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  • 2 car TransWilts celebration: January 10, 2018
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Author Topic: 10th January 2018 - celebration of 2 cars on the TransWilts  (Read 2303 times)
grahame
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« on: January 04, 2018, 06:31:41 am »

AT LAST ... we can start moving away from overloaded services that are so overloaded they have been putting people off train travel, and the TransWilts can resume its growth.

Trains from Swindon at 06:10, 13:29 and 18:48 have always been 2 cars ... now the 08:49, 10:47, 12:47, 15:18, 17:36 and 20:06 are too cars too - yes - that's all the trains - even the 15:18 and 17:36 peak ones!   Plenty of space for all who want to travel - at least for a while (this year?).  Next year, we need to plug gaps with (let's suggest) trains between the 06:10 and 08:49, between the 15:18 and 17:36, and a couple of hours after the 20:06 and that will make for more capacity especially around the late afternoon / early evening.



If you are free and available next WEDNESDAY, can you help with a group publicity picture at Melksham Station, at 15:45 - need to arrive on the 15:18 from Swindon or a few minutes earlier.    This is a provisional "please hold your diary" to be confirmed by this Saturday

Below - copy of my email to our key local supporter who are not on the forum ...

Quote
Are you free, Wednesday 10th, 15:45?   And / or 19:30?

Our two car train HAS ARRIVED … though a couple of blips yesterday (1 car) … should be settled by next week

Great Western Railway are planning a publicity photo shoot nest WEDNESDAY - that’s 10th January - at Melksham Station at 15:45, on the arrival of the 15:18 from Swindon - confirmation expected by the end of tomorrow (Friday).   

Idea is a quick group photo with a biggish group and the 2 car train in the background,  Cake to be provided by Great Western, I’ll provide a table and boxed drinks.  Anyone who comes down specially get the 16:37 back to Chippenham / Swindon. And I will ride the train on either Friday or Monday to ask customers alighting to be prepared to pause to join in a group photo.

With any setup the move from “one” to “two” is one of the biggest in its development - be it one to two employees or in this case one to two carriages. We have a massive task in 2018 re-stating the growth which is still to be had but has stalled through lack of capacity (filled up trains) and compounded by service reliability issues.  With the change of the trains to slightly newer 2 car ones, with crew training for the changeover completing, and with increased marketing we should see the TransWilts - and with it Melksham Station and the benefits it brings to people here and to the wider economic benefit of the town - growing once again.

PLEASE ADD 10th Jan to your diary.   This will be confirmed within 48 hours / GWR are just checking logistics.  And remember MRUG (Melksham Rail User Group) at the town hall at 19:30 that evening.  If anyone wants to stay on for that, happy to join you for a late afternoon bite to eat, and I can arrange lifts back to a station ….

Graham

P.S. Please pass this on ...
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bobm
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2018, 10:07:56 am »

Slightly mixed message this morning - suspect someone has got into the habit of adding "Front carriage only"...

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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2018, 11:57:03 am »

Below - copy of my email to our key local supporter who are not on the forum ..

Love to see members along - get a nice crowd.   FREE CAKE ;-) ...

Below - copy of my note to local press contacts

Quote
This Wednesday - 10th January 2018 at MELKSHAM STATION  …  15:30 to 15:50

Celebration of the arrival of 2 carriage trains on the TransWIlts line on ALL services.   Photographers and reporters welcome ;-)

Party / cake cutting / pictures

The TransWilts line provides Melksham’s train service has been stepped up from a one to a two carriage train all day, on a permanent basis, from the start of this month and on Wednesday 10th January we’re celebrating that at the station on the arrival at 15:45 of the train from Swindon.   There will be group pictures, a “thank you” speech from a director of Great Western who run the trains, and cake and soft drinks for all present.

Melksham Station has been the fastest growing in the region every year for the past four years, with trains that started off as a trial service for 2014 becoming full and standing in the peaks last year. For growth to continue, the trains in 2018 will be twice the length they were in 2017, so there should be seats for all.  18 trains a day call at Melksham (16 on Saturdays and 13 on Sundays) - alternately taking passengers to Chippenham (10 minutes) and Swindon (28 minutes), and to Trowbridge (10 minutes) and Westbury (17 minutes).

Support from the local community, the Town Council, Melksham Without council, and Wiltshire Council has been behind the astonishing growth, which is expected to continue.   The Melksham Rail User Group (chair - Peter Blackburn, secretary John Hamley) and the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership (chair Paul Johnson, friends secretary Bob Morrison) providing the support that has enabled the success.   A big “thank you” too to Great Western who run our trains, and to the Association of Community Rail Partnerships who provide a support framework for community lines and services such as ours.    But most of all, thank you to our passengers who may travel one a day, once a month of just once a year - without YOU, we could not have succeeded and in succeeding helped Melksham’s connectivity and economy

With double the capacity, 2018 is going to be a busy year for us at TransWIlts and MRUG.  If you have not used the train yet, we would love to have you come along.   During 2018 there should be seats for all, and you can take a variety of trips ranging from Swindon for £7.40 return (any train after 08:00) to a Sunday trip to Weymouth (£18.10 return).  Buy your tickets on the day from the machine at the station, or if you want to pay in cash from the conductor on the train.
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LiskeardRich
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 01:36:50 pm »

Shame I’m working, the offer of free cake gets me anywhere
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 03:43:23 pm »

THANK YOU to everyone who came along.    Great cake had by all.   From GWR

Quote
Press release
Thursday 11 January
 
Seat numbers double for TransWilts passengers
 
Members of the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership and Great Western Railway have gathered at Melksham station to celebrate the doubling of the number of seats available for passengers of the line.
 
With new and improved services operating in the London Thames Valley and newer services on some suburban Bristol commuter routes, GWR has been able add an extra carriage to  services which operate between Westbury and Swindon.
 
The additional carriage builds on previous improvements to increase the frequency of service on the TranWilts line, when six extra trains a day in each direction were added.
 
Speaking on behalf of GWR at the event on Wednesday 10 January Business Assurance Director Joe Graham said:
 
“Today we have achieved another milestone, improving capacity on this ever-popular line; doubling the number of seats available, and allowing the recent growth we have seen to continue into the future.
 
“As well as these improvements on this Community Rail Line, the introduction of even more new Intercity Express Trains is providing a step change in passenger transport, part of the biggest fleet upgrade in a generation.
 
GWR is providing more than 3,400 extra trains seats through Swindon every day from the beginning of January with the continued introduction of new Intercity Express Trains (IET) into passenger service, offering better connections for TranWilts customers.
 
TransWilts Community Rail Partnership’s Graham Ellis said:
 
“Having an additional carriage on TransWilts trains allows us to resume the phenomenal growth we have seen on services through and to Melksham, for the benefit to businesses and passengers in the area served.
 
“This additional capacity is a vital step in changes that have taken place over the past few years with Great Western, turning a token service into a vital service for the communities it serves.

“Services now run all day, every day and with longer trains, meaning that the train once again has capacity to carry everyone who wishes to travel.”
 
On 2 January GWR also has introduced 16 more Intercity Express Train services from Swindon to London Paddington, and 16 going west towards Bristol and South Wales on top of the existing IET services that were launched last October. Each train has as many as 24% more seats than the High Speed Train it replaces.

And some pictures (2 of mine and one from GWR)







 
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Adelante_CCT
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 06:16:06 pm »

Bit of a train wreck in picture 3!
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bobm
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2018, 12:51:33 pm »

From Melksham Independent News

Quote
Members of the Trans-Wilts Community Rail Partnership and Great Western Railway gathered at Melksham Railway Station last week to celebrate the doubling of the number of seats available for passengers on the line.
With new and improved services operating in the London Thames Valley and newer services on some suburban Bristol commuter routes, GWR has been able to add an extra carriage to  services which operate between Westbury and Swindon.

The additional carriage builds on previous improvements to increase the frequency of service on the TranWilts line, when six extra trains a day in each direction were added.
TransWilts Community Rail Partnership’s Graham Ellis said, “Having an additional carriage on Trans-Wilts trains allows us to resume the phenomenal growth we have seen on services through and to Melksham, for the benefit to businesses and passengers in the area served.

“This additional capacity is a vital step in changes that have taken place over the past few years with Great Western, turning a token service into a vital service for the communities it serves.
“Services now run all day, every day and with longer trains, meaning that the train once again has capacity to carry everyone who wishes to travel.
“Support from the local community, Melksham Town Council, Melksham Without Parish Council, and Wiltshire Council, has been behind the astonishing growth, which is expected to continue.   The Melksham Rail User Group (chair – Peter Blackburn, secretary John Hamley) and the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership (chair Paul Johnson, friends secretary Bob Morrison) providing the support that has enabled the success.   

“A big “thank you” too to Great Western who run our trains, and to the Association of Community Rail Partnerships who provide a support framework for community lines and services such as ours. But most of all, thank you to our passengers who may travel once a day, once a month or just once a year – without you, we could not have succeeded and in succeeding helped Melksham’s connectivity and economy.”

Speaking on behalf of GWR at the event, business assurance director Joe Graham said, “Today we have achieved another milestone, improving capacity on this ever-popular line; doubling the number of seats available, and allowing the recent growth we have seen to continue into the future.

“As well as these improvements on this Community Rail line, the introduction of even more new Intercity Express trains is providing a step change in passenger transport, part of the biggest fleet upgrade in a generation.”
18 trains a day call at Melksham Station during the week, with 16 on Saturday and 13 on Sunday, alternately taking passengers to Chippenham (10 minutes) and Swindon (28 minutes), and to Trowbridge (10 minutes) and Westbury (17 minutes).
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LiskeardRich
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2018, 10:56:06 pm »

Hope you enjoyed your 158 today.

158881 I’ve seen pics working the Chippenham to westbury service today.... photo I’ve seen of it was on the 1242 Chippenham to westbury.
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grahame
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« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2018, 07:02:37 am »

Hope you enjoyed your 158 today.

158881 I’ve seen pics working the Chippenham to westbury service today.... photo I’ve seen of it was on the 1242 Chippenham to westbury.

Ah - thank you.   For once, I had a Saturday that didn't stray beyond the confines of our immediate neighbourhood.  Been quite a mix this month. The 2 car 158s (158763 and 158766) are not uncommon visitors, and there has been a selection of 150/1 (which we know are headed out) and 150/2.  I'm told about a turbo working already, but I suspect that was the 08:45 Chippenham to Swindon as the train then goes on to form alternate Golden Valley shuttles during the day.    That 3 car 158 report is quite rare except when the Portsmouth Harbour services are running to Swindon not Bristol / Cardiff, and it's been are weeks since we saw a 153 and a few years since we saw a 143.

Hearsay (no proper counts, but experienced observers) suggests that traffic is doing well, and with just 3 days to go it looks like GWR are well on the unofficial target of reducing the cancellations from over 20% (last two weeks of 2017 figure!) to under 5%.
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bobm
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« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2018, 02:52:30 pm »

The 2 car 158s (158763 and 158766) are not uncommon visitors, and there has been a selection of 150/1 (which we know are headed out) and 150/2. 

158763 on day one of the two car services at Swindon having arrived on the 07:33 from Westbury
(note also the electrification masts now spanning the bay platform - installed over Christmas)

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bignosemac
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« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2018, 10:55:33 pm »

So... the 2 car service lasted barely a month.

I'm hearing its 3 car Turbos on selected services from Monday 5th February. Musical doors at Melksham for the guard though. Out the cab door and release the saloon door from the outside. Meanwhile the driver sits on his hands so as not to touch the door controls.

The downside though, temporarily, is that the first service of the day (0517 from Gloucester) will terminate at Westbury and restart with different traction to Southampton. There is currently no safe method of door use at Dilton Marsh with Turbos that haven't yet been fitted with Selective Door Opening. Only 3 sets currently have SDO.

But... 3 cars for TransWilts. Strength to strength. Pinch yourself grahame!

 
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 11:08:18 pm by bignosemac » Logged

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grahame
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« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2018, 11:43:16 pm »

So... the 2 car service lasted barely a month.

I'm hearing its 3 car Turbos on selected services from Monday 5th February.

But... 3 cars for TransWilts. Strength to strength. Pinch yourself grahame!

"Selected" is virtually every service Monday to Friday - I have the diagram details (and permission to share them).  The 05:17 from Gloucester indeed turns back as the 07:04 to Cheltenham Spa - so that replaces the SWT dally hire unit.

Also told that if we fill the 3 cars over the next couple of months, we may be able to keep them (think they're on a fair bet - even TransWilts could only grow that quickly if we got all service through Oxford to Salisbury  Grin )
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2018, 09:45:05 am »

So... the 2 car service lasted barely a month.

I'm hearing its 3 car Turbos on selected services from Monday 5th February.

But... 3 cars for TransWilts. Strength to strength. Pinch yourself grahame!

"Selected" is virtually every service Monday to Friday - I have the diagram details (and permission to share them).  The 05:17 from Gloucester indeed turns back as the 07:04 to Cheltenham Spa - so that replaces the SWT dally hire unit.

Also told that if we fill the 3 cars over the next couple of months, we may be able to keep them (think they're on a fair bet - even TransWilts could only grow that quickly if we got all service through Oxford to Salisbury  Grin )

The plot thickens.   The continuation of the 0517 ex Gloucester from Westbury is shown as a Class 9 due to Turbos not being cleared for Platform 2 (or 5 - West facing bay) at Southampton.  and indicating it will be a Turbo.   The 1740 Cheltenham is shown as changing trains at Westbury and as a Class 9 again for, I assume, the same reason.   Only modified SDO fitted Turbos can call at Dilton Marsh due to it's short platforms and the fact that only 3 of the fleet are fully modified, the work being delayed by a national difficulty in the supply chain of certain parts required.
My reading of it is that the Southamptons will be 15x units and that the Class 9 is to signify the changing of trains at Westbury rather than any Turbo restrictions.  This theory could be borne out by the fact that the return services from Southampton are unaltered

EDIT:-  I meant to say Platform 5  at Salisbury not Southampton.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2018, 11:17:41 am »

My reading of it is that the Southamptons will be 15x units and that the Class 9 is to signify the changing of trains at Westbury rather than any Turbo restrictions.  This theory could be borne out by the fact that the return services from Southampton are unaltered

EDIT:-  I meant to say Platform 5  at Salisbury not Southampton.

Is it not the the case that the return services from Southampton remain Class 2 as there are no restrictions on the return journey that signallers need reminding of with a Class 9 headcode? The unit is already in Southampton station so shouldn't be on a platform that Turbos can't use. At Salisbury there is no access to the bay platform arriving from Southampton.

It's quite possible that if an SDO enabled Turbo is diagrammed between Gloucester/Cheltenham <-> Southampton then it can run throughout, calling at Dilton Marsh without issue, and with no change of unit at Westbury. Just a change of headcode in the to Southampton direction for signaller aide memoire.
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grahame
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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2018, 11:31:02 am »

My reading of it is that the Southamptons will be 15x units and that the Class 9 is to signify the changing of trains at Westbury rather than any Turbo restrictions.  This theory could be borne out by the fact that the return services from Southampton are unaltered

Agreed. There are two timetabled southbound trains per day (06:10 and 18:48 off Swindon) that are scheduled as through Southampton services. There are no return through trains what so ever from Southampton to Swindon - the 06:10 heads back from Southampton at 08:23 to Great Malvern, and the 18:48 forms an out of pattern mid evening service back from Southampton to Westbury.

Some other funny effects too - not got the figures to hand but Dilton Marsh has (I think) 3 through trains a day from Bath and Bristol, and 7 or 8 though trains to Bath and Bristol - whatever you make of this it feels a bit silly for services which are the sort of distance that people typically make round trips on ...

Aspiration beyond the short term is to switch to Swindon - Southampton (and back) to be the norm, retain the peak Dilton Marsh to and from Bath and Bristol trains that start / end at Warminster, and to supplement them with calls in the SWR trains which do have slack in their timing to allow it.   You can then redirect the Westbury - Warminster local service that's been replaced towards the gaps in the Heart of Wessex.

It's quite possible that if an SDO enabled Turbo is diagrammed between Gloucester/Cheltenham <-> Southampton then it can run throughout, calling at Dilton Marsh without issue, and with no change of unit at Westbury. Just a change of headcode in the to Southampton direction for signaller aide memoire.

Yes, possible, but I suspect not what we'll see happen short term - too much of a risk of having to miss out Dilton Marsh if the wrong set is provided, so the diagram sends the Westbury 06:53 arrival unit back at 07:04 to Cheltenham Spa. Also ensures the Stroud Valley is turbos on the Swindon starters all day.
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