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Most recently liked subjects
[111] BBC Great Coastal Railway Journeys - A Correction
[65] Is any one attending the TWSW(friday)?
[63] Our first Interrail tour
[49] 11 trains in a day - has anyone here done more?
[32] First tour train of season
[28] TFW Future Timetable Consultation
News: the Great Western Coffee Shop ... keeping you up to date with travel around the South West
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1  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Ferry just cancelled - train tickets will be useless - advice? on: Today at 17:19:50
I was booked on the 06:30 ferry off Dieppe tomorrow but it has been cancelled due to bad weather and I am now on the 18:00 which gets into Newhaven too late for the last train home.

I have booked ticket to collect from the TVM (Ticket Vending Machine) at Newhaven Town when I get there ...  Off peak singles Newhaven to Southampton via Barnham, and Southampton to Melksham.   What is my best course of action?
2  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / Re: IETs at Melksham on: Today at 12:03:13
Could this be a possibility for Melksham?  A sign would be a cheaper option that a software upgrade, but are there other factors in play?

It shows that where there's a will, there's a way.   Signs of this sort would show that the rail industry / train operators really have thought and care for their TransWilts / Melksham customers, even if they are not used very often.  In fact we don't want them used very often in the short or medium term, because we want the local service to run to timetable!
3  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: 11 trains in a day - has anyone here done more? on: Today at 11:53:14
Ironically I can beat that!

Goodness - we're as bad as each other! 

<pedant>But do you consider two rides between the same stations - there and back - as one service of two?</pedant> 


As you posted I was sorting my photos from a day out in Cornwall last Friday  Taking the day as a whole I travelled on 13 trains and all were, to within a minute, on time. 

The total rises to 14 if you include my train home after catching the sleeper which I caught less than 24 hours after leaving the previous day.

They look good - I need to sort mine out, though they will be far less on topic for the Coffee Shop.  Having said which, I'll need to head off and get a coffee soon

Total topic change - what a pleasure it is to come here and post amongst friends.   (a.k.a. who I their right mind would be a Town Councillor ...)
4  Journey by Journey / Wales local journeys / Re: TFW Future Timetable Consultation on: Today at 08:46:22
Noting references to the Cambrian Coast line - I didn't see the proposed timetables on the site.  Have I missed something?

On the subject of 153s on the Swan Line - don't you double the power if you run them in pairs?  Cheesy
5  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / 11 trains in a day - has anyone here done more? on: Today at 08:44:18
11 trains yesterday; mostly went well, only one connection missed along the way.

Had me wondering - is this the most different services I have used in a day?  Has anyone used even more?

6  All across the Great Western territory / Introductions and chat / Re: Our first Interrail tour on: Yesterday at 07:33:48
Great to read your update - it's a truly wonderful way to travel isn't it?  I'm alone on the app which, yes, can be a bit quirky.  Will be following up on that elsewhere.   As an old man, travelling alone, I am allowed to struggle with the technology and a smile goes a long way when the *** thing forgets a journey and needs recycling.  Just had that with the pleasant Danish Lady ... who offered me breakfast but I don't have time on this train; settled for a coffee.
7  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Train swap from Crosscountry Trains on: April 12, 2024, 11:38:59
... would it be good if the rice bowl belonged to the railway, and would it be even better if the national ticketing system handled the task in house with the cost wrapped into the initial advance booking payment.

Hmmm ... if you add flexibility to advance purchase "this train only" tickets, are you not encouraging people to move away from the more expensive flexible tickets, to the detriment of the overall rail industry income?   There's an argument for selling "this train only" tickets to provide more economic travel to people who can go at unpopular times, but you start adding change options on to that and it gets confused. 

I noted this in the publicity:

The power is in your hands. Swap the original departure time of your CrossCountry Advance train ticket, to one on the same day, that better suits your new plans. Swaps are open one day in advance and up to 15 minutes before departure, just ‘Swap & Go’. You can head home early, or stick around until closing time, it’s up to you. With Train Swap, you’re always in control of your journey.

It talks about it being CrossCountry, and perhaps they run trains up until closing time - but that still wouldn't work for me on a GWR (Great Western Railway) advance / swapped ticket if I stuck around in London until closing time ... last train 21:30 which is much much better than it was, but I'm not in control ... can't get home like apparently I could with Cross Country  Cheesy

8  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: RIA report on A lower cost, higher performing net-zero railway on: April 12, 2024, 10:38:39
There are so many "spot on" gems in there ... I give you a few from key messages

A credible approach to reducing cost by breaking the cycle of ‘boom and bust’ in infrastructure and rolling stock.

An agile plan which can adapt to changes including demand growth.

and from key recommendations

Urgently convert current and expected GB (Great Britain) rolling stock opportunities identified by DfT» (Department for Transport - about) into orders to address current order book gap.

To the extent they are not included in recommendation [just above], urgently consider the balance of the approximately 1100 sub-100mph Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs (Diesel Multiple Unit)▸ ) which will be 35 years old by 2030 and replace them with Battery Electric Multiple Units (BEMUs). This action alone will decarbonise 34% of the GB network.
9  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: RIA report on A lower cost, higher performing net-zero railway on: April 12, 2024, 05:19:10
I have mirrored the report for members at and it will come up in Coffee Shop searches
10  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / Re: 2024 - Service update and amendment log, Swindon <-> Westbury on: April 11, 2024, 17:54:20
17:50 Gloucester to Salisbury due 20:06

17:50 Gloucester to Salisbury due 20:06 will be starting late from Gloucester and is expected to be 8 minutes late.
This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.
Will be formed of 3 coaches instead of 2 to Westbury.
11  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / Re: 2024 - Service update and amendment log, Swindon <-> Westbury on: April 11, 2024, 12:23:27
13:15 Swindon to Westbury due 13:57
14:19 Westbury to Swindon due 15:01

14:19 Westbury to Swindon due 15:01 will be cancelled.
This is due to a fault with the signalling system.
12  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / A two carriage train running back and forth - Swedish differences on: April 11, 2024, 08:59:45
Some ideas from Sweden, from the line that runs from Hapatanda to Lulea with 4 internediate stops and a single 2 carriage train shuttling up and down. Some ideas would work for our little line from Swindon to Westbury ... just saying. Others would not!

Wheelchair loading facilities

Tea, coffee, snacks available

Trains that continue operating even in the snow (and today ours needed repairing so they - wait for this - swapped it for another one to avoid cancelling).  Also rubbish bags at each seat to make cleaning easier

You walk across the tracks to get to the other platform - a simple barrier is put down when there's a train going to cross

Separate sections of the train where dogs are and are not allowed

Retractable steps that come down from the train so that people can get on and off easily even at lower (and cheaper to build?) platforms

Powered by electricity that comes from overhead wires

Stations that are beautiful - however old or new - and want you to look forward to using them

13  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / Re: From Melksham to Tallinn by train on: April 11, 2024, 07:11:50
Particularly good to look this morning of yours out on Google Maps + streetview.


Tornio Station and parts of the walk look bleak even on Streetview ... yesterday was covered in ice, snow and slush which tends to block the drains an leave standing water on the low parts of the paths.

Streetview set my a mystery - I noted "not even a shelter" yet it showed one there.  Looking back at my pictures, I suspect that the shelter is there but entombed in snow at present. 

14  All across the Great Western territory / Introductions and chat / Re: Our first Interrail tour on: April 11, 2024, 04:43:00
John Potter, who brought the old Cook's timetable back to life as the European Rail Timetable, has now put the business that produces it up for sale. So its future may be in question, though if it does cover its costs and make any kind of surplus you'd think it will keep going. After all, long-distance rail travel does seem to be coming back into fashion.

Things and times move on.   Did I understand that WHSmiths in some stations have stopped selling newspapers, and indeed when I sit in a train I look around and see everyone on their phones - messaging (or in some irritating cases hearing them talk) and few reading. But yet having said that, on my current travels my packing - light to contain the utter bare minimum - still includes the European Rail Timetable which has been heavily used throughout my trip in addition to the journey planning App.

A plea to whoever buys the business - you are taking on a valued product. Please nurture it, promote it, and may it have a long and effective life ahead of it, as it already had behind it.
15  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014 on: April 11, 2024, 01:26:51
"Thames Valley" is an interesting one to define - to me it's synonymous with the "Thames Basin" - i.e. the land that drains out between Essex and Kent and it was probably that way to the early railway builders too - uphill from London to the watershed at - well, on the Berks and Hants line as far as Crofton / Savernake, and on the Bristol line to perhaps Royal Wooton Bassett, up to Cropredy or Claydon on the way to Birmingham, to Sapperton on the way to Gloucester.  They had to pull and push trains from London against gravity up to the summits.  "Thames and its tributaries", I suppose. And I note that this thread is posted in "Across the West" rather than "London to Reading", so Newbury / Bedwyn are in defines scope.


"Thames Valley" is a huge area, and there are other more specific boards such as the Kennet Valley / Berks and Hants line one where posts about that area will get more attention and not dilute the thread about the GW (Great Western) mainline with things about the line through Newbury which of course also features in the "London to the West of England" section.  Messy, isn't it?

No-one is wrong or right on this one; best post sensibly where you see fit, and for us all to accept that views of what is the best place will reasonably vary between different members.  Where something is very clearly out of place, I or other moderators can / could / do split, join, move, re-arramge things and on occasion that comes not from a thread's origin but rather how I has changed or digressed over time.  I am not minded to  make changes here / on this thread tonight (posting from far, far away from the Thames Valley) but if others on the moderator team think it would be a good idea (and brave it would be indeed to re-arrange this thread!) I'll go along with it.
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