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1  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: Heathrow expansion on: February 27, 2020, 07:34:56 pm
This year, more than any other, Britain needs to be leading by example on climate change.
I will be interesting to see how this ruling is viewed with hindsight, in years to come.
2  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Crystal ball - will coronavirus effect our travel (public and private)? on: February 24, 2020, 07:43:32 pm
The difference with flu is that there is a fair amount of immunity to that in the population, so it passes a lot of people by.  Coronavirus allowed to spread unchecked would presumably infect the majority.  If it spreads far and wide there is also an increased risk of it mutating into something even worse.  It's absolutely right to take coronavirus very seriously.
3  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Bristol Underground System. Still on the cards? on: February 19, 2020, 07:27:47 pm
What about option C - build an elevated monorail?
4  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: Electrification - even of thin long lines on: February 10, 2020, 10:49:48 pm
Maybe Windsor and Henley branches would be good for some lower spec trials?
5  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: Electrification - even of thin long lines on: February 09, 2020, 01:57:48 pm
So, what were the main causes of cost overruns on the GWML electrification?  For any new electrification projects to get the go-ahead, there must surely need to be confidence that NR can cost them reasonably accurately - whether it's series 1 or something more lightweight for branch lines.

I think the Government is going to be under a lot of pressure to commit very soon to a credible plan to de-carbonise the railways in a similar timescale to cars going electric.  There's a lot of talk about carbon neutrality by 2050 but no real detail about what really needs to happen and when, and railway electrification seems like the only proven technology available at the moment.
6  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Mobile ticket app no longer stays open on: February 07, 2020, 07:41:32 pm
A few months ago, the behaviour of the GWR mobile ticket app seemed to change.

It used to be possible to navigate to the ticket barcode then power off the screen, and it would still be there when waking it up again.  Nowadays, as soon as the screen blanks, the app closes.  This is a real pain when you have the ticket all ready to show, either to the conductor on the train, or the ticket barrier, and there's a slight delay and you have to open it again.  Especially when passing through barriers with luggage, it's not too convenient to have both hands free to navigate a phone app.

Is this something that other people have noticed - or is it a problem specific to my phone, and I need to get a new one?

The only other ticket app I have used is the TfW one.  That's a bit more fiddly to navigate to the right ticket, but at least the app doesn't close itself.
7  Journey by Journey / London to South Wales / Re: Extra Stop at STJ on: February 07, 2020, 07:28:37 pm
Maybe if TfW eventually run Ebbw Vale to Newport services, these could be extended to Bristol Parkway, calling all stations.  This would also make sense if a new station at Magor ever comes about - otherwise I can see that getting just the Cardiff to Cheltenham trains stopping there.
8  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Snagging - where are timetable tweaks needed? on: February 04, 2020, 10:29:43 pm
It's a pity that westbound non-stop services can't make use of the middle road at Swindon while another train is stopped at platform 4.    

It hasn't been a middle road since 1966 and after that someone built a tower block too close to put a platform loop back in.

Before they put platform 4 back there were huge delays as all the down services calling at Swindon had to cross the up lines. 

OK - call it the up fast line, then.  I think it does have bidirectional signalling, but what speed are the crossovers from the down line?
9  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Snagging - where are timetable tweaks needed? on: February 04, 2020, 08:00:20 pm
I was pleased to find out this week that Network Rail are making a couple of changes in May that I had discussed with them.  These are both to fix important connections with services on the Hereford line at Newport.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are real people at Network Rail prepared to listen to the experiences and suggestions of individual passengers.

Although not a timetabling issue as such, I've noticed the lack of robustness when the non-stop Paddington to Bristol Parkway services lose their paths, as there are not many places for them to overtake stopping services.  It's a pity that westbound non-stop services can't make use of the middle road at Swindon while another train is stopped at platform 4.  The alternative is to delay the stopping service by about 5 minutes by putting it into the loop between Wantage Road and Challow.  With both services then running late there is almost inevitably another conflict at Severn Tunnel, and I recently saw a Taunton to Cardiff service put into the Pilning loop to let a late running IET get past.   
10  Journey by Journey / London to South Wales / Re: Extra Stop at STJ on: January 31, 2020, 10:30:21 pm
Now that there are 'stopping' and 'fast' trains from South Wales to London, why shouldn't Severn Tunnel Junction have at least one daily service each way to the capital?  At the moment the available routes with one change are via Newport or Bristol Temple Meads, adding half an hour or more.
11  All across the Great Western territory / Smoke and Mirrors / Re: The answer is 43, but can you remember the question? on: January 31, 2020, 07:53:30 pm
More than once I've received a reply from GWR customer services, and it's taken me a while to work out what it was in response to!
12  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: GWR station access codes: anomalies? on: January 31, 2020, 07:50:09 pm
Odd that while all TOCs have to categorise their stations, they don't have to provide the information for other TOCs stations even though they're in the timetables.

And not at all helpful if you can't manage the stairs and need to travel, say, from Southampton to Cardiff.
13  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: GWR station access codes: anomalies? on: January 30, 2020, 09:07:54 pm
Do all ToCs have to grade their stations like this?  I notice that stations that GWR don't operate don't have a grade listed in their timetables, even though every other detail about these stations is given.
14  Journey by Journey / London to South Wales / Re: Extra Stop at STJ on: January 27, 2020, 09:04:47 pm
The STJ stop on the 0629 Swansea to Paddington has continued on a fairly regular basis.  One or more short-forms on the 0730, 0800 and 0830 Cardiff departures to Bristol TM and beyond has been pretty normal for the last few months.

However, it will be interesting to see whether GWR continue with this practice from next week.  This Swansea to London train becomes one of the fast ones that runs non-stop from Bristol Parkway to London and leapfrogs the preceding Cardiff to London service en route.

Yes - the 0628 ex Swansea does still make the STJ stop when the Portsmouth train is short formed.  Happened today for what I think was the first time since the new timetable started.  The London train was half an hour late though - so it actually helped to fill in for the cancelled 0800 Cardiff to Temple Meads.  Not a good Monday morning.
15  All across the Great Western territory / Your rights and redress / Re: Arrangements with taxi companies on: January 12, 2020, 06:37:33 pm
I was surprised that the incidents hadn't been published elsewhere on Coffeeshop. Whatever the failure at Pilning ...

Thanks for that report.   I was surprised no-one posted too.  From what I heard, at least one train put all its passengers out at Pilning and they were taken forward in rail replacement coaches; that was a side-mention in something with a different main topic, so not sure if it's true.

It was described as a points failure.  Eastbound, trains were getting through but were apparently going via the up freight loop at Pilning.  So, maybe not a fault involving a single set of points.  I think the incident lasted about 4 hours.
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