Steamers Cafe, Chippenham Station

07:49 ex Melksham this morning.
10 people left the train when it arrived from Trowbridge (accurate count)
Around 40 people joined the train (+-5; hard for 1 person to count)
Around 100 on train to Chippenham (that's also +-5)
110/50

Lest anyone be new to this thread - that's 110 users on the section unique to the TransWilts, or whom 50 were journeys to / from Melksham, and the remaining 60 through from Trowbridge or south thereof to Chippenham or east thereof.

The train was a single carriage 153.

Station dwell at both Melksham and Chippenham was significant; no longer a quick pause to get a handful of people on and off, but a distinctly slower operation as people joining have to wait for others to push there way on and down into the carriage at Melksham, and as people pick there way past standees staying on to Swindon as they get off at Chippenham.  Close to right time arriving at Melksham, 4 minutes late leaving Chippenham due mostly down to the size of the passenger flow.   If it weren't for those pesky passengers, it could keep time! ;D

P.S. No requirement this morning for wheelchair ramps to be used, nor any passengers needing extra time to leave or board.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on September 19, 2017, 08:51:47 PM
14:30 today (Tuesday 19th September)

-7 + 17 at Melksham => 29  36/24

Astonishingly few got off at Chippenham - most for Swindon and onward connections. Where people are going and on which train makes for a fascinating study - helps us learn which are the important connections


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on September 22, 2017, 06:37:28 PM
10:04 Melksham to Swindon -2 + 12 -> 32 - 34/14

15:12 Swindon to Melksham - 58 on from Chippenham, -20 + 6 at Melksham - 64/26


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on September 30, 2017, 09:54:44 PM
OK ... it's not a daytime pair of trains, but it ain't supposed to be busy either ... last trains of the day ...

18:48, Melksham to Chippenham -20 +10 -> 16  36/30
21:24, Chippenham to Melksham 32 -> -20 + 7   39/27

A soggy autumnal Saturday evening.   Lights working again at Melksham.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 01, 2017, 07:47:20 PM
Lights working again at Melksham.

Electrification at Melksham?  Whatever next??   ;) :D ;D





Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on October 01, 2017, 07:54:08 PM
Lights working again at Melksham.

Electrification at Melksham?  Whatever next??   ;) :D ;D


Overengineered electrics?

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/a10_27.jpg)
Pictured - Melksham Substation, one of the main feeders to GWR electrification.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 01, 2017, 09:36:16 PM
That is just begging for a squirrel to get in there and short something.  ;D


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: John R on October 01, 2017, 09:37:04 PM
Not a red squirrel hopefully.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: ChrisB on October 02, 2017, 06:33:37 AM
No traffic on there this morning peak. Train knackered.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on October 02, 2017, 06:46:31 AM
No traffic on there this morning peak. Train knackered.

And - it would seem - not a single carriage to be dropped off anything that calls at or starts from Westbury  :(

So sad after a weekend when everything ran and (personal experience) busy on Saturday evening.  Whether official numbers reflect that (no working ticket machine on board the 18:48 ex Melksham, and goodness knows how much that had been the case all day) remains to not be seen, or rather to be lost into the consolidation of data before it reaches anyone.    People wanted to pay, but  doubt they would wander off at Chippenham to find the ticket office;  look forward to seeing what the dateline there does to numbers - and that's to honest numbers who want to pay, but have no realistic opportunity without seeking one.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: martyjon on October 02, 2017, 08:13:25 AM
No traffic on there this morning peak. Train knackered.


Was it knackered or was it nicked (to cover for units not coming through from Weymouth). ???


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on October 02, 2017, 08:46:17 AM
No traffic on there this morning peak. Train knackered.

Was it knackered or was it nicked (to cover for units not coming through from Weymouth). ???

Goodness knows ... possibly either, but potentially neither.   The 153s are not the most reliable of trains at the moment - some are indeed knackered, others just suffering the occasional failure.

I'm seeing that the cancellation of the second round trip is no longer on JourneyCheck, so they may have found a replacement or fixed the problem.   Shame it was the busiest up service of the day, which has a gap of well over 2 hours after it, that got cancelled.


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on October 05, 2017, 06:30:22 AM
Wednesday 4th October 2017

15:39 (at Melksham) to Trowbridge -16 +6 -> 35  51/22
16:27 (ex Trowbridge) at Melksham was -8 + 12 -> 42   54/20

Probably just about the most typical midweek day you could imagine ...


Title: Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts
Post by: grahame on October 07, 2017, 04:10:10 PM
Friday 6th October - 17:36 off Swindon ....


.... err ....

I was too busy talking to people and walking up and down with the Autumn 2017 timetable (http://www.twcrp.org.uk/tt_autumn_2017.pdf), featuring the Famous Five, to count the train last night.  Full and standing, plenty more on at Chippenham the seeme dot flow off forever at Melksham before more joined - still looked very busy (through the window) as it left.

07:48 at Melksham this (Saturday) morning = +9 -5 -> 23 (28/14)