Great Western Coffee Shop

Journey by Journey => Thames Valley Branches => Topic started by: Adelante_CCT on March 23, 2017, 07:53:51 pm



Title: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: Adelante_CCT on March 23, 2017, 07:53:51 pm
Don't think it has been properly discussed yet but from the 21st May, services on the Twyford to Henley branch are increasing to half-hourly during the daytime 7 days a week. This being up from every 45 minutes on a weekday and hourly on a weekend.
This does however include 1 train per hour in each direction NOT calling at Wargrave.



Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 23, 2017, 11:24:41 pm
Yes, a much welcome improvement.   45-minute frequencies are a nightmare to remember as they don't repeat themselves for four hours, 30-minute frequencies are a doddle to remember. 

Even for Wargrave, I would suggest an hourly service is actually better than the current 45-minute off-peak frequency as it's easy to remember, as long as a more frequent peak service is offered at a similar level to today, and that will indeed be the case.


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: Electric train on March 24, 2017, 07:42:29 am
All we need now is for the Marlow branch to follow suit, technically a tad more difficult


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: eightf48544 on March 26, 2017, 12:07:19 pm
All we need now is for the Marlow branch to follow suit, technically a tad more difficult

Preferably heavy rail through to High Wycombe. However we seem very squeamish about knocking down house and other buildings and also Level Crossings.


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: TaplowGreen on March 26, 2017, 02:52:55 pm
All we need now is for the Marlow branch to follow suit, technically a tad more difficult

However we seem very squeamish about knocking down house and other buildings and also Level Crossings.

.....and quite rightly so!




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


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: Noggin on March 26, 2017, 10:28:57 pm
All we need now is for the Marlow branch to follow suit, technically a tad more difficult

In Bourne End alone:

1) From the designs for Portishead it seems you'd be unlikely to be allowed a level crossing on a reopening, so that's Station Road and Cores End Road needing over-bridges, both of which would be very difficult, if not impossible.
2) By guess is the Boston Drive Offices would cost you well north of £5m to CPO, you'd probably have to be fairy generous with compensation.


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: Silver on March 27, 2017, 07:58:43 am
Yes, a much welcome improvement.   45-minute frequencies are a nightmare to remember as they don't repeat themselves for four hours, 30-minute frequencies are a doddle to remember. 

Even for Wargrave, I would suggest an hourly service is actually better than the current 45-minute off-peak frequency as it's easy to remember, as long as a more frequent peak service is offered at a similar level to today, and that will indeed be the case.

Living in Wargrave I and just about every other local user I have spoken to would disagree with you.....

Our local MP and Prime Minister is protesting hard on our behalf to GWR.  We already get a second class service during the Henley Regatta, this now appears to being extended for the full year.  I didn't see a reduction in my season ticket price as a result of either not being able to travel at peak times during Regatta (Wargrave stops missed and no link with the London Service) and now for a reduction in frequency off-peak.  I have voted with my feat and not renewed, choosing instead to drive into London.  Maybe when Crossrail and electrification are complete I will look to move back to the train. 

The usage stats GWR use to justify the changes are somewhat flawed, the difference in numbers travelling to Henley are skewed by a) counting Regatta week high usage when Wargrave is already missed from 50%+ of the schedule; and b) no ticket purchasing facilities at Wargrave meaning collating numbers travelling from the station difficult.  Passenger counts by local users at Wargrave show much higher usage of the station than the GWR stats, including at off peak times.


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: The Tall Controller on March 27, 2017, 10:19:59 am
I'm pretty sure Mrs May has bigger things to be worrying about at this moment in time with all due respect.

Whilst you have every right to vote with your feet, I'm sure there will be many more voting with theirs and taking advantage of an improved frequency that wouldn't otherwise have been possible without missing a call at Wargrave every other service.


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 27, 2017, 10:38:52 am
I understand your points, Silver.  Let me try to counter them.

1)  The Henley Regatta affects just three weekdays a year.  I do agree that a gesture towards season ticket holders from Wargrave for those three days would be fair.
2)  The reduction in frequency from Wargrave results in the loss of just one train per day in each direction.  Peak services remain practically identical to today, off-peak services (09:00-17:00) currently depart Wargrave for Twyford at 09:08, 09:43, 10:16, 11:01, 11:46, 12:31, 13:16, 14:01, 14:46, 15:31 and 16:27.  In the new timetable they are 09:09, 09:44, 10:29, 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:00 and 16:31.  So a much more memorable pattern and just one train less, yet it gives Henley (and Shiplake) residents an extra four trains per day.
3) Henley has three times the population of Wargrave and facilities that are more likely to attract people to visit it.  Station usage figures indicate eight people use Henley for ever one that uses Wargrave, and even if passenger numbers are skewed by the reasons you state there's no doubting it is much busier, and, importantly, has much more potential for growth that hopefully the extra trains and more clockface timetable will provide.

So, for those reasons I think the wider benefits outweigh the small drawback of losing one train per day each way at Wargrave.  My only question is why Wargrave loses out and not Shiplake?


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: Silver on March 27, 2017, 11:28:20 am
Mrs May is indeed involved and pushing Mark Hopwood very hard on this, there have been meeting with her and much correspondence flowing.  Her local MP responsibilities continue alongside her role as PM, however, her view does probably carry a little more weight.

The changes were supposed to be a short term measure as a 30 minute shuttle is possible once the line is electrified.  However, the change has been brought-in and electrification delayed.  There is currently no firm date for electrification of the line.

Wargrave is skipped ahead of Shiplake due to trains being able to accelerate quicker when stopping at Shiplake,, but I agree Shiplake and Wargrave have similar profiles so it would be fairer to skip each alternatively.

I appreciate the benefits for Henley, but I’m sure you would be disappointed if your local station started to receive a reduced service for the benefit of others.  Arriving at Twyford to find that the next Henley service does not stop at Wargrave and hence having to wait for it to go and come back before you catch it does not feel like a good experience or a minor inconvenience.

Many Wargrave residents are concerned about where this could go.  Reduced service results in less passengers choosing to use the station which results in GWR saying there is not the demand for the station resulting in the service being further reduced or stopped.  We already know they struggle to count the number of users so who knows what stats they could come up with to justify further reductions.


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 27, 2017, 11:41:41 am
Thanks for clarifying the Shiplake situation.  It's disappointing that electrification is now delayed/cancelled and as a local user I can understand how you perceive it as unfair, but I would agree with you a lot more if the service was being meaningfully reduced, but, I repeat, there are no reductions in peak times and only one less train per day in each direction.


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: grahame on September 09, 2017, 01:36:43 pm
From the Henley Standard (http://www.henleystandard.co.uk/news/home/114974/overcrowding-on-new-two-coach-train-is-hell-say-commuters.html)

Quote
PASSENGERS have criticised a new early morning train service on the Henley branch line, saying it is overcrowded.

The old 7.42am direct service from Henley to Paddington, which took 45 minutes, was replaced on Monday by a new service leaving Henley at 7.38am and requiring a change at Twyford but giving a total journey time of 43 minutes.

The service has two carriages as far as Twyford, where passengers change to an eight-car train coming from Didcot.

Great Western Railway says that due to a lack of diesel rolling stock, the two-car shuttle will be run on the branch line until the new year, when the new electric trains will be used on the main line.

But commuters say the trains are too short for the line and could lead to some passengers missing the connection at Twyford.

Patricia Mulcahy, of the Henley Branch User Group, said: “Those who were not expecting this change will have had an unpleasant surprise. Two cars are not sufficient for this crowded service.

“The only remaining through service from Henley to Paddington is the 7.08am, which will also cease to be a through service at the end of December. None of these changes benefit branch line users. GWR’s strategy is to maximise the use of its trains by ‘cascading’ trains to the West Country.”


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: ChrisB on September 09, 2017, 08:20:22 pm
So how long was the old 0742? Seems more are now using the new 0738 than the old direct service which I find hard to believe.

If the old 0742 was overcrowded too, its not really surprising it still is. Anyone know?


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: bobm on September 09, 2017, 08:56:33 pm
There also wouldn't be so much of a time saving skipping Shiplake due to the level crossing there.


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 09, 2017, 09:26:47 pm
"Lack of diesel rolling stock"..............I didn't think there was a shortage, just more of it "than usual" needing repairs at the same time?  ::)


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: SEPS on September 19, 2017, 09:46:47 pm
The old 0742 direct to Paddington was 4 car - full and standing from Twyford

The new 0738 to Twyford with a connection to London is 2 car (supposedly 3 car from 2018) and most days (Mon - Thursday) full and standing from Henley


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 20, 2017, 02:28:18 pm
Thank you for posting those details, SEPS - and a warm welcome to the Coffee Shop forum!  :)



Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: grahame on September 20, 2017, 03:35:16 pm
The old 0742 direct to Paddington was 4 car - full and standing from Twyford

The new 0738 to Twyford with a connection to London is 2 car (supposedly 3 car from 2018) and most days (Mon - Thursday) full and standing from Henley

Very useful indeed to read that, thank you.

It looks like a very good illustration of where the headline changes that are positive on the main line have side effects that may be less positive for branches and connections.  Very much a cautionary tale;  the network needs rather better than "set up the main line trains to be really great, then see what's left for the branches" ... the timetable for when all the works are completed needs to look at passenger's journeys as a whole.


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 20, 2017, 04:01:11 pm
It sounds like a 3-car would make a sufficient difference for a short journey like that, so hopefully that will be provided sooner rather than later.


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 20, 2017, 08:27:41 pm
It's not just the branches, there are a lot of local services on the LTV main line that have been cut to 2 coaches, whether this is due to the mythical "more trains than usual needing repairs" or prematurely sending Turbos West (or a combination of the two) who knows............then again with Turbos being used instead of HSTs on several peak services now I guess something had to give.


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: Sixty3Closure on September 30, 2017, 01:05:57 am
In a very unscientific way I'd noticed a increase in passengers on my regular train the 06.53 Twyford to Paddington so this might be one of the causes.Regulars from Henley had said the earlier trains were getting more crowded as well.

Two cars works fine during the day and weekends but I can well believe its causing problems in the morning. I've given up on the direct to London trains from Henley as they're so overcrowded.


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: SEPS on September 30, 2017, 05:52:44 pm
Come early 2018 there will be no direct Henley to London trains at all.  So commuters will add to the congestion on other services from Twyford - that is after standing from Henley and then tramping across the footbridge at Twyford.  The price of tickets ought to be going down to reflect the poorer service not up by RPI plus - more complaints I anticipate.


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: ChrisB on October 01, 2017, 11:34:01 am
As all henley kine tickets are also valid at Twyford, that can't happen otherwise Twyford pax will simply buy a Henley ticket as they become cheaper, and if Twyford were included, then station(s) up from Twford would buy Twyford tickets


Title: Re: Henley line improvements - May 2017
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 01, 2017, 09:29:13 pm
As all henley kine tickets are also valid at Twyford, that can't happen otherwise Twyford pax will simply buy a Henley ticket as they become cheaper, and if Twyford were included, then station(s) up from Twford would buy Twyford tickets

With thanks for your post, ChrisB, and having read it twice, I now understand that you are referring to Henley Line tickets and their validity at Twyford.

Yes, I know you have problems in posting from your mobile device.  ;) :D ;D