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1  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Revised Timetable on: January 11, 2022, 11:05:54 pm
I'd question the identification of services to plan to cancel. The first choice should always be to cancel the West Ealing to Greenford service and arrange ticket acceptance with London Buses (which provide a much superior service to the vast majority of potential passengers in any event on that utter basket case of a line). The second choice should be to cancel the diagram that includes the 0742 Oxford to Paddington, which has a Marylebone train one minute behind it and another fast Paddington train 11 minutes later – this is exactly the commuter market that has collapsed due to WFH (Working From Home).
2  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: December 27, 2021, 08:58:07 pm
Well, Maliphant have really excelled themselves today. 0628 cancelled because they couldn't find any staff. So naturally they decide to short-form the 0657.

Do you really think Maliphant made this decision?  No that decision was made by GWR (Great Western Railway) control.

Or even that they deliberately or even negligently contrived that the staff were not available? No so lets have a bit more seasonal good will. 
Okay, let's rephrase that. They're telling us that at 0628 they don't have enough drivers and half an hour later that they don't have enough trains to avoid running those awful 5-car units on their own. Those really ought to be mutually exclusive types of cancellation/half-cancellation on any sensible railway, whether we inhabit a world where staff in the depot are empowered to put out the 9-car set from the 0628 half an hour late, or if some Dickensian miseriguts in Swindon has the right to decide whether or not to generate designer congestion by leaving the bigger units parked in Swansea.

(As it happens, because enough people are panicking more than me, it didn't matter. I had visions of First Class full by Bridgend. Actually only one other passenger briefly joined me in there. Epic win on the biscuit front!)
3  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: What does an 'operational incident' actually mean? on: December 27, 2021, 08:43:03 pm
Merry Christmas everybody.
Just saw on RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) that the London Paddington-Carmarthen service is terminating at Swansea due to an operation incident. What does an operational incident actually mean? What could have gone wrong?
My guess would be that they've put a 9-car unit on it and still not moved the starter signal at Carmarthen about 70ft nearer the points.
4  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / Re: 2021 - TransWilts cancellation and amendment log on: December 24, 2021, 05:28:51 pm
Well, here's to £64.40 in Delay Repay. They've also cancelled the 0628 Swansea to Paddington for good measure. So even if the 0845 were running, I'd now miss it.

See you later ;-) ... the story of the 08:45 told in another follow up.  Interesting how the one you doubted ran, and the one you did not doubt ended up cancelled, but you would probably chose another word
Yes, ironic that the most reliable of the South Wales trains was the one cancelled! But the staff at Swindon were brilliant. They issued me with a supplementary travel authority and sent me via Bath (in First Class). With how busy the train between Bath and Westbury was, I was glad to have succeeded in avoiding Bristol Temple Meads on the little trains in the present circumstances.
5  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: December 24, 2021, 07:00:22 am
Well, Maliphant have really excelled themselves today. 0628 cancelled because they couldn't find any staff. So naturally they decide to short-form the 0657.
6  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / Re: 2021 - TransWilts cancellation and amendment log on: December 24, 2021, 06:45:29 am
Well, here's to £64.40 in Delay Repay. They've also cancelled the 0628 Swansea to Paddington for good measure. So even if the 0845 were running, I'd now miss it.
7  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / Re: 2021 - TransWilts cancellation and amendment log on: December 23, 2021, 10:46:59 am
07:37 Westbury to Swindon due 08:19
07:37 Westbury to Swindon due 08:19 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.
And predictably, the train’s return trip at 08:45 from Swindon to Westbury also cancelled.
This is filling me with confidence, as I'm meant to be getting that train tomorrow. Here's to ending up in Bath...
8  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Ticket machines - designed by experts, for experts to buy tickets from? on: December 21, 2021, 07:48:18 pm
Last time I tried to use TfW's ticket machines at Neath, I gave up. Couldn't find the button for using a Two Together Railcard. It had clearly been designed to be user-friendly, i.e. crippled. Fortunately the booking office guy got back from his break just as I was giving up.
9  All across the Great Western territory / Your rights and redress / Re: New Delay Repay code of practice on: December 20, 2021, 09:14:29 pm
The ORR» (Office of Rail and Road formerly Office of Rail Regulation - about) held a consultation last year (which I don't remember) on improving access to delay compensation. This has now got to the stage where a new code of practice for Delay Repay has been issued, and a licence condition will be imposed from next April to enforce it.

The ORR page on this contains the CoP itself, as well as the original proposals for the consultation. The CoP concentrates on informing passengers and processing claims, and runs to 15 pages.
Disappointing that there isn't a provision for treating the delay caused by half-length trains as half of the interval to the next full-length train.
10  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed on: December 19, 2021, 08:22:59 pm
Middlesbrough has an hourly service to York and a half hourly service to Darlington, both of which have services to London at least every 30 minutes. The proposed London service duplicates the existing service to York. Double standards?
So you could leave Middlesbrough on Northern or TransPennine Express and change to either LNER» (London North Eastern Railway - about) or Great Central, and in addition you can now travel direct with LNER too.

Other than the fact this service started at the same time the SWR» (South Western Railway - about) trains were withdrawn, I'm not sure it makes for a good comparison.  Just the one direct train a day from Middlesbrough, also calling at Thornaby, which have a combined population of more than four times Bradford-On-Avon and Trowbridge.
If we're building new high-speed (or even medium-speed) lines, there's a very good case for an Intercity loop off the ECML (East Coast Main Line) serving Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, and Sunderland.
11  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: Final day report - South Western Railway services to Bristol Temple Meads on: December 19, 2021, 12:36:52 pm
Then, this, from David Horne, MD of LNER» (London North Eastern Railway - about): "ORR» (Office of Rail and Road formerly Office of Rail Regulation - about) statistics published this week show that @LNER’s passenger numbers in Jul-Sept recovered to 89.6% of pre-pandemic levels. This was nearly 20 % points more than any other operator. A big thank you to all the LNER team who have been relentlessly focused on this recovery."
That's what you get when you split out the Intercity services from the others. I wouldn't be surprised if this was part of a more general trend that Intercity and Regional services are doing reasonably healthily, whilst Commuter ones are now in a state of being massively over-resourced for the medium term, rather than any special effort from LNER.

In SWR» (South Western Railway - about) terms, they're looking at the wrong end of the line if they're trying to save money.
12  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / Re: 2021 - TransWilts cancellation and amendment log on: December 15, 2021, 10:24:21 pm
I'm currently looking forward to what I fully expect to happen on Christmas Eve. I've already bought my rather dear First Class Advance from Neath to Melksham (and a comparatively bargainous Standard Anytime Single from Melksham to Frome). 0640 from Neath, 0845 from Swindon. What could possibly go wrong?  Grin Worst comes to the worst, I get diverted to Bath (and phone for a lift, rather than any more messing around) and GWR (Great Western Railway) somehow work out how to excess me for staying in First between Chippenham and Bath after they cancel the 0845.
13  Journey by Journey / London to South Wales / Is the current London-South Wales timetable peculiarly inefficient? on: December 09, 2021, 10:44:54 am
Some idle curiosity/creativity.

How many trains would be needed to run London to Swansea half-hourly? Let's work it out. Say it takes 170 minutes up and 165 minutes down (let's have a nice hypothetical world where TfW behave co-operatively in drafting their timetable), with a 35-minute turnaround at Paddington and a 20-minute turnaround at Swansea:

20 +
390 minutes

Then divide by 60 to get hours:

6.5 hours

And multiply by 2tph to get trains:

13 trains

So how does this compare to what is currently used? Current operations certainly look inefficient, with most trains sitting around at Swansea for 45+ minutes, and the Cardiff short turn being slow and awkward via a siding beyond the station (we're talking roughly half an hour). How many trains do they currently need? Let's count them (note for pedants: these are technically not diagrams, as I've effectively disregarded the churn at Paddington where trains sometimes arrive a few minutes apart from different origins, and then both depart about half an hour later to the other one's destination – this doesn't have any mathematical effect, even though there is presumably some operational convenience in doing that; I've also disregarded those complications of half a train shuffling off early into Maliphant sidings, as it doesn't really make a difference):

1 (5L01 0148 Maliphant-SWA» (Swansea - next trains) 0152; 1L01 0346 SWA-PAD» (Paddington (London) - next trains) 0723; 1B05 0748 PAD-SWA 1034; 1L18 1122 SWA-PAD 1420; 1B19 1448 PAD-SWA 1730; 1B22 1822 SWA-PAD 2110; 1B36 2148 PAD-SWA 0046; 5B36 0230 SWA-Maliphant 0234)
2 (5L03 0251 Maliphant-SWA 0255; 1L03 0458 SWA-PAD 0744; (set swap); 1B06 0818 PAD-CDF» (Cardiff - next trains) 1010; 5L15 1020 CDF-CDF 1037; 1L15 1041 CDF-PAD 1240; 1B16 1318 PAD-CDF 1517; 5L25 1521 CDF-CDF 1548; 1L25 1554 CDF-PAD 1742; 1B29 1818 PAD-SWA 2120; 5B29 2136 SWA-Maliphant 2140)
3 (5L05 0500 Maliphant-SWA 0504; 1L05 0528 SWA-PAD 0816; 1B07 0848 PAD-SWA 1131; 1L20 1223 SWA-PAD 1512; 1B21 1548 PAD-SWA 1834; 1L34 1922 SWA-PAD 2209; 1B38 2248 PAD-SWA 0226; 5B38 0303 SWA-Maliphant 0307)
4 (5L06 0530 Maliphant-SWA 0534; 1L06 0558 SWA-PAD 0844; (set swap); 1B08 0918 PAD-CDF 1107; 5L17 1124 CDF-CDF 1144; 1L17 1150 CDF-PAD 1341; (set swap); 1B18 1418 PAD-CDF 1607; 5L27 1622 CDF-CDF 1649; 1L27 1654 CDF-PAD 1844; 1B31 1918 PAD-SWA 2219; 5B31 2227 SWA-Maliphant 2231)
5 (5L08 0600 Maliphant-SWA 0604; 1L08 0628 SWA-PAD 0914; 1B09 0948 PAD-SWA 1235; 1L22 1322 SWA-PAD 1609; (set swap); 1B24 1648 PAD-SWA 1933; 5B24 1946 SWA-Maliphant 2027)
6 (5L09 0630 Maliphant-SWA 0634; 1L09 0657 SWA-PAD 0944; 1B10 1018 PAD-CDF 1213; 5L19 1222 CDF-CDF 1250; 1L19 1254 CDF-PAD 1444; 1B20 1518 PAD-CDF 1709; 5L29 1716 CDF-CDF 1748; 1L29 1754 CDF-PAD 1944; (set swap); 1B34 2048 PAD-SWA 2347; 5B34 0005 SWA-Maliphant 0009)
7 (5L10 0700 Maliphant-SWA 0704; 1L10 0720 SWA-PAD 1012; 1B11 1048 PAD-SWA 1333; 1L24 1422 SWA-PAD 1714; 1B27 1748 PAD-CMN 2152; 5S27 2207 CMN-Maliphant 2300)
8 (5L11 0724 Maliphant-SWA 0728; 1L11 0743 SWA-PAD 1034; 1B12 1118 PAD-CDF 1317; 5L21 1322 CDF-CDF 1345; 1L21 1353 CDF-PAD 1541; 1B23 1618 PAD-SWA 1925; 1L36 2022 SWA-PAD 2309; 5L36 2338 PAD-North Pole 2349)
9 (3L12 0545 Maliphant-CMN 0659; 1L12 0725 CMN-PAD 1112; 1B13 1148 PAD-SWA 1430; 1L26 1522 SWA-PAD 1809; 1B30 1848 PAD-SWA 2133; 5B30 2150 SWA-Maliphant 2154)
10 (5B04 0636 West Ealing Sidings-PAD 0654; 9B04 0712 PAD-CDF 0908; 5L13 0912 CDF-CDF 0936; 9L13 0951 CDF-PAD 1144; (set swap, replaced by 5B14 1135 North Pole-PAD 1141); 1B14 1218 PAD-CDF 1406; 5L23 1422 CDF-CDF 1448; 1L23 1454 CDF-PAD 1641; (set swap); 1B26 1718 PAD-SWA 2020; 1L38 2122 SWA-BPW» (Bristol Parkway - next trains) 2302; 5L38 2315 BPW-Stoke Gifford 2318)
11 (5C00 0434 North Pole-PAD 0439; 1C00 0523 PAD-SWA 0858; 1L14 0922 SWA-PAD 1212; 1B15 1248 PAD-SWA 1532; 1L28 1623 SWA-PAD 1914; 1B32 1948 PAD-SWA 2235; 5B32 2250 SWA-Maliphant 2254)
12 (5H02 0337 Stoke Gifford-BRI» (Bristol Temple Meads - next trains) 0406; 1H02 0453 BRI-PAD 0626; 1B03 0648 PAD-SWA 0933; 1L16 1022 SWA-PAD 1312; 1B17 1348 PAD-SWA 1630; 1L30 1722 SWA-PAD 2014; 5L30 2030 PAD-North Pole 2036)

So the effect of turning alternate trains at Cardiff all day is to save one train. Quite frankly the Welsh Government should offer to buy GWR (Great Western Railway) an extra IET (Intercity Express Train) (and compel TfW to recast their timetable in a helpful way) – lot of bang for one's buck there.
14  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: "Mutiny" on the train on: December 08, 2021, 09:54:48 pm
It doesn't need to be in long as lessons have been identified - he would then discuss these -  and he confirms that they will be learned....he can then be held to account.

The main one being that if you make a decision to add stops, you only reverse that decision in very exceptional circumstances.  With a ‘set down’ policy instigated should crowding become an issue.

I fail to see how a 'set down' policy would work. I've been at Exeter St Davids on a Summer Sunday when Up Londons have been dangerously overcrowded. A member of station staff has announced that 'the arriving train is already full and standing, please wait for the next train' and folk still board the train unimpeded.
There's always the good old announcement that goes "this train is set-down only; any passengers joining the train without a valid ticket will be required to pay the full fare from Plymouth/Newport/Inverkeithing".
15  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Storm Barra on: December 08, 2021, 09:43:27 pm
It is a prediction, based upon previous experience.
Voyagers failed to work in severe but entirely predictable conditions at Dawlish. And what was the result ? Modify the voyagers to work ? not likely, simply say "no voyagers in bad weather"

It was an "essential requirement" that IETs (Intercity Express Train) should withstand the conditions at Dawlish. They do not as multiple failures have shown. Will hitachi be compelled to make them work ? Not likely ! Simply say "NO IETs in bad weather" and avoid bad publicity.
Cancel services, or delay them until the tide goes out. All due to extreme weather. Just as Cross Country do.

After a while most passengers will forget that they used to get through trains even in bad weather. Those who DO remember can be told that this  is due to climate change and nothing to do with new trains.

A lot of money has indeed been spent on rebuilding/improving the sea wall, but AFAIK (as far as I know) this was primarily to stop it washing away, and not to facilitate the operation of faulty trains.
Perhaps D1015 should be kept on standby for stormy days.
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