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  • Imber Bus: August 20, 2016
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Author Topic: Imber bus day, Salisbury Plain  (Read 33647 times)
bignosemac
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« Reply #60 on: August 18, 2018, 11:30:23 pm »

You're travelling via Westbury on a weekend? Good luck with that based on previous attempts to reach a destination at the weekend via Westbury.

Thank you

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Insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results - possibly Albert Einstein.  Grin

Development.  Doing similar things over and over, tuning to make them more reliable - certainly Graham E   Roll Eyes

How was the train journey back to Melksham?  Tongue
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grahame
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« Reply #61 on: August 19, 2018, 12:16:30 am »

How was the train journey back to Melksham?  Tongue

The near-perfect performance of the Imber buses yesterday provided a stark contract to the operation of public transport services between Melksham and Warminster, with public transport providers seemingly scoring far too many needless own goals.
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froome
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« Reply #62 on: August 19, 2018, 07:06:21 am »

How was the train journey back to Melksham?  Tongue

The near-perfect performance of the Imber buses yesterday provided a stark contract to the operation of public transport services between Melksham and Warminster, with public transport providers seemingly scoring far too many needless own goals.

Indeed. We did have a train service from Bath to get there and back, but I was surprised to find that the train manager had no knowledge of why his train emptied out at Warminster. He was looking puzzled when on the platform there and we explained to him why. I assume GWR should have been aware of the event, but perhaps this information doesn't filter down to where needed?
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froome
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« Reply #63 on: August 19, 2018, 07:10:08 am »

As first timers, we also really enjoyed the day. As well as all the comments made on the professionalism of the organisation, one that stood out for me was their website, which gave all the information needed and very clearly and simply. It should be a model for others to use.
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grahame
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« Reply #64 on: August 19, 2018, 08:47:33 am »

Some more pictures ... this series concentrating on the buses!













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CyclingSid
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« Reply #65 on: August 19, 2018, 09:47:25 am »

Have to join others in noting the excellent organisation, much commented on by Her Indoors. She was likewise intrigued by the variety of buses.
Interesting to see the changes since I was last there 40 years ago, when taking the role of ditch/trench digger in the army (strange things they get engineers to do, who they had spent a lot of money training) The plain itself never changes much.
Must admit that I was a bit dubious about the descent into West Lavington on the brakes (distinct smell of brake linings), army beat it into you that you went down such hills on the gear box, but if you have an automatic or semi-automatic there aren't the same options.
Not sure why MoD Police felt they needed an Armed Response Unit at Imber (perhaps they have no other)?
Good to meet the eminence grise of Community Rail. I did think, on Bath station, it could be one of those days when the Cardiff-Portsmouth train shrank to two or one coaches, but fortunately not.
All in all an excellent day. Be interesting to know the final numbers.
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martyjon
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« Reply #66 on: August 19, 2018, 10:57:10 am »



Grahame, good day also for First to promote their "D" Discovery routes and vehicles, pity you didn't photo that bus with "Imber" up front, now that would have been a "discovery".

I cannot add any more commendations to those already made by yourself and others on this thread. The other person you were talking to at Imber when I met you is an old acquaintance of mine from South Glos Council / Yate Station Group.

My 5 family members who were with me thoroughly enjoyed the day especially the 11 year old whose day was made when he was invited to sit in the police cars drivers seat.

As you may have noted, the bus we arrived on at the Imber, St Giles Church stop also conveyed DR and I volunteered my nephew, who is less than half my age, to give him a "booster push" up to the inclined path to and into the church in his wheelchair where we left him deep in conversation with others. He would have had "natural assistance, gravity" to return to the Imber St. Giles Church bus stop.

DR narrated to my nephew the role of the police in the first IMBERBUS. He told him that over a hundred officers were deployed from the MOD, BTP and the local constabulary as there were fears the public would ignore the warnings and no entry notices and go where they weren't supposed to. Yesterdays event had just six officers present.

It was also nice to see that the access path to the church had been greatly improved which seems to be a virtually new construction since I last visited the church area 2 years ago, I presume funded by the donations of previous IMBERBUS days particularly the handrails up the steepest part of the path leading to the church porch itself which was particularly helpful to the older visitors.


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grahame
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« Reply #67 on: August 19, 2018, 11:15:55 am »

Grahame, good day also for First to promote their "D" Discovery routes and vehicles, pity you didn't photo that bus with "Imber" up front, now that would have been a "discovery".

I did - just didn't include it in this thread.  Online ((here)) and used as part of a personal Facebook post at https://www.facebook.com/groups/option247/permalink/723093571374545 - the group is public so you should be able to see it.

Quote
I cannot add any more commendations to those already made by yourself and others on this thread. The other person you were talking to at Imber when I met you is an old acquaintance of mine from South Glos Council / Yate Station Group.

My 5 family members who were with me thoroughly enjoyed the day especially the 11 year old whose day was made when he was invited to sit in the police cars drivers seat.

As you may have noted, the bus we arrived on at the Imber, St Giles Church stop also conveyed DR and I volunteered my nephew, who is less than half my age, to give him a "booster push" up to the inclined path to and into the church in his wheelchair where we left him deep in conversation with others. He would have had "natural assistance, gravity" to return to the Imber St. Giles Church bus stop.

DR narrated to my nephew the role of the police in the first IMBERBUS. He told him that over a hundred officers were deployed from the MOD, BTP and the local constabulary as there were fears the public would ignore the warnings and no entry notices and go where they weren't supposed to. Yesterdays event had just six officers present.

It was also nice to see that the access path to the church had been greatly improved which seems to be a virtually new construction since I last visited the church area 2 years ago, I presume funded by the donations of previous IMBERBUS days particularly the handrails up the steepest part of the path leading to the church porch itself which was particularly helpful to the older visitors.

I missed DR and some others I know were there - still have a note of a dozen friends caught up with; sorry our was so very brief as I had a connection to a sporadic service beyond the plain to catch.  And I know many more were there.   I'll b along next year too - catching up with old friends, though very much in a changed role.
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froome
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« Reply #68 on: August 19, 2018, 11:17:56 am »

Have to join others in noting the excellent organisation, much commented on by Her Indoors. She was likewise intrigued by the variety of buses.
Interesting to see the changes since I was last there 40 years ago, when taking the role of ditch/trench digger in the army (strange things they get engineers to do, who they had spent a lot of money training) The plain itself never changes much.
Must admit that I was a bit dubious about the descent into West Lavington on the brakes (distinct smell of brake linings), army beat it into you that you went down such hills on the gear box, but if you have an automatic or semi-automatic there aren't the same options.
Not sure why MoD Police felt they needed an Armed Response Unit at Imber (perhaps they have no other)?
Good to meet the eminence grise of Community Rail. I did think, on Bath station, it could be one of those days when the Cardiff-Portsmouth train shrank to two or one coaches, but fortunately not.
All in all an excellent day. Be interesting to know the final numbers.

While I was waiting at Bath Spa, I did see one of the Routemasters setting off from in front of the station, empty apart from the driver and conductor. It struck me that perhaps some of them could have been advertised as having early departure points, obviously dependent on where they came from, to take people to Warminster. But given that they were driven by volunteers, perhaps this wouldn't have been possible?
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grahame
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« Reply #69 on: August 19, 2018, 11:24:39 am »

But given that they were driven by volunteers, perhaps this wouldn't have been possible?

The whole insurance and liability issues associated with bus running days are massive - there is no Warminster bus running day with year in part caused by the hassle and expense of organising such matters, I am told.   Having said which, the Chippenham bus running day a couple of months back was interesting if lower key, and one special service yesterday did take the main trunk road south from Warminster before turning off to Chitterne - essentially an ECS working to get vehicles in place for early Chitterne to Imber runs, but carrying passengers.
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martyjon
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« Reply #70 on: August 19, 2018, 11:25:05 am »

Ah, that's another destination display which I didn't see, I saw the one "Imber 23A".
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grahame
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« Reply #71 on: August 19, 2018, 12:15:56 pm »

How was the train journey back to Melksham?  Tongue

The near-perfect performance of the Imber buses yesterday provided a stark contract to the operation of public transport services between Melksham and Warminster, with public transport providers seemingly scoring far too many needless own goals.


Further post at http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=20243 will fill regular posters in on the technical details.
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martyjon
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« Reply #72 on: August 19, 2018, 01:38:33 pm »

One of the family members I took yesterday has recently had promotion at work, the unit she was working in having been split and she has been appointed to manage the Worcester half in Worcester which previously had been managed from Gloucester where she was located. Her moans about GWR frequently cancelling the Great Malvern service to and from Gloucester were much in evident when we got back to Warminster from Imber an hour earlier than I had planned (more on this below) to see the second next train to Bristol cancelled, the one which we would have got if we has stuck to my timetable for the day.

In the morning on arrival at Warminster the six of us were in the rear coach of a 3 car 166 and thus our exit from the unit was just by the stairs to the station foot bridge and we were amongst the first to use the footbridge and there were buses still loading in the station forecourt. It transpired that the departure was delayed to allow a connection to be made off our train and to top it all I had 5 adult and 1 child tickets dispensed from the conductors ticket machine and later in the journey to Gore Cross the conductor handed us all this years souvenir Day Tickets which had mysteriously disappeared and then reappeared during the course of the journey. Previously the tickets were purchased on the forecourt at Warminster but the person assigned to this task this year was caught short and had to respond to a call of nature at the time of our arrival. Thus we were now running an hour ahead of our scheduled (fall back) itinerary.

Whilst on this thread I was told that last years event made over 12,000 in donations to the two charities that benefit from the event, The British Legion (Help for Heros) and the Friends of St. Giles Church, Imber.

Also a feature of this years event besides the new Gore Cross Bus Station an area beyond Imber village was commandeered to act as a Park and Ride which buses on their journey to Gore Cross entered from the road but exited over a Bailey Bridge to regain the main highway.
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hassaanhc
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« Reply #73 on: August 21, 2018, 12:47:59 am »

I had a great day at Imber. Managed to go on LT700, RMC1461 (both 3 times each!), RMC1485 and 69502. I was quite fed up of RMC1461 at the end as it was a bit too bouncy 😂 RMC1485 was better, but I'd have preferred LTs to have turned up for me more! At least Abellio's LT700 was an excellent bus, although it was a shame I didn't get to go on any of the other two Euro 6 ones (Metroline ST812 or RATP London United LT1000). I don't like the engine sound of the Euro 5 ones (Arriva LT1 and Stagecoach LT264) Tongue . Shame there was no Volvo B5LH this time as it would have been funny to see it struggle with the short gears on the hills Cheesy (last year
RATP London Sovereign sent their VHR45203 which is a B5LH with the LT body).
Shame about the train journeys to/from there though Angry Things started off good from Southall with the 0757 to Reading (ok it was 5 minutes late by Ealing Broadway due to a delayed freight train, but the DMU timetable and driver showing off the Class 387 acceleration allowed that time to be recovered by Twyford). Unfortunately from Reading the train to Westbury was cancelled (0903 towards Paignton), so I had to instead to use the 0905 service to Basingstoke (165130) and then the 1007 to Salisbury (9-car 159). Usually that 1007 actually has a portion direct to Warminster but due to the SWR strike it was terminating at Salisbury. So I then had to stand on 158798 which was the Brighton to Great Malvern service, arriving at 1132, about 82 minutes late compared to my original arrival of 1010. Passengers on that Brighton to Great Malvern train actually had a scare as their train was being announced as terminating at Westbury due to a shortage of staff, but luckily it actually ran through in the end.

On the way back I didn't mind about which way I went, but the 1803 to Cardiff Central was cancelled due to a shortage of staff, with the unit 158766 passing through ECS about 10 minutes later Roll Eyes . So I had to go the other way towards Salisbury at 1810. But due to the SWR strike there was a +50 connection with the train towards Basingstoke, so instead I stayed on to Southampton Central where it was a good connection with the northbound XC service at 1920, which I stayed on until Reading and had no issues until Southall (even managing to time myself perfectly for the 2018 booked DMU service, which produced 165109).
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froome
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« Reply #74 on: August 21, 2018, 07:28:23 am »

One minor point to note was that the buses were going down roads that don't normally have bus services, so are not maintained as such. Which meant that going along the lane from Brazen Bottom down into Market Lavington, the top deck of the bus was constantly hitting the lowest tree branches, which was a bit disturbing if you had the window flap open.

Though not as disturbing as it would have been in the open top bus  Angry, which I assume wasn't used for this route.
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