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[133] Fifteen years old site - and still current
[92] Problems with IET trains from April 2021
[60] HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general dis...
[48] Swindon to Westbury via Melksham - Train timetables for Februa...
[44] Four problems that Britain’s crisis-hit railway must solve t...
[39] Where were Finn and I today, 27/01/2023?
 
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1  All across the Great Western territory / Active travel: Cyclists and walkers, including how the railways deal with them / Re: Warmley station bike ride cycle meet up on: Yesterday at 07:53:07 am
Another in our occasional “Discover Bristol” series of relaxed rides to explore how to get around Bristol on a bike.

Sunday 19th February 2023  10am

...

Interesting - is there a link, or just a phone number?

Looked at that - first GWR (Great Western Railway) service from my local station gets me to Temple Meads at 09:45 which would be very tight, and it's a rail replacement bus part of the way.  GWR tell me:

Quote
This Great Western Railway replacement is likely to be a coach or bus.
Great Western Railway use a mix of low-floor buses and coaches. If you are not able to travel on one of their services, they will arrange an accessible alternative for you. Assisted Travel Team: 0800 1971 329 or 18001 0800 1971 329 (Textphone)

Is that an offer to prebook if you may not be able to travel because you cannot access due to having a bicycle or dogs with you, or just if you have mobility issue yourself?
2  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Four problems that Britain’s crisis-hit railway must solve to survive on: January 29, 2023, 11:26:18 pm
From The Grauniad, via MSN

Quote
Reason for optimism remains. Reliability has not fallen everywhere; work towards reform continues; new infrastructure, not least Crossrail, has been delivered, and more is promised; and passengers have returned to some routes in droves. But the railway system’s fate will depend on how four interlinking issues are addressed.

Industrial relations

Getting passengers back

Systemic reform

Infrastructure and investment

Thanks for that share, ChrisB.   I have quoted selectively - just the headlines - to agree with the overview without knife and forking the data.

I am jealous of places that have maintained their reliability - and there ARE many in GWR (Great Western Railway) land.  Sadly not the case on my local line ...
3  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / Re: Swindon to Westbury via Melksham - Train timetables for February 2023 on: January 29, 2023, 09:58:00 pm
Now that the ORR» (Office of Rail and Road formerly Office of Rail Regulation - about) has informed TOCs (Train Operating Company) that overnight cancellations can't be excluded from their performance stats on reliability, I think these may well start to dry up as their performance fees will be affected from now on.

Is that actually a good thing though?   Imagine that GWR (Great Western Railway) know ahead there's a strong possibility of them not having enough working staff or working trains to run a timetabled train.
Until now - they have cancelled it the night before and given passengers a good heads up by doing so
In the future - will they leave such trains in the timetable in case they can run, and cancel them late on, springing the cancellation on passengers very late on?

If the effect is to change things so that more trains actually run, a good element is there. And I suppose there is a chance of that as it just might close the evening before loophole that saved GWR being penalised.  Instead, they may be more tempted to have enough staff and trains in service as that may be better for their bottom line that the increased penalty. Does anyone know the maths
4  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion on: January 29, 2023, 05:55:32 pm
Damn sharp curves on that might cause the odd problem!

Initial logic might suggest that.  Yet there are some very wriggly lines just outside St Pancras on ... err ... HS1 (High Speed line 1 - St Pancras to Channel Tunnel).  Modern trains do not need the bowling alley of Brunel's original London to Bristol line. (( Or were you thinking of the corners on the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) which, I grant you, are a bit sharp ))
5  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion on: January 29, 2023, 12:40:22 pm
If it was a dead cat to ...

Has anyone yet suggested a diversion of HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)) through London ...

Manchester Piccadilly ... Manchester Airport ... Birmingham Interchange ... Old Oak Common ... London Paddington ... Bond Street ... Tottenham Court Road ... Farringdon ... Liverpool Street  ... Stratford ... Ashford ... Lille ... Paris Nord

Suggestion for 1st April announcement?   But yet the tunnels are gauged for full size trains, and it will get passengers to the heart of the West End and The City, change on the same platform in Central London for Docklands.  Lots of other connections along the way.
6  All across the Great Western territory / Introductions and chat / Re: Fifteen years old site - and still current on: January 29, 2023, 11:31:40 am
Over the last 28 days, here are the most visited pages on the Coffee Shop.  First stat on each report line is the number of views - second value is the number of unique views.

1. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?action=unread 9,771(15.82%) 3,326(7.44%)
This will be members coming to the forum and looking for a list of what they haven't seen yes, as a series of thread subects. 9771/3326 means that on average a member who has been here has been here has been 2.93 times.

2. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/ 3,759(6.08%) 2,261(5.06%)
The "headline" / arrival page - guests and members will come here.  Only one in sixteen page views are here - an amazingly low proportion in my view and suggesting lots of guests as well as members who keep coming back. But see also rankings 4 and 5 below.

3. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?action=recent 3,629(5.87%) 1,578(3.53%) 
Predominantly members, I suspect, looking at the most recent posts.  Even more immediate than "unread" which was the most visited page, and once again a high ratio of page views to unique views, indicating that people (normally members) keep coming back here

4. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php 3,485(5.64%) 2,119(4.74%) 
5. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/ 3,483(5.64%) 2,339(5.23%)
Home pages again, though typically not arrival pages. Members will transit these pages as they move from one area of the Coffee Shop to another.

6. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?board=26.0 1,201(1.94%) 925(2.07%)
"Across The West" board - latest index / overview of pinned topic and topics with most recent additions

7. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?action=recent;start=0 662(1.07%) 443(0.99%) 
8. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?action=recent;start=10 577(0.93%) 477(1.07%)
The first of these is a duplicate name for No. 3 in the ranking - most recent pages. The second is when people click forward to look not at the most recent 10 contributions, but the ten that came before that.

9. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?board=21.0 330(0.53%) 260(0.58%)
"Bristol (WECA» (West of England Combined Authority - about)) Commuters" board - latest index / overview of pinned topic and topics with most recent additions

10. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?board=5.0 313(0.51%) 222(0.50%)
"Buses and other ways to travel" board - latest index / overview of pinned topic and topics with most recent additions

11. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?board=30.0 304(0.49%) 226(0.51%)
"The lighter side" board - latest index of topics with most recent additions (no pinned topic(s) here!)

12. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?board=18.0 290(0.47%) 217(0.49%) 
"TransWilts Line" board - latest index / overview of the (3) pinned topics and topics with most recent additions

13. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?www= 290(0.47%) 145(0.32%)
That's an odd one - goes to the home page; I'll go back to the low level logs and see where the page(s) are that point to it, and if they need changing.

14. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?board=51.0 243(0.39%) 193(0.43%)
"The Wider Picture in the UK (United Kingdom)" board - latest index of topics with most recent additions (no pinned topic(s) here!)

15. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?board=25.0 238(0.39%) 186(0.42%)
"Plymouth and Cornwall" board - latest index / overview of the (3) pinned topics and topics with most recent additions

16. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?action=unreadreplies 237(0.38%) 166(0.37%) 

17. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?board=4.0 226(0.37%) 172(0.38%)
"Fares Fair" board - latest index / overview of the (2) pinned topics and topics with most recent additions

18. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?action=recent;start=20 225(0.36%) 193(0.43%) 
19. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?action=unread;all;start=0 220(0.36%) 172(0.38%)

20. http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?board=24.0 220(0.36%) 177(0.40%)
"Shorter Journeys in Devon" board - latest index / overview of the pinned topic and topics with most recent additions
7  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / Re: Swindon to Westbury via Melksham - Train timetables for February 2023 on: January 29, 2023, 09:24:57 am
You are aware that the May timetable bidding has finished pretty much, and the first bids for December timetable change go in to NR» (Network Rail - home page) un just a couple of weeks or so?

Yes.   And I am also aware that the rail industry, if it wants to (or is ordered to), can make changes at very much shorter notice  Wink

I am getting very much less sympathetic than I used to be to promises of reliability improvement, but then seeing things remain awful. 576 trains in the timetable for the first five weeks of the new timetable, and only 299 ran.  That's 57.6% ran against a minimum target of 98%. I want to see actual improvements - fed up with promises that consistently do not deliver significant long term gains, but keep the passenger groups quiet for a while.

8  All across the Great Western territory / Introductions and chat / Re: Fifteen years old site - and still current on: January 29, 2023, 08:32:53 am
This forum's first post was made 15 years ago today:

Or, now, 16 years ago yesterday and we're into our 17th year!

From our backround pages this morning
Quote
Members logged in - last 8 and 24 hours - 17, 84
Members, threads, posts - 2908 , 24348, 327386

From Google analytics:
847 users in the last 7 days 3k sessions between them. Bounce rate 30.17%


9  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / Re: Swindon to Westbury via Melksham - Train timetables for February 2023 on: January 28, 2023, 09:47:11 pm
The first two trips might be a problem on a Sunday.  I think there is an engineering window which would preclude them.  With the problems sorting replacement road transport I doubt GWR (Great Western Railway) would want to commit to that on a regular basis.

There is also the suggestion that some of the current extensions to and from Cheltenham/Gloucester provide a way of moving stock about without resorting to ECS (Empty Coaching Stock) paths.

There’szero way you’ll persuade them to operate a service as early as the first service you are requesting on a Sunday!

Both understood. I have lots of footnotes and explanation on the "May forward" timetable, which is somewhere between concept and draft.  Some of that relates to Sunday morning, other elements to changes to GWR services from Bristol to Gloucester and Westbury to Weymouth - both corridors have extra trains from May and as there is interaction at present with those services (continuing / interworked diagrams).  And because of that, there may be other considerations and even an extra morning train northbound and early evening train southbound.
10  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / Swindon to Westbury via Melksham - Train timetables for February 2023 on: January 28, 2023, 06:43:01 pm
GWR (Great Western Railway) have asked me to share these timetables with my contacts.  I will be posting links to this thread on social media, etc.

These are Monday to Friday timetables - Weekends to follow

Trains 1st and 3rd February (restricted due to rail strike)
Westbury07:3716:25
Trowbridge07:4316:31
Melksham07:5316:41
Chippenham08:0316:51
Swindon08:1917:08

Swindon08:4517:36
Chippenham 09:0017:52
Melksham 09:1018:03
Trowbridge09:1918:12
Westbury09:2618:20

Buses route x34 run on from Chippenham BUS station via Melksham Market Place to Trowbridge Town Centre about every half hour until late afternoon.  A handful of services also call at Chippenham railway station and most services extend from Trowbridge Town Hall to Trinity Church for the station.  Bus fare this month - maximum £2 for any single journey.

Trains on weekdays (February 2nd, 6th to 10th and 13th to 17th) - published December 2022 to May 2023 TT
Westbury05:1707:0507:3709:4612:1714:1616:2518:3420:06
Trowbridge05:2307:1107:4309:5212:2314:2216:3118:4020:12
Melksham05:3307:2107:5310:0212:3314:3216:4118:5020:22
Chippenham05:4307:3108:0310:1412:4314:4416:5119:0420:32
Swindon05:5907:4708:1910:3412:5915:0117:0819:2120:54

Swindon06:1108:4511:0513:1515:1417:3618:5220:45
Chippenham06:2709:0011:2113:3015:3017:5219:0721:00
Melksham06:3609:1011:3113:4015:3918:0319:1721:10
Trowbridge06:4609:1911:4013:4915:4918:1219:2721:19
Westbury06:5309:2611:4713:5615:5818:2019:3821:26

Trains on weekdays (February 20th to 24th, 26th, 27th 28th) - engineering works decimate our trains
Westbury04:5106:5007:5308:5010:5012:5014:5016:5118:5121:04
Trowbridge04:47  -07:59  -  -  -  -  -18:57  -
Melksham05:06  -08:08  -  -  -  -  -19:07  -
Chippenham05:1607:1208:19  -  -  -  -  -19:17  -
Swindon05:3507:2508:3509:3411:3413:3415:3417:3410:3321:35
Also bus services from Westbury to Chippenham at 07:02, 09:55, 12:33, 14:29, 16:52 and 20:08
Calling at Trowbridge and Melksham, bus takes 53 minutes Westbury to Chippenham

Swindon05:4509:5011:5013:5015:5017:4619:5021:50
Chippenham06:04  -  -  -  -18:02  -
Melksham06:13  -  -  -  -18:12  -
Trowbridge06:23  -  -  -  -18:21  -
Westbury06:3010:2412:2414:2416:2418:2920:2422:24
Also buses from Chippenham to Westbury at 08:52, 11:20, 13:26, 15:32, 19:05 and 21:17
Calling at Melksham and Trowbridge, bus takes 53 minutes Chippenham to Westbury



My proposal to GWR from May 2023 to run 7 days a week
Done with a single train to improve reliability.  This is a draft and your comments would be welcome.

Westbury05:1707:1709:1711:4714:1716:4719:2221:47
Trowbridge05:2307:2309:2311:5314:2316:5319:2821:53
Melksham05:3307:3309:3312:0314:3317:0319:3822:03
Chippenham05:4307:4209:4212:1314:4217:1319:4822:12
Swindon06:0008:0010:0012:3015:0017:3020:0522:30

Swindon06:0708:1410:1412:4415:1417:4420:1422:44
Chippenham06:2408:3310:3313:0315:3318:0320:3222:52
Melksham06:3408:4310:4313:1315:4318:1320:4223:02
Trowbridge06:4408:5310:5313:2315:5318:2320:5223:23
Westbury06:5008:5910:5913:2915:5918:2920:5923:30
11  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: How can we help the chancellor implement his strategy? on: January 28, 2023, 07:13:07 am
From The BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page)

Employment. Staff at every station with over 3,000 journeys a year to advise on train use, help people find things road and rail side, sell tickets, serve hot drinks, make people feel safe, board if they need help, litter pick, clean loos, update signage.  "Station Ambassador"

So, sack all station staff and all on train staff, and replace all by volunteers.
Maybe sack all rail staff and replace all by volunteers.
No more strikes.
Sorted.
A real vote winner...........

I said staff and not volunteers.   Volunteering has it place, but not for where a skilled and flexible person is needed at all times and in all weathers with 99% reliability.   Mt Hunt said "employment" not "unemployment" I believe.
12  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / How can we help the chancellor implement his strategy? on: January 27, 2023, 08:17:48 pm
From The BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page)

Quote
Jeremy Hunt says significant tax cuts in Budget unlikely

[snip - text on tax]

Four 'Es'

The chancellor also unveiled a plan to grow the UK (United Kingdom) economy, though it drew a mixed reaction with some business groups criticising a lack of detail.

He said the strategy would focus on four pillars, or "four Es": enterprise, education, employment and everywhere.

Enterprise. Making adjustments to timetables so that buses and trains connect and have a through ticketing system such I can get on the bus outside my home and travel to Latheronwheel all join up.

Education. Ensure that communities know where their local train stations and bus stops are, and that they know how to make best use of them - timetables, how to buy good value fares (not just the highlight Anytime Open First ones), how to board a train.   Help people learn how to plan their activities so they can make best use of public transport.  Ensure that people know just how much better public transport is for the environment, for congestion, and for their pockets, especially if they can drop from 3 cars to 2 in the household.

Employment. Staff at every station with over 3,000 journeys a year to advise on train use, help people find things road and rail side, sell tickets, serve hot drinks, make people feel safe, board if they need help, litter pick, clean loos, update signage.  "Station Ambassador"

Everywhere.  Acton to Zennor. Land's End to John O'Groats (or Berwick-upon-Tweed if this is an English Plan). Ayr to Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch. Shippea Hill to London (Waterloo).  Birmingham New Street to Pilning. 11 Downing Street to Ty Capel and Ty Coch (https://what3words.com////presented.method.skewed) .
13  Sideshoots - associated subjects / News, Help and Assistance / Re: Calling on friends and members to keep in touch on: January 27, 2023, 09:46:35 am
I notice my previous posting(BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) breakfast news LIVE from London Waterloo)  on that section it showed no replys  and 334 views.

I would like to have had 334 exclusive views,but I find it difficult to believe that the posting had 334 exclusive views.

It's complex.   And the limited logging and counting of forum software does not give me an ability - even with scripts and database calls - to give any absolute numbers.   I would guess that the individual number of different human viewers exclusive to that thread is a small fraction of that 334.  But then you can add (should you wish) the number of people who call up a "recent" page and it appears on that.   Server logs for yesterday tell me that in just the 24 hours, there were 253 calls for "recent" from 43 different users.     

It is really hard to quantify visits and reads, and indeed whether the visitors read in detail or skim.  "Reach evaluation" is difficult; so often a post (of mine) seems to be like a stone thrown into a pond and sink without even any ripples.  And yet, later (sometimes much later) feedback / side evidence tells that it has had significant readership, comprehension and has been remembered.
14  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: community bus in Bristol to be withdrawn on: January 27, 2023, 08:39:59 am
Quote
A not-for-profit minibus service for those with limited mobility is entering administration after a huge hike in its insurance bill. Accessible Transport 4 U (AT4U), based in Fishponds, has confirmed redundancies and informed passengers that it will cease operating in February.

The award-winning service, which users say provides a lifeline in the South West for those who would otherwise find it difficult to leave the house, will stop on February 1 after 22 years. In a letter explaining the decision, it said its insurance premium had surged by 180 per cent and it could not afford to continue.

comment on the article

Quote
Bodes well for WECA» (West of England Combined Authority - about) minibus idea if a not for profit company can't survive.

OR ... will DRT in the WECA area be picking up all these people being deprived of their community service?
15  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Taking your dog on the train and bus on: January 26, 2023, 11:12:09 pm
I can vouch for his aversion to Turbos.  Very odd. Certainly unsettling for him. 

Dogs tend to mirror their owners ... so I suspect that JayMac display an aversion too.
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