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[111] Four track for Filton Bank - ongoing discussion
[70] Drinking water at stations
[56] A welcome to XC from Bristol to Swindon. Delighted to have yo...
[53] Lacock West Curve, Bradford North Curve
[25] Tests of engine-less trains commence
[23] Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion
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31  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014 on: October 28, 2018, 01:48:33 pm
GWR now reporting signalling problems at Bristol Parkway now. For those who have to travel this afternoon I wish you all the best, it’s not looking good.
32  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014 on: October 28, 2018, 01:45:58 pm
Not going to help the situation that one option for those travelling to the SW today isn’t easily available in that Waterloo to Exeter services are starting/terminating at Basingstoke due to engineering work in the Woking area.

My wife was due to travel home from London this afternoon but we’ve decided she is better off staying put and travel tomorrow. Someone reporting on uk Rail Forums that Waterloo is already busy with those arriving from Paddington.
33  Sideshoots - associated subjects / News, Help and Assistance / Re: Perfect Sunday Morning? on: October 28, 2018, 10:07:26 am
Better than this time last month still.
Yep and has been for several weeks now. Let’s hope it continues.
34  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: End of Automated Station Announcements? on: October 28, 2018, 08:55:30 am
I think we’d all be grateful if there were less automated announcements at stations. Fine when all is running smoothly but next to useless when things go wrong becoming most annoying. I think TOCs have become far to over reliant on them when human input at times of disruption would be better for the passenger.

From personal experience they are usually very good at Bath Spa with resorting to human announcements at times of disruption to give passengers the latest info though often it’s not good news.
35  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion on: October 27, 2018, 11:46:27 am
More Twitter ‘journalism’  Roll Eyes Big deal, Often happens. At least there was a driver to take the train forward after a reasonably short delay. I don’t think XC will be too pleased an image of one of their trains was used either.

News organisations must pay people to trawl through company Twitter feeds looking for a story. Lazy journalism.
36  Journey by Journey / Cross Country services / Re: CrossCountry Franchise Competition "Will Not Proceed" on: October 27, 2018, 07:38:07 am
Sometimes reliable sources have suggested to me that the direct award to Arriva will run for as long as five years and that neither the government (direct award) nor the German government (Arriva parent) will be keen on buying new rolling stock.  "The best you can hope for ... and it may be worth making a song and dance to try and get them ... is around a dozen extra refurbished HSTs".

Creaking at the seams on capacity at times, would another 12 HSTs (84 passenger carriages) relieve the pressure?  How do readers feel about riding HSTs from Taunton to Bristol and from Cheltenham Spa to Sheffield for the next decade?
Yes please. I might start using XC again when heading North rather than go via London.

I really don’t see any HSTs heading for the scrap heap for a good while yet. Not while there are capacity issues that they could solve until a long term solution is found. In other words until the government sort of themselves out on what to do going forward with rail franchises etc.
37  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / GWR to start charging for posting rail tickets on: October 26, 2018, 01:39:11 pm
Received by email this morning:

This is to tell you about our new ticket postal charges that will come into effect from 29 October 2018.
• First class post will increase to £1.
• Next day delivery will rise from £6 to £7.50.
Covering our costs
These charges are being introduced to cover our postal costs only. We will not be using these to profit from our customers. Many other websites already do this and some do charge more. We still won't charge you a separate booking fee.

Mobile tickets for free
You may find it more convenient to use mobile tickets that are available as a free alternative on many of our routes – this means you no longer need to queue at a station to buy or collect your ticket. Download the free GWR mobile app to your mobile and enjoy paperless travel.
Exemption examples
If you're travelling from a station where it isn't possible to collect your ticket free of charge, via a ticket office, ticket machine or an e-Ticket, then the postal charge will not apply.
The GWR team

To be fair to GWR they are one of the few rail ticket retailers who haven’t up to now charged for postage. I will still continue to buy from them for the nectar points...for what they are worth!
38  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion on: October 26, 2018, 01:26:55 pm
I’m pretty sure from recent posts elsewhere that IETs will switch to diesel mode well before Steventon, drop the pan and go through at line speed.  So down trains during a Didcot call, or if non stopping at Moreton Cutting as now.

The much discussed 60 mph limit will apply to the 387s, and then only a small number of ECS from/to Swindon.

But surely all this dropping and raising the pan at speed has the element of risk attached to it. I know technology has improved since the early days of electrification but even so.
39  Journey by Journey / London to Reading / Re: Weekend Engineering Works on: October 22, 2018, 06:02:11 am
Ahem.  They are Main Lines and Relief Lines.  The ex-WR doesn't do Fast and Slow Grin
I knew that was coming. Apologies to all our WR purists for such blasphemy  Wink Smiley
40  Journey by Journey / London to Swindon and Bristol / Re: IET Train First Class Carriages on: October 22, 2018, 05:57:16 am
Not sure if it's a short form but I was at Reading earlier and noticed that the 1505 to Penzance (goes via Bristol I think?) was being advertised as "full and standing" from Paddington - could be a very long, uncomfortable journey for a lot of people.
Two trains into one because of engineering work. The 14.27 Pad-Bri and the 14.57 Pad-Pnz diverted via Bristol as the 14.30.
41  Journey by Journey / London to Reading / Re: Weekend Engineering Works on: October 21, 2018, 09:36:56 pm
There will always be engineering works long after electrification has finished and there will always be engineering works between Reading and Paddington. The fast lines are absolutely hammered between these two points thus need replacing more often. Weekends are the best time to do this.
42  Journey by Journey / Portsmouth to Cardiff / Track issues Southampton Central on: October 20, 2018, 08:58:10 am
From GWR Journeycheck:

Alterations to services at Southampton Central
Due to urgent repairs to the track at Southampton Central some lines are closed.
Train services running through this station may be diverted via Eastleigh. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.

Customer Advice
Owing to one of the main lines through Southampton Central railway station being closed for urgent repairs it will be necessary to divert the Salisbury to Portsmouth Harbour and return services via an alternative route NOT calling at Southampton Central but calling additionally at Chandlers Ford and Eastleigh.
Any customers travelling to / from Southampton Central should change at Eastleigh or Romsey.

43  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Isambird Kingdom Brunowl on: October 18, 2018, 07:46:00 am
The owl statue was sold for £2,200 at a charity auction in Bath last night.
It wasn't Bignosemac who bought it was it?  Wink
44  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014 on: October 17, 2018, 01:10:29 pm
But this new fleet of high speed trains must be perfect ………………. they were spec'd by the DfT after all the DfT has the passengers interest at heart  Roll Eyes
And that is where the problem lies. A train no one wanted and few wanted to build.
45  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014 on: October 17, 2018, 11:49:11 am
Simon Calder has just been interviewed at Paddington and summed it up quite aptly - electrification - a project running years late, hundreds of millions of £ overspent - brand new (allegedly) high tech trains which simply don't seem to be up to it a year after their introduction, and the whole system collapsing for (probably) 24 hours and more due to one incident.

No evidence of any contingencies for customers, and even the suggestion of going via Waterloo this morning is scuppered by signal failures.

Overpriced, overcrowded, unreliable, uncaring, unfit for purpose.

The next time people ask themselves why people prefer travelling by car, or indeed virtually any alternative to the railways, remember last night and today.

That has come from decades of under investment. Very sad.
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