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November 23, 2017, 06:31:37 PM *
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1  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: National Railcard discounts - ongoing discussion, no longer date specific on: Today at 05:32:48 PM
If this scheme is revenue neutral and boosts rail use, that’s good for the environment and the economy.

It should be rolled out for everyone.
I seem to think Railfuture had a National railcard Campaign , but this wa dropped as it was not revenue neutral , let’s start it again , I want a discount ..

I've not seen the maths, or any consultant's briefs or assumptions about a railcard to cover the dwindling gap between the younger and older railcards, but I suspect they could be designed to be revenue neutral or indeed to bring in more revenue. Problem is they would also bring in overcrowding, so make services more costly to provide.   You're not just looking at revenue - you have to consider both sides of the balance sheet.
2  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: National Railcard discounts - ongoing discussion, no longer date specific on: Today at 12:12:31 PM
We're not the only place though. In Switzerland virtually no one, bar the occasional tourist, pays full prices for public transport as I believe there is a national travel discount card scheme (for purchase, but the savings far outweigh the outlay) available to all.

Of course, in Britain tourist can get special Britrail prices so that pay fares that are often so low they would make you weep!
3  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: Open Bus Data on: Today at 07:33:41 AM

As a very frustrated bus user in Bath I quite agree. I was really pleased when they first appeared, as not knowing when a bus might appear makes standing at a cold bus stop not a pleasant prospect. However, I soon came to find that the information given can be (in about equal measure):
a) Roughly accurate
b) Completely inaccurate, i.e. forecasting a bus to arrive in three minutes that doesn't arrive for 30, as happened just a few days ago.
c) Totally misleading, i.e. forecasting a bus to arrive in 7 minutes so I decide to quickly walk to the shops, only to see said bus passing me by one minute later (and not knowing if that is a 'phantom' bus and that the forecasted one will appear as predicted, or whether that is the forecasted one).

As Tim says, if it can't be relied on, it is worse than not having any information at all.

You also have to know the final destination of your bus ... no map at all for the out of town busses and only final destination shown.  e.g. 271 at 20:09 shown to Urchfont is clearly the bus for Box, Atworth, Melksham and Devizes, isn't it?  Wink  . Few (if any) staff around to help - though plenty of passengers - into the evening, lack of buses on the left hand side ("Dorchester Street") shown on the displays, displays only at the very ends and not seen by anyone without superb vision in the middle.

The Bath Bus User Panel has had the issues with accurate forecasting excuses explained to it ... but in reality, someone needs to get a real grip on the whole information and real time bus thing, not just Bath.   I was in London with Lisa last night, using buses - "Isn't this bus information at the stop really good" she says.  Yes, and it is proves it can be done.  Of course, the Bath excuse of "buses get caught in traffic" doesn't apply in London or ... or wait ... yes it does. Certainly applied last night, but data still seemed good!
4  Journey by Journey / London to the Cotswolds / Re: Intercity Express Trains on the Cotswold line - merged topic on: Today at 06:41:53 AM
RTT appears to suggest that the diagrams would involve dividing and joining of Class 800s at London Paddington but I have heard elsewhere to "forget the attaching/detaching at the moment. Currently not happening." Unsure why.

Were the five coaches detached to be shunted to wait for the same set coming back, attached to a different returning set, or sent on to Cardiff?
5  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: GWR IET diagrams. on: Today at 04:48:16 AM
Definitely the case for the Golden Valley line.

Haven't we had an IET diverted by engineering work via reversal at Chippenham thence through Melksham, Westbury and on to the B&H?

Ah yes - that was the Westbury avoider, not a station call and reverse.

First IET in public service from Bathampton Junction to Bradford Juncion  Grin
6  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: GWR IET diagrams. on: Yesterday at 10:49:21 PM
Are those the first scheduled IETs to Cheltenham Spa, and the first passenger carrying IETs on the Berks and Hants?
7  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: Open Bus Data on: Yesterday at 04:46:17 PM
Just to provide some info from an Operators point of view. Most operators now have tracking incorporated into their ticket machines and have since 2012. There is a cost associated with this that operators pay for (data transfer/SIM costs) to the supplying ticket machine/tracking company. BaNES Council undertook an exercise soon after operators had these machines to to upgrade their bus stops with RTI. The cost of installing the infrastructure was paid by the Council. Operators do not get paid for providing the information to the Council but rather contribute funding towards the ongoing maintenance and data processing costs associated with the system. Whilst there are very few RTI systems in Wiltshire any services which go into BANES, such as the X72, 272, X31, 265, can still be tracked using RTI on several apps which use the data e.g UK Buschecker.
There was talk a few years ago from Wiltshire Council of installing RTI screens at key locations across Wiltshire, Bus Stations, Railway Stations, Market Places etc but since budgets have been cut further in the last couple of years it has gone all quiet again.

Many thanks for that input - there's an issue with these information systems in the financial and operation load placed on the operators.  And it's very much the smaller organisations that have the one-off overhead of looking after their part of the system without an enormous quantity benefit in doing so that have a disproportionate load placed on them.

Very similar thing came up today with reporting and evaluating community rail - for someone like Devon and Cornwall, or Sussex, with multiple lines the overhead can be spread over multiple lines / trains and an increased burden may not be an issue.   For TransWilts, with a single one carriage train and a part time job role only, having to fit in the fixed element common to all CRPs is much more of an issue ... an increase of staff at ACoRP means an increase of people who want to engage (it's in their job descriptions!) and can be stretching - all good stuff, but a limit as to what we can do.

In the medium to longer term, increased and better data availability should help generate more passenger numbers and help newcomers to the buses, so it's not looked at as being a cost with no return (what I am told - please don't quote that as my view - I'm not qualified to comment).  However, if the intent is to run bus services primarily for the established base of users with little market development (perhaps that extra traffic isn't going to be commercial) then I can quite see an "ooz gunna pay" question being real, and a feeling of unhappiness at the new requirement.

As a bus operator, are you going along tomorrow?    The DfT are looking for inputs, and would welcome the view of a medium sized independent.
8  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: New Train on: Yesterday at 04:33:54 PM
Imbalanced loads? As in one 5-car section is crowded, the other empty? Or imbalanced in some other way?

Everyone sat on the left, causing the train to list over to that side  Wink

Yes to the first, no to the second.   Crammed at London end, space at country end.

I WAS once on the paddle steamer on the Clyde and the Captain announced we were passing the royal yacht on the left hand side ... everyone rushed over and the next request was for some people to move back as we had lifted the right paddle wheel out of the water!
9  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: New Train on: Yesterday at 07:19:21 AM
The focus is on line capacity improvements, not top speed increases.

Signalling changes - ERTMS? - which remove what I call "absolute block" but probably has a more technical name - should allow a closer headway between trains.   Big question as to what happens at each end of such close headway sections; Reading "sprays" them out better than they use to.  Flat crossings in and out of Paddington platforms may become the limiter - very tight at times already; coming in last night, good run all the way up from Wiltshire until a signal halt outside the terminal.

Another capacity increase can be gained by longer trains, but there gets to be a point at which the benefits drop away; already reports of 5+5 IETs with imbalanced loads.  I heard reports where 10 to 12 car increases have been made on London other lines that the two extra carriages have been added at the outer (country) end and not at the London end where the trains overcrowd and it's really needed, and of course longer trains take longer to pass over junctions and through speed restriction sections. Again at Paddington , there are issues as to how you could lengthen all but a few platforms.
10  All across the Great Western territory / Your rights and redress / Timetable displays at stations on: November 21, 2017, 04:52:22 PM
Is there a franchise requirement on GWR to display a poster at each of their stations with train departure times from that station?
11  Journey by Journey / Portsmouth to Cardiff / Re: Interlacing of SWR and GWR services, Westbury to Salisbury, from 2019 on: November 21, 2017, 09:31:56 AM
Complete meeting papers at ... resolved in principle that this is very much the way ahead; more details and specifics to follow up with.
12  All across the Great Western territory / Broadcast media about railways, and other means of transport / Coastal Railways with Julie Walters on: November 21, 2017, 06:39:36 AM
Channel 4
Sun 26 Nov, 8pm
Episode 1

About the programme
Actor Julie Walters rides the UK's most beautiful coastal railways, from Scotland to Cornwall
13  Journey by Journey / Cross Country services / Re: RMT strike action on Sundays in November and December 2017 on: November 20, 2017, 10:09:00 PM
The schedule of strike action remains as follows due to the management actions.
Cross Country Train Manager members are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-
•    00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Sunday 19th November 2017
•    00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Sunday 26th November 2017
•    00.01 hours on Saturday 9th December 2017 and 23.59 hours on Sunday 10th December 2017
•    00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Sunday 24th December 2017
•    00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Sunday 31st December 2017

So there's a break in pattern to have a normal Sunday on 3rd December, but then take in the Saturday of the timetable change.
14  Journey by Journey / London to Reading / Re: Redecorating of stations on: November 20, 2017, 05:18:41 PM
Painting contractors on site at Thatcham today, and Peter in the Ticket Office confirmed the Station will be turning green shortly.

Is that being done by the team based on the District Line one station west of Stamford Brook?
15  Journey by Journey / London to the Cotswolds / Re: Cotswold Line services autumn 2017 on: November 20, 2017, 08:26:44 AM
For third day running, a morning peak London bound service cancelled:

06:42 Hereford to London Paddington due 09:45 will be cancelled.
This is due to engineering works not being finished on time.

It's so sad when I read that and think "is this really news?".   Yes - it is news, or it certainly should be - but yet we have become so softened to a lack of trains when we need them (even if they are in the timetable) that we sometimes just shrug our shoulders.

From my inbox this morning, due to lack of a (different) train:

I think in future i'll be driving ...

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