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31  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Where was I today? on: October 11, 2021, 09:38:47 pm
2, 4 and 5 all appear to be at the same location. 2 on the Up, 3 and 4 on the Down ??

I took a return trip, so would have been at the same place twice.
32  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Where was I today? on: October 11, 2021, 08:58:30 pm




33  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / Re: 2021 - TransWilts cancellation and amendment log on: October 11, 2021, 08:26:09 pm
20:06 Westbury to Cheltenham Spa due 22:05
20:06 Westbury to Cheltenham Spa due 22:05 will be starting late from Westbury.
This is due to a fault on this train.
34  All across the Great Western territory / Introductions and chat / Three stories from today on: October 11, 2021, 08:24:12 pm
Three trains and two trains today, one presentation given and numerous new contacts.  A few things I've spotted on my news feeds

the Daily Mail

Woman who fell asleep on long train journey and woke to find a man sitting opposite to 'make sure she was safe' divides opinion on Twitter - as some claim it was weird' while others insist he was being 'decent'

Northern Rail's press office

Families enjoy day out in South Yorkshire on Northern’s sling express

Mums and babies in South Yorkshire enjoyed a day out on Northern services as part of a scheme to encourage young families to feel comfortable on the railway.

Northern teamed up with High Peak and Hope Valley Community Rail Partnership and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) to run the Sling Express from Darnall station in Sheffield to Edale. 

A total of 11 mums and their children were fitted with slings borrowed from the Sheffield Sling Library and Surgery – which offers a collection of hundreds of slings and carriers to try out, allowing parents to borrow a carrier to take home. 

and the Guardian

All domestic plane journeys in Britain should be banned and passengers told to take a train. So says the Campaign for Better Transport in its contribution to the climate emergency debate. Planes emit six times more CO2 per passenger mile than trains. The trouble is that plane tickets tend to be half the price of train ones. So tax planes, and subsidise trains.

And all this lot leaves me asking "Do we have a sling library in Bristol, and if not, why not?"?
35  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / Re: 2021 - TransWilts cancellation and amendment log on: October 11, 2021, 09:11:06 am
08:45 Swindon to Westbury due 09:26
08:45 Swindon to Westbury due 09:26 has been cancelled.
This is due to a fault on this train.
Additional Information
Customers at Swindon and Chippenham travelling to Trowbridge and Westbury may travel via Bath Spa. Tickets routed via Melksham will be accepted on this route.
36  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed on: October 11, 2021, 09:09:07 am
Your spelling is loose, I think you mean lose.  Smiley

Yep ... thank you. I have gone back and corrected it.
37  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed on: October 11, 2021, 07:52:10 am
Use it or lose it?

It is good to ask the question, and I am glad to see the ? on the end.

As a generality, "use it or lose it" makes sense. If a piece of public transport is carrying fresh air around, what's the point of running it?  It may be that the solution is to remove the service, OR to fix problems with it so that it becomes well used - change it into an appropriate service and those changes may involve changing times, fares, stopping patterns, advertising it, adding more services so that people can make their round trips, etc.  And there are a few circumstances where a near-empty service IS justified for operational reasons - in particular I know of services such as the mid afternoon Westbury to Warminster train with very few passenger to Warminster and then 50 or so coming back. I might add route learners where a train runs to help train crew about a line they need to know just in case they get diverted.  The GWR (Great Western Railway) Portsmouth to Cardiff via Eastleigh train is an example.

But the SWR» (South Western Railway - about) services to Bristol have been (are in normal times) very well used.
So we are being given Use it and Lose it

A caveat.   We were told not to use trains during lockdown and pandemic restrictions. So, of course, we did not use the service(s) as much during that period.  It feels pretty darned unfair to be told not to use a service for a while and then have it yanked permanently because we have done as we're told.  We still want it and we would use it again.

Another caveat.   It's pretty darned hard to use a service if it's not running reliably, or at all.  And this service has not been running reliably of late.  Of course people won't use a train if it's not even running!

38  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed on: October 10, 2021, 09:02:12 pm
Sunday night. Petition now north of 1000. Good work, Graham.

And good work, Mark, and others too - it's being a team. Here are the numbers of signatures by constituency, for those constituencies loosing all the SWR» (South Western Railway - about) trains and left with nothing direct to London or only one Paddington train.

South West Wiltshire - Rt Hon Dr Andrew Murrison MP (Member of Parliament) - 279 signatures

Chippenham - Michelle Donelan MP - 237 signatures

Oldfield Park
Bath - Wera Hobhouse MP - 92 signatures

North East Somerset - Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP - 73 signatures
39  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed on: October 10, 2021, 07:01:25 pm
Were this to be a battle that SWR» (South Western Railway - about) were inclined to fight, if they've been given this direction by Government, is there much hope of them winning it, and perhaps campaigning should be targeted at the DfT» (Department for Transport - about), rather than SWR - Organ grinder v Monkey?

Apologies if I'm reading it wrong.

You'll note that the petition reads
The Department for Transport has specified that the direct trains from Bristol, Keynsham, Bath, Bradford-on-Avon and Trowbridge to London (Waterloo) via Salisbury cease in December (2021). We ask that they continue to run pending consultation and effective ongoing provision.
and it's specifically a Government one and not one on another petition site.

"Much hope?" you ask.  Probably not if we just asked SWR.  But I note that a week is a long time in politics, and it will be interesting to see what happens in the next two or three.  I would love the DfT to take up the recommendation from their own watchdog, which happens to co-incide with the petition request. It would earn them all a great deal of credit and the promise of community partnership towards a bright future.

40  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed on: October 10, 2021, 10:42:02 am
For balance, and in the interest of fairness and objectivity, it would be informative to see the original correspondence from the mysterious "correspondent in Bradford-on-Avon"?

See - the original contains personal information which I am not at liberty to share, but I have put up a version with a few redacted elements on that "Transport Scholars" area.

The basis is a weekly round trip for family reasons to a place in Kent for someone who is mobile, but not wonderfully supple to make a load of changes.
41  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed on: October 10, 2021, 06:22:43 am
From last month ... (dated 21st September) to a correspondent in Bradford-on-Avon and now shared

My name is Claire Mann and I am the Managing Director of South Western Railway. I am responding as the matters you raise largely concern our proposed December 2022 timetable.
We recognise that services currently from Bradford-upon-Avon to London Waterloo via Salisbury do not match the timetable from before the COVID 19 pandemic, and It is correct that  we are withdrawing direct Bradford on Avon to London Waterloo services from December 2021.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SWR» (South Western Railway - about) – like all train operators – have been supported by the Government and taxpayers to keep services running for key workers. As a result, we  recognise that we need to run a service that efficiently meets customer demand, which remains well below pre-pandemic levels.
In line with this, we have sought to identify areas of duplication across the network where the removal of services would reduce the burden on the taxpayer, while not having a significant  effect on services for commuters or school flows. Given the volume of services operated between Salisbury and Bristol by GWR (Great Western Railway) and the large proportion of leisure travel on the SWR services, we are confident the withdrawal of our services between will not materially  impact key flows of commuter or school traffic and agreed with the Department for Transport to realise the cost savings as soon as possible.
In the longer term, many connections from the Bristol direction will improve from December 2022, when we propose to reinstate the two through trains per hour between Salisbury and  London Waterloo. We will also work with Great Western Railway to improve the connections at Salisbury further wherever possible as part of development of the December 22 timetable.
I hope this clarifies the matters raised in your email to Matthew Gregory. Please do let us know if you have any further questions or comments on the proposed December 2022 timetable.
42  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Paper timetables across the network on: October 10, 2021, 06:16:31 am
Hi all

Does anyone know of any stations across the GWR network where I can pick up some GWR timetables?
Thanks, GWR 158

I'm not sure that there are any printed (pocket) ones this time - though you can download the .pdf and print your own.

Paddington looked well stocked when I was there a few weeks ago.

Sorry -  I was  "mis-informed" there. No timetables available at the local stations I have visited in the last couple of months - just empty literature racks though I have been to smaller places where the ticket office (if there is one) has not been open.
43  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed on: October 10, 2021, 06:09:30 am
Yesterday - Saturday 9th October 2021 - was the first full day promoting the petition which asks people to sign up to ask the government to "Continue to run through trains from Bristol to Waterloo via Trowbridge".

Numbers signed by midnight (by local constituency set to loose London service) were:
Chippenham - Michelle Donelan MP (Member of Parliament) - 164 signatures (Bradford-on-Avon Station)
South West Wiltshire - Rt Hon Dr Andrew Murrison MP - also 164 signatures (Trowbridge Station)
Bath - Wera Hobhouse MP - 71 signatures (Oldfield Park Station)
North East Somerset - Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP - 34 signatures (Keynsham Station)

West Wilts Rail User Group, Railfuture, and Two Tunnels are also providing publicity - and more to follow from other supporting 'sponsors', and a lot of people have shared, written, informed - all I have done apart from my Coffee Shop "base" is to post to local Facebook groups for the places most affects.

A big THANK YOU to those (you know who you are especially) providing so much help.  With the number of signatures in just one full day, we can now answer "does anyone care" ... as if the powers that be hadn't been able to see all the people who've used these trains over the years and have come back so strongly on the line recently. But the petition (at ) and follow up meeting (Trowbridge and Zoom, 20th October at ) are just one step towards us having a logical, sensible, well used, affordable service running next year, rather that the unfortunate alternative of pulling off a success story at the very time it's most needed.
44  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed on: October 10, 2021, 06:03:50 am
One has to wonder what will happen with the fares structure to London.

Indeed. Taking a look at another aspect, there are currently day return fares from places like Bristol Temple Meads and Bath Spa (and Trowbridge and Frome and Sea Mills!) to London, via Warminster and Salisbury and with fares set by SWR» (South Western Railway - about).   There are no day return fares via Swindon - only period returns - and they typically work out more expensive.

Will the SWR fares still be offered after the fare revision in January? We have to consider the scenario of our campaign failing to retain the trains, and whether a fare set by an operator not present any more would last. Will GWR (Great Western Railway) provide day return and other fares at similar levels to SWR have done as they offer what we are told is to be the alternative provision?
45  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed on: October 09, 2021, 08:15:30 pm

That looks really rather good.  I suspect a strong technical hand in the writing thereof  Grin Grin - Thank you, whoever it was, if you read here!
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