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Journey by Journey => South Western services => Topic started by: Mark A on August 18, 2021, 09:52:17 pm



Title: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 18, 2021, 09:52:17 pm
You may know of the consultation in progress on a December '22 services recast for the South Western Railway network - find more in the PDF linked from their page here:

https://www.southwesternrailway.com/plan-my-journey/timetables/timetable-consultation-december-2022

I've appended the text from the PDF at the foot of this post, because, tucked away on page 37 is an announcement on a completely different subject: that a 'separate review' by the Department for Transport has produced the decision that the South Western Railway services between London Waterloo and Bristol be axed as of December this year, 2021.

I've not found any reference to this forthcoming change save for this paragraph in the December '22 consultation.

There are a number of aspects to this announcement of a prior decision on the Bristol - Waterloo services which... stink:

* The cessation of the (popular) Bristol-Waterloo service is not part of the December 2022 consultation so should not have been announced via a single paragraph 37 pages into a report on something completely different - a  Vogon-like tactic. This approach is (surely deliberately) damaging to the prospects that travellers will see this decision reversed.

* A previous attempt to cease this service resulted in an early day motion in the House of Commons and a pile-on from 30 MPs who lent their name to the cause.

* It may only be the Department for Transport that thinks this service duplicates other trains. Its users are very well aware that it does not.

* It is poor practice to cut services in an unconsidered way during a pandemic.

* This is an example of an organisation (the Department for Transport) making changes under cover of a national crisis (Covid) and this should be called out and not encouraged.

* There is very little awareness of the withdrawal of the Bristol to Waterloo trains among the travelling public and indeed with, now, a three month lead time, reduced opportunity for people to make adjustments to their travel mode when these services cease.

* Perhaps the first thing that should happen is this proposed change should be postponed to 2022 to match those in the rest of this document in order that a proper consultation can be followed through on what is a valued service that has been known to load to capacity.

* The untruth in the concluding sentence: 'Great Western Railway will continue to meet demand on the line' has angered me - often, the railway has done anything but 'meet demand' for travel between Salisbury and Bristol.

Mark

"SALISBURY TO BRISTOL TEMPLE MEADS
The route between Salisbury and Bristol Temple Meads has historically been served by both SWR» and Great Western Railway, with SWR running  ve of the average 25 daily services in the May 2019 timetable.
Following a separate review with the Department for Transport, SWR will withdraw its current three daily services from December 2021 as duplicating services between the two operators does not provide good value for the taxpayer.
Great Western Railway will continue to meet demand on the line and services will connect into London bound trains at Salisbury, Bath and Westbury."


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on August 19, 2021, 08:22:00 am
Some thoughts from me:

1. The HISTORIC bases for this service - originating from South Wales and Manchester via the Borders line to Waterloo, for connection to Eurostar, and transformed into a service which allowed competitive train service provision under the commercial, privatised franchises, are both gone.  BUT

2. These services have carved out a niche for themselves over, above and a long way beyond competing dupicates. Their loss would be sorely and significantly felt.

3. The process under which the removal of these services has / is being carried out appears to lack transparency and consultation, and to my knowldege no data behind the decision has been published.  The wording of the announcement does not give confidence that there has been a full, measured and considered analysis.

4. We should look forward for a service appropriate for the future and whilst the customer base built up should be catered for, there might be other solutions that are even better than maintaining historic services.

5. Service changes - if brought in - should not leave a gap; it should be at a timetable change, rather than over a longer period (multiple timetable changes)



2a) These services provide the ONLY daytime direct trains from stations such as Bradford-on-Avon and the county town of Trowbridge to London, and the only direct services back. Rail Industry stats suggest that over 40% of passengers are lost if they have to make connections along the way

2b) These services provide direct services from Bath, Bristol and other stations to London (Waterloo) - a significantly different part of London to Paddington, and an important business and leisure area in London

2c) Connections off these trains in the London area give access to wide areas of Kent, Surrey and Sussex from WECA and West Wiltshire, and direct trains to Andover, Basignstoke, Woking and Farnborough

2d) These trains are well loaded and provide necessary capacity all along. I have seen no evidence that this will not be the case in the future - quite the reverse in changing patterns of use indicators

2e) It is possible to make the same journey with a change in the middle of the journey at Salisbury, but connections there are somewhere between poor and awful. However, it does mean that passengers have a flexibility of a fallback to other trains should their travel plans change

2f) Fares on these trains via Salisbury are encouraging to leisure traffic which would simply not use rail if they were not available.

2g) Certain local journeys even bewteen Bristol and Westbury fill significant timetable gaps in GWR's provision

There is some activity from the likes of the West Wilts Rail User Group in putting the case for the retention (or at least proper consultation with a view to any changes at December 2022) on these services together, via their MP - Andrew Murrison.   Other MPs involved should be Michelle Donelan (Bradford-on-Avon and Avoncliff), Wera Hobhouse (Bath Spa and Oldfield Park) and Jacob Rees Mogg (Keynsham and, I suspect, Freshford). Bristol MPs may also be concerned.

4a) There would be some sense in extending Bristol Metro all-stations Westbury terminators all stations to Salisbury from where they become the all stations trains to Basingstoke and then onwards to London Waterloo, just as the SWR trains from Bristol go onwards from Salisbury

4b) Talk of the difficulty and expense of keeping SWR driver route knowledge from Westbury to Bristol up to date could be overcome by GWR train crews taking over the trains at Westbury - a major crew change point already; class 158 and 159 trains are almost identical to drive and this should not be an issue.  This might involve a small number of staff transfers as part of a review of staffing levels which have been cause for concern at GWR


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 19, 2021, 11:19:36 am
The national rail contract that FirstGroup and DfT signed off on in May - is the document available to the public, anyone?

The railway press in particular has interpreted these contracts as a short term continuation until 'Great British Railways' is in place - but with changes like this emerging, has the railway press perhaps missed the fine print?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on August 19, 2021, 11:50:14 am
As I understand them, they don't give the TOC any leeway in the number of services to be supplied & have to ask permission to add or remove any service not specified. So your gripe is clearly with the DfT, and most likely best handled through your MP / MPs on line of route.

I suspect the DfT will require proof of unmet demand once the change in Dec21 is made. Changing trains will not concern them - waiting an hour for a connection will. Your other points are really not relevant - the idea is to cut the cost of running the railway. One operator per route is a way to reduce costs. As Graham notes, this may include staff transfers between operators.

I feel your chances are pretty slim - it might help to actually state why you think these services need to be retained as opposed to GWR picking up calls necessary to continue a service.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 19, 2021, 01:04:22 pm
The passenger counts for trains on the Bristol - London Waterloo services: are these publically available, anyone?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on August 19, 2021, 01:06:54 pm
Won’t be of much help - DFT will state that GWR will be asked to make sure they can offer a service to get people where they want to be, with connecyions if necessary. The operator won’t concern them


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on August 19, 2021, 01:27:58 pm
A taste of things to come.................???

My disabled daughter is traveling to WMN tomorrow from Kent. Her usual through train (1220) WAT - WMN is not running, she is told to change at SAL. Her train arrives there at 1343 - the next WMN train is 59 minutes later !!!!!!!!!!!  There is only an hourly service from WAT to SAL now so she can't even leave home 30 mins later to reduce the wait at SAL.
When she last came down she had to go via PAD ............and then having to paying for a taxi from STP to PAD. At least she still got the SWR fare then - I can't see that happening when GWR have the SAL - BRI route all to themselves.

.................and they claim to offer a train "service" !


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on August 19, 2021, 01:33:34 pm
Closing that 59min gap would be something to campaign on! Would mean arriving SAL just a few minutes earlier....


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 19, 2021, 02:48:42 pm
The Wiltshire Times website has a substantial reminder of the previous attempt to ditch the service - at a change of franchise. The MP for West Wiltshire was committed to this - and is still the MP.

https://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/news/961688.waterloo-train-service-saved/

If you use these trains and are a constituent of Dr Andrew Murrison, please drop him a line about the proposed cessation of the service, which currently provides Bradford on Avon and also Trowbridge's only through trains to and from London.

Dr Murrison's contact details:

https://members.parliament.uk/member/1466/contact



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on August 19, 2021, 07:40:13 pm
Closing that 59min gap would be something to campaign on! Would mean arriving SAL just a few minutes earlier....

Wouldn't that be running up the white flag even before the battle has begun ?? 


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on August 19, 2021, 08:43:16 pm
Closing that 59min gap would be something to campaign on! Would mean arriving SAL just a few minutes earlier....

Wouldn't that be running up the white flag even before the battle has begun ?? 

That's a hugely difficult call.

The through service is immensely valuable and treasured - if you look at all the county towns within about 150 miles of London, Trowbridge already sticks out like a sore thumb in having so few through trains to and from London ... and so to follow the governments "levelling up" agenda there should be more trains rather than less direct to London.   If you go down the route of "please level us up - provide a proper number of services" or even "please don't contradict your levelling up policy - keep them services", you have the very great danger of ending up with nothing if they don't agree.

But if you go down the route of saying "at least have the darned things connect", are you admitting defeat 'before you even start'?

Should you put out BOTH messages?  i.e. Retain, but if not, connect - or does that dilute both messages to the extent that they are both ineffective?

And ... with this seemingly being announced as a decision rather than a consultation, do we even ask what the chances are of any input changing minds which look like they're already made up and contracted?






Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 20, 2021, 08:39:10 am
The contract between the DfT from May 2021 - is it an extension of the franchise that has terminated or does it replace a franchise that would otherwise have run on - and until what date, please?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 20, 2021, 09:00:45 am
The '2022 service consultation that isn't a consultation with the public' aside, has the DfT decision to cease the Bristol - Waterloo services in December '21 had any public announcement anywhere, anyone, please?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Marlburian on August 20, 2021, 09:36:54 am
You may know of the consultation in progress on a December '22 services recast for the South Western Railway network ...

"SALISBURY TO BRISTOL TEMPLE MEADS
The route between Salisbury and Bristol Temple Meads has historically been served by both SWR» and Great Western Railway, with SWR running  ve of the average 25 daily services in the May 2019 timetable.
Following a separate review with the Department for Transport, SWR will withdraw its current three daily services from December 2021 as duplicating services between the two operators does not provide good value for the taxpayer.
Great Western Railway will continue to meet demand on the line and services will connect into London bound trains at Salisbury, Bath and Westbury."


I smiled at the observation about duplicating services. I recall that in the early days of privatisation a Conservative MP hailed as an achievement the provision of services from London to Gatwick by two rival companies because one was charging 10p less than the other, thus competition was working.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on August 20, 2021, 10:17:12 am
The contract between the DfT from May 2021 - is it an extension of the franchise that has terminated or does it replace a franchise that would otherwise have run on - and until what date, please?

From https://www.firstgroupplc.com/news-and-media/latest-news/2021/05-20-21.aspx

Quote
FirstGroup Signs New National Rail Contracts For South Western Railway And Transpennine Express

20 May 2021

FirstGroup plc (‘FirstGroup’ or ‘The Group’) is pleased to announce the agreement of National Rail Contracts (‘NRCs’) with the Department for Transport (‘DfT’) for its South Western Railway (‘SWR’) and TransPennine Express (‘TPE’) train operating companies. The new NRCs will commence on 30 May 2021, when the current Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements (‘ERMAs’) come to an end.

* New NRCs for SWR and TPE have a two-year term to May 2023 with options to extend by up to two further years to May 2025
* FirstGroup bears no revenue risk and very limited cost risk under an annual budget agreed with DfT; there is also no significant contingent capital risk
* Annual fees on NRCs consist of a fixed management fee plus performance fee based mainly on the delivery of customer-focused performance metrics


National Rail Contracts are a new contract structure ...

Continuing article says more.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on August 20, 2021, 11:57:24 am
And further, the DfT have just today issued a PIN (Prior Information Notice) for a direct award of Great Western National Rail Contract (NRC). New national rail contracts are part of the transition towards a new commercial model for passenger services outlined in the Great British Railways: Williams-Shapps plan for rail. Contract start date 26 June 2022, for 72 months.

Wasn't GWRs ERMA extended to that date?

The ERAs & then ERMAs were issued during the pandemic which terminated the franchise agreements. TOCs are now contracted simply to run the services specified by the DfT & have no control over anything, with permission specifically required from the DfT to perform any service not specified by the DfT.

Which sort of limits any action against the TOC, with everything needing aiming at the DfT via your politicians.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on August 20, 2021, 12:05:48 pm
The '2022 service consultation that isn't a consultation with the public' aside, has the DfT decision to cease the Bristol - Waterloo services in December '21 had any public announcement anywhere, anyone, please?

I have seen not see public consultation, nor public announcement, nor any other reasoning than it's "duplicating a service".  But such things can be easy to miss on busy news days, so I'm not able to be absolutely sure they haven't happened.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 20, 2021, 12:11:12 pm
Thanks for this Grahame - so the franchise was running from 20th August 2017 until 'At least August 2024' - the direct trains between Bristol and Waterloo being very much part of the franchise. Then Covid came along and kicked the legs out from under the franchise system, hence the national rail contracts set up to run from May '21 for two years (taking them to May '23) with a possible two year extension after that.

Following this, while the railway press (and the national press) have reported on the national rail contracts, there's been an asssumption that those are 'Continuity contracts', albeit with a slew of reductions in service levels - but the press has (understandably) missed the (unannounced) impending cessation of an entire service - and if they are aware, there has been little public reaction from groups representing passenger interests.

As an aside, visit the web site for 'Transport focus', and the masthead text is 'Transport Focus' followed by 'Working in partnership with London Travelwatch' and I wonder if the site owners know how that plays out in, say, Rhyl, Bolton, Dingwall, Bristol, Tavistock. They might want to change that.

https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on August 20, 2021, 12:19:57 pm

Should you put out BOTH messages?  i.e. Retain, but if not, connect - or does that dilute both messages to the extent that they are both ineffective?


I think you have to do that - but not together. If you put out your lesser bid with your first, higher one.......you are sunk. (I watch Bargain Hunt you know!)

I moved back to Warminster in 2007. Since then GWR (under various pseudonyms) have have tinkered and fiddled with the train service through here and achieved absolutely nothing of benefit to the traveling public. Their last promise of "more seats" turned out to be disingenuous to say the very least - clapped out 5 abreast commuter trains !! 5 cars ?? They seems to have vanished too !

SWR have (had) increased the number of through services since then. Their trains are spotless, the air con works, the seats are more comfortable and the Advance fares are fantastic. Prior to Covid I used that service to Waterloo very regularly, either for day events in London or to connect with the "cheap" afternoon trains out of EUS/KGX to go further afield.

If DfT is wanting to get rid of "duplication" -  get rid of GWR and give the whole route to SWR. I know who the paying public would rather see running the trains through here !


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on August 20, 2021, 12:23:15 pm
I have seen not see public consultation, nor public announcement, nor any other reasoning than it's "duplicating a service".  But such things can be easy to miss on busy news days, so I'm not able to be absolutely sure they haven't happened.

The way the railways work has changed. There aren't going to be 'consultations' any more with 'the public' - but with stakeholders (CRPs, Councils Transport Depts., etc.) - if you still want to have your say, then you need to open dialogue with them. I doubt the CRPs have the manpower to hold public consultations of their own, nor Councils.

It'll be a whole new way of trying to influence these decisions. And during the handover to GB Railways, probably non-existent. The DfT will pay for what they want; Influenced by the Treasury saying how much they can spend. WE may find more in the Comprehensive Spending Review which is due this autumn I believe.

Maybe open dialog with Transport Focus on this whole loss of consultee status - they're supposed to have the passenger interests at heart. We aren't the only forum/organisation waking up to the realisation that the public are going to lose the ability to be consulted.

London TravelWatch is now part of Transport Focus - when did that happen? (this year sometime)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 20, 2021, 12:28:22 pm
Chris B wrote: Which sort of limits any action against the TOC, with everything needing aiming at the DfT via your politicians.

Thanks for this, Chris B, and agreed.

Having logged a case with Transport Focus stating that this will be a matter for the DfT, they've initially referred it to the TOC as that's their practice - matters to be resolved by the TOC in the first instance. So, before it can go back to Transport Focus, I'm now awaiting a response from South Western Railways about a matter which is outside their jurisdiction.

I've raised the issue with my mp and they've taken it up the same morning.

This decision will be reversed once it becomes a topic of conversation in workplaces, coffee shops, bookshops, hairdressers etc - and it may have every chance of becoming just that.

Thanks for your suggestion to list the benefits of the service. The ordinary benefits of a through service are in relatively plain sight, but there are others that apply at the current time and I'll have a think about those. It would be interesting to know if there's figures for what percentage of travellers abandon rail as a travel mode when through services are no longer provided. (I've heard 30 to 40%)

If I was the DfT I'd be tempted to sidestep the political pain and put this unconsidered decision on hold at least for a year and possibly two.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 20, 2021, 12:53:51 pm
Clan Line wrote: SWR» have (had) increased the number of through services since then. Their trains are spotless, the air con works, the seats are more comfortable and the Advance fares are fantastic.

Thanks for this perspective from Warminster. Thinking of tribulations suffered by the Bristol - Waterloo services from March 2020 to the present day, here's three.

* Covid: so, during lockdowns, essential journeys / keyworkers only = minimal passengers.

* Covid-related temporary suspension of the morning service to Waterloo (not yet reinstated).

* Friday 7th August to 3rd September 2022 - service truncate at Bath Spa owing to the engineering works at Bristol Temple Meads. Note that this for some reason breaks the evening service from London Waterloo, as it imposes an hour's delay at Salisbury before the train proceeds to Warminster, Westbury, Trowbridge, Bath Spa and then a bus to Bristol arriving at 22.30 - a journey time of 4 hours 10 minutes, so we'll say that that service is suspended, yes? Consequence: a damper on the trend seen elsewhere passenger numbers starting to recover.



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on August 20, 2021, 01:05:25 pm
a journey time of 4 hours 10 minutes, so we'll say that that service is suspended, yes? Consequence: a damper on the trend seen elsewhere passenger numbers starting to recover.

Sabotage ?????


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on August 20, 2021, 01:54:58 pm
I mentioned earlier my daughter's 59 minute wait at Salisbury today. Just been watching Traksy. Her SWR train arrived at Salisbury tunnel 5 minutes ahead of the GWR train.The SWR train was held to let the GWR train through first.

I think my comment in the last post applies again !!

EDIT: She has just said that the GWR train was pulling away from P4 as they arrived at P3.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on August 20, 2021, 02:12:16 pm
I mentioned earlier my daughter's 59 minute wait at Salisbury today. Just been watching Traksy. Her SWR train arrived at Salisbury tunnel 5 minutes ahead of the GWR train.The SWR train was held to let the GWR train through first.

I think my comment in the last post applies again !!

EDIT: She has just said that the GWR train was pulling away from P4 as they arrived at P3.

The hourly London to Exeter train (at least the example I looked at) has a 2.5 minutes "pathing allowance" after leaving Andover - in other words, it needs to hold back a bit so it doesn't need the line into Salisbury at the same time as the Portsmouth to Cardiff train.  So it's to be expected it will wait.   The arrival at Salisbury from London (next one) is working timetable 14:42.5, and departure of the Cardiff Train is 14:42 - I've certainly made those changes and seen that happen in the way you describe - it's by design.   But the design is to make a good interchange from Portsmouth and Southampton to Yeovil and Exeter ...



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on August 20, 2021, 03:27:55 pm
If I was the DfT I'd be tempted to sidestep the political pain and put this unconsidered decision on hold at least for a year and possibly two.

No chance! The Treasury's hands are all over this change in direction. The railways are costing £2billion to support currently & obviously that can't continue. So until the commute - the fares that actually make a profit for the railway (where off-peak just ticks the railway over), the Treasury will win.

Asking people to change from minor (as opposed to major) stations isn't too much of an ask.

I'm not sure suggesting keeping services to 'encourage' more use through direct services at additional cost will garner much within the Treasury. Our debt pile is almost 100% of GDP at the moment.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on August 20, 2021, 03:58:01 pm
- it's by design.   

Ah - I see. That would explain what made the next WMN train late as well, so she had to wait the full "designed" 59 minutes !   ;) ;)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 21, 2021, 10:46:24 am
This weekend: quote from their web site below. It's not just the weather that's a washout, the Waterloo to... currently Bath Spa trains: cancelled.


Late amendments to train services Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 August

Due to the volume of train crew required to self-isolate, please find below a list of service alterations for this weekend on top of the planned engineering work.

 

Saturday

    Services between London Waterloo and Salisbury will start from Basingstoke.
    Services between Salisbury and Bath Spa will not run.
    Services between Brockenhurst and Lymington Pier will not run. A replacement bus service will operate.

Sunday

    Services between London Waterloo and Exeter St Davids will start from Basingstoke.
    A reduced service will run between Basingstoke and Reading.



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on August 21, 2021, 05:12:54 pm
From The Week In East Bristol and North East Somerset (https://theweekin.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Issue-692.pdf) (Page 2, left hand column)

Quote
End of the line for Bristol-Waterloo service

There are plans to withdraw South Western Railway’s London to Bristol Waterloo service at the end of the year.

The service currently links Bristol Temple Meads to Waterloo via Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Bath Spa, Bradford on Avon, Trowbridge, Westbury, Warminster and Salisbury.

It is understood that catering services on the route have already been withdrawn.

The route between Salisbury and Bristol Temple Meads has historically been served by both South Western Railway (SWR) and Great Western Railway (GWR), with SWR running five of the average 25 daily services in the May 2019 timetable.

Following a review with the Department for Transport, SWR plans to withdraw its current three daily services from December as duplicating services between the two operators is not deemed to provide good value for the taxpayer. SWR says that GWR will continue to meet demand on the line and services will connect into London-bound trains at Salisbury, Bath and Westbury. This week public transport campaigner David Redgewell said that he was lobbying the region’s Metro Mayor and local councils asking them to lodge objections.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Timmer on August 21, 2021, 05:18:18 pm
Good to read David’s on the case.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: froome on August 22, 2021, 11:41:50 am
Have just seen this thread. The point about connections is:

a) They depend on services running to schedule.
b) Passengers having confidence in the services running to schedule.

On this particular line (Cardiff to Portsmouth to connect at Salisbury) neither of those factors currently exist, and I cannot see any likelihood of improvement.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on August 22, 2021, 01:43:16 pm
Have just seen this thread. The point about connections is:

a) They depend on services running to schedule.
b) Passengers having confidence in the services running to schedule.

On this particular line (Cardiff to Portsmouth to connect at Salisbury) neither of those factors currently exist, and I cannot see any likelihood of improvement.
 

(https://i.postimg.cc/y8Ht0zZ8/Screenshot-2021-08-22-134213.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: froome on August 22, 2021, 08:24:56 pm
Not when the train before it is running after the train you hope to catch, as happened to me this week.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Surrey 455 on August 22, 2021, 11:24:07 pm

(https://i.postimg.cc/y8Ht0zZ8/Screenshot-2021-08-22-134213.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)

Not when the train before it is running after the train you hope to catch, as happened to me this week.

Also doesn't work when the following train after the missed one is cancelled.  :'(


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 24, 2021, 06:31:58 pm
OK, to their credit, South Western Railways responded quickly to my request for information and this can now feed a request for a response or preferably action from Passenger Focus.

SWR have in the main echoed the paragraph from the 2022 document though - citing 'Any changes are based on the fact that the route between Salisbury and Bristol Temple Meads has historically been served by both South Western and Great Western Railways... duplicating services between the two operators doesn’t provide good value for the taxpayer.'

It's difficult not to think of the SWR services Yeovil - Castle Cary - Westbury - Salisbury - London Waterloo as they share a few qualities with the Bristol to Waterloo through trains - including the suddenly reviled 'One route, two TOCs'. Whenever I've caught one of those (anecdote not data) they doesn't seem to attract nearly as many passengers as did the Bristol to Waterloo trains. Perhaps there are planned changes for these too. Not that the travelling public is in a position to know. At the moment, we're 15 weeks out from an entire rail service being axed and there's essentially been no information provided to the people who use them. I suggested to SWR that they put out a press release...



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on August 24, 2021, 09:32:40 pm
Whenever I've caught one of those (anecdote not data) they doesn't seem to attract nearly as many passengers as did the Bristol to Waterloo trains. Perhaps there are planned changes for these too. Not that the travelling public is in a position to know. At the moment, we're 15 weeks out from an entire rail service being axed and there's essentially been no information provided to the people who use them. I suggested to SWR that they put out a press release...


My (previously mentioned) daughter caught the 1148 from WMN (ex Pen Mill) to WAT today - wasn't exactly busy, but certainly wasn't empty !


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Timmer on August 24, 2021, 10:03:23 pm
It's difficult not to think of the SWR services Yeovil - Castle Cary - Westbury - Salisbury - London Waterloo as they share a few qualities with the Bristol to Waterloo through trains - including the suddenly reviled 'One route, two TOCs'. Whenever I've caught one of those (anecdote not data) they doesn't seem to attract nearly as many passengers as did the Bristol to Waterloo trains. Perhaps there are planned changes for these too.
The difference being between the two routes is the first you mention is used as a diversion line when engineering work is taking place between Salisbury and Yeovil. To maintain driver route knowledge (hope that’s the right term) of this diversion line, services are being kept between Salisbury and Yeovil via Westbury. Remains to be seen if it’s the same level of service seen at present. I agree, it’s not has heavily used as the SWR route to Bristol.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 24, 2021, 10:35:01 pm
Thanks for that insight.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: WSW Frome on August 25, 2021, 12:16:36 pm
The current SWR Yeovil to Westbury/Salisbury services (and v/v) are surprisingly frequent in the current timetable. No doubt all down to ambition and ORCATS raiding in a previous era. Still very useful for those who live along the route.

We must remember that this service was built on the back of ecs movements due to the congested single line Salisbury to Yeovil Junction. They also served as route-learning opportunities for diversions.

The SWR proposals for December 2022 envisage only an hourly service Salisbury to Exeter, with no extras to Yeovil Junction. Whilst I expect there may be some peak hour extensions to Yeovil, the single line congestion is reduced.

This leads to a likely reduction in the requirement for Yeovil to Westbury routings and hence a reduction on the current frequency. No doubt some services will be retained and the through journeys to/from Waterloo are probably commercially attractive for SWR

 


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on August 25, 2021, 12:36:52 pm
No doubt some services will be retained and the through journeys to/from Waterloo are probably commercially attractive for SWR

Not a consideration these days as SWR will not benefit from any extraction as all fares now go to the DfT


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 25, 2021, 02:36:30 pm
For good measure, the remaining SWR trains to Bristol, already bustituted between Bath and Bristol 'cos no track at the moment, haven't run since before last weekend, and are announced as not running over the bank holiday weekend either.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on August 25, 2021, 02:56:07 pm
"Full and standing"

Remember the promises ?     "5 cars, more seats".    What are they doing now ? removing trains from the timetable. At least everyone seems to believe the latest utterings !!


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 25, 2021, 07:01:05 pm
Presumably their stock is spread thin, covering for the ongoing shortfall in supply of IEPs, and will be for some time. Making this especially not the time to pull the SWT Waterloo to Bristol trains.

Off topic: at Swindon and walking past the Saturday c. 1.30pm departure from Swindon to Cheltenham, it was two carriages sitting noisily on one of the through lines for 40 minutes, but from a couple of connecting services was then fed with about 5 carriages worth of passengers, more than the average amount travelling with luggage, a few pushchairs and a wheelchair user. No replacement buses in sight outside the station though by the end of the afternoon there were three or four as various trains were still cancelled.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on August 25, 2021, 07:08:55 pm
I thought the SWT trains weren’t being withdrawn until December? Likely the IEPs will be sorted by then


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Lee on August 25, 2021, 07:21:57 pm
I thought the SWT trains weren’t being withdrawn until December? Likely the IEPs will be sorted by then

Depends what you mean by "sorted" really. Until they are reassigned to regional routes where they belong, and replaced by proper "express" trains on "express" routes, then they wont be "sorted" in my book.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: broadgage on August 26, 2021, 03:49:17 am
I thought the SWT trains weren’t being withdrawn until December? Likely the IEPs will be sorted by then

Depends what you mean by "sorted" really. Until they are reassigned to regional routes where they belong, and replaced by proper "express" trains on "express" routes, then they wont be "sorted" in my book.

Careful now, or you will be mistaken for me :)



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 26, 2021, 11:38:14 am
I thought the SWT trains weren’t being withdrawn until December? Likely the IEPs will be sorted by then

Given that in July this year, a third location prone to issues was discovered, and that a decision on the repair process is not yet settled and is 'Likely to be taken in September', and each repair removes a vehicle from service for a day, it's difficult to see how the issue with cracking will not continue to cause stock shortages well into 2022 and possibly 2023, with a hit to GWR stock availability until it's sorted.

For this reason alone, this is not the time for DfT to decide to remove popular through trains from a usually reliable and accessible secondary route. The current reliability of the IEPs would have been one of a number of issues that would have been raised had anyone bothered to ask the travelling public before deciding to introduce the need to change trains, which is why the DfT along with the industry appears to have managed this decision with the intention of avoiding consultation on this.

Hiding the decision within the announcement of the much more wide-reaching consultation for the 2022 SWR timetable appears to have been very effective, as even the specialised railway press missed this smaller issue - add covid, and, of course, local journalism being not in the position that it was in, say, 2006 - and the result is that an entire train service is considered lost before the decision is made public.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: broadgage on August 27, 2021, 03:19:57 am
I thought the SWT trains weren’t being withdrawn until December? Likely the IEPs will be sorted by then

Do you REALLY expect that the cracked or otherwise not available IETs will be restored to working order by December this year.
I doubt that full reliability will be achieved by NEXT December.
There are now THREE lots of cracks, so far.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 27, 2021, 01:50:16 pm
OK, to their credit, South Western Railways responded quickly to my request for information and this can now feed a request for a response or preferably action from Passenger Focus.

My MP's now had a reply about this from the Secretary of State for Transport.

Having sent the TOC's response to them, I'm now waiting for Transport Focus's reply.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on August 27, 2021, 02:26:27 pm
What did the DfT say to your MP?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 27, 2021, 04:16:45 pm
In answer to my letter to the MP, a response from the Secretary of State for Transport over a page and a half of A4.

Paraphrasing it, SWR having been heavily subsidised since covid + current forecasts not predicting that customers will return to rail for some time, the train operating company has been looking for opportunities to improve efficiency and value for money to the taxpayer, also to improve reliability and performance of the timetable by reducing congestion in key areas of the network.

As a result SWR has looked into areas where train services are duplicated... and identified potential reductions that will deliver improved reliability and will reduce costs.

This has led to the decision to withdraw services to Bristol in December 2021. He mentions that only three stations will lose direct trains to London (I think there are four, if he's overlooked Keynsham but I can't recall if GWR provide a direct service from Keynsham). In this, he's failed to acknowledge that Waterloo and Paddington from the point of view of users of this service are two separate destinations.

He then continues with a consideration of the currently hourly service between Bristol and Salisbury, stating that this is to return to half hourly from December and then states

"All stations will also have services connecting directly into GWR’s services from Bristol and Bath into London Paddington, which run twice per hour throughout the day."

- which perhaps will not be the case on Sundays, a day that's previously seen the Waterloo direct services load particularly healthily.

He concludes with noting that "While SWR regrets that customers from *cites the three stations* will now have to change... "this decision will reduce congestion on the lines, remove duplication of services and improve overall value to the taxpayer".

*   *   *   *   *   

Given that this is the Department for Transport, it's the initial response I expected. I'm concerned for the railways that the Department for Transport can field this response for a rail service of which there's anecdotal evidence that on occasion during June and July has recovered to the extent that its trains been loading the two carriage provision full and standing throughout its route.

An effective way to cut passenger numbers is take a through train and insert the need for passengers to change trains: this *will* hit income as well as remove costs.

Once I've received more from Transport Focus, I'll reply.





Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on August 27, 2021, 04:24:00 pm
I think you are over-egging the loss of customers when forced to change to complete a journey. I think it depends vastly on the convenience of the change. A few minutes (barely at all), while 20+ minutes could achieve what you are suggesting.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 27, 2021, 04:34:22 pm
I'm looking for some figures on passenger willingness to use the London Underground at the present time.

Yougov ran a survey from April '21 that found around 50% Londoners had reservations about using the tube.

This has a bearing on the potential that some for the time being may prefer Waterloo as a London terminal especially if their ultimate destination is served by the large slew of surface railways served from Waterloo / Waterloo east / London Victoria and again may imply that through trains from Bristol might be precisely the sort of services that returning travellers will look to the railways to provide - at the moment they are discontinued.

https://yougov.co.uk/topics/economy/articles-reports/2021/05/13/half-londoners-feel-uncomfortable-travelling-tube-


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 27, 2021, 04:41:55 pm
I think you are over-egging the loss of customers when forced to change to complete a journey. I think it depends vastly on the convenience of the change. A few minutes (barely at all), while 20+ minutes could achieve what you are suggesting.

A change at Salisbury will certainly provide somewhat unstable connection times, often in the 45+ minute range - and in the down direction the traveller may find that the train into which they connect is rammed. It's one of the reasons the through trains are valued.

Presumably people who work with timetables have data on connection times vs income and it would be lovely if this data were public.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on August 27, 2021, 04:43:39 pm
This has a bearing on the potential that some for the time being may prefer Waterloo as a London terminal especially if their ultimate destination is served by the large slew of surface railways served from Waterloo / Waterloo east / London Victoria and again may imply that through trains from Bristol might be precisely the sort of services that returning travellers will look to the railways to provide - at the moment they are discontinued.

That really is a minor irritation as many arriving at Paddington would feel the same. Thus no difference whether arriving at either station bearing in mind that 90% of passengers want to go further than the local environs of either station.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 27, 2021, 04:53:32 pm

That really is a minor irritation as many arriving at Paddington would feel the same. Thus no difference whether arriving at either station bearing in mind that 90% of passengers want to go further than the local environs of either station.

What I meant is that in addition to Waterloo being a strong destination that stands in its own right, in a time of an ongoing pandemic, these services  allow people to avoid using the Underground. In April, 50% of Londoners had reservations about using the Underground: it would be good to know how that figure has changed and also, for people not from London, how prepared they are to take the tube as part of a through trip. I'd suspect the figure would be higher.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on August 27, 2021, 05:13:25 pm
Here are the almost-clockface trains in each hour - from December 2019 - Waterloo to Salisbury and Salisbury to Cardiff - first column is regional / expresses, second column is the "stopper" service. At present, the Salisbury to Waterloo stopper service terminates at Basingstoke (13:31 in my example) - next fast London train 3 minutes later or nearly 30 minutes for the one that's come from Salibury anyway!

WAT11:20(11:50)
SAL a12:43(13:20)
SAL d13:42-
WMN14:01-
WSB14:1013:40
TRO14:1713:47
BOA14:2313:53
BTH14:3514:09
BRI a14:4914:30
CDF a15:44-

CDF d10:30-
BRI d11:2211:47
BTH11:3612:02
BOA11:4712:21
TRO11:5412:27
WSB12:0212:34
WMN12:11-
SAL a12:30-
SAL d13:21(12:47)
WAT14:49(14:19)

So Salisbury on current operation is NOT a practical connection - 59 minute wait in one direction and 51 minute wait in the other.  Quite apart from people REALLY not liking to change in the middle of a journey, especially between services which at present have a very high cancellation / short running record.

Other trains run south of Westbury towards Salisbury - some only as far as Warminster. Those that reach Salisbury connect somewhat better towards London (couldn't really be any worse!). These extras a far from clockface - some hours have two services, other hours none - and only a very few run from Bristol - others are from Yeovil, or Swindon, or start at Westbury.  Whilst there are instances where local trains from Bristol connect into these extras, with a change at Westbury too making two changes to get to Waterloo is enough to put anyone (except passengers with dogs who want to take them out of the station at each change for a wee break) off.

If you retime EITHER regular hourly service, you break the excellent Portsmouth to Exeter and Exeter to Portsmouth connections - robbing Peter to pay Paul.   Quite apart from hosts of other things that need changing all along the way!


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Timmer on August 27, 2021, 05:15:33 pm
Quote
He then continues with a consideration of the currently hourly service between Bristol and Salisbury, stating that this is to return to half hourly from December
Since when has Bristol to Salisbury been half hourly? I must have missed that.

Looking forward to seeing GWR’s December timetable that shows you can get a train every 30 minutes between Bristol and Salisbury  ::)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on August 27, 2021, 05:28:03 pm
In answer to my letter to the MP, a response from the Secretary of State for Transport over a page and a half of A4.

Quote
He then continues with a consideration of the currently hourly service between Bristol and Salisbury, stating that this is to return to half hourly from December and then states ...

Err - it never was half hourly.  It could be - Westbury to Salisbury should be half hourly, clockface, second train calling at Dilton Marsh and coming from Bristol or Swindon or alternating, and not a Westbury starter (except at start of service).

Quote
"While SWR regrets that customers from *cites the three stations* will now have to change... "

Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Bradford-on-Avon and Trowbridge I can think of. There may be the occasional GWR service between Keynsham and London Paddington, but timed to provide peak relief into Bristol in the a.m. peak and perhaps (is there one?) in the evening the other way.  Warminster WILL have a much reduced direct London service - the ones that run from Yeovil via Westbury, at staff training times rather than when passengers want to travel.  Opportunities from Dilton Marsh (where SWR SHOULD stop), Freshford and Avoncliff (incidental - not a major business case!) too.

Quote
As a result SWR has looked into areas where train services are duplicated... and identified potential reductions that will deliver improved reliability and will reduce costs.

I think I smell blame being passed for an unpopular and unconsulted decision. I suspect SWR was ordered to take this look.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on August 27, 2021, 06:58:54 pm
Of course it was, the DfT are now in charge & TOCs do as they’re told


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on August 29, 2021, 07:18:14 am
Travelling from Southampton to Westbury (railhead for Melksham) yesterday, it struck me just what a strong leisure traffic route the lines from Bristol via Salisbury provide - not only for traffic within those limits but across the tentacles too - onward to Southampton and Portmouth, to Cardiff, and to London (Waterloo) too.  Lisa and I were speaking with an older lady on the train yesterday - on her way from Southampton to Cardiff; not too worried about how long it took but supremely thankful it was a through train, and worried at one point when it was suggested there might have to be a set swap along the way.

Through trains from Bristol via Salisbury have been a leisure sucess over the years. The London service was very popular pre-Covid - affordable, comfortable, and making many more direct journeys possible than would be the case without it. Onward connections at Clapham Junction and Waterloo saved many headed for South London, Kent and East Sussex the trauma (it would be for them) of the underground from Paddington.  With Covid lockdowns, the services not running, and the "essential travel only" mantra, use fell - short term - but it now should be coming back and with the success story reborn.  These are the very sorts of service that can and should grow very strongly in the future. 

At the moment, they are a mess - see http://www.passenger.chat/25396 for my experience yesterday, and I'm noting that the SWR service are cut back to Bath - or even to Westbury - during engineering at Bristol. Natural, I suppose, for the powers that be to put them at the bottom of the pile having decided to cease them after December ... but what an unfortunate decision on something which has (or had) a really good prospect in the new world where leisure traffic is so much more important than it was ...


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 29, 2021, 09:54:29 am
... and I'm noting that the SWR service are cut back to Bath - or even to Westbury - during engineering at Bristol.

They've not run West of Salisbury since (I think) Friday 20th August and will not run until 31st...


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 29, 2021, 10:02:09 am

...
Through trains from Bristol via Salisbury have been a leisure sucess over the years. The London service was very popular pre-Covid - affordable, comfortable, and making many more direct journeys possible than would be the case without it. Onward connections at Clapham Junction and Waterloo saved many headed for South London, Kent and East Sussex the trauma (it would be for them) of the underground from Paddington.  With Covid lockdowns, the services not running, and the "essential travel only" mantra, use fell - short term - but it now should be coming back and with the success story reborn.  These are the very sorts of service that can and should grow very strongly in the future. 
...

This is a very significant point and I'm grateful to Grahame for making it. These are the services that could show above-average growth and will do more of the same, it is crass to axe the Bristol to Waterloo service and will not address the balance sheet woes - rather the opposite.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: paul7575 on August 29, 2021, 11:38:53 am
There’s no consistency in these decisions across TOCs. If SWR to Bristol 3 times a day is an unnecessary duplication, then by any similar logic so is GWR running to Brighton twice a day.  Yet that latter off-piste adventure is still very clearly shown in the latest GWR service requirement, just published by DfT.

So perhaps those asking the questions should ask why the different treatment - unless of course that would be seen as risking the Brightons…

Paul.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on August 29, 2021, 11:47:38 am

Through trains from Bristol via Salisbury have been a leisure sucess over the years. The London service was very popular pre-Covid - affordable, comfortable, and making many more direct journeys possible than would be the case without it. Onward connections at Clapham Junction and Waterloo saved many headed for South London, Kent and East Sussex the trauma (it would be for them) of the underground from Paddington.  With Covid lockdowns, the services not running, and the "essential travel only" mantra, use fell - short term - but it now should be coming back and with the success story reborn.  These are the very sorts of service that can and should grow very strongly in the future. 


As a regular user of this through service to/from Waterloo I totally agree with Grahame's comments above. Not only has the BRI - WAT service been a success but (Pre Covid) the TOC had also introduced additional through services to WAT from Yeovil (Via WSB). This was obviously thought to be a sound commercial decision. "Someone" has now decided otherwise !! Grahame's tale of his trip home from Southampton says far more that I could possibly say about the shabby treatment the line between Cardiff and Portsmouth has received over the past few years from GWR and how this flows down to the "customer".
I read that GWR is going to extend its Cardiff to Taunton services further down to the West. An excellent idea ! Make it an hourly service - then give the Bristol to Portsmouth franchise to SWR in its entirety. I daresay that SWR could then do something about linking up the TransWilts and the Romsey/Salisbury services.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on August 29, 2021, 01:05:22 pm
There’s no consistency in these decisions across TOCs. If SWR to Bristol 3 times a day is an unnecessary duplication, then by any similar logic so is GWR running to Brighton twice a day.  Yet that latter off-piste adventure is still very clearly shown in the latest GWR service requirement, just published by DfT.

So perhaps those asking the questions should ask why the different treatment - unless of course that would be seen as risking the Brightons…

Can you post a link to that just published spec please?

I do expect GWR to Brighton to be cut back back to at least SOU at some stage


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: paul7575 on August 29, 2021, 02:17:02 pm
There’s no consistency in these decisions across TOCs. If SWR to Bristol 3 times a day is an unnecessary duplication, then by any similar logic so is GWR running to Brighton twice a day.  Yet that latter off-piste adventure is still very clearly shown in the latest GWR service requirement, just published by DfT.

So perhaps those asking the questions should ask why the different treatment - unless of course that would be seen as risking the Brightons…

Can you post a link to that just published spec please?

I do expect GWR to Brighton to be cut back back to at least SOU at some stage

It’s here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/great-western-2020-rail-franchise-agreement

If you scroll down to updates, it says the train service requirement was added on 26 Aug 21.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: stuving on August 29, 2021, 02:32:58 pm
There’s no consistency in these decisions across TOCs. If SWR to Bristol 3 times a day is an unnecessary duplication, then by any similar logic so is GWR running to Brighton twice a day.  Yet that latter off-piste adventure is still very clearly shown in the latest GWR service requirement, just published by DfT.

So perhaps those asking the questions should ask why the different treatment - unless of course that would be seen as risking the Brightons…

Can you post a link to that just published spec please?

I do expect GWR to Brighton to be cut back back to at least SOU at some stage

It’s here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/great-western-2020-rail-franchise-agreement

If you scroll down to updates, it says the train service requirement was added on 26 Aug 21.

The final "modified" date of the PDF is 26/8/21, but I don't think it has been revised since it was first agreed with GWR. It has no dates in it, and appears to me to be TSR1, for the 2020 direct award contract. If a new TSR is agreed (as opposed to one modified temporarily for Covid reasons) it will presumably be TSR2, and if it follows the previous pattern will have a start date in it.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on August 29, 2021, 02:44:35 pm
The ERMA is the latest doc/pdf there, is there a TAR within it? I’m on an iphone & looking through a 92 page pdf aint easy!


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: stuving on August 29, 2021, 02:46:51 pm
The ERMA is the latest doc/pdf there, is there a TAR within it? I’m on an iphone & looking through a 92 page pdf aint easy!

I've not seen any ERMA published; the EMA is on that page.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on August 29, 2021, 05:45:45 pm
You are right….theERMA will have some form of TSR, likely to be to continue running the Covid timetable in form at the time it cane into force; with any changes you reconmend to be approved by us (DfT) before implementation


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: stuving on August 29, 2021, 06:59:02 pm
You are right….theERMA will have some form of TSR, likely to be to continue running the Covid timetable in form at the time it cane into force; with any changes you reconmend to be approved by us (DfT) before implementation

I don't think that's the case. A service requirement is part of the contracting process; the TOC signs up to meet the requirement (subject to a load of if and buts). In principle it should be valid for the whole contract duration, though it might have several dated phases. Anything else would imply a negotiated change.

An EMA or ERMA involves DfT deciding the services, and they can change their mind at any time. The contract is not to operate a predefined TSR, but whatever the current TSR happens to be.

In contract terms, the EMA did not replace the 2020 direct award (which was not yet in place, of course!). It is a second contract that amends whatever the "franchise" contract would otherwise be. The way it removed the requirement to operate the TSR is very indirect, and it seems to be this section that does it:
Quote
14. OBLIGATIONS OF THE FRANCHISEE UNDER THE FRANCHISE AGREEMENT
14.1  Following execution of this EMA, the Parties shall within thirty (30) Weekdays of the date of this EMA meet and consider, acting reasonably and in good faith, whether the completion of: (i) each obligation of the Franchisee under Schedule 6 of the Franchise Agreement; and (ii) each other obligation of the Franchisee as may be specified by either the Secretary of State or the Franchisee (in each case acting reasonably), will be:
(a) continued "as is";
(b) delayed;
(c) suspended; or
(d) reduced in scope or application.

Most of the EMA is concerned with reporting (to DfT) and incentives. Schedule 6 is not the one that had a reference to the TSR in it, that's Schedule 1.1 - an "other obligation ".


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on August 31, 2021, 09:32:57 am
Quoting from I think Lee from another thread, and putting this here to remind myself and to conjecture as to how this then leads to the short-horizon for the ceasing of the Bristol to Waterloo trains, (an entire service):

"As other members with inside knowledge of the process have said elsewhere, the Treasury/DfT may be the ones asking for the budget cuts, but they have left the method of execution very much down to the rail industry to decide.

And as those of us who have studied Network Rail Business Plans over the years know, that method of execution is very much in line with what they have wanted to do all along."



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 31, 2021, 11:24:53 am
A question for passengers and stakeholders - would you rather decisions on what to cut and where were left to the ‘railway industry’ or to government in the form of the DfT/Treasury?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ellendune on August 31, 2021, 12:35:52 pm
Quoting from I think Lee from another thread, and putting this here to remind myself and to conjecture as to how this then leads to the short-horizon for the ceasing of the Bristol to Waterloo trains, (an entire service):

"As other members with inside knowledge of the process have said elsewhere, the Treasury/DfT may be the ones asking for the budget cuts, but they have left the method of execution very much down to the rail industry to decide.

And as those of us who have studied Network Rail Business Plans over the years know, that method of execution is very much in line with what they have wanted to do all along."



I am not clear that it is that simple.  If the Treasury say they want x% expenditure cuts over a few years there are options that can be considered, if they want them over the next few weeks the options for railway managers become narrower.  I suspect at the moment DfT will have their finger in the pie somewhere to narrow the options further perhaps by say what cannot be cut!


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Lee on August 31, 2021, 12:49:28 pm
Quoting from I think Lee from another thread, and putting this here to remind myself and to conjecture as to how this then leads to the short-horizon for the ceasing of the Bristol to Waterloo trains, (an entire service):

"As other members with inside knowledge of the process have said elsewhere, the Treasury/DfT may be the ones asking for the budget cuts, but they have left the method of execution very much down to the rail industry to decide.

And as those of us who have studied Network Rail Business Plans over the years know, that method of execution is very much in line with what they have wanted to do all along."



I am not clear that it is that simple.  If the Treasury say they want x% expenditure cuts over a few years there are options that can be considered, if they want them over the next few weeks the options for railway managers become narrower.  I suspect at the moment DfT will have their finger in the pie somewhere to narrow the options further perhaps by say what cannot be cut!

You are entitled to your opinion. All I will say is that I have very credible information and reasons for describing the situation in the way that I have.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Lee on August 31, 2021, 01:21:17 pm
A question for passengers and stakeholders - would you rather decisions on what to cut and where were left to the ‘railway industry’ or to government in the form of the DfT/Treasury?

Neither - I prefer the way we do things over here in Brittany - A very similar way, in fact, to that which grahame and I suggested back in 2016 with our Option 24/7 proposals:

Our 2016 Option 24/7 (http://option247.uk/O247proposal.pdf) proposals for bus franchising in Wiltshire included a proposal that bus services would be specified by a committee that brought together passengers, local authorities and bus companies. Unfortunately, Wiltshire Council were not ready at the time to accept what they considered to be a radical plan, and the proposal did not go ahead.

One of the reasons I moved to France in September 2017 was the opportunity to help shape the future of public transport in Brittany, as the specification of the local bus network transferred to the regional level and was placed under a unified structure with the local rail network which had been already specified by the region for several years. This unified structure came into being in September 2018 under the Breizhgo (https://www.breizhgo.bzh/) brand.

I am pleased to say that since then, bus and rail services in Brittany have been specified in a very similar way to that envisaged by us in Option 24/7. There are 7 Comités De Lignes each corresponding to a particular area of Brittany, bringing together passengers, regional and local authorities, SNCF and bus companies to specify their local bus and rail services.

My local Comité De Lignes covers the Saint Brieuc-Lannion, Saint Brieuc-Morlaix, Guingamp-Carhaix and Guingamp-Paimpol local rail services, and all the local bus services in the area shown in the map below:

(https://images.typeform.com/images/zAxiUnM4Rv99/image/default)

Each Comité De Lignes has an annual "listening exercise", where the views and ideas of the public on a wide range of issues are sought, and we are currently in the middle of ours, which runs from 1 February-14 February 2021. Normally we would accompany this with public meetings in various towns and villages, but this year due to coronavirus it is being conducted online and by post.

This doesnt mean though that the public only have a 14-day window each year to send in their ideas and suggestions. Far from it - These are welcomed by the committee all year round, and all are considered for the next upcoming timetable change. These happen 3 times a year in July, September and December, with bus and rail services changing together on those same dates. This aims to balance both the flexibility and the stability of the timetables, whilst allowing for their integration. However, just as we envisaged with Option 24/7, there is a mechanism that allows urgent or particularly no-brainer changes to be made at short notice if required.

Finally, in normal times, several public meetings all year round in towns and villages are organised, along with sessions in rail and bus stations that are very similar to the way "Meet the Manager" works in the UK. There is also a regular newsletter published by each Comité De Lignes, detailing the latest news, project updates, and including passenger numbers and performance figures for each rail and bus route in the area.

By contrast, both the UK rail industry and the Treasury/DfT are united in wanting to cut the passenger, or customer if you prefer, out of the rail consultation decision-influencing equation completely.

All I will say is this - We have faced a similar Covid situation to the UK over here in France, and while this will undoubtedly involve changes to TGV services where travel patterns have been impacted the most, at our local/regional level in Brittany we are not looking at service cuts or withdrawals - Far from it, our rolling programme has reopenings - a process that has begun on the Pontivy route - and service expansion as key themes.

In Wiltshire now in 2021, we are seeing as part of the DfT Bus Back Better strategy the embryonic beginnings of a Comités De Lignes approach that will see Option 24/7 as a bridge between Local Transport Authorities,  Bus Operators, and the local community and its bus users, along with a growing view that, while it is unlikely that everyone will get everything they want, there will be a better bus network as a result going forward.

I really think it is time that serious questions were asked as to why rail passengers/customers are not to be entitled to the same treatment.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 31, 2021, 01:34:56 pm
What is the situation at a local/regional level in other parts of France?

I recall serious cutbacks being proposed only a couple of years ago.  Are any lines, services, stations still under threat?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Lee on August 31, 2021, 01:50:07 pm
What is the situation at a local/regional level in other parts of France?

I recall serious cutbacks being proposed only a couple of years ago.  Are any lines, services, stations still under threat?

The Spinetta report to which you refer had the Beeching-esque section put on ice after a huge public backlash. However, it is true to say that ever-present danger remains of "Temporary Suspensions" due to ongoing lack of maintenance that turn out to be permanent in many cases. We try and forestall that by ensuring that budgets are properly structured to ensure that backlogs dont occur - Our branch lines will normally have an engineering shutdown for a couple of weeks each year as well so bigger jobs are not neglected. We also have a rolling full line renovation programme, the latest to emerge from which was the Dol-Dinan line.

We do have one "Temporary Suspension" on our network, that of Morlaix-Roscoff. Unfortunately, legacy neglect of maintenance had already seen a hefty funding estimate for a full line renovation before storms/floods washed away part of the line, leading to the current situation. However, it is still shown on our rail publicity maps as part of the rail network, and every funding opportunity is sought and assessed with a view to bringing the line back into service as soon as is practical, this time with a more appropriate Comités De Lignes-designed timetable.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 31, 2021, 03:57:34 pm
Let’s hope for a similar public backlash should the axe loom too large over here then.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Timmer on September 02, 2021, 01:00:07 pm
SWR train services from December are now in the system and can be seen on RTT.

I have selected SWR trains passing through Westbury on Monday December 13th which shows services only running Salisbury to Yeovil via Westbury services, none to Bristol:
https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/detailed/gb-nr:WSB/2021-12-13/0000-2359?stp=WVS&show=all&order=wtt&toc=SW


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on September 02, 2021, 01:19:14 pm
SWR train services from December are now in the system and can be seen on RTT.


Bizarre !  That's not a train service................looks more like ECS movements picking up a few people en route. Makes Yeovil look a bit like Kabul - lots leaving but not much coming in.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 02, 2021, 01:21:07 pm
RTT won’t necessarily paint an accurate picture this far in advance.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Timmer on September 02, 2021, 05:21:42 pm
RTT won’t necessarily paint an accurate picture this far in advance.
Normally I would agree with you, but with SWR not making major changes to their timetable until December 2022 I don’t expect what is on RTT, in the case of SWR services, it will change much between now and December.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 02, 2021, 06:13:00 pm
... but with SWR not making major changes to their timetable until December 2022...

See title of thread. :-)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Timmer on September 02, 2021, 07:11:39 pm
... but with SWR not making major changes to their timetable until December 2022...

See title of thread. :-)
Well yes Mark, Bristol to Waterloo services excepted  :)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 03, 2021, 08:41:06 am
If it's really the case that the DfT required both SWR and GWR to cut services and for the Bristol to Salisbury line and they initially did just that but *without reference to each other's actions* then it's

a) embarrassing

b) going to be a bit of a rough year for people travelling by rail, not least if they're expecting a connection at Salisbury.

There might not be time to sort this before the larger timetable change in 2022 - which always offered an appropriate timescale in which to reorganise the through Waterloo-Bristol trains rather than a bit of short-term slash and burn in the rail equivalent of the bird nesting season*.

Mark

* Given the looked for recovery of leisure travel.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 03, 2021, 09:56:25 am
If it's really the case that the DfT required both SWR and GWR to cut services and for the Bristol to Salisbury line and they initially did just that but *without reference to each other's actions* then it's ...

Don't think it's *quite* as simple as that ... from what I'm gathering, independent initially but then co-ordinated is my best guess.   With GWR running the extra in the evening as far as Westbury, and also (in another case of TOC cutting back) taking over the Cross Country Cardiff to Bristol service in the morning peak.

Will write more on SAL->WSB this evening - out of the house in 10 minutes


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 03, 2021, 02:18:04 pm
Will write more on SAL->WSB this evening - out of the house in 10 minutes

Few minutes now ...

Taking (initially) northbound departures from Warminster, the Decemeber 2019 (i.e. precovid) timetable, here are the passenger train calls. "X" are the SWR Bristol services marked for the chop in December, and "Y" are the GWR services that we are told won't run south of Warminster from December.  There has to be more to that latter than simply terminating at Warminster, as there's no siding to store the train in until it comes back about 2 hours later.

06:29   SAL   GLC
X 07:02   SAL   BRI
07:28   WMN   GMV
07:38   PMH   CDF
09:00   PMH   CDF
09:22   SOU   GMV
09:44   WAT   YVP
10:01   PMH   CDF
10:12   WMN   WSB
11:01   PMH   CDF
X 11:12   WAT   BRI
11:32   BTN   GMV
12:01   PMH   CDF
13:01   PMH   CDF
Y 13:26   SOU   GMV
14:01   PMH   CDF
X 14:12   WAT   BRI
14:44   WAT   YVP
15:01   PMH   CDF
15:30   WMN   WOF
16:01   PMH   CDF
17:01   PMH   CDF
17:30   WMN   GMV
18:01   PMH   CDF
18:15   WMN   BPW
X 18:21   WAT   BRI
19:01   PMH   CDF
19:31   BTN   BPW
20:01   PMH   CDF
20:18   WAT   CLC
21:01   PMH   CDF
X 21:17   WAT   BRI
22:01   PHM   CDF
Y 22:13   SOU   WSB
23:19   PMH   BRI

You'll note a very patchy service at present - 3 trains within 31 minutes in some hours, but then gaps of an hour or more at other times. The whole thing COULD provide a service about every 30 minutes, and save 3 trips per day, changed as follows:

0 Move 07:38 to 08:00
+1 Add 08:30
-1 Remove either 09:22 or 09:44
0 Move 10:12 to 10:30
-1 Remove 11:12
+1 Add 12:32
-1 Remove either 14:12 or 14:44
+1 Add 16:30
-1 Remove 18:15
0 Move 20:18 to 20:30
-1 Remove 21:17
-1 Remove 22:13

BUT ... where do they come from / go to? 07:32 and every 2 hours from Waterloo and feed into becoming the stopper to Bristol from Warminster, except the 11:32 and 19:32 which start from Brighton.  Alternate hours are Romsey "6" trains which are alternately extended to Swindon. All these :32 trains to call at Dilton Marsh.

If there isn't time to set this up for December 2021 (and there IS more timetabling work to be done), please leave the service alone this Christmas and do it December 2022.

Note that this also reduces the service a little north of Westbury by sharing the local train with the :32 off Warminster ... slows down the London to Bristol slightly by adding extra station calls.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 03, 2021, 06:20:20 pm
Given that we're now at the end date for the Bristol Temple Meads engineering works: tomorrow, SWR intended to resume the remaining through services from Waterloo - but they've just announced that they're cancelled - along with a raft of impactful changes on the line to Exeter.

Especially as I have travel booked for both routes next week, I'm wondering how the staff shortages will manifest themselves from Monday through to Friday, especially as... GWR are ramping up the number of  trains that they're running between the likes of Bristol and London, yes?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 03, 2021, 08:36:03 pm
Given that we're now at the end date for the Bristol Temple Meads engineering works: tomorrow, SWR intended to resume the remaining through services from Waterloo - but they've just announced that they're cancelled - along with a raft of impactful changes on the line to Exeter.

Especially as I have travel booked for both routes next week, I'm wondering how the staff shortages will manifest themselves from Monday through to Friday, especially as... GWR are ramping up the number of  trains that they're running between the likes of Bristol and London, yes?

Services which will no longer run in a forthcoming timetable are likely be the first to be cut at times of staff shortage, and indeed staff numbers aren't going to be built up just to be cut down again. Look at GWR's 17:50 Gloucester to Southampton via Melksham ... 19:37 from Westbury, over the past 4 weeks, planned to "terminate at Warminster" from December:
(http://www.wellho.net/pix/goinggoing.jpg)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 04, 2021, 09:22:39 am
... which is unprofessional. Transport operators of all flavours should deploy a timetable that matches their staff provision. It does no-one any favours to deem certain services secondary to others and to be constantly cancelling them.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Timmer on September 04, 2021, 12:50:54 pm
... which is unprofessional. Transport operators of all flavours should deploy a timetable that matches their staff provision. It does no-one any favours to deem certain services secondary to others and to be constantly cancelling them.
Been saying that for years. I’d also say the same when it comes to having enough rolling stock to provide a service as well.

When I see all this talk about restoring hourly London-Cheltenham, Cardiff and London to Bristol express services, I think how can you when you can’t even provide proper length IC services with the current timetable ???


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 06, 2021, 08:45:40 am
From a very well informed, usually with a seed of truth, but rarely grammatically correct:

Quote
That Bristol Bath to London Waterloo is this Christmas Graham  we got a fight Network rail western want Bristol Bath metro  west trains to Westbury to use the paths

With two all-stations trains an hour from Bristol Temple Meads to Westbury, it would make sense to extend one of them to Salisbury and give the 30 minute service Chris Heaton-Harris described (erroneously suggesting it's running already)  in .. oops .. letter to a constituent of one of our local MPs that's not in the public domain, and for that to carry on from there as the 2nd train in the hour off Salisbury to London Waterloo (so that's all stations from Temple Meads to Basingstoke).   Class 158 or 159.  Alternative extension from Salisbury could be the "Romsey Six" rather than every hour to London, and that would be an efficiently improvement, making better use of the 158 that sits in Platform Six at Salisbury for 45 minutes in the hour. Two of the extensions per day onward to Brighton, which not only provide another loved and buildable service, but also provide rush hour capacity into Brighton from the coastway in the morning and back out in the evening.

Frome / Yeovil / Weymouth services to be via extension of the other all-stations train from Bristol Temple Meads
 


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 06, 2021, 10:17:40 am
{Jaw drops emoji}

Drat, I've just missed being able to include that in my submission to Transport Focus. Metro West really shouldn't involve the cessation of popular through services to clear paths for it.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 06, 2021, 11:06:50 am
{Jaw drops emoji}

Drat, I've just missed being able to include that in my submission to Transport Focus. Metro West really shouldn't involve the cessation of popular through services to clear paths for it.

I have enquires in - réponses promised within 20 working days - to learn a but more about how the decision came about. These things are often akin to closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, but we can still take steps to see if we can catch the horse.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 06, 2021, 02:41:45 pm
{Jaw drops emoji}

Drat, I've just missed being able to include that in my submission to Transport Focus. Metro West really shouldn't involve the cessation of popular through services to clear paths for it.

I have enquires in - réponses promised within 20 working days - to learn a but more about how the decision came about. These things are often akin to closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, but we can still take steps to see if we can catch the horse.

I've slightly lost track of this metaphor. What are you going to say to the horse if you catch it? "Why the long face?"


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 06, 2021, 04:09:58 pm
I've slightly lost track of this metaphor. What are you going to say to the horse if you catch it? "Why the long face?"

I'm suggesting it should be put back in the stable so that we can check it can be let back out if that's found to be appropriate in December 2022, and with something else in the stable to give rides.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 09, 2021, 09:13:45 am
Sooo... Using the SWR app, an attempt to buy a ticket routed via Salisbury produces an error message and the advice to 'Try again later'. I'll log a bug.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 09, 2021, 11:23:16 am
Sooo... Using the SWR app, an attempt to buy a ticket routed via Salisbury produces an error message and the advice to 'Try again later'. I'll log a bug.

Oh - that won't help their ticket sales (overall, or in terms of what SWR can report), will it? Or will it help them report in the direction that [insert driver of service loss] wants them to go - "look - it was already not doing well".


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 09, 2021, 02:58:19 pm
Side effect from another piece of research - official mantra is that three stations loose their direct trains to / from London when "the Waterloo" ceases in December.   They are Oldfield Park, Bradford-on-Avon and Trowbridge.   But note that Keynsham will drop (I think) to just one train a day - timed to help in the peak hour loadings from there into and out of Temple Meads (and not at the times that the good people of Keynsham will want to go to London) and look at this for Warminster:

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/d21_wmn_mf_sw.jpg)

Even today (far short of pre-Covid service from SWR), there are trains to Waterloo at 07:48, 11:44, 14:23, 15:52, and 16:47 with one as far as Basingstoke at 20:24.   From December, just one a day to Waterloo - the 14:23 (which is hardly the most attractive of these time).  There is just one arrival back from Waterloo, leaving London at 07:50.   The 12:20, 16:20 and 19:20 from London (in today's running) all cease.

Has it been flagged up in Warminster that they to are loosing three quarters of their London trains?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 09, 2021, 09:34:13 pm
Significant observation on the impact to Warminster's services, Grahame, thanks for this.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 09, 2021, 09:40:08 pm
I see that this Saturday, the service is bustituted, and Sunday it is double bustituted.   

(Incidentally, does anyone recall the days of weekend returns when BR was sometimes able to clear an engineering possession by late Sunday afternoon in order to run trains to return people to where they needed to be?)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ellendune on September 09, 2021, 10:15:51 pm
I see that this Saturday, the service is bustituted, and Sunday it is double bustituted.   

(Incidentally, does anyone recall the days of weekend returns when BR was sometimes able to clear an engineering possession by late Sunday afternoon in order to run trains to return people to where they needed to be?)

Yep


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 09, 2021, 11:17:37 pm
... But note that Keynsham will drop (I think) to just one train a day ...

Just checked that - I was correct:
06:32 from Paddington, arrive Keynsham at 08:05. 
17:35 from Keynsham, arrive Paddington at 19:09.

Anytime return if you live in London and catch that train for a business day in Keynsham - £230.00. Yes, you could save by buying £152.30 an anytime single out and a super off peak single back.  Anytime open return via Salisbury and Warminster costs £91.60.  There is also a £73.90 ticket that will let you travel early in the morning from London via Salisbury and Warminster to Keynsham, and back that same afternoon or evening.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 10, 2021, 08:40:38 am
Summary

The following stations set to loose all
  • (or all but 1
  • ) of their through trains to London as from December 2021.

+ Keynsham - Jacob Rees-Mogg MP
* Oldfield Park - Wera Hobbhouse MP
* Bradford-on-Avon - Michelle Donelan MP
* Trowbridge - Andrew Murrison MP
+ Warminster - Andrew Murrison MP

Bristol Temple Meads and Bath Spa loose all their through trains to South London (Waterloo) - as well as to Basingstoke, Woking and Clapham Junction.  Westbury has just one train left from South London, leaving Waterloo at 07:50 and returning from Westbury at 14:13.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 10, 2021, 09:00:49 am

Bristol Temple Meads and Bath Spa loose all their through trains to South London (Waterloo) - as well as to Basingstoke, Woking and Clapham Junction.  Westbury has just one train left from South London, leaving Waterloo at 07:50 and returning from Westbury at 14:13.

It's all of 15 mins from Paddington to Waterloo on the Bakerloo line, and Westbury, Bristol TM and Bath are well served with fast services to Paddington.

The direct Bristol service from Waterloo takes almost 3 hours, whereas it's roughly 90 mins via Paddington.

I think a little perspective is helpful here?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 10, 2021, 10:43:25 am

Bristol Temple Meads and Bath Spa loose all their through trains to South London (Waterloo) - as well as to Basingstoke, Woking and Clapham Junction.  Westbury has just one train left from South London, leaving Waterloo at 07:50 and returning from Westbury at 14:13.

It's all of 15 mins from Paddington to Waterloo on the Bakerloo line, and Westbury, Bristol TM and Bath are well served with fast services to Paddington.

The direct Bristol service from Waterloo takes almost 3 hours, whereas it's roughly 90 mins via Paddington.

I think a little perspective is helpful here?

From the GWR journey planner for Today

Bristol Temple Meads to Waterloo via Paddington, 134 or 135 minutes, 1 (or 2 - BPW and PAD) changes
Bristol Temple Meads direct to Waterloo - 179 minutes

Trowbridge to Waterloo via Paddington, 137 to 151 minutes - 2 changes (so three trains to travel on)
Trowbridge to Waterloo direct, 138 minutes

Warminster to Waterloo via Paddington, 128 to 170 minutes - 2 changes (so three trains to travel on)
Warminster to Waterloo direct, 121 minutes.

Where does your 90 minutes BRI to WAT via PAD come from, TaplowGreen?  Never mind perspective, sorry, I have to question your accuracy!


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 10, 2021, 11:12:04 am
That's the LU platform to platform time, yes?

Now build in reliability margin, walking time either end - count this for a range of people rather than simply for 'Reference man'.

Remember that your seat is on the front half of a ten car set, and you're travelling with a young child.

Then let's look at the evening peak. Previously you'd stepped abourd the 16:20. Since it stopped running, you need to start heading for Paddington from one of the south London terminals a bit before three, to catch a Paddington train before 4pm, or even earlier if you're heading for an advance-booked train you cannot afford to miss.

So... The time advantage of the Paddington route is practically smoke, right there.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Timmer on September 10, 2021, 11:28:38 am
I see that this Saturday, the service is bustituted, and Sunday it is double bustituted.   

(Incidentally, does anyone recall the days of weekend returns when BR was sometimes able to clear an engineering possession by late Sunday afternoon in order to run trains to return people to where they needed to be?)
Remember it well along with the biannual timetables showing when engineering work was taking place.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 10, 2021, 11:31:15 am
That's the LU platform to platform time, yes?

My times are from Bristol Temple Meads / Trowbridge / Warminster initial train pulling out (you need to be on board 40 seconds earlier, of course!) to doors released at Waterloo - either main line or underground platforms. Looking at the connections at Paddington, they consistently allow 15 minutes from your train's scheduled arrival to the tube leaving. 

I personally feel uncomfortable scheduling myself to arrive at a major London terminus on the tube with just 15 minutes to go before my departure (especially if it's onto a less that frequent service such as a Westbury caller, or if I have an advance ticket) and would allow an extra 15 minutes in the opposite direction to the figures I gave TO Waterloo.

For today ... this is what I'm being offered from Trowbridge to Waterloo via Salisbury if I don't want multiple changes, in the hourly pattern:

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/two_sal_wat.jpg)

Muddy picture - there are better connections and through services show. Some of them may well be retained after December, but there will be far less of them with 5 extra from Westbury to Salisbury planned for removal from the timetable.

Here is the opposite direction:

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/wat_sal_two.jpg)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 10, 2021, 11:34:47 am
I see that this Saturday, the service is bustituted, and Sunday it is double bustituted.   
Remember it well along with the biannual timetables showing when engineering work was taking place.

I just look at the Saturday one ... Waterloo to Trowbridge.   No slower that the train with a connection at Salisbury. Waterloo to Andover, 10 minutes to connect onto the bus to Salisbury, from where there is a 10 minute connection onto the train to Trowbridge!


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Timmer on September 10, 2021, 11:37:13 am
That's the LU platform to platform time, yes?
TfL journey planner has it down at 24 minutes:
5 min transfer Waterloo
14 min platform to platform
5 min transfer Paddington

I was actually a little surprised the journey time of the train was only 14 minutes. Thought it would be more like 20.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: BandHcommuter on September 10, 2021, 01:04:27 pm
Side effect from another piece of research - official mantra is that three stations loose their direct trains to / from London when "the Waterloo" ceases in December.   They are Oldfield Park, Bradford-on-Avon and Trowbridge.   But note that Keynsham will drop (I think) to just one train a day - timed to help in the peak hour loadings from there into and out of Temple Meads (and not at the times that the good people of Keynsham will want to go to London) and look at this for Warminster:

Even today (far short of pre-Covid service from SWR), there are trains to Waterloo at 07:48, 11:44, 14:23, 15:52, and 16:47 with one as far as Basingstoke at 20:24.   From December, just one a day to Waterloo - the 14:23 (which is hardly the most attractive of these time).  There is just one arrival back from Waterloo, leaving London at 07:50.   The 12:20, 16:20 and 19:20 from London (in today's running) all cease.

Has it been flagged up in Warminster that they to are loosing three quarters of their London trains?

Looking at Real Time Trains for December, it appears that the departures from Warminster at 0748, 1148 and 1552 attach to other trains at Salisbury and then continue to Waterloo.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 10, 2021, 01:14:19 pm
Side effect from another piece of research - official mantra is that three stations loose their direct trains to / from London when "the Waterloo" ceases in December.   They are Oldfield Park, Bradford-on-Avon and Trowbridge.   But note that Keynsham will drop (I think) to just one train a day - timed to help in the peak hour loadings from there into and out of Temple Meads (and not at the times that the good people of Keynsham will want to go to London) and look at this for Warminster:

Even today (far short of pre-Covid service from SWR), there are trains to Waterloo at 07:48, 11:44, 14:23, 15:52, and 16:47 with one as far as Basingstoke at 20:24.   From December, just one a day to Waterloo - the 14:23 (which is hardly the most attractive of these time).  There is just one arrival back from Waterloo, leaving London at 07:50.   The 12:20, 16:20 and 19:20 from London (in today's running) all cease.

Has it been flagged up in Warminster that they to are loosing three quarters of their London trains?

Looking at Real Time Trains for December, it appears that the departures from Warminster at 0748, 1148 and 1552 attach to other trains at Salisbury and then continue to Waterloo.

Ah - yes.  Just taking a look / will check back further later / on a panic elsewhere at the moment,  Looks like these 3 trains might run TO Waterloo, but FROM Waterloo the only direct train is 07:50, the others starting from Basingstoke.  Is that possible or logical?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on September 10, 2021, 02:28:54 pm

Ah - yes.  Just taking a look / will check back further later / on a panic elsewhere at the moment,  Looks like these 3 trains might run TO Waterloo, but FROM Waterloo the only direct train is 07:50, the others starting from Basingstoke.  Is that possible or logical?

According to RTT 3 of the 4 SWR services from WMN to SAL do actually go on to WAT. But the one through service in the opposite direction is..............just absolutely ludicrous !
0750 from WAT to YVP, they could run 10 coaches to SAL on that, then 5 to WSB and 3 to YVP........OR............. after a few weeks say that no one is using that train and remove it from the timetable !

The newspapers are full of adverts at the moment urging people to use the trains............what trains ???


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 10, 2021, 05:39:33 pm

Bristol Temple Meads and Bath Spa loose all their through trains to South London (Waterloo) - as well as to Basingstoke, Woking and Clapham Junction.  Westbury has just one train left from South London, leaving Waterloo at 07:50 and returning from Westbury at 14:13.

It's all of 15 mins from Paddington to Waterloo on the Bakerloo line, and Westbury, Bristol TM and Bath are well served with fast services to Paddington.

The direct Bristol service from Waterloo takes almost 3 hours, whereas it's roughly 90 mins via Paddington.

I think a little perspective is helpful here?

From the GWR journey planner for Today

Bristol Temple Meads to Waterloo via Paddington, 134 or 135 minutes, 1 (or 2 - BPW and PAD) changes
Bristol Temple Meads direct to Waterloo - 179 minutes

Trowbridge to Waterloo via Paddington, 137 to 151 minutes - 2 changes (so three trains to travel on)
Trowbridge to Waterloo direct, 138 minutes

Warminster to Waterloo via Paddington, 128 to 170 minutes - 2 changes (so three trains to travel on)
Warminster to Waterloo direct, 121 minutes.

Where does your 90 minutes BRI to WAT via PAD come from, TaplowGreen?  Never mind perspective, sorry, I have to question your accuracy!

OK - parking the sarcasm -  I used your own example of Bristol TM to "South London", and I was silly to forget to add the Tube journey from Paddington to Waterloo to that - GWR's own website states an average time of 96 minutes between Bristol TM and London Paddington - let's allow an extraordinarily pessimistic half an hour for the Tube journey to Waterloo (a journey I did myself almost every day for 15 years) - total 126 minutes.

South Western Railways own website gives 179 minutes - 1 min shy of 3 hours -  for its direct service from Bristol TM - Waterloo.

So using GWR, notwithstanding changing onto the Tube at Paddington, is going to save you an hour, with a far more frequent service.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 10, 2021, 06:04:24 pm
Just leaving Salisbury on the 16:20 from Waterloo. 54 passengers, 5 of which are in first class. 5 passengers travelling with bicycles.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on September 10, 2021, 06:22:46 pm
Aren’t services from SAL to Waterloo to continue? I’m not sure what you are suggesting?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 10, 2021, 07:35:55 pm
This was the down train from Waterloo: 54 passengers and 5 bikes were on the portion for Bristol. A few will have come aboard at Salisbury, not many though. The majority headed for stations short of Bath, while the train also filled up from Warminster too.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 10, 2021, 08:58:59 pm
Aren’t services from SAL to Waterloo to continue? I’m not sure what you are suggesting?


Pre-Covid there were two trains an hour from Salisbury to London - o being the train from Exeter which called at Andover, Basingstoke and some stations to London,  The second train started as Salisbury, or a bit further down the line, called at the three extra stations on its way to Basingstoke and then onward to London. 

From December (and I think it is at the moment) the second "slow" train terminates at Basingstoke outside the "rush hour" - and the connection from there is likely to the the Exeter train anyway.  So - yes - SAL to WAT is down to hourly during the day.

Here are the timetables for Grateley, to illustrate what this is doing to THEIR London service!

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/gra_21_a.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/gra_21_b.jpg)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 11, 2021, 01:57:09 pm
I've used these services twice in the last week, booking via the app, and as a recent customer, SWR happened to send me a feedback survey. The survey asked for origin / destination pairs, and it's the case that in their customer survey, stations west of Salisbury on the Bristol line have been removed from the list.

(Also, it's slightly telling that SWR didn't provide open fields for people to supply origin / destinations outwith their network - if I was a TOC I'd be with child to know information of that sort, does this perhaps rather show that TOCs tend to think only of their own network, rather than be 'Real world travel' focussed...)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 11, 2021, 02:01:14 pm
I see that this Saturday, the service is bustituted, and Sunday it is double bustituted.   
Remember it well along with the biannual timetables showing when engineering work was taking place.

I just look at the Saturday one ... Waterloo to Trowbridge.   No slower that the train with a connection at Salisbury. Waterloo to Andover, 10 minutes to connect onto the bus to Salisbury, from where there is a 10 minute connection onto the train to Trowbridge!

Mwuhuhuhuhuh:

(From the SWR web site, late alteration)

"What's going on
This weekend, journeys via rail replacement bus are subject to short notice cancelation and change. If rail replacement buses are not available, customers may choose to order a station to station taxi and claim the cost back from our Customer Services team"


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 12, 2021, 10:55:14 am
A further response from the Secretary of State via my MP. Usefully he acknowledges that the Bristol to Waterloo through service is well used and valuable. He now needs to acknowledge that his department's poor decision to cease it a year in advance of timetable changes to provide connecting trains should not stand. Changes to the remaining through Bristol trains the December 22 timetable change (and the morning service up to Waterloo should be reinstated).

I'll also be asking my mp when she was informed of this and the nature of the communication - was it in a form that made clear the impact of this change.

It would be good to have the same insight from Transport Focus, as this issue seems to have slipped past them.

The core of the SoSfT's reponse:

MPs and Stakeholders were informed directly about the withdrawal of the Bristol services to London Waterloo in advance of the SWR December 2022 timetable consultation at the end of July. Key stakeholders, including Transport Focus, MPs and other elected representatives,passenger and accessibility groups,and business and transport sectors,will be consulted by SWR as part of the December 2022 timetable consultation.

I do not dispute that the Bristol trains are busy at certain times, and while I acknowledge the attractiveness of the through service to Waterloo to passengers like Mr ........., there are increasing capacity issues elsewhere on the West of England line, especially beyond Salisbury, as leisure demand grows.

Consequently, the industry is looking to ensure that we maximise the use of the SWR diesel fleet on the core Exeter route,to ensure that customers can have a comfortable journey.

The December 2022 timetable consultation process will allow SWR and Great Western Railway (GWR) to consider how to provide attractive connections at Salisbury, whilst recognising the constraints of operating a reliable railway through many complex junctions on both routes, and the single line sections west of Salisbury.
 
The proposals have been discussed with GWR from the beginning and they are taking this into account in their rolling stock planning. Many of their services have been lengthened with the introduction of the class 165/166 units to the Cardiff-Portsmouth route.

The congestion concerns are not specifically about the trains arriving at Waterloo; these are extensions of other services, as Mr ........ points out. Virtually all these services split or join at Salisbury, with portions for Bristol and Exeter, which I acknowledge is an important connection.

Consequently, any delays between Bristol and Salisbury will negatively impact on the performance of the Exeter to Waterloo services. Currently Westbury is another significant pinch point in the network which the proposed new timetable also seeks to address.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on September 12, 2021, 01:40:17 pm
The question begging to be answered now amongst others os ‘did your MP recognise the likely concern when first advised by the DfT back in July and if so, what did they actively do about it back then, if anything? And if this wasn’t recognised, do you think you know your constituents well enough?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 13, 2021, 08:18:19 am
The question begging to be answered now amongst others os ‘did your MP recognise the likely concern when first advised by the DfT back in July and if so, what did they actively do about it back then, if anything? And if this wasn’t recognised, do you think you know your constituents well enough?

I'll ask for a copy of the information received. I suspect it will not have been to the effect "We're withdrawing all services between Bristol and London Waterloo".


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 14, 2021, 09:27:04 am
Quote
MPs and Stakeholders were informed directly about the withdrawal of the Bristol services to London Waterloo in advance of the SWR December 2022 timetable consultation at the end of July.

"Stakeholders" is a usefully woolly term. I have been in touch with four user groups - all very well known indeed in the area - and none of them was informed directly; they found out from other sources such as people pointing out the sentence in the 2022 consultation that informed the reader that "The Bristols " were being pulled at the end of 2021.  Checking with fellow team members at TravelWatch SouthWest, we learned from industry sources and didn't hear officially as a stakeholder either. Finally, at the same time I asked my contact in my local CRP (who are now the lead CRP at Trowbridge and Westbury) and have not [yet?] heard back.

I would guess (and anyone who knows my guess is wrong, please let me know) that Transport Focus was informed as the passenger representative body, and local transport authorities (LTAs) (such as Wiltshire Council) were informed too. We have evidence from down the route that some elected local councillors were informed by their LTA; how prevelant that was, I don't know.

Overall impression - announced far more quietly than such a thing should have been, suggesting that someone might have wanted to keep it quiet ...


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on September 14, 2021, 09:44:32 am
I agree with your theory above about who was likely to have been referred to as ‘stakeholders’….plus possibly the SRTBs (Sub-Regional Transport Boards). I’m hearing that these are the redefined stakeholders and other interested bodies need to strike up relationships with those recognised bodies.

Of course, these bodies won’t have yet set up channels to work with ‘us’ & it’ll take a while. Railfuture was a consultee on SWT 2022 timetable, so I’m hoping that they continue to be considered a ‘stakeholder’ on a wider basis & RUGs may want to affiliate as a way of providing input.

@Grahame - I understand third-hand that GWR have held their local-to-you latest timetable get-together via zoom. Did you attend? Do you onow anyone that did? If so, did you get a hand-out from GWR? I hear (again, third hand) that they are also proposing some cuts on the same route, but need confirmation. I might be able to ask/get a confirmation when we get the Thames Valley version later this week, but it’s a tad off-topic for Thames Valley & it might get ruled offside….


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 14, 2021, 10:15:00 am
I agree with your theory above about who was likely to have been referred to as ‘stakeholders’….plus possibly the SRTBs (Sub-Regional Transport Boards). I’m hearing that these are the redefined stakeholders and other interested bodies need to strike up relationships with those recognised bodies.

Of course, these bodies won’t have yet set up channels to work with ‘us’ & it’ll take a while. Railfuture was a consultee on SWT 2022 timetable, so I’m hoping that they continue to be considered a ‘stakeholder’ on a wider basis & RUGs may want to affiliate as a way of providing input.

Railfuture was not one of the user groups I checked with, though at least one of the organisations I approached are an associate member and have several people on their local committee. I will ask ...

Quote
@Grahame - I understand third-hand that GWR have held their local-to-you latest timetable get-together via zoom. Did you attend? Do you onow anyone that did? If so, did you get a hand-out from GWR? I hear (again, third hand) that they are also proposing some cuts on the same route, but need confirmation. I might be able to ask/get a confirmation when we get the Thames Valley version later this week, but it’s a tad off-topic for Thames Valley & it might get ruled offside….

Yes, yes, yes though marked "confidential".  There's a wide spread of people who will have seen it.

We were told that the 11:11 and 19:37 Westbury to Southampton Central are to be "withdrawn south of Warminster" and the return trains for Southampton at 12:27 and 21:22 suffer the same fate.  An early look at Real Time Trains for mid December suggest that the 11:11 goes completely (with a call in the opposite direction being timetabled at Dilton Marsh to compensate for the loss) and there seem to be a number of extra ECS runs between Westbury and Warminster. 



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on September 14, 2021, 10:41:25 am
So nothing being removed from Salisbury / Trowbridge / Bristol?

Railfure’s full response to this consultation is here
https://www.railfuture.org.uk/display2771


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 14, 2021, 10:48:48 am
So nothing being removed from Salisbury / Trowbridge / Bristol?

Railfure’s full response to this consultation is here
https://www.railfuture.org.uk/display2771

Services are being removed from the first part of that route by GWR (Salisbury to Warminster/Westbury) and the whole of that route by SWR (services from Salisbury that currently run north from Westbury are being withdrawn over that complete route).


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 14, 2021, 10:57:34 am
Railfure’s full response to this consultation is here
https://www.railfuture.org.uk/display2771

A very full response covering the whole of the SWR area for December 2022.
Quote
We note firstly that you propose to withdraw this service from December 2021
suggests to me that this Railfuture branch (it's the submission from Wessex branch) hadn't heard a s stakeholder either, and was taking the only opportunity involved (next year's consultation) to express its concern at the changes being imposed this year without (apparetently) proper passenger group consultation.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 14, 2021, 02:36:18 pm
Thanks for the further insights. Really hope that any person or organisation in the role of representing passengers, when this service is referred to as 'Salisbury to Bristol', will correct the speaker 'London Waterloo, intermediate stations and Bristol'.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: bradshaw on September 14, 2021, 04:23:46 pm

SALISBURY TO EXETER RAIL USERS GROUP - (SERUG).

reply regarding SWT TT changes - the full reply under news or via Google drive

Quote
6.8 P35 Waterloo – Salisbury. We assume this service is based on the xx 50 from Waterloo (currently starting at Basingstoke) and it is not shown how the extended services to Yeovil Junction via Sherborne will work. Again, Clapham Junction and Woking stops should be as now.
6.9 We need to see a detailed analysis of the justification for the removal of the off peak extension of the Waterloo - Salisbury service to Gillingham/Yeovil Junction, as your own document shows that off peak travel may well exceed pre covid levels. We do not accept the performance argument, as this route has historically delivered good performance on the existing infrastructure.
6.10 P36 Salisbury to Yeovil via Westbury. these trains are very lightly loaded, and there must be other operational reasons for keeping them in the Timetable – e.g. driver route knowledge etc. These cannot be described as a “core service”. The service is also unbalanced service (i.e. 6 up trains a day from Yeovil and 3 down trains) which is likely to deter regular users.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1neNXqT6Y_994g1-GmY9EkLhmZkzNUIYF/view


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 14, 2021, 06:22:41 pm

SALISBURY TO EXETER RAIL USERS GROUP - (SERUG).

reply regarding SWT TT changes - the full reply under news or via Google drive

Quote
[snip]

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1neNXqT6Y_994g1-GmY9EkLhmZkzNUIYF/view

Of particular reference to this thread I notice:

Quote
6.13 SWR Salisbury to Bristol. SERUG are against these being removed. Whilst, there is clearly a faster direct
route from London (Paddington) to Bristol, there is passenger demand for through services from Clapham
Junction, Woking and Basingstoke. This results in Bradford-on-Avon, Trowbridge and Warminster losing a direct
London service. Again, much of this is Leisure orientated – and such travellers may decide to use the car if a
change of train is required at Salisbury.




Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 15, 2021, 08:04:17 pm
It appears that the undefined list of stakeholders may have been informed that the Waterloo - Bristol Temple Meads service would cease to run in December '21 simply by explicitly drawing their attention to the paragraph on page 27 of the 2022 timetable consultation document. If this is the case I am beyond displeased.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 17, 2021, 11:49:21 am
While the Monday to Friday morning SWR service up to Waterloo from Bristol at 08:50 hasn't run since pre-Covid, it *has* been reinstated on Saturdays only, something that had escaped me.

Having said that, for several of the dates between now and the December timetable change, between Andover and Basingstoke the line's bustituted so the travelling public will have little chance to become accustomed to it.

The Bristol to Waterloo 08:50 *is* running on the 18th of September though, which is convenient.

Next, the fares. No advance tickets listed, but this seems to be a thing from time to time.

Looking at off-peak day returns, we have the following (fares from Bath Spa):

Clapham Junction   £35.00   *Allows onward travel using Oystercard
Waterloo:              £39.30   *Clapham Junction fare plus £4.30.
Wallington:            £33.50   *Fare is via Clapham Junction *not* via Waterloo but even so, discounts the fare to CLJ itself.
New Cross:            £30.65   *Via Waterloo, so, by travelling short, discounts the Waterloo fare by around 20%

OK, wishing advance fares didn't constantly play the dance of the seven veils, but glad I checked this.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 17, 2021, 12:10:41 pm
Of course, if you're only going as far as Woking you should buy a Clapham Junction ticket and get off short ...


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 17, 2021, 12:28:19 pm
Of course, if you're only going as far as Woking you should buy a Clapham Junction ticket and get off short ...

Woking comes up as £30.60 though (bizarrely, a saving of £0.05 on New Cross...).

But Chertsey, another destination I need: no day return available, so, via Salisbury, we're dropped into super off-peak return territory at £46.85. Via Reading will beat that on price, at least until such time that the split day return at Didcot vanishes.

More generally, the SWR tweak to their offpeak and super off peak times will presumably impact passenger loadings on their long distance services, including the morning weekday Bristol to Waterloo train should it reappear.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: GWR 158 on September 17, 2021, 01:51:23 pm
I know the Waterloo to Bristol service is being axed, but according to Realtime trains there is still one running. So I'm confused


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 17, 2021, 03:54:05 pm
I know the Waterloo to Bristol service is being axed, but according to Realtime trains there is still one running. So I'm confused

It's running until December ... on days that the lines all the way are open, and there are enough crews and trains available. 


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 17, 2021, 06:12:58 pm
I know the Waterloo to Bristol service is being axed, but according to Realtime trains there is still one running. So I'm confused

I'm not surprised. It's a service that's run for 20 years + but then since the start of the pandemic has been cancelled, part-reinstated, hammered by staffing issues and engineering works - as an occasional user even I'd not noticed that the Saturday morning train was running again - though from this weekend there's a few weeks of disruption to the Saturday trains coming up.

Something I must check - in the past there was disruption east of Salisbury and a train manager stated that via Southampton was a valid route for Bath Spa - Waterloo via Salisbury tickets, but that surely cannot be the case... or can it?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: PhilWakely on September 17, 2021, 07:59:29 pm
Something I must check - in the past there was disruption east of Salisbury and a train manager stated that via Southampton was a valid route for Bath Spa - Waterloo via Salisbury tickets, but that surely cannot be the case... or can it?

More often than not, long distance services through Salisbury heading for Waterloo divert via Southampton, so I see no reason why staff shouldn't suggest it.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on September 17, 2021, 09:05:28 pm

The Bristol to Waterloo 08:50 *is* running on the 18th of September though, which is convenient.


I wouldn't bank on that !  My daughter, who was planning to get the return service to WMN (1220 Ex WAT) has just rung to tell me that the SAL - BRI bit has been cancelled. That gives her yet another 58 min wait at Salisbury !!
Just how on earth do they think they are going to persuade people to use the trains ever again ???


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: PhilWakely on September 17, 2021, 10:09:52 pm

The Bristol to Waterloo 08:50 *is* running on the 18th of September though, which is convenient.


I wouldn't bank on that !  My daughter, who was planning to get the return service to WMN (1220 Ex WAT) has just rung to tell me that the SAL - BRI bit has been cancelled. That gives her yet another 58 min wait at Salisbury !!
Just how on earth do they think they are going to persuade people to use the trains ever again ???

Quote from: SouthWestern Railway Journeycheck
Train Cancellations
Sat, 18 September 10:52 Salisbury to Bristol Temple Meads due 12:05
Sat, 18 September 12:48 Bristol Temple Meads to Salisbury due 14:07
Sat, 18 September 13:52 Salisbury to Bristol Temple Meads due 15:05
Sat, 18 September 15:50 Bristol Temple Meads to Salisbury due 17:09

So, as things currently stand, the morning BRI-WAT service IS running.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on September 18, 2021, 08:41:18 am
So, as things currently stand, the morning BRI-WAT service IS running.

The seeds of confusion.................! The BRI to WAT may be ..............but as to the return service -  Who knows ....

According to parts of RTT it is, according to other parts it isn't. According to SWR and National Rail it isn't. As I said, who on earth wants to travel by train if they don't have a clue as to which train is running and which isn't ?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 18, 2021, 09:19:38 am
Response from DfT to my FOI request asking how the decision to axe the Bristol to Waterloo service came about received - I have put a copy into our resource archive ((here)) (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/mirror/F0020156.pdf).


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: PhilWakely on September 18, 2021, 09:49:54 am
So, as things currently stand, the morning BRI-WAT service IS running.

The seeds of confusion.................! The BRI to WAT may be ..............but as to the return service -  Who knows ....

According to parts of RTT it is, according to other parts it isn't. According to SWR and National Rail it isn't. As I said, who on earth wants to travel by train if they don't have a clue as to which train is running and which isn't ?

The 0850 BRI-WAT IS running


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 18, 2021, 10:19:48 am
It certainly is, I'm on it.

After Warminster, 91 passengers travelling, about 15 alighted at Salisbury, one on the advice of the train manager who pointed her in the direction of a coffee before rejoining the train.

 (Someone else came aboard at Bath and asked if this was first class or were they ok to sit down. That probably says something about the IEPs though as the Paddington ones are a bit spartan )


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 18, 2021, 10:44:31 am
The day ticket I'm using: the equivalent via Paddington is available but costs 45% more, so as well as the opportunities for travel, the DfT needs to be thinking about the inclusivity the service offers.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 18, 2021, 11:02:48 am
From Basingstoke, and now 9 carriages, the train is now appears over 100% full.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on September 18, 2021, 11:41:34 am

The 0850 BRI-WAT IS running

I am NOT disputing that !


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on September 18, 2021, 11:44:39 am
From Basingstoke, and now 9 carriages, the train is now appears over 100% full.

Pre Covid that train was usually full and standing after Andover - depending who was playing at home that day.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 18, 2021, 12:07:17 pm
Felt like over a third of the passengers bailed at Clapham Junction, as did I. Long walk there to find somewhere to tap in with an Oystercard.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 18, 2021, 07:43:52 pm
Speaking with another passenger on  the return train, they'd discovered the existence this week, they had a chat with the train manager on the way up as to what a good service it was and he had to break the news that it has 12 weeks to run. There's very little public knowledge of this.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 18, 2021, 09:01:54 pm
Glimpse of the future at Salisbury, as this evening's 21:42 to Bristol is cancelled. Without a tweak to the timetable, that's the train that will be providing the connection for stations to Bristol, so, a potential one hour fifty minute wait.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on September 19, 2021, 09:24:14 am
On pages 1 & 2 of this thread I recounted the saga of my daughter’s last trip from Waterloo to Warminster on a non-existent SWR train.

Being a glutton for punishment she attempted the same trip again yesterday, with the SAL – BRI segment yet again being cancelled. Having previously been told that the Cardiff train had priority and a 58 minute wait for Warminster was a “design” feature of the timetable, my wife and I decided to drive to Salisbury to collect her from there. The trains’ timings today were exactly the same as last time; her train was a few minutes early and the Cardiff (Warminster) train was a few minutes late.

I think some of you are probably already ahead of me here. …….the Exeter train was then let through Salisbury tunnel first and the guard informed the whole train that those who intended to catch the 58 minutes later train towards Bristol could now make an almost instant connection.

Those passengers were delighted, my daughter was somewhat sheepish……………..I was ^%$£ ”* fuming !!

Looking at RTT after the event, it appears that both lots of passengers wishing to swap between these two trains were probably capable of doing so today, with the Cardiff (Newport actually) service being allowed to leave Salisbury first. Wouldn’t it be nice if this were to happen all the time ?  I’ll have another pint of what I was drinking before please …………..


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 20, 2021, 08:19:45 am
Sharing a public post from Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/spottedbradfordonavon/posts/570310410784825/):
Quote
September 18 at 10:46 AM  ·

I'm very disappointed that BOA will be losing any kind of direct rail service to London as of Dec 2021. When they tried to do this back in 2006, the Wiltshire Times and BOA councillors campaigned against this and we kept our vital direct link to London.  We seem to be going backwards, as cutting the service could lead to more car journeys as people will not necessarily want to risk the poor GWR service which often means missing the connection at Sailsbury and waiting sometimes as much as an hour.  Here is the rubbish response from the Dept of Transport:
Quote
Dear Ms [xxx]

Thank you for contacting the Department for Transport on 14 September

2021 regarding the timetable changes for South Western Railway’s services between London Waterloo and Bradford on Avon. Your correspondence has been passed to the Rail Passenger Services team for reply.

South Western Railway, like all train operators, has been heavily subsidised since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the railway open for key workers. While customers are returning to the railway, current forecasts do not expect them to return to pre-pandemic levels for some time. The overall passenger demand forecast expects a return to 76 per cent of passengers, compared to pre-COVID levels. As a result, South Western Railway and other train operators are looking for opportunities to improve efficiency and the value of the railway to the taxpayer.

While we acknowledge the attractiveness of the through service to Waterloo to passengers, there are increasing capacity issues elsewhere on the West of England line, especially beyond Salisbury, as leisure demand grows. Consequently, the industry is looking to ensure that it can maximise the use of the South Western Railway diesel fleet on the core Exeter route, to ensure that customers can have better journeys. This has led to the decision to withdraw services between London Waterloo and Bristol in December 2021.

Only three stations on the line will lose direct services to London – Bradfordon-Avon, Trowbridge and Oldfield Park – while all other stations will either have direct services to London Waterloo, using South Western Railway services, or to London Paddington with Great Western Railway services.

Great Western Railway currently runs an hourly service between Bristol and Salisbury every day, which enables stations on the line to connect to South Western Railway’s hourly service to London Waterloo from Salisbury. All stations will have services connecting directly into the Great Western Railway services from Bristol and Bath into London Paddington, which run twice per hour throughout the day.

These proposals will allow South Western Railway and Great Western Railway to consider how to provide attractive connections at Salisbury, whilst recognising the constraints of operating a reliable railway through many complex junctions on both routes, and the single line sections west of Salisbury. While it is regrettable that customers from Bradford-on-Avon, Trowbridge and Oldfield Park will now have to change trains at Westbury, Salisbury or Bath Spa to get to London this decision will remove duplication of services and improve overall value to the taxpayer.

MPs and other stakeholders were informed directly about the withdrawal of the Bristol services to London Waterloo in advance of the South Western Railway December 2022 timetable consultation at the end of July. Key stakeholders, including Transport Focus, MPs and other elected representatives, passenger and accessibility groups, and business and transport sectors, will be consulted by South Western Railway as part of the December 2022 timetable consultation.

Thank you again for contacting the Department for Transport. We hope this reply addresses your concerns.

Yours sincerely

Correspondence Team, Rail Passenger Services Directorate

I am interested to read once again that MPs amongst others were "directly informed" in advance of the 2022 consultation.

First point of interest is that the wording is informed and not consulted, even though the text hides the failure to consult under the umbrella of another consultation relating to a changes to be made a further years from now. 

Second point of interest is that I spoke in person (in real life - a walk in the park!) with my MP, who's also the MP for Bradford-on-Avon on this topic just yesterday, and whilst news may have been sent to her office in some form, she was certainly not informed, rather surprised as the news, and asked me some very good questions ...

I have yet to find any of the passenger groups who were "directly informed in advance of the [different thing] 2022 consultation", unless the writer means that the consultation document was emailed to them ahead of the portal being open for responses, and it included the decision to cull the Bristol to Waterloo service deep in its pages.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 20, 2021, 09:46:16 am
Wow. Thanks for flagging this. What's disappointing is that several responses to the original poster are supportive of the DfT's letter - and also the idea that people are just able to change at Westbury / Salisbury. Perhaps they're taking the letter at face value, they're not users of the railway and unfamiliar how Salisbury 'Connections' work, or not aware that Westbury also loses the majority of its additional SWR trains that run to and from Yeovil via the Castle of Cary.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 20, 2021, 11:24:03 am
Wow. Thanks for flagging this. What's disappointing is that several responses ...

I think you'll find it's always going to be hard to get overwhelming community support, or indeed consensus, on services other than the primary ones, at any station.  Taking the extreme case of Cross Country. They run no stations at all and are the primary provider at a very limited number - and look at how their services have been decimated of late.  I have heard complaints from Torquay, but very muted. 

Look, more locally, at the Swindon to Westbury service.  Two thirds of the journeys made on those trains which could not be made on other direct trains and from Swindon to Chippenham to Trowbridge or Westbury.  But all four of those stations named have far more trains going to other places, and the town from which you really hear inputs about the thin-ness of the service, how early it ends in the evening, or the reliability is Melksham, which is accounting for only one journey in three on the line.

I offer you those word in thinking of an explanation, not in terms of offering a solution, I'm afraid. I was reminded when I saw the thread that "you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time", and also of people's natural tendency to believe what they're officially told by their government. It's natural because the majority of what the government puts out in copious publications is correct and reasonable.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: DaveHarries on September 20, 2021, 11:27:59 pm
[.....] or not aware that Westbury also loses the majority of its additional SWR trains that run to and from Yeovil via the Castle of Cary.
Curously the December 2021 TT provides a total of 9 SWR services calling at Westbury. However if you look at Yeovil Pen Mill there are a total of 15. As far as the Bristol services are concerned I wonder if passenger figures showed that not many of those travelling on SWR services between Bristol Temple Meads and Trowbridge (inclusive) were continuing beyond Salisbury. I can only guess.

Dave


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 21, 2021, 07:22:38 am
As far as the Bristol services are concerned I wonder if passenger figures showed that not many of those travelling on SWR services between Bristol Temple Meads and Trowbridge (inclusive) were continuing beyond Salisbury. I can only guess.

It's a fair thing to wonder, based on the decision to withdraw the through service.  But your guess is wrong - there have been, and once again are, very strong flows across Salisbury.  The majority of people on the train arriving into Salisbury remain on board, and observation will confirm that they come for the most part from North East of Westbury.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: brooklea on September 21, 2021, 07:33:40 am
Wow. Thanks for flagging this. What's disappointing is that several responses to the original poster are supportive of the DfT's letter - and also the idea that people are just able to change at Westbury / Salisbury. Perhaps they're taking the letter at face value, they're not users of the railway and unfamiliar how Salisbury 'Connections' work, or not aware that Westbury also loses the majority of its additional SWR trains that run to and from Yeovil via the Castle of Cary.

As far as I’m aware the section of your post I have highlighted in bold is not correct. The existing SWR services between Yeovil and Westbury (and vice versa), will continue past the December 2021 timetable change. The only significant change will be the late evening Castle Cary starter will run in passenger service from Yeovil at a slightly later time, allowing a connection to be made at Westbury for passengers travelling to Warminster and Salisbury off GWR’s Cardiff to Frome train (which runs between Bristol and Westbury in the path of the current 2225 SWR service from Bristol).

Edit to correct the year 2020 to 2021


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 21, 2021, 08:03:14 am
Wow. Thanks for flagging this. What's disappointing is that several responses to the original poster are supportive of the DfT's letter - and also the idea that people are just able to change at Westbury / Salisbury. Perhaps they're taking the letter at face value, they're not users of the railway and unfamiliar how Salisbury 'Connections' work, or not aware that Westbury also loses the majority of its additional SWR trains that run to and from Yeovil via the Castle of Cary.

As far as I’m aware the section of your post I have highlighted in bold is not correct. The existing SWR services between Yeovil and Westbury (and vice versa), will continue past the December 2020 timetable change. The only significant change will be the late evening Castle Cary starter will run in passenger service from Yeovil at a slightly later time, allowing a connection to be made at Westbury for passengers travelling to Warminster and Salisbury off GWR’s Cardiff to Frome train (which runs between Bristol and Westbury in the path of the current 2225 SWR service from Bristol).

As I'm reading it, there's another factor which hasn't really made it into the spotlight of publicity.   Most of the Bristol to Waterloo services have joined with / become the 2nd train in the hour from Salisbury to Waterloo, calling at the three extra stations before Basingstoke.  However, those trains (off peak) are now to run as a shuttle up to Basingstoke and while that's the plan there's an issue with potentially turning the Bristol to London (Waterloo) service into a Bristol to Basingstoke one.  And from Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Bradford-on-Avon, Trowbridge, etc, London (and Waterloo station there - the busiest in the country) is a far more attractive destination than Boringstoke.

The SWR services via Frome and Yeovil Pen Mill are 'sold' as route learners, but I suspect there's more to it than that - there's an awful lot of them for that.  Is there an undeclared agenda to have all local services south of Frome and Warminster transferred to the operational management contract run using trains based at the Salisbury depot?  Heart of Wessex CRP gone in place of new local setup; locals from Bristol to Westbury to become "Bristol Metro" - I wonder if we're going to find alternate stoppers from Bristol turning at Warminster and at Frome, which are a logical end of the Bristol travel-to-work area. Hourly from Frome,  hourly from Dilton Marsh, hourly stopper plus hourly regional from Warminster would be attractive. Problem that the other odd stuff (the Waterloos and the Brighton an the odd extras to Southampton) need to be tidied up in some "housekeeping" ahead of time.  Just asking ...




Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 21, 2021, 09:39:53 am
As far as I’m aware the section of your post I have highlighted in bold is not correct. <snip>

Ah, glad to hear it. (Sort of!) Thanks.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 21, 2021, 09:47:00 am
Is the SWR December '21 timetable available yet (and if not, where will it appear when it does emerge from the darkness?).

Mark


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: brooklea on September 21, 2021, 11:38:18 am
Is the SWR December '21 timetable available yet (and if not, where will it appear when it does emerge from the darkness?).

Mark

Searching the RealTimeTrains website  https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/detailed/ (https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/detailed/) will give you the best idea of what’s being planned currently, but comes with the caveat that there may still be tweaks made to this. I’m unsure when it will be finalised and published.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Lee on September 21, 2021, 12:27:07 pm
Wow. Thanks for flagging this. What's disappointing is that several responses to the original poster are supportive of the DfT's letter - and also the idea that people are just able to change at Westbury / Salisbury. Perhaps they're taking the letter at face value, they're not users of the railway and unfamiliar how Salisbury 'Connections' work, or not aware that Westbury also loses the majority of its additional SWR trains that run to and from Yeovil via the Castle of Cary.

As far as I’m aware the section of your post I have highlighted in bold is not correct. The existing SWR services between Yeovil and Westbury (and vice versa), will continue past the December 2020 timetable change. The only significant change will be the late evening Castle Cary starter will run in passenger service from Yeovil at a slightly later time, allowing a connection to be made at Westbury for passengers travelling to Warminster and Salisbury off GWR’s Cardiff to Frome train (which runs between Bristol and Westbury in the path of the current 2225 SWR service from Bristol).

As I'm reading it, there's another factor which hasn't really made it into the spotlight of publicity.   Most of the Bristol to Waterloo services have joined with / become the 2nd train in the hour from Salisbury to Waterloo, calling at the three extra stations before Basingstoke.  However, those trains (off peak) are now to run as a shuttle up to Basingstoke and while that's the plan there's an issue with potentially turning the Bristol to London (Waterloo) service into a Bristol to Basingstoke one.  And from Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Bradford-on-Avon, Trowbridge, etc, London (and Waterloo station there - the busiest in the country) is a far more attractive destination than Boringstoke.

The SWR services via Frome and Yeovil Pen Mill are 'sold' as route learners, but I suspect there's more to it than that - there's an awful lot of them for that.  Is there an undeclared agenda to have all local services south of Frome and Warminster transferred to the operational management contract run using trains based at the Salisbury depot?  Heart of Wessex CRP gone in place of new local setup; locals from Bristol to Westbury to become "Bristol Metro" - I wonder if we're going to find alternate stoppers from Bristol turning at Warminster and at Frome, which are a logical end of the Bristol travel-to-work area. Hourly from Frome,  hourly from Dilton Marsh, hourly stopper plus hourly regional from Warminster would be attractive. Problem that the other odd stuff (the Waterloos and the Brighton an the odd extras to Southampton) need to be tidied up in some "housekeeping" ahead of time.  Just asking ...




What happens to the Bristol-Weymouth's in your scenario, if we have hourly stoppers from Bristol turning at Frome?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on September 21, 2021, 01:40:38 pm
Daughter sent me this - taken from 1148 WMN to WAT......presumably at Salisbury.

(https://i.postimg.cc/KjD5s7cY/Whats-App-Image-2021-09-21-at-12-31-47.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 21, 2021, 01:42:58 pm
What happens to the Bristol-Weymouth's in your scenario, if we have hourly stoppers from Bristol turning at Frome?

Please remember, Lee, that I am saying "could" not "should" on these various elements.   What should NOT happen though, IMHO, is to wreck a well used element of the current service (the Bristol to Waterloos) without putting anything in its place in the next timetable.

OK - I did a lot of work on "south of Westbury" with Chris Loder who at the time worked for SWT. 

Slightly depending on the turn-around time at Frome, and pathing, said service could extend to Yeovil with one extra train. Extension in a clock face pattern south from Yeovil was, as I recall, problematic due to where the passing loops are. 30 minutes south from Pen Mill puts you slap between Maiden Newton an Dorchester West.  You COULD do it with alternate trains (and one more extra unit) giving a uniform 2 hourly service into Weymouth, but that would break traditional patterns of usage of that line - something that would severely impact local year round traffic.

Another option would be to run a Westbury to Weymouth service, with passengers from Trowbridge and north thereof to Bruton and south thereof required to change. I can't help wondering if, when the SWT services stepped up from being route learners with a bubble car under Stagecoach to fully fledged passenger services that Chris' intent (they were known as "Loder specials") was for that line to become part of the Stagecoach / Salisbury operation.  Certainly, strategic growth is foreseen by many along there, and running if from Salisbury has an element of sense.   Chris has, of course, moved on from SW[RT] but now has a position where he can apply some political influence.

And ... don't forget the the line was the Wiltshire, Somerset and Weymouth (main line) when built, and there would be logical for the Cardiff to Portsmouth service and a Swindon (or Oxford, or Bedford) to Weymouth service to pull into Westbury alongside each other, swap passengers, and carry on. Of course, that would mean a significant station stop - 5 to 8 minutes - on each train to avoid the very absurdity that renders Waterloo to Bristol via Salisbury so disconnected (59 minute connection) when the through service is not running.  Which is where we started this conversation.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 21, 2021, 03:50:54 pm
The issue's now surfaced on Somerset Live:

https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/local-news/bath-train-station-lose-direct-5946379 (https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/local-news/bath-train-station-lose-direct-5946379)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 21, 2021, 03:59:56 pm
The issue's now surfaced on Somerset Live:

https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/local-news/bath-train-station-lose-direct-5946379 (https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/local-news/bath-train-station-lose-direct-5946379)

Quote
A train station in Bath is set to lose its direct service to London this December.

Oldfield Park will no longer be served by the South Western Railway (SWR) train to London Waterloo, meaning passengers must change at Bath Spa.

From there, they can catch the Great Western Railway (GWR) link from Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington.

But passengers from Oldfield Park who want to alight at Waterloo will have to change at Salisbury onto the SWR train.

Probably have to change at Westbury too most of the time ...


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 22, 2021, 09:42:45 am
Looking at responses from MPs, two so far:

Bath: dug two lengthy (and questionable) responses from the Secretary of State for Transport.
Kingswood: forwarded their constituents concerns to South Western Railways for them to respond, currently awaiting a further response.

Any others? As he was the MP who engaged with the 2006 campaign for these trains it would be interesting to know of Andrew Murrison's position in 2021.

Mark


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Lee on September 22, 2021, 09:46:46 am
Any others? As he was the MP who engaged with the 2006 campaign for these trains it would be interesting to know of Andrew Murrison's position in 2021.

Mark

I think that's one that grahame is following up, judging by a recent conversation.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 22, 2021, 09:56:43 am
Any others? As he was the MP who engaged with the 2006 campaign for these trains it would be interesting to know of Andrew Murrison's position in 2021.

Mark

I think that's one that grahame is following up, judging by a recent conversation.

From one of Dr Murrsion's constituents, at the start of this month.

Quote
This is a copy of the letter I sent to Dr Murrison. I have had an automated reply saying it has been received but I’m not confident a “proper reply” will arrive any time soon!

I also have a copy of the letter sent to him by the West Wilts Rail User Group on 18th August; will chase up to see if there has been any substantive reply.  (The letter did not ask for a substantive reply - it concluded "We feel that it would make much more sense to return the Bristol Temple Meads to Waterloo services to the May 2019 level and in particular reinstate the morning departure to Waterloo. This would give passenger numbers the chance to return to those pre-pandemic before making a decision as to whether Bristol Temple Meads to Waterloo services should be withdrawn. On behalf of rail users in West Wiltshire, we strongly urge you to use your influence to retain these trains.")


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 22, 2021, 10:35:15 am
A reminder from The Independent (https://www.independent.co.uk/independentpremium/long-reads/rail-fairs-uk-train-travel-cars-cost-commuting-season-ticket-a9556781.html) ...

Quote
At 2.56pm on 11 September 2001, an aide in the Department for Transport (DfT) sent an email to the then transport secretary, Stephen Byers, saying: “It’s now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury.” Jo Moore wrote the message within an hour of the second aircraft hitting the World Trade Centre in New York ...

I can't help wondering if this summer and autumn, with major concerns about covid still, with the Brexit "dividend" paying out, and with the climate change elephant beginning to be noticed ... whether Jo Moore's and Stephen Byers' successors are following the same thought pattern.  There is evidence that they wanted to bury this (in the December 2022 SWR consultation - why leak the news out there?), and that feeling is compounded by their failure to provide answers to my FOI request researching how the decision was made.

As most of our local MPs are senior government members, it's sad and (for a cynic) only to be expected that their attention to a matter that a government department wants to hide is sluggish and muted. I wonder if my FOI request might be an embarrasment because the papers contain a "don't tell the children" message.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 22, 2021, 10:40:20 am

I also have a copy of the letter sent to him by the West Wilts Rail User Group on 18th August; will chase up to see if there has been any substantive reply. 

Ah, the West Wilts Rail User Group has a web site. With a news section. Glad they've splashed the Bristol to Waterloo trains.

http://www.wwrug.org.uk/news.html


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Trowres on September 23, 2021, 11:09:03 pm
Posting in this thread as relevant to the SWR timetable non-consultation. My bolding in the quotation.

From Hansard: Oral Answers to Questions Wed 22nd September 2021

https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-09-22/debates/55CB1FF1-8683-454C-A3E0-2AE4F493E81C/OralAnswersToQuestions (https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-09-22/debates/55CB1FF1-8683-454C-A3E0-2AE4F493E81C/OralAnswersToQuestions)

Quote
Chris Loder (West Dorset) (Con):
The bus and train operator FirstGroup continues to slash our transport services in West Dorset despite receiving millions of pounds of public money with no revenue risk at all, and having the worst rail line frequency in the country on the Heart of Wessex line. Will the Deputy Prime Minister directly intervene to save what little service we have on that three-hourly-frequency line or actively work to get a new operator that will?

The Deputy Prime Minister:
I thank my hon. Friend; I know he is a great champion for the people in his constituency. I understand that the Department of Transport has been engaging with the transport operators in his constituency. I also understand that South Western Railway intends to increase service levels to their pre-covid timetable by May 2022, and it has ambitions for an increase in the train service frequency on the Great Western Railway route. DFT will of course continue to work with GWR, and I continue to support him in trying to champion commuters and passengers on all those services.




Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Trowres on September 23, 2021, 11:15:08 pm
Of course, he might mean services on the Waterloo-Weymouth line are being restored. Oops...forgot about off-peak cuts at Sherborne and the SO Salisbury-Weymouth and associated Yeovil-Weymouth workings.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 24, 2021, 08:47:13 am
Thanks for flagging this, appreciated. And there, from the deputy prime minister, is the tell.

"...and I continue to support him in trying to champion commuters and passengers"

I'll leave that one for Yoda to deal with.

Mark



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on September 25, 2021, 10:38:11 am
Since the Secretary of State for Transport dug in on the decision to scrap them, I put a spade in the ground too and put together a quick web resource on the Bristol to Waterloo trains, the decision to axe them, and the need to reverse the decision and take a more positive approach. Here's a link:

http://www.twotunnels.org.uk/waterloo/index.html

Not all my own work, as there's already been help from others, including from this forum, so, hat-tip.

Now, I'm collecting quotes for the site from people who use these trains - if you can help with a quote, please send it to the email address on the site. Thanks in anticipation. we have a few, but could do with a library of 'em.

Mark


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 28, 2021, 03:17:20 pm
From the Secratary of State for Transport to the Andrew Murrison, MP covering Trowbridge, Westbury Dilton Marsh and Warminster stations, in answer to a message forwarded by the chair of the West Wilts Rail User Group:

Quote
From: Department for Transport
From the Secretary of State The Rt Hon Grant Shapps
Great Minster House 33 Horseferry Road London SW1P 4DR
Tel: 0300 330 3000 E-Mail: grant.shapps@dft.gov.uk Web site: www.gov.uk/dft Our Ref: MC/367119 Your Ref: AM/JCP/09/270821 (AM23393)

17 September 2021

To: Rt Hon Andrew Murrison MP House of Commons London SW1A OAA

Dear Andrew,

Thank you for your letter of 27 August, enclosing correspondence from your constituent, Richard Cowell, of [address], on behalf of the West Wiltshire Rail Users Group [of which Richard is chair] , about withdrawal of South Western Railway services between Bristol Temple Meads and London Waterloo.

South Western Railway, like all train operators, has been heavily subsidised since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the railway open for key workers. While customers are returning to the railway, current forecasts do not expect them to return to pre-pandemic levels for some time. The overall passenger demand forecast expects a return to 76 per cent of passengers, compared to pre-COVID levels. As a result, South Western Railway and other train operators are looking for opportunities to improve efficiency and the value of the railway to the taxpayer.
While I acknowledge the attractiveness of the through service to Waterloo to passengers, there are increasing capacity issues elsewhere on the West of England line, especially beyond Salisbury, as leisure demand grows. Consequently, the industry is looking to ensure that it can maximise the use of the South Western Railway diesel fleet on the core Exeter route, to ensure that customers can have better journeys. This has led to the decision to withdraw services between London Waterloo and Bristol in December 2021.

Only three stations on the line will lose direct services to London; Bradford-on-Avon, Trowbridge and Oldfield Park, while all others stations will either have direct services to London Waterloo, using South Western Railway services, or to London Paddington with Great Western Railway services.

You may be aware that South Western Railway and Network Rail are also jointly consulting on the specification for the December 2022 timetable which will provide 93 per cent of the pre-Covid service level. This follows years of responding to additional passenger demand by increasing the number of services on the network. This new timetable is seen as an opportunity to match service-levels to expected demand, while improving the reliability of services and maximising value to the taxpayer. The new specification will act as the base timetable from which services can adapt in response to future changes in demand.

Your constituent is correct that Great Western Railway currently runs an hourly service between Bristol and Salisbury every day, which enables stations on the line to connect to South Western Railway's hourly service to London Waterloo from Salisbury. All stations will have services connecting directly into the Great Western Railway services from Bristol and Bath into London Paddington, which run twice per hour throughout the day.

These proposals will allow South Western Railway and Great Western Railway to consider how to provide attractive connections at Salisbury, whilst recognising the constraints of operating a reliable railway through many complex junctions on both routes, and the single line sections west of Salisbury. While it is regrettable that customers from Bradford-on-Avon, Trowbridge and Oldfield Park will now have to change trains at Westbury, Salisbury or Bath Spa to get to London this decision will remove duplication of services and improve overall value to the taxpayer.

MPs and Stakeholders were informed directly about the withdrawal of the Bristol services to London Waterloo in advance of the South Western Railway December 2022 timetable consultation at the end of July. Key stakeholders, including Transport Focus, MPs and other elected representatives, passenger and accessibility groups, and business and transport sectors, will be consulted by South Western Railway as part of the December 2022 timetable consultation.
Yours ever,

Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR TRANSPORT


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Lee on September 28, 2021, 03:43:42 pm
From the Secratary of State for Transport to the Andrew Murrison, MP covering Trowbridge, Westbury Dilton Marsh and Warminster stations, in answer to a message forwarded by the chair of the West Wilts Rail User Group:

Quote
From: Department for Transport
From the Secretary of State The Rt Hon Grant Shapps
Great Minster House 33 Horseferry Road London SW1P 4DR
Tel: 0300 330 3000 E-Mail: grant.shapps@dft.gov.uk Web site: www.gov.uk/dft Our Ref: MC/367119 Your Ref: AM/JCP/09/270821 (AM23393)

17 September 2021

To: Rt Hon Andrew Murrison MP House of Commons London SW1A OAA

Dear Andrew,

Thank you for your letter of 27 August, enclosing correspondence from your constituent, Richard Cowell, of [address], on behalf of the West Wiltshire Rail Users Group [of which Richard is chair] , about withdrawal of South Western Railway services between Bristol Temple Meads and London Waterloo.

South Western Railway, like all train operators, has been heavily subsidised since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the railway open for key workers. While customers are returning to the railway, current forecasts do not expect them to return to pre-pandemic levels for some time. The overall passenger demand forecast expects a return to 76 per cent of passengers, compared to pre-COVID levels. As a result, South Western Railway and other train operators are looking for opportunities to improve efficiency and the value of the railway to the taxpayer.
While I acknowledge the attractiveness of the through service to Waterloo to passengers, there are increasing capacity issues elsewhere on the West of England line, especially beyond Salisbury, as leisure demand grows. Consequently, the industry is looking to ensure that it can maximise the use of the South Western Railway diesel fleet on the core Exeter route, to ensure that customers can have better journeys. This has led to the decision to withdraw services between London Waterloo and Bristol in December 2021.

Only three stations on the line will lose direct services to London; Bradford-on-Avon, Trowbridge and Oldfield Park, while all others stations will either have direct services to London Waterloo, using South Western Railway services, or to London Paddington with Great Western Railway services.

You may be aware that South Western Railway and Network Rail are also jointly consulting on the specification for the December 2022 timetable which will provide 93 per cent of the pre-Covid service level. This follows years of responding to additional passenger demand by increasing the number of services on the network. This new timetable is seen as an opportunity to match service-levels to expected demand, while improving the reliability of services and maximising value to the taxpayer. The new specification will act as the base timetable from which services can adapt in response to future changes in demand.

Your constituent is correct that Great Western Railway currently runs an hourly service between Bristol and Salisbury every day, which enables stations on the line to connect to South Western Railway's hourly service to London Waterloo from Salisbury. All stations will have services connecting directly into the Great Western Railway services from Bristol and Bath into London Paddington, which run twice per hour throughout the day.

These proposals will allow South Western Railway and Great Western Railway to consider how to provide attractive connections at Salisbury, whilst recognising the constraints of operating a reliable railway through many complex junctions on both routes, and the single line sections west of Salisbury. While it is regrettable that customers from Bradford-on-Avon, Trowbridge and Oldfield Park will now have to change trains at Westbury, Salisbury or Bath Spa to get to London this decision will remove duplication of services and improve overall value to the taxpayer.

MPs and Stakeholders were informed directly about the withdrawal of the Bristol services to London Waterloo in advance of the South Western Railway December 2022 timetable consultation at the end of July. Key stakeholders, including Transport Focus, MPs and other elected representatives, passenger and accessibility groups, and business and transport sectors, will be consulted by South Western Railway as part of the December 2022 timetable consultation.
Yours ever,

Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR TRANSPORT

It really is like banging your head against a brick wall, isn't it?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 28, 2021, 03:48:11 pm
It really is like banging your head against a brick wall, isn't it?

At least if you bang your head against a brick wall, you can FEEL something's happening even if it's just to you!


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: TonyK on September 28, 2021, 07:10:17 pm
It really is like banging your head against a brick wall, isn't it?

At least if you bang your head against a brick wall, you can FEEL something's happening even if it's just to you!

It's also nice when you stop.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Southernman on September 28, 2021, 11:40:56 pm
Heard (rumour or fact?) that a number of units are to be stored to save money. If true, does that mean that the implied increase in the units (for leisure travel) on the core Waterloo-Exeter route will actually occur. Remember that the Honiton/Axminster shuttles are also possible reductions in 2022.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Lee on September 29, 2021, 12:51:43 am
Heard (rumour or fact?) that a number of units are to be stored to save money. If true, does that mean that the implied increase in the units (for leisure travel) on the core Waterloo-Exeter route will actually occur. Remember that the Honiton/Axminster shuttles are also possible reductions in 2022.

One cant help but recall that images of stored Class 153 units and the like at Eastleigh back in 2006/2007 did not end well for the government of the day...


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on September 29, 2021, 06:46:52 am
The "not enough stock to run core services otherwise" could, just conceivably, be valid if 3 car trains between Salisbury and Exeter are increased from 3 to 6 or 9 carriages. Fine, dear, DfT - so move the goal posts. Provide more carriages - you have them stored and need to remove your artificial "not enough trains here" limit.  Trains can move - that's there whole purpose.  ;D ;D

Heard (rumour or fact?) that a number of units are to be stored to save money. If true, does that mean that the implied increase in the units (for leisure travel) on the core Waterloo-Exeter route will actually occur. Remember that the Honiton/Axminster shuttles are also possible reductions in 2022.

One cant help but recall that images of stored Class 153 units and the like at Eastleigh back in 2006/2007 did not end well for the government of the day...

According to Wikipedia, there are once again stored class 153 units - eight of them of which five are unallocated as far as I can make out.   From mixed sources: 

Stored, unallocated, At Nemesis Rail, Burton Depot (since January this year) - 153356, 153366, 153374, 153381, 153383. "The company provides full maintenance services, returning passenger and freight stock to service, and completes examinations on locomotives and coaches for various companies." Suggest some may now be at Long Marston (from 29th June 2021) - 153383, 153371, 153381 & 153375 Norton Worcester { 1049 Burton Ot Wetmore Sidings ~ Long Marston } 290621 S Widdowson ( https://www.flickr.com/photos/149822823@N04/51279764480/ )  . Noting that 153316, 153332, 153363 are said to be stored allocated too.

Now - quite a few of the units I have mentioned there became suddenly illegal to use because they have loos in them which are not accessible as from the start of this year.  So they can't simply be formed up into a train or two.  But - hang on - not every loo on a train has to be accessible, and one has to wonder if a bit of shuffling would be feasible - well before 12th December - to replace a couple of 2 x 150 diagrams with 150 + 2 x 153 diagrams, releasing a couple of 150s to cascade a couple of 158s to SWR - that's if they really need more stock at Salisbury in order to run services which they have already been running, and planning, for many years.



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on October 01, 2021, 11:49:46 am
Ah. Passenger Focus's response to the 2022 SWR timetable consultation: now on a web site near you.

https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/publication/south-western-railway-december-2022-timetable-consultation/

Here's the paragraph that closes the response deals with the Bristol - Waterloo direct services.

Salisbury to Bristol Temple Meads

Following a separate review by the Department for Transport, SWR intends to withdraw its current three daily services from December 2021; they are said to duplicate services offered by GWR and therefore not be good value for the taxpayer. In the absence of any information about the services that GWR will run, it is not possible to fully assess the implications of this proposal. Furthermore, the proposal to withdraw services along key regional routes has upset many people, suggesting they are well used and are relied on by passengers. We believe you should carefully consider deferring this proposal to December 2022, to give time for proper consideration of passenger feedback and how needs can be met in future.

Also, in the introduction: "It is noted that SWR plan to implement some of the proposed changes in December 2021."

The issue of the Bristol to Waterloo services tops and tails their response to the timetable consultation and is an excellent test of the effectiveness of Transport Focus's role as a DfT-funded watchdog. The outcome of this will be telling and is significant for the entire industry.

Considering the (vanished) morning train at about 08:50 from Bristol. This has not run since the start of the pandemic. Hopefully the decision will now be made to reinstate it for December '21 to allow, as Passenger Focus says, consideration as to how passenger needs can be met in future. The service, if fully reinstated, would then continue to see growth in passenger numbers.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 04, 2021, 08:51:25 am
(http://www.wellho.net/pix/wwrugrestart.jpg)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 04, 2021, 01:13:05 pm
Slight pause (hopefully just a day or two) for me to draw breath, and to put together a good answer to the question "how can I flag up my support if I can't make it to the meeting". I am bearing in mind that the objective here is not to have a meeting but to "save the train" - have it continue on, appropriate (perhaps even more) appropriate for the future.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 05, 2021, 09:40:09 am
From the BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58796805)

Quote
At the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Ms Patel will announce an increase in the maximum sentence for disruption of a motorway and a new criminal offence for interfering with critical national infrastructures such as roads, railways and newspaper printing presses.

Police are also expected to be given wider stop and search powers allowing officers to inspect activists for "lock on" equipment used to prevent them from being moved.

Darn it - that would criminalise getting on a SWR train at Oldfield Park or Trowbridge, chaining ourselves to seats and demanding to be taken to Waterloo, where someone would be waiting for us with a key to unlock us.  (Not a serious suggestion in the first place!)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Lee on October 05, 2021, 09:47:00 am
From the BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58796805)

Quote
At the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Ms Patel will announce an increase in the maximum sentence for disruption of a motorway and a new criminal offence for interfering with critical national infrastructures such as roads, railways and newspaper printing presses.

Police are also expected to be given wider stop and search powers allowing officers to inspect activists for "lock on" equipment used to prevent them from being moved.

Darn it - that would criminalise getting on a SWR train at Oldfield Park or Trowbridge, chaining ourselves to seats and demanding to be taken to Waterloo, where someone would be waiting for us with a key to unlock us.  (Not a serious suggestion in the first place!)

Blimey - He was never that militant at Save The Train  ;D


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 05, 2021, 10:04:41 am
Letter received from Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, by Chris Irwin, chair of TravelWatch SouthWest in response to a letter of concern on various matters.  I have mirrored the letter at http://www.passenger.chat/sos2twsw_20211004.pdf

Quote
With regards to the decision to withdraw South Western Railway services on the Bristol to Salisbury route, it should be first noted that this decision was made independently of the December 2022 Consultation and will take effect from the December 2021 timetable.

South Western Railway is withdrawing Bristol to Salisbury services to reduce duplication with Great Western Railway services as part of that requirement to look at efficiencies. South Western Railway acknowledge that this will make some through journeys less attractive at certain times of the day. The Department will work with the Great Western Railway to improve connections at Salisbury wherever possible.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on October 06, 2021, 03:37:20 pm
Service melting away in advance of the December '21 timetable change. The 08:50 train from Bristol to Waterloo on Saturday being the sole survivor of the 6 days a week morning service pre-covid.

https://twitter.com/SW_Help/status/1445751751819227137

We're sorry but due to Covid disrupting our driver training programme, from Saturday we will no longer be running Saturday services between Bristol & Salisbury, and the stopping service from Salisbury to London Waterloo will terminate at Basingstoke.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 06, 2021, 03:51:40 pm
Service melting away in advance of the December '21 timetable change. The 08:50 train from Bristol to Waterloo on Saturday being the sole survivor of the 6 days a week morning service pre-covid.


Full text of email to Stakeholders

Quote
Changes to SWR West of England Line Services – Saturdays 9th October to 11th December inclusive

Dear stakeholder,

I am writing to advise you that we have unfortunately had to implement changes to SWR services on the West of England line between the above dates due to the ongoing shortage of drivers on the route.

On Saturdays from this weekend, SWR will no longer be running services between Bristol and Salisbury, and the stopping service from Salisbury to London Waterloo will terminate at Basingstoke.

This is not something we wanted to do but felt it is the only way to give our customers certainty and stability over the next few weeks following an extended period of ad-hoc and short-notice service reductions on recent weekends.
The underlying cause of these issues is a shortage of available drivers, due to the extensive disruption Covid restrictions have caused to our new driver training programme over the past year. The delay to newly trained drivers passing out of our Salisbury depot has been further compounded by problems securing replacement buses and taxis.
 
We are very sorry about this and are looking at how to improve the availability of these for both unplanned disruption and engineering works. There are no simple solutions to this industry wide problem which will take time to resolve, and we felt it was important to have a robust plan in place over the next few weeks that customers could rely on.

The changes are planned until the December timetable change, when all SWR services between Bristol and Salisbury will be withdrawn. However, we do expect to have trained sufficient new drivers to offer the full planned service between Salisbury and London Waterloo.

Once again, we are very sorry for the disruption this will cause to our customers and would be grateful if you could help publicise the news to ensure customers are as aware as possible, noting there are also engineering works planned for some Sundays during this period. We will be using social media, our website and information channels at stations to publicise the changes from today.

I have attached a Q&A document that provides further background and detail but please do not hesitate to contact me if you need further information.

Regards


Steve Tyler – Director of Performance and Planning


Here is the Q&A - I will come back and format it better for the coffee shop - but I have elsewhere a 1 hour deadline

Quote
West of England Saturday Reductions October to December 2021
Q&A

What is changing and when?

There will be some changes to West of England line services between Bristol, Salisbury and London Waterloo on Saturdays only between Saturday 9th October and Saturday 11th December 2021 inclusive. This is due to an ongoing shortage of train drivers due to the covid-19 pandemic. Note that engineering works will further affect journeys on some weekends – please see separate information about these dates on our website at [insert link].
We are very sorry that we have to do this due to a shortage of drivers.

The main changes can be summarised as follows subject to variations due to engineering works:
* Salisbury to London Waterloo stopping services will terminate at Basingstoke – customers will need to change at Basingstoke for onward services to Woking, Clapham Junction and Waterloo
* London Waterloo to Salisbury services will start at Basingstoke. Customers travelling from Waterloo, Clapham Junction and Woking will need to catch an earlier service and change at Basingstoke
* SWR services between Salisbury and Bristol will not run. Customers will need to use connecting GWR services via a change at Salisbury. Customers to / from Warminster and Westbury may be able to use the Salisbury – Yeovil via Westbury services which will continue to run.
* SWR services to Yeovil Pen Mill / Yeovil Junction via Westbury will run as normal.
* SWR services between Exeter St Davids and London Waterloo will run as normal

Why are you doing this – aren’t most Covid issues now over?

Whilst short term covid absences have indeed reduced we still have an ongoing shortage of train drivers on the West of England route due to the backlog in training new drivers. Like other train operators we lose a number of drivers each year, primarily due to retirement. Unfortunately, due to Covid, we have been unable to train sufficient new drivers in the short term to match those leaving. This in turn means that we have to ask existing drivers to volunteer to work on their rest days to cover the current timetable. This is more difficult to achieve at weekends.

We are continuing to train new drivers as quickly as possible whilst maintaining staff safety. We expect to be able to return to a full complement of drivers for the route from the timetable change date in December (Sunday 12th December).

You have managed to cover most weekends up until now – why are you now doing this every weekend until December?

Regular customers will know that we have unfortunately not been able to run the planned service on a number of weekends over the summer and autumn of this year. We recognise that this has caused considerable difficulties for many. In the past we have tried to cover short notice shortages with buses and taxis but it has proved very difficult to do so due to driver shortages and increasing demand in these industries. We are working closely with or suppliers to try and improve the availability of replacement bus and taxi services for both planned (i.e. engineering works) and unplanned disruption as quickly as possible.

Rather than continue to make short-notice cancellations, we reluctantly believe it is better to provide our customers with the certainty of a more stable but reduced service. We know this will disappoint many of our customers and are sorry for the impact it will have on their journeys.

Taking this planned approach means that we will have much more certainty about driver availability and should more easily be able to cover any normal short notice absences such as sickness which are more likely as winter approaches.

There have been a number of weekends with engineering works on the West of England line. The resulting reduction in train services has correspondingly reduced the requirement for drivers. We recognise there have still however been issues with the reliability and availability of the replacement bus and taxi services as noted above.

Why just Saturdays?

We run a more intensive service on this route on Saturdays compared to Sundays and therefore need more drivers.
 
Won’t there be overcrowding on the remaining services?

We recognise that there will be increased demand on the through Waterloo to Exeter services. We will therefore do our utmost to strengthen these services to eight or nine carriage trains although this won’t be possible in every case.

Isn’t this just another way of saving money?

No – we will aim to utilise all the available rolling stock on the remaining services to maximise capacity. We will also have more drivers available to cover short term absences subject to rest day working.

This effectively means you are bringing forward the December 2021 withdrawal of SWR Bristol services to now without the need to consult?

The changes will apply to Saturdays only – Sunday services will be unaffected unless there are planned engineering works.

We recognise that the impact on the Bristol route is far from ideal and this was not our planned intention. We know that these services have been attractive to many but it would have been very difficult to reliably run these services these services on Saturdays over the next few months. We believe it is better to have certainty and clarity rather than short notice changes each Saturday.

This decision has had to be made at short notice and we are now contacting other rail operators including GWR to alert them to the changes and ask them to consider potential strengthening of their services where possible.
To maintain the last connection between Bristol Temple Meads and Salisbury, a replacement bus will operate from Westbury to Salisbury on Saturdays, calling at Warminster. This connects out of GWR service - 2209 Bristol Temple Meads to Westbury (arrives 22:56)

The trains that would have been used on these and the Salisbury – Waterloo services will be used to strengthen the Exeter – Waterloo services to minimise overcrowding, particularly between Salisbury and Waterloo.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on October 06, 2021, 03:57:54 pm
Service melting away in advance of the December '21 timetable change. The 08:50 train from Bristol to Waterloo on Saturday being the sole survivor of the 6 days a week morning service pre-covid.

https://twitter.com/SW_Help/status/1445751751819227137

We're sorry but due to Covid disrupting our driver training programme, from Saturday we will no longer be running Saturday services between Bristol & Salisbury, and the stopping service from Salisbury to London Waterloo will terminate at Basingstoke.

Also, all Saturday through trains from Salisbury are now change at Basingstoke? Not so, just the services starting at Salisbury, the local paper will probably correct this:

https://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/19629286.covid-no-trains-salisbury-bristol-london/


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 07, 2021, 06:18:11 am
Quote
This effectively means you are bringing forward the December 2021 withdrawal of SWR Bristol services to now without the need to consult?

The changes will apply to Saturdays only – Sunday services will be unaffected unless there are planned engineering works.

We recognise that the impact on the Bristol route is far from ideal and this was not our planned intention. We know that these services have been attractive to many but it would have been very difficult to reliably run these services these services on Saturdays over the next few months. We believe it is better to have certainty and clarity rather than short notice changes each Saturday.

Hmmm ... so SWR are offering us Hobson's choice - the choice between two nasty options, having ceased to have the staff available to run what they are committed to. It could be major Covid directly effecting that, or it could be that the rundown and not having the staff after December has been planned for a while and may "just" have been slightly knocked off plan (perhaps?) by Covid.

My maroon highlighting says we're not really even being offered Hobson's choice - we're being told that it's been made for us!



There's an interesting aside in there - "lack of need to consult because Sunday is still running" - it would appear to be using the same uncomfortable push to the bounds that (for example) Network Rail used at Pilning and Teeside Airport to reduce service below anything useful - to "humourless joke" level without having to apply the safeguards that are there in law to protect against closure without a proper look and consultation.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on October 07, 2021, 02:41:02 pm
It appears that the sole announcement that direct trains between Bristol and Waterloo have ceased as of this weekend is that single tweet from South Western Railway.

There will be a few would be travellers on Saturday who will be taken aback, though perhaps fewer than there would otherwise have been - as for the next three weekends the through service would have been bustituted at various locations east of Salisbury. How the bustitutions fit with the usual full scale horror of the usual 50-59 minute connections at Salisbury I've not yet worked out.

Mark


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 07, 2021, 04:37:59 pm
It appears that the sole announcement that direct trains between Bristol and Waterloo have ceased as of this weekend is that single tweet from South Western Railway.

There will be a few would be travellers on Saturday who will be taken aback, though perhaps fewer than there would otherwise have been - as for the next three weekends the through service would have been bustituted at various locations east of Salisbury. How the bustitutions fit with the usual full scale horror of the usual 50-59 minute connections at Salisbury I've not yet worked out.

Mark



Last weekend (??) - train from Basingstoke to Andover, bus to Salisbury, GWR to Trowbridge looked good - 10 minute change at Andover, 40 minute bus ride, 10 minutes to get onto the same train you would have got if not bustitured.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 07, 2021, 07:24:34 pm
Ladies, Gentlemen and (for info) Finn,

I have started a petition asking the Department for Transport to continue to run the direct Bristol Temple Meads to Waterloo via Trowbridge beyond 11th December 2021 - it's at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/598397 .  Please take a look - I would appreciates signatures (and when it goes on social media), shares, etc ... though, comets think of it, you are very welcome to share it even before it's on social media!


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: chuffed on October 07, 2021, 08:41:06 pm
Another great typo from the master of Melkham. Personally I wouldn't bother with comets, I'd just send SWR a couple of rockets instead.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Southernman on October 07, 2021, 09:20:17 pm
Absolutely correct - signed.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Lee on October 08, 2021, 06:25:42 am
This Sailisbury Journal article is a perfect example of why wider awareness of this issue is urgently required - https://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/19629286.direct-saturday-trains-salisbury-bristol-london-axed-due-staff-shortages/

It notes that "South Western Railway has cancelled all Saturday trains between Salisbury and Bristol and Salisbury and London for the next few months." and that "The withdrawal of Saturday services to Bristol is permanent.", but completely misses out that the withdrawal of all SWR services to Bristol will be permanent.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on October 08, 2021, 02:16:27 pm
Article in the Wiltshire Times here: https://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/news/19630280.meeting-called-trowbridge-cuts-south-western-railway-services/


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on October 08, 2021, 09:24:56 pm
Aaannd Somerset Live's Bath section: https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/local-news/saturday-train-services-through-bath-6029954


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 09, 2021, 06:27:29 am
Article in the Wiltshire Times here: https://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/news/19630280.meeting-called-trowbridge-cuts-south-western-railway-services/

A user comment on that article ...

Quote
I have always travelled on the 9.28 train from Trowbridge to Waterloo. Because I can book up early I could usually secure a first-class seat for LESS than a standard class seat, and travel in relative comfort all the way. It was a very enjoyable experience. Now it's a scrunched-up trip to Salisbury in a deplorable GW 165 unit, change there and go as far as Basingstoke ... then change again! The difference is breathtaking and unacceptable. The train companies are poisoning the well to deter customers (and have succeeded with me) in a way the old British Rail could only dream of. It's patently obvious that they simply don't want our business.

My bolding.

The attractions of "The Waterloo"s
1. They are direct [from Trowbridge]
2. They take you to South London
3. They are comfortable
4. They have enough capacity for you to be able to sit down
5. They offer attractive fares

Take away all five of those attractions and you are going to lose lots of customers, and lots of goodwill.

On fares, read words carefully:
(1) Attractive
(2) Cheap
(3) Low Cost
(4) Affordable
and it's no mistake that government seems to be going with No. 4 which is "affordable".  Not looking at attractive, not looking at cheap, not looking at low cost. Indeed, those people who still travel by train from Trowbridge to London will find themselves paying MORE for a LESS convenient service ... many people who can find another way to make the journey (such as driving) are likely to do so.  Of course, that latter all helps make Wiltshire's case for the A350 upgrades ...


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on October 09, 2021, 09:48:59 am
I've commented on the Somerset Live Bath article. To help, look for the little thumbs up icon by the comment, click it.

Reading the (limited) coverage in local papers, it's remarkable the extent to which the authors rely on quotes pulled from the Twitter.

https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/local-news/saturday-train-services-through-bath-6029954

Mark


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on October 09, 2021, 07:42:46 pm
Probably the best media coverage of the issue to date: https://theweekin.co.uk/news/latest-breaking-news/campaign-to-fight-end-of-bristol-to-waterloo-through-trains/


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 09, 2021, 08:15:30 pm
Probably the best media coverage of the issue to date: https://theweekin.co.uk/news/latest-breaking-news/campaign-to-fight-end-of-bristol-to-waterloo-through-trains/

That looks really rather good.  I suspect a strong technical hand in the writing thereof  ;D ;D - Thank you, whoever it was, if you read here!


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 09, 2021, 08:55:22 pm
I see GWR are now advertising that they will be accepting tickets on these journeys on Saturdays whilst SWR are unable to run their services - no doubt with one (or perhaps two!) eyes on the future.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on October 09, 2021, 10:05:36 pm
One has to wonder what will happen with the fares structure to London. At the moment from WMN:Railcard Advance singles - a date picked at random.
 
0748 to WAT with SWR: £14.75 Std, £24.35 1st. Direct.
0738 to PAD with GWR: £26.90 Std, £58.05 1st. Via WSB.
If you are feeling really adventurous you can go "hybrid" to PAD (d 0748) with both GWR & SWR and go via BSK & RDG for £34.80 Std or £104.05 1st.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 10, 2021, 06:03:50 am
One has to wonder what will happen with the fares structure to London.

Indeed. Taking a look at another aspect, there are currently day return fares from places like Bristol Temple Meads and Bath Spa (and Trowbridge and Frome and Sea Mills!) to London, via Warminster and Salisbury and with fares set by SWR.   There are no day return fares via Swindon - only period returns - and they typically work out more expensive.

Will the SWR fares still be offered after the fare revision in January? We have to consider the scenario of our campaign failing to retain the trains, and whether a fare set by an operator not present any more would last. Will GWR provide day return and other fares at similar levels to SWR have done as they offer what we are told is to be the alternative provision?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 10, 2021, 06:09:30 am
Yesterday - Saturday 9th October 2021 - was the first full day promoting the petition which asks people to sign up to ask the government to "Continue to run through trains from Bristol to Waterloo via Trowbridge".

Numbers signed by midnight (by local constituency set to loose London service) were:
Chippenham - Michelle Donelan MP - 164 signatures (Bradford-on-Avon Station)
South West Wiltshire - Rt Hon Dr Andrew Murrison MP - also 164 signatures (Trowbridge Station)
Bath - Wera Hobhouse MP - 71 signatures (Oldfield Park Station)
North East Somerset - Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP - 34 signatures (Keynsham Station)

West Wilts Rail User Group, Railfuture, and Two Tunnels are also providing publicity - and more to follow from other supporting 'sponsors', and a lot of people have shared, written, informed - all I have done apart from my Coffee Shop "base" is to post to local Facebook groups for the places most affects.

A big THANK YOU to those (you know who you are especially) providing so much help.  With the number of signatures in just one full day, we can now answer "does anyone care" ... as if the powers that be hadn't been able to see all the people who've used these trains over the years and have come back so strongly on the line recently. But the petition (at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/598397 ) and follow up meeting (Trowbridge and Zoom, 20th October at http://www.passenger.chat/25522 ) are just one step towards us having a logical, sensible, well used, affordable service running next year, rather that the unfortunate alternative of pulling off a success story at the very time it's most needed.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 10, 2021, 06:22:43 am
From last month ... (dated 21st September) to a correspondent in Bradford-on-Avon and now shared

Quote
My name is Claire Mann and I am the Managing Director of South Western Railway. I am responding as the matters you raise largely concern our proposed December 2022 timetable.
 
We recognise that services currently from Bradford-upon-Avon to London Waterloo via Salisbury do not match the timetable from before the COVID 19 pandemic, and It is correct that  we are withdrawing direct Bradford on Avon to London Waterloo services from December 2021.
 
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SWR – like all train operators – have been supported by the Government and taxpayers to keep services running for key workers. As a result, we  recognise that we need to run a service that efficiently meets customer demand, which remains well below pre-pandemic levels.
 
In line with this, we have sought to identify areas of duplication across the network where the removal of services would reduce the burden on the taxpayer, while not having a significant  effect on services for commuters or school flows. Given the volume of services operated between Salisbury and Bristol by GWR and the large proportion of leisure travel on the SWR services, we are confident the withdrawal of our services between will not materially  impact key flows of commuter or school traffic and agreed with the Department for Transport to realise the cost savings as soon as possible.
 
In the longer term, many connections from the Bristol direction will improve from December 2022, when we propose to reinstate the two through trains per hour between Salisbury and  London Waterloo. We will also work with Great Western Railway to improve the connections at Salisbury further wherever possible as part of development of the December 22 timetable.
 
I hope this clarifies the matters raised in your email to Matthew Gregory. Please do let us know if you have any further questions or comments on the proposed December 2022 timetable.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on October 10, 2021, 08:48:58 am

Quote
My name is Claire Mann and I am the Managing Director of South Western Railway. I am responding as the matters you raise largely concern our proposed December 2022 timetable.
 
We recognise that services currently from Bradford-upon-Avon to London Waterloo via Salisbury do not match the timetable from before the COVID 19 pandemic, and It is correct that  we are withdrawing direct Bradford on Avon to London Waterloo services from December 2021.
 
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SWR – like all train operators – have been supported by the Government and taxpayers to keep services running for key workers. As a result, we  recognise that we need to run a service that efficiently meets customer demand, which remains well below pre-pandemic levels.
 
In line with this, we have sought to identify areas of duplication across the network where the removal of services would reduce the burden on the taxpayer, while not having a significant  effect on services for commuters or school flows. Given the volume of services operated between Salisbury and Bristol by GWR and the large proportion of leisure travel on the SWR services, we are confident the withdrawal of our services between will not materially  impact key flows of commuter or school traffic and agreed with the Department for Transport to realise the cost savings as soon as possible.
 
In the longer term, many connections from the Bristol direction will improve from December 2022, when we propose to reinstate the two through trains per hour between Salisbury and  London Waterloo. We will also work with Great Western Railway to improve the connections at Salisbury further wherever possible as part of development of the December 22 timetable.
 
I hope this clarifies the matters raised in your email to Matthew Gregory. Please do let us know if you have any further questions or comments on the proposed December 2022 timetable.

Typical meaningless corporate verbiage ....................what did Greta say ? "Blah, blah, blah ......."


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 10, 2021, 09:23:40 am

Quote
My name is Claire Mann and I am the Managing Director of South Western Railway. I am responding as the matters you raise largely concern our proposed December 2022 timetable.
 
We recognise that services currently from Bradford-upon-Avon to London Waterloo via Salisbury do not match the timetable from before the COVID 19 pandemic, and It is correct that  we are withdrawing direct Bradford on Avon to London Waterloo services from December 2021.
 
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SWR – like all train operators – have been supported by the Government and taxpayers to keep services running for key workers. As a result, we  recognise that we need to run a service that efficiently meets customer demand, which remains well below pre-pandemic levels.
 
In line with this, we have sought to identify areas of duplication across the network where the removal of services would reduce the burden on the taxpayer, while not having a significant  effect on services for commuters or school flows. Given the volume of services operated between Salisbury and Bristol by GWR and the large proportion of leisure travel on the SWR services, we are confident the withdrawal of our services between will not materially  impact key flows of commuter or school traffic and agreed with the Department for Transport to realise the cost savings as soon as possible.
 
In the longer term, many connections from the Bristol direction will improve from December 2022, when we propose to reinstate the two through trains per hour between Salisbury and  London Waterloo. We will also work with Great Western Railway to improve the connections at Salisbury further wherever possible as part of development of the December 22 timetable.
 
I hope this clarifies the matters raised in your email to Matthew Gregory. Please do let us know if you have any further questions or comments on the proposed December 2022 timetable.

Typical meaningless corporate verbiage ....................what did Greta say ? "Blah, blah, blah ......."

For balance, and in the interest of fairness and objectivity, it would be informative to see the original correspondence from the mysterious "correspondent in Bradford-on-Avon"?



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 10, 2021, 10:42:02 am
For balance, and in the interest of fairness and objectivity, it would be informative to see the original correspondence from the mysterious "correspondent in Bradford-on-Avon"?

See http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=25526.msg312922#msg312922 - the original contains personal information which I am not at liberty to share, but I have put up a version with a few redacted elements on that "Transport Scholars" area.

The basis is a weekly round trip for family reasons to a place in Kent for someone who is mobile, but not wonderfully supple to make a load of changes.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Lee on October 10, 2021, 12:22:31 pm
From last month ... (dated 21st September) to a correspondent in Bradford-on-Avon and now shared

Quote
My name is Claire Mann and I am the Managing Director of South Western Railway. I am responding as the matters you raise largely concern our proposed December 2022 timetable.
 
We recognise that services currently from Bradford-upon-Avon to London Waterloo via Salisbury do not match the timetable from before the COVID 19 pandemic, and It is correct that  we are withdrawing direct Bradford on Avon to London Waterloo services from December 2021.
 
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SWR – like all train operators – have been supported by the Government and taxpayers to keep services running for key workers. As a result, we  recognise that we need to run a service that efficiently meets customer demand, which remains well below pre-pandemic levels.
 
In line with this, we have sought to identify areas of duplication across the network where the removal of services would reduce the burden on the taxpayer, while not having a significant  effect on services for commuters or school flows. Given the volume of services operated between Salisbury and Bristol by GWR and the large proportion of leisure travel on the SWR services, we are confident the withdrawal of our services between will not materially  impact key flows of commuter or school traffic and agreed with the Department for Transport to realise the cost savings as soon as possible.
 
In the longer term, many connections from the Bristol direction will improve from December 2022, when we propose to reinstate the two through trains per hour between Salisbury and  London Waterloo. We will also work with Great Western Railway to improve the connections at Salisbury further wherever possible as part of development of the December 22 timetable.
 
I hope this clarifies the matters raised in your email to Matthew Gregory. Please do let us know if you have any further questions or comments on the proposed December 2022 timetable.

In my view, the most interesting section of Claire Mann's response is this bit (my highlighting in bold) :

Quote from: Claire Mann
In line with this, we have sought to identify areas of duplication across the network where the removal of services would reduce the burden on the taxpayer, while not having a significant  effect on services for commuters or school flows. Given the volume of services operated between Salisbury and Bristol by GWR and the large proportion of leisure travel on the SWR services, we are confident the withdrawal of our services between will not materially  impact key flows of commuter or school traffic and agreed with the Department for Transport to realise the cost savings as soon as possible.

This perfectly illustrates the mountain that Andrew Haines - if he does indeed become CEO of GBR - will have to climb. Remember this? (again, my highlighting in bold) :

Andrew Haines shows his mettle in this article. (https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/network-rail-chief-tips-restoration-of-abandoned-lines-as-key-to-industrys-future-30-04-2021/)

With his backing for rail reopenings, a “welcoming” and “reliable” railway that minimises disruption and encourages travel, developing leisure traffic, and facilitating an "end to end service", he acheives that most rare of things, a conference speech by a Network Rail executive that I find difficult to disagree with.

Has Haines finally found his "Burning Platform for Change" ?

Quote from: New Civil Engineer
At the RIA Innovation Conference, Haines emphasised that tapping into the leisure travel market could also have a role to play in sustaining the railway long-term. However he said passengers need an "end to end service".

“So often when I look at where I want to go at the weekend it’s great if I’m happy to walk three miles from the railway station to the place of historic interest or walk but that’s not viable for a lot of people," he said.

Network Rail will also consider when it undertakes maintenance work to perhaps facilitate more leisure travel, with a large amount of renewals currently taking place over weekends and bank holidays.

Now, I deal with public transport strategy over here in Brittany on a day-to-day basis, and the fact is you cant please all the people all of the time - That's just the way life goes. What you absolutely must do though - above all else - is make sure that your strategy is at least coherent.

Andrew, if you are reading this - and rumour has it that you probably are - then my advice to you, given that you are are now head of the GBR Transition Team, would be to seriously consider whether you really want this proposal to be the first very public demonstration of intent of GBR future policy going forward.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on October 10, 2021, 02:18:35 pm
Is it this: she's saying that she's fighting the previous battle, not the current one?

Mark


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 10, 2021, 04:23:46 pm
Is it this: she's saying that she's fighting the previous battle, not the current one?

Mark

The way I read it from Claire Mann's comments, particularly the one Lee highlights,  is that this is being driven by Government policy to prioritise commuter/school routes (which generate more income) than a primarily leisure route such as the one in question, especially where there is the potential for duplication,  and save money since the railways have been sucking up even more vast amounts of subsidy than usual in order to keep services running during the COVID period?

Were this to be a battle that SWR were inclined to fight, if they've been given this direction by Government, is there much hope of them winning it, and perhaps campaigning should be targeted at the DfT, rather than SWR - Organ grinder v Monkey?

Apologies if I'm reading it wrong.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Lee on October 10, 2021, 05:16:23 pm
Is it this: she's saying that she's fighting the previous battle, not the current one?

Mark

The way I read it from Claire Mann's comments, particularly the one Lee highlights,  is that this is being driven by Government policy to prioritise commuter/school routes (which generate more income) than a primarily leisure route such as the one in question, especially where there is the potential for duplication,  and save money since the railways have been sucking up even more vast amounts of subsidy than usual in order to keep services running during the COVID period?

Were this to be a battle that SWR were inclined to fight, if they've been given this direction by Government, is there much hope of them winning it, and perhaps campaigning should be targeted at the DfT, rather than SWR - Organ grinder v Monkey?

Apologies if I'm reading it wrong.

I was more highlighting the difference between the justification that Claire Mann is giving to remove the services, which as TG rightly says is apparently to prioritise commuter/school traffic over leisure traffic, and the likely first CEO of GBR Andrew Haines clearly stated preference to prioritise that leisure traffic. With a public transport policy, whether the public themselves like it or dont like it, the one thing it must be is coherent, and given that this difference goes to the very heart of the service provision question on this route, it creates a situation where one hand literally doesnt know what the other is doing.

Therefore, if I were Andrew Haines, and newly-appointed head of the GBR Transition Team, I would be looking at grahame and Mark A's perfectly reasonable suggestion of deferring the withdrawal of these services to December 2022 so that the entire question of service provision on this route can be considered in a properly consulted and co-ordinated way, and working out how I could discreetly bite their hands off.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: chuffed on October 10, 2021, 06:57:11 pm
I may have this completely wrong, but just wonder if Mark Hopwood has any questions to answer during his secondment as interim MD of SWR. He must have known of the plans to axe the SWR Bristol Waterloo services, but also knew that as returning GWR MD he would be able to take advantage of filling the gap left by SWR.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 10, 2021, 07:01:25 pm
Were this to be a battle that SWR were inclined to fight, if they've been given this direction by Government, is there much hope of them winning it, and perhaps campaigning should be targeted at the DfT, rather than SWR - Organ grinder v Monkey?

Apologies if I'm reading it wrong.

You'll note that the petition reads
Quote
The Department for Transport has specified that the direct trains from Bristol, Keynsham, Bath, Bradford-on-Avon and Trowbridge to London (Waterloo) via Salisbury cease in December (2021). We ask that they continue to run pending consultation and effective ongoing provision.
and it's specifically a Government one and not one on another petition site.

"Much hope?" you ask.  Probably not if we just asked SWR.  But I note that a week is a long time in politics, and it will be interesting to see what happens in the next two or three.  I would love the DfT to take up the recommendation from their own watchdog, which happens to co-incide with the petition request. It would earn them all a great deal of credit and the promise of community partnership towards a bright future.



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on October 10, 2021, 08:33:44 pm
Sunday night. Petition now north of 1000. Good work, Graham.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 10, 2021, 09:02:12 pm
Sunday night. Petition now north of 1000. Good work, Graham.

And good work, Mark, and others too - it's being a team. Here are the numbers of signatures by constituency, for those constituencies loosing all the SWR trains and left with nothing direct to London or only one Paddington train.

Trowbridge
South West Wiltshire - Rt Hon Dr Andrew Murrison MP - 279 signatures

Bradford-on-Avon
Chippenham - Michelle Donelan MP - 237 signatures

Oldfield Park
Bath - Wera Hobhouse MP - 92 signatures

Keynsham
North East Somerset - Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP - 73 signatures


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: TonyK on October 10, 2021, 10:47:58 pm
Use it or loose it?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: anthony215 on October 10, 2021, 11:25:46 pm
I've seen some on railuk forums trying to justify this withdrawal in my view.  Yes they may follow behind some gwr service's but these also carry their own customers some of whom may just decide to use their cars not good especially when boris is trying to promote his green agenda.

I've used the 0851 from Bristol regularly and many customers  used them including the 1920 from waterloo to Bristol TM.  Staff who used to work on the wales and borders services along the route have said its always been popular even some very senior judges have used it yo travel from South wales to London Waterloo.

Even wales first minister  has had messages regarding this service in fact I've seen his predecessor  use it.

What I think needs to happen is for the withdrawal to be postponed for 12-18 months say till May 2023 and the 0851 from Bristol reinstated. Really put the effort into marketing it including fares and the journey opportunities available to south London.

Let us see how passenger  numbers recover and I suspect we will see plenty using it.  I think Gwr would rather see the back of it as its competition against them and swr it seems are willing to go along with it as stagecoach had no trouble getting seats filled on it.

I've wrote to the wales first minister seeing if he can push my suggestion of running these services to Cardiff on a more frequent timetable


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: anthony215 on October 10, 2021, 11:29:04 pm
These are my own personal opinions.

I do think swr planning on using the class158/159's saved from scrapping the Bristol service to boost capacity elsewhere

Hopefully tfws class 158s should be available sometime in the  next 2 years i suspect they will be getting snapped up


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: PhilWakely on October 11, 2021, 04:59:08 am
These are my own personal opinions.

I do think swr planning on using the class158/159's saved from scrapping the Bristol service to boost capacity elsewhere

Hopefully tfws class 158s should be available sometime in the  next 2 years i suspect they will be getting snapped up

Indeed, I believe SWR have actually stated that these units are required to strengthen the very overcrowded Salisbury to Exeter services.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 11, 2021, 07:52:10 am
Use it or lose it?

It is good to ask the question, and I am glad to see the ? on the end.

As a generality, "use it or lose it" makes sense. If a piece of public transport is carrying fresh air around, what's the point of running it?  It may be that the solution is to remove the service, OR to fix problems with it so that it becomes well used - change it into an appropriate service and those changes may involve changing times, fares, stopping patterns, advertising it, adding more services so that people can make their round trips, etc.  And there are a few circumstances where a near-empty service IS justified for operational reasons - in particular I know of services such as the mid afternoon Westbury to Warminster train with very few passenger to Warminster and then 50 or so coming back. I might add route learners where a train runs to help train crew about a line they need to know just in case they get diverted.  The GWR Portsmouth to Cardiff via Eastleigh train is an example.

But the SWR services to Bristol have been (are in normal times) very well used.
So we are being given Use it and Lose it

A caveat.   We were told not to use trains during lockdown and pandemic restrictions. So, of course, we did not use the service(s) as much during that period.  It feels pretty darned unfair to be told not to use a service for a while and then have it yanked permanently because we have done as we're told.  We still want it and we would use it again.

Another caveat.   It's pretty darned hard to use a service if it's not running reliably, or at all.  And this service has not been running reliably of late.  Of course people won't use a train if it's not even running!



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: RichT54 on October 11, 2021, 08:18:20 am
Your spelling is loose, I think you mean lose.  :)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 11, 2021, 09:09:07 am
Your spelling is loose, I think you mean lose.  :)

Yep ... thank you. I have gone back and corrected it.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: TonyK on October 11, 2021, 09:28:46 am
Lose - I once had a train service, but now I haven't.
Loose - the screw holding the side of this train together isn't very tight
(Uxbridge English Dickshunnary)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: PhilWakely on October 11, 2021, 09:50:14 am
I could of taken you're advise, but I had no time too loose - so ignored it.  ;)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: 4064ReadingAbbey on October 11, 2021, 12:07:24 pm
I could of taken you're advise, but I had no time too loose - so ignored it.  ;)
Ouch!


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on October 12, 2021, 09:53:49 am
1470 signatures. When Graham said he intended to start a parliamentary petition, I laughed. I'm not laughing now.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Lee on October 12, 2021, 10:18:14 am
1470 signatures. When Graham said he intended to start a parliamentary petition, I laughed. I'm not laughing now.

There may be the odd bit of past experience of such matters there, who can say?...


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 12, 2021, 10:50:45 am
This morning, I have emailed Wiltshire and Town Councillors in the towns in the county that are affected - a tailored letter for each town.   Here's an example

Quote
An open letter to Trowbridge elected representatives (MP, Unitary Councillors, Town Councillors)

Dear Sir / Madam

After 10th December 2021, there will no longer be any through trains at all from London to Trowbridge, unless there is a late change of plans. The Saturday service (which was often full and standing) ceased last Saturday, with Sunday and Monday to Friday services run by South Western Railway ceasing in the lead up to Christmas

What an astonishing way to treat our growing county town, at a time when we are being encouraged to use public transport more for climate, clean air, congestion and other reasons.

May I draw your attention to the petition I have created at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/598397 asking the Department for Transport to leave the service in place through 2022, pending consultation and the provision of acceptable alternatives. This approach is recommended by Transport Focus, the Department for Transport's own passenger watchdog.

Please sign the petition. Please pass it on to friends and colleagues. Please raise the matter with the councils on which you sit. Wiltshire Council is the "Local Transport Authority" with legal responsibilities, and the Town Council has a great deal of influence too in matters such as this which relate to the economy, well being of the town, and local environmental issues too.

There is a great deal more written at http://www.passenger.chat/25503 and user stories at https://www.twotunnels.org.uk/waterloo/quotes.html

There is a public meeting in Trowbridge on 20th October 2021 - near the station, of course, and connecting with the train in question for those from other towns involved. Also on Zoom - code will be at http://www.passenger.chat/25522 and there's a meeting poster at http://www.wwrug.org.uk/flyer.html and at http://www.passenger.chat/bri-wat_20211020.pdf .

You may ask "why did you, Graham, create this petition - you don't even live in Trowbridge". This is not just a Bradford-on-Avon issue, and someone, somewhere needed to alert people in Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Bradford-on-Avon, Trowbridge and Warminster all of whom loose all (or all but one early morning) though trains from London. To alert people in Bristol and Bath who loose their through trains from south London, and Westbury who are down to just one train from South London, leaving Waterloo before 8 a.m. *Someone* had to put their individual name to it. It's a service I use (connecting in at Trowbridge from the x34c bus) and I know a lot of the people involved too - so I start from more insight to the case better than many.

The meeting on 20th October is promoted by the West Wilts Rail User Group, Railfuture (Severnside), the Two Tunnels project, Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways, The Coffee Shop Passenger Forum, and TravelWatch SouthWest (TWSW) - groups along the line and in the region coming together.

The objective of the petition and meeting has to be to get a MORE APPROPRIATE DECISION IMPLEMENTED and not just to "raise a stink" after which we roll over quietly. The Department for Transport and SWR's MD have already given (various different (!)) explanations that, frankly, don't hold much water and are based on poor, outdated, and even wrong data, and there's an easy solution, with the first step already recommended by their own watchdog. So the petition and meeting are a step in a process - the outcome sought is the service running 5 trains each way per day (as it was at the start of last year) for 2022, and for 2023 probably a train every hour or two, with the new houlry trains planned for that year on MetroWest extending beyond West Wilts to Salisbury where it becomes the London, Brighton or Romsey train. Forward looking, green, sustainable economically, good for Trowbridge and very much in line with the Great British Railway agenda.

Please do feel free to get in touch with any questions, to forward this email, to come to the meeting (limited physical space, but a very big zoom meeting I expect), to write to your MP (sorry, Andrew!). Thank you for your help, and I look forward to seeing you on the train next year!

Graham

Graham Ellis - graham@wellho.net
01225 708225 or 0797 4 925 928
48, Spa Road, Melksham, SN12 7NY
* Well House Consultants Ltd
* Webmaster at Coffee Shop forum
* Melksham Town Councillor for South Ward
* Vice Chair Melksham Transport User Group

Each of the four letters published on Facebook - each town has its local groups, so there's no one size fits all there.  Example:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/spottedbradfordonavon/posts/585104725972060/


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 12, 2021, 11:18:15 am
1470 signatures. When Graham said he intended to start a parliamentary petition, I laughed. I'm not laughing now.

Petitions are a "risk" in my view and can show just how few people are interested, as well as how many are. And they need to be a stepping stone, and not just a safety value through which the community can vent its feelings before the show moves on anyway.

Looking at the three constituencies that lose ALL their through trains from London:
South West Wiltshire (Trowbridge station) Rt Hon Dr Andrew Murrison MP - 422 signatures
Chippenham (Bradford-on-Avon station) Michelle Donelan MP - 386 signatures
Bath   (Oldfield Park station) Wera Hobhouse MP - 111 signatures

Also look at the constituency that is reduced to one train per day to and from London:
North East Somerset (Keynsham) Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP - 87 signatures

Now - government petitions are NATIONAL things and we have an issue here which has potential national repercussions (if they can withdraw direct London services to Trowbridge, could they withdraw them from Chester, Bradford, Lincoln, Inverness, Carmarthen, Corrour and many other places too?). However, it manifests itself locally and so we have essentially a campaign that needs to be LOCAL and that does not make it easy to even approach national petition target such as 10,000 to even get an answer, or 100,000 to be considered (!) for a debate.   But hang on a moment - let's look at that another way.

I'll take Michelle's constituency as an example, as that's where I live.

It takes an average of 15.3 signatures per constituency to trigger a government response.  Michelle has had 25 times that number of signatories since last Friday

It takes an average of 153 signatures per constituency to trigger consideration for a debate..  Michelle has had 2.5 times that number of signatories, and that since last Friday.

The figures for Dr Andrew Murrison are even more striking!

It would really be a rather good idea for them to have the DfT take a look at the decision and see if they can find a solution - and we have petitioned in such a way to leave a forward looking solution staring them in the face.   The community could get what it wants, the MPs boost their popularity rating, the government gets brownie points for listening, and hopefully, next time there will be consultation so we don't have to go through this sort of thing again.

Shucks - do I need to edit the figures?  Up from 1470 to 1511 since you posted, Mark A




Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 13, 2021, 09:09:42 am
From my Melksham blog at http://grahamellis.uk/blog286.html - where I have mentioned this campaign for the first time:


Quote
(http://grahamellis.uk/images/watpox.jpg)

Transport changes - e-Scooters are legally available for hire in Bath. Next month, the railway line to Okehampton re-opens for regular passenger trains for the first time since 1972. And in December, Trowbridge and Bradford-on-Avon look set to LOSE their through train service from London.

Time passes, positive and planned changes are welcome, but withdrawing the though London trains to our county town, at a time when people are returning from Covid onto the trains, and at a time we want to encourage more use, without providing an adequate alternative and without public consultation is just - well - it just defies belief! These trains have always been popular and have become full and standing at times, again, on Covid return. Logic is to leave them in place for a further year, at which point extra "MetroWest" trains are running and the can be end-to-end joined to continue a regular, clock-face, strategic, attractive service.

The question comes "why are they being withdrawn". Different people give different stories. A Freedom of Information request has been stalled by the Department for transport while they do a "complex public interest" test, and that has me wondering what they want to hide. My personal view is that the Department for Transport wants to save money and thought removal of this service would be a soft target - not realising how busy it is, how popular it is. They also appear to be setting a precedent of not consulting - even their own watchdog says they should.

Over the last week, I have been helping co-ordinate the West Wilts Rail User Group, Two Tunnels, Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways, Railfuture (Severnside Branch) TravelWatch Southwest, and the Coffee Shop forum to raise the profile of these services. Melksham retains all its train services in December - we are lucky - but we should support others as they have supported us in the past. And in any case, the trains being withdrawn are ones we connect into.

When we ask "why are they being withdrawn", we are sometimes told "because more trains are needed in Devon".  To me, that looks like a bit of an excuse; with the local Salisbury terminating at Basingstoke for 2022, and other services reduced, I don't see quite how the numbers add up (or subtract) to that.  Okehampton's being run by GWR, anyway, isn't it?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 13, 2021, 10:18:28 am
Perhaps some SWR 158s will be loaned to GWR.  It’s happened before.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on October 13, 2021, 02:48:40 pm
*Snorts*

"Petition to save South Western Railway services gets over 1,780 signatures"

https://www.thisiswiltshire.co.uk/news/19643905.petition-save-south-western-railway-services-gets-1-780-signatures/

"Calls grow to save the 'valued' London trains under threat in Bath"

https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/local-news/calls-grow-save-valued-london-6048373


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 13, 2021, 09:32:13 pm
How we're getting on ...

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/p20211013_3.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/p20211013_2.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/p20211013_1.jpg)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 15, 2021, 06:12:46 pm
The Department for Transport have responded to my Freedom of Information request - 14 documents received a few minutes before 5 p.m. 40 working days after I asked.  We now have 3 working days (and a weekend) to work out what they really say and to see if we agreed with their case and logic, or wish to raise issues with them at the public meeting next Wednesday.

All the documents uploaded for our Transport Scholars at http://www.passenger.chat/25580 - if you don't have access there, please like this thread and I will cut you in.   That's really the place for details discussions of the technicallities.

I *did* just make sure my uploads worked ... here is the sort of thing you can read ...

13 April 2021, SWR (name redacted) to Graham Stockbridge at the Dft:

Quote
We’ve carefully considered the passenger impact of this proposal. GWR services between Salisbury and Bristol have been lengthened in recent years following the introduction of 5 car trains and turbo rolling stock. Further developments on this corridor are planned through Metro West and other schemes and given projected customer numbers there is little commercial need for SWR services which do not provide part of the regular clockface service on that route.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 17, 2021, 12:42:41 pm
Anyone on LinkedIn?   New article which should be public :
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/more-through-trains-london-graham-ellis
Please feel free to share, promote, etc, that.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on October 17, 2021, 03:22:49 pm
https://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/news/19652204.mp-calls-rail-service-cuts-plan-reversed/

Also the front page lead story in this week's Warminster Journal.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on October 17, 2021, 03:37:39 pm
Anyone on LinkedIn?   New article which should be public :
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/more-through-trains-london-graham-ellis
Please feel free to share, promote, etc, that.

Thanks for this. It's a very helpful read that pulls together the clearer focus that's emerged on the causes of this sorry issue and the opportunity to resolve it.

Mark


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 18, 2021, 08:20:43 pm
Anyone on LinkedIn?   New article which should be public :
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/more-through-trains-london-graham-ellis
Please feel free to share, promote, etc, that.

Not sure if this adaption is a good idea ... http://waterloo.savethetrain.org.uk/ ... back to "Save the Train" which, you will note, is what we're looking to do.   And the old philosophy applies too:
1. Get people to realise there's a problem
2. Work out what needs to be done to get an appropriate service
3. Get that service
4. Support it like **** to ensure it works and works well - sustainable for many years


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Bmblbzzz on October 18, 2021, 09:21:44 pm
I've just noticed this in the Bristol Post: https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/local-news/calls-grow-save-valued-london-6048373
"The fact is that Paddington and Waterloo are two very different destinations."
Mentions a Mark Annand and one Graham Ellis.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Lee on October 18, 2021, 10:20:00 pm
I've just noticed this in the Bristol Post: https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/local-news/calls-grow-save-valued-london-6048373
"The fact is that Paddington and Waterloo are two very different destinations."
Mentions a Mark Annand and one Graham Ellis.

Of course the signature count is slightly out of date in that article. Just topped 2800 now...


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: rogerw on October 19, 2021, 08:04:51 pm
I was browsing through the West Dorset WATAG minutes of their meeting 23rd September. The report on rail services suggests that the units saved by the withdrawal of the Bristol services and Yeovil shorts will be mothballed and not, as claimed, used to strengthen services to Exeter.
https://transportactiongroup.files.wordpress.com/2021/10/115-sept21.pdf (https://transportactiongroup.files.wordpress.com/2021/10/115-sept21.pdf)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on October 19, 2021, 09:25:48 pm
I was browsing through the West Dorset WATAG minutes of their meeting 23rd September. The report on rail services suggests that the units saved by the withdrawal of the Bristol services and Yeovil shorts will be mothballed and not, as claimed, used to strengthen services to Exeter.
https://transportactiongroup.files.wordpress.com/2021/10/115-sept21.pdf (https://transportactiongroup.files.wordpress.com/2021/10/115-sept21.pdf)

Why am I not surprised............................?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 20, 2021, 11:11:59 pm
Thank you to everyone who came along tonight. Too tired to write up until the morning. Management Summary - went as well as could have been expected with SWR and DfT there without inclination (or authority, I suspect?) to budge.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 22, 2021, 06:20:49 pm
Meeting writeup at http://www.passenger.chat/25595

Following also shared on our "Transport Scholars" board but good public comment too.

In the adjournment debate in Parliament this afternoon (I have asked for a downloadable copy to share here), Sarah Olney and Munira Wilson called on the Department for Transport and Chris Heaton-Harris the rail minister to base permanent train service changes on real returning passenger data once it's available, and not on guesses. They pointed out that the consultation for December 2022 was flawed, and that we need to be encouraging passenger back to rail both for climate reasons and for the whole workability of our big city.  They decried drops of 50% in services as driving people away from rail, and questioned the real saving that would be made by merely having fewer train costs on lines with the same maintenance costs [or is there a hidden singling program somewhere?]. They pointed out that SWR» had taken on their contract and previous services based on reliability promises, so to say that these changes are to improve reliability is contradictory.  I think it was Sarah Olney who said she could use the words she really wanted because they would be considered unparliamentary.

Like everyone, Sarah, Munira and (in words, but not deeds) Chris H-H are looking to grow traffic back on an attractive, reliable product.   Talk was of 85% rising to 93% of precovid services running on average, though some of the service quoted by the ladies are down to 50% and it's anyone's guess what passenger numbers are going to do. But one thing I can be absolutely certain of - if direct services from London to Trowbridge, Bradford-on-Avon and Oldfield Park are reduced to zero, passenger numbers will also be reduced to zero.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: bobm on October 22, 2021, 08:37:22 pm
(I have asked for a downloadable copy to share here)

Early version of the Hansard record of the debate is here (https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-10-22/debates/F5B848D4-2659-4293-B29B-9E21FECF538F/RailServiceReductions).


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 22, 2021, 09:23:39 pm
(I have asked for a downloadable copy to share here)

Early version of the Hansard record of the debate is here (https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-10-22/debates/F5B848D4-2659-4293-B29B-9E21FECF538F/RailServiceReductions).

Click on image for the video

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/solney.jpg) (http://waterloo.savethetrain.org.uk/solney.mp4)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on October 23, 2021, 09:46:34 am
Much made of the figure 93% (i.e. SWR will return to running 93% of the previous service).

This omits... what should it be called... coverage?

The Bristol to Waterloo is a gross example in that as Graham says, this will be 0% 24/7.

But as someone from the Waterloo - Reading line has observed, they've lost a late train from London, seemingly permanently, so for the passengers needing to return at that time who previously used the train, this is also zero percent provision at that time of the day. (And on the matter of that late train, there's a sort of threshold effect where the last train to London supports an entire range of activities and when it goes, the people who used to use it are now the ones that either drive, or need to leave whatever event they've attended before the end. We've seen those people and we don't like to be those people, though it has to be said that for the people who can switch to using a hotel, this benefits the likes of Premier Inn...)

Perhaps the 24/7 figure for a line may be slightly reduced, but retreats from late or early morning services is a reduction to zero service levels at those times.

And it's the early and late trains that may load lightly, so the DfT can put pressure on TOCs to cut them on the same basis that people at the Trowbridge meeting heard about rather too often - to 'Save the taxpayer money'. (It has to be said that a few people glanced at each other, having thought all along that the taxpayer was themselves.)

And, of course... retreat from the margins and eventually, the centre becomes your new margin.

This is probably obvious to many people, but it doesn't make it less alarming that it's happening to parts of the railway network. Now in some ways that would be fine if the Bristol to Waterloo trains were in normal times  moribund but of course they've been shown to be anything but.

Mark


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 24, 2021, 08:11:11 am
Sharing from my Facebook feed ...

I admit it - bit of a personal marker passed yesterday afternoon when we hit 3,521 signatures on the petition asking The Governement to "Continue to run through trains from Bristol to Waterloo via Trowbridge". It's now got over twice the number of signatures that the only petition I have ever created before did - and that's in about 2 weeks from initial publicity rather than the 3 months it took before. Far more signatures than I had anticipated - my hope was just to equal the previous number from many years ago. THANK YOU if you have signed already. EVERYone counts.

If you have not yet signed, please do so - at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/598397 . Maybe not a specific "Melksham" topic but very much a West Wilts one, and one - if we let the service cull go ahead without public consultation - would set a dangerous precedent.  It may happen anyway in spite of the screams of anguish, but at the least it will make "them" think next time. It is utter madness to be talking "Bus Back Better" and climate change, and at the same time deleting well used (yes, they are - THAT is why the petition has taken off!) trains.  Read more at http://waterloo.savethetrain.org.uk

Supporting image - a comparison of the GWR service which continues, and the SWR service which is set to finish on 10th December 2021 unless something changes late in the day.

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/gwrvswr.jpg)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on October 24, 2021, 09:25:16 am
That's a really useful summary: can you sling a PDF version - with the text in it as text, please?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 24, 2021, 09:35:47 am
That's a really useful summary: can you sling a PDF version - with the text in it as text, please?

Should be at http://www.passenger.chat/cma.pdf


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 25, 2021, 06:27:02 am
My thanks to Mark A for finding a signatures-by-day graph (here) (https://repetition.me/598397-continue-to-run-through-trains-from-bristol-to-waterloo-via-trowbridge/statistics#.YXXEWy8w3AY)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/sbd_20211024.jpg)

Also a graphic from the petition sight showing the geographic spread (here) (https://petitionmap.unboxedconsulting.com/?petition=598397)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/sbca_20211024.jpg)

And that in numbers (my page from the .json feed) (here] (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/petition.html)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/sbcb_20211024.jpg)

(Graphic shown above are as of the time of my posting; links will take you to current graphic whenever you view the page)




Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 26, 2021, 04:36:27 pm
From my post at https://www.facebook.com/groups/221786714693792/posts/1795752640630517/ (it's the "Your Crap Railway Photos" group where you can post pictures not suitable for use elsewere), talking about the axing of the Bristol to Waterloo service.

A poster who's profile places him in London writes
Quote
The reason they're axing it is not a lot of people use it, if they axe it that frees up stock to be used on busier services and there are alternatives !

But a group member from the Bristol area tells him
Quote
That is utter rubbish! Nearly every one of them is at full seated capacity!

Rather confirms the fibbs that are being told out-of-area ... seat occupancy graphs displayed by Andrew Ardley on Wednesday last week (I have asked for but not received a copy of the slides) played with statistics.  They were meant to show a low seat occupancy.  Sadly for SWR, I know what typical figures are and to me they were showing a reasonable pattern.  Data collected during the SWR strike too, I think, which was hardly going to encourage passengers.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 26, 2021, 09:26:53 pm
More feedback - just an example

Quote
When I've used it, it's been crushed standing room only. I'll sign.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Lee on October 27, 2021, 07:43:10 am
The petition has just reached 4000 signatures  :)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 27, 2021, 08:29:07 am
The petition has just reached 4000 signatures  :)

Yep, and 1000 in the Chippenham constituency (for Bradford-on-Avon Station) alone ... which should help arm my MP in her question for an amended decision.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on October 27, 2021, 08:45:33 am
Well exactly:

http://www.whitehorsenews.co.uk/blog/2021/10/26/the-community-is-not-going-to-take-rail-cuts/

Mark


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on October 27, 2021, 10:26:20 am
Don't know if anyone has seen this ?

https://www.andrewmurrison.co.uk/sites/www.andrewmurrison.co.uk/files/2021-10/Letter%20to%20Rt%20Hon%20Grant%20Shapps%20MP%2C%20Secretary%20of%20State%20for%20the%20Department%20for%20Transport%2022.10.21.pdf


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 27, 2021, 10:50:17 am
Don't know if anyone has seen this ?

Thanks - I have added a copy to the member's mirror at
http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/mirror/am2gs_20211022.pdf


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 27, 2021, 11:42:51 am
The petition has just reached 4000 signatures  :)

I am ... somewhat surprised ... by how it's continuing to grow today. Lee reported 4,000 just 4 hours ago - now at 4,109 and lots more signatures in the local constituencies.  A mixture of public messages on Facebook saying "I love this service" and "I didn't know about this service" which rather suggests an excellent marketing opportunity and better finances should we manage to save the trains.

Quote
So glad you have signed. We use these trains a lot. They go via Salisbury and Basingstoke to London Waterloo - right by the Embankment and the Royal Festival Hall (for concerts).... and cheaper than going to Paddington. It would be a crying shame to lose it.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on October 27, 2021, 01:38:17 pm
Have just seen on the lunchtime BBC Points West that a new bus service is to be introduced between Bristol and Bath. Is this to replace the SWR rail service ???


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Lee on October 27, 2021, 01:58:31 pm
Have just seen on the lunchtime BBC Points West that a new bus service is to be introduced between Bristol and Bath. Is this to replace the SWR rail service ???

No - Whilst I wouldn't rule out the level of co-ordination between bus and rail that would be required for that becoming reality in a few years time as a result of Bus Back Better, they are nowhere near that yet.

I suspect they are referring to the "fully prioritised" bus route between Bristol and Bath that was discussed previously on this thread. (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=25601.0)

EDIT to correct an appalling grammar error on my part...


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 27, 2021, 08:47:47 pm
https://www.facebook.com/grant.shapps/posts/1708738169323491

Post from Grant Shapps ...

Quote
#Budget2021 allows us to continue revolutionising UK transport ...

Cleaner, greener, faster, more connected

and a graphic showing £5.7bn for rail

`
I have commented to ask:

Quote
Does that public tansport funding include funding to retain the popular and very busy through London services via our county town of Trowbridge which are being culled in December - see https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/598397 or are you going ahead with taking that service costing £ off while you promise £££££ elsewhere?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 27, 2021, 08:54:10 pm
I have also followed up my own MP's post at https://www.facebook.com/MichelleDonelanChippenham/posts/2552333954901190

Quote
The Chancellor has announced £2.6 billion for local road upgrades across the South West which will see the A350 in Chippenham upgraded.

This will mean a new slip road by the roundabout at Pets at Home, Chippenham which will dramatically help reduce the traffic congestion from Bumpers Farm. I have listened to the dire problems people who work on Bumpers Farm are facing getting in and out and asked the Chancellor and Transport Ministers to invest to sort the problem. Today we have delivered!!

It will also mean the dualing a section of the road to improve capacity and safety at two roundabouts (one above plus one near Sainsbury’s). The project will deliver in 2023.

I was elected to push our needs in Westminster and I will continue to push every door to deliver for our constituency.

My follow up:

Quote
Thank you for promoting this, and congratulations on the Restoring Your Railways funding for Corsham Station studies too. Has funding been found to continue through the very popular through train service from London to Bradford-on-Avon which was to be culled in December? https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/598397


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 27, 2021, 09:11:06 pm
From Wiltshire Live (https://www.wiltshirelive.co.uk/news/wiltshire-news/campaigners-fight-save-key-wiltshire-6115163)

Long article, worth a read ...

Quote
Campaigners fight to save key Wiltshire train route to London Waterloo

An online petition has already gathered over 4,000 signatures since it was launched

... couple of inaccuracies - one or two on me, lots more from SWR as they have their say.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on October 28, 2021, 10:11:37 am
Yes, SWR spokesperson isn't doing it for me.

Mark


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: paul7575 on October 28, 2021, 11:17:20 am
SWR new National Rail contract is online today:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/first-mtr-south-western-trains-limited-2021-rail-contract

I haven’t looked into the documents but it includes a new business plan and TSR that might be of interest.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 28, 2021, 01:49:47 pm
SWR new National Rail contract is online today:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/first-mtr-south-western-trains-limited-2021-rail-contract

I haven’t looked into the documents but it includes a new business plan and TSR that might be of interest.

A total of 710 pages!  Contract dates May, published 28th October 2021. For posterity and searchability, copy added to our member's mirror

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/mirror/first-mtr-south-western-trains-ltd-business-plan-commitments.pdf
http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/mirror/first-mtr-south-western-trains-ltd-rail-contract.pdf
http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/mirror/first-mtr-south-western-trains-ltd-train-service-requirement.pdf

I have not yet had much time to read this little lot ... all sorts of lovely tables like this one:

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/m2th_slc_c1_20211028.jpg)



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: eightonedee on October 28, 2021, 01:55:23 pm
Tables C1 and C2 indicate one up and three down services between Temple Meads and Waterloo, Monday to Friday, three each way on Saturdays and 2 up, 3 down on Sunday.

Climb down? Error? Have I misread it?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: stuving on October 28, 2021, 02:12:44 pm
Tables C1 and C2 indicate one up and three down services between Temple Meads and Waterloo, Monday to Friday, three each way on Saturdays and 2 up, 3 down on Sunday.

Climb down? Error? Have I misread it?

I read it (not very thoroughly, for obvious reasons) as the transfer of what the timetable was in May into the new agreement. This would be what the timetable would have been with no operational modifications such as for staff shortages, but how much the Covid changes were included I couldn't say.

That would be like the SLC for the 2016 franchise bid, which specified the initial timetable on some lines (to December 2018) as being the same as the 2015 timetable. That's now hard to check, as that timetable isn't a public document any more (and it wasn't in 2018 either). This time it's been exhaustively specified in words - 145 pagefuls of them!


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: stuving on October 28, 2021, 03:22:48 pm
This looks like a major rewrite of the previous contract, which is a bit surprising given it's not what will be needed by GBR. The bit about train services works roughly like this:

The very short bit at the front, which the rest provides details for, says:
Quote
4. RAIL SERVICES
4.1 The Operator shall at all times during the Contract Term:
(a) provide and operate the Rail Services specified in the National Rail Contract;
(b) carry out the Station Services and the Light Maintenance Services; and
(c) be permitted to carry out the Ancillary Services.

Chapter 4 covers rail services, of which the relevant bit is 4.1, starting with:
Quote
Chapter 4.1
Service Development
1. Train Service Requirement
1.1 The Train Service Requirement is the specification of the Passenger Services to be provided by the Operator during the Contract Term.
1.2 The Train Service Requirement shall remain in force unless and until amended or replaced pursuant to this Chapter 4.1.

So it's the amendment part, in section 8, that is needed here:
Quote
8. Development of Proposals for Passenger Service Enhancements
8.1 In delivering improvements to Passenger Services (which may include service decrements), the Operator shall co-operate with Network Rail, the Secretary of State and where appropriate, other operators to identify options (the “Passenger Services Enhancement Options”).
8.2 The Passenger Services Enhancement Options shall:
(a) respond to changes in travel patterns and increases and decreases in demand;
(b) improve network performance;
(c) propose/take advantage of changes to the existing infrastructure;
(d) propose/take advantage of changes in rolling stock capability or reliability as a result of changes in the Train Fleet;
(e) improve overall industry cost efficiency and/or reduce in costs in relation to any or all parts of the railway network;
(f) promote decarbonisation and other environmental improvements (in addition to the Secretary of State’s goals and ambitions on decarbonisation for rolling stock as set out in the rolling stock part of the Business Plan);
(g) propose the reopening of disused, freight-only or new railway routes to passenger services; or
(h) support any government policy objective,
including for this purpose any such options which arise after the expiry of the Contract Term.
8.3 Processes contained in this paragraph 8 shall take place in accordance with procedural arrangements and timescales stipulated by the Secretary of State pursuant to paragraph 9.2 of this Chapter 4.1.

This is also in chapter 4.1:
Quote
3. Consultation on Alterations to the Timetable
3.1 If the Secretary of State is of the opinion that the proposed alterations to the Timetable represent a material alteration, the Secretary of State will require the Operator to undertake a consultation exercise, the scope of which must be agreed in advance with the Secretary of State.

Obviously these are very short quotes; there is a lot more stuff about all of this. Oddly, while it starts by carefully distinguishing the timetable (SWR's responsibility, in negotiation with NR) from the service requirement (which comes from DfT), it then uses "timetable" in two conflcting senses, and in places within one sentence. Clumsy, that.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on October 28, 2021, 08:29:31 pm
https://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/news/19675881.rail-service-cuts-serious-concern/

Good to see their reporter John Baker on to this.

Mark


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on October 29, 2021, 08:27:08 pm
SWR new National Rail contract is online today:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/first-mtr-south-western-trains-limited-2021-rail-contract

I haven’t looked into the documents but it includes a new business plan and TSR that might be of interest.

No it isn't. It's the ERMA ending in May 2023

Quote
This direct award rail contract replaces the previous South Western Railways 2017 rail franchise agreement contract.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: stuving on October 29, 2021, 09:58:53 pm
SWR new National Rail contract is online today:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/first-mtr-south-western-trains-limited-2021-rail-contract

I haven’t looked into the documents but it includes a new business plan and TSR that might be of interest.

No it isn't. It's the ERMA ending in May 2023

Quote
This direct award rail contract replaces the previous South Western Railways 2017 rail franchise agreement contract.

Not so, officially. The EMA and ERMA were emergency measures, and did not replace the 2017 agreement - that was suspended by them. The ERMA (also available on line (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/953757/First-MTR-South-Western-Trains-Limited-Emergency-Recovery-Measures-Agreement-19-Sept-2020.pdf)) was originally to run from 20/9/20 to 1/4/21, and then it was extended. The new agreement replaces that ERMA, as well as the suspended original agreement, from ... the start date. As with earlier "franchise" agreements, the actual start date is hidden away in the definition of terms section; in this case it's 02:00 on 30 May 2021.

Exactly what it is is rather subjective. It is a first attempt at a management contract not called "emergency" anything (it calls itself a National Rail Contract). It bridges the gap before GBR takes over from DfT as letter of contracts. How much it will be a prototype for GBR contract we'll have to wait and see.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ChrisB on October 30, 2021, 09:03:14 am
Surely National Rail Contracts weren’t a ‘thing’ back in May 2021? I thought Greater Anglia got the first one? And WMR are reported as the only other one issued so far?
Agreed, I’m not sure exactly what this is, but you’re right, it’s something other than an ERMA.

The GA or WMR contracts are examples of NRCs


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: stuving on October 30, 2021, 12:34:15 pm
Confusing? Isn't it just! For example, GWR (uniquely) never had an ERMA, but got a new direct award replacing the old one while both were in part suspended by the EMA - which itself now runs until the end of this year. (Or does it? It was last announced as extended to 26/6/21, and I've read it now runs until December, but I can find no announcement of that nor that it has now ended and the underlying direct award is in force.)

All the rest (OLR apart) have or had ERMAs, and were to get direct awards according to a timetable set out in a flood of notices in the OJEU last November. These were summarised in a table on railforums (https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/transition-from-franchises-ermas-to-concessions.211500/#post-4874272), and are copied here (with thinks to member LNW-GW Joint).

Franchise    DA start Max duration    Core d'nOptional ext'n
TransPennine Express 01/04/21    48 months    2 years    Up to 2 years
South Western Railway 01/04/21    48 months    2 years    Up to 2 years
Essex Thameside (c2c) 01/04/21    48 months    2 years    Up to 2 years
West Midlands Trains  19/09/21    60 months    3 years    Up to 2 years
Greater Anglia 19/09/21    60 months    3 years    Up to 2 years
Thameslink, Southern & Great Northern 19/09/21     72 months    2 years    Up to 4 years
Southeastern 17/10/21    72 months    2 years    Up to 4 years
Chiltern 31/12/21   72 months    1·5 years Up to 4·5 years
East Midlands Railway 01/04/22    72 months    4 years    Up to 2 years
West Coast Partnership 01/04/22    72 months    4 years    Up to 2 years

Then, of course, the announcement of the new plan in May got closer, and no doubt DfT started to alter these plans to fit in with that. It looks to me as if the SWR direct award had "National Rail Contract" edited onto its front cover (in pretty colours) and maybe some of the content and style altered too.

Of course all this is only a bridge to the new "Passenger Service Contracts", which GBR will let, but it seems DfT will design them and write the process into the new legislation. The "Market Engagement" process (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/passenger-service-contracts) for this has started, with its first big event next Thursday (4/11/21). The link that used to lead to DfT's contract schedule now leads to the Shapps-Williams plans instead, which is not much help.

Note that these "Prior Information Notices" went into the OJEU near the end of the transition period, and from 1/1/2021 any further ones will have used the new UK replacement, the "Find a Tender Service" (https://www.find-tender.service.gov.uk/Search).

PS: this is starting to look as if it belongs elsewhere, if someone can find a plane of cleavage


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 30, 2021, 12:42:28 pm
PS: this is starting to look as if it belongs elsewhere, if someone can find a plane of cleavage

If anyone finds one of those, let me know.  To hell with climate change…I’ll buy a ticket!  ;)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on October 30, 2021, 06:50:48 pm
PS: this is starting to look as if it belongs elsewhere, if someone can find a plane of cleavage

If anyone finds one of those, let me know.  To hell with climate change…I’ll buy a ticket!  ;)

To Bristol, one must assume  ;D


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: anthony215 on October 30, 2021, 07:19:41 pm
Wonder if pressuring our PM might help especially if it helps  save this service.

If SWR are short of units or need extra capacity there should be class 158s available during the next few years if the introduction of TFW s class 197s goes to plan


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on October 30, 2021, 08:12:31 pm
Next post on Facebook ... if you're on Facebook, please visit this and share it to your groups an contacts:

https://www.facebook.com/CoffeeShopCRP/posts/3088217498092015

Quote
(http://www.wellho.net/pix/yoursnext.jpg)

Four train services put forward for culling by the Department for Transport.

One is ours from Bristol to London (Waterloo) via Salisbury by South Western Railway. The other three were redacted by the Department for Transport in my Freedom of Information request - see image.

Could one of the other three services to be culled be YOURS?

Please sign the petition at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/598397 to help avoid a precedent being set. Please share this post. Read more via http://www.passenger.chat

Inset is the threatened service, picture taken within the last week, giving lie to "low passenger number" guesses.

Written by the Department for Transport's technical team: "SWR last FTM asked SoS to agree to use Dec-22 in Dec-21, which is undefined, without a Timetable to show or consult, no consultation, and limited (well actually by the aforementioned apparently none at all) service modelling"

So they are looking for "quick wins" to make a political point ... " That would be great – esp if we can demonstrate progress to CHH by end of month?"


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Lee on October 30, 2021, 09:23:38 pm
That's certainly a new twist on the "Super Match Game" !


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: anthony215 on October 31, 2021, 08:58:31 am
Saw something on facebook the other 3 routes up for the chop were in scotland.

I think im lucky the welsh governemnt is doing the opposite and trying to improve and introduce new services


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on October 31, 2021, 12:09:19 pm
"Review SWR service between Bristol TM and Yeovil Pen Mill"

Am I missing something here ???


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: paul7575 on October 31, 2021, 01:54:12 pm
SWR new National Rail contract is online today:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/first-mtr-south-western-trains-limited-2021-rail-contract

I haven’t looked into the documents but it includes a new business plan and TSR that might be of interest.

No it isn't. It's the ERMA ending in May 2023

Quote
This direct award rail contract replaces the previous South Western Railways 2017 rail franchise agreement contract.
Then why does it have the unambiguous name “National Rail Contract” on the front page?  ???
Page 13 of the contract includes quite a bit explaining exactly what a National Rail Contract is as well…


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: paul7575 on October 31, 2021, 02:05:24 pm
I see the right hand box of that image in post #289 maybe gives an idea of the situation following Waterside line reopening. Restoring your railway (RYR).

It seems to suggest to me that SWR will probably revert to a Romsey - Totton - Fawley, with GWR taking on a second Bristol - Southampton service to restore capacity “Southampton to Romsey” which presumably means SWR won’t be operating that leg. 

But drifting off the main topic, how does a second Bristol - Southampton service fit in with the TransWilts Swindon - Southampton proposal?   


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 03, 2021, 07:17:48 am
From around 19:00  on Facebook last night:
https://www.facebook.com/MichelleDonelanChippenham/posts/2557993741001878

Michelle Donelan MP
Today at COP26, over 100 global leaders representing 85% of the world's forests will take decisive action to end deforestation by 2030. 
This pledge includes almost £14 billion of public and private funds. Countries signing the pledge include: Canada, Brazil, Russia, China, Indonesia, the US and the UK and many more.
This is the biggest step forward in protecting the world's forests in a generation.
Forests are truly the lungs of our planet and absorb around one third of the global CO2 released from burning fossil fuels each year. Currently, an area of forest the size of 27 football pitches is lost every minute.
May be an image of tree and text that says 'PREVENT THE LOSS OF THE WORLD'S LUNGS BY PLANTING TRE TREES'

Graham Ellis
Hi, Michelle - more locally, plans to cull through trains from London to Bradford-on-Avon in your consitituency will be driving people back into private cars for long journeys. Over 1200 of your voters have signed a petition asking you to get the Department for Transport to reverse the axe, and backup material explains why this would be a sensible thing to do. Help your local popularity if you can do this for us too, and reduce carbon in the first place. See https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/598397 (other readers - please sign!)

Michelle Donelan MP
Graham Ellis I have met with the Rail Minister, written to South West Rail and to the Secretary of State for Transport. Will keep you posted as keep trying.

Graham Ellis
Michelle Donelan MP Thank you - please do keep trying. So many people are still taken by surprise when they hear the trains are going - it used to be "Use it or lose it" but this time its "use it AND lose it" - the trains to be culled still full and standing even in the last two weeks. DfT need to take another look and not just defend the indefensible ... go on, Michelle, you're a minister - have them take another look. We as a community would be very happy to help market like we did at Melksham where we got 25 x growth and it's GREEN growth. Win, win ...


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: TonyK on November 03, 2021, 04:43:51 pm
From around 19:00  on Facebook last night:
https://www.facebook.com/MichelleDonelanChippenham/posts/2557993741001878

Michelle Donelan MP
Today at COP26, over 100 global leaders representing 85% of the world's forests will take decisive action to end deforestation by 2030. 
This pledge includes almost £14 billion of public and private funds. Countries signing the pledge include: Canada, Brazil, Russia, China, Indonesia, the US and the UK and many more.
This is the biggest step forward in protecting the world's forests in a generation.
Forests are truly the lungs of our planet and absorb around one third of the global CO2 released from burning fossil fuels each year. Currently, an area of forest the size of 27 football pitches is lost every minute.
May be an image of tree and text that says 'PREVENT THE LOSS OF THE WORLD'S LUNGS BY PLANTING TRE TREES'

Graham Ellis
Hi, Michelle - more locally, plans to cull through trains from London to Bradford-on-Avon in your consitituency will be driving people back into private cars for long journeys. Over 1200 of your voters have signed a petition asking you to get the Department for Transport to reverse the axe, and backup material explains why this would be a sensible thing to do. Help your local popularity if you can do this for us too, and reduce carbon in the first place. See https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/598397 (other readers - please sign!)

Michelle Donelan MP
Graham Ellis I have met with the Rail Minister, written to South West Rail and to the Secretary of State for Transport. Will keep you posted as keep trying.

Graham Ellis
Michelle Donelan MP Thank you - please do keep trying. So many people are still taken by surprise when they hear the trains are going - it used to be "Use it or lose it" but this time its "use it AND lose it" - the trains to be culled still full and standing even in the last two weeks. DfT need to take another look and not just defend the indefensible ... go on, Michelle, you're a minister - have them take another look. We as a community would be very happy to help market like we did at Melksham where we got 25 x growth and it's GREEN growth. Win, win ...


Nice work, grahame, and good for Michelle Donelan MP.

Quote
...it used to be "Use it or lose it"...

Not use it or loose it.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 04, 2021, 08:52:51 am
UK: After speaking to a range of senior industry figures, almost all on condition of anonymity, @RailBusinessUK
 can confirm widespread concern that significant investment is coming to an end after three decades of rail growth, with major implications

I can confirm that.

Are YOU on Facebook? If so, please share my post at
https://www.facebook.com/Graham4Melksham/posts/247547707434387

And are YOU on Twitter?  If so, please share my tweet at
https://twitter.com/Graham4Melksham/status/1456182278242066435


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Trowres on November 04, 2021, 11:45:12 am
Meanwhile, on Twitter: 'Thread' - as they say.

https://twitter.com/RailBusinessUK/status/1455866344424022016

UK: After speaking to a range of senior industry figures, almost all on condition of anonymity, @RailBusinessUK
 can confirm widespread concern that significant investment is coming to an end after three decades of rail growth, with major implications 1/9

Article here: (free) registration required:
https://www.railwaygazette.com/uk/rails-growth-agenda-evaporates-as-treasury-takes-control/60218.article?clearcache=1


Mods: May I suggest that this deserves a topic of its own under "Wider Picture"?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: TonyK on November 04, 2021, 12:03:15 pm
PS: this is starting to look as if it belongs elsewhere, if someone can find a plane of cleavage

If anyone finds one of those, let me know.  To hell with climate change…I’ll buy a ticket!  ;)

To Bristol, one must assume  ;D

Bosoms skywards?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: bobm on November 04, 2021, 02:29:17 pm
From today's Parliamentary Transport Questions

Quote
Wera Hobhouse (Bath) (LD)
In Bath, we are still waiting for the full electrification of our lines, so perhaps the Minister will take that on board too. The direct line from Oldfield Park station in Bath to London Waterloo will be cancelled in December. Will the Minister reconsider these service cuts, which will make travel into south London nearly three times more expensive for my constituents and force them to use the underground while covid cases are rising?

Chris Heaton-Harris
On the hon. Lady’s last point, using the underground—and other trains—is one of the safest methods of transport in the covid pandemic. I believe that the air on the underground is exchanged every three minutes, and on trains every six minutes. They are perfectly safe. She referred to the consultation that has just finished on South Western Railway services, and she is quite correct: passenger numbers on that service are remarkably low. I will happily meet her to go through that, and we can talk about how we can improve those services.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: TonyK on November 04, 2021, 02:37:36 pm
From today's Parliamentary Transport Questions

Quote
Wera Hobhouse (Bath) (LD)
In Bath, we are still waiting for the full electrification of our lines, so perhaps the Minister will take that on board too. The direct line from Oldfield Park station in Bath to London Waterloo will be cancelled in December. Will the Minister reconsider these service cuts, which will make travel into south London nearly three times more expensive for my constituents and force them to use the underground while covid cases are rising?

Chris Heaton-Harris
On the hon. Lady’s last point, using the underground—and other trains—is one of the safest methods of transport in the covid pandemic. I believe that the air on the underground is exchanged every three minutes, and on trains every six minutes. They are perfectly safe. She referred to the consultation that has just finished on South Western Railway services, and she is quite correct: passenger numbers on that service are remarkably low. I will happily meet her to go through that, and we can talk about how we can improve those services.

What question was that an answer to?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 04, 2021, 02:43:14 pm
Meanwhile, on Twitter: 'Thread' - as they say.

https://twitter.com/RailBusinessUK/status/1455866344424022016

UK: After speaking to a range of senior industry figures, almost all on condition of anonymity, @RailBusinessUK
 can confirm widespread concern that significant investment is coming to an end after three decades of rail growth, with major implications 1/9

Article here: (free) registration required:
https://www.railwaygazette.com/uk/rails-growth-agenda-evaporates-as-treasury-takes-control/60218.article?clearcache=1


Mods: May I suggest that this deserves a topic of its own under "Wider Picture"?


Good idea. I have created a new topic at http://www.passenger.chat/25633 to look at wider cuts


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 04, 2021, 02:45:01 pm
From today's Parliamentary Transport Questions

Quote
Wera Hobhouse (Bath) (LD)
In Bath, we are still waiting for the full electrification of our lines, so perhaps the Minister will take that on board too. The direct line from Oldfield Park station in Bath to London Waterloo will be cancelled in December. Will the Minister reconsider these service cuts, which will make travel into south London nearly three times more expensive for my constituents and force them to use the underground while covid cases are rising?

Chris Heaton-Harris
On the hon. Lady’s last point, using the underground—and other trains—is one of the safest methods of transport in the covid pandemic. I believe that the air on the underground is exchanged every three minutes, and on trains every six minutes. They are perfectly safe. She referred to the consultation that has just finished on South Western Railway services, and she is quite correct: passenger numbers on that service are remarkably low. I will happily meet her to go through that, and we can talk about how we can improve those services.

What question was that an answer to?

Dunno - not the one that Wera asked!


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Bmblbzzz on November 04, 2021, 03:53:08 pm
From today's Parliamentary Transport Questions

Quote
Wera Hobhouse (Bath) (LD)
In Bath, we are still waiting for the full electrification of our lines, so perhaps the Minister will take that on board too. The direct line from Oldfield Park station in Bath to London Waterloo will be cancelled in December. Will the Minister reconsider these service cuts, which will make travel into south London nearly three times more expensive for my constituents and force them to use the underground while covid cases are rising?

Chris Heaton-Harris
On the hon. Lady’s last point, using the underground—and other trains—is one of the safest methods of transport in the covid pandemic. I believe that the air on the underground is exchanged every three minutes, and on trains every six minutes. They are perfectly safe. She referred to the consultation that has just finished on South Western Railway services, and she is quite correct: passenger numbers on that service are remarkably low. I will happily meet her to go through that, and we can talk about how we can improve those services.

What question was that an answer to?
Q: What is the most irrelevant and uninformative answer the Minister can invent while still mentioning trains?
A: See above.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: TonyK on November 04, 2021, 06:02:58 pm

Q: What is the most irrelevant and uninformative answer the Minister can invent while still mentioning trains?


"My Honourable Friend is right to bring up the matter of French attitudes to fishing rights..."


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on November 05, 2021, 06:26:17 pm

Coverage in 'MyLondon'...

https://www.mylondon.news/news/uk-world-news/beautiful-countryside-towns-set-lose-22077363

Mark


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 05, 2021, 09:21:07 pm

Coverage in 'MyLondon'...

https://www.mylondon.news/news/uk-world-news/beautiful-countryside-towns-set-lose-22077363

Mark


Good work, Mark (and Callum if you are reading this - thank you!)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 06, 2021, 05:39:08 am
From the Swindon and Wiltshire LEP and Western Gateway web site - ((here)) (https://static.swlep.co.uk/swlep/docs/default-source/sub-groups/infrastructure-ideas-and-place-subgroup/02-nov-2021/rail-update---iip-2-nov-2021.pdf) - support. Document is in public but says "ONLY DISSEMINATE WITH PERMISSION OF THE SWLEP" so I am providing only the link.  My understanding is that members may quote short sections of documents that have been released in public for review and comment within copyright rules - but I am not a lawyer and anyone quoting should be careful.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on November 06, 2021, 09:04:18 am
(https://i.postimg.cc/RCY8jc9b/Screenshot-2021-11-06-085220.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/JtbPXHsb)
(Daily Telegraph today)

As one dog appears to carry more weight than 5,314  humans do (so far) with SWR, can we find any canine season ticket holders on the Temple Meads to Waterloo service ?  Even Grant Shapps has sided with the dog !!


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 06, 2021, 12:12:54 pm
As one dog appears to carry more weight than 5,314  humans do (so far) with SWR, can we find any canine season ticket holders on the Temple Meads to Waterloo service ?  Even Grant Shapps has sided with the dog !!

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/dogbalance.jpg)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 07, 2021, 06:52:02 am
To be fair - there IS a petition running and having hit national media it's doing well.  As it's on change.org rather than the government site, comments can be added and I will share some as they show a bit of a parallel with us ...

Quote
We daily see various companies and organisations within Britain's fragmented railway industry, which ought to be burnishing its credentials as by far the greenest way of making all but short local journeys, and doing everything in their power to get folk back into trains following the disastrous effects of Covid, shooting themselves in the foot with all sorts of crass and ill-thought-out actions. This, however, takes the biscuit (no pun intended). For goodness' sake, South Western Railway, and parent company First Group, what planet are you on?

Quote
This is politics out of touch with the needs of human beings - shame on SW trains!

Quote
Utterly ridiculous decision and totally out of tune with the general public.

In overnight ... copy of a what seems to be a "cut and paste" response from the DfT to another MP for forwarding to his constituent, telling him that if he want to travel to London in future he'll need to change at Bath, Westbury or Salisbury.   Constituent lives in Basingstoke ...


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 07, 2021, 08:09:52 am
An update at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/16-reasons-continue-through-trains-london-graham-ellis/


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 07, 2021, 02:30:35 pm
I have been asked "what else can I do to help?" and one of the answers is "write to your MP". But then people ask "what should I write" and "what is their address?".   The form below helps you generate a sample letter that you can cut and paste, and tailor further if you wish.   It's really good to add personal comment about what the service means to you to the base letter".   Any questions - I'm happy to answer.    I will be sharing this to social media later today, so please (readers here) have a play and please let me know of any issues.

http://www.passenger.chat/mpletter.html


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 07, 2021, 03:28:48 pm
What's the final date by which a decision on these services has to be made?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 07, 2021, 04:17:15 pm
What's the final date by which a decision on these services has to be made?

It depends on your view.

June 2021 - we didn't know about the decision until after it had been made.

Political change has resulted in changes as short notice in the past; there is historic precedent for a line being saved at two weeks out.   And I suspect that an instruction to run a train at very short notice indeed could be met if there were an imperative.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on November 07, 2021, 05:50:24 pm
Looking to a future without the through trains...

In particular, journeys from Warminster after December, residents of that town have reason to be aggrieved that from the end of this year, the service seems to be optimised for... people coming down from London to visit the Defense cluster there. There's a convenient through train in both directions.

Waterloo 07:50 arrive Warminster 09:43
Warminster 14:23 arrive Waterloo 16:19

So, out to Warminster, a meeting or two, spot of lunch, and head back to the city state that is London.

A resident of Warminster wanting to visit London for the day does not fare so well. They'll want to be seeking advance fares on the 07:48 through train as the day return's not accepted. It *is* on the next train, at 8:11, which involves 2 changes, with London Waterloo reached at 10:23.

They'll then need to be careful about the return, as the last train for some time that does *not* involve nearly an hour's hanging about at Salisbury will be the 17:50 from Waterloo - so while the 19:20 through train might have pulled them away, the impending service pattern has steered them on to a possibly crowded peak-time train, which, after a 22 minute wait at Salisbury, gets them back at 20:20.

(Nothing after the 17:20, nothing with connections that is, until the 21:20 from Waterloo - the last of the day, a 19 minute wait at Salisbury and back to Warminster at 23:20).

It's almost palpable that the region hosting one end of the Bristol to Waterloo through service receives 3 times the spend per head of population on Transport than does the other. Presumably, someone, somewhere, will have done a heat map of transport spending per head of population for the UK.

A quick search and I've only found the extent to which defence spending is tilted towards... the south west, and to a lesser extent the south east, I'd not realised that (2018 figures on this link...)

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/mod-regional-expenditure-with-uk-industry-and-supported-employment-201819/finance-and-economics-annual-statistical-bulletin-mod-regional-expenditure-with-uk-industry-and-commerce-and-supported-employment-201819

Mark



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 07, 2021, 06:38:21 pm
I've followed up

To London - 4 trains per day
07:48, 11:48 and 15:52 are said to join London trains at Salisbury in addiiton to the 14:23


From London
Just the one through journey per day at 07:50, arriving 09:44.

If you do NOT want to change at Salisbury, you can also arrive at 11:43 and at 12:42 changing at Basingstoke onto the mindblowingly busy Basingstoke to Yeovil Junction via Westbury services.  I was at Westbury last Tusday and saw the 11:52 arrival - obviously starting from Salisbury this week, so it was hard to judge how busy it would be normally.   It looked very quiet; 3 passengers got off and somewhat less than 10 connected into it off the arrival from Paddington.

I took a look at evening return, wondering if changing at Basingstoke and Salisbury would be somewhat better. No such luck; there's a 19:39 from Basingstoke into Salisbury at 20:21, onward train at 20:42 to Warminster at 21:02.   Slight problem is that for th xx:39 off Basingstoke, you have fast London arrivals at xx:47, xx:59 and xx:06 only now and - guess what - the :06 is the Exeter train anyway.  So all you can do is split your hanging around between two stations, and have a marginally shorter total wait because the services call at Overton, Whitchurch and Grateley give you longer on the train.  I wonder what people returning to those three stations from London think of their Basingstoke wait when they used to have through trains every hour.




Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 08, 2021, 07:30:17 am
From this morning:

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/short20211108.jpg)

Some examples - all from Salisbury for consistency of example

Quote
06:34 Salisbury to Cheltenham Spa due 09:03

Facilities on the 06:34 Salisbury to Cheltenham Spa due 09:03.
This is due to a fault on this train.
Will be formed of 2 coaches instead of 3.
(that's going to be fun north of Swindon!!)

Quote
07:19 Salisbury to Cardiff Central due 09:48

Facilities on the 07:19 Salisbury to Cardiff Central due 09:48.
This is due to a fault on this train.
Will be formed of 4 coaches instead of 5.

Quote
17:42 Salisbury to Cardiff Central due 19:49

Facilities on the 17:42 Salisbury to Cardiff Central due 19:49.
This is due to a fault on this train.
Will be formed of 4 coaches instead of 5.

Quote
21:42 Salisbury to Cardiff Central due 23:49

Facilities on the 21:42 Salisbury to Cardiff Central due 23:49.
This is due to a fault on this train.
Will be formed of 2 coaches instead of 3.

Sorry to have to say it, but I have little confidence in GWR providing specified capacity - stock shortage to what's specified has become routine.  It's been going on for a long time and should have been fixed according to promises and commitments long ago.

Where a service is overspecified, it might be just a technical problem.   Where it leaves a train seriously overcrowded - as it will with the 06:34 (above) along part of its route, a service of which I have personal experience, it's a serious matter.

It would seem that new specifications talking of route capacity are based on the false premise that the GWR services routinely run, and run to the number of carriages timetabled / contracted and to timetable too.  So I dread to think what we will see next year if we're 7 services down northwards from Salisbury.  Please don't promise me that "it will be fixed" and "GWR will provide [almost] all services, on time and at specified length" - heard it before, and it hasn't happened, so why should it this time;  promises more in hope than expectation, DfT decisions based on theory not on what's going on in practise.

I am aware that GWR have suppliers and contractors who may have failed in turn to deliver to them - so this is not totally a crack at GWR. But they carry the can of ultimate supply, and responsibility for ensuring their supply chain is reliable.

I am also aware (note for when this is archived) that I'm writing while the Portsmouth - Cardiff service is split due to the accident at Fisherton Tunnel.   Dear reader, you would see the same pattern if you looked at the diagram 10 days ago before the accident.

* We need the capacity provided by the SWR trains for regional journeys
* We need the incremental frequency too provided by these extra seven journeys to encourage rail use
* We need the no-change journey opportunities of the Bristol to Waterloo through trains to encourage rail use

To give you an idea of how bad GWR are at present, and how much business they're losing ... my three planned journeys in the last week:
* Last Tuesday - I went to Westbury but my lunch meeting was aborted due to my friend's train from Dorchester being delayed there so long it wasn't worth travelling - no time for lunch. 
* My Saturday trip to Frome - cancelled train would have left me travelling at a time at which return connections failed and I would have missed a following commitment - I drove.
* Yesterday, I fancied a trip to Weymouth - gave up on the idea when the train was flagged as delayed. (turns out it ran, nearly an hour late into Weymouth)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on November 11, 2021, 05:47:16 pm
Wera Hobhouse the MP for Bath and North East Somerset to meet the minister for transport, as reported in the Bath Echo.

https://www.bathecho.co.uk/news/politics/mp-meet-transport-minister-train-service-cancellation-96441/


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on November 12, 2021, 08:20:30 am

Sorry to have to say it, but I have little confidence in GWR providing specified capacity - stock shortage to what's specified has become routine.  It's been going on for a long time and should have been fixed according to promises and commitments long ago.


The poor connections at Salisbury. These are deliberate, surely? The Portsmouth to Cardiff service is so capacity-constrained that if good connections were made at Salisbury, passenger numbers would quickly be far more of a problem than they are - even if it only provokes an increase from the, was it 40,000 a year figure from SWR to the four-fold increase figure of around 200,000+ from Graham.

Salisbury, or possibly now Basingstoke, are awkward boundaries between the somewhat adequate provision in the south east, the rapidly improving provision in Wales - while in between the two... well, I'm not sure... some increasingly congested roads, coupled with a road building programme to provoke more of the same, certainly.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 14, 2021, 12:01:30 pm
Wera Hobhouse the MP for Bath and North East Somerset to meet the minister for transport, as reported in the Bath Echo.

https://www.bathecho.co.uk/news/politics/mp-meet-transport-minister-train-service-cancellation-96441/

Excellent ... good to read that. Thank you, Wera

On the petition, 409 of Wera's constituents have signed.  That's coming up for three TIMES the number of constituents needed (but across the country) to get considered for a debate in parliament, and twenty seven TIMES the number for. written answer.

409 is a lot - but it pales into insignificance when compared to the 1441 in the constituency where I live (Chippenham, with Bradford-on-Avon station). Michelle Donelan, our MP has also been on the case, but very much has her hands full with lots of other matter too.  Now being a minister who attends cabinet, she very much has loyalty pulled in multiple directions when her colleagues are set in ways that are a major local problem to us - in some ways I'm very sympathetic to her with that, but it's a career choice for her so that sympathy has to be somewhat muted.

And it addition to the 409 for Wera and 1441 for Michelle, 1319 have signed in the constituency of Dr Andrew Murrison (Trowbridge) , and nearly 300 (Keynsham Station, near the edge the constituency) for Jacob Rees-Mogg. Andrew has been on the case too.  They're both to a greater or lesser extent pulled in the same multiple directions as Michelle Donelan and I offer my sympathy, but still ask that they act to represent their constituents first and foremost.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on November 14, 2021, 01:20:54 pm

Sorry to have to say it, but I have little confidence in GWR providing specified capacity - stock shortage to what's specified has become routine.  It's been going on for a long time and should have been fixed according to promises and commitments long ago.

It would seem that new specifications talking of route capacity are based on the false premise that the GWR services routinely run, and run to the number of carriages timetabled / contracted and to timetable too.  So I dread to think what we will see next year if we're 7 services down northwards from Salisbury.  Please don't promise me that "it will be fixed" and "GWR will provide [almost] all services, on time and at specified length" - heard it before, and it hasn't happened, so why should it this time;  promises more in hope than expectation, DfT decisions based on theory not on what's going on in practise.


I note that today (Sun) it takes until the 17th service departs Warminster (@1612) that a five coach train puts in an appearance. Perhaps to say that they are as common as rocking horse manure should now be amended to read Unicorn manure !!!


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 14, 2021, 01:28:33 pm
There will be little improvement until the 769s allow for lots more Turbos to head west.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 14, 2021, 03:20:37 pm
There will be little improvement until the 769s allow for lots more Turbos to head west.

Sadly, I think you're right ... but that leads to a couple of questions:
1. When will the 769s be releasing turbos?
2. Why can't the units that would have run services elsewhere in GB that aren't back yet be used short term to cover the gap?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 14, 2021, 03:34:32 pm
1) Next year (if lucky!).
2) Would need suitable units and DfT approval.  Not impossible, but unlikely.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: broadgage on November 14, 2021, 07:31:35 pm
There will be little improvement until the 769s allow for lots more Turbos to head west.

Sadly, I think you're right ... but that leads to a couple of questions:
1. When will the 769s be releasing turbos?
2. Why can't the units that would have run services elsewhere in GB that aren't back yet be used short term to cover the gap?

And for how many years have we been told "JAM TOMORROW" WRT to rolling stock provision and capacity improvements ?

Four or five years ago we were told that the IET fleet would be ample and would provide loads of extra capacity, not just on the routes served by IETs but elsewhere, by freeing up stock displaced by IETs.

With the failure of the IET project this was not achieved.

The next great hope was the 769s, also failed.

I doubt that either IETs or 769s will EVER achieve the initially hoped for availability.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on November 15, 2021, 08:50:02 am
Further to my post yesterday regarding the number of 5 coach GWR trains at Warminster..................

A quick gallop through RTT for today reveals:

62 GWR movements
First 5 coach train @ 1012 - 22nd train of the day (rush hour ? what rush hour ??)
Only ten 5 coach train movements all day - 4 of which are the arrival, reversal and departure of the same 5 coaches !!!! (5 coaches to Worcester Foregate St - just what we need)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 15, 2021, 11:00:25 am
And for how many years have we been told "JAM TOMORROW" WRT to rolling stock provision and capacity improvements ?

The 769s were first mentioned here as - I recall - a relatively quick and cheap way of getting more trains compared to new build - in the spring of 2018. Not sure when the plan was to have them running, but it does seem to have taken a lot longer than most of us would probably have wished - approaching 4 years now.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on November 15, 2021, 11:09:29 am

This isn't a 5 coach train - this is a GWR 5 coach train !!!              (1012 from Warminster this morning - see my earlier post)

(https://i.postimg.cc/QdMY2Mdt/JWN02228-ARW-Dx-O-Deep-PRIME.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/w7SkJgJ8)

RTT has now been amended - that leaves the mid afternoon "shuffle" as the only 5 coach movements here today.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 15, 2021, 12:26:03 pm
And for how many years have we been told "JAM TOMORROW" WRT to rolling stock provision and capacity improvements ?

The 769s were first mentioned here as - I recall - a relatively quick and cheap way of getting more trains compared to new build - in the spring of 2018. Not sure when the plan was to have them running, but it does seem to have taken a lot longer than most of us would probably have wished - approaching 4 years now.

Spring 2019 was the initial target date, so we're probably looking at three years late at least.

https://twitter.com/philatrail/status/987002846846636032?s=21


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on November 15, 2021, 12:51:43 pm
Saved me walking up to count them !

(https://i.postimg.cc/2ybQnTnR/Screenshot-2021-11-15-124350.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/2LYLDQH2)

Number of 5 coach trains today -  ZERO !


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: broadgage on November 15, 2021, 03:02:56 pm

This isn't a 5 coach train - this is a GWR 5 coach train !!!              (1012 from Warminster this morning - see my earlier post)

(https://i.postimg.cc/QdMY2Mdt/JWN02228-ARW-Dx-O-Deep-PRIME.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/w7SkJgJ8)

RTT has now been amended - that leaves the mid afternoon "shuffle" as the only 5 coach movements here today.

3 is the new 5.    5 is the new 9


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on November 17, 2021, 11:08:59 am
I've been spending a bit of time with Messrs Pettitt and Comfort's book "The Regional Railways Story" and it's certainly rich in material - with some of it covering the time that Wales and West launched those Portsmouth to Liverpool Lime Street and London Waterloo to Manchester - as well as the Cardiff to Waterloo services (now and for the next few weeks, Bristol to Waterloo...).

Those trains were greeted in the media by bemusement but which, as the author states, very much found a market. They were particularly well used between Bristol and Crewe, partly because Crosscountry, at the time, didn't make good provision between Bristol and Manchester. I've not rediscovered the quote yet, but the authors state that those trains, per carriage, achieved passenger numbers that would have made certain managers on the intercity network jealous.

Let's turn to current Crosscountry services from Bristol to Manchester. The first train of the day isn't Crosscountry at all - it's change at Newport and then via Shrewsbury and Crewe arriving Manchester at 10:11 at a cost of £93 anytime return, and I am so up for that journey.

The next few services are via Birmingham - but 1 or 2 changes and the connections with a single change offer the full Bristol Waterloo experience of an hour's wait - albeit at Birmingham rather than Salisbury, an experience that will set you back £203. Still quicker than via the Marches line, but not as much as they could be, and twice the price. I can't recall the time taken by the pre-covid hourly direct trains, I think they were timed at about 3 hours end to end.

Also, a moment's reflection on the time that it was possible to use Didcot as an interchange into Crosscountry services...

So, now, we're in a time when Crosscountry has walked away from Bristol to Manchester, and Transport for Wales are strengthening services up the Welsh borders and to Manchester - and Bristol can benefit as long as the connections at Newport aren't too dreadful but an obstacle is going to be - to return to Lee's word, a lack of coherence, applied in services and policy.

Turning back to the regional railways story, the book doesn't quite explicitly state, in one sentence, that, as acknowledged as long ago as the 1968 transport act, these services are going to lose money but have a social value - so the railways might as well run them in a way that is useful to people, especially if this can be done in a way that brings them close to covering their costs...

The quote that's currently in my face is from one Paul King's strategic review (the output of which was apparently lost at privatisation). "The conclusions were desparately simple: Regional Railways should concentrate on inter-urban services and those that could contribute to a reduction in urban road congestion."

With the withdrawal of the Bristol to Waterloo train, it's this sort of interurban inconnectivity that's lost, and the Bristol to Waterloos are just the latest in a catalogue of services from various providers that, over a number of years, have gone from this one particular region. It would be interesting to know if there's another part of the UK that's had its rail connectivity reduced to this extent or whether this is just a subjective impression.



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 17, 2021, 11:39:47 am
So, now, we're in a time when Crosscountry has walked away from Bristol to Manchester, and Transport for Wales are strengthening services up the Welsh borders and to Manchester - and Bristol can benefit as long as the connections at Newport aren't too dreadful but an obstacle is going to be - to return to Lee's word, a lack of coherence, applied in services and policy.

Has there been any indication as to whether these trains will or won't return at some point?  Along with the Southampton/Reading to Newcastle hourly services?  CrossCountry have been running half the trains, but double the length since the pandemic, and see very few staff related cancellations as a result - but many of the direct journeys these trains would normally provide are being badly missed.  IMHO more than the direct SWR train from Bristol to Waterloo will be.

Going between two large cities such as Bristol to Manchester via Newport featuring one of TfW's often crowded Marches Route trains (I await any potential strengthening with interest!) really shouldn't be an option taking at least an hour longer than the old direct service...even with a good connection.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Bmblbzzz on November 17, 2021, 12:07:04 pm
I'm going to Manchester from Bristol next week. The service is so good that I've opted for Megabus. It's actually quicker, because it's a direct and non-stop service: the quickest services are 3h40, the longest 4h30, and it's far, far cheaper.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on November 17, 2021, 12:48:39 pm

Going between two large cities such as Bristol to Manchester via Newport featuring one of TfW's often crowded Marches Route trains (I await any potential strengthening with interest!) really shouldn't be an option taking at least an hour longer than the old direct service...even with a good connection.

Asking TfW via Twitter a moment ago, the Cardiff to Manchester services using Mark IV carriages starts in 2023. That's only... is it 4 sets, so not all services of course, and I should have asked them at the same time when the other services on the line receives new stock with more space. Their web site states 2023 for Cardiff to Liverpool, this via Wrexham so not Crewe. They've a page on revised dates for new services and yes, it appears that some of the runs along the borders line will still be two or three carriage trains - if for the Marches line they can clarify the dates, the increase in seating and frequency of services that'll be helpful and I'll suggest it to them.

https://news.tfw.wales/news/transport-for-wales-outline-dates-for-additional-train-services


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on November 18, 2021, 04:48:14 pm
So, in the return from Graham's FOI request... that list of redacted services that could be scrapped to save the taxpayer money. Didn't expect one of those to be HS2 to Yorkshire and another to be the Manchester - Bradford - Leeds link.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: anthony215 on November 18, 2021, 05:21:51 pm

Going between two large cities such as Bristol to Manchester via Newport featuring one of TfW's often crowded Marches Route trains (I await any potential strengthening with interest!) really shouldn't be an option taking at least an hour longer than the old direct service...even with a good connection.

Asking TfW via Twitter a moment ago, the Cardiff to Manchester services using Mark IV carriages starts in 2023. That's only... is it 4 sets, so not all services of course, and I should have asked them at the same time when the other services on the line receives new stock with more space. Their web site states 2023 for Cardiff to Liverpool, this via Wrexham so not Crewe. They've a page on revised dates for new services and yes, it appears that some of the runs along the borders line will still be two or three carriage trains - if for the Marches line they can clarify the dates, the increase in seating and frequency of services that'll be helpful and I'll suggest it to them.

https://news.tfw.wales/news/transport-for-wales-outline-dates-for-additional-train-services

1 in every 3 services via the marches line id supposed to be loco hauled from 2023 although talk is tfw are hunting for even more mark4 stock.

Further suggestions seem.to be that tfw may order either additional class 197s or extra centre carriages.

 From what I've been able to gather most of the Cardiff to Holyhead services will be loco hauled and the west wales/swansea to Manchester services will either be pairs of class 197s or a 5 carriage loco hauled rake.

 The Cardiff to Liverpool services were supposed to be a class 197 between Cardiff to Shrewsbury/chester then running as pairs into Liverpool.  I personally can see the Liverpool services getting overcrowded as they were popular years ago before they got withdrawn by ATW .

Friday we should see the first class 231 arrive at canton depot.

I think Swr/DFT need to relook at withdrawing the Bristol to London waterloo service. The tories need some good press coverage anyway


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: bobm on November 18, 2021, 05:53:09 pm
From today's Hansard (https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2021-11-18/debates/D04CF741-2D59-4852-9015-61CAF77DB44B/IntegratedRailPlanNorthAndMidlands?highlight=waterloo#contribution-E035DA96-D263-4A24-8977-154166539EEB)

Quote
Dr Andrew Murrison
(South West Wiltshire) (Con)
My right hon. Friend is right to say that not every city, town and village will benefit from this plan, but one thing is for sure, which is that they will all be paying for it and there are opportunity costs. Does he understand the disquiet of my constituents about HS2 and now this plan, given that he has limited bandwidth and what he is spending on one project is not being spent on upgrading services elsewhere? Will he throw my constituents a small crumb by delaying the planned closure of services from Bristol Temple Meads to Waterloo via Trowbridge and Salisbury, pending a proper consultation that will show very clearly that the Great Western Railway service he thinks duplicates services run by South Western Railway is over capacity now and certainly will be once he closes the GWR service?

Grant Shapps
My right hon. Friend is right that every decision has a trade-off, which is why it is important that we think about the country as a whole. He will be pleased to hear that I was down in the south-west yesterday using South Western Railway, and I appreciate the importance of that service. I will ensure that he meets the Rail Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for Daventry (Chris Heaton-Harris), to discuss his specific concerns.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Lee on November 21, 2021, 04:55:34 pm
The petition has just reached 6000 signatures  :)


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 21, 2021, 05:14:58 pm
The petition has just reached 6000 signatures  :)


I looked back at my slides for the Trowbridge meeting on 20th of last month, and it was just under 3,000 when I prepared them - so it has more than doubled since. Any idea that this would fizzle after we had aired our grievances was misguided.

Thank you to everyone who's signed and asked others to sign.

You can still write to your MP - although you can't sign the petition twice, you CAN write to them a second time with an update.   See http://www.passenger.chat/mpletter.html if you would like some thoughts on what to say - a letter template which you can tune and cut and paste.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 22, 2021, 09:25:36 am
Update / status report at http://waterloo.savethetrain.org.uk/stat_20211122.pdf - labelled "version 0.9" - please let me know of any significant errors that need correcting!


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 22, 2021, 10:59:40 am
Update / status report at http://waterloo.savethetrain.org.uk/stat_20211122.pdf - labelled "version 0.9" - please let me know of any significant errors that need correcting!

Page 3 - I think "fete accompli" should probably read "fait accompli"?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: ellendune on November 22, 2021, 11:32:14 am
Update / status report at http://waterloo.savethetrain.org.uk/stat_20211122.pdf - labelled "version 0.9" - please let me know of any significant errors that need correcting!

Page 4

Quote
In practise - if you change at Salisbury your short wait is only to / from the local train to
Basingstoke where you have another change and wait (for the train that's come from Salisbury
anyway) for Woking, Clapham Junction or Waterloo.
In practise - from Keynsham or Oldfield Park you'll need to change at Westbury as well as
Salisbury
In practise - whilst there ARE lifts, changing at Bath can be problematic ... and then you end
up in Paddington and if you're headed for south London there are more lifts and stairs to
navigate onto and off the underground.
 

I think this should be "In practice"

Quote
Now 2 years since we were promised that all trains would be 5 carriages but last
week (for example) just 14 carriages were operation on the hourly semi-fast service - that's
just 56%.

This doesn't make sense to me is there something missing?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 22, 2021, 03:22:50 pm
Typos (so far) corrected and uploaded. Thanks


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on November 22, 2021, 10:18:57 pm
Taxpayer to continue to underwrite the Heathrow to Newquay (Cornwall) route. Wonder if the aircraft as it passes West Wiltshire, is in range of a camera.

https://twitter.com/grantshapps/status/1462799121413246983

(Delighted to announce we have reached an agreement to keep funding direct flights from London to @Newquay_Airport – part of maintaining crucial regional transport links which help to level up the UK )


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: broadgage on November 23, 2021, 03:07:10 am
Well that will certainly help to level up the carbon emissions >:(

If the railway was better, then demand for domestic air travel would be reduced.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 23, 2021, 03:25:32 am
And at https://twitter.com/grantshapps/status/1462799123648815104

Quote
Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP
@grantshapps

12h
In another boost for regional connectivity, I have also committed another two years funding for the London-Dundee route Airplane departure

! could not resist a reply:

Quote
And in another example of levelling down regional connectivity, you are AXING the London to Trowbridge and beyond railway route,  @grantshapps - see https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/598397


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 23, 2021, 10:29:02 am
Taxpayer to continue to underwrite the Heathrow to Newquay (Cornwall) route. Wonder if the aircraft as it passes West Wiltshire, is in range of a camera.

https://twitter.com/grantshapps/status/1462799121413246983

(Delighted to announce we have reached an agreement to keep funding direct flights from London to @Newquay_Airport – part of maintaining crucial regional transport links which help to level up the UK )

To be fair (and a far more relevant comparison in this context), the taxpayer has been underwriting the Night Riviera sleeper for years.



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: broadgage on November 23, 2021, 01:30:07 pm
I dont mind government subsidy for the Night Riveria, or indeed trains in general. The sleeper is almost certainly greener* than flying or driving.

I am opposed to subsidy for airlines, airports, and related goods or services, unless there is some truly exceptional reason. I would reluctantly accept subsidy for air services to remote islands not otherwise accessible for example. but to Aberdeen, Newquay, or other places on the UK mainland, no way.

If we are serious about climate change then we need to fly a LOT less, and should NOT be offering subsidies that encourage more flying.

*As regards the sleeper in particular, rather than trains in general, then the sleeper presumably uses more fuel per passenger  than does a daytime train since a given length and weight of train conveys fewer passengers, this being only partially offset by the lower speed.
That however does not tell the whole story. Air travel often involves a night in an airport hotel as well as the flight.
So the fuel used by the sleeper should be compared with the jet fuel AND the fuel used by the hotel.

Also the train will get greener as electrification spreads, eventually.



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Lee on November 23, 2021, 02:28:45 pm
I dont mind government subsidy for the Night Riveria, or indeed trains in general. The sleeper is almost certainly greener* than flying or driving.

I think also that it shouldn't be forgotten that when the government of the day tried to axe the Night Riviera in 2005/2006, there was a huge groundswell of opposition, to an extent rarely seen in rail consultations (remember those?), and it does appear to be one of those rail services that the public not only want to retain, but they have a genuine affection for as well.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 23, 2021, 05:02:17 pm
I dont mind government subsidy for the Night Riveria, or indeed trains in general. The sleeper is almost certainly greener* than flying or driving.

I think also that it shouldn't be forgotten that when the government of the day tried to axe the Night Riviera in 2005/2006, there was a huge groundswell of opposition, to an extent rarely seen in rail consultations (remember those?), and it does appear to be one of those rail services that the public not only want to retain, but they have a genuine affection for as well.

I'm sure the case can be made for the Night Riviera subsidy and similarly I can't imagine that the good people of Cornwall (or their MPs) would exactly be turning cartwheels of joy if they were to lose their air links to London either, particularly post Brexit.




Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Timmer on November 23, 2021, 05:36:21 pm
Sorry to be the harbinger of doom. Here’s the SWR Waterloo to Exeter December timetable with a part missing  :(
https://www.southwesternrailway.com/plan-my-journey/~/media/e10a740ad24d42a0bb38e693050fcd03.ashx


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: broadgage on November 23, 2021, 05:56:41 pm

I'm sure the case can be made for the Night Riviera subsidy and similarly I can't imagine that the good people of Cornwall (or their MPs) would exactly be turning cartwheels of joy if they were to lose their air links to London either, particularly post Brexit.


Yes of course those who use the air service would like it to continue, but the wider picture needs to be considered, not just the users.
Air travel is very polluting and should be minimised and discouraged, not subidised  to encourage greater use.

And this is not self interest since I use neither the sleeper nor the air route. But would support subsidy for the sleeper and not for the air route.



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 23, 2021, 07:35:54 pm
Sorry to be the harbinger of doom. Here’s the SWR Waterloo to Exeter December timetable with a part missing  :(
https://www.southwesternrailway.com/plan-my-journey/~/media/e10a740ad24d42a0bb38e693050fcd03.ashx

Not sure if "harbinger of doom" is quite the wording.  The storm clouds were already there when we noticed them at the end of July and they're just getting closer.   SWR [knew/had every reason] to plan for the scaling back three months earlier, so timetable planning, graphics are, number and training of crew and various other miscellanea were going ahead on the basis of services ending in December at a time they knew but their customers didn't.   So no surprise what so ever at the publication ... IF anything gets changed, as it should, there will be a gnashing of teeth and grumbles about the difficulty of changing and supporting, in order for them to simply carry on what they've been doing for years.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Trowres on November 23, 2021, 08:12:16 pm
Quote
It also shows train services between:
l Bristol Temple Meads, Bath Spa, Yeovil Pen Mill and
London Waterloo - see timetable 20A

Except that 20A shows white space against Bristol-Trowbridge.

Too ashamed to show connections?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 23, 2021, 08:31:03 pm
The SWR Stakeholder Conference was today. In the slides (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/mirror/SWR_Nov_21_Conference.pdf) not one mention of Bristol or Exeter.  Salisbury is there four times ...

Quote
It also shows train services between:
l Bristol Temple Meads, Bath Spa, Yeovil Pen Mill and
London Waterloo - see timetable 20A

Except that 20A shows white space against Bristol-Trowbridge.

Too ashamed to show connections?

Space for an easy edit then  ;D ;D


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 24, 2021, 10:22:53 am
The SWR Stakeholder Conference was today. In the slides (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/mirror/SWR_Nov_21_Conference.pdf) not one mention of Bristol or Exeter.  Salisbury is there four times ...


Further feedback from people who attended the forum ...

Quote
The rest of the day was inward looking and lacked transparency on the Salisbury-Bristol-Waterloo issue.  Emphasis was placed on the 20 passengers they recorded using the route and estimated 12 who make the change there.
And we still question just when the recording was done(%), how complete it was, and how the numbers who change might increase dramatically if there wasn't usually a 49 minute(*) wait one way and 59 minute wait the other.

Quote
Ongoing analysis of the timetable consultation responses and working with the DfT to agree next steps meant SWR were unwilling to say much.  I felt they made a bit of a mess of explaining the withdrawal of the Waterloo Bristol services even with two goes at it.  They did, however,  say they are working with GWR on connections which prompted [redacted] to ask why they aren’t working with local authorities and STBs as well.
It's very hard to explain the withdrawal if you don't admit it's a screw-up.  Perhaps if they told us the whole truth, or at confirmed that it was wrong and looked to correct the situation instead of kicking in into the long grass, hiding it in a haystack, and hoping that it times out they might be better received.

(%) - I would look for reassurance that the measurements were not taken during the prolonged industrial unrest at SWR, nor during a lockdown of recommended "no-travel" time, or between Christmas and the new year.  Do they relate to on-train observations (which at times are difficult as it's hard to get through the train - and just HOW do you count through passengers as they pile off and on at the same time), or to ticket sales with specific routing only?   Was it done on one particular train of the day - perhaps not the busiest one  ;D. Are the numbers per carriage, per train, or per day?

(*) - Previously I wrote "59 minutes one way and about 50 the other" and on at least one occasion I failed to add the word "about".   My error, no intent to confuse.  It's usually 59 minutes one way and 49 the other - personally I don't feel the one minute makes a huge difference, but one of the TOCs involved has written to me asking for clarification because "I have tried, and failed, to find these" ... and I have responded with examples:

Quote
1F14 leaves for CDF at 11:42
1L25 arrives from WAT at 11:43
1F16 leaves for CDF at 12:42

1L29 arrives from WAT at 12:43

and

Quote
1F11 arrives from CDF ar 11:32
1L40 leaves for WAT at 12:21


1F13 arrives from CDF at 12:32
1L44 leaves for WAT at 13:21

No acknowledgement of my response ... perhaps too busy letting time pass?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on November 24, 2021, 10:30:58 am
On 49 - 60 minute connections... "They have tried and failed to find these" ??


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 24, 2021, 10:40:07 am
On 49 - 60 minute connections... "They have tried and failed to find these" ??

I was gobsmacked, I admit.

My times are from the arrival time of the train you would arrive on to the departure time of the train you are departing on.   If you simple look at both departure times, as a line in a public timetable might read for an intermediate station, you are down from 49 and 59 minutes to 45 and 57 minutes - but that's not really the connection time. Passengers arriving on a train from London or Cardiff don't care how long it sits in Salisbury platform once they have got off, before it carries on to Exeter or Portsmouth


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on November 24, 2021, 11:19:35 am
This made me chuckle. A tight Usenet thread from *18* years ago - on the Bristol to Waterloo services - a time when SWT had just taken them on.

A strong groundhog vibe to some of this, and while, yes, apparently I attended a West Wilts User Group meeting in Bradford on Avon that had had an SWT representative as a speaker, I've scant recollection of having done so let alone making notes and slinging them to Usenet. But... the internet never forgets...

So, let's set the dials back to 2003, and I kick off a thread with

"Anyone here used the new (BRI to WAT) SWT service yet?"

https://uk.railway.narkive.com/I5OeoQgV/bristol-to-waterloo


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 24, 2021, 01:33:57 pm
This made me chuckle. A tight Usenet thread from *18* years ago - on the Bristol to Waterloo services - a time when SWT had just taken them on.

A strong groundhog vibe to some of this, and while, yes, apparently I attended a West Wilts User Group meeting in Bradford on Avon that had had an SWT representative as a speaker, I've scant recollection of having done so let alone making notes and slinging them to Usenet. But... the internet never forgets...

So, let's set the dials back to 2003, and I kick off a thread with

"Anyone here used the new (BRI to WAT) SWT service yet?"

https://uk.railway.narkive.com/I5OeoQgV/bristol-to-waterloo

So many important lessons in there, Mark, that I have taken the liberty of putting a copy of the key posts in our members mirror at http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/mirror/ma_2004.pdf

Some things are - remarkably - similar some 18 years late!

Quote
The trains turned into a real embarrassment when in rearranging Waterloo, the SRA wanted to kill them, and then found that, awkwardly for everyone, demand was buoyant, especially east of Bristol.

And they have found the same thing again this time!

Quote
When when news of their demise escaped, letters started to land on everyone's desks, 3000 signature petitions started flying about even from West Wiltshire: so the SRA bowed to political pressure and requested that SWT look at the service and make some proposals.

Well - we've doubled the petition numbers this time!

Quote
With regards to Salisbury, one of his assistants quite candidly stated that many Salisbury connections had been deliberately broken some years ago, as passengers from the Bristol direction were delaying London bound trains on tight cross platform connections

Can't have passengers delaying trains, can we??



One of the fears of the train specifiers and operators is that - if they give way to a campaign - those who have campaigned won't stick around to support the improvements made.  I would like to re-assure anyone who's reading this that - yes - we will stick around, we will use the service, we will help to tune and market it if you will let us.

1. Make people aware that there's a case to be looked at
2. Get it looked at properly and work out the best way forward
3. Get that best way forward implemented
4. Promote, market, tune in partnership

How does that sound?

It's the philosophy and approach taken by "Save the Train" and the successor organsations as we moved from something set up for protest to something set up for partnering again, and the lessons could and should be modified for the London services from West Wilts.  Historically, Community Rail had little to do with longer distance stuff - which a lot of this is - but it now might.  And Community Rail is "lite" from Bradford-on-Avon through Salisbury - much more could be done.

It's going to require confidence and trust to be rebuilt, but I personally would be up for it - even at the current time where I feel that the DfT, SWR and GWR are still fillibustering to time out the current service, and where I suspect our MPs might have been instructed to make enough noise to keep their constituents happy that they're looking out for them, but to not push the government so hard that they actually have to stop the cull.

OK - enough of the negative. Next post to write - looking at those ideas of 9 trains a day, portion working, Cardiff extensions, Wimbledon and Surbiton calls amd see how they look in 2021 as opposed to 2004.  Add in MetroWest synchronisation and the move to a much more leisure and part time commuter market, and look forward to what should be done.  That's part of the "getting it looked at propoerly" stage which, sad to say, I don't think has happened yet.

Connectivity is important - in the news all around us - to Okehampton, and London to Newquay and Dundee.  What's so amazing is that the Goverment seems set on removing that London to Wiltshire connectivity, against all external expert advice and a petition, this time, over 6,000 strong.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on November 25, 2021, 10:01:27 am
ORR passenger usage of stations 2020-2021

https://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/statistics/usage/estimates-of-station-usage

My eye was caught by the figure of ~40,000 interchanges at Salisbury as that sound like SWR's favourite quote of '20 per train' for the through Bristol Waterloo services. But then, this is 'Coronavirus year' with all manner of things being thrown at the system. I've not yet waded into the data for previous years...

Mark


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 25, 2021, 10:34:39 am
ORR passenger usage of stations 2020-2021

https://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/statistics/usage/estimates-of-station-usage

My eye was caught by the figure of ~40,000 interchanges at Salisbury as that sound like SWR's favourite quote of '20 per train' for the through Bristol Waterloo services. But then, this is 'Coronavirus year' with all manner of things being thrown at the system. I've not yet waded into the data for previous years...

Mark

An interesting figure ... I need to think what it might mean.  Of course, passengers using through services from Bristol to London through Salisbury won't (or should not) be included in "interchanges". Further, it's well known - at least to users of these services - that the connection when there's no through service is often so awful it puts people off.

And, yes, Coronavirus year.  Salisbury's entrance and exit figures were down by 76% - to 455,306 from 1,904,276


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on November 25, 2021, 11:12:22 am
2018 - 19 figures were 208417, which is just about where you felt the 'East of salisbury towards Bristol' flow would be if the railways took the brakes off it. Something that would pay for a lot of lineside vegetation trimming.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on November 25, 2021, 11:33:48 am
Strange year. Stratford's knocked Waterloo off the top spot for busiest station. Waterloo's held that crown for 16 years.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: bradshaw on November 26, 2021, 05:54:17 pm
It is not just the Bristol services, a points failure at Yeovil Pen Mill has led to the cancellation of all SWT services using the station since Wednesday, 24th.

GWR services were cancelled until mid-afternoon the same day and have been running ever since.
Now SWT Help are saying that this state of affairs will continue to end of service on Sunday.

Presumably the problem is at the Weymouth end of the station, even though some GWR services seem to be running from Platform 3 to 1 via Signal 64 which is beyond the starter signals.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: brooklea on November 26, 2021, 08:13:24 pm
It is not just the Bristol services, a points failure at Yeovil Pen Mill has led to the cancellation of all SWT services using the station since Wednesday, 24th.

GWR services were cancelled until mid-afternoon the same day and have been running ever since.
Now SWT Help are saying that this state of affairs will continue to end of service on Sunday.

Presumably the problem is at the Weymouth end of the station, even though some GWR services seem to be running from Platform 3 to 1 via Signal 64 which is beyond the starter signals.

GWR services are all using platform 1, as there are no SWR services for them to cross at Yeovil because of the points problem.

Signal 64 is at the Castle Cary end of Yeovil Pen Mill, so the planned shunting of GWR trains from platform 3 to 1 would not have used the points at the Weymouth end of the station in any event.

I see that GWR have amended what would have been an ECS back to Westbury this evening to provide a passenger service running at the time of the cancelled 1926 SWR service from Yeovil Pen Mill to Westbury.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: PhilWakely on November 27, 2021, 10:38:54 am
It is not just the Bristol services, a points failure at Yeovil Pen Mill has led to the cancellation of all SWT services using the station since Wednesday, 24th.

GWR services were cancelled until mid-afternoon the same day and have been running ever since.
Now SWT Help are saying that this state of affairs will continue to end of service on Sunday.

Presumably the problem is at the Weymouth end of the station, even though some GWR services seem to be running from Platform 3 to 1 via Signal 64 which is beyond the starter signals.

GWR services are all using platform 1, as there are no SWR services for them to cross at Yeovil because of the points problem.

Signal 64 is at the Castle Cary end of Yeovil Pen Mill, so the planned shunting of GWR trains from platform 3 to 1 would not have used the points at the Weymouth end of the station in any event.

I see that GWR have amended what would have been an ECS back to Westbury this evening to provide a passenger service running at the time of the cancelled 1926 SWR service from Yeovil Pen Mill to Westbury.

I note that - despite SWR cancelling all scheduled services through Pen Mill because of the points failure - all SWR Exeter-bound services are being diverted through Westbury and Pen Mill because of a damaged train (having hit a tree) near Templecombe.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: brooklea on November 27, 2021, 11:40:05 am
I note that - despite SWR cancelling all scheduled services through Pen Mill because of the points failure - all SWR Exeter-bound services are being diverted through Westbury and Pen Mill because of a damaged train (having hit a tree) near Templecombe.

Possibly the case that the faulty points can be used in the trailing direction, but are not ok for facing moves by passenger trains?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: stuving on November 27, 2021, 11:54:40 am
I note that - despite SWR cancelling all scheduled services through Pen Mill because of the points failure - all SWR Exeter-bound services are being diverted through Westbury and Pen Mill because of a damaged train (having hit a tree) near Templecombe.

Possibly the case that the faulty points can be used in the trailing direction, but are not ok for facing moves by passenger trains?

Desperate need may be part of it. SWR say the tree is now moved, the train not yet (11:52). But the signallers have written "ROOF" on both tracks near Sherborne, so there's now two directions to cope with.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: bradshaw on November 29, 2021, 08:29:04 am
Both sleepers ran via Pen Mill last night, which makes the continued SWT cancellations seem rather strange.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: PhilWakely on November 29, 2021, 09:18:44 am
Both sleepers ran via Pen Mill last night, which makes the continued SWT cancellations seem rather strange.

From what I've heard (not officially confirmed), it is not possible for two trains to pass at Pen Mill without serious shunting operations as only one platform is accessible from the north. I believe that SWR feel that this would interfere with their operations.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: bradshaw on November 29, 2021, 09:45:57 am
Yet this service arrived on p3 from Gloucester, then ecs to p1 via sig64, while most of the other arr/dep p1

https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/service/gb-nr:V31557/2021-11-26/detailed


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: brooklea on November 29, 2021, 10:13:19 am
Yet this service arrived on p3 from Gloucester, then ecs to p1 via sig64, while most of the other arr/dep p1

https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/service/gb-nr:V31557/2021-11-26/detailed

I would suggest that it didn’t do this shunt at all, as it departed back to Westbury as 2Z83 at 1931. https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/service/gb-nr:82916/2021-11-26/detailed#allox_id=0 (https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/service/gb-nr:82916/2021-11-26/detailed#allox_id=0).

The set of points with the issue, as I understand it, are to the south end of platforms, so trains from the north could theoretically arrive in p3 and then shunt to p1 via the north end, but this would only be necessary to pass a SWR train in p1, and these have all been cancelled.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on November 30, 2021, 01:04:34 pm
Talking about through trains from Middlesbrough to London which START next month in the Northern Echo (https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/19746293.middlesbrough-mp-one-train-day-not-proper-service-town/)

Quote
Middlesbrough MP: One train a day ‘not a proper service’ for town

I agree with him ...

Quote
Andy McDonald, the Middlesbrough MP and former Shadow Transport Secretary, welcomes the start of a daily train service from the Boro to the capital but says it is not enough to get the region’s economy on track.

ON Monday, December 13, before the sun has risen, the inaugural direct Azuma train to London will glide out of Middlesbrough station.

While it may be a stretch to say it represents a new dawn, it is undoubtedly a hugely important milestone in our railway journey and represents the successful culmination of years of campaigning.

Why are [whoever] starting through services to London from Middlesbrough and withdrawing them the same weekend from Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Bradford-on-Avon and Trowbridge? 

Middlesbrough to London is 250 miles, Trowbridge to London only just over 100 miles.   I would have thought that there would be more call for (and use of) services at around 100 miles than over 250 where, perhaps, other places such as Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle would have been strong super-regional destinations.   I suppose on the same basis I should ask about trains from Trowbridge to Birmingham ....



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: rogerw on November 30, 2021, 03:47:49 pm
Middlesbrough has an hourly service to York and a half hourly service to Darlington, both of which have services to London at least every 30 minutes. The proposed London service duplicates the existing service to York. Double standards?


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on December 02, 2021, 09:16:44 am
"Rail Social Value Tool goes live for early adopters"

Can't think of a good test case for this that's local to Bristol, Bath, West Wiltshire stations, and other destinations Salisbury to South London. Anyone??

Mark

https://www.railwaygazette.com/uk/rail-social-value-tool-goes-live-for-early-adopters/60420.article


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Western Pathfinder on December 02, 2021, 12:49:43 pm
From SWR earlier today on the Twitter feed meet the manager!.
https://www.southwesternrailway.com/contact-and-help/meet-the-manager.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on December 02, 2021, 01:12:34 pm
From SWR earlier today on the Twitter feed meet the manager!.
https://www.southwesternrailway.com/contact-and-help/meet-the-manager.

Quote
Our next Meet the Manager session will be taking place on Thursday 13 January between 15:00 & 19:00 (3pm & 7pm) through Microsoft Teams.

You can book a one-to-one session lasting up to 15 minutes by emailing meet.swr@transportfocus.org.uk and providing your contact details, preferred time and the topic you would like to discuss.

Spaces are limited, so request your appointment by no later than 5 January.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on December 02, 2021, 02:46:47 pm
Just collected my daughter from Warminster station.

Left Aylesford (Kent) 1020.
Left Paddock Wood    1100. (12 min connection)
Left Waterloo            1220. (32 min connection from WAE. WMN train on platform, time to pick up a hot pasty)
Arrive WMN              1411. (train appeared to be around 50% full at WMN !!)

The next time she does that trip she will have a 59 minute (non-) "connection" at Salisbury to factor in. Thanks SWR !!


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on December 02, 2021, 04:05:08 pm
Thanks for the estimate of the passengers it was carrying on a Thursday daytime in early December '21.

It's legitimate to wonder how much awareness there is out there that soon those services won't be running.

Also, it's legitimate to wonder if the rumour is true - that the DfT has required that all SWR comms and press releases be signed off by them.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on December 03, 2021, 08:02:35 am
"Andrew rails against train cuts"

I should think he does, given the part he played the last time the service was threatened.

https://www.andrewmurrison.co.uk/news/andrew-rails-against-train-cuts

Have any of his constituents asked him for an update since he put that on his web site - as late as the 18th November? That is a remarkably late date for an MP to be having a discussion about an established and, barring industrial action and the depths of a pandemic, well used  service with the DfT - when it's going to cease to run within three weeks.

Mark


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on December 03, 2021, 08:57:44 am
And another thing: when a TOC justifies cutting a train service - a move that's guaranteed to lose income, even though, yes, that income doesn't cover the cost of the service, their rep. shouldn't highlight that the TOC will be able to reduce the track access charges to Network Rail - because as well as that 2 or 3 carriage train shuttling along between Waterloo and Bristol three times a day - remove that and you still have the matter of 50 or so miles of double track steel rail to be paid for, and the other infrastructure.

Even down to the inadequately maintained lineside vegetation that cost the industry several tens of millions as a result of the Salisbury collision the other week. All that still needs paying for.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on December 03, 2021, 09:31:59 am
Have any of his constituents asked him for an update since he put that on his web site - as late as the 18th November? That is a remarkably late date for an MP to be having a discussion about an established and, barring industrial action and the depths of a pandemic, well used  service with the DfT - when it's going to cease to run within three weeks.

But bear in mind, Mark, that although the idea of permanently cutting was seriously taken about between SWR and the DfT in February, and finalised in April / May (at which point SWR could start running down route knowledge and their staff pool), it didn't get any publicity until the early days of August, when it came out as a side-note in a consultation across the "next area to the south" in the form of (I paraphrase) "this is not a consultation on Bristol to Salisbury services because they'll be gone a year before any of the things we're consulting on takes place".  My FOI asking "what the **** happened", asked in Mid August, was delayed from the usual 20 days response limit to 40 days, and we only learned what went on in the spring a couple of wornihg days before our October 20th meeting.

I think the MPs were blindsided on this one - not given any realistic chance of an input until far too late in the day.  I have been assured that they were offered a briefing at a date prior to 28th July on the "2022 consultation" so had an opportunity to be involved then, but I don't think they had any way of knowing that such a briefing would have revealed to them the loss of this loved service - they must get 00s of such offers of information, and it looks to me that it was done in a way almost designed to NOT have them take it up, but in such a way that the DfT could say "you had an opportunity"

Now - having missed / been mislead earlier in the year, both MPs in Wiltshire have become aware of the issue, have asked the DfT about it and been given the DfT's reasons and have gone back and enquired further as to what can be done, having received answers which are less that satisfactory.  Andrew raised it in a parliamentary debate and Grant Shapps referred him on to Chris Heaton-Harris.  I'm glad that the second enquiries have been made, though find it significant and disappointing that there have been no reports back from those meetings.


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Witham Bobby on December 03, 2021, 10:32:24 am
I think the MPs were blindsided on this one - not given any realistic chance of an input until far too late in the day.  I have been assured that they were offered a briefing at a date prior to 28th July on the "2022 consultation" so had an opportunity to be involved then, but I don't think they had any way of knowing that such a briefing would have revealed to them the loss of this loved service - they must get 00s of such offers of information, and it looks to me that it was done in a way almost designed to NOT have them take it up, but in such a way that the DfT could say "you had an opportunity"

I am positive telling someone something in a way that they didn't know they'd been told was a plot in an episode of "Yes, Minister"

The DfT are following standard operating procedure


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on December 05, 2021, 09:17:20 am
The incumbent political party will have a particular issue with the recent Old Bexley and Sidcup byelection in that their majority has been cut from nearly 19000 to under 5000. To all of us, it's the turnout of a little over 30% that should be more concerning though.

https://members.parliament.uk/constituency/3669/election-history

That aside, it's not unreasonable to expect the Bristol - Waterloo train service or lack of it to play at least a small part when election time comes round again.

Small, that is, in comparison with the incumbent government's handling of rail development in the north. Rail Magazine's editor Nigel Harris has written a scathing response to that and swept up the impractical nature of the various mitigations on offer: it's well worth looking out the copy.

Mark


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on December 05, 2021, 09:30:09 am
One Stephen Joseph, in an article decrying what's become an ebbing tide for the railway's passengers, current and prospective, has now name-checked the Bristol to Waterloo services... good.

https://theconversation.com/government-must-back-uk-train-travel-or-risk-long-term-retreat-to-cars-172667

He's linked to a piece by Graham on the Friends of Severn Beach's site...

https://fosbr.org.uk/plans-to-cut-bristol-to-waterloo-service/

Mark



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: grahame on December 05, 2021, 09:49:12 am
The incumbent political party will have a particular issue with the recent Old Bexley and Sidcup byelection in that their majority has been cut from nearly 19000 to under 5000. To all of us, it's the turnout of a little over 30% that should be more concerning though.

https://members.parliament.uk/constituency/3669/election-history

That aside, it's not unreasonable to expect the Bristol - Waterloo train service or lack of it to play at least a small part when election time comes round again.

Small, that is, in comparison with the incumbent government's handling of rail development in the north. Rail Magazine's editor Nigel Harris has written a scathing response to that and swept up the impractical nature of the various mitigations on offer: it's well worth looking out the copy.

Mark

Indeed.  I have (just) published a major update at http://www.passenger.chat/25727 - a separate thread as it's a keynote that I want to be able to share.

The "Chippenham" constituency is much more marginal than others around.

Boundary Commission proposals for West Wiltshire move Bradford-on-Avon from Chippenham into a much safer seat including Melksham and Devizes,  and bring Calne and Royal Wootton Bassett into the seat that will retain the name "Chippenham".  The cynic would suggest that this part of Wiltshire is being adjusted and will be blue except for Bath as far as the eye can see ... not withstanding the shock of some 3,000 people in the two current Wiltshire constituencies with stations loosing all trains from London, and potentially remindable of that after 2023.



Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Clan Line on December 05, 2021, 01:58:22 pm
Put my daughter back on the SWR Waterloo train (159) from Warminster at 1051 this morning.
Daughter says first 2 coaches were quite busy, rear was quiet. One has to wonder how many more passengers would have been on board had it come through from Bristol rather than from Yeovil. 13 people boarded at Warminster - most with luggage. 

Interesting to note that the following 2 GWR services to Southampton (nowt to PMH today !) were cancelled "due to a planning error" !! Anyone from BoA/Trowbridge heading for Salisbury and a Waterloo "connection" would have had a looooong wait !!! The first service to go to Salisbury from those two towns today departed at nearly 1300 !!!! 

"Cracking service, Gromit"................


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on December 05, 2021, 02:50:14 pm
Looong article on the Guardian web site today.

Doesn't mention Bristol to Waterloo as such.

Does contain a cracking response from the DfT, an explicit deployment of the long-predicted 'Okehampton misdirection'.

"A DfT spokesperson said it was “demonstrably false” to suggest that the government was delivering cuts to the railway, given the current levels of investment, the £96bn rail plan and the restoration of lines such as Okehampton."

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/dec/05/back-bad-old-days-swingeing-rail-cuts-alarm-bells-ringing


Title: Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
Post by: Mark A on December 05, 2021, 03:22:59 pm


Interesting to note that the following 2 GWR services to Southampton (nowt to PMH today !) were cancelled "due to a planning error" !! Anyone from BoA/Trowbridge heading for Salisbury and a Waterloo "connection" would have had a looooong wait !!! The first service to go to Salisbury from those two towns today departed at nearly 1300 !!!! 

"Cracking service, Gromit"................

That's a long wait and well into 'Put on taxis' territory... interesting that even the Yeovil service wasn't carrying fresh air around. I'm now trying to recall how the post-December 11th Sunday service shapes up for Warminster.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *   

Off topic but it was a Sunday too - me a few years ago, waiting on a freezing Leeds station for the first Crosscountry train of the day to Bristol.

5 minutes before departure: it was announced as cancelled, and around 40 people directed to the following train in an hour's time.

5 minutes before *that* one was due, an announcement went out: it was also cancelled, would the assembled passengers please wait for the next train in... another hour's time.

What was happening: overnight engineering works had over-run. Crosscountry services were running direct between York and Doncaster, missing out Leeds, Wakefield. Correct advice would have been simply take the next train to Doncaster and catch the Crosscountry service there, but did anyone think of telling the travelling public? Nooooh... I found this out only after abandoning plan 'a' and, after deciding that if it was going to take a day to travel down south I may as well be on a train, stepped onto a Manchester service, then on a Cardiff train and finally a change at Newport and a direct train home.



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