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166  Journey by Journey / Shorter journeys in Devon / Re: Eggesford Station - services, facilities and incidents (merged topic, ongoing discussion) on: April 18, 2019, 08:19:00 am
So who's allowed to be a pilotman? Is it usually a signalman or a driver?
167  All across the Great Western territory / Introductions and chat / Re: Seen on a typical current journey - subjects we have talked about on: April 17, 2019, 11:37:55 am
Not sure the Information Commissioners Office would be too happy about names printed publicaly visible reservation tickets.
Presumably there'll be an option for people not to give their names. Or to give false names.
168  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture Overseas / Re: Stagecoach on: April 15, 2019, 03:51:20 pm
From Daily Business

Quote
Stagecoach is considering a bid for rival transport group Arriva which has been put up for sale by its German owner.

FTSE 250-listed Stagecoach is said to be particularly interested in buying Arriva’s bus business, according to City sources.

Arriva – the UK (United Kingdom)’s largest bus operator – was acquired in 2010 for £1.5 billion by Deutsche Bahn and handles all of the German operator’s regional transport services outside Germany. It generated revenues of €5.44 billion (£4.7 billion) last year.

Arriva operates more than 5,000 buses in Britain and also has divisions across Europe. It runs rail franchise Northern, which has been hit by a long-running dispute with the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers) union over the role of guards on trains.

The CMA will enjoy this one, no doubt.
169  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Where to find Pacers on: April 12, 2019, 03:13:55 pm
I would just love to see the look on the faces of crowds of central London commuters if one of those turned up as their next service to Morden...

I've always found it puzzling how the Pacers haven't been used on Greenford, Windsor, etc, despite those branches having short journey times and relatively light loadings that would recommend the use of such units.
170  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Where to find Pacers on: April 12, 2019, 11:41:34 am
Best thing to do is to go to Cardiff Central and buy an Explore Cardiff and Valleys ticket (£13 for the day). Then go to platform 6/7 and wait until one pulls in and see where you end up.

It's possible to take buses between some of the outer termini (Rhymney-Merthyr, Merthyr-Aberdare, Aberdare-Llwynypia/Tonypandy-Bridgend, and Bargoed-Pontypridd are probably the most useful ones [edit: and Coryton-Taff's Well; it's been a while since I've ridden some of these!]), but this will cost extra.

If you only want to do short rides (as far as Llanishen/Coryton/Radyr both ways/Eastbrook/Penarth), then the Explore the Capital ticket at £4.50 is a cheaper option.
171  All across the Great Western territory / Diary - what's happening when? / Re: Timetable and other upcoming changes - overview (from GWR) last Monday on: April 12, 2019, 11:29:07 am
Worth noting that the decline and fall of the original 1P17, which was once a useful semifast from Didcot - Padd, appears to have been due, at least in part, by the need to find a path for some rubbish empties from Severnside to Northolt.  Just so we know where the priorities are in the morning peak commuting hours.

I suppose the alternative is the mess caused to the evening peak in South Wales when the 60mph 1300 Theale Murco to Robeston oil empties actually runs (thankfully it's a Q service, so it only periodically makes everything late). I suppose putting in a freight path that doesn't work like this one is the better solution, as its effects are confined to the days that moving tanks full of stale air from Berkshire to Pembrokeshire actually happens.
172  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Intermediate services v stopping expresses on: April 12, 2019, 10:54:14 am
One thing I have noticed about Brittany is that some quite sensible-looking journeys are basically impossible without a massive detour all the way into Paris and back(!!). There's a perfectly sensible Intercité heading south from Nantes to La Rochelle and Bordeaux, but the train timetable is set up so that the earliest train one can make south from Nantes off an 8.15am ferry arrival at St-Malo is the 1621 (and forget any onward connections from Bordeaux out of that one). I'm not sure why the Intercité route along the west coast doesn't at least routinely start at Rennes, but clearly that would be too helpful for the SNCF (Societe Nationale des Chemins de fer Francais - French National Railways). This sort of thing makes GWR (Great Western Railway)'s Cardiff-Portsmouth service look very good indeed.
173  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Intermediate services v stopping expresses on: April 11, 2019, 09:16:37 pm
B. Bridgend

This is extremely pedantic. The odd Fishguard boat train doesn't really detract from this being an A (if it did, then Reading's a definite B for sake of the Capitals United).
174  Journey by Journey / London to Kennet Valley / Re: IETs to Bedwyn initially delayed - now running from May 2019 on: April 11, 2019, 05:34:55 pm
Interesting that all the intermediate stations are called halts except for Reading West. A service which terminates at a halt, that must be rare in railway operation, even if it was simply a railway term for a downgraded station rather than a designed halt.

I think there were a number in Wales - Coryton Halt (still open as a terminus), Moss Halt near Wrexham, ...

And even before 1931, when passenger services on the former Cardiff Railway were curtailed at Coryton Halt, the terminus of that line was still a halt, viz Rhydyfelin Halt Low Level.

Disappointingly, the weird little branch off the Vale of Neath in Aberdare used the style "crossing" rather than "halt"; otherwise the Black Lion Crossing to Cwmaman Crossing service would have been a service with both termini at halts.
175  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Heritage railway lines, Railtours, other rail based attractions / Re: Heritage railway bus replacement on: April 10, 2019, 09:00:09 pm
I think I read somewhere, possibly on this forum, that SWR» (South Western Railway - about) plan to run their Weymouth to Corfu Castle service again this Summer.

Will that run via Simplon or via Arlberg?
176  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: April 10, 2019, 07:35:41 am
A trolley looks like much less of a problem ... take off the egg and cress sandwiches and sausage rolls, and you don't have an issue.   Personally I don't consider a trolley to be fast food as it only arrives at my seat just before I get to my destination ... and (as CfN will confirm) it's far from fast to get past when you've joined a train at one end and you're looking to walk through to join your colleague at the other end.

And then you get incidents like yesterday's 1B46 1445 Paddington to Swansea, which really gets busy at Cardiff (and the buffet used to get busy at that point too). Instead the front unit (i.e. the busier one, as the exits at Neath and Swansea are at that end) trolley staff decided they couldn't be bothered to do another run through Standard Class on departure from Cardiff and instead locked it up and went and hid somewhere in First. There doesn't seem to be any sanction from GWR (Great Western Railway) against this sort of laziness losing them money.
177  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: Campaigning For A More-Appropriate Train Design - HOW? on: April 09, 2019, 12:25:30 pm
To me the bigger problem is the specification of 51 2-car and 26 3-car units. Seeing as the 3-car 175s are barely adequate and the 2-car ones get horribly overcrowded, to accommodate traffic growth the order should be for 4- or 5-car sets. There is certainly no point in ordering 2-car units.

I seem to recall the proposal is to have 5 cars between Swansea and Manchester, but only 2 (or is it 3?) west of Swansea. If that is what happens then it would seem to be sensible and avoid carting lots of fresh air deep into West Wales.  The good news is that overall there is a big increase in the total number of cars, so we can be reasonably optimistic that overcrowding will be reduced one way or another.

Sounds like a way to make the running into Swansea High Street and reversing even slower than it is now. It's ridiculous that Neath to Llanelli takes as long as Neath to Cardiff. (If only we could do a Plymouth North Road and open a station at Cwmbwrla...)
178  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Six times upon a time, six long long times ago, there was a train. But where? on: April 09, 2019, 08:36:05 am
1. Pilning?
179  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Six times upon a time, six long long times ago, there was a train. But where? on: April 09, 2019, 07:52:38 am
2. The only place I can think of with that configuration of windows/arches is Bristol Temple Meads. Thought it was curvier than that though...
180  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: Campaigning For A More-Appropriate Train Design - HOW? on: April 08, 2019, 08:42:47 am
To me the bigger problem is the specification of 51 2-car and 26 3-car units. Seeing as the 3-car 175s are barely adequate and the 2-car ones get horribly overcrowded, to accommodate traffic growth the order should be for 4- or 5-car sets. There is certainly no point in ordering 2-car units.
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