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Author Topic: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Wales  (Read 3275 times)
SandTEngineer
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« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2019, 04:25:31 pm »

Odd, there's a few omission on that map [edit - ie the Flickr map], eg Coventry - Kenilworth, Oxford - Abingdon, Cholsey - Wallingford.

Speculation Alert: Because those lines closed prior to, or were proposed to be closed, to passenger services before the map production date?...........
« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 04:36:16 pm by SandTEngineer » Logged

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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2019, 04:59:58 pm »

Odd, there's a few omission on that map [edit - ie the Flickr map], eg Coventry - Kenilworth, Oxford - Abingdon, Cholsey - Wallingford.

Speculation Alert: Because those lines closed prior to, or were proposed to be closed, to passenger services before the map production date?...........

If you look at the comments below the map you will see that we explored the apparent idiosyncrasies in some detail. Your suggestion of outstanding closure proposals might be a possibility, but I think I'd put it down to less than precise cartography!

However, in respect of lines in Wales (which is the reason I highlighted it on this thread) the map appears by and large correct. That said, some of the lines that are shown as main lines (eg Carmarthen to Aberystwyth, the Central Wales and Neath and Brecon to Hereford) might be stretching that description a little
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grahame
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« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2019, 05:04:23 pm »

Odd, there's a few omission on that map [edit - ie the Flickr map], eg Coventry - Kenilworth, Oxford - Abingdon, Cholsey - Wallingford.

Speculation Alert: Because those lines closed prior to, or were proposed to be closed, to passenger services before the map production date?...........

If you look at the comments below the map you will see that we explored the apparent idiosyncrasies in some detail. Your suggestion of outstanding closure proposals might be a possibility, but I think I'd put it down to less than precise cartography!

However, in respect of lines in Wales (which is the reason I highlighted it on this thread) the map appears by and large correct. That said, some of the lines that are shown as main lines (eg Carmarthen to Aberystwyth, the Central Wales and Neath and Brecon to Hereford) might be stretching that description a little

I've been looking too, Robin ... Severn Rail Bridge absent, so map dated after 25.10.1960; Ruthin shown as having purely the stub service, so before 4.4.1962.   In spite of label saying circa 1959.  Agrees with how Melton Contable is shown - as a branch from Sheringham, 1959 to 1964.
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« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2019, 05:09:53 pm »


Stupid question time ... why do so many people want to go from Cardiff to Holyhead (of all North Wales places!) ... is it for the ferries, for other major businesses there, or for political reasons because it's as far as you can get and still be in Wales?
Not at all stupid, and I think you've answered your own question there Grahame.

 

There probably aren't that many travelling the full journey, but IME there certainly are large numbers travelling from Cardiff or Newport to Bangor, and many others travelling to Chester or the north Wales resorts.
Agree absolutely, but it's always Holyhead that is mentioned, which of course shows the speed of the service in it's worst light. Chester of course is not in Wales, though perilously close on the outskirts, so if you listened to those who want a service that doesn't go into England, wouldn't even get a service.

(Actually, thinking about it, I'm not sure there will be much holiday/leisure traffic from South East Wales to the North Wales resorts, as there are equally attractive destinations much closer.  The North Welsh coast is more attractive to North West England so I would expect Mancunian and Liverpudlian accents to be more often heard there than Cardiff ones. )
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2019, 07:55:35 pm »

Quote from: grahame
I've been looking too, Robin ... Severn Rail Bridge absent, so map dated after 25.10.1960; Ruthin shown as having purely the stub service, so before 4.4.1962.   In spite of label saying circa 1959.  Agrees with how Melton Contable is shown - as a branch from Sheringham, 1959 to 1964.

It's not that simple Graham - in fact the map is quite a bit of a mess!

As you say, the Severn Bridge was redesigned in October 1960, but initially it was planned to repair it. The link below takes you to a scan of he timetables for 1959 and 1964, the latter one still advertising the line as temporarily closed.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93122458@N08/28605810524/

You will also notice that the section between Berkeley Road and Sharpness remained open until final closure in 1964 so, if the absence of the Severn Bridge is taken as proof that the map was produced post-October 1960, it still doesn't explain the Berkeley Road to Sharpness omission. And especially when, not too far away:-

Coaley Junction to Dursley showing on the map, closed in September 1962
Ross on Wye Monmouth Chepstow - not showing on the map, closed in 1959
Chippenham to Calne not showing on the map, closed in 1965
MSWJ Cheltenham to Andover showing on the map, closed in October 1961

There are plenty of other examples that simply do not make chronological sense.



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Rhydgaled
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« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2019, 11:54:33 am »

So what would have been the most direct route from Cardiff to Holyhead prior to the 'reduction to a skeleton'?

Possibly via Merthyr Tydfil then the Mid-Wales line to Moat Lane Junction. Change there for the  Cambrian Coast route to Afon Wen, then to Bangor and Holyhead?

May be more direct on the map but I suspect it would take more than 5 hours. At least nowadays no changes are necessary.
The old Merthyr - Brecon route was itself a little circuitous, with some rather tight curves that I imagine would make the service frighteningly slow if it were reopenned. I do wonder whether, with electric traction, a train could handle the gradient of a new line built following the A470 up to Storey Arms. The other side is more problematic, since the mountains seem to fall off rather more steeply than on the south side (I'm using Google Earth); perhaps a tunnel through the highest bit would make the gradient manageable.

Rhayader - Llanidloes and Porthmadog - Afon Wen - Bangor were also rather circuitous routes, so if you were serious about linking Cardiff and Bangor/Holyhead by rail without going via England new, shorter, routes would be needed there too. Even then, the train would still have to share the busy ValleyLines network south of Merthyr so would probably have to be part of the Metro, serving all stations, so to avoid sending a tri-mode FLIRT all the way to Holyhead a change of train would still be required. I would suggest Brecon as the best place for the FLIRT to terminate and the class 158 service to Bangor/Holyhead to begin. It probably wouldn't be particularly great for Cardiff-Bangor travel, but would be transformational for a wide variety of journeys starting and/or finishing in various parts of mid Wales. You could also have a 158 running from Brecon to Wrexham via Newtown, Welshpool and Oswestry to make more use of the new Brecon-Newtown line.

The more-widely discussed option of Carmarthen-Aberystwyth has its own slow, twisty, problem and would also require passengers to change train on route. The most obvious option would see changes required at Aberystwyth and Dovey Junction. You could cut that to one change by having the train from Cardiff reverse at Aberystwyth to form the service to Birmingham, but you'd need a new bridge over the Dovey to make a through service between Aberystwyth and Bangor work and that would prevent the Holyhead/Bangor service contributing to a roughly hourly service from Porthmadog to Machynlleth.
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« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2019, 03:22:17 pm »

It doesn't seem to be mentioned but I thought the Cardiff Holyhead service was for Welsh Assembly members to get back to their constituencies/home.
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infoman
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« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2019, 03:32:58 pm »

I would have thought the plane would be a better option between Cardiff Airport and RAF Valley with a journey time of 50 minutes.

If your quick it would cost forty quid
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