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1  Journey by Journey / London to Swindon and Bristol / Re: Joining at Swindon on: Yesterday at 11:49:29 pm
The joining of the two IETs at Swindon wasn?t planned.

The first train from Gloucester (already cut back from Cheltenham due to late running earlier) was cancelled at Swindon due to a lack of a driver to take it forward.  So the following service from Swansea was coupled to it on platform 3.

There was also another incident at the station today.  A Swansea service from Paddington booked to go via Gloucester was routed into platform 4 - but you can?t gain the Kemble line from there.  After a 45 minute delay it was reversed out, crossed over and continued its journey.
2  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Heritage railway lines, Railtours, other rail based attractions / Re: Lynton - Barnstaple railway extension plans on: October 23, 2020, 07:33:55 pm
Perhaps it wins on a view per mile basis!
3  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Heritage railway lines, Railtours, other rail based attractions / Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway on: October 23, 2020, 06:38:36 pm
I always look forward to a trip on the cliff railway at Lynmouth - not least because it saves climbing an awful lot of steps!  I was a bit concerned there might be queues because the capacity in the already small cars has been reduced even more in the current climate.  However, although there is provision for a queuing system, this afternoon we were able to board straight away at each of the journey.

4  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Heritage railway lines, Railtours, other rail based attractions / Re: Lynton - Barnstaple railway extension plans on: October 23, 2020, 06:22:41 pm
After a three year gap I took advantage of the late autumn sunshine to take another trip to the L&B.

To my mind it still offers some of the best views from a heritage railway.

No pre-booking was required and there only a handful groups travelling which admittedly did make photography easier!

5  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / Re: 2020 - TransWilts cancellation and amendment log on: October 23, 2020, 07:25:58 am
07:05 Westbury to Cheltenham Spa due 09:04

07:05 Westbury to Cheltenham Spa due 09:04 will be diverted between Chippenham and Gloucester.

It will no longer call at Swindon, Kemble, Stroud and Stonehouse.
It will be delayed at Gloucester.

This is due to a burst water main flooding the railway.
6  Journey by Journey / Shorter journeys in Devon / Re: Review of new Barnstaple line trains on: October 22, 2020, 06:16:17 pm
Took a trip on the Barnstaple line today, my first journey to North Devon for a while.

Not just the luxury of a three car 158 as opposed to the 143 I had last time but also large sections of the line now have continuous welded rail rather than jointed track.

I certainly noticed the difference!

7  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / Re: Frequency - a key priority on: October 21, 2020, 02:47:16 pm
I assume for that hour earlier home arrival there is a price as you are using different forms of transport for your outward and return journey and there is no common ticketing.
8  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The West - but NOT trains in the West / Re: Blowing the Trumpet for Torbay on: October 19, 2020, 10:10:05 pm
Bay was still pretty full when looking from the Teignmouth seawall a week ago.

9  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Swinging like a pendulum on: October 19, 2020, 07:47:49 pm
As I have said before, we?ve spent years trying to encourage people not to put bags on the seat next to them.
10  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014 on: October 19, 2020, 01:56:06 pm
I was watching on Open Train Times and it seemed everything came to a stop just east of Reading around 9am.

1A10 (07:49 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington) and 1A72 (05:34 Plymouth to London Paddington) were both at a stand just after leaving the platform.    Both then returned to the station.  After a while 1A10 continued empty to North Pole Depot while 1A72 went to Paddington arriving nearly an hour late.   It had already been delayed by problems on the Berks & Hants.

Caused delays to quite a few westbound services as well.
11  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Eight of the best - or perhaps the most obvious on: October 19, 2020, 11:03:23 am
2 is the Jubilee clock outside Swindon Station.  Was formerly in the town centre.  It is also usually a few minutes out.
12  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Seatfrog comes to GWR on: October 18, 2020, 05:06:42 pm
Has Seatfrog been suspended for the duration of the current coronavirus pandemic?

Seems to be virtually impossible to use it to upgrade at the present time - a shame, because it's been handy for some very big savings in the past, but I guess it presents a challenge in the current climate?

I don't know ... but a number of rather good deals are not available at present.  "Simplifying the fare system" seems to mean "removing the good deals" ...  SailRail, Isle of Wight rover tickets that I have come across.

I think the Island Liner Day Rover was withdrawn because the Isle of Wight Steam Railway is asking people to book beforehand to enable the railway to allocate each party sole occupancy of a compartment.  The Island Line Day Rover - which doesn't include the preserved railway and only the Ryde to Shanklin line is still available.
13  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Heritage railway lines, Railtours, other rail based attractions / Re: Swindon and Cricklade Railway - heritage line on: October 18, 2020, 03:19:14 pm
Took a trip to the Swindon & Cricklade Railway today for their first steam operating day of the year.  GWR 0-6-2T 5619, built in Swindon in 1925, was in charge.  It is also planned to operate next Sunday before moving on to the Epping & Ongar Railway.

With the railway running compartment stock they are able to segregate individual parties quite easily and boarding and alighting was well organised.  (and good value for ?7)

The trip also gave me the chance to see how much the Tadpole Farm development is changing the landscape near the railway.

                                             2013 compared to 2020
14  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Problems with the Night Riviera sleeper - December 2014 onwards on: October 17, 2020, 10:04:58 pm
Yes I wouldn?t plug my phone in a USB socket on the sleeper if a class 43 was up front! 
15  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Where was I this week? on: October 17, 2020, 05:44:47 pm
Spot on and an interesting place on the River Kennet.

I walked from Midgham Station - which is in Woolhampton - the short distance to the river where less than two hundred yards from the railway level crossing there is a swing bridge over the water.

I wondered how often it was used - and I didn't have to wait long!

Back at the railway station the gates are down seven or eight times an hour.  Like Kintbury further along the line, it is one of those stations you have to make sure you are the right side of the line before the gates come down or you risk missing your train as there is no footbridge.  In this first picture you can just see the lights for the canal crossing to the left of the railway crossing lights.

..and if river and rail transport wasn't enough there is also a bus option on the nearby A4!

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