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Author Topic: Where might Devizes Parkway services come from?  (Read 1521 times)
grahame
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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

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Noggin
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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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hoover50
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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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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2019, 11:47:59 am »

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.

I've only just spotted this thread, but I can remember when "Devizes Parkway" was called Lavington or Patney & Chirton... Wink

But on to a more serious point, whilst I understand where Graham is coming from regarding the "disadvantage" (but a disadvantage only from GWR's point of view), it could easily become a PR disaster if the media ran the story as "GWR don't stop trains to stop passengers saving money"
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2019, 02:36:07 pm »

I've only just spotted this thread, but I can remember when "Devizes Parkway" was called Lavington or Patney & Chirton... Wink

Three different places



1 - Lavington. 
- further from Devizes
- slower road from Devizes
- costly build on embankment

2 - Patney and Chirton
- further from Devizes
- road access only via unsuitable village / country lanes

3 - New proposed site

Quote
But on to a more serious point, whilst I understand where Graham is coming from regarding the "disadvantage" (but a disadvantage only from GWR's point of view), it could easily become a PR disaster if the media ran the story as "GWR don't stop trains to stop passengers saving money"

Very serious indeed, and a much wider point. Historically has come about because of fares in the old "Network South East" area being very differently set to fares for long distance journeys further west.  I also scratch my head looking for a logical explanation of what calls (and does not call) at Didcot.
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Oxonhutch
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2019, 02:57:43 pm »

But on to a more serious point, whilst I understand where Graham is coming from regarding the "disadvantage" (but a disadvantage only from GWR's point of view), it could easily become a PR disaster if the media ran the story as "GWR don't stop trains to stop passengers saving money"

I think that for services originating west of Bedwyn, the following easement effectively means one can use a non-stop at Newbury service. So a Westbury-Newbury plus a Newbury-Paddington should save one time and money: Table E - National Routeing Guide

Quote
700391 Doubleback:  Customers travelling from Newbury via Bedwyn may double back via Reading. This easement applies in both directions.
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Oxonhutch
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2019, 03:12:20 pm »

I see also that Option 3 also facilitates a Rail-Air interchangeGrin
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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2019, 03:33:52 pm »

A quick look on aerial imagery and Street View suggests that the old trackbed is largely unobstructed as far as the outskirts of Devizes (Marshall Road), one or two missing bridges notwithstanding.

No, I'm not going to suggest reopening the old line. But "Parkway" needn't automatically mean "Car Parkway", and the A342 site is happily just three miles from central Devizes, under two from the new estates to the south - the sort of distance that gets transport planners excited as being the sweet spot for cycling. The A342 itself is wholly unsuitable as a cycling route except by the brave, and I'd suggest that any new station development would need to cater for sustainable/active access to get past planning.

So - a traffic-free "greenway" from Devizes to Devizes Parkway, along the old trackbed in the manner of a hundred other railway paths? Works for me.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2019, 05:11:45 pm »

I've only just spotted this thread, but I can remember when "Devizes Parkway" was called Lavington or Patney & Chirton... Wink

Three different places



1 - Lavington. 
- further from Devizes
- slower road from Devizes
- costly build on embankment

2 - Patney and Chirton
- further from Devizes
- road access only via unsuitable village / country lanes

3 - New proposed site

Not everybody appreciates my sense of humour when I'm being slightly less than serious  Grin
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grahame
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2019, 05:27:16 pm »

Not everybody appreciates my sense of humour when I'm being slightly less than serious  Grin

Robin, you provided a nice, juicy hook onto which I could hang an answer.  Whether you had intended to provide a hook or not  Grin Grin

Were all three stations to open ... would we hear announcements at Bedwyn for Pewsey, Back o' Beyond, Devizes Cycleway, The Chocolate Poodle, and Westbury.
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