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[211] Re 11th to 14th August 2022- Bristol International Balloon Fie...
[102] Weymouth front revamp and ripping up (not used) rail lines
[77] GWR line closures this Sunday
[56] smart cards for Bristol area
[52] Our (members) train use is down - poll as to why
[25] Walking distance between platforms.
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 on: Yesterday at 11:49:00 pm 
Started by grahame - Last post by TJ
Wonderful statistics but I live in the real world.

Yes many cancellations will not cause too many problems but when they occur at peak times it is another matter.

GWR (Great Western Railway)'s current reliability record leaves much to be desired across the whole of their patch.

 on: Yesterday at 11:41:01 pm 
Started by infoman - Last post by stuving
Errr….it refers to

The GWR (Great Western Railway) touch smartcard will be available to use across the west of England area

Twice on that page….

But it was introduced in the heading - and several other times - as "the new pay-as-you-go GWR touch smartcard". Saying it's "available to use across the west of England area" is still rather vague until you know what it can be used for. It's implying a common function with the old GWR touch smartcards, which is what I think needs to be spelled out.

It says the new card can hold other rail tickets, which sounds like it can do anything an old card can.

The instructions for getting one suggest that for Bristol PAYG (Pay as you go) it has to be a new card, an old one won't do it.
Get ready and pre-order your free GWR smartcard now
Coming soon in late August 2022, get your GWR touch smartcard now and we’ll let you know when you can start enjoying pay-as-you-go travel with GWR.
  • register for an account or login if you already have one
  • go to ‘Manage smartcards’ within your account and choose ‘Apply for a smartcard’ from the drop-down menu
  • fill out the form and submit your order
  • you should usually receive your free smartcard within five working days

So are there two distinct cards? Or is this "new card" really a new feature of the existing cards?

 on: Yesterday at 11:34:03 pm 
Started by infoman - Last post by bobm
Refuse to go out or just not up by 9.30?  Grin

 on: Yesterday at 11:07:28 pm 
Started by johnneyw - Last post by johnneyw
Wales Online are reporting on revisions to the Cardiff Bay line and announcement of the commencement of construction preparatory work.
In short, there will be a new station at Butetown, a little North of the original Loudon Square proposed site and there will seemingly no longer be an extension past Cardiff Bay Station but the station itself will be upgraded with two platforms.
Article link below:

 on: Yesterday at 10:57:47 pm 
Started by grahame - Last post by Hafren
Overall I'm back to 'full' use, or something approaching it.
My job itself and personal preference are such that I'm basically full-time in the office, but the odd day of working from home happens.
Leisure travel is mostly as before, but not 100%; certain things are happening less often than they were, for various reasons.

But there are certain journeys that I would have made occasionally, that I've made zero times since 2020 took off. This is a mix of services not being quite back to their previous level (e.g. I've said elsewhere that if I wanted to do a full-day return on the Heart of Wales Line, I no longer can), and wariness over the railway's inability to provide the advertised level of service.

I've always been able to brush off the various delays and cancellations that occur as 'one of those things'.... I have enough understanding of railway operations to be able to see why things happen, and generally know that they'll make arrangements to get me home if a last connection is missed, or whatever. And I accept that if a lot of people want to travel, it will be busy. But the trust is evaporating.  The resources just aren't there. Insufficient traincrew. Insufficient trains. So although I'm mostly back to the way I was pre-2020, and if I'm seeing someone in particular or whatever I'll still go for it, but I'm a little bit wary and a bit more averse to travelling for the sake of it. These issues are particularly hitting routes that rely on tourism at a time when tourism should be a focus for the industry.

Covid-related delays to training are understandable. Lack of stock isn't, given how much new stock is running around at the moment, and therefore how much cascading should be possible. (Actually financial constraints that might be behind this are also understandable... but the end result is unchanged.)

 on: Yesterday at 10:29:03 pm 
Started by grahame - Last post by Trowres
Well, I've broken a long spell of not using national rail services (since March 2020!) with a leisure journey on Northern Rail. Avoided strike days and journey worked out as planned.

Back in GWR (Great Western Railway)-land, an essential journey. Portsmouth-Cardiff ran late and missed connection. Coming back, two consecutive Portsmouth trains cancelled so over an hour late home. Other train services on GWML (Great Western Main Line) and Elizabeth Line ran OK.

The Cardiff-Portsmouth route (and its offshoots to Swindon and Weymouth) are performing miserably this year and it's not all down to strikes.

As for SWR» (South Western Railway - about)...

 on: Yesterday at 09:03:14 pm 
Started by infoman - Last post by TonyK
And after years of saying what a good idea tap-in-tap-out would be for Bristol, it has finally arrived, but I won't be using it. My days of paying for bus travel are behind me, and I now refuse to out before 9.30.

 on: Yesterday at 08:59:50 pm 
Started by grahame - Last post by TonyK
We're all guilty of climate hypocrisy from time to time, though Rees' handling of the scrutiny he received after his Canada trip has been widely condemned.

However the Balloon Fiesta is an independently organised event which takes place in North Somerset. Rees has made it fairly clear that it's not something he considers important. Bristol's politics has very little to do with it.

The Fiesta organisers take a lot of stick every time the event takes place, usually because they've failed to arrange the right kind of weather. It's a shoestring operation, several orders of magnitude smaller that the Commonwealth games, so it really isn't fair to try to compare it.

It may be in North Somerset, but isn't the estate owned by Bristol City Council?

I do indeed recall the early days, when Cameron Balloons was based in Cotham, round the corner from the grubby bedsit I inhabited in 1977-78. Curious as to what was going on in this old church or school, I stuck my head around the door, and was given an early guided tour of a single hall, a couple of sewing machines and a lot of fabric. The company followed me when I relocated to Bedminster. At the first fiesta in 1979, it was easy to chat to the balloonists, as there weren't that many. It did rather grow out of control for a while, with the infrastructure adapting just a little bit too far behind the pace, and I haven't been there since about 1995. It was always just as spectacular from the back garden, and the food was cheaper.

I was in Bristol on Sunday, and was surprised by the lightness of the traffic. I wonder if attendance was down given that the hot weather forced cancellation of the evening ascents, and the lack of buses was compounded by a lack of railway traffic on Saturday. Mayor Marvin's attitude to the event is poor - it is historic and the best known thing about Bristol in some parts of the world.

and please don't bring your family pet,the dog. I have heard there will be plenty of H2O points around the sight

I would be more worried about K9P.

 on: Yesterday at 08:59:12 pm 
Started by infoman - Last post by grahame
Weymouth station was cut right back at a low point and these days is woefully inadequate on a nice summer's day. Even in the least destructive options in things like the Serpell Report, Weymouth was to only be the terminus of a line running from Southampton and that platform is just a token "we had better provide something for the moment" for the moment while the old GWR (Great Western Railway) line to Yeovil dies.

 on: Yesterday at 08:27:27 pm 
Started by grahame - Last post by hoover50
You need to add an option to this poll: Train Strikes

Train Strikes are massively suppressing my train use. ...

That's a vote for "unreliable train services" please  Grin

I still think you need to add a separate option for train strikes.

Cracked brackets, lack of crew, floods, leaves on the line, disruptive passengers, scheduling errors, axle counter failure or a cow moo-ving around on the track are all unplanned one-off events which cause disruption that results in an unreliable train service.

That is rather different to having NO TRAINS ALL DAY on strike days because of train strikes which are deliberately planned to cause disruption.

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