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[117] Weymouth Harbour railway line - merged topic, ongoing discussi...
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16  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, 09:44:21 am
Damage to overhead lines apparently.  Just what is the point of switching to overhead electricity?  It just adds another thing to go wrong .

In theory, electrification is the way forward.
Less reliance on imported oil.
No pollution at point of use.
Better performance
Electric trains should be simpler and more reliable.

However as recent events have shown, network rail are not capable of electrifying on time or within budget, neither are they able to maintain existing infrastructure properly.
17  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion on: October 17, 2018, 09:30:17 am
What caused the wire this morning to be "ripped down", if that is what has happened? Something falling on it? Vandalism? Malfunctioning pantograph? ...

Could it be Driver error? If so, I suspect someone is feeling rather uncomfortable this morning....

I rather doubt it. All the driver can do is raise or lower the pantograph, perhaps in the wrong place.

Pantograph lowered when it should remain up--------------Train looses power and coasts. No contact with overhead, therefore no damage.
Pantograph raised when it should be lowered.-------------Pantograph liable to be knocked of  by a bridge or signal gantry. No overhead present to be damaged.

If the pantograph is improperly raised just before entering an electrified section, then no damage should be caused because the overhead is ramped at the entrance.

A defective pantograph seems the likely cause with defective overhead a distinct possibility. Either can result in the overhead getting caught UNDER the pantograph and pulling down the wires.
18  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: "Chaos at London Victoria" 05/07/2018 on: October 16, 2018, 11:31:08 pm
Has this fault, or a very similar one recurred ?
No effective service from London Victoria again tonight, due to a power failure.


19  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: October 16, 2018, 11:21:46 am
Today with 5 cars rather than 9 it's 'standing in the aisles an lobbies' even in first, with the restaurant coach being defended against even first class boarders who don't want breakfast.
Shouldn't be, when it was known the service was going to be short formed the restaurant service should have been cancelled to free up seats. I would imagine there would have been a few very annoyed first class ticket holders who paid a heck of a lot of money being peak time to end up standing.

Not certain that cancelling the restaurant would have helped.
The train still contains the same inadequate number of seats, cancelling the restaurant wont increase this number.
Every seat was taken and the fact that some of these seats were taken by customers eating breakfast, does not reduce total capacity.
It would be reasonable to restrict the restaurant to first class ticket holders, but I presume that this was done.
20  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: October 16, 2018, 10:28:00 am
Are the short forms a response to the ORR requiring the anti-idiot modifications?

I doubt it, designing the anti Darwin modifications and getting them approved by all the relevant agencies will take some time.
21  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: October 15, 2018, 04:56:22 pm
"As we continue to realise the advantages of the investment made in our new Inter City Express trains, we intend to fully exploit the flexible train length in order to further improve the travel experience.
Going forward, we are moving away from a rigid pre-planned number of carriages.
Instead we will flexibly update train lengths in order to provide many extra seats on our busiest services.

This will give us the facility to respond dynamically in real time to changing customer flows, and provide the very longest trains, with HUNDREDS of extra seats, where demand is greatest"

As GWR are a bit busy, I have done the press release for them.

TRANSLATION=======There is now no such thing as a short train, merely improved flexibility.
22  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture Overseas / Re: Hostage taken at Cologne rail station. on: October 15, 2018, 02:45:28 pm
"hostage now safe" later reports state.
23  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture Overseas / Hostage taken at Cologne rail station. on: October 15, 2018, 02:40:28 pm
It is not clear if this was targeting the railway, or if it is a random act of terrorism/criminality that merely happened to be at a station rather than some other public space.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45862091

Some reports state that shots have been fired.
24  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: October 15, 2018, 12:24:24 pm
Did you get your Brekkie in the end, CharlieGCR?

And did the short formation appear on journey check ?
25  All across the Great Western territory / Diary - what's happening when? / Re: 30th October 2018 - Minehead Rail Link Group on: October 14, 2018, 02:49:37 pm
Passive provision to reinstate a four track railway from Cogload Junction to Norton Fitzwarren Junction may have been in the back of the minds of some at BR.

What wouldn't have entered their minds though would have been making that passive provision for the future aspirations of a private heritage railway.

The 1970s were indeed a different country in this regard. There was strong transport union opposition to the nascent West Somerset Railway. Western National busmen in the area were, at the time, in the National Union of Railwaymen (NUR), alongside their British Rail Western Region brothers. An accident of history going back to the days of Great Western Railway bus services. These heavily unionised, and by contemporary accounts quite militant, bus and rail staff were deeply opposed to the West Somerset Railway ever running back into Taunton. There was a fear, probably misplaced, that the WSR were a threat to the parallel Taunton - Minehead buses.

Add to that the idea of a private operator making a success of a line closed by BR, and you can understand why BR were reluctant to assist the WSR's (and Somerset County Council who actually purchased the line) early aims to run what would have been commercial services into and out of Taunton.

So the opportunity to keep Minehead connected to Taunton by rail, for regular services, was lost in the 1970s. Subsequent rationalisation by BR, and renewal works into the 21st century by Network Rail, have focused solely on the infrastructure for national rail services. It's actually a small miracle that the physical link to the WSR at Norton Fitzwarren wasn't cut when the Taunton Cider factory closed (I do miss Autumn Gold, Natch, Exhibition..), along with its Speedlink freight siding.

The passive provision we have today is the land acquired at Norton Fitzwarren by WSR, and a 'Core Strategy' plan from Taunton Deane Borough Council that includes access to this land. A new main road already runs right up to the former site of Norton Fitzwarren Station. This road abruptly ends here, but it's clear the intention is to link it to the WSR site. This land, known as Ford's Farm, is earmarked for as a 'potential use for mixed development' site*. All that'd be needed then is to get Network Rail (and by extension HMG) onside to plan a mainline station here too. Three platforms. Up and Down Main and the third for WSR services. And with the land that's available you have room for 'Parkway' style provison, with bus, cycle and pedestrian facilities for a large and growing catchment. Add in the recent new build and future planned housing and you have a very attractive proposition. One that's far easier to plan and fund than trying to square the circle of running heritage trains into and out of Taunton.

* http://consultldf.tauntondeane.gov.uk/portal/corestrat/adoptedcs?pointId=1342694080913


I very largely agree, but remain  concerned at the NIMBY factor.
Objections to car parking and extra traffic could perhaps be handled by not providing any public parking and by branding the new station "Norton Interchange" or some other wording not including parkway.

I fully appreciate that car parking is a general requirement at rail stations, but in this particular case, it might be reasonable to suggest that car drivers could use the existing Taunton station.

Presumably under this proposal, a regular service between Norton Interchange and Taunton would be operated by GWR, whilst a regular service between Norton Interchange and Minehead would be operated the WSR.
26  Journey by Journey / Shorter journeys in Devon / Re: Sinkhole at Newton Abbot - main line closed 14/10/18 on: October 14, 2018, 01:41:07 pm
The "hole" is reported to be 20ft deep

How many of those will it take to fill the Albert Hall?*

*Mandatory "joke" #2.

Surely that should be "Olympic Swimming Pool" ?

It is not that big, probably several would fit into a double decker bus.
27  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The West - but NOT the West's trains / Re: Carnival parades & safety at them on: October 14, 2018, 01:32:00 pm
Many dogs are frightened by very sudden noises such as fireworks or gunshots, but tolerate other noise such as crowds or music well.
Most dogs like attention and associate crowds with extra petting and attention, and perhaps the odd treat.

A minority of dogs are frightened of anything, but most enjoy public events.
28  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: October 13, 2018, 02:05:47 pm
Are there still issues with the electronic reservation system that the 800's? Was on one from Swansea to Paddington over the weekend (that was delayed by almost 2 hours thanks to a broken down freight train, but that is a different issue!) and the reservations weren't on. No comments from the TM about it, and the service was quiet enough that it didn't matter. Just curious.

Apart from any inherent unreliability, including lack of signal to download the data, there is also  the problem that the reservation system cant cope with a different train type.
Substitution of a 5+5 for a 9 car, or the other way round means no reservations, as does an HST instead of an IET.
29  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: The fair weather railway? on: October 12, 2018, 07:16:31 pm
#Green,grey not blue, what does it mean to you? Shout it aloud,make broadgage proud,menus awake......#

don't understand the significance, do please elucidate.
30  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: What can be taken on the train can't be taken on the plane on: October 12, 2018, 11:01:22 am
What happened to the old rule of "no more than 50 kilos of luggage in standard class and not exceeding 75 kilos in first"

I suspect that many passengers have more items of luggage or larger luggage than is permitted by the new rules.
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