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Author Topic: Weather disruption caused in 2014, and how to prevent it happening again - ongoing discussion  (Read 290321 times)
Timmer
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« on: February 03, 2014, 04:57:56 pm »

Moderator note: I've changed the scope of this topic to cover the weather related disruption across the West Country, not just the problems at Dawlish, and have amended the title to reflect that. bignosemac



From the front page of the FGW website:

Quote
Monday 3rd February 2014.

All lines blocked between Exeter St Davids and Newton Abbot - Update at 1530

The train service between Exeter St Davids and Newton Abbot has been suspended due to high seas and strong winds causing significant damage to the track along the Dawlish sea wall.  Network Rail have started to carry out the required repairs but we do not expect the affected lines to reopen until tomorrow at the earliest.

Road transport is operating between Exeter St Davids and Newton Abbot serving all stations.  In addition, limited road transport is operating direct between Plymouth and Taunton (non-stop). Ticket restrictions have been lifted for all First Great Western services from, to and within Devon and Cornwall until further notice.

From 1600 this afternoon we plan to introduce an hourly stopping service between Exeter St Davids and Dawlish Warren.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 09:50:08 pm by bignosemac » Logged
bignosemac
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2014, 05:26:35 pm »

It is now being reported internally that the line is likely to remain closed until Friday 7th February. That would indicate that the damage is quite significant.

Tonight and tomorrow night's Sleepers have been cancelled.

CrossCountry and FGW have mutual ticket acceptance between Bristol and Penzance until further notice.

Replacement road transport has also been sourced and is operating to a hastily arranged timetable (see attachment).
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Timmer
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2014, 05:40:29 pm »

What a time for the sea wall section of the line to close whilst Whiteball tunnel work is still taking place making an already long journey even longer down to the WoE.
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Timmer
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2014, 05:51:43 pm »

Some rather dramatic video footage showing why the line is now closed:
http://www.itv.com/news/westcountry/update/2014-02-03/flooding-hits-dawlish/
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The Tall Controller
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2014, 05:52:11 pm »

Shame its happened. Was due to get my first taste of the Pullman tomorrow, but I guess that'll have to be put on hold!
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bignosemac
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2014, 06:41:54 pm »

Yet again with disruption there is inconsistent information being given out. FGW say the line will be closed until Friday. National Rail Enquiries and CrossCountry are saying until Wednesday.  Roll Eyes

To pile on the problems, more high spring tides are due tomorrow morning and evening, combined with forecasted heavy rain and 70mph winds.

CrossCountry are however providing direct road transport Taunton <-> Plymouth to obviate the need for some passengers to change buses at Exeter.
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Pb_devon
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2014, 07:05:44 pm »

Just arrived in London off 1A87, the 1344 ex Plymouth - except it started in Exeter. I have to confess I cheated and got driven from Ply to Exeter Smiley
Run on the diverted route bang on time, and all crossing services worked.
I'll have to keep an eye on things for tomorrows return, which I booked for the 1703 to get a meal.  Anyone know if that will run with the pullman, i.e. is there a HST full set and staff available from London end?
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bobm
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2014, 07:13:52 pm »

The crew who should work that 17:03 are the ones who should have worked today.

From what I gather it is most unlikely there will be a Pullman in either direction tomorrow.  (There is only one each way at the moment operated by a Plymouth crew because of Whiteball)

You can't really put a London crew on - even if there was one available - as they can't get home again.

Today's crew was sent to Exeter by road to run a buffet on one of the services that started there but they couldn't really bring all the equipment with them to operate a Pullman.  As it was they had to get off at Reading to get home again.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2014, 07:57:02 pm »

I'll let NRE and XC off. They've now updated their information, both now agreeing with FGW that the line is unlikely to reopen until Friday 7th.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2014, 09:06:16 pm »

From the Torquay Herald Express:

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Trains cancelled until Wednesday as South Devon floods


Flooding In Totnes

Train services between Exeter and Newton Abbot have been cancelled until Wednesday.

First Great Western has reported that major damage has been caused to parts of the track due to poor weather.

Bus replacement services are running instead. Train passengers can not however use Stagecoach buses.

A Stagecoach South West spokesman explained: "We have not currently had an approach from First Great Western with regards to accepting their train tickets on our bus services. Therefore anyone wishing to use our buses instead of the train will need to buy a ticket in order to travel."
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
bignosemac
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2014, 09:20:40 pm »

I assume that article was written this morning, soon after the line closed and before ticket acceptance on Stagecoach services was arranged.

If not then I can imagine some folk would have been somewhat annoyed having been told by FGW at Exeter and Newton Abbot to catch the Stagecoach service 2 where rail tickets were being allowed, only to get on the bus and find they had to buy a new ticket.

Current advice from NRE is that limited replacement road transport is in operation and rail tickets are being accepted on Stagecoach South West services via reasonable routes.
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Pb_devon
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2014, 09:35:50 pm »

Thanks bobm. I will probably catch an earlier service and get something out of the freezer at home (whatever time that will be!!).
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2014, 09:58:27 pm »

Interesting internal comment about black being declared for the 'first time ever' on XC tyrell. I understand the PIDD colours but what is 'mouchel'?

DAWLISH SEAWALL -

UPDATE - MOUCHEL warning for Tuesday morning is GREEN however the evening 2100 - 2300 is BLACK (first time ever recorded) which coincides with very high spring tides and 70 mph SW winds.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2014, 10:19:15 pm »

In many ways I think FGW and XC were quite lucky today. Because of the Whiteball Tunnel Blockade they had plenty of coaches and drivers available. Having travelled to and from Devon and Cornwall a few times since the blockade began I noted there seemed to be over-provision of Rail Replacement vehicles, available 'just in case'.

Re-provisioning some of these to either cover Exeter - Newton Abbot, or to operate longer distance, Taunton - Plymouth, seems to have be organised pretty swiftly.

And here's a picture, posted on Twitter by Network Rail showing the angry sea this morning at Dawlish:


https://twitter.com/NetworkRailPAD/status/430375691742232576/photo/1
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stuving
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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2014, 10:20:04 pm »

Interesting internal comment about black being declared for the 'first time ever' on XC tyrell. I understand the PIDD colours but what is 'mouchel'?

DAWLISH SEAWALL -

UPDATE - MOUCHEL warning for Tuesday morning is GREEN however the evening 2100 - 2300 is BLACK (first time ever recorded) which coincides with very high spring tides and 70 mph SW winds.

Mouchel is a big engineering services company - mainly in the utilities market, and similar environment stuff. Presumably they provided the information in some way - maybe working for EA? (If you look, the colour is green then black.)
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