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Journey by Journey => Portsmouth to Cardiff => Topic started by: grahame on July 25, 2022, 11:25:47 pm



Title: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: grahame on July 25, 2022, 11:25:47 pm
From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh (by email, reproduced with permission):

Just a quick update on the abysmal service we are having to endure on a daily basis: short formations, overcrowding and air conditioning that generally doesn’t work.

I’m sure I remember GWR stating that withdrawal of the Brightons would enable them to run the 5 coach trains we are supposed to have on the Portsmouth to Cardiff line. Since their withdrawal, I have seen the short formations of 2 and 3 coaches become more prevalent with yesterday morning being nothing short of a disgrace.

As usual on a Sunday I caught the 1052 from Dilton Marsh to Keynsham to visit my mum. It turned up a few minutes late as an already overcrowded 3 car. I managed to get on as did the other Dilton Marsh passengers and while there were no seats, I was able to move into the carriage away from the numerous suitcases blocking the doorways because there was nowhere else for them to go. A number of passengers got off at Dilton Marsh. I did ask if they actually wanted Dilton Marsh as they were laden with suitcases. Their English was poor and I don’t think they understood me. As we started moving they looked at the station sign and moved back towards the train but as the guard was by the front door he wouldn’t have seen them and as we were already moving, there was nothing he could have safely done anyway. Why can’t the automatic announcements give out Dilton Marsh, rather than when the door opens at Dilton Marsh state, “This is Westbury” with the monitors “confirming” this?

Also on this train, it was so overcrowded that people were left behind including a wheelchair at Bradford on Avon due to not only there being no room on the train for it but it was physically impossible for the guard to get to the cupboard which stored the ramp. This isn’t the only train that is regularly short formation. While the 1105 is a welcome addition at Dilton Marsh to replace the old 1111 from Westbury, it is only ever a 3 car with standing room only. This is the train that connects with the cruise ships so it is vital with no 1111 relief it is a 5 car.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: froome on July 26, 2022, 09:13:50 am
We visited friends on Sunday who are only occasional train users. They told us that they had recently used the Cardiff to Portsmouth service to travel to Southampton, and then on by SWR to Poole to catch a ferry to the Channel Isles. Their journeys there and back match all the comments made in this correspondents ones, and they specifically mentioned the issue of the cruise passengers pretty much swamping Southampton Central's platforms to the point that when the train our friends had hoped to catch back towards Cardiff came in, they couldn't get on, and they had to wait an hour for a similarly overcrowded train to arrive to squeeze onto. They did also note with surprise how different the SWR trains were, where there was plenty of space and none of the issues highlighted here about the GWR service.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: grahame on July 27, 2022, 03:32:58 pm
From another local correspondent - another day, another train, a similar problem

Quote
Yet again I have to complain about this train. It arrived in Salisbury with only 2 carriages. Mid morning Friday, holiday time, lovely weather, everyone taking advantage of the sun. Mothers with buggies, holiday makers with large suitcases, day trippers.

I had to stand in the vestibule for 45 minutes from Salisbury to Bradford on Avon. At [xx] years of age I did not appreciate this.

When we reached Bradford 4 people had to get out so I could get off. Eleven people were left on the platform because there was just no room. One passenger [snip] ...

Absolute disgrace. Do the words "forward planning" exist in GWR?



 


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: GBM on July 28, 2022, 06:53:49 am
As so often seen in journeycheck "More trains than usual needing repairs"!


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: Timmer on July 28, 2022, 07:06:13 am
There's a 2 car 165 doing the rounds again on the CDF-PMH line today.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: grahame on July 28, 2022, 08:15:14 am
There's a 2 car 165 doing the rounds again on the CDF-PMH line today.

On its own?  No parent??


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: Timmer on July 28, 2022, 08:26:16 am
There's a 2 car 165 doing the rounds again on the CDF-PMH line today.

On its own?  No parent??
On its own:

0803 BRI-PMH
1023 PMH-CDF
1430 CDF-PMH
1824 PMH-CDF
2230 CDF-BRI


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: grahame on July 28, 2022, 09:43:41 am
There's a 2 car 165 doing the rounds again on the CDF-PMH line today.

On its own?  No parent??
On its own:

0803 BRI-PMH
1023 PMH-CDF
1430 CDF-PMH
1824 PMH-CDF
2230 CDF-BRI

Thank you - interesting to note it's not flagged up as a short form on journey check ...


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 28, 2022, 10:01:53 am
It’s booked for a 3-car 166.  Is it possible that the night staff that do entries for journeycheck were on strike last night, so some entries have been missed?  It’s also quite possible that it’s just another journeycheck inaccuracy.

Either way, it’s good that the much more accurate data on realtimetrains can be used to find out such things.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: Timmer on July 28, 2022, 10:34:25 am
It’s booked for a 3-car 166.  Is it possible that the night staff that do entries for journeycheck were on strike last night, so some entries have been missed?  It’s also quite possible that it’s just another journeycheck inaccuracy.

Either way, it’s good that the much more accurate data on realtimetrains can be used to find out such things.

RTT was where I found out that there was a diagram down as a 2 car 165. Coming up on departure boards as such as well.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: Clan Line on July 31, 2022, 01:45:20 pm
For the last few weeks I have been helping out in an allotment alongside the railway line at Warminster - at various times of day. From my totally unscientific observations 5 car trains are very rare. Out of curiosity  I had a quick look at RTT.
Last Monday, out of 32 Cardiff/Portsmouth trains just 6 were 5 cars.
Today (Sunday) out of 29 Cardiff/Portsmouth trains 18 were 5 cars.
This seems to tell me something - but I am not quite sure what ...............

Be interesting to see what tomorrow brings.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: Clan Line on August 01, 2022, 09:54:56 am

Be interesting to see what tomorrow brings.

According to RTT: this Monday 12 trains are shown to be 5 cars.  Double last Monday - but a third down on yesterday.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: Clan Line on August 02, 2022, 09:55:45 am
 9 today !


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: grahame on August 02, 2022, 10:36:01 am
Please remind me when the 19 x 769 units have been promised to come into service to release turbos from the North Downs line and  to bring trains in our area up to the appropriate length.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: eXPassenger on August 02, 2022, 11:43:13 am
Please remind me when the 19 x 769 units have been promised to come into service to release turbos from the North Downs line and  to bring trains in our area up to the appropriate length.

Shortly after the first commercial fusion reactor starts up.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: Clan Line on August 03, 2022, 09:17:15 am

Today's score:   ZERO !!!    >:( >:(


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: Clan Line on August 05, 2022, 01:29:36 pm
10 today.
Couldn't believe my eyes at the 0912 - a 5 car 158............. Wonder if it had a trolley too !


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: Clan Line on August 07, 2022, 10:00:52 am
Oh dear !!!!!  Have I upset/embarrassed GWR by logging the (small) number of 5 car trains passing through Warminster over the past week ??  :-\

This morning only one train's length is shown - and that is the solitary SWT service passing through today.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: grahame on August 09, 2022, 07:19:44 am
Looks like 7 carriages down today as admitted on the industry feeds


Quote
10:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 13:46
Facilities on the 10:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 13:46.
Will be formed of 2 coaches instead of 4.

11:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 14:48
Facilities on the 11:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 14:48.
This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.
Will be formed of 3 coaches instead of 5.

14:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 17:47
Facilities on the 14:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 17:47.
This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.
Will be formed of 3 coaches instead of 5.

15:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 18:46
Facilities on the 15:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 18:46.
Will be formed of 2 coaches instead of 3.

Checking real time trains:
12:23 - 5 cars (only train that long from Portsmouth to Bristol)
13:23 - 3 cars
16:23 - 3 cars
17:23 - 4 cars

So 25 carriages out of 40 if all the trains were to run as the 5 carriages promised from December 2019 as I recall

And the cycle rolls around

Quote
18:24 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 21:47
Facilities on the 18:24 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 21:47.
Will be formed of 2 coaches instead of 4.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: grahame on August 10, 2022, 01:06:00 pm
Today, starting with the 10:23 from Portsmouth Harbour, hourly to Cardiff
3-5-3-3-4-3-3-4 = 28 carriages out of 40 today
That's the cycle of the 8 trains ... start repeating 3-5-3-3 thereafter


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 10, 2022, 02:00:58 pm
The cooperation between most TOC’s and RealTimeTrains with unit allocations now makes keeping an accurate log not only possible, but relatively straightforward.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: grahame on August 10, 2022, 08:22:45 pm
I remember seeing some "loading along the way" graphics from Cross Country showing how a Plymouth - Glasgow service at 4 carriages could not be increased to 5 just because it was crammed from Taunton to Temple Meads.

How are loadings along Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff?  Are there sections of the route where a single unit would be adequate?    "Obviously", Portsmouth Harbour to Portsmouth and Southsea is unlikely to be crammed, for example - but no point in splitting off 2 carriages for just that short part of the journey.      Would five carriages Cardiff to Salisbury and three onwards to Portsmouth work?   


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: grahame on August 11, 2022, 08:25:53 am
The cooperation between most TOC’s and RealTimeTrains with unit allocations now makes keeping an accurate log not only possible, but relatively straightforward.

Yep - here we go today, staring with the 10:23 from Portsmouth Harbour plans are:

3-3-5-3-3-2-3-4 = 26 carriages out of what is supposed to be 40


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: froome on August 11, 2022, 08:23:59 pm
I was on the 08.34 train this morning from Oldfield Park heading to Southampton, which was 3 carriages. It not only had many commuters in it, but apparently there is a festival in Winchester, which explains why it was completely rammed with people with very large rucksacks for the whole journey.

The trains I caught coming back were both 2 carriage trains, and busy.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: grahame on August 12, 2022, 07:31:18 am
3-5-5-3-3-?-3-4 today (12.8.2022)

"?" not yet defined. The incoming train starts off as a 2 car from Cardiff to Bristol (165130) but ther's no report beyond Bristol.  I suspect a late decision as to whether or not 165130 continues, is strengthened, is replaced, or the service terminates.  So probably somewhere between 28 and 31 carriages out of 40.  In context, looks like it will be zero tomorrow.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: grahame on August 14, 2022, 08:49:04 pm
From the 11:08, hourly off Portsmouth Harbour, Sunday 14th August 2022
2-5-5-cancel-4-5-cancel-cancel
No "short formation" reports on JourneyCheck
Following train (the 19:08) also 2 carriages like the 11:08 - same little train going round

After the 16:08 Portsmouth - Cardiff, 4 more trains in the timetable but the 19:08 is the only one running - the other three all cancelled.  Our guests were looking for a day out to the seaside this weekend; relieved we didn't ...


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: grahame on August 15, 2022, 06:13:17 am
Today (15.8.2022) scheduled off Portsmouth Harbour hourly from 10:23 as 3-5-4-3-2-2-3-4 carriages. (2 cars also on the 06:01, 07:21 and 20:23).  Only one cruise liner today at Southampton (AIDAPRIMA) so should not be too crowded because of that.  Saturday with Iona, Ventura, Norwegian Prima ans Sky Princess should be fun!


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: bobm on August 21, 2022, 04:59:12 pm
Today’s 16:08 from Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central is six coaches!  Only the last coach is locked out. Not sure if it’s a fault with the internal doors or the aircon.

It also left five minutes late which was handy as my catamaran from the Isle of Wight arrived on time at 16:08 but I was able to catch the train with a couple of minutes to spare!


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: grahame on August 22, 2022, 10:34:58 am
5-3-3-3-3-3-3-3 today ... 26 carriages on a service that should have 40.
(Portsmouth Harbour departures for Cardiff every hour from 10:23)

I suspect the 6th carriage was locked out yesterday because some of the platforms along the way can only take 5 these days, and I'm not sure that 166s have selective door opening?


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 22, 2022, 11:07:03 am
5-3-3-3-3-3-3-3 today ... 26 carriages on a service that should have 40.

Is that a ‘should’ that’s based on…

1) A pledge from GWR post-pandemic?
2) A pledge from GWR pre-pandemic?
3) The current unit allocations as per the plan?
4) An aspirational number based on daily demand?


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: Timmer on August 22, 2022, 11:47:45 am
Wasn't a good day at all yesterday on the Cardiff-Portsmouth line with numerous cancellations and short workings. The worst it's been for quite sometime.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: grahame on August 22, 2022, 12:05:58 pm
5-3-3-3-3-3-3-3 today ... 26 carriages on a service that should have 40.

Is that a ‘should’ that’s based on…

1) A pledge from GWR post-pandemic?
2) A pledge from GWR pre-pandemic?
3) The current unit allocations as per the plan?
4) An aspirational number based on daily demand?

A pledge and plan for all daytime services to be 5 cars made some time back, and never to my knowledge revoked.  We were told that it was delayed because delivery of 769 units was late - not sure how we're doing on that, but I note it was a statement that linked it to their delivery, and not their entering service though that would have been more logical.   All the 8 trains on the service are supposed to be a 3 car 166 coupled to a 2 car 165, with longer distance passengers (as I recall) encouraged to use the 166 part of the train as those units are longer distance ones.  All a bit hazy - yes - it was some time back.

I have no problem with trains running shorter than 5 carriages, provided they can cope with the passenger numbers wishing to travel.  Sadly, there are numerous stories of the trains on the Cardiff-Portsmouth line being full and standing, and even that they're so busy that people can't get on. To my knowledge, none of those "denied boarding" stories has related to a 5 car train.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 22, 2022, 12:23:24 pm
Perhaps time to seek an official update on whether that is still the plan when 769s eventually release more turbos? 

It’s clear there isn’t the stock for it currently and the pandemic and massive delays to the 769s have muddied the waters and we’ve had three changes of contract since COVID hit.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: grahame on August 22, 2022, 02:03:48 pm
Quoting back 'upthread' ...

Is that a ‘should’ that’s based on…
1) A pledge from GWR post-pandemic?
2) A pledge from GWR pre-pandemic?
3) The current unit allocations as per the plan?
4) An aspirational number based on daily demand?

Yes, and old commitment - but part of it still very much there in today's Journecheck feed that acknowledges shortforms to this day, even if the reason feels odd and has us all scratching our heads and wondering if someone has plonked in the wrong code.

Quote
11:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 14:48
14:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 17:47

Facilities on the 14:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 17:47.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.
Will be formed of 3 coaches instead of 5.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: Clan Line on August 22, 2022, 02:04:09 pm
Perhaps time to seek an official update on whether that is still the plan when 769s eventually release more turbos? 

Will yet another "official update" throw any more light on the subject ? On past performance the answer has to be a resounding NO !  It is more than 5 years since we were promised "more seats"  (disingenuity or lies ?) on this route with cascaded 165/6s - don't hold your breath................

Today's pathetic effort by GWR shows just 4 five car calls at WMN. There do also appear to be 4 four car calls - but these all accounted for by a reversing service from WSB crossing over. ALL the remaining services are 2 and 3 cars.......................disgraceful !!!

Update: On closer examination even the (solitary) 5 car train appears to be a 158 ...................


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 22, 2022, 02:57:01 pm
Perhaps time to seek an official update on whether that is still the plan when 769s eventually release more turbos? 

Will yet another "official update" throw any more light on the subject ?

I’d have thought it would be very important to seek clarity given the seismic changes to rail travel and life in general that we have seen over the last few years.  The only constant during that time is the failure to get 769s into service!


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 22, 2022, 03:00:22 pm
Yes, and old commitment - but part of it still very much there in today's Journecheck feed that acknowledges shortforms to this day, even if the reason feels odd and has us all scratching our heads and wondering if someone has plonked in the wrong code.

I’ll have a look at the planned formations for each train in detail later if I get chance.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 22, 2022, 10:26:44 pm
I’ll have a look at the planned formations for each train in detail later if I get chance.

From what I have unearthed...
...the following are currently booked as 3-car throughout:  15:23 and 16:23 PMH-CDF
...the following are currently booked as 4-car throughout:  10:23 and 17:23 PMH-CDF
...the following are currently booked as 5-car throughout:  12:23 and 14:23 PMH-CDF
...the following I am unsure about:  11:23 and 13:23 PMH-CDF

The return gets complicated.  For example it looks like the 14:30 CDF-PMH is booked as a 4-car throughout, yet today it was a 5-car from CDF-BRI and then a 3-car forward. 

I guess that evens itself out?!  I now have a headache!


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: grahame on August 23, 2022, 08:18:23 am
I’ll have a look at the planned formations for each train in detail later if I get chance.

From what I have unearthed...

Very interesting, thank you.  Very interesting to take a look at where the 3 car sets are at peak times - which of these diagrams is consistently "contraflow" in rush hours and so can be gotten away with.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: grahame on August 28, 2022, 06:31:37 am
Here's today's cycle of 8 trains, 4 declared as shortformed by GWR on JourneyCheck:

Quote
Facilities on the 11:08 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 14:40.
Will be formed of 4 coaches instead of 5.

Quote
Facilities on the 13:08 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 16:41.
Will be formed of 4 coaches instead of 5.

Quote
Facilities on the 16:08 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 19:44.
Will be formed of 3 coaches instead of 5.

Quote
Facilities on the 17:08 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 20:30.
Will be formed of 3 coaches instead of 5.

According to Real Time Trains, other departures from Portsmouth Harbour:
12:08 - 5 cars
14:08 - 5 cars
15:08 - 5 cars
18:08 - 5 cars

34 carriages on the services out of 40 which by the rail industry's own systems there should be; actually much better than it has been of late, though half the trains shorter than they "should" be is hardly good news.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: Clan Line on September 27, 2022, 04:01:52 pm
Thought I'd have a count of the 5 cars trains at Warminster again today - just in case they have found some more ..................FOUR !  Pathetic.............


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: grahame on September 28, 2022, 06:31:30 am
Thought I'd have a count of the 5 cars trains at Warminster again today - just in case they have found some more ..................FOUR !  Pathetic.............

From PHM today - 4-4-2-5-3-4-3-3 carriages according to Real Time Trains (hourly from 09:23).  12 carriages short from the 40 needed for full 5 car. So I suspect that's 4 services at Warminster again.


Title: Re: From a correspondent in Dilton Marsh
Post by: grahame on October 22, 2022, 07:39:19 am
Follow up at http://www.passenger.chat/26809 - I have split the topic which has gone a lot further than Dilton Marsh.  Looking at the whole issues of the future of the Wessex Main Line's services and rolling stock.



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