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Author Topic: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts  (Read 103622 times)
grahame
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« Reply #285 on: September 09, 2017, 10:17:11 PM »

08:37 (Saturday 9th September 2017) at Melksham to Swindon (2 car)
-1 + 45 -> 42+57 = 99  ( 100/46 )

21:34 arrival (from Swindon) (2 car / 1 in the dark, out of use)
-27 + 2 -> 21(ish) ( 48/29 )

We could really do with the station lights being switched on now that the days are getting shorter



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bobm
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« Reply #286 on: September 09, 2017, 10:18:08 PM »

Good grief - not just for the passengers but also the CCTV!
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ChrisB
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« Reply #287 on: September 10, 2017, 10:55:46 AM »

Surprised they're not on a light sensor these days
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grahame
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« Reply #288 on: September 10, 2017, 11:05:56 AM »

Surprised they're not on a light sensor these days

Indeed.

Has just struck me as odd as I wrote this that we're under "DAYTIME Traffic on the TransWilts".  Grin
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grahame
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« Reply #289 on: September 16, 2017, 06:18:26 AM »

Friday 15th September.

14:35 Melksham to Swindon -6 +9 => 45 (51/15)
19:14 Melksham to Westbury 49 => -11 +6 (55/17)

Observation of 18:01 at Chippenham - some off, lots joining (need counters at each door these days to have a hope of an accurate number!), train left with them standing up the aisle and vestibules uncomfortably jammed.  Guess would be between 105 and 110 on board.

All three trains running a bit late - 5 to 10 minutes. With London to South Wales express trains diverted through Chippenham at present, and a lot more freight there than I'm used to seeing, the TransWilts times are amended to maximise slots.   Customers seem to have little issue with a few minutes delay even on the new schedule. There is comment about a couple of regulars who have been put off by lack of reliability at present, and lack of capacity; I confess to being personally astonished at how robustly numbers are being maintained.
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phile
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« Reply #290 on: September 16, 2017, 09:37:06 AM »

4 cancellations later today due shortage of guards
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grahame
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« Reply #291 on: September 16, 2017, 10:26:05 AM »

4 cancellations later today due shortage of guards

Indeed. Now 24 journeys cancelled out of 135 scheduled since start of business last Saturday.

Here's yesterday's 18:00 (ish) at Chippenham - note that this is just an intermediate stop, with the majority of passengers already on board from Swindon.


On Saturdays - especially when Swindon Town are at home as they are today - this can be even busier.   But today's count will be 0/0 .

Separate "Meltdown" thread at http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18682.0 - TransWilts has far and away the largest percentage of cancelled services ("bottom of the pile") but other Westbury based services are being hit too.  Last Sunday, first three trains from Frome to Westbury were cancelled, previous Sunday (I think it was - though it could have been the one before that), first Portsmouth - Cardiff started at Westbury and second one isn't until 2 hours later.
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grahame
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« Reply #292 on: September 17, 2017, 10:23:03 AM »


Here's yesterday's 18:00 (ish) at Chippenham - note that this is just an intermediate stop, with the majority of passengers already on board from Swindon.

On Saturdays - especially when Swindon Town are at home as they are today - this can be even busier.   But today's count will be 0/0 .


It was re-instated (thank goodness) ... though I don't have a passenger count; once a service is cancelled, people tend to make other plans and even if they know it's re-instated may not undo those other plans.   Headline though - good it came back!
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grahame
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« Reply #293 on: September 17, 2017, 10:36:21 AM »

Last minute timetable change - so late that it's not even on the engineering change posters for this weekend, or on the printed timetable at Melksham Station - we now have an earlier Sunday morning train from Westbury to Chippenham. Runs until 3rd December; from 10th December runs 3 minutes earlier and extended to Swindon.  Excellent stuff - further post and lots of positive marketing to follow.

So how did that train that's slipped into the system do today?
-2 +6 at Melksham northbound (09:32 rather than regular 09:20) => 18.   20/8
-1 +0 at Melksham southbound (09:49 schedule; 10:00 actual => 16.  17/1

One sample doesn't make a pattern, especially with a lack of planning marketing and publicity, but I suspect that GWR's decision to run to Chippenham rather than turn around at Melksham is a very wise one indeed!
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« Reply #294 on: September 17, 2017, 12:16:20 PM »

I am a long time lurker but first time contributor!

Last minute timetable change - so late that it's not even on the engineering change posters for this weekend, or on the printed timetable at Melksham Station - we now have an earlier Sunday morning train from Westbury to Chippenham. Runs until 3rd December; from 10th December runs 3 minutes earlier and extended to Swindon.  Excellent stuff - further post and lots of positive marketing to follow.

So how did that train that's slipped into the system do today?
-2 +6 at Melksham northbound (09:32 rather than regular 09:20) => 18.   20/8
-1 +0 at Melksham southbound (09:49 schedule; 10:00 actual => 16.  17/1

One sample doesn't make a pattern, especially with a lack of planning marketing and publicity, but I suspect that GWR's decision to run to Chippenham rather than turn around at Melksham is a very wise one indeed!

It seemed a bit odd having a service that 'turned round' at Melksham. I am not sure that the signalling permits it. The Melksham single line is operated by Track Circuit Block, but the section in the middle is supplemented with axle counters. At the southern end the axle counter is located at Staverton near to the River Avon bridge, and at the northern end near to Catridge Farm between Beanacre and Lacock. This is to allow lengthy trains to reverse immediately behind the signals at either end of the single line without fouling the axle counters. With Melksham being in the middle of the axle counter section, it is my understanding that the train would have to pass both sets of counters to confirm that the train is complete and allow the signalling to function correctly, although I am happy to be corrected. Running the train through to Chippenham overcomes this and at the same time provides a much more useful service.
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grahame
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« Reply #295 on: September 17, 2017, 12:55:36 PM »

I am a long time lurker but first time contributor!

Welcome - as a member and a contributor.

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It seemed a bit odd having a service that 'turned round' at Melksham.

Indeed it did.

Ever since the 2011 summer Sunday morning trial, there has been an aspiration for an all year service on Sunday mornings, early enough for people to go out for the day / reach Sunday jobs.   The original target of that trial - for just seven Sundays - was to get lots of passengers to travel from Swindon, Chippenham and Melksham for a day out at the seaside, and to provide evidence as to whether or not the communities could actually persuade people to use the train.   Only by a bit of gentle nagging and an application of logic was the up service run for passengers and stopping along the way, rather than being an empty train movement; we were given that with a somewhat begrudging "I suppose we may as well see what it will do" ... and actually it rose to a peak of 69 passengers into Swindon that summer.    Talking with these passengers, many of them were not on seasonal journeys and case was made (very unexpected in some quarters!) for a northbound train off Westbury as early as 07:30.

Behind the scenes prior to the LSTF grant trial from December 2013 to December 2016, strong inputs had to be made to ensure that any Sunday service at all was provided, as it was felt in some quarters that poor Sunday figures could drag the whole thing down.  And even further inputs needed to have the earlier train in summer.  We were refused the earlier train outside of high summer because of the line being closed / not available until mid to late morning.

In the last few years, winter Sunday services and Sunday morning services have been improved / started across many lines, and we have / had TransWilts data that suggested that such a service was not only wanted but would be used here. However, the issue remain(ed) of line availability.   For this Autumn, permission was given up to and including the single track and as something of a gesture / move in the right direction, GWR planned a short tun from Westbury to Melksham as being "all that we can do while the main line is having major works done".   Much as I love Melksham, and much as my heart would like to hear announcements for the "09:00 Melksham train", my head told me this was going to be a very difficult one to bring reasonable passenger numbers on board.  I was slightly less worried than I might have been, being assured that it wasn't going to be an expensive service to run, and that low numbers would be understandable.

So - seeing last minute poster changes saying that it's going to Chippenham as from today (so last minute that some posters including the one at Melksham Station still say it's turning back there!) is massive good news.  With Swindon accessible via connections this autumn (and perhaps direct in the not too distant future) this now gives us a 7 day, all day service - and those people who live in West Wiltshire who want to take Sunday retail jobs in Chippenham and Swindon can now do so.

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I am not sure that the signalling permits it. The Melksham single line is operated by Track Circuit Block, but the section in the middle is supplemented with axle counters. At the southern end the axle counter is located at Staverton near to the River Avon bridge, and at the northern end near to Catridge Farm between Beanacre and Lacock. This is to allow lengthy trains to reverse immediately behind the signals at either end of the single line without fouling the axle counters. With Melksham being in the middle of the axle counter section, it is my understanding that the train would have to pass both sets of counters to confirm that the train is complete and allow the signalling to function correctly, although I am happy to be corrected. Running the train through to Chippenham overcomes this and at the same time provides a much more useful service.

I suspect you're right (that 100% assurance and detail tells me you know a bit about this  Cheesy ) in which case the arrive of the service to Chippenham a bit earlier than we were told was possible might be a fortunate piece of operational convenience.

I have indeed seen trains turn around at the end but not in the middle of the single track, even including one that got up to Thingley and then turned back; that may have been a special case due to an operating issue though.
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grahame
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« Reply #296 on: September 19, 2017, 08:41:09 AM »

Tuesday, 19th September, 08:30. Steamers Cafe, Chippenham Station

07:49 ex Melksham this morning.
10 people left the train when it arrived from Trowbridge (accurate count)
Around 40 people joined the train (+-5; hard for 1 person to count)
Around 100 on train to Chippenham (that's also +-5)
110/50

Lest anyone be new to this thread - that's 110 users on the section unique to the TransWilts, or whom 50 were journeys to / from Melksham, and the remaining 60 through from Trowbridge or south thereof to Chippenham or east thereof.

The train was a single carriage 153.

Station dwell at both Melksham and Chippenham was significant; no longer a quick pause to get a handful of people on and off, but a distinctly slower operation as people joining have to wait for others to push there way on and down into the carriage at Melksham, and as people pick there way past standees staying on to Swindon as they get off at Chippenham.  Close to right time arriving at Melksham, 4 minutes late leaving Chippenham due mostly down to the size of the passenger flow.   If it weren't for those pesky passengers, it could keep time! Grin

P.S. No requirement this morning for wheelchair ramps to be used, nor any passengers needing extra time to leave or board.
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grahame
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« Reply #297 on: September 19, 2017, 08:51:47 PM »

14:30 today (Tuesday 19th September)

-7 + 17 at Melksham => 29  36/24

Astonishingly few got off at Chippenham - most for Swindon and onward connections. Where people are going and on which train makes for a fascinating study - helps us learn which are the important connections
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grahame
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« Reply #298 on: September 22, 2017, 06:37:28 PM »

10:04 Melksham to Swindon -2 + 12 -> 32 - 34/14

15:12 Swindon to Melksham - 58 on from Chippenham, -20 + 6 at Melksham - 64/26
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grahame
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« Reply #299 on: September 30, 2017, 09:54:44 PM »

OK ... it's not a daytime pair of trains, but it ain't supposed to be busy either ... last trains of the day ...

18:48, Melksham to Chippenham -20 +10 -> 16  36/30
21:24, Chippenham to Melksham 32 -> -20 + 7   39/27

A soggy autumnal Saturday evening.   Lights working again at Melksham.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 10:02:09 PM by grahame » Logged

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