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Author Topic: Okehampton to Paddington - Saturday, 18th March 2017  (Read 2256 times)
bobm
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« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2017, 08:46:27 AM »

Just to be clear, my remark "There was no cancellation" was in relation to the afternoon arrangements at the London end to get the second green set on the return working.

I would class the morning situation as a cancellation - indeed the customer screens would have said as much.
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richwarwicker
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« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2017, 08:50:26 AM »

Just to be clear, my remark "There was no cancellation" was in relation to the afternoon arrangements at the London end to get the second green set on the return working.

I would class the morning situation as a cancellation - indeed the customer screens would have said as much.

Cancelled but alternative services would have left anyone for Reading or Paddington less than 30 late at destination

Edit- barring Weston super mare passengers, the Paignton passengers who were displaced onto the following XC service would have made it beyond Bristol on time as XC service normally over takes the gwr service at WSM, so arrives in Bristol prior to the Paignton one departing . WSM passengers would have incurred a 30 min delay.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 09:09:13 AM by richwarwicker » Logged
trainbuff
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« Reply #32 on: March 19, 2017, 01:58:41 PM »

As A Director of OkeRAIL CIC and a member of OkeRAIL Forum, I must say that GWR were totally supportive to us and went above and beyond. Not just on the day but in the run up to organising this event. The efforts that Great Western have gone to show a real commitment to an Okehampton Service, not just on the Sunday Rover.

Even after the 'set swap' at Exeter there was still an almost carnival atmosphere on the train. I know because I went through every coach. When I mentioned that had the railway been used by a daily service, the wheel flats would have been less likely, and added that we wanted a daily service there was a great deal of cheering and clapping.

On arrival a small number of us met with Paul Maynard for a short, informal, friendly and positive meeting.

The return trip was uneventful with Dartmoor Railway ensuring that the track was sanded repeatedly and thanks to them for that also.

I must pass on my thanks to all staff on the day. Not just the Train Managers who kept us fully informed and the catering staff who were all excellent. There were additional GWR staff who had volunteered for the train for no payment. One worked at Swindon on timetables! A real credit and despite the fact I announced this on the train I feel a more public comment is needed.

A successful day that achieved its aims of getting people to London, raising the profile of the line and meeting the minister Grin
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bignosemac
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« Reply #33 on: March 19, 2017, 01:59:57 PM »

Would passengers have been advised to make such a connection though, given that the time between the XC timetabled arrival and timetabled 1A15 departure was less than the minimum allowed connection at Bristol TM?

Anyone who'd intended travelling on 1A15 from Paignton, and stations up the line, who had sought information on their options may not have been told to connect from XC to 1A15 at Bristol TM as industry systems wouldn't show such a connection as valid.

Whatever actually happened on the ground, I don't think it right that a scheduled service should be cancelled to provide rolling stock for a charter. Then again, there was a Rail Minister to meet, and inconveniencing* a number of passengers in South Devon is seemingly less important than ensuring a politician is kept sweet.  Roll Eyes

*Yes, even if arrival in Reading and London was on time, it's still inconvenient to have to take three trains for a journey that should have been on one through train.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 02:05:29 PM by bignosemac » Logged

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John R
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« Reply #34 on: March 19, 2017, 02:26:27 PM »

Would passengers have been advised to make such a connection though, given that the time between the XC timetabled arrival and timetabled 1A15 departure was less than the minimum allowed connection at Bristol TM?

Anyone who'd intended travelling on 1A15 from Paignton, and stations up the line, who had sought information on their options may not have been told to connect from XC to 1A15 at Bristol TM as industry systems wouldn't show such a connection as valid.

Whatever actually happened on the ground, I don't think it right that a scheduled service should be cancelled to provide rolling stock for a charter. Then again, there was a Rail Minister to meet, and inconveniencing* a number of passengers in South Devon is seemingly less important than ensuring a politician is kept sweet.  Roll Eyes

*Yes, even if arrival in Reading and London was on time, it's still inconvenient to have to take three trains for a journey that should have been on one through train.

I suspect GWR would have held the connection at Bristol given the circumstances.

The publicity would have been much worse if the train had been cancelled, and I suspect the number of passengers inconvenienced was a fraction of those who would have had their day out ruined if the swap had not been made.  GWR had contracted to get those passengers to London too, so they had every much of a right to have their journey disrupted as little as possible.  As trainbuff noted many of the staff gave up a day of their weekend to make it work, and I endorse his comments in respect of GWR and their staff in making the day a success despite the unexpected problems.
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RichardB
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« Reply #35 on: March 19, 2017, 02:28:58 PM »

Whatever actually happened on the ground, I don't think it right that a scheduled service should be cancelled to provide rolling stock for a charter.

We had a full train from Okehampton - around 500 people.  There was no perfect solution that would have kept everyone happy but I think what was done was right.  If it hadn't been, there would have been the nightmare scenario of getting everyone back to Okehampton and people having to be refunded.   The fallout would have been much, much bigger than it will have been with the cancellation of the Paignton - Paddington.

A huge call but GWR got it spot on.
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grahame
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« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2017, 02:41:00 PM »

Whatever actually happened on the ground, I don't think it right that a scheduled service should be cancelled to provide rolling stock for a charter.

In the case of an unplanned failure of a train, every effort should be made to minimise the inconvenience to everyone who's paid to travel.   I can't imagine that more than 60 people would have been late at their destination by up to 30 minutes with the action taken (1,800 delay minutes) whereas bringing the spare HST down from Bristol would have held up 500 passengers by at least 60 minutes (30,000 delay minutes).

I would tend to agree that service trains should not be cancelled in order to allow a special to run in the first place - though that does happen for Glastonbury, for the GoldCup meeting, and is (I understand) happening on Maundy Thursday for one of the Berks and Hants trains beyond Newbury, but in the event of something going wrong on the day, dumping 500 paying customers who you have committed to at Exeter St Davids would be rather poor form.

I'm noting others taking the same view as mine as I wrote this!
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2017, 09:30:56 PM »

Purely for the record, here is a 'video recap' item from devonlive:

Quote
Fight for Okehampton to London direct train goes on despite 'hiccup': video recap

The first direct train from Okehampton to London in 50 years was stopped in its tracks by flats on the wheels.

Despite the hiccup, more than 500 passengers transferred from the Royal Oke to another train at Exeter St David's Station and were able to proceed to London.

A GWR spokesman said: "Slippery conditions on a privately maintained section of the railway just outside Okehampton caused one of our trains to slide on the tracks, damaging the wheels. The train, which had been chartered by Okerail, continued to the next station where a replacement train had been arranged to complete the journey to London."



Campaigners, who organised the event to show there is high demand for regular services from Okehampton to the capital say it only heightened their calls for a service.

Michael Ireland, who is the brains behind the scheme said: "It shows the line needs to be used. The problem has occurred because the line isn't used enough. This only reinforces the need for an Exeter to Okehampton link.

"GWR have been extremely professional in the transfer of passengers to the other train. You couldn't wish for better service and even complimentary refreshments for those who were unable to get their breakfast. People will get to London, it will be a success."



Mr Ireland said that if campaigners could get a rail link, it would benefit not just Okehampton, but the whole region. "North Cornwall, to Bude, Holsworthy and Launceston will benefit economically from the new rail line," he said.



Kevin Ball, Devon County Councillor for Okehampton Rural added: "I have to give real credit to GWR, they've really worked hard to try and make it work for us. They've cancelled a train to provide a set for us to carry on so I have nothing but praise for GWR. At the end of the day, look at all these people who want to travel. That's the whole point of the message, that a regular service will be well supported."

The train left Okehampton Station at 7:45am this morning and arrived back at 9:15pm. The remarkable journey is down to the voluntary groups of Okerail Forum and Okerail CIC. The whole undertaking has been underwritten by Okehampton United Charity.

The train which left Okehampton used a route proposed as an alternative to the Dawlish line which is frequently cut off by the high tide and storm waves and had eight coaches. One 1st Class, One Pullman Dining coach and six Standard Class.

Mike Davies, chairman of the OkeRail Forum said: "To have a train of this size on such a small platform was quite difficult, but it's wonderful to see so many people from Okehampton and the surrounding area out supporting the train. It's absolutely fantastic and as we saw from the Sunday Rover back in the summer, we had 7,500 passengers over 13 Sundays and with today's event going to London it just shows there is a great demand for a daily service from Exeter to Okehampton."

Secretary of State for Transport Paul Maynard MP will be at Paddington Station to welcome over 500 people who will have travelled up from Devon on Okerail's privately commissioned train the Royal Oke.



Central Devon MP Mel Stride said: "This is a great day, it's a great day for rail, it's a great day for Okehampton, and it's a great day for my constituents. For the first time in 50 years we have a train leaving this station that's going to go all the way up to London Paddington. This is just a first step, we're going to be pushing very hard now to get this line reinstated. The demand is there, we've got 500 people on this train, and we sold the tickets out in about a fortnight.

"When we get to the other end we've got the Rail Minister there to meet us and we're going to give him a good shake and we're going to lobby him and press really hard to make sure we reinstate this line going forward."

Clive Eginton, leader of Mid Devon District Council told Devon Live when the train stopped in Crediton: "This is exceptionally important, the reason being, from a pollution aspect; it's going to help places like Cheriton Bishop because it will take traffic off of the A30 and obviously then hopefully make people use the train moving forwards. This is a first and moving forward there could be possibilities for a more regular service."


What exactly is a flat spot?

Passengers had to disembark today because of a flat spot - but what does flat spot mean?

A flat spot, or wheel flat, is a fault in railroad wheel shape. A flat spot occurs when a rail vehicle's wheelset is dragged along the rail after the wheel/axle has stopped rotating. Flat spots are usually caused by use of the emergency brake, or slip and slide conditions that cause wheels to lock up while the train is still moving. Flat spots are more common in the autumn and winter when the rails are slippery. Flat spots can also be caused by faulty brakes or wheelset bearings.


I am unfortunately unable to provide direct links to the video clips in my quote of that article, but they are available in the original devonlive item: I recommend viewing them!

CfN.  Smiley

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ChrisB
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« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2017, 10:57:57 AM »

They quote 7,500 users of the Sunday service as a reason for any regular service to be well used. I wonder how many pf those were visitors in, and thus wouldn't actually be regular users?

And surely they ought to be approaching the local LEP as it will be they who can obtain the money? What do they think?
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