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Journey by Journey => Shorter journeys in Devon => Topic started by: Lee on January 22, 2019, 03:29:52 pm



Title: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Lee on January 22, 2019, 03:29:52 pm
Tarka Line article with quotes from our very own RichardB, kindly verified to the moderation team by the man himself - https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/overcrowded-devon-train-problem-solved-2452676


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Celestial on January 22, 2019, 04:00:52 pm
It says that the "new" trains have 20% more capacity. If the trains are as badly overcrowded as the article says, is that likely to be enough?  Especially if more people start using them once marketing starts again. Also I noticed that the article quoted passenger figures to 2016. If people have been put off travelling, maybe 2017 and 2018 have shown no growth or even a fall?

Mind you, at least the extra seats are genuine, rather than being by squeezing 5 across which is what is happening in the Bristol and Cardiff area. It still seems absurd to me that the Barnstaple branch gets Class 158s, but the longer distance Cardiff Portsmouth line gets 5 abreast turbos.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: TaplowGreen on January 22, 2019, 05:56:59 pm

Mind you, at least the extra seats are genuine, rather than being by squeezing 5 across which is what is happening in the Bristol and Cardiff area. It still seems absurd to me that the Barnstaple branch gets Class 158s, but the longer distance Cardiff Portsmouth line gets 5 abreast turbos.


I really cannot believe that someone thought a Turbo, designed for inner suburban use, was suitable for journeys of 3 hours +


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: PhilWakely on January 22, 2019, 06:38:00 pm
Forgive me as this comment should really go in the 'inappropriate use of stock photographs' thread, but I cannot find it.

Tarka Line article with quotes from our very own RichardB, kindly verified to the moderation team by the man himself - https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/overcrowded-devon-train-problem-solved-2452676
Note the use of a photograph of an 8 coach HST in an article about overcrowded 2 coach services. Good old Devon Live!


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: grahame on January 22, 2019, 06:52:45 pm
I really cannot believe that someone thought a Turbo, designed for inner suburban use, was suitable for journeys of 3 hours +

Sorry - has anyone even thought that 2+3 seating is suitable for a 3 hour journey.  Some people decided they are usable (a far far lower hurdle) for the three hour journeys ... and especially so as most of the users of the service are making much shouter journeys, for which the trains aren't so bad.  Also noting that the Cardiff - Portsmouth service does NOT serve London, nor does it serve GWR's HQ.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Celestial on January 22, 2019, 07:12:15 pm
There should be a decent proportion of longer distance traffic given the size of the cities. But it's hardly a surprise if there isn't given the quality of trains used.  Turbos will probably drive more longer distance passengers onto the road, especially as the journey time end to end is much slower by train. So then that will be used to justify even more tailoring to short term journeys. No toilets and side on seating next?


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: broadgage on January 22, 2019, 08:33:00 pm
For years we were told that the introduction of the IETS, and the new EMUs for the Thames valley services would greatly reduce overcrowding, not only on the routes thus served, but also by freeing up cascaded stock for use elsewhere.

Not much seems to have happened.



Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: grahame on January 22, 2019, 08:53:09 pm
Quote
The Tarka Line is so overcrowded that the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership have stopped advertising train journeys on the line in North Devon - but new trains are on the way.

The line between Exeter and Barnstaple is one a number of branch lines that the partnership promotes as research shows that people often think trains are twice as expensive and run half as frequently as they actually do.


But Richard Burningham, manager of Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership, told the Devon and Exeter Rail Project Working Party at their meeting on Friday afternoon that they have stopped promoting the line in North Devon as it the rolling stock cannot cope with the passenger numbers.

158s strike me as a good choice for the Exeter to Barnstaple service, with most passengers being end to end.  And provided there is enough capacity on them - i.e. they're arranged into trains with enough carriages.

TransWilts also hit the capacity limit and we reduced marketing; with longer trains now, it's on the grow again; MRUG tomorrow night should give us an idea of their 2019 plans.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: RichardB on January 22, 2019, 09:43:32 pm

158s strike me as a good choice for the Exeter to Barnstaple service, with most passengers being end to end.  And provided there is enough capacity on them - i.e. they're arranged into trains with enough carriages.


Me too, Graham.  It also helps that there will be extra trains in the timetable from, hopefully, December providing a full hourly service through the day and removing two 90 minute gaps there at the moment.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: grahame on January 22, 2019, 09:48:49 pm

158s strike me as a good choice for the Exeter to Barnstaple service, with most passengers being end to end.  And provided there is enough capacity on them - i.e. they're arranged into trains with enough carriages.


Me too, Graham.  It also helps that there will be extra trains in the timetable from, hopefully, December providing a full hourly service through the day and removing two 90 minute gaps there at the moment.

With the 90 minute gaps removed, is that going to mean that some of your customers base will have there trains at a 30 minute offset from what they are at the moment?   And if so ... advantage, disadvantage, short term 'hit' of long term build?


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 22, 2019, 10:26:09 pm
There should be a decent proportion of longer distance traffic given the size of the cities. But it's hardly a surprise if there isn't given the quality of trains used.  Turbos will probably drive more longer distance passengers onto the road, especially as the journey time end to end is much slower by train. So then that will be used to justify even more tailoring to short term journeys. No toilets and side on seating next?

Well, as mentioned before Turbos have been working along the Cotswold Line daily since the early 1990s (and for a large part of that they formed the majority of the trains on the route), on journeys of 2-3 hours without seemingly that much fuss made of the lack of quality.  And that was before such luxuries as proper disabled spaces, universal access toilets, better air conditioning (though still not perfect) and free Wi-fi and plug/USB sockets were fitted. 

Perhaps when a proper franchise is let the new operator will be able to invest in new, better quality stock as TPE, Northern and Greater Anglia have done, and the Turbos will provide a much needed boost in capacity for only a few years before a more suitable replacement comes along?


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: TonyK on January 22, 2019, 10:55:04 pm
Tarka Line article with quotes from our very own RichardB, kindly verified to the moderation team by the man himself - https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/overcrowded-devon-train-problem-solved-2452676

Not RichardB's fault, but do they not have even sub-editors any more?

i like the Tarka line, and welcome the additional capacity. I look forward to trains from Okehampton.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: RichardB on January 22, 2019, 11:12:52 pm

158s strike me as a good choice for the Exeter to Barnstaple service, with most passengers being end to end.  And provided there is enough capacity on them - i.e. they're arranged into trains with enough carriages.


Me too, Graham.  It also helps that there will be extra trains in the timetable from, hopefully, December providing a full hourly service through the day and removing two 90 minute gaps there at the moment.

With the 90 minute gaps removed, is that going to mean that some of your customers base will have there trains at a 30 minute offset from what they are at the moment?   And if so ... advantage, disadvantage, short term 'hit' of long term build?

The gaps are at unfortunate times (06 58 to 08 43 ex Barnstaple and 15 28 to 16 57 ex Exeter St D) so there is a big advantage in going to the hourly service.  Extra seats in the morning heading south and back in the afternoon will be a big help too.  We'll see but I hope (and cautiously expect - if that is not bold) people to be pleased.  Promotion will need to be very carefully done until we all see how things pan out in terms of capacity being there to meet the demand. 


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Andy on January 23, 2019, 11:58:09 am
Tarka Line article with quotes from our very own RichardB, kindly verified to the moderation team by the man himself - https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/overcrowded-devon-train-problem-solved-2452676

Not RichardB's fault, but do they not have even sub-editors any more?

i like the Tarka line, and welcome the additional capacity. I look forward to trains from Okehampton.

Me, too. An Okehampton service would also help alleviate some overcrowding, hopefully.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Apedlar12 on January 25, 2019, 09:58:23 am

158s strike me as a good choice for the Exeter to Barnstaple service, with most passengers being end to end.  And provided there is enough capacity on them - i.e. they're arranged into trains with enough carriages.


Me too, Graham.  It also helps that there will be extra trains in the timetable from, hopefully, December providing a full hourly service through the day and removing two 90 minute gaps there at the moment.

Hello,

I am a frequent user of the Tarka Line as Barnstaple is my local station and yes it does get very overcrowded on particular journeys atm. Do we know when the 158s will be appearing on the Tarka line, or has that yet to be declared?

Thanks in advance :)


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: RichardB on January 26, 2019, 11:22:04 am

Hello,

I am a frequent user of the Tarka Line as Barnstaple is my local station and yes it does get very overcrowded on particular journeys atm. Do we know when the 158s will be appearing on the Tarka line, or has that yet to be declared?

Thanks in advance :)

I'm afraid we still don't know just yet.  The full introduction of 158s will be when the improved timetable is introduced, hopefully December, because the 158s can't be used on Exmouth services - the increased time at stations for people to get on/off the trains would simply wreck the timetable.  Still not many 158s in Devon & Cornwall yet but when more arrive, I have heard suggestions that some off peak services may go to 158s and run only between Barnstaple and Exeter St Davids, with an immediate change into a 150/143 running the rest of the service to Central and Exmouth.  We'll see.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Southernman on January 26, 2019, 11:44:51 am

Hello,

I am a frequent user of the Tarka Line as Barnstaple is my local station and yes it does get very overcrowded on particular journeys atm. Do we know when the 158s will be appearing on the Tarka line, or has that yet to be declared?

Thanks in advance :)

I'm afraid we still don't know just yet.  The full introduction of 158s will be when the improved timetable is introduced, hopefully December, because the 158s can't be used on Exmouth services - the increased time at stations for people to get on/off the trains would simply wreck the timetable.  Still not many 158s in Devon & Cornwall yet but when more arrive, I have heard suggestions that some off peak services may go to 158s and run only between Barnstaple and Exeter St Davids, with an immediate change into a 150/143 running the rest of the service to Central and Exmouth.  We'll see.

If that is the case I suspect that the change of trains will deter some folk from travelling. Better to run the 158s up to Central and reverse at Exmouth Jct. I seem to recall that, (eventually), the Barnstaple trains would extend to Honiton/Axminster whilst the Paignton trains would continue to Exmouth?


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: phile on January 26, 2019, 11:56:13 am

Hello,

I am a frequent user of the Tarka Line as Barnstaple is my local station and yes it does get very overcrowded on particular journeys atm. Do we know when the 158s will be appearing on the Tarka line, or has that yet to be declared?

Thanks in advance :)

I'm afraid we still don't know just yet.  The full introduction of 158s will be when the improved timetable is introduced, hopefully December, because the 158s can't be used on Exmouth services - the increased time at stations for people to get on/off the trains would simply wreck the timetable.  Still not many 158s in Devon & Cornwall yet but when more arrive, I have heard suggestions that some off peak services may go to 158s and run only between Barnstaple and Exeter St Davids, with an immediate change into a 150/143 running the rest of the service to Central and Exmouth.  We'll see.

If that is the case I suspect that the change of trains will deter some folk from travelling. Better to run the 158s up to Central and reverse at Exmouth Jct. I seem to recall that, (eventually), the Barnstaple trains would extend to Honiton/Axminster whilst the Paignton trains would continue to Exmouth?

 The 158 worked Barnstaples are planned to work to and from St, James Park.  158s do get to Exmouth on an odd occasion and, in the past and before they emigrated from the West Country, have had booked working there


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: RichardB on January 26, 2019, 01:45:15 pm

Hello,

I am a frequent user of the Tarka Line as Barnstaple is my local station and yes it does get very overcrowded on particular journeys atm. Do we know when the 158s will be appearing on the Tarka line, or has that yet to be declared?

Thanks in advance :)

I'm afraid we still don't know just yet.  The full introduction of 158s will be when the improved timetable is introduced, hopefully December, because the 158s can't be used on Exmouth services - the increased time at stations for people to get on/off the trains would simply wreck the timetable.  Still not many 158s in Devon & Cornwall yet but when more arrive, I have heard suggestions that some off peak services may go to 158s and run only between Barnstaple and Exeter St Davids, with an immediate change into a 150/143 running the rest of the service to Central and Exmouth.  We'll see.

If that is the case I suspect that the change of trains will deter some folk from travelling. Better to run the 158s up to Central and reverse at Exmouth Jct. I seem to recall that, (eventually), the Barnstaple trains would extend to Honiton/Axminster whilst the Paignton trains would continue to Exmouth?

I take the point but to run up to Central and then reverse at Exmouth Jn is what will happen when the timetable change is made and the improved service introduced.  It is not possible to make any change like that beforehand, mainly because of the national clampdown on timetable changes following on from last year's Northern etc problems.

Yes, the Exmouths will go to Paignton when the timetable change is made - the Barnstaples going beyond to Honiton/Axminster depends on a loop probably around Whimple.  Think it will happen one day, providing Honiton and Cranbrook with a half hourly Exeter service is a big local aspiration, shared by Devon and the rail operators, but obviously these things aren't usually quick.





Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: RichardB on January 26, 2019, 01:48:09 pm
The 158 worked Barnstaples are planned to work to and from St, James Park.  158s do get to Exmouth on an odd occasion and, in the past and before they emigrated from the West Country, have had booked working there

Agree but there is pretty much a blanket ban on 158s going to Exmouth now - not because of any technical or gauging issues, but simply dwell time at stations. 


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: phile on January 26, 2019, 02:13:50 pm
The 158 worked Barnstaples are planned to work to and from St, James Park.  158s do get to Exmouth on an odd occasion and, in the past and before they emigrated from the West Country, have had booked working there

Agree but there is pretty much a blanket ban on 158s going to Exmouth now - not because of any technical or gauging issues, but simply dwell time at stations. 


One day approx 2 months ago, may be a little more, a 158 worked an Exmouth, Paignton, Barnstaple diagram all day.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: RichardB on January 26, 2019, 02:37:03 pm
The 158 worked Barnstaples are planned to work to and from St, James Park.  158s do get to Exmouth on an odd occasion and, in the past and before they emigrated from the West Country, have had booked working there

Agree but there is pretty much a blanket ban on 158s going to Exmouth now - not because of any technical or gauging issues, but simply dwell time at stations. 


One day approx 2 months ago, may be a little more, a 158 worked an Exmouth, Paignton, Barnstaple diagram all day.

That must have been out of pure desperation due to lack of alternative stock.  If it wasn't, there will have been ructions in GWR!


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Bob_Blakey on January 26, 2019, 06:12:28 pm
158763 was parked up at Exeter TMD on Thursday. Would this possibly be for either driver or fitter training? Or just entirely coincidental?


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: phile on January 27, 2019, 11:40:40 am
The 158 worked Barnstaples are planned to work to and from St, James Park.  158s do get to Exmouth on an odd occasion and, in the past and before they emigrated from the West Country, have had booked working there

Agree but there is pretty much a blanket ban on 158s going to Exmouth now - not because of any technical or gauging issues, but simply dwell time at stations. 


158763 working on Devon Metro today including Barnstaple and Exmouth.    Could be pulled later though

One day approx 2 months ago, may be a little more, a 158 worked an Exmouth, Paignton, Barnstaple diagram all day.

That must have been out of pure desperation due to lack of alternative stock.  If it wasn't, there will have been ructions in GWR!



Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: RichardB on January 27, 2019, 02:12:15 pm
Just replying to Phile's message immedately above about 158763 being out on Barnstaple/Exmouth today, again I think that must be pure desperation.  I have had it from on high in GWR that they really don't want to be using 158s on Exmouths.  I'm not making it up!


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: phile on January 27, 2019, 02:23:58 pm
Just replying to Phile's message immedately above about 158763 being out on Barnstaple/Exmouth today, again I think that must be pure desperation.  I have had it from on high in GWR that they really don't want to be using 158s on Exmouths.  I'm not making it up!

There is STP working today due Engineering work and it came down from Bristol (158 diagram) and terminated Newton Abbot and then amended diagram going to Exeter Central, Barnstaple and Exmouth


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 27, 2019, 11:41:47 pm
Just replying to Phile's message immedately above about 158763 being out on Barnstaple/Exmouth today, again I think that must be pure desperation.  I have had it from on high in GWR that they really don't want to be using 158s on Exmouths.  I'm not making it up!

There is STP working today due Engineering work and it came down from Bristol (158 diagram) and terminated Newton Abbot and then amended diagram going to Exeter Central, Barnstaple and Exmouth

Sounds like the typical 'to be avoided' scenario, but 'not at all costs!'


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: phile on January 28, 2019, 10:54:37 am
Just replying to Phile's message immedately above about 158763 being out on Barnstaple/Exmouth today, again I think that must be pure desperation.  I have had it from on high in GWR that they really don't want to be using 158s on Exmouths.  I'm not making it up!

There is STP working today due Engineering work and it came down from Bristol (158 diagram) and terminated Newton Abbot and then amended diagram going to Exeter Central, Barnstaple and Exmouth

Sounds like the typical 'to be avoided' scenario, but 'not at all costs!'

158766 worked 0921 Paignton to Exmouth this morning


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: alexross42 on January 28, 2019, 11:43:30 am
I've been mulling it over but am failing to reach a conclusion by myself so will reach out with this query - what in particular is it about the 158s that causes such an increase in dwell times compared to the 150/143s ?

Thanks!


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Fourbee on January 28, 2019, 11:47:39 am
I'm guessing it's to do with having the external doors at the ends rather than in the middle.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: bradshaw on January 28, 2019, 11:54:32 am
The Class 158 has entrance doors at the end of the carriages, whereas the 150 series has them at 1/3rd and 2/3rd positions, typical of metro-like services. This should make it easier, hence quicker, for entrance and exit when busy, thus reducing the dwell time.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: alexross42 on January 28, 2019, 12:43:00 pm
The Class 158 has entrance doors at the end of the carriages, whereas the 150 series has them at 1/3rd and 2/3rd positions, typical of metro-like services. This should make it easier, hence quicker, for entrance and exit when busy, thus reducing the dwell time.

That makes sense, thanks for clarifying!


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Apedlar12 on February 01, 2019, 04:54:27 pm
Just replying to Phile's message immedately above about 158763 being out on Barnstaple/Exmouth today, again I think that must be pure desperation.  I have had it from on high in GWR that they really don't want to be using 158s on Exmouths.  I'm not making it up!

There is STP working today due Engineering work and it came down from Bristol (158 diagram) and terminated Newton Abbot and then amended diagram going to Exeter Central, Barnstaple and Exmouth

Sounds like the typical 'to be avoided' scenario, but 'not at all costs!'

158766 worked 0921 Paignton to Exmouth this morning

Yes, it was used as an only option when a set of pacers failed earlier on but later was taken off and replaced with 143603 + 150261 as 158766 had to go and do a diagram that runs up to Bristol later in the day.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Apedlar12 on February 02, 2019, 12:45:25 am

Hello,

I am a frequent user of the Tarka Line as Barnstaple is my local station and yes it does get very overcrowded on particular journeys atm. Do we know when the 158s will be appearing on the Tarka line, or has that yet to be declared?

Thanks in advance :)

I'm afraid we still don't know just yet.  The full introduction of 158s will be when the improved timetable is introduced, hopefully December, because the 158s can't be used on Exmouth services - the increased time at stations for people to get on/off the trains would simply wreck the timetable.  Still not many 158s in Devon & Cornwall yet but when more arrive, I have heard suggestions that some off peak services may go to 158s and run only between Barnstaple and Exeter St Davids, with an immediate change into a 150/143 running the rest of the service to Central and Exmouth.  We'll see.

If that is the case I suspect that the change of trains will deter some folk from travelling. Better to run the 158s up to Central and reverse at Exmouth Jct. I seem to recall that, (eventually), the Barnstaple trains would extend to Honiton/Axminster whilst the Paignton trains would continue to Exmouth?

I take the point but to run up to Central and then reverse at Exmouth Jn is what will happen when the timetable change is made and the improved service introduced.  It is not possible to make any change like that beforehand, mainly because of the national clampdown on timetable changes following on from last year's Northern etc problems.

Yes, the Exmouths will go to Paignton when the timetable change is made - the Barnstaples going beyond to Honiton/Axminster depends on a loop probably around Whimple.  Think it will happen one day, providing Honiton and Cranbrook with a half hourly Exeter service is a big local aspiration, shared by Devon and the rail operators, but obviously these things aren't usually quick.

So if the Barnstaple services do end up running to Honiton/Axminster in the future, I assume GWR will run these and not SWR as I did think that as Honiton/Axminster are in SWR territory, that SWR would have taken over the services to Barnstaple...


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: grahame on February 02, 2019, 06:34:32 am
So if the Barnstaple services do end up running to Honiton/Axminster in the future, I assume GWR will run these and not SWR as I did think that as Honiton/Axminster are in SWR territory, that SWR would have taken over the services to Barnstaple...

At the risk of starting the most enormous debate ... I have oft looked at SWT and now SWR and wonder at the structure of the franchise with around 400 trains - 90% of which are electric and the other 10% are the diesel fleet based at the single Salisbury depot.   Perhaps there is so much history between LSWR/GWR,  Southern/Western, that even generations later a transfer would be howled down.  Perhaps there's a need to keep them separate to ensure the continued provision of competitive services from London to Bristol and to Exeter under the commercial franchising system.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: RichardB on February 02, 2019, 09:01:02 am
So if the Barnstaple services do end up running to Honiton/Axminster in the future, I assume GWR will run these and not SWR as I did think that as Honiton/Axminster are in SWR territory, that SWR would have taken over the services to Barnstaple...

At the risk of starting the most enormous debate ... I have oft looked at SWT and now SWR and wonder at the structure of the franchise with around 400 trains - 90% of which are electric and the other 10% are the diesel fleet based at the single Salisbury depot.   Perhaps there is so much history between LSWR/GWR,  Southern/Western, that even generations later a transfer would be howled down.  Perhaps there's a need to keep them separate to ensure the continued provision of competitive services from London to Bristol and to Exeter under the commercial franchising system.

If the original idea for Wessex Trains had been pursued, then Waterloo - Exeter would have been added to the Wessex network and there would have been even more competition between Exeter and London than there is now.  On balance, I think the way it went (i.e. to instead have what we have today) has been better.  One of the things we were all worried about at the time was that the operator of the Paddington main line would concentrate on that and the London suburban services and largely ignore the branch and local services away from London.  Our fears were unfounded.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: phile on February 02, 2019, 10:02:30 am
Surely the plan is for the Barnstaples to run to St James Park and back, the Timetable requiring 3 x 158/9s to accomplish this and 2 x 150/2s working Exmouth to Paignton   


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Apedlar12 on February 02, 2019, 10:45:41 am
Surely the plan is for the Barnstaples to run to St James Park and back, the Timetable requiring 3 x 158/9s to accomplish this and 2 x 150/2s working Exmouth to Paignton   

Yes that is what I also thought is going to happen, but when is what I would like to know but I am sure it will be very soon as the Portsmouth services have started to transfer over to the turbos since the beginning of the year.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: RichardB on February 02, 2019, 10:49:55 am
Yes, that is what is going to happen but, Apedlar12, scroll back on this thread to see why it's not going to be very soon.





Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: grahame on February 02, 2019, 11:31:55 am
... One of the things we were all worried about at the time was that the operator of the Paddington main line would concentrate on that and the London suburban services and largely ignore the branch and local services away from London.  Our fears were unfounded.

We were indeed very worried.

I am delighted that your fears in Devon and Cornwall were unfounded.  Watching and getting involved form the tail end of the 2005 consultation which merged three franchises, I saw some really significant cutbacks specified across the old "Wessex" area. In Devon and Cornwall, virtually all of the proposed dropped services and intermediate station calls were re-instated before the cuts ever happened, and that is (in my view) largely due to the county councils, and the community via the strong voice of Community Rail putting up a good and common case, and I believe some money too,  to maintain the services at an appropriate level.  Full credit is due to all three legs - rail industry, local government and community working together with a common aim.

I'm afraid the story up here in with some of the Bristol based services was different. And some of the worries proved to be justified. The December 2006 timetable change brought a slashing back of services and capacity from Severn Tunnel Junction to Melksham, and from Keynsham to the Solent area.  Trains were stored in lines at Eastleigh, while people squeezed onto remaining services, suffered long gaps between trains, and indeed moved away from using rail at all.   I have to admit, looking back, that much of the problem was probably that we didn't have the degree of co-ordination between local government, the community and the rail industry in the area, so there was not a common consensus to keep an appropriate service level.

So much has changed in the past decade, and I will stress that FGW / GWR has changed too - perhaps because (belatedly) there are now combined / co-ordinated voices which, surely, are a blessing to the DfT - if everyone asks for broadly the same thing, and it fits policy, it's the natural way to go.   But we still have ways to go to get back to pre-FGW days.   First Melksham to Swindon train was 05:52 - now it's 07:19. Last Swindon to Melksham train was 22:12 - now it's 20:08.  Sure, there are more trains - usefully - in between but up here in Wiltshire, our local trains and regional expresses from Cardiff to Portsmouth were cut back and we still have work to do.

To summarise - huge admiration for Devon and Cornwall; you did an excellent job when the franchise map was redrawn, whereas up here we were, frankly, ineffective.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: RichardB on February 02, 2019, 01:46:35 pm
Thanks Graham. I should have said that our fears turned out to be unfounded.  As you outline, the whole story of the franchise competition and award in 2006 is a different picture, of course, and we in the far South West suffered with the Bristol area and yourselves too.  Frankly, we were all lied to back then, sadly, and not by the railway.  The timetable given to bidders was strictly secret and when FGW/GWR were awarded the new, larger franchise in December 05, they made the very sensible decision in February 06 to tell us what the franchised service would be, starting that December, and launch a consultation.

The balloon went up and all hell let loose as the cuts became apparent.  Community Rail - and particularly support for Community Rail being a Government policy - was key here as the small Community Rail team at the DfT were very helpful and did a lot of liaison with their colleagues in the franchising side.  What was also key was the formation of new public groups to campaign against the cuts.  The ones in Devon & Cornwall are all still going and have achieved a massive amount over the years - the Avocet Line Rail Users' Group, Saltash Rail Users' Group and St Germans Rail Users' Group (which has recently expanded to cover buses too). 

I think what you say about co-ordination between local authorities, the railway and the community is right, Graham, because the core of it in Devon and Cornwall was already then well and pretty long established.

Another factor here is that we also had the very experienced and always helpful Julian Crow as our key liaison with FGW.  After many (but not all) of the cuts had been reversed, Julian worked with me and the local authorities to not just restore the rest of the cuts, as far as possible, but to further improve the service using whatever grant funding that could be obtained and also looking at what was in the franchise and seeing if it could be better used.

One great example of this was on the Gunnislake and Newquay lines.  As I remember, under the franchise, the peak commuter Tamar Valley train (08 17 or so at Plymouth) carried on to Par and then formed the Newquay service, returning to Plymouth in time to make the afternoon peak Tamar Valley Line service (16 30ish ex Plymouth).  FGW had a good hard look at this and proposed splitting the two branch line services, not running the linking trains (which ran close to other main line services) and using the savings to improve the service on both branches.  Cornwall, we and others had to agree to the franchise change - which really was a no brainer and the changes came in in December 2008.  We promoted them heavily e.g. they meant the best ever service to Calstock & Gunnislake.  Julian was a key, key part of this. 

Of course the franchise change also meant (as part of the contract) that a lot of stock left the franchise (I'm afraid I think we can put part of that down to the First Group bid team) and, as was quickly found, there wasn't enough left to cope with demand or even reliably run the timetable.  You mention the stock stored at Eastleigh, Graham.  It was a terrible time performance-wise and FGW soon started negotiating to bring more rolling stock in. Performance only really got radically better when Andrew Haines took over at FGW in late 2007/early 2008.  One of his early key appointments was Mark Hopwood as Operations Director.

On other issues, FGW were great throughout - all of our arrangements with Wessex Trains e.g. Carnets, Looe ticket office etc were simply rolled over and FGW were always very supportive. 

It could have all been very different and I'm really pleased it wasn't.   Of course, the one service cut that wasn't all or even partially reversed was the Melksham service and without your campaigning, Graham, and those of your colleagues in the area over the intervening years, the service could very well still be where it was.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Apedlar12 on February 02, 2019, 05:51:00 pm
Yes, that is what is going to happen but, Apedlar12, scroll back on this thread to see why it's not going to be very soon.

Yes, thanks more likely December then at this rate... I see you did mention something about changing the train at St Davids so that the Barnstaple section would receive the 158s and then the Exmouth and Paignton end would be 143/150. I guess if this did happen, it may happen before the 158s turn up full time?


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: RichardB on February 02, 2019, 05:56:18 pm
Yes, that is what is going to happen but, Apedlar12, scroll back on this thread to see why it's not going to be very soon.

Yes, thanks more likely December then at this rate... I see you did mention something about changing the train at St Davids so that the Barnstaple section would receive the 158s and then the Exmouth and Paignton end would be 143/150. I guess if this did happen, it may happen before the 158s turn up full time?


Yes, if it happens, it would be before the 158s turn up full time.  We'll see.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: paul7755 on February 02, 2019, 05:59:37 pm
There wouldn’t really be anything odd about GWR running trains across Exeter into what is theoretically considered SWR territory.  Looked at more widely across the south would it be much different to GWR running to Gatwick or Brighton?

Paul



Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Apedlar12 on February 02, 2019, 06:23:06 pm
Yes, that is what is going to happen but, Apedlar12, scroll back on this thread to see why it's not going to be very soon.

Yes, thanks more likely December then at this rate... I see you did mention something about changing the train at St Davids so that the Barnstaple section would receive the 158s and then the Exmouth and Paignton end would be 143/150. I guess if this did happen, it may happen before the 158s turn up full time?


Yes, if it happens, it would be before the 158s turn up full time.  We'll see.

Where did you hear the info about this possible idea before they turn up fully?


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: RichardB on February 02, 2019, 07:42:03 pm
Yes, that is what is going to happen but, Apedlar12, scroll back on this thread to see why it's not going to be very soon.

Yes, thanks more likely December then at this rate... I see you did mention something about changing the train at St Davids so that the Barnstaple section would receive the 158s and then the Exmouth and Paignton end would be 143/150. I guess if this did happen, it may happen before the 158s turn up full time?


Yes, if it happens, it would be before the 158s turn up full time.  We'll see.

Where did you hear the info about this possible idea before they turn up fully?

A very good source but it was a couple of months ago and they were speculating.  If it did happen, it would be a hassle for passengers and staff to have to change and move forward at St Davids.  It would take a few minutes too.  Easy to see it not happening, I'm afraid.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Apedlar12 on February 03, 2019, 09:16:11 pm
Yes, that is what is going to happen but, Apedlar12, scroll back on this thread to see why it's not going to be very soon.

Yes, thanks more likely December then at this rate... I see you did mention something about changing the train at St Davids so that the Barnstaple section would receive the 158s and then the Exmouth and Paignton end would be 143/150. I guess if this did happen, it may happen before the 158s turn up full time?

Yes, if it happens, it would be before the 158s turn up full time.  We'll see.

Where did you hear the info about this possible idea before they turn up fully?

A very good source but it was a couple of months ago and they were speculating.  If it did happen, it would be a hassle for passengers and staff to have to change and move forward at St Davids.  It would take a few minutes too.  Easy to see it not happening, I'm afraid.

If that happened, surely there would have to be a lot of platform changes due to other services needing to use P1/P3 at EXD. As usually the Barnstaple bound services use P3 but if there was to be a 158 waiting for the 150/143 it would have to be stored elsewhere e.g. P2 until the service from EXM arrived?


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: RichardB on February 08, 2019, 10:39:58 pm
Yes, that is what is going to happen but, Apedlar12, scroll back on this thread to see why it's not going to be very soon.

Yes, thanks more likely December then at this rate... I see you did mention something about changing the train at St Davids so that the Barnstaple section would receive the 158s and then the Exmouth and Paignton end would be 143/150. I guess if this did happen, it may happen before the 158s turn up full time?

Yes, if it happens, it would be before the 158s turn up full time.  We'll see.

Where did you hear the info about this possible idea before they turn up fully?

A very good source but it was a couple of months ago and they were speculating.  If it did happen, it would be a hassle for passengers and staff to have to change and move forward at St Davids.  It would take a few minutes too.  Easy to see it not happening, I'm afraid.

If that happened, surely there would have to be a lot of platform changes due to other services needing to use P1/P3 at EXD. As usually the Barnstaple bound services use P3 but if there was to be a 158 waiting for the 150/143 it would have to be stored elsewhere e.g. P2 until the service from EXM arrived?

Sorry, just seen this.  No, not necessarily.  For example, in the southbound direction the 150 or 142 for Exmouth could already be in platform 1 and the 158 ex Barnstaple would come in behind it.  If it was decided it was a good idea, it could be done fairly simply but, of course, not as simply as running the train with 150/143s straight through.  We'll see in time. 


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: plymothian on February 09, 2019, 08:59:33 am
There is no way the Barnstaple line would be allowed to lose its direct service to Exeter Central.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: RichardB on February 09, 2019, 10:00:29 am
There is no way the Barnstaple line would be allowed to lose its direct service to Exeter Central.

Generally you are absolutely right.  If the whole swapping thing happened, it would be very short term and only if connections were instant and on the same platform. 


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: phile on February 13, 2019, 10:29:43 pm
Just replying to Phile's message immedately above about 158763 being out on Barnstaple/Exmouth today, again I think that must be pure desperation.  I have had it from on high in GWR that they really don't want to be using 158s on Exmouths.  I'm not making it up!

I don't know who the person on high is but both 158763 and 158766 were working all day on the Devon Metro on Monday.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Apedlar12 on February 14, 2019, 10:15:21 am
Just replying to Phile's message immedately above about 158763 being out on Barnstaple/Exmouth today, again I think that must be pure desperation.  I have had it from on high in GWR that they really don't want to be using 158s on Exmouths.  I'm not making it up!

I don't know who the person on high is but both 158763 and 158766 were working all day on the Devon Metro on Monday.

Yes, 763 stayed on all day with 150233 but 766 had to come on due to 150238 breaking down but was later swapped off for 150232 :)


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: DaveHarries on April 25, 2019, 12:01:22 am
There is no way the Barnstaple line would be allowed to lose its direct service to Exeter Central.
My understanding, from a magazine article, was that Barnstaple services would terminate at Exeter Central with trains between Exmouth, Exeter and Paignton being increased in frequency in lieu. I haven't heard anything to suggest otherwise.

Dave


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: IndustryInsider on April 25, 2019, 12:38:46 am
There is no way the Barnstaple line would be allowed to lose its direct service to Exeter Central.
My understanding, from a magazine article, was that Barnstaple services would terminate at Exeter Central with trains between Exmouth, Exeter and Paignton being increased in frequency in lieu. I haven't heard anything to suggest otherwise.

I believe they are now looking at going one stop further and running the Barnstaple line trains through to St. James' Park from December.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: REVUpminster on April 25, 2019, 10:14:33 pm
Barnstaple trains terminate at Exeter Central now because that is where the staff is and then run empty to reverse at Exmouth (Morrisons) Siding.
If a guard had to remove a drunk, or worse a child, at St James Park and left them there anything could happen. Also an incident at Central and it would be possible to run round a stopped train.












Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: grahame on April 25, 2019, 10:22:14 pm
If a guard had to remove a drunk, or worse a child, at St James Park and left them there anything could happen.

Couldn't the same be said for Falmouth Dock, Gunnislake, Bedwyn and Shalford?


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: REVUpminster on April 25, 2019, 11:28:30 pm
If a guard had to remove a drunk, or worse a child, at St James Park and left them there anything could happen.

Couldn't the same be said for Falmouth Dock, Gunnislake, Bedwyn and Shalford?

At termini the passenger could stay on the train and the guard could call the police to meet the train on it's return run. If BR rules are the same as London Underground that passengers can only be carried past colour light signals and not shunt signals then the train would be stuck at St James until assistance arrived. I don't know BR rules in the instance of taking passengers into a siding.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: IndustryInsider on April 25, 2019, 11:59:40 pm
Drunks get kicked off trains at all sorts of locations, and of course are just as likely to be waiting at an unstaffed station to try to board a train.  A lone child will be a rare occurrence, and in the event of that rare occurrence would it be possible to do the 'shunt' move by going onto the Exmouth branch behind EJ20 signal, therefore sticking to mainline signalling so the child could stay on the train?  I don't know the signalling system there well enough to know whether that could happen.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: grahame on April 26, 2019, 05:47:20 am
If a guard had to remove a drunk, or worse a child, at St James Park and left them there anything could happen.

Couldn't the same be said for Falmouth Dock, Gunnislake, Bedwyn and Shalford?

At termini the passenger could stay on the train and the guard could call the police to meet the train on it's return run. If BR rules are the same as London Underground that passengers can only be carried past colour light signals and not shunt signals then the train would be stuck at St James until assistance arrived. I don't know BR rules in the instance of taking passengers into a siding.

Drunks get kicked off trains at all sorts of locations, and of course are just as likely to be waiting at an unstaffed station to try to board a train.  A lone child will be a rare occurrence, and in the event of that rare occurrence would it be possible to do the 'shunt' move by going onto the Exmouth branch behind EJ20 signal, therefore sticking to mainline signalling so the child could stay on the train?  I don't know the signalling system there well enough to know whether that could happen.

So ... no real problem even in the very unusual case of lone child at St James Park.  As I read you two gentlemen, "problem" (has it ever been?) remains at Bedwyn, where you have one less member of staff (driver only).  Not sure about Shalford - how does the shunt there work??


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Umberleigh on May 09, 2019, 09:34:11 pm
Had the pleasure of a 3 car 158 on the 09.21 Exeter Central to Barnstaple yesterday. (158 956). Was first time in a 158 on that line since a 2 car 158 about a decade ago. Have to say it’s was a very pleasant, smooth and quiet journey, especially compared to the return journey by Pacer.

So are these the units we will be seeing on the Barney? A fellow passenger said they had been on a ‘new train’ the morning before, so maybe a unit already rostered on this line?


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: RichardB on May 09, 2019, 10:38:41 pm
Yes, Umberleigh, those are the ones.  That's the future. 


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Apedlar12 on May 09, 2019, 11:58:36 pm

So are these the units we will be seeing on the Barney? A fellow passenger said they had been on a ‘new train’ the morning before, so maybe a unit already rostered on this line?

Yes, should be 3x 3 car 158s in the foreseeable future on the Tarka Line and yes 158957 was on that same diagram the day before, both Tuesday and Wednesday 158956/957 look to have been filling in for 2x 150/2s but was back to normal today...


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Cava on May 10, 2019, 02:45:32 am
Why have Barnstaple got these trains instead of Portsmouth to Cardiff, who have now got less comfortable trains more suited to shorter distances? Shouldn't it be the other way round?


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Timmer on May 10, 2019, 06:07:58 am
Why have Barnstaple got these trains instead of Portsmouth to Cardiff, who have now got less comfortable trains more suited to shorter distances? Shouldn't it be the other way round?
A very good question Cava with the answer you will get from GWR/Dft is increased capacity. I believe the original plan was to refurb the 165/166 fleet from 2+3 to 2+2 but that has been overruled by the Dft.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Cava on May 10, 2019, 08:45:11 am
Thanks Timmer, but why did Barnstaple of all places get our trains? It is only a local line after all.

I know it isn't their fault, and I would probably think it was great to get trains way above what I need, but why should we suffer as a result? It just gets to me, all this isn't it wonderful for Barnstaple while we sit cramped up in trains that are a load of rubbish!


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: a-driver on May 10, 2019, 11:48:34 am
Thanks Timmer, but why did Barnstaple of all places get our trains? It is only a local line after all.

I know it isn't their fault, and I would probably think it was great to get trains way above what I need, but why should we suffer as a result? It just gets to me, all this isn't it wonderful for Barnstaple while we sit cramped up in trains that are a load of rubbish!

Might have something to do with clearances, a Turbo being slightly wider than a Cl. 158. 


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: phile on May 10, 2019, 12:20:45 pm
Thanks Timmer, but why did Barnstaple of all places get our trains? It is only a local line after all.

I know it isn't their fault, and I would probably think it was great to get trains way above what I need, but why should we suffer as a result? It just gets to me, all this isn't it wonderful for Barnstaple while we sit cramped up in trains that are a load of rubbish!

Might have something to do with clearances, a Turbo being slightly wider than a Cl. 158. 

Just because the DFT know better than railwaymen/women.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: grahame on May 10, 2019, 03:24:53 pm
Let me put a couple more points which may help address why the Tarka line trains are going to be 158s.

GWR has 43 carriages of class 158 in the franchise and the Cardiff - Portsmouth service of hourly trains has an 8 hour cycle.  At 3 cars per train, that was 24 carriages spoken for ... and two more for the Brightons and you've spoken for 30 carriages ... couple of other trains running with 158s (remember there are 13 x 3 car and 2 x 2 car) and by the time you take a couple of sets out at a time (overhaul etc)  you've used the full fleet.

Increase the 8 trains in the cycle to 5 carriages, and immediately you've used 40 out of 43.  Even if you send something else to Brighton and on rigorously remove the extra diagrams, you ain't got enough.  So how about bringing some more into the franchise?    You know how much we like the 158s - well, tough, so does everyone else and the cries of "you ain't having mine" ring out from Thurso to Norwich and Fishguard ...

What else, then?   There are 46 carriages of class 150 in the franchise - 20 x 2 car plus 2 x 3 car. I suppose all the Cardiff - Portsmouths could be 158 + 150, but the 150 units are top speed 75 mph not 90 mph, so you'll effect performance, and the 150 carriages will probably be less popular - and they're also mighty useful on stop / start lines where lots of people are getting in and out every few minutes - Devon Metro except for Barnstaple, Falmouth, St. Ives spring to mind, as well as Bristol suburbs / Bristol Metro.

You can't couple up a 2 car 165 to a 3 car 158 ... so there's another possibility gone.

Castle and Classics cannot run via Hamble, so they's out

Courgettes probably aren't cleared via Hamble either, and running new 125 mph trains on a service that's not pointing towards London would be infra dig anywhere south of the Watford Gap.

So, though there are questions on their suitability, the Cardiff to Portsmouth run's got the trains cascades from London to Reading electrification - the hand-me-downs, the rescues.  We do love our rescue dog, so perhaps we will learn to love them.   Even though better suited to shorter runs and, to be fair, lots of journeys on Cardiff - Portsmouth ARE shorter ones.  Wide mid-carriage doors help the people who pile in and out at intermediate stations  - Temple Meads, Bath Spa, Westbury, Salisbury, Southampton.

So - where do the 158s go?   They're ideal for Cardiff - Taunton - Beyond.   They're ideal for the Cornish main line, and the regional extensions of that.  They're also ideal for the Barnstaple line, as the majority of its traffic is end to end - you don't have major flows of people on and off at Morchard Road, or crowds at Copplestone so although some services stop a lot, there's no need for provision for heavy intermediate loading and unloading.

The point about gauging of the 165 / 166 has also been made ... and there is sense in keeping trains that can be coupled to each other on the same set of lines, keeping maintenance of particular types in particular depots.

I can see why there are 9 carriages of 158 (out of 43) on the Barny and, yes, I would love to see them routinely on the Weymouth run - which DOES have the metrics for which they are very suitable and 3+2 is not (long, long journeys by many people to / from Weymouth).

Long post ... some application of guesswork and logic therein, but as you shake out the figures you start to see "why". Please don't shoot the messenger - the Cardiff / Portsmouth should be running with a fleet of 12 x 4 car 172s - but that order was cancelled in favour of GWR electrification, which has brought us the turbos.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Umberleigh on May 10, 2019, 08:35:36 pm
Thank you everyone for the replies.

Somewhat ironic given the comments on here re 158s and Cardiff that the station staff and guard had to explain to passengers on nboard and on the platform that my train was NOT they late running Cardiff train...


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: TonyK on May 14, 2019, 08:33:31 pm
So, though there are questions on their suitability, the Cardiff to Portsmouth run's got the trains cascades from London to Reading electrification - the hand-me-downs, the rescues.  We do love our rescue dog, so perhaps we will learn to love them.   Even though better suited to shorter runs and, to be fair, lots of journeys on Cardiff - Portsmouth ARE shorter ones.  Wide mid-carriage doors help the people who pile in and out at intermediate stations  - Temple Meads, Bath Spa, Westbury, Salisbury, Southampton.

Nail hit firmly on head. A train starting at Barnstaple at peak times will largely fill en route with many more passengers getting on at intermediate stations than getting off, before emptying in Exeter. A train starting in Cardiff at peak time will lose quite a few pax at Newport, while gaining quite a few, pick up a few at Severn Tunnel Junction and Patchway, disgorge many at Filton Abbey Wood and many more at Temple Meads, before taking a whole pile of new folks to Bath. Further mixtures of old and new passengers will occur thereafter. Few will ride the train from Cardiff all the way to Portsmouth, but many will do so between Barnstaple and Exeter Central.


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Apedlar12 on May 15, 2019, 08:43:37 am
Seemed to notice that last night some test runs of a turbo were due to run to Barnstaple and Exmouth however this never happened... I suppose this will be re-scheduled for another time?

If this is in the wrong place then I am happy to remove it...


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: Umberleigh on May 15, 2019, 07:46:58 pm
Will there be an IET test run to Barnstaple? When the 125s were introduced there were at least two test runs, one of which was witnessed by school friends passing through Eggesford in - I believe -1978 (also photos out there on the internet)


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: phile on May 15, 2019, 07:52:54 pm
Will there be an IET test run to Barnstaple? When the 125s were introduced there were at least two test runs, one of which was witnessed by school friends passing through Eggesford in - I believe -1978 (also photos out there on the internet)

There wouldn't be any testing unless there was a definite requirement to operate along the route


Title: Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved
Post by: MarkHopwood on May 15, 2019, 10:23:24 pm
Let me put a couple more points which may help address why the Tarka line trains are going to be 158s.

GWR has 43 carriages of class 158 in the franchise and the Cardiff - Portsmouth service of hourly trains has an 8 hour cycle.  At 3 cars per train, that was 24 carriages spoken for ... and two more for the Brightons and you've spoken for 30 carriages ... couple of other trains running with 158s (remember there are 13 x 3 car and 2 x 2 car) and by the time you take a couple of sets out at a time (overhaul etc)  you've used the full fleet.

Increase the 8 trains in the cycle to 5 carriages, and immediately you've used 40 out of 43.  Even if you send something else to Brighton and on rigorously remove the extra diagrams, you ain't got enough.  So how about bringing some more into the franchise?    You know how much we like the 158s - well, tough, so does everyone else and the cries of "you ain't having mine" ring out from Thurso to Norwich and Fishguard ...

What else, then?   There are 46 carriages of class 150 in the franchise - 20 x 2 car plus 2 x 3 car. I suppose all the Cardiff - Portsmouths could be 158 + 150, but the 150 units are top speed 75 mph not 90 mph, so you'll effect performance, and the 150 carriages will probably be less popular - and they're also mighty useful on stop / start lines where lots of people are getting in and out every few minutes - Devon Metro except for Barnstaple, Falmouth, St. Ives spring to mind, as well as Bristol suburbs / Bristol Metro.

You can't couple up a 2 car 165 to a 3 car 158 ... so there's another possibility gone.

Castle and Classics cannot run via Hamble, so they's out

Courgettes probably aren't cleared via Hamble either, and running new 125 mph trains on a service that's not pointing towards London would be infra dig anywhere south of the Watford Gap.

So, though there are questions on their suitability, the Cardiff to Portsmouth run's got the trains cascades from London to Reading electrification - the hand-me-downs, the rescues.  We do love our rescue dog, so perhaps we will learn to love them.   Even though better suited to shorter runs and, to be fair, lots of journeys on Cardiff - Portsmouth ARE shorter ones.  Wide mid-carriage doors help the people who pile in and out at intermediate stations  - Temple Meads, Bath Spa, Westbury, Salisbury, Southampton.

So - where do the 158s go?   They're ideal for Cardiff - Taunton - Beyond.   They're ideal for the Cornish main line, and the regional extensions of that.  They're also ideal for the Barnstaple line, as the majority of its traffic is end to end - you don't have major flows of people on and off at Morchard Road, or crowds at Copplestone so although some services stop a lot, there's no need for provision for heavy intermediate loading and unloading.

The point about gauging of the 165 / 166 has also been made ... and there is sense in keeping trains that can be coupled to each other on the same set of lines, keeping maintenance of particular types in particular depots.

I can see why there are 9 carriages of 158 (out of 43) on the Barny and, yes, I would love to see them routinely on the Weymouth run - which DOES have the metrics for which they are very suitable and 3+2 is not (long, long journeys by many people to / from Weymouth).

Long post ... some application of guesswork and logic therein, but as you shake out the figures you start to see "why". Please don't shoot the messenger - the Cardiff / Portsmouth should be running with a fleet of 12 x 4 car 172s - but that order was cancelled in favour of GWR electrification, which has brought us the turbos.


Grahame makes some good and fair points. Our rolling stock cascade is about trying to deliver as much improvement as we could but I recognise some people will have their issues.

Cardiff to Portsmouth is a hard route to develop a strategy for because it carries so many different passengers with different needs. I think the Class 166 is being treated slightly unfairly - until recently they were carrying passengers on journeys from Paddington to Hereford. Customers travelling long distance may choose to sit in one of the 2+2 seated areas but the benefits of a five car turbo vice a three car 158 are enormous.

In due course we may get a chance to develop the route further.



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