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Author Topic: Dilton Marsh - an update visit  (Read 4404 times)
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« on: October 19, 2019, 08:37:56 am »

"This train will call at Warminster, Salisbury, Romsey an Southampton Central" says the accouncement on 166202 as it stands in Westbury.  But then soon after leaving Westbury, it comes to a stand at the platform at Dilton Marsh, and passengers get off and on before it proceeds.  A hidden, unadvertised station - perhaps small wonder that so few people use it when - amongst other reasons - people aren't even told about trains that call there.

With time in hand on my way from Melksham to Taunton (scheduled to be at Westbury form 06:53 to 08:27 due to infrequent and disconnected services!) I took a side trip to Dilton Marsh to update myself and picture library.  Just myself off the train that called at 07:01; it also picked up one person.  With the next train at 10:12 (just as far as Warminster) or 11:13 (for Salisbury and Southampron) this one passenger departing is probably the total current southbound commuter flow.

Better on the 07:28 headed for the Bath and Bristol area - 7 passengers joined that train, and as an educated guess a higher number would have joined the 07:44.  No-one got off the 07:28 arrival.

Come December, the 07:01 goes 5 minutes earlier - the only commuter train soutbound now leaveing before 7 a.m..  The 07:28 goes to 07:32 and the 07:44 creaps earlier to 07:42; not huge changes but a drift, and not in a direction that I would expect to encourage (m)any more passengers.

Having arrived at the hidden station (I checked at Westbury with the train manager), I had to find the times of my train back.  OK - I knew, but just as there was a "need to know" to get there, so there was to get back. A Portsmouth to Cardiff poster is situated at the bottom of the ramp up to the northbound platform, but the print is tiny, the data overloaded.  Before 07:30, a lack of lighting makes it impossible to read ... and condensation would mean it was still impossible even with a torch.

On the well lit and modern platform, the information point has no display, there is no overhead display, and no notice of when trains call at all.  A clue of people arriving provides a clue that ther's a train due soon ... not sure that even that clue would be present at other times of day (after the morning peak).

At the southbound platform - the 07:01 calls

At the northbound platform - the 07:28 calls

My camera has adjusted light levels and makes it look far more readable than it was!

Seconds after the very first train from Dilton Marsh has arrived into Westbury (that's it in the foreground), the last (of two) commuter trains to Chippenahm and Swindon leaves (that's it in the background).  No chance what so ever of making a connection, next train to Swindon not for more than two hours ...


Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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