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Author Topic: T minus twelve - Mark Hopwood writes  (Read 2104 times)
grahame
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« on: May 04, 2018, 10:35:41 am »

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I wrote to you recently to remind you about rail improvement works affecting trains to and from Paddington station over this weekend (5-7 May).  Until this week there were still trains on the national journey planner system that were not displaying correctly. Although all trains have now been uploaded (as of Wednesday 2 May), I wanted to alert you and let you know why this happened and what we are doing about it.
 
Network Rail were late in validating and loading the revised timetable, which removed around 30 trains that were still shown as running.  Usually this is completed twelve weeks before the journey. More recently the rail industry agreed to reduce this to six weeks as Network Rail timetable and data teams were struggling to keep on top of the volume of timetable changes being made to support rail improvement work across the UK.
 
However, the six week deadline has not been met in all cases, and we are now less than a week from the service changes and trains that will not be running have only recently been removed from the system.
 
We have made, and continue to make, robust representations about this and Network Rail assure us they understand the importance of the issue. We pressed for this to be given the highest priority, as we were very concerned that customers may have planned to use trains that were not running.

I believe many very very late cancellations are due to train operator issues. I heartily endorse Mark Hopwood's encouragement to Network Rail to give far better notice, and look forward to setting similar notice for GWR when they cancel due to lack of drivers, conductors, or working trains. It would seem reasonable to work out staff rotas and planned maintenance weeks not days or hours ahead. Should we press for this to be given the highest priority, as we were very concerned that customers may have planned to use trains that are not running.
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Timmer
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2018, 11:28:21 am »

Good of Mark Hopwood to write on the very poor performance by Network Rail in not having finalized this weekend's timetable until Wednesday and in some cases yesterday (for Monday). I was surprised more noise wasn't made about this weekend's timetable not being correct/available.

Looking ahead to the next bank holiday weekend, just three weeks away, no sign of that weekend's revised timetable either to cater for Swindon being closed.
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t0m
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2018, 01:00:39 pm »

And I was surprised to get to Paddington station last night to find the vast majority of high speed services without train crew.......
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2018, 04:00:06 pm »

Quote
I wrote to you recently to remind you about rail improvement works affecting trains to and from Paddington station over this weekend (5-7 May).  Until this week there were still trains on the national journey planner system that were not displaying correctly. Although all trains have now been uploaded (as of Wednesday 2 May), I wanted to alert you and let you know why this happened and what we are doing about it.
 
Network Rail were late in validating and loading the revised timetable, which removed around 30 trains that were still shown as running.  Usually this is completed twelve weeks before the journey. More recently the rail industry agreed to reduce this to six weeks as Network Rail timetable and data teams were struggling to keep on top of the volume of timetable changes being made to support rail improvement work across the UK.
 
However, the six week deadline has not been met in all cases, and we are now less than a week from the service changes and trains that will not be running have only recently been removed from the system.
 
We have made, and continue to make, robust representations about this and Network Rail assure us they understand the importance of the issue. We pressed for this to be given the highest priority, as we were very concerned that customers may have planned to use trains that were not running.

I believe many very very late cancellations are due to train operator issues. I heartily endorse Mark Hopwood's encouragement to Network Rail to give far better notice, and look forward to setting similar notice for GWR when they cancel due to lack of drivers, conductors, or working trains. It would seem reasonable to work out staff rotas and planned maintenance weeks not days or hours ahead. Should we press for this to be given the highest priority, as we were very concerned that customers may have planned to use trains that are not running.

What efforts are GWR making to proactively contact customers with Advance bookings on the trains in question to discuss alternatives? They will have contact details for those who have booked via the website.
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sleepy
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2018, 01:51:07 pm »

The opposite problem has occurred for Newbury block w/c 14th May, Cornwall to Paddington services only started to appear for booking on the 3rd and more services e.g. 1000 ex Penzance have been added since then !! Anyone who has booked Advance tickets to use with Cross Country via Bristol to get to London will not be best pleased .........
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Timmer
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2018, 04:18:22 pm »

The opposite problem has occurred for Newbury block w/c 14th May, Cornwall to Paddington services only started to appear for booking on the 3rd and more services e.g. 1000 ex Penzance have been added since then !! Anyone who has booked Advance tickets to use with Cross Country via Bristol to get to London will not be best pleased .........
I wouldn’t bet on those trains...they could disappear tomorrow. Seriously what on Earth is going on at Network Rail’s timetable planning department? Have all those who know how to produce a timetable suddenly disappeared?

Surely ORR need to launch an investigation?
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2018, 05:39:15 pm »

The opposite problem has occurred for Newbury block w/c 14th May, Cornwall to Paddington services only started to appear for booking on the 3rd and more services e.g. 1000 ex Penzance have been added since then !! Anyone who has booked Advance tickets to use with Cross Country via Bristol to get to London will not be best pleased .........
I wouldn’t bet on those trains...they could disappear tomorrow. Seriously what on Earth is going on at Network Rail’s timetable planning department? Have all those who know how to produce a timetable suddenly disappeared?

Surely ORR need to launch an investigation?

But they won't.  Who runs ORR and NR?......... Roll Eyes
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2018, 09:29:52 am »

There is a massive timetable change coming up which effects every GTR service (Southern, Thameslink, Great Northen and Gatwick Express) for the introduction of the Thameslink services at 20 tph through London Bridge and the Thameslink core.  The timetable changes not only impact on GTR other TOC (Southeastern, VTEC, London Overground, EMT etc and not forgetting FOCs ) Also there are other TOC and Routes that are having timetable changes.

The timetable team is quite a small team, its not really there fault the driving force behind it all if the DfT
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sleepy
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2018, 11:53:43 am »

Ooh look !! Sleeper 2350 Pad to Penzance 13th May not showing anywhere now !!  Angry Booked 3 weeks ago - heard nothing from GWR will be seriously p*ssed off if cancelled AND no contact from them ......
« Last Edit: May 11, 2018, 12:22:34 pm by sleepy » Logged
sleepy
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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2018, 10:27:01 pm »

Panic over - service now reappeared on realtime trains and GWR assure it's running.
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Timmer
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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2018, 09:08:17 pm »

BBC South Today’s Paul Clifton reporting that once again Network Rail have only just given rail operators including GWR the finalised timetables for this weekend giving operators just four days to sort out crew rosters for this bank holiday weekend.

To watch his report scroll to 13:50 (expires 7pm 23rd May):
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0b3gcsg/south-today-evening-news-22052018

With major work closing all lines through Swindon this weekend and ANOTHER very warm bank holiday forecast, there could be issues.

I hope if GWR aren’t able to operate the planned service this weekend they give as much notice as possible as to what they can run.
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grahame
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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2018, 10:24:02 am »

BBC South Today’s Paul Clifton reporting that once again Network Rail have only just given rail operators including GWR the finalised timetables for this weekend giving operators just four days to sort out crew rosters for this bank holiday weekend.

Local post I have made on Facebook



The GWR team are so busy with last minute engineering planning at the moment that community suggestions are getting scant attention (feels like lip service only much of the time, and that only if we're "lucky").   I suppose it IS more important to plan something to run at all than to consult on what should be run and what little tweaks can make a big difference.     Would LOVE the London to Bristol trains to make a Trowbridge call, at least on Saturday and Monday, giving Chippenham passengers a single change train route to London without a double back at Bath.  Note how the lines cross without connecting!

Mind you - at times even proofreading and getting the right data out is proving difficult



Love to know when those buses are continuing to Swindon ... all the timings and diagrams I have seen otherwise suggest a change from bus to train at Chippenham.    Yes - I should be reporting this to GWR not here on the forum, but in the absence of effective consultation and feedback (from people who are trying to do three times their normal work, I know!) perhaps the approach has to be a direct alert in public.

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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2018, 12:55:21 pm »

Grahame, you are worrying me  Sad Shocked

According to your diagram, the Berks and Hants is closed - but according to GWR, it is up and running with only 'minor' changes to the Bedwyns.
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bobm
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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2018, 01:12:19 pm »

As far as I know the Berks & Hants is open and being used by diverted Bristol and South Wales services - and a steam trip to Minehead.
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grahame
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« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2018, 01:13:34 pm »

Grahame, you are worrying me  Sad Shocked

According to your diagram, the Berks and Hants is closed - but according to GWR, it is up and running with only 'minor' changes to the Bedwyns.

Sorry - the upper diagrams are for this weekend as displayed at Chippenham; the lower diagram is the one that's on display for lots of other dates but not for this weekend, as shown at Melksham.  Both pictures taken prior to the announcement that GWR now have final times for this weekend - I was in Chippenham last night but had to drive because there's no longer a late but nor a train home after 8:30.
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