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Author Topic: Effect on passengers of cancelling and the re-instating  (Read 290 times)
grahame
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« on: May 21, 2018, 08:11:43 am »

I have often wondered what the effect on passenger numbers is of cancelling a serive first thing in the morning, then re-instating it later in the day - does it really effect the potiential passengers, or do most still just turn up unaware of what's happened?

Yesterday, the 19:41 from Westbury to Cheltenham Spa was cancelled in the early hours (lack of driver), but re-instated around lunchtime.  Under normal conditions, I expect this to drop off quite a few passengers at Melksham (at 19:57). And more so on a lovely summer's day like it was yesterday. Alas - just one single passenger left the train, and just 2 joined.

I stayed around at Melksham for the 19:55 from Swindon to Westbury (Melksham 20:20) which I would have expected to be a very much quieter train - yet 7 got off and 8 got on.

No accurate passenger numbers - but the 19:41 from Westbury was largely carrying fresh air, whereas the 19:55 from Swindon - a three car 166 - looked far from quiet in addition to the fifteen who had used it to / from Melksham.

Conclusion - people do check their trains and plan ahead in the mornings at weekends, and showing a train as "cancelled" early in the day stops most people who would use it actually turning up.  Good news, I suppose - unless it then runs!



1. I appreciate that I have too small a sample size for my conclusion to be anything like statistically valid, but it helps confirm a suspicion!

2. In many ways, this post is good news for the likes of GWR as it confirms that their communications route is working and reaching people

3. I don't think that a cancelled and re-instated train effects the TOC's performance stats - so whilst they loose traffic by doing this, they don't loose brownie points

4. As a statistician, I really wish there was a way of conveying more thorough data early in the day.  "There's only a 30% change this will run" or "Probabaly not running - we'll know more by midday".  I appreciate that it would be very easy to flood people with information and be counterproductive though.

5. I note / wonder about the effect of cancellations to a service that's as infrequent as the TransWilts on the second half of people's return trips / a high proportion of our journeys are day returns.
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TransWilts Rail - Linking North to West and South 9 times a day. [see here]
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2018, 09:41:39 am »

I think most people now know that you must check to see if your train is running before you set off. Essential, especially at weekends.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2018, 11:13:42 am »

I think most people now know that you must check to see if your train is running before you set off. Essential, especially at weekends.


In the weekend context I'm someone who has used the train regularly (at least 8-10 times a year over the last 20+ years) to travel to Plymouth from my home to see family, friends etc - generally speaking I'd travel down on a Wednesday evening or Thursday morning and return on Sunday afternoon.

Recently the service has become so unreliable at weekends that I simply cannot trust GWR to get me back on a Sunday and so I either drive or get the National Express coach which is far cheaper, better value, more reliable and comfortable with a guaranteed seat.

The effect of arriving at Plymouth station mid afternoon on a Sunday, to find one's train cancelled, knowing that means waiting an hour for the next one which will be absolutely packed, if not already then from Exeter onwards, simply isn't worth repeating.

Despite all the GWR bragging, promises of a glorious future and daft advertising campaigns, my honest experience is that a consistently mediocre service has got worse, not better over the last few years and most of the regular travellers I know on that route would agree with me.

There have been too many promises made, expectations raised and then dashed etc to have much faith in the future - I hope I am proved wrong.

Until then, I'll continue with the A38/M5/M4 option at the weekend, which at least means a pleasant Sunday lunch with the family, rather than having to constantly check RTT to see if my train is still running.

So in the context of cancellation, the effect it's had is that GWR are at least one passenger down. I certainly wouldn't rely on services being reinstated on that route.
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Timmer
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2018, 12:13:44 pm »

So in the context of cancellation, the effect it's had is that GWR are at least one passenger down. I certainly wouldn't rely on services being reinstated on that route.
And the sad thing is I don't think they care or the certainly give that impression rightly or wrongly. But I think we can say that about the rail industry as a whole not just single out GWR. It's become like providing a service for people to use is one big massive inconvenience for them to do so.

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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2018, 01:28:09 pm »

In pictures ...

Advertised as cancelled



Advertised as running all the time



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TransWilts Rail - Linking North to West and South 9 times a day. [see here]
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