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1  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Aberthaw Power Station and Decarbonisation on: Yesterday at 11:04:52 am
The UK (United Kingdom) is wasting a lot of wind power

Last year, the UK generated ~30% of its energy from renewables, of which windpower (~23% total generation) was by far the biggest contributor.

But on the windiest days, we deliberately capped the amount of power our turbines were producing, reducing the total amount generated by 6%. In fact, it’s worse than that: not only did we turn off our turbines, but we paid the owners of windfarms to turn them off. This is called curtailment.

In 2022, a year characterized by extraordinary hikes in energy prices for consumers, we spent £215m on turning windfarms off, and then another £717m turning on gas power plants to replace the lost wind power. In the process, we emitted an extra 1.5 million tonnes of CO2.

If you're interested in this kind of thing, here's the full post by Archy de Berker
2  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion on: January 28, 2023, 02:35:17 pm
Unless this has very recently changed, Gareth Dennis is employed by Arcadis, the multinational design and engineering company headquartered in Amsterdam.


Indeed. Rather ironic given the most recent News reports;

Arcadis, Dennis' employer, would presumably benefit from the massive redesign required at Old Oak if HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)) were to terminate there. So why is Dennis arguing against this? Is it possible that he is just giving his honest opinion?
3  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion on: January 27, 2023, 05:12:33 pm
On the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) Gareth Dennis described this story as a dead cat, intended to draw attention from various ministers and their tax embarrassments.
4  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion on: January 27, 2023, 12:26:58 pm
The question I find myself asking ,is why today ? What are they attempting to lay a smokescreen with HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)) for ?..


Out of interest, how much of a disaster would it have been to terminate HS2 at Wormwood Scrubs Central?
5  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion on: January 27, 2023, 08:22:07 am
BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) reporting that the HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)) line might only run as far as West London and not go into central London.

The BBC is actually reporting that the Sun is reporting this. I wonder who told the Sun?
6  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / New station at North Filton/Brabazon, Bristol on: January 25, 2023, 10:20:15 am
I will stick my neck out and start a new topic for this!

New North Filton rail station approved

South Gloucestershire Council has today granted planning permission for the new North Filton Station, which will connect rail services to the new community, known as ‘Brabazon’, being developed on the former Filton Airfield site, as well as visitors to the new Arena.

The new station is part of the MetroWest project and will also benefit existing and future residents and businesses in Filton and Patchway and bring people to and from Cribbs Causeway shopping mall.

Up to 6,000 new homes are planned to be delivered in the next 20 years in the local area and providing reliable public transport links to Bristol and the region will help to make these new communities sustainable and successful.

Regular trains from the new North Filton station will connect to the Henbury Link, from Henbury to Temple Meads via Filton and Ashley Down. The council received revised plans for the new station just before Christmas from Network Rail and fast-tracked its final assessment of the proposals to enable a decision to be made promptly, so that work on the station could begin as soon as possible. It is hoped the station will be complete by 2026.

Councillor Steve Reade, cabinet member with responsibility for planning and strategic infrastructure at South Gloucestershire Council, said: “This is a significant milestone, and I am pleased the council has been able to prioritise its efforts to accelerate the delivery of the planning permission for the new station.

“North Filton Station will support not only the growing resident population, but the new and existing infrastructure, businesses and entertainment facilities, which will attract visitors from across the region and beyond to this part of South Gloucestershire. Having regular and reliable public transport links will be vital to make this area an attractive place to live, work and visit.

“This decision will now enable our delivery partners to take forward the new station without delay to serve the new arena, existing residents and businesses and the new community at Brabazon.”
Source: South Gloucestershire Council

7  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: MetroWest services begin on: January 23, 2023, 03:15:23 pm
Yate is mentioned several times in the debate (see link to Hansard above), and MetroWest 2 plans include the 2tph Yate service, so I think it is safe to assume that.
8  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: MetroWest services begin on: January 20, 2023, 11:35:54 am
From Hansard


Huw Merriman >

...I am happy to confirm that, subject to the provision of the necessary funding by the West of England Combined Authority, services between Bristol and Gloucester will be doubled to two trains per hour from the May 2023 timetable change as part of the wider MetroWest scheme. I thank my hon. Friend for helping make this happen and the West of England Combined Authority, which has worked in partnership with officials in my Department and the operator, Great Western Railway, to make this possible. GWR (Great Western Railway) has identified all the rolling stock that it will need for the extra trains and is confident that it will have all the staff training completed in time to introduce the additional services from May. I hope that that provides the assurance my hon. Friend was looking for, but as always—and in answer to his request—I am happy to meet him to understand any further concerns, and to help him make this happen.

9  All across the Great Western territory / Active travel: Cyclists and walkers, including how the railways deal with them / Re: E-scooter trials - but rental only. What do members think? on: January 18, 2023, 01:47:49 pm
New e-scooter rental scheme in Bristol will see parking spaces on roads instead of pavements

The contract to run Bristol's e-scooter scheme is up for renewal and could see major changes

A new e-scooter rental scheme in Bristol will see parking spaces move onto roads in designated spots instead of on pavements. The new rental scheme, expected to be brought in around spring or summer this year, will likely also include electric bicycles as well as e-scooters.

Swedish company Voi has operated rentable e-scooters in Bristol in a trial beginning in October 2020. But the scheme could soon be taken over by a new company, as the West of England has asked operators to bid for a long-term contract across the wider region.

Bristol City Council is planning to address some issues on “parking and rider behaviour” with the current Voi e-scooters by shifting parking spaces from virtual spots on pavements onto clearly marked areas on the road. The cabinet is due to sign off these plans on January 24.

Source: Bristol Live
10  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: New station at Ashley Down, Bristol on: January 18, 2023, 01:41:29 pm
Will the opening of Ashley Down station signal the start of half-hourly running to Yate and Gloucester, or is that dependent on something else?

The official line is that services terminating at Filton Abbey Wood will call here, and that these services will be extended to Brabazon and Henbury when these stations open.

It would seem very sensible for a 2TPH Bristol - Gloucester service to stop at Ashley Down, but no-one is committing to that at the moment. Whether that service goes ahead in May 2023 is another question, what with the funding gap and potential lack of suitable units to run it.

11  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Brabazon, Bristol on: January 18, 2023, 09:40:21 am
Now, if you wanted to get all conspiratorial you might wonder if it's any coincidence that Marv's stint as Mayor ends in May 2024? For that matter, the next UK (United Kingdom) General Election has to be held no later than Jan 2025.

So get Marv safely out of the way, see which way the political wind is blowing, get the arena soft-launched in 2025 with bookings for the big stuff in 2026.

Not completely impossible is get Marvin out of the way, and install a council with a mandate to build an arena on the original spot. It has planning permission.

I’m not sure that the fate of the YTL Arena has much connection with the fate of the outgoing Bristol Mayor.

As to the original Arena site: it is vanishingly unlikely that anyone would advocate reopening that can of worms.
12  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: Portishead Line reopening for passengers - ongoing discussion on: January 16, 2023, 07:08:35 pm
The only stations included in the current scheme are Pilning Pill and Portishead.

Edit by RogerW 1930 16/01
13  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Which Big Four railway company is your favourite? on: January 16, 2023, 04:39:13 pm
Does this just come down to where you were brought up, or is there more to it than that?

People might be biased by where they were brought up - but how could anyone complete with the company that brought you ...
* Only international passenger trains
* The ultimate 0-6-0 (Q1 class)
* Schools class - most elegant and powerful 4-4-0
* Steam locomotive with thermic siphons, bogies and cabs at each end
* First heavily electrified mass transit railway
* First double decker train in the UK (United Kingdom)
* and was the only company with separate network on an island

Edit to correct typos

For most of the area covered by this forum, the GWR (Great Western Railway) shared its territory with other railways - the Southern all the way to the West Country, and the LMS (London Midland Scottish - 1923 to 1948) into Bristol and South Wales. Our choices don't just come down to where we are brought up.

So what makes the GWR unique?

At the heart of the GWR is what we could refer to as HS0 - Britain's first High-Speed inter-city railway, from Bristol to London. It's Engineer's Line Reference says it all: MLN, or Main Line. Was anything better built before HS1 (High Speed line 1 - St Pancras to Channel Tunnel)?

GWR's standard locos under Churchward led, through his protege Stanier, to the British Rail Standard locos. Evening Star was arguably the pinnacle of Great Western loco design. GWR locos didn't need lipstick or party frocks to make them look good or, more to the point, 'right'.

But perhaps the main thing the GWR had that set it aside from the other roads is that it alone survived the grouping:

It didn't have to contend with the upheavals or internal rivalries that beset the other three. It didn't just keep the name of a previous company - it survived, enlarged, with its culture and traditions intact.
14  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Which Big Four railway company is your favourite? on: January 15, 2023, 06:32:18 pm
Sorry to be a bit slow getting back to this, and thanks for all your votes and input. I finally succumbed to COVID just after Xmas, and have been out of commission for a week or so. But I'm on the mend now!

The idea for this poll sprung from grahame's thread King Charles coins: coins to celebrate Windrush, NHS and Flying Scotsman. I noted that 2023 was also the centenary of the Grouping which created the LMS (London Midland Scottish - 1923 to 1948), SR(resolve) and LNER» (London North Eastern Railway - about), as well as being the 75th anniversary of the creation of British Rail. I may have referred (well all right I DID» (Didcot Parkway - next trains) refer) to the LMS, SR and LNER as 'the lesser three of the Big Four'.

Grahame set out to disprove this assertion by citing figures for route mileage, numbers of passengers hauled and freight tonnage. But can greatness be measured in these terms?

I wanted to test the theory that most of us would have a favourite, despite the fact that few forum members could have any meaningful memory of the pre-1948 railway. Nearly 80% of respondents did indeed declare a favourite. And despite the fact that the forum covers the territory of the LMS, SR and GWR (Great Western Railway), the GWR was the clear winner with over half of those who had a favourite choosing it.

Does this just come down to where you were brought up, or is there more to it than that?
15  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Railway station could reopen at Ashton Gate stadium on: January 15, 2023, 05:45:27 pm
This has already been posted to the Portishead Line reopening for passengers - ongoing discussion thread.

I will lock this topic to keep things tidy.

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