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November 19, 2017, 10:17:00 AM *
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Author Topic: Notes about services - and lessons to be learned - from engineering, July 2017  (Read 398 times)
grahame
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« on: July 17, 2017, 10:19:39 AM »

First of a series of notes:

Saturday 15th July

"Hardly any" passengers on TransWilts.  No great surprise as the main destination of day trips to Swindon and they were up from 28 minutes to an hour and 33 minutes due to trains replaced by buses from Chippenham to Swindon - 40 minutes not 19 journey time, and cruel timing that made passengers wait for an extra 40 minutes for their connection.  Pretty sad when on a Saturday, trains run every 30 minutes from Chippenham to Swindon.

Train times dramatically different to the norm, too.

Melksham Station only had times showing for the Monday to Friday and the help point display was out of order, so no indication at all of the times of services was provided by GWR.  Departure times for Monday to Friday (10th to 14th) still on display - that poster not giving any information about when passengers would arrive at Swindon via the bus connection.  I understand there was a similar poster at Trowbridge, and passenger who asked were told that the information they wanted was available to them on a poster once they got to CHIPPENHAM Station.

Some numbers ...

08:28 call towards Westbury. None off, 5 on, 7 through passegers (12 journeys)
09:45 call towards Chippenham. 5 off, 6 on, 5 through passengers (16)
[daytime] - I noted that one scheduled service was diverted and failed to call at Melksham
19:47 call towards Chippenham. 5 off, 7 on, 13 through passengers (25)
20:25 call towards Westbury. None off, 15 on, 9 through passnegers (24)
21:54 call towards Chippenham. 8 off, 2 on, 8 through passengers (18) [15 late]
22:20 call towards Westbury. 3 off, 7 on, 5 through passengers (15) [10 late]

The 19:47, 21:54 and 22:20 or worthy of note - busiest time of day, and yet the last train from Melksham to Chippenham (and Swindon) on a normal Saturday is 18:47 ... and on Sunday through Friday is 19:47.  These numbers provide an indication that later services would be used .. they're even used if running on just the one day!

It was eerie waiting at Melksham Station for the final trains ... the lights were off, just the glow of the ticket machine with about ten or a dozen people hanging around (the 21:54 was so late that passengers for the 22:20 were there at the same time, swelling the numbers!)

A thought - I started my article saying "hardly any" passengers.  But then I looked at the numbers. 110 passengers across 6 trains I counted - that's an average of 18.33 passengers per train and not far short of our overall target up to last year of an average of 20 per train.  Bearing in mind the "significnat disruption", the lack of information, and the fact we had no peaks in there, it was really rather good.  I left Melksham this morning (17th July, trains back) on the 07:49 ... 83 passenger journeys and heaven help us again this evening when the 17:36 from Swindon attaempts to take them home - together with the passngers who went up on the 07:19 - in a single carriage!
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TransWilts Rail - Linking North to West and South 9 times a day. [see here]
Tim
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2017, 11:37:50 AM »

tangential to the main topic of discussion, but Saturday night I did the London to Bath including Swindon to Chippenham by bus.  It seems that costs have been trimmed, so that instead of a coach, the bus was a double decker moderately clapped out Bristol service bus.   Doing 70+ in the dark on a motorway was not a comfortable experience, sideways swaying (including some alarming oscillation) and bumping was rather alarming and of course no seat belts and apparently no speed limiter either because I reckon we were doing at least 70 mph with plenty of overtaking of coaches and trucks.

I know that the railway takes safety extremely seriously, but I certainly did not feel safe. 

 
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2017, 11:42:10 AM »

tangential to the main topic of discussion, but Saturday night I did the London to Bath including Swindon to Chippenham by bus.  It seems that costs have been trimmed, so that instead of a coach, the bus was a double decker moderately clapped out Bristol service bus.

There has been a lot of sh*t from the "wheelchair accessible" contingent, so rather later in the day that they would have liked, they switched the proportions of coaches to buses ...


Quote
Doing 70+ in the dark on a motorway was not a comfortable experience, sideways swaying (including some alarming oscillation) and bumping was rather alarming and of course no seat belts and apparently no speed limiter either because I reckon we were doing at least 70 mph with plenty of overtaking of coaches and trucks.

I know that the railway takes safety extremely seriously, but I certainly did not feel safe. 

Was it one of the Bath University vehicles?  With "24/7" labelling? Largely black with some orange / red flashes?
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TransWilts Rail - Linking North to West and South 9 times a day. [see here]
Tim
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 02:26:01 PM »

tangential to the main topic of discussion, but Saturday night I did the London to Bath including Swindon to Chippenham by bus.  It seems that costs have been trimmed, so that instead of a coach, the bus was a double decker moderately clapped out Bristol service bus.

There has been a lot of sh*t from the "wheelchair accessible" contingent, so rather later in the day that they would have liked, they switched the proportions of coaches to buses ...


Quote
Doing 70+ in the dark on a motorway was not a comfortable experience, sideways swaying (including some alarming oscillation) and bumping was rather alarming and of course no seat belts and apparently no speed limiter either because I reckon we were doing at least 70 mph with plenty of overtaking of coaches and trucks.

I know that the railway takes safety extremely seriously, but I certainly did not feel safe. 

Was it one of the Bath University vehicles?  With "24/7" labelling? Largely black with some orange / red flashes?


I hadn't appreciated the wheelchair point.  I wasn't one of the Bath Uni vehicles.  It was a Bristol bus with a route map for route 1 and 2 (Cribbs Causeway, Stockwood, Henleazes etc).  Not quite as clapped out as the Bath Uni vehicles which have been repainted but which I have reported on numerous occasions for kicking out clouds of black smoke.  It would have been fine in the town, its suspension just wasn't up to motorway speeds.
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