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1  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014 on: March 16, 2019, 12:52:23 pm
Splitting the Greenfords and Running 2 tph to Hayes instead can perhaps reasonably be counted as introducing a “new service” because between West Ealing and Hayes it is new, but splitting Paddington to Oxford stoppers at Didcot is a fudge to deal with electrification issues, and AFAICT doesn’t actually give anyone an extra service. 

As a comparison with the Hayes/Greenford changes, SWR are about to split their Guildford to Ascot service at Aldershot, with an extension of the Guildford portion to Farnham. (May 19.) Analysis elsewhere suggests that service split isn’t included in their publicised total number of 300 additional services per week, because on its own their new 2 tph Guildford <> Farnham via Aldershot service would be about 300 per week anyway...


2  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014 on: March 15, 2019, 10:52:10 pm
Odd that they haven’t altered it to “each year” now, which is probably far more logical and sensible...


Maybe, but is that what they meant? I read the wording to refer to 2019 up to a little before the statement date (14 March). If 90% of trains are on time, and that's 108,000 there would be 120,000 trains in that period. That's about right, but sounds a bit high to me: I can find a GWR document from last year that talks about 9,000 trains per week, which is only 90,000 (ten weeks). And adding only 10,000 since 2012 doesn't look such a lot either.

But then the definition of a "service" (aka a train) has a certain fuzziness to it.
You may be right, I must admit I didn’t think much further than day, week, month, etc.  But in 10 weeks or so, let’s say a 1000 extra services a week - it still seems very high, even taken incrementally since 2012. I can’t remember many new regular all day services. But then again perhaps they’ll count a service each way separately.

3  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014 on: March 15, 2019, 05:51:58 pm
Odd that they haven’t altered it to “each year” now, which is probably far more logical and sensible...

4  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014 on: March 15, 2019, 10:37:36 am
At least now we know why the infrastructure is suffering.  Network Rail have allowed GWR to increase the number of trains running by 10,000 per day since 2012...

Article here:
So far in 2019 delays are at their lowest for seven years and Great Western Railway (GWR) has seen its highest ever number of services running on time, with over 108,000 trains arriving on time with an additional 10,000 services running each day compared with 2012.

5  Journey by Journey / Portsmouth to Cardiff / Re: State of Portsmouth and Southsea Station on: March 14, 2019, 10:46:32 am
There were some 1980s? prefabricated shops across the concourse hiding the bay platforms from view until a few years ago,  but since their removal it is far more open.  I don’t think the position of the buffers has changed.   I believe the two remaining bay platforms get far more use all day now, the route to them always seemed to be a bit of an afterthought, even before the gateline was added I felt the passenger flows were designed primarily to get from the entrance to high level, you had to double back behind or squeeze past a toilet block to get to P3/4.   I’m not at all sure but I think there’s another relatively modern brick block containing a redundant lift shaft - maybe Post Office related?

I think the gateline orientation could and should be completely revised now that there is more room on the concourse; as the timetable changes gradually come in there’ll also be more SWR services leaving from the bays.

I see the Portsmouth News report refers to a “complete rebuild of the platforms”, but to the best of my knowledge it was only the buildings and roof, the island platform is the same narrow badly curved platform it always was...

6  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Where was bignosemac today, 2nd March 2019 on: March 05, 2019, 09:38:31 am
What is the Spanish solution (and what does it solve)?
One track, platforms both sides, one for people getting on and one for people getting off.  Tower Gateway is a current example?

I think the term refers primarily to the fact that passenger flows are also fully segregated within the station, so a simple case of doors opening both sides for interchange wouldn’t count.

AIUI most modern units will not allow the doors to be released both sides at once by design, so that’s basically why places such as Guildford and Ascot fell out of normal use.

7  All across the Great Western territory / Diary - what's happening when? / Re: Timetable and other upcoming changes - overview (from GWR) last Monday on: March 02, 2019, 08:03:53 pm
Any hope for getting Swansea up to 2tph in the pm peak? The current situation with short turns at Cardiff arriving at 1622 and 1723, where they'd be just about to be getting very busy indeed if they continued west, is absolutely ridiculous. That it currently goes up to 2tph after the pm peak is even more mad.
The 2015 GW stakeholder brief did show peak variations including 3 tph from/to South Wales in the peaks, of which Swansea gets the extra service.  How long these peak periods last, (am up and pm down), didn’t seem to be explicitly stated.   The other point of course, is that they’ll presumably be defining the peak from a Paddington perspective.

8  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Excessing a season ticket - what's the price - how to do from a TVM on: February 26, 2019, 10:10:53 am
In the general case, I believe there’s no mechanism for selling a special form of excess for a season.  You certainly can’t use a calculated daily rate pro-rata to the difference between a valid and not-valid season.   

That is, what you’ll be sold is the normal single or return ticket for the bit you aren’t already covered for.

9  Journey by Journey / Bristol Commuters / Re: Rhubarb! on: February 14, 2019, 11:27:44 am
To avoid closing the Rhubarb? I see. I had no idea there were closure procedures for individual bits of track in the same way as for stations. And I'd kind of assumed the Rhubarb was used for freight and for getting empty trains into the right place as well as whatever else might have a reason to avoid BRI.
Yes, individual lengths of track are definitely in scope.  A couple in the London area over the last few years have boiled down to very short sections of passenger use, a good example was a train from somewhere off the GW via the West London line into Waterloo in the early days of Eurostar, which left a section of track a few hundred yards long, (Sheepcote Ln curve), unused by passenger services just east of Clapham Jn. 

Then there were long winded closure arguments when DfT ended XC trains via Kensington Olympia.  Again most of the route was by then covered by other operators such as LO, but a couple of short stretches saw no passenger trains.  Initially a bus ran from Ealing Broadway via Shepherds Bush but I think DfT argued that the Central Line duplicated it, and for a short time Southern ran an offpeak short working between Shepherds Bush, (or maybe Kenny O),and Wandsworth Rd, effectively an ECS with passengers.  This covered the third side of a triangle near Clapham Jn.

The DfT’s consultation report is here:

This all took place about 5 years after the XC service ceased, they probably thought they’d got away with it.  Other documents on the ORR site reveal that even London Travelwatch get confused between withdrawal of a passenger service and physical removal of a line,  DfT had to emphasise that the track was being retained for freight or ECS moves.

10  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Martson Vale Line receives first of new Class 230 stock on: February 09, 2019, 10:31:49 pm
I'm going to tie a ride on the 230 in with a trip to the tea rooms and heritage centre at Ridgmont station

Past times at Ridgmont, aye?  Smiley

11  Journey by Journey / London to Reading / Re: Crossrail - The Elizabeth Line - ongoing discussion, merged topics on: February 08, 2019, 12:11:29 pm
Trying to work out where on that image where the (I assume reinstated) Chiltern Railway line from South Ruislip joins with the station. I would have thought there would be terminal bays for that service.
The latest drawings on the HS2 site somewhere show the tracks through the middle two of the four relief line platforms leading to future Crossrail turnback sidings, and these are curving away under the up relief and towards the direction of the Chiltern Line.  They might be able to be adapted for use by terminating trains.

But I don’t think the NR proposals for Chiltern are anywhere near the level of detail to appear on architectural plans yet.

12  Journey by Journey / Shorter journeys in Devon / Re: Tarka Line Overcrowding Problem To Be Solved on: February 02, 2019, 05:59:37 pm
There wouldn’t really be anything odd about GWR running trains across Exeter into what is theoretically considered SWR territory.  Looked at more widely across the south would it be much different to GWR running to Gatwick or Brighton?


13  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: Heathrow Southern Railway on: January 31, 2019, 07:08:48 pm
Whats happening about the West link to Heathrow proposals from the GWR mainline?
AIUI still going through normal Network Rail processes towards a TWA Order.   It wasn’t subject to private sector proposals in the way a possible Southern link was.

14  Journey by Journey / London to Reading / Re: Crossrail - The Elizabeth Line - ongoing discussion, merged topics on: January 29, 2019, 07:31:46 pm
Surely GWR’s existing rolling stock internal cascades, now including HEx, are already designed around Crossrail taking over the stoppers on the originally planned date?


15  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: Southampton Docks Access Improvement on: January 27, 2019, 08:46:18 pm
This is to do with work between Millbrook and Redbridge,

There does seem to be a lot more than that happening. Lines also appear to be closed from the North and the East to Southampton Central at Woolston/Fareham/St Denys at varying times.

That sort of thing has been happening for a few weeks every year as long as I can remember.  I suspect the PR people just highlight what is considered “new” rather than the usual maintenance or renewals that would just be yet another weekend of disruption like any other.

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