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  • Weymouth trip: August 04, 2019
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Author Topic: Swindon, Chippenham and Melksham to Weymouth on 4th August 2019  (Read 6231 times)
grahame
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« on: July 31, 2019, 07:51:56 am »

A big THANK YOU to Great Western for a late change to the early TransWilts timetable for this coming Sunday - it will be shown on the journey planners as from tomorrow.  Overnight engineering works had knocked back the first train to and from Swindon by a few minutes - however, by turning round a little quicker at Swindon, the day trip is available and indeed makes an even better connection than usual.   As GWR are now using 90 mph trains on a service that's still timetabled at 75 mph, there is still time in hand if the train if there are wheelchairs, pushchairs, buggies and the like to be loaded ... and the connection at Westbury is just across the platform!



Sunday, 4th August 2019. Day trip by train to Weymouth.

Swindon - 09:25, Chippenham 09:40, Melksham 09:50.  Change at Westbury, by train to Weymoouth arrive 11:54. Return train at 17:56, change at Westbury, Melksham at 19:56, Chippenham at 20:06 and Swindon at 20:25.

Adult fare - £18.60 day return from Swindon, Chippenham or Melksham. Groups of 3 or more adults, or on railcards, £12.30 each. Children £9.30. Buy on the day.

Weymouth offers: Weymouth Beach • Weymouth Harbour • Nothe Fort • Chesil Bank and Beach • Sandworld Sculpture Park • Greenhill Gardens • Jurassic Skyline • Sea Life Adventure Park • Portland Plateau • The Tudor House • Speed Boat Tours • Radipole Lake Nature Reserve and much more

This trip promoted to you by the Melksham Rail User Group ... up to 18 trains a day now call at Melksham on the Swindon to Westbury line, service provided every day of the week.









Pictures - my previous trip to Weymouth on 14th July

Written with my Melksham Rail User Group hat on ... and a really strong illustration of the sort of little change that can make a massive difference with the community working with the rail industry.
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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2019, 07:41:10 am »

Now showing on Real Time Trains with the changed connection at Westbury - the train from Swindon arrives at Bradford Junction ahead of the Heart of Wessex train to Weymouth, and precedes it to Westbury where the connection is crossplatform (3 to 2). THANK YOU GWR.

As I don't know how many people will have been put off trip because of the failed connection that was advertised until 48 hours ago (I was busy telling people to avoid this Sunday at the promotional event in Melksham last weekend), I have added a Facebook post at https://www.facebook.com/MelkshamRUG/posts/395122077799245 to help recover some of any loss.  and to judge, but erring on the side of safety.   I'm reminded of the promotions we did  in the summer of (?) 2011 where the biggest complaint we got was lack of promotion from people who only heard about the trips after they had all happened - I got some very strong advice as to how to reach more people.  Slight fly in the ointment was that the trains with the people we did reach were busy, and further marketing would have been irresponsible.

Let's see how Sunday goes.  I am pressing no more significant buttons to encourage more people along as I suspect that my one Facebook post, plus this thread, will lead to a noticeable but not overpowering traffic.

Personally I will be joining the train at Melksham to Westbury, then changing onto the Taunton train to help on the RailFuture stand at the West Somerset Steam Fayre - hope to bump into one or two members there.  Back on the train that connects of the return 'Weymouth' so I can see how people's day out has been.
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2019, 08:02:21 am »

As I don't know how many people will have been put off trip because of the failed connection that was advertised until 48 hours ago (I was busy telling people to avoid this Sunday at the promotional event in Melksham last weekend), I have ...

Let's see how Sunday goes. ...

33 passengers on the train when it left Melksham ... a combinations of people joining at Swindon, Chippenham and Melksham.  Unusually, nobody off and nobody on at Trowbridge.  At Westbury, I estimate that between 22 and 28 transferred to the Weymouth service; a considerable phalanx of obvious newcomers milling around and looking for the Weymouth train at the top of the platform 2/3 steps.

The Weymouth train was 3 carriages, and it looked that perhaps 75% to 80% of seats were occupied.  Even at that level , there were a few I noted standing - though of choice.  But that train was going to get busier at Frome and then again at Yeovil where experience (at each) suggests more would get off than on. (*)

Summary - just about right in terms of numbers. We no longer have just a handful of occasions though the year where a Sunday trip to Weymouth is possible, and Weymouth has suffered significant cuts in the number of carriages going there from Westbury on summer weekends.  So general marketing has changed and the Melksham summer brochure includes Weymouth as just one of many options.  Truly we have come forward.

Edit to add

(*) - looking at Real Time Trains, it seems that the earlier Westbury to Weymouth service (which now starts back at Bristol) had been cancelled.  That goes some way to explaining the load on the 10:10.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 08:36:55 am by grahame » Logged

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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2019, 04:59:44 am »

Feedback - "how did we do"?

Dozens of passengers transferred from the train from Swindon, Chippenham and Melksham to Westbury onto the Weymouth service. Which then left very well loaded but still comfortable. But - how did people find out about it? Did people enjoy it? If so, will it have encouraged long term business?

There are usually hard question to answer - but a messenger conversation and a phone call yesterday gave me answers for one specific group. Yes - they enjoyed it. They enjoyed it so much they're going again with friends in a couple of weeks time. And he's telling others how great it is - gently chided me for the trip being such a well hidden secret. How had they found out about it?  I asked at the end of the call - "Social media - saw it on Facebook". 
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