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Travel & transport from BBC stories as at 16:35 08 Dec 2023
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 10/12/23 - Winter Timetable starts
14/12/23 - Estimates of station usage: Ap
24/12/23 - Paddington closed
25/12/23 - No GWR trains

On this day
8th Dec (2013)
Restoration of useable service through Melksham (link)

Train RunningCancelled
12:50 Penzance to Cardiff Central
13:00 Cardiff Central to Penzance
13:16 Plymouth to London Paddington
14:31 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa
14:36 London Paddington to Paignton
14:58 Redhill to Reading
08/12/23 14:59 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington
15:15 Plymouth to London Paddington
15:18 London Paddington to Cardiff Central
15:31 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa
15:42 Exeter St Davids to London Paddington
15:47 Plymouth to Penzance
15:54 Cardiff Central to London Paddington
16:01 Reading to Gatwick Airport
16:02 Oxford to London Paddington
16:13 Par to Newquay
16:23 London Paddington to Oxford
16:25 Looe to Liskeard
16:33 Reading to Basingstoke
16:50 Plymouth to London Paddington
16:50 Reading to Gatwick Airport
16:54 Liskeard to Looe
16:54 Cardiff Central to London Paddington
16:59 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington
17:00 Plymouth to Liskeard
17:01 Oxford to London Paddington
17:10 Gloucester to Weymouth
17:11 Taunton to Cardiff Central
17:19 Newquay to Par
17:19 Basingstoke to Reading
17:25 Looe to Liskeard
17:29 Gatwick Airport to Reading
17:54 Cardiff Central to London Paddington
17:56 Liskeard to Plymouth
17:57 Liskeard to Looe
18:23 London Paddington to Banbury
18:29 Gatwick Airport to Reading
18:30 Looe to Liskeard
18:59 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington
19:00 Liskeard to Looe
19:20 Reading to Redhill
19:30 Looe to Liskeard
Additional 19:35 Westbury to Salisbury
19:58 Cardiff Central to Taunton
20:01 Reading to Gatwick Airport
20:05 Liskeard to Looe
20:06 Westbury to Cheltenham Spa
20:13 Swindon to Westbury
20:37 Looe to Liskeard
21:05 Liskeard to Looe
21:16 Westbury to Swindon
21:29 Gatwick Airport to Reading
21:37 Looe to Liskeard
22:16 Cheltenham Spa to Swindon
22:24 Plymouth to Exeter St Davids
22:30 Swindon to Westbury
22:44 Taunton to Bristol Temple Meads
23:42 Swindon to Cheltenham Spa
Short Run
11:00 Cardiff Central to Penzance
12:15 Penzance to London Paddington
13:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central
13:28 Weymouth to Gloucester
14:00 Cardiff Central to Penzance
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1  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Is any SWR train crew based at Exeter? on: December 06, 2023, 09:56:23 am
Given the current challenges at Crewkerne Tunnel, I am surprised that SWR» (South Western Railway - about) did not run a shuttle service between Exeter St David's and Axminster (at least during Peak hours). I noticed on Tuesday that SWR had 5 units stabled at Exeter New Yard and 2 units in the bay platform at Exeter Central. Two of the 5 units were being fuelled when I passed through. Morning and evening services are generally very busy between Exeter and Axminster, yet no passenger services were run.

Is it because no crew is based at Exeter and staff would need to be taxied from Yeovil Junction?
2  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Floods across the GWR network, 4th December on: December 05, 2023, 10:25:14 pm
The two GWR (Great Western Railway) lines to the Southwest appear to be open again today.

Latest on the line closure between Yeovil and Exeter in a new thread:

Not entirely correct as the B&H (Berks and Hants - railway line from Reading to Taunton via Westbury) line was flooded at Athelney for much of the day services diverted via Bristol Temple Meads.
3  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Who moved Ivybridge? on: November 28, 2023, 07:43:20 pm
I was at Westbury station early in the morning of 28/11/23 waiting for a train to London Paddington. I guess one of Dr Who's adversaries must have visited the South West and uprooted Ivybridge in its entirety overnight!

4  Journey by Journey / London to Swindon and Bristol / Re: a better option getting to London on SUNDAY 26th November? on: November 26, 2023, 09:07:30 am
At a very slight tangent...... for pax travelling up to The Smoke from Exeter today, for once I would recommend travelling to Waterloo via Honiton. Once connection times at Reading are factored in, the journey up The Mule is as 'quick' as a journey up the Berks and Hants and you can stay on the same train!
5  Journey by Journey / Portsmouth to Cardiff / Re: Ticket Office closures - Westbury area on: November 16, 2023, 10:30:21 am
From Journeycheck

Trowbridge: The ticket office, waiting room and toilets are currently closed.
The ticket office, waiting room and toilets are currently closed.
Last Updated:16/11/2023 02:00

Westbury: Ticket Office Closure
The ticket office will be closed from 13:30 on 16/11/2023 until the end of the day at Westbury station.
Last Updated:16/11/2023 02:00

Yeovil Pen Mill: Ticket Office Closure
The ticket office will be closed from now until 13:20 at Yeovil Pen Mill station.
Last Updated:16/11/2023 02:00

This is a sampling ... not a new situation.   Sales of tickets at ticket offices WILL [continue to] be depressed if the ticket offices aren't actually open

Staffing issues
6  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: Bridport branch reopening proposal on: November 15, 2023, 10:08:46 am
I mentioned earlier in the thread of my connections with the Bridport branch. Knowing closure was imminent, Mum and I wanted a photographic record. The quality is not brilliant as the pictures were 'home' developed and the negatives were kept in a drawer in the loft for many years before being recovered and scanned.
7  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Storm Ciaran - 1st and 2nd November 2023 on: November 02, 2023, 08:30:44 am
No IETs (Intercity Express Train) running across the seawall after 8pm as well.

GWR (Great Western Railway) will be operating 2+4 HST (High Speed Train) shuttles instead.

2Z05 (0655 Exeter St Davids to Plymouth) has been declared a failure at Newton Abbot having been 'hit by a wave earlier in the journey'. Yes, you guessed it - an IET (802021)!
8  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Perfectly understandable and usable ticket system in the West Midlands? on: October 30, 2023, 10:59:08 am
If "nTrain tickets are the only way to buy seasons" why is there a flexiSeason offered on the BRFares website - or is that a season which is not a season?

You are quite correct. A flexiSeason is just a Carnet of tickets under another name, but eight journeys instead of 10.  It can only be issued to a smartcard and the eight journeys must be completed in a 28 day period. You can use all 8 in one day if you were that way inclined.
9  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Heritage railway lines, Railtours, other rail based attractions / Re: West Somerset Railway - heritage line, Bishops Lydeard to Minehead - merged topic, ongoing discu on: October 26, 2023, 06:13:19 pm
The HST (High Speed Train) that was at Minehead has gone. Presumably FGW (First Great Western) needed it to cover for IETs (Intercity Express Train) that drowned at Dawlish.

It was always going to be a short term stay. Laira needed space to store all of the now-surplus CrossCountry HST stock. Now that has all been disposed of, the Castle sets can return to Laira.
10  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Ticket Office Closure Consultation on: October 26, 2023, 09:10:25 am
By email from GWR (Great Western Railway)

* Digital First, Not Only: We have changed our proposals so that retail trained staff will have handheld sales devices to support self-service ticket machines. This means customers will still find every type of ticket they can get today at a station in the future and staff will be available to help with ticket advice if needed. In addition, we will upgrade our ticket machines to sell a wider variety of tickets and more tickets will become digitally available.   Staff will also be able to help switch to buying digitally via our app or other options like pay-as-you-go/CPAY

From a passenger viewpoint, I am relieved at the change that will allow hand held ticket service at stations - guessing (and can anyone confirm) that will be like the equipment train managers have?

Misgivings remain -
* What hours will staff actually be available - comparison to "today" is confusing as many ticket offices are on short hours or closed today
* Will passengers, especially those with sensory or mobility issues, be able to find the roaming staff even if they know they are somewhere there
* Having consulted and now changing plans, what consultation on these changes to the changes?

Much of my criticism and cynicism comes down to a lack of trust.  I am fearful of saying "that sounds better" because there have been so many broken promises by the rail industry.  I awaken today to a cancellation of 2 out of 18 services at my local station due to a staff shortage - again.  Been going on for years, with promises of fixes; passengers travel on services that run. The 17:36 Swindon to Melksham should have run 60 times in the last 12 weeks. It has run 54.  The 18:44 should have run 60 times, but it has only run 49 - that an 82% performance.   Get that over 95%, GWR (you aim for 98%) , and I'll be a little less cynical about other plans.

The technology does not exist yet - unless it will be a simple pager carried by ex-ticket office staff
11  Journey by Journey / Shorter journeys in Devon / Re: Storm Babet on: October 18, 2023, 05:55:43 pm
With several IET (Intercity Express Train) sets failing after being doused with seawater one has to wonder at the wisdom of continuing to send them through Dawlish. I believe this Albert Einstein quote is apposite:

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

Where is the good old HST (High Speed Train) when you need it most? Oh, wait.....
12  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Problems with IET trains from April 2021 on: October 18, 2023, 09:46:39 am
At least three IET (Intercity Express Train) sets succumbed to the Dawlish/Teignmouth waves thanks to Storm Babet.
13  Journey by Journey / Shorter journeys in Devon / Through services from Okehampton to Paignton on: October 08, 2023, 09:18:00 pm
With the line from Exeter St Davids to Exmouth closed for major engineering works on Sunday, 8th October 2023, opportunity was taken to run Okehampton to Exeter St Davids services through to Paignton.
14  Journey by Journey / London to Swindon and Bristol / Re: Weekend strengthening proposed from December 2023 on: October 06, 2023, 06:13:14 am
..... and some outbound services become pickup only at Reading........

I cannot see that working in practice. All Friday afternoon trains from Paddington to the South West are supposedly 'pick up only' at Reading - even to the extent of leaving the Reading stop off the Paddington departure boards, yet invariably there is a large exodus of pax from these services at Reading.
15  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: Taking the bus from Reading to Henley-on-Thames. A tale of woe. on: October 06, 2023, 06:03:43 am
Without access to realtime satnav updates or any of a number of traffic information websites, 'Road Ahead Closed' signs can be extremely unhelpful.  I have come across these signs on main roads in and around Exeter where the road closure in question is actually some distance down a side road several junctions ahead of the sign and therefore not affecting journeys along that particular main road.
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