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Author Topic: North Downs December 2019 timetable changes and lack of investment  (Read 7656 times)
grahame
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« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2019, 05:45:25 pm »

The continued frustration of both passenger groups and GWR at the lack of improvements possible on the North Downs line was made very clear at today's GWR stakeholder conference.  With  a very clear message that GWR really want it to happen, but aren't able / allowed to do so because of limits to what the infrastructure provider is willing and able to let them do.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2019, 07:24:24 pm »

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According to a post on railforums, the 3tph service on the North Downs Line, much delayed, is now happening next May.


Really? Where are they going to get the rolling stock from if the 769s are not available by then - or if they are as unsuitable as recent posts imply?
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stuving
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« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2019, 07:45:22 pm »

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According to a post on railforums, the 3tph service on the North Downs Line, much delayed, is now happening next May.


Really? Where are they going to get the rolling stock from if the 769s are not available by then - or if they are as unsuitable as recent posts imply?

I think you're forgetting that May 2020 is in the future. There are no facts in the future - only such as prediction, beliefs, estimates or, as in this case, plans (several meanings). As GWR currently plan to use these trains, they (involving NR etc.) are drawing up detailed plans do implement that. If something prevents that plan happening, new plans will be needed. Or do I mean when?
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grahame
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« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2019, 08:00:14 pm »

At the Stakeholder conference yesterday, we were told that a second 'production line' was to be opened for GWR 769s so that they're not waiting for units to follow follow other TOC's orders.   Also, notably, the minister told us (wit a prompt from his civil servants in the back of the room) that there will be a dispensation to allow the 143s to stay into the new year.   Finally, the minister spoke as if five car suburban trains are already pretty standard in the Bristol area, and I suspect a bit of later-than-planned-even-now lengthening could provide ....

Then of course the 125 group may be able to lend a castle ...
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TonyK
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« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2019, 11:08:05 pm »

Just a warning to people to expect timetabling changes on the Gatwick to Reading line in December.


Sunfire, we have forgotten our manners - welcome to the Great Western Passengers' Forum! And thank you for a useful heads-up.
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« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2019, 12:29:46 am »

At the Stakeholder conference yesterday, we were told that a second 'production line' was to be opened for GWR 769s so that they're not waiting for units to follow follow other TOC's orders. 

Hmm, that'll hurt the ROSCO's profit margin. That GWR have applied pressure, and the ROSCO has buckled, says plenty.

Smells of last chance saloon to me. I await developments with interest.
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stuving
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« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2020, 06:05:12 pm »

According to a post on railforums, the 3tph service on the North Downs Line, much delayed, is now happening next May.

With only one week to go, the WTT now visible online has ... 3 tph most of the day, one to Gatwick and two to Redhill! (The "paper" one shows the same.) So presumably that will happen - a big jump from the current service of 1 tph most of the day, plus a few peak extras two of which get to Gatwick. The one train that stopped in the past at Winnersh to collect kids out of school doesn't do so now, nor after these changes.

I can understand that Gatwick is not expected to become a very popular destination this autumn, but it still looks odd. If it's to cope with the loadings and allow enough spacing in small trains, how does it match the split of  minor/only major stations? There are two semifasts, evenly spaced, one of which is a bit faster than the other - it's non-stop Wokingham to Guildford, where it overtakes the stopper (most of which are indeed all stops).

Is there any operational benefit? I did wonder if it could mean one less diagram, but the faster semifast, which doesn't go to Gatwick, goes off to the siding for 30 minutes to preserve the timing for Gatwick. It also passes the train from Gatwick in Redhill, and is overtaken by the stopper while in its siding. I can see that going wrong occasionally...
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2020, 06:25:50 pm »

I heard the intention is to get the trains into the timetable, as a kind of 'preview' service, then fine tune them over time to remove some oddities and optimise them as best as possible.  Some further changes are planned to happen in December when the 769s (hopefully) get phased into service, which will hopefully optimise turn rounds margins and therefore improve performance. 

Then it's a case of wait and see how everything settles in, and see what the market is like after the pandemic, with a particular eye on interfaces with SWR trains between Reading and Wokingham, and Southern on the line between Reigate-Redhill-Gatwick.
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2020, 08:03:35 am »

Hopefully it will improve the connections with SWR trains (old fashioned idea?). I have spent best part of an hour reading on Guildford station between the Portsmouth - Waterloo train and getting the Reading train on recent Saturdays.
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stuving
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« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2020, 10:51:51 am »

Hopefully it will improve the connections with SWR trains (old fashioned idea?). I have spent best part of an hour reading on Guildford station between the Portsmouth - Waterloo train and getting the Reading train on recent Saturdays.

Well ... it looks as if someone has been listening in on your unspoken complaints. Now, the train from Portsmouth is on P5 and the fast to Reading on P6 - five minutes for a cross-platform change! Mind you the poor suckers who need to change between the two Reading services have to trek over or under to or from P8. And of course these short changes do, just ever so often, go wrong. Never mind, there's another almost as fast Reading train within half an hour.
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RichT54
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« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2020, 09:29:13 pm »

GWR Press Release for Monday 14th September 2020.

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Great Western Railway has today started to introduce a third hourly train service on the North Downs line, realising ambitions held for more than a decade.

From Monday 14 September, eight extra weekday trains will run between Reading and Redhill - four in each direction - and increasing the number of services from two-an-hour to three-an-hour at key parts of the day.

https://www.gwr.com/about-us/media-centre/news/2020/september/gwr-realises-ambition-for-three-trains-an-hour-on-north-downs-line
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eightonedee
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« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2020, 09:45:22 pm »

Somewhat bizarrely though we've lost a train from Reading between 8 and 9, when there is just one service (the old 8-04ish having been moved forward to 7-58 a little while back)- the 8-32/4ish to Gatwick has gone even though it was a useful second string for Guildford 9-30 starters!
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RichT54
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« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2020, 09:34:42 am »

From some posts on RailUK forums it appears that the start of the new services has been rather disrupted by infrastructure issues.

https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/3tph-on-north-downs-line.140595/post-4773385

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ellendune
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« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2020, 10:47:20 am »

Somewhat bizarrely though we've lost a train from Reading between 8 and 9, when there is just one service (the old 8-04ish having been moved forward to 7-58 a little while back)- the 8-32/4ish to Gatwick has gone even though it was a useful second string for Guildford 9-30 starters!

That's very careless! Where did we last have it?
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2020, 02:49:08 pm »

From observations on the ground and on OTT maps it seems to be going reasonably well at the moment.  The known pinch points, are still pinch points, but are just about coping. 

Redhill is seeing quite a few short notice platform changes and stacking of trains (some would say that's nothing new!), and it's a shame that some of the additional trains have to head from Redhill into the loco siding to get out of the way for a while, which means crossing over all the other tracks twice.  That probably causes more hassles than sending them through to Gatwick, so as soon as the rebuild there is completed the better.

Guildford also seeing a few platform changes, but coping reasonably well, although if the additional Redhill>Reading service is more than a couple of minutes late, it does knock on to the Reading stopper and Farnham stopper behind.
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