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Author Topic: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts  (Read 168978 times)
grahame
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« Reply #360 on: January 12, 2018, 10:28:10 pm »

From this evening ... late arrival from Westbury has just pulled into Swindon ... crowds get off and on:

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« Reply #361 on: January 12, 2018, 10:37:23 pm »

What was the line in Fields of Dreams? "If you build it, they will come"?
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grahame
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« Reply #362 on: January 13, 2018, 05:24:51 am »

What was the line in Fields of Dreams? "If you build it, they will come"?

See Fact/Myth for a discussion

Quote
If You Build it, Will They Come?

What is the relationship between intent and outcome? Does the Field of Dreams quote, “if you build it, they will come” have truth to it? Not exactly, but it does allude to an important and true concept (which is likely why we still quote, and mis-quote, it today).

The truth is: If you build it, you increase the odds of them coming. In other words, if you put thought and energy you put into a project you increase the likelihood of success.

[continues]

An interesting framework into which a discussion of rail enhancement projects can be slotted.

There have been re-opening failures - you may argue "special case" or "that wasn't fully built" or "they we're given long enough to come" in those cases, but a typical enhancement is so heavily studied, analysed, costed these days, with massive "optimism factors" built in to the equations - that it may feel like the misquoted "build it and they will come" when you look back at each story and how they tend to do very well.

I was up in Swindon yesterday (picture clearly shows!) - with a whole lot of Community Rail representatives learning / being updated on the various changes underway.  And indeed the changes are underway and actually happening.   At platform 4, an IET was headed to Bristol and beyond - very recent.   At platform 2 sat a 166 - that's 'new' this year.  And the Westbury 2 coach train arrived at and left from platform 1 ... again 'new' this year.   And during the day, talk had turned very much to capacities, loadings, etc.   

The Swindon  - Westbury ("with some services extended to Salisbury and Southampton") service runs across fertile ground for building traffic - extraordinarily fertile, with intermediate locations and destinations all being already-flourisihing communities and mostly with their own extant connections already - but those connections each lacking a direction that needs infill.

Just how flourishing those communities are, and how much those connections with the communities and weaving their way into the very fabric of the communities, was brought home in the evening when I was at a fund-raiser meal (at a Melksham restaurant) with the local retired greyhound group .   From the far end of the table I heard a discussion - oft heard - about travel in the area, with someone talking of longer distance travel and driving up to Chippenham to catch the longer distance train, someone else surprising them with the news that Melksham has a station, and a third person chipping in that they use it quite a bit but for many local journeys it needs to be more frequent than every 2 hours.

Build it properly, to an appropriate level, iron out any show-stopper glitches that prevent them coming, and in our neck of the woods they WILL come up to a certain level to the TransWilts train service.   I could pretty confidently say that an hourly train each way all day and evening (midnight to 05:30 gap) would - by the end of the current decade - have each train as busy as each train was last year.  I could pretty confidently say that improvement of station access (thoughout the day, in both directions, reliably connecting) for those without their own car and for whom walking / cycling to the station isn't an option would - over a couple of years ramp-up - give a big positive difference too.

But you'll note that I've only gone so far with "build it and they will come".  Run a service at 15 minute frequency and  - until there's further development in the area - you'll find your trains are not as busy as the one pictured.  And up the service to Mallaig, or Barton on Humber, or calling at Kirton Lindsey to hourly and I suspect they would take so many years to come that the service would have lost support and steam and gone away before they came.

There ARE other "build it and they will come" opportunities out there.  Now that extra turbos are out there with local capacity, I suspect that building a station at Aztec West for the work area there, and another for Westgate Distribution Park (where there is further development potential) and giving them a decent joined up service would boost the traffic on that line rather noticeably and surprisingly fast.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #363 on: January 13, 2018, 09:30:23 am »

..............where is all the additional capacity coming from?

I really wouldn't get too excited about some 30 year old Turbos.

Right now GWR are unable to run a reliable service with reasonably tolerable levels of overcrowding on their most significant routes, from where are the resources for the upgrades you allude to going to come?

Aspirations are great, I'd love to drive a Ferrari, see Argyle win the Premier League and be seduced by Penelope Cruz, but sadly none are likely to happen! (........although they're probably more realistic than most peoples expectations of GWR being met!)  Cheesy
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grahame
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« Reply #364 on: January 13, 2018, 10:15:48 am »

..............where is all the additional capacity coming from?

Existing stock.  That train which sits in the bay at Swindon from 16:24 to 17:54 (and that's part of a two hour pattern) has an hour's extra running capability before it starts getting unreliable.  That train that sits in the bay at Salisbury from 16:15 to 16:56 and another from 17:15 to 17:56 ... have an extra 30 minute running capability each.    Major timetable changes due from next January - the art of the possible using what we have at the moment  is illustrated at http://twcrp.info/technical_2019 or if you want the 10 minute management presentation it's at http://twcrp.info/presentation_2019

Quote
I really wouldn't get too excited about some 30 year old Turbos.

You may not ... people who have had no train at all or who had to seriously move their work day to use the few available services may get excited.  Grin

Quote
Aspirations are great, I'd love to drive a Ferrari, see Argyle win the Premier League and be seduced by Penelope Cruz, but sadly none are likely to happen! (........although they're probably more realistic than most peoples expectations of GWR being met!)  Cheesy

Good bucket list there - I'll give Penny a call and drop a hint.
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Western Pathfinder
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« Reply #365 on: January 13, 2018, 02:34:23 pm »

When you do speak to Penny give her my love won't you I've not had chance for a chat with her in a while !...
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grahame
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« Reply #366 on: January 20, 2018, 08:51:31 am »

Friday 19th January 2018
... 07:49 from Melksham -6 + 25 -> 85  91/31
... 13:04 from Chippenham 36 on board, -10 + (? 0) at Melksham - 36/10
Slightly surprised to see quite so many on the lunch time train.

I noted method of arrival at Melksham Station too ..
10 on foot
8 dropped off (car then left)
6 arrived by car (car parked up for day)
1 arrived by taxi
.. helps look at the critical onward journey issue.  No surprise in these number.
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grahame
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« Reply #367 on: February 02, 2018, 08:45:18 am »

Thursday 1st February

10:04 ex Melksham -2 +8 > 26  28/10
15:18 ex Swindon 73 > -20 + 12 85/32

The service wasn't able to grow for the second half of last year (no more space on trains and extra carriage delayed  Undecided , reliability issues too ) but I'm hoping to see an upturn again over coming months. 

The capacity issues are resolved (for the moment) and indeed the line is moving largely to turbos which are 3 cars as from Monday. Reliability has been much improved over the past month.  So the grouding is there for to build.   Question asked of me yesterday - "is it starting to grow again yet?".  An interesting one, and not yet enough samples to know.  Promotional work being done, market out there ... though January is always a quieter month.  And an upturn is likely to be on a curve and not a sudden step change.
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« Reply #368 on: February 04, 2018, 10:10:25 am »

Friday 2nd February 2018

14:29 at Melksham toward Swindon.  -6 +5 -> 32  38/11
Never the busiest of trains ... not unhappy with those numbers

Saw 15:18 returning off Swindon - and my goodness the 2 car 150/1 set looked busy!   No counts as I was headed off to South Wales.    And comment from other (occasional, rail industry) user last week who travelled on 17:36 off Swindon - "what on earth was THAT like when it was one carriage  Cheesy "

More serious issue - TVM an Melksham out of order, and conductor apologetic as he could not sell tickets - didn't have a working machine available.   I wonder what the proportions are of:
* Paid passengers
* Passenger who want to pay but are not given any opportunity (waves card at conductor who apologises because he can't sell a ticket)
* Passengers travelling legitimately without tickets (staff passes, under 5 year olds)
* Passengers who are intent on not paying

Anyone like to guess what a pie chart might look like?

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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #369 on: February 05, 2018, 01:08:56 am »

More serious issue - TVM at Melksham out of order, and conductor apologetic as he could not sell tickets - didn't have a working machine available.  I wonder what the proportions are of:
* Paid passengers
* Passenger who want to pay but are not given any opportunity (waves card at conductor who apologises because he can't sell a ticket)
* Passengers travelling legitimately without tickets (staff passes, under 5 year olds)
* Passengers who are intent on not paying

... or indeed,

Quote
Passenger who want to pay but are not given any opportunity (waves cash at conductor who apologises because he can't sell a ticket)

 Roll Eyes
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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.
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