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March 21, 2019, 07:39:10 pm *
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Author Topic: Where might Devizes Parkway services come from?  (Read 450 times)
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« on: March 04, 2019, 04:33:31 pm »

In answer to an email enquring about what could / would serve a new Devizes Parkway Station, I have written the following - nothing really new in the idea, though as time has moved on I do now have much, much more accurate data on what can be acheived with IETs on the line.

There is huge sense in extending the hourly Bedwyn trains to Westbury, with intermediate calls at Pewsey and Devizes Parkway.  There is also sense in those service continuing on to Castle Cary, Taunton and Exeter and in doing so replacing the less frequent (every two hours) semi-fast.  With electric traction to Newbury and good acceleration (much better than HST anyway) even on diesel, the extra stops on the Semifast train would be a small price to pay for it moving up to hourly.

Current service - Westbury to Paddington, typically 91 to 94 minutes (with 3 or 4 intermediate stops), running roughly every 2 hours with some gaps as long as 4 hours. Some current peak services make 8 stops and take 112 minutes.
Suggested service - Westbury to Paddington 100 minutes (with 9 intermediate stops inc. Devizes Parkway), running every hour.

With a running time with stops from Bedwyh to Paignton of 2.5 hours (Paignton is where the two-hourly semifasts often end up) - round trip under 6 hours - you’re looking at 5 extra units on top of the current “Bedwyn”s. With the semi-fasts every 2 hours previously planned being replaced, you’re looking at 4 out of the 5 units being available from that source.   The turn around / layover at Bedwyn proposed for next year is 40 minutes (17 minutes at Paddington) and I suspect the extra unit could be clawed back by efficient operation - there will no longer be an IET at Bedwyn in the turn around siding for most of the time.   Yes, that will remove the 30 minute driver / personal needs break.

Hourly trains from Westbury, Devizes and Pewsey into London would provide the most tremendous economic boost for those towns.  Hourly trains from Hungerford, Bedwyn, Pewsey and Devizes to Wesbury  would link eastern Wiltshire into the county and would provide commuter and commerce options into their county town at Trowbridge, to Bath and to Bristol. I used to live near the proposed Devizes Parkway Station site, and from there commute to an office in Bristol - how I wish I could have use a train - however, the railway passed about half a mile from the house with no stations at all.  Hourly trains heading further west would enable commuter traffic into Taunton from Castle Cary and perhaps Frome (I’m open on whether or not to stop there - really depends on whether MetroWest carries on that far and on the Heart of Wessex) and it would tie the whole middle ground” of lines coming into Westbury to services to “the peninsular” … currently there are 4 hour gaps in this service, and yet over 100 passenger join trains at Westbury headed west, and one of the “up” trains even merits a special connection to Southampton in addition to the regular timetable.

Disadvantage of change - under current ticketing regime, an awful lot of people making (example) occasional business trips from Pewsey into London might save an awful lot of money by splitting at Bedwyn.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 06:38:02 pm by grahame » Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Member of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and some more things besides
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2019, 10:07:23 pm »

Thank you, most interesting.

For the benefit of our more occasional viewers, I guess that this should also be read in conjunction with the MetroWest thread and in particular, the suggestions that MetroWest should be extended to Westbury. Could this co-exist comfortably with such services if a fourth platform were provided at Westbury?

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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2019, 03:57:55 pm »

Disadvantage of change - under current ticketing regime, an awful lot of people making (example) occasional business trips from Pewsey into London might save an awful lot of money by splitting at Bedwyn.

An awful lot of people making (example) occasional business trips from Pewsey into London already save an awful lot of money by splitting at Newbury.
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