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All across the Great Western territory => Across the West => Topic started by: Richard Fairhurst on July 29, 2022, 11:05:34 pm



Title: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: Richard Fairhurst on July 29, 2022, 11:05:34 pm
GWR have confirmed there will be no service at all on the north (Oxford-Worcester) or south (Swindon-Gloucester) Cotswold lines this Sunday. From https://www.gwr.com/strike:

Quote
Sunday 31 July

Trains will continue to be disrupted. Please make alternative travel arrangements and only travel if absolutely necessary.

There will be no service on the following routes:

Swindon to Gloucester
Oxford to Worcester/Hereford

I don't think I've known this in 20+ years of living on the (North) Cotswold Line - the TOC just deciding to give up providing a service when there's no strike or engineering reason.

I do understand that drivers are going to choose not to work overtime on Sunday given that they have a rare opportunity to enjoy a weekend off. But it's entirely GWR's decision to concentrate cancellations here rather than running (say) a 1tp3h service and chopping a couple of Bristol services as a result. There are no buses to Charlbury on a Sunday, and I'm guessing probably not many from Kingham, Moreton et al either; so if you want to go somewhere, let's hope you have a car.


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: ChrisB on July 29, 2022, 11:15:52 pm
Also, the lateness of these specific closure notices (overnight last night, the trains were in the journeyplanners yesterday!) means many will have travelled out today for the weekend thinking they’d be at least some sort of service on Sunday to return on!

I’ve asked GWR to allow travel during Monday’s peak AM service so at least people can return straight to work on time on Monday morning without having to pay more for a peak ticket, otgerwise they won’t be working until after lunch, throughno fault of their own.

GWR shouldn’t have waited until Thursday night to ascertain the number of crew available this Sunday, and should have put out a specific warning on Wednesday latest in my view.

ASLEF knew this would likely happen, hence choosing Saturdays. August 13 is a strike day, so expect similar on Sunday 14th too


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 30, 2022, 01:57:47 am
Seems a bit odd to me.  Oxford drivers work half of the North Cotswold Line trains and can’t just throw in their Sunday’s and their daily alterations sheet shows a full allocation of drivers plus a couple on standby.

Unless they are being reallocated Oxford<>Paddington work because there’s no cover from the HSS drivers who can throw their Sunday’s in (with 5 days notice)?  But it seems unlikely to me that all of them would, and there’s only half the number of PAD<>OXF services anyway.


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: didcotdean on July 30, 2022, 12:12:28 pm
I heard a GWR spokesperson (not sure who) mentioned the North Cots Sunday closure on Friday morning during an interview on Radio Oxford. Just in passing so easy to miss and the interviewer certainly didn't pick up this as anything odd to follow up.


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: jamestheredengine on July 30, 2022, 10:33:01 pm
GWR have confirmed there will be no service at all on the north (Oxford-Worcester) or south (Swindon-Gloucester) Cotswold lines this Sunday. From https://www.gwr.com/strike:

Quote
Sunday 31 July

Trains will continue to be disrupted. Please make alternative travel arrangements and only travel if absolutely necessary.

There will be no service on the following routes:

Swindon to Gloucester
Oxford to Worcester/Hereford

I don't think I've known this in 20+ years of living on the (North) Cotswold Line - the TOC just deciding to give up providing a service when there's no strike or engineering reason.

I do understand that drivers are going to choose not to work overtime on Sunday given that they have a rare opportunity to enjoy a weekend off. But it's entirely GWR's decision to concentrate cancellations here rather than running (say) a 1tp3h service and chopping a couple of Bristol services as a result. There are no buses to Charlbury on a Sunday, and I'm guessing probably not many from Kingham, Moreton et al either; so if you want to go somewhere, let's hope you have a car.
Why Bristol? It would be much more effective to cancel the relief lines service between Reading and Paddington. After ail, the denizens of Maidenhead keep messing the railway up: let's close their station for a day. They probably have a bus to Slough and a bus from there to Heathrow for the Piccadilly Line.


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: TaplowGreen on July 30, 2022, 10:42:20 pm
GWR have confirmed there will be no service at all on the north (Oxford-Worcester) or south (Swindon-Gloucester) Cotswold lines this Sunday. From https://www.gwr.com/strike:

Quote
Sunday 31 July

Trains will continue to be disrupted. Please make alternative travel arrangements and only travel if absolutely necessary.

There will be no service on the following routes:

Swindon to Gloucester
Oxford to Worcester/Hereford

I don't think I've known this in 20+ years of living on the (North) Cotswold Line - the TOC just deciding to give up providing a service when there's no strike or engineering reason.

I do understand that drivers are going to choose not to work overtime on Sunday given that they have a rare opportunity to enjoy a weekend off. But it's entirely GWR's decision to concentrate cancellations here rather than running (say) a 1tp3h service and chopping a couple of Bristol services as a result. There are no buses to Charlbury on a Sunday, and I'm guessing probably not many from Kingham, Moreton et al either; so if you want to go somewhere, let's hope you have a car.
Why Bristol? It would be much more effective to cancel the relief lines service between Reading and Paddington. After ail, the denizens of Maidenhead keep messing the railway up: let's close their station for a day. They probably have a bus to Slough and a bus from there to Heathrow for the Piccadilly Line.

You could do that.

Wouldn't make an awful lot of difference as we have the Elizabeth Line serving us now, and their drivers have Sundays in the working week so thankfully that nonsense is no longer an issue   ;)


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: froome on July 30, 2022, 10:53:11 pm
GWR have confirmed there will be no service at all on the north (Oxford-Worcester) or south (Swindon-Gloucester) Cotswold lines this Sunday. From https://www.gwr.com/strike:

Quote
Sunday 31 July

Trains will continue to be disrupted. Please make alternative travel arrangements and only travel if absolutely necessary.

There will be no service on the following routes:

Swindon to Gloucester
Oxford to Worcester/Hereford

I don't think I've known this in 20+ years of living on the (North) Cotswold Line - the TOC just deciding to give up providing a service when there's no strike or engineering reason.

I do understand that drivers are going to choose not to work overtime on Sunday given that they have a rare opportunity to enjoy a weekend off. But it's entirely GWR's decision to concentrate cancellations here rather than running (say) a 1tp3h service and chopping a couple of Bristol services as a result. There are no buses to Charlbury on a Sunday, and I'm guessing probably not many from Kingham, Moreton et al either; so if you want to go somewhere, let's hope you have a car.

As these are the two lines that cross the Cotswolds, and also passing through some obvious tourist destinations like Oxford, Cheltenham and Stroud, I would imagine they have a particularly high leisure usage, which would suggest a high demand for summer Sunday services.

So this will inconvenience a lot of potential users.


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: Electric train on July 31, 2022, 07:48:21 am
GWR have confirmed there will be no service at all on the north (Oxford-Worcester) or south (Swindon-Gloucester) Cotswold lines this Sunday. From https://www.gwr.com/strike:

Quote
Sunday 31 July

Trains will continue to be disrupted. Please make alternative travel arrangements and only travel if absolutely necessary.

There will be no service on the following routes:

Swindon to Gloucester
Oxford to Worcester/Hereford

I don't think I've known this in 20+ years of living on the (North) Cotswold Line - the TOC just deciding to give up providing a service when there's no strike or engineering reason.

I do understand that drivers are going to choose not to work overtime on Sunday given that they have a rare opportunity to enjoy a weekend off. But it's entirely GWR's decision to concentrate cancellations here rather than running (say) a 1tp3h service and chopping a couple of Bristol services as a result. There are no buses to Charlbury on a Sunday, and I'm guessing probably not many from Kingham, Moreton et al either; so if you want to go somewhere, let's hope you have a car.
Why Bristol? It would be much more effective to cancel the relief lines service between Reading and Paddington. After ail, the denizens of Maidenhead keep messing the railway up: let's close their station for a day. They probably have a bus to Slough and a bus from there to Heathrow for the Piccadilly Line.

You could do that.

Wouldn't make an awful lot of difference as we have the Elizabeth Line serving us now, and their drivers have Sundays in the working week so thankfully that nonsense is no longer an issue   ;)

At times of perturbation in the Thames Valley it is often the GWR Reading - Padd local services calling at Twyford, Maidenhead etc that get capped with the Elizebeth Line services taking on all the passengers


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on July 31, 2022, 08:09:06 am
As far as passenger information is concerned, it's a bit of a shambles today (Sunday).

National Rail Enquiries' database (and RealTimeTrains) has no trains operating Oxford - Worcester, but GWR JourneyCheck (and Grahame's map) is reporting no cancellations.

Though Journeycheck is reporting cancellations on Swindon - Gloucester.

Predictably, my other half, who was going to travel back from London tomorrow, now wants to travel today.  Looks like a long wait at Bristol Parkway.



Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: grahame on July 31, 2022, 08:18:05 am
As far as passenger information is concerned, it's a bit of a shambles today (Sunday).

National Rail Enquiries' database (and RealTimeTrains) has no trains operating Oxford - Worcester, but GWR JourneyCheck (and Grahame's map) is reporting no cancellations.

Though Journeycheck is reporting cancellations on Swindon - Gloucester.

Journeycheck and our feed report only short notice changes.  It would appear that GWR canned the North Cotswold service before the cutoff point and the South Cotswold after.  You'll have noticed that our maps aren't a sea of read on rail strike days, even though GWR are failing to provide many services in their published summer timetable and contract.


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on July 31, 2022, 09:59:21 am
Journeycheck and our feed report only short notice changes.  It would appear that GWR canned the North Cotswold service before the cutoff point and the South Cotswold after.  You'll have noticed that our maps aren't a sea of read on rail strike days, even though GWR are failing to provide many services in their published summer timetable and contract.
You'd think that GWR would be aware of these deadlines, and that they'd post their changes accordingly.

Meanwhile, what does she do I do about 'Delay Repay' on a day when they haven't bothered operating any trains?


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: CMRail on July 31, 2022, 10:46:15 am
I do wonder how busy Worcester-Bristol services are today, considering both Worcester-London and Cheltenham/Gloucester-London services are cancelled, as well as people travelling into Wales from Cheltenham/Gloucester due to the line closure preventing XC and TFW services running


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: grahame on July 31, 2022, 12:34:01 pm
There IS a thin shuttle running from Swindon to Gloucester and Cheltenham Spa still ... bedlam at Swindon when we arrived from Melksham on the first train since Friday ... an IET from London had just arrived at Platform 4 and crowds busy making their way to platform 2 - the west end bay along platform 3 as the Westbury train arrived there and turned around for Weymouth.  Lots of luggage and the train services seem thinned out more drastically than the passengers.


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 31, 2022, 01:00:19 pm
There IS a thin shuttle running from Swindon to Gloucester and Cheltenham Spa still ... bedlam at Swindon when we arrived from Melksham on the first train since Friday ... an IET from London had just arrived at Platform 4 and crowds busy making their way to platform 2 - the west end bay along platform 3 as the Westbury train arrived there and turned around for Weymouth.  Lots of luggage and the train services seem thinned out more drastically than the passengers.

The Oxford route is struggling to cope with its one train per hour all being 5-cars.  They're the ones that are usually 5-cars on Sundays as they only run between PAD<>OXF, but are backed up by the (mostly) 9-car trains to and from the North Cotswold Line that are all cancelled today. 

Speaking of backing up, Chiltern used to take some of the passengers of course, but they offer a very unattractive weekend service nowadays with most taking 1h 29m to reach Oxford, often in the hands of 75mph Class 165/0 Turbos.

Very poor from GWR on one of their prime tourism routes.  A strange decision to cancel all North Cots. trains anyway, but no reason why 9-car sets couldn't have been provided for all the trains that are running at the very least.


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: ChrisB on July 31, 2022, 03:26:24 pm
The GWR strike page was not long ago, & maybe still is, showing South Cotswolds as all cancelled for the day. Journeycheck however, showed hourly services - so must have been added overnight. So they should have at least updated their strike page too!

Not so good this time GWR


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: Richard Fairhurst on July 31, 2022, 05:36:01 pm
Indeed, it still is.

Quote
Sunday 31 July

Trains will continue to be disrupted. Please make alternative travel arrangements and only travel if absolutely necessary.

There will be no service on the following routes:

Swindon to Gloucester
Oxford to Worcester/Hereford


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: Mark A on July 31, 2022, 09:41:41 pm
This put me in mind of a wet Sunday - 21st August 2021. I'd caught a train to Swindon and arrived as a Cheltenham train was attempting to depart from platform 3 for some reason. A two carriage 158, full and standing and the overspill passengers, about 20 in number including two wheelchair users were waiting rather despondently on the platform. No platform staff, and the train manager doing his best...

I was headed for a bus to the Swindon and Cricklade railway across town, something that involved the bus sitting in crawling queues of traffic for about 40 minutes before I was able to bail out and make my way to the current rudimentary platform for the heritage operation, where a loco and 5 or so carriages emerged through the downpour in good time, with more volunteer staff than you could shake a stick at, if very few customers given that the demand for rail transport between the outskirts of Swindon and a puddle some way short of Cricklade is somewhat limited.

All in all a curious contrast with the provision of stock and staff on the 'big' railway a mile or so south - but most atmospheric and well recommended. However, the days when that line could have taken the Kemble overspill and transported them to Cirencester Watermoor are long past...

Mark


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: grahame on July 31, 2022, 10:43:45 pm
This put me in mind of a wet Sunday - 21st August 2021. I'd caught a train to Swindon and arrived as a Cheltenham train was attempting to depart from platform 3 for some reason. A two carriage 158, ...

Not too different to today, I suspect.   11:28 at Swindon.  An IET from London had just arrived at Platform 4.  A 2 car train to Weymouth stands at platform 3, and there's a throng making for the Cheltenham Spa train in the bay (platform 2) that's due to leave in a few minutes - old blue 3 car turbo and according to RTT the only train headed up the Stroud Valley in the morning.

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/swi_20220731_01.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/swi_20220731_02.jpg)


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: grahame on August 01, 2022, 08:43:57 am
To complete the South Cotswold story for yesterday, here is a log of what actually ran, as recounted by Real Time Trains

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/sv_20220731.jpg)




Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: Timmer on August 01, 2022, 08:47:11 am
So why say no services were running on the South Cotswold line when there clearly were trains running?


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 01, 2022, 09:08:43 am
To be fair to GWR the information provided about services on and around the RMT strike days was very good.  Less so for this initial ASLEF action.


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: Timmer on August 01, 2022, 09:59:52 am
To be fair to GWR the information provided about services on and around the RMT strike days was very good.  Less so for this initial ASLEF action.
I would imagine planning services for weekdays following industrial action are easier than for Sundays as the TOC won't know how many drivers are available until 5 days out is it?


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: ChrisB on August 01, 2022, 11:05:41 am
I am in constructive discussion with both GWR & Network Rail on this South Cotswold problem & the fact no posters had been sisplayed at North Cotswold stations. Many people tried to travel eg from Evesham in Sunday without success


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on August 01, 2022, 10:13:37 pm
Here's what was on offer at Shrub Hill on Sunday - a handwritten notice from West Midlands Railway.


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: grahame on August 02, 2022, 07:18:47 am
Here's what was on offer at Shrub Hill on Sunday - a handwritten notice from West Midlands Railway.

Curiously effective, mind you ... nothing wrong with old systems, though strong electronic (on line) and other location  backup to stop people getting to Shrub Hill to find no trains in the first place.


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: didcotdean on August 09, 2022, 12:41:47 pm
Maybe not surprising it is all happening again this Sunday (14 August). The only thing is that there has been a little more notice, but only if you know where to look for it (https://www.gwr.com/strike).
Quote
Sunday 14 August
Trains will continue to be severely disrupted, please make alternative travel arrangements and only travel if absolutely necessary.

There will be no service on the following route:
Oxford to Worcester/Hereford ...

Mention of reduced service to Bristol, Swansea, Plymouth and Penzance, but not Cheltenham where there will a few shuttles to Swindon. Particularly big gap between 0939 and 1301.





Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: Richard Fairhurst on August 09, 2022, 08:17:43 pm
What have we Cotswolders done to upset you, GWR? :(


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: didcotdean on August 14, 2022, 09:49:43 am
No lessons learnt from last time - still running just 5 carriage trains on the hourly Paddington - Oxford service. Hold very tight please.


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 14, 2022, 09:58:36 am
No lessons learnt from last time - still running just 5 carriage trains on the hourly Paddington - Oxford service. Hold very tight please.

Indeed.  A very poor show from GWR.


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: TaplowGreen on August 14, 2022, 10:31:16 am
Amazingly low number of staff shortage cancellations though, given it's a Sunday in the height of BBQ season.......no doubt the overtime comes in handy to offset the pay lost on strike days!


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: grahame on August 14, 2022, 10:54:06 am
Amazingly low number of staff shortage cancellations though, given it's a Sunday in the height of BBQ season.......no doubt the overtime comes in handy to offset the pay lost on strike days!

I think it's partly to do with our maps not showing cancellations that were done a few days ago - of 28 service booked to call at Kemble in the normal Sunday timetable, only 14 are calling today, and only one more is shown as cancelled on journey planner.  The others were "back door cancelled" earlier in the week while that back door was still open. Through London trains all gone, so that's not just local cancellations from the published timetables - it's long distance trains thinned out.


Looking to quantify this - about 2000 miles of passenger train running on services calling at Kemble of a normal Sunday has been replaced by about 500 miles.  No wonder the need for train crew is reduced!


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: TonyN on August 14, 2022, 11:12:58 am
Amazingly low number of staff shortage cancellations though, given it's a Sunday in the height of BBQ season.......no doubt the overtime comes in handy to offset the pay lost on strike days!

It's too hot for BBQs I know I went to one yesterday :)


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: AMLAG on August 14, 2022, 11:20:14 am
Once again the Tamar Valley line has continuing cancellations due ‘staff shortages’
This has been going on for well over a year or more, despite GWR senior Managers’ assurances at a public meeting in Bere Alston a few weeks ago that proactive action would be taken to cure the problems.
The Tamar Valley line is currently only worked by Plymouth and Par based ‘West’ traincrews.
Until a couple of years ago Exeter ‘West’ traincrews also had diagrammed turns on this line
and despite some of these Exeter based train crews actually living in Plymouth, no initiatives by GWR management have, it seems, sought to once again involve Exeter traincrews or indeed
Plymouth based HSS Drivers/traincrews.

Over the years at some not inconsiderable marketing costs, let alone NR track and infrastructure  renewals, much has been done to try and increase use of this line.
The train service on the Tamar Valley line is extremely difficult to replicate by road transport due to the line’s geographical position.
Rail traffic is dwindling away due lack of confidence by potential passengers with Management responsible for this ongoing unsatisfactory situation still, it seems, not on top of the job.




Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: a-driver on August 14, 2022, 12:16:20 pm
Once again the Tamar Valley line has continuing cancellations due ‘staff shortages’


Staff shortages is not strictly true. There was no unit for first two services this morning. Unit came down from Exeter.


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: Surrey 455 on August 14, 2022, 01:18:39 pm
Amazingly low number of staff shortage cancellations though, given it's a Sunday in the height of BBQ season.......no doubt the overtime comes in handy to offset the pay lost on strike days!

They probably don't want to take the blame if their BBQs start wild fires!


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: Timmer on August 14, 2022, 04:09:19 pm
Amazingly low number of staff shortage cancellations though, given it's a Sunday in the height of BBQ season.......no doubt the overtime comes in handy to offset the pay lost on strike days!
Have you seen how few services are running on the SW mainline to/from London today TG?

A handful each way and no semi fasts. (Well one was added this afternoon see http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=26630.msg324696#msg324696 )

So not a surprise there are so few cancellations. The trains that are running are absolutely rammed.

Like the last strike day on a Saturday, the affects it is also having on a Sunday are being keenly felt by those trying to travel by train on an August weekend.


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: a-driver on August 14, 2022, 04:43:50 pm
Amazingly low number of staff shortage cancellations though, given it's a Sunday in the height of BBQ season.......no doubt the overtime comes in handy to offset the pay lost on strike days!

They probably don't want to take the blame if their BBQs start wild fires!

I was in work.  To be fair, in this heat, sitting in an air conditioned driving cab is far more preferable to a BBQ with an extremely hot and irritable toddler!


Title: Re: GWR line closures this Sunday
Post by: PhilWakely on August 14, 2022, 07:17:19 pm
I can imagine the fun and games on the GWR main line from the Westcountry today. No direct GWR services from Exeter St David's before 11:11 or after 17:15. No ticket acceptance on either XC or SWR and crush-loading on the services that did run!






*** edited to correct typo! ***



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