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Journey by Journey => To Oxford, Didcot and Reading from West => Topic started by: grahame on January 09, 2017, 12:31:55 PM



Title: Melksham to Oxford - suggestions for the Didcot change
Post by: grahame on January 09, 2017, 12:31:55 PM
A journey quite commonly made is Melksham to Oxford (and back) and you may have noticed my earlier post at http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=17863 offering suggestions on minimising delays / missing connection opportunities at the TransWilts end.  To complement that in answer to a correspondent, here is advice and comment about changing at Didcot for Swindon and the west

*** On travelling from Swindon to Oxford, changing at Didcot

There are many trains in the Didcot area, and because of their density and complexity, it is not possible for everything we would like to connect, nor for advertised connections to wait in the event of a delayed incoming train.

* Take the first available train to Didcot.   The final destination will be London, but you should check that the one you're catching does call at Didcot, as only about a half of the trains do.

* At Didcot, take the first available connecting train to Oxford.   This may involve a wait of up to 30 minutes; road alternatives will not be provided (unless there's a major problem with lots of Oxford trains missing)

Note - some route planners will offer Swindon to Oxford via Reading at a higher fare.  Before you buy such a ticket, check whether there's a train arriving into Oxford a few minutes later with a Didcot connection at the lower (Didcot) fare.

*** On travelling from Oxford to Melksham via Swindon - changing at Didcot

* Take the first available train from Oxford to Didcot.  From there, take the first available train to Swindon and change there.  Even if the journey planner suggests you wait at Didcot for a later train to Chippenham and change at Chippenham instead, my advice is to change at Swindon.  That way you do not miss the Melksham connection if the train from London via Chippenham is running late.




Edit note: Minor typos corrected. CfN.  ;)


Title: Re: Melksham to Oxford - suggestions for the Didcot change
Post by: ChrisB on January 09, 2017, 12:38:22 PM
Typo - Catching rather than Cathing, but good otherwise.


Title: Re: Melksham to Oxford - suggestions for the Didcot change
Post by: Bob_Blakey on January 09, 2017, 01:06:05 PM
...and 'advise' rather than 'advice' in the 1st paragraph.  :)


Title: Re: Melksham to Oxford - suggestions for the Didcot change
Post by: grahame on January 09, 2017, 03:22:35 PM
Typo - Catching rather than Cathing, but good otherwise.

...and 'advise' rather than 'advice' in the 1st paragraph.  :)

Thanks gents - both fixed (in the initial post as it could be used as a reference point later)


Title: Re: Melksham to Oxford - suggestions for the Didcot change
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on January 09, 2017, 05:26:29 PM
Purely for clarity in grahame's original post, I have now corrected a few more of his typos - alternatives, major and another advice, for example.  ;)



Title: Re: Melksham to Oxford - suggestions for the Didcot change
Post by: Richard Fairhurst on January 09, 2017, 09:01:34 PM
A little niche, but on occasion I've used the Stagecoach 66 for the Oxford-Swindon leg of an Oxfordshire-West Country rail journey. It's not fast, but not crazily slow either, and given the premium attached to any journey between Didcot and Swindon, it can result in some impressive savings.

Almost certainly too obscure for a beginner-friendly guide to travel from Melksham though!


Title: Re: Melksham to Oxford - suggestions for the Didcot change
Post by: Surrey 455 on January 09, 2017, 10:46:02 PM
Typo - Catching rather than Cathing, but good otherwise.

What's this? ChrisB offering spelling lessons?  ;D


Title: Re: Melksham to Oxford - suggestions for the Didcot change
Post by: grahame on January 09, 2017, 11:29:18 PM
A little niche, but on occasion I've used the Stagecoach 66 for the Oxford-Swindon leg of an Oxfordshire-West Country rail journey. It's not fast, but not crazily slow either, and given the premium attached to any journey between Didcot and Swindon, it can result in some impressive savings.

Almost certainly too obscure for a beginner-friendly guide to travel from Melksham though!

The success and frequency of the 66 is a piece of evidence that shows the strong Swindon to Oxford flow - though I have no stats / data for how many through journeys are made.


Title: Re: Melksham to Oxford - suggestions for the Didcot change
Post by: ChrisB on January 10, 2017, 08:28:20 AM
Typo - Catching rather than Cathing, but good otherwise.

What's this? ChrisB offering spelling lessons?  ;D

Typos....you try typing on an iphone! I know how to speel, thank you


Title: Re: Melksham to Oxford - suggestions for the Didcot change
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 10, 2017, 08:33:15 AM
Did he mean that one or not I wonder!?!   :)

(Typed from my iPhone)


Title: Re: Melksham to Oxford - suggestions for the Didcot change
Post by: ChrisB on January 10, 2017, 10:02:34 AM
Maybe I forgot the smilie  ;D

(impossible on a iphone, or almost!)


Title: Re: Melksham to Oxford - suggestions for the Didcot change
Post by: bobm on January 10, 2017, 10:14:47 AM
A little niche, but on occasion I've used the Stagecoach 66 for the Oxford-Swindon leg of an Oxfordshire-West Country rail journey. It's not fast, but not crazily slow either, and given the premium attached to any journey between Didcot and Swindon, it can result in some impressive savings.

Almost certainly too obscure for a beginner-friendly guide to travel from Melksham though!

I have on occasions used the 66 from Swindon and, given its stop close to Oxford Station, caught a train going north from there that I wouldn't have made a connection with by catching a train from Swindon and changing at Didcot.


Title: Re: Melksham to Oxford - suggestions for the Didcot change
Post by: grahame on October 06, 2017, 09:13:58 PM
For the record .. the "Didcot Dance" continues.

16:07 off Oxford ... 18:03 into Melksham. Elapsed time 116 minutes, time moving about a half of that. As the train from Oxford pulled into Didcot, we had the pleasure of seeing the Bristol via Chippenham service pulling out ...


Title: Re: Melksham to Oxford - suggestions for the Didcot change
Post by: ChrisB on October 07, 2017, 08:56:02 AM
Was that down to delays or poor connections?


Title: Re: Melksham to Oxford - suggestions for the Didcot change
Post by: John R on October 07, 2017, 11:07:13 AM
The Journey Planner suggests the 1637 from Oxford to arrive into MKM at 1803. Though if you were already at Oxford I can see why you would want to keep going to minimise the risk of the later trains being delayed and thus missing the connection.


Title: Re: Melksham to Oxford - suggestions for the Didcot change
Post by: grahame on October 07, 2017, 02:41:53 PM
The Journey Planner suggests the 1637 from Oxford to arrive into MKM at 1803. Though if you were already at Oxford I can see why you would want to keep going to minimise the risk of the later trains being delayed and thus missing the connection.

We tend not to risk the 16:30 off Paddington / 17:13 (?) at Didcot if we can help it.     There are connection that usually make even if they're not supposed to, and connections which are supposed to make (official) but fail far too often. The 16:30 from Paddington, with a 6 minute change at Chippenham, is in the latter category.  "First available train" rule applies!


Title: Re: Melksham to Oxford - suggestions for the Didcot change
Post by: ChrisB on October 07, 2017, 02:43:06 PM
But you can't really complain if you then miss the "first available"?