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Author Topic: Pewsey - "becoming isolated"?  (Read 911 times)
grahame
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« on: October 26, 2017, 11:33:24 AM »

From a public area of Facebook (so names can be quoted without invading privacy).

John Thorpe

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We have the railway line but very few trains Pewsey is becoming isolated with most trains stopping at Bedwyn rather than running through to Westbury with a stop at Pewsey before reversing for the journey back to London. Connections from Westbury offer a plethora of destinations without the crush of London or Reading. Its time for First Group (Great Western Railway and MTR) to review and make the long overdue changes to improve the service to Pewsey Vale and the environs. TransWilts have done an outstanding job in the reinstatement of a viable service for the Melksham area of Wiltshire but Pewsey trains and links has been forgotten in the Community Rail Partnership.

Actually I'm a bit flattered that the author feels we have a responsibility for his service too  Grin

TransWilts (my response)

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I can assure John Thorpe that Pewsey is far from forgotten. Community Rail Partnerships are intended to "put new life in local lines" ( the ACoRP sound bite) but the line through Pewsey is anything but a local line - it's the main line to the West of England and indeed is the only station in the UK served exclusively by HSTs

When I first (personally) used Pewsey Station, there were but a couple of trains each way per day. Over time that has risen to perhaps 9 or 10.   I would agree that there are service gaps, but they're due to be significantly reduced from December 2018, with a semi-fast London to Exeter train (125 mph stock) calling every 2 hours, and also calling at Westbury to connect which services don't always do at present.

Pewsey is the only remaining station in Wiltshire without a user group (to my knowledge) and outside a formal CRP.  It's not done badly without - look at the service improvement described above, look at the station improvements such as the 465,000 spent there  last year, and look at future plans. I do understand the frustration of the hourly local service from Reading petering out at Bedwyn and current timetable gaps.  I encourage you, John, to engage to help set up a local group and partner as well as campaigning. Within our bounds, the TransWilts / Melksham team would love to help and ease your way to a continuation of the improvements you are seeing - but that's not something we can do effectively without support from residents in the Pewsey catchment.

Discussion invited from members ... and I'm going to message John to make him aware of potential ongoing positive discussion and invite him to join in.   Would love to help Pewsey; good bus engagement there but have found rail engagement difficult.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2017, 11:49:58 AM »

Hopefully the timetable recast will make further improvements on what is already a vastly improved service over what it in the fairly recent times as you allude to, Graham.

I would like to see many of the the Bedwyn stoppers extended to Westbury as can be seen from my very first post on this forum getting on for ten years ago!  With the turnback loop at Bedwyn being extended that might be an opportunity missed though.

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?action=post;topic=18896.0;num_replies=0
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Thatcham Crossing
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2017, 12:17:57 PM »

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With the turnback loop at Bedwyn being extended that might be an opportunity missed though

I'm sure I saw a previous discussion somewhere on here that that isn't needed, as it can accommodate a 5 car unit in it's current form?
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BandHcommuter
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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2017, 12:19:18 PM »

I can understand why some users of Pewsey station, situated as it is right in the middle of Wiltshire, might be under the impression that their station is within the scope of TransWilts CRP - to the uninitiated it might not be obvious that the nomenclature of "TransWilts" does not include the east-west line of route from Bedwyn to Westbury Wink As it happens, although there is no user group, there certainly used to be some influential individual users/lobbyists, but I am not sure what the situation is now.

As for Pewsey itself, I have had interesting conversations with Trevor in the ticket office (who has worked there since the 1960s) who confirms that the main line train service and passenger numbers have grown massively in the last 30 years or so. Even before the car park was extended some years ago, it had become a very popular railhead enabling long-distance commuting for the areas of Marlborough and Devizes. I know a number of other Berks and Hants commuters from the same towns who still prefer to railhead to Bedwyn and Hungerford (even Andover) because the peak fares are cheaper and the service is more frequent. I agree that a more even off-peak service pattern would be desirable, and this appears to be an objective in the future timetable aspirations. I am not sure whether a business case could be made for a significant further overall increase in service provision.
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BandHcommuter
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2017, 12:59:28 PM »

One further thought. The off-peak service at Pewsey, whilst a bit patchy, has some very attractive journey times, being served as it is by calls in long-distance services between London and Plymouth/Cornwall. The same applies to Westbury. It is possible that journey times in both directions will be extended if, in the future, these stations are served only by a Berks and Hants "stopper".
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2017, 01:01:22 PM »

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With the turnback loop at Bedwyn being extended that might be an opportunity missed though

I'm sure I saw a previous discussion somewhere on here that that isn't needed, as it can accommodate a 5 car unit in it's current form?

Definitely not, only three car Turbo length at the moment, not 5-car IET.  Means modifications to a foot crossing, but otherwise a fairly simple job.
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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
ChrisB
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2017, 01:32:16 PM »

there certainly used to be some influential individual users/lobbyists, but I am not sure what the situation is now.

Well, Mr Chris Irwin still travels from there, and I believe he's an ex-head of TWSW.....
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grahame
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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2017, 04:23:03 PM »

I can understand why some users of Pewsey station, situated as it is right in the middle of Wiltshire, might be under the impression that their station is within the scope of TransWilts CRP - to the uninitiated it might not be obvious that the nomenclature of "TransWilts" does not include the east-west line of route from Bedwyn to Westbury Wink As it happens, although there is no user group, there certainly used to be some influential individual users/lobbyists, but I am not sure what the situation is now.

The designated service and the line of running - what the CRP "looks after" is indeed Swindon to Westbury with some onward journeys to Salisbury. Ironically, if you draw a line direct from Swindon to Salisbury (1 and 2 on the map) you go through Pewsey (3 on the map).



Our umbrella company - TransWilts CIC - is constituted to cover journeys "to from and within" Wiltshire, so at this outer level we do have an interest and concerns for passengers at other stations - Bradford-on-Avon, Avoncliff, Dean, Bedwyn, Tisbury, and (yes) Pewsey. Economic borders aren't as sharply defined as local government ones, and we have an eye open for Frome too.   

Ironically bearing in mind the original message that I responded to on Facebook, the station we "worry" about the most in this outer level is Pewsey.   There are six stations on the West of England main line between the Wiltshire border and Taunton, and you would be hard pressed to find a more diverse bunch!   Four have Community Rail services with one even having two, which look out for connections as well as their own services. Of the remaining two, one has a very effective and well established user group and community ... and then there's Pewsey ...

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Thatcham Crossing
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2017, 08:50:00 PM »

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Means modifications to a foot crossing

Indeed, I've been across there (walking the bike) and the footpath is pretty-much right behind the buffers of the turnback siding. It still looks long enough for something more than 3 coaches to me, but I'm not the expert ;-)
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grahame
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« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2017, 02:26:16 AM »

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Means modifications to a foot crossing

Indeed, I've been across there (walking the bike) and the footpath is pretty-much right behind the buffers of the turnback siding. It still looks long enough for something more than 3 coaches to me, but I'm not the expert ;-)

Remember that IET coaches are longer too
3 x 23 = 69 metres
5 x 26 = 130 metres
and there will be a certain clearance need off the main line too with other trains whistling by at speed.  This in not the old Holborn Viaduct where at 8 car EPB in platform 1 had to be virtually touching the buffers to clear the points into platform 4. Intermediate platforms 2 and 3 had been eliminated as "too short" - originating from the days that inbound London trains divide at Herne Hill with portions for the City and the West End.

http://johnlaw.railfan.net/jlphoto.cgi?hv83.jpg

http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/h/holborn_viaduct/index8.shtml


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Thatcham Crossing
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« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2017, 09:42:08 AM »

I looked at the Sectional, and it doesn't say how long the siding is.

By sight, I'd say it's at least 100m, so hopefully not too much work needed. A 3 coach Turbo looks to fit on it with quite a bit of room to spare.
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stuving
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« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2017, 10:26:21 AM »

I looked at the Sectional, and it doesn't say how long the siding is.

By sight, I'd say it's at least 100m, so hopefully not too much work needed. A 3 coach Turbo looks to fit on it with quite a bit of room to spare.

On Google Earth, it's clearly long enough - about 140m. But that would mean diesel trains standing, and starting up, right behind houses. If it's considered usable only by 70 m trains it must be to avoid that. In which case it has to have 45 m added at the buffer end, even if railway land is there to make it even longer at the switch end.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2017, 11:56:02 AM »

By sight, I'd say it's at least 100m, so hopefully not too much work needed. A 3 coach Turbo looks to fit on it with quite a bit of room to spare.

On Google Earth, it's clearly long enough - about 140m. But that would mean diesel trains standing, and starting up, right behind houses. If it's considered usable only by 70 m trains it must be to avoid that. In which case it has to have 45 m added at the buffer end, even if railway land is there to make it even longer at the switch end.

Yes, the siding itself right up to the buffers from the Ground Position Signal is about 135m, but of course there is standage required from the buffers and to be 'in clear' and have a decent view of that Ground Position Signal also reduces that 135m, so I would hazard a guess the maximum usable length is 120m at the absolute maximum.  Currently no walking route, hence the 3-car Turbo maximum, though to correct what I said previously a 4-car would fit and perhaps even a 5-car Turbo might just squeeze in.  Definitely not long enough for a 5-car IET.   Cheesy

I would imagine when it is lengthened it will be brought up to more modern standards (at great cost of course!), possibly with an elevated GPS (to provide a better view to the driver), TPWS grids, and better buffer stop protection.
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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
bobm
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« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2017, 03:12:02 PM »

When I passed on an HST earlier this week here appeared to a group of workers clearing trees near the end of the current turnback.
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