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Author Topic: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion  (Read 168933 times)
Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #570 on: November 27, 2018, 10:05:01 pm »

Whilst I accept your comments about the lack of an outbound  bus lane for the majority of Botley Road, a close examination of the timetable shows the 17 minutes allowed off peak from Gloucester Green to Tubney is increased to 22 in the peak. I suspect that that allowance is deemed by the bus timetablers sufficient for normal congestion. As is the case with railway timetable planners, you simply cannot factor in allowances for every eventuality because if you did your timetabled service would be uncompetitively slow. At the moment the biggest competition threat on that route comes from the private car, and they too will suffer the same issues getting out of Oxford in the Friday peak.

I too cannot understand why a perfectly accurately described 66 bus from Swindon to Oxford has recently become the S6 with that odd destination display. There might be a bit of "railway thinking" in this though, as when you are on a train that stops somewhere "for" somewhere else it suggests that you have to do something else to get to your journey's end (eg Ashchurch for Tewkesbury). On the one recent occasion that I have used this newly-titled service I asked the driver if I had to change, and the conversation that ensued suggested he didn't like it either because this question is being asked by the passengers time and time again. "Swindon to Oxford via Faringdon" would be fine, but Stagecoach don't currently appear to agree....

I wouldn't agree that is an express service as such - it is just a normal bus service between the two points. An express bus service would be indicated by limited stops to differentiate from an express coach service that might have no stops, or perhaps only one or two. Back in the 1960s my timetable tells me (its surprising what junk I have kicking around here...) that the old 74 service took 1hr 43m for the run; bus engine and gearbox technology have improved significantly over that time Smiley

I also agree about the desirability of extending any future Swindon to Oxford service both eastbound and eastbound, and query why Didcot West Curve couldn't be used to speed the service up.
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ellendune
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« Reply #571 on: November 28, 2018, 12:16:24 am »

The routes in and out of Swindon are not usually a congestion issue, as bus lanes exist there too, although not as many.

If you are on the train coming into Swindon from Didcot from the East during the evening peak (and at some other times too) and look out of the window just past Bourton as you pass over the A420 at Acorn Bridge you will get an excellent view of the 1.5 to 2 mile queue of traffic for the A420/A419 roundabout.  Believe me it can take a while.

The next mile to Greenbridge Roundabout also has no bus lane and can be very congested. 

Past there is is then dual carriageway so it is not too bad and once you get to the Queen's Drive roundabout there are bus lanes.
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Worcester_Passenger
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« Reply #572 on: November 28, 2018, 07:13:17 am »


This is why the slightly confusing Faringdon for Swindon destination is displayed on the bus.  Not sure whether that is due to county borders or driving hours, but there is some silly reason.

Nothing to do with county borders, but somewhat to do with driving hours.

We have two sets of driving hours regulations. They're not organised by how far or how long the driver drives in a day, but by the length of the route. 'Domestic' regulations apply to services which are less than 50 km, 'EU' regulations apply over 50km. 'EU' regulations involve the use of a tachograph. This very artificial break was introduced as a piece of legislation to protect German railways from competition. Mixing driving work between the two gets very complicated. The arrangement at Farringdon is our DfT's way of getting round the issue of the length of the route. On Stagecoach's timetables there's a little chain-link icon which indicates a through service of this kind. Other operators have similar marks.

A single break of registration on one route isn't too bad. The worst case that I know is the TrawsCambria T4 between Cardiff and Newtown, which has separate registrations that break it at Llandrindod Well, Builth Wells, Brecon and Merthyr Tydfil.
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grahame
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« Reply #573 on: November 28, 2018, 08:09:42 am »

When I am feeling brave (or when Chris from Nalisea is around to do it) I/we will split out the Swindon <-> Oxford part of this thread ... in the meantime I'll compound the offtopicallity.

Sub-regional Transport Boards (SNTBs) across the wider region that the Coffee Shop covers are likely to have an impact in the future on what does and doesn't get connected economically and for transport purposes.  Of note is England's Econoimic Heartland which stretches from Swindon in the west through Cambridgeshire in the east. It would seem logical for rapid mass transit to work right across the area west to east, as well as the multiple mort / south rail lines already crossing through it.    On that basis, it's probably that the political will for Swindon to Link to Oxford (and then on to Bicester, Milton Keynes, Bedford, etc) will be strong rather that leaving Swindon as a slowly connected poorer ghetto (as far as public transport in the area is concerned) on the western flank.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #574 on: November 28, 2018, 10:15:34 am »

The routes in and out of Swindon are not usually a congestion issue, as bus lanes exist there too, although not as many.

If you are on the train coming into Swindon from Didcot from the East during the evening peak (and at some other times too) and look out of the window just past Bourton as you pass over the A420 at Acorn Bridge you will get an excellent view of the 1.5 to 2 mile queue of traffic for the A420/A419 roundabout.  Believe me it can take a while.

The next mile to Greenbridge Roundabout also has no bus lane and can be very congested. 

Past there is is then dual carriageway so it is not too bad and once you get to the Queen's Drive roundabout there are bus lanes.

As I am a specialist in taking threads off on tangents I will continue, pending Graham's rearrangements... Wink

There is an old saying we all know - "time flies when you're enjoying yourself." The reverse is also true - time drags when you're not.

Since my return to regular bus travel after a 50 year absence once I qualified for a bus pass, I have spent a good deal of time sitting on buses in traffic jams. With little else to do at such times I have taken to timing the delays, and I have been more than surprised but less than astonished at the results. Stopping at the back of a jam thinking "we're going to be 30 minutes sitting in this lot" only to find that we've cleared the obstacle 8 minutes later, and the timetable allowed 2 minutes anyway, is very common. The same applies to railways too of course - you can be standing at a red signal at Challow for 3 minutes and it feels like longer than the time taken to get up there from Chippenham in the first place!

On the A420 approach to Swindon the main congestion point is the lights by the Police HQ. Traffic will move forward there in "chunks" as the lights change. As there are no lights on the roundabout (as far as I recall) then getting onto it will be random but generally not causing too much additional delay
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« Reply #575 on: November 28, 2018, 11:44:16 am »


We have two sets of driving hours regulations. They're not organised by how far or how long the driver drives in a day, but by the length of the route. 'Domestic' regulations apply to services which are less than 50 km, 'EU' regulations apply over 50km. 'EU' regulations involve the use of a tachograph. This very artificial break was introduced as a piece of legislation to protect German railways from competition. Mixing driving work between the two gets very complicated. The arrangement at Farringdon is our DfT's way of getting round the issue of the length of the route. On Stagecoach's timetables there's a little chain-link icon which indicates a through service of this kind. Other operators have similar marks.


There was, I seem to recollect, similar EU "involvement" on the Bath to Salisbury bus route. There used to be a through bus for the whole journey (about 40 miles) - then it changed to two buses: Bath to Warminster and Warminster to Salisbury - this was blamed on the EU.  Now there is, once again, a through bus with a change of drivers at the Trading Estate in Westbury.
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ellendune
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« Reply #576 on: November 28, 2018, 12:18:10 pm »


We have two sets of driving hours regulations. They're not organised by how far or how long the driver drives in a day, but by the length of the route. 'Domestic' regulations apply to services which are less than 50 km, 'EU' regulations apply over 50km. 'EU' regulations involve the use of a tachograph. This very artificial break was introduced as a piece of legislation to protect German railways from competition. Mixing driving work between the two gets very complicated. The arrangement at Farringdon is our DfT's way of getting round the issue of the length of the route. On Stagecoach's timetables there's a little chain-link icon which indicates a through service of this kind. Other operators have similar marks.


There was, I seem to recollect, similar EU "involvement" on the Bath to Salisbury bus route. There used to be a through bus for the whole journey (about 40 miles) - then it changed to two buses: Bath to Warminster and Warminster to Salisbury - this was blamed on the EU.  Now there is, once again, a through bus with a change of drivers at the Trading Estate in Westbury.

Why not just fit a tachograph? After all the rail industry has all sorts of safety devices and has a far better safety record than the bus industry. Or is the bus industry not as bothered about safety as the rail industry?

Or did someone just want to blame the EU for something else they didn't like, but needed doing?
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« Reply #577 on: November 29, 2018, 12:19:49 pm »

EDIT: This post went dramatically wrong.

Not without precedent  - glad  it ended  well.



I managed to type in many fonts and mess up quotes  Wink

Whats up!, What happened.

Edit: It has happened again. My phone is glitching so I do apologise if any further issues do occur.


I Always use a computer on a desk at home to do my posting, has a 24 inch touchscreen.
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« Reply #578 on: November 29, 2018, 01:23:25 pm »


We have two sets of driving hours regulations. They're not organised by how far or how long the driver drives in a day, but by the length of the route. 'Domestic' regulations apply to services which are less than 50 km, 'EU' regulations apply over 50km. 'EU' regulations involve the use of a tachograph. This very artificial break was introduced as a piece of legislation to protect German railways from competition. Mixing driving work between the two gets very complicated. The arrangement at Farringdon is our DfT's way of getting round the issue of the length of the route. On Stagecoach's timetables there's a little chain-link icon which indicates a through service of this kind. Other operators have similar marks.


There was, I seem to recollect, similar EU "involvement" on the Bath to Salisbury bus route. There used to be a through bus for the whole journey (about 40 miles) - then it changed to two buses: Bath to Warminster and Warminster to Salisbury - this was blamed on the EU.  Now there is, once again, a through bus with a change of drivers at the Trading Estate in Westbury.

Why not just fit a tachograph? After all the rail industry has all sorts of safety devices and has a far better safety record than the bus industry. Or is the bus industry not as bothered about safety as the rail industry?

Or did someone just want to blame the EU for something else they didn't like, but needed doing?

I rather suspect that if you have a tachograph, you start needing secure places to store them in the office, trained people to monitor and control them, annual checks on the kit, spot checks from the DVLA (or whoever) to ensure enforcement etc. If that's the case then you can quite see why the bus companies would be very, very keen to avoid having to use them.

As for safety systems, I suspect that most buses these days have forward and rear facing cameras which record to disk (along with GPS and accelerometer data) in case of an accident. But there's a big difference between having that data "just in case" and having to legally store it and ensure compliance with rules. 
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #579 on: November 30, 2018, 10:33:55 am »

Are the driver's hours rules without a tachograph the same as those with?
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Charlie (in Gloucester)
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« Reply #580 on: November 30, 2018, 04:44:14 pm »

Are the driver's hours rules without a tachograph the same as those with?

All bus drivers, self employed included, work under domestic driving hours. All drivers can only drive for 5 hours without a full 30 minute break.
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« Reply #581 on: November 30, 2018, 06:03:02 pm »


All bus drivers, self employed included, work under domestic driving hours. Story can only drive for 5 hours without a full 30 minute break.
[/quote]
Actually five and a half hours then a 31 minute minimum break MUST be taken under domestic hours.
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Adrian
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« Reply #582 on: November 30, 2018, 07:28:56 pm »

To bring the topic back on to electrification...

Apparently two sides of the Maindee triangle at Newport are being wired, but not the third (North to East Jns) which left me wondering how they decide which junctions need to be done, and which not.  The chances of electrification from Newport to Hereford seem vanishingly remote, so is the reason for doing the curve that an electric train might be sent that way by mistake?  And that the driver would figure out that something was wrong before 'falling off' the catenary? 

If a train takes an un-wired turnout with pantograph up, does anything bad happen, anyway?  I guess it's almost impossible for the same thing to happen in the opposite direction - from a non-electrified line onto an electrified one...

Is an IET clever enough to know whether there's a catenary wire above it?
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« Reply #583 on: November 30, 2018, 07:47:30 pm »

If a train takes an un-wired turnout with pantograph up, does anything bad happen, anyway? 

Is an IET clever enough to know whether there's a catenary wire above it?

Its not clever enough currently.  A feature called APCo (Automatic Power Changeover) is fitted to the train which will automatically change to diesel using track balises, but it is not currently working.  Running out of catenary would mean there is nothing to stop the pantograph from raising to its fullest extent.  Expect it to be removed from the train when it gets to the next overbridge!
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« Reply #584 on: November 30, 2018, 08:07:02 pm »

If a train takes an un-wired turnout with pantograph up, does anything bad happen, anyway? 

Is an IET clever enough to know whether there's a catenary wire above it?

 Running out of catenary would mean there is nothing to stop the pantograph from raising to its fullest extent.  Expect it to be removed from the train when it gets to the next overbridge!

There is a device called ADD (Automatic Dropping Device) ……….. yep electrification Engineers are an inventive lot when it comes to naming thing s Grin basically if the carbons come off (or the entire pan head) or the Pan goes beyond a certain upper limit the Pan will drop back into the Pan Well.

There will be certain design and operating risk assessments in place against the cost of wiring a cord off of a junction
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