Great Western Coffee Shop

All across the Great Western territory => Diary - what's happening when? => Topic started by: grahame on July 17, 2016, 11:34:09 pm



Title: Imber bus
Post by: grahame on July 17, 2016, 11:34:09 pm
The village of Imber on Salisbury Plain was taken over on a temporary basis by the army during the second word war.  Until its permanent return when the army no longer need it, residents and other can visit on a few occasions each year and on some of those there's a bus service.

Details:

https://imberbus.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/imberbus-leaflet2016-c.pdf

Runs from Warminster Station via Imber to Brazen Bottom, Gore Cross, New Zealand and Chitterne





Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on July 18, 2016, 12:50:23 am
Runs from ... Brazen Bottom...

Sorry, but that's what happens if you eat a dodgy curry.  :P :-X


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: grahame on August 14, 2016, 12:18:39 pm
From Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TransWilts/posts/844096899023687)

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

Quote
Saturday, 20th August ONLY.  From Swindon at 08:36, Chippenham at 08:53 and Melksham at 09:02 by train to Warminster at 09:46 (changing at Westbury).  Then on with the "Imber Bus" - a retired London Routemaster - to the village of Imber on Salisbury Plain. The bus leaves Warminster at 10:15 and arrives Imber at 10:45.

The village of Imber was taken over during the second world war to provide an exercise area for troops, and the residents evicted. After the war, villagers were not allowed to return to their homes. The village, which is now part of the civil parish of Heytesbury, remains under the control of the Ministry of Defence despite several attempts by former residents to return. Non-military access is limited to several open days a year.

The only building to survive in a reasonable condition is the church, with the rest becoming derelict or demolished by the Army. Still standing are a pub (the Bell Inn) the manor house (Imber Court), a farmhouse and cottages, schoolroom and four housing blocks built in 1938. The church will be open on Imber Bus day, and you'll be able to puchase tea, coffee, hot chocolate, squash and biscuits at modest cost.

Catch the bus back from Imber at 13:15, 15:15 or 17:15, reaching Melksham via the same route at 15:21, 16:48 or 18:47 via the same route as you took on the way out (changing at Warminster and Westbury). These return trains reach Chippenham 10 minutes and Swindon 27 minutes after Melksham.

Day return train fares on these trains - £4.40 Melksham to Warminster. £6.20 Chippenham to Warminster. £7.20 Swindon to Warminster. Railcard and Groupsave discounts available.  Bus fare - £2 per journey (or £10 for all day ticket to explore beyond Imber too); sorry - senior passes are not accepted on these buses.  No need to book - buy your train tickets at the station or if not available there on the train. Pay your bus fare on the bus.


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: rogerw on August 15, 2016, 08:07:46 pm
I will be going using the 0927 from Trowbridge


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: grahame on August 16, 2016, 07:03:14 am
I will be going using the 0927 from Trowbridge


Look forward to seeing you ... I think that's the train that the huge crowds (  ;D ) on the 08:36 from Swindon will be changing onto.


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 16, 2016, 09:29:24 pm
Thanks for the information about this event, grahame.

I've sort of followed the ongoing story of Imber, from news items prompted by the occasional opening of the site to civilian visitors, but haven't yet found a suitable match between my days off and such fairly limited 'open day' opportunities.

Maybe next year.  ::)


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: grahame on August 18, 2016, 09:01:27 am
Update to the ImberBus site - https://imberbus.wordpress.com/getting-to-warminster/

Quote
For those arriving by public transport, Warminster Rail Station is on the Cardiff-Bristol-Portsmouth rail line which operates approximately every hour, with connections available from London and the West Country at Westbury and Salisbury and also from Melksham, Chippenham and Swindon at Westbury

This one seems a real 'natural' for public transport all the way, noting that the parking in Warminster is mostly away from the railway station, which is where the n=bus goes from.

Last year, the ImberBus ran during the Bath / East blockade - this year it's good from Bristol and Bath by train to Warminster.  And of course by train at 08:36, 10:36 and 12:36 from Swindon, change at Westbury

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/imberad2.jpg)


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: grahame on August 19, 2016, 04:15:02 pm
Hear about some of opportunities to get to Imber tomorrow - BBC Radio Wiltshire (http://www.twcrp.org.uk/BBC%20Inner.m4a)


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: grahame on August 20, 2016, 07:00:30 pm
(http://www.wellho.net/pix/routemaster_four.jpg)

What is it they say about London buses - running in groups of four at Imber.   Timetabled every half hour and in groups.

I met up with quite a few of our members (and saw the odd lurker or two  :D ) today, and there was quite a bit of otter interest:
(http://www.wellho.net/pix/routemaster_photos.jpg)

so here are some more pictures:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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






Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: bobm on August 20, 2016, 07:12:18 pm
Thankfully the forecast bad weather largely stayed away.

Here are some more photos from the day.

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/imbbus.jpg)
(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/imbchurch.jpg)
(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/imbchurch2.jpg)
(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/imbbuild.jpg)
(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/imbsign.jpg)
(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/imbbus2.jpg)


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 20, 2016, 07:26:43 pm
I met up with quite a few of our members (and saw the odd lurker or two :D ) today, and there was quite a bit of otter interest ...

Any squirrels?  ;) :D ;D


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: Western Pathfinder on August 20, 2016, 07:30:08 pm
Thanks for the heads up on this Grahame made for a most enjoyable day out just home from Imber via the Seven Riviera Express having managed not to get wet at all cheers.


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: grahame on August 20, 2016, 07:35:58 pm
I met up with quite a few of our members (and saw the odd lurker or two :D ) today, and there was quite a bit of otter interest ...

Any squirrels?  ;) :D ;D

'twas busy and I might have missed them.   Did see a grey one at 06:30 this morning playing with some of my nuts (in the garden, off the hazel tree!)


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: Rob on the hill on August 20, 2016, 08:18:35 pm
Thanks from me too Graham, had a most enjoyable day out by train/bus. I had not been aware of the Imberbus service before you posted about it here.  :)


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: bobm on August 20, 2016, 08:20:26 pm
One slightly concerning moment came as I was walking to church and a remote controlled drone flew over my head.  It was certainly closer than 50 metres!  They do get some spectacular pictures but having seen a couple of near misses when they crash, it did make me feel a little uneasy.

https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Model-aircraft-and-drones/The-Dronecode/ (https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Model-aircraft-and-drones/The-Dronecode/)


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: chuffed on August 20, 2016, 08:26:22 pm
I reckon that was Four Propellers, Now! trying out his new toy.....


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: grahame on August 20, 2016, 08:39:10 pm
Note for next year ... should probably set up a time & place for forum members to meet if they wish.   Lunchtime pint at the Green Dragon, Market Lavington?


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: LiskeardRich on August 20, 2016, 11:37:11 pm
One slightly concerning moment came as I was walking to church and a remote controlled drone flew over my head.  It was certainly closer than 50 metres!  They do get some spectacular pictures but having seen a couple of near misses when they crash, it did make me feel a little uneasy.

https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Model-aircraft-and-drones/The-Dronecode/ (https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Model-aircraft-and-drones/The-Dronecode/)

I noticed today that Trago have the basic drones with cameras starting from £29.99. At that price we are going to end up with operators that aren't clued up on rules and regs.


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: grahame on August 21, 2016, 07:32:48 am
One slightly concerning moment came as I was walking to church and a remote controlled drone flew over my head.  It was certainly closer than 50 metres!  They do get some spectacular pictures but having seen a couple of near misses when they crash, it did make me feel a little uneasy.

https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Model-aircraft-and-drones/The-Dronecode/ (https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Model-aircraft-and-drones/The-Dronecode/)

Yes, I felt the same concern - overhead the path and landing in the field-become-car park just to the right.

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

A picture isn't good when you have to explain what it shows ... HOWEVER ... it can be informative.  Landing area was between the black and the white cars, with two chaps with a table and impressive looking controllers there.  The drone I saw clearly had a lot of "whizz-bangs" like camera rotation motors as well as the main drive and was brought in about the height of three people (above the busy path) 15 to 20 metres overhead and landed in the middle of the area.  Clearly not a  "Trago Mills special" and one hopes they had dispensations, insurance, etc ... there wasn't an organisation / contact name of any sort of clear display. 


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: ellendune on August 21, 2016, 09:05:36 am
One slightly concerning moment came as I was walking to church and a remote controlled drone flew over my head.  It was certainly closer than 50 metres!  They do get some spectacular pictures but having seen a couple of near misses when they crash, it did make me feel a little uneasy.

https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Model-aircraft-and-drones/The-Dronecode/ (https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Model-aircraft-and-drones/The-Dronecode/)
 
BBC Wiltshire have tweeted an aerial photo of Imber. Was it them?


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: grahame on August 21, 2016, 09:13:53 am
BBC Wiltshire have tweeted an aerial photo of Imber. Was it them?

Not directly ... their pictures are credited "PA" which I guess means "Press Association" ... who I suspect buy in from lots of others.  BBC Wiltshire were in Imber on Friday morning, long before the buses were running, and did some excellent prior publicity;  didn't see them there at all on Saturday.


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on August 21, 2016, 05:55:48 pm
A news item, illustrated with some more cracking pictures, from the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-37144240):

Quote
'Ghost village' on Salisbury Plain opened to public

(http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/660/cpsprodpb/7B76/production/_90860613_hi034858266.jpg)
Roads through the MoD-controlled village are opened to the public on a handful of occasions

Passengers have been taken by bus to a Salisbury Plain "ghost village" which was abandoned in 1943.

The deserted Wiltshire village of Imber was cleared during World War Two and later taken over by the military.

Vintage Routemaster buses have been used to take passengers to the village, for one day each year, since 2009.

The area is normally closed to civilians as it sits in the middle of a Ministry of Defence training zone.

(http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/13EC6/production/_90860618_hi034858228.jpg)

Villagers were given a few weeks' notice to pack their bags and leave before the community was abandoned in December 1943.

It was needed by the army to provide an exercise area for US troops preparing to invade Europe.

In the 1970s, several empty houses were built for use by UK soldiers taking part in training exercises.

(http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/12F26/production/_90860677_hi034405816.jpg)

St Giles Church, the only original building left intact, was also opened to visitors for the weekend.

(http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/165D6/production/_90860619_hi034858281.jpg)

(http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/6BD6/production/_90860672_hi034858258.jpg)

(http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/624/cpsprodpb/B9F6/production/_90860674_hi034858210.jpg)




Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: Jason on August 22, 2016, 11:03:21 am
Long wait if you missed the last bus... ;)


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: trainer on August 22, 2016, 08:50:18 pm
Thanks for all who posted pics here.  I wish I'd ignored the weather forecast and gone.  :'(


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: bobm on August 22, 2016, 08:57:22 pm
Trainer, you are not the first person who has said that to me about Saturday.  Funnily enough I was planning to go out on Sunday too and having seen the forecast decided to stay in.  As it turned out that was the correct decision as it poured down.  You can't win!!


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: bobm on February 19, 2017, 01:22:36 pm
Note for next year ... should probably set up a time & place for forum members to meet if they wish.   Lunchtime pint at the Green Dragon, Market Lavington?

Date now set for 2017

Saturday 26th August 2017

https://imberbus.wordpress.com/ (https://imberbus.wordpress.com/)


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: ChrisB on February 19, 2017, 04:15:14 pm
Time to amend the thread title?


Title: Re: Imber bus - annual trip to restricted area of Salisbury Plain
Post by: bobm on February 19, 2017, 06:22:50 pm
Time to amend the thread title?

OK - you've twisted my arm.  Calendar updated too.  ;D


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: bobm on June 29, 2017, 04:05:32 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-40415434)

Quote
Access to a "ghost village" church which was taken over by the military in World War Two is to be restricted.

The village of Imber was abandoned in 1943 and has been closed to civilians ever since as it is sited on the MoD's training zone on Salisbury Plain.

St Giles Church, the only building left intact in Imber, is normally open to the public for two weeks each August.

This year the MoD has reduced it to three days due to visitors "attempting to access restricted areas".

It was just before Christmas 1943 that Imber villagers were ordered to pack up and leave to provide a training area for American troops preparing for the invasion of Europe during World War Two.

They were never allowed to return and the village vanished off the map.

Since then, up to 50 days of public access is granted each year by the MoD.

But this year it has been "significantly reduced", according to Neil Skelton, custodian of the church, because visitors have been "trespassing in the restricted areas" of the deserted village.

"Last August, we had probably around 4,000 to 5,000 people over the two weeks and at Easter it was manic," he said.

"It's the sheer numbers, we're attracting so many people but if you reduce the number of days, you'll be squeezing more people in to fewer days."

'Public in danger'

It is feared people are putting their lives at risk by trespassing in to areas where there could be "unexploded ordnance".

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said keeping visitors to Imber village safe was a "top priority".

He said: "Unfortunately we have received numerous reports of members of the public placing themselves and others in danger during previous open days by attempting to access restricted areas.

"Following these reports a risk assessment was carried out which resulted in the decision to reduce public access periods to the village."


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: ChrisB on June 29, 2017, 04:18:29 pm
Those pesky


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 29, 2017, 05:05:54 pm
I was there with a group of friends a few days before Christmas last year. We arrived just before sunset to find the entire Plain shrouded in fog. Standing at the bottom of the road up to the village, where the buses park, we could not see the church but we could hear the singing from a carol service in progress. Meanwhile, a bunch of squaddies was doing urban warfare exercises in the mock village off to one side. It was a little surreal.

If you visit when a service is not being held, the church is fascinating for its murals and carvings.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: grahame on June 29, 2017, 05:15:00 pm
From the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-40415434)

Quote
It is feared people are putting their lives at risk by trespassing in to areas where there could be "unexploded ordnance".

I've been up to Imber (when officially open, of course!) a good few times and there have been lots of cattle grazing in the fields all along the way up there, behind lots of "keep out - danger of unexploded shells" signs.

I wonder if the unexploded shells are specially tuned to target humans, if we don't really care if the cattle get hurt, or the possibility of there presence is a great way to exclude the public.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: Bmblbzzz on June 29, 2017, 05:50:03 pm
I dare say there's a compo deal; so much per cow, so much per bullock, etc, exploded by ordnance. Or of course the farmer just signs a waiver in return for a cheap lease.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: CyclingSid on June 30, 2017, 11:04:14 am
Last time I was there I got the "unit trench digger" award? Won't be any of that if I go this year. The village was in better condition then, more of the buildings were recognisable, especially of you got the "guide" book. The FIBUA (Fighting in Built Up Areas) village is an addition, and a fine example of the building standards of the Property Services Agency (PSA). The predecessor to the PSA was the MPBW (Ministry of Public Blunders and Wonders, to "friends") who were even worse and disappeared in, I believe, a cloud of suspicions of financial impropriety.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: ChrisB on August 17, 2017, 10:07:09 am
From the Imber Bus mailshot

Quote
Imberbus will be running on the 26th August
by The Imberbus Crew
This year's Imberbus event is being held on Saturday 26th August and it is already looking like it will be the biggest one yet, with people coming long distances to ride on a Routemaster bus across the Salisbury Plain to the lost village of Imber and beyond.

To cater for the extra passengers, this year we will be using more than 20 old and new Routemasters to provide our service, some of which have not ventured across the Salisbury plain before. We will also be enhancing the timetable to provide departures every 10-15 minutes from Warminster Station to Imber from 9.45am onwards. On arrival at Imber, some buses will then carry on to our interchange point at Gore Cross, from where they will continue at least once an hour either to Tilshead & Chitterne, or to Brazen Bottom, Market Lavington and New Zealand Farm Camp, with extra journeys operating during the afternoon.

In addition to the 16th century St.Giles' Church at Imber which will be open over the Bank Holiday weekend, this year there will also be a couple of new attractions for our passengers to visit. The Market Lavington Museum, situated next to Market Lavington Church, is opening specially for our event and in addition to exhibiting local artifacts, will be serving cream teas. Refreshments will also be available at our Chitterne terminus in the village hall, which will also house the UK Transport sales stall selling a variety of transport orientated books and models, including a limited edition Imberbus model of Routemaster RM1005.

Further details about this year's Imberbus event can be found on our website at www.imberbus.wordpress.com (http://www.imberbus.wordpress.com), including maps, timetables, fares and details of how to get to Warminster Station. If you have not been to Imber before, you might also find it useful to take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page, which provides important information on where you can and cannot go, where you can get something to eat and also the location of public toilets (which are few and far between on the Salisbury Plain!).

IMPORTANT - If you are planning on bringing a group of people to Warminster in a bus or coach, please contact us immediately as there are very few coach parking facilities available in Warminster.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: Rob on the hill on August 17, 2017, 10:50:07 am
There's even a railtour going to Imber this year - should be busy at Warminster when it arrives!
http://www.ukrailtours.com/product/by-routemaster-to-the-lost-village-of-imber/


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: ChrisB on August 17, 2017, 10:56:37 am
sold out very quickly that did!


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: martyjon on August 27, 2017, 06:38:34 pm
Went yesterday.

Fabulous day.

2 Open Toppers working.

Did pass one new vehicle heading towards Imber with its indicator lights flashing 'hazard' on route as we were en- route from Imber to Gore Cross which to us was an indication that the vehicle had encountered a technical problem.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: ChrisB on August 31, 2017, 09:08:39 am
Anyone lost a camera on those buses this year?

From Imberbus mailshot

Quote
The Imberbus Crew posted: "If you were one of the hundreds of people who joined us at Imber last Saturday, please check your bag to see if your camera is still inside it. If it is missing, please send a description of it to imberbus23a@gmail.com , as we may have found it on one "


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: bignosemac on August 31, 2017, 09:46:34 am
Anyone lost a phone on those buses this year?

Mailshot says camera, not phone.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: ChrisB on August 31, 2017, 10:00:28 am
it does, edited. thanks!


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: bobm on July 01, 2018, 06:48:25 pm
One of the buses providing the railway station to depot shuttle for today's Reading Buses open day (see separate thread (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=20009.msg240908#msg240908)) was from the fleet used for the annual Imberbus running day.

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

It reminded me that this year's event is on Sunday Saturday 18th August - https://imberbus.wordpress.com/ (https://imberbus.wordpress.com/)

Edit - Saturday not Sunday - grahame


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: bobm on July 01, 2018, 08:00:17 pm
It reminded me that this year's event is on Sunday Saturday 18th August - https://imberbus.wordpress.com/ (https://imberbus.wordpress.com/)
Edit - Saturday not Sunday - grahame

Thanks - muddling Sunday for Saturday is some typo!


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: grahame on August 13, 2018, 03:52:40 pm
Imber bus us 18th August 2018.

From a TransWilts perspective ...

Quote
Train from Swindon at 08:36, Chippenham at 08:53, Melksham at 09:02 to Warminster at 09:46 (changing at Westbury) to ride on an old London Routemaster bus to the abandoned village of Imber on Salisbury Plain. Buses run every 15 minutes from Warminster Station to Imber and various destination beyond.  Train fare £7.70 return from Swindon to Warminster, £6.60 return from Chippenham or £4.70 return from Melksham. Imber Bus fares from £2 single up to £10 for an all day rover - see https://imberbus.wordpress.com/imberbus-2018/ for details of routes and timetables.

Return trains from Warminster at 14:12, 16:01 and 18:01 - again, change at Westbury.  No need to prebook - buy your train tickets just before you board the train, and your bus tickets at Warminster Station.

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/imberad18.jpg)


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: Clan Line on August 14, 2018, 01:45:17 pm
There's even a railtour going to Imber this year - should be busy at Warminster when it arrives!
http://www.ukrailtours.com/product/by-routemaster-to-the-lost-village-of-imber/

It was ! The bus queue after the train had arrived..............but it soon dispersed with the number of buses that they had running.
A good day out - recommended to all.

(http://i63.tinypic.com/24eyywy.jpg)

Rail tour arriving at Warminster - longest train ever to call at Warminster ? (Immaculate Class 66 on the front)

(http://i64.tinypic.com/33msk5y.jpg)


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: Rob on the hill on August 14, 2018, 03:25:20 pm
Indeed - 66779 was the last of it's class to be built for the UK, and has been named "Evening Star" after the last steam locomotive to be built at Swindon in 1960. It is to be donated to the National Railway Museum at the end of its working life.

https://www.mainlinediesels.net/index.php?nav=1000155&lang=en&id=8874&action=shownews#.W3LllrmWypo


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: Clan Line on August 14, 2018, 04:59:06 pm
Indeed - 66779 was the last of it's class to be built for the UK, and has been named "Evening Star" after the last steam locomotive to be built at Swindon in 1960. It is to be donated to the National Railway Museum at the end of its working life.

Caught it on the way back - between Upton Scudamore and Warminster.

(http://i66.tinypic.com/2a7innl.jpg)


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: grahame on August 17, 2018, 08:22:46 am
The Imberbus is running TOMORROW and the team there has posted  final details at https://imberbus.wordpress.com/2018/08/17/imberbus-tomorrow/

What a parking palaver they're expecting!    Let the train take the strain.   Personally, travelling on the 09:02 from Melksham and changing at Westbury ... that's the 08:36 from Swindon and 08:53 from Chippenham.

Any Coffee Shop members - please say hello; one of the great things about trips like this is the change to meet old friends and make new ones.  I intend to stand out from the crowd (a.k.a. I will probably be wearing a bright yellow TransWilts T Shirt) ...


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: martyjon on August 17, 2018, 10:42:53 am
I'll be there. Three relatives travelling down today from Kendal, Cumbria and staying with relatives in Gloucester tonight and I'm joining the 5 of them on the 0910 from Yate, table for 6 booked for lunch at Churchill Arms, West Lavington. I'll be wearing my DUNEDIN RAILWAYS trainmans cap so lets see who spots who first. The 12 year old from Kendal is really excited to be coming after seeing photos of last years happenings. Hope the weather blesses this years event with the same fine weather as it did last year.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: bignosemac on August 17, 2018, 03:17:08 pm
What a parking palaver they're expecting!    Let the train take the strain.   Personally, travelling on the 09:02 from Melksham and changing at Westbury ... that's the 08:36 from Swindon and 08:53 from Chippenham.

You're travelling via Westbury on a weekend? Good luck with that based on previous attempts to reach a destination at the weekend via Westbury.


Insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results - possibly Albert Einstein.  ;D


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: grahame on August 17, 2018, 06:36:01 pm
You're travelling via Westbury on a weekend? Good luck with that based on previous attempts to reach a destination at the weekend via Westbury.

Thank you

Quote
Insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results - possibly Albert Einstein.  ;D

Development.  Doing similar things over and over, tuning to make them more reliable - certainly Graham E   ::)

Changes this weekend ....
- Saturday not Sunday
- Warminster not Weymouth
- Bright yellow Y shirt not one that hides in the crowd


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: bignosemac on August 17, 2018, 06:51:02 pm
Bright yellow Y shirt not one that hides in the crowd

Like a T-shirt but worn when doing a Village People dance?  ;D


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: froome on August 17, 2018, 08:52:49 pm
I shall be there, with my partner and some friends. I've been meaning to visit Imber for many years, but have usually been away when the buses have run. We will probably spend the day there travelling around, armed with nothing more than plenty of butties!


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: rogerw on August 17, 2018, 09:38:07 pm
Usually an excellent day.  Unfortunately lock keeping duties prevent me from attending


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: hassaanhc on August 18, 2018, 05:34:18 am
Hoping to be there today. Although GWR have already made my journey difficult as the 0957 arrival at Westbury (0835 from Paddington, 0903 from Reading) has been cancelled due to a shortage of staff  >:(

And in the evening the same applies to the 1653 from Westbury towards Paddington.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: grahame on August 18, 2018, 06:52:22 am
Hoping to be there today. Although GWR have already made my journey difficult as the 0957 arrival at Westbury (0835 from Paddington, 0903 from Reading) has been cancelled due to a shortage of staff  >:(

And in the evening the same applies to the 1653 from Westbury towards Paddington.

Can I offer you a sliver lining ... 07:58 from Reading (if you're up in time) ... add a trip on the TransWilts calling Melksham at 09:02.  There's a return via the same route at around 4 O'Clock.   No longer listed in PSUL  ;D http://www.psul4all.free-online.co.uk/2018.htm but still an excellent side trip


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: hassaanhc on August 18, 2018, 08:30:48 am
Hoping to be there today. Although GWR have already made my journey difficult as the 0957 arrival at Westbury (0835 from Paddington, 0903 from Reading) has been cancelled due to a shortage of staff  >:(

And in the evening the same applies to the 1653 from Westbury towards Paddington.

Can I offer you a sliver lining ... 07:58 from Reading (if you're up in time) ... add a trip on the TransWilts calling Melksham at 09:02.  There's a return via the same route at around 4 O'Clock.   No longer listed in PSUL  ;D http://www.psul4all.free-online.co.uk/2018.htm but still an excellent side trip
Last night I was considering going that way on the return :D hopefully if I've done everything by then then I'll go that way :)


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: chuffed on August 18, 2018, 06:58:34 pm
First visit and very enjoyable too. The buses were so well organised ..you wait at Gore Cross new Interchange for 5 minutes and 3 come along at once !. The drivers, conductors  and passengers all seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely, and it was very gratifying to see that most had splashed out on the day Rover in order to reach the far flung reaches of the network. All the venues offering refreshments seemed well geared up for dealing with large crowds, and it was most apt and appropriate to see the Battle bus on display. One of the conductors who owned two of the 19 Routemasters running around said that it had taken an intensive 2 weeks on the ground to plan and organise, and I'm sure that I speak for everyone who attended today, in offering my warmest congratulations on a job well done and thanks for a splendid day out.  ;D
I didn't catch sight of the yellow shirted Sir Ellis of Melksham...wondered if he was still stuck on the platform waiting for a train...... ???


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: grahame on August 18, 2018, 07:48:29 pm
First visit and very enjoyable too. The buses were so well organised

They do a marvellous job. Lots of things that they're doing for a hobby that should be done every day of the year and everywhere.  I will NOT say "amateurs" because they are not. They do it in a professional manner - and indeed quiet a few of them do it professionally for the rest of the year too. And they're a sheer joy as they bring pleasure to so many.

There is a lot that can be learned from how this day is organised ... or rather a lot that is actually already well learned by the people there that could and should be transferred into daily life.  But I know that so many factors in daily life fail to allow that.

You mention Gore's cross.

An areas of gravel parking, sprayed out in the middle to indicate a pedestrian area for bus interchanges.  Bus stops on three sides of that large middle square, with bus stops clearly marked for
- Imber and Warminster
- Tilshead and Chitterne
- Brazen Bottom and the Lavingtons
and with current timetables on display too!   And extra stop (and a sighting to to) for the bus to New Zealand Camp which passes the track end.

Buses arrive - seemingly from all directions - at :25.  Lots of passengers get off and walk across to joint a different bus, but a lot stay on as this is an intermediate point on the routes.  And the at about :30 all 7 or 8 buses head off to continue their journeys.

Forming a rest lounge and information point, there's a bus parked up within the central area staffed with happy, friendly, knowedglable people.

Just look at that and see what we have been bleating for elsewhere
- Public transport that connects
- Public transport that form a network even where multiple operators are involved
- Clear labelling and information at public transport stops
- Helpful and well informed staff and all but the very quietest of spots
- Regular (even interval, clock face service)
Why can't we have these things ... every day ... every place.  It makes sense

Quote
I didn't catch sight of the yellow shirted Sir Ellis of Melksham...wondered if he was still stuck on the platform waiting for a train...... ???

Hmm ... no such person.  You may be getting confused with me - plain "Mr" or - better - Graham.  I met about a dozen people I know in real life or from The Coffee Shop, and made new  contact too.   I suspect, chaffed, you might  have been at Imber when I took the only bus of the day to run direct from Warminster to Chitterne Church, and perhaps you were then in front of me passing the Lavingtons of New Zealand Camp when I was exploring through Brazen Bottom.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: Western Pathfinder on August 18, 2018, 10:04:34 pm
I can confirm today's sighting of the lesser ponytail Grahame in full sight at Imber this afternoon, also there Sir Peter hendy of NR fame having a day of from all things Rail and playing with his very well presented Bus,and it's good to see our friend David Regwell out and about looking much improved, and I had the pleasure of the company of the long serving Mrs Western Pathfinder today who never thought that busses could be so interesting !.. also bumped into Geof & Vicky of all the stations, who were busy filming so YouTube beckons in the next day or so.
All in all a very well organised day out in the Wiltshire countryside.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: bignosemac on August 18, 2018, 11:30:23 pm
You're travelling via Westbury on a weekend? Good luck with that based on previous attempts to reach a destination at the weekend via Westbury.

Thank you

Quote
Insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results - possibly Albert Einstein.  ;D

Development.  Doing similar things over and over, tuning to make them more reliable - certainly Graham E   ::)

How was the train journey back to Melksham?  :P


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: grahame on August 19, 2018, 12:16:30 am
How was the train journey back to Melksham?  :P

The near-perfect performance of the Imber buses yesterday provided a stark contract to the operation of public transport services between Melksham and Warminster, with public transport providers seemingly scoring far too many needless own goals.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: froome on August 19, 2018, 07:06:21 am
How was the train journey back to Melksham?  :P

The near-perfect performance of the Imber buses yesterday provided a stark contract to the operation of public transport services between Melksham and Warminster, with public transport providers seemingly scoring far too many needless own goals.

Indeed. We did have a train service from Bath to get there and back, but I was surprised to find that the train manager had no knowledge of why his train emptied out at Warminster. He was looking puzzled when on the platform there and we explained to him why. I assume GWR should have been aware of the event, but perhaps this information doesn't filter down to where needed?


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: froome on August 19, 2018, 07:10:08 am
As first timers, we also really enjoyed the day. As well as all the comments made on the professionalism of the organisation, one that stood out for me was their website, which gave all the information needed and very clearly and simply. It should be a model for others to use.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: grahame on August 19, 2018, 08:47:33 am
Some more pictures ... this series concentrating on the buses!

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/im18_00.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/im18_01.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/im18_02.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/im18_03.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/im18_04.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/im18_06.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/im18_05.jpg)


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: CyclingSid on August 19, 2018, 09:47:25 am
Have to join others in noting the excellent organisation, much commented on by Her Indoors. She was likewise intrigued by the variety of buses.
Interesting to see the changes since I was last there 40 years ago, when taking the role of ditch/trench digger in the army (strange things they get engineers to do, who they had spent a lot of money training) The plain itself never changes much.
Must admit that I was a bit dubious about the descent into West Lavington on the brakes (distinct smell of brake linings), army beat it into you that you went down such hills on the gear box, but if you have an automatic or semi-automatic there aren't the same options.
Not sure why MoD Police felt they needed an Armed Response Unit at Imber (perhaps they have no other)?
Good to meet the eminence grise of Community Rail. I did think, on Bath station, it could be one of those days when the Cardiff-Portsmouth train shrank to two or one coaches, but fortunately not.
All in all an excellent day. Be interesting to know the final numbers.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: martyjon on August 19, 2018, 10:57:10 am
(http://www.wellho.net/pix/im18_06.jpg)

Grahame, good day also for First to promote their "D" Discovery routes and vehicles, pity you didn't photo that bus with "Imber" up front, now that would have been a "discovery".

I cannot add any more commendations to those already made by yourself and others on this thread. The other person you were talking to at Imber when I met you is an old acquaintance of mine from South Glos Council / Yate Station Group.

My 5 family members who were with me thoroughly enjoyed the day especially the 11 year old whose day was made when he was invited to sit in the police cars drivers seat.

As you may have noted, the bus we arrived on at the Imber, St Giles Church stop also conveyed DR and I volunteered my nephew, who is less than half my age, to give him a "booster push" up to the inclined path to and into the church in his wheelchair where we left him deep in conversation with others. He would have had "natural assistance, gravity" to return to the Imber St. Giles Church bus stop.

DR narrated to my nephew the role of the police in the first IMBERBUS. He told him that over a hundred officers were deployed from the MOD, BTP and the local constabulary as there were fears the public would ignore the warnings and no entry notices and go where they weren't supposed to. Yesterdays event had just six officers present.

It was also nice to see that the access path to the church had been greatly improved which seems to be a virtually new construction since I last visited the church area 2 years ago, I presume funded by the donations of previous IMBERBUS days particularly the handrails up the steepest part of the path leading to the church porch itself which was particularly helpful to the older visitors.




Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: grahame on August 19, 2018, 11:15:55 am
Grahame, good day also for First to promote their "D" Discovery routes and vehicles, pity you didn't photo that bus with "Imber" up front, now that would have been a "discovery".

I did - just didn't include it in this thread.  Online ((here)) (http://www.wellho.net/pix/im18_14.jpg) and used as part of a personal Facebook post at https://www.facebook.com/groups/option247/permalink/723093571374545 - the group is public so you should be able to see it.

Quote
I cannot add any more commendations to those already made by yourself and others on this thread. The other person you were talking to at Imber when I met you is an old acquaintance of mine from South Glos Council / Yate Station Group.

My 5 family members who were with me thoroughly enjoyed the day especially the 11 year old whose day was made when he was invited to sit in the police cars drivers seat.

As you may have noted, the bus we arrived on at the Imber, St Giles Church stop also conveyed DR and I volunteered my nephew, who is less than half my age, to give him a "booster push" up to the inclined path to and into the church in his wheelchair where we left him deep in conversation with others. He would have had "natural assistance, gravity" to return to the Imber St. Giles Church bus stop.

DR narrated to my nephew the role of the police in the first IMBERBUS. He told him that over a hundred officers were deployed from the MOD, BTP and the local constabulary as there were fears the public would ignore the warnings and no entry notices and go where they weren't supposed to. Yesterdays event had just six officers present.

It was also nice to see that the access path to the church had been greatly improved which seems to be a virtually new construction since I last visited the church area 2 years ago, I presume funded by the donations of previous IMBERBUS days particularly the handrails up the steepest part of the path leading to the church porch itself which was particularly helpful to the older visitors.

I missed DR and some others I know were there - still have a note of a dozen friends caught up with; sorry our was so very brief as I had a connection to a sporadic service beyond the plain to catch.  And I know many more were there.   I'll b along next year too - catching up with old friends, though very much in a changed role.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: froome on August 19, 2018, 11:17:56 am
Have to join others in noting the excellent organisation, much commented on by Her Indoors. She was likewise intrigued by the variety of buses.
Interesting to see the changes since I was last there 40 years ago, when taking the role of ditch/trench digger in the army (strange things they get engineers to do, who they had spent a lot of money training) The plain itself never changes much.
Must admit that I was a bit dubious about the descent into West Lavington on the brakes (distinct smell of brake linings), army beat it into you that you went down such hills on the gear box, but if you have an automatic or semi-automatic there aren't the same options.
Not sure why MoD Police felt they needed an Armed Response Unit at Imber (perhaps they have no other)?
Good to meet the eminence grise of Community Rail. I did think, on Bath station, it could be one of those days when the Cardiff-Portsmouth train shrank to two or one coaches, but fortunately not.
All in all an excellent day. Be interesting to know the final numbers.

While I was waiting at Bath Spa, I did see one of the Routemasters setting off from in front of the station, empty apart from the driver and conductor. It struck me that perhaps some of them could have been advertised as having early departure points, obviously dependent on where they came from, to take people to Warminster. But given that they were driven by volunteers, perhaps this wouldn't have been possible?


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: grahame on August 19, 2018, 11:24:39 am
But given that they were driven by volunteers, perhaps this wouldn't have been possible?

The whole insurance and liability issues associated with bus running days are massive - there is no Warminster bus running day with year in part caused by the hassle and expense of organising such matters, I am told.   Having said which, the Chippenham bus running day a couple of months back was interesting if lower key, and one special service yesterday did take the main trunk road south from Warminster before turning off to Chitterne - essentially an ECS working to get vehicles in place for early Chitterne to Imber runs, but carrying passengers.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: martyjon on August 19, 2018, 11:25:05 am
Ah, that's another destination display which I didn't see, I saw the one "Imber 23A".


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: grahame on August 19, 2018, 12:15:56 pm
How was the train journey back to Melksham?  :P

The near-perfect performance of the Imber buses yesterday provided a stark contract to the operation of public transport services between Melksham and Warminster, with public transport providers seemingly scoring far too many needless own goals.


Further post at http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=20243 will fill regular posters in on the technical details.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: martyjon on August 19, 2018, 01:38:33 pm
One of the family members I took yesterday has recently had promotion at work, the unit she was working in having been split and she has been appointed to manage the Worcester half in Worcester which previously had been managed from Gloucester where she was located. Her moans about GWR frequently cancelling the Great Malvern service to and from Gloucester were much in evident when we got back to Warminster from Imber an hour earlier than I had planned (more on this below) to see the second next train to Bristol cancelled, the one which we would have got if we has stuck to my timetable for the day.

In the morning on arrival at Warminster the six of us were in the rear coach of a 3 car 166 and thus our exit from the unit was just by the stairs to the station foot bridge and we were amongst the first to use the footbridge and there were buses still loading in the station forecourt. It transpired that the departure was delayed to allow a connection to be made off our train and to top it all I had 5 adult and 1 child tickets dispensed from the conductors ticket machine and later in the journey to Gore Cross the conductor handed us all this years souvenir Day Tickets which had mysteriously disappeared and then reappeared during the course of the journey. Previously the tickets were purchased on the forecourt at Warminster but the person assigned to this task this year was caught short and had to respond to a call of nature at the time of our arrival. Thus we were now running an hour ahead of our scheduled (fall back) itinerary.

Whilst on this thread I was told that last years event made over £12,000 in donations to the two charities that benefit from the event, The British Legion (Help for Heros) and the Friends of St. Giles Church, Imber.

Also a feature of this years event besides the new Gore Cross Bus Station an area beyond Imber village was commandeered to act as a Park and Ride which buses on their journey to Gore Cross entered from the road but exited over a Bailey Bridge to regain the main highway.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: hassaanhc on August 21, 2018, 12:47:59 am
I had a great day at Imber. Managed to go on LT700, RMC1461 (both 3 times each!), RMC1485 and 69502. I was quite fed up of RMC1461 at the end as it was a bit too bouncy 😂 RMC1485 was better, but I'd have preferred LTs to have turned up for me more! At least Abellio's LT700 was an excellent bus, although it was a shame I didn't get to go on any of the other two Euro 6 ones (Metroline ST812 or RATP London United LT1000). I don't like the engine sound of the Euro 5 ones (Arriva LT1 and Stagecoach LT264) :P . Shame there was no Volvo B5LH this time as it would have been funny to see it struggle with the short gears on the hills :D (last year
RATP London Sovereign sent their VHR45203 which is a B5LH with the LT body).
Shame about the train journeys to/from there though >:( Things started off good from Southall with the 0757 to Reading (ok it was 5 minutes late by Ealing Broadway due to a delayed freight train, but the DMU timetable and driver showing off the Class 387 acceleration allowed that time to be recovered by Twyford). Unfortunately from Reading the train to Westbury was cancelled (0903 towards Paignton), so I had to instead to use the 0905 service to Basingstoke (165130) and then the 1007 to Salisbury (9-car 159). Usually that 1007 actually has a portion direct to Warminster but due to the SWR strike it was terminating at Salisbury. So I then had to stand on 158798 which was the Brighton to Great Malvern service, arriving at 1132, about 82 minutes late compared to my original arrival of 1010. Passengers on that Brighton to Great Malvern train actually had a scare as their train was being announced as terminating at Westbury due to a shortage of staff, but luckily it actually ran through in the end.

On the way back I didn't mind about which way I went, but the 1803 to Cardiff Central was cancelled due to a shortage of staff, with the unit 158766 passing through ECS about 10 minutes later ::) . So I had to go the other way towards Salisbury at 1810. But due to the SWR strike there was a +50 connection with the train towards Basingstoke, so instead I stayed on to Southampton Central where it was a good connection with the northbound XC service at 1920, which I stayed on until Reading and had no issues until Southall (even managing to time myself perfectly for the 2018 booked DMU service, which produced 165109).


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: froome on August 21, 2018, 07:28:23 am
One minor point to note was that the buses were going down roads that don't normally have bus services, so are not maintained as such. Which meant that going along the lane from Brazen Bottom down into Market Lavington, the top deck of the bus was constantly hitting the lowest tree branches, which was a bit disturbing if you had the window flap open.

Though not as disturbing as it would have been in the open top bus  >:(, which I assume wasn't used for this route.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: grahame on August 21, 2018, 07:58:20 am
Though not as disturbing as it would have been in the open top bus  >:(, which I assume wasn't used for this route.

At least one open bus went down Lavington Hill.  Pictured here from the bus behind (we caught up with it in Market Lavington village)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/im18_22.jpg)


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: Clan Line on August 21, 2018, 09:22:42 am
Some information on the actual numbers visiting Imber Church on Imber Bus day.

Last year, 3,500 visitors – helped by the special rail excursion and a nice sunny day.
This year, 1,772 visitors – not helped by the appalling unreliability of the rail service at present !
Sunday after the bus day, 774 visitors (including 100 for the folk concert)
Monday, (yesterday), 223 visitors.

More details on Imber Church and this August’s open times are available here:  http://www.imberchurch.org.uk/index.html

Many thanks to Neil Skelton for supplying me with the visitor numbers.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: martyjon on August 21, 2018, 10:30:30 am
I didn't realise that the roads across the Imber Range are open all this week until the 25th so I might drive over one day this week and take photos of my Ford Fusion with hulks of the tanks, the danger signs, the Imber buildings and the church as backgrounds to my piccys. 


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: martyjon on August 21, 2018, 01:32:25 pm
Just picked up this article in todays Independent ;-

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/motoring/features/on-the-road-to-nowhere-a-routemaster-trip-to-remember-9692436.html


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: froome on August 21, 2018, 02:54:49 pm
Just picked up this article in todays Independent ;-

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/motoring/features/on-the-road-to-nowhere-a-routemaster-trip-to-remember-9692436.html

It's a shame there are several factual errors early on in it. And where did 'the rain keeps on falling' bit come from  :(?


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: rogerw on August 21, 2018, 03:14:42 pm
If you look at the date on the article it is clear why the reference to rain is there.  It is dated August 2014


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: froome on August 21, 2018, 05:09:07 pm
If you look at the date on the article it is clear why the reference to rain is there.  It is dated August 2014

Ah I was misled by martyjon's use of the word 'today'.  ;D


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: martyjon on August 21, 2018, 05:12:38 pm
If you look at the date on the article it is clear why the reference to rain is there.  It is dated August 2014

I'll hold my hands up and confess I only read the Tuesday part of the date before posting the link but on reading the article thought this is old stuff re-cycled and then NEVER re-checked the actual article date. sorry.


Title: Re: Imber bus
Post by: bignosemac on August 21, 2018, 08:24:46 pm
I didn't realise that the roads across the Imber Range are open all this week until the 25th so I might drive over one day this week and take photos of my Ford Fusion with hulks of the tanks, the danger signs, the Imber buildings and the church as backgrounds to my piccys. 

I'm planning on taking a drive to Imber on Friday afternoon.



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