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1  All across the Great Western territory / Active travel: Cyclists and walkers, including how the railways deal with them / Re: Unhappy cycling in Melksham on: May 27, 2023, 07:10:59 pm

On more than one occasion I’ve found myself on a road with an attractive cycle path running long side it, but no way of accessing it other than to stop, unclip and lift my bike over a kerb. This in itself can be more dangerous than just keeping going.
...and no guarantee that it won't fizzle out at the next side-turning or take me off in a different direction (up to the gates of a school for instance). One reason I rarely use cycle tracks in areas I don't know unless they are very well signposted.
2  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Heritage railway lines, Railtours, other rail based attractions / Re: 50 years of torbay railway on BBC on: May 22, 2023, 10:25:30 am
Maybe the way to run a heritage line.

It’s a lovely line, but with the closure of Churston station and the inflexibility of ticketing it has become a pure tourist ride.

I really hope other heritage railways don’t have to follow their example.
Agree entirely. Being fussy, it's not in my view even a particularly good heritage railway, mostly using former 1960s DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) trailer cars painted in a pseudo-heritage style. I see Greenway Halt is also no longer served; I've used that previously to visit Agatha Christie's house which made for a great day out.

On the other hand they're making a go of it so perhaps I should just accept that their approach works for some people.
3  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: All line rover - checking on restrictions on: May 10, 2023, 05:43:37 pm
...and in the absence of any specific statement to the contrary, best to take the exclusion of London Underground at face value and assume that it's not even valid on the bits that other NR» (Network Rail - home page)-only tickets are accepted on for specific journeys (Baker St-Amersham, Tower Hill-Upminster etc).  Chances are any revenue or station staff you encounter won't be sure either (though some may claim to know and refuse to budge!), but it's really not worth opening that can of worms.

A fun thing to use and the flexibility apart from a few time restrictions is handy, but I'd say you really do need to enjoy rail travel and make at least one long journey each day for it to pay for itself. If this leads anywhere we'll be following the week with interest!
4  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: Landslip at Micheldever - 9th May 2023 on: May 10, 2023, 11:26:42 am
Off to visit the Swanage Railway tomorrow, so here's hoping things are sorted by then.

Was the Alton-Winchester line ever double track?  Maybe my view of it is skewed by seeing it now only with its heritage operation, but it always strikes me as a sleepy branch line that happened to form a through route. Unless it could have supported itself with fairly local traffic, the money needed to turn it into a viable main line and keep it that way over the years would probably have been better spent elsewhere, say on maintaining the current SW main line.  I don't know Winchester well, but it strikes me as the sort of place that would suffer from road traffic congestion so the rail link would now be seen as useful, but sadly the time has passed.
5  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The West - but NOT trains in the West / Re: Local elections, 4th May 2023 on: May 05, 2023, 08:48:15 am
I still struggle to see why local government is nearly always organised on party lines. The services they organise really needn't be defined by political beliefs, and it becomes doubly illogical when people vote based on how a party is governing nationally rather than on proposed local policies.
6  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: TfL plan to scrap Travelcards on: April 29, 2023, 09:07:58 pm
I'd be interested to see the figures behind the claim on the petition page that "Scrapping Day TravelCards could cost YOU an extra £9.30".  It will vary greatly by each person's mix of journeys, where they change to LU and so on. It's true that many people will pay more than they currently do, but the add-on to the London Terminals price isn't fixed so far as I know, and some people do buy Travelcards when it would be cheaper not to.

It's also worth noting that the proposal applies only to Day Travelcards, not weekly and longer period ones, though far fewer people are buying these now of course thanks to working from home, and TfL» (Transport for London - about) have refused to join in with the Flexiseason scheme which would help. They may be hoping that period Travelcards will just die a natural death.
7  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture Overseas / Re: "I didn't share snacks with hungry kid when stuck on train, he's not my problem" on: April 28, 2023, 12:33:28 am
I'd say yes if it keeps the kid quiet!
8  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion on: April 25, 2023, 08:20:41 pm
won't commit to Euston though he does commit to Manchester........although as Andrew Neil points out you can get there in 2 hours already.

...which is sort of irrelevant as the main aim (despite the media focus on high speeds resulting from calling it HS2 (The next High Speed line(s))) is to take much of the long-distance traffic off the West Coast Main Line to make more room for freight and shorter distance passengers. Trouble is if the journey from central London by HS2 takes about as long and is less straightforward, which it will be if you have to head out to Old Oak Common first, most people will still prefer to use the existing route from Euston rendering HS2 all but pointless.
9  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Peak from Paddington - Reading on: April 20, 2023, 12:11:13 am
Times are already aligned for (contactless) pay as you go fares as far out as Reading.  Real ticket times vary - often to the passenger's benefit - by specific journey so there isn't a simple blanket timeband. Many longer distance tickets via London are valid at all times on all trains, and even for example an Off Peak Day Return from Didcot to Paddington can apparently be used to leave London on most evening peak trains, though bizarrely not on the slowest ones.  Checking ahead by planning a journey for 22 May on the National Rail website the same seems to apply then.

It would be good to know exactly what GWR (Great Western Railway) have said (or was it from another source?) as it looks oversimplified.  Some gateline staff at Paddington I gather do try to enforce a simple rule when a ticket is rejected, as they have neither the tools nor the training to deal with the full complexity, and the gates themselves are limited in what they have been or can be programmed to do.

10  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The West - but NOT trains in the West / Re: Golfing by Train on: April 12, 2023, 10:27:29 am
Not me - I don't know one end of a golf bat from the other.

Me neither. I don't like the way the ball dodges out of the way when you try to hit it.
11  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The West - but NOT trains in the West / Re: Golfing by Train on: April 10, 2023, 12:04:25 pm
Denham Golf Club (the club rather than the station) has recently upgraded the access path onto the course from Denham Golf Club station, though they still don't seem to be actively promoting it.  They don't give directions by public transport on their website and the only mention of the station is a warning to avoid car satnavs sending you to it.  I did once come across a golfer arriving by train, but it's very rare and not encouraged by the poor train service.  The name is a nice historical quirk but the station really should have been renamed Higher Denham long ago, perhaps at the same time as one of Chiltern's renamings of their station at Wembley, or the Bicester Town/Village change.
12  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Heritage railway lines, Railtours, other rail based attractions / Re: Volunteering on heritage railways on: April 06, 2023, 11:48:54 pm
Either the people who run the East Lancs Railway are complete idiots or there is more to this than we're being told.  I really can't work out which though.
13  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: Gainsborough to Grimsby - a sad case with a possible light ahead? on: April 06, 2023, 10:32:43 am
Grahame really ought to work for the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) in their PR (Public Relations) department! That's a marvellous way to spin it, but to my way of looking, it's a 66% reduction on any single day, giving far less flexibility in choice of travel time on that day though admittedly an overnight stay is now an option.
14  Journey by Journey / London to South Wales / Re: Paddington into Wales - how far should through services run? on: April 05, 2023, 10:02:54 pm
Never mind Wales! GWR (Great Western Railway) no longer serve Lydney, which despite still being in England so far as I can tell is run by Transport for Wales, with trains from TfW and Cross Country.
15  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: Demand Responsive Bus Services in North Somerset on: April 04, 2023, 11:15:20 pm
Ignore me! Just seen Red Squirrel's post elsewhere. Is there a way to delete a post?
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