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1  Journey by Journey / London to Reading / Re: London to Reading, London to Heathrow, service patterns under Crossrail on: August 19, 2018, 09:37:22 am
Its not Crossrail - its the Elizabeth Line - or going along with the concept of the fantasy of a modern customer friendly fairy-line where the doors drop off the stock, no toilets, rough running on bumpy track, and hard seating - the Tin Lizzie Line. 

No disrespect to her majesty but I'll still be referring to it as Crossrail or in the future perhaps Crossrail 1.
2  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / The sad truth is that rail fares should be far higher on: August 18, 2018, 10:20:03 pm
Well, not my opinion but that of The Daily Telegraph. Most of the article is stuck behind a Premium Paywall (although you can read it all just by registering).

From The Telegraph
Rail fares need to rise and it is fantasy economics to claim otherwise.The Government has fallen into the "free stuff" trap. Train companies need to make bigger profits and commuters should be the ones to pay for it.

If not, we risk seeing more Carillion-type failures where politicians encourage companies to charge ultra-low prices without thinking about the need for public services to be run on a sustainable basis.

Hmmm... Discuss...
3  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Holiday! on: August 11, 2018, 07:31:13 pm
Don't know where no 9 is but how great to see a bus / coach station just a few paces away from the train doors.
4  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: August 05, 2018, 10:36:41 am
For trains that have been in service for a year or less I was surprised by the amount of staining on the seats. In the "old days" they used more patterned fabrics on seats, probably with good reason. Have the Japanese assumed everybody else is as clean and fastidious as they are?

Here are the new seat covers being fitted which should be much more stain resistant.  No change regarding levels of padding (or to the stained carpets), but the pattern does liven up the interior a bit.


Looks like they've picked up a few stains already  Grin
5  Journey by Journey / Portsmouth to Cardiff / Re: 165/166s on this route on: July 31, 2018, 09:27:13 pm
However, there is a big capacity problem on this line that a five carriage 165/166 combination is meant to solve but yes five across seating on a middle distance train is not ideal.

It was never ideal on a Thames valley short trip. I still use those trains on the North Downs occasionally but I will normally aim for the double seats rather than the triples. Those double seats are cramped as well. Not sure whose bottom size and inside legs they measured when they put the seats in but I don't miss those trains.
6  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Discrimination against night shift workers on: July 25, 2018, 10:33:00 pm
I've experienced higher fares too usually between something like midnight and 6am on my way to or from Gatwick. Those times are not peak and trains lightly loaded so I don't see why peak fares are charged. It would make more sense for peak fares to start from approx 7am to approx 9.30am which is when the trains would normally expected to be a lot busier.
7  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Oyster Rip-offs at Paddington on: July 13, 2018, 10:26:10 pm
They do not all form an orderly queue and wait for the gate to shut each time, but have a constant flow of people touching immediately after the previous person has done so.

Slightly off topic but I must admit I have started walking rather more slowly through underground gatelines after half a dozen people in the last 18 months have tried to follow me through without a ticket and beat the gates closing.  I'm turning into a right curmudgeon.   Grin
I have a paper annual travelcard. When I enquired at the then SWT ticket office at Waterloo why the magnetic stripe kept faliing and needing a replacement, I was advised rightly or wrongly that it was probably due to Oyster users right behind me putting their cards on the reader too soon before I'd walked through corrupting my ticket. Since then I too have gone through the gates at a slower pace and I have not had any corrupted tickets since. The last few years I have had to replace the travelcard about 3 or 4 times a year.
8  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: GWR & SWR to run current timetable until May next year on: July 09, 2018, 09:11:11 pm
On a purely selfish basis, I am disappointed because my promised half hourly SWR train service on evenings and Sundays will remain hourly Sad
9  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Call for bus website like National Rail Enquiries on: July 09, 2018, 12:13:51 am
This appeared in the print edition of Fridays Metro. I'm struggling to find any similar articles online from a mainstream website though.
10  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: New TfL Ticket Machines & GWR Tickets on: July 06, 2018, 09:21:26 pm
Are tickets printed on normal orange national rail ticket stock? I've bought tickets before from LU machines to Southend which are pink.
11  All across the Great Western territory / Introductions and chat / Re: A V Lowe - AKA Tulyar on: June 20, 2018, 12:38:24 pm
I've just caught a train from Deepdene and can confirm both platforms now have shelters in use. They have narrow perches as at bus shelters for you to lean your bottom on.
12  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Bossing The Crossing on: June 18, 2018, 12:25:22 am
Network rail are running a pedestrian safety campaign at level crossings at

As part of the campaign they've released a video showing impatient / idiot pedestrians at Poole High Street level crossing.


Deliberate misuse of level crossings can kill. Eighty six incidents were recorded in Dorset last year - 36% on Poole High Street level crossing.

The number of pedestrian level crossing incidents is at an all time high and it is our duty to reduce these numbers and preserve the safety of workers, the public, passengers and lineside neighbours.

Find out more here -

13  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Where Have I Been? on: June 17, 2018, 09:44:08 am
A few shots from a recent trip.

Did you deliberately post the thumbnails instead of the larger size shots?
14  All across the Great Western territory / Other ways to travel: cycle routes, cycles, and how the railways deal with them / Re: Cycles to / from Heathrow on: June 10, 2018, 08:57:39 pm
They can't - and frankly, the purpose of Heathrow is to fly. There is free transport laid on for employees there. [snip]
Of course you can! Thousands of cycle tourists carry tents, sleeping bags, panniers upon panniers. [snip]

What about walking to Heathrow if you live on the periphery?

I recall talking with a chap who was on one of our courses a number of years back ... and he was taking a flying visit - literally - so see his mum that weekend.

Me:   "How will you get from the airport - will she pick you up?"
He:   "I will walk"

Turns out she lived in a cottage about 400 yards from the terminal (I suspect there is just one terminal) at Benbecula.

You can walk or cycle to Terminals 4 and 5 as they are on the perimeter but access to T2 and T3 is currently not possible. You can park your bike at Heathrow Academy which is on the northern perimeter and then take a free bus into the central area.

Cycle parking
There is currently no direct cycle route to Terminals 2 and 3 due to construction work to the main road tunnel. Bicycles can be parked in racks at the Heathrow Cycle Hub, where free local buses operate to the terminals.

View bus route map  (155KB)
Free cycle parking is available at:

Terminals 2 and 3: The Cycle Hub, Heathrow Academy, Newall Road, Hounslow, Middlesex, TW6 2AP
Terminal 4: Cycle parking is opposite the arrivals forecourt
Terminal 5: Cycle parks are provided at either end of the terminal building.
Bikes can also be safely stored in the left baggage office for up to 90 days.

Please note that for security reasons, bicycles will be removed if not parked in the designated areas.

View map of Heathrow cycle parks  (1.6MB PDF)
15  All across the Great Western territory / Other ways to travel: cycle routes, cycles, and how the railways deal with them / Re: Cycles to / from Heathrow on: June 09, 2018, 10:16:38 am
They can't - and frankly, the purpose of Heathrow is to fly. There is free transport laid on for employees there. Why would you cycle as you can't carry sensibly any amount of baggage sufficient to be useful, like overnight bags or larger.

They are also a security risk as explosives can be packed into their frame. I suspect that is the real reason.

I used to cycle or walk through that tunnel and it was very convenient when I worked there. I think the airport provided a free shuttle bus for cyclists and pedestrians when it closed but that has been replaced by free travel on local buses for those on foot into the airport now. I have no idea what cyclists (normally airport workers) do now. With the reconstruction of T2 and closure of T1 I'm sure the cycle storage area in between that I used is probably not there any more.
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