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Author Topic: Diary Of A Reasonably Frequent Rail User  (Read 39797 times)
Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #105 on: March 21, 2023, 08:46:11 »

...a morning flow predominantly from Exmouth into Exeter...

While that is true there are also significant morning flows into EXC - for office staff, shop workers & Exeter College students - from the Torbay, Crediton/Okehampton and Honiton/Axminster directions. I have also noted the very healthy volume of passengers disembarking at DIG between 0800 & 0900, from both directions, and largely destined for either St. Peter's School or the Exeter College Devon and Exeter Construction Training Centre and other businesses on the Sowton Industrial Estate.

Given these morning passenger volumes at EXC the planned remodelling of the concourse / ticket gate area cannot happen quickly enough. 
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Mark A
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« Reply #106 on: March 21, 2023, 08:58:47 »

I suspect that morning peak trains to Severn Beach and to Gunnislake also arrive at destination carrying fresh air ...

On certain mornings, lucky fresh air though.

Mark
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #107 on: October 12, 2023, 18:15:35 »

18/09-05/10/2023 : Singapore For A Family Wedding & West Malaysia By Train

18/09/23
DIG 1314 (On Time) > EXD» (Exeter St Davids - next trains) 1324 (1326) (2T19 EXM>PGN) : 158/7 (2 Cars)
EXD 1342 (1346) > PAD» (Paddington (London) - next trains) 1616 (1629) (1A85 EXD>PAD) : 802/0 (5 Cars)
PAD 1640 (On Time) > HXX 1655 (On Time) (1T70 PAD>HWV) : 2 x 387/1 (8 Cars)

1A85 was effectively a 4 car train because Coach B was locked OOU (out of use) due to an unspecified safety issue. This may have been the cause of the late arrival at EXD of the incoming service from PAD.

(18-19/09/23 Swiss International Airlines to SIN via ZRH.
19-25/09/23 In Singapore
25/09/23 Air Asia from SIN to LGK
25-28/09/23 In Langkawi
28/09/23 Ferry from Langkawi to Kuala Kedah, Taxi to Alor Setar Railway Station)


28/09/23
Alor Setar 1419 > Ipoh 1640 (Train 9277 Padang Besar>KL Sentral) : Class 93 EMU (Electric Multiple Unit) (6 Cars)
We chose to travel in the Platinum Business Class coach which had 2+1 seating and complimentary food & drink. Our tickets cost RM118 (£20.33) each.

(28-30/09/23 In Ipoh)

30/09/23
Ipoh 0936 > Pulau Sebang/Tampin 1418 (Train 9321 Butterworth>Gemas) : Class 93 EMU (6 Cars)
ETS (Electric Train Supply) (Electric Train Service) Gold Class. Tickets RM50 (£8.62) each

(30/09-02/10/23 In Melaka (Malacca). Melaka used to have a rail connection but the tracks were dismantled by the Japanese (using POW's) during WWII (World War 2 - 1939 to 1945) to be used on the infamous "Death Railway" from Thailand to Burma so a bus or taxi to/from Pulau Sebang/Tampin is necessary. The Grab App works very well in this context.)

02/10/23
Pulau Sebang/Tampin 1419 > Gemas 1452 (Train 9321 Butterworth > Gemas) : Class 93 EMU (6 Cars)
ETS Gold Class. Tickets RM15 (£2.58) each.
+
Gemas 1520 > JB Sentral 1945 (Train ES 45) : Diesel Loco + 3 Cars + Buffet Car)
Express Class. Tickets RM21 (£3.62) each
+
JB Sentral 2130 > Singapore Woodlands 2135 (Shuttle Tebrau Train 93) : Class 25 Diesel (Top & Tail) with 4 Cars & Generator Van)
Tickets RM5 (£0.86)

All the KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu) services we used ran to time.

The ETS (Electric Train Service) & Express services are all reservation only.
If your journey involves a change of trains the purchase of 2 or more tickets is required as KTM only sell tickets for E2E journeys which can be completed without changing. One advantage of this is that the train manager is provided with a detailed passenger list which shows all the ticket start & end points. Alighting passengers are reminded that their stop is coming up and joining passengers have their tickets checked almost before they have taken their seats! Fare evasion is rendered well nigh impossible.
The tickets are encoded to prevent access through the platform gatelines more than 1 hour before departure of the service on which they are valid. In practice, at least in our experience, station staff implement their own variable platform access rules; this can be as little as 10 minutes prior to departure.
On these trains the air conditioning is invariably set to a ridiculously low temperature so If travelling with KTM make sure you carry a light jacket or pullover!
I have previously mentioned on this forum the complete rebuild that is being progressed between Gemas and JB (Johor Bahru) to allow the ETS to run over the entire route between Padang Besar & JB. This project is running significantly behind schedule - Covid lockdown is being blamed -  and from what I saw I doubt it will be finished much before 2025. What I didn’t know was that almost the entire ‘KL Down’ line between just south of UKM (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) and Seremban is being ripped up and relaid, presumably to allow higher line speeds. The existing signalling and OHLE is not being touched. Not surprisingly the train service south of KL is presently pretty thin.

(02-04/10/23 In Singapore
04-05/10/23 Swiss international Airlines to LCY via ZRH. Unfortunately our checked bags were treated to a short stopover at Zurich Airport, not a great surprise given the theoretical maximum 40 minute connection time between our two flights.)


05/10/23
Having reported our missing suitcases to the baggage desk at LCY we began the final part of our journey home; the intention was to take the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) from London City Airport to Woolwich Arsenal and then walk to Woolwich Elizabeth Line station for the trip to Paddington. Our arrival at Woolwich was met by a huge crowd of p*ssed-off London commuters who were being advised by TfL» (Transport for London - about) staff that the EL was not operating westbound due to a broken down eastbound service preventing trains getting to the Abbey Wood turnback. So we turned back ourselves, along with hundreds of others, to the aforementioned DLR terminus and took a sardine-like service to Bank. From there it was a crush loaded Central Line train to Lancaster Gate followed by a very pleasant stroll in the sunshine to Paddington where utter chaos was evident, presumably the fallout from the previous day's ASLEF» (Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen - about) strike.
RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) showed our booked service (1C77) as being in P8 but if that was true it had been fitted with an invisibility cloak! Eventually a 9 Car IET (Intercity Express Train) (1C77 is booked as a 5 Car unit) rolled into P2 from OOC (Old Oak Common (depot)) and off we went. A 13 minute late departure was compounded by being stuck behind a stopper between RDG(resolve) & NBY» (Newbury - next trains) and our EXD connection was missed.

PAD 1035 (1048) > EXD 1307 (1331)
EXD 1351 (On Time) > DIG 1400 (On Time) (2F19 PGN>EXM) : 2 x 150/2 (4 Cars)
Should have been on the 1313 service (2F18). Got the automated DelayRepay notification early the following morning so well done GWR (Great Western Railway)!

And as every story needs a happy ending: Our suitcases were delivered to our front door at 2345 on the same day (05/10). Excellent work by Swiss and their courier.

« Last Edit: October 13, 2023, 08:40:17 by Bob_Blakey » Logged
Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #108 on: December 18, 2023, 15:38:27 »

07-10/12/2023: A Rugby Weekend Away In Toulon
The best laid plans.....

I had intended to make this return journey entirely by rail but, even several months in advance, was unable to find any Paris > Toulon & return train fares at what I considered a reasonable price. Unfortunately therefore the main part of the journey, from the UK (United Kingdom) to the South of France, was done using BA» (British Airways - about) flights between Heathrow and Nice. 

Tickets
Senior Railcard Advance Single DIG > PAD» (Paddington (London) - next trains) £22.10 - Northern Trains App eTicket : This ticket was refunded in full on 01/12 after the announcement of strike action by ASLEF» (Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen - about) made it obvious that it would not be possible to complete the journey.
Senior Railcard Heathrow Express Single PAD > HXX  - HEx App eTicket : It initially seemed that this ticket would be rendered unusable by the ASLEF strike action but in the event HEx were able to run a half-hourly service and rejected my refund request.  Sad 
Senior Railcard Super Off-Peak Single EXC > FEL  £34.65 - SWR» (South Western Railway - about) App eTicket : My intention had been to use the TfL» (Transport for London - about) 490 bus service from Feltham to Heathrow T4 but this ticket was also fully refunded after the Exeter > Salisbury line closure due to the Crewkerne landslip.
Plan C! National Express Single Exeter > Heathrow Central Bus Station £47.00
Senior Railcard Heathrow Express Single HWV > PAD - HEx App eTicket
Senior Railcard Super Off-Peak Single PAD > DIG £39.50 - Northern Trains App eTicket
 
Outward Journey 07/12/23
National Express Exeter City Centre 1345 (On Time) > Heathrow Central Bus Station 1740 (1800)
Service was delayed at Taunton Deane Services due to the 'late arrival of the driver from the local depot'. Our first driver had brought the coach up from Penzance so presumably was due a break.

(07-08/12/23 Overnight at a Heathrow T4 hotel, TfL Piccadilly Line trains to T5 in the morning, and BA342 LHR 0815 > NCE 1120. Shortly before arriving at NCE one of the flight crew used the PA (Public Address) to announce 'this is the first time I have had to tell you that we will be dropping you off at a place which is colder & wetter than where you have just come from!'. He wasn't joking - in Nice it was 4 degrees C and raining very heavily, not exactly what we were expecting from the Cote D'Azur. Took the tram into the centre of Nice to have a walk around and get some lunch before travelling to Toulon.)

Ouigo Train 7856 Nice-Ville 1502 > Toulon 1643. Upstairs on a double-deck TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse).

Return Journey 10/12/23
Ouigo Train 7851 Toulon 1215 > Antibes 1339. TGV
SNCF (Societe Nationale des Chemins de fer Francais - French National Railways) TER 86055 Antibes 1352 > Nice Saint-Augustin 1410. As posted elsewhere this was a useful way of getting to Nice Airport without having to go into the city centre. We did the 10 minute stroll from Saint-Augustin to the airport but the tram can be used (for free on this journey).
(BA345 NCE 1635 > LHR 1745)
HWV 1857 (On Time) > PAD 1919 (1927)
PAD 1903 (1940) > EXD» (Exeter St Davids - next trains) 2112 (2210) (1C94 PAD > PLY» (Plymouth - next trains)) : 2 x 802/0 (10 Cars)
EXD 2258 (On Time) > DIG 231 (On Time) (2F29 PGN > EXM)

A somewhat disrupted, to say the least, journey home. In the aftermath of the Acton OHLE failure, compounded I presume to some degree by the continuing ASLEF work-to-rule, HEx were only running a half-hourly service my train was delayed once it joined the GWML (Great Western Main Line) at Airport Junction partly due to running on the relief line after Southall. However a serious delay to the incoming service allowed me to catch 1C94 as scheduled albeit with a c.40 minute late departure. Further time was lost en route due to extra stops at Pewsey, Westbury, and Castle Cary so my 2205 Avocet (Branch line from Exeter to Exmouth) Line connection at EXD was missed. On the plus side this should lead to a full refund.

 
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #109 on: December 18, 2023, 16:27:29 »

......but you did get to see a cracking match and a great result!  Smiley

.....couldn't you have flown Easyjet to Nice from Bristol?
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #110 on: December 19, 2023, 13:07:48 »

.....couldn't you have flown Easyjet to Nice from Bristol?

Toulon v Exeter Chiefs was the 'lunchtime' match on Saturday. SleazyJet's Saturday flight would not have got us there in time and at this time of year they do not fly the route on Fridays.
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #111 on: January 23, 2024, 14:05:13 »

18/01/24 - 22/01/24 A Rugby Weekend Away In Bayonne
A good time was had - just don't mention the war result!

Tickets
Senior Railcard Advance Single DIG>PAD» (Paddington (London) - next trains) £25.05
TfL» (Transport for London - about) NR» (Network Rail - home page) Railcard Oyster (Smartcard system used by passengers on Transport for London services) Off-Peak Single £1.75
Eurostar Single STP>PBN £44.00
RATP Metro Single €2.15
SNCF (Societe Nationale des Chemins de fer Francais - French National Railways) 1st Class Single Paris Montparnasse>Bayonne €77.00
SNCF 1st Class Single Bayonne>Paris Montparnasse €88.00
RATP Metro Single €2.15
Eurostar Single PBN>STP £44.00
TfL NR Railcard Oyster Off-Peak Single £1.75
Senior Railcard Super Off-Peak Single PAD>DIG £39.50

Outward - 18/01/24
DIG 1643 (1644)>EXD» (Exeter St Davids - next trains) 1655 (1656) : 2T26 EXM>PGN : 1 x 150/2 (2 Cars)
EXD 1715 (1718)>PAD 1922 (1939) : 1A92 PNZ>PAD : 1 x 800/3 (9 Cars)
TfL H&C Line Train PAD>KGX

Around 30 pax boarded 2T26 at DIG, many from the Construction Industry Training Board site on the adjacent Sowton Industrial Estate, and plenty more at both POL & EXC. A 2-car train probably doesn't cut it at this time of day - RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) indicates that 3 or 4 cars are usually provided on this service.
1A92 ran to time up to the Dawlish area, lost time slowly being 10 late passing WSB» (Westbury - next trains) and then suffered a more significant delay through the points issue at NBY» (Newbury - next trains) which meant the train was routed via the Up platform loop. A 17 minute late arrival at PAD so I received an automated DelayRepay notification from GWR (Great Western Railway).  During the journey the coach environment was 'polluted' 3 times by a fairly unpleasant odour. Which, despite no actual proof, I am blaming on the small, extremely whiney, spaniel (?) that was occupying the seat opposite me.
This being my first trip to central London for a while I got my Senior Railcard attached to my Oyster Card at the TfL Circle / District / Bakerloo line gateline. In the past I have tried and failed to get this done at both the H&C and Elizabeth Line entrances and been advised by the staff there that they can't do it; no access or just not bothered? - I have no idea.
Travelled from PAD to KGX using an H&C line service - avoids an Edgware Road change.

(Overnight stay at the Euston Road Premier Inn which is very convenient for anybody taking an early international train service.)

Outward - 19/01/24
Eurostar 9004 STP 0701 (On Time)>PBN 1019 (1040)
RATP Paris Metro Line 4 Gare du Nord>Montparnasse-Bienvenue
SNCF TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse) INOUI 8541 Paris Montparnasse 1211 (On Time)>Bayonne 1603 (On Time)

The Eurostar was very busy - it took around 30 minutes to get through Security & Immigration - at least our esteemed Border Force are now scanning passports, something that should have been being done from the start of this service. On reaching the continent there was a PA (Public Address) announcement to the effect that arrival in Paris would be subject to a delay of 20-30 minutes due to the severe icing across northern France necessitating a maximum speed reduction from 300 to 230 km/hour.
On arrival in Paris there were the usual Gare du Nord massive queues at the ticket desk/machines; I always buy my tickets from the Eurostar cafe bar, there is a small price premium, to avoid having to join the scrum.
Since I last made this trip Metro Line 4 has been refurbished, had platform screen doors fitted, and been supplied with new trains - a much improved travel experience.
There is still the fairly long walk from Montparnasse-Bienvenue to the Main Line station but the longest level section of the route has now been fitted with new travellators. And Gare Montparnasse is no longer a building site!

Return - 22/01/24
SNCF TGV INOUI 8534 Bayonne 1014 (On Time)>Paris Montparnasse 1416 (1413)
RATP Paris Metro Line 4 Montparnasse-Bienvenue>Gare du Nord
Eurostar 9043 PBN 1612 (On Time)>STP 1741 (1744)
TfL H&C Line Train KGX>PAD
PAD 1904 (On Time)>EXD 2115 (2120) : 1C94 PAD>PLY» (Plymouth - next trains) : 1 x 802/1 (9 Cars)
EXD 2152 (On Time)>DIG 2203 (2202) : 2F35 PGN>EXM : 2 x 150/2 (4 Cars)

The 'cross-Paris' component of this trip requires a minimum time allowance of 40 minutes.
A largely uneventful journey - until setting wheels back in the UK (United Kingdom)! On emergence from the Chunnel it seemed obvious that the Eurostar was not moving at full speed, this being confirmed by the onboard digital speedometer which indicated c.100mph. There was no on train PA announcement (cf. the outbound journey). I do not know but assume that Network Rail had imposed a weather related speed limit. No matter, arrival at STP was only 4 minutes down.
The tube train from KGX was absolutely rammed - maybe WFH (Working From Home) is not as widespread as people would have you believe.
When it was displayed on the station PIS (Passenger Information System) screens I trotted over to Platform 8 and was surprised to find an IET (Intercity Express Train) with external indications of EXD as the final destination. On the train the TM(resolve) was using the PA to confirm that both external & internal PIS screens were wrong and the train was definitely going to Plymouth ('because that is where our driver lives'). The TM also expressed a hope, rather than expectation, that the information would be corrected at some point during the journey. I completely fail to understand why he could not do that himself pretty much straight away.
1C94 essentially ran to time until just after passing CLC (Castle Cary) where we were brought to a complete stand (presumably) by a signal check - I guess 1C94 had 'caught up' with the late Running 1C93 - and was 5 late getting to EXD. So the really annoying, and to me inexplicable, thing is that on the 'normal' schedule 1C94 should arrive at 2115 while the EXM connection (2F34) leaves at 2118. This just looks like crap timetabling.
BTW (by the way) the issue with the incorrect final destination indications was only resolved just as the train left TVP.
 
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #112 on: January 24, 2024, 05:09:28 »

18/01/24 - 22/01/24 A Rugby Weekend Away In Bayonne
A good time was had - just don't mention the war result!




Sadly Hommes v garcons on this occasion!  Sad
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #113 on: February 18, 2024, 15:57:49 »

12/02/24 - 16/02/24 Visiting The Family In Yorkshire
A varied portfolio of problems, but some good stuff.

Tickets
2 x Senior Railcard Advance Single DIG>PAD» (Paddington (London) - next trains) £73.20
2 x TfL» (Transport for London - about)» NR» (Network Rail - home page) Railcard Oyster (Smartcard system used by passengers on Transport for London services) Off-Peak Single PAD>KGX £2.50
2 x 1st Class Senior Railcard Advance Single KGX>LDS £70.30
2 x Senior Railcard Anytime Day Single FZW>LDS £7.30
2 x Senior Railcard Off-Peak Day Single HGT>KNA £5.00
2 x Senior Railcard Off-Peak Day Single LDS>YRK £24.20
2 x Senior Railcard Advance Single LDS>GRA £26.50
2 x Senior Railcard Advance Single GRA>DIG £43.50

While in Yorkshire we made extensive use of our ‘crinklies’ Bus Passes; many of the services we used ran every 10 minutes.

Outward - 12/02/24
DIG 0943 (0942)>EXD» (Exeter St Davids - next trains) 0955 (0955) : 2T12 EXM>PGN : 2 x 150/2 (4 Cars)
EXD 1015 (1040)>PAD 1229 (1338) : 1A78 PNZ>PAD : 1 x 800/0 (5 Cars)
TfL H&C Line Train
PAD>KGX
KGX 1333>LDS 1545 - Booked Connection Missed, Rebooked On:
KGX 1433 (On Time)>LDS 1652 (1658) : 1D18 KGX>LDS : 1 x 800/1 (9 Cars)

The 2T12 trip was largely uneventful although I did notice that the on-train PIS (Passenger Information System) was out of step by +1 stop (e.g. Next Station SJP rather than POL). While at DIG however I checked RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) and discovered that our PAD service had departed PNZ 24 minutes late. This was later ascribed to a road vehicle hitting the level crossing at HYL although online info is almost entirely lacking. Anyway 1A78 was delayed by a further 6 minutes between PAR & LOS and reached PLY» (Plymouth - next trains) 31 minutes late. I assume because of this delay the scheduled addition of a 5 coach IET (Intercity Express Train) was cancelled (nice work GWR (Great Western Railway)!). Not surprisingly on reaching EXD the service was already very busy and both reservations & catering were binned. Further time was lost at TVP & TAU» (Taunton - next trains) getting pax off & on the rammed train and then after NBY» (Newbury - next trains) we followed the late running 2K35 all the way to RDG(resolve) where 1A78 arrived 56 minutes down. And the icing on the cake? Some slow running on the way to PAD after a Passenger Assistance Alarm was tripped and arrival at our destination was 69 late.
We just missed the 1403 LNER» (London North Eastern Railway - about) train to LDS but got a rebooking on the 1433 service from an extremely efficient and helpful ticket office rep. 1D18 ran to time, or early, as far as OUT after which congestion on the approach to LDS resulted in an 8 minute late arrival. The area in front of Leeds Station is one massive building site!

Local Trip - 12/02/24
FZW 2146 (On Time)>LDS 2213 (2210) : 2B86 DON>LDS : 1 x 331/0 (3 Cars)
The 331’s provide a very pleasant travelling experience.

Local Trip - 13/02/24
HGT 1605 (1606)>KNA 1614 (1615) : 2C46 LDS>YRK : 1 x 170/4 (3 Cars)
We were going to catch the preceding 1535 train but that was terminated at HGT due to a crew issue. The Knaresborough railway viaduct, and the rest of the River Nidd gorge, is definitely worth a visit.

Local Trip - 14/02/24
LDS 1116 (1120)>YRK 1147 (1149) : 2T13 LDS>YRK : 1 x 195/1 (3 Cars)
We had intended to use the 1108 XC (Cross Country Trains (franchise)) train (to EDB) but on arrival at LDS that service was full & standing. Just as well we didn’t bother as that train hit YRK 47 minutes late due to congestion resulting from a fatality on the line near Durham. When we got to YRK I don’t think there were any clear platforms.



Return - 16/02/24
LDS 1115 (1148)>KGX 1328 (1408) : 1A26 LDS>KGX : IC225 (9 Cars)
TfL H&C Line Train KGX>PAD
PAD 1436>EXD 1659 - Booked Connection Missed, Rebooked On:
PAD 1503 (On Time)>EXD 1715 (1717) : 1C86 PAD>PNZ : 1 x 802/1 (9 Cars)
EXD 1739 (On Time)>DIG 1757 (1756) : 2F27 PGN>EXM : 1 x 150/2 (2 Cars)

At LDS the inbound service - 1D06 from KGX - was delayed by 53 minutes due to a landslip south of Grantham. It took LNER only 10 minutes to turn the service around - an excellent bit of work - so we departed 33 minutes late. Lost some time en-route, particularly on the approach to KGX where we arrived 41 down. Had to wait for the 2nd tube train at KGX - first one was to Uxbridge - which then also had an extended stop at Edgware Road so we missed the 1436 by 2 minutes. Got rebooked on the next train OK but the GWR rep who processed the change seemed like they wished they were somewhere else.
On 1C86 the reservation info was activated late (after departure) and there was no Standard Class catering (crew shortage, aka not coming to work ‘cos it’s half-term!). Arrived at EXD 3 minutes late because although the service was 7 minutes early at East Somerset Junction it then lost all that time and more following the preceding 1C85 which ran late after NBY.
Had things run to plan we would have caught the 1715 train to DIG; I don’t think GWR get any plaudits for having an Exmouth connection leaving at exactly the same time as the London train arrives especially as the local service then waits at EXC for 5 minutes.

I think my abiding memory from the rail aspects of this trip will be the contrast in the demeanour of the LNER & GWR ticket office reps involved. 
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #114 on: March 12, 2024, 17:55:49 »

07/03/24 - 10/03/24 Visiting Family In Hampshire
Rail travel is wonderful when it works properly!

Tickets
2 x Senior Railcard Off-Peak Day Single DIG>PIN £5.10
2 x Senior Railcard Super Off-Peak Day Return PIN>BSK (Brake Standard Corridor (carriage))>PIN £50.10
2 x Senior Railcard Off-Peak Day Single PIN>DIG £5.10

Outward - 07/03/24
DIG 1214 (1213)>EXC 1220 (1219) : 2T17 EXM>PGN : 1 x 150/2 (2 Cars)
EXC 1230 (OT)>BSK 1455 (OT) : 1L48 EXD» (Exeter St Davids - next trains)>WAT : 1 x 159/0 + 1 x 159/1 (6 Cars EXC>SAL), 2 x 159/0 + 1 x 159/1 (9 Cars SAL>BSK)

Tickets were checked on a very lightly loaded 2T17 despite it being a DIG>EXC non-stopper.
There was a 3 minute delay at PIN waiting for the late running 1L21 to clear the single line but the time had been recovered before we got to CKN.
On 1L48 tickets & railcards were checked shortly after departure from HON.
Just after leaving GIL the guard walked through the train checking that TIS(resolve) pax were in the correct (front) unit. Opposite us the guard encountered a passenger, whose 1st language was not English, who was travelling from GIL to SSD via CLJ and clearly wasn’t entirely sure about their itinerary. He took some time to explain that a change at CLJ onto a VXH service followed by a transfer onto the TfL» (Transport for London - about) Victoria Line to Tottenham Hale was required and printed out a detailed journey plan. And also made sure the individual was aware that they needed to move to the (attached) front unit after SAL to permit alighting at CLJ. Top work!

Return - 10/03/24
BSK 1307 (OT)>EXC 1538 (OT) : 1L33 WAT>EXD : 1 x 159/0 + 2 x 159/1 (9 Cars BSK>SAL), 2 x 159/1 (6 Cars SAL>EXC)
EXC 1555 (OT)>DIG 1600 (OT) : 2F16 PGN>EXM : 1 x 166/2 (3 Cars)

Checking RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) before leaving for home saw that Exeter-bound services were being significantly delayed by a signalling fault between TMC & SHE but fortunately this had cleared before we got to the area. The only effect was a brief hold at Wilton while 1L44 cleared the single line section and a couple of minutes delay at Tisbury Loop waiting for 1L48 to pass.

A couple of observations; it really is about time SWR» (South Western Railway - about) reintroduced some level of on-board catering service on the West of England Line services. And Network Rail need to at least investigate the possibility of reinstating the 2nd platform at TIS - it would require the extension of the Tisbury Loop by c.350-400m - to obviate the nonsense of trains having to stop twice within 1-2 minutes.

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