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Author Topic: Bristol - Birmingham corridor. Time for a service pattern review?  (Read 6055 times)
JontyMort
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« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2019, 06:29:44 pm »

I would think that local services between Gloucester (or maybe Cheltenham) and Bristol should be separated from an hourly semi-fast type service between Bristol and Worcester, otherwise the journey times are too long.

Yes, I agree. Hourly Bristol-Worcester would open up many more journey opportunities - certainly it would make some journeys I make much easier. I worry that the opening of Worcestershire Parkway may have taken some of the impetus away from improving Bristol-Worcester SH.

I'd be interested to know if there could be a market to run Bristol services north from Worcester, to Kidderminster and Stourbridge. It's a significant catchment (as demonstrated by Chiltern with its London services). Currently heading southwest means either changing at Worcester onto the very infrequent services, or going via Birmingham with all the attendant fun of New Street and CrossCountry. Most people, I suspect, use the M5 instead.

(As ever, the issue with running trains north through Worcester is that you can't then call at the city centre station, Foregate Street, because the track layout doesn't permit a reversal AIUI (as I understand it).)

A very noticeable point from the TT posted by Graham is the presence of two decent early evening Bristol-Worcester trains at 1730 and 1830. Nothing as good as that today, with a yawning gap between 1700 and 1900 (and each of those needs a change).

Incidentally, from December the reasonable morning service (0649 Shrub Hill, with 7-minute connexion at Cheltenham into XC, arriving Temple Meads at 0805) will also be history. The earliest viable arrival at Temple Meads will be 0835.

Anything running north through Worcester cannot - as you say - call at Foregate Street. If a decent layout were reinstated, this could be possible, though whether that is desirable depends on your opinion of which is the main station in Worcester.
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Noggin
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« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2019, 09:21:43 pm »

I never quite caught the detail, but wasn't there a suggestion in the HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)) review that there should be some kind of an additonal capacity to permit a faster service between Birmingham and Bristol.

Bear in mind also that TfWM have an aspiration to run services from Birmingham Moor Street to Bristol and Cardiff, at a guess they would be alternating on the hour. 

I wonder how much additional capacity can be found on the line? Perhaps electrification might need to be sooner rather than later?

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Celestial
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« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2019, 09:49:48 pm »


Bear in mind also that TfWM have an aspiration to run services from Birmingham Moor Street to Bristol and Cardiff, at a guess they would be alternating on the hour. 
I thought it was from Cardiff to Bristol and Cardiff to Birmingham.  Cardiff to Birmingham certainly makes sense, as there really ought to be a better (and faster) service between the two cities.   
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JontyMort
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« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2019, 11:22:39 pm »

I never quite caught the detail, but wasn't there a suggestion in the HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)) review that there should be some kind of an additonal capacity to permit a faster service between Birmingham and Bristol.

Bear in mind also that TfWM have an aspiration to run services from Birmingham Moor Street to Bristol and Cardiff, at a guess they would be alternating on the hour. 

I wonder how much additional capacity can be found on the line? Perhaps electrification might need to be sooner rather than later?


The main problem is the familiar one of mixed traffic on a double-track line. Of the 93-odd miles, the middle 80 - say Kings Norton to Bristol Parkway - can be done in an hour. The Bristol end has been improved considerably by the re-quadrupling at Filton, but the Birmingham end is a nightmare. Either one goes via Camp Hill, crawling round at 15 mph to reach New Street from the east, or one crawls up the West Suburban behind a cross-city stopper from Kings Norton to Five Ways. In a peak hour, the Five Ways route has to take six cross-city 323s, two or even three Worcester 170s, a Cardiff 170, and one 22x or HST (High Speed Train) on XC, the other going Camp Hill.

The northern half of the cross-city doesn't suffer as much, because there is no fast traffic on the Aston-Lichfield line.

I've often wondered if New Street-Kings Norton could be linked to the trams on a new dedicated right of way, freeing up the current line for outer suburban and main line stuff (just retaining University?). It won't happen, of course.

South of KN it's better, with quadruple track from there to Longbridge.
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Witham Bobby
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« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2019, 09:11:52 am »

With the benefit of hindsight, BR (British Rail(ways)) closure of Cheltenham - Stratford upon Avon was a huge mistake.

Oh for a time machine, to go back 43 years and prevent 45 068's Toton to STJcn train coming off the road at Winchcombe 
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Timmer
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« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2019, 10:37:47 am »

With the benefit of hindsight, BR (British Rail(ways)) closure of Cheltenham - Stratford upon Avon was a huge mistake.
I dare say that there are a few lines that fall into that category.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2019, 10:56:28 am »

Quote from: Witham Bobby
With the benefit of hindsight, BR (British Rail(ways)) closure of Cheltenham - Stratford upon Avon was a huge mistake.

Oh for a time machine, to go back 43 years and prevent 45 068's Toton to STJcn train coming off the road at Winchcombe 

Bearing in mind the unpleasantly expensive landslip problem the Gloucestershire & Warwickshire had to deal with not long ago, if you can procure that time machine perhaps you ought to go back further to make sure that the formation was built more robustly in the first place. Because if that drailment hadn't have spelt the end of the line in later BR days, that landslip most certainly would.
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Witham Bobby
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« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2019, 12:07:11 pm »

-snip-
Because if that drailment hadn't have spelt the end of the line in later BR (British Rail(ways)) days, that landslip most certainly would.

Would have been a problem, for sure; there have been a number of slips in dormant and GWSR days.  The drainage system needs to be kept in tip-top order, particularly where there are deep cuttings or high embankments and steep sides.  I'm not convinced BR were doing this properly on the less used lines after about the mid 1960s (and they certainly were not on the closed ones)

Apologies for derailing, and being off topic
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2019, 12:15:58 pm »

-snip-
Because if that drailment hadn't have spelt the end of the line in later BR (British Rail(ways)) days, that landslip most certainly would.

Would have been a problem, for sure; there have been a number of slips in dormant and GWSR days.  The drainage system needs to be kept in tip-top order, particularly where there are deep cuttings or high embankments and steep sides.  I'm not convinced BR were doing this properly on the less used lines after about the mid 1960s (and they certainly were not on the closed ones)

Apologies for derailing, and being off topic

I'll forgive you. GWSR certainly seem to be taking this seriously these days: https://draingang.blogspot.com/
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