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Author Topic: Exeter -Waterloo total lack of information on National Rail and GWR  (Read 3504 times)
Jamsdad
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« on: May 10, 2021, 12:04:06 pm »

Given that Exeter -Waterloo provides a perfectly adequate route to London in the current GWR (Great Western Railway) IET (Intercity Express Train) fiasco, it is incredible to me me that neither GWR or the National Rail Information apps give any easily accessible advice on travelling from Devon and Cornwall to London via the Waterloo route. All you get from National Rail is a list of the cancelled GWR trains, and all GWR gives is their lengthy Exeter-Bristol- Swindon- Reading - Paddington contingency. Anyone would think the Waterloo route did not exist!
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Clan Line
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2021, 12:15:11 pm »

Agree !   Also, looking at RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) there don't seem to be any through trains between Waterloo and Exeter, all involve a change at Salisbury - which I suppose is slightly better than yesterday's provision of trains, buses & mules.
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stuving
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2021, 12:20:29 pm »

Given that Exeter -Waterloo provides a perfectly adequate route to London in the current GWR (Great Western Railway) IET (Intercity Express Train) fiasco, it is incredible to me me that neither GWR or the National Rail Information apps give any easily accessible advice on travelling from Devon and Cornwall to London via the Waterloo route. All you get from National Rail is a list of the cancelled GWR trains, and all GWR gives is their lengthy Exeter-Bristol- Swindon- Reading - Paddington contingency. Anyone would think the Waterloo route did not exist!

GWR's Journeycheck has this:
Quote
South Western Railway (SWR» (South Western Railway - about)) do offer a service to and from Exeter St Davids on which GWR tickets will be accepted. Whilst this would afford a connection at Exeter St Davids into / out of train services to destinations in Devon and Cornwall there are currently NO through services between London Waterloo and Exeter St Davids as an amended (Covid) timetable is in operation on that route so SWR services to / from Exeter St Davids only operate as far as Salisbury where connecting trains are available to London Waterloo, Westbury, Southampton, Portsmouth, etc. so that route may afford some journey options for those customers who would otherwise have used GWR services and changed at Westbury.

Of course you could ask why SWR have not added to that restricted service yet. Next Sunday's planned change does bring back direct trains, though only 1 tph.
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2021, 12:22:49 pm »

Given that Exeter -Waterloo provides a perfectly adequate route to London in the current GWR (Great Western Railway) IET (Intercity Express Train) fiasco, it is incredible to me me that neither GWR or the National Rail Information apps give any easily accessible advice on travelling from Devon and Cornwall to London via the Waterloo route. All you get from National Rail is a list of the cancelled GWR trains, and all GWR gives is their lengthy Exeter-Bristol- Swindon- Reading - Paddington contingency. Anyone would think the Waterloo route did not exist!

Agree !   Also, looking at RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) there don't seem to be any through trains between Waterloo and Exeter, all involve a change at Salisbury - which I suppose is slightly better than yesterday's provision of trains, buses & mules.

I was brought up on the understanding that "GWR" stood for Great Way Round and we are back to an element of history today.

At a later point, I understood that the Western Region would never promote traffic via the Southern Region route

Today, I would suspect that limited train length and social distancing could cause overcrowding on trains on The Mule and perhaps that's why the route is not being promoted as an alternative?
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2021, 12:30:31 pm »

Given that Exeter -Waterloo provides a perfectly adequate route to London in the current GWR (Great Western Railway) IET (Intercity Express Train) fiasco, it is incredible to me me that neither GWR or the National Rail Information apps give any easily accessible advice on travelling from Devon and Cornwall to London via the Waterloo route. All you get from National Rail is a list of the cancelled GWR trains, and all GWR gives is their lengthy Exeter-Bristol- Swindon- Reading - Paddington contingency. Anyone would think the Waterloo route did not exist!

Agree !   Also, looking at RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) there don't seem to be any through trains between Waterloo and Exeter, all involve a change at Salisbury - which I suppose is slightly better than yesterday's provision of trains, buses & mules.

I was brought up on the understanding that "GWR" stood for Great Way Round and we are back to an element of history today.

At a later point, I understood that the Western Region would never promote traffic via the Southern Region route

Today, I would suspect that limited train length and social distancing could cause overcrowding on trains on The Mule and perhaps that's why the route is not being promoted as an alternative?

I have been monitoring traffic on the Exeter to Salisbury services recently (at least at the Exeter end). Whilst traffic is still generally low, there are two or three rush hour services that are uncomfortably crowded. I would guess though that the services that would be useful to through traffic to/from the Westcountry could adequately cope with any additional traffic.

*** edited as my comment somehow got embedded within the quote! ***
« Last Edit: May 10, 2021, 08:33:09 pm by PhilWakely » Logged
RichardB
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2021, 07:19:13 pm »

Given that Exeter -Waterloo provides a perfectly adequate route to London in the current GWR (Great Western Railway) IET (Intercity Express Train) fiasco, it is incredible to me me that neither GWR or the National Rail Information apps give any easily accessible advice on travelling from Devon and Cornwall to London via the Waterloo route. All you get from National Rail is a list of the cancelled GWR trains, and all GWR gives is their lengthy Exeter-Bristol- Swindon- Reading - Paddington contingency. Anyone would think the Waterloo route did not exist!

Agree !   Also, looking at RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) there don't seem to be any through trains between Waterloo and Exeter, all involve a change at Salisbury - which I suppose is slightly better than yesterday's provision of trains, buses & mules.

I was brought up on the understanding that "GWR" stood for Great Way Round and we are back to an element of history today.



Same here, Graham.  I too was brought up on the Southern.............
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eightonedee
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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2021, 09:41:42 pm »

Quote
Same here, Graham.  I too was brought up on the Southern...........

......being the successor to the pre-grouping Long Slow and Winding Railway!
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bignosemac
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2021, 10:51:29 pm »

The current SWR» (South Western Railway - about) WofEL (Also used on the forum for "West of England Line") timetable and service provision are the result of agreement between SWR and the government for a robust service during lockdown. It was always the plan to revert to a more normal service once restrictions eased. It made sense to ally the changes back to a more normal service both with the usual May timetable change, and the government's Covid road map.

It is a shame though that the railway as a whole is no longer able to react to a major problem such as a fleet 'grounding' with quick action plans for alternative routes and stock. There's enough 158/159 stock in the west and south west to provide direct hourly services between Devon (even Cornwall at a push) and London via Salisbury. A little bit of ambitious thinking, some coordination between SWR & GWR (Great Western Railway) (they have the same parent after all) and I'm sure something could have already been put into place for services between London and the south-west.

The problem is that operators don't work together well enough, and in many cases are directly prevented from doing so by government.

Raises the age old question again - what's the point of franchising?
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ellendune
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2021, 11:09:02 pm »

Raises the age old question again - what's the point of franchising?

But we don't have franchising any more.  They are all management contracts.  AIUI (as I understand it) franchising is dead. 
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grahame
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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2021, 05:45:35 am »

From JourneyCheck on their London to the West Country report.  Better ...  Wink

Quote
South Western Railway (SWR» (South Western Railway - about)) do offer a service to and from Exeter St Davids on which GWR (Great Western Railway) tickets will be accepted. Whilst this would afford a connection at Exeter St Davids into / out of train services to destinations in Devon and Cornwall there are currently NO through services between London Waterloo and Exeter St Davids as an amended (Covid) timetable is in operation on that route so SWR services to / from Exeter St Davids only operate as far as Salisbury where connecting trains are available to London Waterloo, Westbury, Southampton, Portsmouth, etc. so that route may afford some journey options for those customers who would otherwise have used GWR services and changed at Westbury.

Raises the age old question again - what's the point of franchising?

But we don't have franchising any more.  They are all management contracts.  AIUI (as I understand it) franchising is dead. 

Dead - but there is a something of a legacy ... when (eventually!) we see "Williams", we may see negatives of that legacy tidied up.  Seems everyone has been so busy dealing with other events that Williams is a bit later than intended!  Cheesy
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Lee
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2021, 11:53:27 am »

Raises the age old question again - what's the point of franchising?

But we don't have franchising any more.  They are all management contracts.  AIUI (as I understand it) franchising is dead. 

Dead - but there is a something of a legacy ... when (eventually!) we see "Williams", we may see negatives of that legacy tidied up.  Seems everyone has been so busy dealing with other events that Williams is a bit later than intended!  Cheesy

Of course, it's now "Shapps-Williams", which rather gives away the fact that the new system will be based largely on political considerations. Previous governments in recent times - both Conservative and Labour - have had to satisfy a majority based on Middle England voters who were Conservative with a small "c", and who were instinctively suspicious of anything that smacked of "nationalisation". However, the current Johnson Conservative administration has to satisfy a majority based on Northern voters who are Labour with a small "l", who dont really have a problem with nationalisation, and who just want the government to do something - anything - to improve their lot.

However, my recent research into SENRUG and the Northumberland Line has given me an intriguing insight into who is currently advising the government on transport matters, and what exactly it is they are advising. Basically, the current crop of special advisors is using as its reference point the last time they think that public transport was part of a nationalised system under a Conservative administration and appeared to be working, and with both bus and rail they landed in the early to mid 1980's.

In the case of buses, this means the era where the big, regionalised subsidaries of the National Bus Company had been broken down into smaller, more locally focused units that had not yet been deregulated/privatised and thus could still be relatively easily integrated with the municipal bus companies, and with rail and other public transport modes. In the case of rail, this means the era of the sub-£1 billion railway, of cut-price rail reopenings, and of the "glory days" of Network SouthEast.

The modern equivalent structures they are putting in place are Bus Back Better, and for rail, I believe that they will go for a more localised version of sectorisation that has the mid-section of Network SouthEast as its inspiration. The DfT» (Department for Transport - about) will set a broad overall strategy, goals and service standards, but ask the rail industry to work out how to implement them. The TOCs (Train Operating Company) will have their own management structure and oversight, and decide about scheduling, marketing, what infrastructure enhancements they require, and rolling stock specifications - probably wise given recent events. Network Rail will own, maintain, and where required, enhance and build new infrastructure.

Indeed, there are signs that key rail industry players are already working de facto to this new structure. To give some examples - Andrew Haines, in a recent speech, appeared to acknowledge that Network Rail will need to provide what the DfT, TOCs and customers actually want, rather than what Network Rail think they should have.  The DfT - despite it being their duff rolling stock specification that started the sequence of events that led to the current disruption - have told the TOCs that they want the that disruption sorted, and to work out for themselves how to sort it.  The TOCs, at least by the look of early indications, appear to be working together to try and sort it as best they can.

An interesting by-product of the evolving service plan that the TOCs have devised is that it appears to have set up an unintentional experiment. In an optimistic scenario, it could provide at least a partial blueprint for how to cater for the likely more localised post-pandemic passenger flows, as well as how to integrate rail services with parallel and connecting bus services, and provide full ticket interavailiability between the two modes.

In a pessimistic scenario though, the rail industry could respond to its biggest crisis since 2002 and the aftermath of Hatfield and make similar mistakes, where the scale of the repairs required took ages to identify and ultimately brought the network to a near-standstill for a prolonged period, finished Railtrack, and sent the industry as a whole into an uncertain future that we've arguably never actually emerged successfully from.

As we know now, the DfT's response to the aftermath of Hatfield and Railtrack's demise was to commission internal reports - which we have copies of in our archives - that proposed widespread closures, service withdrawals and bustitution in the North and the South West, and even at one point advertised for a Closures Manager to oversee their implementation. This thankfully did not come to pass, due in no small part to the huge opposition in this part of the world to the Draft December 2006 FGW (First Great Western) Timetable which if fully implemented, would have acted as a Trojan Horse to a far worse end goal.

Could we reach a similar point as a result of this crisis? Let me put it this way - grahame, myself and others are, through Option 24/7, seeking to use the positive opportunity provided by Bus Back Better to try and achieve hugely improved local bus services and infrastructure, and greatly enhanced bus/rail/active travel integration. However, the wording of some of the passages of Bus Back Better makes it obvious that some of those currently advising the government clearly believe that the bus can do a far better job of many of the tasks that rail currently provides.

You only to look at our recent walk down memory lane to see where that could potentially lead.

EDIT to fix link.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2021, 01:06:28 pm by Lee » Logged

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VickiS
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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2021, 09:48:01 pm »

The current SWR» (South Western Railway - about) WofEL (Also used on the forum for "West of England Line") timetable and service provision are the result of agreement between SWR and the government for a robust service during lockdown. It was always the plan to revert to a more normal service once restrictions eased. It made sense to ally the changes back to a more normal service both with the usual May timetable change, and the government's Covid road map.

It is a shame though that the railway as a whole is no longer able to react to a major problem such as a fleet 'grounding' with quick action plans for alternative routes and stock. There's enough 158/159 stock in the west and south west to provide direct hourly services between Devon (even Cornwall at a push) and London via Salisbury. A little bit of ambitious thinking, some coordination between SWR & GWR (Great Western Railway) (they have the same parent after all) and I'm sure something could have already been put into place for services between London and the south-west.

The problem is that operators don't work together well enough, and in many cases are directly prevented from doing so by government.

Raises the age old question again - what's the point of franchising?


Could I just please ask what "WofEL" stands for? Smiley

Thanks!
VickiS
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Lee
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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2021, 09:54:19 pm »

The current SWR» (South Western Railway - about) WofEL (Also used on the forum for "West of England Line") timetable and service provision are the result of agreement between SWR and the government for a robust service during lockdown. It was always the plan to revert to a more normal service once restrictions eased. It made sense to ally the changes back to a more normal service both with the usual May timetable change, and the government's Covid road map.

It is a shame though that the railway as a whole is no longer able to react to a major problem such as a fleet 'grounding' with quick action plans for alternative routes and stock. There's enough 158/159 stock in the west and south west to provide direct hourly services between Devon (even Cornwall at a push) and London via Salisbury. A little bit of ambitious thinking, some coordination between SWR & GWR (Great Western Railway) (they have the same parent after all) and I'm sure something could have already been put into place for services between London and the south-west.

The problem is that operators don't work together well enough, and in many cases are directly prevented from doing so by government.

Raises the age old question again - what's the point of franchising?


Could I just please ask what "WofEL" stands for? Smiley

Thanks!
VickiS

West of England Line.
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ellendune
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« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2021, 10:21:46 pm »

Could I just please ask what "WofEL (Also used on the forum for "West of England Line")" stands for? Smiley

Thanks!
VickiS

West of England Line.

That is the line from Worting Jn (nr Baskingstoke) via Salisbury to Exeter
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MVR S&T
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« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2021, 10:29:07 pm »

Also seen it as WOE (West of England) !
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