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Author Topic: Easter Monday  (Read 1179 times)
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« on: April 04, 2018, 08:36:25 am »

It's probably just as well that the Forum was down yesterday, as I may have gone off on a rant about our trip on Monday if it had been working. It wasn't anywhere near as bad as many people seemed to have suffered over Easter, but it was the sort of thing which happens on GWR which does annoy me intensely.

We were travelling from Bath to Frome and back, a simple trip, normally a direct train each way. I assume because of the Bristol blockade, there were no direct trains running, so we knew we would have to change at Westbury. Going there was fine, a 17 minute wait there and both trains on time.

Coming back on the last train from Frome, at 21.37, it was timetabled to have a 10 minute connection at Westbury. Leaving Frome about 4 minutes late, it then stopped at the junction with the main line for the train to Weymouth to pass. Why? The trains were timetabled to pass on this section, which AFAIK is two tracks, so we shouldn't have been on the same tracks, and nothing else seemed to be going along there. Once the Weymouth train had passed we resumed, but then stopped somewhere near the junction before Westbury. It was now looking like we might miss the connection, but the TM announced that he had requested that the train to Bath be held at Westbury (the passengers hoping to catch trains on the Trans Wilts and down to Salisbury weren't informed, and had to assume they had missed their connections, which they did).

When we eventually moved into Westbury station, we could see the Bath train stopped on platform 1 (as we had been informed), but instead of arriving at platform 3 (as we had been informed) we stopped in Westbury on a track without any platform, and could only gaze across at the empty platform 3. We then moved on towards Trowbridge and backed back into Westbury on platform 3, 10 minutes after the Bath train was due to have left. It was still there and we all headed at a rush down the stairs to the subway and back up to platform 1. I understand that the train doors closed just as the first of the passengers coming from our carriage on the Frome train got to the train doors (and my partner, who was well ahead of me, could possibly have rushed it and dived on as they shut, but wisely decided against). I was the last person to cross from the Frome train (I had to use the lifts) and got to the train doors while the train was still stationery. It then moved off, with us all left on the platform.

We then found out it was the last train to Bath that evening. The next train was actually a bustitution. As it happens, the bus driver was exemplary in dealing with us all, and gave us all the exact information about when he was leaving and due to arrive, and even offered to drop us off at Oldfield Park, as he was going on to Temple Meads.

All I was told at Westbury was that they held the train for 10 minutes and then it had to go. But it only needed another 10 seconds for us to have got on? It wasn't as if we were invisible on the platform!
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