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Author Topic: Cotswold Line - new December timetable  (Read 5077 times)
Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2019, 08:03:26 pm »

Good to know that route knowledge for CrossCountry drivers is more important than London - Worcester / Malvern / Hereford passengers.

And, of course, turning the knife in the wound, these XCs through Shrub Hill without stopping. In particular, there's an early morning Cardiff run (0500 New Street, 0603 Cheltenham) that could and should provide a decent early Worcester-Cardiff opportunity.

But of course that would result in XC getting a cut of GWR's Worcester to Cheltenham revenue.

Which is why it probably won't happen.

Welcome to the modern railway...
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JontyMort
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« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2019, 11:04:30 pm »

Good to know that route knowledge for CrossCountry drivers is more important than London - Worcester / Malvern / Hereford passengers.

And, of course, turning the knife in the wound, these XCs through Shrub Hill without stopping. In particular, there's an early morning Cardiff run (0500 New Street, 0603 Cheltenham) that could and should provide a decent early Worcester-Cardiff opportunity.

But of course that would result in XC getting a cut of GWR's Worcester to Cheltenham revenue.


That would be the revenue generated from the current shocking service, I presume.

I'm always struck by the fact that on the Birmingham-Bristol main line the service is geared entirely to operating convenience (i.e. serving Cheltenham) rather than the importance of the two county towns, Worcester and Gloucester. Oh well.
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grahame
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« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2019, 08:21:14 am »

I'm always struck by the fact that on the Birmingham-Bristol main line the service is geared entirely to operating convenience (i.e. serving Cheltenham) rather than the importance of the two county towns, Worcester and Gloucester. Oh well.

I'm not so sure if it's operating convenience just to serve Cheltenham Spa, or Cross Country services looking out for the longer distance traffic -  Bristol to Birmingham, which would be slowed down if it dipped into Gloucester and / or Worcester on a regular basis.

Bristol, Gloucester and Cheltenham Spa to Worcester services are indeed very thin indeed, and there are a number of other "could do better" cases along the way or just off it.  But I suspect it would need another hourly service added to the current mix to avoid damaging something as you improved something else.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2019, 10:48:26 am »

I'm not so sure if it's operating convenience just to serve Cheltenham Spa, or Cross Country services looking out for the longer distance traffic -  Bristol to Birmingham, which would be slowed down if it dipped into Gloucester and / or Worcester on a regular basis.

Very much so. In the "olden days" (1960s) many Midland line trains did indeed run via Worcester. They all of course ran via Gloucester because in those days there was no reversal required as they ran into Gloucester Eastgate via Tuffley Junction. The Worcester diversion put a par for the course 30 minutes on the journey. I am sure that would be improved upon these days, but there would nevertheless be a time penalty involved.

As an aside for our younger readers, Gloucester Eastgate was initially chosen to be Gloucester's only station, and the long platform at the existing Gloucester station (Gloucester Central in those days) was extended to join it to Eastgate allowing the Central station to close and the area of railway land between the two to be redeveloped.

It was Gloucester City Council that spearheaded the change of policy to make Central Gloucester's only station, because traffic congestion at the level crossings on the Eastgate route was becoming a major issue, especially at Barton Street which was one of the main roads into the city.
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JontyMort
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« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2019, 01:16:09 pm »

I'm not so sure if it's operating convenience just to serve Cheltenham Spa, or Cross Country services looking out for the longer distance traffic -  Bristol to Birmingham, which would be slowed down if it dipped into Gloucester and / or Worcester on a regular basis.

Very much so. In the "olden days" (1960s) many Midland line trains did indeed run via Worcester. They all of course ran via Gloucester because in those days there was no reversal required as they ran into Gloucester Eastgate via Tuffley Junction. The Worcester diversion put a par for the course 30 minutes on the journey. I am sure that would be improved upon these days, but there would nevertheless be a time penalty involved.

I agree that ship sailed long ago - though Lickey line trains were still serving Worcester until at least the early 80s IIRC.

Nevertheless, the point that Cheltenham enjoys a privileged service purely by geographical accident remains valid. Putting it another way, if Worcestershire Parkway is to work at all then the idea seems worth exploring that (shock horror!) some of Cheltenham's half-hourly stops on XC's Brum-Bristol service could be dropped in favour of a stop at Parkway instead.

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It was Gloucester City Council that spearheaded the change of policy to make Central Gloucester's only station...

...thus removing Gloucester from a main line. Well done that Council!
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2019, 11:29:54 pm »

Quote from: JontyMort
Quote from: Robin Summerhill
It was Gloucester City Council that spearheaded the change of policy to make Central Gloucester's only station...

...thus removing Gloucester from a main line. Well done that Council!

You edited out the reasons and, in the context of the day, they were important.

There were four level crossings between Gloucester Eastgate and Tuffley Junction, the most important of which was immediately south of Eastgate station at Barton Street. This crossing in particular was causing traffic chaos in Gloucester, not only because it crossed the main road into the city from Stroud, but also because the immediate proximity of the station to the gates meant they needed to be kept closed whilst southbound trains were held for station duties.

In the context of the time (early 1970s), railways were seen as yesterday's form of transport that few people wanted to use any more. If Eastgate closed, trains could still run to Bristol from Central, albeit with a reversal. Alternatively passengers for Bristol could change at Cheltenham. At the time it was not seen as a major issue.

Whilst you might argue, with 20/20 hindsight, that closing Eastgate was a bad move from the point of view of railway connectivity, it was not seen as such at the time. And moving forward to where we are now, there is an hourly local stopping service to Bristol calling at Cam & Dursley, Yate, Parkway and Filton Abbey Wood (a frequency that could only have been dreamed about when all the local stations were still open and the route was via Mangotsfield) and an additional, at least hourly, fast service to Bristol is available by changing at Cheltenham.

There is also an hourly service from Gloucester to Brum, with plenty of additional services northbound to Cheltenham only or to Worcester/ Malvern. The overall service available in the days pre-1975 was a mere shadow of what is on offer today.

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JontyMort
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« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2019, 09:56:47 pm »

Quote from: JontyMort
Quote from: Robin Summerhill
It was Gloucester City Council that spearheaded the change of policy to make Central Gloucester's only station...

...thus removing Gloucester from a main line. Well done that Council!

You edited out the reasons and, in the context of the day, they were important.

There were four level crossings between Gloucester Eastgate and Tuffley Junction, the most important of which was immediately south of Eastgate station at Barton Street. This crossing in particular was causing traffic chaos in Gloucester, not only because it crossed the main road into the city from Stroud, but also because the immediate proximity of the station to the gates meant they needed to be kept closed whilst southbound trains were held for station duties.

In the context of the time (early 1970s), railways were seen as yesterday's form of transport that few people wanted to use any more. If Eastgate closed, trains could still run to Bristol from Central, albeit with a reversal. Alternatively passengers for Bristol could change at Cheltenham. At the time it was not seen as a major issue.

Whilst you might argue, with 20/20 hindsight, that closing Eastgate was a bad move from the point of view of railway connectivity, it was not seen as such at the time. And moving forward to where we are now, there is an hourly local stopping service to Bristol calling at Cam & Dursley, Yate, Parkway and Filton Abbey Wood (a frequency that could only have been dreamed about when all the local stations were still open and the route was via Mangotsfield) and an additional, at least hourly, fast service to Bristol is available by changing at Cheltenham.

There is also an hourly service from Gloucester to Brum, with plenty of additional services northbound to Cheltenham only or to Worcester/ Malvern. The overall service available in the days pre-1975 was a mere shadow of what is on offer today.



An interesting analysis, Robin. Thanks for posting.
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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2019, 12:42:11 pm »

The final timetable seems pretty much unchanged from the version summarised in the first post. Reading stops are still notable by their absence in the evening peak: in each case there's a northbound XC five minutes before, so the journey time impact isn't huge, but changing on/off a cramped Voyager isn't exactly an enjoyable daily commute.

The Friday-only late night service to Moreton has gone now that there's a Monday-Friday late service to Worcestershire Parkway.

Not yet clarified whether SVR fares will remain valid on the 06.43 from Hereford (08.27 from Charlbury) - we had a couple of GWR representatives at Charlbury Town Council on Monday and they suggested this was still up in the air.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2019, 01:43:43 pm »

I always knew there had been another station in the centre of Gloucester, in fact I must have seen at least the ruins of it and might possibly even have used it as a small, but I've learnt more about it from Robin Summerhill's post than ever before. (And I've still spent time queuing at some of those level crossings!)
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2019, 08:37:37 pm »

Quote from: Bmblbzzz
I always knew there had been another station in the centre of Gloucester, in fact I must have seen at least the ruins of it and might possibly even have used it as a small, but I've learnt more about it from Robin Summerhill's post than ever before. (And I've still spent time queuing at some of those level crossings!)

Glad to be of service!!

A couple of years ago I posted on Flickr a few of my shots of Eastgate on the last weekend of its operation in December 1975:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93122458@N08/30013068056/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/93122458@N08/29420171533/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/93122458@N08/29419393754/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/93122458@N08/29752939230/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/93122458@N08/30013024796/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/93122458@N08/29420136823/
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Witham Bobby
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« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2019, 09:15:11 am »



A couple of years ago I posted on Flickr a few of my shots of Eastgate on the last weekend of its operation in December 1975:

Oohhh there's lovely.  Peaks, Brush Type 4s, Swindon Cross-Country Class 120 DMU.  Not a single microchip in sight.  The comfort of the Cross-Country DMUs is greatly missed
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JontyMort
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« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2019, 11:45:31 pm »


The Friday-only late night service to Moreton has gone now that there's a Monday-Friday late service to Worcestershire Parkway.


I noticed this. It looks very odd that the train won't be going through to Shrub Hill, especially since the empty stock will presumably be stabled overnight at... Worcester Shrub Hill. Sponsored by one of the taxi firms, maybe?
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2019, 10:55:06 am »

A bit odd, but I presume nobody wants to pay for Shrub Hill station to remain open as it gets locked up for the night at just gone midnight.
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grahame
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« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2019, 10:55:39 am »


The Friday-only late night service to Moreton has gone now that there's a Monday-Friday late service to Worcestershire Parkway.


I noticed this. It looks very odd that the train won't be going through to Shrub Hill, especially since the empty stock will presumably be stabled overnight at... Worcester Shrub Hill. Sponsored by one of the taxi firms, maybe?

The train carries on (empty at 01:11) direct into the sidings without going through the platforms at Shrub Hill.  Termination at Parkway could be because of crew hours, the cost of two extra reversals, or the cost of keeping Shrub Hill open (does it require a staff presence when a train calls) for an extra 80 minutes or so after the last other trains arrive shortly after midnight?  I'm not sure how many passengers would make use of that final leg - my (totally uninformed) logic would suggest to me that the main business of this train would be to set down passengers from the east and not to pick up passengers for Shrub Hill even if it carried on to there.

A bit odd, but I presume nobody wants to pay for Shrub Hill station to remain open as it gets locked up for the night at just gone midnight.

Far more eloquently put that I did  Grin - and answering the question about the need to staff the station!
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JontyMort
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« Reply #29 on: September 28, 2019, 09:36:36 pm »


The Friday-only late night service to Moreton has gone now that there's a Monday-Friday late service to Worcestershire Parkway.


I noticed this. It looks very odd that the train won't be going through to Shrub Hill, especially since the empty stock will presumably be stabled overnight at... Worcester Shrub Hill. Sponsored by one of the taxi firms, maybe?

The train carries on (empty at 01:11) direct into the sidings without going through the platforms at Shrub Hill.  Termination at Parkway could be because of crew hours, the cost of two extra reversals, or the cost of keeping Shrub Hill open (does it require a staff presence when a train calls) for an extra 80 minutes or so after the last other trains arrive shortly after midnight?  I'm not sure how many passengers would make use of that final leg - my (totally uninformed) logic would suggest to me that the main business of this train would be to set down passengers from the east and not to pick up passengers for Shrub Hill even if it carried on to there.


I'm sure you are right about the Shrub Hill hours - I hadn't realised quite how late this train is. But surely the reference to picking up passengers for Shrub Hill, whilst clearly correct, slightly misses the point - anyone heading for Worcester at that hour is likely to be returning from London. I declare an interest - I live within walking distance of Shrub Hill.
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