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Author Topic: Good steps so far ... looking ahead to the next steps  (Read 299 times)
grahame
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« on: August 17, 2018, 10:12:29 am »

From this morning:

Quote
07:33 Westbury to Swindon due 08:15
Facilities on the 07:33 Westbury to Swindon due 08:15.
This is due to a fault on this train.
Will be formed of 2 coaches instead of 3.

Also applied to the return train at 08:53 from Swindon

Not a problem at all ... at least not yet a problem. In spite of all the engineering works and other events that have made services less reliable than they should be, traffic on this train grows since the "cap" of the single carriage was lifted.

I met a man on our train on one of the final "153" (single carriage train) runs .... and he wrote to his local paper. It seems our fame has reached New Zealand - how much further can it go?



We haven't always felt it - but we have been so fortunate in how the TransWilts service has moved forward over the years from virtual zero at the start of the decade to a more frequent and much much more used service today.  Enormous thanks to friends and colleagues at all the local community bodies, local and central government, train operators (management and operational teams) and passengers for getting us this far.

But the story is not yet over.  We have a long way to go. The service is more frequent - but still infrequent as I'm increasingly told by some of the recently-arrived users.  We discussed an "appropriate" level when it was initially trailed from 2014 to 2016, and could not decide whether "appropriate" was every hour or every 2 hours ... we happily went with every 2 hours, as that was on offer and hourly was not, and we judged it to be sufficient to get us over the watershed from the valley of unused services to  a valley of greener pastures. Turns out the 2 hourly service attracted more passengers than 'they' guessed (we knew!) and that it should be stepped up to hourly to make it appropriate.   Time passes, of course, and so do demands on the infrastructure and we're anticipating a major freight increase too - and our sleepy 'branch' is now chocker at times - to the extent that our service keeps getting cancelled to allow more important trains (definition can be argued sometimes!) to run.   In spite of trains up from 1 to 2 or 3 carriages, in spite of the platform at Melksham now accommoding a 3 car train (rather than being 'single door' on anything but one car)

So - where will the story lead?  To a significant strengthening of infrastructure for a lot more trains - passenger and freight. To a widening of the arteries that feed passengers to and from stations, and the provision of far more capillaries to widen the total journey opportunities. And through social and technoogical changes that make public transport logical and affordable as the standard for passenger travel, and rail the mode of choice for heavy freight. The post-brexit 'dividend' for economic development is going to be available for LEPs to bid into; details are as yet very murky, but the wise are starting to prepare their cases. That will be the main focus at October's TravelWatch SouthWest meeting - you heard it first here. Meeting thread at http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=19659.0
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