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Author Topic: Open Access Application - London to Cardiff (28/03/2019)  (Read 14648 times)
grahame
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« Reply #60 on: January 10, 2020, 02:41:39 pm »

Again from Transport Extra continuing behind a paywall (sorry, folks)

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DfT and FirstGroup try to thwart open access rail plan

10 January 2020

The dft and FirstGroup’s rail franchise Great Western Railway have raised objections to plans for an open access rail service between London Paddington and South Wales.

Grand Union Trains (GUT) wants to operate seven trains in each direction between London Paddington and Cardiff Central from May 2021, using electric trains (Class 91 and Mark IV carriages) that are becoming surplus to requirements on the East Coast Main Line.
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Timmer
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« Reply #61 on: January 10, 2020, 08:48:09 pm »

They were always going to weren’t they.

Is there really a market between London and Cardiff for a Open Access Operator with the increased level of service offered by GWR?

Love the abbreviation GUT.
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Reginald25
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« Reply #62 on: January 11, 2020, 07:41:21 am »

What will an open access operator offer to the travelling public that GWR or any single operator doesn't already. There is only one sensible route from Cardiff to London. I've said it before but the general public only say I'm going by train, not I'm going by a specific TOC. When they get to the station they want the first train going to where they are going and don't want to wait for a specific company's train.
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Timmer
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« Reply #63 on: January 11, 2020, 07:46:13 am »

Exactly Reginald25. The only reason most people would know the actual name of a TOC is because of all the press they receive for offering such a poor service.
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ellendune
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« Reply #64 on: January 11, 2020, 09:25:56 am »

I can't see how there is capacity on the route now
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #65 on: January 11, 2020, 10:49:20 am »

A bit of competition would be excellent - may make GWR raise their game a bit?
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« Reply #66 on: January 11, 2020, 11:34:34 am »

A bit of competition would be excellent - may make GWR raise their game a bit?

Yes indeed.  Bring it on!  Though I don’t think it will be brought on sadly as the paths will be virtually impossible to find, and the business probably not there.  Though there’s marginally more chance of it happening than Go-Op!
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« Reply #67 on: January 11, 2020, 01:55:10 pm »

This proposal originally touted impossible timings, didn’t it?  Perhaps we might have had another thread about it?

IIRC they reckoned they’d be 15 mins or so faster than GWR, but I suspect that was based on a spurious comparison with last years HST timetable.   Can’t actually see DfT allowing GWR IET services to be overtaken anyway...

Paul
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ray951
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« Reply #68 on: January 11, 2020, 09:09:18 pm »

It would be even great if one of these Open Access Operators opened a service that wasn't going to London, as those are the services that really need to be improved.
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mjones
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« Reply #69 on: January 12, 2020, 08:01:45 am »

Quite. If there really is spare capacity,  then can we have the Didcot stops put back on Cardiff trains, to give better connections for Oxford; and bring back the direct Bristol to Oxford service, rather than duplicating existing services to London.
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grahame
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« Reply #70 on: January 12, 2020, 08:23:06 am »

Can’t actually see DfT allowing GWR IET services to be overtaken anyway...

They already do - though within the franchise.  Superfasts overtaking other GWR IET services at Reading.

It would be even great if one of these Open Access Operators opened a service that wasn't going to London, as those are the services that really need to be improved.

Quite. If there really is spare capacity,  then can we have the Didcot stops put back on Cardiff trains, to give better connections for Oxford; and bring back the direct Bristol to Oxford service, rather than duplicating existing services to London.

Agreed ... but government policy is all about London enhancements.  Came out loud and clear from Chris Heaton-Harris speaking at the GWR Stakeholder's briefing at Paddington a couple of months back.

Huge logic in 10 minute service Paddington - Reading - Didcot - Swindon. 2 onward to Bristol, 2 onward to South Wales, one onward to Cheltenham Spa, final one a 387 terminating at Swindon. Good path use, plenty of scope for decent Oxford connections.  Snag being that everyone would split their tickets!

Swindon to Oxford direct trains?  YES PLEASE ... and with Swindon being in "England's Economic Heartland" it makes huge sense with such trains carrying on to Bletchley, Bedford and Cambridge - but they can be instigated long before that line is re-opened.
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grahame
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« Reply #71 on: July 08, 2020, 11:31:49 am »

From Business Live

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Why passengers on rail's South Wales to Paddington line deserve better

Tony Lodge of the Centre for Policy Studies said it needs to be opened up to competition

Next year marks the 45th anniversary of a key railway milestone for Wales and western England.

The long-awaited introduction of the Intercity 125 high-speed train in 1976 had been preceded for three years with intensive trials between south Wales and London, and the new train not only slashed travel times, but introduced a whole new level of high-speed service.

As the Great Western Main Line (GWML) led the way Britain’s other main lines looked on enviously as Wales and western England were first to enjoy the much-hyped new “age of the train”.

But in the stakes to lead by example and embrace railway passenger innovation then the GWML has fallen way behind its famous rival routes on the East Coast and West Coast which connect the cities of northern England and Scotland with London.

This time it has less to do with train design or speed, though these are still important.

Instead it has everything to do with passengers enjoying train choice, lower fares, more routes, healthy competition and the better standards of innovation and travel experience which these deliver.

High-speed train travel between Cardiff, Bristol and London Paddington is unique among Britain’s intercity routes, but for all the wrong reasons.

Why do passengers who use First Great Western rate their journey as one of the worst in the country?

Importantly, policy-makers and local MPs are now looking into this and are aware of the challenge and opportunity for improvement.

The reason why the GWML has fallen behind is a complete absence of passenger competition and choice.

I checked the date on the article, and it IS current in spite of the reference to "First Great Western" and the picture of an HST illustrating the article.

A long article carries on ... quotation from further down:

Quote
The plan is for a new high-speed train service running every two hours in both directions between London Paddington and Cardiff Central, also calling at Bristol Parkway, Severn Tunnel Junction and Newport in direct competition with First Great Western.

These new Grand Union trains would also stop at Cardiff Parkway when it opens.

They would operate seven trains in each direction from May 2021 if they can get permission from the UK Government’s Office of Rail and Road.

Importantly, MPs along the route are supporting the plan, as is the Welsh Government. From 2023 Grand Union would then like to extend the services to Swansea, Llanelli and Carmarthen.

Key direct benefits would include an average 25% reduction on “walk on” fares, no penalty for purchasing a ticket on the train, flexible carnet tickets, a 50% reduction if you can’t find a seat and limited stops.

If TOCs move from a franchise to a management contract model, and get further rebuild support which I suspect they'll need over the next 18 months from September, it will be interesting to see how new open access operators might fit in.
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« Reply #72 on: July 08, 2020, 11:48:48 am »

Yes I spotted the reference to FGW too. Getting that kind of detail wrong is never a good sign in terms of an article's credibility.

I don't buy the argument that Hull Trains and Grand Central have resulted in the main East Coast operator raising its game. They are fairly niche markets which the main operator had chosen more or less to ignore, although the revenue raid at York in particular would be an annoyance. But they don't serve Leeds, Newcastle or Edinburgh, so are little more than a scratch in the side of its operation.
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TonyK
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« Reply #73 on: July 09, 2020, 03:53:50 pm »


I don't buy the argument that Hull Trains and Grand Central have resulted in the main East Coast operator raising its game. They are fairly niche markets which the main operator had chosen more or less to ignore, although the revenue raid at York in particular would be an annoyance. But they don't serve Leeds, Newcastle or Edinburgh, so are little more than a scratch in the side of its operation.

The road to Hull is paved with good intentions. I made the mistake of catching a Hull Trains service to Grantham once. It was an old dirty diesel train, absolutely packed despite being early afternoon. I came back on a nice electric zoomer, very nice, with a sort of buffet.
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Now, please!
didcotdean
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« Reply #74 on: July 09, 2020, 04:50:11 pm »

Hull Trains ditched the HSTs & 180s for 802s a few months before they suspended service, which they call 'Paragons' as it is the law that every operator of these have to call them something different. No buffet though, as always as a result of 'customer request' Smiley (for more seats).
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