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Author Topic: Henley line improvements - May 2017  (Read 1640 times)
Adelante_CCT
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« on: March 23, 2017, 07:53:51 PM »

Don't think it has been properly discussed yet but from the 21st May, services on the Twyford to Henley branch are increasing to half-hourly during the daytime 7 days a week. This being up from every 45 minutes on a weekday and hourly on a weekend.
This does however include 1 train per hour in each direction NOT calling at Wargrave.

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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2017, 11:24:41 PM »

Yes, a much welcome improvement.   45-minute frequencies are a nightmare to remember as they don't repeat themselves for four hours, 30-minute frequencies are a doddle to remember. 

Even for Wargrave, I would suggest an hourly service is actually better than the current 45-minute off-peak frequency as it's easy to remember, as long as a more frequent peak service is offered at a similar level to today, and that will indeed be the case.
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To view my cab run over the new Reading Viaduct as well as a relief line cab ride at Reading just after Platforms 12-15 opened and my 'before and after' video comparison of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/IndustryInsider/1
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2017, 07:42:29 AM »

All we need now is for the Marlow branch to follow suit, technically a tad more difficult
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Mark Carne 26 June 2015 - "The challenges of delivering myriad improvement projects while still running a railway seven days a week were simply overwhelming".
eightf48544
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2017, 12:07:19 PM »

All we need now is for the Marlow branch to follow suit, technically a tad more difficult

Preferably heavy rail through to High Wycombe. However we seem very squeamish about knocking down house and other buildings and also Level Crossings.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2017, 02:52:55 PM »

All we need now is for the Marlow branch to follow suit, technically a tad more difficult

However we seem very squeamish about knocking down house and other buildings and also Level Crossings.

.....and quite rightly so!




Edit note: Quote marks fixed, for clarity. CfN.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 06:25:40 PM by Chris from Nailsea » Logged
Noggin
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2017, 10:28:57 PM »

All we need now is for the Marlow branch to follow suit, technically a tad more difficult

In Bourne End alone:

1) From the designs for Portishead it seems you'd be unlikely to be allowed a level crossing on a reopening, so that's Station Road and Cores End Road needing over-bridges, both of which would be very difficult, if not impossible.
2) By guess is the Boston Drive Offices would cost you well north of £5m to CPO, you'd probably have to be fairy generous with compensation.
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Silver
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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2017, 07:58:43 AM »

Yes, a much welcome improvement.   45-minute frequencies are a nightmare to remember as they don't repeat themselves for four hours, 30-minute frequencies are a doddle to remember. 

Even for Wargrave, I would suggest an hourly service is actually better than the current 45-minute off-peak frequency as it's easy to remember, as long as a more frequent peak service is offered at a similar level to today, and that will indeed be the case.

Living in Wargrave I and just about every other local user I have spoken to would disagree with you.....

Our local MP and Prime Minister is protesting hard on our behalf to GWR.  We already get a second class service during the Henley Regatta, this now appears to being extended for the full year.  I didn't see a reduction in my season ticket price as a result of either not being able to travel at peak times during Regatta (Wargrave stops missed and no link with the London Service) and now for a reduction in frequency off-peak.  I have voted with my feat and not renewed, choosing instead to drive into London.  Maybe when Crossrail and electrification are complete I will look to move back to the train. 

The usage stats GWR use to justify the changes are somewhat flawed, the difference in numbers travelling to Henley are skewed by a) counting Regatta week high usage when Wargrave is already missed from 50%+ of the schedule; and b) no ticket purchasing facilities at Wargrave meaning collating numbers travelling from the station difficult.  Passenger counts by local users at Wargrave show much higher usage of the station than the GWR stats, including at off peak times.
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Rob T
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2017, 10:19:59 AM »

I'm pretty sure Mrs May has bigger things to be worrying about at this moment in time with all due respect.

Whilst you have every right to vote with your feet, I'm sure there will be many more voting with theirs and taking advantage of an improved frequency that wouldn't otherwise have been possible without missing a call at Wargrave every other service.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2017, 10:38:52 AM »

I understand your points, Silver.  Let me try to counter them.

1)  The Henley Regatta affects just three weekdays a year.  I do agree that a gesture towards season ticket holders from Wargrave for those three days would be fair.
2)  The reduction in frequency from Wargrave results in the loss of just one train per day in each direction.  Peak services remain practically identical to today, off-peak services (09:00-17:00) currently depart Wargrave for Twyford at 09:08, 09:43, 10:16, 11:01, 11:46, 12:31, 13:16, 14:01, 14:46, 15:31 and 16:27.  In the new timetable they are 09:09, 09:44, 10:29, 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:00 and 16:31.  So a much more memorable pattern and just one train less, yet it gives Henley (and Shiplake) residents an extra four trains per day.
3) Henley has three times the population of Wargrave and facilities that are more likely to attract people to visit it.  Station usage figures indicate eight people use Henley for ever one that uses Wargrave, and even if passenger numbers are skewed by the reasons you state there's no doubting it is much busier, and, importantly, has much more potential for growth that hopefully the extra trains and more clockface timetable will provide.

So, for those reasons I think the wider benefits outweigh the small drawback of losing one train per day each way at Wargrave.  My only question is why Wargrave loses out and not Shiplake?
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To view my cab run over the new Reading Viaduct as well as a relief line cab ride at Reading just after Platforms 12-15 opened and my 'before and after' video comparison of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/IndustryInsider/1
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2017, 11:28:20 AM »

Mrs May is indeed involved and pushing Mark Hopwood very hard on this, there have been meeting with her and much correspondence flowing.  Her local MP responsibilities continue alongside her role as PM, however, her view does probably carry a little more weight.

The changes were supposed to be a short term measure as a 30 minute shuttle is possible once the line is electrified.  However, the change has been brought-in and electrification delayed.  There is currently no firm date for electrification of the line.

Wargrave is skipped ahead of Shiplake due to trains being able to accelerate quicker when stopping at Shiplake,, but I agree Shiplake and Wargrave have similar profiles so it would be fairer to skip each alternatively.

I appreciate the benefits for Henley, but Iím sure you would be disappointed if your local station started to receive a reduced service for the benefit of others.  Arriving at Twyford to find that the next Henley service does not stop at Wargrave and hence having to wait for it to go and come back before you catch it does not feel like a good experience or a minor inconvenience.

Many Wargrave residents are concerned about where this could go.  Reduced service results in less passengers choosing to use the station which results in GWR saying there is not the demand for the station resulting in the service being further reduced or stopped.  We already know they struggle to count the number of users so who knows what stats they could come up with to justify further reductions.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2017, 11:41:41 AM »

Thanks for clarifying the Shiplake situation.  It's disappointing that electrification is now delayed/cancelled and as a local user I can understand how you perceive it as unfair, but I would agree with you a lot more if the service was being meaningfully reduced, but, I repeat, there are no reductions in peak times and only one less train per day in each direction.
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To view my cab run over the new Reading Viaduct as well as a relief line cab ride at Reading just after Platforms 12-15 opened and my 'before and after' video comparison of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/IndustryInsider/1
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