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January 18, 2018, 03:36:59 PM *
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1  All across the Great Western territory / Other ways to travel: cycle routes, cycles, and how the railways deal with them / Re: IEP luggage racks on: January 15, 2018, 07:56:52 AM
A Brompton fits the overhead racks and can be safely stowed.

Sorry, this is completely unrealistic. I couldn't lift my Brompton up to the overhead rack, and nor can my partner (we have both tried). They are heavy, and their sticky out bits make them awkward to handle.

What actually happens in the real world when boarding a train is that those without heavy luggage get on and many of those with more awkward luggage wait until last to get on (as they know they will otherwise be blocking the aisle). They then need to find a seat, which will mean leaving their luggage behind in the doorway if it is something that can't easily be taken down the aisle, such as a Brompton. Assuming they find a seat, they then need to get their luggage, by which time the train is moving. Putting an awkward item onto the overhead rack then becomes impossible with the train moving around.

Even worse is trying to retrieve set item if it has been put in the overhead rack. You have to lean over other passengers while the train is rocking around, and often sticky out bits get caught somewhere mysterious in the rack and it won't budge. I've had this happen with simple luggage items like a backpack or an umbrella, and panic then begins to set in when you realise people are starting to get on the train and you haven't yet got your luggage ready to get off.
2  All across the Great Western territory / Other ways to travel: cycle routes, cycles, and how the railways deal with them / Re: IEP luggage racks on: January 14, 2018, 06:12:59 PM
Depending on how foldy it is, it might be worth trying the overhead racks which are very deep and roomy.

Doesn't sound very safe.....a bag falling on one's head is bad enough.....but a Brompton style bike? Not sure overhead racks are really the place for these......unless GWR will issue hard hats? ☺

A hard hat won't protect you from a Brompton falling on your head.  Cheesy

More seriously, I've not yet travelled on one of these trains, but if this is true, it is appalling. The use of folding bikes is now very common on trains, especially services like Bristol to London, and my understanding (as someone who rides a Brompton as my main means of transport) is that Brompton had quite detailed discussions with the rail industry when they first drew up their designs. Storing it in the vestibule is neither safe or acceptable, and certainly makes the announcements of always keeping an eye on your luggage a complete joke. Angry
3  Journey by Journey / Bristol Commuters / Re: Old Twerton Station Facelift on: January 14, 2018, 01:29:17 PM
Lisa and I happened to be picking something up very close to the old Twerton station building yesterday, and I did myself a quick reminder of what was there ... also went up the back streets to Oldfield Park station and had a mosey around to get a feel for one of those places that's so close to home but I hadn't previously taken much of a look at.

The total appropriateness of the location of Oldfield Park station as a live-near-walk station shines out.  Narrow winding streets from the days of the horse and cart, limited parking, highish density but very pleasant character housing all within a very short distance indeed of the station.  Didn't have total time to explore, but a footpath headed off unsignposted towards Twerton (but maybe just a link to the next road), and another headed off along the edge of railway property towards Bath Spa add to the foot catchment.   The "near this station" map with its 5 and 10 minute walking circles shows Twerton as about an 8 minute walk.

Off Twerton topic, I noted that the four week engineering poster expired on Friday and in desperation someone's put up laminated A4 sheets with tape and cable ties (?) telling of no trains on Sunday, and giving times and locations of rail replacement buses.  Sad (yet glad in some ways) to have it confirmed that we at Melksham are not the only ones with these sorts of issues ...

Yes Oldfield Park definitely has those sort of issues as well...

The unsignposted* footpath that heads off towards Twerton leads to the next road, Bellotts Road, and there are paths from there towards Twerton, but the routes are neither obvious nor direct. To get to Twerton High Street area would involve you walking through a convoluted housing estate on a number of estate paths and some local roads.

Oldfield Park is, as you say, ideally located for a large population living round it, which is why it is so well used (far more well used that station usage figures show, for reasons that have been explained on other threads). However, that area has rapidly become a home for students at the two universities (now accounts for a high percentage of the local population, and in my road it is about 50% student houses and 50% more permanent residents) and while the station is used by students for getting home at end of term or for visits to Bristol, they don't have need for it to reach their universities. If that demographic change hadn't happened in the last 20 years, Oldfield Park would probably have a far larger number of commuters (and as it is, it can have up to 100 for each rush hour train).

I will comment separately on the suitability of having a Twerton station.

* most footpaths in Bath are unsignposted, which reduces hugely the potential for encouraging people to walk to local facilities like the station. It is because the Public Rights of Way team seem to have been extremely lethargic in getting rights of way adopted, but they have recently done a large exercise in this, so I'm hoping (though given past performance not expecting) that this may change.
4  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Club 55 on: January 13, 2018, 02:00:56 PM
Hi All,

Club 55 is back, up and running till 3rd March 2018, now 27 but no extra for travel on a Friday, so I can tell.


Given my comments late last year, for the record I did receive an email from Arriva Wales about this this time, which I'm very pleased about as we want to make use of it in February.
5  Sideshoots - associated subjects / News, Help and Assistance / Re: Cancellation map - what it's showing on: January 13, 2018, 01:53:17 PM
Ah, I was intrigued by that large blue blob as well, and the thick line between Cardiff and Portsmouth. I checked that on NR and GWR's websites and all was shown as running normally, so I assume those are also reduced formation trains rather than cancellations?
6  Journey by Journey / Bristol Commuters / Re: Signalling Problems at Filton caused by Cable Theft 07/01. on: January 11, 2018, 09:23:02 AM
Well I did postpone my journey and made it yesterday, and all train managers were very happy to accept the previous day's tickets, so no problems there (which was a relief).

However, on my return journey I also had a Revenue Inspector (if that is the correct term) who didn't appear to know that there had been cancellations the previous day or that it had been stated that tickets were transferable to the next day, and at one point it felt to me that he was going to issue me a penalty fare. Fortunately I had got my tickets stamped at Bath Spa station the previous day after the cancellations, and although that wasn't needed AFAIK, it seems to me that it was these stamps that convinced him not to issue a penalty fare.

Surely Revenue Inspectors should know about previous cancellations leading to tickets being allowed to be used the next day?
7  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Looking at the main root cause of "person hit by train" on: January 09, 2018, 02:07:46 PM
As broadgage says, this is not an issue that will disappear, and can be a rational outcome for some (though obviously with desperately adverse affects on others).

I have known 3 people who have committed suicide (none used the railways), have been on one train that had a person jump in front of it, and have been on several trains that have been affected by suicides elsewhere on the tracks. So it seems to me it is a common problem that will continue to happen whatever actions are taken.

I'm not offering any solutions, just commenting on the scale of the issue.
8  Journey by Journey / Bristol Commuters / Re: Signalling Problems at Filton caused by Cable Theft 07/01. on: January 09, 2018, 08:50:01 AM
GWR website has said there are 'Minor Disruptions' all the time so far. Not sure I would describe today's disruptions as 'minor'! Especially as it also advises people not to travel unless absolutely necessary and that today's tickets will be accepted for travel tomorrow.

I'm hoping the latter is true, as I was due to travel earlier this morning but am now thinking of postponing my journey until tomorrow.
9  All across the Great Western territory / Other ways to travel: cycle routes, cycles, and how the railways deal with them / Re: Halifax - Keighley cycle route through tunnel? on: January 08, 2018, 06:16:34 PM
Looks promising, but I hope the importance of getting good connecting routes either side isn't forgotten. One of the reasons the Two Tunnels in Bath work so well is that they link to the river/canal path on one side and the old railway path on the other, so you can do a 12-mile, almost entirely traffic-free circuit. As it stands the Queensbury Tunnel wouldn't really go anywhere, though there are fragments of a railway path here and there. Completing a through route to Halifax, at the very least, ought to be a priority.

Yes obviously true, but even getting a route out into the countryside is valuable. There are many people in Bath who walk or cycle through the two tunnels just to get to Midford to stop at the pub or walk around there. I don't know the Queensbury area but some of the urban Pennine valleys have some stunning landscape which would be an attraction in itself.
10  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: How should customers be addressed? on: January 05, 2018, 05:03:54 PM

I prefer to be addressed as, "Young Man".



I have been quite a few times, normally by people who are younger than me (I'm 65). It does make your day.

Like Andy I really dislike anyone calling me Sir.
11  All across the Great Western territory / Other ways to travel: cycle routes, cycles, and how the railways deal with them / Re: Halifax - Keighley cycle route through tunnel? on: January 02, 2018, 04:48:19 PM

A campaign to use the long-disused Queensbury Tunnel for a cycle route, instead of permanently sealing it.


The campaign to get the Two Tunnels path open in Bath went on for at least 10 years, and having finally succeeded, has been a great success in getting people out and about walking, running and cycling. Removing both a huge hill and busy traffic does really open up scope for people to cycle journeys they would never have attempted before (in the case of the Two Tunnels these are mainly leisure journeys along with a few commuters).

There was much concern about having such a long tunnel on a cycle route before it went ahead (I wasn't convinced myself that it would attract people to use it, especially if any incident had occurred just once inside it) but having the integrated music within it has been very successful, and as the article states, the tunnel itself has become a visitor attraction.
12  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Outward journey validity on: December 28, 2017, 04:45:15 PM
I suspect the Bangor ticket is an "Anytime" and the Penzance is an "Off Peak"

Different types have different conditions

You are correct, but I'm sure most Anytime tickets I've booked (apart from those between Bath and Bangor) have only allowed travel out on the specified day.
13  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Name for new station on: December 28, 2017, 04:37:01 PM
I came up with some possibilities:

Xxxxxx Daley
Xxxxxx Cleese
Xxxxxx Hooker
Xxxxxx Dors
Xxxxxx Park
Xxxxxx Shrapnel
Xxxxxx Kyle
Xxxxxx Pitman
Xxxxxx Zeta-Jones
Xxxxxx Button

Can you identify the towns that might thus celebrate their son or daughter

Weston-super-Mare Cleese
Frome Button.
14  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Outward journey validity on: December 28, 2017, 03:02:51 PM
Can someone explain one mystery to me (which has perplexed me for some time). If I buy a walk-on return ticket for a long distance journey, the return journey can made within one month. However, the validity of the outward journey seems to vary. I suspect this may be something to do with different TOCs, but it would be nice to have an explanation.

An example is this (both journeys booked at Bath Spa station in the last week):

1. We booked return journey from Bath Spa to Bangor (via Hereford) and specified the outward journey day (December 23), but the ticket has printed on it outward journey can be made on any of 5 days from the date we specified (up to December 27).

2. We booked return journey from Bath Spa to Penzance and specified outward journey day (December 30), and the ticket has printed on it only valid for outward journey on that one day.

Why the difference?
15  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: What do YOU do while watching web feeds? on: December 22, 2017, 05:24:06 PM
Listening to Radio 4, which is on pretty well all the time when I'm on my computer, which is a desktop at home  Probably reflects my age etc.

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