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Journey by Journey => London to South Wales => Topic started by: SandTEngineer on March 28, 2019, 02:34:57 pm



Title: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: SandTEngineer on March 28, 2019, 02:34:57 pm
And now another one....
https://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/40812/open-access-economic-equilibrium-test-oa-form-gut-2019-03-27.pdf

Must be something in the spring air :P


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 28, 2019, 02:57:29 pm
By my reckoning that would mean 12-13 trains each off peak hour running on the main lines between Reading and Paddington.  16-17 between Airport Junction and Paddington.

4 x Bristol
2 x South Wales
1 x Open access
1 x South Cotswolds
2 x North Cotswolds/Oxford
1 x West of England express
1 x West of England semi-fast (every other hour)
1 x Bedwyn

Enough to make me very doubtful that it will gain approval.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: SandTEngineer on March 28, 2019, 03:08:27 pm
Yes, II, a bit of a challenge.  If I remember correctly the signalling allows for a 3 minute headway on the MAIN LINES but that assumes all trains have consistent acceleration and braking and inbetween travel at a consistent non-stop speed.

The fly in the ointment is HEATHROW EXPRESS which probably uses up two paths for each trip (due to the turnout speeds at Stockley Junction).  You only need to watch an up HEATHROW EXPRESS being routed to the UP MAIN by the signalling ARS system and completely stuffing the UP MAIN services running on clear signals tail to nose at 125mph, back to Maidenhead.  Completely destroys the service.

Then there are the OXFORDS that stop at Slough and the 95mph BEDWYNS ( although that will be eased once they become IETs).

No room for any contingency.  Perhaps the new service could use the RELIEF lines.... ::) :P


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 28, 2019, 03:17:45 pm
No room for any contingency.  Perhaps the new service could use the RELIEF lines.... ::) :P

Or if they're really desperate there's always the SLOW lines?  :P


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: grahame on March 28, 2019, 04:40:37 pm
There may be other capacity issues further west too ...
* Didcot (or Foxhall Junction) to Swindon
* Swindon to Royal Wootton Bassett
* Area though Bristol Parkway
* We were also told of capacity / timetabling issues between Patchway and Severn Tunnel Junction


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 28, 2019, 04:46:07 pm
Indeed.  Not to mention platform availability at Cardiff and Paddington.  It would be nice to see the Class 91/Mk IV/DVT's continue in service as they've still got a lot of useful life in them, though compared with IETs they are painfully slow at accelerating, especially if they are staying at their current length of nine carriages, which will also likely cause capacity issues and difficulties pathing them on the GWML.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: Lee on March 28, 2019, 04:54:47 pm
Potential SEWWEB Express?


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: didcotdean on March 28, 2019, 05:32:10 pm
Grand Union Trains. A company with one director, incorporated last year, with a share capital of £1.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: Richard Fairhurst on March 28, 2019, 05:46:30 pm
That one director being serial open access-er Ian Yogurt Yeowart, previously behind Grand Central, Alliance Rail and associated enterprises.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: ray951 on March 28, 2019, 09:04:00 pm
There may be other capacity issues further west too ...
* Didcot (or Foxhall Junction) to Swindon
* Swindon to Royal Wootton Bassett
* Area though Bristol Parkway
* We were also told of capacity / timetabling issues between Patchway and Severn Tunnel Junction
They will also need to have replaced the bridge at Steventon or slowed down as per the 387's going to Swindon.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: Celestial on March 29, 2019, 05:16:21 pm
That seems to be a direct raid on GWR revenue, which I thought was not allowed for Open Access applications?  I hardly think calls at STJ would be enough of a difference to persuade the regulator that it wasn't. I'm surprised it doesn't mention calling at the Cardiff East station once open. That would then be a bit different as I suspect GWR won't want to.

Also, I would have thought they would be carrying a lot of fresh air, particularly outside the peak times. Maybe if they cut down to 6 coaches they would have better acceleration and be less empty, but even that is a lot of seats to fill.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: Lee on March 29, 2019, 05:54:34 pm
If they alternate the calls at Severn Tunnel Junction with calls at a relocated Pilning Westgate station built to SEWWEB specifications, then we will fill those seats, while providing the difference for the regulator, and generating revenue that no-one can say GWR have been desperate to capture thus far.

Dont bet against us - Remember we've done it before on services that we were told would carry fresh air if they were provided.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: eightf48544 on April 01, 2019, 11:11:17 am
Couple of other points.

They seem to be  proposing using 91s and Mark4s presumably  off the East Coast. Where will they be maintained?

I am reliably informed that the 91s are the most sluggish accelerating locos on the system how will they compete with IETs?


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: SandTEngineer on April 01, 2019, 11:50:54 am
Couple of other points.

They seem to be  proposing using 91s and Mark4s presumably  off the East Coast. Where will they be maintained?

I am reliably informed that the 91s are the most sluggish accelerating locos on the system how will they compete with IETs?

They won't.  See my post way above how Heathrow Express consumes the train paths.  Anyway, reading on another forum, the Class 91s and MK4s are 'shot to pieces' and would need major rebuilds, and isn't that why they are being replaced by IETs?.......

Don't get me wrong, though.  I'm all for new services but they do need to be practicible in their application.  Concentrate on filling the gaps elsewhere first, before trying to compete with an already established market.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: stuving on April 01, 2019, 01:07:59 pm
I am reliably informed that the 91s are the most sluggish accelerating locos on the system how will they compete with IETs?

That's rather unfair on the Class 91s themselves - you just try one without a heavy train hanging off its back (or front, in this case) end and see what it'll do. However, it is very much true of the IC225s and of electric LHCS in general. A big electric loco has both more power and less weight than a diesel one, and that limits its pulling power, however you measure it.

I'd not looked at 225s before, but assuming Wikipedia's numbers are even roughly right the effect is striking. My preferred figure of merit is the "weight fraction" - the fraction of the weight on powered axles. That, times the adhesion (friction coefficient) give you the maximum possible acceleration. Since adhesion is the same for all trains, it gives a direct comparison whatever number you assume - 0.1 is not unusual, and means that the following numbers are limiting accelerations in m/s2:
Cl 800: 0.6
HST: 0.33
IC225: 0.15

So sluggish? Yes. So what do you do? Not stop much (as intended for the ones kept on the ECML), and buy a good WSP (though they don't AFAICS have one for slip) or train your drivers to have a light touch. And keep your rails clean!

edit: to correct definition of figures


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: grahame on April 01, 2019, 01:29:13 pm
I am reliably informed that the 91s are the most sluggish accelerating locos on the system how will they compete with IETs?
That's rather unfair on the Class 91s themselves ...

My reading is that the open access proposal has trains making a long non-stop from Bristol Parkway to Paddington.   And what's the best use of trains with a high top speed but poor acceleration?
Quote
So sluggish? Yes. So what do you do? Not stop much (as intended for the ones kept on the ECML),
Exactly  ;D  ;D

Bearing in mind the line from Parkway to Paddington is pretty straight most of the way .. (not like Boston to Skegness, for example) the need to recover from line speed restrictions will be limited too. Someone has thought it through.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: mjones on April 01, 2019, 02:04:41 pm
...

The fly in the ointment is HEATHROW EXPRESS which probably uses up two paths for each trip (due to the turnout speeds at Stockley Junction).  You only need to watch an up HEATHROW EXPRESS being routed to the UP MAIN by the signalling ARS system and completely stuffing the UP MAIN services running on clear signals tail to nose at 125mph, back to Maidenhead.  Completely destroys the service.

...

No room for any contingency.  Perhaps the new service could use the RELIEF lines.... ::) :P

Perhaps it is time for HEX to move to the reliefs... That's a vast amount of capacity  being used up by a short distance service that will be duplicated,  with fewer changes, by Crossrail.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: SandTEngineer on April 01, 2019, 02:16:36 pm
My thoughts are: Will we need HE once CROSSRAIL starts?


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: Oxonhutch on April 01, 2019, 03:00:24 pm
My thoughts are: Will we need HE once CROSSRAIL starts?

Needed or not, I believe its franchise runs to 2023.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: Celestial on April 01, 2019, 04:32:58 pm
My thoughts are: Will we need HE once CROSSRAIL starts?

Needed or not, I believe its franchise runs to 2023.
Wasn't the agreement for it to run (I don't think it is a franchise) extended by another five years or so last year when they announced that GWR would run the service.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: SandTEngineer on April 01, 2019, 04:47:47 pm
My thoughts are: Will we need HE once CROSSRAIL starts?

Needed or not, I believe its franchise runs to 2023.

Ah, but you see, CROSSRAIL (proper) may not start until then (well, the way its going at the moment, anyway) ;D

I'll put my cynics hat on and quitely leave the room (and this is not the place to discuss it anyway).


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: didcotdean on April 01, 2019, 05:37:49 pm
My thoughts are: Will we need HE once CROSSRAIL starts?

Needed or not, I believe its franchise runs to 2023.
Wasn't the agreement for it to run (I don't think it is a franchise) extended by another five years or so last year when they announced that GWR would run the service.

Yes - see this First Group Press Release (https://www.firstgroupplc.com/news-and-media/latest-news/2018/28-03-18a.aspx) from just over a year ago.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: Richard Fairhurst on April 02, 2019, 08:54:07 am
There's lots of informed comment over on londonreconnections.com on the role of Heathrow Express post-Crossrail. As I understand it, NR would like it to move to the reliefs, but HX has a contract to operate as per now and has resisted any changes. After a year or two of full Crossrail operation I suspect the picture will be clearer.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: grahame on April 04, 2019, 09:16:27 pm
From Passenger Transport (http://www.passengertransport.co.uk/2019/04/yeowart-plans-first-competition-for-gwr/)

Quote
Open access entrepreneur Ian Yeowart is planning a new London-Cardiff service that would provide the first competition to Great Western Railway since privatisation 25 years ago.

A notification to the Office of Rail and Road shows that Yeowart’s new open access company, Grand Union, is developing proposals for an hourly service running non-stop to Bristol Parkway before calling at Severn Tunnel Junction, Newport and Cardiff Central. Grand Union is aiming to start operating from December 2020 using Class 91/DVT sets due to be cascaded from the East Coast Main Line.

It is understood that running non-stop to Bristol Parkway would give Grand Union a competitive journey time against Great Western Railway’s Intercity Express trains when they start operating on the route. Features of Grand Union’s proposals that would offer new services to passengers include direct trains to London from Severn Tunnel Junction in South Wales and investment in the station to create a parkway facility. In addition, the service would fill a gap in GWR’s expansion plans by increasing extra services to Cardiff significantly.

Grand Union’s plans also include using space in the trainsets’ DVT trailers to carry light freight.

Yeowart set up Grand Union after leaving Arriva-owned Alliance Rail last year. Commenting on the prospects for his latest venture gaining approval, he said: “The regulator said he wanted more competition; he said if you pay an infrastructure cost charge it will help you pass the ‘Not Primarily Abstractive Test’; let’s see whether or not he’s right.”

Yeowart’s ventures during a 20-year career developing open access services include founding Grand, Central, which started operating London-Sunderland services on the East Coast Main Line in 2007, and Alliance Rail whose GNWR proposal has won approval to start operating London-Blackpool services on the West Coast Main Line in September.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: old original on June 15, 2019, 05:23:56 pm
Report today....

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-48615464




Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 18, 2019, 05:39:39 pm
Original press release:

Quote
Grand Union submits application for new Cardiff to London rail service

The new open access rail company Grand Union Trains has officially submitted its application to operate an hourly service in both directions between Cardiff and London.

The proposed service, which would start operating late 2020, would run from Cardiff Central to Newport, Severn Tunnel Junction and Bristol Parkway, then express to London Paddington. It will also stop at Cardiff Parkway when it opens.

The new service is also expected to create around 135 new and permanent full-time jobs, most of which will be based in South Wales.

Grand Union submitted its formal application on Friday to gain access to the route’s tracks. Under track access rules, other rail operators are able to provide a service if a route is not deemed congested, and the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) approves an application. The application will now be subject to a 28 day consultation period before it is forwarded to the ORR.

[article continues...] (http://www.granduniontrains.co.uk/grand-union-submits-application-for-new-cardiff-to-london-rail-service/)
Source: Grand Union Trains

An article in today's Bristol Post was helpfully illustrated with a photo of Bristol Temple Meads station which is, erm, not on the route Grand Union have applied for...


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: Adelante_CCT on June 19, 2019, 01:05:56 pm
You missed the important part of the quote:

Quote
Trains will operate with ..[snip].. a full buffet car on each service.


Also...

Quote
..on-board ticket sales..
That'd be fun trying to board at Paddington, unless platform 1 is used



Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: bobm on June 19, 2019, 02:56:16 pm
Or platforms 8 and 9.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: broadgage on June 19, 2019, 03:56:23 pm
The main problem that I can see is the electric loco blocking the line when the wires come down, as seems to occur regularly.
Whilst I don't think much of the downgraded internal fit out of the IETs, they do have the considerable merit of being able to proceed on diesel power if needed.

If this proposed service is to become a reality, perhaps it might be a good opportunity to trial a DVT with traction motors and a lithium battery ?
This would allow limited operation when the wires come down, and would also improve the acceleration.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: Celestial on June 19, 2019, 05:55:21 pm
The main problem that I can see is the electric loco blocking the line when the wires come down, as seems to occur regularly.


Why would that be any different to the local electric units that now work in and out of Paddington?

And earlier someone said that the locos are sluggish.  I'm not sure why the application suggests 9 coach trains - I would have thought 6 or 7 would be more than enough (even with a buffet), and that would mean they could be a bit more sprightly. 


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: TonyK on June 19, 2019, 06:37:10 pm
Alliance are due to start running services from Euston to Blackpool North in September this year, after 9 years of planning and one lapsed permission. It will be interesting to see how that goes.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: paul7575 on June 19, 2019, 07:37:01 pm
Alliance are due to start running services from Euston to Blackpool North in September this year, after 9 years of planning and one lapsed permission. It will be interesting to see how that goes.
My money’s on nothing whatsoever happening with that plan, because there’s no news of any confirmed rolling stock or staff training.

Paul


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: TonyK on June 19, 2019, 08:09:45 pm
My money’s on nothing whatsoever happening with that plan, because there’s no news of any confirmed rolling stock or staff training.

Paul

Which is what happened to the first effort - there were no Pendolinos. This time, they are planning to use Class 91s, but have had to drop some of the stops, because they are limited to 110 mph.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: broadgage on June 19, 2019, 10:27:23 pm
The local electric trains have caused a few notable blockages when the OHLE fails, at least the IETs can still proceed.

My suggestion of batteries and traction motors in an ex DVT would solve this problem AND improve acceleration.
With paths in short supply, it seems to me that longer trains are the war forward.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: TonyK on June 19, 2019, 10:42:07 pm
The local electric trains have caused a few notable blockages when the OHLE fails, at least the IETs can still proceed.

My suggestion of batteries and traction motors in an ex DVT would solve this problem AND improve acceleration.
With paths in short supply, it seems to me that longer trains are the war forward.

Longer trains mean more wear and tear as well as power use. Less frequent but longer would discourage some from using the train, but I agree in principle. Batteries are big and bulky, and could even need replacement before ever being needed - small diesel instead?


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: broadgage on June 20, 2019, 01:28:02 pm
Battery technology has improved a lot in recent years.
I was proposing a battery not JUST for emergency use when the wires come down, but also for daily short term use in order to improve the acceleration rate.

Something like
Before leaving Paddington---------------battery 100% full
Accelerating away from Paddington-----15% used, now 85% full.
In reserve for acceleration after a signal check, another 15%.
In reserve for wires down, the remaining 70 to 85%.

En-route the battery would normally be at about 70 to 85%  but could be fully charged by regenerative braking.
At Cardiff fully charge the battery so that energy is available for improved acceleration.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: IndustryInsider on June 20, 2019, 02:05:48 pm
Who would pay for the development costs?  Modifying DVT’s and then the 91s and carriages so they would be compatible would no doubt be expensive.  Beyond the means of a small Open Access Operator?


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: Richard Fairhurst on June 20, 2019, 07:19:18 pm
There is of course a company that specialises in fitting diesel engines and battery packs to formerly electric-only trains. Though a Class 91 + stock is a bit heavier than a D78...


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: broadgage on June 20, 2019, 07:46:21 pm
Who would pay for the development costs?  Modifying DVT’s and then the 91s and carriages so they would be compatible would no doubt be expensive.  Beyond the means of a small Open Access Operator?

It would in my view be reasonable for public money to be used, possibly via the research department of a university.
The DVTs would need significant work.
I do not believe that any modifications to the coaches would be needed, and only very minor modifications to the locomotives.

The use of batteries and traction motors in a former DVT is IMHO innovative enough to be publicly funded as a research project.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: martyjon on June 21, 2019, 01:59:59 pm
I missed this tread when it first hit the forum.

Filton Bank 4 tracking was a means of increasing capacity between Dr. Days Junction and Filton Junction/Abbey Wood where the 4 tracking ends. All as part of the MetroWest Project and which has noticeably improved the time keeping over the stretch. The 4 tracking ends at Filton Junction and a few hundred metres further on there is another junction, Patchway, with just two tracks to Severn Tunnel Junction with both a down and an up loop at Pilning. We are told that additional services can't be stopped at Pilning due to lack of paths through the Tunnel.

Moving on from Bristol Parkway we have the promise of an additional 2tph from Bristol TM via Parkway to London and the aspiration of an additional local 1/2 hourly service serving Yate and the Gloucester line. The cessation of the coal traffic from Avonmouth to Didcot has freed up some paths on the Badminton line but from Wotton Bassett to Swindon ? Grahame has aspirations for an hourly service for Melksham so onto Swindon.

With an hourly Cheltenham - Paddington service promised together with the 2 additional Bristols means that the defunct coal traffic paths have been gobbled up with these and also we are told that with the looming lack of paths Swindon - Didcot is the reason why a rejuvenated Bristol - Oxford service can't be introduced and this would have an impact on Go-ops open access operation which I have never considered to be 'a starter'.

Moving onto Didcot - Reading there may be available paths here, I'm not clued up enough on that section but on the section Reading - Paddington especially from Hayes / Airport Junction we are  told the lines are at near capacity and when the Liz line gets going proper that's it, full.

Paddington station is also claimed to be full and I have known times when Zulus making their way to Cardiff for an event at the MS or as its known now, PS, or other destinations west, their London departure and returning point being one of Victoria, Waterloo or Euston.

Has the shelf at the supermarket that NR uses been emptied of porkies and fresh supplies are awaited or has THIS Open Access Application seen the cessation of porkie production.

Honestly, people in high profile positions seem to think we, Joe Public, are all the proverbial village Idiots, but it's about becoming more common for us Joe Public to start calling the authorities 'bluff'.

Do I need my tin hat ?



Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: bignosemac on June 21, 2019, 03:35:22 pm
Quote
..on-board ticket sales..
That'd be fun trying to board at Paddington, unless platform 1 is used
Or platforms 8 and 9.

It works fine over at King's Cross with Grand Central and Hill Trains, who both allow on board ticket sales without penalty. You just mention to the gateline staff that you're boarding a GC or HT service and you are let through.

And we all know how customer friendly Paddington gateline is. So I foresee no problems there... :P


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: Celestial on June 29, 2019, 11:09:18 am
This may have to be shortened to London to Pilning if the problems with Severn Tunnel electrification are not fixed. (Or more realistically they will switch to HSTs.)


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: grahame on July 20, 2019, 08:50:32 am
From The BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-48992125)

Quote
Plans for a new train service between south Wales and London have been expanded to include more stations.

However operator Grand Union Trains revealed services between Cardiff and Paddington will initially run every two hours from 2021 instead of hourly as originally proposed.

Hourly services will start in 2023 and will run to Llanelli, which currently has one train a day to London.

The changes were made following talks with the Welsh Government.

Grand Union said it would create 135 jobs and a south Wales headquarters.

Currently only Great Western Railway (GWR) runs services between Cardiff Central and Paddington.

The revised Grand Union Trains timetable would initially see Cardiff to London services operate every two hours, calling at Newport, Severn Tunnel Junction and Bristol Parkway, also stopping at Cardiff Parkway when it opens.

[story continues]


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: Timmer on July 20, 2019, 10:02:43 am
Any new train service is to be welcomed but I do ask is there enough demand for more trains from South Wales to London, especially with GWR about to operate even more services from December.

In the past, whenever there’s been major disruption on the GW mainline, the first IC services that get pulled are the hourly Cardiff-London trains.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: jamestheredengine on July 20, 2019, 02:08:33 pm
Any new train service is to be welcomed but I do ask is there enough demand for more trains from South Wales to London, especially with GWR about to operate even more services from December.

In the past, whenever there’s been major disruption on the GW mainline, the first IC services that get pulled are the hourly Cardiff-London trains.

Maybe revenue apportionment between them and another operator will discourage GWR from doing that. After all, it would make far more sense for them to cancel the Oxford IC services first, direct Oxford passengers to Marylebone, and Slough and Reading ones to the stoppers, but then the money would, as I understand it, go to Chiltern.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 20, 2019, 04:25:14 pm
When there’s a problem east of Reading, the Oxford-Paddington services are usually amongst the first to be cancelled, along with the Bedwyn-Paddington’s and, as mentioned, the Cardiff-Paddington’s.  They are the three least disruptive to lose.

I can see the two Bristol-Paddington fast trains via Parkway joining that list after they are introduced.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: eightonedee on July 20, 2019, 08:52:55 pm
Quote
When there’s a problem east of Reading, the Oxford-Paddington services are usually amongst the first to be cancelled, along with the Bedwyn-Paddington’s and, as mentioned, the Cardiff-Paddington’s.  They are the three least disruptive to lose.

Just to be clear II - do these go entirely? If so, surely it would be better to start and terminate these services at Reading, so that passengers could change there. And does this mean those of us who use the stopping services lose them as well, or is it just the Inter Cities from these locations that go? If the former, even more strong case for stopping services to start and finish at Reading, so we do not lose a substantial proportion of our rail service


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 21, 2019, 10:25:45 am
The Bedwyn’s usually start/terminate at Reading and the others cancelled throughout.  Oxford-Paddington still usually runs hourly as the trains from the Cotswold Line still run.  Stoppers generally run, but it depends where the problem is, which lines are affected and how badly they are affected.  GWR/Network Rail have various strategies depending on the problem.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: eightf48544 on July 22, 2019, 11:03:25 am
Not sure if it's been mentioned before but I've heard a rumour that the Severn Tunnel is to be de-electrified.

IETs OK, Class 91 stymied.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: johnneyw on July 22, 2019, 11:38:06 am
Not sure if it's been mentioned before but I've heard a rumour that the Severn Tunnel is to be de-electrified.

IETs OK, Class 91 stymied.

This relates to the corrosion problems discovered in the tunnel on the overhead equipment only 4 years after installation. A solution is still being looked at but I've seen quotes here and in the general news media that suggest de-electrification is an option being looked at by the DfT.
I keep my hopes up here by having a lot more belief in the abilities of the railway engineering community than in the DfT.*

*Yes, it looks like an engineering issue was the cause of this but this tunnel apparently presented previously unencountered challenges due to it's unusual conditions.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: martyjon on July 22, 2019, 12:32:29 pm
Not sure if it's been mentioned before but I've heard a rumour that the Severn Tunnel is to be de-electrified.

IETs OK, Class 91 stymied.

This relates to the corrosion problems discovered in the tunnel on the overhead equipment only 4 years after installation. A solution is still being looked at but I've seen quotes here and in the general news media that suggest de-electrification is an option being looked at by the DfT.
I keep my hopes up here by having a lot more belief in the abilities of the railway engineering community than in the DfT.*

*Yes, it looks like an engineering issue was the cause of this but this tunnel apparently presented previously unencountered challenges due to it's unusual conditions.


Build a Second Severn Tunnel then, they did it for the bridge.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: TonyK on July 22, 2019, 08:16:34 pm

Build a Second Severn Tunnel then, they did it for the bridge.

Oooo's gonna pay for it? ;D


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: martyjon on July 22, 2019, 08:34:23 pm

Build a Second Severn Tunnel then, they did it for the bridge.

Oooo's gonna pay for it? ;D


Same as whats paying for HS2, the taxpayer.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: eXPassenger on July 22, 2019, 09:31:23 pm
Quote
Build a Second Severn Tunnel then, they did it for the bridge.

Could a railway be cantilevered off the Prince of Wales bridge?


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: TonyK on July 22, 2019, 09:40:34 pm
Could a railway be cantilevered off the Prince of Wales bridge?

Ha ha ha!  ;D ;D ;D

Hang on, though - it could work. It might be easier to cantilever an extra lane of car traffic either side and lay track down the middle but...


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: johnneyw on July 23, 2019, 02:38:18 pm

Build a Second Severn Tunnel then, they did it for the bridge.

Oooo's gonna pay for it? ;D

Additionally, wouldn't a 2nd tunnel still have the same corrosion problems to resolve as the first one?


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: martyjon on July 23, 2019, 04:17:46 pm
Build a Second Severn Tunnel then, they did it for the bridge.
Oooo's gonna pay for it? ;D
Additionally, wouldn't a 2nd tunnel still have the same corrosion problems to resolve as the first one?

No, cos the new tunnel would be built learning the lessons of the original, digging it deeper for a start and lining it with concrete sections like the channel tunnel and other undersea tunnels on this planet of ours.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: Adrian on July 23, 2019, 08:37:50 pm
Isn't the current position that electric services to Cardiff will likely begin before the problems in the tunnel have been solved, rather than they are thinking of giving up on electrifying through it?  Although the impact on IET services might be negligible, I think it would be hugely embarrassing if Network Rail (and the company who supplied the kit) can't come up with a plan.

I wonder if it's practical to "waterproof" the tunnel roof in the leakiest sections?  If the water entered through the lower parts of the wall it presumably wouldn't be a problem.  About half the length of the tunnel isn't even under the Severn Estuary.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: grahame on July 25, 2019, 05:34:24 pm
Isn't the current position that electric services to Cardiff will likely begin before the problems in the tunnel have been solved, rather than they are thinking of giving up on electrifying through it?  Although the impact on IET services might be negligible, I think it would be hugely embarrassing if Network Rail (and the company who supplied the kit) can't come up with a plan.

From Network Rail (https://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/news/south-wales-passengers-urged-to-check-before-they-travel-as-electrification-work-continues) with my bolding:

Quote
Once complete, the major modernisation work will enable Intercity Express Trains to run between London and Cardiff on electricity

Looks like passing through the Severn Tunnel on diesel after completion of the project is not an option.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: grahame on September 27, 2019, 03:25:52 pm
From Transport Extra (https://www.transportxtra.com/publications/local-transport-today/news/62305/grand-union-trains-plans-to-link-passengers-and-freight)

Quote
Grand Union Trains has revealed that its proposed open access passenger service between London and South Wales could convey light freight, with a parcel hub created at one or more of the stations served.

The company also proposes to invest in additional car parking and improved road access at Severn Tunnel Junction, which serves Monmouthshire, South Gloucestershire and East Newport.

Article continues, mostly behind a paywall


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: grahame on January 10, 2020, 02:41:39 pm
Again from Transport Extra (https://www.transportxtra.com/publications/local-transport-today/news/63080/dft-and-firstgroup-try-to-thwart-open-access-rail-plan) continuing behind a paywall (sorry, folks)

Quote
DfT and FirstGroup try to thwart open access rail plan

10 January 2020

The dft and FirstGroup’s rail franchise Great Western Railway have raised objections to plans for an open access rail service between London Paddington and South Wales.

Grand Union Trains (GUT) wants to operate seven trains in each direction between London Paddington and Cardiff Central from May 2021, using electric trains (Class 91 and Mark IV carriages) that are becoming surplus to requirements on the East Coast Main Line.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: Timmer on January 10, 2020, 08:48:09 pm
They were always going to weren’t they.

Is there really a market between London and Cardiff for a Open Access Operator with the increased level of service offered by GWR?

Love the abbreviation GUT.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: Reginald25 on January 11, 2020, 07:41:21 am
What will an open access operator offer to the travelling public that GWR or any single operator doesn't already. There is only one sensible route from Cardiff to London. I've said it before but the general public only say I'm going by train, not I'm going by a specific TOC. When they get to the station they want the first train going to where they are going and don't want to wait for a specific company's train.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: Timmer on January 11, 2020, 07:46:13 am
Exactly Reginald25. The only reason most people would know the actual name of a TOC is because of all the press they receive for offering such a poor service.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: ellendune on January 11, 2020, 09:25:56 am
I can't see how there is capacity on the route now


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: TaplowGreen on January 11, 2020, 10:49:20 am
A bit of competition would be excellent - may make GWR raise their game a bit?


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 11, 2020, 11:34:34 am
A bit of competition would be excellent - may make GWR raise their game a bit?

Yes indeed.  Bring it on!  Though I don’t think it will be brought on sadly as the paths will be virtually impossible to find, and the business probably not there.  Though there’s marginally more chance of it happening than Go-Op!


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: paul7575 on January 11, 2020, 01:55:10 pm
This proposal originally touted impossible timings, didn’t it?  Perhaps we might have had another thread about it?

IIRC they reckoned they’d be 15 mins or so faster than GWR, but I suspect that was based on a spurious comparison with last years HST timetable.   Can’t actually see DfT allowing GWR IET services to be overtaken anyway...

Paul


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: ray951 on January 11, 2020, 09:09:18 pm
It would be even great if one of these Open Access Operators opened a service that wasn't going to London, as those are the services that really need to be improved.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: mjones on January 12, 2020, 08:01:45 am
Quite. If there really is spare capacity,  then can we have the Didcot stops put back on Cardiff trains, to give better connections for Oxford; and bring back the direct Bristol to Oxford service, rather than duplicating existing services to London.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: grahame on January 12, 2020, 08:23:06 am
Can’t actually see DfT allowing GWR IET services to be overtaken anyway...

They already do - though within the franchise.  Superfasts overtaking other GWR IET services at Reading.

It would be even great if one of these Open Access Operators opened a service that wasn't going to London, as those are the services that really need to be improved.

Quite. If there really is spare capacity,  then can we have the Didcot stops put back on Cardiff trains, to give better connections for Oxford; and bring back the direct Bristol to Oxford service, rather than duplicating existing services to London.

Agreed ... but government policy is all about London enhancements.  Came out loud and clear from Chris Heaton-Harris speaking at the GWR Stakeholder's briefing at Paddington a couple of months back.

Huge logic in 10 minute service Paddington - Reading - Didcot - Swindon. 2 onward to Bristol, 2 onward to South Wales, one onward to Cheltenham Spa, final one a 387 terminating at Swindon. Good path use, plenty of scope for decent Oxford connections.  Snag being that everyone would split their tickets!

Swindon to Oxford direct trains?  YES PLEASE ... and with Swindon being in "England's Economic Heartland" it makes huge sense with such trains carrying on to Bletchley, Bedford and Cambridge - but they can be instigated long before that line is re-opened.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: grahame on July 08, 2020, 11:31:49 am
From Business Live (https://www.business-live.co.uk/opinion-analysis/passengers-rails-south-wales-paddington-18560278)

Quote
Why passengers on rail's South Wales to Paddington line deserve better

Tony Lodge of the Centre for Policy Studies said it needs to be opened up to competition

Next year marks the 45th anniversary of a key railway milestone for Wales and western England.

The long-awaited introduction of the Intercity 125 high-speed train in 1976 had been preceded for three years with intensive trials between south Wales and London, and the new train not only slashed travel times, but introduced a whole new level of high-speed service.

As the Great Western Main Line (GWML) led the way Britain’s other main lines looked on enviously as Wales and western England were first to enjoy the much-hyped new “age of the train”.

But in the stakes to lead by example and embrace railway passenger innovation then the GWML has fallen way behind its famous rival routes on the East Coast and West Coast which connect the cities of northern England and Scotland with London.

This time it has less to do with train design or speed, though these are still important.

Instead it has everything to do with passengers enjoying train choice, lower fares, more routes, healthy competition and the better standards of innovation and travel experience which these deliver.

High-speed train travel between Cardiff, Bristol and London Paddington is unique among Britain’s intercity routes, but for all the wrong reasons.

Why do passengers who use First Great Western rate their journey as one of the worst in the country?

Importantly, policy-makers and local MPs are now looking into this and are aware of the challenge and opportunity for improvement.

The reason why the GWML has fallen behind is a complete absence of passenger competition and choice.

I checked the date on the article, and it IS current in spite of the reference to "First Great Western" and the picture of an HST illustrating the article.

A long article carries on ... quotation from further down:

Quote
The plan is for a new high-speed train service running every two hours in both directions between London Paddington and Cardiff Central, also calling at Bristol Parkway, Severn Tunnel Junction and Newport in direct competition with First Great Western.

These new Grand Union trains would also stop at Cardiff Parkway when it opens.

They would operate seven trains in each direction from May 2021 if they can get permission from the UK Government’s Office of Rail and Road.

Importantly, MPs along the route are supporting the plan, as is the Welsh Government. From 2023 Grand Union would then like to extend the services to Swansea, Llanelli and Carmarthen.

Key direct benefits would include an average 25% reduction on “walk on” fares, no penalty for purchasing a ticket on the train, flexible carnet tickets, a 50% reduction if you can’t find a seat and limited stops.

If TOCs move from a franchise to a management contract model, and get further rebuild support which I suspect they'll need over the next 18 months from September, it will be interesting to see how new open access operators might fit in.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: Celestial on July 08, 2020, 11:48:48 am
Yes I spotted the reference to FGW too. Getting that kind of detail wrong is never a good sign in terms of an article's credibility.

I don't buy the argument that Hull Trains and Grand Central have resulted in the main East Coast operator raising its game. They are fairly niche markets which the main operator had chosen more or less to ignore, although the revenue raid at York in particular would be an annoyance. But they don't serve Leeds, Newcastle or Edinburgh, so are little more than a scratch in the side of its operation.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: TonyK on July 09, 2020, 03:53:50 pm

I don't buy the argument that Hull Trains and Grand Central have resulted in the main East Coast operator raising its game. They are fairly niche markets which the main operator had chosen more or less to ignore, although the revenue raid at York in particular would be an annoyance. But they don't serve Leeds, Newcastle or Edinburgh, so are little more than a scratch in the side of its operation.

The road to Hull is paved with good intentions. I made the mistake of catching a Hull Trains service to Grantham once. It was an old dirty diesel train, absolutely packed despite being early afternoon. I came back on a nice electric zoomer, very nice, with a sort of buffet.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: didcotdean on July 09, 2020, 04:50:11 pm
Hull Trains ditched the HSTs & 180s for 802s a few months before they suspended service, which they call 'Paragons' as it is the law that every operator of these have to call them something different. No buffet though, as always as a result of 'customer request' :) (for more seats).


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: TonyK on July 09, 2020, 10:59:48 pm
Hull Trains ditched the HSTs & 180s for 802s a few months before they suspended service, which they call 'Paragons' as it is the law that every operator of these have to call them something different. No buffet though, as always as a result of 'customer request' :) (for more seats).

It's nice to know that TOCs do respond to customer citicism of their rolling stock, although I must emphasise that I didn't offer an opinion on the buffet.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: rogerw on July 10, 2020, 07:38:15 pm
Hull trains is an open access operator and therefore not subject to DfT whims and control. Don't expect any conventional TOC to act similarly. The "boss" would not allow it


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: southwest on August 28, 2020, 07:40:12 am
as it is the law that every operator of these have to call them something different.

What a load of garbage!  Every TOC still calls the HST a HST.  The only reason TOC call their trains different names is to make them stand out and for corporate rubbish, quite frankly it's a stupid idea and they should just have a standard name for example IET instead of Azuma, Paragon etc.



As for the open access plan I doubt it's going to happen as most of the 91/Mk4 stock that hasn't already been taken up is scrapped or stripped down.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: TonyK on August 28, 2020, 07:47:30 am
as it is the law that every operator of these have to call them something different.

What a load of garbage!  Every TOC still calls the HST a HST.  The only reason TOC call their trains different names is to make them stand out and for corporate rubbish, quite frankly it's a stupid idea and they should just have a standard name for example IET instead of Azuma, Paragon etc.

I never did make the transition from Marathon to Snickers.

Quote
As for the open access plan I doubt it's going to happen as most of the 91/Mk4 stock that hasn't already been taken up is scrapped or stripped down.

I also doubt that it will happen, although I haven't chosen one specific reason.That said, as the existing open access operators started somewhere, nothing can be entirely ruled out.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: paul7575 on February 10, 2021, 11:50:39 am
Grand Union application has been rejected, basically because although it is workable, (6 of 7 return services can be pathed), and generates adequate new fare income, it still abstracts from DfT’s overall funds, and that isn’t acceptable in times of COVID service reductions etc, etc...

https://www.orr.gov.uk/sites/default/files/2021-02/2021-02-10-gand-union-london-carmarthen-s17-decision-letter.pdf


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: grahame on February 10, 2021, 12:35:54 pm
Grand Union application has been rejected, basically because although it is workable, (6 of 7 return services can be pathed), and generates adequate new fare income, it still abstracts from DfT’s overall funds, and that isn’t acceptable in times of COVID service reductions etc, etc...

https://www.orr.gov.uk/sites/default/files/2021-02/2021-02-10-gand-union-london-carmarthen-s17-decision-letter.pdf

Thanks for that, Paul. I have mirrored that document here (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/mirror/orr_grandunion_20210210.pdf) for members - see http://www.passenger.chat/24635 .  In this case, I expect the original URL may change soon when ORR notices it contains "gand" rather than "grand"  :D


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: IndustryInsider on February 11, 2021, 12:32:36 pm
No great surprise that it has been rejected.


Title: Re: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)
Post by: grahame on February 11, 2021, 12:57:44 pm
Interesting what you learn from one 'case' to another ... if six paths were available all the way, it follows that six paths were available over the subset from Wootton Bassett to Didcot - potentially allowing the extension of something coming up from Chippenham into Swindon to be extended to Oxford ... whether you look at running frachise, central or local transport board contract, or open access ...



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