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All across the Great Western territory => Across the West => Topic started by: IndustryInsider on October 06, 2014, 05:47:36 am



Title: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 06, 2014, 05:47:36 am
Major disruption expected this morning due to signalling problems near Slough.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: a-driver on October 06, 2014, 06:57:29 am
No signals working at all between Slough and Iver caused by a damaged signalling cable.

In otherwords, we suspect Network Rail have cut through a signal cable whilst undertaking engineering works at about 00:30 this morning.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: grahame on October 06, 2014, 07:38:06 am
Topic split off from http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=14258 - a major discussion concerning delays on 14th July 2014.

This morning's diagram ...

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/tr_graphic_2014_10_06.jpg)

Those of the team who met up on Saturday were discussing (in relation to CrossCounty) how the trains go a very long way but most of the traffic is for much shorter journeys ... stand at York, see a Penzance train, and know that few passengers joining will be going to Cornwall ... or even Devon.    Let's hope there's a lot of that about this morning ... with sets that would normally be used for runs like Exeter to Paddington doing Castle Cary to Reading instead.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 06, 2014, 07:59:41 am
Absolute shower of s***

I was on a PLY-PAD service yesterday, grossly overcrowded to the point of danger due to other train failures (there was luggage in the vestibules and aisles blocking access as there was no room for people, never mind bags) and am aware of numerous other services with similar conditions, complete under provision of replacement transport at Didcot etc (bustitution now seems about as reliable as the trains they are supposed to replace, if they turn up at all), and now the week starts with colossal volumes of cancellations due (it is suspected) to some clown cutting through a cable.

Last time we were told that Hopwood would be "signalling" his displeasure to Network Rail, what's the message today I wonder?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on October 06, 2014, 09:36:50 am
Groundhog day again. I managed to rush to Twyford to get the 0643 stopper which after lengthy waits at Slough West and in Slough P3, and a crawl to Iver, eventually made it to Ealing Broadway at 0821 some 48 mins late where I bailed for the Central Line. However from RTT it looks like I might have been quite lucky, I see that the 0600 Bristol TM - Paddington HST has just taken slightly over TWO HOURS to travel from RDG to PAD.

Yes same old, same old, but what's just got my goat is listening to some NR spokesbot on BBC Radio Berkshire saying "we'll learn our lessons for next time". No you bl**dy won't, you'll just send along some other faceless bloke to say exactly the same thing.  >:( >:( >:(


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: stuving on October 06, 2014, 10:45:05 am
I see that Journeycheck is saying "signalling problems" led to all these cancellations, while the code in RTT is "power failure (IE)". Presumably that means the power supply to the signals has gone ... in which case restoring it should be a simpler single task (though not necessarily any quicker).


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on October 06, 2014, 10:52:47 am
Apparently, some 1640 metres of 650v cable has needed to be replaced.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: a-driver on October 06, 2014, 11:13:44 am
I see that Journeycheck is saying "signalling problems" led to all these cancellations, while the code in RTT is "power failure (IE)". Presumably that means the power supply to the signals has gone ... in which case restoring it should be a simpler single task (though not necessarily any quicker).

All the signals between Slough and Iver are black on all four lines.  Currently operating what is known as Temporary Block Working on the up and down mains only with Network Rail handsignallers at both Slough and Iver.  It should take around 20 minutes to pass through the affected area once a train leaves the point of entry to the TBW section. 


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on October 06, 2014, 11:44:01 am
Replacement 650v cable now installed and power restored. However there are still some 650v power supply problems in nearby locations.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on October 06, 2014, 12:04:44 pm
The BBC's Tom Edwards has just tweeted: "Network Rail say repairs at Slough have been completed BUT a further fault has been identified. Only able to allow 4 trains ph each way."

(Just checked the latest on RTT and the 0628 SWA-PAD which left RDG at 0916 didn't make it into PAD until 1151^, 141 minutes late)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: tomL on October 06, 2014, 12:14:23 pm
Seemed to be more staff out and about at Swindon this morning. Perhaps a sign that they (FGW) are learning their lesson about getting people and information out there?

As usual the most up to date information seems to be coming from this forum, something we can all be proud of.  ;D

EDIT: I guess it's an advantage having line control upstairs.  ::)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on October 06, 2014, 12:29:01 pm
Following replacement of 650v cable in affected area and powering up the system it was discovered that there was no power further along at the next relay location. Fortunately, new cable is already in place at this location and work is now in hand to connect that up. Testing should be underway by 1300.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 06, 2014, 12:37:23 pm
Following replacement of 650v cable in affected area and powering up the system it was discovered that there was no power further along at the next relay location. Fortunately, new cable is already in place at this location and work is now in hand to connect that up. Testing should be underway by 1300.

I'm hearing the cable was crushed during engineering works, although obviously I can't confirm it.

What I find astounding is how the infrastructure is so fragile and contingency planning so feeble that damage to a pretty basic bit of kit can cause total and utter chaos for what is likely to be getting towards 24 hours by the time it's all done and dusted......no doubt we will get the usual platitudes from FGW about expecting better etc etc but frankly it is difficult to take them seriously........what a way to celebrate a 5 year franchise extension.......no doubt the best is yet to come!  ::)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on October 06, 2014, 12:40:09 pm
From the BBC (http://):

Quote
Signalling problems at Slough cause rail delays

Rail commuters are facing travel misery after signalling equipment was damaged near Slough during overnight engineering work.

First Great Western (FGW) is operating a "severely reduced" service into Paddington, adding up to an hour to journeys.

The rail company has advised passengers to avoid travelling between Reading and Paddington.

It said attempts to repair the problem had "so far been unsuccessful".

The problems are also affecting services to and from the west of England, Swansea, Bristol, Oxford, Cheltenham Spa and Worcester.

'No announcements'

A message on the FGW website earlier said: "Following overnight engineering work, signalling equipment has been damaged between Slough and West Drayton affecting all four lines. Because of this, a severely disrupted train service is operating between Reading and London Paddington this morning."

An updated message read: "Engineers have been working all morning to rectify the fault, but have so far been unsuccessful. At present, we are only able to run four trains per hour in each direction between Reading and Paddington.

"Many services will be cancelled and there will be delays of up to 60 minutes affecting those trains which can run. We strongly advise customers to avoid travelling where possible. Disruption is expected to last until at least 16:00 today.

"Your tickets will be valid on other operators' services and on alternative routes which avoid the affected area."

Some passengers took to Twitter to vent their frustration. Mark Waine said: "@FGW 9.04 from Reading to Paddington hasn't moved for an hour, no announcement for over 30 minutes, trains passing us, have we been forgotten?"

Julian Crump said: "@fgw We're at slough. No announcements/no guidance. Should we continue to London? Are there rtn trains? Will refunds be given? Anything?"


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on October 06, 2014, 01:54:34 pm
Passenger Focus are carrying out a National Passenger Survey today at Bristol PW, Bristol TM, Exeter Central, Paddington, Oxford and Reading stations.

As these surveys are 'based on your journey today...' they'll no doubt be getting some interesting responses!


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: NickB on October 06, 2014, 02:10:16 pm
Void day? 


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: tomL on October 06, 2014, 02:31:39 pm
Void day? 


I'd hope so. Especially with disruption being expected until later this afternoon.

It's days like these that put many people off jobs requiring inter town/city commuting...on the train at least...


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 06, 2014, 02:33:04 pm
Notwithstanding the fact there was major disruption still, I did feel that the revised service plan held up reasonably well given the circumstances - there seemed more staff on the ground at the locations I witnessed, and the usual complete meltdown didn't seem quite as catastrophic.  For example, the Oxford<>Reading stopping services pretty much ran as normal, whereas often there's a mad scramble for drivers and sets meaning loads of last second cancellations.  Perhaps some lessons have been learned?  Perhaps forum members who were directly affected can give a summary of how their journey was affected today and how they thought it compared with previous major signalling outages as I may just have been 'lucky' in what I witnessed?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on October 06, 2014, 02:50:46 pm
Still some residual problems in the area after the new cabling was energised.

Track circuits showing occupied when clear, and one or two signals still 'black' - i.e. not showing any aspect.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: a-driver on October 06, 2014, 02:54:41 pm
Notwithstanding the fact there was major disruption still, I did feel that the revised service plan held up reasonably well given the circumstances - there seemed more staff on the ground at the locations I witnessed, and the usual complete meltdown didn't seem quite as catastrophic.  For example, the Oxford<>Reading stopping services pretty much ran as normal, whereas often there's a mad scramble for drivers and sets meaning loads of last second cancellations.  Perhaps some lessons have been learned?  Perhaps forum members who were directly affected can give a summary of how their journey was affected today and how they thought it compared with previous major signalling outages as I may just have been 'lucky' in what I witnessed?

Considering the length of the affected section, I think they done well.  They ran as many trains as possible through the area and, most importantly, it was done safely.  

There's not much more you could do when you have no power to any of the signalling equipment on all 4 lines.  No train detection system, no point detection, no working signals, no interlocking the lot.  No contingency plan is going to get you around that and you can't plan for every single eventuality.  The finer details of a train plan is formed once an incident has been declared and the full extent of the incident is known.  No two incidents will ever be the same.  Network Rail will inform FGW control how many trains they can safely handle through the area and its worked out from there.
Early hours of the morning, taxis were being provided for cancelled trains.  At the height of rush hour it is not possible to acquire anywhere near the number of taxis and coaches required.  Even if you provided a handful of coaches you'll end up with a stampede of commuters all trying to fight their way onto a coach when its announced.  You'll have people being trampled over left right and centre.  


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 06, 2014, 03:15:34 pm
 Perhaps forum members who were directly affected can give a summary of how their journey was affected today and how they thought it compared with previous major signalling outages as I may just have been 'lucky' in what I witnessed?


......woke up, went downstairs, checked trains, realised everything was melting down, woke Mrs TaplowGreen, asked for a lift to work, arrived at work, logged onto Interflora website  ;D

Based on previous experiences it clearly wasn't going to be worth going to the station and hoping for the best.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: NickB on October 06, 2014, 03:23:38 pm
Likewise.

Woke up.  Put on suit.  Read text messages.  Took off suit.  Went downstairs.  Turned on computer...

 ;D


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on October 06, 2014, 03:26:24 pm
......woke up, went downstairs, checked trains, realised everything was melting down, woke Mrs TaplowGreen, asked for a lift to work, arrived at work, logged onto Interflora website  ;D

Based on previous experiences it clearly wasn't going to be worth going to the station and hoping for the best.

Indeed. There may not have been a florist at the station.  :P ;) ;D


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Tim K on October 06, 2014, 03:38:18 pm
I saw the text messages and tried to get the early train from Swindon (0641) which wasn't cancelled - didn't make it.  Sat at the train station until the next train (0728 actually left at 0745) and got the one after instead (0741, arrived at 0752 and left about 10 minutes later after we'd managed to convince everyone left on the platform that it was full and there was no more space).

Standing room only with extra stops at Maidenhead and Slough, although no-one got on or off as there was no space, finally crawled into London Paddington at 11:25ish

Wish my boss allowed me to work from home :(


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: paul7755 on October 06, 2014, 03:38:26 pm
Likewise.

Woke up.  Put on suit.  Read text messages.  Took off suit.  Went downstairs.  Turned on computer...

 ;D

Too much detail I think.  Sitting naked in front of your computer?   ;D

Paul


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 06, 2014, 03:45:53 pm
Unusually for me I didn't check the rail planner app when I first woke up. So I went to Thatcham to catch the 06:57 to Paddington only to start to realize the size of the problem.

I did ask at Reading if I could use my Thatcham to Paddington ticket via Guildford so that I could avoid the SWT service to Waterloo but wasn't convinced that the person offering assistance understood the question so took the snail service and arrived 90 minutes late.

Sadly I had to be on site otherwise I would have done what a lot of you did.

Let's just hope we are not in for another bad run of signal failures :(



Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on October 06, 2014, 04:03:17 pm
The information available on-line is a bit conflicting..

I am waiting for someone who is arriving at Maidenhead on the 15.12 departure from Paddington.. Journeycheck says it is cancelled.. National Rail departures board says it's cancelled from West Drayton.. Real time trains shows it as just having left Slough and the report from the person on the train coincides with that..

How any one is going to work out what is going on for the trip home this evening (those that made it in that is) is beyond me  ;D


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: lordgoata on October 06, 2014, 04:05:20 pm
I got to the station usual time, train arrived a few minutes late. Was usual 3 cars and was standing room only. Travelled to Reading which was fun when the Pangbourne and Tilehurst commuters tried to squeeze on. Arrived at Reading around 0800. Most of us started getting off, but loads didn't even flinch until some of us said it was terminating. I checked it was terminating with one of the dispatch staff who confirmed it, and then they must have announced it on the train as everyone piled off.

We were told the next stopper to London was 0831 on Platform 13A, so we all queued up waiting. 0831 came and went, by which point platform 13A was about 8 people deep! 0834 came and went, then in typical fashion the 0831 vanished completely. Everyone was somewhat bemused. Then it changed to 0841 (or something) to Banbury! Empty 6 car turbo arrived, everyone totally confused, dispatch didn't have a clue where the London stopper was. I walked down to ask the driver where she was going, she said "Banbury I think, but don't ask me, I just work here" which made me chuckle! She was mobbed by people asking the same as she walked back down the platform to the other end. That then left, with about 4 people on it, to run non-stop to Oxford.

Suddenly there were shouts from all directions that the stopper was on Platform 14A. Everyone bundled up the escalator which promptly stopped. There was a mad crush up, along the bridge and back down the other side.

The dispatcher on 14A kept blowing his whistle, despite being loads of people trying to get down the escalator. Some poor lady went flying across the platform in her panic to reach the train before it left, I believe the dispatcher came to help her.

Finally made it down onto the train, which was standing room only as we left - not that it stopped people with their full size bikes trying to get on.

BTP were on the platform, as a precaution I assume.

Arrived at Twford which was relatively quiet, so once the students got off, there was space for the commuters, so wasn't too much of a crush.

Then we arrived at Maidenhead, which as usual, was a complete chaotic nightmare with the idiots that stand in front of the doors so no one can get off (hint, if you let us off, you can get on). Oh except the one chap who decided he would get on before we even had a chance to get off (I have never experienced this phenomenon anywhere else apart from Maidenhead!).


Can't wait to go home!


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on October 06, 2014, 04:31:30 pm
Long distance train plan for the rest of the day:

Quote
Train plan as follows:

From Paddington

XX00 to Bristol TM/Weston Super Mare
XX30 to West of England, via Swindon, Chippenham, Bath Spa and Bristol TM
XX45 to Swansea as booked

From Bristol TM

XX00 from West of England
XX30 to Paddington as booked

From Swansea

XX28 to Paddington as booked

Cancellations:
1G47 1536 Paddington to Cheltenham Spa
1B55 1615 Paddington to Swansea
1B76 1815 Paddington to Swansea
1L91 1834 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington

Alterations:
1B63 1715 Paddington to Carmarthen starts at Bristol TM
1W07 1722 Paddington to Hereford starts at Reading
1W09 1922 Paddington to Hereford starts at Reading

Ticket restrictions lifted for the remainder of today.

Tickets for today will be valid tomorrow, Tuesday 7th.

Up relief line in the affected area running normally. Down relief has one signal out with trains being talked past. Paddington to Reading currently has an all stations hourly service.

Ticket acceptance on all reasonable alternative rail routes (particularly SWT Waterloo-Reading, Virgin Euston-Birmingham then London Midland to Worcester/Hereford. Chiltern Marylebone-Banbury) an on First Berkshire buses:

1B/2 Slough to Burnham
58/78 Slough to Langley
75 Maidenhead > Taplow > Burnham > Slough > Langley
76 Burnham > Slough > Langley


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on October 06, 2014, 05:17:32 pm
Discussion that took a Pythonesque turn has been split off to a new topic:

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=14692.0


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bobm on October 06, 2014, 06:25:38 pm
Passenger Focus are carrying out a National Passenger Survey today at Bristol PW, Bristol TM, Exeter Central, Paddington, Oxford and Reading stations.

As these surveys are 'based on your journey today...' they'll no doubt be getting some interesting responses!

They did Swindon the other Sunday when most services were substituted by buses.  Suspect that skewed the comments somewhat.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 06, 2014, 06:38:40 pm
They'll most likely exclude these papers & run extra questionaires to cover.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bobm on October 06, 2014, 06:43:39 pm
BBC Points West have been guilty of rather a huge over-simplification.  Apparently the problems were caused by "a damaged signal".


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: NickB on October 06, 2014, 06:53:36 pm
Same on BBC London.  Apparently it was a "points failure".


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on October 06, 2014, 07:09:15 pm
Does anyone know if this might be sorted before tomorrow morning's rush hour? It doesn't look that good currently.. Half hourly service Paddington to Reading.. and the trains still seem to be losing a lot of time along the way


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on October 06, 2014, 07:16:25 pm
Testing of signal circuits is ongoing at present.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on October 06, 2014, 08:06:42 pm
Just had a tweet from FGW saying that they're holding a 'Meet the Manager' session at Reading tomorrow (Tuesday) between 16:30 and 18:30.

Brave...


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Oxonhutch on October 06, 2014, 08:21:27 pm
In case tomorrow reflects today's situation...

When FGW says Chiltern will accept FGW tickets between Banbury and Marylebone does that mean Chiltern will accept a CHO-PAD season ticket from Princes Risborough to MYB?  Notwithstanding a longer car journey at the start (and finish), it will be significantly quicker than crawling with SWT via Staines to Waterloo.

It would need to honoured on the way home too, as my transport home would be in PRR!


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Thatcham Crossing on October 06, 2014, 10:21:39 pm
Planning to get the 0903 THA-PAD this morning and thanks to BBC Berks heard about 0700 that there were major probs.

Waited at home till 0830, when Journeycheck was showing that the 0903 was on time but would terminate at RDG.

On the basis that it could then take me hours to get from RDG-PAD (if at all), I drove to Basingstoke and caught the 0930 to Waterloo. Never realised how comfy the seats on a 159 are! (compared to 165/166 anyway).

Admittedly, I was travelling outside the peaks but got a seat into Waterloo and back again this evening. Journey time was about 45 mins in each direction.

If I didn't live within walking distance of THA I might go into London that way more often :-) Much quicker getting to the City from Waterloo (via "The Drain") aswell.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 06, 2014, 10:23:40 pm
If I didn't leave within walking distance of THA I might go into London that way more often :-)

To be fair, the routes into Waterloo has just as many days when the service is a disaster!


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: marky7890 on October 06, 2014, 10:44:51 pm
This even affected local mainline services in Cornwall today. I got the 2A63 1141 Penzance to Newton Abbot from Truro which was 16 late, due to the previous service the unit works from Bristol arrived at PNZ 20 late.

This afternoon after a trip down to Looe I arrived back at Liskeard to find the 1C84 was an hour late and then the 2C51 from Plymouth was 24 late from due to crew shortage because of train delays, which had most seats taken and people standing as it is a single 150.

To make matters worse apparently a freight train broke down on the up line at Lostwithiel blocking trains. meaning the 1C94 was 106 late upon starting again from Par according to RTT. This of course caused a huge backlog of trains on the up line waiting at signals.

Although the station manager at Liskeard was very good at passing on information, going along the platforms telling all the passengers the current situation.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Four Track, Now! on October 06, 2014, 10:50:15 pm
Passenger Focus are carrying out a National Passenger Survey today at Bristol PW, Bristol TM, Exeter Central, Paddington, Oxford and Reading stations.

As these surveys are 'based on your journey today...' they'll no doubt be getting some interesting responses!

This could be one of those rare times when every passenger approached actually does have time to answer a few questions!

Just had a tweet from FGW saying that they're holding a 'Meet the Manager' session at Reading tomorrow (Tuesday) between 16:30 and 18:30.

Brave...


Let's hope he isn't delayed...


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Brusselier on October 07, 2014, 12:19:31 am
Visited Reading earlier (not been there since the rebuild completed), and I was waiting for the 19:18 service to Paddington (from Newbury) on platform 10 when there was an automated tanoy announcement to say that there was a platform alteration and that this train would depart from Platform 1!

People started to make a dash for the escalators, only to drift back a few minutes later, presumably when they realised they realised the train wouldn't be advancing any further!

Staff on the over bridge were advising people to take the stopper to Paddington, and these looked to be full to standing. But at 19:40 a service originating from Penzance rolled in and got that one to Paddington, Passing several stoppers on route.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on October 07, 2014, 12:24:42 am
Visited Reading earlier (not been there since the rebuild completed), and I was waiting for the 19:18 service to Paddington (from Newbury) on platform 10 when there was an automated tanoy announcement to say that there was a platform alteration and that this train would depart from Platform 1!

A prime example of how automation can fail. What did the system think was going to happen? Into the west facing bay, back out, stop, reverse, then on to Paddington?

Someone knew what was going to happen to that service, having taken the decision to terminate it at Reading. That information should have been communicated to the passenger information systems or to station staff to make a manual announcement.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Brusselier on October 07, 2014, 12:36:52 am

A prime example of how automation can fail. What did the system think was going to happen? Into the west facing bay, back out, stop, reverse, then on to Paddington?

Route via Melksham, cut out the reversal...

Quote
Someone knew what was going to happen to that service, having taken the decision to terminate it at Reading. That information should have been communicated to the passenger information systems or to station staff to make a manual announcement.

Manual announcement did come, but too late. T'was just myself, one member of staff (in purple jacket) and a meandering subway beaker (the modern day tumbleweed) remaining on platform 10.

I would have thought a few more people would have known it was a bay platform. Thats more local geography than technical rail operations.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: thetrout on October 07, 2014, 12:47:36 am
I intended to catch the 23:35 from BRI to EXD...

I am still waiting.............. ::)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: grahame on October 07, 2014, 02:49:40 am
Visited Reading earlier (not been there since the rebuild completed), and I was waiting for the 19:18 service to Paddington (from Newbury) on platform 10 when there was an automated tanoy announcement to say that there was a platform alteration and that this train would depart from Platform 1!

And why not  ;D  ... there are even precedents where reversal upon departure is required, such as trains from Limerick Junction to Waterford. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limerick_Junction




Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: thetrout on October 07, 2014, 03:05:01 am
Many services reverse direction during a diagram at Bristol Temple Meads every day. Including Local Class 15x stock and InterCity HST/Voyager Stock :)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: thetrout on October 07, 2014, 03:06:52 am
Up Sleeper has a massive delay also. Meant to depart Exeter St Davids at 01:06 and is now expected 05:08 and counting... Flooding on the line apparently. Staff at Exeter St Davids have been fantastic in making everyone comfortable however :)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: thetrout on October 07, 2014, 04:30:30 am
Driver for 1C99 (Down Sleeper) from Exeter St Davids has not arrived to work the train... He has since been located inside 1A40 (Up Sleeper) which at the time of writing has just passed Saltash 286 minutes late...

bobm are you in one of the births by chance? :P :-X ;D


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bobm on October 07, 2014, 05:14:09 am
No I didn't jinx it for once.

Up sleeper currently 4 hours 45 minutes late approaching Totnes and the Down 23 late leaving Newton Abbot.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bobm on October 07, 2014, 05:17:11 am
Meanwhile back at Slough repairs were completed at 3am. Hopefully a normal service this morning barring rolling stock being in the wrong place.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: eightf48544 on October 07, 2014, 08:29:52 am
Visited Reading earlier (not been there since the rebuild completed), and I was waiting for the 19:18 service to Paddington (from Newbury) on platform 10 when there was an automated tanoy announcement to say that there was a platform alteration and that this train would depart from Platform 1!

And why not  ;D  ... there are even precedents where reversal upon departure is required, such as trains from Limerick Junction to Waterford. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limerick_Junction

However to get to Padd from Platform 1 at Reading would require a reversal on the running line not in teh platform.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 07, 2014, 08:32:05 am
Driver for 1C99 (Down Sleeper) from Exeter St Davids has not arrived to work the train... He has since been located inside 1A40 (Up Sleeper) which at the time of writing has just passed Saltash 286 minutes late...

bobm are you in one of the births by chance? :P :-X ;D

Hold on a minute..........are you saying that on a day of colossal disruption, when people were being advised not to travel on FGW services, FGW were relying on drivers getting to their starting points..........by FGW trains?

You really couldn't make that one up - why on Earth didn't they put him in a taxi? It would have been a great deal cheaper than the compensation bill which will come out of this delay!!!  ::)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: grahame on October 07, 2014, 08:52:10 am
However to get to Padd from Platform 1 at Reading would require a reversal on the running line not in teh platform.

And so it does at Limerick Junction, to this day.   The train leaves towards Limerick, then changes direction on the running line towards Tipperaray and Waterford.  And it used to be even more complex there!


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on October 07, 2014, 09:41:59 am
However to get to Padd from Platform 1 at Reading would require a reversal on the running line not in teh platform.

And so it does at Limerick Junction, to this day.   The train leaves towards Limerick, then changes direction on the running line towards Tipperaray and Waterford.  And it used to be even more complex there!

One other running line reversal happens regularly at Inverness - the 1714 Kyle of Lochalsh to Elgin has to take the avoiding line at Inverness and then reverse at Welsh's Bridge Jct into Platform 2 in order to get access on departure to the Elgin route.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 07, 2014, 10:00:06 am
Just had a tweet from FGW saying that they're holding a 'Meet the Manager' session at Reading tomorrow (Tuesday) between 16:30 and 18:30.

Brave...

Poster was already up on Saturday, so pre-planned. Brave not to cancel it, I agree. They wouldn't dare....

In case tomorrow reflects today's situation...

When FGW says Chiltern will accept FGW tickets between Banbury and Marylebone does that mean Chiltern will accept a CHO-PAD season ticket from Princes Risborough to MYB?  Notwithstanding a longer car journey at the start (and finish), it will be significantly quicker than crawling with SWT via Staines to Waterloo.

It would need to honoured on the way home too, as my transport home would be in PRR!

By any reasonable route...so if that suited you, it is likely to be reasonable, I'd say. They were accepting almost anything Thames Valley-wise to HWY for example....


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: grahame on October 07, 2014, 11:22:52 am
Hold on a minute..........are you saying that on a day of colossal disruption, when people were being advised not to travel on FGW services, FGW were relying on drivers getting to their starting points..........by FGW trains?

You really couldn't make that one up - why on Earth didn't they put him in a taxi? It would have been a great deal cheaper than the compensation bill which will come out of this delay!!!  ::)

As I understand it, yes, the driver was on the train going the other way.    And in "sound bites" it might sound like a poor decision.   However, this was the train from Penzance - a long long way from the Thames Valley, and already in place there for the journey up to Exeter and beyond - no reason at all to suspect that it wouldn't be reliable until the other issues hit.

A train operating company is between a rock and a hard place when it comes to decisions like these.   They should move their own staff around by train ("patriotic" to the railway) and indeed I observe that they do when it's practical.   However, especially where they're looking at first / last services, sometimes there is no practical train, and they'll fall back to road.

In my personal view, they normally come up with a sensible compromise in this area, and in my own volunteer work I follow much the same philosophy;  I'll take an hour or two longer to go by public transport, but if it's much more than that / means missing a vital meeting then it's car / taxi - either to a suitable railhead, or all the way.   In times of disruption it's harder to judge, and I'm sure that the folks in Penzance would have loved to have had a crystal ball to see that the up sleeper would be delayed.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 07, 2014, 12:29:56 pm
There was (widely predicted) severe weather in Cornwall earlier in the day yesterday causing flooding and structural damage and which also affected the railways notwithstanding the signal failures - the local media were advising people not to attempt to travel by rail towards London due to the weather AND the signalling problems in Slough.......I wouldn't have thought a crystal ball would have been necessary to at least manage the risk? (Unless of course that's the method FGW employ these days?)

Under these circumstances do you really think it was a good call to rely on a train to get the single most important person involved to the place he needed to be to move the last service of the day, risking delay and inconveniencing hundreds of customers?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 07, 2014, 02:18:30 pm
There was (widely predicted) severe weather in Cornwall earlier in the day yesterday causing flooding and structural damage and which also affected the railways notwithstanding the signal failures - the local media were advising people not to attempt to travel by rail towards London due to the weather AND the signalling problems in Slough.......I wouldn't have thought a crystal ball would have been necessary to at least manage the risk? (Unless of course that's the method FGW employ these days?)

Under these circumstances do you really think it was a good call to rely on a train to get the single most important person involved to the place he needed to be to move the last service of the day, risking delay and inconveniencing hundreds of customers?

Firstly, 'hundreds of customers' on the night sleeper after Exeter?  A couple of dozen more like.  Secondly, the train was only delayed at Exeter by 19 minutes, and was back on time by departure from Plymouth, so only the handful travelling to Newton Abbot/Plymouth would have suffered minor inconvenience.  Thirdly, the driver for the train may well have been utilised to work another train down towards Plymouth due to the disruption -  looking at the diagram that it books on at 23:25 and does one shunt before 'working as required' until departing with the sleeper at 04:11.  He/she would therefore have been a prime candidate to be used to work another train in the meantime, perhaps to Plymouth, so a taxi may not have been viable or necessary.   ::)
 


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on October 07, 2014, 02:48:16 pm
My journey yesterday was Working from home (planned in advance so not a problem)..

Today however it went as follows:

1 Get up on time but check NR site first.. trains running ok so carry on getting ready for work
2. Check Journey check (several times) -  no issue with 7.59 Maidenhead to Paddington
3. Get to station..as soon as previous service leaves it becomes apparent that the 7.59 is a class-180 not the usual HST - would have been good to know in advance as I've had got the preceding stopping service
4. Attempt to get on 7.59 departure - give up
5. Attempt to get on 8.02 departure - give up
6. Get on 8.11 departure but abandon it at Slough as it was sooo overcrowded
7. Get on 8.29 Slough to Paddington
8. Tweet FGW re why journey check was not showing the change to the 7.59 (it never does show it when this happens)
9. FGW on twitter tweet to say (pretend) it was on there  :o
10. Get to work 40 minutes late so not bad all things considering but information is what we need.. 40 minutes late at work is ok when I have no early meetings but if that is going to happen I'd rather spend the time at home.. not platform swapping at Maidenhead  ::)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Jason on October 07, 2014, 02:51:55 pm
My journey yesterday consisted of:

Woken by alarm on phone
Roll over to turn off alarm
Stare in disbelief at 06:30 text notifying of 20+ cancellations
Double check twitter and journeycheck
Roll over and go back to sleep

Sometime later I started working from home


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 07, 2014, 02:52:38 pm
Out of interested following the problems yesterday are weekly ticket holders allowed to recover any of the cost of their ticket?

I thought I saw mention of this somewhere.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 07, 2014, 02:57:36 pm
I would think so! Complete a claim with your details/delay. If you didn't travel, they may well also pay out, but I'd email or tweet them & find out before claiming.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 07, 2014, 02:58:16 pm
I would think so! Complete a claim with your details/delay. If you didn't travel, they may well also pay out, but I'd email or tweet them & find out before claiming.

Many thanks



Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Oxonhutch on October 07, 2014, 03:00:44 pm
Quote
8. Tweet FGW re why journey check was not showing the change to the 7.59 (it never does show it when this happens)
9. FGW on twitter tweet to say (pretend) it was on there  Shocked

I saw it there this morning. The 07:34 (180) ex DID was shown as cancelled due to train fault. The 07:06 (HST) ex DID was shown as a 5 car rather than 8.

My interpretation was that the HST failed at OOC - or rather was not available after yesterday's chaos - and the 180 was run in place of the HST.  The up Bristol called additionally at DID (07:31) to make up for the cancelled 07:34


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on October 07, 2014, 03:29:49 pm
Quote
8. Tweet FGW re why journey check was not showing the change to the 7.59 (it never does show it when this happens)
9. FGW on twitter tweet to say (pretend) it was on there  Shocked

I saw it there this morning. The 07:34 (180) ex DID was shown as cancelled due to train fault. The 07:06 (HST) ex DID was shown as a 5 car rather than 8.

My interpretation was that the HST failed at OOC - or rather was not available after yesterday's chaos - and the 180 was run in place of the HST.  The up Bristol called additionally at DID (07:31) to make up for the cancelled 07:34

What time did you see that? When I left home about 7.20 the 7.34 didcot departure was showing as cancelled but the 7.06 wasn't showing as any change from normal..

Still no excuse for not telling us at the station.. unless they didn't know either?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: thetrout on October 07, 2014, 05:44:32 pm
Apparently FGW Tweeted that the delays of the 6th October are NOT disruptive enough for it to be classed a void day... :-x


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: NickB on October 07, 2014, 07:21:23 pm
That really really gets my goat. It displays a level of arrogance that I find both absurd and upsetting.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: John R on October 07, 2014, 07:45:23 pm
Hmmm. If they advise people not to travel (did they?) then I think it is very suspect not to declare a void day.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 07, 2014, 07:55:05 pm
Hmmm. If they advise people not to travel (did they?) then I think it is very suspect not to declare a void day.

Very valid point John R


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Timmer on October 07, 2014, 08:03:25 pm
Apparently FGW Tweeted that the delays of the 6th October are NOT disruptive enough for it to be classed a void day... :-x
That really beggars belief with the amount of delays and cancelations that took place. Anyone know what the threshold is set at to declare a void day?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ellendune on October 07, 2014, 08:13:50 pm
Who sets the criteria for a void day?  I would have thought it would have been in FGW's interests to declare it void. So presumably something must have stopped them.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: thetrout on October 07, 2014, 08:29:30 pm
Apparently FGW Tweeted that the delays of the 6th October are NOT disruptive enough for it to be classed a void day... :-x
That really beggars belief with the amount of delays and cancelations that took place. Anyone know what the threshold is set at to declare a void day?

Well someone asked that very question. More recent twitter talk suggests that it is being reviewed again however.

FGWs tweet 7th October AM  (https://twitter.com/FGW/status/519367840017944576)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Oxonhutch on October 07, 2014, 08:30:48 pm
Quote

What time did you see that? When I left home about 7.20 the 7.34 didcot departure was showing as cancelled but the 7.06 wasn't showing as any change from normal..

Still no excuse for not telling us at the station.. unless they didn't know either?

It was after I got to work at 07:45. I was looking at various information regarding late running on RTT and wanted to clarified a cancellation on FGW.  That is when I picked up the details.



Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 07, 2014, 08:55:46 pm
Void days are entirely in the choice of the operator....


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on October 07, 2014, 08:56:22 pm
Apparently FGW Tweeted that the delays of the 6th October are NOT disruptive enough for it to be classed a void day... :-x
That really beggars belief with the amount of delays and cancelations that took place. Anyone know what the threshold is set at to declare a void day?

Well someone asked that very question. More recent twitter talk suggests that it is being reviewed again however.

FGWs tweet 7th October AM  (https://twitter.com/FGW/status/519367840017944576)

There was some further Twitter discussion in this thread: FGWs tweet 7th October PM (https://twitter.com/FGW/status/519493792735711233)

In particular Leo says "That's correct, out of 814 planned LTV services yesterday, 146 didn't run."

I've just checked RTT for Twyford last night between 1700 and 1900. Of the 30 services due to call, 17 were cancelled. Of the 13 which did run, 7 were Henley Branch trains (one of which should have started from PAD but didn't). So how did they come up with 146 out of 814 not running?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 07, 2014, 09:04:19 pm
Assuming your delay qualifies (and if it doesn't, why do you think you are hard done by?), you would get the same comp with the delay payment as you will if a void day is declared...equivalent to your fare refunded (for daily ticket/7day season) or a days equivalent on a monthly or longer season.

I don't see the complaint?....


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: John R on October 07, 2014, 09:11:03 pm
Do you get a refund on a longer dated season. I thought the only compensation was either a void day or a 5% discount if the overall performance warrants it. As the performance is already beyond that threshold, it costs FGW nothing, whereas if they declare a void day it does.

Looking at Chippenham as an example, of the 13 trains timetabled to leave before noon for Paddington, only 4 made it the whole way, four stopped short at Reading and 5 were cancelled. Of the four that made it through the average delay was 108 minutes, with the 0725 being delayed for 2 hrs 38 mins.

If that wasn't enough disruption to declare a void day, I don't know what is.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 07, 2014, 09:14:51 pm
Indeed, claiming comp gives you vouchers usable across ticketing, void day extends your season. Which would you find more useful?

Good point re monthly/longer seasons. Void day extends your season, otherwise it would count towards a 5% didcount. If that kicks in, it will cost FGW more..if it doesn't, they gain.

My point re weeklies & daily tickets is correct though.

But it is entirely choice of the TOC


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 07, 2014, 09:18:06 pm
Interesting though....

The perpetrator (Network Rail this time) would ultimately pay the full comp paid out by the TOC. Who (and how on earth is it calculated?!) would they cover a void day declared?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: NickB on October 08, 2014, 09:03:54 am
Assuming your delay qualifies (and if it doesn't, why do you think you are hard done by?), you would get the same comp with the delay payment as you will if a void day is declared...equivalent to your fare refunded (for daily ticket/7day season) or a days equivalent on a monthly or longer season.

I don't see the complaint?....

My thoughts are that by saying this wasn't a void day then FGW are saying this didn't have a notable impact to the majority of travellers on that day - almost like saying 'these things happen and we don't owe you an apology' - which i find arrogant and disrespectful to paying customers.

By having to claim individually passengers a) have to write in themselves; b) are subject to the extremely inconsistent approach applied by FGW customer service.

Given that many many people won't be bothered to do this* and FGW will be recompensed themselves by NR we run the risk of creating the moral hazard that TOC's may come to regard such incidents as 'nice little earners' which I find objectionable.



*i have no stats on what proportion of travellers will actually claim.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 08, 2014, 10:29:26 am
Once smartcards are introduced, auto-compensation will be easily assessable (your train journey will be recorded, so proof you travelled when you say you did) and therefore payable.
Until then, the TOC doesn't know who travelled at what time, and thus needs to know. Not everyone would have been delayed by the full (two hours is it) amount to be entitled to full refund.

In this case, I think I'm with the TOC...


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: NickB on October 08, 2014, 10:33:12 am
And what of those who didn't travel because they were told not to?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 08, 2014, 10:34:17 am
Once smartcards are introduced, auto-compensation will be easily assessable (your train journey will be recorded, so proof you travelled when you say you did) and therefore payable.
Until then, the TOC doesn't know who travelled at what time, and thus needs to know. Not everyone would have been delayed by the full (two hours is it) amount to be entitled to full refund.

In this case, I think I'm with the TOC...

What about people who bought Advance tickets for a specific train via the FGW website? They would have all the customers details and would be able to refund automatically with no need for a claim if it was cancelled?.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 08, 2014, 10:40:58 am
Indeed, agreed - but that applies to all TOCs and thus becomes an ATOC issue - suggest taking it up through Passenger Focus maybe?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: brizzlechris on October 08, 2014, 12:55:01 pm
Tweet from @FGW: "Following Mondays disruption we're offering compensation to affected Season Ticket Holders. We'll be in contact directly with more details."

https://twitter.com/FGW/status/519811385715617792


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on October 09, 2014, 07:23:25 am
And so today we have a signalling failure between TWY and MAI affecting all lines...  >:(


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: NickB on October 09, 2014, 07:29:39 am
Having just boarded at maidenhead on the delayed 7.08 I'm sorry to say that there were no station announcements, no platform staff to ask, no update on journeycheck, and once onboard no acknowledgement of the delay by the TM.

... So I came here to find out the cause...  ;D


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on October 09, 2014, 07:39:54 am
To add to those delays the 7.59am HST has been replaced by a Class-180 for the second time this week. So late to work again then... ???


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: lbraine on October 09, 2014, 08:02:50 am
I am on said 180 - crawling through Twyford. Signalling issues in the Maidenhead area.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Jason on October 09, 2014, 08:42:50 am
Indeed,  I'm just passing Twyford some 25mins after leaving Reading on the 8:09 service.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: tomL on October 09, 2014, 09:17:44 am
Here we go again...

Fun fact: Passing through the station on the way to work the 0929 from Swindon to Paddington was showing as now stopping on platform 'UML' ...mind the gap  ;D


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on October 09, 2014, 09:19:51 am
Looking at some recent replies on their Twitter account, FGW are currently blaming the fault on NR cutting through a cable AGAIN...  :'(


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 09, 2014, 09:24:59 am
And so today we have a signalling failure between TWY and MAI affecting all lines...  >:(

......for the second time this week, total chaos, RTT listing over 30 trains cancelled - lucky I came in early today and missed it - this affects peoples jobs and lives and is simply unacceptable.......and yes I know Network Rail look after the signals before all the FGW devotees start going all Railway enthusiast fundamentalist on me, but it's FGW that take a chunk of my salary in return for providing a service of sorts, so I expect them to sort their infrastructure providers out, rather than their Directors bleating about learning lessons year after year......first lesson to learn, use cable scanners, if my blokes don't, they get sacked. >:(


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: broadgage on October 09, 2014, 09:49:25 am
Reliability certainly seems to be getting worse, and subjectively seems to be much worse than back in the "good old days"
Breakdowns certainly occurred back in the old days, but I don't recall major failures resulting in DOZENS of cancellations, occurring on a near weekly basis.
Thirty trains are cancelled at present, and many other services are running for only part of the scheduled journey.

This weeks two major failures appear to be network rail incompetence, and might not be repeated for some weeks, but the rainy season has just started and will probably result in a third consecutive autumn of disruption caused by "once in a century extreme weather"

Looking further ahead we have electrification to look forward to with the inevitable weather related disruption.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: grahame on October 09, 2014, 09:50:55 am
this affects peoples jobs and lives and is simply unacceptable.......and yes I know Network Rail look after the signals ... [snip] ...
 so I expect them to sort their infrastructure providers out, rather than their Directors bleating about learning lessons year after year......first lesson to learn, use cable scanners, if my blokes don't, they get sacked. >:(

Your [original] comparison was over the top, and could have been read very much in the wrong way. Thank you for going back and amending it.

I have to agree with you that the current rate of failure has moved well beyond what should be provided - as I read it, there has been one morning out of four so far this week that has run smoothly, with two lots of engineering problems and a person under a train.   And I have to agree that when you buy a service from someone, it's really up to them to get what they need from their suppliers in turn.

But we have a problem ... it's tightly regulated and there IS only one supplier ... you can write "unacceptable" and the answer has to be "then don't accept it" - and that might mean some sort of campaigning, or a switch to an alternative means of travel, or to another home or to another job.  Frankly, the passenger / travelling public is pretty powerless against what is a monopoly of service, and to take the work "unacceptable" at face value means some pretty tough decisions.   And even if there were an open access operator on the line, it's still Network Rail behind it ...


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on October 09, 2014, 09:56:33 am
To paraphrase Lady Bracknell,

    "To cut one cable may be regarded as a misfortune. To cut two in one week looks like carelessness."

I agree with TaplowGreen about cable scanners.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Jason on October 09, 2014, 10:24:33 am
Why are there so many single points of failure ? Is that simply the way signalling infrastructure works ?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: a-driver on October 09, 2014, 10:36:17 am
To paraphrase Lady Bracknell,

    "To cut one cable may be regarded as a misfortune. To cut two in one week looks like carelessness."

I agree with TaplowGreen about cable scanners.


The whole area is CAT scanned, quite often see them trackside during the day undertaking this.  Still doesn't stop some idiot damaging the cable.  Monday they managed to crush a cable I believe.
Today's signalling failure is currently logged as a track circuit failure between Twyford and Maidenhead. Cause not reported as yet although it was logged that the first train up in the morning operated track circuits correctly which suggests some work was carried out overnight??


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: grahame on October 09, 2014, 10:39:36 am
A bit of an aside ... I'm noticing that Bristol and South West trains appear to be running as combined services ... South West services are running via Bristol anyway this week, due to works between Castle Cary and Taunton.  Looks to be a sensible way to make maximum use of reduced capacity in the Thames Valley.  Good call by whoever came up with that approach!


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 09, 2014, 11:28:32 am
Reliability certainly seems to be getting worse, and subjectively seems to be much worse than back in the "good old days"
Breakdowns certainly occurred back in the old days, but I don't recall major failures resulting in DOZENS of cancellations, occurring on a near weekly basis.

Quite agree that it's been another very disappointing week, but there was never the sheer amount of infrastructure work going on, or anywhere near the number of trains/passengers, in these alleged 'good old days'.  The amount of work going on is phenomenal - Reading, electrification, resignalling, Crossrail and so on with hundreds of staff on the trackside both day and night.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: insider on October 09, 2014, 11:50:59 am
Todays chaos is still very much ongoing.....

Sources inform me that techs on the ground are still trying to work out the cause of the failures. There were multiple sites last night where digging & piling were taking place but as yet can not find a damaged cable.

They have located a location cabinet in the area which has no power, but don't know why!!

Could take until 1400 to test cables to locate the fault, then the solution needs to be found, and implemented.

The fault in itself is quite an unusual one and has the potential to cause an accident, which is why the service is being reduced. Short version is that on ALL 4 lines, the signaller at TVSC is loosing trains. in that the track circuit are wrong side failures, train in section but computer says nothing there!!! This has the potential to allow another train into the same section.

As a result a method of work called long block is in operation. Only one train from Maidenhead to Ruscombe per line at any time. Basically like Absolute Block in the old days. Luckily all the signals on the ground seem to be working correctly from what I understand (but this not confirmed), so once trains get a green, should be a clear run. But there were some reports of an actual track circuit failure as well....

Another day to stay away from trains....


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 09, 2014, 12:17:31 pm
The whole thing reeks of carelessness, shoddiness and incompetence.........there can be no other explanation for one of the busiest rail thoroughfares in Europe being brought to a grinding halt for the second time in 4 days..............the noise you can hear is not trains moving to and fro, it's Brunel spinning in his grave.

FGW should grow a pair and insist that all digging/piling work should cease until they are satisifed that those undertaking it are competent enough to undertake this work without this happening.

I note the message on the FGW website is  "There is currently no estimate for a normal train service to resume"..........how apt!



Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Thatcham Crossing on October 09, 2014, 12:29:09 pm
I was on the 0903 THA-PAD this morning, which left about 17 late (due to being late on its down journey to Bedwyn).

We left RDG at about 0940 and breezed through Twyford and Maidenhead at pretty-much max turbo speed, to my surprise....only to amble on an amber all the way from Slough to about Acton West (driver did come up on the PA to make us aware of reason for slow running).

Arrived at PAD about 25 late but could have been worse.

Would also like to praise the guy in the ticket office at THA who came out and walked up and down the platform telling us all what was going on.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 09, 2014, 12:34:15 pm
I was on the 657 Thatcham to Paddington today and it got caught up in these new signalling problems.

Someone on here must have posted it pretty quickly because I new about it even before the train driver. We had a 23 minute delay arriving at Paddington.

I guess I must have been lucky - I had a three week run without any problems and now it's payback time :)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: a-driver on October 09, 2014, 12:50:18 pm
The whole thing reeks of carelessness, shoddiness and incompetence.........there can be no other explanation for one of the busiest rail thoroughfares in Europe being brought to a grinding halt for the second time in 4 days..............the noise you can hear is not trains moving to and fro, it's Brunel spinning in his grave.

FGW should grow a pair and insist that all digging/piling work should cease until they are satisifed that those undertaking it are competent enough to undertake this work without this happening.

I note the message on the FGW website is  "There is currently no estimate for a normal train service to resume"..........how apt!



Makes you wonder if the contractors carrying out this work have been set unrealistic targets by NR to erect so many structures a night and as a result are rushing and cutting corners resulting in damage to the signalling system.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 09, 2014, 12:57:15 pm
The whole thing reeks of carelessness, shoddiness and incompetence.........there can be no other explanation for one of the busiest rail thoroughfares in Europe being brought to a grinding halt for the second time in 4 days..............the noise you can hear is not trains moving to and fro, it's Brunel spinning in his grave.

FGW should grow a pair and insist that all digging/piling work should cease until they are satisifed that those undertaking it are competent enough to undertake this work without this happening.

I note the message on the FGW website is  "There is currently no estimate for a normal train service to resume"..........how apt!

Refreshing to see that you can actually post a message which doesn't accuse those of us on here that try and explain why things may be happening in more detail as 'Railway enthusiast fundamentalists' or some similarly stupid label.  I dread to think what it was before you modified it. 

Speaking personally, I am pretty passionate about the railways and hate it when passengers have their journey disrupted.  Part of my reason for being on here is to try and explain why things have gone wrong to those that might not have the technical knowledge or ability to find out.  I don't have to do it and I sure as hell don't get paid for doing it.  It also gives me a platform to anonymously criticise (and indeed praise) the railway industry when I deem it suitable.  Many staff feel the same way I do and your constant sniping at us really makes me wonder why I bother.  Sure, there are some bad members of staff out there and things don't always go to plan, but I'm sure the same applies in whatever industry you are involved in but perhaps not under quite the glare of public scrutiny.

I strongly suspect that today will be discussed at a very senior level within Network Rail (doubtless with input from FGW) and it might indeed be sensible to stop the work whilst a review in undertaken.  It's interesting that it's (presumably) the Crossrail electrification team that have once again caused this disruption rather than the GWML electrification team who have been doing similar piling work for over a year with very few problems.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 09, 2014, 12:58:01 pm


Makes you wonder if the contractors carrying out this work have been set unrealistic targets by NR to erect so many structures a night and as a result are rushing and cutting corners resulting in damage to the signalling system.
[/quote]

-may well be the case but in my experience Contractors will promise the Earth to secure juicy contracts such as this so it may well be 6 of one and half dozen of the other with NR believeing the hype!


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: insider on October 09, 2014, 01:05:44 pm
Cable Testing ongoing.....rain in area has slowed testing....don't want electronics to get wet!!!

Sounds like ongoing rest of day....

Plan for Peak

Paddington ^ Bedwyn services to start / terminate at Reading starting with
1K53 11.39 Bedwyn ^ Paddington terminating at Reading to form
1K57 12.18 Paddington ^ Bedwyn starting Reading. Then :-
1K61 12.38 Bedwyn ^ Paddington terminating Reading to form
1K60 13.18 Paddington ^ Bedwyn starts Reading
1K63 13.42 Bedwyn ^ Paddington terminates Reading to form :-
1K64 14.18 Paddington ^ Bedwyn starts Reading
1K65 14.39 Bedwyn ^ Paddington terminates Reading to form :-
1K68 15.18 Paddington ^ Bedwyn starts Reading
1K69 15.40 Bedwyn ^ Paddington terminates Reading to form :-
1K74 16.18 Paddington ^ Bedwyn starts Reading

Class one Paddington ^ Oxford services to remain cancelled.
1D45 15.22 Paddington ^ Oxford
1D49 16.22 Paddington ^ Oxford
1D51 16.49 Paddington ^ Oxford
1D53 17.18 Paddington ^ Oxford
1D57 17.35 Paddington ^ Oxford
1D61 18.18 Paddington ^ Oxford
1D67 18.50 Paddington ^ Oxford
1D69 19.18 Paddington ^ Oxford

1P63 17.01 Oxford ^ Paddington
1P69 18.01 Oxford ^ Paddington
1P71 18.31 Oxford ^ Paddington
1P75 19.31 Oxford ^ Paddington

1H48 17.12 Paddington ^ Henley On Thames start Twyford
1H52 18.12 Paddington ^ Henley On Thames start Twyford
1H54 19.05 Paddington ^ Henley On Thames start Twyford

Paddington ^ Cardiff/South Wales XX.15 departures to remain cancelled.

1C18 14.33 Paddington ^ Weston S.M. Cancelled. (Possibly start Bristol T.M.)
(1Z86 Paddington ^ Penzance S.S.O.^s vice between Reading and Bristol T.M.)

1C20 15.33 Paddington ^ Weston S.M. Cancelled.
(1Z88 15.30 Paddington ^ Penzance S.S.O.^s vice between Reading and Bristol T.M.)

1C22 16.33 Paddington ^ Taunton Cancelled. (Possibly start Bristol T.M.)
(1Z89 16.30 Paddington ^ Penzance S.S.O.^s vice between Reading and Bristol T.M.)

1C25 18.03 Paddington ^ Bristol T.M. Cancelled.
(1Z92 18.00 Paddington ^ Penzance S.S.O.^s vice between Reading and Bristol TM)

1C27 19.03 Paddington ^ Bristol T.M. Cancelled.
(1Z95 19.00 Paddington ^ Plymouth S.S.O.^s vice between Reading and Bristol TM)

In addition to the above

1C90 17.06 Paddington ^ Bristol T.M. Twyford stop withdrawn.
1J93 18.05 Paddington ^ Frome Twyford stop withdrawn


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 09, 2014, 01:13:56 pm
I imagine there will be some Twyford passengers who will not be pleased at their stops being withdrawn :(


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Western Enterprise on October 09, 2014, 01:30:55 pm
the noise you can hear is not trains moving to and fro, it's Brunel spinning in his grave.


 :D
Last heard in 1892 I believe... ! ;D


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on October 09, 2014, 01:40:53 pm
I imagine there will be some Twyford passengers who will not be pleased at their stops being withdrawn :(

Me for one!!!  >:(

1712 and 1735 fast(-ish) Turbos are cancelled too, plus the 1718 to OXF with an opportunity for a change at MAI. On Monday there was an near hour-long gap in anything serving TWY from PAD between 1642 and 1735. Are we the lowest of the low? Is the Henley Branch a figment of my imagination?

Sorry to sound a bl**dy misery but the good news for me is that today I've managed to get my boss to finalise a date for my job move to Reading in January. I might drive in, I might get the bus or I might use SWT from Winnersh Triangle. But I will not be using FGW.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: didcotdean on October 09, 2014, 01:44:42 pm
Have to be in London later this afternoon - think I may start by driving to Haddenham ....


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: a-driver on October 09, 2014, 01:52:23 pm
I imagine there will be some Twyford passengers who will not be pleased at their stops being withdrawn :(

Me for one!!!  >:(

1712 and 1735 fast(-ish) Turbos are cancelled too, plus the 1718 to OXF with an opportunity for a change at MAI. On Monday there was an near hour-long gap in anything serving TWY from PAD between 1642 and 1735. Are we the lowest of the low? Is the Henley Branch a figment of my imagination?

Sorry to sound a bl**dy misery but the good news for me is that today I've managed to get my boss to finalise a date for my job move to Reading in January. I might drive in, I might get the bus or I might use SWT from Winnersh Triangle. But I will not be using FGW.

You'd be better off going to Reading and coming back wouldn't you? 


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on October 09, 2014, 01:55:38 pm
You'd be better off going to Reading and coming back wouldn't you? 

My place of work is on the Central Line so I might go to EAL and get a stopper if I can be certain they're running. If I can't be sure then it'll be PAD to RDG and back to TWY.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: a-driver on October 09, 2014, 02:09:50 pm
You'd be better off going to Reading and coming back wouldn't you? 

My place of work is on the Central Line so I might go to EAL and get a stopper if I can be certain they're running. If I can't be sure then it'll be PAD to RDG and back to TWY.

At the moment they're down as running but they're going to be even busier than normal given the cancellations of the fast services for Slough & Maidenhead.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on October 09, 2014, 04:23:18 pm
JourneyCheck has just been updated with the news that the 1712 to Henley and the 1735 to Oxford have been reinstated, so hopefully the 1706 will now stop at TWY.  :)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Trowres on October 09, 2014, 09:14:09 pm
...
The fault in itself is quite an unusual one and has the potential to cause an accident, which is why the service is being reduced. Short version is that on ALL 4 lines, the signaller at TVSC is loosing trains. in that the track circuit are wrong side failures, train in section but computer says nothing there!!! This has the potential to allow another train into the same section.
...

Wrong side failures? Are these sites still track circuits or axle counters? One hopes that the reason for a wrong side failure is properly communicated within the industry so that lessons are learned before serious consequences arise. (For an example of where this, sadly, didn't happen, see the report on a passenger being trapped by a train door at Newcastle).


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: SandTEngineer on October 09, 2014, 09:23:32 pm
Its a true track circuit area at present (going over to axle counters soon).  Failures of this nature are more common than you might think.  Just unfortunate that a lot of them appear to be happening in FGW land at the moment but then the signalling infrastructure is over 50 years old :(


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: grahame on October 10, 2014, 05:10:27 am
Friday, 05:00 ...

Quote
Cancellations to services between Maidenhead and Twyford Due to signalling problems between Maidenhead and Twyford trains have to run at reduced speed on all lines.
Impact:
Train services running through these stations may be cancelled or delayed by up to 30 mins. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.
Customer Advice:
Chiltern Railways, Cross Country, London Underground and South West Trains are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice. Arrangements have been made for First Great Western rail tickets to be accepted for these journeys.

12 cancellations and 11 amendments showing already


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on October 10, 2014, 06:28:25 am
And at 06:23 there are 22 cancellations and 39 amendments.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on October 10, 2014, 07:08:18 am
26 cancellations and 41 amendments now.. I am staying at home today.. I can't take it anymore  ;D


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: insider on October 10, 2014, 07:09:26 am
FAULT IS STILL ONGOING..........

After pretty much pulling the power supply system apart over night, techs are still baffled as to why they cant rectify an earth fault. This is causing a one track circuit on each of the lines UP & DOWN, Main & Relief, to give false indications.

So as a result Long Block Working will remain in place UFN. The train service has been stripped back more than yesterday for AM peak as there were some big delays with bunching of trains at Twyford!

Basic Plan is Pad-Cardiff cancelled.
 Bedwyn - Pad start/terminate RDG,
Oxford - Pad Class 1 cancelled (North Cots services should run)
Henley & Marlow Branch Services, run a locked in Branch Service only no through trains to Pad.
Chetenham - Pad start/term Swindon.

And then as ever whatever else Network Rail decide to cancel to ease congestion and workload for signaller to ensure a safe railway....this will mean severe overcrowding, but at least trains run.

And Yes Twyford & Maidenhead customers will be hit hard with these amendments....but there will be trains, it would be nice if they thought to send something down to Maidenhead to start, being the London side of the failure, but doubt that will happen!


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: insider on October 10, 2014, 07:21:42 am
AND AS IF BY MAGIC...AFTER THE PLANS ARE IMPLEMENTED AND ADVERTISED......NETWORK RAIL ADVISE NORMAL SIGNALLNG FULLY RESTORED AT 0655!!!!!

However majority of alterations will stand as crew and sets already in place, however some will be reinstated....

First to run is the 0736 Pad-Chelt!!!

Likely that HSS services will recover, and LTV will take until around 1000-1100 as loads of sets are still on Reading depot!!!


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on October 10, 2014, 07:33:53 am
Yes I can confirm from "on the spot" that trains seem to be passing between TWY and MAI without delay. It's a shame this couldn't have been fixed earlier to allow a normal scheduled service this morning!


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 10, 2014, 07:42:53 am
AND AS IF BY MAGIC...AFTER THE PLANS ARE IMPLEMENTED AND ADVERTISED......NETWORK RAIL ADVISE NORMAL SIGNALLNG FULLY RESTORED AT 0655!!!!!

However majority of alterations will stand as crew and sets already in place, however some will be reinstated....

First to run is the 0736 Pad-Chelt!!!

Likely that HSS services will recover, and LTV will take until around 1000-1100 as loads of sets are still on Reading depot!!!


Good news - let's hope a normal service can be maintained, maybe for as long as 24 hours?  ::) my only hope is that someone will compensate me for the amount of flowers I've had to buy Mrs Taplowgreen in respect of taxi service to work over last few days......I've even promised to do the hoovering and clean out the garage at the weekend.....FGW/NR have a lot to answer for!  :'(



Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 10, 2014, 08:39:29 am
It looks like there are problems again this Friday - well there were on my journey from Thatcham to Paddington.

Fortunately I saw this when I got out of bed and managed to catch an earlier train to get me to Reading. More by luck than judgement I managed to get a re-instated turbo servers from Reading to Paddington which stopped only at Maidenhead and got to the office earlier than when the services run on time.

Although I have sympathy with those struggling to get into London from the west one of the plus points of my journey was that the tube wasn't as crowded as normal



Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on October 10, 2014, 09:07:49 am
Have the problems reappeared yet again? I've just taken a look at RTT and at the current time (0905) there seems to be about 10-12 minutes of delays occurring in the TWY area on all 4 lines.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 10, 2014, 09:13:15 am
Have the problems reappeared yet again? I've just taken a look at RTT and at the current time (0900) there seems to be about 10-12 minutes of delays occurring in the TWY area on all 4 lines.


Not sure BBM - from guesswork (must stress that) they reoccurred early this morning and loads of services were showing as cancelled/delayed on the planner app. After I walked down to Thatcham station they seemed to have settled but I suspect that was a false sense of security.

When I got to Reading I was thinking of catching a stopping service to PAD and was on P14/15 when they announced that some of the services were being re-instated.

Maybe FGW had learnt from the troubles on Monday (in a good way, I'm not being sarcastic!) and were planning accordingly.



Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ellendune on October 10, 2014, 09:35:42 am

Maybe FGW had learnt from the troubles on Monday (in a good way, I'm not being sarcastic!) and were planning accordingly.

Practice makes perfect!


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 10, 2014, 09:38:32 am
Have the problems reappeared yet again? I've just taken a look at RTT and at the current time (0905) there seems to be about 10-12 minutes of delays occurring in the TWY area on all 4 lines.


.....suspect there's an element of a**e covering as things get back to "normal" in case they all fall over again? Having said that the list of cancellations seems to be dwindling and mainly restricted to London - Cardiffs.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: jane s on October 10, 2014, 10:43:48 am
It was a complete fiasco this morning so I don't think anyone has learnt from anything!

JoHoare you were so right to stay at home!

I had to change at Reading on to 8:31 Ealing Broadway stopper. I was sitting comfortably in the rear coach of 5 at 8:29 when I heard platform - NOT on-train - announcements that the front 2 coaches only were going to Ealing Broadway and the rear three were now going to Oxford. After quickly checking with someone who had just got on, I got off & sprinted up the platform & got on the rammed 2nd coach getting the last seat. The doors soon shut leaving those less quick on the uptake than me standing outside.

Since this was patently unfair due to the lack of on-train announcements, they eventually had to open the doors to let these people on, causing a delay. After further delays between Twyford & Maidenhead we then proceeded getting later & later & later due to the sheer impossibility of trying to cram at least 3 full trains-worth of people onto 2 coaches.

The platform at Slough alone was still heaving when they shut the doors, a situation repeated at West Drayton, Hayes & Southall. We eventually arrived at Ealing over 20 mins late (having strated off only 5 mins late).

Whoever decided to split that train at Reading and send us forward with only 2 coaches has some SERIOUS explaining to do! It is just taking the proverbial - if you cancel more than half the trains, the ones that do run MUST be full 5 or 6-car sets - no ifs, buts or maybes.

It is never acceptable at any time to run 2-car trains in the peaks on this route, let alone when it was the first stopper through in some time as it was this morning.

I had just got off the stopper from Oxford that had terminated at Reading - surely they could have turned this around to form the service to Oxford instead of splitting the 5-car set! It's simply beyond a joke.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: broadgage on October 10, 2014, 10:49:43 am
Does anyone know WHY they run such short trains at times of disruption ?
With so many cancellations they can hardly plead shortage of rolling stock.

If the network rail signalling fiascos severely limit the number of trains that can be run, then surely every train that does run should without question be full length.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 10, 2014, 10:57:38 am
Trains & drivers out of place....


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 10, 2014, 11:13:02 am
..............ah but for how long this time I wonder?  ???

Following earlier signalling problems between Maidenhead and Twyford all lines have now reopened.
Impact:
Train services running through these stations are returning to normal. Normal services will be provided as soon as possible. For the latest rail travel news, why not follow us on Twitter @FGW.



Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on October 10, 2014, 11:32:12 am
I can still hear the trains sounding their horn as they come through the west of Maidenehad.. That is usually an indication that there is something not quite right with the service


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: tomL on October 10, 2014, 11:36:36 am
I can still hear the trains sounding their horn as they come through the west of Maidenehad.. That is usually an indication that there is something not quite right with the service

This could also be that there are still network rail personnel out on the track side. I believe the rule is drivers have to sound the horn and they (track side personnel) should raise a hand to acknowledge the presence of the approaching train?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 10, 2014, 03:44:02 pm
There must be an average of 300 or so track workers of various disciplines on average between Reading and London at the moment whilst all the various upgrades are going on.  That's a lot of worn out horns!


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 10, 2014, 04:21:36 pm
There must be an average of 300 or so track workers of various disciplines on average between Reading and London at the moment whilst all the various upgrades are going on.  That's a lot of worn out horns!


........oo-er Mrs!  :D


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bobm on October 10, 2014, 04:39:37 pm
There must be an average of 300 or so track workers of various disciplines on average between Reading and London at the moment whilst all the various upgrades are going on.  That's a lot of worn out horns!

I would think that must be quite stressful for drivers.  You know they will get out of the way but just occasionally.....


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Electric train on October 10, 2014, 06:28:56 pm
There must be an average of 300 or so track workers of various disciplines on average between Reading and London at the moment whilst all the various upgrades are going on.  That's a lot of worn out horns!

I would think that must be quite stressful for drivers.  You know they will get out of the way but just occasionally.....

Not as stressful for the folks on the track if the drive doesn't blow you off  :o  (being blown off is a term used when a drive sounds their horn to warn people on or about the railway)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: stebbo on October 10, 2014, 06:29:16 pm
Could I just add a few comments to the debate that was raging earlier.

Normally, I travel to London (from Kingham) about once or so a month. This week I had to go to London on Tuesday and Thursday. On Monday I had a meeting in Oxford with someone from London. The Monday meeting was cancelled after I'd got to Oxford so I wasn't best pleased - the other party couldn't get there in time for obvious reasons. Having seen the shambles unfold throughout Monday I had a contingency plan to drive to Banbury on the Tuesday which would have meant getting up at 5am (instead of 5.45am to go to Kingham). At about 9.30pm on Monday it still wasn't clear if they'd fixed the problem so I was awake at 4am checking the FGW website which indicated everything OK. Indeed Tuesday was relatively OK except for the disruption due the fatality (which thankfully I escaped due to arriving back at Paddington in time to see the 1552 was cancelled and so just getting an earlier train to Oxford). Then yesterday delays into Paddington because of more signalling problems, though the 1420 Adelante back to Kingham was bang on schedule.

I don't think it is fair to blame FGW (as some people appear to be doing) although I don't find their website that helpful compared to earlier versions some years ago. But it seems to me Monday should have declared a "void" day with full refunds etc.

Network Rail clearly deserve the full bucket load of critiscism and I trust somebody senior at NR is being severely "roughed up" as there are too many problems at the moment. I understand from an earlier post there are several sets of contractors running around the Reading to London area with electrification, Crossrail etc. Why? Surely - and I know I'm not an engineer - overhead electrification is the same for both schemes and there must be a considerable degree of commonality in the works. But even so, NR should control this properly. If disruption continues will somebody pay the price that would happen in private industry?

And for those who have to use the line day in day out, you have my sympathy.

 


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: a-driver on October 10, 2014, 09:11:10 pm
There must be an average of 300 or so track workers of various disciplines on average between Reading and London at the moment whilst all the various upgrades are going on.  That's a lot of worn out horns!

I would think that must be quite stressful for drivers.  You know they will get out of the way but just occasionally.....

Quite stressful when they don't bother acknowledging you sounding the warning horn.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: thetrout on October 11, 2014, 08:41:55 am
I would think that must be quite stressful for drivers.  You know they will get out of the way but just occasionally.....

They don't...  :-X :-\ :( :-[

http://www.raib.gov.uk/publications/bulletins/bulletins_2013/bulletin_05_2013.cfm (http://www.raib.gov.uk/publications/bulletins/bulletins_2013/bulletin_05_2013.cfm)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 11, 2014, 12:21:29 pm
Another incident today - "Emergency Services dealing with an incident"


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ellendune on October 11, 2014, 01:32:19 pm
There's been a lot of talk about the need for FGW to put pressure on Network Rail, but if I have understood correctly it is their contractors who have been doing the damage with their own staff left to mend the damage.  Perhaps we should be urging Network Rail to apply more pressure on their contractors.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 11, 2014, 01:35:07 pm
Another incident today - "Emergency Services dealing with an incident"

Is this to do with the gas leak at Reading Station (reported elsewhere on this forum I believe)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: paul7755 on October 11, 2014, 01:46:16 pm
Hopefully if NR do put the pressure on they won't do it by raising the local gas supply to extreme levels - we don't want to be going round in circles...

Paul


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 11, 2014, 01:54:25 pm
There's been a lot of talk about the need for FGW to put pressure on Network Rail, but if I have understood correctly it is their contractors who have been doing the damage with their own staff left to mend the damage.  Perhaps we should be urging Network Rail to apply more pressure on their contractors.

Both maybe?....but there's little else FGW can do really.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: stebbo on October 11, 2014, 02:36:04 pm
But Network Rail is responsible for hiring the contractors and is responsible for the proper operation of the track and signalling. The pressure needs to go on Network Rail who, in turn, should sort their contractors out.

But the choice of contractor, how many, the overall work plan and oversight of the scheme is Network Rail's responsibility. These incidents seem to have been going on far too long and are too frequent. If I were a government minister I'd be looking to haul somebody at Network Rail over the coals; if I were a director at Network Rail I'd be looking to sort this out quickly and once and for all before the minister telephones. Yes, accidents happen but as was said on this theme in, I think, "Goldfinger" the third or fourth time it's "enemy action"


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 11, 2014, 02:45:53 pm
Does this apply to Crossrail works too?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: stebbo on October 11, 2014, 04:54:08 pm
Not entirely sure with Crossrail but if the Government has allowed a separate body to work on Network Rail property or if NR don't have some responsibility for the work then they're barking mad as the scope for confusion is enormous.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Electric train on October 11, 2014, 05:03:11 pm
The problem with major works on and around aging infrastructure is the fragility of it, more often than not a fault will appear days or even weeks after a work activity, within projects we do our very best to plan out these risks, to stage works to remove fragile equipment which can be very costly because it may not be required at that stage and my have to be reworked.  Risk assessments are carried out for each worksite, plans are drawn up on how to protect assets in the work area and even teams held on standby just to carry out faulting and repairs if the risk is deemed to be very high.

There are penalties imposed on contractors if they cause train delays as a result of their activities, however these are limited in the terms of the contracts, if there were no limits contractors would not bid for the work.  

Sitting in a please explain why meeting with program directors, or even NR executive members and TOC executives is definitely a no coffee or biscuits meeting and you have to have all of the answers ready.  I have known it where it has been recommended to senior project managers that they consider a career change



Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Electric train on October 11, 2014, 05:04:26 pm
Not entirely sure with Crossrail but if the Government has allowed a separate body to work on Network Rail property or if NR don't have some responsibility for the work then they're barking mad as the scope for confusion is enormous.

NR are managing all of the "on network" Crossrail works


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Four Track, Now! on October 11, 2014, 06:38:27 pm
The problem with major works on and around aging infrastructure is the fragility of it, more often than not a fault will appear days or even weeks after a work activity, within projects we do our very best to plan out these risks, to stage works to remove fragile equipment which can be very costly because it may not be required at that stage and my have to be reworked.  Risk assessments are carried out for each worksite, plans are drawn up on how to protect assets in the work area and even teams held on standby just to carry out faulting and repairs if the risk is deemed to be very high.

There are penalties imposed on contractors if they cause train delays as a result of their activities, however these are limited in the terms of the contracts, if there were no limits contractors would not bid for the work.  

Sitting in a please explain why meeting with program directors, or even NR executive members and TOC executives is definitely a no coffee or biscuits meeting and you have to have all of the answers ready.  I have known it where it has been recommended to senior project managers that they consider a career change



Very true. We had a fused switched spur to a boiler that worked fine for many years, until the day it was switched off, then on again (or not, as it turned out). The slightest push in the wrong place can be too much for something that has given no previous problems, especially when the policy for replacement is not "just in time", but "well overdue".


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: a-driver on October 11, 2014, 06:49:28 pm
Sitting in a please explain why meeting with program directors, or even NR executive members and TOC executives is definitely a no coffee or biscuits meeting and you have to have all of the answers ready.  I have known it where it has been recommended to senior project managers that they consider a career change



I can imagine.  When we had that HST fail at Pewsey for several hours our MD bought everyone involved into a meeting including the driver.  Most thought this was going to be a laid back, friendly chat where we pull the wool over the MDs eyes, turned out the MD tore strips off just about everyone involved. 
Just because a person or organisation gives a public impression that they don't care, that they're laid back, disinterested doesn't mean to say that that's the case behind closed doors.
I think a few people sat up and took notice after that meeting.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ellendune on October 11, 2014, 08:37:37 pm
But Network Rail is responsible for hiring the contractors and is responsible for the proper operation of the track and signalling. The pressure needs to go on Network Rail who, in turn, should sort their contractors out.

But the choice of contractor, how many, the overall work plan and oversight of the scheme is Network Rail's responsibility. These incidents seem to have been going on far too long and are too frequent. If I were a government minister I'd be looking to haul somebody at Network Rail over the coals; if I were a director at Network Rail I'd be looking to sort this out quickly and once and for all before the minister telephones. Yes, accidents happen but as was said on this theme in, I think, "Goldfinger" the third or fourth time it's "enemy action"

Yes but this pressure needs to go all the way down to those who actually cause the damage. Yes NR are responsible for selecting their contractors, but their contractors are then responsible for carrying out the work properly.  If NR do not push on their contractors then they are truly the only ones to blame as nothing will change. It is the contractors who can make a change.  I would like to see some uncomfortable meetings between the CEO of NR and the CEO of the contractors concerned. 


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: SandTEngineer on October 12, 2014, 09:45:02 am
Hmmm.  With both my previous client hats on and my current contractors hat on ( ;D) my experience is that getting two MDs to have an argument doesn't get the industry anywhere.  The railway industry needs to work together to achieve success and avoid failures such as those discussed above. Shouting at each other and sacking people never solves anything but just makes it worse as you then lose the knowledge of whats gone on before.  I once worked for a business called 'Railtrack' whose policy was to 'shout and sack' and look what happened to them  :P


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: stebbo on October 12, 2014, 10:55:47 am
But this is becoming a major problem that can't go unaddressed. I'm glad to hear these meetings are not coffee and biscuits affairs - but sooner or later somebody has to carry the can.

I agree that the contractors and sub-contractors are legally responsible for carrying out the work - that's the way the law works with chains of indemnities and warranties. But somebody at Network Rail has to carry the can as they appoint the contractors and supervise them and are the guys at the top ultimately responsible. If somebody at the top got demoted or worse it might send a message that things are being done. If this sort of shambles occurred in the private sector I know there would be consequences for somebody.

The contractors have to get the message that passengers (and I assume FGW) are rightly very very angry.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: SandTEngineer on October 12, 2014, 11:29:53 am
But this is becoming a major problem that can't go unaddressed. I'm glad to hear these meetings are not coffee and biscuits affairs - but sooner or later somebody has to carry the can.

The contractors have to get the message that passengers (and I assume FGW) are rightly very very angry.
I think you missed my point.  I didn't say that it shouldn't be seriously addressed but there are good ways and bad ways of achieving that.  You seem to be suggesting that those of us who work at the 'coal face' in the contracting industry don't care which is in fact far from the actual truth. I get just as frustrated as anybody else when the delays occur but at least I understand that we all live in an imperfect world and that there will always be good times and bad times.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: stebbo on October 12, 2014, 11:54:22 am
I understand your problem only too well. But if problems keep happening and p****ing off the paying public, who's going to take the can? Something has to happen to sort it.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: stuving on October 12, 2014, 01:11:43 pm
I suspect that having contractors be more careful isn't the whole answer.

Network rail still operate the infrastructure, and do most of the testing. They also have to set out the processes for doing the work, and coordinate the various bits of NR and other parties as well as the upgrade contractors. So the first questions is whether the processes defined are realistic.

Given that the work has do be done in a very confined space and time, at night (and even with a lot of lighting there are dark areas), and what's there is not perfectly documented, there is a lot of scope for things to go wrong. So the process has to cover all those possibilities. There are several cases where similar required processes were not. For example, the mandatory use of organophosphate sheep dip, where the rules were supposedly able to protect farm workers being harmed by what was a known toxin. After many years of argument, it was finally admitted by government that perhaps a farmer working with limited time, money, and hands in lousy weather and with a bunch of very stroppy sheep could not be expected to always use the protective clothing and methods without lapses. This could be something similar.

I'm sure the work involves a lot of moving cables out of the way before doing something (like drilling a hole). Moving a cable is likely to trigger a problem, and it may be latent - i.e. not cause a visible signalling fault until you do something else, perhaps miles away, and much later. How much testing do you do after such each cable move? The probability of this happening in any one instance is low, but if you do enough of them, on cables unmoved for a long time ...

I would also note that identifying and shaming those who do cock up, or extracting penalty payments, is only a means to and end. What is needed is fewer of these events in the future. Too much time spent playing pass the penalty parcel is a distraction, and one that is already too prevalent in both the rail and construction industries.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 12, 2014, 02:09:17 pm
The equipment is seriously old & hasn't been moved for years (if at all) - if it has to be moved to get the OLE in place, what to do if its fragile & breaks every move?....difficult.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: SandTEngineer on October 12, 2014, 03:32:03 pm
OK then perhaps this will cheer everybody up ::) ;) http://railnews.mobi/news/2014/10/10-network-rail-says-sorry-for.html


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on October 12, 2014, 03:37:05 pm
I understand your problem only too well. But if problems keep happening and p****ing off the paying public, who's going to take the can? Something has to happen to sort it.

I do appreciate that problems will keep happening and yes it would be so much better if NR and their contractors could do a better job. However as a member of the paying public, what is p***ing me off so much is FGW's attitude to their customers.

It seems to me that whenever there is any disruption we're left to fend for ourselves standing on platforms listening to just a few automated announcements and with inaccurate information being displayed on screens, especially trains just disappearing for no reason.

Yes FGW are improving, they're getting better at announcing revised plans in advance. However these plans are not always well-thought out, for example they often involve removing fast services to and from Twyford and Maidenhead while at the same time leaving 45-60 minute gaps in the stopping service at peak hours. In any case, what's the logic in passengers to and from TWY and MAI having to fight for space with those from Southall and Hayes?

Meanwhile FGW's most loyal customers, annual season ticket holders like myself, just get the same old 5% renewal discount as if performance had been just generally bad enough to fall beneath the trigger level. Yes I know that's the rule throughout the industry but is it really fair?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 12, 2014, 03:43:33 pm
Not much....gone beyond apologies now, in my view.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: stebbo on October 12, 2014, 08:09:58 pm
I seem to recall there was another furious outbreak of messages some months ago so the problems are, as I said, ongoing.

I'm not getting at the workers but please would somebody (a) at a very senior level in Network Rail say we're sorry (seems partly to have been done); (b) at a very senior level within NR say what they're going to actually do to get a serious and realistic grip on the problem and follow it through; and (c) persuade FGW to cough up properly for what happened on Monday (though ultimately that should be for NR's account).

OK the Great Western line may not have seen serious investment for years but that is part of the challenge NR has to face. If there are serious issues then how about being upfront about it and say we have a problem because of past under investment, this is what we propose to do to deal with it and these are short term knock-on consequences. Nobody likes (constant) surprises.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Electric train on October 13, 2014, 07:40:46 pm
OK the Great Western line may not have seen serious investment for years but that is part of the challenge NR has to face. If there are serious issues then how about being upfront about it and say we have a problem because of past under investment, this is what we propose to do to deal with it and these are short term knock-on consequences. Nobody likes (constant) surprises.

That will not be said in public much now, it upsets the principle funders .............. HMG


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on October 13, 2014, 11:29:08 pm
I see there were posters up at main stations today, with a personal apology from from FGW MD Mark Hopwood.

I agree with others that we need to be seeing apologies from Network Rail, perhaps  by video and posted on National Rail and FGW's websites. Has there even been any NR spokesperson on record in recent days, across the media?

I know that's unlikely, but Network Rail are very quick to engage the media with the positive news stories that the GWML improvements are bringing. Those fancy timelapse videos are brilliant and I predict we'll see more when the mobile knitting machines come out.

However when Network Rail fupp up they should be on record apologising.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 14, 2014, 09:08:01 am
The LCD screens at major stations that belong to Network Rail are trailing an apology from them and FGW. But yes, the Route MD apologising live on major news programmes should happen the day of disruption


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 14, 2014, 09:18:45 am
The LCD screens at major stations that belong to Network Rail are trailing an apology from them and FGW. But yes, the Route MD apologising live on major news programmes should happen the day of disruption

Not sure I agree with the logic here :)

Most of the people who would benefit from the apology will probably be stuck on trains !


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 14, 2014, 09:40:10 am
But too late for broadcast news the day after....its done, dusted & that day's news takes priority


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 14, 2014, 09:51:30 am
But too late for broadcast news the day after....its done, dusted & that day's news takes priority

That is also true.



Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: stebbo on October 15, 2014, 12:38:51 pm
That will not be said in public much now, it upsets the principle funders .............. HMG

Perhaps a co-ordinated campaign of letters to travellers' MPs might help. If their postbags start bulging questions will be asked.

Also, HMG might get some credibility by being upfront about the past lack of investment and saying they're trying to correct it. But I suppose honesty is not a concept that is well understood by many MPs (unless you're the Member for Clacton........?)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: grahame on October 15, 2014, 01:21:55 pm
There is an apology on the Network Rail Web Site at

http://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/News-Releases/Network-Rail-comment-on-this-week-s-disruption-on-the-Great-Western-Main-Line-2183.aspx

and it includes

Quote
"This week we have not been able to provide the reliability passengers expect for which we apologise. We are wholly focused on delivering a new, modern, reliable rail network for London and the West."

Is it my mis-reading, or does that say "we're totally looking to the future, and not giving any attention to the chaos we might be causing while we're doing so"?

There is  also have an apology at the stations ...

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

Anyone care to type in that URL?   Is it practical?  ;D


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Oxonhutch on October 15, 2014, 01:35:28 pm
Clicky here (https://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/about-us/media-centre/2014/october/first-great-western-welcomes-network-rail-apology)

Does not appear to link me directly to where one can claim compensation though ...


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: tomL on October 15, 2014, 03:51:59 pm

Anyone care to type in that URL?   Is it practical?  ;D


Maybe if it was more practical more people would claim? Not accusing anyone but its a theory... ;)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: stebbo on October 15, 2014, 03:57:28 pm
And perhaps people could bombard Patrick Hallgate - the route director for Western Region at NR. I see he's quoted in the local press around Oxford about electrification and redoubling to Hanborough and Charlbury in the 2020s.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 15, 2014, 04:12:40 pm
And perhaps people could bombard Patrick Hallgate - the route director for Western Region at NR. I see he's quoted in the local press around Oxford about electrification and redoubling to Hanborough and Charlbury in the 2020s.

Alternatively email fgw.feedback@firstgroup.com with the following

1) A photograph of your ticket (and photo ID if applcable)
2) Date and time of your affected journey as well as the start and end points.

And then wait for them to reply with other information such as inside leg measurement which you didn't think they needed at the time of sending the original email.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 15, 2014, 04:24:07 pm

Anyone care to type in that URL?   Is it practical?  ;D


Maybe if it was more practical more people would claim? Not accusing anyone but its a theory... ;)

I think you've hit the nail on the head..........the trickier and less well publicised it is, the fewer people will bother.......how often during "normal" periods of disruption are customers proactively advised as to how they can claim compensation? I can never remember it happening.......ooooh aren't I cynical!  :D


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bobm on October 15, 2014, 04:57:59 pm
Actually as a statement I quite like that URL - it shows where FGW thinks the blame should lie.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on October 15, 2014, 10:32:59 pm
From ITV News (http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2014-10-15/first-great-western-apologise-for-rail-chaos/):

Quote
First Great Western apologise for rail chaos

The MP Rob Wilson has received a letter of apology and explanation from Network Rail and First Great Western following last week^s travel chaos. The severe disruption resulted in train delays and cancellations - it took some people 5 hours to complete their journey.

The joint letter from Patrick Hallgate, Route Managing Director for Network Rail, and Mark Hopwood, Managing Director for First Great Western, acknowledged that performance had been ^well below the standards customers should expect^ and that the organisations were sorry for the ^frustration and inconvenience^ felt by passengers.

The delays and disruptions were caused by signalling failures. Billions are being invested in the rail network to replace and modernise older equipment and improve signalling.

Rob Wilson said, ^It^s good that Network Rail and First Great Western have apologised for the severe disruptions to the network. It^s important that the service providers recognise the immense frustration felt by commuters when the system grinds to halt. Whilst apologies and explanations are welcome, they will be of little comfort to commuters who have to suffer when trains are delayed and cancelled. There is huge investment going into transport infrastructure in Reading and the surrounding areas, but without improved performance and increased reliability this investment will be immaterial."

Yes it's good that Patrick Hallgate is now on record apologising, but I have a great deal of sympathy for FGW. It's they that get all the brick-bats from the travelling public despite being entirely blameless for last week's travel disruption. I'm aware that once you put your name on the side of a train you become the public face of the entire industry. I also appreciate that many folk are unaware that the train operator does not have responsibility for the infrastructure. That said, I'm not entirely comfortable with apologies being given by blameless parties. It would, I think, be much better for the party at fault to be making the apologies. Through the operator if needs be, worded something like:

"Network Rail would like to apologise to all First Great Western passengers..."

A joint letter to an MP is a start, but I'd like to see more humble pie eating by Patrick Hallgate for last week's debacle.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 15, 2014, 11:30:14 pm
Might be a coincidence, but the wagons in Langley sidings haven't been filled up with foundation posts to be installed each night since last week's problems.  Work halted whilst things are investigated?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on October 15, 2014, 11:35:01 pm
Might be a coincidence, but the wagons in Langley sidings haven't been filled up with foundation posts to be installed each night since last week's problems.  Work halted whilst things are investigated?

With GWML electrification already seriously over-budget it won't be helpful if work has had to be halted.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Oxman on October 15, 2014, 11:46:38 pm
This work is down to Crossrail and has been subcontracted to Balfour Beatty, who operate from the sidings at Langley. GWML is paying for electrification from Maidenhead (exclusive) westwards.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on October 16, 2014, 07:12:48 am
This made the news on the TV this morning too.. They said that the electrification work would be put on hold/slowed down whilst they worked out how to stop this sort of thing happening..

Incidentally there are signalling problems again this morning.. My train is cancelled... ???


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on October 16, 2014, 07:41:57 am
My train this morning, the 0653 from TWY (0620 from DID) wasn't delayed into PAD but it did arrive into HEx Platform 6!


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bobm on October 16, 2014, 07:43:47 am
The problems this morning are immediately outside Paddington.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: a-driver on October 16, 2014, 07:44:57 am
The problems this morning are immediately outside Paddington.

Track circuit failures outside Paddington which is a repeat of a fault from earlier on this week.  Track circuits are failing because of what's known as 'wet beds'. Basically the track bed is saturated and is not draining properly.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 16, 2014, 08:11:10 am
The problems this morning are immediately outside Paddington.

Track circuit failures outside Paddington which is a repeat of a fault from earlier on this week.  Track circuits are failing because of what's known as 'wet beds'. Basically the track bed is saturated and is not draining properly.

Leaves, rain, sunshine, heat, cold, ice or snow............can all be guaranteed to bring the railway to a grinding halt............tricky stuff is weather!  ::)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on October 16, 2014, 08:25:54 am
Luckily I have a very understanding employer.. Goodness knows what people who don't have that do..


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 16, 2014, 08:27:49 am
We haven't even had excessive rain either....

But Ex-hurricane Gonzalo due next week....ho hum


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: a-driver on October 16, 2014, 08:47:51 am
We haven't even had excessive rain either....

But Ex-hurricane Gonzalo due next week....ho hum

The amount of lines that have flooded across the country in the past few months with minimal rainfall is testament to the fact that Network Rail's maintenance is severely lacking.
Surely Network Rails delay minutes must be steadily rising yet no one at the DfT is in the slightest bit concerned or they've choosen to turn a blind eye.  The last two freight train derailments on the network investigated by the RAIB have both come back highlighting track faults as a cause.

Just listening to the radio and they're reporting delays between Chelsmford and Liverpool St of appx 45 minutes due to....... signalling problems


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Four Track, Now! on October 16, 2014, 10:52:24 am
The problems this morning are immediately outside Paddington.

Carnage all day, according to Journey Check.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: chrisr_75 on October 16, 2014, 11:56:21 am
Yet more problems today between Ealing Broadway & Paddington:

http://www.journeycheck.com/firstgreatwestern/ (http://www.journeycheck.com/firstgreatwestern/)

Quote
Alterations to services between London Paddington and Ealing Broadway Due to signalling problems between London Paddington and Ealing Broadway fewer trains are able to run on some lines.
Impact:
Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed by up to 10 mins or revised. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.
Customer Advice:
Owing to signalling problems affecting a couple of running lines on the approach to London Paddington we are unable to operate the full timetabled service to and from London Paddington at present.
There will be a reduction in the frequency of train services (in both directions) between London Paddington and Reading & Oxford and also between London Paddington and Swindon, Bristol Parkway, Newport & Cardiff Central.
Any other train service cancellations or alterations will be advised on an individual basis.

Apologies - this has been mentioned on the October 2014 thread - please delete this post if it doesnt require a separate theread!

Mod Note: No problem - merged with existing topic - bobm


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 16, 2014, 12:30:58 pm
To be honest it's simply appalling and an extension of the p*** poor "service" last week.

The fact that one of the richest, most technologically advanced countries on Earth is unable to maintain a railway without failing on basics such as bodging through cables or being unable to drain a couple of days worth of rainwater from the track bed, along with frequent mechanical failures and staff being "unavailable" bears all the marks of something which is rapidly becoming unfit for purpose.

I don't particularly care who is to blame, from where I sit there is a duality of ineptitude between NR and FGW concerning their respective responsibilities and I'm sick of one blaming the other and/or the DfT.......in the real World, you take it on the chin, front up and say sorry to your customers whilst having these arguments behind closed doors and making sure things improve......you don't point fingers, quibble over the miserly compensation which may be due or make it difficult to claim it.

Hundreds of thousands of customers spend millions of ^ a year on some of the highest fares in Europe and rely on FGW to get them to work and they are entitled to expect better than this 4th class weekly or more recently daily farce.........we constantly hear "it'll get better in a few years" - I have no faith in this at all based on the current incumbents- what a great advert for a new 5 year franchise.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Four Track, Now! on October 16, 2014, 01:00:32 pm
To me, it seems that with a major re-signalling programme, major infrastructure renewals, and a major electrification scheme all under way, as little money as possible will be spent on making the old stuff last a few more months, and puntuality will come a distant second to safety.

Sorry, TaplowGreen, but it will get better in a few years. Until then, it will hopefully stagger along reasonably well.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: broadgage on October 16, 2014, 01:09:36 pm
As I have previously remarked, increasingly we have a fair weather only weekday only railway.
Services at weekends and near holiday times have been disrupted by ongoing "improvement" works that never seem to improve matters.
Monday morning services are liable to disruption from  overrunning engineering works.
Most of us are now aware that large areas of the network can be disabled by a single lightning strike or cable theft.
No one expects a normal service in bad weather.

It now seems that an entirely normal wet spell results in dozens of cancellations and many other services only serving a small portion of the intended route.

Any reasonable person would accept that things go wrong, but surely not this often ? Major problems seem to occur at least once a week, three days last week and once this week.

Whilst most of the problems seem to be network rail, I feel that FGW could respond a bit better. After all signalling disruption is rapidly becoming a normal operating condition !
Since only a limited number of trains can run on certain days, FGW should perhaps give more attention to doubling up DMUs so as to ensure that the reduced number of paths are utilised by full length trains.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 16, 2014, 02:31:31 pm
Given notice the previous evening, I'm sure an effort to double-up tirbos could be made. However, failures of this kind aren't predicable. Thus I think its unfair to expect the operator to do this. It requires planning


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: lordgoata on October 16, 2014, 04:03:59 pm
Forgive me as I know NOTHING about how the railway, depots, stations etc work but, if there are multiple trains standing idle at Reading depot and there is severe disruption in the morning, is there really no one available to move a 3-car into one of the Reading platforms to hook up to another incoming 3-car service from Banbury/Oxford ?

This morning for example, the signal issues were reported before 6am according to JourneyCheck. One of the morning services (something around 7:26) from Goring was cancelled (think its an HST). The following service (7:38) was ontime and relatively quiet for a morning of disruption. By Pangbourne it was busy. By Tilehurst it was solid. Most got off at Reading, only to be replaced with similar numbers (side note, no one stopped the bikes getting on at Reading). By the time we left Twyford it was standing room only.

We pulled up at Maidenhead and the fight to get off ensued, but as I was getting off, one of the platform staff was apologising to those standing in the vestibule as he asked them to move so they could load a wheel chair. It was already standing room only, and that was without those at Maidenhead getting on. I have no idea what the outcome was but I felt sorry for the poor lady in the wheelchair knowing it would be like sardines once everyone else tried to push on.

All of that could have been avoided with a couple of extra carriages at Reading. Yes we may have been delayed a few minutes while it was hitched up, but in the grand scheme of things that would have been nothing.

I know some of the trains at Reading are in for maintenance or whatever, but not all of them are.

And yes this is a genuine question - there is nothing more frustrating than passing the depot full of trains (there were 9 sitting there the other week when the signal issues occurred), when you are crammed in the one that's moving  :(


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Four Track, Now! on October 16, 2014, 06:00:17 pm
A lighter moment - checking on FGW's website for the current state of play, I came across this invaluable snippet of information in the Journey Checker:

Quote
19:34 Bourne End to Maidenhead due 19:45
 This train will now be formed of the usual number of coaches.
 This is due to an earlier train fault.

Eh?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 16, 2014, 08:42:10 pm
I know our local (Thatcham) station master reasonably well. He is very proud of the station and in the early hours of the morning you will see him brushing up rubbish and fag ends from the (non smoking) platforms.

However when he ventures out on to the platform without his broom I've learnt that he is about to impart helpful but bad news. This morning was no exception.

I was in no mad panic to get to london as I had left myself plenty of time and got to my end destination only one minute late.

When I was in the office I was talking to commuters who had come in from Brighton , Colchester and Peterborough and it seems like they all have problems on their lines so we are no alone.

Here is hoping for a better day tomorrow




Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: tomL on October 18, 2014, 12:49:05 pm
Spotted this at Oxford on my journey home last night: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tomlane_web/15560106151/


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: stuving on October 18, 2014, 07:30:18 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-29641605)
Quote
16 October 2014 Last updated at 13:34
Oxfordshire rail works scaled back after service failure
(http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/78035000/jpg/_78035012_c01b7113-7748-4d75-b667-83cc88e220e4.jpg)
Trains were delayed and cancelled

Work on the Great Western mainline through Oxfordshire has been temporarily scaled back after commuters were disrupted by failed signalling.

Network Rail said engineers carrying out piling works had hit a power cable on Monday 6 October which caused the problem.

The firm said: "We have stopped piling until we have reviewed the process that caused the problems."

The work forms part of Network Rail's ^1bn rail electrification project.

The power failure resulted in a severely reduced service into Paddington, adding up to an hour to a journey.

Services to and from the west of England, Swansea, Bristol, Oxford, Reading, Cheltenham Spa and Worcester were also affected.

That was from Thursday, though I don't think it was posted here.

Two points strike me. One is that "engineers carrying out piling works had hit a power cable" still leaves it unclear which of the piling crew's activities did the damage.

The other point is ... Oxfordshire? I though it was near Slough. Does the BBC Oxford know something we don't, or do they not know where Oxfordshire is?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on October 18, 2014, 07:40:54 pm
Maybe Oxfordshire has expanded as far as Slough though no one has told me if so :-)

I got a letter from Network Rail warning me of piling works on the tracks through Maidenhead for the next few weeks and warning there might be noise.. I'm not THAT close to the railway line (probably a five minute walk if I were to be able to walk in a straight line to it) so hopefully it won't be too noisy when they are doing it on the stretch of track nearest my house.. Assuming they do it after that report..


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Surrey 455 on October 18, 2014, 09:50:07 pm
I'm not THAT close to the railway line (probably a five minute walk if I were to be able to walk in a straight line to it)

And how long does it take when sober?  ;D

Apologies for being cheeky.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on October 18, 2014, 10:09:16 pm
I'm not THAT close to the railway line (probably a five minute walk if I were to be able to walk in a straight line to it)

And how long does it take when sober?  ;D

Apologies for being cheeky.

Ha Ha very funny :-) When sober I can't walk through people's houses and gardens so imagine it would be more like ten minutes ;-)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: tomL on October 20, 2014, 08:09:02 am
Quote
Due to signalling problems between Swindon and Didcot Parkway:
Impact:
Train services running through these stations may be delayed. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.

Next up are Didcot Parkway and Swindon as the works head West I guess? Either that or the rain  ::)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: chrisr_75 on October 20, 2014, 12:17:21 pm
The last two freight train derailments on the network investigated by the RAIB have both come back highlighting track faults as a cause.

And a third now - the initial thoery of the cause of the recent coal train derailment in the Vale of Glamorgan is a rail defect...poor, very poor - were no lessons actually learnt from Potters Bar, Grayrigg...?!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-29661936 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-29661936)

There is a link on the above BBC page to the initial RAIB report


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Oxonhutch on October 20, 2014, 12:25:13 pm
Quote
Due to signalling problems between Swindon and Didcot Parkway:
Impact:
Train services running through these stations may be delayed. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.

Next up are Didcot Parkway and Swindon as the works head West I guess? Either that or the rain  ::)


Overrunning over-night engineering works according to the dispatcher at Didcot.  The first up Bristol (1L01) was held 45 minutes at Swindon and was 55 down entering PAD.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 20, 2014, 04:18:14 pm
Next up overnight - ex-Hurricane Gonzalo......good luck in the morning, folks!


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 20, 2014, 04:23:46 pm
And a third now - the initial thoery of the cause of the recent coal train derailment in the Vale of Glamorgan is a rail defect...poor, very poor - were no lessons actually learnt from Potters Bar, Grayrigg...?!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-29661936 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-29661936)

There is a link on the above BBC page to the initial RAIB report

Also discussed on the Coffee Shop forum, at http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=14668.msg163572#msg163572  ;)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: stebbo on October 23, 2014, 11:48:46 am
Just like the freight train derailment at Gloucester back last year.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: tomL on October 23, 2014, 12:44:28 pm
Kind of relevant and a bit belated.

But it seems the network held up relatively well with the weather/'hurricane'.



Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 23, 2014, 12:48:25 pm
Yes, it was fairly tame down south.  The biggest problem with strong winds is the risk of large trees being brought down, and as such there's an element of luck involved as to just how many fall, what time and where.  This time the railway network was fairly 'lucky'.  Mind you, another problem in Autumn is strong winds bringing down a lot of leaves and rain then making them incredibly slippery, so the skills of a driver are often truly tested at such times.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on October 23, 2014, 01:36:00 pm
Evidence of the slipping and sliding, following the leaf fall brought about by the high winds, can be heard when on board.

Many trains I've taken in the past few days have noticeable wheel flats.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 23, 2014, 01:46:26 pm
Evidence of the slipping and sliding, following the leaf fall brought about by the high winds, can be heard when on board.

Many trains I've taken in the past few days have noticeable wheel flats.

I am still baffled as to why in our benign climate such a minor feature of nature which has been occurring since the dawn of time has the potential to bring chaos to the railways (along with almost every other form of weather to be fair!)

Surely there must be a way of addressing it? (other than felling every tree within a 5 mile radius of the line?)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: chrisr_75 on October 23, 2014, 02:16:21 pm
I am still baffled as to why in our benign climate such a minor feature of nature which has been occurring since the dawn of time has the potential to bring chaos to the railways (along with almost every other form of weather to be fair!)

Surely there must be a way of addressing it? (other than felling every tree within a 5 mile radius of the line?)

There are certain species (as I recall the dreaded sycamore is a particular offender) who's leaves produce a more slippery rail head which are specifically targetted and are removed. Equally, species prone to dropping large limbs or suffering other wind damage should also be targetted for removal.

This is also something which has arisen since the demise of steam traction. When everything was steam powered the trackside areas & embankments were religiously cleared of virtually all vegetation to reduce the incidences of lineside fires. Obviously that was no longer such an issue with diesel & electric trains, so the lineside vegetation was allowed to flourish from the late 1960's onwards. Considerable effort over the past 10-15 years has been put in to manage trackside vegetation from a point of view of improving rail head conditions and visibility from level crossings & the lineside.

There is also the issue that many trains are now disc braked, which means that the wheel treads are no longer cleared each time the brakes are applied and brake performance is massively superior with disc brakes (equally as is acceleration) which in itself raises the likelihood of a slip.

So, in other words, the problem has existed forever, just more of an issue in the past 50 years or so since the advent of diesel & electric traction and is an evolving problem as other technologies change.

We now also have the situation that these areas have become important wildlife corridors and habitats, so need to be carefully managed.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Electric train on October 23, 2014, 02:56:00 pm
I am still baffled as to why in our benign climate such a minor feature of nature which has been occurring since the dawn of time has the potential to bring chaos to the railways (along with almost every other form of weather to be fair!)

Surely there must be a way of addressing it? (other than felling every tree within a 5 mile radius of the line?)

There are certain species (as I recall the dreaded sycamore is a particular offender) who's leaves produce a more slippery rail head which are specifically targetted and are removed. Equally, species prone to dropping large limbs or suffering other wind damage should also be targetted for removal.

This is also something which has arisen since the demise of steam traction. When everything was steam powered the trackside areas & embankments were religiously cleared of virtually all vegetation to reduce the incidences of lineside fires. Obviously that was no longer such an issue with diesel & electric trains, so the lineside vegetation was allowed to flourish from the late 1960's onwards. Considerable effort over the past 10-15 years has been put in to manage trackside vegetation from a point of view of improving rail head conditions and visibility from level crossings & the lineside.

There is also the issue that many trains are now disc braked, which means that the wheel treads are no longer cleared each time the brakes are applied and brake performance is massively superior with disc brakes (equally as is acceleration) which in itself raises the likelihood of a slip.

So, in other words, the problem has existed forever, just more of an issue in the past 50 years or so since the advent of diesel & electric traction and is an evolving problem as other technologies change.

We now also have the situation that these areas have become important wildlife corridors and habitats, so need to be carefully managed.

It is also the case that traction units are much lighter, the heavier 100 tonne locomotives had far better adhesion however their power to weight ratio was poor, modern multiple unit traction with distributed traction along the train (or at least a couple of coaches) are more energy efficient, lower rolling resistance etc however a little bit of "grease" (ie leaves and moisture) and they don't have the mass to displace the "grease"


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Western Enterprise on October 23, 2014, 02:58:06 pm


Many trains I've taken in the past few days have noticeable wheel flats.

I was waiting at Slough last night when a HST ECS came through on the up relief.
The last power car's wheels were making a hell of a noise, it sounded oval shaped. Possibly going for repair / lift ?
There was that brilliant tv programme recently where they showed them changing a bogie overnight, but that my have been Laira.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: chrisr_75 on October 23, 2014, 03:07:51 pm
It is also the case that traction units are much lighter, the heavier 100 tonne locomotives had far better adhesion however their power to weight ratio was poor, modern multiple unit traction with distributed traction along the train (or at least a couple of coaches) are more energy efficient, lower rolling resistance etc however a little bit of "grease" (ie leaves and moisture) and they don't have the mass to displace the "grease"

Not forgetting a massive reduction in driving wheel circumference which will alter the dynamics considerably.

Also of note for anyone who hasn't had the joy of working on a railway in wet weather, is that if you step (strictly against the rules!) on a wet but otherwise clean rail, you pretty quickly discover that a rubber boot sole slips as if it was on smooth ice, so it gives a bit of an appreciation of what happens to a steel wheel when you stick a bit of wet, slippery, partially decomposed leaf matter in between it and the rail!


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on October 24, 2014, 01:40:30 am
A major problem with leaf fall after high winds in early autumn is that the leaves are still quite green and thus full of moisture.

Last year I learnt this at personal cost. Moist leaves on the steps outside my flat led to an A over T moment and a broken coccyx. Still gives me occasional gyp.

Credit to the train drivers out there though. Takes some skill to drive a train when rail head conditions are poor. Better to have a few 50p shaped wheels than a SPAD or unintended meeting with a buffer stop.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Jason on October 24, 2014, 08:34:47 am
Today's treat is a broken down freight train at Langley, with 20 minute delays into Paddington. I've been stop/start since before Slough.
Edit : I'm already 40 mins late, still nr Southall


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on October 24, 2014, 09:09:43 am
I'm guessing that the broken down freight is the one in the RTT link below, the GBRf 0203 from Moreton-on-Lugg to Harlow Mill:

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/R02683/2014/10/24/advanced (http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/R02683/2014/10/24/advanced)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: eightf48544 on October 24, 2014, 10:01:04 am
Looking at the real time log it looks as if it mangaged to break down  between Langley (pass 1E) and and the entrance to the  West Drayton Up goods Loop (Just West of Iver Station). Where it was booked for a 1 hour 46 wait.

Looks like Murphy's Law (Rail) A train will always breakdownw in the most inconvinient place!


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Jason on October 24, 2014, 10:05:53 am
Looks like Murphy's Law (Rail) A train will always breakdownw in the most inconvinient place!

Indeed, I was 65 mins late into PAD.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on October 24, 2014, 10:08:14 am
Looking at the real time log it looks as if it mangaged to break down  between Langley (pass 1E) and and the entrance to the  West Drayton Up goods Loop (Just West of Iver Station). Where it was booked for a 1 hour 46 wait.

Indeed, I was 65 mins late into PAD.

And ironically, after having caused approx 1 hour delays to many FGW trains this morning, it looks like the freight has since passed Acton Wells Jct running just 30 seconds late!


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 24, 2014, 10:08:34 am
Today's treat is a broken down freight train at Langley, with 20 minute delays into Paddington. I've been stop/start since before Slough.
Edit : I'm already 40 mins late, still nr Southall

Nice to have a bit of variety at least, makes a change from signal failures, FGW train failures,staff "unavailability", leaves, rainfall, sunshine etc?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: stuving on October 24, 2014, 10:20:09 am
As far as I can see on RTT, that goods train (663V) rejoined the Up Relief as scheduled, and has passed Willesden 3L. 1P91 went through Langley P4 after it.

The train that's showing as lost in transit isn't a goods train, it's 2P17 RDG-PAD, which shows as still in Langley P4. So 663V would have had the relief line all to itself to West Ealing. The next few trains crossed to the Up Main at Dolphin Jcn.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on October 24, 2014, 10:43:31 am
Just heard a rumour that a Turbo has now failed at Ealing Broadway, I believe it might be 2P34 0834 DID-PAD which according to RTT has gone nowhere since 1008. Never rains...


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: tomL on October 24, 2014, 10:49:43 am
Just heard a rumour that a Turbo has now failed at Ealing Broadway, I believe it might be 2P34 0834 DID-PAD which according to RTT has gone nowhere since 1008. Never rains...


Journeycheck has changed...

Quote
Due to a broken down train between Slough and Hayes & Harlington all lines are disrupted.

EDIT: 2P34 has passed Acton West 70 down. Ouch.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Jason on October 24, 2014, 10:57:16 am
Just heard a rumour that a Turbo has now failed at Ealing Broadway, I believe it might be 2P34 0834 DID-PAD which according to RTT has gone nowhere since 1008. Never rains...

That's going to go down well at the intermediate stations. Langley, Southall, Hayes were all packed with people as I crawled through on the 'fast' line. I could see the station boards showing multiple cancellations and the advice on Twitter was to go direct to PAD and double back to intermediate stops.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 24, 2014, 12:10:23 pm
...........not sure if the rumours are true, but I hear the new FGW staff uniform has been inspired by the Keystone Kops...........


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bobm on October 24, 2014, 12:15:59 pm
No it was this one - 05:54 Acton to West Drayton freight

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/H34970/2014/10/24/advanced (http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/H34970/2014/10/24/advanced)

"Your" one (http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/R02683/2014/10/24/advanced (http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/R02683/2014/10/24/advanced)) was one of those caught up behind it.

Edit note: This was in reply to a now edited comment from TaplowGreen replaced by the post above.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: stuving on October 24, 2014, 01:19:36 pm
I remain unconvinced.

2P17 is now shown on RTT as
Quote
This service was cancelled between Langley and London Paddington due to a problem with the traction equipment (MC).

639Z 0554 Acton T.C. to West Drayton A.R.C. went "off the record" from 06:21 to 08:41, but the delays started after 07:30. I guess there are quite a few places for a goods train to lurk without getting its presence detected.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Jason on October 24, 2014, 02:03:05 pm
I guess there are quite a few places for a goods train to lurk without getting its presence detected.

Python-esque scenes spring to mind of a bloody great freight service hiding behind trees etc... ;)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bobm on October 24, 2014, 03:44:35 pm
I remain unconvinced.

2P17 is now shown on RTT as
Quote
This service was cancelled between Langley and London Paddington due to a problem with the traction equipment (MC).


2P17 was trapped behind the failed freight and was terminated at Langley before being sent back to Slough to form another service.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Jason on October 24, 2014, 06:24:18 pm
I'm now delayed 15 mins passing Maidenhead on the way home due to an earlier train fault.
This day is just total fail.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on October 24, 2014, 07:47:57 pm
This day is just total fail.

And it looks like it's by no means over yet, services currently at a stand in the West Drayton area, FGW tweeting about a train having 'hit something'.

EDIT: Now sadly being confirmed as a fatality.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on October 24, 2014, 08:15:48 pm
This day is just total fail.

And it looks like it's by no means over yet, services currently at a stand in the West Drayton area, FGW tweeting about a train having 'hit something'.

EDIT: Now sadly being confirmed as a fatality.

Discussion on this latest incident, as it's unrelated to to Thames Valley signalling issues, is in a separate topic:

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=14791.msg164034#msg164034


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: NickB on October 29, 2014, 07:27:57 am
Another signalling debacle this morning. Fast line between maidenhead and slough is closed due to signalling problems apparently. From the HST movements it looks like both ways.

This morning my First Class ticket has bought me a cramped standing space outside the revolving toilet.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bobm on October 29, 2014, 07:46:55 am
Both Up and Down main closed due to a points failure at Maidenhead.

Temporary repair made to get by the rush hour.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on October 29, 2014, 08:32:07 am
Also just to add to the mess, the 0709 RDG-PAD stopper failed to the east of Reading blocking the UR for about 20 minutes or so.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 29, 2014, 08:40:59 am
Another signalling debacle this morning. Fast line between maidenhead and slough is closed due to signalling problems apparently. From the HST movements it looks like both ways.

This morning my First Class ticket has bought me a cramped standing space outside the revolving toilet.


I don't think anyone is surprised any more to be honest, it's pretty much a daily event on our basket case of a railway.......pal of mine was stuck on the stopper BBM mentioned, late for work for the 7th time this month, Boss has warned him that although he understands the situation he can't tolerate it for much longer.......does losing your job count as "consequential losses" I wonder?  >:(


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on October 29, 2014, 08:48:09 am
Another fatality somewhere? Journeycheck reporting delays from Swindon towards PAD


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Jason on October 29, 2014, 08:53:55 am
Another fatality somewhere? Journeycheck reporting delays from Swindon towards PAD

Between Bath & Bristol is what has been reported, 45-60 minute delays.
Some services due through RDG around ~07:30 were showing 30 minute delay. There was an earlier trespass incident reported, I don't know how all this is interrelated.

I left RDG on time on a fast service and lost 17 minutes getting to PAD.



Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 29, 2014, 09:55:23 am
Another fatality somewhere? Journeycheck reporting delays from Swindon towards PAD

Between Bath & Bristol is what has been reported, 45-60 minute delays.
Some services due through RDG around ~07:30 were showing 30 minute delay. There was an earlier trespass incident reported, I don't know how all this is interrelated.

I left RDG on time on a fast service and lost 17 minutes getting to PAD.




Twitter was reporting a body found on the track between Bath/Bristol earlier.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bobm on October 29, 2014, 12:22:03 pm
Reported here http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=14829.0 (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=14829.0)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 30, 2014, 09:08:27 am
Yet more chaos late last night, signal problems again, services after 11pm hugely delayed and cancelled - people stranded until well into the early hours...


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Jason on October 30, 2014, 11:02:45 am
Yet more chaos late last night

Yikes. I was quite lucky this morning then to be delayed by only 10 minutes through Maidenhead due to congestion behind a train that earlier had difficulties.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: tomL on October 30, 2014, 02:00:42 pm
Another problem. This time between Swindon and Didcot.

Edit: Looks like it was a (relatively, compared to the others) minor thing...

Quote
Following signalling problems between Swindon and Didcot Parkway all lines have now reopened.
Impact:
Train services running through these stations are returning to normal but some services may still be delayed by up to 30 mins. Normal services will be provided as soon as possible.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on November 01, 2014, 08:41:35 pm
Signalling problems again today..From Journeycheck..

"Delays to services between Ealing Broadway and Hayes & Harlington Due to signalling problems between Ealing Broadway and Hayes & Harlington some Reading bound fast lines are blocked.
Impact:
Train services running through these stations may be delayed by up to 10 mins. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed."


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on November 01, 2014, 08:42:15 pm
And also from Twitter:

"Following signal problems the 18:58 Paddington to Penzance service will be going back to Southall. Updates to follow"


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: John R on November 01, 2014, 09:19:47 pm
Curiously this appears (according to RTT) to form a booked service from Swindon to Westbury and is just about to pass MKM around 45 down (without stopping for clarification).


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on November 01, 2014, 09:22:57 pm
From what I could see on realtime trains it was to Plymouth not Penzance but maybe there were in a hurry to post it.. It does look like it did a bit of reversing around Southall according to realtime trains but as you say is on it's way again now

Also and maybe related or not there was another journeycheck entry for the 19.22 Paddington to Oxford service:

"This train will call additionally at Southall.
This is due to an unusually large passenger flow."

It makes me wonder if it was related to the other post or just a coincidence



Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: grahame on November 01, 2014, 09:24:13 pm
Curiously this appears (according to RTT) to form a booked service from Swindon to Westbury and is just about to pass MKM around 45 down (without stopping for clarification).

Lots of work on the Berks and Hants this weekend and for the next five or six weekends.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: a-driver on November 01, 2014, 09:38:44 pm
Southall West Loop was "converted" by Network Rail for use by passenger trains because of a points failure.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Jason on November 03, 2014, 05:05:38 pm
Is it time for a November thread yet ? The problem is at Southall according to Twitter.

Delays to services between Ealing Broadway and Hayes & Harlington
Due to signalling problems between Ealing Broadway and Hayes & Harlington trains have to run at reduced speed on the Reading bound fast line.
Train services running through these stations may be delayed by up to 20 mins. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on November 03, 2014, 05:26:28 pm
Is it time for a November thread yet ?

Topic heading updated (yet again) accordingly. CfN.  ;)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on November 03, 2014, 06:20:42 pm
Brave! To only add this month makes one think everything will be ok next month! :-)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: NickB on November 03, 2014, 06:21:44 pm
18.18 to oxford is dangerously overcrowded.  >:(


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: NickB on November 03, 2014, 06:32:15 pm
18.18 to oxford is dangerously overcrowded.  >:(

Looks like the 18.18, which is always rammed anyway, has picked up much of the contents of the delayed 17.49.

Incidentally have any other season ticket holders been contacted by fgw about the early October delays?  Thought we were due a refund or such like...


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on November 03, 2014, 07:27:50 pm
1749 to Worcester shrub hill was (1) announced on the train as delayed by a train problem, (2) once we've all got off then it's announced as being about to depart, (3) repeat of (1), (4) repeat of (2).
Leaves Paddington about 25 late. At Reading it's announced that it's only going to Evesham. As we pass Didcot it's announced as going through to shrub hill. Now at Oxford. Who knows...


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on November 03, 2014, 07:29:02 pm
Brave! To only add this month makes one think everything will be ok next month! :-)

I toyed with the alternative of renaming this topic "Thames Valley signalling problems causing delays - ongoing discussion", but I felt that would be the act of a pessimist ...  ;) :D ;D


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on November 03, 2014, 07:48:16 pm
I was on the 17.49.. I got off when we were told they didn't think they could mend it.. I ignored the advice we were given to get the 18.18 as I know it's already a crowded train so headed for 18.12 Henley train.. As I get to platform 11 I could hear the 17.49 being announced so headed back over there.. But no.. It was still broken so went back to the 18.12.

That is a delight in itself as it follows a stopper (even though it only really stops at Slough before Maidenhead) so is incredibly slow and tortuous.. Can't be much fun for the driver really either.. The good thing about that is that no one wants to get it so lots of room for me  ::) ;D

In the end we arrived back in Maidenhead about 8 minutes after the delayed 17.49 and whilst the 18.18 was still decamping people onto platform 1..

Note to self.. No point trying to get home early.. Next time go to the pub instead  ;D ;D


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on November 03, 2014, 07:52:09 pm
Note to self.. No point trying to get home early.. Next time go to the pub instead  ;D ;D

That would be the act of a pragmatist.  ;) :D ;D


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Oxonhutch on November 03, 2014, 08:07:38 pm
Incidentally have any other season ticket holders been contacted by fgw about the early October delays?  Thought we were due a refund or such like...

No, and I have been looking out for it. I did though get invited by FGW to undertake a survey for season ticket holders in light of the disruptions of late.

A refund has been declared (https://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/Home/contents/travel-advice) and I believe it is a Void Day, but it doesn't specify it in their letter (https://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/-/media/PDF/contents/travel-advice/october%20void%20days/Dear%20Customer%20annual.pdf). Clue is in the title though ...

[Edited to say...] All the Void Days, including the infamous wet week in February are detailed here (https://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/About-Us/Customer-services/Refunds).


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on November 03, 2014, 08:21:15 pm
Note to self.. No point trying to get home early.. Next time go to the pub instead  ;D ;D

That would be the act of a pragmatist.  ;) :D ;D

And a realist  ;D


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 04, 2014, 05:53:17 am
18.18 to oxford is dangerously overcrowded.  >:(

I've seen the pictures of this service on arrival at Maidenhead (I think)- absolutely unbelievable, must be close to worst overcrowding ever on a single service?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: NickB on November 04, 2014, 08:13:51 am
Where can I see that?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 04, 2014, 08:41:20 am
Where can I see that?

Someone had taken a picture and put it on Twitter.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Jason on November 04, 2014, 09:05:32 am
Cancellations to services between Worcester Shrub Hill and Oxford

Due to poor rail conditions between Worcester Shrub Hill and Oxford all lines are blocked.

Train services running through these stations may be cancelled or delayed by up to 60 mins. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.

Last Updated 04/11/2014 09:00

Honeybourne would appear to be the problem spot.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Jason on November 04, 2014, 09:07:40 am
1749 to Worcester shrub hill was (1) announced on the train as delayed by a train problem

It must be bad luck but three times in the last few weeks I've planned to board this service at Paddington only for it to fail or leave late due to attendance of fitters.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on November 04, 2014, 09:16:07 am
Cancellations to services between Worcester Shrub Hill and Oxford

Due to poor rail conditions between Worcester Shrub Hill and Oxford all lines are blocked.

Interesting note on RTT for the 0648 from PAD to Great Malvern which appears to have only got as far as Moreton-in-Marsh:

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/C40903/2014/11/04/advanced (http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/C40903/2014/11/04/advanced)

Quote from: Real Time Trains
This service was cancelled between Moreton-in-Marsh and Great Malvern due to it being Autumn (TT).

 ;D


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: NickB on November 04, 2014, 09:24:13 am
18.18 to oxford is dangerously overcrowded.  >:(

I've seen the pictures of this service on arrival at Maidenhead (I think)- absolutely unbelievable, must be close to worst overcrowding ever on a single service?

Yes, the 18.18 came in on Platform 1 rather than Platform 3.  Lets face it, neither platform can adequately cope with the quantity of passengers on an overcrowded 18.18 but Platform 1 is definitely worst.
Overcrowding was such that passengers couldn't actually get off the train due to numbers on the platform.  There was much jostling and the chance of someone taking a slip down the gap was high - people were having to push themselves away from the train.  There was certainly no gap between crowds and train before the doors were shut and the train departed.  Being half-term (it seems) there were a number of small children in the crowd too.

No platform staff at all.





Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on November 04, 2014, 10:24:06 am
I can't obviously see the picture on twitter.. Did they put it against @FGW?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 04, 2014, 12:49:11 pm
I can't obviously see the picture on twitter.. Did they put it against @FGW?

Yes just after 7pm last night......also read on Twitter that one very busy train went straight through Maidenhead without stopping last night due to driver error?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on November 04, 2014, 05:11:49 pm
Any chance of putting a link on here? Twitter is obviously being selective over what I am allowed to see and what I'm not :-)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on November 04, 2014, 05:52:58 pm
Found it now.. no thanks to twitter  ::)

And that is what happens when you try and get two busy trains worth of people onto one of those two trains.. That train was at Maidenhead for 3 minutes according to realtime trains.. 3 minutes worth of people getting off a train is quite a lot.. I'm really glad I didn't try and get on it in the first place, especially as I got back at the same time but in relative (if not slow and tortuous) comfort..

Which reminds me.. The train I was on had working air-con.. finally.. just in time for winter  ::) ::)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 04, 2014, 06:21:05 pm
Found it now.. no thanks to twitter  ::)

And that is what happens when you try and get two busy trains worth of people onto one of those two trains.. That train was at Maidenhead for 3 minutes according to realtime trains.. 3 minutes worth of people getting off a train is quite a lot.. I'm really glad I didn't try and get on it in the first place, especially as I got back at the same time but in relative (if not slow and tortuous) comfort..

Which reminds me.. The train I was on had working air-con.. finally.. just in time for winter  ::) ::)

Absolutely shocking that there were no staff on the platform  - one of these days there will be a tragedy.....FGW simply have to take responsibility for ensuring that trains are not crush loaded to dangerous proportions......and  yes OK maybe people should sometimes go for a pint and wait until things quieten down a bit rather than trying to cram on but at the moment with the service as flaky as it is on a daily basis that isn't practical - responsibility overall for safety sits fairly and squarely with FGW.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on November 04, 2014, 06:27:32 pm
Realtime trains showed it as swapping from platform 3 to 1 not long before it arrived so I expect the staff didn't know either until it was too late.. It's not easy to get up the stairs to platform 1 when hundreds of people are descending even had they tried once they were aware..

At least there is also a step free exit into the Shoppenhangers road car park from platform 1.. Although it looks like most people preferred to wait for the stairs


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: NickB on November 04, 2014, 06:32:55 pm
Any chance of posting the pic, or a link to it?

Only a handful of people went to shoppenhangars (incl me) as the crowd was too big to pass on the platform.
To put things in context I walked the full length of the 5/6 car service which had been filled to bursting with people standing in between seats. If there were 50 on the whole train after maidenhead id be gobsmacked.
So who's good at maths and estimating the Maidenhead passengers on board?? ;)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: grahame on November 04, 2014, 07:11:20 pm
To put things in context I walked the full length of the 5/6 car service which had been filled to bursting with people standing in between seats. If there were 50 on the whole train after maidenhead id be gobsmacked.

Logically, that leads to some very interesting thoughts ... if there's empty seats beyond [name place] on the trip out from London, why not split the train and send the extra carriages back to strengthen another train - resulting in more seats out of London.    I know I'm going to get shot down on time taken to split and join trains, line capacity issues, ... but it's an interesting thought.  And perhaps something that will be borne in mind for whole trains rather than just parts of them come service recasts/


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Timmer on November 04, 2014, 07:27:20 pm

The train I was on had working air-con.. finally.. just in time for winter  ::) ::)
Good for stopping the windows getting steamed up so you can see out of them  ;)...I'll get my coat.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on November 04, 2014, 08:03:07 pm
NickB - after lots of fruitless searching I think I did a search on @FGW and then selected photos.. or something.. it's not easy to find otherwise.. That is why I find twitter such hard work.  If I can find it again, and if it's appropriate to post it on here (does anyone know if it is?) I'll do so..


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: johoare on November 04, 2014, 08:22:39 pm
I've just found it again.. It is now easier if you do a twitter search on @Nationalrailenq and then select pictures.. At the moment (if you have pictures shown in grid style) it is third row down on the left hand side


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on November 04, 2014, 10:20:23 pm
Is this the image we are talking about:

https://twitter.com/ianpoulter99/status/529347939286921216/photo/1

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B1ifHg-CMAAUm5D.jpg)

By the way, this isn't the Ian Poulter that likes to spoil good walks (after Mark Twain). Although from his Twitter profile he is quite sporty. Maybe he should have tried a bit of crowd surfing.

Thames Valley commuters. You have my sympathy.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 04, 2014, 10:43:56 pm
Very busy indeed - though I've seen similar scenes at various stations over the years at times of disruption or major events.  The narrow stairwell at Maidenhead platform 1 doesn't help.  I can't see how a member of platform staff on the platform would have made one jot of difference though (other than to possibly try and divert a few more people out of the station via the car park - which is quite a long diversion if you're not going that way).


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: chrisr_75 on November 04, 2014, 11:22:24 pm
I can't see how a member of platform staff on the platform would have made one jot of difference though (other than to possibly try and divert a few more people out of the station via the car park - which is quite a long diversion if you're not going that way).

Perhaps to supervise the dispatch and make sure the train departs without anyone having slipped between it and the platform, or perhaps (clothing/bag) trapped in a door, unnoticed by the driver?! These things do happen and I believe is one of the reasons why you see platform dispatchers on the Underground during the peaks.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on November 04, 2014, 11:34:38 pm
Yes, on seeing that picture my concern was with the driver of the DOO Turbo.

Can't be nice to see that crowd on the monitor/mirror when preparing to depart. Fingers crossed and hope for the best?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 05, 2014, 01:02:00 am
Yes, on seeing that picture my concern was with the driver of the DOO Turbo.

Can't be nice to see that crowd on the monitor/mirror when preparing to depart. Fingers crossed and hope for the best?

As a driver who's responsible for the despatch you wait until you are 100% sure it's safe to depart, however long that takes.  I believe the train was stationary for three-and-a-half-minutes.  Maidenhead platform 1 has no mirrors or monitors, so you use the 'look back' method.  No fingers should ever be crossed.  Simple as that.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: chrisr_75 on November 05, 2014, 09:51:59 am
Yes, on seeing that picture my concern was with the driver of the DOO Turbo.

Can't be nice to see that crowd on the monitor/mirror when preparing to depart. Fingers crossed and hope for the best?

As a driver who's responsible for the despatch you wait until you are 100% sure it's safe to depart, however long that takes.  I believe the train was stationary for three-and-a-half-minutes.  Maidenhead platform 1 has no mirrors or monitors, so you use the 'look back' method.  No fingers should ever be crossed.  Simple as that.

Surely an extra pair of eyes or two on the platform would make that job easier and more watertight from a safety perspective?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: BBM on November 05, 2014, 10:37:24 am
Yes, on seeing that picture my concern was with the driver of the DOO Turbo.

Can't be nice to see that crowd on the monitor/mirror when preparing to depart. Fingers crossed and hope for the best?

As a driver who's responsible for the despatch you wait until you are 100% sure it's safe to depart, however long that takes.  I believe the train was stationary for three-and-a-half-minutes.  Maidenhead platform 1 has no mirrors or monitors, so you use the 'look back' method.  No fingers should ever be crossed.  Simple as that.

Surely an extra pair of eyes or two on the platform would make that job easier and more watertight from a safety perspective?

I've used that exit from platform 1 on a few occasions when changing from a fast service not stopping at TWY over to a stopper from platform 3. It really does strike me as being a cheap stop-gap solution and surely something better is now needed if that platform now gets much more regular use these days.

On the subject of overcrowding photos on Twitter, a user called Janine Giovanni posted the below picture last night on FGW's timeline. She didn't give the location but I believe it might have been at Ealing Broadway, there were a few angry tweets last night from people with extended waits for Down trains there at around 1845-1915, some were saying they were unable to board trains.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B1nuSgNIcAAXqM9.jpg)

EDIT: Apologies, forgot to include the link: https://twitter.com/janinegiovanni/status/529716434814119936/photo/1 (https://twitter.com/janinegiovanni/status/529716434814119936/photo/1)


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Western Enterprise on November 05, 2014, 11:26:45 am

Surely an extra pair of eyes or two on the platform would make that job easier and more watertight from a safety perspective?

There have been occasions when a member of staff(s) has been on the platform and asked people to keep behind the yellow line, obviously to help dispatch. Don^t know what happened this time, perhaps too interested in checking tickets at turnstiles^.  :(
Being held up for 3 minutes on the down fast (plus deceleration and acceleration) is going to have lots of re-percussions further ^up^ the line.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: bignosemac on November 05, 2014, 12:02:33 pm
Apologies if my 'Fingers crossed' comment came across as flippant. Not my intention.

With it being the 'look back' method I'd be even more concerned about DOO when a platform is that crowded. What does the driver do? Keep looking back until the whole train is clear of the platform and not look forward? Or switch between craning his neck out and checking the line ahead? Or just, after doors closed and interlocked, watch the road ahead?



Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: NickB on November 05, 2014, 12:11:24 pm
Apologies if my 'Fingers crossed' comment came across as flippant. Not my intention.

With it being the 'look back' method I'd be even more concerned about DOO when a platform is that crowded. What does the driver do? Keep looking back until the whole train is clear of the platform and not look forward? Or switch between craning his neck out and checking the line ahead? Or just, after doors closed and interlocked, watch the road ahead?

I can tell you what did happen, as I was walking towards the driver away from the crowds and towards the carpark.
Doors shut, driver window closed.  Away.  Definitely 200+ people still on platform, and definitely the wrong side of the yellow in large numbers.
I don't know what the driver could have done differently without holding up the line for >10mins.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: chrisr_75 on November 05, 2014, 12:52:57 pm
Apologies if my 'Fingers crossed' comment came across as flippant. Not my intention.

With it being the 'look back' method I'd be even more concerned about DOO when a platform is that crowded. What does the driver do? Keep looking back until the whole train is clear of the platform and not look forward? Or switch between craning his neck out and checking the line ahead? Or just, after doors closed and interlocked, watch the road ahead?

I can tell you what did happen, as I was walking towards the driver away from the crowds and towards the carpark.
Doors shut, driver window closed.  Away.  Definitely 200+ people still on platform, and definitely the wrong side of the yellow in large numbers.
I don't know what the driver could have done differently without holding up the line for >10mins.

In my opinion waiting until everyone on the platform was safely clear of the train, even if it causes a delay would've been the right thing to do, especially without any assistance from platform staff. A small delay of 10 mins or so has to be better than someone not going home. The driver should not, under any circumstances whatsoever, be questioned on such a decision surrounding safety of passengers, staff, equipment or infrastructure, even if it results in his/her train and any other behind being delayed. The recent incident of a woman being trapped in a train door at Newcastle is a prime example of what can go wrong with train doors & when staff fail or are otherwise unable to complete their pre-departure checks correctly.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: NickB on November 05, 2014, 01:46:13 pm
Yep.
I saw a number of people unable to disembark due to the whole platform being full.  They were directly in the doorways, already braced for the doors to close on them and shouting at passengers on the platform to make way to let them off before the doors closed.

TTBOMK they made it off eventually and didn't have to go to Twyford.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 05, 2014, 01:49:26 pm
Absolutely correct, and at least one of the station staff should have been on the platform ensuring the safety of the dispatch, they must have known that this service was dangerously crush loaded and if the platform changed from 3 to 1 at short notice the driver should have waited until there was a member of staff on Platform 1 to make sure the situation was safe before opening the doors - knowing Maidenhead station as I do, staff can often be found congregating around the heater in the main entrance near the ticket gates.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on November 05, 2014, 02:04:17 pm
And how, prey, would that staff member be able to check/help the driver?

They'd simply end up being another human in the crush, unable to see more than, and possibly less than, the driver.

I suggest that the driver ought to have waited for the platform to clear.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: stuving on November 05, 2014, 02:11:40 pm
If the platform is too crowded for a train to start and very slowly leave, is it possible to safely run non-stop trains through it? Doesn't that have to wait for a much lower passenger density - at the very least least none in front of the line (depending on the line speed)? So the knock-on delay isn't going to be much if anything at all.


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 05, 2014, 03:24:27 pm
And how, prey, would that staff member be able to check/help the driver?

They'd simply end up being another human in the crush, unable to see more than, and possibly less than, the driver.

I suggest that the driver ought to have waited for the platform to clear.

.......erm.....by standing by the Driver's cab and letting him know when the platform is clear? I'd suggest the delay is a price worth paying rather than someone ended up between the platform and the train?

As delays seem to be Business as usual for every other reason for the last 6 weeks I'm sure a few minutes could be tolerated for Safety? In my industry it comes above all else.

If FGW allows trains to depart in dangerously overcrowded conditions and  disgorges passengers onto similarly overcrowded/dangerous platforms then the onus is on them to ensure safety, not the passengers .


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on November 05, 2014, 04:18:46 pm
Of some relevance here is the report from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch into the sad incident in Liverpool on 22 October 2011: see http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=9790.msg121102#msg121102


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: ChrisB on November 05, 2014, 04:34:33 pm
I suggest that the driver ought to have waited for the platform to clear.

.......erm.....by standing by the Driver's cab and letting him know when the platform is clear? I'd suggest the delay is a price worth paying rather than someone ended up between the platform and the train?

Who said anything about no delay? Please read what I wrote above.

BUT - little purpose in him/her standing by the cab? Just as easy for the driver to look out frankly. Better further down the train ensuring that everyone has alighted that needs to & signal doors close?


Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 05, 2014, 08:10:11 pm
    Apologies if my 'Fingers crossed' comment came across as flippant. Not my intention.

    With it being the 'look back' method I'd be even more concerned about DOO when a platform is that crowded. What does the driver do? Keep looking back until the whole train is clear of the platform and not look forward? Or switch between craning his neck out and checking the line ahead? Or just, after doors closed and interlocked, watch the road ahead?

    I can tell you what did happen, as I was walking towards the driver away from the crowds and towards the carpark.
    Doors shut, driver window closed.  Away.  Definitely 200+ people still on platform, and definitely the wrong side of the yellow in large numbers.
    I don't know what the driver could have done differently without holding up the line for >10mins.

    I suggest that the driver ought to have waited for the platform to clear.

    .......erm.....by standing by the Driver's cab and letting him know when the platform is clear? I'd suggest the delay is a price worth paying rather than someone ended up between the platform and the train?

    Who said anything about no delay? Please read what I wrote above.

    BUT - little purpose in him/her standing by the cab? Just as easy for the driver to look out frankly. Better further down the train ensuring that everyone has alighted that needs to & signal doors close?

    Interesting arguments coming forward on this one.  I'm with ChrisB and speak as someone who has self despatched my train at incredibly busy stations many, many times over the years.  My reasons are:
    • The procedure at Maidenhead is for a driver to self despatch.  If you then start altering that arrangement ad-hoc then you run the risk of not coming to a clear understanding with those staff members on the platform who are trying to help.  Does a wave of an arm from a member of staff two carriages away mean it's ok to leave, or does it mean there's a mother and pushchair about to try and alight from those doors?
    • Personally, I find a 'look back' dispatch is often better than using the mirrors which are open to glare, distortion, misting up etc. - and when you're looking back from the drivers cab your eye-line is pretty much perfectly in line with the doors, so if you can see the back of the train you know it's clear.  The view from a mirror is not so in line.  Having platform staff turn up and get in the way of that view can be a hindrance.  Having them stand by the cab means they have no better view than the driver does.

    However, assuming NickB's observations are accurate (though I'd be amazed if it took more than ten minutes for the platform to clear as he suggest), then despite the driver despatching using the correct procedure (once you have 'door interlock' you then concentrate on what's in front rather than behind as you depart) if the platform was as congested as in the picture then he/she was foolish to depart.  You wait until it's clear enough that you're confident it's safe to depart, however long that takes.

    There will always be some form of risk at the 'platform/train interface', and whether, as trains get busier and busier, the despatch procedures at Maidenhead need to be looked into is another matter, but for me there is a far greater risk from passengers standing close to the edge as a fast train rushes through at Maidenhead, than there is on a train departing which passengers know is there because they've alighted from it.[/list]


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Super Guard on November 05, 2014, 08:44:56 pm
    How about someone looking out of the rear cab window to see the train away safely, with the option of stopping the train in an emergency...?  ;) :-X


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on November 05, 2014, 08:45:46 pm
    As someone who has self despatched at Maidenhead with that service from platform 1 previously it doesn't take that long for passengers to filter off the platform enough for you to safely despatch the train.
    Maidenhead you have quite a good view of the whole length of the train.  I will personally self despatch the train once I have a clear view of the whole length of the train for 20-30 seconds.  By a clear view I mean the width 2 people.  The width of 2 people for the entire length of the train ensures that everyone has alighted the train.  
    What you tend to find is that passengers alighting first tend to by in a hurry for whatever reason and will jostle and brush alongside the train.  Those that alight last tend to calmly wait and filter off the platform and not come into contact with the train.
    However, I'm in the school that will look back until the entire length of the train has cleared the platform where I consider it safe enough to do so.  I do this at every platform where the signal is displaying a green and there are no track workers, foot crossings etc in front of the train.
    To shut the doors and then shut your drivers window in my opinion is dangerous.  In that time any incident could of happened on the platform, you should always look back until, at the very least, the train starts moving.  Leaving your drivers window down as well increases the chances of you hearing any shouts to stop should anything happen.  
    Platform staff have no ability to stop a train once it starts to move as highlighted on the underground in the last few weeks when someone got their scarf trapped in the doors of a tube train.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on November 05, 2014, 08:54:58 pm
    If there were to be a second pair of eyes, rather than platform staff how about a guard?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on November 05, 2014, 08:58:32 pm
    If there were to be a second pair of eyes, rather than platform staff how about a guard?

    Every passenger train should have a guard.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Four Track, Now! on November 05, 2014, 09:40:42 pm
    As someone who has self despatched at Maidenhead with that service from platform 1 previously it doesn't take that long for passengers to filter off the platform enough for you to safely despatch the train.

    You describe the safety model perfectly, and say why we should have guards, A train with nearly a thousand souls aboard, many of whom will turn up as the doors are closing and try to get on board as if their very life depended on it, is a serious responsibility. You describe also the profit model. The true balance must be  found between the two.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on November 05, 2014, 11:03:26 pm
    Very different dynamics but you get trains with 1000+ people on board and no guard, hour after hour, day after day, on the Underground.

    Into the next decade TfL may introduce driverless trains on LU lines.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Super Guard on November 06, 2014, 04:01:40 pm
    Very different dynamics but you get trains with 1000+ people on board and no guard, hour after hour, day after day, on the Underground.

    Into the next decade TfL may introduce driverless trains on LU lines.

    Driverless, with a 'Captain/Guard'  ;)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 06, 2014, 04:21:32 pm
    Very different dynamics but you get trains with 1000+ people on board and no guard, hour after hour, day after day, on the Underground.

    Into the next decade TfL may introduce driverless trains on LU lines.

    Driverless, with a 'Captain/Guard'  ;)

    Am I right in thinking that one of the LU lines (may be Victoria?) has trains which are potentially driverless already? Or was this just something Bob Crow (RIP) used as an excuse for a strike?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Super Guard on November 06, 2014, 04:30:38 pm
    I don't think the trains are, but there are LU lines that can operate GOO trains (Guard Only Operation  ;)).

    TfL have always said there will always be a member of staff on-board regardless, so all this "driverless" hype that TfL put out is moot really.  I believe the next generation would be the first train that could run without an Operator at the "wheel" (cab will be there, but could be removed at later date).


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on November 06, 2014, 04:55:48 pm
    It's the Victoria Line - as I understand it, the driver opens/closes doors and sets the train underway. The computer then takes it to the next station....


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on November 06, 2014, 06:02:45 pm
    It's the Victoria Line - as I understand it, the driver opens/closes doors and sets the train underway. The computer then takes it to the next station....

    And the Jubilee, Northern and Central Lines I think.  Though the driver still 'drives' the train should the system have problems and to retain their knowledge of how to do so should there be problems.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on November 06, 2014, 06:51:19 pm
    I was on the 17.49 tonight.. It was no busier or quieter than usual though I've seen it a lot worse.

    Realtime trains show the train arriving at 18.07 and a quarter.. The last passenger (me) left the plaftorm at exactly 18.11.. I'm not sure at which point the arrival time is calculated from so assuming it's as the front of the train comes into the platform, a good guess would be 3 minutes for platform 1 to clear..

    Therefore looking at the picture from the other day (compared with today) NickB's estimate of ten minutes probably wasn't too far out


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on November 06, 2014, 10:43:06 pm
    I stand vindicated!  ;) It was meant as an estimate of how long 600 people would take to leave plat1 in single file (which it is, with the bends).



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on November 07, 2014, 12:37:05 pm
    I stand vindicated!  ;) It was meant as an estimate of how long 600 people would take to leave plat1 in single file (which it is, with the bends).

    I'd have a guess at 6-7 minutes myself having watched many a busy train decamp from there.  Unless of course there's another issue which causes delay, for example someone falling on the steps.  I guess we'll have to wait until similar circumstances apply again and get someone down there with a stopwatch!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Western Enterprise on November 07, 2014, 02:49:05 pm
    I stand vindicated!  ;) It was meant as an estimate of how long 600 people would take to leave plat1 in single file (which it is, with the bends).

    I'd have a guess at 6-7 minutes myself having watched many a busy train decamp from there.  Unless of course there's another issue which causes delay, for example someone falling on the steps.  I guess we'll have to wait until similar circumstances apply again and get someone down there with a stopwatch!

    Another issue can be a sudden change of platform, say from relief to main.
    Suddenly, lots of people trying to go upstairs, lots of people trying to go downstairs! ::)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on November 07, 2014, 03:17:43 pm
    which is exactly what happened to this train.. To be honest if you're not already on the platform before the train arrives and starts emptying you don't get much of a chance to get up the steps against the flow of people


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on November 07, 2014, 03:45:03 pm
    which is exactly what happened to this train.. To be honest if you're not already on the platform before the train arrives and starts emptying you don't get much of a chance to get up the steps against the flow of people

    Looking to the future, with the extensive rebuild of Maidenhead station just starting, it looks as if alterations to the current stairwell may be included:

    'The eastern subway will be extended southwards to platform 1 and new stair and lift access will be provided from it to all Crossrail platforms; passive provision will be made for a lift to platform 1.'

    Now, until the extension of the route to Reading, you could probably say that Maidenhead's platform 1 would not come under the description of a 'Crossrail platform' as described above.  Whether that has now altered as Platform 1 may now be used by Crossrail trains heading to Reading I'm not sure?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: eightf48544 on November 07, 2014, 03:58:23 pm
    Way back it was said that all main line platforms between London and Maidenhead would be made available for Crossrail Whether that is the current plan I don't know. Especialy regarding Taplow. Presuambly Platform 1 at Maidenehad would require extending to accept Crossrail. It was also why the Mains were to be electrified from Hayes to Maidenehad as well to give the operational flexibilty to use the mains and their associated platforms in times of perturbation.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: stuving on November 07, 2014, 05:39:01 pm
    Way back it was said that all main line platforms between London and Maidenhead would be made available for Crossrail Whether that is the current plan I don't know. Especialy regarding Taplow. Presuambly Platform 1 at Maidenehad would require extending to accept Crossrail. It was also why the Mains were to be electrified from Hayes to Maidenehad as well to give the operational flexibilty to use the mains and their associated platforms in times of perturbation.
    The plan shows a small extension to platforms 2&3, but 1 and 4&5 apparently don't need one. All would need extending if the trains are lengthened to the maximum 240m. The "7-day railway" requirement won't have gone away.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: stuving on November 08, 2014, 01:14:02 pm
    Way back it was said that all main line platforms between London and Maidenhead would be made available for Crossrail Whether that is the current plan I don't know. Especialy regarding Taplow. Presuambly Platform 1 at Maidenehad would require extending to accept Crossrail. It was also why the Mains were to be electrified from Hayes to Maidenehad as well to give the operational flexibilty to use the mains and their associated platforms in times of perturbation.
    The plan shows a small extension to platforms 2&3, but 1 and 4&5 apparently don't need one. All would need extending if the trains are lengthened to the maximum 240m. The "7-day railway" requirement won't have gone away.

    Come to think of it, P1&2 at Maidenhead is exactly where extending to Reading might alter the plan - so what was published may not be relevant any more. There is no way from P1&2 to the reversing sidings at Maidenhead, so they could not be used for a "2T" service over the Mains. (Or not unless P1&2 were used for Crossrail turn-round, which sound unlikely when a "full" Sunday service is also using them.) If this 2T operation has to be extended to Reading, then maybe P1 has to be extended after all. Currently its operational length (ignoring DOO visibility) is 177 m, against 198 for P2&3 and 205 m for P4&5.

    Going by those plans, the interpretation of 7-day or 2T capability is that existing platforms an all tracks will be extended to 205 m, but not where that have no P1 and not at some at minor stations (e.g. Iver) that do. But then the plans are not the final word (or picture).


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on November 08, 2014, 01:23:49 pm
    Come to think of it, P1&2 at Maidenhead is exactly where extending to Reading might alter the plan - so what was published may not be relevant any more. There is no way from P1&2 to the reversing sidings at Maidenhead, so they could not be used for a "2T" service over the Mains.

    Yes, that's what I was getting at.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on November 13, 2014, 09:04:49 am
    I'm not sure what was going on this morning with signalling.
    There were major delays to services through Bramley due to a signalling problem.
    But then significant delays to London bound services passing through Reading both in arrival time at Reading and then slow running all the way in.
    There was some mention of track circuit failure and general congestion all the way in but I don't see any specific mention.
    I was a good 45 minutes late for the second day running.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on November 13, 2014, 01:53:42 pm
    There were major delays to services through Bramley due to a signalling problem.

    Suggest the updater updates the update:
    Delays between Basingstoke and Reading expected until 18:00        Last updated 13:50
    A signalling problem near Bramley is causing delays of up to 30 minutes between Basingstoke and Reading. This is expected to continue until 13:00.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on November 17, 2014, 09:07:38 pm
    Quote

    Blimey that all sounds rather dramatic! What does it take to make a signal fall over?

    Glad I came back from Plymouth yesterday! (on the 1510 from Plymouth, which was only 5 minutes late into Reading!!!)  :D

    A total lack of maintenance and abysmal management by Network Rail, yet the DfT continue to allow it to happen.  If a train operator performed this badly their franchise would have been stripped by now.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 18, 2014, 06:03:00 am
    Quote

    Blimey that all sounds rather dramatic! What does it take to make a signal fall over?

    Glad I came back from Plymouth yesterday! (on the 1510 from Plymouth, which was only 5 minutes late into Reading!!!)  :D

    A total lack of maintenance and abysmal management by Network Rail, yet the DfT continue to allow it to happen.  If a train operator performed this badly their franchise would have been stripped by now.

    ...........I would imagine that a few people at FGW are looking nervously over their shoulders then judging by recent performance around cancellations/delays/short formations/dangerous overcrowding due to  train faults, staff "not available" etc!  ;)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on November 18, 2014, 07:19:30 am
    Quote

    Blimey that all sounds rather dramatic! What does it take to make a signal fall over?

    Glad I came back from Plymouth yesterday! (on the 1510 from Plymouth, which was only 5 minutes late into Reading!!!)  :D

    A total lack of maintenance and abysmal management by Network Rail, yet the DfT continue to allow it to happen.  If a train operator performed this badly their franchise would have been stripped by now.

    ...........I would imagine that a few people at FGW are looking nervously over their shoulders then judging by recent performance around cancellations/delays/short formations/dangerous overcrowding due to  train faults, staff "not available" etc!  ;)

    I doubt it. FGW are in the same boat as Northern, FTPE, Anglia, London Midland and one or two others and can easily justify the reason. Not enough trains.
    Should a manager leave a position they will easily get another job with another TOC or go into consultancy where there is significantly more money.
    Whilst passengers continually point the finger of blame at the TOC the DfT the aren't going to take a blind bit of notice.  This afterall, is what they wanted from rail privatisation.  They knew it would cost a fortune to modernise so effectively washed their hands of it only taking an interest in bashing TOCs when a general election is close to win a few extra votes.



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 18, 2014, 07:25:34 pm
    Quote

    Blimey that all sounds rather dramatic! What does it take to make a signal fall over?

    Glad I came back from Plymouth yesterday! (on the 1510 from Plymouth, which was only 5 minutes late into Reading!!!)  :D

    A total lack of maintenance and abysmal management by Network Rail, yet the DfT continue to allow it to happen.  If a train operator performed this badly their franchise would have been stripped by now.

    ...........I would imagine that a few people at FGW are looking nervously over their shoulders then judging by recent performance around cancellations/delays/short formations/dangerous overcrowding due to  train faults, staff "not available" etc!  ;)

    I doubt it. FGW are in the same boat as Northern, FTPE, Anglia, London Midland and one or two others and can easily justify the reason. Not enough trains.
    Should a manager leave a position they will easily get another job with another TOC or go into consultancy where there is significantly more money.
    Whilst passengers continually point the finger of blame at the TOC the DfT the aren't going to take a blind bit of notice.  This afterall, is what they wanted from rail privatisation.  They knew it would cost a fortune to modernise so effectively washed their hands of it only taking an interest in bashing TOCs when a general election is close to win a few extra votes.



    Up to a point, yes, but the constant blaming of DFT/NR etc does come across a bit like Laurel blaming Hardy...........FGW are responsible for maintaining their trains and ensuring that their staff attend work as far as I know, not sure how train failures, pathetic levels of communication, leaving passengers stranded without information for hours, staff unavailability etc can be blamed on other agencies?

    Passengers point the finger at the TOC because they pay the TOC a great deal of money to provide a service, and it is with the TOC that they have a contract......the fact that FGWs supply chain/infrastructure partners/contractors have problems of their own is for FGW to address. it is of precisely zero interest to the customer with whom they have a contract........however as they get oodles of cash from NR in respect of their own failures, with only a tiny proportion being returned to fare paying passengers in compensation is hardly a strong motivation to do so I guess.

    The concept of taking it on the jaw when things go wrong and not blaming others is not something which comes easily to the TOCs/Railway industry it seems.

    If FGW were seen to be addressing these issues with NR (especially the recent signalling farces throughout October) in a robust and highly visible way it would help their case, however Mr Hopwood seems to be doing a good impression of the invisible man.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Super Guard on November 18, 2014, 08:29:52 pm
    Quote

    Blimey that all sounds rather dramatic! What does it take to make a signal fall over?

    Glad I came back from Plymouth yesterday! (on the 1510 from Plymouth, which was only 5 minutes late into Reading!!!)  :D

    A total lack of maintenance and abysmal management by Network Rail, yet the DfT continue to allow it to happen.  If a train operator performed this badly their franchise would have been stripped by now.

    ...........I would imagine that a few people at FGW are looking nervously over their shoulders then judging by recent performance around cancellations/delays/short formations/dangerous overcrowding due to  train faults, staff "not available" etc!  ;)

    I doubt it. FGW are in the same boat as Northern, FTPE, Anglia, London Midland and one or two others and can easily justify the reason. Not enough trains.
    Should a manager leave a position they will easily get another job with another TOC or go into consultancy where there is significantly more money.
    Whilst passengers continually point the finger of blame at the TOC the DfT the aren't going to take a blind bit of notice.  This afterall, is what they wanted from rail privatisation.  They knew it would cost a fortune to modernise so effectively washed their hands of it only taking an interest in bashing TOCs when a general election is close to win a few extra votes.



    Up to a point, yes, but the constant blaming of DFT/NR etc does come across a bit like Laurel blaming Hardy...........FGW are responsible for maintaining their trains and ensuring that their staff attend work as far as I know, not sure how train failures, pathetic levels of communication, leaving passengers stranded without information for hours, staff unavailability etc can be blamed on other agencies?

     ::)

    Surely the only person responsible for ensuring a member of staff attends work is the member of staff themselves?

    You make the "staff unavailability" comment on a regular basis every time you get on your anti-FGW soapbox.  Just to reassure you, there are not endless numbers of rail staff who cannot be bothered to attend work.

    It could be unavailable due to a simple rostering error, it could be unavailable due to the disruption stranding the staff needed for the specific service (especially if specific traction/route knowledge is required.)  There are normally "cover/standby" staff that can be dispatched at a moments notice to cover late running drivers [of course you wouldn't know this as it's seemless!]...or what about drivers who require a break -- while i'm sure a late service would irritate you if the driver was sat having a cup of tea, surely this is preferable to him being forced to ignore his legal break requirements and have a safety related incident?

    At what point do you want ticket prices to rise even further to cover a large pool of drivers to sit around all day watching tv, only required if Network Rail screw up the infrastructure?

    General shortage of drivers?  FGW has had their biggest ever driver recruitment programme running in the past 24 months.

    Yes, there are occasions where all available cover staff options have been exhausted, and someone oversleeps/goes sick last minute (do you want a sick driver in charge of your safety?), and so the blame is square on the operational staff, but this is not a regular occurrence and it really does not justify the number of times you make your swipe at "staff availability".

    I've said it once and i'll say it again, staff try to do their best, whether it's at the station, on-board or just by posting on here.  There are bad apples, which applies to every company, in every industry.

    There is not one member of railway staff that is happy with the LTV area performance and it hurts many of us that we are physically unable to provide the service customers pay hard earned money for, but remember we're not here just to take endless pot-shots from you.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 19, 2014, 06:09:14 am
    Quote

    Blimey that all sounds rather dramatic! What does it take to make a signal fall over?

    Glad I came back from Plymouth yesterday! (on the 1510 from Plymouth, which was only 5 minutes late into Reading!!!)  :D

    A total lack of maintenance and abysmal management by Network Rail, yet the DfT continue to allow it to happen.  If a train operator performed this badly their franchise would have been stripped by now.

    ...........I would imagine that a few people at FGW are looking nervously over their shoulders then judging by recent performance around cancellations/delays/short formations/dangerous overcrowding due to  train faults, staff "not available" etc!  ;)

    I doubt it. FGW are in the same boat as Northern, FTPE, Anglia, London Midland and one or two others and can easily justify the reason. Not enough trains.
    Should a manager leave a position they will easily get another job with another TOC or go into consultancy where there is significantly more money.
    Whilst passengers continually point the finger of blame at the TOC the DfT the aren't going to take a blind bit of notice.  This afterall, is what they wanted from rail privatisation.  They knew it would cost a fortune to modernise so effectively washed their hands of it only taking an interest in bashing TOCs when a general election is close to win a few extra votes.



    Up to a point, yes, but the constant blaming of DFT/NR etc does come across a bit like Laurel blaming Hardy...........FGW are responsible for maintaining their trains and ensuring that their staff attend work as far as I know, not sure how train failures, pathetic levels of communication, leaving passengers stranded without information for hours, staff unavailability etc can be blamed on other agencies?

     ::)

    Surely the only person responsible for ensuring a member of staff attends work is the member of staff themselves?

    You make the "staff unavailability" comment on a regular basis every time you get on your anti-FGW soapbox.  Just to reassure you, there are not endless numbers of rail staff who cannot be bothered to attend work.

    It could be unavailable due to a simple rostering error, it could be unavailable due to the disruption stranding the staff needed for the specific service (especially if specific traction/route knowledge is required.)  There are normally "cover/standby" staff that can be dispatched at a moments notice to cover late running drivers [of course you wouldn't know this as it's seemless!]...or what about drivers who require a break -- while i'm sure a late service would irritate you if the driver was sat having a cup of tea, surely this is preferable to him being forced to ignore his legal break requirements and have a safety related incident?

    At what point do you want ticket prices to rise even further to cover a large pool of drivers to sit around all day watching tv, only required if Network Rail screw up the infrastructure?

    General shortage of drivers?  FGW has had their biggest ever driver recruitment programme running in the past 24 months.

    Yes, there are occasions where all available cover staff options have been exhausted, and someone oversleeps/goes sick last minute (do you want a sick driver in charge of your safety?), and so the blame is square on the operational staff, but this is not a regular occurrence and it really does not justify the number of times you make your swipe at "staff availability".

    I've said it once and i'll say it again, staff try to do their best, whether it's at the station, on-board or just by posting on here.  There are bad apples, which applies to every company, in every industry.

    There is not one member of railway staff that is happy with the LTV area performance and it hurts many of us that we are physically unable to provide the service customers pay hard earned money for, but remember we're not here just to take endless pot-shots from you.

    Impressive rhetoric definitely, using a number of paragraphs to selectively address about eight words of what I said, and some things I didn't even mention!

    Sorry if I touched a nerve, this is fundamentally about TOCs (not just FGW) taking responsibility for providing a service that is reliable and fit for purpose, and not just falling back on blaming other agencies when things go wrong - as I implied before, some high visibility action in terms of addressing issues around signalling etc would help, not just guff from Hopwood about "signalling" to NR that their performance isn't good enough.

    I wasn't taking "Pot shots" at individuals so no need to be defensive, FGW/TOC need to take proactive ownership of issues within their control and spheres of influence rather than giving the appearance of being content to lie back and take it (so to speak) which is what enrages their customers at the moment.

    Vague promises about things getting better years in the future is not really good enough when you're standing on a wet, overcrowded platform with no information or help available I'm afraid.

    Anyway "amen" from me on this and have a good, delay free day all!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on November 19, 2014, 08:37:10 am
    High-visibility".....so YouTube video then of an argument?

    Get real.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on November 19, 2014, 09:28:17 am
    Vague promises about things getting better years in the future is not really good enough when you're standing on a wet, overcrowded platform with no information or help available I'm afraid.

    Yes, I agree completely and I'm amazed that Mark Hopwood appears to be lying down and accepting the amount of rain over the last few weeks.  Weather provider, Mother Nature, really needs to sort her act out.  Mr. Hopwood should 'grow some' and publicly demand action from this elusive Mrs. Nature, or at the very least personally cough up some money to install great big buckets in the sky above his stations to catch all this unnecessary water.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Super Guard on November 19, 2014, 10:32:08 am

    Impressive rhetoric definitely, using a number of paragraphs to selectively address about eight words of what I said, and some things I didn't even mention!

    Sorry if I touched a nerve, this is fundamentally about TOCs (not just FGW) taking responsibility for providing a service that is reliable and fit for purpose, and not just falling back on blaming other agencies when things go wrong - as I implied before, some high visibility action in terms of addressing issues around signalling etc would help, not just guff from Hopwood about "signalling" to NR that their performance isn't good enough.

    I wasn't taking "Pot shots" at individuals so no need to be defensive, FGW/TOC need to take proactive ownership of issues within their control and spheres of influence rather than giving the appearance of being content to lie back and take it (so to speak) which is what enrages their customers at the moment.

    Vague promises about things getting better years in the future is not really good enough when you're standing on a wet, overcrowded platform with no information or help available I'm afraid.

    Anyway "amen" from me on this and have a good, delay free day all!

    The reason I take issue with eight or so words, is you make the staff "unavailable" dig on a regular basis.  I'm not saying you are targeting anyone individually, but yes you do touch a nerve, as most front-line rail staff feel they belong to an extended family.

    I've given you a number of reasons as to why the delay reason "a member of train crew being unavailable" is used, and it really is extremely rare that "oh they just didn't turn up, sorry train cancelled/delayed".

    As the service provider, then yes customers will look to FGW as the one to blame regardless of cause.  The fact that you are on this board shows you want/have a greater understanding of how the railway run and hopefully by now understand no matter how much Mr. Hopwood goes shouting to NR and the DfT, ultimately, FGW have to just deal with the infrastructure they are provided.

    Are FGW blameless?  Of course not, but decisions are made with the best of intentions to recover the wider service and karma/mother nature/stuff happens and turns it all on its head.  Maintenance schedules can be followed to the T, but breakdowns can still happen.  With infrastructure issues, we take the hits anyway, because as was pointed out a few posts back the DfT love the situation - they can control the railway, and the TOCs get all the blame.

    I personally believe no matter how much Mr. Hopwood and the NR Route Director stand up and say their usual pieces, that there is something very much broken in the NR/TOC relationship, which is no doubt replicated across the National network and ultimately does not provide the service for the passengers that we as front-line staff want and try to provide you everyday.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 19, 2014, 10:51:25 am
    High-vuisibility".....so YouTube vuideo then of an argument?

    Get real.


    Vague promises about things getting better years in the future is not really good enough when you're standing on a wet, overcrowded platform with no information or help available I'm afraid.


    Yes, I agree completely and I'm amazed that Mark Hopwood appears to be lying down and accepting the amount of rain over the last few weeks.  Weather provider, Mother Nature, really needs to sort her act out.  Mr. Hopwood should 'grow some' and publicly demand action from this elusive Mrs. Nature, or at the very least personally cough up some money to install great big buckets in the sky above his stations to catch all this unnecessary water.



    It's a shame that what was a decent if heated discussion has to be reduced to childish sarcasm by a few.....I may not wholly agree with what you say and lack your knowledge of the intricacies of the railway system however I do at least respect your opinons, and am a fare paying customer so I think I am entitled to mine....

    Superguard thankyou for your response which attempts to explain the issues involved....on some issues we agree, on others we will have to agree to differ, I hope we can continue to do so in a civil manner.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on November 19, 2014, 10:57:33 am
    ....just as we are entitled to ours (of yours), eh?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 19, 2014, 11:01:32 am
    ....just as we are entitled to ours (of yours), eh?

    By all means, they are welcome, even more so if they can be expressed in a manner befitting an adult.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on November 19, 2014, 11:18:27 am
    But adults tend to want to understand/learn, rather than rant, surely? :-)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on November 19, 2014, 12:01:13 pm
    I am ... delighted ... that our forum helps bring together people who are intricately linked in the system of rail travel as they move around by train (on one hand) and provide and operate the systems that allow and made the trains move around (on the other).   Far too often the world of the two groups seem far apart - and indeed, why should a passenger need to know about corroding signal posts, or a conductor need to know about a passenger's requirement to be on time to pick up a child from the childminder?  Perhaps there's no need, but it sure as heck helps us to understand each other, to be helpful and accommodating both ways where we could be needlessly and unintentionally awkward.  Alas, just occasionally frustration on one side or the other leads to a more robust discussion than is immediately useful.

    I'm a passenger - or I was.  I got involved in this stuff in the last decade, and the whole of this forum was based on the premise that 2 trains each way a day, pre-dawn and post-dark, with cancellation rated of 30% some weeks, wasn't appropriate for our town - it was hurtful economically in that it made the service useless, and I had a feeling that the service wasn't making money for the operator either. You'll find some robust and critical posts at the time, but the criticisms may have tended to have been of the operations that caused such problems, and not of the systems and politics and other things behind those operations which wasn't equipping them to succeed.

    Moving on ... I have learned a lot, so tend to be very much sympathetic and supportive of the rail industry in which most of the staff are excellent, work their hearts out to do a good job, and especially here on this forum are going out of their way and beyond this duties to help the passenger.  Readers may suggest that the rail industry should be providing that customer support rather than leaving it to volunteers here - who deserve our huge thanks even if they bring bad news - but that lack of provision of this sort of forum is a subject for another day.

    We have come streets forward since the days that we started - 2007.  Better reliabiity came to the TransWilts within a couple of years, and a more appropriate service, all be it on a trial basis, in late 2013.   People say they're amazed how quick that was, which leaves me open-mouthed in shock, and should act as an alert to other passengers of just how long the updates to infrastructure will take before things truly get better.   Looking forward, there are good indicators that the community is to be more involved into the future - source, our Community Rail Officer designate who had a meeting up in London yesterday.   It won't make for instant change, but it may make for greater community involvement away from the more far-flung and smaller lines which have been traditional Community Rail territory.  But I'm going beyond this thread here.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on November 20, 2014, 07:21:09 am
    The 7.08 maidenhead to Paddington has broken down at slough on the fast line. Loss of air pressure to brakes.
    Ho hum.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on November 20, 2014, 07:36:09 am
    And we're moving again.
    TM had announced that the train would need to be emptied via the 1 door still in the platform at slough but fortunately that was avoided.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on November 20, 2014, 08:49:43 am
    Oh dear.. Realtime trains shows the train as finally arriving at Paddington 53 minutes late.. Looks like you got relegated to the slow relief line to be on the safe side  ::)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: tomL on November 20, 2014, 09:40:17 am
    No CIS at Swindon ("Welcome to Swindon. Train information is currently unavailable." on most screens) and fallout damage from the earlier disruption meant good fun for commuters today... ::)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 24, 2014, 06:51:32 am
    .....welcome to the new week folks!

    Due to signalling problems between Swindon and Bath Spa all lines are disrupted.
    Impact:
    Train services running through these stations may be cancelled, delayed or diverted. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.

     :'(


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on November 24, 2014, 07:20:11 am
    .....welcome to the new week folks!

    Due to signalling problems between Swindon and Bath Spa all lines are disrupted.
    Impact:
    Train services running through these stations may be cancelled, delayed or diverted. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.

     :'(

    ..and between Bedwyn and Reading ....


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on November 24, 2014, 07:32:34 am
    .....welcome to the new week folks!

    Due to signalling problems between Swindon and Bath Spa all lines are disrupted.
    Impact:
    Train services running through these stations may be cancelled, delayed or diverted. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.

     :'(

    Which means "main line, some variations.   TransWilts - Cancellations"



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on November 24, 2014, 07:39:20 am
    .....welcome to the new week folks!

    Due to signalling problems between Swindon and Bath Spa all lines are disrupted.
    Impact:
    Train services running through these stations may be cancelled, delayed or diverted. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.

     :'(

    ..and between Bedwyn and Reading ....

    Between Bedwyn and Reading is just an issue with the axle counters following completion of engineering works which should sort itself out after the first trains have gone through in both directions. 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Worcester_Passenger on November 24, 2014, 07:56:05 am
    ..and between Bedwyn and Reading ....

    Between Bedwyn and Reading is just an issue with the axle counters following completion of engineering works which should sort itself out after the first trains have gone through in both directions. 

    Perhaps not. JourneyCheck reports
        Due to signalling problems between Reading and Bedwyn trains have to run at reduced speed.
        Impact:
        Train services running through these stations may be cancelled or delayed by up to 30 mins. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.
        Last Updated :24/11/2014 07:52


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on November 24, 2014, 07:59:19 am
    Due to signalling problems between Swindon and Bath Spa all lines are disrupted.
    Which means "main line, some variations.   TransWilts - Cancellations"

    Second Westbury, Trowbridge, Melksham to Swindon cancelled too now - first train (perhaps?) the 09:48 from Westbury.  Occasional problems - understood, but ... this post feels like a well work record  :-[


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on November 24, 2014, 08:18:16 am
    Now this, frankly bizarre, note on Journeycheck regarding the first southbound service.  (My highlighting)

    Quote
    05:17 Gloucester to Southampton Central due 08:09 
     
    This train has been delayed at Swindon by 85 minutes, has been further delayed at Chippenham and is now 93 minutes late.
    This train will be terminated at Middle Road Crossing.
    This train will no longer call at Dilton Marsh, Warminster, Salisbury, Romsey and Southampton Central.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TeaStew on November 24, 2014, 08:56:17 am
    Due to signalling problems between Swindon and Bath Spa all lines are disrupted.
    Which means "main line, some variations.   TransWilts - Cancellations"

    Second Westbury, Trowbridge, Melksham to Swindon cancelled too now - first train (perhaps?) the 09:48 from Westbury.  Occasional problems - understood, but ... this post feels like a well work record  :-[

    Yes. I called in the cavalry in the end (significant other) and went to Bradford. Not exaggeration to say it was freezing. Three minute calls to India did not really help matters.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 25, 2014, 11:03:40 am
    Delays to services between Newbury and Reading Due to signalling problems between Newbury and Reading trains have to run at reduced speed on some Reading bound lines.

    Impact:
    Train services running through these stations may be delayed by up to 25 mins. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.


    ..............sounds familiar?  :(


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Silver on November 25, 2014, 11:42:49 am
    We can start the December thread on Monday.......


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on November 25, 2014, 12:22:13 pm
    We can start the December thread on Monday.......

    Oh you Cynic and stop reading my mind :)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 25, 2014, 03:09:03 pm
    Due to signalling problems between Ealing Broadway and West Drayton the Reading bound relief line will be blocked.
    Impact:
    Train services running through these stations may be cancelled or delayed by up to 30 mins. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.

    .........a lot of cancellations/short formations due to train faults too

    .........looks like a miserable journey home (yet again)  :(


    ...........I would suggest getting the December thread set up now......together with January, February, March etc etc

    (By the way it's being so cheerful that keeps me going!!!)  ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on November 25, 2014, 04:38:26 pm
    Can we remember to record whose ownership each fault lies with when pisting them here?

    I reckon its close to a 90/10% split in favour of NR, but to be sure we need to record the ownership


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on November 25, 2014, 05:38:07 pm
    Can we remember to record whose ownership each fault lies with when pisting them here?

    Officer Crabtree is alive and well.  ;D

    The information on fault ownership is available via links from the First Great Western website. One doesn't need to guess a percentage split or record it here. There's also a daily list of main disruption reasons covering the previous three days.

    https://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/About-Us/Our-business/Performance
    http://www.firstgroup.com/uktrain/kpi/gw/recent-performance.php (recent)
    http://www.firstgroup.com/uktrain/kpi/gw/ (daily)

    In the past 12 months delay minute responsibility has been:

    63.47% Network Rail
    24.43% First Great Western
    12.11% Other TOCs

    In the past 12 months full cancellation responsibility has been:

    67.68% Network Rail
    27.82% First Great Western
    4.5% Other TOCs

    Somewhat shy of a 90/10% split.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on November 25, 2014, 05:40:56 pm
    Clicking on the middle link on an iphone, the web page is blank


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on November 25, 2014, 05:56:19 pm
    Clicking on the middle link on an iphone, the web page is blank

    I don't use Apple products so can't suggest a workaround. However, the figures from that middle link on delay attribution are the ones I reproduced in my previous post.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on November 25, 2014, 06:06:18 pm
    I've never seen the delay minutes before, I knew Network Rail were useless but not to the tune of 855,228 delay minutes over the last 12 months.  That's disgusting. 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on November 25, 2014, 06:26:03 pm
    I presume that that figure is in train delay minutes and not passenger delay minutes? What figure would you get if you multiplied the figure by the number of passengers affected?
    It would probably account for >1% of GDP!!  ??? :P


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 25, 2014, 06:48:19 pm
    Really interesting figures - thanks BNM.

    So whilst NR "cause" the majority of delays/cancellation, it's by a ratio of roughly 2:1 compared to FGW/Other TOCs.

    Judging by the expert comment on here most of the time, I had got the impression that it was more like 10:1

    The cost to the economy overall if you extrapolate these delays/cancellations must be phenomenal.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: stuving on November 25, 2014, 07:01:03 pm
    I assume these are the standard internal attributions of delay minutes, so NR carry the can for all those external causes that can be excluded from compensation. So that includes severe weather, external fires, fatalities, trespass, trees on the line, etc. etc.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: tomL on November 25, 2014, 07:28:50 pm
    Clicking on the middle link on an iphone, the web page is blank

    It's a lovely Adobe flash application. Which, unfortunately, is not supported on any Apple devices.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on November 25, 2014, 09:13:37 pm
    I assume these are the standard internal attributions of delay minutes, so NR carry the can for all those external causes that can be excluded from compensation. So that includes severe weather, external fires, fatalities, trespass, trees on the line, etc. etc.

    Fatalities, no.  It depends on the circumstances and location as to who picks up the delay minutes.

    Really interesting figures - thanks BNM.

    So whilst NR "cause" the majority of delays/cancellation, it's by a ratio of roughly 2:1 compared to FGW/Other TOCs.

    Judging by the expert comment on here most of the time, I had got the impression that it was more like 10:1

    The cost to the economy overall if you extrapolate these delays/cancellations must be phenomenal.

    It would be interesting to know if they could pinpoint those delay minutes to a certain geographical area ie. the amount of NR & FGW delay minutes on the stretch between Paddington to Reading.
    As for the figures, nationally Network Rail account for 62% of all delay minutes.  http://www.networkrail.co.uk/about/performance/
    Some more interesting figures provided by Network Rail especially if you download the sub-operator performance which breaks down punctuality between High Speed, LTV and West.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Chris from Nailsea on November 25, 2014, 11:19:02 pm
    From the Oxford Times (http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/news/11622916.Rail_company_offers_refund_after_delays/):

    Quote
    Rail company offers refund after delays

    (http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/resources/images/2478898.jpg?htype=227&display=1&type=mc2)
    Rail company offers refund after delays

    First published 08:00 Tuesday 25 November 2014 in News
    Last updated 09:58 Tuesday 25 November 2014

    First Great Western has announced a full refund for some commuters who experienced severe disruption last month.

    On Monday, October 6, a signalling problem between Slough and West Drayton caused major delays and cancellations to services from Oxford to London Paddington.

    The rail operator apologised and said its services ^fell well below^ acceptable standards. It promised a full refund for monthly and annual season ticket holders.

    Season ticket holders can redeem the cost of travel as a cash refund at their local ticket office or as a one-day extension when they renew their ticket.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: stuving on November 25, 2014, 11:46:51 pm
    I assume these are the standard internal attributions of delay minutes, so NR carry the can for all those external causes that can be excluded from compensation. So that includes severe weather, external fires, fatalities, trespass, trees on the line, etc. etc.

    Fatalities, no.  It depends on the circumstances and location as to who picks up the delay minutes.

    So it does: in the delay Attribution Guide the distinction is whether the incident is recorded as happening on the track (even in a station) or on a platform. I'd guess most are on the track so NR's. 

    There's another breakdown: the ORR's - which is not terribly helpful. For FGW, 2013-2014, this gives:
    External  111736.5 
    Network Management / Other  225431 
    Non-Track Assets  237929.9 
    Severe Weather, Autumn, & Structures  212239.1 
    Track  62042.3 
    NR-on-TOC Total  849378.9 
    TOC-on-Self Total  334010.9 
    TOC-on-TOC Total  142066.2 
    First Great Western Total  1325456 

    Of course that's only delay minutes - up to 30 minutes late maximum, I think. Over that it counts under "cancelled and significantly late". There are ORR figures for that, but I can't make a lot of sense of them. For FGW, in quarters, it did go up to 4.6% in 2014Q1, but was higher on several previous occasions - including 4.8% in 2012Q4, 7.0% in 2002Q4, and 8.8% in 2000Q4. Of course East Coast was much worse at those last two times - like 15.6% and 25.6%. Ah, the good old days ...


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 26, 2014, 09:37:38 am
    I think all this has been brought sharply into focus by the recent dramatic deterioration in performance, attributable to both NR & FGW, it would be interesting to know (other than the odd grunt cutting through a cable) if any proper analysis has taken place to establish exactly why this is happening, and hence the title of this thread, to which December will shortly have to be added if current "form" is maintained!  :)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on November 26, 2014, 10:07:02 am
    I'm sure FGW have done this internally & probably talking to NR constantly


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: SandTEngineer on November 26, 2014, 10:13:13 am
    I use this site to check the performance of the services I normally use.  Sometimes very depressing reading  :P
    http://www.recenttraintimes.co.uk/


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: stuving on November 26, 2014, 10:14:57 am
    I'm sure FGW have done this internally & probably talking to NR constantly

    I fear it's worse than that. I am sure NR have devoted a great amount of engineering management and planning effort to the parallel signalling/electrification/other works programmes, specifically to ensure this kind of self-inflicted damage does not happen. But it does. So there must be something wrong with the linkage between knowing what and how to do it and actually doing it that way. Or - which is not quite the same - writing your plan on the assumption something can be done this way, when in reality (at night at trackside in too little time and without the right staff) it can't.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: SandTEngineer on November 26, 2014, 11:57:37 am
    I use this site to check the performance of the services I normally use.  Sometimes very depressing reading  :P
    http://www.recenttraintimes.co.uk/

    Here is a (very bad) example of services I use (tried to post the actual table but couldn't work it out :P ):
    http://www.recenttraintimes.co.uk/Home/Search?Op=Srch&Fr=Plymouth+%28PLY%29&To=Paddington+%28PAD%29&TimTyp=A&TimDay=8a&Days=Wk&TimPer=4w&dtFr=29%2F10%2F2014&dtTo=26%2F11%2F2014&ShwTim=AvAr&ShwAdv=ShwAdv&TOC=All&ArrSta=5&MetAvg=Mea&MetSpr=RT&MxScDu=&MxSvAg=10&MnScCt=2&MxArCl=8


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Super Guard on November 26, 2014, 01:48:41 pm
    Really interesting figures - thanks BNM.

    So whilst NR "cause" the majority of delays/cancellation, it's by a ratio of roughly 2:1 compared to FGW/Other TOCs.

    Judging by the expert comment on here most of the time, I had got the impression that it was more like 10:1

    The cost to the economy overall if you extrapolate these delays/cancellations must be phenomenal.

    Here's some expert comment for you:

    A passenger has a medical emergency on board.  Ambulance is called, train is delayed along with several behind and onward knock on effects, while connections are held.  Root cause = passenger.  Delay blame = FGW.

    A disabled passenger takes time to board a FGW train.  Train is delayed.  Root cause = passenger.  Delay blame = FGW.

    A disabled passenger takes time to board a XC Voyager after being booked by XC in the middle of a busy coach.  Train is delayed.  Root cause = passenger.  Delay blame = FGW as it's their station, although XC may take a share.  Those minutes add up quickly if the delay happens at Plymouth and the train is bound for Aberdeen.

    A HST arrives and departs on-time.  However a passenger who overslept suddenly attempts to get off by pulling a pass-com.  Train is delayed.  Root cause = passenger.  Delay blame = FGW.

    A HST starts to depart and a late passenger runs onto the platform and pulls a door "on-the-catch".  Train is stopped.  Door secured, needs re-dispatching etc.  Root cause = passenger.  Delay blame = FGW.

    Exeter Chiefs are playing rugby at home.  Digby & Sowton Station has a sectional appendix requirement that states no train longer than 4 carriages may stop.  FGW put on 4 carriage trains all day and run the maximum number of trains that NR allow.  Delays still occur because moving thousands of fans will do that.  Root cause = Rugby match/passengers overcrowding.  Delay blame = FGW.

    A group of drunk and unruly passengers assault a Train Manager.  Train is delayed (or perhaps cancelled) for police attendance at the next station.  Root cause = drunk passenger.  Delay blame = FGW.

    Before anyone jumps on me about assisted passengers etc, i'm not for one minute suggesting we throw them on at the nearest door, so not to delay trains.  These things take as long as they take.

    However, i'm merely pointing out that FGW delay minutes are not black and white.  Of course broken down trains and staff issues (which are unacceptable) will add up in these figures, but the delays can also be caused by our beloved passengers/customers themselves.

    Oh, and also the reason you sit here reading the "expert comment" thinking that it's 10-1 in favour of NR, is because most of the talk and problems in the LTV area are to do with infrastructure signalling problems - which of course is NR.  No-one is suggesting FGW are blameless.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on November 26, 2014, 02:17:52 pm
    I'm sure FGW have done this internally & probably talking to NR constantly

    I fear it's worse than that. I am sure NR have devoted a great amount of engineering management and planning effort to the parallel signalling/electrification/other works programmes, specifically to ensure this kind of self-inflicted damage does not happen. But it does. So there must be something wrong with the linkage between knowing what and how to do it and actually doing it that way. Or - which is not quite the same - writing your plan on the assumption something can be done this way, when in reality (at night at trackside in too little time and without the right staff) it can't.

    I imagine that the staff on the ground know exactly what needs to be done.  But what they know needs to be done and what someone sitting in an ivory tower with a balance sheet on his/her computer screen eventually tells them to do are two very different things!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on November 26, 2014, 02:29:19 pm
    A HST starts to depart and a late passenger runs onto the platform and pulls a door "on-the-catch".  Train is stopped.  Door secured, needs re-dispatching etc.  Root cause = passenger.  Delay blame = FGW.

    However, i'm merely pointing out that FGW delay minutes are not black and white.  Of course broken down trains and staff issues (which are unacceptable) will add up in these figures, but the delays can also be caused by our beloved passengers/customers themselves.

    I'm totally in agreement that a lot of attributions are pretty crude and with immediacy, the passengers may be to blame.  However, isn't it up to the train operator, the infrastructure company, and the regulation and ministry folks to provide infrastructure in which these passenger causes are minimised?

    Taking your door dispatch example, if FGW at one of the HST refurbs had fitted automatic plug doors as Chiltern have done on Mark 3 carriages, they would have eliminated the possibility of a late passenger unsecuring a door. So in reality, perhaps the root cause is a mixture of FGW and the passenger ...

    A further example is perhaps when you might say that weather is the root cause .... only the case of the engineering isn't up to working in that poor weather, but it may not be worth spending millions on a once-in-40-years scenario.

    Quote
    A disabled passenger takes time to board a XC Voyager after being booked by XC in the middle of a busy coach.  Train is delayed.  Root cause = passenger.  Delay blame = FGW as it's their station, although XC may take a share.  Those minutes add up quickly if the delay happens at Plymouth and the train is bound for Aberdeen.

    Now that looks very heartfelt!   I'm guessing that FGW will be glad to have been rid of responsibility for BRI and RDG then?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Super Guard on November 26, 2014, 03:01:29 pm
    I'm totally in agreement that a lot of attributions are pretty crude and with immediacy, the passengers may be to blame.  However, isn't it up to the train operator, the infrastructure company, and the regulation and ministry folks to provide infrastructure in which these passenger causes are minimised?

    Taking your door dispatch example, if FGW at one of the HST refurbs had fitted automatic plug doors as Chiltern have done on Mark 3 carriages, they would have eliminated the possibility of a late passenger unsecuring a door. So in reality, perhaps the root cause is a mixture of FGW and the passenger ...

    A further example is perhaps when you might say that weather is the root cause .... only the case of the engineering isn't up to working in that poor weather, but it may not be worth spending millions on a once-in-40-years scenario.

    Of course, but then FGW would be expecting to shift most of their overcrowding delay minutes on the DfT, "well we'd run more trains and reduce overcrowding delays if you let us have the rolling stock" and of course that isn't going to happen  ;)

    Quote
    A disabled passenger takes time to board a XC Voyager after being booked by XC in the middle of a busy coach.  Train is delayed.  Root cause = passenger.  Delay blame = FGW as it's their station, although XC may take a share.  Those minutes add up quickly if the delay happens at Plymouth and the train is bound for Aberdeen.

    Now that looks very heartfelt!   I'm guessing that FGW will be glad to have been rid of responsibility for BRI and RDG then?
    [/quote]

    If the assistance staff are still FGW (I don't know if they are), then perhaps it's still FGW delay cost.

    I was just trying to get the point across, that just because FGW get hit with a delay cost, doesn't necessarily mean it's because the company/staff are lazy/incompetent etc and in some cases is not actually FGW's fault at all, but the TOC still takes the "blame".


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on November 26, 2014, 06:34:54 pm
    Indeed, same goes with NR.

    Suicide....delay minutes to NR. Passenger 'fault'


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: stuving on November 26, 2014, 07:07:41 pm
    If the assistance staff are still FGW (I don't know if they are), then perhaps it's still FGW delay cost.

    Peering closely at the book of runes, there are no "Station Operator Codes", only "Station Operating Codes", of which it says:
    Quote
    These codes are for delays due to station activities. Incidents are attributable to the company running the train, and not the operator of the station.

    While some of the causes listed don't involve a train, obviously there must be one (and its operator) for there to be a delay.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on November 26, 2014, 10:20:21 pm
    Maybe apocryphal (although I'm sure I heard it mentioned in a TV documentary about the railways), small bird breaks a cab windscreen or otherwise delays a train after being hit - delay attribution to the TOC. Pheasant or larger bird breaks a cab windscreen or otherwise delays... - delay attribution to Network Rail.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: stuving on November 26, 2014, 10:46:03 pm
    Maybe apocryphal (although I'm sure I heard it mentioned in a TV documentary about the railways), small bird breaks a cab windscreen or otherwise delays a train after being hit - delay attribution to the TOC. Pheasant or larger bird breaks a cab windscreen or otherwise delays... - delay attribution to Network Rail.

    Don't be silly - it's much more complicated than that! There's a flowchart. Its introduction says:
    Quote
    4.4.2 In the flowchart 4.4.3 below; the answer to the question as to whether the bird is the same size or smaller than a pheasant is to be determined by the average weight of the species of the bird involved, irrespective of the number of birds involved in the incident.

    I don't think the flowchart would reproduce easily - it's on P 34 here (http://www.delayattributionboard.co.uk/documents/dag_pdac/Delay%20Attribution%20Guide%20-%20April%202014%20Edition.pdf).


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: trainer on November 26, 2014, 11:04:40 pm
    My jaw has just hit the floor reading the document (or at least parts of it) referred to by stuving.  It's publication on 1st April may lead one to suppose a spoof: if it is it's the most intensive and demanding joke ever.  However, I fear its reality just re-enforces the impression that the lawyers have a very happy playground in this area.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Western Pathfinder on November 26, 2014, 11:27:58 pm
    Maybe apocryphal (although I'm sure I heard it mentioned in a TV documentary about the railways), small bird breaks a cab windscreen or otherwise delays a train after being hit - delay attribution to the TOC. Pheasant or larger bird breaks a cab windscreen or otherwise delays... - delay attribution to Network Rail.
    I saw the self same programe you are right BNM


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: stuving on November 26, 2014, 11:37:25 pm
    My jaw has just hit the floor reading the document (or at least parts of it) referred to by stuving.  It's publication on 1st April may lead one to suppose a spoof: if it is it's the most intensive and demanding joke ever.  However, I fear its reality just re-enforces the impression that the lawyers have a very happy playground in this area.

    Yes, it does seem to have grown into as bit of a monster, doesn't it?

    But if you did have a single railway business, I'm pretty sure you'd have a quite detailed system for recording the causes of delays, and counting them, according to who was responsible. For one thing the statistics might be demanded of you by, for example, politicians. Or your internal departmental accounts might involve budget transfers. And just because it is internal, that doesn't prevent squabbling over whose fault it was. An then there's trying to claim compensation from outside bodies, or at least providing a well-documented excuse for press briefings.

    I find it hard to believe such a baroque system would result, but it might be a lot closer than you'd think at first.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Super Guard on November 27, 2014, 09:54:09 am
    Maybe apocryphal (although I'm sure I heard it mentioned in a TV documentary about the railways), small bird breaks a cab windscreen or otherwise delays a train after being hit - delay attribution to the TOC. Pheasant or larger bird breaks a cab windscreen or otherwise delays... - delay attribution to Network Rail.
    I saw the self same programe you are right BNM

    I think it was the very well produced BBC documentary that ran for a few weeks featuring a large variety of the network.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Super Guard on November 27, 2014, 10:03:09 am
    My jaw has just hit the floor reading the document (or at least parts of it) referred to by stuving.  It's publication on 1st April may lead one to suppose a spoof: if it is it's the most intensive and demanding joke ever.  However, I fear its reality just re-enforces the impression that the lawyers have a very happy playground in this area.

    Yes, it does seem to have grown into as bit of a monster, doesn't it?

    But if you did have a single railway business, I'm pretty sure you'd have a quite detailed system for recording the causes of delays, and counting them, according to who was responsible. For one thing the statistics might be demanded of you by, for example, politicians. Or your internal departmental accounts might involve budget transfers. And just because it is internal, that doesn't prevent squabbling over whose fault it was. An then there's trying to claim compensation from outside bodies, or at least providing a well-documented excuse for press briefings.

    I find it hard to believe such a baroque system would result, but it might be a lot closer than you'd think at first.

    Agreed, any business that has to pay out a large amount of money in "fines" or has the ability to claim such money as compensation is of course going to invest time/money and want as detailed a system as possible of deciding "fault".

    I'm sure insurance companies have even larger documents!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Western Pathfinder on November 27, 2014, 10:19:25 am
    Maybe apocryphal (although I'm sure I heard it mentioned in a TV documentary about the railways), small bird breaks a cab windscreen or otherwise delays a train after being hit - delay attribution to the TOC. Pheasant or larger bird breaks a cab windscreen or otherwise delays... - delay attribution to Network Rail.
    I saw the self same programe you are right BNM

    I think it was the very well produced BBC documentary that ran for a few weeks featuring a large variety of the network.
    I've just found it it's called  The Railway keeping Britain on track  four part broadcast on BBC Two in  2013.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on November 27, 2014, 04:33:54 pm
    And your starter for today:

    Delays to services between Ealing Broadway and West Drayton
    Following a problem currently under investigation between Ealing Broadway and West Drayton the Reading bound relief line has now reopened.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Chris from Nailsea on November 27, 2014, 05:18:44 pm
    There's a flowchart. Its introduction says:
    Quote
    4.4.2 In the flowchart 4.4.3 below; the answer to the question as to whether the bird is the same size or smaller than a pheasant is to be determined by the average weight of the species of the bird involved, irrespective of the number of birds involved in the incident.

    I don't think the flowchart would reproduce easily - it's on P 34 here (http://www.delayattributionboard.co.uk/documents/dag_pdac/Delay%20Attribution%20Guide%20-%20April%202014%20Edition.pdf).

    Thanks for posting that link, stuving.  :)

    I've taken the liberty of extracting that particular page from the document and uploading it as an image, in the hope that this will help those readers of the Coffee Shop forum whose various gadgetry does not allow them to read such linked items easily:

    (http://i.imgur.com/zWkoieL.jpg?1)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 28, 2014, 09:00:42 am
    There's a flowchart. Its introduction says:
    Quote
    4.4.2 In the flowchart 4.4.3 below; the answer to the question as to whether the bird is the same size or smaller than a pheasant is to be determined by the average weight of the species of the bird involved, irrespective of the number of birds involved in the incident.

    I don't think the flowchart would reproduce easily - it's on P 34 here (http://www.delayattributionboard.co.uk/documents/dag_pdac/Delay%20Attribution%20Guide%20-%20April%202014%20Edition.pdf).

    Thanks for posting that link, stuving.  :)

    I've taken the liberty of extracting that particular page from the document and uploading it as an image, in the hope that this will help those readers of the Coffee Shop forum whose various gadgetry does not allow them to read such linked items easily:

    (http://i.imgur.com/zWkoieL.jpg?1)


    Brilliant! Was it devised by Monty Python?  ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 06, 2014, 08:49:42 am
    ........well it's finally happened! After 2 months I have received my letter from FGW apologising for the crap service and offering a refund in respect of 6th October!

    I am so happy I am smiling despite this morning's signal failures and non-service out of Paddington!!!

     ;D ;D ;D

    .....does someone want to add "December" to the title of the thread?


    Due to signalling problems between Slough and Langley the Reading bound relief line is blocked.
    Impact:
    Train services running through these stations may be delayed by up to 20 mins. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: tomL on December 06, 2014, 12:41:06 pm
    ...

    .....does someone want to add "December" to the title of the thread?


    Due to signalling problems between Slough and Langley the Reading bound relief line is blocked.
    Impact:
    Train services running through these stations may be delayed by up to 20 mins. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.

    Looks like its one of those days today.  :-[


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Chris from Nailsea on December 06, 2014, 06:04:38 pm
    .....does someone want to add "December" to the title of the thread?

    Hmm. That'll be me, then.  ::)

    Done.  ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on December 06, 2014, 11:11:36 pm
    Looks like its one of those days today.  :-[

    Another example of significant disruption lasting far longer and having more of an impact that it should have due to FGW's continuing shoddy management of major disruption.  The usual story, Control in Swindon swamped by enquiries, very few local operation staff on the ground capable of making decisions, some large stations left with no staff overseeing the train crew at all locally (e.g. Oxford) as is always the case at weekends.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: tomL on December 06, 2014, 11:31:22 pm
    Looks like its one of those days today.  :-[

    Another example of significant disruption lasting far longer and having more of an impact that it should have due to FGW's continuing shoddy management of major disruption.  The usual story, Control in Swindon swamped by enquiries, very few local operation staff on the ground capable of making decisions, some large stations left with no staff overseeing the train crew at all locally (e.g. Oxford) as is always the case at weekends.

    This was touched on briefly in the documentary episode on Thursday night:

    Quote
    "Can you pass messages on to the crews as we don't have the staffing here at Swindon."

    That was during Dawlish. I'm guessing from your comment nothing has really changed?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 07, 2014, 09:31:57 am
    Looks like its one of those days today.  :-[

    Another example of significant disruption lasting far longer and having more of an impact that it should have due to FGW's continuing shoddy management of major disruption.  The usual story, Control in Swindon swamped by enquiries, very few local operation staff on the ground capable of making decisions, some large stations left with no staff overseeing the train crew at all locally (e.g. Oxford) as is always the case at weekends.

    Shambles. Ruined a party we had organised for a load of children yesterday coming from various directions  - few or no FGW staff available to help, no/confused communication, loads of cancellations, those  trains that did run packed to the rafters, little or no alternative provision arranged............then again, should we be surprised?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: eightf48544 on December 07, 2014, 10:53:46 am
    I've been sent a Network rail picture of the broken cable but don't know how to post it here.

    It looks a real mess! Having obviously been repaired with lots of gaffer tape.



    Edit note: Image now attached -

    (http://i.imgur.com/FUZ4evD.jpg)

    CfN Ranks for adding picture, as they say a pictures worth a thousand words.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: SandTEngineer on December 07, 2014, 01:59:12 pm
    I got caught up the 'fiasco' on Saturday (06 December 2014).  My Up train from the far South-West got terminated short at Reading, 300+ passengers told to disembark from train (stood at Platform No.15) and told to go Platform No.13 for next train to London in 4 minutes time.  Cue 300+ passengers going up escalator over transfer deck onto down escalator to Platform No.13.  After two minutes further announcement that next train to London would be from Platform No.14.  Cue 400+ passengers (300+ from cancelled train plus those already on platform) surging back up escalator over transfer deck and back down escalator to Platform No.14.  I remained on Platform No.15 all this time as I sort of guessed that the next Up London train would come into a nominally Up direction platform rather than a nominally Down direction platform.  I got a seat but probably a significant number of passengers didn't.  At least 20+ stood in the coach I was in (coach L) when we left ::) :P

    After we left Reading there was only a single apology about the overcrowded train and the delay into our arrival into Paddington.  This was after an already extended (and diverted) 4 hour trip from the far South-West. :( >:(

    Going home in the early evening the service had still not fully sorted itself out but we did manage to arrive home just 3 minutes late :o


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Chris from Nailsea on December 07, 2014, 07:24:50 pm
    I've been sent a Network rail picture of the broken cable but don't know how to post it here.

    No problem, eightf48544: if you'd like to forward it to me, I'll do the necessary on your behalf. My e-mail address is in my profile.  ;)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Chris from Nailsea on December 07, 2014, 11:07:11 pm
    With my thanks to eightf48544 for his e-mail, I've now added his image to his previous post above.  :)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on December 08, 2014, 07:18:53 am
    And for this morning... "some lines closed" between Paddington and slough due to signalling problems.

    Yawn.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on December 08, 2014, 07:27:15 am
    And we've stopped.

    Relief line to London bound at Acton is shut.

    Double yawn.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 08, 2014, 08:15:41 am
    Hold it together with Gaffer tape and hope for the best - the picture is a metaphor for the whole system.....


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on December 08, 2014, 08:44:45 am
    Delays of about an hour from Reading to Paddington. I've been on this service for 65 minutes now and am stationary at Heathrow junction


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: tomL on December 08, 2014, 09:54:36 am
    Happy Monday everybody! Looks like we need some more tape!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 08, 2014, 10:23:08 am
    Happy Monday everybody! Looks like we need some more tape!

    Due to signalling problems between London Paddington and Slough some lines are closed.
    Impact:
    Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed by up to 60 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 15:00 08/12.

    .........it was 1100, now it's 1500.........rush hour should be fun >:(


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on December 08, 2014, 10:40:53 am
    Definitely fun and games this morning. Firstly my train (7.59 from Maidenhead to Paddington) was unexpectedly in reverse formation (I am assuming this magically happened in between Tilehurst and Maidenhead) which resulted in anyone trying to use First Class having to run the length of the platform only to find First Class (2 1/2 carriages of it) was already full!!  >:(

    Having shoe horned as many people as possible on to this train with no mention of any delays we set off.. We only made it as far as just west of Slough before we stopped and then were told to expect an hours delay (which turned out to be pretty accurate).

    If they had told us about the hour delays at Maidenhead I (and I am sure many others who could) would have given up and gone home to work from there, making the train less overcrowded and pleasant for those who really had to get into London

    Yet again FGW's communication was sadly lacking


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on December 08, 2014, 11:52:51 am
    Yet again, network rail signalling fails, this is not the fault of FGW but it seems  that they could have responded better regarding information.
    These breakdowns are no longer rare or exceptional events but are becoming the "new normal".

    When the sums were done regarding the benefits of electrification, did anyone consider the costs of these frequent major breakdowns ?
    Suppose that the new electric railway lasts for say 25 years before major renewals are needed. Then consider 5 years of frequent major disruptions whilst the work is done.
    I suspect that the millions of delay minutes caused by the works might NEVER be offset by increased reliability when the work is completed. I.E. that the 30 year total of delays (5 years of disruption followed by 25 years of normal operation) might be greater than simply carrying on with diesel power.
    Add to that the fact that the electrification works are bound to take much longer and to cost much more than forecast, and that electrification adds something else to fail.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on December 08, 2014, 11:59:41 am
    Indeed, expect the wires to come down....

    I don't think that there's much choice frankly, diesel trains are on their way out. ERTMS in cab) signalling may help....

    Needs putting down to the under-investment over decades & several Governments.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Red Squirrel on December 08, 2014, 12:04:57 pm

    ...diesel trains are on their way out...


    If they hadn't decided to electify, they'd have still needed to raise the bridges to accommodate the filtration equipment on stage IIIB-complaint diesel trains.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BBM on December 08, 2014, 12:11:51 pm
    On the subject of electric trains, this rather interesting post in connection with a discussion about this morning's problems has just appeared on the WNXX forum:

    http://www.wnxxforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=3979&start=400#p98044 (http://www.wnxxforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=3979&start=400#p98044)

    Quote from: Vaclad10
    NR Service updates quotes "all electric traction had been suspended (with the exception of the Inter Terminal Transfer) and the signalling system will be monitored. 1140 / 1142 Departures will be re-instated with the system being monitored with 4 electric units on the network...

    Looks like NR has considered that today's fault was being caused by HEx or HC trains?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: tomL on December 08, 2014, 12:18:12 pm
    On the subject of electric trains, this rather interesting post in connection with a discussion about this morning's problems has just appeared on the WNXX forum:

    http://www.wnxxforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=3979&start=400#p98044 (http://www.wnxxforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=3979&start=400#p98044)

    Quote from: Vaclad10
    NR Service updates quotes "all electric traction had been suspended (with the exception of the Inter Terminal Transfer) and the signalling system will be monitored. 1140 / 1142 Departures will be re-instated with the system being monitored with 4 electric units on the network...

    Looks like NR has considered that today's fault was being caused by HEx or HC trains?


    HEX are better IMO at saying it how it is. Taking a look at their Twitter feed their service has been on and off all morning at Network Rail's request. But the bigger eye-opener does seem to be, as you pointed out, is that can the signalling system handle electric traction?

    I was under the impression there was works being carried out to prevent problems like this? Did they miss Acton?  ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on December 08, 2014, 12:25:31 pm
    There's been a lot of work which is ongoing at improving the resilience of the overhead cables in certain areas between Paddington and Heathrow to prepare it for much frequent traffic rather than just the six trains each way per hour it currently gets.  Acton is one area that is undergoing a lot of work (as well as lots of ongoing work building the new fly-under), so perhaps there was work last night that went wrong and has caused the problems today?

    All I can find out is that a power failure was reported in the area at 05:22 this morning.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on December 08, 2014, 12:33:32 pm
    Disruption is expected to last until at least 4pm according to journeycheck.. I am starting to guess what the journey home is going to be like...


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on December 08, 2014, 01:06:40 pm
    Disruption is expected to last until at least 4pm according to journeycheck.. I am starting to guess what the journey home is going to be like...

    The only positive I can take from this is that I'll be working so late this evening in order to make up the time I lost coming in that there's a better chance of a clear run.

    Last week was pretty poor, with repeated morning delays of 10 mins between Reading and Paddington, mainly centred around Southall.
    Saturday was torrid.
    This morning was just horrendous.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BBM on December 08, 2014, 01:17:59 pm
    Disruption is expected to last until at least 4pm according to journeycheck.. I am starting to guess what the journey home is going to be like...

    Quite possibly no fasts to MAI or TWY with only a half-hourly stopping service of 5-car (if we're lucky) Turbos? Hopefully it won't be the case, at the moment on RTT it looks like there are no major delays east of RDG (only a few mins here and there) but the overall service is reduced by about 50% with the Reliefs still closed east of Southall.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on December 08, 2014, 01:19:57 pm
    Network Rail tweeted earlier...

    Quote
    08/12/2014 11:03
    @willguyatt At present the cause is believe to be a fault in the data transferring between signals.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 08, 2014, 01:28:46 pm
    Disruption is expected to last until at least 4pm according to journeycheck.. I am starting to guess what the journey home is going to be like...

    The only positive I can take from this is that I'll be working so late this evening in order to make up the time I lost coming in that there's a better chance of a clear run.

    Last week was pretty poor, with repeated morning delays of 10 mins between Reading and Paddington, mainly centred around Southall.
    Saturday was torrid.
    This morning was just horrendous.

    Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed by up to 45 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 23:30 08/12.

    Working late may not save you.........just been changed to 2330!!!  >:(


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: tomL on December 08, 2014, 02:00:28 pm
    Quote
    Disruption from signalling problems at Acton is expected until end of service today. Please check before travel - http://bit.ly/YE38x0

    https://twitter.com/FGW/status/541954093263372288


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on December 08, 2014, 02:04:50 pm
    I am leaving work early in the hope I beat the madness.. Watch this space :-)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 08, 2014, 02:05:25 pm
    Quote
    Disruption from signalling problems at Acton is expected until end of service today. Please check before travel - http://bit.ly/YE38x0

    https://twitter.com/FGW/status/541954093263372288

    Rather ironic that I renewed my season ticket yesterday and got an "extra" day added in respect of the void day on 6th October...........looks like I will have another one to add next time........"please check before travel"......outstanding advice.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on December 08, 2014, 02:11:24 pm
    What more can they say?....looks as though Journeycheck is carrying amends to beyond 1600 - so at least 2 hours forward. Makes sense to me....

    At least they've raised all ticket restrictions for the rest of the day, so no peak restrictions this evening.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on December 08, 2014, 02:18:29 pm
    Do network rail ever publish any detail on incidents like this?
    If I could get my head around some information on what takes engineering 18+ hours to fix then I might be more understanding.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 08, 2014, 02:31:08 pm
    I would imagine anyone counting on FGW to get them home for Christmas in a couple of weeks is doing so with extreme trepidation......imagine if this happens on Dec 23rd/Christmas Eve?



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: chrisr_75 on December 08, 2014, 03:11:31 pm
    I would imagine anyone counting on FGW to get them home for Christmas in a couple of weeks is doing so with extreme trepidation......imagine if this happens on Dec 23rd/Christmas Eve?



    It's actually rather easy to imagine this happening just before Christmas!!  ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on December 08, 2014, 03:38:16 pm
    In a way, it might be worth it happening just so that NR get severely bad press & likely hauled in front of the Transport Committee to answer a few obvious Qs that they are refusing to publicise. And hopefully lead to removal of NR bonuses for 2014.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ray951 on December 08, 2014, 03:48:15 pm
    FGW are saying that the disruption was caused by Data Cables not working correctly at Hanwell, west of Paddington.
    https://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/travel-updates/first-great-western-apology (https://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/travel-updates/first-great-western-apology)

    Not sure how a cable doesn't work correctly unless they have been damaged.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 08, 2014, 03:50:29 pm
    In a way, it might be worth it happening just so that NR get severely bad press & likely hauled in front of the Transport Committee to answer a few obvious Qs that they are refusing to publicise. And hopefully lead to removal of NR bonuses for 2014.

    ..............you mean NR and FGW get bonuses? What on Earth for?



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on December 08, 2014, 03:55:33 pm
    All ticket restrictions lifted out of Paddington tonight.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on December 08, 2014, 04:01:19 pm
    At least they've raised all ticket restrictions for the rest of the day, so no peak restrictions this evening.

    Posted earlier.

    That letter from Mark Hopwood makes it sound as though it's in the past - has it been fixed then?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on December 08, 2014, 04:04:03 pm
    Normal working given at 14:50.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on December 08, 2014, 04:45:46 pm
    18.18 and 19.48 via Maidenhead cancelled.  So that puts 500+ extra people on the 19.05 3 carriage to Henley.  Good work.    :'(


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: tomL on December 08, 2014, 04:59:25 pm
    18.18 and 19.48 via Maidenhead cancelled.  So that puts 500+ extra people on the 19.05 3 carriage to Henley.  Good work.    :'(

    HSTs can stop at Maidenhead right? Surely it would be beneficial for one to call there. the 17:45 to Swansea is taking the load for Twyford. 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 08, 2014, 06:27:15 pm
    Well I was quite lucky, bailed out early and was only 15 mins late - judging by Reading the stoppers are running OK but a lot of the fast trains are SNAFU'd........good luck all getting home tonight!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BBM on December 08, 2014, 06:48:15 pm
    The 1706 fast to TWY was cancelled. I went to P1 to see if the 1703 to PNZ would stop there, as often happens when the 1706 is cancelled, so I asked an FGW dispatcher who proudly showed me the Special Stop Order. Yet the TM was adamant in her PA announcement that it wouldn't stop there. Why the disparity?

    So for me it was the jammed 1712 with only 2 coaches, and apparently the following 1735 was also only 2-car.  >:(


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: thetrout on December 08, 2014, 07:06:40 pm
    1706 PAD - BRI is indeed cancelled throughout... I'm waiting for it at Trowbridge ::)

    Just about serves me right really :P


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on December 08, 2014, 07:07:30 pm
    I left work at 4 as I couldn't face a repeat of this morning.. I got the 4.42 which actually wasn't too full though stopped everywhere.. I did wonder why they didn't stop the odd HST at Maidenhead.. Incidentally I was actually aiming for the 16.49 to Slough to change there but that was cancelled which was a shame as it only had to get from the depot (old oak common) to Paddington and then head off to Oxford and would have helped a lot..

    Anyway I added it up.. Today I covered 60 miles in 5 hours which includes getting to and from the station at both ends btw - but still pretty impressive huh? And I only managed to be in the office for 5  1/2 hours thanks to this.. So some time to make up


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on December 08, 2014, 07:09:42 pm
    I left work at 4 as I couldn't face a repeat of this morning.. I got the 4.42 which actually wasn't too full though stopped everywhere.. I did wonder why they didn't stop the odd HST at Maidenhead.. Incidentally I was actually aiming for the 16.49 to Slough to change there but that was cancelled which was a shame as it only had to get from the depot (old oak common) to Paddington and then head off to Oxford and would have helped a lot..

    Anyway I added it up.. Today I covered 60 miles in 5 hours which includes getting to and from the station at both ends btw - but still pretty impressive huh? And I only managed to be in the office for 5  1/2 hours thanks to this.. So some time to make up

    Ha ha I just realised I spent pretty much the same time travelling as working today..  Now how different would that be had FGW put Wi fi in when other train operators did...


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on December 08, 2014, 07:10:51 pm
    18.18 and 19.48 via Maidenhead cancelled.  So that puts 500+ extra people on the 19.05 3 carriage to Henley.  Good work.    :'(

    HSTs can stop at Maidenhead right? Surely it would be beneficial for one to call there. the 17:45 to Swansea is taking the load for Twyford. 

    Yes, maidenhead can take HSTs happily, and I fully agree with your comment. The 18.18 is a 6 car turbo that is always rammed and is 95% maidenhead passengers as it is the only direct service >3 carriages within a 2hr window. If it is cancelled then it has massive implications for Maidenhead passengers


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on December 08, 2014, 09:49:59 pm
    So... now we can all begin to wonder how tomorrow will be (I'm not hopeful)..

    And also should the title of this thread be changed to remove months and just go for years (and obviously add 2015).. Sorry.. just being cynical but it's been a very long day in FGW land... again.. ::) ::)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Chris from Nailsea on December 08, 2014, 09:58:10 pm
    I refer readers to post #264 on this topic: http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=14689.msg164707#msg164707  ::) :o ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on December 08, 2014, 10:19:43 pm
    Definitely not a pessimist anymore if it were to be renamed... Just a realist  ::) ::)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Chris from Nailsea on December 08, 2014, 10:54:13 pm
    Bowing to member opinion, I have now accepted the apparently inevitable, and renamed this topic yet again.

    Happy now?   ;) :D ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: trainer on December 08, 2014, 11:15:32 pm
    I have read the comments in this thread with increasing wonderment and sympathy for all of you who have had to put up with this appalling service for so long with no end in sight.  Usually I am one of the first to leap to the defence of the rail industry, but it seems that this is now beyond what is at all acceptable.  I am sure no individuals set out to cause havoc, but Network Rail has some serious questions to answer about their management of a major infrastructure renewal while managing an asset (can that be the right word here?!) that has been grossly neglected until comparatively recently.  FGW still don't seem to have sorted out the communication issues.

    I am fortunate in not being caught up in all of this but am saddened what is happening and feel the frustration of those of you who for months have daily wondered if you can just get to work and home again.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on December 09, 2014, 05:24:35 am
    So... now we can all begin to wonder how tomorrow will be (I'm not hopeful)..

    Additional trains!

    Quote
    05:33 London Paddington to Hayes & Harlington due 05:52
    06:03 Hayes & Harlington to London Paddington due 06:24
    06:33 London Paddington to Hayes & Harlington due 06:52
    07:03 Hayes & Harlington to London Paddington due 07:24
    An additional train service has been planned to operate as shown 09/12/14
    This is due to signalling problems. Last Updated :09/12/2014 03:22

    I'm scratching my head as to why additional public services are running.



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 09, 2014, 05:59:00 am
    I think it's because Heathrow Connect/Express are cancelled/reduced so a link to Hayes gives people an option to get the bus to the airport?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BBM on December 09, 2014, 07:57:42 am
    So... now we can all begin to wonder how tomorrow will be (I'm not hopeful)..

    FGW reporting signal failure this morning at Theale with nothing running between NBY and RDG, but also seeing Twitter reports that the 0609 NBY-PAD is stuck at Midgham due to a level crossing failure?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: SandTEngineer on December 09, 2014, 08:19:25 am
    From FGW Journey Check:

    Quote
    Following a signalling problem near Theale, trains are now able to run between Newbury and Reading, delays of up to 30 minutes are expected while services return to normal. There is no firm estimate yet of how long disruption will last but it is likely to continue until at least 09:30.

    Signalling problems near Acton Main Line are disrupting services on Tuesday 9 December.  Heathrow Connect services are suspended.  First Great Western are running an hourly shuttle between London Paddington and  Hayes & Harlington calling at Ealing Broadway, West Ealing, Hanwell and Southall, departing: London Paddington at 33 minutes past the hour, Hayes & Harlington at 03 minutes past the hour 

    Heathrow Express are running an amended service.  Departing London Paddington at 25 and 55 minutes past the hourDeparting Heathrow Airport T5 at 12 and 42 minutes past the hour

    Alternative travel options: First Great Western passengers may use London Buses on all reasonable including the 140 bus between Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow (Central Bus Station).

    Heathrow Connect passengers with pre booked tickets may use Heathrow Express services between London



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 09, 2014, 08:24:50 am
    So... now we can all begin to wonder how tomorrow will be (I'm not hopeful)..

    FGW reporting signal failure this morning at Theale with nothing running between NBY and RDG, but also seeing Twitter reports that the 0609 NBY-PAD is stuck at Midgham due to a level crossing failure?

    Due to signalling problems between Reading and Newbury all lines are closed.

    ...............another day, another SNAFU.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: lordgoata on December 09, 2014, 08:49:32 am
    There was a stationary, and empty, train sitting at Tilehurst in platform 3 this morning, with its lights configured to be heading to Reading, rather from Reading as usual on platform 3. No idea what that was all about (broken down maybe ?).


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on December 09, 2014, 08:57:33 am
    Considered writing this in the Rights and Redress section but given this is where all the dealys are occurring....

    So Thames Valley is operating below the standard for a 5% (woo!) discount to ticket renewals.  No news there, but are there any further compensation thresholds?  if it dips further does that increase to 10%? 

    As a follow up, if there are no additional conpensation thresholds then what is the motivation for NR/FGW to improve services once the 5% is already triggered?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on December 09, 2014, 09:15:13 am
    I understand the reason Heathrow Connect services have been withdrawn is because it seems electric trains on the relief lines are affecting the signalling system.

    I think the problem on the Berks & Hants was mainly solved shortly before 8am. There were plans to divert the 07:06 to Paignton via Bristol but these were cancelled. A service from the west was diverted and passed through Swindon non stop around 08:30.



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on December 09, 2014, 09:16:44 am
    Quote
    Signalling problems near Acton Main Line are disrupting services on Tuesday 9 December.

    Is/was that restricted to the relief lines ? I had a cleanish run through apart from a minor slowdown through Hayes.

    Lots of disgruntled people on P1 at Reading this morning with the Newbury services all cancelled.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: lordgoata on December 09, 2014, 09:51:08 am
    So Thames Valley is operating below the standard for a 5% (woo!) discount to ticket renewals.  No news there, but are there any further compensation thresholds?  if it dips further does that increase to 10%?

    When I first started to commute regularly in 2008 the first couple of renewals I had were 10% discounts - so I assume there is a 10% threshold somewhere, unless that was extra discount for something else!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on December 09, 2014, 10:00:17 am
    There's a 5% discount for reliability too - the number of timetabled trains that don't run. Currently heading that way with the cancellation of Connect trains (I believe Connect features within FGW stats?)

    So a max of 10% available if both stats fail the charter mark.

    But no, there's no 10% for either available if it goes on getting worse - but obviously likely to stay below the trigger for longer the lower it gets.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on December 09, 2014, 10:02:41 am
    How do the triggers work historically for annual renewals ? If the service were to be exemplary from Jan-May and I renew in June, would I see any discount pending for the last few months, which have been particularly awful ?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on December 09, 2014, 10:31:27 am
    It's done on a Moving Annual Average basis for both punctuality and reliability to ensure fairness for annual ticket holders.

    https://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/About-Us/Our-business/Performance

    Currently the reliability is still a reasonable level above the trigger on most routes.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 09, 2014, 12:25:14 pm
    Due to emergency engineering works between London Paddington and Ealing Broadway some lines are closed.

    Impact:
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled or delayed. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on December 09, 2014, 01:08:17 pm
    I'm so happy.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: rower40 on December 09, 2014, 01:45:05 pm
    There was a stationary, and empty, train sitting at Tilehurst in platform 3 this morning, with its lights configured to be heading to Reading, rather from Reading as usual on platform 3. No idea what that was all about (broken down maybe ?).
    A new signal was put up at the London End of Tilehurst platform 3 at one of the previous stages of the Reading remodelling to allow reversal there.  If, for example, the direct line from Reading to Reading West (station) is shut, then trains can be sent to Tilehurst to reverse, and then use the Reading West curve.

    [hostage to fortune...]It'll all be wonderful come Easter 2015.  There's a mahoosive chunk of work going live then - effectively the final part of the resignalling the whole way from Paddington to Didcot.  Watch this space...


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on December 09, 2014, 01:53:43 pm
    Yep, last of the HST dioversions via Banbury & into Waterloo....


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: thetrout on December 09, 2014, 01:57:41 pm
    Due to emergency engineering works between London Paddington and Ealing Broadway some lines are closed.

    Impact:
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled or delayed. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.

    (http://i.imgur.com/U2RQ7Of.png)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on December 09, 2014, 02:33:11 pm
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-berkshire-30392928

    Quote
    Persistent rail delays on the commuter line between Reading and London Paddington are "not acceptable", the rail minister has said.

    First Great Western (FGW) apologised on Monday after passengers faced delays of up to an hour following signalling faults in Acton, west London.

    Rail Minister Claire Perry said she would be meeting Network Rail and FGW to discuss the problems.

    Network Rail said it did not know what was causing the wider ongoing issues.

    {continues}

    My emphasis ...


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 09, 2014, 03:02:16 pm
    Very reassuring! But at least it's getting some publicity in Parliament (.......thought they'd all be on their Christmas hols by now!!!)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on December 09, 2014, 03:47:00 pm
    I liked the use of the stock photograph from during the Reading platform remodelling works where there was almost no standing room on those either :)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on December 09, 2014, 03:59:39 pm
    This afternoon's cause of delays in the Thames Valley?

    (http://www.mbob.co.uk/bnm/Photobucket_Your%20Bucket//10849795_10154865887200459_2864908106136373281_n_zps47615b44.jpg)

     ::) :P ;D

    (Picture courtesy of forum member Ollie, via Facebook)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Timmer on December 09, 2014, 04:32:04 pm
    You couldn't make it up. 'Move along now please'.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Four Track, Now! on December 09, 2014, 09:43:44 pm
    Wrong sort of pigeon.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: stuving on December 09, 2014, 11:26:23 pm
    There is now this apology on the FGW site.
    Quote
    Apology from Network Rail and First Great Western

    Dear Customer,

    We're sorry if you were caught up in the delays experienced by many of our passengers in the London and Thames Valley area on Monday 08 December.

    Data cables at Hanwell, west of Paddington which link signalling and safety equipment on the line to Network Rail^s signalling control centre, were not working properly. This meant we could only safely run trains on two of the four lines into and out of London Paddington, severely limiting the number of trains we were able to run compared to normal.

    This had a knock-on effect on other services across our network, causing delays and cancellations as we worked to keep customers moving.

    Network Rail is sorry for the disruption caused, and continues to investigate exactly what happened so that steps can be taken to avoid it happening again.

    First Great Western has lifted ticket restrictions for the whole of Monday 08 December, and tickets will be valid on other train operators^ services. Customers affected by the delays can claim compensation, according to their ticket type, and details of how to claim are on our website at www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/compensation.

    Season ticket holders will be compensated as part of the relevant Passenger Charter arrangements.

    Yours Faithfully,

    Patrick Hallgate
    Route Managing Director
    Network Rail

    Mark Hopwood
    Managing Director
    First Great Western

    Now, is that datalink issue the one caused by traction current? I can imagine that, if something that did work suddenly starts to suffer from  interference, finding it could be difficult. The cost of good EMC* is taking great pains everywhere with screening and earthing, and it would only need a concealed short-circuit at one point between two earths to undo it.

    Which is not any kind of excuse. And of course there's still today to apologise for.

    *EMC=electromagnetic compatibility


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Western Enterprise on December 10, 2014, 08:56:30 am


    Now, is that datalink issue the one caused by traction current? I can imagine that, if something that did work suddenly starts to suffer from  interference, finding it could be difficult. The cost of good EMC* is taking great pains everywhere with screening and earthing, and it would only need a concealed short-circuit at one point between two earths to undo it.

    Which is not any kind of excuse. And of course there's still today to apologise for.

    *EMC=electromagnetic compatibility

    There is some good banter on this subject over at the "http://www.wnxxforum.co.uk" website, which has a lot of railway professionals on board.
    Some of the stuff is so technical that even they don't know what is going on. :(
    The consensus of opinion seems to be that all the signalling on the eastern bit of the GWML should be ripped out and shredded!.

    WE


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ellendune on December 10, 2014, 07:01:12 pm
    The consensus of opinion seems to be that all the signalling on the eastern bit of the GWML should be ripped out and shredded!.

    I assume this is the section that was resignalled by Railtrack in the mid 1990's for Heathrow Express. Has it really worn out in less than 20 years?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on December 10, 2014, 07:52:13 pm
    The issue with the Eastern end of the GWML, the old Slough IECC area, it uses SSI (Solid State Interlocking) whilst it was not a very early version of this I feel there may have been some corners cut at the time with the install also as electronics go 20 year makes it geriatric.

    The Thameslink signalling development team are also developing an ETRMS / ECTS system for the GWML principally for Crossrail operation which could see the introduction of ATO (Automatic Train Operation) .............the Drivers can then say look mum no hands  ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on December 12, 2014, 10:10:40 am
    Well its been all clear on journeycheck for 2 days now but I can't help feeling something is still busted. All of my HSTs leaving London have taken 10mins longer to maidenhead, pausing around hayes, and today the 7.16 inbound took 40mins.

    Have fgw just suppressed the data for the TV ?!?!  ::)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 12, 2014, 10:21:22 am
    Well its been all clear on journeycheck for 2 days now but I can't help feeling something is still busted. All of my HSTs leaving London have taken 10mins longer to maidenhead, pausing around hayes, and today the 7.16 inbound took 40mins.

    Have fgw just suppressed the data for the TV ?!?!  ::)

    ............maybe that's regarded as normal service now, not worthy of highlighting?  :-\


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Richard Fairhurst on December 12, 2014, 11:54:11 am
    You may be interested in http://recenttraintimes.co.uk/ which sets all these figures out in black and white. Or, more often, red.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on December 12, 2014, 12:07:19 pm
    You may be interested in http://recenttraintimes.co.uk/ which sets all these figures out in black and white. Or, more often, red.

    Maidenhead to Paddington's most punctual fast train in the peaks appears to be the 07:59 with a 90% chance of a 5 minute or less delay at Paddington.  Some others are very poor though - the 08:35, too late for most commuters, but still a busy train is at only 43%!

    Coming back the 17:35 has a 100% record which is pretty impressive.  Less impressive is the 45% recorded by the semi-fast 17:42 train.

    Data based on the last three months.  A very useful website, but it's a shame longer time periods can't be analysed, as whilst three months sounds quite a long time, it is in fact only 60 or so occurrences of a given train of course.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on December 12, 2014, 02:07:23 pm
    What an excellent link, thanks for posting.
    Paddington to Reading evening peak for the past 7 days is as red as I'd expect!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: lordgoata on December 12, 2014, 02:38:46 pm
    And the earlier train I catch twice a week from Maidenhead has just 33% for the arriving in time for the past 100 days! I keep saying its always late, now I have proof :) (Its ALWAYS held up due to some poxy freight train. Maybe one day they will change the timetable to reflect the real time it actually runs at....


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Western Enterprise on December 12, 2014, 03:13:54 pm

      Some others are very poor though - the 08:35, too late for most commuters, but still a busy train is at only 43%!

    The 08.35 is one I catch often, and it has never been on time. It stops in the country platforms , sometimes coupling up with another Turbo Unit in front, and sometimes its 'doors to manual' with one open per carriage !
    I have just written complaint letter #1 to FGW  ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on December 14, 2014, 11:11:13 am
    You may be interested in http://recenttraintimes.co.uk/ which sets all these figures out in black and white. Or, more often, red.

    Maidenhead to Paddington's most punctual fast train in the peaks appears to be the 07:59 with a 90% chance of a 5 minute or less delay at Paddington.  Some others are very poor though - the 08:35, too late for most commuters, but still a busy train is at only 43%!

    Coming back the 17:35 has a 100% record which is pretty impressive.  Less impressive is the 45% recorded by the semi-fast 17:42 train.

    Data based on the last three months.  A very useful website, but it's a shame longer time periods can't be analysed, as whilst three months sounds quite a long time, it is in fact only 60 or so occurrences of a given train of course.

    I agree that the 7.59 appears to be the most punctual.. The train almost always gets to Paddington on time. However those stats don't show that not always all the passengers get there on time even if the train does.. If the HST that forms this set has an issue then it gets replaced with a class-180.. So probably 3/8 of the passengers are then delayed..


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 21, 2014, 09:17:00 am

    Delays to services between Swindon and Didcot Parkway
    Due to over-running engineering works between Swindon and Didcot Parkway all lines will be blocked.
    Impact:
    Train services running through these stations may be delayed by up to 30 mins. Disruption is expected until 13:00 21/12.


    Good luck to anyone heading home by train for Christmas - not a very good start today!  :(


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on December 21, 2014, 09:23:03 am
    So far, fingers crossed, looking at the departure times from Swindon things don't look too bad.  Single line working has been introduced with trains from London using the Up line for the section between Uffington and the outskirts of Swindon.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on December 21, 2014, 10:23:18 am
    I totally understand that signalling /track problems are outside of the TOCs control but the last few months - in my opinion - are hardly a good incentive to travel by rail in our area.

    Personally I despair every time I see "delays between XXX and YYY causing delays of up to..."

    Is it me or has there always been a concentrated run of delays of this nature? Judging by the title of this thread it's been going on file a while but surely these cant be a knock on effect from the October 6th issue :)

    (In the above example XXX and YYY are not real station codes before anyone notices :) )


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on December 21, 2014, 10:25:29 am
    This morning's issues would more accurately be described as track problems.  They are struggling to fit a new/replacement point.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on December 21, 2014, 10:31:16 am
    This morning's issues would more accurately be described as track problems.  They are struggling to fit a new/replacement point.

    Thanks for clarifying bobm. I sincerely hope travellers plans are not disrupted by this.  I would suggest that most members this forum are used to these delays but the occasional traveller may not be so understanding of individual problems


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on December 21, 2014, 10:35:01 am
    This morning's issues would more accurately be described as track problems.  They are struggling to fit a new/replacement point.

    Thanks for clarifying bobm. I sincerely hope travellers plans are not disrupted by this.  I would suggest that most members this forum are used to these delays but the occasional traveller may not be so understanding of individual problems

    The heaviest delay I can spot is 12 minutes on the 08:37 PAD-SWA, so as 'bobm' said earlier this isn't causing any real problems.  Bi-directional signalling helps enourmously as such times, and it's good to see that such signalling flexibility is slowly being expanded on the network.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on December 21, 2014, 10:41:23 am

    The heaviest delay I can spot is 12 minutes on the 08:37 PAD-SWA, so as 'bobm' said earlier this isn't causing any real problems.  Bi-directional signalling helps enourmously as such times, and it's good to see that such signalling flexibility is slowly being expanded on the network.

    If that's the limit of delays like you say that's not too bad and I totally agree about bi-directional running.i know someone that is coming up from Cardiff to Reading this morning so hopefully they won't be delayed too much if at all. I'm not sure what service they are on otherwise I would have a look out of curiosity


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 21, 2014, 08:10:10 pm

    The heaviest delay I can spot is 12 minutes on the 08:37 PAD-SWA, so as 'bobm' said earlier this isn't causing any real problems.  Bi-directional signalling helps enourmously as such times, and it's good to see that such signalling flexibility is slowly being expanded on the network.

    If that's the limit of delays like you say that's not too bad and I totally agree about bi-directional running.i know someone that is coming up from Cardiff to Reading this morning so hopefully they won't be delayed too much if at all. I'm not sure what service they are on otherwise I would have a look out of curiosity

    Unless of course you're travelling to Cheltenham, as virtually every service seems to be cancelled due to "a member of staff being unavailable" - Christmas parties?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on December 21, 2014, 08:23:00 pm
    I think the problem in the morning was no one to take the HST stock from Bristol to Swindon to provide a set for the run to Cheltenham and thence to London.  That therefore meant three cancellations.

    In the afternoon the problems weren't helped by the unit booked to work the service in between the cancelled Paddington services running with the sole toilet locked out of use.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on December 21, 2014, 09:15:07 pm
    There was over-running Engineering work twixt Didcot & Swindon till 1300, according to Journeycheck


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 22, 2014, 08:42:14 am
    I think the problem in the morning was no one to take the HST stock from Bristol to Swindon to provide a set for the run to Cheltenham and thence to London.  That therefore meant three cancellations.

    In the afternoon the problems weren't helped by the unit booked to work the service in between the cancelled Paddington services running with the sole toilet locked out of use.

    I guess the question must be then why was no-one available to take the stock from Bristol to Swindon?

    Signal problems again this morning it seems - Bristol TM & Westbury/Pewsey......cancellations over the next couple of days are likely to cause real problems with trains already overcrowded for Christmas.



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on December 22, 2014, 10:46:21 am
    Signal problems again this morning it seems - Bristol TM & Westbury/Pewsey......cancellations over the next couple of days are likely to cause real problems with trains already overcrowded for Christmas.

    Again though, I'm struggling to find much real disruption from either issue - one early PAD-BRI cancelled and its return at 09:30 and a couple of trains in the Westbury area about 10 minutes late.  I'm sure if disruption of that magnitude is all we get this Christmas then staff and customers will be pretty pleased.

    I think it was Graham that pointed out with modern information systems like journeycheck to refer to it can look like the network is always in turmoil when the reality is that a tiny percentage of passengers are actually being disrupted and without that information the rest would not realise anything was wrong.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on December 22, 2014, 11:14:04 am

    Snip

    I think it was Graham that pointed out with modern information systems like journeycheck to refer to it can look like the network is always in turmoil when the reality is that a tiny percentage of passengers are actually being disrupted and without that information the rest would not realise anything was wrong.

    In my opinion (and yes, I know I have said this before) these automated systems can be both a benefit and a pain in the proverbial - let me give you an example.

    When I am travelling by train as soon as I can I check the app on my mobile (we are often talking 530 am here). If there have been overrunning engineering works then up until the last minute the services will show on time. However because the back end systems work on the principle a service is on time unless it is reported late (what else can it do!) local services in my part of the world (B&H line) will show as on-time until their due departure date has passed.  As has been discussed previously the systems seem to have difficulty coping when services are delayed/cancelled/reinstated following interruption of service

    On balance though they are an invaluable aid when planning my journey so I accept the limitations


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 23, 2014, 10:59:46 am

    Due to signalling problems between London Paddington and Slough some lines are blocked.

    Impact: Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 30 mins or revised. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.

    Customer Advice:
    Owing to signalling problems affecting a couple of running lines in the Southall area, we are unable to operate the full timetabled service to and from London Paddington at present. There will be a reduction in the frequency of train services (in both directions) between London Paddington and Reading / Oxford. Any other train service cancellations or alterations will be advised on an individual basis.


    ..............Merry Christmas everyone!  :(


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on December 23, 2014, 04:19:09 pm
    Thankfully things are pretty much back to normal in time for the post-work London exodus!  At least this time you highlighted delays that were of some significance I suppose, rather than jumping on anything listed on journeycheck.

    It's disappointing to see further signalling problems on the route into Paddington, even if disruption was contained to only a couple of hours this time and the majority of the long distance trains made their way through eventually.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 23, 2014, 06:31:01 pm
    Thankfully things are pretty much back to normal in time for the post-work London exodus!  At least this time you highlighted delays that were of some significance I suppose, rather than jumping on anything listed on journeycheck.

    It's disappointing to see further signalling problems on the route into Paddington, even if disruption was contained to only a couple of hours this time and the majority of the long distance trains made their way through eventually.

    ...........I guess it's an indication of what is now "normal service" when I am criticised for pointing out a situation that caused the cancellation of a number of services to Cheltenham, several to Bristol and delays elsewhere on the network.........you have to see this in the context of a totally unacceptable level of service over the last few months which shows no signs of improving, an isolated incident here and there would not be worthy of comment, it's the relentless failures on a daily basis that all add up.......from now on I will count my blessings, chief amongst which is that I am able to drive home for Christmas!

     Have a good Christmas all, and may all your delays be little ones!  ;)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on December 23, 2014, 06:53:01 pm
    I refer you to post #494 and hope the many reported road delays don't affect you.  Of course, in reality, reports today of...

    A multi-vehicle accident closed two lanes between junction 5 near Otford in Kent and junction 6 near Oxted in Surrey has caused a two lane closure, while a broken-down lorry forced one lane to be closed at the M25^s junction 12 south of Heathrow airport.

    In North Yorkshire, the A64 was closed in both directions between the B1249 and the B1248 due to an accident at West Knapton, with drivers advised to take alternate routes.

    Those planning a break across the Channel via Kent were delayed by heavy traffic near Folkestone,


    ...actually affected only a small percentage of those people trying to travel by car, as do the majority of the train incidents listed.  Probably not the 'travel hell' and 'nightmare' for everyone the article the quote above came from tries to portray:

    http://metro.co.uk/2014/12/23/travel-hell-for-brits-looking-to-get-away-for-christmas-4997518/ (http://metro.co.uk/2014/12/23/travel-hell-for-brits-looking-to-get-away-for-christmas-4997518/)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 23, 2014, 06:58:11 pm
    I refer you to post #494 and hope the many reported road delays don't affect you.  Of course, in reality, reports today of...

    A multi-vehicle accident closed two lanes between junction 5 near Otford in Kent and junction 6 near Oxted in Surrey has caused a two lane closure, while a broken-down lorry forced one lane to be closed at the M25^s junction 12 south of Heathrow airport.

    In North Yorkshire, the A64 was closed in both directions between the B1249 and the B1248 due to an accident at West Knapton, with drivers advised to take alternate routes.

    Those planning a break across the Channel via Kent were delayed by heavy traffic near Folkestone,


    ...actually affected only a small percentage of those people trying to travel by car, as do the majority of the train incidents listed.  Probably not the 'travel hell' and 'nightmare' for everyone the article the quote above came from tries to portray:

    http://metro.co.uk/2014/12/23/travel-hell-for-brits-looking-to-get-away-for-christmas-4997518/ (http://metro.co.uk/2014/12/23/travel-hell-for-brits-looking-to-get-away-for-christmas-4997518/)

    If your point is that there are sometimes problems on other forms of transport then it is well made, it doesn't however mitigate against the ongoing poor performance of the railways (NR/FGW) on the Thames Valley and other lines over the last few months which as you may have noticed is the theme of this thread.....I am however grateful for your good wishes  :)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on December 23, 2014, 07:42:02 pm
    Some of us are working over Christmas to build a better railway ...................

    Which can do best when no trains are running a whole 52 hours (and more in some places) to take things to bits and put new stuff in


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on December 23, 2014, 07:56:07 pm
    Which can do best when no trains are running a whole 52 hours (and more in some places)

    Let's hope the 'more' isn't an unplanned more due to overruns in too many places this year.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ellendune on December 23, 2014, 08:07:36 pm
    If your point is that there are sometimes problems on other forms of transport then it is well made, it doesn't however mitigate against the ongoing poor performance of the railways (NR/FGW) on the Thames Valley and other lines over the last few months which as you may have noticed is the theme of this thread.....I am however grateful for your good wishes  :)

    Whether it is unavoidable or not I do not know but this does seem to be normal though whenever major improvements are carried out to a live railway that is running at near full capacity.  Remember the WCML work in the days of Railtrack?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on December 23, 2014, 08:27:44 pm
    Which can do best when no trains are running a whole 52 hours (and more in some places)

    Let's hope the 'more' isn't an unplanned more due to overruns in too many places this year.
    Well on FGW land it you won't be able to blame me ...................... I'm playing with a different part of the train set  ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on December 23, 2014, 08:45:33 pm
    Thankfully, for me at least, I've only had to travel from Thatcham to London twice this December. In the October - November months when I was commuting daily I gave up telling her indoors what tine I expected to be home because until I walked through the door I couldn't rely on anything outside of my control

    Here is hoping that the new year will bring a new start

    To all of you helping to build a better railway - I thank you for your hard work


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on December 23, 2014, 10:09:31 pm
    I received a 7th void day letter from FGW today. It relates to 8th December I believe.
    I welcome FGW's speed in recognising their 3rd world service that week, and for them getting the notification out pre-Christmas.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ellendune on December 23, 2014, 10:13:30 pm
    I welcome FGW's speed in recognising their 3rd world service that week, and for them getting the notification out pre-Christmas.

    What is 3rd world service? I remember a friend once recalling his travels in India. One day he expressed surprise that the train he was about to catch (the one train each day) was on time rather than a few hours late.  He was corrected however "No this is yesterday's train". 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on December 23, 2014, 10:28:07 pm
    So pretty similar to the Thames valley through that week.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: John R on December 23, 2014, 10:32:14 pm
    I've just received ^140 back on this year's season due to the 7 void days. A real bonus, as only 1 of those days particularly inconvenienced me, but then I recognise that many others would have been much more severely impacted.  (And if you're wondering what the inconvenience was, I had to share a table for 2 in first class with someone for the last 15 minutes of my morning journey into Swindon due to overcrowding. ) ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Four Track, Now! on December 26, 2014, 09:23:50 pm
    Some of us are working over Christmas to build a better railway ...................

    Which can do best when no trains are running a whole 52 hours (and more in some places) to take things to bits and put new stuff in

    Merry Christmas ET, when you get time to celebrate!

    The figures show that the rail service is quieter over holiday periods, although some may say that is because of there being fewer trains. That makes it the best time to carry out major work, and I don't mind not being able to take a train on Boxing Day in exchange for the removal of the mail conveyor at Temple Meads and all the other pre-electrification work being done over Christmas.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on December 27, 2014, 09:09:20 am
    Not looking very good this morning with numerous cancellations and many other services delayed or diverted or not serving the whole route.

    Looks like a mixture of the expected over running engineering works outside Paddington and signal failures around Southampton.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 27, 2014, 09:21:22 am
    Not looking very good this morning with numerous cancellations and many other services delayed or diverted or not serving the whole route.

    Looks like a mixture of the expected over running engineering works outside Paddington and signal failures around Southampton.

    It's the same every year so I don't suppose anyone is really very surprised.....first Penzance service of the day cancelled, next few (assuming they run) will be hideously overcrowded........first Penzance to Paddington starting from Plymouth too.....due to....yes you've guessed it......"a member of the train crew being unavailable"



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on December 27, 2014, 09:24:25 am
    Advice for passengers from Reading and west thereof intending to use the first Penzance was to travel to Temple Meads where an additional train will run to Cornwall.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 27, 2014, 10:05:01 am
    That one will be nice and cosy especially as the next PAD-PLY is also cancelled.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on December 27, 2014, 10:20:20 am
    "Additional train".... Likely to only be carrying those transferring from PAD as few others will know its running


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 27, 2014, 10:24:13 am
    "Additional train".... Likely to only be carrying those transferring from PAD as few others will know its running

    probably immaterial now.....latest from Journeycheck.....

    Due to over-running engineering works between London Paddington and Hayes & Harlington all lines are closed.

    0900 to Exeter cancelled, as is 0928 to Penzance - best advice, give up and go home? (unless that's what you're trying to do?)

    What a farce.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on December 27, 2014, 11:21:12 am
    Looking at the bbc news web site it's not just FGW services being hit by overrunning engineerng works

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-30607689 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-30607689)

    Personally I am not affected by either dispruptions But it doesn't stop me feeing sorry for those who need access to the transport system today


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Worcester_Passenger on December 27, 2014, 11:37:04 am
    Currently sitting in sloe at pad, having arrived to catch the 1106. Too much luggage to consider going to Marylebone. Nothing in the station.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on December 27, 2014, 11:38:32 am
    In that link, it says:

    Quote
    A Network Rail spokesman said the work was "a small part of a massive amount of engineering investment taking place over Christmas".

    He said 4.5 million passengers use the railways on average every day, compared with two million a day over the Christmas and New Year holiday.

    Whilst I agree that the Christmas and New Year period is a wholly excellent time to close some lines to undertake major works on them, I can't help feeling they the "two million a day" average over Christmas and the New Year is to some extent caused by the almost complete absence of trains on 2 of those days.   Kinda pushes the average down.   If we call the Christmas / new year period 10 days (24th Dec to 2nd Jan) and say that trains only run on 8 of them, then would the average over the days they run be 2,000,000 / 0.8 = 2,500,000 passengers.   Is Mr Network Rail being naughty with his use of statistics, or has he already and correctly discounted the 2 shut days?

    I'm afraid I've learned to be a cynic over the years - long experience of messages like "fill the existing trains and we'll provide more" which were pretty darned hard to do in the days when there was a choice between the 06:12 and the 18:44.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on December 27, 2014, 11:41:15 am
    Journey check is now saying no trains into Paddington until 13.30


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on December 27, 2014, 12:11:42 pm
    And now it's disruption until 6.30pm at least...   Oh well it's not like there are any big sales on that people might want to get to  (not me btw - I don't like shopping!) :) ::)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on December 27, 2014, 12:18:06 pm
    This though predictable is a very poor performance from network rail (and/or contractors whom they chose to appoint) and whilst I presume that another review or enquiry will be announced, does anyone think that it will be better next time ?

    Electrification, new signalling and other preparations for the new shorter trains are expected to take some years so this is unlikely to be a "one off"
    And of course events like todays will discourage train travel at holiday times.

    I recently met, at a social event, a West country MP who stated that a massive road improvement and road building programme was needed in the West because "the railway always closes at Christmas and Easter, and in bad weather, and you never know in advance if the trains will be running"


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: tomL on December 27, 2014, 12:46:11 pm
    Following along on Twitter things still look far from finished.

    https://twitter.com/search?q=%23PaddingtonTrains&src=hash&mode=photos


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on December 27, 2014, 12:46:19 pm
    I'll be fascinated to see if this warrants a void day. If it was a regular day and no trains ran into Paddington then I'd be confident of it being void, but will fgw just chance it and not declare a void.
    IMO the void/no void decision needs to be taken out of the TOC's control and awarded by a regulator.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: stuving on December 27, 2014, 12:54:22 pm
    Following along on Twitter things still look far from finished.

    https://twitter.com/search?q=%23PaddingtonTrains&src=hash&mode=photos
    But that work isn't meant to be finished until the new year.

    I see at least one train has been sent out prospecting for a way through the battlefield ...

    (from JourneyCheck)
    09:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 11:26 This train has been delayed at Slough and has been further delayed at Southall.
    This train will be diverted from Reading.
    This train will be terminated at Ealing Broadway.
    This train will call additionally at Ealing Broadway.
    This train will no longer call at London Paddington.
    This is due to over-running engineering works. Last Updated :27/12/2014 12:45

    (Currently -12:55 - it's at Hanwell.)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on December 27, 2014, 12:59:00 pm
    Good to see plenty of staff by the 'information' screens in this photo.

    https://twitter.com/HUTCHfilms/status/548808702783131648/photo/1 (https://twitter.com/HUTCHfilms/status/548808702783131648/photo/1)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on December 27, 2014, 01:30:03 pm
    I don't think they offer void days at weekdnds


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BBM on December 27, 2014, 01:41:17 pm
    I've driven into London today but I've just popped into PAD to see what's happening, and breaking news is that a train has just arrived into P8, an HST which has disgorged some weary travellers. And now one also arriving into P9. Departure indicators showing 'delayed' departures to PNZ at 1328 and BRI at 1333.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Timmer on December 27, 2014, 02:08:22 pm
    So after both Kings Cross and Paddington closed due to overrunning engineering work, we await to see on Monday if Network Rail can complete the hat trick and overrun the work at Watford keeping Euston closed.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: thetrout on December 27, 2014, 02:37:03 pm
    I got lucky with this today. I turned up at Southend Victoria station and boarded the train about 20 minutes before it was going to leave to head back to West Country. A member of platform staff spotted me and leaned in and asked if I was going back to the West Country. I said that was the plan and he asked me to come and take a look at something. That something was the Sky News Channel from the door of the Mess Room.

    Needless to say I left Southend Victoria station pretty rapidly and not by means of a train ::) :D :-X


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: tomL on December 27, 2014, 02:39:29 pm
    Network Rail have tweeted that the lines outside of Paddington have been handed back.  

    https://twitter.com/NetworkRailPAD/status/548838948790095872
    https://twitter.com/NetworkRailPAD/status/548839209327661056



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on December 27, 2014, 02:41:01 pm
    Yes, they'll be ongoing delays for the rest of the day, but at least trains can now get through.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on December 27, 2014, 03:33:05 pm
    I don't think they offer void days at weekdnds

    Why not?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on December 27, 2014, 04:33:20 pm
    I don't think they offer void days at weekdnds

    Why not?

    Because season tickets are priced / based on a five day [Monday through Friday] use. 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on December 27, 2014, 04:56:14 pm
    So if we, as season ticket holders, can't travel at weekends due to collective network failure then we have no recompense?
    I bet NR still pays FGW for today's delays. A nice little earner for FGW.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Worcester_Passenger on December 27, 2014, 05:02:01 pm
    Well, at about 13:10 we gave up waiting at Padd'n and went off to Marylebone. Where we caught the 13:36 to Birmingham. And got back to Foregate Street at 16:40.



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 27, 2014, 05:31:26 pm
    Its interesting that the "delay map" now quite closely resembles the same picture this time last year when we had extreme weather as an excuse - but all that is responsible this time around is good old fashioned incompetence.

    I really hope that some of the FGW devotees on here really understand what it is to try to get from London to Plymouth/Penzance during periods of massive disruption, which seems to be pretty much a weekly (at least) event these days.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on December 27, 2014, 05:38:00 pm
    Its interesting that the "delay map" now quite closely resembles the same picture this time last year when we had extreme weather as an excuse - but all that is responsible this time around is good old fashioned incompetence.

    In my opinion the extreme weather was a "reasonable cause" rather than "excuse". My in laws (who like us were flooded in 2007) were flooded 6 times in succession in February and March this year. That to me is extreme weather for this country.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 27, 2014, 05:43:39 pm
    Its interesting that the "delay map" now quite closely resembles the same picture this time last year when we had extreme weather as an excuse - but all that is responsible this time around is good old fashioned incompetence.

    In my opinion the extreme weather was a "reasonable cause" rather than "excuse". My in laws (who like us were flooded in 2007) were flooded 6 times in succession in February and March this year. That to me is extreme weather for this country.

    Yes, I fully agree that nothing can be done about the whims of nature, that was my point....and your thoughts on today's (entirely man made) events, which have inconvenienced tens of thousands?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Umberleigh on December 27, 2014, 05:56:03 pm
    Its interesting that the "delay map" now quite closely resembles the same picture this time last year when we had extreme weather as an excuse - but all that is responsible this time around is good old fashioned incompetence.

    I really hope that some of the FGW devotees on here really understand what it is to try to get from London to Plymouth/Penzance during periods of massive disruption, which seems to be pretty much a weekly (at least) event these days.

    Well said. Just made it back to Truro from Gatwick Airport Station and whilst I was not overly delayed, I had to change at Bristol Parkway and Plymouth post-Reading and it was only because the Cross Country Parkway - Plymouth was ten minutes later that I wasn't at least an hour late. Also my seat reservation was lost and all trains in every class were packed after Bristol.

    Sick if this routine now, every Christmas holiday period the service is a farce and yet the fares get dearer. By the way, even on the way up (23rd) the air con was broken (freezing cold) and the buffet boiler broken (so no hot drink).


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on December 27, 2014, 06:07:30 pm

    Yes, I fully agree that nothing can be done about the whims of nature....and your thoughts on today's (entirely man made) events, which have inconvenienced tens of thousands?

    This may be a rambling answer but here goes.

    I think one of the problems I have in commenting on delays caused by (for example) overrunning engineering works is that I work in an industry (IT) where project overruns are all too common. The big difference is that in the case of IT projects I work on the delays don't normally have a direct impact on the public.

    I would like to see a break down of the delays (and causes of) since October. As has been discussed previously the majority of causes of delays are not down to the TOC concerned but due to infrastructure issues. I would be curious to know, for example, how many of the delays since October can be attributed to a root cause which was that due to the damage caused on October 6th

    In my opinion the odd delay caused by signal/points failure (as an example) is to be expected but as you know TG delays seem to be the norm rather than the exception at the present time.

    I would like to also understand better the interaction between NR and the Government (via the transport minister). I would hope there are weekly reviews of performance levels for previous weeks.

    Regarding the issues starting up services after Christmas engineering works I think in hindsight it would have been better to have shut down public services for a longer period and then bring them back on stream earlier if circumstances allowed. From a planning perspective I know this is not ideal but it is probably more realistic given the history of restarting segments of the rail network after major engineering works.

    Please (anyone) do not read this as a criticism of staff on the ground - I do not believe this is an issue here . There may be many causes of the problems we are facing  but I don't think this is one.

    Am I satisfied with the service being offered by the TOCs which rely on NR to provide a service? Definitely not! But probably - like you TG - I have to tolerate the delays and disruption which cause my working day to be stretched at both ends.

    Sadly, I don't have the answers to the current delays - if I did I wouldn't be sitting here typing this!










    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Worcester_Passenger on December 27, 2014, 06:08:16 pm
    I think that Network Rail had a very lucky escape today.

    On our way from Marylebone, we came flying past a waiting Virgin West Coast train at South Ruislip (it had to follow us all the way to Leamington Spa). These trains were running hourly from Euston to Birmingham International to avoid the Watford blockade, routed by way of Acton Main Line and the Greenford branch. The one that I saw was a 15-car Voyager.

    If the signalling problems in and out of Paddington had knocked these out as well, then I hate to imagine what the media would've made of it all!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on December 27, 2014, 06:26:12 pm
    Apparently they were not even allowing people to buy tickets at Maidenhead about 1.30pm and weren't letting people up to the platform. Despite the fact that a train did go on from there to Paddington about that time..

    My son was there and was told there were "no trains" and even when people started leaving the station from the train that had just stopped  there (and they'd seen on the departures board) one of the members of staff said he'd just been up on the platform and had seen no train..

    Marvellous.. You couldn't make that up  ::)

    I imagine the train that did run (the first I think) may have been full and standing and all the rest but why the information couldn't have been factual rather than make believe I can't quite work out


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Oberon on December 27, 2014, 06:29:23 pm
    One of the best pieces of advice to give to anyone is this: - never travel by rail over the Christmas period!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Umberleigh on December 27, 2014, 06:32:12 pm
    My family live near Heathfield in East Sussex, and I am at present based in Truro. I have the option of driving (no thanks) the train or flying to/from Newquay. I believe in the train as the best environmental option - and preferable to driving -  and in an ideal world, we should not be flying anyone from Cornwall to London.

    But this is the second year running that my Christmas holiday trip has fallen foul of delayed and cancelled trains, and I've had enough. As I stood freezing cold on Bristol Parkway Station waiting for a (fortunately) late and crowded Cross Country service to Plymouth (not Truro) I knew that the Flybe plane had already landed in Newquay.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on December 27, 2014, 06:57:58 pm
    NickB - if you are paying for weekday travel by buying your season ticket & are offered travel for free on weekends, how can you be compensated for something that is free.

    Alternatively, you might request a season based on 7day travel, and you might get compensated - but the cost of that ticket if it were available, would be dearer to start with

    I know which version I'll be buying.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on December 27, 2014, 07:14:52 pm
    Anyone know what tomorrow is likely to bring ? I thought that the overrunning engineering work was now done and the line handed back to the TOC.
    Whilst one would expect some knock on delays, it now appears that most services are cancelled until late evening.



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on December 27, 2014, 07:17:59 pm
    NickB - if you are paying for weekday travel by buying your season ticket & are offered travel for free on weekends, how can you be compensated for something that is free.

    Alternatively, you might request a season based on 7day travel, and you might get compensated - but the cost of that ticket if it were available, would be dearer to start with

    My understanding is that season tickets are priced based on five days in seven of travel by the typical full time worker, as that's the typical number of journeys that the rail industry expects them to make.  Careful study of a lot of pages makes no reference to the weekend travel being "free" in any way - and I think it's more because the majority of people work a Monday through Friday week that comparisons are made in relation to peak journeys on those days, and void days are declared for those days because that's when most are using their seasons.

    You have a fair point on 7 day compensation, though, Chris ... void days / compensation has to be paid from somewhere.  FGW gets the money from Network Rail (if it's their fault) who get the money in line access changes from FGW who get the money (in fares) from the passengers.   There's going to be some leakage along the way from this financial merrygoround, but I suspect that shareholders and directors are but little streams off this big river flowing. The sad thing is just how much of the river must leak into the bedrock of administration that it flows over.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on December 27, 2014, 07:34:37 pm
    My family live near Heathfield in East Sussex, and I am at present based in Truro. I have the option of driving (no thanks) the train or flying to/from Newquay.

    or National Express ...  also an option ;D ? ... local buses to Brighton then change at Heathrow.  Coach time 8 hours 30 minutes - not sure if I would trust the 5 minute connection that Traveline gave me, though!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on December 27, 2014, 08:52:28 pm
    NickB - if you are paying for weekday travel by buying your season ticket & are offered travel for free on weekends, how can you be compensated for something that is free.

    Alternatively, you might request a season based on 7day travel, and you might get compensated - but the cost of that ticket if it were available, would be dearer to start with

    I know which version I'll be buying.

    I pay a year in advance for 365 days of travel. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday - if there is a timetable then i expect a train. If the timetable goes out the window for a whole day then i expect compensation.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on December 27, 2014, 09:16:45 pm
    Anyone know what tomorrow is likely to bring ? I thought that the overrunning engineering work was now done and the line handed back to the TOC.
    Whilst one would expect some knock on delays, it now appears that most services are cancelled until late evening.



    I was wondering the same thing. NR journey planner is promising a bus between Slough and Hayes up until the 7.40am departure from Maidenhead so work is obviously starting up again overnight in the same place.. So maybe don't be too hopeful


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on December 27, 2014, 09:38:09 pm
    NickB....no, you're paying for 5xdaysx52 weeks of travel, less public holidays.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on December 27, 2014, 10:10:55 pm
    NickB....no, you're paying for 5xdaysx52 weeks of travel, less public holidays.

    Who dictates what are working days and which aren't though?.. Surely a season ticket would still be cheaper if (hypothetically) someone worked Tuesday to Saturday every week (so 5 days each week)? That hypothetical person who bought that season ticket would definitely not have made it into work today


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: brizzlechris on December 27, 2014, 11:07:27 pm
    It might be interesting to look at how compensation works on the newer franchises operating Delay Repay.

    Do season ticket holders on Delay Repay get compensation for delayed weekend services? Yes (though at a lesser value than that of a weekday delay).

    East Coast (http://www.eastcoast.co.uk/customer-service/delay-repay/) and Southern (http://www.southernrailway.com/download/3139.5/passengers-charter/) both specificially refer to how this is calculated and this is done on the basis of the season ticket being used 1 in 4 weekends. Other franchises such as London Midland (http://www.londonmidland.com/download/62052.9/passengers-charter-2012/) refer to 546 as the presumed number of journies comprising an annual season ticket.

    When you also take into account that Sunday performance and reliability are excluded from FGW's calculation of compensation for holders of season ticket longer than one month, it does seem that FGW season ticket holders are getting a bit of a raw deal on weekends (and even more so for those on former FGW Link services who are calculated on a Monday-Friday basis only) ...

    Quote from: First Great Western Passenger Charter
    All Monday - Saturday services are included in these calculations (except for former First Great Western Link services where only Monday to Friday services are included, and only morning and evening peak services are included in the punctuality calculation. Peak services are those arriving at London Paddington between 0700 - 1000 and those departing London Paddington from 1600 – 1900 are included). Sundays and Bank Holidays are also excluded from these calculations

    Maybe this will all be addressed with FGW moving to Delay Repay in the proposed extension...


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: thetrout on December 27, 2014, 11:09:11 pm
    NickB....no, you're paying for 5xdaysx52 weeks of travel, less public holidays.

    Just so I am clear in my head with this Chris B. Are you saying that by paying for 40 weeks out of 52 weeks. Those additional 12 Weeks of 'free travel' that the Railway is not obliged to for-fill its contract in getting the passenger from A - B? Also to renegade on offering compensation for significant delays?

    Not sure I can agree with that. NickB is entirely right to say "I expect compensation if the trains are timetabled to run and they don't" What you seem to be suggesting is that passengers who travel on Weekends / Bank Holidays are not entitled to compensation if everything goes horribly wrong?!!

    Maybe I've read too much into that. But if we take a different approach here. What about those who use their season tickets to get to work to serve us Sunday Lunches who work Wednesday - Sunday inclusive? Why should they be held at disadvantage because they have their weekend on Mondays and Tuesdays?

    I hold a season ticket and will be required to work Saturdays every so often. If the train gets me to Bristol over an hour late. I would expect to be entitled to compensation.

    Day of the week is irrelevant in my view. Whether you hold a CDS, FOR, Season Ticket. If trains are advertised to run as per a timetable. If they do not, then rightly so you should be able to seek redress.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on December 27, 2014, 11:55:42 pm
    And let's not forget that those Season Ticket holders who travel with TOCs that have the 'Delay Repay' scheme get compensated for every delayed journey, regardless of the day of the week or purpose of the journey. For an annual Season Ticket you divide the price by 546 for a single journey price, then are awarded 50% of that price for a delay of 30-59 minutes, 100% for 60-119 minutes, and 200% for 120+ minutes.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on December 28, 2014, 03:08:59 am
    Quote
    Alterations to services between London Paddington and Reading Due to over-running engineering works between London Paddington and Reading some lines are closed.
    Impact:
    Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed by up to 15 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 09:00 28/12.
    Customer Advice:
    First Great Western ticket holders may use their tickets on London Underground and / or local TfL bus services in the area.
    Additional Information:
    Please note that customers holding tickets dated for travel on the 27th December on First Great Western routes affected by this problem may use those tickets to travel today on Sunday 28th or Monday 29th December instead.

    My bolding. Updated 23:48.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on December 28, 2014, 07:42:10 am
    See post #554 previously for a quote that sers out current compensation.

    It is rumoured that FGW are moving to Delay Repay in the new franchise, we'll have to wait & see.

    Now 0915 with further updates promised


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on December 28, 2014, 07:49:52 am
    TV this morning talks about old people in their 80s and 90s with luggage and families with children being stranded for hours, though main focus is on King's Cross.   Is that because that was a worse (more people) mess, a worse (more cancellations) mess, or because signalling and system failures and overruns don't happen often there and are more newsworthy?

    Talk too of the Office of Rail Regulation fining Network Rail, and of Network Rail having to pay compensation to the Train Operating Companies.   Talk of further disruption today (and indeed I see London to Hayes and Harlington trains starting at Ealing Broadway), and that tickets from yesterday are valid today and tomorrow, so trains are expected to be very busy.

    Yesterday was an incredibly busy day on the forum - 125 posts.   As we were open on Christmas day and Boxing day, that wasn't caused by people having to put off their contributions - I suspect it was the lift that we see when things aren't going quite right.   To give you a 'measure', average daily traffic somewhere in the 60 to 65 messages range.  Figures have only been higher this year on 11th and 12th February (178 and 151), and on 6th October it went just higher to 127.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on December 28, 2014, 08:01:07 am
    Ironically I think the main focus has been on Kings Cross because the problems were signposted by the announcement on Boxing Day that the work was not running to plan.  That allowed the news crews and photographers to make plans to get there and see the disruption.  The problems at Paddington unfolded on Saturday morning and while they did receive some coverage later on, the focus was on Kings Cross because that's where the pictures were coming from.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Four Track, Now! on December 28, 2014, 09:19:42 am
    Ironically I think the main focus has been on Kings Cross because the problems were signposted by the announcement on Boxing Day that the work was not running to plan.  That allowed the news crews and photographers to make plans to get there and see the disruption.  The problems at Paddington unfolded on Saturday morning and while they did receive some coverage later on, the focus was on Kings Cross because that's where the pictures were coming from.

    In Scotland, at least, they were warned of Kings Cross, the truth being in the caption:

    (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/Boyamijealous_7108a707/Record_zps3ffd7f49.jpg)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 28, 2014, 09:46:54 am
    When all the petty arguments, semantics and point scoring have died down, there needs to be a fundamental examination of the offering given by FGW to its customers at the moment and going forward.......yesterday the rail industry as a whole failed utterly and dismally - no ifs, buts, blaming each other as to who did what to who etc.....what matters is that tens of thousands of customers were let down.....again - this seems to be overlooked in the battle to apportion blame to NR etc.

    It seems that every year at Christmas, when demand for long distance travel is at its highest, overcrowding is endemic, reliability lowest, services do not match customer demand (I won't revisit the Boxing Day issue here but clearly it needs to be explored and addressed), and above all, engineering works, which we are promised will make all the difference, overrun and cause chaos, albeit not to the extent of yesterday's meltdown.

    For the last 3 months, since early October the level of service offered by FGW which is normally inconsistent at best has been unacceptable - there have been individual days when things have virtually ground to a halt, and hardly a day goes by without increasing levels of signal failures, non availability of staff, mechanical failure etc etc causing cancellations, delays and short formations......all this against a background of rising fares, overcrowding etc - customers are being asked to pay more for a deteriorating service.

    Hopwood and his senior cohorts seem to be virtually invisible - aside from the occasional feeble apology and soundbite - any senior manager worth his salt would be visibly and extensively all over the other organisations causing  problems for his customers - he seems like a bit of a mushroom.

    Alongside this the whole customer ethos has to change - aside from pockets of excellence, there is a general air of indifference, lack of information/communication and sense that the organisation is run largely for the benefit of those within it rather than its customers (admittedly not unusual for large public/quasi public sector monopolies) - the Business needs to fit around the needs of its customers, not the other way around, and there needs to be a reassessment of the sense of entitlement amongst a lot of the staff.

    There needs to be an honest examination and explanation of the level of service that can be offered over the next few years before we reach (what we are told) is the holy grail of new rolling stock etc - expectations need to be managed and priced accordingly, if FGW care at all about its brand and its customers perception of it.

    Some of this will get peoples backs up - tough - its nothing personal but its my perception based on my experience as a long term paying customer, it's up to FGW to turn my opinion around by providing a service worthy of the name, in return for the thousands of ^ that I and countless others hand over on a regular basis.

    I hope that Hopwood, NR etc are sat down in front of a select committee and publicly given an almighty bollocking and instructions to come up with a recovery plan very, very quickly.....I can't see anything else that will catalyse a swift improvement, other than pegging their salaries to customer satisfaction/performance figures which may have a similar effect!!!





    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Worcester_Passenger on December 28, 2014, 10:10:40 am
    Yesterday (Saturday 27th), we got to Paddington at about 10:50, intending to catch the 11:06 back to Worcester, due into Foregate Street at 13:44.

    I have to say that customer service at Paddington was really good. A lot of people in hi-vis jackets, who had spread out, which meant that there wasn't a queue. They were very apologetic. They'd got an empty station to point to. Their suggestion for Worcester was that we go to Marylebone and go round via Birmingham.

    Too much luggage for that, so we retired upstairs into Sloe to wait and see. We'd got plenty of Christmas books, so waiting wasn't a problem. Downside about being in Sloe is that you can't hear the PA, so from time to time we went off to find out what was going on.

    Each time the same thing - very apologetic, very courteous, but we don't know when we may be able to get things going again. Meanwhile, Marylebone is our best suggestion. It probably helped that they'd got an empty station to point to, and that their basic message was to go somewhere else. I'm sure that that meant that the crowds didn't build up in the way that they did at Finsbury Park.

    We cracked at about 13:10, and went off to Marylebone. Caught the 13:36 to Birmingham. Back at Foregate Street at 16:40.

    Tried posting from the Chiltern train, but their WiFi is not very good.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on December 28, 2014, 10:40:15 am
    Trains appear to be running ok from Maidenhead currently.. We have a half hour service which is the norm for a Sunday.. My son is going to have his second attempt this weekend at a day in London.. Hopefully he will be more successful this time


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on December 28, 2014, 10:48:06 am

    ..snip..
    I have to say that customer service at Paddington was really good. A lot of people in hi-vis jackets, who had spread out, which meant that there wasn't a queue. They were very apologetic. They'd got an empty station to point to. Their suggestion for Worcester was that we go to Marylebone and go round via Birmingham.
    ..snip..

    Although I understand that service disruption and delays can and do cause frustration for passengers I'd like to commend WP on his objective comments regarding his own experience.

    I'd also like to add that when I have been at Paddington and there have been major delays most of the FGW staff on the ground are very helpful - I certainly wouldn't want their job at times :)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Umberleigh on December 28, 2014, 11:07:05 am

    ..snip..
    I have to say that customer service at Paddington was really good. A lot of people in hi-vis jackets, who had spread out, which meant that there wasn't a queue. They were very apologetic. They'd got an empty station to point to. Their suggestion for Worcester was that we go to Marylebone and go round via Birmingham.
    ..snip..

    Although I understand that service disruption and delays can and do cause frustration for passengers I'd like to commend WP on his objective comments regarding his own experience.

    I'd also like to add that when I have been at Paddington and there have been major delays most of the FGW staff on the ground are very helpful - I certainly wouldn't want their job at times :)

    FGW hi vis guy very helpful at Reading, announced that passengers for the Westcountry should take the Swansea train to Bristol Parkway.

     However the train manager on said train only made the standard announcements and no info on connections was offered, resulting in a lot if worried people. Finally she walked down the train after Didcot, but was in no mood for stopping, and I literally had to run after her. She gave me answers to all my questions, but still no announcement for everyone else. Very poor.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: phile on December 28, 2014, 11:15:22 am
    There were a large number of traincrew shortages resulting in cancellation of trains, or legs of, so as a review of the whole picture as suggested this matter must be examined also.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on December 28, 2014, 09:48:42 pm
    Fingers crossed it's not going downhill again but the 21.15 from Paddington to Reading has just lost 20 minutes between Acton and Ealing Broadway..


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on December 28, 2014, 09:58:47 pm
    According to National Rail (not made it onto journeycheck just yet)

    "A signalling problem at Southall is causing delays of up to 30 minutes to services to and from London Paddington. There is no firm estimate yet of how long disruption will last but it is likely to continue until at least 22:30"


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on December 28, 2014, 10:00:28 pm
    I believe there's a points failure at Southall (loss of detection) which affects the main lines.  Not helped by the closure of the relief lines for engineering works


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: autotank on December 28, 2014, 10:30:36 pm
    I was held up by this - the 2027 RDG-PAD was 25 late in the end. On the plus side I got to travel some very rare track at Southall where we passed through the old Brentford branch platform and then corssed right over to the up relief!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on December 29, 2014, 05:25:20 am
    As discussed, weekend working relies in a lot of rest-day volunteers. Staff voted with their feet to show that they *do* want time off over Christmas, hence the staff shortages.

    Happens across the industry, no inquiry needed


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on December 29, 2014, 05:42:28 am
    Yes, more staff do want time off over Christmas - no surprises there (and for the record that doesn't impact on my belief you could easily get enough volunteers for a skeleton Boxing Day if you paid a descent amount!).  The rostering should be robust enough to deal with that as there are only a certain number of drivers (or TM's) allowed to be off on a given day.  For example, just this week it looks like over 20 days of holiday requests have been declined at Oxford drivers depot alone!

    But a huge backlog of route and traction knowledge amongst established staff, and a large number of vacancies still to be filled is causing even more problems than it would normally do.  The fault for that lies squarely at FGW's door.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: eightf48544 on December 29, 2014, 09:23:59 am
    I was held up by this - the 2027 RDG-PAD was 25 late in the end. On the plus side I got to travel some very rare track at Southall where we passed through the old Brentford branch platform and then corssed right over to the up relief!

    Have you highlighted the lines in your track plan booklet?

    I've not done it in the Up direction so i'm jealous, but have done it in the Down on a service train.

    i've also done it a couple of times on railtours to the Brentford branch.




    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 29, 2014, 09:28:34 am
    Yes, more staff do want time off over Christmas - no surprises there (and for the record that doesn't impact on my belief you could easily get enough volunteers for a skeleton Boxing Day if you paid a descent amount!).  The rostering should be robust enough to deal with that as there are only a certain number of drivers (or TM's) allowed to be off on a given day.  For example, just this week it looks like over 20 days of holiday requests have been declined at Oxford drivers depot alone!

    But a huge backlog of route and traction knowledge amongst established staff, and a large number of vacancies still to be filled is causing even more problems than it would normally do.  The fault for that lies squarely at FGW's door.

    Sounds to me like 6 of one and half dozen of the other - to an extent the tail is wagging the dog, in most situations the starting point is "we need to have enough staff to maintain the service" before any A/L is considered, but if there are not enough staff with the necessary skills to start with without relying on people giving up rest days then that becomes tricky.......agreed though, money talks, but again it comes down to having the right people available, not just lots of bodies....both sides probably need to consider their positions to find a solution....suspect staff will cling onto their "right" to have Xmas day/Boxing day off as of right however that's not sustainable in the longer term if the politicians/public demand a Boxing Day service (which they already are) and Xmas engineering possessions become less of an issue........sometime around 2100 then?  :D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on December 29, 2014, 02:38:37 pm
    Yes, more staff do want time off over Christmas - no surprises there (and for the record that doesn't impact on my belief you could easily get enough volunteers for a skeleton Boxing Day if you paid a descent amount!).  The rostering should be robust enough to deal with that as there are only a certain number of drivers (or TM's) allowed to be off on a given day.  For example, just this week it looks like over 20 days of holiday requests have been declined at Oxford drivers depot alone!

    But a huge backlog of route and traction knowledge amongst established staff, and a large number of vacancies still to be filled is causing even more problems than it would normally do.  The fault for that lies squarely at FGW's door.

    Sounds to me like 6 of one and half dozen of the other - to an extent the tail is wagging the dog, in most situations the starting point is "we need to have enough staff to maintain the service" before any A/L is considered, but if there are not enough staff with the necessary skills to start with without relying on people giving up rest days then that becomes tricky.......agreed though, money talks, but again it comes down to having the right people available, not just lots of bodies....both sides probably need to consider their positions to find a solution....suspect staff will cling onto their "right" to have Xmas day/Boxing day off as of right however that's not sustainable in the longer term if the politicians/public demand a Boxing Day service (which they already are) and Xmas engineering possessions become less of an issue........sometime around 2100 then?  :D

    In that case I demand that Parliament sits on Boxing Day and all other business are open as normal, including schools, Banks et all


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on December 29, 2014, 03:00:25 pm
    In that case I demand that Parliament sits on Boxing Day and all other business are open as normal, including schools, Banks et all

    And presumably all boxing rings? ;)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 29, 2014, 03:18:42 pm
    Yes, more staff do want time off over Christmas - no surprises there (and for the record that doesn't impact on my belief you could easily get enough volunteers for a skeleton Boxing Day if you paid a descent amount!).  The rostering should be robust enough to deal with that as there are only a certain number of drivers (or TM's) allowed to be off on a given day.  For example, just this week it looks like over 20 days of holiday requests have been declined at Oxford drivers depot alone!

    But a huge backlog of route and traction knowledge amongst established staff, and a large number of vacancies still to be filled is causing even more problems than it would normally do.  The fault for that lies squarely at FGW's door.

    Sounds to me like 6 of one and half dozen of the other - to an extent the tail is wagging the dog, in most situations the starting point is "we need to have enough staff to maintain the service" before any A/L is considered, but if there are not enough staff with the necessary skills to start with without relying on people giving up rest days then that becomes tricky.......agreed though, money talks, but again it comes down to having the right people available, not just lots of bodies....both sides probably need to consider their positions to find a solution....suspect staff will cling onto their "right" to have Xmas day/Boxing day off as of right however that's not sustainable in the longer term if the politicians/public demand a Boxing Day service (which they already are) and Xmas engineering possessions become less of an issue........sometime around 2100 then?  :D

    In that case I demand that Parliament sits on Boxing Day and all other business are open as normal, including schools, Banks et all

    .....or you'll take your football home and then no-one will be able to play?

    Sorry but you're not remotely comparing apples with apples......but if you think its a valid argument the business of Government goes on 24/7/365....hospitals, defence, emergency services etc........Banks provide a service online and via ATM etc......they make adequate provision to cope with the nature of their customers demand........the railways, with a few exceptions, provide no service in the face of high demand......I am sure Nurses, soldiers, paramedics would all like 2 guaranteed, untouchable days off over Xmas but like the majority of us who have chosen to work in service organisations we realise that its not always possible so we get on with it as best we can. My last word on this subject anyway.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on December 29, 2014, 03:25:34 pm
    Agreed - just the definition of "reasonable" relating to payroll uplift that has to be agreed.

    Maybe the same as the majority of other staff that have to work over that day,. eh? :-)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 29, 2014, 06:48:52 pm
    Read an interesting article in the paper tonight suggesting that in order to avoid this chaos a week long "shutdown" in August for engineering might be better than the 52 hour rush over Christmas - the idea being that there is more daylight to use, lots of people on holiday so less impact on commuters, and fewer "occasional" travellers going home/travelling long distance for a major event such as Christmas...........any thoughts on this?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on December 29, 2014, 06:56:57 pm
    It would certainly need advertising at/before January each year.

    Interesting thought, though. Everyone would expect a week free on their season ticket....


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on December 29, 2014, 07:02:15 pm
    It is an interesting idea as long as it was advertised a long time in advance... It think it would still affect commuters more though as I bet more take time off over Christmas than on a random week in August since the "summer holidays" are longer than the Christmas holidays.. I think it might be a no go though for longer distance travellers..

    There are certain places where it's easy to get alternative trains/buses but some where it's not...

    From Maidenhead e.g. there is a bus that goes to Heathrow (to connect with the tube if it's running), plus High Wycombe and Bracknell on other train lines are 10 miles away (in opposite directions) though the buses to get to Bracknell in particular are rather non existent.. 

    It would need to be carefully thought out obviously but it's not impossible and if it removed the chaos of Saturday well why not at least work out if it's feasible..


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 29, 2014, 07:15:34 pm
    It is an interesting idea as long as it was advertised a long time in advance... It think it would still affect commuters more though as I bet more take time off over Christmas than on a random week in August since the "summer holidays" are longer than the Christmas holidays.. I think it might be a no go though for longer distance travellers..

    There are certain places where it's easy to get alternative trains/buses but some where it's not...

    From Maidenhead e.g. there is a bus that goes to Heathrow (to connect with the tube if it's running), plus High Wycombe and Bracknell on other train lines are 10 miles away (in opposite directions) though the buses to get to Bracknell in particular are rather non existent.. 

    It would need to be carefully thought out obviously but it's not impossible and if it removed the chaos of Saturday well why not at least work out if it's feasible..

    (Very) simplistically for the Thames Valley - commuters via Reading use the Waterloo line as can those from Slough via Windsor/Datchet (slow but doable) - Tubes run from Chesham, Uxbridge, Heathrow into town and as you say there are various buses from larger commuter centres such as Maidenhead which could be beefed up giving quite a few options- loads of buses doing nothing in August whilst the schools are off..........not sure about the longer distance services.......use Reading as a terminus for services to the Westcountry/Wales with a reduced service? (if the work is taking place between Reading/Paddington? .........very much back of a fag packet stuff but I'm sure someone with more expertise than me can comment on practicalities?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: John R on December 29, 2014, 08:15:53 pm
    Isn't this what Network Rail wanted to do around Watford this year? And everyone got up in arms and said it wasn't right so they changed it to a much longer series of weekend possessions.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on December 29, 2014, 09:13:53 pm
    There are certain places where it's easy to get alternative trains/buses but some where it's not...

    I'm reminded of the Thameslink "Alternatives available if the trains aren't running" maps.
    http://www.thameslinkrailway.com/your-journey/planning/alt-maps-tl/
    and see attachment example on this post.

    Is there a similar map for the Thames Valley or for any other FGW areas?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Timmer on December 29, 2014, 09:39:57 pm
    Isn't this what Network Rail wanted to do around Watford this year? And everyone got up in arms and said it wasn't right so they changed it to a much longer series of weekend possessions.
    Yep.

    I think doing work in August is the way ahead for big engineering projects so long as good alternatives are provide be it diverted services or express coach services. We are going to see work taking place next July and August when Box Tunnel and Sydney Gardens in Bath is wired giving us a chance to see how well it works.

    The important thing is to give as much notice as possible along with details of a revised timetables, ticket easements etc.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on December 29, 2014, 10:02:58 pm
    Graham in the case of the TLP London Bridge blockage alternatives this is easier south of the Thames the Victorians left a myriad of cross connecting routes, also TLP have been working away improving these divisions for the best part of 10 years, most of it was needed anyway.

    TLP is a big and well established team as I said almost 10 years and I do mean team it is a very collaborative set up if you walk in the offices you would not at first glace identify NR staff from the contractors staff, indeed normally rival contractors sit side by side.

    The Reading blockades did have alternatives set up which worked well, it gets more difficult once you get east of Reading to do a full 4 track closure, reopen the Maidenhead - High Wycombe line? build the Windsor link? I have done the Maidenhead to London Waterloo a few times, an odd occasion is ok to do it every day for 2 weeks folks would loose the will to live


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Super Guard on December 30, 2014, 10:35:09 pm
    Yes, more staff do want time off over Christmas - no surprises there (and for the record that doesn't impact on my belief you could easily get enough volunteers for a skeleton Boxing Day if you paid a descent amount!).  The rostering should be robust enough to deal with that as there are only a certain number of drivers (or TM's) allowed to be off on a given day.  For example, just this week it looks like over 20 days of holiday requests have been declined at Oxford drivers depot alone!

    But a huge backlog of route and traction knowledge amongst established staff, and a large number of vacancies still to be filled is causing even more problems than it would normally do.  The fault for that lies squarely at FGW's door.

    Sounds to me like 6 of one and half dozen of the other - to an extent the tail is wagging the dog, in most situations the starting point is "we need to have enough staff to maintain the service" before any A/L is considered, but if there are not enough staff with the necessary skills to start with without relying on people giving up rest days then that becomes tricky.......agreed though, money talks, but again it comes down to having the right people available, not just lots of bodies....both sides probably need to consider their positions to find a solution....suspect staff will cling onto their "right" to have Xmas day/Boxing day off as of right however that's not sustainable in the longer term if the politicians/public demand a Boxing Day service (which they already are) and Xmas engineering possessions become less of an issue........sometime around 2100 then?  :D

    At each depot establishments are calculated by adding in the service that needs covering + spare coverage + standby coverage + annual leave requirement and then rounded up.

    Annual leave is a red herring, as a minimum number allowed off is agreed and built as part of the link (usually 15% at any one time).  I don't know any service/catering/retail industry that would say "oh sorry we cannot cover xyz so your annual leave is cancelled".  Extra leave will of course be granted but only if the service is covered.

    Of course if there are vacancies in the link and not enough overtime volunteers or training hasn't happened for route/traction then you start getting uncovered turns.  Then add the fact that more people are sick this time of year (genuinely) and no doubt the odd extra case that may not be genuine (a problem that is faced by all service industries in the winter/xmas time), and you have problems.  Apart from the odd case who may not be genuinely sick, those problems are not caused by operational staff, but the recruitment policies and higher management off them.

    You have drivers who are moving from West & LTV depots to HSS to allow a full service to run on HSS while IEP training happens, and there is a massive recruitment programme going on across all depots and business areas for the long-term, but training drivers takes approximately a year if not longer, and whether you like or not, the current running of the railway means decisions will be made with money in mind from both a FGW (business/profit view) and a DfT/taxpayer view (deficit reduction anyone?)

    Ultimately though, if depots were fully trained on traction/routes required and all vacancies fully filled then you wouldn't see this problem.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on January 02, 2015, 02:16:05 pm
    ....someone just sent me this, made me chuckle! (perhaps each station could be equipped with one to pass the time!)  :)



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: eightf48544 on January 03, 2015, 07:59:22 am
    Afraid i'm not really into model buses but i like the idea.

    On a more serious note has anyone seen the structure they've put up to hang signal S132 Down Relief at A4 Dumb Bell bridge Taplow. You'll only se it from the train if you on the Up Relief looking towards the main line.

    However it's visable form teh A4 going West just before the bridge.

    OHLE compliant!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on January 03, 2015, 08:35:24 am
    A few others were replaced between Maidenhead and West Drayton using the same  design over the Christmas break.  A different design, encompassing a 'proper' gantry, are being used on similar signals between Reading and Didcot.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on January 03, 2015, 08:53:49 am
    On a more serious note has anyone seen the structure they've put up to hang signal S132 Down Relief at A4 Dumb Bell bridge Taplow. You'll only se it from the train if you on the Up Relief looking towards the main line.

    However it's visable form teh A4 going West just before the bridge.

    OHLE compliant!

    Yes, one of the advantages of LED signal lamps they don't need the wick trimming of filling with paraffin :D seriously even over tungsten lamps LED's will last 10 years or more any maintenance can be done from MEWP's

    A few others were replaced between Maidenhead and West Drayton using the same  design over the Christmas break.  A different design, encompassing a 'proper' gantry, are being used on similar signals between Reading and Didcot.

    The great dividing line between Crossrail and the rest of the Route  ::)  The Crossrail route between Maidenhead and Paddington is having a ETCS system with ATO potential being developed by the Thameslink signalling team for introduction at the end of the decade.  It is seen as the next step to increase line capacity, it could be all wayside signals between possibly Reading and Paddington could be abolished by 2025!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: stuving on January 03, 2015, 01:25:30 pm
    The great dividing line between Crossrail and the rest of the Route  ::)  The Crossrail route between Maidenhead and Paddington is having a ETCS system with ATO potential being developed by the Thameslink signalling team for introduction at the end of the decade.  It is seen as the next step to increase line capacity, it could be all wayside signals between possibly Reading and Paddington could be abolished by 2025!
    ETCS is going further than that - the 2013 Route Plan said:

    ETCS on Western Route: CP5 strategy and implementation
    CP5 delivery of ETCS on Western Route comprises:
    Western key output 5: ETCS level 2 overlay Paddington to Heathrow by September 2017
    Western key output 7: ETCS overlay Paddington to Bristol by July 2019
    Western key output 8: all trains ETCS fitted/Lineside Signals removed ^ by December 2025

    Unless that's slipped already ...


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on January 03, 2015, 03:31:27 pm
    The great dividing line between Crossrail and the rest of the Route  ::)  The Crossrail route between Maidenhead and Paddington is having a ETCS system with ATO potential being developed by the Thameslink signalling team for introduction at the end of the decade.  It is seen as the next step to increase line capacity, it could be all wayside signals between possibly Reading and Paddington could be abolished by 2025!
    ETCS is going further than that - the 2013 Route Plan said:

    ETCS on Western Route: CP5 strategy and implementation
    CP5 delivery of ETCS on Western Route comprises:
    Western key output 5: ETCS level 2 overlay Paddington to Heathrow by September 2017
    Western key output 7: ETCS overlay Paddington to Bristol by July 2019
    Western key output 8: all trains ETCS fitted/Lineside Signals removed ^ by December 2025

    Unless that's slipped already ...

    You are probably correct with the dates, I know the TLP ETCS development team are also doing development work for Crossrail on the Western.  There is very little in the way of wayside or track equipment its all in the software and train mounted equipment


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: 4064ReadingAbbey on January 03, 2015, 05:05:49 pm
    There is very little in the way of wayside or track equipment its all in the software and train mounted equipment

    I don't wish to be a Luddite, but could it be that the increased complexity of the train-borne equipment will lead to lower train reliability? Will this cancel out the greater reliability of the reduced quantity of line-side equipment?

    And, as an aside, who will be responsible for looking after the train-borne equipment? The running maintenance depots or the signalling fraternity?

    The on-board ETCS kit is a bit more complex than the AWS/TPWS kit and essentially means that significant parts of the signalling kit is moved from the lineside to the train. This seems to me to be a significant change - is there sufficient experience from the Cambrian trial to assist this changeover to be made smoothly?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ellendune on January 03, 2015, 06:08:37 pm
    Yes but a train goes to a depot for maintenance and while it is undergoing maintenance it is not stopping other trains running.  If if does break in service then at least if all else fails it can be dragged out of the way.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on January 03, 2015, 06:35:51 pm
    There is very little in the way of wayside or track equipment its all in the software and train mounted equipment

    I don't wish to be a Luddite, but could it be that the increased complexity of the train-borne equipment will lead to lower train reliability? Will this cancel out the greater reliability of the reduced quantity of line-side equipment?

    And, as an aside, who will be responsible for looking after the train-borne equipment? The running maintenance depots or the signalling fraternity?

    The on-board ETCS kit is a bit more complex than the AWS/TPWS kit and essentially means that significant parts of the signalling kit is moved from the lineside to the train. This seems to me to be a significant change - is there sufficient experience from the Cambrian trial to assist this changeover to be made smoothly?

    If a single traction unit has an ETCS failure then there are procedures to allow it to proceed under caution driver and signaller using GSM(R) (railway cell phone system) to communicate.
    Even with a complete ETCS system failure drivers and signallers fall back to the time old method of talking trains through using GSM(R) and use wayside markers.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on January 03, 2015, 06:56:10 pm
    I don't wish to be a Luddite, but could it be that the increased complexity of the train-borne equipment will lead to lower train reliability?

    I was going to answer and comment that we've seen that already, with services cancelled due to failures such as speedometer and windscreen wipers, which many steam engines never had, I don't think.   We also had a cancellation due to the failure of cab heater the other week - I was going to add that to my list of 'new failure opportunities', but then realised that if the kettle went off the boil on a steam engine, it was more of  problem than just keeping warm.

    edit to sort out quoting


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on January 03, 2015, 07:53:12 pm
    I don't wish to be a Luddite, but could it be that the increased complexity of the train-borne equipment will lead to lower train reliability?

    I was going to answer and comment that we've seen that already, with services cancelled due to failures such as speedometer and windscreen wipers, which many steam engines never had, I don't think.   We also had a cancellation due to the failure of cab heater the other week - I was going to add that to my list of 'new failure opportunities', but then realised that if the kettle went off the boil on a steam engine, it was more of  problem than just keeping warm.

    edit to sort out quoting

    Ah with the way DfT contract the provision of rolling stock now the train manufactures / maintainer have to present a train ready for service to the TOC if its not presented fit they don't get paid ............. what can possibly go wrong with this arrangement  ::) ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Four Track, Now! on January 03, 2015, 08:05:28 pm
    I don't wish to be a Luddite, but could it be that the increased complexity of the train-borne equipment will lead to lower train reliability?

    I was going to answer and comment that we've seen that already, with services cancelled due to failures such as speedometer and windscreen wipers, which many steam engines never had, I don't think.   We also had a cancellation due to the failure of cab heater the other week - I was going to add that to my list of 'new failure opportunities', but then realised that if the kettle went off the boil on a steam engine, it was more of  problem than just keeping warm.

    edit to sort out quoting

    In aviation circles, it is said that the main advantage of a twin-engined aircraft over a single-engined model is that it doubles the chances of engine failure. I am sure that the new kit will bring with it many "new failure opportunities", although it must be said that the current kit has not been short of such opportunities of late, nor that it has failed to grasp such opportunity with enthusiasm!

    That aside, one must move with the times. If the new kit is like any other computer-based system, it will be modular, to allow for easy repair.  Software upgrades will be regular, to screw every last bit of performance out of the new systems, with duplication of safety-critical parts. One can expect constant monitoring of systems, with backroom analysis driving forward improvements and efficiencies on the IEP trains.

    Might be prudent to take a pack of detonators and a selection of flags along too, just in case...


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ellendune on January 03, 2015, 08:08:20 pm
    Ah with the way DfT contract the provision of rolling stock now the train manufactures / maintainer have to present a train ready for service to the TOC if its not presented fit they don't get paid ............. what can possibly go wrong with this arrangement  ::) ;D

    The TOC presumably uses the money saved to instantly hire another train from someone else just in time to run the service with no disruption to passengers!  ;D ::)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: eightf48544 on January 04, 2015, 11:47:46 am
    That aside, one must move with the times. If the new kit is like any other computer-based system, it will be modular, to allow for easy repair.  Software upgrades will be regular, to screw every last bit of performance out of the new systems, with duplication of safety-critical parts. One can expect constant monitoring of systems, with backroom analysis driving forward improvements and efficiencies on the IEP trains.

    Might be prudent to take a pack of detonators and a selection of flags along too, just in case...

    Not so sure about you optimism about software upgrades. It's going to be mammoth task to upgrade all the trains and the operaing centres simultaneously. Look at the mess the Dutch and Belgians got into on the Amsterdam Brussels HSL with different versions of the software in each country.

    So detonators and flags it is.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on January 04, 2015, 11:58:29 am
    Not so sure about you optimism about software upgrades. It's going to be mammoth task to upgrade all the trains and the operaing centres simultaneously.

    Can't see simultaneous software upgrades being a problem in the 2020s with the technology already making it possible to upload data onto trains wirelessly in a very short space of time.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: tomL on January 04, 2015, 03:15:00 pm
    Not so sure about you optimism about software upgrades. It's going to be mammoth task to upgrade all the trains and the operaing centres simultaneously.

    Can't see simultaneous software upgrades being a problem in the 2020s with the technology already making it possible to upload data onto trains wirelessly in a very short space of time.

    Most gadgets now use OTA (Over The Air) updates. No reason this can't be applied here.

    Although there is a bit more at stake if something goes wrong...


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Four Track, Now! on January 04, 2015, 07:43:30 pm
    Not so sure about you optimism about software upgrades. It's going to be mammoth task to upgrade all the trains and the operaing centres simultaneously.

    Can't see simultaneous software upgrades being a problem in the 2020s with the technology already making it possible to upload data onto trains wirelessly in a very short space of time.

    My thoughts too. Will the 25Kv line have the capability to carry data, like National Grid's stuff has? If so, the train could pull out of Chippenham on Windows 97, and arrive at Bath running 8.1 (with service patch).


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on January 04, 2015, 07:50:02 pm
    If so, the train could pull out of Chippenham on Windows 97, and arrive at Bath running 8.1 (with service patch).

    If it's Windows, the train will crash during the update.  :P ;) ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on January 04, 2015, 08:06:15 pm
    Not so sure about you optimism about software upgrades. It's going to be mammoth task to upgrade all the trains and the operaing centres simultaneously.

    Can't see simultaneous software upgrades being a problem in the 2020s with the technology already making it possible to upload data onto trains wirelessly in a very short space of time.

    My thoughts too. Will the 25Kv line have the capability to carry data, like National Grid's stuff has? If so, the train could pull out of Chippenham on Windows 97, and arrive at Bath running 8.1 (with service patch).
    If so, the train could pull out of Chippenham on Windows 97, and arrive at Bath running 8.1 (with service patch).

    Data is not transmitted over the 25kV cables, the control of the traction system is sent over the internal railway fibre network

    If it's Windows, the train will crash during the update.  :P ;) ;D

    Strange you should mention Windows :) one of the ECR's has just had its SCADA top end computers replaced with a Windows 7 based architecture

    Apart from a few dc traction ECR's still using 1950/60's electromechanical systems a couple are using a DOS based architecture on 386 computers  :o :o

    There is a National SCADA project underway, which GWEP is part of, to upgrade all the ECR top ends and replace all the electromechanical systems.



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Four Track, Now! on January 04, 2015, 09:07:10 pm

    Strange you should mention Windows :) one of the ECR's has just had its SCADA top end computers replaced with a Windows 7 based architecture

    Apart from a few dc traction ECR's still using 1950/60's electromechanical systems a couple are using a DOS based architecture on 386 computers  :o :o

    There is a National SCADA project underway, which GWEP is part of, to upgrade all the ECR top ends and replace all the electromechanical systems.



    Nothing wrong with DOS, as an operating system if it does what you want it to do. Much of Windows will be irrelevant padding for railway control system programmes, so why not keep it simple?

    By electro-mechanical systems, are we talking about the sorts of things with slow running motors turning eccentric cams to open and shut microswitches to run a sequence of events? I worked in an amusement arcade in Blackpool in the latter part of the 17th century, and had experience of such things in pinball machines and the electric fruit machines. That bit of the machine worked solidly and uncomplainingly, whilst everything else went wrong for a pastime.   Apparently, a similar device controlled the Soyuz that linked with Apollo in the 1970s.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: eightf48544 on January 04, 2015, 11:26:15 pm
    SCDA? ECR?

    I like relays you can hear them working!

    As my cousin says who works on ITSO cards, "Never Trust Electronics"

    Still not sure that software upgrades will be easy even with OTA. Think of a Vomiter on the Penzance Aberdeen run.

    Not sure how many control centres that will go through, which will presumably have to be upgraded simultainiously (overnight). What happens to any night trains will they all have to stop and reboot at the same time? Needs thinking about.



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on January 05, 2015, 09:35:39 am
    Back on topic....

    Journeycheck text has signal problems twixt Oxford & Paddington....


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on January 05, 2015, 11:15:14 am
    Back on topic....

    Journeycheck text has signal problems twixt Oxford & Paddington....

    ...........it's a New Year but some things stay the same.............

    Cancellations to services between Slough and London Paddington Due to signalling problems between Slough and London Paddington some London bound relief lines are disrupted.

    Impact:

    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed or revised. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Red Squirrel on January 05, 2015, 11:26:26 am

    In aviation circles, it is said that the main advantage of a twin-engined aircraft over a single-engined model is that it doubles the chances of engine failure...


    In some aviation circles, maybe. I think it was David Learmount of Flight International who, when asked why he preferred to fly in four-engined airliners, replied 'Because there are no five-engined airliners'.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on January 05, 2015, 12:22:54 pm
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed or revised. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.

    Back to normal now and limited disruption anyway of around 5-15 minutes on relief line services.  Can't see any cancellations as a result, though Langley, Iver and West Drayton, Hayes, Southall and Ealing stops were removed from some trains (and inserted into the next train 15 or so minutes later), mostly in the London bound direction.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on January 05, 2015, 04:05:50 pm
    The service has worsened since the previous post, with about a dozen cancelations and many trains serving only part of the route. Some of the problems are signalling related but most seem to be due to a person hit by a train :(

    edit to add, latest reports suggest that the victim fell from a bridge onto the railway and was not struck by a train, still very sad no matter what the exact circumstances


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: DidcotPunter on January 05, 2015, 04:54:27 pm
    The service has worsened since the previous post, with about a dozen cancelations and many trains serving only part of the route. Some of the problems are signalling related but most seem to be due to a person hit by a train :(

    Woman found injured at lineside at Wantage Road, lunchtime today  :( Service was reportedly 11:36 Padd - Cheltenham

    http://www.heraldseries.co.uk/news/11702388.Person_hit_by_train_between_Didcot_Parkway_and_Swindon/?ref=mr


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on January 05, 2015, 05:17:31 pm
    See other thread - Not hit by train, but fell from bridge & not hit by train


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: DidcotPunter on January 05, 2015, 06:26:00 pm
    Correct - subsequently read update on another forum.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BBM on January 05, 2015, 08:11:47 pm
    Points failure now at Twyford, it seems that at least a couple of trains have been stuck on the Mains for about 30 minutes so far, and it would appear from Twitter that Reading West MP Alok Sharma is on one of them...


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on January 05, 2015, 08:55:07 pm
    SCDA? ECR?

    SCADA (System Control and Data Acquisition) is the system used in an ECR (Electrical Control Room) by ECRO (Electrical Control Room Operators) to control the traction power system. 

    The first ECR in modern times on the GWML was at ????????? ............................ Slough New; in ancient times (1908 to around the 1950's) of the GWR they have substation control based at Park Royal Power Station (yes the GWR did have its own power station) Old Oak Common Substation, Hammersmith Substation and Royal Oak Substation, I used to work with a couple of men that work in them until they were redeployed to general maintenance in the 60's


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Super Guard on January 07, 2015, 09:29:40 am
    Points failure now at Twyford, it seems that at least a couple of trains have been stuck on the Mains for about 30 minutes so far, and it would appear from Twitter that Reading West MP Alok Sharma is on one of them...


    At least he has time to converse with his fellow constituents about his policies with the upcoming election on the horizon - he should welcome such an opportunity  ;) ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on January 07, 2015, 09:35:57 am
    Points failure now at Twyford, it seems that at least a couple of trains have been stuck on the Mains for about 30 minutes so far, and it would appear from Twitter that Reading West MP Alok Sharma is on one of them...


    At least he has time to converse with his fellow constituents about his policies with the upcoming election on the horizon - he should welcome such an opportunity  ;) ;D

    Mmm...a captive audience for a personal party political briefing...so glad I'm not on that train!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BBM on January 07, 2015, 10:19:35 am
    Talking of captive audiences, someone I know and follow on Twitter is reporting that Mark Hopwood has been spotted on her train which has been delayed due to this morning's fatality at EAL, but he's apparently keeping passengers updated.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on January 07, 2015, 10:59:54 am
    I'm also on a service delayed by the fatality at Ealing Broadway. We have FGWs head of communication Dan Panes on our train.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on January 07, 2015, 06:38:40 pm
    I'm also on a service delayed by the fatality at Ealing Broadway. We have FGWs head of communication Dan Panes on our train.

    .....did he keep you informed?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on January 23, 2015, 11:16:39 am
    Delays to services between Ealing Broadway and London Paddington Following signalling problems between Ealing Broadway and London Paddington some lines have now reopened.
    Impact:

    Train services running to and from these stations are returning to normal but some services may still be delayed by up to 30 mins. Disruption is expected until 11:00 24/01.

    ..........certainly giving themselves a bit of breathing space! (unless it's a typo!)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on January 23, 2015, 12:31:34 pm
    Delays to services between Ealing Broadway and London Paddington

    I was half an hour late initially due to points failure near Ealing Broadway and then another points failure outside of Paddington, putting platforms 2&3 out of use.
    All as reported by the train manager.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on January 23, 2015, 01:07:33 pm
    18 mins late on the 7.08 Maidenhead-->Paddington.  No word from TM until arrival.

    The positive was that all of the annoying people who pile through unhindered from standard to first class as soon as we cross the M25 in order to gain an extra 30 metres had to stand for 25mins.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on January 23, 2015, 01:34:38 pm
    The positive was that all of the annoying people who pile through unhindered from standard to first class as soon as we cross the M25 in order to gain an extra 30 metres had to stand for 25mins.


    Hah! Serves 'em right! :-)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on January 23, 2015, 02:37:06 pm
     Last Updated :23/01/2015 14:02 Delays to services between London Paddington and Southall Due to a train fault between London Paddington and Southall the Reading bound main line is blocked.
    Impact:
    Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed by up to 30 mins. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed. For the latest rail travel news, why not follow us on Twitter @FGW.

     Last Updated :23/01/2015 14:23 Delays to services at London Paddington Due to signalling problems at London Paddington:
    Impact:
    Train services running to and from this station may be delayed by up to 30 mins. Disruption is expected until 15:00 23/01. Last Updated :23/01/2015 14:34


    .............and there was me thinking things were going quite well this month so far!!!  ::)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: tomL on January 23, 2015, 03:47:48 pm
    Last Updated :23/01/2015 14:02 Delays to services between London Paddington and Southall Due to a train fault between London Paddington and Southall the Reading bound main line is blocked.
    Impact:
    Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed by up to 30 mins. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed. For the latest rail travel news, why not follow us on Twitter @FGW.

     Last Updated :23/01/2015 14:23 Delays to services at London Paddington Due to signalling problems at London Paddington:
    Impact:
    Train services running to and from this station may be delayed by up to 30 mins. Disruption is expected until 15:00 23/01. Last Updated :23/01/2015 14:34

    .............and there was me thinking things were going quite well this month so far!!!  ::)

    Looks like the 14:00 PAD to BRI failed at Acton. Terminated at Reading 41 late.

    And of course it would all happen on the same day after a period of relatively easy running.  ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on January 23, 2015, 10:22:10 pm
    Last Updated :23/01/2015 14:02 Delays to services between London Paddington and Southall Due to a train fault between London Paddington and Southall the Reading bound main line is blocked.
    Impact:
    Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed by up to 30 mins. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed. For the latest rail travel news, why not follow us on Twitter @FGW.

     Last Updated :23/01/2015 14:23 Delays to services at London Paddington Due to signalling problems at London Paddington:
    Impact:
    Train services running to and from this station may be delayed by up to 30 mins. Disruption is expected until 15:00 23/01. Last Updated :23/01/2015 14:34

    .............and there was me thinking things were going quite well this month so far!!!  ::)

    Looks like the 14:00 PAD to BRI failed at Acton. Terminated at Reading 41 late.

    And of course it would all happen on the same day after a period of relatively easy running.  ;D

    Smoke was reported emanating from the rear power car.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on January 30, 2015, 04:32:16 pm
    Alterations to services between London Paddington and Reading Due to signalling problems between London Paddington and Reading trains have to run at reduced speed on the Reading bound fast line.
    Impact:
    Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed by up to 20 mins or revised. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.

    Ho hum.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on January 30, 2015, 05:41:46 pm
    Actually two problems.  Both between London and Slough on the Down Main.  A misbehaving signal at Southall and a track circuit sulking at Langley.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BBM on February 06, 2015, 07:46:03 pm
    Just had a quick glance at FGW's Twitter feed - looks like there's a signalling problem tonight at Ladbroke Grove, plus the 1858 stopper to RDG from PAD was terminated at EAL due to a cracked windscreen and the 1922 PAD-HFD has suffered a 'major fuel leak' before departure.



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on February 16, 2015, 06:13:19 pm
    It's not a signalling problem but everything is running slow out of Paddington this evening. Bust doors on a service at southall. Nothing on journeycheck but trust me it's there. 20min delay so far.

    I also had a 50min delay (on 20min service) this morning as the 7.08 Maidenhead to Paddington broke down 10ft from its destination.

    Journecheck and others aren't picking these incidents up these days. Has their tolerance been adjusted??


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on February 16, 2015, 08:48:34 pm
    I also had a 50min delay (on 20min service) this morning as the 7.08 Maidenhead to Paddington broke down 10ft from its destination.

    And in doing so blocked both platforms 8 and 9 for a while. At the same time platform 1 was occupied for an hour longer than normal due to problems with the empty sleeper stock.  Gave the signallers a few headaches I should imagine.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on February 17, 2015, 06:32:28 pm
    And again tonight, the lines out of Paddington are painfully slow but journeycheck says everything is cushty. Does anyone have any insight on why the rose coloured glasses are being applied to (what I thought was) an independent service?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on February 17, 2015, 07:18:25 pm
    And again tonight, the lines out of Paddington are painfully slow but journeycheck says everything is cushty. Does anyone have any insight on why the rose coloured glasses are being applied to (what I thought was) an independent service?
    Just wondering if slow running is down to the increased amount of freight due to the Banbury - Lamington route being closed, the WTT may have been adjusted to account for this increase in freight hence the Real Time Trains and FGW own train running apps will not show a problem


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on February 17, 2015, 07:53:06 pm
    A track circuit failure near Twyford affecting London bound trains and a signal failure in the Hanwell area (a repeat of the same fault from a few days ago) affecting trains leaving London are the two problems being attributed to delays this evening.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on February 17, 2015, 09:12:59 pm
    Journeycheck has never been an independent service - the info us input to it by the operator


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on February 18, 2015, 08:24:32 am
    Cancellations to services at Maidenhead
    Due to signalling problems at Maidenhead some London bound relief lines are disrupted.
    Impact:
    Train services running through this station may be cancelled or delayed. Disruption is expected until 09:00 18/02

    ..........lots of cancellations and delays this morning.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on February 18, 2015, 08:44:49 am
    The points between platform 4 and 5 at Maidenhead have failed.  London bound relief line closed between Twyford and Slough.
    No London bound trains will call at stations Twyford to Slough so they can provide as much capacity as possible although I've heard that the fault with the points has just been rectified.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on February 23, 2015, 04:15:22 pm
    23rd February 2015

    Delays between London Paddington and Reading until at least 17:00

    A signalling problem at West Drayton is causing delays of up to 30 minutes to trains between London Paddington and Reading.There is no firm estimate yet of how long disruption will last but it is likely to continue until at least 17:00.

    You can follow this incident using the hashtag #WestDrayton

    [ Twitter messages say between Hayes and Iver ]


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on February 24, 2015, 08:58:02 am
    15 minutes lost between Reading and Maidenhead this morning on Paddington bound service.
    This was due to congestion due to a late running freight train, apparently.
    It's great that the entire morning peak commute is second class to freight.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on February 24, 2015, 09:29:56 am
    15 minutes lost between Reading and Maidenhead this morning on Paddington bound service.
    This was due to congestion due to a late running freight train, apparently.
    It's great that the entire morning peak commute is second class to freight.

    The freight train activated a piece of equipment fitted to the track which detects wheelset faults.  The freight train was then allowed to proceed at a slow speed which then causes congestion behind it.

    As I've said before, freight trains shouldn't be making there way towards London during the morning peak.  There simply isn't the space.

    EDIT:  And now they've got a broken rail at Maidenhead.  Might be a coincidence, but this has happened after freight train with a defective wheel had recently passed through the area.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on February 24, 2015, 09:33:31 am
    If they're given a path by NR, of course there is.

    So FGW trains don't fault on that stretch then?....news to me.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on February 24, 2015, 09:38:48 am
    If they're given a path by NR, of course there is.

    There are passenger trains delayed every single day by the same freight trains.  The paths they've been allocated are not achievable.  In our opinion, NR hope that the freight train is delayed prior to reaching the Reading area so that they can then lay the delay minutes to another train operator.

    Quote
    So FGW trains don't fault on that stretch then?....news to me.

    Our trains fail, course they do.  But what should be the priority at peak times, passengers or freight?




    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: chrisr_75 on February 24, 2015, 10:01:24 am
    There are passenger trains delayed every single day by the same freight trains.  The paths they've been allocated are not achievable.  In our opinion, NR hope that the freight train is delayed prior to reaching the Reading area so that they can then lay the delay minutes to another train operator.

    Who is/are 'our'? Is that an official/public FGW opinion?

    Our trains fail, course they do.  But what should be the priority at peak times, passengers or freight?

    Neither. Both have paid their access fees, so should be fairly treated on that basis.

    Personally, I would rather see slightly slower commuter trains and more freight on the railways, with less lorries on the roads, the latter being the cause of more congestion, more severe accidents and more damage to road infrastructure than cars.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on February 24, 2015, 11:50:56 am
    There are passenger trains delayed every single day by the same freight trains.  The paths they've been allocated are not achievable.  In our opinion, NR hope that the freight train is delayed prior to reaching the Reading area so that they can then lay the delay minutes to another train operator.

    Who is/are 'our'? Is that an official/public FGW opinion?

    OK, I'll correct that.  It's my own personal opinion which does not reflect that of FGW or any another TOC or FOC.


    Our trains fail, course they do.  But what should be the priority at peak times, passengers or freight?

    Quote
    Neither. Both have paid their access fees, so should be fairly treated on that basis.

    Personally, I would rather see slightly slower commuter trains and more freight on the railways, with less lorries on the roads, the latter being the cause of more congestion, more severe accidents and more damage to road infrastructure than cars.

    You're partially correct in what you're saying.  Unfortunately the fees paid by the freight companies does not totally cover the damage they cause to the infrastructure in terms of increased maintenance and renewals.  They rest of that cost is actually paid for by passengers which I believe is unfair.  However, charging them more would actually make freight by rail uncompetitive against road.
    Personally I would like to see more freight on the rails but this shouldn't be done at the expense of the passenger in terms of punctuality and cost.  There is a time and place when freight trains should run and its not during the peaks especially on what is already described as a highly congested route into London.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: chrisr_75 on February 24, 2015, 01:01:41 pm
    There are passenger trains delayed every single day by the same freight trains.  The paths they've been allocated are not achievable.  In our opinion, NR hope that the freight train is delayed prior to reaching the Reading area so that they can then lay the delay minutes to another train operator.

    Who is/are 'our'? Is that an official/public FGW opinion?

    OK, I'll correct that.  It's own personal opinion which does not reflect that of FGW or any another TOC or FOC.

    Sorry for potentially sounding picky, but wanted to clarify this, given your username...!


    Neither. Both have paid their access fees, so should be fairly treated on that basis.
    Personally, I would rather see slightly slower commuter trains and more freight on the railways, with less lorries on the roads, the latter being the cause of more congestion, more severe accidents and more damage to road infrastructure than cars.
    You're partially correct in what you're saying.  Unfortunately the fees paid by the freight companies does not totally cover the damage they cause to the infrastructure in terms of increased maintenance and renewals.  They rest of that cost is actually paid for by passengers which I believe is unfair.  However, charging them more would actually make freight by rail uncompetitive against road.
    Personally I would like to see more freight on the rails but this shouldn't be done at the expense of the passenger in terms of punctuality and cost.  There is a time and place when freight trains should run and its not during the peaks especially on what is already described as a highly congested route into London.

    I see, I didn't know they generally caused more wear & tear than they paid for. Could this wear & tear be mitigated by better maintenance of wagons/locos? Are there available paths that could accommodate these 'peak' freight trains without impacting on overnight maintenance and so on?

    Glad to see the rail passengers fund some freight though - it helps everyone else by removing some lorries from the roads and mitigates some of the subsidy the non-train using population is forced to fund!  ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on February 24, 2015, 04:32:46 pm
    No, you're not being picky!  I fully understand where you are coming from.

    To back up what I said, here's a link from the ORR. 
    http://orr.gov.uk/news-and-media/press-releases/2013/rail-freight-charges-to-better-reflect-costs-and-give-industry-clarity-to-plan-for-the-future-orr

    "Over the past decade the regulator has supported an almost 10% increase in freight traffic on Britain's rail network by allowing greater access for freight services and setting targets for Network Rail to deliver improved reliability. However, under the current regime, freight companies only pay a small proportion of the costs they create using the network ^ and we need to redress this balance. ^

    ^ Today, we have confirmed new charges for freight operators, to be gradually introduced from 2016, which better reflect the costs created by running freight services on the rail network and provide early certainty for business to plan for the future. The new charges, capped at manageable levels, will mean freight operators paying, at most, a third of the costs their services create. This will help to ease some of the burden from taxpayers' and passengers' shoulders. ^


    I honestly don't have any experience or knowledge when it comes to the standard of maintenance when it comes to freight wagons so I can't really comment on that. Overnight paths?  not with the current level of engineering works. 
    I suppose you've got to wait until Easter when Reading Station works are fully completed before you can really judge the impact of freight trains between Reading and Acton.  At the moment any train coming up through Reading West, goes through Reading station platform 7 & 8 and then has to crossover at the east end of the station blocking all 4 lines. 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Adelante_CCT on February 24, 2015, 07:42:40 pm
    Lets not forget that under normal circumstances there are no (or very few) peak flow freights between Acton and Reading, the recent squash of trains on the reliefs being down to Harbury, and the exceptionally long diversion of the Bicester COD to Didcot service.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on March 24, 2015, 03:17:00 pm
    Cancellations to services between Slough and Maidenhead

    Due to signalling problems between Slough and Maidenhead trains have to run at reduced speed on the Reading bound main line.
    Impact:
    Train services running through these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 20 mins or revised. An estimate for the resumption of normal services will be provided as soon as the problem has been fully assessed.
    Additional Information:
    Rail Ticket Holders may also travel on First Berkshire Buses during this disruption, if you wish to use local buses as an alternative means of transport and the local bus is not accepting First Great Western tickets, please keep the bus ticket and send it, together with your rail ticket, to us for a refund. Ticket acceptance will remain in place until further notice


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on March 24, 2015, 03:21:04 pm
    I hope the refund is in cash in this case, not vouchers


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on April 01, 2015, 06:46:42 pm
    It's not a signal failure causing chaos this evening but rather a broken down train. The 18.18 Padd to Oxford failed in the depot.

    It was eventually resurrected but with an amended calling plan. Several points of mayhem:

    As anyone who knows this service knows it is 99% Maidenhead passengers. In fact it is nigh on empty after Maidenhead. So a big round of applause for the decision to axe Maidenhead on the amended plan. It went out totally empty.

    Well done also for not announcing the train failure whilst the 18.12 Henley train was available. That would have provided some relief.

    Instead the world and his brothers are dangerously overcrowded on the 18.42 to Bourne end. A slow service at the best of times and tonight it's an abhorrent one too.



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Western Enterprise on April 02, 2015, 02:22:24 pm
    As anyone who knows this service knows it is 99% Maidenhead passengers. In fact it is nigh on empty after Maidenhead. So a big round of applause for the decision to axe Maidenhead on the amended plan. It went out totally empty.

    Well done also for not announcing the train failure whilst the 18.12 Henley train was available. That would have provided some relief.

    Instead the world and his brothers are dangerously overcrowded on the 18.42 to Bourne end. A slow service at the best of times and tonight it's an abhorrent one too.

    Large slice of Irony pie please.....
    The 18.42 was v unpleasant.
    Not to mention a 40 minute delay.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on April 23, 2015, 08:04:16 am
    Problems at Airport Junction this morning with a points failure. Relief lines are blocked.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: eightf48544 on April 23, 2015, 08:24:53 am
    Nick B and Western Enterprise do seem to have highlighted a problem which seems to be endemic at Paddington that of failing to give timely information on cancelled/late trains and late indication of platforms for particular services, especialy at times of disruptions.

    The latter problem applies particulary to Platfom 13/4 even when services are running normally. It  has it's own thread already.

    Presumably there are too many links in the chain. OOC depot, Swindon control (both FGW), TVSC (Network Rail) and Paddington both Network Rail/FGW.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on April 23, 2015, 08:42:00 am
    Problems at Airport Junction this morning with a points failure. Relief lines are blocked.

    ........well there is a "y" in the day after all.

    .....how about a FGW Coffeeshop Forum sweepstake on the first date that there isn't a signal meltdown? Anyone feeling brave?  ::)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on April 23, 2015, 09:21:12 am
    Nick B and Western Enterprise do seem to have highlighted a problem which seems to be endemic at Paddington that of failing to give timely information on cancelled/late trains and late indication of platforms for particular services, especialy at times of disruptions

    The 17:49 departure (from PAD to Worcester) on Tuesday evening was showing on both P8 and P9 at the same time, certainly up to at least a couple of mins before departure when I hoppped onto the P9 (correct option) based upon the tannoy announcments.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on April 23, 2015, 11:13:28 am

    The latter problem applies particulary to Platfom 13/4 even when services are running normally. It  has it's own thread already.

    Presumably there are too many links in the chain. OOC depot, Swindon control (both FGW), TVSC (Network Rail) and Paddington both Network Rail/FGW.

    Platforms aren't generally announced until the train has the signal into the platform.  There's always the chance, especially during disruption, that the signaller could pop the train into a different platform.
    When you're on the platform and the screen says "boarding" even though there's no train it is because the train has passed the last signal at Royal Oak. The system and its announcements are automated.
    You can see it actually happen if you watch the live Paddington signalling map at http://www.opentraintimes.com/maps/signalling/d3_1


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on April 27, 2015, 08:57:06 am
    As a sweetener to start the week, all lines were closed at Oxford (now rectified) and a broken down train on the Henley line.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: rower40 on April 27, 2015, 03:16:31 pm
    As a sweetener to start the week, all lines were closed at Oxford (now rectified) and a broken down train on the Henley line.
    Yes, D**m and B***t that naughty signalling system for not knowing that the train was going to break down, and signalling it onto the single-track Henley line. ;)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on April 27, 2015, 05:51:32 pm
    As a sweetener to start the week, all lines were closed at Oxford (now rectified) and a broken down train on the Henley line.
    Yes, D**m and B***t that naughty signalling system for not knowing that the train was going to break down, and signalling it onto the single-track Henley line. ;)

    One each for NR and FGW today then.......knackered signals at Oxford, and knackered train at Henley!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on April 27, 2015, 06:42:21 pm
    As a sweetener to start the week, all lines were closed at Oxford (now rectified) and a broken down train on the Henley line.
    Yes, D**m and B***t that naughty signalling system for not knowing that the train was going to break down, and signalling it onto the single-track Henley line. ;)

    One each for NR and FGW today then.......knackered signals at Oxford, and knackered train at Henley!

    At least it all stayed in Oxfordshire  ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on April 27, 2015, 08:18:38 pm
    As a sweetener to start the week, all lines were closed at Oxford (now rectified) and a broken down train on the Henley line.
    Yes, D**m and B***t that naughty signalling system for not knowing that the train was going to break down, and signalling it onto the single-track Henley line. ;)

    Worse that that it was two units which eventually had to be separated and brought back individually after a driver was sent by taxi from Reading.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on April 30, 2015, 11:35:52 am
    Due to signalling problems at Ealing Broadway fewer trains are able to run on the Reading bound relief line.
    Impact:
    Train services running through this station may be cancelled or delayed by up to 10 mins. Disruption is expected until 12:15 30/04.
    Customer Advice:
    London Underground are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on April 30, 2015, 01:23:19 pm
    Love this stuff: 

    "Customer Advice:
    London Underground are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice. "

    "Dear TFL - please can you take me to Maidenhead?  Go on, its only a little bit further west.  You can drop me at the A404 roundabout and I'll walk the rest.  Pleeease?"


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: chrisr_75 on April 30, 2015, 02:24:14 pm
    Love this stuff: 

    "Customer Advice:
    London Underground are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice. "

    "Dear TFL - please can you take me to Maidenhead?  Go on, its only a little bit further west.  You can drop me at the A404 roundabout and I'll walk the rest.  Pleeease?"

    In fairness, plenty of people board/alight the stoppers at Ealing Broadway, so it is perfectly reasonable to give them the option of using any non-TfL tickets on Central or District line services from there or also from Greenford to & from central London.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: paul7755 on April 30, 2015, 03:15:40 pm
    There's a (presumably) little known NR/LU dual availability between Notting Hill Gate (for Paddington) and Ealing Broadway on the Central Line anyway, which means tickets are always valid.

    Whether or not staff are aware I'll leave to others, but it's covered in the manual as are a number of better known dual availability sections of other LU/NR common routes.

    Paul


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on April 30, 2015, 03:37:47 pm
    Presumably something to do with the closure of Westbourne Park to mainline trains in the early 90s?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: paul7755 on April 30, 2015, 07:08:53 pm
    Presumably something to do with the closure of Westbourne Park to mainline trains in the early 90s?

    Quite possibly - but I've got a downloaded NFM London section from way back that doesn't include the route, but have also seen an extract from 'the manual' (in a different forum) that is far more up to date that does include it, so these things must come and go...

    I wouldn't expect a smooth journey on a random basis...

    Paul


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on April 30, 2015, 08:11:31 pm
    There's a (presumably) little known NR/LU dual availability between Notting Hill Gate (for Paddington) and Ealing Broadway on the Central Line anyway, which means tickets are always valid.

    Whether or not staff are aware I'll leave to others, but it's covered in the manual as are a number of better known dual availability sections of other LU/NR common routes.

    Paul
    Presumably something to do with the closure of Westbourne Park to mainline trains in the early 90s?

    The concession dates back well before Westbourne Park (mainline) closure, I believe it even dates back to the days of the GWR (pre Nationalisation)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on June 04, 2015, 01:06:20 pm
    Alterations to services between Reading and London Paddington Due to speed restrictions between Reading and London Paddington fewer trains are able to run on some lines.
    Impact:
    Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed or revised. Disruption is expected until 17:00 04/06.
    Customer Advice:
    As a result of some temporary speed restrictions, which will be in force in the Paddington area until approximately 16:00, fewer trains can be accommodated at London Paddington until after this time which will result in some train service alterations.
    There will be a reduced frequency of trains between Oxford / Bedwyn / Newbury / Reading & London Paddington in both directions

    ............any idea what's triggered the speed restrictions?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on June 04, 2015, 01:09:55 pm
    the sun?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Ollie on June 04, 2015, 01:25:51 pm
    Network Rail have imposed a heat speed restriction of 20mph between Ladbroke Grove and Paddington. It's expected to removed at 16:00.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on June 04, 2015, 01:33:59 pm
    the sun?

    Can't blame Murdoch for everything!  ;)

    But seriously............call this hot? First time the sun comes out......have we got a whole summer of this to look forward to in addition to knackered signals, "train faults" etc etc????


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Worcester_Passenger on June 04, 2015, 01:36:55 pm
    Ah, but this is the wrong kind of sun.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Ollie on June 04, 2015, 01:46:22 pm
    Network Rail has a page that explains the impact of heat on the rails if anyone wants a read: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/timetables-and-travel/delays-explained/summer-weather.aspx


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on June 04, 2015, 02:13:49 pm
    but they need to explain too why our rails have problems at temperatures other countries don't!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on June 04, 2015, 02:45:21 pm
    Not at all impressive is it?!

    Though the section of track affected is only 40mph anyway (with a small bit at 50mph) so with a few services thinned out most others are only suffering minimal delays.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on June 04, 2015, 03:00:26 pm
    Very poor.
    I can understand the need for speed restrictions in exceptionally hot conditions, but to need such restrictions during a moderately warm early summer day is a bit worrying.
    What will happen if we get a hot summer ?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on June 04, 2015, 05:53:59 pm
    Very poor.
    I can understand the need for speed restrictions in exceptionally hot conditions, but to need such restrictions during a moderately warm early summer day is a bit worrying.
    What will happen if we get a hot summer ?

    Phew! A scorching 20 degrees (68 Fahrenheit in old money), God help us if it gets over 80.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on June 04, 2015, 06:49:51 pm
    There is also a process called CRT (Critical Rail Temperature) which can applied in warm weather where civil engineering works disturbs the track formation, shoulder ballast, new UTX (Under Track Crossings) etc.   There is quite a lot of civils activity in the Ladbrook Grove area. 

    There is also a cannoning effect caused by the buildings and direction of the sun the area can heat up very quickly with very little wind cooling.  We used to regularly get HV cable joints fail in that area in the summer due to the heating of the sun caused the cables to expand and move.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on June 18, 2015, 02:22:50 pm
    ............here we go folks! At least it's a lovely sunny day to stand on a platform waiting for a train which may or may not arrive (eventually!) Looks like West Drayton/Hayes/Southall area again  ::)

    Cancellations to services between Slough and London Paddington

    Due to signalling problems between Slough and London Paddington some lines are blocked.

    Impact:
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 30 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 18:00 18/06.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on June 18, 2015, 03:06:05 pm
    ............here we go folks! At least it's a lovely sunny day to stand on a platform waiting for a train which may or may not arrive (eventually!) Looks like West Drayton/Hayes/Southall area again  ::)

    Cancellations to services between Slough and London Paddington

    Due to signalling problems between Slough and London Paddington some lines are blocked.

    Impact:
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 30 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 18:00 18/06.

    I must have just missed this - I caught the 13:18 Paddington to bedwyn and had no problems with the journey at all


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: eightf48544 on June 18, 2015, 04:00:01 pm
    Looking at the departure boards it looks as if the disruption is not too bad at the moment. 16:00


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on June 18, 2015, 06:33:20 pm
    I actually think the FGW staff and the NR staff are managing these disruptions quite well over the last few weeks. 

    The Padd dispatch team on 13 & 14 are turning the trains around as quick as they can whilst still letting passengers get there from the main concourse when there is a late announcement.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on June 23, 2015, 07:59:03 pm
    Numerous cancellations and short workings for most of today, many of the earlier problems due to overhead wire problems, together a few signalling failures and train faults.
    Most of the later evening issues caused by a fatality :'(


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on June 23, 2015, 10:21:41 pm
    I found this announcement by fgw particularly perplexing:

    MAI to PAD on your route: 07:17 will have 3 not 5 coaches - an unusually large passenger flow.

    How does increased demand lead to a reduction in carriages?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: tomL on June 23, 2015, 11:16:03 pm
    I found this announcement by fgw particularly perplexing:

    MAI to PAD on your route: 07:17 will have 3 not 5 coaches - an unusually large passenger flow.

    How does increased demand lead to a reduction in carriages?

    Increased passenger flow elsewhere maybe?  ???


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on June 24, 2015, 05:51:51 am
    ......or just one unusually large passenger, flowing?  :-\


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on June 24, 2015, 09:18:54 am
    Why would "overhead wire problems" lead to short formations on FGW?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on June 24, 2015, 09:27:38 am
    Stop / start in from Burnham at the moment - "congestion caused by signalling issues at Ealing Broadway" and we'll be "slightly delayed" into Paddington.   

    No great shakes (could be much worse) but another interesting morning ... with congestion into Swindon and several stops inbound from Rushey Platt - due the the 05:17 Gloucester to Southampton hitting an "abandoned" bicycle between Kemble and Swindon and then blocking the bay; better that than hitting a person ... and reminds us just how the waves of one incident spread so far and wide.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on June 24, 2015, 10:24:53 am
    Stop / start in from Burnham at the moment - "congestion caused by signalling issues at Ealing Broadway" and we'll be "slightly delayed" into Paddington.   

    I've been getting texts all morning about various problems, the latest as of 10am is
    "Due to signalling problems between Ealing Broadway and London Paddington trains have to run at reduced speed on the London bound fast line.
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 45 mins or revised. "

    ...due the the 05:17 Gloucester to Southampton hitting an "abandoned" bicycle between Kemble and Swindon and then blocking the bay;

    Ah thanks for the information. That would explain why my normal hop-on at RDG was so AWOL
    http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/P00898/2015/06/24/advanced (http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/P00898/2015/06/24/advanced)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on June 24, 2015, 10:49:26 am
    Stop / start in from Burnham at the moment - "congestion caused by signalling issues at Ealing Broadway" and we'll be "slightly delayed" into Paddington.   

    I've been getting texts all morning about various problems, the latest as of 10am is
    "Due to signalling problems between Ealing Broadway and London Paddington trains have to run at reduced speed on the London bound fast line.
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 45 mins or revised. "


    Arrived 32 late in the end ... everyone standing at the door waiting to get off and a lady at the back loudly saying "excuse me please - I need to get off here"  ;)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on June 24, 2015, 10:54:04 am
    Cancellations to services between Ealing Broadway and London Paddington.

    Due to signalling problems between Ealing Broadway and London Paddington trains have to run at reduced speed on the London bound fast line.

    Impact:
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 45 mins or revised.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on June 24, 2015, 11:55:19 am
    When I was at Maidenhead earlier there was an issue with the 7.41 Bourne End train departing from platform 4 so it had to be taken out of the station and back into platform 5..

    Then the 7.45 departure to Paddington got stuck at a red signal just outside Maidenhead for no obvious reason.. The 7.49 stopper was brought into platform 2 and left ahead of the 7.45 even though it stops at more stations (which made the 7.45 really slow) and according to twitter the 7.49 didn't stop at Taplow to the surprise of everyone waiting there..  All a bit of a mess really.. And looks like it got worse later on too


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BBM on June 24, 2015, 12:26:48 pm
    Regarding both last night's and this morning's problems at Ealing, is it not possible to instigate any sort of diversionary service via Greenford East? I remember from when I was commuting in 1989, following the derailment of a Class 50 at West Ealing an emergency service was quickly instigated which involved a diversion via Hanwell/Drayton Green Jcts and Greenford South/East Jcts. However I seem to recall that for some reason (possibly to do with track or signalling) the FGW Class 57 specials last October weren't able to use the Hanwell/Drayton Green line as originally planned?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on June 24, 2015, 12:46:43 pm
    That's a good question, BBM.  Route knowledge is the main reason as only the Paddington crews sign that route (and even then I'm not sure they all do).  Obviously it would be a much reduced service, possibly three or four trains an hour each way, and often with a fatality by the time you've organised something meaningful the lines have re-opened.  Yesterday's sad events took longer than normal due to the nature of the incident though so it might have been worth it in the end.  As with Foxhall and Reading West diversions they are potential get-you-out-of-the-s*it moves and personally I think it would be better if more crews signed them for just such an example.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Western Enterprise on June 24, 2015, 01:27:22 pm
    Yesterday's sad events took longer than normal due to the nature of the incident though so it might have been worth it in the end. 

    Just as an aside, what time did things start back up last night?
    Thanks,
    WE


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on June 24, 2015, 03:11:47 pm
    The first train that stopped at Maidenhead left Paddington about 9.. It probably wasn't the first departure though..


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Chris from Nailsea on June 24, 2015, 07:02:02 pm
    I received a text alert from First Great Western at 07:00 this morning, informing me that,

    Quote
    NLS to BRI on your route:
    08:13 will have 2 not 8 coaches - a person hit by a train earlier.

    Train stock still out of place overnight, apparently.  :-\


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on June 24, 2015, 08:44:52 pm
    The HST involved wouldn't have been back in service...


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on June 25, 2015, 08:52:25 am
    Another morning of general delays for me, slow into Reading and then slow into Paddington, once again:

    "Train services running through these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 10 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 13:00 25/06.
    Customer Advice:
    As a result of signalling problems in the Southall area affecting the lines used by express services there will be a reduction in the frequency of express train services between London Paddington and Oxford in both directions. To compensate for this First Great Western ticket holders may travel on CrossCountry train services between Oxford and Reading, changing at Reading into / out of alternative fast services to / from London Paddington.
    In addition, there will also be alterations to some train services between London Paddington and Bedwyn, and return, which will require customers to change trains at Reading."

    It's not been a good week at all, this on top of the delays due to the fight at Reading West station last night.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on June 25, 2015, 09:08:40 am
    This is neverending.

    Presumably the cause of the signals in this area constantly being SNAFU has been identified by now?.....there seems to be a pattern of a week of chaos, followed by a few weeks of only "minor" (relatively speaking) problems, before a return to everything falling over again.......which to me suggests that there are a lot of temporary fixes being applied rather than a permanent solution?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on June 25, 2015, 09:57:51 am
    Is it correct that the new signals are being attached to the old wiring? And later, the new wiring is being laid & then connected to these signals? Rather than signals & wiring being renewed together?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on June 25, 2015, 10:00:27 am
    I was working in Birmingham yesterday (24th June) and came back using XC from New Street to Reading. I caught the 17:06 XC Bournemouth service from New Street  which was slightly delayed at start and lost a few more minutes due to line congestion and was expecting to catch the 1912 Local Reading to Thatcham BUT the Frome service was delayed so managed to catch that at Reading.

    The TM on this service apologised for the lack of PA announcements but found it difficult to reach the PA equipment due to unusually heavy passenger numbers (possibly as a result of issues raised by other forum members yesterday)

    I arrived in Thatcham at just past 7pm which was about 40 minutes earlier than I would have expected.

    So for very selfish reasons the delays which may have caused misery for others worked for me - I should add that on depature from RDG the Frome Service was if anything more lightly loaded than I would have expected for that service.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ellendune on June 25, 2015, 06:29:32 pm
    The TM on this service apologised for the lack of PA announcements but found it difficult to reach the PA equipment due to unusually heavy passenger numbers (possibly as a result of issues raised by other forum members yesterday)

    Or possibly because there is some sort of annual village fete somewhere near Castle Cary. 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Thatcham Crossing on June 25, 2015, 08:57:41 pm
    Quote
    I should add that on depature from RDG the Frome Service was if anything more lightly loaded than I would have expected for that service.

    I think this is one of the HST's that stops at TWY (fast to there from PAD) where in my experience about 50% of those onboard get off.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on June 25, 2015, 09:04:25 pm
    The TM on this service apologised for the lack of PA announcements but found it difficult to reach the PA equipment due to unusually heavy passenger numbers (possibly as a result of issues raised by other forum members yesterday)

    Or possibly because there is some sort of annual village fete somewhere near Castle Cary. 

    There certainly have been a large number of un-ripened berries about the last few days ................ the rain on Friday should ripen them up a bit, hopefully there will be no more rain as that always over-ripens Glason Berries 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on June 25, 2015, 09:06:41 pm
    Quote
    I should add that on depature from RDG the Frome Service was if anything more lightly loaded than I would have expected for that service.

    I think this is one of the HST's that stops at TWY (fast to there from PAD) where in my experience about 50% of those onboard get off.

    I think you are right TC


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on June 25, 2015, 10:46:16 pm
    This is neverending.

    Don't expect a good week next week with the forecast of a hot spell for most of the week with the thermometer nudging 30 degrees Celsius.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Chris from Nailsea on June 26, 2015, 12:01:46 am
    A timely reminder, then, from the Western Daily Press (http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Glastonbury-Festival-revellers-booted-Great/story-26766658-detail/story.html):

    Quote
    Glastonbury Festival revellers will not be allowed on First Great Western trains if too muddy

    Glastonbury Festival revellers have been warned they will not be allowed on trains taking them home if they are too MUDDY.

    First Great Western is the only train operator which visits Castle Cary station near the festival site in Somerset.

    But in a special leaflet printed for the five-day event, bosses have warned mucky festival goers they'll be turned away if they are too dirty.

    The leaflet says: "In the interests of the comfort of all our customers, you will not be allowed to board the train if you are excessively muddy."

    No such prohibition on anyone being excessively hot and sweaty, apparently.  ;) :D ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on June 28, 2015, 08:54:13 am
    ....with the temperature set to rise a few degrees this week, on what day do people think that everything will fall over due to "poor rail conditions"? summer weather being one of the other natural phenomena that the (UK) railways struggle to cope with.....sweepstake anyone?

    I've got some very important meetings this week and I really, really hope they don't get messed up by numerous delays/cancellations.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on June 28, 2015, 09:34:46 am
    That's what I like to read on a Sunday morning. Unbridled optimism.  :P ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on June 28, 2015, 09:35:50 am
    That's what I like to read on a Sunday morning. Unbridled optimism.  :P ;D

    .....it's being so cheerful that keeps me going!!!  ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on June 28, 2015, 09:39:48 am
    Tuesday....with widespread limits from Wednesday on


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on June 28, 2015, 09:58:47 am
    ........always nice to have something to look forward to, God knows how they manage in hot countries.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on June 28, 2015, 11:41:46 am
    ....with the temperature set to rise a few degrees this week, on what day do people think that everything will fall over due to "poor rail conditions"? summer weather being one of the other natural phenomena that the (UK) railways struggle to cope with.....sweepstake anyone?

    I've got some very important meetings this week and I really, really hope they don't get messed up by numerous delays/cancellations.

    I am not very hopeful of a normal service being provided in hot weather, apart from the usual high rail temperature problems, signal failures seem to be more likely in hot weather.

    I would urge allowing extra time for travel to important meetings, and for journeys of up to say 100 miles keep enough cash to hand for a taxi if all else fails.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on June 28, 2015, 04:14:55 pm
    ....with the temperature set to rise a few degrees this week, on what day do people think that everything will fall over due to "poor rail conditions"? summer weather being one of the other natural phenomena that the (UK) railways struggle to cope with.....sweepstake anyone?

    I've got some very important meetings this week and I really, really hope they don't get messed up by numerous delays/cancellations.

    I am not very hopeful of a normal service being provided in hot weather, apart from the usual high rail temperature problems, signal failures seem to be more likely in hot weather.

    I would urge allowing extra time for travel to important meetings, and for journeys of up to say 100 miles keep enough cash to hand for a taxi if all else fails.

    .........perfectly reasonable advice but of course the taxi would be at my own expense, despite having purchased a ticket from FGW who are then unable to provide the advertised service.

    Do NR actually do anything to mitigate against the effect of entirely predictable warm summer weather, or are they happy just to take the hit and pay out to the TOCs?

    I guess they are too busy "Building a Greater West" to worry about such minor details as keeping the trains running during the summer?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Ollie on June 28, 2015, 04:39:00 pm
    This is what Network Rail say about the heat and what they to do reduce the risks: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/timetables-and-travel/delays-explained/summer-weather.aspx


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on June 28, 2015, 04:48:45 pm
    This is what Network Rail say about the heat and what they to do reduce the risks: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/timetables-and-travel/delays-explained/summer-weather.aspx

    ............best get the paintbrushes out sharpish then!!!  ;D

    Must admit I can't recall seeing any white rails? I thought one of the areas most at risk was on the approach to Paddington.......all regulation brown as I recall?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on June 28, 2015, 05:00:27 pm
    Plenty around, you just haven't noticed them


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ellendune on June 28, 2015, 05:01:42 pm
    This is what Network Rail say about the heat and what they to do reduce the risks: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/timetables-and-travel/delays-explained/summer-weather.aspx

    ............best get the paintbrushes out sharpish then!!!  ;D

    Must admit I can't recall seeing any white rails? I thought one of the areas most at risk was on the approach to Paddington.......all regulation brown as I recall?

    I have seen quite a lot of white painted rail on the approach to Paddington.  Short lengths not continuous length.

    Has someone also posted about the difficulty of maintaining the proper stresses in the rail when there is a lot of work going on on the line. Not enough time to restore the stressing between



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on June 28, 2015, 05:04:30 pm
    I have often wondered why, in vulnerable locations, a light water spray is not used to cool the rails and immediate surroundings.
    Something as basic as a number of domestic style oscillating garden sprinklers affixed to existing signal gantries and other structures would help a lot. Or even a couple of workers as near to the track as is safe, manually applying water by means of garden hoses and spray jets.

    (IIRC, I have previously suggested this)

    Water is cheap and readily available and if applied in moderation should cause no problems to equipment intended to withstand rain.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on June 28, 2015, 05:18:15 pm
    Must admit I can't recall seeing any white rails? I thought one of the areas most at risk was on the approach to Paddington.......all regulation brown as I recall?

    Here you go - white rails in darkest Cornwall.

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

    The current weather forecast for my area shows high temperatures but cloudy skies.  That might help - it is direct sunlight which causes the rails to heat up to a higher temperature than the surrounding air.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ellendune on June 28, 2015, 05:27:40 pm
    I have often wondered why, in vulnerable locations, a light water spray is not used to cool the rails and immediate surroundings.
    Something as basic as a number of domestic style oscillating garden sprinklers affixed to existing signal gantries and other structures would help a lot. Or even a couple of workers as near to the track as is safe, manually applying water by means of garden hoses and spray jets.

    (IIRC, I have previously suggested this)

    Water is cheap and readily available and if applied in moderation should cause no problems to equipment intended to withstand rain.

    Water is indeed cheap, but getting to places away from mains is not. 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on June 28, 2015, 05:39:22 pm
    Agree that obtaining water in remote places could be problematic, but I was thinking more of urban areas such as the approaches to Paddington which seems to be a regular hot spot.

    Depending on the height of the water table  and the local terrain, a drilled well and a submersible pump might be an option in places away from mains water, but urban areas are arguably a higher priority as they tend to be hotter, and the greater density of traffic means that delays affect far greater numbers of people.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: didcotdean on June 28, 2015, 05:46:28 pm
    Inside the carriages like to be problematic too - the twitter complaints concerning inadequate or completely failed AC started a few weeks back when the temperature first touched 19C.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on June 30, 2015, 08:56:13 am
    Direct Henley/Bourne End services cancelled for much of today due to anticipated "hot weather".

    This will be interesting if it continues into tomorrow with the Henley Regatta starting however I think there will be extra services on that branch anyway to allow for this.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on June 30, 2015, 09:01:00 am
    I am not sure about "much of the day".  There are only a handful of through trains from London Paddington to the branches and they are in the evening peak.  This morning's through Up services ran as normal.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on June 30, 2015, 09:27:33 am
    From midday onwards;



    Network Rail have advised that, due to the anticipated exceptionally hot weather, there will be speed restrictions to protect track points in the Thames Valley region on Tuesday 30 June 2015.


    As a result there will be no fast trains between London Paddington and Bourne End or Henley-on-Thames from 12:00 until 20:00. This will affect the following services:

    London Paddington to Henley-on-Thames
    Trains from London Paddington will terminate at Twyford for a connection with a branch line train to Henley-on-Thames, which will remain on the branch line.

    17:12 London Paddington to Henley-on-Thames, this service will terminate at Twyford.
    18:12 London Paddington to Henley-on-Thames, this service will terminate at Twyford.
    19:05 London Paddington to Henley-on-Thames, this service will terminate at Twyford.

    London Paddington to Bourne End
    Trains from London Paddington will terminate at Maidenhead for a connection with a branch line train to Bourne End, which will remain on the branch line.

    16:42 London Paddington to Bourne End, this service will terminate at Maidenhead.
    17:42 London Paddington to Bourne End, this service will terminate at Maidenhead.
    18:42 London Paddington to Bourne End, this service will terminate at Maidenhead.



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on June 30, 2015, 11:21:55 am
    Direct Henley/Bourne End services cancelled for much of today due to anticipated "hot weather".

    This will be interesting if it continues into tomorrow with the Henley Regatta starting however I think there will be extra services on that branch anyway to allow for this.

    From my recollection during previous Regattas all of the Henley trains are diverted to Twyford and everyone gets booted off to join the dedicated branch line service.  I could be very much mistaken though.

    As a side story, during last year's Regatta I was making my way from Paddington to Henley about 6pm and was awaiting the branch line train to arrive in to Twyford.  As the train arrived it was clearly rather busy with the daytime revellers returning to Twyford.  The doors opened and the woman at the front cleaved forwards 90 degrees face first on to the platform.  She didn't even flinch as she fell.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on June 30, 2015, 11:31:02 am
    Direct Henley/Bourne End services cancelled for much of today due to anticipated "hot weather".

    This will be interesting if it continues into tomorrow with the Henley Regatta starting however I think there will be extra services on that branch anyway to allow for this.

    From my recollection during previous Regattas all of the Henley trains are diverted to Twyford and everyone gets booted off to join the dedicated branch line service.  I could be very much mistaken though.

    As a side story, during last year's Regatta I was making my way from Paddington to Henley about 6pm and was awaiting the branch line train to arrive in to Twyford.  As the train arrived it was clearly rather busy with the daytime revellers returning to Twyford.  The doors opened and the woman at the front cleaved forwards 90 degrees face first on to the platform.  She didn't even flinch as she fell.

    A 90 degree cleavage would make the bravest man flinch.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: rower40 on June 30, 2015, 11:57:39 am
    In previous years, the regatta service runs as a shuttle, but it uses Twyford platform 4.  This is because it is strengthened to 5 (or is it 6) cars, and Twyford platform 5 is only long enough for 4 at most.

    The purpose of running the branches as self-contained shuttles in hot weather is to minimise the number of times that points have to be moved.  That's not going to work if the regatta service is too long to fit in Twyford platform 5.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: didcotdean on June 30, 2015, 12:18:38 pm
    The Regatta timetable (https://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/-/media/pdf/destinations/eventsandatttractions/henleyregatta/henley%20regatta%202015%20%20v4%20%20print%20ready%201%201.pdf?la=en) suggests longer trains only on the Saturday, and by then the temperatures are down somewhat.

    There are no through services during the Regatta, so today is kind of a prelude.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on June 30, 2015, 01:49:08 pm
    ..........why worry about hot weather when we can rely on signal failures?

    Cancellations to services between Reading and Slough

    Due to signalling problems between Reading and Slough the London bound main line is disrupted.
    Impact:
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled or delayed. Disruption is expected until 15:00 30/06.
    Customer Advice:
    Passengers at Reading for the following stations Twyford, Maidenhead, Langley, West Drayton, Hayes & Harlington and Southall are advised to circulate via Ealing Broadway.

    ..........are they seriously advising customers at Reading who want to go to Twyford to travel via Ealing???


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Tim on June 30, 2015, 04:02:31 pm
    Plenty around, you just haven't noticed them

    there is plenty around, but clearly not enough.  Just a thought, but why can't rail be delivered from the factory with white paint already on it?  Must be easier and cheaper and safer to install in the factory than out on the track. Seems to be newer track that is more prone to buckling as it may not yet have been tensioned.   


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on June 30, 2015, 04:10:14 pm
    Done to highlight specific areas that are going to cause real problems if it even moves by millimetres - such as points, crossovers, etc. Continuous rail is more easily tensioned.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: chrisr_75 on June 30, 2015, 04:23:03 pm
    Done to highlight specific areas that are going to cause real problems if it even moves by millimetres - such as points, crossovers, etc. Continuous rail is more easily tensioned.

    Continuous Welded Rail also has appropriate expansion joints anyway and is designed to expand and contract freely, within certain environmental constraints of course, so is less of an issue on open track. I believe the main issue is with fixed track, primarily at and in short sections between points and crossovers, which has less space to expand than CWR and you will see the white paint applied to the sides of the rails at these locations across the 'western region'.

    It doesn't appear to be something that has been adopted nationally for some reason and as I recall from a bit of googling when I first noticed the white paint, it is a 'Western' region thing going back many years.

    Quite why this appears to be such an issue in the UK and not so much in countries on the continent that experience much larger annual temperature ranges is beyond me!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Andrew1939 from West Oxon on June 30, 2015, 04:23:14 pm
    Long stretches of the Cotswold Line, particularly between Hanborough and Combe have had all trees removed over the past year - at what must have been an enormous cost. I had assumed that this was to reduce the Autumn leaf fall making the tracks slippery. If sunlight makes the rails more prone to buckling in high temperatures it would seem that one risk of problems seems to have been replaced with another as the rails are now in the blazing sun instead of being sheltered from direct sunlight.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on June 30, 2015, 05:00:25 pm
    This is flagging as a major disruption on the website.

    "Due to signalling problems between London Paddington and Reading trains have to run at reduced speed on all lines.
    Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed by up to 20 mins. Disruption is expected until 20:00 30/06."


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Four Track, Now! on June 30, 2015, 05:25:00 pm
    8 late at BTT today, for all three trains due around the time I was there.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on June 30, 2015, 06:13:35 pm
    All TV out of Paddington look rather messy at the moment. I'm on the 17.49 to Worcester that hasn't left yet and is now becoming overcrowded as the Maidenhead 18.18 crowd arrive and spy an earlier/better service.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on June 30, 2015, 06:14:12 pm
    This is flagging as a major disruption on the website.

    "Due to signalling problems between London Paddington and Reading trains have to run at reduced speed on all lines.
    Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed by up to 20 mins. Disruption is expected until 20:00 30/06."

    So two sets of signal failures today (so far) and heat related disruption too on a very warm day..........tomorrow it will be v v hot, up to 96 degrees if forecasts are to be believed.....meltdown?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on June 30, 2015, 06:18:08 pm
    Now the brakes on the 17.49 set are broken. 😢


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on June 30, 2015, 06:41:32 pm
    I really can't convey how much I hate rail travel right now. Whether it's the fault of fgw or network rail or Bob the builder I couldn't care less, it's just crap.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on June 30, 2015, 06:44:17 pm
    I really can't convey how much I hate rail travel right now. Whether it's the fault of fgw or network rail or Bob the builder I couldn't care less, it's just crap.

    Hear hear, sums it up very succinctly!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on June 30, 2015, 07:17:41 pm
    So two sets of signal failures today (so far) and heat related disruption too on a very warm day..........tomorrow it will be v v hot, up to 96 degrees if forecasts are to be believed.....meltdown?

    I would hope roughly the same as today.  A pretty good morning peak before the real heat arrives, followed by a few targeted and sensible speed precautions and cancellations leading to the majority of trains running, though with delays that slowly get worse throughout the afternoon, as crew and trains start to get displaced and the peak heat levels arrive. 

    There may be the odd train failure, like today, as the systems on them get tested more than usual leading to the possibility of more failures than you might usually expect - just in the same way that the RAC usually get 20-30% more call outs on hot days for car breakdowns.  Hopefully there won't be 'meltdown' but certainly don't expect there not to be at least some disruption, especially later in the afternoon.



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on June 30, 2015, 07:36:18 pm
    Looks fairly much like a meltdown from where I'm sat stood.
    Trying to be constructive about things what vexes me is that adjustments to schedules aren't made to accommodate the flow of passengers from cancelled trains when specific peaks of destination are obvious.

    Case in point being the services to Maidenhead which peak at 18.18 where all 6 carriages literally empty at Maidenhead.

    So, what has happened today to let me call it a meltdown...
    - the 17.49 via Maidenhead is held in platform soaking up most of the 18.18 flow.
    - 17.49 develops brake fault and is eventually cancelled.
    - 18.18 has just left half empty.
    - 18.25 stopping service is declared as the next train to Maidenhead.
    - 18.25 is 3 carriages not 6 and is dangerously overcrowded with people fainting and water being shared between passengers.
    - 18.25 takes 45mins to reach southall where we are told that a train in front has broken down.
    - in the meantime the 19.05 to Maidenhead is also cancelled.
    - I've now taken 2hrs from arriving at Paddington to reach Langley and I have no idea when I will reach home. This is why I call it a meltdown.

    Wouldn't it have been nice to add Maidenhead as a first stop on any of those Reading Hst sets??


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BBM on June 30, 2015, 10:18:01 pm
    The Henley Branch User Group (@HenleyBUG) tweeted earlier this evening that a train had hit a tyre on the track at Slough and another one in the same area had suffered a broken windscreen. I noticed that the 16.49 PAD-OXF was terminated at SLO so I wonder if that train was one of the two mentioned in the tweet?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on June 30, 2015, 10:21:48 pm
    A Bristol bound HST made an extra call at Slough to pick up the stranded passengers from the Oxford train.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: lordgoata on June 30, 2015, 10:24:06 pm
    I really can't convey how much I hate rail travel right now. Whether it's the fault of fgw or network rail or Bob the builder I couldn't care less, it's just crap.

    Mine was 31 minutes late tonight. Thankfully it was the full compliment of 3 carriages (it was 5 until the May timetable "improved" it) ... unlike several times recently when its been 2 car....


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on June 30, 2015, 11:00:53 pm
    Looks fairly much like a meltdown from where I'm sat stood.

    - I've now taken 2hrs from arriving at Paddington to reach Langley and I have no idea when I will reach home. This is why I call it a meltdown.

    Wouldn't it have been nice to add Maidenhead as a first stop on any of those Reading Hst sets??

    I'd describe a meltdown as practically no trains running at all, which was certainly not the case as the vast majority ran, albeit most suffering delays of 10-30 minutes and a fairly small number with delays above that.  That's not to say that you and many others didn't have a pretty crap journey home tonight as you obviously did, but had the 17:49 not been cancelled at short notice due to a set failure, the other links in the chain you describe would have, in themselves, not been of too great a consequence.  Notwithstanding the fact the 18:25 3-car vice 6-car was poor advice for Maidenhead passengers as the 18:42 would have been a far better bet, though very busy itself I suspect as a 4-car - it got to Maidenhead 25 minutes earlier than the 18:25 having left at a similar time.

    However, you're dead right that our control needs to consider the likely flow of passengers for the busiest stations, which on that train certainly is Maidenhead, and make better provision for them by stopping one of the slightly quieter HSTs where possible - or do their best to communicate the 18:18/18:42 option better when situations like this develop.  However, having been involved in many similar incidents over the years, it is surprising how difficult it can be to advise passengers of the best option, especially, as is often the case, that technicians could rectify the fault on the 17:49 at any given moment which would completely change what the best advice would have been at an instant.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on July 01, 2015, 09:53:08 am
    I would hope roughly the same as today.  A pretty good morning peak before the real heat arrives, followed by a few targeted and sensible speed precautions and cancellations leading to the majority of trains running, though with delays that slowly get worse throughout the afternoon, as crew and trains start to get displaced and the peak heat levels arrive. 

    Well, stage one as hoped for with limited disruption during this morning's peak.  Now, let's watch he situation slowly deteriorate after lunchtime and fingers crossed it will be no worse than yesterday!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on July 01, 2015, 09:58:16 am
    I would hope roughly the same as today.  A pretty good morning peak before the real heat arrives, followed by a few targeted and sensible speed precautions and cancellations leading to the majority of trains running, though with delays that slowly get worse throughout the afternoon, as crew and trains start to get displaced and the peak heat levels arrive. 

    Well, stage one as hoped for with limited disruption during this morning's peak.  Now, let's watch he situation slowly deteriorate after lunchtime and fingers crossed it will be no worse than yesterday!

    I spoke to several people this morning who had 2 hour journeys from Paddington to Taplow/Maidenhead last night so I sincerely hope it isn't any worse today!!!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: insider on July 01, 2015, 11:13:12 am
    Todays Marlow Branch for evening peak will be again the locked in hourly shuttle services. The direct services will terminate at Maidenehad.

    With Regards to the Regatta Timetable from today.

    A 4 Car operates (into Bay Platform 5) from after the morning peak and then until close of service Wednesday - Friday every 30 mins from Twyford/ Henley. To maintain that frequency, one trip per hour will miss Wargrave in down, and both Shiplake and Wargrave on the Up.

    A 7 Car will operate (in to Up Relief platform 4). Every 30 mins Bus service Twyford- Wargrave all day. And 1 trip in Up Direction will not call at Shiplake.

    There are also a number of Turbos and HST's that will call at Twyford additonally to pick up London Bound in the evenings


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on July 01, 2015, 11:22:43 am
    I was also on the the 17.49 so had the same experience as NickB. I didn't try and get on the 18.25 as I saw how crowded it was.. I got the 18.50 departure (to change at Slough).. Funnily enough it was the same train that I had got off a while earlier (the broken 17.49 which had miraculously been mended since).. We changed at Slough and got on a (very hot) train that had left Paddington at 18.16.. As Nick said it would have been nice had they stopped another HST service at Maidenhead to relieve the overcrowding and horrible conditions as a result of the 17.49 being cancelled

    Tonight I intend not to travel in the rush hour as they are already promising us issues (via BBC news)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Western Enterprise on July 01, 2015, 11:43:02 am
    Case in point being the services to Maidenhead which peak at 18.18 where all 6 carriages literally empty at Maidenhead.

    So, what has happened today to let me call it a meltdown...
    - the 17.49 via Maidenhead is held in platform soaking up most of the 18.18 flow.
    - 17.49 develops brake fault and is eventually cancelled.
    - 18.18 has just left half empty.
    - 18.25 stopping service is declared as the next train to Maidenhead.
    - 18.25 is 3 carriages not 6 and is dangerously overcrowded with people fainting and water being shared between passengers.
    - 18.25 takes 45mins to reach southall where we are told that a train in front has broken down.
    - in the meantime the 19.05 to Maidenhead is also cancelled.
    - I've now taken 2hrs from arriving at Paddington to reach Langley and I have no idea when I will reach home. This is why I call it a meltdown.
    :o
    I too was on the 17.49 which developed brake problems and was eventually told to get off about 18.25.
    I thought about a Turbo but decided to get the 18.50 HST; first stop Slough and play catch up. It was empty and the aircon was on overblow. 8)
    In this weather I'd take that rather than the Turbo, didn't wait too long for a stopper onwards.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: eightf48544 on July 01, 2015, 01:57:59 pm
    Interesting listening to Radio London travel reports whilst stuck in a traffic jam on the Eastbound A40at Hillingdon around 16:30 yesterday. 30/6,  (don't ask!) they were consistently saying no trains between Twyford and Henley and Maidenhead and Marlow.

    i thought it was only the through trains from Padd that were cancelled.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on July 01, 2015, 02:21:13 pm
    ... they were consistently saying no trains between Twyford and Henley and Maidenhead and Marlow ...

    i thought it was only the through trains from Padd that were cancelled.

    We have learnt in our area that a wonderful way to lessen demand / loadings is to let people know a train's not running but then run it anyway  ;D

    It's very rare ... tends to happen by accident where a train's bust and can't run, gets cancelled, then someone manages to fix it after all ...


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BBM on July 01, 2015, 02:25:01 pm
    Interesting listening to Radio London travel reports whilst stuck in a traffic jam on the Eastbound A40at Hillingdon around 16:30 9don't ask!) they were consistently saying no trains between Twyford and Henley and Maidenhead and Marlow.

    i thought it was only the through trains from Padd that were cancelled.

    I'm sure I heard the same thing on BBC Radio Berkshire but I can't remember if it was today or yesterday (this morning I was busy struggling to get over Sonning Bridge where the traffic lights weren't working, so it's not just the railways which suffer from signal failures!)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on July 01, 2015, 04:04:13 pm
    From the BBC's online magazine (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-33342481):

    Quote
    Who, What, Why: Why does hot weather cause rail delays?

    (http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/660/cpsprodpb/17BD5/production/_83973279_pa-17077467.jpg)

    As the hottest weather so far this year hits parts of the UK, train passengers are being warned of further train delays caused by buckling rails. Why does this happen, asks Justin Parkinson.

    On hot days, steel rails exposed to direct sunshine can become 20C hotter than the air temperature, according to Network Rail. The resulting expansion can cause extreme compression and buckling. When this happens, lines become impassable and close for repairs, which can't usually happen until temperatures drop again.

    Some operators have warned of temporary speed restrictions on stretches deemed most at risk, as slower trains exert lower forces on the track, reducing the risk of buckling.

    In the past, the UK's main system of coping with extreme heat involved leaving gaps, known as expansion joints, along the line, allowing rails to slide past each other as they expand. But the small breaks in the line meant trains were noisy and gave bumpy rides.

    Under the replacement system, to prevent buckling the track is "pre-stressed" or stretched. Only when it gets unusually hot does the metal expand enough to pose a risk of rails pushing together and buckling.

    This treatment allows rails to be welded together, leaving no gaps. In the UK rail tension is set so that they only start to expand - and thereby push against each other - when the outside temperature gets to 27C.

    "This means there's a greater risk of buckling than there once was, but the modern system was introduced to make the ride smoother for passengers and quieter for those living near the track. Removing the joints also reduces damage and maintenance requirements," says Prof Simon Iwnicki, director of Huddersfield University's Institute of Railway Research.

    Network Rail already paints "at-risk" sections of lines white to reflect more heat and reduce expansion.

    Iwnicki advocates ballast being formed into "shoulders" at the ends of sleepers to prevent sideways sliding and help to resist buckling when temperatures are high. Countries such as Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, the US and Germany use "slab track", where rails are laid on reinforced concrete slabs, holding them more rigidly. It's also used in the section of the Eurotunnel which runs under the English Channel.

    But Network Rail estimates slab track is four times dearer to install than that on sleepers and ballast, and "it's hard to make a business case" for it, even taking into account maintenance savings.

    There's some good news for commuters, however. The heatwave ends on Thursday.



    Moderator note: As we are currently discussing the rails in the Thames Valley, rather than signalling, I've taken the liberty of renaming this thread. The word 'signalling' has been replaced with the word 'infrastructure'.   :)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: chrisr_75 on July 01, 2015, 05:30:03 pm
    Not directly related to FGWland, but an interesting article nonetheless about a derailment earlier this week suspected to be linked to the current high temperatures. Article includes an interesting photo of a rather badly buckled rail taken during the 2006 heat, which illustrates what can happen when things get a bit too hot:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-33342819 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-33342819)

    I'm not entirely sure what happened to the front half of the cow in the top picture...!!  ;D



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Gordon the Blue Engine on July 01, 2015, 05:53:21 pm
    1653 Reading to Banbury stopper cancelled.  1723 Reading to Oxford stopper is about 40 late at Reading.  1755 Reading to Oxford stopper is 10 late.  So nothing from Reading to Tilehurst, Pangbourne etc for about 90 minutes.  Truly awful ^ but it^s good news for taxi drivers as Mrs GTBE (and others I^m sure) give up on FGW.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on July 01, 2015, 06:00:51 pm
    Looks fairly much like a meltdown from where I'm sat stood.
    I'd describe a meltdown as practically no trains running at all...

    So I can call a gap from 12:47 to 18:52 in services in Wiltshire today a "meltdown"?  ;)  ;D ... especially as the train that was supposed to have formed the services between got hot-weather-itis.  Almost like old times with l-o-n-g gaps, but once in a while, and with alternative road transport ... I suspect I'm much more understanding than I used to be.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on July 01, 2015, 06:07:00 pm
    I was lucky - bailed out early and caught the 1714 from Reading which left on time, most trains at Reading were showing delayed but not by too much, but by the time I got back to Taplow Central everything was showing up 20/30 mins late.

    Good luck getting home folks.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on July 01, 2015, 06:22:58 pm
    17.49 awaiting a fitter once again. Tedious tedious tedious.
    For good measure the 18.18 is delayed and the 18.42 cancelled so good luck to fellow Maidenhead victims passengers.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on July 01, 2015, 06:28:31 pm
    Sounds like SW trains are having problems out of Waterloo too - pal of mine is trying to get to Bracknell, turfed off at Twickenham and told he might as well go to the pub till 8


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Four Track, Now! on July 01, 2015, 07:00:58 pm
    Sounds like SW trains are having problems out of Waterloo too - pal of mine is trying to get to Bracknell, turfed off at Twickenham and told he might as well go to the pub till 8

    That's what I told my wife, too.  :D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Gordon the Blue Engine on July 01, 2015, 09:08:32 pm
    Thames Valley passengers victims may be reassured (!) by this recent FGW advert for Ribena Girls (ie Customer Ambassadors):

    ^You^ll cover every inch of your station to go the extra mile for our customers. You^ll be empowered to deal with a variety of different situations. And you^ll enjoy proactively helping our passengers and brightening up their day whatever the weather.

    We help millions of rail passengers to get to where they want to go. And every single journey is important. Which is why we^re looking to take our customer service to a whole new level. 

    We^re looking for people who can provide a passenger experience like no other. Someone who can think on your feet and make quick decisions, you must be able to connect with and talk to our customers face-to-face. You should be a confident communicator who can put people at ease and help those who are worried or in a hurry in a tactful and sensitive way. Above all you^ll need to be hard working and share our ^customer first^ approach and passion for making a positive difference to the passenger experience. ^


    I think it^s fair to say that FGW provide ^a passenger experience like no other^.  And are these Human Remains people who write these adverts real? Or are they clich^ robots?

    Edited for strikethrough



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on July 01, 2015, 09:09:11 pm
    I decided to not play their games tonight and travelled a bit later.. I got the 20.18 PAD to MAI.. It was 3 carriages..I'm not sure how may carriages it usually is though.. As soon as we got on the driver apologised for the air con not working.. I should have stayed in the pub a couple of hours longer..That had to have been 40 degrees on the train. that really isn't acceptable..


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on July 01, 2015, 09:23:14 pm
    At least ladies only glow while us men perspire.  ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on July 01, 2015, 09:25:02 pm
    I sweat.

    Like a pig.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Four Track, Now! on July 01, 2015, 09:37:30 pm
    Thames Valley passengers victims may be reassured (!) by this recent FGW advert for Ribena Girls (ie Customer Ambassadors):

    ^You^ll cover every inch of your station to go the extra mile for our customers. You^ll be empowered to deal with a variety of different situations. And you^ll enjoy proactively helping our passengers and brightening up their day whatever the weather.

    We help millions of rail passengers to get to where they want to go. And every single journey is important. Which is why we^re looking to take our customer service to a whole new level. 


    The one I saw at Bath Spa a couple of weeks back was sweet. She was the cleanest and best polished thing in the station, and also did a very good job of rearranging the temporary timetables, put into display cases by a colleague, back into alphabetical order. Se had the support of every male member of staff with a pulse. Job done, she jumped on the next (decent) train to Bristol, accompanied by a cohort of young men in suits (or is it a phalanx?), who appeared from nowhere, and hung on her every word all the way to BRI.

    If that's not the extra mile, what is? Unless she is paid to combat dyslexia, that is.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on July 01, 2015, 09:41:08 pm
    I know one who works at Exeter St Davids and she goes not only the extra mile, but walks it - traipsing from the gateline to platforms 4 and 5 and back many times throughout her shifts.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on July 01, 2015, 09:49:39 pm
    At least ladies only glow while us men perspire.  ;D

    Ha ha there was no glowing or perspiring on that train.. Just lots of sweating...


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Oxonhutch on July 02, 2015, 07:22:40 am
    Problems again today. Now held on the up relief outside West Drayton. Crossed over from the up main at Dolphin Junction. Signalling problems between Slough and Southall West. No sign of movement yet.

    Correction. Now on move slowly. Up main looks blocked.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on July 02, 2015, 07:27:50 am
    Indeed. I'm on the 7.08 maid-->Padd and we're at a full stop on the relief near Slough. We just got passed by a very speedy HST on the fast line though. And now by a turbo.
    Not sure why I bother travelling during 9 months of the year.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Western Enterprise on July 02, 2015, 09:02:32 am
    And now by a turbo.
     
    That Turbo came to a full stop just outside W.Drayton......
    Driver on tannoy said something about having to wait for a crossing train ahead?

    I thought it was only chickens that crossed the road.....  ::)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on July 02, 2015, 09:05:03 am
    Problems again today. Now held on the up relief outside West Drayton. Crossed over from the up main at Dolphin Junction. Signalling problems between Slough and Southall West. No sign of movement yet.

    Correction. Now on move slowly. Up main looks blocked.


    ......maybe it's too cold and the rails are contracting?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on July 02, 2015, 09:19:15 am
    Quality of input from TM today was laughable. 
    "We are delayed due to congestion" - nope, congestion is a symptom not a cause.  Its like saying that the patient died because his heart stopped.
    Allegedly even by the time we reached Paddington (45mins late) he still didn't know the cause, despite it being on Twitter and on here all the time.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: lordgoata on July 02, 2015, 09:25:43 am
    1653 Reading to Banbury stopper cancelled.  1723 Reading to Oxford stopper is about 40 late at Reading.  1755 Reading to Oxford stopper is 10 late.  So nothing from Reading to Tilehurst, Pangbourne etc for about 90 minutes.  Truly awful ^ but it^s good news for taxi drivers as Mrs GTBE (and others I^m sure) give up on FGW.

    Last night was ridiculous. The 17.05 from Maidenhead was showing as delayed due to problems with a previous service, EXACTLY the same as yesterday, whilst both trains either side were running (albeit late). I decided to work late as "delayed" means absolutely sod all to anyone, and I wasn't hanging around at Maidenhead all night again.

    I got a lift to Twyford. Waiting on the platform at 17.50-ish and they decide to inform all the Regatta visitors waiting for the train to London to come to platform 3, go to Reading and get a HST directly to Paddington. So Platform 3 went from the handful of regular commuters to scores of Regatta visitors.

    Then what arrives ? The delayed 16.57 (I think it is) from Maidenhead, reduced from 5 to 2 carriages. Cue the insane crush while everyone tries (and fails) to get on. And they were still telling customers on platform 4 to go to 3 and get the train to Reading even as the 2 carriage service was pulling in! Utterly insane.

    Thankfully I avoided that fiasco and waited for the next service which was at least the full compliment of 3 carriages this time, but when that left Reading it was horrendous, just lucky most people got off at Tilehurst so was at least not too bad for everyone over that short distance.

    Plan to leave early tonight as I worked later yesterday, so lets see what joys await tonight....


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on July 02, 2015, 09:41:37 am
    The current announcement is thus:

    Cancellations to services between Acton Main Line and Slough
    Last updated 09:37
    Due to signalling problems between Acton Main Line and Slough some lines are disrupted.
    Train services running through these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 30 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 10:30 02/07.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: rower40 on July 02, 2015, 10:06:12 am
    ... this recent FGW advert for Ribena Girls (ie Customer Ambassadors):
    ^You^ll cover every inch of your station to go the extra mile for our customers.
    <Extremely off-topic...>
    Remind me, when did we start using the metric system? ;)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on July 02, 2015, 10:16:14 am
    Still using Chains for measurement aren't we?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Four Track, Now! on July 02, 2015, 07:50:30 pm
    Quality of input from TM today was laughable. 
    "We are delayed due to congestion" - nope, congestion is a symptom not a cause.  Its like saying that the patient died because his heart stopped.


    Same excuse given at Newton Abbot for the 16:04 to Plymouth (not what I was catching). Delay due to earlier delays? Same as overcrowding due to more passengers than the train will hold.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: stuving on July 02, 2015, 09:05:27 pm
    I'm sure some of you will feel better to know that the French are also feeling the effect of the heat on their trains ...

    • SNCF has declared its "plan canicule", imposing speed limits as low as 40 km/hr on some parts of the network. This is partly about rails that may buckle, but also about catenary droop when the weights hit the deck.
    • On Line L out of St Lazare the overhead line was brought down by this droop yesterday, with all the chaos that causes. The linked delays across the whole Paris network led to passengers getting out of a stopped train on a Gare du Nord line, closing that line for over an hour.
    • SNCF president Guillaume Pepy was busy apologising, but claiming that over 70% of trains are air-conditioned. Of course that means nearly 30% aren't. For Paris suburban trains, however, 59% are uncooled.
    • Oh, and there was a strike on one of the RER lines ... but only locally.

    There have also been several big electricity supply failures, attributed to the heat. The biggest took out a whole region - 1 milllion customers - but was overnight, so had limited impact on the trains. What's odd is the explanations. One is that underground cables are overheating - surface heat is not meant to penetrate far into the ground, is it? The other is that high daytime humidity, followed by a large temperature fall, has led to condensation inside monitoring circuits attached to grid transformers. Four of these transformers, including one key big one, were damaged by fire in on Tuesday night alone.

    The context is the same as here - temperatures at record levels; as high relative to "as hot as we expect" as they are here. And a railway system with some parts showing their age and lack of maintenance and investment. 

    (canicule = heatwave)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on July 02, 2015, 11:15:12 pm
    The context is the same as here - temperatures at record levels; as high relative to "as hot as we expect" as they are here. And a railway system with some parts showing their age and lack of maintenance and investment.

    Thanks for posting those details.  It's reassuring to see the European network suffers in much the same way ours does during extremes of weather, partly dispelling the myth that we're the only network in Europe that suffers delays.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on July 02, 2015, 11:26:53 pm
    Underground electric cables are only very slightly affected by ground surface or air temperatures provided that they are buried at a reasonable depth.
    However underground cables are vulnerable to failure caused by overheating if overloaded by increased summer refrigeration and air conditioning load. PROLONGED heavy loading heats up the soil surrounding the cable and dries it out. Dry soil is less effective than damp soil at removing heat leading to still higher temperatures.

    A combination of high surface temperatures, high load, cables buried not deeply enough, and soil that starts dryer than normal due to a drought, or soil with a greater than expected thermal resistivity can have serious consequences.

    The text book case was a huge power failure some years ago in Auckland, New Zealand.
    A combination of higher than expected load, soil of greater than assumed thermal resistivity, non optimum cable type, delays in installing extra cables, and other factors resulted in one of the worst ever power failures in the developed world.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: stuving on July 02, 2015, 11:35:46 pm
    The context is the same as here - temperatures at record levels; as high relative to "as hot as we expect" as they are here. And a railway system with some parts showing their age and lack of maintenance and investment.

    Thanks for posting those details.  It's reassuring to see the European network suffers in much the same way ours does during extremes of weather, partly dispelling the myth that we're the only network in Europe that suffers delays.

    I don't think you can generalise to the rest of Europe - each country's current state will be dictated by its own  history. The French 'classic' network happens to have ended up in a state rather like ours, but because the priority given to building the LGV network stole all the money.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Chris from Nailsea on July 02, 2015, 11:52:33 pm
    At least ladies only glow while us men perspire.  ;D

    Ha ha there was no glowing or perspiring on that train.. Just lots of sweating...

    One of my female delivery driver colleagues, on returning to the store in the height of the heatwave, announced indignantly that 'her trousers were sticking to her @rse'.  I agreed with another male driver, this was 'too much information!'  ::)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on July 06, 2015, 02:38:32 pm
    Last updated 14:37
    Alterations to services between Slough and London Paddington
         
    Due to signalling problems between Slough and London Paddington the London bound relief line is closed.
    Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed or revised. Disruption is expected until 15:30 06/07.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on July 06, 2015, 07:10:03 pm
    This will be interesting if it continues into tomorrow with the Henley Regatta starting however I think there will be extra services on that branch anyway to allow for this.

    Good to see the Regatta passing off pretty smoothly this year, no doubt helped by a cooling of the temperature at the weekend.

    From what I saw the train plan worked very well, the best for several years, with what appeared to be much more strengthened trains on the relief line services, especially on the Sunday which has been a big problem in the past!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: FremlinsMan on July 07, 2015, 09:19:00 pm
    File on Four this evening covered Network Rail's problems in many regions, including the Thames Valley. The programme page is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b060zvnd (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b060zvnd)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on July 08, 2015, 08:31:17 am
    Off topic visit to Punsville has been moved to The Lighter Side:

    http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=15920.0


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on July 08, 2015, 08:52:32 am
    there was this post that you've included in that move....

    File on Four this evening covered Network Rail's problems in many regions, including the Thames Valley. The programme page is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b060zvnd (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b060zvnd)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on July 08, 2015, 09:09:57 am
    I was working on it.  ::)

    Fixed now.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on July 08, 2015, 06:46:11 pm

    Cancellations to services between Chippenham and Swindon

    Due to poor rail conditions between Chippenham and Swindon trains have to run at reduced speed on the Swindon bound line.
    Impact:
    Train services running through these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 30 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.

    ...............surely its not too hot today? Not good with people trying to get away before the strike starts.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on July 08, 2015, 06:58:24 pm
    Perhaps the rails were damaged by the stone train that had an unsolicited brake application this morning.

    Edit: Nope. There's a kink at Chippenham.

    Not sure which one though. Could be Ray, could be one of the other band members.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on July 08, 2015, 07:29:53 pm
    Perhaps the rails were damaged by the stone train that had an unsolicited brake application this morning.

    Edit: Nope. There's a kink at Chippenham.

    Not sure which one though. Could be Ray, could be one of the other band members.

    And that bnm is how tangents start :) but not from me as I'm enjoying  a "sunny  afternoon" :) is that a yellow card ?
    N


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Four Track, Now! on July 08, 2015, 07:35:20 pm
    Perhaps the rails were damaged by the stone train that had an unsolicited brake application this morning.

    Edit: Nope. There's a kink at Chippenham.

    Not sure which one though. Could be Ray, could be one of the other band members.

    And that bnm is how tangents start :) but not from me as I'm enjoying  a "sunny  afternoon" :) is that a yellow card ?
    N

    I thought you were serious. You really got me.

    Another split on the way...


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BBM on July 09, 2015, 08:22:29 pm
    According to RTT, tonight's 1812 PAD-HOT was "cancelled between Twyford and Henley-on-Thames due to disorder (VA)" Anyone know what happened? Lionel Richie fans kicking off?  ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on July 09, 2015, 09:45:06 pm
    Seems it stretched to Chiltern too...can't be a coincidence?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Ollie on July 09, 2015, 10:34:48 pm
    According to RTT, tonight's 1812 PAD-HOT was "cancelled between Twyford and Henley-on-Thames due to disorder (VA)" Anyone know what happened? Lionel Richie fans kicking off?  ;D

    Disturbance on platform at Maidenhead, police called and came and dealt with it as far as I know.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on July 09, 2015, 11:24:31 pm
    I've seen it reported as a 'domestic disturbance'.  :-\ ???


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on July 10, 2015, 09:25:41 am
    Commuter husband & wife kicking off then...:-)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on July 10, 2015, 09:33:25 am
    Probably. But a domestic disturbance is one that happens in a domestic environment. I doubt those involved lived on Maidenhead station.

    Or it could have been a ruckus between two charladies!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on July 10, 2015, 09:39:11 am
    Don't agree - a ';domestic' can occur anywhere - often in pubs/clubs etc. Just means partners arguing


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on July 10, 2015, 11:57:18 am
    Don't agree - a ';domestic' can occur anywhere - often in pubs/clubs etc. Just means partners arguing

    I'm with Chris B on this one - it's certainly not restricted to the house - try watching the Jeremy Kyle show! (......I don't....honest.....someone told me about it!  :-[  )


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ellendune on July 10, 2015, 08:08:48 pm
    .... - try watching the Jeremy Kyle show!

    Must I?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on July 15, 2015, 04:22:04 pm
    Most trains to or from Greenford now cancelled due to signalling problems. Again, not of course the fault of FGW but such frequent failures do to me cast doubts over the competency of network rail.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on July 15, 2015, 04:44:57 pm
    Delays to services between Ealing Broadway and London Paddington
    Following signalling problems between Ealing Broadway and London Paddington some London bound relief lines have now reopened.
    Impact: Train services running to and from these stations are returning to normal. Disruption is expected until 17:30 15/07.

    "some" ? How many London bound relief lines are there ?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on July 17, 2015, 08:55:36 am
    I had an interesting experience yesterday evening. Due to a signalling problem around Reading West (that was the only details I heard) the Reading to Basingstoke service http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/P02788/2015/07/16/advanced (http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/P02788/2015/07/16/advanced) came in on P12B rather than P2.
    It then went some way eastwards before pausing and then pulling back into Reading I think on P7. It was then able to proceed down towards Basingstoke.

    Was the fault on the inbound track towards Reading, causing the service to take a scenic route under the viaduct ?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Western Pathfinder on July 17, 2015, 09:52:39 pm
    Don't agree - a ';domestic' can occur anywhere - often in pubs/clubs etc. Just means partners arguing

    I'm with Chris B on this one - it's certainly not restricted to the house - try watching the Jeremy Kyle show! (......I don't....honest.....someone told me about it!  :-[  )



    Id rather poke my own eyes out !.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on July 19, 2015, 09:12:23 am
    Lots of short forms/alterations and the odd cancellation this morning due to "members of staff unavailable" ......am I right in thinking that there's an overtime ban following on from the recent strike or is it just sickies/poor rostering etc again?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: sprinterguard on July 19, 2015, 10:04:38 am
    There is no overtime ban.

    Sundays are not within the working week for the majority of (if not all) train crew including drivers and guards. Therefore it's possible to make yourself unavailable to work them. Much of it runs on goodwill, and there isn't much about at the moment!

    With it now being the school holidays, it will not get any better.



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on July 19, 2015, 10:19:05 am
    There is no overtime ban.

    Sundays are not within the working week for the majority of (if not all) train crew including drivers and guards. Therefore it's possible to make yourself unavailable to work them. Much of it runs on goodwill, and there isn't much about at the moment!

    With it now being the school holidays, it will not get any better.



    I sometimes wonder whether the railways are run for the benefit of customers or staff.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on July 19, 2015, 10:56:29 am
    Comes down to economics. Normally there are enough staff wanting the overtime to cover shifts and that is cheaper than employing full time staff members.  More full time staff means more costs which is likely to affect fares - the unregulated ones at least.

    So I don't think it is all a case of putting the railway first.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on July 19, 2015, 11:22:04 am
    I do feel though that new staff should be required to work on Sundays, perhaps up to say 12 Sundays a year.
    There is nothing unreasonable in this for new staff, if you feel it to be unreasonable then don't take the job.

    It would not be reasonable to force this on existing staff who joined when Sunday working was optional.

    The problem is that trades unions are, in general, opposed to new staff being on a different contract of employment to existing staff.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on July 19, 2015, 05:06:21 pm
    I do feel though that new staff should be required to work on Sundays, perhaps up to say 12 Sundays a year.
    There is nothing unreasonable in this for new staff, if you feel it to be unreasonable then don't take the job.

    It would not be reasonable to force this on existing staff who joined when Sunday working was optional.

    The problem is that trades unions are, in general, opposed to new staff being on a different contract of employment to existing staff.

    If recent evidence is anything to go by, the problem is that trades unions are, in general, opposed to any change or progess at all.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Chris from Nailsea on July 19, 2015, 08:08:40 pm
    If I may offer my own situation (albeit not railway related) purely as an example: I have chosen to work as a delivery driver for my employer every Sunday.

    That's because it suits me: in return, I get every Wednesday off - which also suits me.  ;)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on July 19, 2015, 09:28:20 pm
    I do feel though that new staff should be required to work on Sundays, perhaps up to say 12 Sundays a year.
    There is nothing unreasonable in this for new staff, if you feel it to be unreasonable then don't take the job.

    It would not be reasonable to force this on existing staff who joined when Sunday working was optional.

    The problem is that trades unions are, in general, opposed to new staff being on a different contract of employment to existing staff.

    If recent evidence is anything to go by, the problem is that trades unions are, in general, opposed to any change or progess at all.

    Its not that Trade Unions are against progress, what they are against in the eroding of hard won rights and conditions of employment.  We all would be in a worse place employment wise without the Trade Union movement whether you are in Union or not there are things we all take for granted to day the Unions gained for use all, 40 hour working week, paid holidays, maternity leave, the list goes on.

    Do I believe every strike is justified no, am I in a Union no (have not been since the Railways go Majored, also the Union that covers my role is toothless so not worth the fee, just my opinion of them) but I do believe every employee should have the right to be in a Union and have the right provided it is correctly balloted and negotiations have come to an impass to withdraw labour otherwise 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on July 20, 2015, 10:11:09 am
    I do feel though that new staff should be required to work on Sundays, perhaps up to say 12 Sundays a year.
    There is nothing unreasonable in this for new staff, if you feel it to be unreasonable then don't take the job.

    It would not be reasonable to force this on existing staff who joined when Sunday working was optional.

    The problem is that trades unions are, in general, opposed to new staff being on a different contract of employment to existing staff.

    If recent evidence is anything to go by, the problem is that trades unions are, in general, opposed to any change or progess at all.

    Its not that Trade Unions are against progress, what they are against in the eroding of hard won rights and conditions of employment.  We all would be in a worse place employment wise without the Trade Union movement whether you are in Union or not there are things we all take for granted to day the Unions gained for use all, 40 hour working week, paid holidays, maternity leave, the list goes on.

    Do I believe every strike is justified no, am I in a Union no (have not been since the Railways go Majored, also the Union that covers my role is toothless so not worth the fee, just my opinion of them) but I do believe every employee should have the right to be in a Union and have the right provided it is correctly balloted and negotiations have come to an impass to withdraw labour otherwise 

    There is much to be said for the merits of the  fight to gain the rights you mention, much of which took place in a different world decades ago, however there is also the need to adapt to a changing world and the needs of customers....we no longer live in a 9-5, Mon-Fri world and people need to travel at weekends for work, leisure, to visit families etc and they need a service which they can rely on.

    It's all very well waving outdated contracts around which state you don't have to work Sundays, Boxing Day etc but the railways are there to provide a service to their customers as well as their staff, so those contracts, attitudes and working conditions need to change to reflect this, without the constant threat of strikes etc..........the recent strikes on the Underground illustrate this outdated attitude perfectly.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: sprinterguard on July 20, 2015, 11:10:25 am
    There is no overtime ban.

    Sundays are not within the working week for the majority of (if not all) train crew including drivers and guards. Therefore it's possible to make yourself unavailable to work them. Much of it runs on goodwill, and there isn't much about at the moment!

    With it now being the school holidays, it will not get any better.



    I sometimes wonder whether the railways are run for the benefit of customers or staff.

    Christ, I know you hate the railways but don't take it out on us. The majority of railway staff would have started their jobs well after any Sunday agreements were made.

    Don't tell me if you were in railway employment and had the opportunity to take all or some the Sundays you could work off because it meant you spent more time with your family or friends or to attend events you wouldn't!

    FWIW, I work my Sundays. But that's my choice.

    Edited to fix quotes - bobm


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on July 20, 2015, 11:54:54 am
    Don't be silly, it's not a question of hating anyone or anything, it's just frustrating that whereas most other organisations and their workforces accept the need to meet customer demand and adapt their working practices accordingly, SOME rail staff/Unions(and Underground staff/unions) seem determined to dig their heels in and prioritise their own interests above all else, and there seems to be a very casual attitude to the inconvenience caused to the public.

    ......and yes, I'd love to have "all or some" of Sundays off to spend more time with friends and family, but when I joined an organisation that serves the public 7 days a week I sort of accepted that I'd have to balance my own interests with those of my customers.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on July 20, 2015, 11:59:58 am
    I work 36 Saturdays and Sundays a year and I quite enjoy doing so as it gives me the chance to have time off during the week.  I'm self employed so it is definitely my choice.  Although when I was employed I still worked most Saturdays and a fair few Sundays.

    Perhaps because I went to a school which had lessons on a Saturday I have never attached so much importance to weekends.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on July 20, 2015, 08:24:13 pm
    My trade, prior to personal issues, was hospitality. Customer first.

    I worked days, nights, Saturdays, Sundays, Bank Holidays, all at either fixed hourly rate or contracted salaried hours. No such thing as weekends or bank holidays being outside the 'working week'. No two day shutdown at Christmas. Overtime at standard hourly rate.

    If I was rostered to work a Sunday, I worked a Sunday. I could never say, "Sun's out, I'm not coming in."

    The working practices of the railway are outdated.  It is perfectly possible to have a work/life balance while working Sundays. 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on July 26, 2015, 05:17:27 pm
    Looks like similar problems today - Cornish branch line services virtually non existent due to "members of train crew being unavailable" and cancellations/alterations to services to Devon, Bristol and Wales for the same reason.

    Not a great advert for the railways as the holiday season gets underway.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on July 26, 2015, 06:08:02 pm
    We've drifted a bit with this topic.

    Let's get back to the specifics of infrastructure problems in the Thames Valley.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on July 28, 2015, 01:47:52 pm
    Due to emergency engineering works between London Paddington and Slough the Reading bound main line is blocked.

    Impact:
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 20 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 15:30 28/07.

    ..........looks to be mostly affecting Oxford services and intermediate stations between Reading - Paddington.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on July 28, 2015, 03:15:47 pm
    A cracked Insulated Rail Joint near Southall needed repairs which has led to the line closure.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on July 28, 2015, 03:37:31 pm
    But the good news is it took 90 minutes less than expected to fix.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on August 07, 2015, 04:56:39 pm
    Not looking good for todays evening peak.
    Many cancellations and numerous other trains running for only a part of the advertised route.

    Mainly signalling failure, but a few train faults also.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on August 07, 2015, 04:58:18 pm
    Not looking good for todays evening peak.
    Many cancellations and numerous other trains running for only a part of the advertised route.

    Mainly signalling failure, but a few train faults also.

    ...........head to the pub and watch England win the Ashes?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: tomL on August 07, 2015, 06:59:30 pm
    Good luck out there if you're heading home tonight. Did someone mention 'It's been a while since a really bad one?'  ???

    Quote
    No estimate for movement of services to/from Paddington. If possible, please use Marylebone (@ChilternRailway) or Waterloo (@SW_Trains).

    https://twitter.com/FGW/status/629711959290736640


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BBM on August 07, 2015, 07:24:16 pm
    Good luck out there if you're heading home tonight. Did someone mention 'It's been a while since a really bad one?'  ???

    Quote
    No estimate for movement of services to/from Paddington. If possible, please use Marylebone (@ChilternRailway) or Waterloo (@SW_Trains).

    https://twitter.com/FGW/status/629711959290736640

    TfL website is saying that Paddington Bakerloo Line station is currently closed "to prevent overcrowding on the National Rail station." Meanwhile:

    https://twitter.com/Khan_Sahil/status/629716325246599168 (https://twitter.com/Khan_Sahil/status/629716325246599168)

    Quote
    Two people collapsed on train. One unconscious on platform.

    (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CL0zbqlWcAAdBdQ.jpg)

     :(


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on August 07, 2015, 07:47:09 pm
    Jesus Christ.
    Just so I know what are the rules regarding provision of taxis? Ie do fgw have to get everyone home if it remains fubar?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on August 07, 2015, 07:53:32 pm
    For the record. Unused tickets for today will be accepted tomorrow.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on August 07, 2015, 08:16:55 pm
    What about actually getting home?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on August 07, 2015, 08:22:11 pm
    What about actually getting home?

    As I said "For the record"....

    I think this could have knock on effects tomorrow anyway.  West Country crews at Paddington will be out of hours for tomorrow by the time some of them get home.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on August 07, 2015, 08:23:54 pm
    I didn't mean to be troublesome. Just wondering how people will get home tonight and when they will crack open the taxi jar?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on August 07, 2015, 08:28:13 pm
    Certainly hasn't happened yet, judging by a tweet from @FGW 5 minutes ago. 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on August 07, 2015, 09:21:03 pm
    Signalling restored at 21:17 - but that's not going to mean an instant return to normal working unfortunately.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Timmer on August 07, 2015, 10:21:23 pm
    Video and pictures of the scene at Paddington this evening:
    http://news.sky.com/story/1532243/chaos-as-london-commuter-trains-disrupted

    Not surprised Tube trains didn't stop at Paddington for a time.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on August 07, 2015, 10:27:44 pm
    I was one of the hundreds making their way from Paddington to Waterloo about 630pm. 'Twas busy but the tube station was still open but if they did close it later I'm not surprised.

    On the 720pm service from Waterloo to Reading I thought at one point it was going to be taken out of service because their was a problems with one of the doors on the right of the train but the guard and the driver managed to fix it and we "only" lost 15 minutes.

    I would describe the status of Reading as chaos. This is no reflection on the FGW staff who did their best to help in a very difficult situation BUT there appeared to be some third party staff who were trying to help but speant a lot of time shrugging shoulders which wound a lot of people up.

    Yesterday I endured the stress of the tube strike and if there was any way I could have avoided going I would have done. All I can say is "thank God it's Friday"


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on August 07, 2015, 10:42:47 pm
    I'm at Marylebone doing my first ever 'tickets are accepted' journey. I have a cab booked at high Wycombe to take me to Maidenhead and will be invoicing fgw for that. I'll keep you posted on how that argument progresses over the next 6 months.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on August 07, 2015, 11:01:16 pm
    As an aside, I'm suddenly aware of how remarkable pleasant my journey is. Nice seat, A seat, relaxed passengers, toilet effluent isn't swimming around my ankles, the driver is talking audibly and pleasantly. Wow.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 07, 2015, 11:32:48 pm
    ... do fgw have to get everyone home if it remains fubar?

    Before anyone queries it: I have already added an entry for 'fubar' in the Coffee Shop forum's Acronyms/Abbreviations page (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/acronyms.html).  :-X


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on August 08, 2015, 07:43:23 am
    ... do fgw have to get everyone home if it remains fubar?

    Before anyone queries it: I have already added an entry for 'fubar' in the Coffee Shop forum's Acronyms/Abbreviations page (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/acronyms.html).  :-X

    Well done for "toning down" the word that may cause offence :)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on August 08, 2015, 08:43:53 am
    ... do fgw have to get everyone home if it remains fubar?

    Before anyone queries it: I have already added an entry for 'fubar' in the Coffee Shop forum's Acronyms/Abbreviations page (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/acronyms.html).  :-X

    Well done for "toning down" the word that may cause offence :)

    On a general point - for those who were involved/got caught up in the chaos last night (thankfully I didn't) - pretty much the worst ever? Looking at the pictures, listening to the interviews and reading social media it would certainly seem pretty much that way.

    On a technical point - FGW/NR are FUBAR, last night was a SNAFU!

    Let's hope for a quiet few days, although I note there are quite a few problems already today.



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on August 08, 2015, 08:49:09 am
    Today looks no better, with half a dozen cancellations of long distance services and several dozen "other amendments", mainly trains serving only part of the route.

    Mainly signalling faults, but a few due to staff shortages and one due to "passengers causing a disturbance earlier" rioting over last nights fiasco perhaps.

    According to the FGW website this is a good service !


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 08, 2015, 08:57:30 am
    On a technical point - FGW/NR are FUBAR, last night was a SNAFU!

    I have also added SNAFU to the Coffee Shop forum's Acronyms/Abbreviations (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/acronyms.html) page.  ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on August 08, 2015, 09:26:33 am
    Re post 838, "persons passed out on train due to heat/overcrowding"
    It should be noted that yesterday evening was not in fact that hot. Sooner or later one of these increasingly frequent major failures is going to coincide with really hot weather.
    Combine that with trains on which the air conditioning does not work, and with limited opening windows, and I fear that lives will be put at risk and perhaps lost.
    The risks would be compounded on electric trains if the traction current failed or was turned off.

    As I have stated elsewhere on these forums, I have misgivings regarding the new SETs, however they do have one point in their favour which is the inclusion of limited diesel power on the "electric" sets.
    When the wires come down, or the traction current is isolated for an emergency the ability to run the air conditioning could be vital.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on August 08, 2015, 09:37:08 am
    Can't wait for Meet the Manager at Paddington this Thursday.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on August 08, 2015, 09:43:27 am
    Re post 838, "persons passed out on train due to heat/overcrowding"
    It should be noted that yesterday evening was not in fact that hot. Sooner or later one of these increasingly frequent major failures is going to coincide with really hot weather.
    Combine that with trains on which the air conditioning does not work, and with limited opening windows, and I fear that lives will be put at risk and perhaps lost.
    The risks would be compounded on electric trains if the traction current failed or was turned off.

    As I have stated elsewhere on these forums, I have misgivings regarding the new SETs, however they do have one point in their favour which is the inclusion of limited diesel power on the "electric" sets.
    When the wires come down, or the traction current is isolated for an emergency the ability to run the air conditioning could be vital.

    ............but as FGW will repeatedly tell you, there are no risks to health and safety associated with "crowding" on their trains and there are no limits...........they normally add the rider along the lines of it being your fault if you choose to get on an already overcrowded train, rather than waiting for the next overcrowded train..... ::)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 08, 2015, 09:45:43 am
    The next Meet the Manager session is indeed at London Paddington - between 0700 and 1000 - on Thursday 13 August 2015.

    For completeness - from the First Great Western website (https://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/about-us/customer-services/meet-the-manager):

    Quote
    Next Meet the Manager at the station
    - London Paddington - between 0700 and 1000 - Thursday 13 August 2015
    - Reading - between 1600 and 1900 - Tuesday 06 October 2015
    - London Paddington - between 1600 and 1900 - Thursday 10 December 2015


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on August 08, 2015, 09:52:15 am
    What we really want is a meet the NETWORK RAIL manager since it is often their defective infrastructure that is to blame.

    FGW could do better, especially by ensuring that they have enough staff, but most of the recent problems are network rail, not FGW.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on August 08, 2015, 09:57:14 am
    What we really want is a meet the NETWORK RAIL manager since it is often their defective infrastructure that is to blame.

    FGW could do better, especially by ensuring that they have enough staff, but most of the recent problems are network rail, not FGW.

    I totally agree BG - the main aspect I think FGW could improve is how they communicate with the public when things go wrong. I am thinking of getting in touch with them to see if there is any benefit in having an objective round table session with some of the regular customers to get their input. I stress objective because there would be no point in doing this if it just turned into a moaning session

    I've added a picture of an unusual sight at Paddington station last night...every picture tells a story etc


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Timmer on August 08, 2015, 10:06:46 am
    West Wales services have borne the brunt of the cancellations following yesterday's disruption with no GW services running on the Pembroke line.

    Doesn't bode well for the future for direct trains from London if it was decided to can all GW Pembroke trains in the height of the summer season.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on August 08, 2015, 10:36:31 am
    Saw this headline on the bbc and thought my dreams had come true...

    Delayed passengers 'missing out on millions in compensation'
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33833059


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: phile on August 08, 2015, 11:18:35 am
    What we really want is a meet the NETWORK RAIL manager since it is often their defective infrastructure that is to blame.

    FGW could do better, especially by ensuring that they have enough staff, but most of the recent problems are network rail, not FGW.

    Many complaints are due to overcrowding which is the DFT responsibility and who hide further into the background than Network Rail.   The TOCs are to blame for everything so far as Jo Public is concerned.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BBM on August 08, 2015, 11:20:55 am

    On a general point - for those who were involved/got caught up in the chaos last night (thankfully I didn't) - pretty much the worst ever? Looking at the pictures, listening to the interviews and reading social media it would certainly seem pretty much that way.

    On a technical point - FGW/NR are FUBAR, last night was a SNAFU!

    Let's hope for a quiet few days, although I note there are quite a few problems already today.


    I also wasn't caught up in last night's problems but I'd guess that the disruption on July 25th last year was that bit worse because there was absolutely NOTHING running between PAD and RDG for several hours due to a lightning strike at Ruscombe and SWT wasn't an option because they were SNAFU too. I had to share a taxi to TWY with 3 others with a fare on the meter of ^145. And it's thanks to that evening that I wasn't caught up in last night's problems because on the following Monday I put in a job transfer request to the Reading branch of the organisation I work for, and I started working there last January.  :)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on August 08, 2015, 04:23:38 pm
    What we really want is a meet the NETWORK RAIL manager since it is often their defective infrastructure that is to blame.

    FGW could do better, especially by ensuring that they have enough staff, but most of the recent problems are network rail, not FGW.

    Many complaints are due to overcrowding which is the DFT responsibility and who hide further into the background than Network Rail.   The TOCs are to blame for everything so far as Jo Public is concerned.

    That's because it's the TOC to whom "Jo" (or Joe!) Public hands thousands of ^ a year to, so they every right to expect them to provide a decent service and an explanation/communication when things go wrong, as well as managing the relationship effectively with NR/DfT.....whatever the relationships are, it's not something the customer should have to worry about.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on August 08, 2015, 04:28:47 pm

    On a general point - for those who were involved/got caught up in the chaos last night (thankfully I didn't) - pretty much the worst ever? Looking at the pictures, listening to the interviews and reading social media it would certainly seem pretty much that way.

    On a technical point - FGW/NR are FUBAR, last night was a SNAFU!

    Let's hope for a quiet few days, although I note there are quite a few problems already today.


    I also wasn't caught up in last night's problems but I'd guess that the disruption on July 25th last year was that bit worse because there was absolutely NOTHING running between PAD and RDG for several hours due to a lightning strike at Ruscombe and SWT wasn't an option because they were SNAFU too. I had to share a taxi to TWY with 3 others with a fare on the meter of ^145. And it's thanks to that evening that I wasn't caught up in last night's problems because on the following Monday I put in a job transfer request to the Reading branch of the organisation I work for, and I started working there last January.  :)

    I recall that incident too, and I too jumped in a cab (from Reading) and was refunded in full (^45) by FGW without question...........this is why I always recommend people to stick in a claim whether or it may appear to be "consequential losses", if you ask, you often get, regardless of this absurd blanket exclusion which is generally cited.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: eightf48544 on August 08, 2015, 05:20:06 pm
    Last night coincided with Slough and Windsor Railway Society annual barbeque. Very quite evening, with just the Windsor branch and a Reading Slough shuttle reversing in Platform 5. That was until around 20:45 when the first HSTs came through. The first ones from Padd were definitely full and standing!

    You might have seen us siting outside the Manor with a very smokey barbeque.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: SirBroccoli on August 10, 2015, 11:24:19 pm
    At the same time the generic apology went out at lunchtime today, they also announced that a void day would not be declared. Dodgy decision in my opinion, especially given that there was less disruption on 8/12/14, when the last void day was declared after two broken HSTs outside Paddington.

    Time for the declaration of void days to be taken out of TOC hands methinks..


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on August 11, 2015, 07:15:39 am
    Totally agree. Full compensation should be payable to all travellers, including season ticket holders who get a very rough deal at the moment.
    I already plan to raise this at the meet the manager session on Thursday, where I was going to enquire why 28th December wasn't void when fgw ran nothing at all at any time.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on August 11, 2015, 09:04:04 am
    Totally agree. Full compensation should be payable to all travellers, including season ticket holders who get a very rough deal at the moment.
    I already plan to raise this at the meet the manager session on Thursday, where I was going to enquire why 28th December wasn't void when fgw ran nothing at all at any time.

    May be worth asking how much compensation FGW received/will receive from NR?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on August 13, 2015, 06:13:41 pm
    So it was Meet the Manager session this morning. I had a chat with some representatives about a number of issues including void days and left still unclear/fobbed off.
    Did anyone else get any useful information?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on August 13, 2015, 06:45:08 pm
    Quote from this morning "turbos are much more reliable than hst's which is why they rarely break down". Cue cancellation of the 18.18 turbo and 1000 Maidenhead passengers squeezing on to the 18.42 3 carriage to Bourne end via Slough and magical 20min detour that no one understands.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Andrew on August 13, 2015, 09:28:33 pm
    So it was Meet the Manager session this morning. I had a chat with some representatives about a number of issues including void days and left still unclear/fobbed off.
    Did anyone else get any useful information?

    I got told that FGW get negative publicity and public criticism if they declare a void day as this is then excluded from their PPM performance measures which impacts season ticket discounts. I was told they were damned if they do and damned if they don't.

    I was also told that in the past that FGW had been too generous in declaring void days, and that they have since made a corporate decision to assess the criteria rather more strictly. The manager wasn't able to explain what these criteria actually are, and agreed with me that these need to be better publicised. Indeed I was told they would pursue this with their web team as a high priority.

    On last Friday, she said that disruption did not impact enough of the day to be declared void. The manager I was speaking with didn't know the reasons for the 28th December but they promised they would get back to me with an explanation and took my email.

    All in all, whilst I didn't really come away particularly convinced by any of this, I did get the impression that some of my points about the lack of transparency in the way void days are declared was at least heard with a degree of sympathy. They also admitted that this issue had been raised by a number of other people that morning.

    If I ever hear anything more I'll let you know.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on August 13, 2015, 09:33:24 pm
    Andrew, thank you for an informative first post.  We will wait with interest to see if you hear anymore, in the meantime may I welcome you to the Coffee Shop?



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Adelante_CCT on August 13, 2015, 09:56:11 pm
    Quote from this morning "turbos are much more reliable than hst's which is why they rarely break down". Cue cancellation of the 18.18 turbo.

    I see that whilst the 18:18 was cancelled due to a fault, the men with spanners came out, not only got it fixed but managed to upgrade it's performance rather impressively...
    http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/O18385/2015/08/13/advanced


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on August 14, 2015, 08:46:45 am
    Quote from this morning "turbos are much more reliable than hst's which is why they rarely break down". Cue cancellation of the 18.18 turbo.

    I see that whilst the 18:18 was cancelled due to a fault, the men with spanners came out, not only got it fixed but managed to upgrade it's performance rather impressively...
    http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/O18385/2015/08/13/advanced

     :o :o They must have fitted extra turbos, a lot of intercooling and may be NOx 201 mph ..................... impressive  ::) ::)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Ollie on August 14, 2015, 12:22:24 pm
    I'm confused about why taking 1hr 21mins to go to Oxford non stop is impressive? :)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: SandTEngineer on August 14, 2015, 03:14:17 pm
    I'm confused about why taking 1hr 21mins to go to Oxford non stop is impressive? :)
    Have a look at the 'timed for' speed in the header of the schedule :D
    There seems to be a problem with this for quite a few schedules in RTT at present .


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Sixty3Closure on August 14, 2015, 04:23:42 pm
    So it was Meet the Manager session this morning. I had a chat with some representatives about a number of issues including void days and left still unclear/fobbed off.
    Did anyone else get any useful information?

    On last Friday, she said that disruption did not impact enough of the day to be declared void. The manager I was speaking with didn't know the reasons for the 28th December but they promised they would get back to me with an explanation and took my email.


    So being a couple of hours late, lots of uncertainty, a missed appointment and the cost of a taxi from High Wycombe to Twyford isn't enough of an impact? And judging by the number of people at Paddington and Marylebone I don't think I was alone in this.

    Never mind the inability to provide accurate information about an incident - actually its more false information as according to Journey check on the day my train was on time until not long before its departure.

    Deep breaths...
     


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on August 14, 2015, 06:01:00 pm
    Thanks Andrew for your reply and again, welcome to the forum. What you received as feedback was very similar to what I was told. The hilarity of FGW's responses was mind blowing:
    - when I asked why last Friday wasn't a void day I was told that it didn't affect enough of the day to count.
    - so I asked why Dec 27th wasn't a void day when FGW ran nothing, and I was told that because it was a Saturday it didn't count because void days are used when they affect commuters and rush hour services.
    - "like on Friday, when it was at rush hour?" I queried.
    - no response of any substance other than "we'll get accused of manipulating figures"

    Yeah right. Cheating liars.

     I asked Jo Elliott why I had to write to the ceo to get a correct answer on obtaining refunds for First Class standing journeys, having had 4 incorrect letters from Customer Service. I put it to her that misinformation was deliberately circulated to fob passengers off - an accusation she definitely didn't like. So it's just ineptitude and not malicious. You heard it here first.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Ollie on August 14, 2015, 06:15:20 pm
    I'm confused about why taking 1hr 21mins to go to Oxford non stop is impressive? :)
    Have a look at the 'timed for' speed in the header of the schedule :D
    There seems to be a problem with this for quite a few schedules in RTT at present .

    Ha, oops, didn't spot that one!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on August 17, 2015, 04:31:01 pm
    Does anyone know what's been going on today ?
    I was receiving automated SMS for disruption RDG->PAD this morning but only after I'd gotten to London (08:30)
    As of 16:00 I'm getting texts warning of minor delays following the main line reopening after problems at Hayes.
    Has something been ongoing all day ? [ I'm only setup for alerts during my commuter slots ].


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on August 17, 2015, 04:57:02 pm
    I got back to Taplow at about 1400 and the signs were showing grim warnings about signal failures at Hayes, cancellations, delays etc but everything seemed to be running pretty much to time..........I guess it could be that as these signal failures are so frequent, they form part of the daily course of events, and are advertised as such?  :)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on August 17, 2015, 07:03:36 pm
    Paddington is a mess again. All trains showing delays. Useless.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on August 17, 2015, 07:20:00 pm
    Interesting article in the Swindon Advertiser  (http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/13601423.FGW_boss_Mark_Hopwood_on_delays__nationalisation_and_Twitter_abuse/)featuring Mark Hopwood

    Quote
    ON the evening of Friday, August 7, PAUL JONES was among thousands of commuters who faced long delays getting home on the trains after a power failure brought services to a halt.

    On August 14, he went to meet managing director of First Great Western, Mark Hopwood, to talk about such delays - and the next stop for the rail industry...

    "SOMEONE got hold of my mobile number and rang me late at night and early in the morning. That wasn't great."

    On the evening of Friday, August 7, Mark Hopwood was probably the most reviled man in the south west.

    For Mr Hopwood is the managing director of train operator First Great Western (FGW), which had seen a power failure between Reading and London Paddington bring about the cancellation of a raft of services, leaving thousands of commuters facing long delays getting home for the weekend.

    I was among commuters that night, getting a train home two hours after I was due to, putting the key into my front door at around 10pm - long after my six-month-old daughter had gone to bed.

    This was not the first time I had faced delays when using First Great Western, as anyone who follows me on Twitter (@PogalJoners) would be aware of, so I was keen to meet Mr Hopwood when he agreed to my interview request.

    However, I discovered the ire of commuters like me is something the man in charge of Swindon's trains is used to - and prepared to face.

    "It doesn't particularly bother me," he says. "If people have paid a lot of money, they expect a good service.

    "But because I know we are doing so much I feel quite comfortable about fronting up in the debate and saying 'look, we're doing this, this and this'.

    "The reality is, we are addressing most of the things people are concerned about, it's just whether it is happening fast enough."

    Mark Hopwood is a man of the railways and seems almost unaware of the size of his own job - managing a billion-pound rail company which moves millions of people every year.

    "It's a big job, but you get used to it," he says when I ask about the weight he must feel on his shoulders.

    His passion for the industry cannot be denied.

    As a child, he was not allowed access to his grandfather's house until he recalled the stations he passed through on his journey, and he memorised the signal numbers on the route from his Thames Valley home to Reading station ("they have changed them now, so I don't know them anymore").

    He started working on the railways in 1989 and rose through the ranks, becoming managing director of First Great Western in December 2008.

    Now, with a family of his own, he doesn't impose the same memory tests on his own children, saying he would support them working in the industry, but not pressure them to do so. 

    He does have a Twitter account ("I don't really use it") but says many of his most ardent abusers have refused to meet him face to face to discuss their complaints - which he does understand.

    "Reliability and punctuality isn't where we want it to be," says Mr Hopwood, who commutes by train himself from his home in Didcot to Swindon or Paddington.

    "It has got slightly better, by about one per cent, but that's not the type of improvement we want to achieve."

    He pointed to the recruitment of more drivers and train managers, as well as the doubling of the line between Swindon and Kemble, as reasons for hope among commuters.

    "If you look at why trains are late, look at the causes and break it down, it centres on two things; infrastructure, which Network Rail maintains, and reliability, which we control," he says.

    "When you look at disruption, most of it comes down to the reliability of the infrastructure between Swindon and Paddington.

    "We have had a number of problems in the sections between Reading and London Paddington.

    "The particular problem is the infrastructure between Swindon and London.

    "From Didcot to Reading, the reliability has been pretty challenging and for Swindon, that makes a big difference.

    "Last Friday (August 7), there was a catastrophic loss of the power supply, with power supply issues between the provider and Network Rail's supply. 

    "Those type of events, they don't mean people are a little bit late, they mean trains are not travelling."

    He added: "The answer is that there have been some improvements but they are not of the scale we would have wanted to see."

    Projects such as the electrification and the Crossrail scheme (which will boost capacity and cut journey times in London) will also improve the experience for Swindon people travelling to the capital, he says.

    And he nods acceptingly as I explain that many of us can't see any changes - our trains aren't any earlier, or more comfortable, and we still see delays - even though we are told of investment and improvements. 

    "There is a lot going on," he says. "And the investment that is committed - and it is committed - is going to make a big difference.

    "We are asking customers to bear with us through some challenging times while that's done. But we are trying to give people improvements now."

    For Swindon, where First Great Western has its headquarters and employs around 250 people, the outlook is good, he says, as links are boosted between the south west and London.

    "People in this area are going to see more investment probably than any other part of the country, in terms of more capacity," Mr Hopwood says.

    He also says things are set to improve after the completion of the electrification of the western mainline, with the new Hitachi electric trains increasing capacity when they reach our stations some time between late 2017 and early 2018 - although he admits things may be delayed after a government report into Network Rail's working timetable.

    "What you will see is more seats, journey time improvements and for a number of routes, frequency improvements," he says, clearly excited by the changes.

    "A lot of the problem with railway improvement is that it takes a long time and I think that is a challenge.

    "We're seeing more people travel. We're growing as a business, growing a lot faster than the economy is growing.

    "Didcot and Swindon have seen a growth in house building, with people commuting into London.

    "People want to see improvements and want to see them quickly, but these are the timescales involved when you are building and re-building a network."

    And later this year, people will no longer use First Great Western trains, but instead board new-look trains operated by the Great Western Railway (GWR), the new name for FGW. 

    "We thought with all this investment, now was a good time to think about what we mean, as a business, to our customers.

    "Having the trains is interesting to some people, and how we run the service we provide and how we present that to our customers.

    "Originally, GWR was built by a guy called Brunel, who was ahead of his time.

    "Brunel proved that he was right and we want to show people we are taking forward Brunel's legacy today.

    "The whole point of the new GWR, we have dropped name First. Essentially, we are giving the railway back to people."

    But what of the future?

    When talking of possibilities, Mr Hopwood doesn't see it as impossible to return to a railway featuring halts, offering more localised journeys.

    "The traffic in Didcot, which you wouldn't think is bad, can see a journey taking 30 minutes that we could do in six or seven minutes," he says.

    "So, in the future, why not? But it would mean a lot of work, as main lines don't mix well with local lines." 

    However, talk of renationalising the railways has been rife in recent years, with the subject becoming a major talking point in the election of a new Labour leader, for example.

    But unsurprisingly, the possibility doesn't phase the man at the top, who shrugs with that ever-present calmness.

    "There was talk about it at the last election, talk about it at the election before that, but it never happened," he said.

    "At the end of the day, I guess the politicians will decide how they want to run the industry.

    "We believe we have put a lot in but we will have to deal with whatever the government of the day decides to do.

    "The railways were initially built by private companies, but there is no doubt we are providing a public service and the government controls the service very tightly.

    "There is a very strong public input into the railways, but we are delivering it through a private company.

    "If you go back to BR days, which some people tell us are better ... there has been an increase in trains."

    But back to August 7...

    What would Mr Hopwood's message be to those commuters stuck on the cold platforms enduring delays like those of that evening?

    "I think I would like to talk about the investment in the future," he said. 

    "We have been listening to what people have been saying and there is a lot of investment coming that will make your journey a better journey in the future.

    "It's not happening as quickly as we would like, but it is happening, and people will see the benefits of that fairly soon."


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on August 17, 2015, 07:39:25 pm
    So he's going to declare a void day and compensate those customers he cares so much about?

    Nah, didn't think so. Talk is cheap.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on August 17, 2015, 08:48:41 pm
    In a marvellous feat of decision making someone (network rail I am told) took most of the stops out of the 18.57 Paddington to  Reading service to speed it up as it was delayed due to the signalling issues tonight.. Then someone else (the signallers I've been told) stuck it behind a stopping train to delay it even further.. You couldn't make it up! And we got to see both the 19.05 and 19.18 departures which are first stop Maidenhead sail past us quite early on in our journey  >:( ???


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on August 17, 2015, 09:09:14 pm
    Oh dear. I was on that 18.57 service but jumped off to join the 19.05. I was convinced I would be stranded but looks like it was the right choice. My condolences.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on August 17, 2015, 09:59:30 pm
    You definitely made the right choice.. A lot of other people jumped off too so it was a nice empty (but very slow) train.. We got back to Maidenhead about 20.12 I think but at least the 19.48 from Paddington had the decency to still be at Paddington and not be the third fast train to overtake us!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Sixty3Closure on August 27, 2015, 12:31:08 am
    It's quite a long thread but as both Network Rail and FGW seem to accept that its been particularly poor service has there been any mention of compensation? In particular for annual season ticket holders?

    Looking at the figures it seems I might get a 5% discount when I renew in November but this assumes I want to renew (I really don't but may not have a choice) and doesn't seem to represent the additional level of delays and disruptions we've had this year. If I do find another job without the same commute presumably I get nothing?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on August 27, 2015, 11:15:47 am
    Correct. Blame Her Majesty's Government.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: eightf48544 on August 27, 2015, 03:08:15 pm
    Yes i was caught by the non renewal discount scam in 2005 when I retired and stopped commuting.

    Up until then I had enjoyed several years of cheaper Annual Season tickets due to the 5% discount and low inflation rises. However despite the compensation being against the past years performance I got nothing for a year's poor punctuality.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on August 27, 2015, 06:42:32 pm
    Problems this evening and for once it's nothing to do with network rail. 25mins to reach Ealing on a 'fast' turbo and still crawling after that. Apparently an on-board assault at Ealing has caused every train to have to crawl past at 5mph as a mark of respect. Naturally Ealing station platforms are empty/functioning as normal but the rest of us have to suffer.
    No news from driver who has probably fallen asleep.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on August 27, 2015, 08:27:36 pm
    No comp for that one....


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on August 28, 2015, 06:00:52 pm
    Signal problems at Ealing this evening. Everything on the go-slow out of Paddington. #mustbeadaywithayinit


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: SirBroccoli on September 01, 2015, 01:39:55 pm
    August 7th has just been declared as a void day. It seems as if some parliamentary intervention may have led to the change of heart..

    Cheers,
    Alex


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on September 01, 2015, 01:49:38 pm
    .... or just some parliamentary members claiming it was their intervention!   ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on September 01, 2015, 04:23:09 pm
    August 7th has just been declared as a void day. It seems as if some parliamentary intervention may have led to the change of heart..

    Cheers,
    Alex

    Whatever the intervention (if indeed any was needed), it's the right decision.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on September 01, 2015, 05:46:17 pm
    Stationary in the Hanwell area on my way out of London. The main line is closed due to problems with the execrable signalling system  and 30 minute delays are to be expected, according to twitter.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on September 01, 2015, 06:49:36 pm
    No ventilation on the 18.18. Windows are running with condensation and tempers are getting elevated. 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on September 01, 2015, 08:43:56 pm
    Stationary in the Hanwell area on my way out of London. The main line is closed due to problems with the execrable signalling system  and 30 minute delays are to be expected, according to twitter.

    Points failure at Airport Junction the cause.  No detection in the normal position (ie. for the mainline) so all services are running on the down relief.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on September 02, 2015, 04:16:54 pm
    Looks like this has been an "all dayer";

    Cancellations to services between Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow Terminal 5
    Due to a fault with the signalling system between Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow Terminal 5 fewer trains are able to run on some lines.

    Impact
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled or revised. Disruption is expected until 21:00 02/09.

    Customer Advice
    Underground services are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice. Arrangements have been made for First Great Western rail tickets to be accepted for these journeys. London Buses are accepting First Great Western tickets on any reasonable route.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on September 02, 2015, 04:28:42 pm
    ............and just now for your regular pleasure and delectation......I bring you your old favourite..........just in time for the rush hour.......... :'(

    Delays to services between Ealing Broadway and London Paddington
    Due to a fault with the signalling system between Ealing Broadway and London Paddington some London bound fast lines are closed.

    Impact
    Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed by up to 20 mins. Disruption is expected until 17:00 02/09.

    .............let's hope that estimate is accurate!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on September 02, 2015, 10:43:03 pm
    Why won't fgw admit defeat and publicly denounce network fail for their Thames Valley car crash this year (and last).
    It doesn't function. Full stop. Even I as a despiser of fgw want fgw to make the blame 110% clear


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on September 03, 2015, 12:07:47 am
    I believe that there is a "gentleman's agreement" not to criticise each other in the rail industry. Criticising network rail who are a government department in all but name, is also probably not a wise move when franchise renewal or not is being considered.
    It would certainly be unwise for anyone who hopes for a senior position in government or politics after their stint on the railways.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ellendune on September 03, 2015, 07:31:45 am
    I believe that there is a "gentleman's agreement" not to criticise each other in the rail industry. Criticising network rail who are a government department in all but name, is also probably not a wise move when franchise renewal or not is being considered.
    It would certainly be unwise for anyone who hopes for a senior position in government or politics after their stint on the railways.

    I think the agreement is only in relation to public criticism. I hope that in private there is a very robust debate.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on September 03, 2015, 08:07:01 am
    I believe that there is a "gentleman's agreement" not to criticise each other in the rail industry. Criticising network rail who are a government department in all but name, is also probably not a wise move when franchise renewal or not is being considered.
    It would certainly be unwise for anyone who hopes for a senior position in government or politics after their stint on the railways.

    ............and of course the customers not only pay for FGW through their tickets, but NR through their taxes......and so we also pay the compensation that NR pay FGW (the details of which are top secret!), and for the few crumbs of compo which are cast from the table back at us with 5% reductions every month, what a great merry go round!

    "Very robust debate"? Well it doesn't seem to generate very robust actions or results.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on September 06, 2015, 04:52:56 pm
    Miserable journey home for some............

    Alterations to services between Bath Spa and Swindon
    Due to engineering works not being finished on time between Bath Spa and Swindon all lines are closed.
    Impact
    Train services running through these stations may be delayed or revised. Disruption is expected until 18:30 06/09.
    Further Information
    Road transport will operate between Bath Spa, Chippenham and Swindon as required.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: phile on September 06, 2015, 05:20:09 pm
    I believe that there is a "gentleman's agreement" not to criticise each other in the rail industry. Criticising network rail who are a government department in all but name, is also probably not a wise move when franchise renewal or not is being considered.
    It would certainly be unwise for anyone who hopes for a senior position in government or politics after their stint on the railways.

    I think though that the public should be made fully aware whose responsibility is what.  Only today with the overrun between Bath and Chippenham this afternoon,  I have noticed FGW received many complaints and even abuse directed at them for something that is not their responsibility.   Why should TOCs have to take the blame from passengers when it is something completely outside their control.  "Gentlemen's agreement" or not, we should have some fairness here so far as the public perceive the railway.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on September 06, 2015, 05:37:16 pm
    Criticism of Network Rail is, by extension, criticism of government. The TOCs, when taking on franchises, sign up to being HMG's shield.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: didcotdean on September 06, 2015, 06:14:03 pm
    Now signalling problems at Paddington affecting platforms 8-14.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: phile on September 06, 2015, 06:31:13 pm
    Criticism of Network Rail is, by extension, criticism of government. The TOCs, when taking on franchises, sign up to being HMG's shield.

    Gives the passengers a poor impression of the TOC when things go wrong


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Timmer on September 06, 2015, 06:51:02 pm
    Miserable journey home for some............

    Alterations to services between Bath Spa and Swindon
    Due to engineering works not being finished on time between Bath Spa and Swindon all lines are closed.
    Impact
    Train services running through these stations may be delayed or revised. Disruption is expected until 18:30 06/09.
    Further Information
    Road transport will operate between Bath Spa, Chippenham and Swindon as required.
    What a shame after completing the six weeks of work on time.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on September 07, 2015, 08:48:20 pm
    I believe that there is a "gentleman's agreement" not to criticise each other in the rail industry. Criticising network rail who are a government department in all but name, is also probably not a wise move when franchise renewal or not is being considered.
    It would certainly be unwise for anyone who hopes for a senior position in government or politics after their stint on the railways.

    I think the agreement is only in relation to public criticism. I hope that in private there is a very robust debate.

    Criticism of Network Rail is, by extension, criticism of government. The TOCs, when taking on franchises, sign up to being HMG's shield.

    NR always accepts the responsibility when its infrastructure fails and does not ask the TOCs to hide that fact; what it does expect is professionalism, that is state a delay, for example, is due to a signal failure etc. but not to make snide, over egged remarks or excessive articles in the media which was the case a few years ago 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on September 12, 2015, 12:29:44 pm
    Indeed, NR pit their name to apology notices when their side goes seriously tits-up


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on September 19, 2015, 03:31:06 pm
    Not looking good for this evenings rush hour. Signal failure between Paddington and Slough resulting in numerous cancellations or trains serving only part of the route.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on September 20, 2015, 04:32:52 pm
    There was also a signal failure at Hanwell yesterday morning.. I got the 12.17 from Maidenhead to Paddington which left half an hour or more late.. By the time we left Slough we were full up so the remaining stops were interesting to say the least. We left lots of people behind.

    I was on the 19.57 home. There appeared to be some good planning that had gone on. The 19.42 was advertised first.. Once the hordes had sprinted off (most of them literally) to platform 13 the 19.57 was announced and left Paddington virtually empty (I was with my children and we had a carriage to ourselves). The 19.42 had already gone but we were allowed to pass it. The 19.57 was advertised as first stop Hayes and Harlington but was also (it appears) scheduled to pick up only at Ealing Broadway. This meant the people there had more than enough room (just) to get on the train and that the 19.42 which was already full didn't leave people at Ealing Broadway behind..

    Hopefully the issues are all sorted out now before tomorrow's commute.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on September 21, 2015, 08:16:55 am
    Train failure outside Paddington. I've already lost 22 minutes since leaving Reading on a direct service.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: lordgoata on September 21, 2015, 11:21:07 am
    And the 07:38 from Goring was 17 minutes late due to waiting for a freight train at Didcot Parkway, according to the driver announcement. Time for a Didcot Viaduct ?  ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on September 21, 2015, 11:28:36 am
    Time for a Didcot Viaduct ?  ;D

    Many a true word spoke in jest.  Next pinch point Didcot, then Royal Wootton Bassett ...


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Adelante_CCT on September 21, 2015, 12:50:12 pm
    And the 07:38 from Goring was 17 minutes late due to waiting for a freight train at Didcot Parkway, according to the driver announcement. Time for a Didcot Viaduct ?  ;D

    It appears there was a problem with the freight loco between Oxford and Didcot so a Didcot flyover wouldn't have helped. Though 4 tracking the section might  ;)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: lordgoata on September 21, 2015, 03:35:05 pm
    And the 07:38 from Goring was 17 minutes late due to waiting for a freight train at Didcot Parkway, according to the driver announcement. Time for a Didcot Viaduct ?  ;D

    It appears there was a problem with the freight loco between Oxford and Didcot so a Didcot flyover wouldn't have helped. Though 4 tracking the section might  ;)

    I'd prefer banning freight at peak times, but maybe that's just me  :D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: eightf48544 on September 21, 2015, 11:59:25 pm
    I remember hearing a Junior Transport Minister saying, at the time of privatisation, that if a freight company was prepared to pay for a path from Willesden to Tillbury, which involves crossing all 4 of the GE lines around Stratford, during the rush hour then that was OK. This was to be the new competitive railway 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on September 22, 2015, 08:43:08 am
    I remember hearing a Junior Transport Minister saying, at the time of privatisation, that if a freight company was prepared to pay for a path from Willesden to Tillbury, which involves crossing all 4 of the GE lines around Stratford, during the rush hour then that was OK. This was to be the new competitive railway 

    Side question (I may split into a separate thread) ... how are "runs as required" freight paths priced / charged?   I probably need to ask in general to avoid getting a "commercial in confidence" answer, but looking at a Monday to Friday "Q" path which in practise runs less than 10 times a year ... is it paid for 10 times, or 250 times?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Worcester_Passenger on September 22, 2015, 10:26:09 am
    And the 07:38 from Goring was 17 minutes late due to waiting for a freight train at Didcot Parkway, according to the driver announcement. Time for a Didcot Viaduct ?  ;D

    It appears there was a problem with the freight loco between Oxford and Didcot so a Didcot flyover wouldn't have helped. Though 4 tracking the section might  ;)

    I'd prefer banning freight at peak times, but maybe that's just me  :D

    Didn't the Southern Railway have a policy of running freight at night?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: eightf48544 on September 22, 2015, 04:09:16 pm
    In the mid 60 s the Central Division used to work their 33s hard.
    Newspapers to Brighton early morning
    Pass to Victoria or London Bridge via Uckfield.
    ECS to New Cross Gate or Stewarts Lane
    Light Norwood Yard
    Freight to Willsden or OOC via West London Line or Ferme Park via Widenened lines.
    Return freight to Norwood
    Light to New Cross Gate or Stewarts Lane
    ECS Victoria or London Bridge
    Pass Brighton via Uckfiled
    Vans to London and start cycle again.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: stuving on September 22, 2015, 10:38:55 pm
    I'd prefer banning freight at peak times, but maybe that's just me  :D

    If you read the Route Studies, there are a lot of statements implying that a few freight paths present in the off-peak timetable are displaced by extra passenger services in the peak. That sounds like common sense, but I can't see anything in the Western RS, or elsewhere, that states this is what happens, and how it is managed. For example, for each path per hour off-peak, how many are available per day? How much of a freight path is over a part of the line that has a peak?

    There are also several lines where extra loops are proposed as a way of coping with a mix of traffic including relatively slow freight trains. And, however much freight paths are reduced in the peaks now, one thing is clear from the study - there will need to be more of it in the future.

    To see the other side of this - and everything has another side - see DB Schenker's consulation submission after the draft WRS (http://www.networkrail.co.uk/browse%20documents/consultation%20documents/western%20route%20study%20consultation%20responses/working%20group%20and%20board/db%20schenker.pdf). Its tone is rather plaintive - "why is everyone ignoring us" - but it does explain the limits of some of these measures. Like most of the "working group and board" submissions, it appears to restate their inputs to the study that were not taken into account in the draft. I can't see that they are in the final version either.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Four Track, Now! on September 26, 2015, 11:19:19 pm

    It appears there was a problem with the freight loco between Oxford and Didcot so a Didcot flyover wouldn't have helped. Though 4 tracking the section might  ;)

    Mission creep, maybe, but I'm up for that...


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on September 27, 2015, 08:58:42 am
    And the 07:38 from Goring was 17 minutes late due to waiting for a freight train at Didcot Parkway, according to the driver announcement. Time for a Didcot Viaduct ?  ;D

    It appears there was a problem with the freight loco between Oxford and Didcot so a Didcot flyover wouldn't have helped. Though 4 tracking the section might  ;)

    I'd prefer banning freight at peak times, but maybe that's just me  :D

    The railways were built as freight movers ............... people moving was and after thought.

    There is space for both, the UK railways have managed for almost two centauries mixing freight and passenger trains on a congested network


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on October 09, 2015, 05:22:31 pm
    Seemed to be a fair few cancellations/alterations on LTV this morning due to "trains late from the depot"/staff shortages - heard it was a lack of shunters, anyone know the full story?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 12, 2015, 05:35:45 pm
    No, I don't know the full story, but it may have been the result of their celebration of the first birthday of this particular topic.  ::) ;) ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Four Track, Now! on October 12, 2015, 08:01:24 pm
    No, I don't know the full story, but it may have been the result of their celebration of the first birthday of this particular topic.  ::) ;) ;D

    Did somebody say "Drink!"???


    Four Pints, Now!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on October 13, 2015, 08:10:04 am
    It doesn't look like anything is running between Westbury and Reading until midday due to overrunning engineering works.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Timmer on October 13, 2015, 08:14:03 am
    It doesn't look like anything is running between Westbury and Reading until midday due to overrunning engineering works.
    Thank goodness for the Transwilts with WoE UP services being diverted via Swindon. No comfort for those travelling from stations between Pewsey-Reading though.

    Anyone know what the cause of the overrun is?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Thatcham Crossing on October 13, 2015, 08:36:15 am
    Glad I'm not taking a service from THA this morning, feeling sorry for those that are (or were!). Planning to tomorrow so hope there is not a recurrence.

    I see a few additional services now scheduled between Reading and Theale, so presumably the problem is further west?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on October 13, 2015, 08:42:38 am
    From NationalRail 13/10/2015 08:10
    Trains are currently unable to run from Pewsey towards Reading
    A limited bus service is running between Pewsey and Reading
    Some trains between Bristol Temple Meads and London Paddington will be diverted, not calling at stations between Westbury and Reading
    A shuttle service is running between Theale and Reading


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on October 13, 2015, 09:05:38 am
    How many GWR trains are scheduled between Temple Meads & Reading via the Berks & Hants???


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on October 13, 2015, 09:08:51 am
    In probably related news most services from Maidenhead were delayed by c15min this morning.  No acknowledgement of this on journeycheck or from GWR staff, but everything was late/disrupted.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on October 13, 2015, 09:18:29 am
    How many GWR trains are scheduled between Temple Meads & Reading via the Berks & Hants???

    One daily in passenger service in each direction.  At least one other ECS from Bristol / enters service on the way (Frome).  And I think there may be a Taunton starter that runs ECS from Bristol too?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on October 13, 2015, 09:30:50 am
    In probably related news most services from Maidenhead were delayed by c15min this morning.  No acknowledgement of this on journeycheck or from GWR staff, but everything was late/disrupted.

    HSTs through RDG towards PAD were generally a bit slack around 0730 when I passed through. Twitter mentioned knock on effects from delays earlier in the rush hour at both Twyford and around Southall. I had a very slow time towards and through Heathrow Junction.

    NationalRail have now pushed the Pewsey disruption ETA to 14:00


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on October 13, 2015, 09:50:51 am
    Reading-Basingstoke line blocked by a broken down train too, looks like everything cancelled for the foreseeable, Barnstaple/Exeter for the same reason. Not a great morning for the Great Western!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Timmer on October 13, 2015, 09:52:26 am
    NationalRail have now pushed the Pewsey disruption ETA to 14:00
    Gosh whatevers gone wrong has gone wrong in quite a bad way.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BBM on October 13, 2015, 10:17:10 am
    Reading West MP Alok Sharma has just tweeted that he was told by GWR that the Newbury line problem is due to a 'track out of alignment'.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on October 13, 2015, 10:40:27 am
    Reading between the lines (no pun intended) a piece of track maintenance equipment managed to move track too close to a structure, so I believe the track has to be replaced on its original alignment.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on October 13, 2015, 10:45:41 am
    So its not really an over-run....


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Thatcham Crossing on October 13, 2015, 11:39:13 am
    I see there are possessions planned for the next 3 nights on the B&H so is that plan now going to change? If not, let's hope they are better organised for those upcoming nights.

    Update: Shuttle now also running between Newbury and Bedwyn, buses between Newbury and Theale.

    Anyone know if this is electrification related?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on October 13, 2015, 12:20:08 pm
    So its not really an over-run....

    Depends how you classify an over-run I suppose.  As in the track slew wasn't part of the work planned for the possession, but the equipment wouldn't have been working there had it not been for the possession.

    Anyone know if this is electrification related?

    Don't think so.  It was a 'stoneblower' (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoneblower (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoneblower)) working by Bulls Lock between Newbury Racecourse and Thatcham.

    Does sound like a bit of a cock up all round.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on October 13, 2015, 12:43:31 pm
    Looks like things are returning to normal..........wonder how much compo GWR will get from NR for this one........and how much is paid out to customers!

    Following earlier engineering works not being finished on time between Reading and Pewsey the Reading bound line is now open.

    Impact
    Train services running through these stations are returning to normal but some services may still be delayed by up to 20 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 14:00 13/10.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Thatcham Crossing on October 13, 2015, 12:55:16 pm
    Quote
    working by Bulls Lock between Newbury Racecourse and Thatcham

    Interesting and useful info from II, thanks. A few trains I've taken recently have proceeded slowly through that area, so I'm thinking there was a TSR in place pending the work that is now (or not!) happening?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 13, 2015, 01:41:29 pm
    I see there are possessions planned for the next 3 nights on the B&H so is that plan now going to change? If not, let's hope they are better organised for those upcoming nights.

    Update: Shuttle now also running between Newbury and Bedwyn, buses between Newbury and Theale.

    Anyone know if this is electrification related?

    I was one of the sad people looking hopefully at the destination board at THA this morning. Thankfully one of my scouting friends (who also needed to get to London) offered me a lift to Reading which meant I was almost on time.

    The CIS board just outside the station had wall to wall cancellations and many pax (including me!) got photos to show their employees that they weren't making up the delays

    Notable the ticket office wasn't open at 6am this morning which probably means (a) the normal (very helpful) GWR person that runs this office thought "there is no point in going in today" or (b) the person supposed to be manning the office today was supposed to be coming to work by train. My money is on B :)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on October 13, 2015, 03:26:56 pm
    Thank goodness for the Transwilts with WoE UP services being diverted via Swindon. ...

    Even if one did a SPAD and lead to the cancellation of a TransWilts round trip.  We must remember the line only survived the Dr B era because of (limited) diversion and freight use.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on October 20, 2015, 05:58:13 am
    Good start to the day  >:(


    Cancellations to services between Reading and Slough 




    Due to engineering works not being finished on time between Reading and Slough some lines will be blocked.



    Impact
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled. Disruption is expected until 07:00 20/10.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on October 20, 2015, 06:11:13 am
    Also affecting the Henley and Marlow branches.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on October 20, 2015, 08:36:52 am
    I think the branches got hit harder in the end - a few of the "red eye" Reading- Paddington services seemed to have been cancelled but there was road replacement in place......I went to Taplow station more in hope than expectation (0657 was listed as cancelled on National Rail as was the 0654 heading West) but both came in on time so they must have got the line back just in time for the rush hour.

    Bit cosier than usual from West Drayton onwards.

    Crossrail related overrun?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: charles_uk on October 20, 2015, 08:58:23 am
    And further up the line...

    Delays to services between Moreton-In-Marsh and Ascott-Under-Wychwood

    Due to a fault with the signalling system between Moreton-in-Marsh and Ascott-under-Wychwood trains have to run at reduced speed on the Oxford bound line.

    Impact
    Train services running through these stations may be delayed by up to 10 mins. Disruption is expected until 09:30 20/10.


    Some services were delayed by much more - 0528 Hereford - Paddington 15 minutes, 0709 Moreton-in-Marsh - Paddington 20 minutes, 0653 Worcester Foregate Street - Oxford by over 30 minutes


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: charles_uk on October 21, 2015, 02:16:52 pm
    And today...

    Delays to services at Oxford

    Following a fault with the signalling system at Oxford all lines have now reopened.

    Impact
    Train services running through this station may be delayed by up to 15 mins. Disruption is expected until 15:00 21/10.


    and

    Delays to services between Slough and Hayes & Harlington

    Due to a fault with the signalling system between Slough and Hayes & Harlington the London bound main line is closed.

    Impact
    Train services running through these stations may be delayed by up to 20 mins. Disruption is expected until 15:00 21/10.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on October 21, 2015, 02:56:30 pm
    ............as if that wasn't enough.............

    Alterations to services between Ealing Broadway and Hayes & Harlington

    Due to a broken down train between Ealing Broadway and Hayes & Harlington the Reading bound relief line is blocked.

    Impact
    Train services running through these stations may be delayed or revised. Disruption is expected until 16:15 21/10.



    ..................this rebranding really is making a difference isn't it!  ::)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Western Enterprise on October 21, 2015, 03:05:15 pm
    Now it gets worse:

    Due to a broken down train between Ealing Broadway and Hayes & Harlington the Reading bound relief line is blocked.Impact:Train services running through these stations may be delayed or revised. Disruption is expected until 16:15 21/10.
     :(


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on October 21, 2015, 03:11:47 pm
    Now it gets worse:

    Due to a broken down train between Ealing Broadway and Hayes & Harlington the Reading bound relief line is blocked.Impact:Train services running through these stations may be delayed or revised. Disruption is expected until 16:15 21/10.
     :(



    Sorted - see what a difference that green paint makes!  :D

    Alterations to services between Ealing Broadway and Hayes & Harlington

    Following a broken down train between Ealing Broadway and Hayes & Harlington the Reading bound relief line has now reopened.

    Impact
    Train services running through these stations are returning to normal but some services may still be delayed by up to 15 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 16:15 21/10.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on October 21, 2015, 04:06:54 pm
    Due to a fault with the signalling system between Slough and Hayes & Harlington the London bound main line is closed.

    This has now been pushed out to 17:00

    Customer Advice:First Bus route 58: Slough (Bus Station Bay 2) - Langley (Business Park) - Iver (King's Church) - Uxbridge (Station) and First Bus route 75: Maidenhead (Town Centre) - Taplow (Bath Road) - Burnham (Everitts Corner) - Slough (Bus Station) - Langley are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 21, 2015, 06:49:46 pm
    Due to a fault with the signalling system between Slough and Hayes & Harlington the London bound main line is closed.

    This has now been pushed out to 17:00

    Customer Advice:First Bus route 58: Slough (Bus Station Bay 2) - Langley (Business Park) - Iver (King's Church) - Uxbridge (Station) and First Bus route 75: Maidenhead (Town Centre) - Taplow (Bath Road) - Burnham (Everitts Corner) - Slough (Bus Station) - Langley are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice.

    Yup - and I got caught up in this trying to get back from Aylesbury to Thatcham to go to my Sons' parents evening (where they picked up on his punctuation:) ) I was due to arrive  in Thatcham about 4:04 but this got pushed out to 445 + my 38 minute walk home + 4 minutes to walk to school from home...just did it!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Thatcham Crossing on October 21, 2015, 10:33:02 pm
    I got a bit caught up in this disruption today aswell.

    Rushed back to PAD this afternoon to get the 1618 Bedwyn, which was cancelled, I assume due to the problems documented above.
    Jumped on the 1622 OXF HST (to get me as far as RDG) which was somewhat rammed as a result!



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on October 21, 2015, 10:38:42 pm
    I got a bit caught up in this disruption today aswell.

    Rushed back to PAD this afternoon to get the 1618 Bedwyn, which was cancelled, I assume due to the problems documented above.
    Jumped on the 1622 OXF HST (to get me as far as RDG) which was somewhat rammed as a result!



    16:40 Padd to Maidenhead all 6 cars of it loads of space, and only a few mins late at Maidenhead; but then is has so much slack built in its timings it would be difficult to be late arrival


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 22, 2015, 07:06:54 am
    I got a bit caught up in this disruption today aswell.

    Rushed back to PAD this afternoon to get the 1618 Bedwyn, which was cancelled, I assume due to the problems documented above.
    Jumped on the 1622 OXF HST (to get me as far as RDG) which was somewhat rammed as a result!


    That was my "itinerary" but with the addition of musical escalators at Reading. I had made my way to P1 to catch the 1612 only to hear the announcement "the Bedwyn service is currently waiting outside the station" at which point I made my way up to the overbridge expecting the Bedwyn train to be a limited stop ...which it was...back to P1 then!

    Probably not a good day to leave my time travelling delorean at home :)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: rower40 on October 22, 2015, 12:43:17 pm
    ... I got caught up in this trying to get back from Aylesbury to Thatcham ...
    So there's at least one customer for East-West Rail when it opens. ;)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on October 22, 2015, 03:06:13 pm
    Doubt it'll help much....

    THA-RDG-DID-OXF-Wendover (reverse)-AYS

    Quicker via London, I reckon, depending on frequency & whether EWR gets extended to RDG


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 22, 2015, 03:10:50 pm
    Doubt it'll help much....

    THA-RDG-DID-OXF-Wendover (reverse)-AYS

    Quicker via London, I reckon, depending on frequency & whether EWR gets extended to RDG

    Given my experiences on the railways this week sadly driving would seem to be the quickest (and least stressful) option.

    A34 permitting of course.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on October 22, 2015, 03:41:13 pm
    THA-RDG-DID-OXF-Wendover (reverse)-AYS

    Winslow rather than Wendover?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on October 23, 2015, 09:37:45 am
    yep!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on October 23, 2015, 09:38:55 am
    Article in the Maidenhead Advertiser today about TV delays.

    http://www.maidenhead-advertiser.co.uk/News/Areas/Maidenhead/What-else-can-you-do-in-the-40637-minutes-lost-through-delays-caused-by-Network-Rail-signal-failures-between-London-and-Reading-in-2015-22102015.htm



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 23, 2015, 09:50:38 am
    Article in the Maidenhead Advertiser today about TV delays.

    http://www.maidenhead-advertiser.co.uk/News/Areas/Maidenhead/What-else-can-you-do-in-the-40637-minutes-lost-through-delays-caused-by-Network-Rail-signal-failures-between-London-and-Reading-in-2015-22102015.htm



    Thanks for posting. My initial reaction was "WOW" to 40637 minutes being lost but - IMHO - this is a Daily Mail style headline.

    However even if you convert it to hours (677 that is still a considerable amount of time - about 13 hours per week by my reckoning (over 2 hours per working day on average)

    Still, this will get better...seriously, they WILL get better!






    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on October 23, 2015, 10:20:37 am
    I assume (and it just that, an assumption) that 'delays' doesn't include cancellations so these numbers are just for 'arrived later than 5mins at destination' and 'we didn't even try' is counted elsewhere(??)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on October 23, 2015, 10:21:46 am
    10mins for long distance, I believe


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Oxman on October 23, 2015, 10:54:08 am
    If this headline figure (40637 mins) is the standard NR measurement of delays caused by infrastructure faults in the Thames Valley (and I can't think it will be anything else), then every delay to every train of more than two minutes will have been counted. Every train means all TOCs and FOCs, so freight train delays as well. It will also include knock on delays outside of the Thames Valley. So a late train from the Thames Valley might delay a freight service in Wales which then delays a passenger service in the Midlands etc. All of those delays will be attributed to the root cause - the infrastructure fault, and will added up to give the headline figure.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on October 23, 2015, 06:00:19 pm
    Whichever way you try to spin it, it's appalling, as those of us who have to put up with it on a daily basis will testify.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on October 23, 2015, 09:06:45 pm
    It's also worse than 2014, which was pretty bad and recognised as such by all parties.

    "It's getting better" is a lie. My motto of recent years, and not just about fgw, is 'just because you say it twice doesn't make it true' and this, as with many things these days, is a perfect example.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: broadgage on October 23, 2015, 09:43:23 pm
    It certainly seems to be getting worse and not better.
    And some reports suggest that it is the new parts of the signalling causing significant problems, so will it carry on getting worse as more is renewed ?

    And with the electrification works so badly behind schedule, we presumably have many more years of electrification related delays to look forward to.

    And of course once the electrification is done, we can add weather related overhead line problems to the traditional signal failures and track defects.

    I am glad that I am less reliant on trains than in the past.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on October 23, 2015, 10:06:08 pm
    I am glad I'm not in the past when there was a less frequent service, unwelcoming stations, poor customer service, no compensation, crap rolling stock, a worse safety record, managed decline...

    I try to avoid wearing these:
    (http://www.mbob.co.uk/bnm/Photobucket_Your%20Bucket//803497e82b68e12d8323934dd229ee4c_zps5buidxs2.jpg)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ellendune on October 23, 2015, 10:48:51 pm
    I am glad I'm not in the past when there was a less frequent service, unwelcoming stations, poor customer service, no compensation, crap rolling stock, a worse safety record, managed decline...

    I seem to recall being told that when Swindon panel was installed in the 1960's the service for Swindon was one train every two hours.  Is this correct?



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Oxman on October 23, 2015, 11:34:01 pm
    Whichever way you try to spin it, it's appalling, as those of us who have to put up with it on a daily basis will testify.

    I do not do spin. I attempted to explain where this number may have come from. Its a perfect example of uninformed journalism which, on this forum, we are pretty good at recognising. Your experiences may indeed be appalling, but fuelling a debate with accusations of spin will not help.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on October 24, 2015, 04:55:26 am
    I am glad I'm not in the past when there was a less frequent service, unwelcoming stations, poor customer service, no compensation, crap rolling stock, a worse safety record, managed decline...

    I try to avoid wearing these:
    (http://www.mbob.co.uk/bnm/Photobucket_Your%20Bucket//803497e82b68e12d8323934dd229ee4c_zps5buidxs2.jpg)


    Interesting article on how things were in the early days - Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3287109/Hell-wheels-Think-commute-nightmare-s-luxury-compared-Britain-s-train-journeys-passengers-froze-death-got-set-alight-cinders-loos-don-t-ask.html)

    Quote
    From risking hypothermia in open-top carriages to sparks setting clothes on fire, not to mention steam engines blowing up and overworked drivers falling asleep on the job, being a passenger on the Victorian railways was a very risky business, as writer SIMON BRADLEY reveals in a fascinating new book ...


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 24, 2015, 07:35:17 am
    I spent 3 days travelling from Thatcham to Aylesbury by rail this week (thanks again for the ticket advice guys) and got caught up in delays on a couple of days.

    The first one - Tuesday I think - was because the service  from Aylesbury left a few minutes late due to an issue with the incoming service. Now a "few minutes later" on it's own isn't a problem to me but the knock on effect was that the service then got stuck behind a LUL service ( I believe) further down the track. This turned into a 20 minute delay which meant I missed my service out of Paddington

    The second day was the one that we discussed a bit earlier in this thread where there were more signalling problems etc

    I suspect those of use who frequent this forum have our opinions on whether other contributors are glass "half full" or "half empty" people but I do take my hat off to those who commute on a daily basis week in week out but  I guess the answer is simple in a lot of cases...you may not have any choice..




    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ellendune on October 24, 2015, 07:45:22 am
    I would also ask whether those who commute long distances by car have it any better?  I suspect not. 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on October 24, 2015, 07:55:23 am
    I would also ask whether those who commute long distances by car have it any better?  I suspect not. 

    I totally agree. There are a couple of things which favour rail travel even during these trying times.

    1) The logical route from Thatcham to Aylesbury is via the A34 which is notorious for delays. It only takes one incident to cause major problems - this is made worse several times over if the incident is on one of the up-hill stretches of the road as it takes a long time for the lorries to get speed back up

    2) Although an alternative route is via the M4/A404M this means enduring the daily delays on the M4 which (from memory) starts queueing about 630 am in the morning

    3) It's less risky falling asleep on the train

    4) I can listen to my music or watch video on the train without causing a risk to others or myself

    5) It's company policy to use public transport wherever possible

    So despite the delays normally it's the choo choo for me!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on October 24, 2015, 09:36:38 am
    I am glad I'm not in the past when there was a less frequent service, unwelcoming stations, poor customer service, no compensation, crap rolling stock, a worse safety record, managed decline...

    I try to avoid wearing these:
    (http://www.mbob.co.uk/bnm/Photobucket_Your%20Bucket//803497e82b68e12d8323934dd229ee4c_zps5buidxs2.jpg)


    That's rather like saying the patient's condition is unchanged but they are now in a shinier hospital.

    As for customer service, how many rail companies made the latest Customer Service Index top 100 companies list? (clue: none of them) - as for compensation, it's derisory for season ticket holders and generally only payable after an hour's delay for other tickets, far too long. There are still huge issues around lack of management of major delays/events and giving accurate information when they take place, and the latest delay/massive projected overspend on electrification speaks volumes........and for all this, customers pay the highest fares in Europe alongside massive subsidies from the taxpayer. I've been using NSE/TT/FGW/GWR for over 20 years and any improvements are marginal - no rose tinted spectacles here, can't comment on the age of steam I'm afraid.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on October 24, 2015, 11:58:15 am
    I seem to recall being told that when Swindon panel was installed in the 1960's the service for Swindon was one train every two hours.  Is this correct?

    There's many a methodology you could use, but using Swindon to London as an example, in 1965 the off-peak service at Swindon was generally an hourly service between Bristol and London, an hourly service (with the odd two hour gap) between South Wales and London and a Gloucester to London train roughly every four hours.  So, an average of about 2 per hour.  Taking 1986 (the golden era to some!) as an example it was still about 2 per hour - no two hour gaps in the South Wales trains but fewer direct trains to Gloucester (just three each day!).  Today it's roughly an average of 4.5 per hour and the planned frequency come the IEP timetable will actually reduce that to 4 per hour as more trains are planned not to call.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on October 26, 2015, 06:00:03 am
    Back on topic, and welcome to the new week! (ongoing since last night)


    Cancellations to services between Reading and Slough 


    Due to a fault with the signalling system between Reading and Slough fewer trains are able to run on the London bound relief line.

    Impact
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 20 mins or revised. Some stations between Reading and Slough will not be served. Disruption is expected until 14:00 26/10.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ellendune on October 26, 2015, 07:34:57 am
    More specifically @GWRHelp on Twitter advises:

    Quote
    Due to signalling problems services to London Paddington will not call at Taplow or Burnham. Customers are advised to travel via Maidenhead


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on October 26, 2015, 08:07:21 am
    Shouldn't that be via Slough?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: eightf48544 on October 26, 2015, 09:03:32 am
    Bobm Maidenhead is correct for Padd bound Passengers. If the up Relief  is out between Maidenhead and Slough trains can't stop at Burnham no platforms on the Main Lines, they could stop at Taplow on the Up Main but the step up to the train is deemed too high and the platforms 1 & 2 are now locked off. So you go back to Maideheaed on the Down Relief from both stations. Passengers for Burnham and Taplow from Maidenhead and all stations West go via Slough.

    If it's the down Relief it's the other way round. Passengers for Maidenehad go to Slough and passngers from Slough and East go via Maidenehad.

    If both Reliefs are out "Hard Luck"


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on October 26, 2015, 09:07:29 am
    I was thinking for passengers already on a train wanting the two stations, they'd have to circulate via Slough.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on October 26, 2015, 09:43:47 am
    Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your perspective!) on this occasion everyone at Taplow wanting to head up to London was told to go to Maidenhead around 0645 as there was nothing stopping at Taplow.........we waited on the platform at Maidenhead for the train.....which then stopped at.......Taplow!

    I tweeted GWR/Ollie who I know was arranging for the message to be changed.

    ........always an interesting experience on the platform at Maidenhead with its regulars "Tube style" formation based on where they reckon the train doors will be!!! (.....but they often forget the bit about "letting customers off the train first")  :D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on October 26, 2015, 07:03:51 pm
    Why would anyone get off at Maidenhead?  ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on October 27, 2015, 08:35:44 am
    Why would anyone get off at Maidenhead?  ;D

    There's very little to recommend it to be honest, although it does have the oldest continually used football stadium in the World (Maidenhead Utd, York Road) if that's your sort of thing, and a smattering of half decent pubs.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Western Enterprise on October 27, 2015, 11:17:26 am
    Why would anyone get off at Maidenhead?  ;D

    Why, to have my lunch at the Waterside of course..... :D ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on October 27, 2015, 01:38:02 pm
    Why would anyone get off at Maidenhead?  ;D

    Why, to have my lunch at the Waterside of course..... :D ;D

    I wish I could afford lunch there! (or the Fat Duck/Hinds Head down the road!)  ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: eightf48544 on October 31, 2015, 10:48:10 am
    The Maidenhead Advertiser of 29th has a couple 3 railway related pieces.

    The one relevant to this thread is 28 days lost to rail signal failures.

    Main point that were 40,637 minutes of delays between Padd and Reading, from Jan to Aug. Caused by 221 failures. 184 mins av!

    This compares  with 2014 with 46,164 mins from 292 failures. Av 158 mins.

    They then go to say what you could have done with the time. One that struck me was  fly to New York 58 times.

    I'll post the othes under Electrification of TV Branches and Crossrail.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: johoare on November 02, 2015, 05:46:54 pm
    There are delays out of Paddington again tonight. The Reading bound relief line was closed earlier due to signalling issues (again). It looks like it's all open again now but I expect it'll take a while for the service to get back to normal again


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 02, 2015, 06:29:22 pm
    Yep, I got the 1715 from Paddington which crawled along snail like to Burnham, still here waiting for a connection to Taplow....best part of an hour, not a single announcement or apology from the driver. I'm assuming he's one of those still waiting to be painted green.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on November 02, 2015, 06:58:24 pm
    not a single announcement or apology from the driver.

    The only excuse for a driver not to apologise (and give a reason if he/she knows) is because the train is running under cautionary signals (i.e. single yellow or double yellow), or braking for a station.  That can sometimes happen when trains are moving but it's very congested. However, in the case of your train this evening it looks from the running schedules that it was 'on greens' all the way from Ealing where it was 16 minutes late, before terminating at Maidenhead 13 minutes late, so there was no excuse for not making an announcement.

    A points failure at Acton West is being listed as the reason.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Four Track, Now! on November 02, 2015, 08:30:40 pm
    I'm just catching up on Chris Tarrant's train ride through Cuba, which puts this all into a certain perspective. ("What time is the next train?" "Tuesday. Maybe.")


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 02, 2015, 08:47:15 pm
    I'm just catching up on Chris Tarrant's train ride through Cuba, which puts this all into a certain perspective. ("What time is the next train?" "Tuesday. Maybe.")

    ...........I didn't know First Group ran Castro's trains?

    .......at least I could have a nice cigar whilst I waited!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Four Track, Now! on November 02, 2015, 08:52:33 pm

    .......at least I could have a nice cigar whilst I waited!

    An avenue of pleasure long closed to me. I have smoked nothing except salmon, not even tobacco, since Sunday 12 May 1991.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 03, 2015, 06:35:46 am
    .....another day.....


    Alterations to services between Slough and Reading 

    Due to a problem currently under investigation between Slough and Reading the Reading bound slow line is blocked.

    Impact
    Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed by up to 20 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 09:00 03/11.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on November 03, 2015, 06:54:39 am
    .....another day.....


    Alterations to services between Slough and Reading 

    Due to a problem currently under investigation between Slough and Reading the Reading bound slow line is blocked.

    Impact
    Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed by up to 20 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 09:00 03/11.

    Freight train SPAD in the Maidenhead area.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 03, 2015, 07:10:38 am
    .....another day.....


    Alterations to services between Slough and Reading 

    Due to a problem currently under investigation between Slough and Reading the Reading bound slow line is blocked.

    Impact
    Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed by up to 20 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 09:00 03/11.

    Freight train SPAD in the Maidenhead area.
      GWR twitter saying "broken down freight train", NR saying "problem under investigation"..........my money's on BNM's theory!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on November 03, 2015, 10:01:16 am
    Yes, BMN is right.  Although it was at Ruscombe, so nearer Twyford than Maidenhead.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 03, 2015, 01:26:21 pm
    Yes, BMN is right.  Although it was at Ruscombe, so nearer Twyford than Maidenhead.

    Smacked bottom for someone then?

    Would the freight company get clobbered for the delay minutes or would NR have to go after them for it?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on November 03, 2015, 01:32:55 pm
    Amended to 'Operational Incident' after 0900.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on November 03, 2015, 01:35:53 pm
    Would the freight company get clobbered for the delay minutes or would NR have to go after them for it?

    All depends who is to blame. A SPAD needn't necessarily be the train operator's fault.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on November 03, 2015, 02:59:04 pm
    Passed by signal by approximately 60 metres so well within the safety overlap, but as it is a signal that protects a junction it would have been treated quite seriously.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BBM on November 03, 2015, 04:30:34 pm
    In my experience, at this time of year Turbos often seem to struggle to accelerate away from TWY on the Up Relief so maybe poor railhead conditions played a part?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on November 03, 2015, 06:25:41 pm
    Yes, it could have done - although it was a pretty calm morning.  As usual when a SPAD occurs, a full investigation will take place including analysis of the engine's data recorder, and the driver tested for drugs/alcohol.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: SandTEngineer on November 03, 2015, 07:51:10 pm
    Yes, it could have done - although it was a pretty calm morning.  As usual when a SPAD occurs, a full investigation will take place including analysis of the engine's data recorder, and the driver tested for drugs/alcohol.

    .......and the signalling equipment data logger.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 03, 2015, 09:21:37 pm
    Yes, it could have done - although it was a pretty calm morning.  As usual when a SPAD occurs, a full investigation will take place including analysis of the engine's data recorder, and the driver tested for drugs/alcohol.

    .......and the signalling equipment data logger.
    What's the most common cause/reason for a SPAD?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: SandTEngineer on November 03, 2015, 09:43:52 pm
    Yes, it could have done - although it was a pretty calm morning.  As usual when a SPAD occurs, a full investigation will take place including analysis of the engine's data recorder, and the driver tested for drugs/alcohol.

    .......and the signalling equipment data logger.
    What's the most common cause/reason for a SPAD?

    You can find out here http://orr.gov.uk/statistics/published-stats/statistical-releases and here http://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/displayreport/report/html/f94ef551-6bf5-4ae1-af4b-6b648212b0af


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on November 03, 2015, 09:54:52 pm
    What's the most common cause/reason for a SPAD?
    To add to the links from SandTEngineer:

    I would guess the most common would be signal failures or the signaller deliberately placing the signal to danger, which are (or used to be) known as Category 'B' or 'C' SPAD's as the train could be running under green signals and if one suddenly goes back to red then the driver has no chance to react.  Once it is confirmed that the signals are working and the driver is fit to continue (it can be a bit of a shock depending on location) then there is usually no major disruption caused.

    Category 'A' SPAD's are the most serious and their causes are widespread, ranging from faults with the train brakes, wheelslip (obviously bad this time of the year), and a whole range of human factors such as not controlling the speed of the train, misreading the signal, failure to acknowledge the cautionary aspects before, starting off from a platform where the signal is red, miscommunication with the signaller, driver micro-sleep...  I could go on.  From memory I think they get put into four different categories - Misread, Read Across (i.e. thinking the green signal on the next line is yours), Read Through (thinking the signal ahead is yours) or Disregard.  Though there's a whole range of reasons why one of those four might occur, so, after waffling for a bit I guess I can't really answer your question! 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: eightf48544 on November 03, 2015, 10:10:36 pm
    II has given the current definitions. Below are some examples.

    Some of the most serious crashes, Harrow, Lewisham, Cowden Ladbroke Grove the driver seems to have missed the signal altogether.

    Faulty AWS was part of Southall but the driver missed the double yellow and single yellows.

    The recent Wotton Basett incident the driver seems to have disabled the AWS.

    Confusion of aspects Berhampstead before the war where it wasn't clear to the driver that he was being routed over a crossover and went too fast and derailed.

    Colwich confusion over the flashing yellows which applied to the fast to slow crosover signal and not the actual junction signal. Driver thought they applied to the junction signal so expected signal to clear and went too fast to stop when he realised it wasn't going to change.

    Read through is interesting I've read there was problem at Rushcombe on  I think the Up Relief with drivers reading through thinking the red they could see in the distance was where they had to stop and missing the signal in between. I believe it was cured by changing the angle of sight of the far signal so it wasn't so visable from before the previous signal.

    I find the whole philosophy of signalling fasinating. Where do you sight the signal at the exact braking distance but where it might be obscured by a curve, bridge etc. so lessening sighting time or say in front of a bridge and reduce braking distance. Is it acceptable for trains to run under a succesion of double yellows. It was said that in steam days during the rush hour trains on the Up Main from Hampton Court Junction to Waterloo didn't see a green until the platform signal at Waterloo. They ran steadily on single yellows changing to double.

    If a signal has a short sighting time do you have a banner repeater? What aspects do you show. With LEDs you now have the green banner if the signal is showing green. Previously depending on the aspect of the previous signal you had to assumme that if the banner was off the next signal imight be showing a double or single yellow so you couldn't accelerate until you saw the main aspect.



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on November 03, 2015, 10:35:31 pm
    I find the whole philosophy of signalling fasinating. Where do you sight the signal at the exact braking distance but where it might be obscured by a curve, bridge etc. so lessening sighting time or say in front of a bridge and reduce braking distance.

    The layman would not believe the amount of work that goes into sighting a signal to try and give the driver the best view of it.  In days gone by they were often just placed at convenient locations but now there's a whole host of factors that are considered.  Three state banner repeaters are a recent innovation and help to get round some of the problems at awkward locations.

    Reading through a signal most commonly happens at night where the perception of depth is generally far less, especially when there's very little other light pollution except for the signals.

    There is no doubt in my mind that a large part of the fact we've had no passenger train fatalities in nine years is thanks to TPWS which has stopped several SPAD's from happening and greatly reduced the severity of others.  The Wootton Bassett SPAD is a great example of what could potentially happen without TPWS, in that case because it had been deliberately disabled.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: stuving on November 03, 2015, 10:45:14 pm
    There is now a train-cab driver's-view simulator using CGI that can check sightings off-plan - i.e. based on the engineering design, which itself all computer data. I know it was used for Reading (RSAR), though whether it was then or is still experimental I am not sure.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on November 04, 2015, 07:25:51 am
    Signals at Hayes and Harlington are bust this morning. They have apparently been fixed but are causing congestion and delays.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: stuving on November 04, 2015, 10:04:11 am
    There is now a train-cab driver's-view simulator using CGI that can check sightings off-plan - i.e. based on the engineering design, which itself all computer data. I know it was used for Reading (RSAR), though whether it was then or is still experimental I am not sure.

    The main reason for wanting this "Desktop Signal Sighting" or "Virtual Sighting" was electrification. That forest of masts and stanchions needs to be checked, every one of them, at the design stage; hence the use of CAE (computer-aided engineering).

    Giaconda have some pictures here (http://www.gioconda.co.uk/signal_sighting/desktop-signal-sighting-hd-vr/) - I'm not sure if their system is the only one, created in effect for NR, or if there are others. As you can see, it mixes real video with CGI, and can also be used for driver briefing, training, and canvassing feedback. There are other examples on their site, including videos (but without their own URLs to link to).


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 04, 2015, 10:07:00 am
    Thanks for all the responses to my "SPAD" question, very interesting.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: SandTEngineer on November 04, 2015, 10:49:35 am
    Back in the early 2000s we used professional route cab videos as the aid to desk top design for the initial signal siting.  The initial Signal Siting Form (SSF) would be produced on this basis and the Signal Siting Committee (SSC) would then visit site to determine the actual required position against the theory.  This would be fed back to the signalling design office and amendments made to the scheme design if required.  After commissioning all signals are checked again by the SSC to confirm no other issues have arisen.

    The SSC consists of a qualified and experienced chairman and representatives from the signalling design office and the affected TOCs.  All have to sign the SSF to confirm acceptance.

    My personal opinion, based upon over 45 years experience, is that we have gone too far in trying to make signal sighting perfect.  Introducing new controls etc. really complicates the signalling interlocking and that introduces new risks into the signalling system.  As the saying goes 'Complexity is the Enemy of Safety'.

    Anyway back to the Thames Valley problems..............


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: SandTEngineer on November 04, 2015, 03:25:03 pm
    I should have added that one of the problems with signal siting on the GWML between Paddington and Reading is that the signals on the Main Lines are spaced for 125mph running but those on the Relief Lines are spaced for 90mph or less running.  This means that the signals on the Main and Relief Lines are not always parallel or sometimes don't exist at all.  This can be dis-orientating for train drivers as the brain tends to always be looking for a signal opposite your own.  Its a well known risk and modern signalling schemes are prohibited from having such arrangements (sometimes at the cost of line speed and capacity).


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Electric train on November 04, 2015, 06:30:08 pm
    There is now a train-cab driver's-view simulator using CGI that can check sightings off-plan - i.e. based on the engineering design, which itself all computer data. I know it was used for Reading (RSAR), though whether it was then or is still experimental I am not sure.

    The main reason for wanting this "Desktop Signal Sighting" or "Virtual Sighting" was electrification. That forest of masts and stanchions needs to be checked, every one of them, at the design stage; hence the use of CAE (computer-aided engineering).

    Giaconda have some pictures here (http://www.gioconda.co.uk/signal_sighting/desktop-signal-sighting-hd-vr/) - I'm not sure if their system is the only one, created in effect for NR, or if there are others. As you can see, it mixes real video with CGI, and can also be used for driver briefing, training, and canvassing feedback. There are other examples on their site, including videos (but without their own URLs to link to).


    Back in the early 2000s we used professional route cab videos as the aid to desk top design for the initial signal siting.  The initial Signal Siting Form (SSF) would be produced on this basis and the Signal Siting Committee (SSC) would then visit site to determine the actual required position against the theory.  This would be fed back to the signalling design office and amendments made to the scheme design if required.  After commissioning all signals are checked again by the SSC to confirm no other issues have arisen.

    The SSC consists of a qualified and experienced chairman and representatives from the signalling design office and the affected TOCs.  All have to sign the SSF to confirm acceptance.

    My personal opinion, based upon over 45 years experience, is that we have gone too far in trying to make signal sighting perfect.  Introducing new controls etc. really complicates the signalling interlocking and that introduces new risks into the signalling system.  As the saying goes 'Complexity is the Enemy of Safety'.

    Anyway back to the Thames Valley problems..............

    As a Designated Project Engineer for a new build route the use of "fly through" CAD made the outline design signal sighting quicker, also the final signal sighting sign off was done with a CAD model, I had a CAD operator at the end of the phone so the Signal Designer could make minor adjustments signal positions live in the committee and could actually step up the aspects and illuminate route indicators etc.

    Its all getting far to clever 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 09, 2015, 03:46:07 pm
    Cancellations to services between Ealing Broadway and London Paddington

    Due to a fault with the signalling system between Ealing Broadway and London Paddington fewer trains are able to run on some London bound relief lines.

    Impact
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled or delayed by up to 10 mins. Disruption is expected until 16:30 09/11


    .............Greenfords starting to be cancelled, lets hope it clears as forecast by 1630.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: eightf48544 on November 09, 2015, 04:46:04 pm
    At 16:45 Taplow Train Board showing every thing on time.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Adelante_CCT on November 09, 2015, 05:54:39 pm
    Quote
    Due to a fault with the signalling system between Ealing Broadway and London Paddington fewer trains are able to run on some London bound relief lines.

    If only! This would seem to apply that they have at least 3 sets of relief lines. No crossrail/hex/emu/turbo line capacity problems if that was the case.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 10, 2015, 10:40:42 am
    At 16:45 Taplow Train Board showing every thing on time.

    Indeed seemed to be very short lived, however it appears that Ealing Broadway was evacuated/closed for a while later on in the evening due to dangerous overcrowding on the platforms, pal of mine was stuck outside for a while.

    I can remember commuting via Ealing B from 2002 - 2009 and it was always busy (more so in the evenings) but recently it seems to be chaotic in the evening peak.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on November 10, 2015, 11:41:25 am
    I can remember commuting via Ealing B from 2002 - 2009 and it was always busy (more so in the evenings) but recently it seems to be chaotic in the evening peak.

    Indeed, people keep coming in ever increasing numbers to use the train and tube.  The station rebuild (just about to get under way) which replaces the cramped concourse with something twice the size and additional train services post-Crossrail should make it able to cope much better.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on November 12, 2015, 11:18:39 am
    Probably best to stay indoors today!!!


    Cancellations to services between Bristol Parkway and Swindon
    Due to urgent repairs to the track between Bristol Parkway and Swindon all lines are blocked.
    Impact Train services running through these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 35 mins or diverted. Disruption is expected until 02:00 13/11.

    Cancellations to services between Gloucester and Bristol Parkway
    Due to urgent repairs to the track between Gloucester and Bristol Parkway all lines are blocked.
    Impact Train services running through these stations may be cancelled or suspended between Bristol Parkway and Gloucester. Yate and Cam & Dursley will not be served. Disruption is expected until 14:40 12/11.

    Delays to services between Hayes & Harlington and London Paddington
    Due to a fault on this train between Hayes & Harlington and London Paddington some lines are blocked.
    Impact Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed by up to 30 mins. Disruption is expected until 12:00 12/11.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: trainer on November 12, 2015, 04:30:44 pm
    I've just returned from a road trip to Gloucester (sorry!) and the M5 southbound was also completely blocked for the morning between Gloucester and Stroud junctions (12 and 13) so no-one was travelling fast in that direction by any mode much before 2pm.  Clear by return at about that time.  It's not just the railways that can thwart plans.

    Sadly a fatality was involved according to BBC Points West In Breakfast.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Oxonhutch on November 13, 2015, 08:17:49 am
    Bit of a zig-zag journey into Town on the early ex-Didcot HST service (1P08) this morning. Reading east switch to the Mains as scheduled, back on to the Reliefs at Twyford West, and finally back on to the Mains once more at Ruscombe.  All to avoid a Class 180 ^Zafira^ receiving attention from the Fire Brigade in Twyford Platform 1.  Wondered what all the non-railway yellow hi-vis there were around.  I was hoping it wasn^t another personal tragedy.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on November 13, 2015, 08:31:15 am
    Reported as fire in middle carriage; fire brigade called but fire put out by crew before they arrived - probably aftermath / caution / checking was what you saw.  Always sensible to re-act significantly to reports of fires; sounds like this was either well and quickly controlled, or a very minor / nothing incident.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 15, 2015, 06:10:57 am
    Not a great start to the day.......

    Delays to services between Swindon and Bristol Parkway 
    Due to a broken down train between Swindon and Bristol Parkway the Swindon bound line is blocked.

    Cancellations to services between Didcot Parkway and Reading 
    Due to a person being hit by a train between Didcot Parkway and Reading all lines are blocked.
    Impact
    Train services running through these stations may be cancelled or delayed. Disruption is expected until 07:45 15/12.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: grahame on December 15, 2015, 08:23:35 am
    Not a great start to the day.......

    Indeed ... and alas there seems to be *something* going on most days.   Sadly, I can use the map at the top of our pages as an example of a dynamic web graphic on the courses I give and be pretty sure that most of the time there's going to be something showing ... only occasionally do I have to fal back on the dots showing road works or the number in the sea to show people that it's an up to date display.

    Yesterday, we were doing passenger counts on the TransWilts, and one service picked up some extra people to Chippenham due to a diversion / capped service (not sure which) from London to Bristol - originating from a freight train failure at Keynsham.  I was of two minds as to whether I should extrapolate the figures from yesterday directly, or make an allowance to give just 'regular' traffic.    However, this morning's stuff will be meaning that TransWilts trains will be helping out from Chippenham again, so I guess "all's fair" and I go with the unadulterated figures for yesterday.

    P.S.  TaplowGreen - you missed the failed axle counter between Thingley and Bradford Junctions this a.m. resulting in pilot man working ...  ;D

    It's amazing just how often we get the disruption ... and how well the staff on the ground often cope.  Sadly, I suspect they cope so well because they get far too much practise.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 15, 2015, 09:11:38 am
    ......and another one.........

    Due to a fault with the signalling system between London Paddington and Greenford all lines are closed.

    Impact
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled. Disruption is expected until 11:00 15/12.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 15, 2015, 09:52:10 am
    Never rains but it pours...........Network Rail's Christmas hols started early?

    Cancellations to services between London Paddington and Hayes & Harlington

    Due to a fault with the signalling system between London Paddington and Hayes & Harlington the Reading bound fast line is closed.

    Impact
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 30 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 12:00 15/12.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on December 15, 2015, 12:19:03 pm
    Cancellations to services between London Paddington and Hayes & Harlington

    Yep. I got totally stuffed by this and spent an hour getting from Reading to Paddington.
    The on-train annoucements left a lot to be desired.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on December 15, 2015, 12:48:19 pm
    Out of interest how are the train crew kept up to date in the case of disruption?

    Not wishing to create a tangent from this thread but in light of the disruptions it seems relevant



    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 15, 2015, 01:27:48 pm
    Out of interest how are the train crew kept up to date in the case of disruption?

    Not wishing to create a tangent from this thread but in light of the disruptions it seems relevant



    If it's anything like the information provided to customers I'd say probably semaphore and carrier pigeons.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: SandTEngineer on December 15, 2015, 03:47:16 pm
    ....and the signalling has failed again at 1515 on the Down Main at Ladbroke Grove.  Just in time for the start of the evening rush :P ::)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on December 15, 2015, 04:17:37 pm
    ....and the signalling has failed again at 1515 on the Down Main at Ladbroke Grove.  Just in time for the start of the evening rush :P ::)

    Indeed.... not like I was going to be able to get away early. I have to work late thanks to this mornings signal faults.

    Due to a fault with the signalling system between London Paddington and Hayes & Harlington fewer trains are able to run on some lines.
    Impact:
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 20 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 19:00 15/12.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 15, 2015, 04:27:36 pm
    ....and the signalling has failed again at 1515 on the Down Main at Ladbroke Grove.  Just in time for the start of the evening rush :P ::)

    Indeed.... not like I was going to be able to get away early. I have to work late thanks to this mornings signal faults.

    Due to a fault with the signalling system between London Paddington and Hayes & Harlington fewer trains are able to run on some lines.
    Impact:
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 20 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 19:00 15/12.

    Yep me too...........seems to be mainly affecting Greenfords/Heathrows at the moment - leaving aside the person struck by a train which is obviously outside their control it's been a pretty dismal day's service, let's hope it's not a portent of doom for the Christmas "service" and that which follows between Xmas and New Year, although having been a victim of that for the last few years I'm not hopeful (Bah, Humbug etc!)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: SandTEngineer on December 15, 2015, 04:27:44 pm
    Well if you want to watch it getting worse and worse you can always watch it here ::) :P: http://sussextrains.co.uk/maps/index.php?map=T2

    If you want to know which train is which click on the headcode. When a train headcode starts turning Red or Pink you know there's trouble ahead..........


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: SandTEngineer on December 15, 2015, 04:38:25 pm
    Heathrow express have dropped down from a 15 minute interval service to a 30 minute interval service probably to avoid any congestion during the high peak.

    From the Heathrow Express website
    Quote
    Half Hourly Services
    Our services are running half hourly due to a track failure. Trains are departing Heathrow Terminal 5 at 27 and 57 minutes past the hour and leaving Paddington at 25 and 55 minutes past the hour. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.

    ....mmm.  Track failure.  They mean Track Circuit Failure (TCF for short) ::) :(


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 15, 2015, 07:05:01 pm
    Heathrow express have dropped down from a 15 minute interval service to a 30 minute interval service probably to avoid any congestion during the high peak.

    From the Heathrow Express website
    Quote
    Half Hourly Services
    Our services are running half hourly due to a track failure. Trains are departing Heathrow Terminal 5 at 27 and 57 minutes past the hour and leaving Paddington at 25 and 55 minutes past the hour. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.

    ....mmm.  Track failure.  They mean Track Circuit Failure (TCF for short) ::) :(

    I think "failure" just about covers today's service by itself.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 16, 2015, 02:47:22 pm
    ...............here we go again...........


    Cancellations to services at London Paddington

    Due to a fault with the signalling system at London Paddington some lines are closed.

    Impact
    Train services running to and from this station may be cancelled, delayed by up to 30 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 16:30 16/12.


    Cancellations to services between West Ealing and Greenford




    Due to a fault with the signalling system between West Ealing and Greenford the line is closed.

    Impact
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled or delayed by up to 30 mins. Disruption is expected until 16:30 16/12.

    Customer Advice
    Customers are advised to use alternative London Transport services to and from Greenford.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 17, 2015, 08:37:46 am
    ........well I've never seen this one before!!!


    08:12 London Paddington to Reading due 09:12

    Will be formed of 3 coaches instead of 5.
    This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.

     ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on December 17, 2015, 08:42:04 am
    Appearing regularly on Chiltern this past few weeks....possibly wheel flats at this time of year?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 17, 2015, 11:51:10 am
    ....another new one! (.......Conductors Xmas party last night perhaps?)  ;)

    12:34 Redhill to Reading due 13:54

    This train will be cancelled.
    This is due to a shortage of train conductors.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on December 17, 2015, 11:53:58 am
    I got a journeycheck email referring to problems with the overhead wires....the first of many, no doubt!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 17, 2015, 12:06:27 pm
    I got a journeycheck email referring to problems with the overhead wires....the first of many, no doubt!

    ......did it mention a delay of several years?  ;)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: stuving on December 17, 2015, 12:15:18 pm
    I got a journeycheck email referring to problems with the overhead wires....the first of many, no doubt!
    This train will be cancelled.
    This is due to a shortage of train conductors.

    Are you sure they are not both about the same problem?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BBM on December 17, 2015, 12:24:14 pm
    I got a journeycheck email referring to problems with the overhead wires....the first of many, no doubt!

    ......did it mention a delay of several years?  ;)

    It certainly appears to be giving HEx major problems as the service has been completely suspended since around 10.30 this morning.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on December 17, 2015, 12:51:48 pm
    I think the delay reason scripts may have been altered/expanded.  I'd never seen the 'more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time' message before, but have also spotted it being used by Arriva Trains Wales today.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bobm on December 17, 2015, 01:01:05 pm
    I think there has been an update.  Seen reports quoting the lack of a driver or lack of a train manager today rather than the generic "staff shortage". 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on December 17, 2015, 01:07:34 pm
    Good to see a more honest and detailed set of scripts.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BBM on December 17, 2015, 04:20:18 pm
    I'm currently at EAL. Heathrow Connect unit 360201 is sitting in P4 going nowhere. Announcer is saying that due to a signalling failure all PAD trains are leaving from P2 and there's no Greenford service at the moment.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on December 17, 2015, 04:29:57 pm
    I got an update this morning saying that a train would have 2 rather than 5 carriages 'due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time'.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Jason on December 17, 2015, 04:42:49 pm
    My phone lit up at 16:00 [ the start of my evening peak alerting window ]. Alas...
    Hopefully things will be back to normal-ish for the commute.

    Following urgent repairs to the track earlier today between Slough and Langley all lines are now open.
    Impact: Train services running through these stations are returning to normal but some services may still be delayed by up to 5 mins. Disruption is expected until 17:00 17/12.

    Due to a fault with the signalling system between Ealing Broadway and London Paddington the London bound relief line is blocked.
    Impact: Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 45 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 16:55 17/12.

    Due to urgent repairs to the track between Stapleton Road and Bristol Temple Meads fewer trains are able to run on the Bristol Temple Meads bound line.
    Impact: Train services between Bristol Parkway and Bristol Temple Meads are returning to normal but some services may still be delayed by up to 60 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 17:00 17/12.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: eightf48544 on December 17, 2015, 06:15:06 pm
    Black Thursday! Unseasonaly hot weather?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on December 17, 2015, 09:14:45 pm
    Wrong type of mildness?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on December 17, 2015, 11:16:51 pm
    I just wonder, when did 10mins late on a 30min journey become so much the norm that the driver doesn't comment and 'all lines are awesome' ??


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Visoflex on December 18, 2015, 08:53:21 am
    Probably awesomely bad


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Surrey 455 on December 18, 2015, 10:43:01 pm
    I just wonder, when did 10mins late on a 30min journey become so much the norm that the driver doesn't comment and 'all lines are awesome' ??

    Probably been trained by London Underground - "There is a good service on all lines" says the auto announcer when you have been waiting twice as long as normal for a train and underground staff have closed the barriers to stop any more getting on to the overcrowded platforms


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on January 20, 2016, 08:59:01 am
    Cancellations to services at Maidenhead
    Due to a fault with the signalling system at Maidenhead some lines are disrupted.
    Impact
    Train services running through this station are returning to normal but some services may still be cancelled or delayed. Disruption is expected until 09:00 20/01.

    Good to see things are returning to normal but a pretty miserable experience for a lot of people this morning, delays, cancellations and some dreadful overcrowding. I was 15 minutes late leaving Taplow and by the time we got past West Drayton the train was absolutely rammed.

    Worse for those heading West I believe.

    As I understand it there were 2 explanations/reasons being offered - signal problems caused by overnight engineering work and just good old fashioned signal problems!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Gordon the Blue Engine on January 20, 2016, 09:52:50 am
    You were lucky you only had 15 minutes delay.  At Pangbourne the busy 0836 to Reading and Paddington (which Mrs GTBE was going for to-day) was cancelled, and the next train (the 0849) didn't turned up until 0905.  It then managed to drop another 2 minutes to Reading, so 31 minutes late on a 9 minute journey.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on January 20, 2016, 09:55:11 am
    You were lucky you only had 15 minutes delay.  At Pangbourne the busy 0836 to Reading and Paddington (which Mrs GTBE was going for to-day) was cancelled, and the next train (the 0849) didn't turned up until 0905.  It then managed to drop another 2 minutes to Reading, so 31 minutes late on a 9 minute journey.

    Your fault per chance GTBE?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Gordon the Blue Engine on January 20, 2016, 11:03:43 am
    Er.. yes. She^s on the train 3 days this week, so far played 2 lost 2.  Just hope tomorrow goes Ok. 

    I think many of us who work or worked on the railway get the same treatment from our wives/husbands, friends etc.  At least us retired ones can say ^it wouldn^t have happened in my day^.  And maybe sometimes we^re right.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: lordgoata on January 20, 2016, 11:27:30 am
    Yeah been a bit of a mess for me as well the past two mornings. Yesterdays 0738 from Goring was 2 car instead of 5. Arrived at Reading and were told it was running to Slough and Paddington only due to short form to avoid excessive overcrowding, which I thought was actually very well planned out as it would have been horrendous by Maidenhead.

    Then this morning it was 5 cars as usual, then on arrival at Reading we were all turfed off due to a train fault (no idea what). The 0811 was then delayed, and just before we left around 0815, the 0758 from Goring arrived at Reading.

    On a slightly different note, I thought 1st class was being removed from the turbos ? Since Christmas we have had 1st class on the 0738 almost every day (and I was just getting used to sitting in a comfy seat  >:( ;D )


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on January 20, 2016, 11:30:00 am
    I thought that was only on the 165s? One section on the longer-distance 166s was being kept?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: lordgoata on January 20, 2016, 11:34:26 am
    Ah, that may explain it then, they have been 166's almost every day as well... Sorry guess I got confused, I thought they were only being kept on one particular line (very hazy memory so sorry for the vagueness!).


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on January 20, 2016, 12:26:34 pm

    Then this morning it was 5 cars as usual, then on arrival at Reading we were all turfed off due to a train fault (no idea what). The 0811 was then delayed, and just before we left around 0815, the 0758 from Goring arrived at Reading.


    No train fault on the 0738 from Goring, it was terminated early at Reading due to issues with the points at Ruscombe (between Twyford and Maidenhead).


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: lordgoata on January 20, 2016, 12:44:26 pm
    No train fault on the 0738 from Goring, it was terminated early at Reading due to issues with the points at Ruscombe (between Twyford and Maidenhead).

    Oh, shame no one explained that then!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on January 20, 2016, 03:12:59 pm
    Cancellations to services between London Paddington and Slough
    Due to the emergency services dealing with an incident between London Paddington and Slough all lines are blocked.
    Impact
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled or delayed by up to 60 mins. Disruption is expected until 17:00 20/01.

    A fun evening to match the morning by the looks of it - I'm hearing someone on a bridge threatening to jump?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on January 20, 2016, 03:23:23 pm
    Cancellations to services between London Paddington and Slough
    Due to the emergency services dealing with an incident between London Paddington and Slough all lines are blocked.
    Impact
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled or delayed by up to 60 mins. Disruption is expected until 17:00 20/01.

    A fun evening to match the morning by the looks of it - I'm hearing someone on a bridge threatening to jump?

    I appreciate the frustration this may be causing (on the top of all the other delays) but it may be worth exercising discretion on the forum and avoiding speculation. Nothing personal TG


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on January 20, 2016, 03:42:31 pm
    Cancellations to services between London Paddington and Slough
    Due to the emergency services dealing with an incident between London Paddington and Slough all lines are blocked.
    Impact
    Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled or delayed by up to 60 mins. Disruption is expected until 17:00 20/01.

    A fun evening to match the morning by the looks of it - I'm hearing someone on a bridge threatening to jump?

    I appreciate the frustration this may be causing (on the top of all the other delays) but it may be worth exercising discretion on the forum and avoiding speculation. Nothing personal TG

    Understood BB - things seem to be on the move again - happy ending thankfully.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on January 20, 2016, 08:15:38 pm
    Yes, thankfully it appears that the suicidal male at Royal Oak (I'm assuming on an over bridge), was talked down by skilled negotiators.

    Top marks to all those involved in what appears to have been a satisfactory result. Yes, there were delays and disruptions (my and bobm's plan to visit the London Transport Museum being one such curtailed plan). However, one less railway fatality. For that, praise is due to all the staff, both rail and emergency services, who dealt with this incident this afternoon.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Four Track, Now! on January 20, 2016, 09:20:16 pm
    At least everyone got home in one piece.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on January 20, 2016, 09:29:01 pm
    I do find myself pondering how much this type of incidents cost to all concerned.....dozens of cancelled/hugely delayed trains, thousands of disrupted journeys........must run into ^hundreds of thousands?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: NickB on January 20, 2016, 10:48:38 pm
    My view is probably completely unacceptable so I will keep it to myself.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on January 20, 2016, 10:55:12 pm
    I wouldn't wish what must have been that person's state of mind on anyone here. And I hope you wouldn't either


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on January 20, 2016, 11:15:28 pm
    My view is probably completely unacceptable so I will keep it to myself.

    Would your view include a Derek and Clive lyric?


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on January 21, 2016, 10:52:35 am
    Delays to services between London Paddington and Hayes & Harlington

    Due to a fault with the on train signalling system between London Paddington and Hayes & Harlington some lines are blocked.

    Impact
    Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed by up to 15 mins. Disruption is expected until 12:45 21/01.


    ......new day, new reason! (would this be HEX/Heathrow Connect?)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: a-driver on January 21, 2016, 02:32:30 pm
    Delays to services between London Paddington and Hayes & Harlington

    Due to a fault with the on train signalling system between London Paddington and Hayes & Harlington some lines are blocked.

    Impact
    Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed by up to 15 mins. Disruption is expected until 12:45 21/01.


    ......new day, new reason! (would this be HEX/Heathrow Connect?)

    It was a points failure at Southall!  Connect services were suspended as a result.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on January 21, 2016, 03:01:22 pm
    I do find myself pondering how much this type of incidents cost to all concerned.....dozens of cancelled/hugely delayed trains, thousands of disrupted journeys........must run into ^hundreds of thousands?

    Message on GWR website;

    Our apology

    Major Incident on Wednesday 20th January.

     As a result of emergency services dealing with a serious trespass incident at Royal Oak, all lines between London and Slough had to be closed and we were unable to operate any services into or out of Paddington Station.

     Unfortunately this incident caused severe delays and cancellations throughout the afternoon and into the evening.

     We are very sorry if your journey was affected by this and we work continuously with British Transport Police and Network Rail to see what measures can be taken to reduce incidents such as these.

     Ben Rule

     Operations Director ^ Great Western Railway


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on February 06, 2016, 05:46:35 pm
    ...........the shape of things to come?

    Alterations to services between Hayes & Harlington and London Paddington 

    Due to damage to the overhead electric wires between Hayes & Harlington and London Paddington the London bound line is closed.

    Impact
    Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed or revised. Disruption is expected until 20:00 06/02.

    Customer Advice
    South West Trains are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ellendune on February 06, 2016, 07:07:33 pm
    ...........the shape of things to come?

    No necessarily.  This is still the old OLE (Overhead Electrification) which is known for having problems.  That is why the new stuff (west of Stockley Bridge Junction) has a full gantry (rather than wires between the posts at the top) and the gantries are closer together, together with other changes to make it more robust. 


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: John R on February 06, 2016, 08:13:04 pm
    ...........the shape of things to come?

    No necessarily.  This is still the old OLE (Overhead Electrification) which is known for having problems.  That is why the new stuff (west of Stockley Bridge Junction) has a full gantry (rather than wires between the posts at the top) and the gantries are closer together, together with other changes to make it more robust. 

    ... but less aesthetically pleasing to those in the Goring Gap.  >:(


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on February 15, 2016, 05:58:55 pm
    *MODS*

    I started a separate topic on a more relevant board before seeing these recent posts here. I wonder if the last few posts could be moved and merged as today's engineering overrun wasn't in the Thames Valley (for a change!).


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: Chris from Nailsea on February 15, 2016, 08:32:06 pm
    All done - see http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=16743.0  ;) :D ;D


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on February 17, 2016, 12:14:36 pm
    Thames Valley punctuality performance last month was at 86.4%, over 1% lower than it was last month, but still enough to increase the MAA (Moving Annual Average) from 84.3% to 84.6%.

    All other sectors are still easily achieving the season ticket discount 'trigger' levels, with all except HSS also above the 'target' figure.

    I'll do a monthly update on this thread, so we can follow the trend from what should be the current low (old trains, lack of capacity, lots of engineering works) to a future high when Crossrail launches.  I'm sure there will be a few peaks and troughs in the intervening years!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on February 29, 2016, 10:15:39 am
    .......I do love the refreshing honesty of these new excuses!  :)


    09:18 Reading to London Paddington due 10:18 

    This train has been delayed from Reading and is now 36 minutes late.
    This train will no longer call at Twyford, Maidenhead, Taplow, Burnham, Slough, West Drayton, Hayes & Harlington, Southall and Ealing Broadway.

    This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: paul7755 on February 29, 2016, 10:44:46 am

    ...This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.

    I wonder if it is actually the HEx 332s that are causing the problems? 

    AIUI they are out of service while their anti-roll bars are checked for cracks, and the Connect 360s are running HEx; so GW are running a Paddington - Hayes stopper...

    Paul


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: BerkshireBugsy on February 29, 2016, 10:48:47 am
    .......I do love the refreshing honesty of these new excuses!  :)


    09:18 Reading to London Paddington due 10:18 

    This train has been delayed from Reading and is now 36 minutes late.
    This train will no longer call at Twyford, Maidenhead, Taplow, Burnham, Slough, West Drayton, Hayes & Harlington, Southall and Ealing Broadway.

    This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.

    I was on a Virgin Trains service from Euston to Glasgow yesterday (Sunday) and made use of the toilet.

    When I locked the door there was a recorded announcment stating the things that should not be flushed down the toilet- I've convinced the last thing in the list was "Goldfish"....


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on February 29, 2016, 10:53:13 am
    it was, you heard right...


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: stuving on February 29, 2016, 10:54:20 am
    This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.

    Presumably in the future, for class 800/801/345 etc., it will say something like "this is due to the train supplier delivering too few trains today".


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: bignosemac on February 29, 2016, 03:01:50 pm
    I was on a Virgin Trains service from Euston to Glasgow yesterday (Sunday) and made use of the toilet.

    When I locked the door there was a recorded announcment stating the things that should not be flushed down the toilet- I've convinced the last thing in the list was "Goldfish"....

    That announcement is the same as the signs seen on raised toilet lids, or next to the toilet, on trains in the Stagecoach/Virgin fleets:

    (http://www.mbob.co.uk/bnm/Photobucket_Your%20Bucket//Mobile%20Uploads/rps20160229_145646_zpsr3v4heic.jpg)


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: IndustryInsider on February 29, 2016, 03:17:43 pm
    And it's reasonably amusing the first time you hear it, but less so over time!


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on March 01, 2016, 08:57:31 am

    ...This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.

    I wonder if it is actually the HEx 332s that are causing the problems? 

    AIUI they are out of service while their anti-roll bars are checked for cracks, and the Connect 360s are running HEx; so GW are running a Paddington - Hayes stopper...

    Paul


    Not sure this is working out particularly well - I note that a similar message is on RTT today and my usual train was crush loaded from Hayes onwards, people left on platform..........then we roll past OOC to see lots of shiny HEX trains in the sidings!

    Any idea how long this is likely to continue?






    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: TaplowGreen on March 01, 2016, 03:17:12 pm
    Alterations to services at Southall 
    Due to a speed restriction over defective track at Southall the London bound main line is blocked.
    Impact
    Train services running through this station may be delayed by up to 25 mins or revised. Disruption is expected until 16:45 01/03.

    Reading - Paddington Stoppers non stopping Langley/Iver/West Drayton/Hayes/Ealing - not exactly ideal with Heathrow Connect down too.........Advice for those wanting Langley - Ealing? Go to Paddington and double back.


    Title: Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014
    Post by: ChrisB on March 01, 2016, 03:26:00 pm
    Any idea how long this is likely to continue?

    The HEX website refers currently to 29 Feb - 1 Mar - so maybe back