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Journey by Journey => London to the Cotswolds => Topic started by: Richard Fairhurst on August 06, 2019, 03:14:29 pm



Title: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: Richard Fairhurst on August 06, 2019, 03:14:29 pm
Just Back from a fortnight in France (sad to miss the Meet the MD event!). I was interested to see the new Cotswold Line times from December on RealTimeTrains.

I've posted a summary of changes over on the Charlbury website (https://www.charlbury.info/news/2753), but to summarise the summary: morning peak pretty much unchanged, clockface-ish service hourly through the day, lots of changes in the evening peak. I've resisted editorialising over there, but a couple of thoughts here...:

  • IET speed-ups are very welcome. 1hr03 London-Charlbury matches the historic best, even with a stop at Hanborough included. (I suspect this will have a greater chance of keeping to time than the HST Cathedrals Express ever managed!)
  • Reading stops have been massacred in the evening peak: down from four trains to one. Cotswold-London commuters will love this. Cotswold-Reading ones won't, and there's a lot of the latter. I've not looked into how the connections work but this could be a flashpoint.
  • The retiming of the Oxfordshire Halts train in the morning will definitely be a flashpoint. From December, it arrives at 08.25, which is cutting it fine for people who start work in Oxford at 08.30. (Currently it arrives at 08.10.)
  • Moving the 18.22 from Paddington to 18.58 is an interesting one. The Cathedrals Express has left Paddington at 18.22ish for at least 20 years and possibly longer. It does presumably have the upside that it'll now qualify for Off-Peak tickets, though sadly not Super Off-Peak (by three minutes).
  • New 22.50 from Paddington is very welcome - an hour later than the current last train. Shame, though not surprising, that it doesn't run on Saturdays.


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: philipbourton on August 07, 2019, 10:09:49 am
Thanks for posting this - and the link to the CHarlbury website; very interesting indeed from the point of view of a Kingham - Paddington commuter - as see the current 623 will leave at 616 - and get into Paddington at 734 instaed of 752; a major improvement.  Plus the current non-stopping at Kingham at just gone 7 will stop. 

Don't know what to think about the 1822 going though - as that works out nicely finishing work at 17.30 - but obviously main change is even to Kingham it;s going to be 1hr 9 minutes instead of the current 1hr 1/2. 

The non-stopping at Reading is interesting though as presume it means that the guards will have to announce before the trains leave that it's the Cotswold train - as currently people cna still get off at Reading if the wrong train - but the number  of times they announced the destination once the train has left.

Interesting times ahead - even if it does mean less reading time on the train (no pun intended),


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: Adelante_CCT on August 07, 2019, 08:54:15 pm
Quote
Reading stops have been massacred in the evening peak: down from four trains to one. Cotswold-London commuters will love this. Cotswold-Reading ones won't, and there's a lot of the latter. I've not looked into how the connections work but this could be a flashpoint.

In terms of connections, not too bad, the non-stoppers pass through Reading at xx:19, meaning all being well, pax can catch a XC at xx:15 with just a few minutes change at Oxford.


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: DavidT on August 12, 2019, 02:13:52 pm
While the retimed morning Halts service might indeed cause some problems for people using it to work in Oxford, it does mean there are improved connections for people going on to London.  It now arrives at Didcot at 8.41, in time for the next fast London service  at 8.46, arriving at Paddington at 9.30. Or, if that seems a bit tight, getting off at Oxford would mean plenty of time to catch the 8.44, arriving at Paddington at 9.37.


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: Robin Summerhill on August 12, 2019, 02:57:46 pm
Quote from: DavidT
While the retimed morning Halts service might indeed cause some problems for people using it to work in Oxford, it does mean there are improved connections for people going on to London.  It now arrives at Didcot at 8.41, in time for the next fast London service  at 8.46, arriving at Paddington at 9.30. Or, if that seems a bit tight, getting off at Oxford would mean plenty of time to catch the 8.44, arriving at Paddington at 9.37.

Hmmm - the "halts service"

This has always intrigued me for the simple reason that I have grandchildren living within 4 minutes walk of Ascott under Wychwood station, yet there is no way that I can visit them by train without being picked up from Charlbury or staying overnight.

Why, I wonder, do places like Thornford Bridge, Yetminster, Chetnole, Yeoford, Copplestone, Morchard Road, Kings Nympton, Umberleigh, Luxulyan, Bugle, Roche and St Columb Road all warrant a usable service, but the likes of Shipton under Wychwood, Ascott and Combe don't?

On another thread somebody said today that they would use the trains more if the lines and stations they wanted to use were still there. In the case of the North Cotswold line the line and stations are still there, but the bloody service isn't...  ::)


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: Steve Bray on August 26, 2019, 10:00:42 pm
In the opening post, Richard mentioned a couple of points; the 1 hr 3 min schedule from PAD to Charlbury matching a historic best; and the departure of the Cathedrals Express from PAD at around 18:22 being unchanged for 20 years or so.

These comments made me dig out some past timetables....

Concerning the PAD to Charlbury fastest schedule, this might not be the case. In the Spring 1998 CLPG newsletter (Issue 69), the proposed Summer 98 timetable was printed (subject to confirmation) and this showed the 1827 from Paddington, due into Charlbury at 1926, having stopped only at Oxford. This 1827 was scheduled to arrive Shrub Hill at 2016, Gt Malvern at 2031 and Hereford at 2110, although it probably had to wait for 10 minutes or so at Ledbury, where it was scheduled to arrive at 2043.

Concerning the regular departure of the Cathedral Express from Paddington, the Summer 2004 schedules showed the Peak Hereford trains departing PAD at 1712 and 1827 but changing to 1722 and 1822 in Summer 2005. The Winter 96 timetable showed peak departures at 1710 and 1820.


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on August 27, 2019, 02:25:24 pm
1993 Summer timings, Mondays-to-Fridays:

Up trains
                                Turbo  HST     HST     Turbo
Hereford                              05:56  06:55
Worcester Shrub Hill   05:53  06:49  07:49  08:50
London Paddington     08:09  08:50  09:40  11:20

Down trains
                                Turbo   HST     HST     Turbo
London Paddington     15:20  17:10  18:20  19:20
Worcester Shrub Hill   17:36  19:09  20:13  21:37
Hereford                               20:02  21:00

Ah, the halcyon days when London-Worcester was a mere 1:53. Nowadays 2:20 is the norm.


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 27, 2019, 02:48:33 pm
Nowadays 2:20 is the norm.

Until December!


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: Charlie (in Gloucester) on August 28, 2019, 12:29:53 pm
This is the 18:50 on a Saturday evening post December, scheduled a 12 minute hold at Worcestershire Parkway..
https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/L97618/2019/12/21


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 28, 2019, 12:47:19 pm
To allow this train to pass through ahead of it at Norton Junction:

https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/C74337/2019/12/21/advanced

In future timetables, the odd unfortunate clash like that will hopefully get resolved, as it's not surprising that this new jigsaw has a few pieces that don't quite fit.  I dream of the day the ridiculously inflexible layout and signalling at Worcester is ripped out and a proper modern layout installed.


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: Charlie (in Gloucester) on August 28, 2019, 12:50:23 pm
To allow this train to pass through ahead of it at Norton Junction:

https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/C74337/2019/12/21/advanced

In future timetables, the odd unfortunate clash like that will hopefully get resolved, as it's not surprising that this new jigsaw has a few pieces that don't quite fit.  I dream of the day the ridiculously inflexible layout and signalling at Worcester is ripped out and a proper modern layout installed.

Thanks for clarifying that. I have spent a lot of time looking at the times between Cheltenham and Worcester and Paddington. A few are beating their promised times which is good.


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: martyjon on August 28, 2019, 04:29:48 pm
Quote
To allow this train to pass through ahead of it at Norton Junction:

https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/C74337/2019/12/21/advanced

I suspect the specified train is one of those pathed "for retention of route knowledge" as, without looking, most XC Bristol - Birmingham services operate Abbotswood Junction - Bromsgrove direct.


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on August 28, 2019, 05:37:25 pm
Good to know that route knowledge for CrossCountry drivers is more important than London - Worcester / Malvern / Hereford passengers.


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 28, 2019, 05:45:40 pm
A cynic would (quite wrongly) suggest itís all part of the plan to make Worcestershire Parkway station a success!  ;)


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: JontyMort on August 29, 2019, 06:04:26 pm
Good to know that route knowledge for CrossCountry drivers is more important than London - Worcester / Malvern / Hereford passengers.

And, of course, turning the knife in the wound, these XCs through Shrub Hill without stopping. In particular, there's an early morning Cardiff run (0500 New Street, 0603 Cheltenham) that could and should provide a decent early Worcester-Cardiff opportunity.


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: Robin Summerhill on August 29, 2019, 08:03:26 pm
Good to know that route knowledge for CrossCountry drivers is more important than London - Worcester / Malvern / Hereford passengers.

And, of course, turning the knife in the wound, these XCs through Shrub Hill without stopping. In particular, there's an early morning Cardiff run (0500 New Street, 0603 Cheltenham) that could and should provide a decent early Worcester-Cardiff opportunity.

But of course that would result in XC getting a cut of GWR's Worcester to Cheltenham revenue.

Which is why it probably won't happen.

Welcome to the modern railway...


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: JontyMort on September 05, 2019, 11:04:30 pm
Good to know that route knowledge for CrossCountry drivers is more important than London - Worcester / Malvern / Hereford passengers.

And, of course, turning the knife in the wound, these XCs through Shrub Hill without stopping. In particular, there's an early morning Cardiff run (0500 New Street, 0603 Cheltenham) that could and should provide a decent early Worcester-Cardiff opportunity.

But of course that would result in XC getting a cut of GWR's Worcester to Cheltenham revenue.


That would be the revenue generated from the current shocking service, I presume.

I'm always struck by the fact that on the Birmingham-Bristol main line the service is geared entirely to operating convenience (i.e. serving Cheltenham) rather than the importance of the two county towns, Worcester and Gloucester. Oh well.


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: grahame on September 06, 2019, 08:21:14 am
I'm always struck by the fact that on the Birmingham-Bristol main line the service is geared entirely to operating convenience (i.e. serving Cheltenham) rather than the importance of the two county towns, Worcester and Gloucester. Oh well.

I'm not so sure if it's operating convenience just to serve Cheltenham Spa, or Cross Country services looking out for the longer distance traffic -  Bristol to Birmingham, which would be slowed down if it dipped into Gloucester and / or Worcester on a regular basis.

Bristol, Gloucester and Cheltenham Spa to Worcester services are indeed very thin indeed, and there are a number of other "could do better" cases along the way or just off it.  But I suspect it would need another hourly service added to the current mix to avoid damaging something as you improved something else.


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: Robin Summerhill on September 06, 2019, 10:48:26 am
I'm not so sure if it's operating convenience just to serve Cheltenham Spa, or Cross Country services looking out for the longer distance traffic -  Bristol to Birmingham, which would be slowed down if it dipped into Gloucester and / or Worcester on a regular basis.

Very much so. In the "olden days" (1960s) many Midland line trains did indeed run via Worcester. They all of course ran via Gloucester because in those days there was no reversal required as they ran into Gloucester Eastgate via Tuffley Junction. The Worcester diversion put a par for the course 30 minutes on the journey. I am sure that would be improved upon these days, but there would nevertheless be a time penalty involved.

As an aside for our younger readers, Gloucester Eastgate was initially chosen to be Gloucester's only station, and the long platform at the existing Gloucester station (Gloucester Central in those days) was extended to join it to Eastgate allowing the Central station to close and the area of railway land between the two to be redeveloped.

It was Gloucester City Council that spearheaded the change of policy to make Central Gloucester's only station, because traffic congestion at the level crossings on the Eastgate route was becoming a major issue, especially at Barton Street which was one of the main roads into the city.


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: JontyMort on September 06, 2019, 01:16:09 pm
I'm not so sure if it's operating convenience just to serve Cheltenham Spa, or Cross Country services looking out for the longer distance traffic -  Bristol to Birmingham, which would be slowed down if it dipped into Gloucester and / or Worcester on a regular basis.

Very much so. In the "olden days" (1960s) many Midland line trains did indeed run via Worcester. They all of course ran via Gloucester because in those days there was no reversal required as they ran into Gloucester Eastgate via Tuffley Junction. The Worcester diversion put a par for the course 30 minutes on the journey. I am sure that would be improved upon these days, but there would nevertheless be a time penalty involved.

I agree that ship sailed long ago - though Lickey line trains were still serving Worcester until at least the early 80s IIRC.

Nevertheless, the point that Cheltenham enjoys a privileged service purely by geographical accident remains valid. Putting it another way, if Worcestershire Parkway is to work at all then the idea seems worth exploring that (shock horror!) some of Cheltenham's half-hourly stops on XC's Brum-Bristol service could be dropped in favour of a stop at Parkway instead.

Quote
It was Gloucester City Council that spearheaded the change of policy to make Central Gloucester's only station...

...thus removing Gloucester from a main line. Well done that Council!


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: Robin Summerhill on September 06, 2019, 11:29:54 pm
Quote from: JontyMort
Quote from: Robin Summerhill
It was Gloucester City Council that spearheaded the change of policy to make Central Gloucester's only station...

...thus removing Gloucester from a main line. Well done that Council!

You edited out the reasons and, in the context of the day, they were important.

There were four level crossings between Gloucester Eastgate and Tuffley Junction, the most important of which was immediately south of Eastgate station at Barton Street. This crossing in particular was causing traffic chaos in Gloucester, not only because it crossed the main road into the city from Stroud, but also because the immediate proximity of the station to the gates meant they needed to be kept closed whilst southbound trains were held for station duties.

In the context of the time (early 1970s), railways were seen as yesterday's form of transport that few people wanted to use any more. If Eastgate closed, trains could still run to Bristol from Central, albeit with a reversal. Alternatively passengers for Bristol could change at Cheltenham. At the time it was not seen as a major issue.

Whilst you might argue, with 20/20 hindsight, that closing Eastgate was a bad move from the point of view of railway connectivity, it was not seen as such at the time. And moving forward to where we are now, there is an hourly local stopping service to Bristol calling at Cam & Dursley, Yate, Parkway and Filton Abbey Wood (a frequency that could only have been dreamed about when all the local stations were still open and the route was via Mangotsfield) and an additional, at least hourly, fast service to Bristol is available by changing at Cheltenham.

There is also an hourly service from Gloucester to Brum, with plenty of additional services northbound to Cheltenham only or to Worcester/ Malvern. The overall service available in the days pre-1975 was a mere shadow of what is on offer today.



Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: JontyMort on September 07, 2019, 09:56:47 pm
Quote from: JontyMort
Quote from: Robin Summerhill
It was Gloucester City Council that spearheaded the change of policy to make Central Gloucester's only station...

...thus removing Gloucester from a main line. Well done that Council!

You edited out the reasons and, in the context of the day, they were important.

There were four level crossings between Gloucester Eastgate and Tuffley Junction, the most important of which was immediately south of Eastgate station at Barton Street. This crossing in particular was causing traffic chaos in Gloucester, not only because it crossed the main road into the city from Stroud, but also because the immediate proximity of the station to the gates meant they needed to be kept closed whilst southbound trains were held for station duties.

In the context of the time (early 1970s), railways were seen as yesterday's form of transport that few people wanted to use any more. If Eastgate closed, trains could still run to Bristol from Central, albeit with a reversal. Alternatively passengers for Bristol could change at Cheltenham. At the time it was not seen as a major issue.

Whilst you might argue, with 20/20 hindsight, that closing Eastgate was a bad move from the point of view of railway connectivity, it was not seen as such at the time. And moving forward to where we are now, there is an hourly local stopping service to Bristol calling at Cam & Dursley, Yate, Parkway and Filton Abbey Wood (a frequency that could only have been dreamed about when all the local stations were still open and the route was via Mangotsfield) and an additional, at least hourly, fast service to Bristol is available by changing at Cheltenham.

There is also an hourly service from Gloucester to Brum, with plenty of additional services northbound to Cheltenham only or to Worcester/ Malvern. The overall service available in the days pre-1975 was a mere shadow of what is on offer today.



An interesting analysis, Robin. Thanks for posting.


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: Richard Fairhurst on September 26, 2019, 12:42:11 pm
The final timetable seems pretty much unchanged from the version summarised in the first post. Reading stops are still notable by their absence in the evening peak: in each case there's a northbound XC five minutes before, so the journey time impact isn't huge, but changing on/off a cramped Voyager isn't exactly an enjoyable daily commute.

The Friday-only late night service to Moreton has gone now that there's a Monday-Friday late service to Worcestershire Parkway.

Not yet clarified whether SVR fares will remain valid on the 06.43 from Hereford (08.27 from Charlbury) - we had a couple of GWR representatives at Charlbury Town Council on Monday and they suggested this was still up in the air.


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: Bmblbzzz on September 26, 2019, 01:43:43 pm
I always knew there had been another station in the centre of Gloucester, in fact I must have seen at least the ruins of it and might possibly even have used it as a small, but I've learnt more about it from Robin Summerhill's post than ever before. (And I've still spent time queuing at some of those level crossings!)


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: Robin Summerhill on September 26, 2019, 08:37:37 pm
Quote from: Bmblbzzz
I always knew there had been another station in the centre of Gloucester, in fact I must have seen at least the ruins of it and might possibly even have used it as a small, but I've learnt more about it from Robin Summerhill's post than ever before. (And I've still spent time queuing at some of those level crossings!)

Glad to be of service!!

A couple of years ago I posted on Flickr a few of my shots of Eastgate on the last weekend of its operation in December 1975:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93122458@N08/30013068056/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/93122458@N08/29420171533/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/93122458@N08/29419393754/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/93122458@N08/29752939230/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/93122458@N08/30013024796/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/93122458@N08/29420136823/


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: Witham Bobby on September 27, 2019, 09:15:11 am


A couple of years ago I posted on Flickr a few of my shots of Eastgate on the last weekend of its operation in December 1975:

Oohhh there's lovely.  Peaks, Brush Type 4s, Swindon Cross-Country Class 120 DMU.  Not a single microchip in sight.  The comfort of the Cross-Country DMUs is greatly missed


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: JontyMort on September 27, 2019, 11:45:31 pm

The Friday-only late night service to Moreton has gone now that there's a Monday-Friday late service to Worcestershire Parkway.


I noticed this. It looks very odd that the train won't be going through to Shrub Hill, especially since the empty stock will presumably be stabled overnight at... Worcester Shrub Hill. Sponsored by one of the taxi firms, maybe?


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 28, 2019, 10:55:06 am
A bit odd, but I presume nobody wants to pay for Shrub Hill station to remain open as it gets locked up for the night at just gone midnight.


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: grahame on September 28, 2019, 10:55:39 am

The Friday-only late night service to Moreton has gone now that there's a Monday-Friday late service to Worcestershire Parkway.


I noticed this. It looks very odd that the train won't be going through to Shrub Hill, especially since the empty stock will presumably be stabled overnight at... Worcester Shrub Hill. Sponsored by one of the taxi firms, maybe?

The train carries on (empty at 01:11) direct into the sidings without going through the platforms at Shrub Hill.  Termination at Parkway could be because of crew hours, the cost of two extra reversals, or the cost of keeping Shrub Hill open (does it require a staff presence when a train calls) for an extra 80 minutes or so after the last other trains arrive shortly after midnight?  I'm not sure how many passengers would make use of that final leg - my (totally uninformed) logic would suggest to me that the main business of this train would be to set down passengers from the east and not to pick up passengers for Shrub Hill even if it carried on to there.

A bit odd, but I presume nobody wants to pay for Shrub Hill station to remain open as it gets locked up for the night at just gone midnight.

Far more eloquently put that I did  ;D - and answering the question about the need to staff the station!


Title: Re: Cotswold Line - new December timetable
Post by: JontyMort on September 28, 2019, 09:36:36 pm

The Friday-only late night service to Moreton has gone now that there's a Monday-Friday late service to Worcestershire Parkway.


I noticed this. It looks very odd that the train won't be going through to Shrub Hill, especially since the empty stock will presumably be stabled overnight at... Worcester Shrub Hill. Sponsored by one of the taxi firms, maybe?

The train carries on (empty at 01:11) direct into the sidings without going through the platforms at Shrub Hill.  Termination at Parkway could be because of crew hours, the cost of two extra reversals, or the cost of keeping Shrub Hill open (does it require a staff presence when a train calls) for an extra 80 minutes or so after the last other trains arrive shortly after midnight?  I'm not sure how many passengers would make use of that final leg - my (totally uninformed) logic would suggest to me that the main business of this train would be to set down passengers from the east and not to pick up passengers for Shrub Hill even if it carried on to there.


I'm sure you are right about the Shrub Hill hours - I hadn't realised quite how late this train is. But surely the reference to picking up passengers for Shrub Hill, whilst clearly correct, slightly misses the point - anyone heading for Worcester at that hour is likely to be returning from London. I declare an interest - I live within walking distance of Shrub Hill.



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