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1  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: GWR Smartcard - purchase non-season tickets? on: October 15, 2021, 11:45:12 am
Can you have two active tickets on the same card at the same time?
Example: I have a monthly ticket between Bookham and Waterloo. Can I also load a day ticket from Bookham to Brighton via Dorking?

I'm in no hurry to go back to Brighton but I'm curious whether on the next occasion I can use smartcard. I know I can already use paper ticket and e-ticket

I understand you can have up to 5 tickets on the card at a time.
2  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Loss of refreshment facilities at stations on: October 14, 2021, 02:26:09 pm
The Spar Shop at Didcot was open this morning.

The facilities at Oxford within the main concurse are also looking very sparse with only 2 refreshment shops open if you exclude M&S and WH Smith.

The employee in the cafe on platform 3 looked very bored at 9am, so I guess the number of customers they have isnt great.
3  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: GWR Smartcard - purchase non-season tickets? on: October 14, 2021, 02:16:11 pm
I have managed to answer this question by getting a Smartcard from another TOC (Train Operating Company).
The SouthEastern Key allows you load daily tickets from the App to your SmartPhone and it works for my GWR (Great Western Railway) only journey.
4  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: GWR Smartcard - purchase non-season tickets? on: September 21, 2021, 07:27:39 pm
Thanks Stuving.
So looks like you can only buy single and return tickets on a smartcard at a ticket office.

But you have to question why does it show those tickets as smartcard compatible on the website? It maybe strictly true but of little use if I can't buy them online.

I wonder why you can buy season tickets on line for your smartcard but not daily tickets?

5  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / GWR Smartcard - purchase non-season tickets? on: September 21, 2021, 04:35:13 pm
I have a GWR (Great Western Railway) Smartcard which prior to the pandemic I used for my annual season ticket.
I am now looking to go back to the office, only occassionly at the moment, so I thought I would try and add an Off-Peak Day Return between DID» (Didcot Parkway - next trains) and OXF» (Oxford - next trains) to that card.

On the GWR site the ticket type shows the 'Smartcard' symbol and I am logged into my account but I can see no option to load to my Smartcard.
I have also tried on my GWR app and again no option to deliver via Smartcard.

So my question is, is it possible to load a GWR non-season ticket to a Smartcard? And if so how?
6  All across the Great Western territory / Smoke and Mirrors / Re: Loading & ticketing. Suppress travel by making it *** to book with confidence on: June 23, 2021, 08:58:03 am
The obvious question is why is there still social distancing on trains when no other mode of transport has it?

Buses - seems to be only seats that face one another that have any restrictions.
Tube - cant see any restrictions.
Taxi - no restrictions.
Planes - no restrictions and as far as I can tell have never had any restrictions.

Is this a case of we can do something so we will rather than there being a real need to have it?

I know that having to have reservations almost put the rest of my family off travelling by train; until I pointed out that they could just buy a ticket at the station and catch the first train that comes. How many others have been put off by the policy? When the railway needs all the money it can get this policy seems perverse and must be being driven by the government although I guess the fact that the tocs have no finanical risk may also be an issue.

7  All across the Great Western territory / Broadcast media about railways, and other means of transport / Re: London Euston high speed train run on: June 17, 2021, 02:43:03 pm
Apparently missed the record by 21 seconds.
8  All across the Great Western territory / Broadcast media about railways, and other means of transport / Re: London Euston high speed train run on: June 17, 2021, 08:59:06 am
The train can be followed here https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/service/gb-nr:S00619/2021-06-17/detailed#allox_id=0

Although I note it is timed at 3hr 53 min so it needs to arrive early as the Northbound record is 3hr 52min 40 sec.

The current record was set by APT (Advanced Passenger Train)-P 37 years ago.

Incidentally the Southbound record is 3hr 55 min, which is odd because surely it is downhill from Glasgow to London  Smiley
9  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The West - but NOT trains in the West / Re: Boundary Commission - review of constituencies for 2023 on: June 09, 2021, 09:02:53 am
... As Melksham is central to the constituency, and Devizes right on the edge, and that it also includes Bradford on Avon and Corsham, maybe just calling it Melksham would be more sensible ...

Melksham is also the larger town.  So there is sense in the idea.  However, I suspect that noses would be very much out of joint on that right edge.  It would be akin to a seat that included both Slough and Windsor being called just "Slough".
Similar re-naming has happened in Didcot.

Didcot is currently the largest town in what is currently called the 'Wantage' constituency and under these proposals the ‘new’ constituency is now called 'Didcot and Wantage'.

Although based on the previous logic it should surely just be called 'Didcot' although that would presumably upset some of those who live in and around Wantage.
10  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The West - but NOT trains in the West / Re: Boundary Commission - review of constituencies for 2023 on: June 08, 2021, 08:39:42 am
Isn't this just a sticking plaster on a broken outdated system?

If you wanted to introduce fairness you would change the method of allocating the seats.

After all what is fair about:
2019 Johnson 56% of the seats from 43% of the vote.
2019 SNP 7.4% of the seats from 3.9% of the vote
2019 Greens  0.2% of the seats from 2.7% of the vote.
2005 Blair 55% of the seats from 35% of the vote.
11  Journey by Journey / London to Didcot, Oxford and Banbury / Re: Oxford Station - improvements, incidents and events (merged topic) on: May 26, 2021, 09:19:30 am
Now, hold on there ... what has been announced (and I can't find it from DfT» (Department for Transport - about)) is:
Quote
The funding will progress the next stage of development work ...
and then ...
Quote
As part of the plans the road network will also be improved near to the station as Botley Road bridge will be replaced and the road lowered to enable standard double-decker buses to pass underneath for the first time. As part of the new design, a four-metre wide cycle/footpath will also be installed on each side to encourage sustainable transport and improve safety.
...
Early consultations about the proposals have taken place with local residents ahead of the plans being formally submitted to Oxford City Council. Further funding is required for the full implementation of the scheme and the Full Business Case for the project will be submitted to DfT later this year, with a decision on final funding expected in spring 2022.

But it is a big step along the way.
Sorry I was so surprised by the annoucement that I missed that  Wink

But also it says 'Botley Road bridge will be replaced and the road lowered to enable standard double-decker buses to pass underneath for the first time' but last time I looked standard double-decker buses already go under the bridge.
And there is already a western entrance although it is only open during peak hours.
12  Journey by Journey / London to Didcot, Oxford and Banbury / Re: Oxford Station - improvements, incidents and events (merged topic) on: May 26, 2021, 09:00:29 am
Good news and looks like it is finally happening, Oxford Station is to be expanded. Smiley
https://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/news/boost-to-oxford-rail-travel-following-gbp-69m-funding-confirmation

New Western Entrance
New platform
Extra Tracks

No mention of electrification but look at the artists impression.
13  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Problems with IET trains from April 2021 on: May 19, 2021, 11:17:16 am
and also 'Stress corrosion causes class 800 cracks'
https://www.keymodernrailways.com/article/stress-corrosion-cause-series-800-cracks
14  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Problems with IET trains from April 2021 on: May 10, 2021, 08:57:29 am
What happens if the relevant Hitachi subsidiary (Agility trains ?) decide that the cost of repairs and of compensation is so great that bankruptcy is he only option ?

Presumably HMG would have to bail them out with some form of emergency grant/bung/loan/subsidy ?
Or let them go bust and be stuck with a load of secondhand and not much good trains ?
I think this is a very interesting point. If the repairs turn out to be expensive and/or take a lengthy period of time causing Agility Trains (or whoever the current owners are) to fail then the trains could be nationailised and the 'expensive' PFI contract scrapped. Or worse that Agility Trains survive and they use the remaining years of the contract to recover the costs of the epsiode. We know how with these PFI type contracts a lot of the profit is based on the fact that customers will need to make changes to the contract in future and those changes are always expensive.

We also need to consider the finances of GWR (Great Western Railway) and First Group; can they afford to have effectively no income but to still pay out staff and overhead costs, which I assume most make up at least 50% of the cost of running a TOC (Train Operating Company)? Of course these costs could be covered by the contract, I doubt it, but if they are covered then the point above becomes even more valid.

15  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Problems with IET trains from April 2021 on: May 09, 2021, 10:51:48 am
I see that there are some EMU (Electric Multiple Unit) shuttles between Didcot and Swindon today, I assume these are class 387. 0946 and 1105 from Didcot are a couple of examples.
Well done GWR (Great Western Railway) and glad that weeks of training wasn't required as some have predicted.
Although as I type this I see that the 1105 is now canceled , hopefully I haven't posted this too soon. Smiley
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