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28th Jan (2007)
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 on: Today at 11:39:39 am 
Started by grahame - Last post by Bmblbzzz
Here's a London to Bristol comparison:

1910 - all day:
00:00 - 4 stops - 175 minutes
05:30 - 5 stops - 178 minutes
07:30 - 4 stops - 165 minutes
09:00 - 6 stops - 180 minutes
11:00 - 0 stops - 120 minutes
11:55 - 3 stops - 149 minutes
13:00 - 0 stops - 120 minutes
14:30 - 6 stops - 172 minutes
16:15 - 1 stop  - 130 minutes
17:15 - 7 stops - 195 minutes
18:30 - 1 stop  - 142 minutes
20:05 - 7 stops - 180 minutes
21:50 - 5 stops - 190 minutes

2022 - just over a couple of hours:
11:02 - 5 stops - 93 minutes
11:32 - 5 stops - 97 minutes
12:02 - 5 stops - 97 minutes
12:31 - 5 stops - 94 minutes
13:02 - 5 stops - 93 minutes

In each case, some extra journeys via other and slower routes and with sometimes with changes.
Thanks for the clear summary.

So the services we have now are both more frequent and faster, even though none of them are "fast". A non-stop service might give a good headline along the lines of "Bristol to London in just one hour!" but given that it would probably create pathing difficulties with knock-on effects on local services, would it be a good idea overall?

Also, and mostly, hooray for modern trains!

 on: Today at 11:16:06 am 
Started by IndustryInsider - Last post by TaplowGreen
One of those days?

Cancellations to services at Hungerford

Due to a lorry colliding with a bridge at Hungerford all lines are blocked.
Train services running through this station may be cancelled, delayed or revised. Disruption is expected until 14:00 28/01.

Customer Advice
A lorry has struck a bridge at Hungerford. Engineers need to examine the bridge before trains can move over it safely.
Replacement road transport services are conveying passengers between Newbury and Bedwyn in both directions until further notice. Replacement coaches have been requested to run between Newbury and Bedwyn, via Kintbury and Hungerford, in both directions.

 on: Today at 10:35:28 am 
Started by grahame - Last post by ChrisB
GWRs (Great Western Railway) email confirming continued changes does refer to ‘several more weeks’ unfortunately of changes

 on: Today at 10:11:02 am 
Started by grahame - Last post by stuving
As expected, the timetable for next week has today been "updated" to the same reduced service as this week's. At least I assume it's the same. The relevant "timetables" page does start with a list of re-introductions, but I presume that's all out of date as it's followed by the "January 17 timetable change" announcement.

Of course that bit too contains: "This is not a permanent or long-term timetable. We hope to be able to increase the number of services we provide as soon as we can, once staffing levels allow." Given the news about staff absence levels declining elsewhere (NHS, etc.), would you not expect SWR» (South Western Railway - about) to say what the current position is? Or at least to go back and read that page to see if it's still true?

 on: Today at 10:00:54 am 
Started by grahame - Last post by grahame
This forum's first post was made 15 years ago today:

Hello and welcome!


This site has been set up for CUSTOMERS and WANNABE Customers of First Great Western so that they can exchange views, stories, suggestion - with the ultipmate objective of making positive feedback, actually having the customer listened to and heeded and perhaps coming up with a better rail service for us, and one that's better for the operator, the economy and the environment too.

How similar things look to me today, even in a very different world.  I had a long piece prepared, going further into current issues, but they have been very much covered in recent days and I would risk becoming a squeaky wheel rather than offering an oil can. So that piece is held back.

Although we have comparable issues today, we can look back with great pride at what the wider informed passenger and passenger-aware professionals have achieved.  Many issues remain, but many have not got worse where they could have done, and im many areas things have greatly improved.

If you are a new reader, please take a look around, sign up, comment, join us - we're still needed and going to be around a while yet.  And, just occasionally, we have achieved that original and still-valid objective.

 on: Today at 09:42:42 am 
Started by grahame - Last post by ChrisB
Check Grsham’s link above to te Pure website shops page?

I *think* it repeats…

 on: Today at 09:39:44 am 
Started by Mark A - Last post by ChrisB
My comment above that Graham queried was about the referral to the CMA.

 on: Today at 09:34:35 am 
Started by froome - Last post by eXPassenger
No problems here

 on: Today at 09:22:32 am 
Started by Mark A - Last post by grahame
The two extremities of the SWR» (South Western Railway - about) network which appear to be unfairly picked on. One question I see frequently asked on articles about cuts on both lines is how come they can run a near normal timetable of direct services on weekends but not weekdays?

I am - ever so slightly - stand in SWR defense here and offer a partial explanation / suggestion.

Were I looking to be in charge of running a TOC (Train Operating Company) network at present and with limited resources out of my control (whether I was very short on staff, or very short of money to pay for day to day operation), I  would look to be providing a good service to match current demand as far practical - and that relates to journey opportunities and reliability.

Taking the West of England 'section' ...
* A. From Exeter, a base service every two hours all the way to London (Waterloo), calling at nearly all stations as far as Basingstoke then Woking, Clapham Junction and Waterloo
* B. From Exeter, a second service every two hours - "Metro", probably to Honiton or Axminster, and picking up any / few stations missed by A.
* C. From Salisbury, a second service every two hours, all stations to Basingstoke then Woking, Clapham Junction and Waterloo.

During "peak" hours ... some extras.  Staffing in not an art I am totally familiar with, but let's plan for a surge in shift starts a couple of hours before morning and evening peaks, providing more drivers and train managers during those busy periods (including shoulders) so we can offer some of those extras.   Rolling stock wise these extras are not highly efficient - in fact we're back to the dreaded "used only for commuters" units that have been held up as being so expensive over the years.

Note that I have prioritised frequency of service to all stations and through trains over speed - however, I'm conscious that a slower service probably means another train / unit in the cycle.  I have also run trains "over" Salisbury, but am aware that will mean extra staff there to help add / remove carriages (is an issue with providing staff for these purposes why people are being asked to change from a 159 to another 159 at present?). And I would wish to ensure that first and last trains run pretty much close to "how they used to be".

Now - I don't know whether or not the real issue at SWR is (i) Staff shortage (ii) Short term funding shortage (iii) An opportunity to restructure or try out things for the future.  I would suspect a mixture, and I'm not totally sure how much it matters if a decent, though thinner, service that meets customer needs is running this winter.   Weekend services better than weekday under this scheme too?   Yes - it may make sense to match the staff and money resource by having more shifts and more trains out at the weekend while it's busy.

Funny, isn't it, how we can slag off SWR but then when we look to come up with a suggestion of how we would do ut under similar constraints, there is a similarity in our suggestions to what they are doing.   Differences "it it were me" ... I would really look to continue to offer through trains (and excellent connections - a 10 minute pause at Salisbury to couple / uncouple is also an opportunity for the Cardiff to Portsmouth train to swap passengers, for example), I would be open with listing the reasons to the public, rather than being partial in such a way that I'm clearly not telling the full story, I would maintain first and last trains, I would be making very strong representations to my funders in relation to how we must regrow and not be on a spiral of decline (SWR may be doing this).

 on: Today at 09:14:55 am 
Started by IndustryInsider - Last post by ChrisB
West Drayton according to TfL» (Transport for London - about)….now reopened

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