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16  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Problems with IET trains from April 2021 on: May 08, 2021, 05:15:16 pm
... and DOO (Driver-Only Operation (that is, trains which operate without carrying a guard)) regulations means I doubt you’ll see 387s running to Swindon in passenger service ....

Grr!  - I had overlooked that ...
Why would DOO be a problem?

If DOO relies on infrastructure on the platform then I can see it would be an issue, but again couldn't infrastructure be replaced by a person on the platform making sure all doors are clear and or shut and then communicating that to the driver? I realise it is a bit more complicated than that as you need to find the people, make sure they can be identified by the driver, understand what their duties are, the 'workaround' then has to be communciated to everyone, etc. and all of that will take time.
If DOO doesnt rely on any off-train infrastructure then what is the issue?

And if you don't want to run as DOO could a guard not be assigned to the trains? Class 800/802 and 165/166 can operate with and without guards is the same true of class 387?

I can appreciate that it takes time to organise replacement processes when must of your trains get taken out of service but I would hope that if this continues beyond today/tomorrow then GWR (Great Western Railway) will attempt to run at least a skelton service rather than just telling passengers sorry but we can't do anything.

I assume that GWR has a risk register and would be interested to know if all trains of one type being taken out of service is one of those risks and what their contigencies are to mitigate that risk?
17  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Heritage railway lines, Railtours, other rail based attractions / Re: Electrification of heritage railway(s) - looking towards zero carbon? on: April 01, 2021, 11:52:25 am
Electrification and extension to Oxford at the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway as well https://www.facebook.com/CholseyWallingfordRailway

Today we're pleased to announce that the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway will be extended to Oxford. The line is being extended to Cowley to provide a diversion route when the main route through Didcot and Radley gets flooded - in 2014 the line was shut for around a week because of flooding and the signalling problems that resulted disrupted services for even longer. ..........
18  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: Regular commuters: What are your current plans and preferences after lockdown? on: March 09, 2021, 04:43:01 pm
Up until March 2020 I had been a commuting 5 days a week into Oxford by train and I had been doing that for the last 10 years.

I have now been working from home for 1 year and when we eventually get back into the office I won't be going in 5 days a week, maybe 1 or 2 days a week at most.

I am also ambivalent about whether when I do go back whether I will go by train. What put me off going by car previously was the higher marginal cost of going to work by car compared to an annual season ticket, having to use the busy A4130/A34 every day, and at the end of the day I preferred to travel by train.

But I am just about to take delivery of an electric car which will make the marginal cost of the car a lot less than the full peak train fare and if I am only travelling into Oxford once a twice a week than I can probably put up with the traffic on the A34.

The other issue that is making think that I could now go by car is that since the cancellation of electrification to Oxford the service has got worse, as the number of seats per train is much reduced and there are fewer trains. And just before Covid hit there was also the issue of the Dec 2019 timetable change which caused the service I caught every morning to be late every day and wasn’t going to be resolved until the May 2020 timetable change at the earliest. Of course events have overtaken the last issue but it left me wondering why I should bother to travel by train if the railway industry take 6 months to fix an issue that was causing a lot of disgruntlement among its customers.
19  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: Electric trains to Exeter? How do you see it happening? on: December 16, 2020, 09:56:02 am
How much OLE (Overhead Line Equipment, more often "OHLE") is there between Penzance and London? IIRC (if I recall/remember/read correctly) it's only once they join the GWML (Great Western Main Line) at Reading?

The wires extend to Newbury.
20  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: Network Rail draws up list of 'no regret' electrification schemes on: December 16, 2020, 09:50:05 am
GWR (Great Western Railway) Land
The half-complete Didcot to Oxford scheme.
Reading to Basingstoke
Bristol TM(resolve) and Bristol suburban lines
Thames Valley branches

Elsewhere
East West Rail
Infills around London eg link up GWML (Great Western Main Line)>WCML (West Coast Main Line)>ECML (East Coast Main Line)>MML» (Midland Main Line. - about)>GE with 25KV
MML to Sheffield/Leeds
Birmingham to Bristol
Birmingham to Derby/Sheffield
21  Journey by Journey / London to Didcot, Oxford and Banbury / New Didcot Parkway Bike Storage on: November 10, 2020, 08:32:07 am
A large building for storing bikes is currently being built at Didcot Parkway.
It is located in the former disabled parking spaces in front of the station.



This will be huge improvement as the previous bike racks were always full by about 8:30.

I look forward to using it once/if I get back in the office and start commuting again.
22  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Plymouth in 180 minutes- what's possible. on: July 17, 2020, 09:34:26 am
No pesky passengers?

That may have saved those 2 Reading minutes ... but just how much difference does the passenger load make on a train's performance?
I would say not much based on the following figures:

A 5 car class 800 weighs 243 tonnes, according to Wikipedia.
It has 326 seats, if each passenger weighs 75kg then that is 24 tonnes.
So a full train of passengers would add 10% to the total weight.

I would suggest that a 10% increase in weight wouldn't decrease the performance by much, also need to consider that as it nears Plymouth the weight of the fuel wll drop. How much fuel does a 5-car class 800 use between London and Plymouth?
23  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Free transport for most children in London - scrapped. on: July 14, 2020, 09:53:39 am
I am sure this isn't good, but families outside of London have always had to cope with paying for children on public transport although of course that doesn't make it right. Ideally all children across the whole UK (United Kingdom) should be free on public transport and not just those who live in London.

But as I have said before, how is it that pensioners, who have an income, get free bus travel but children, who dont have an income, have to pay?
24  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: SSP (Upper Crust) cuts jobs - effect on station catering? on: July 01, 2020, 01:24:50 pm
And they run catering outlets at Airports as well.

So my guess would be that these people are being made redundent now because the furlough scheme will probably end before these stores can re-open and they dont want to keep paying some or all of the wages while they have no or little income.

And if these stores reopen this year or next year then they will readvertise the jobs.
25  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: Planning for restoration of services on: June 18, 2020, 09:26:51 am
Today's headline from the FT: "UK (United Kingdom) rail bailout hits £3.5bn and set to rise further - Train operators in talks over extending state support for at least another year" https://on.ft.com/2zIuqCX This is behind a paywall so you might not all be able to see it.

Basically not enough passengers and the railway needs subsidising for another 12  - 18 months. Total bailout could hit £5bn - £6bn and there are worries about ongoing support as passengers probably wont return in the same numbers.

Also says rail executives are worried about the long term future of the industry, and one industry figure said the current government measures were rushed and that the crisis had been worse than anticipated.

In other public transport news the governement are looking to find more money for the bus industry in addition to the £397m they have already been given.
26  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / Re: Garden Villages and Garden Towns: Visions and Reality / Melksham Future on: June 17, 2020, 09:50:57 am
Didcot is a 'Garden Town', and we have had lots of fancy brochures and promises.

But the only thing either delivered or planned are 1000's of houses, I have seen no plans (as in planning permission applied for) for any of the promised infrastucture improvements.

There is apparently a pot of money set aside for some of these infrastucture improvements but this money wasn't automatic as it had to be applied for even though we are still getting the 1000's of houses, and I am not convinced we will ever see it.

As far as i can tell the whole thing is just a load of marketing spin.

As an aside when I received the Garden Town Brochure I had to point out to the council/publisher that Didcot was on the GWML (Great Western Main Line) and not the WCML (West Coast Main Line), an easy mistake to make! With such basic errors it didn't give me any reassurance that this was a quality well thought out document or that I could believe its promises.
27  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Facemasks. Change to attitudes (passengers and staff) on public transport? on: June 15, 2020, 04:41:58 pm
Having seen that Easyjey started flights today and with no social distancing https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53049338; how is it that social distancing isn't required on planes but is on trains and buses?

It seems to me that it can have little to do with any medical/scientific reason and more to do with the financial support from the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) for trains and buses have but planes don't i.e. he who pays the piper calls the tunes.

I understand the current cost of running all these empty trains is almost £600m a month, what happens when the Treasury says we are not going to pay that anymore?


28  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: 57 days... poor old Geoff! on: May 22, 2020, 04:21:18 pm
17th March Didcot to Oxford and back.
29  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: From next Monday ... on: May 12, 2020, 02:38:06 pm
Interesting that you mentioned easements as I have checked Didcot to Oxford services and they are staying hourly.

But from next week the National Rail website says you can go via Reading at XX:27 (except for 08:27), although it takes 45 minutes and costs £26 (£16 Offpeak) instead of £7 (£6.90) could that be an easement?

Answering my own question, surely if it is an easement the price should be the same?

Looking at Oxford - Didcot services they are still hourly and they also have the go via Reading option at XX:16 although cost is £16 off peak (no peak fare) with £11.60 advance fare available.

I am hoping the data in the jouney planner isn't complete as the above is a mess.

I also find it odd that the direct Didcot - Oxford services are hourly Mon- Fri but half-hourly on Saturday and Sunday.
30  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Report - packed public transport and road in London. How are GWR trains? on: May 11, 2020, 03:06:11 pm
I have just been for a walk and there were a total of 8 cars spread across the 4 car parks (total capacity 2000+) at Didcot Parkway, although I guess most Didcot commuters will have a job where they can work from home.
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