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4801  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Axminster Loop redoubling on: February 03, 2009, 05:20:01 pm
Network Rail have reported start of the work, full info at:

Work has started on the ^20m project to double the track at Axminster
on the Waterloo - Exeter line. Engineers have started clearing three
miles of railway land to make way for the new track.

Work includes:
- Redoubling 1.5miles of track on either side of Axminster station to
create a passing loop
- Improving Axminster station with a new platform, a new footbridge
and lifts
- Strengthening seven bridges and 20 culverts along the route
- Renewing signal equipment by installing 12 new signals, replacing
three miles of signal cables and modernising the signaling panel at
Chard signal box

4802  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Handy hints and tips on: February 03, 2009, 03:03:34 pm
Giving people the option to buy a ticket for any journey in Great Britain from a machine is going to cost the TOC (Train Operating Company) revenue as some people would take advantage of this and buy combinations of tickets so I can't see any TOC agreeing to this.

Exactly - but I think it isn't really A-B-C combinations in particular they are worried about, I suspect they'll never allow it because it aids buying A-B-big gap-C-D tickets. A fraud known colloquially as dumbbelling.

E.g. if you went to a ticket office and asked for Southampton-St Denys and Vauxhall - Waterloo for example, I think they'd have a right to be a bit suspicious.  The commercial rules always have to consider the worst case fraudsters unfortunately...
4803  Journey by Journey / London to Reading / Re: Well done FGW! on: February 02, 2009, 10:39:18 pm

Thought for the day ...... why oh why does the Tube network which operates basically indoors suffer from snow!!!!!

Others have mentioned the depots - but IIRC (if I recall/remember/read correctly) there really is more mileage (about 55%) on the surface than underground...

It was a bit odd to see the Waterloo & City 'closed due to adverse weather' this morning though Huh.  I guess the drivers (part of the Central line) couldn't get in from Leytonstone or wherever they are based...

4804  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Filton - Ellesemere Port on: January 30, 2009, 05:44:19 pm
Quote from: tramway
the outward leg is the problem with the break of journey

They changed the conditions of the old Savers when they renamed them, and you can now break your journey on the outward leg of an off-peak return.

Except where TOCs (Train Operating Company) have retained the restriction. NXEC (National Express East Coast), Virgin, and AXC» (Arriva Cross Country - about) still have blanket bans on outward legs of Offpeak.
Shown here for AXC, in the summary of conditions, lower down the page.
Barry Doe of Rail has just pointed out the Virgin restriction, that they keep fairly quiet about apparently...

4805  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Loco hauled on: January 29, 2009, 11:36:05 am
Any likelihood of keeping or increasing 180s must surely be impossible now anyway, with all those ECML (East Coast Main Line) open access operators needing them being approved today?

4806  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Handy hints and tips on: January 29, 2009, 10:29:07 am
The National Express East Coast discount is only for National Express East Coast Advance fares.

And may not even apply any more. I did not apparently get the discount when I booked an NXEC (National Express East Coast) advance fare from LDS to KGX the other day, using their website.

You wouldn't, it has fdefinitely finished. Apparently it was meant to be an introductory discount to encourage use of their website. It worked, so it's ended.

4807  Journey by Journey / Cross Country services / Re: refurb voyager on: January 27, 2009, 10:08:02 pm
My understanding of the XC refurbishments was that they were planning to take out the onboard shop and a toilet.

The toilet removal was cancelled almost as soon after it was first mentioned. It was certainly not included in the AXC» (Arriva Cross Country - about) website page 'our plans' when they took over the franchise in Dec 2007, although the shop removal was shown.

4808  Journey by Journey / Transport for London / Re: NEW HEATHROW HUB on: January 24, 2009, 09:17:36 pm
I must be mistaken..... Huh I am sure that there was a campaign to restore the GC» (Great Central Railway - link to heritage line) line so double deck goods could be run.

I think that the 'Great Central' freight proposal was for gauge clearance to allow carriage of lorries piggy back style, ie more like the Eurotunnel shuttles, but on completely open flat wagons.

However,the GC was only built to whatever 'continental gauge' was when it was built, not necessarily the latest UIC gauge as now defined, and the proposals included an enhanced gauge route round SE and S London, and from Sheffield (ish) to the NW, so I think a good proportion of the route needed a lot of work anyway.

4809  Journey by Journey / Transport for London / Re: NEW HEATHROW HUB on: January 20, 2009, 09:14:40 pm
I think it is fair to say that Ruth Kelly's announcement implying the GC» (Great Central Railway - link to heritage line) route would be used as far as Rugby was totally ridiculed about this time last year. Their were rumours she had completely misunderstood her briefing...

4810  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Nailsea & Backwell Station on: January 19, 2009, 10:40:54 pm
SWT (South West Trains) have an S&B TVM (Ticket Vending Machine) at Sholing on the Netley line that has a heavy duty exterior casing and an integral roller shutter mechanism. Not sure what time of day the shutter comes down, but I wonder if N&B Is the sort of location a machine like this should be used?

4811  Journey by Journey / Transport for London / Re: NEW HEATHROW HUB on: January 19, 2009, 10:34:58 pm
I thought the idea of HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)), and other routes was not to add multiple stops on the line.

Surely Coventry is to close to Birmingham for this to be valid?

Most of the theoretical routes for HS2 go nowhere near Coventry anyway, the most likely idea is that it follows the M40 corridor from north of Banbury somewhere, heading towards then past Birmingham International...

Unlucky Coventry...

4812  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Through trains: London to Bristol, Weston and beyond (merged topics) on: January 19, 2009, 10:27:43 pm
The 52 carriages for FGW (First Great Western) in the rolling stock plan was always expected to include more for the LTV (London [and] Thames Valley) lines than the 'Bristol area'. But these announcements (such as the 200 carriages in December) are not the full picture - they could well provide 11 x 4 car units for the Cardiff - Portsmouth route, and send 10 x 3 and 1 x 2 car 158 up north. Net result 12 extra carriages for Bristol...

I'd emphasise that is pure guesswork on my part, but it would fit both the previous government announcements, and the 44 car story the Bristol media came up with previously, albeit with no real evidence AFAICS (As Far As I Can See)...

4813  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Timetable distribution on: January 15, 2009, 11:40:36 pm
Interesting you should bring this up D/M.

I popped into Bath Spa station the other week to see that they only had 1 XC timetable being displayed on the TT racks - (Yellow) Southwest to Manchester/North East and Scotland. Pre the December 14 TT change, Bath Spa always had four XC timetables on the racks. Big deal I hear you say but a few days later passing through Bristol TM(resolve) popped into the travel centre only to find they were only displaying the same XC TT as at Bath and the (Purple) Cardiff/Bristol to Derby & Nottingham.

Is this Arriva cutting back on only displaying timetables that pertain to the station/area they serve? Another hint that this maybe the case was BTM (Bristol Temple Meads (strictly, it should be BRI)) travel centre always had a selection of ATW (Arriva Trains Wales (former TOC (Train Operating Company))) timetables available on display. This was not the case when I was there the other week.

You can pick up all six XC timetables at Birmingham New Street though  Smiley

The format of the main XC timetables (the 'proper' cross country routes) changed this year, and the basis is that the four quadrants each give all the journeys to the two opposite ends of the country, the big assumption probably being no-one will go from Bournemouth to Plymouth via New St, or NW to NE (and vice versa). So from the south coast (green) you get all through trains and connections to the NW and NE, which the old green book already did, but from the SW you now only need the one, whereas previously you needed to have a separate NW 'blue' and NE 'orange'.  Similarly for those in the NW and NE.

I did pick up an orange book in Newcastle over Christmas, but it didn't provide any info I needed, so I think for most normal users based in one place, it's possibly an improvement.

Never used the ex-Central bits though, so can't comment there...


4814  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Driver-only operation on: January 15, 2009, 11:20:10 pm
I like the compromise SN use on their Electrostars on longer distance services. The driver opens the doors (I believe with automatic SDO (Selective Door Opening)), avoiding the long delay typical on SWT (South West Trains) where the guard does it. Then the guard deals with closing up and gives the right away. Train spends less time stationary, guard keeps his job.

4815  Journey by Journey / Portsmouth to Cardiff / Re: Extend Southern to Salisbury from So'ton on: January 15, 2009, 11:14:12 pm
This has been suggested before elsewhere. The SN Brighton to Ashford is a 171 DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) - because the line is not electrified beyond Ore, which is about half way to Ashford. The running time east of Brighton is 1h44m, Salisbury to Brighton is 2h15m, so 4 hours.  But, I suspect you might need to change at Brighton - I'm not sure for definite, but I don't think you can run from Hove, into Brighton, and reverse out again onto the East Coastway? (Any info welcome on that bit...) 

So the choice is between a 4 hour plus trip, or 90min with 20 mins on the underground, or the direct bus, or a taxi. I know which one I'd choose, especially as Ashford sees a much reduced Eurostar service nowadays...

The point about SN having only enough DMUs for the lines already necessary  is made earlier.

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