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Author Topic: Strengthening to Weymouth  (Read 1088 times)
grahame
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« on: August 06, 2020, 06:29:34 am »

Good to see that some trains to Weymouth are formed of more carriages than planned

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20:16 Weymouth to Bristol Temple Meads due 22:36
Facilities on the 20:16 Weymouth to Bristol Temple Meads due 22:36.
This is due to a fault on this train.
Will be formed of 4 coaches instead of 3.

There has been a pattern for a couple of days and I would make a guess that this might not entirely relate to a fault on the train, but rather a 'need' to strengthen the last service back off the Heart of Wessex, bearing in mind the need for social distancing and the summer attraction of Weymouth.

Whether readers feel that people should be travelling on these popular rather than quieter trains at present (and indeed whether Jo Public knows of the reputation of the 20:16!) is another matter. 

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Timmer
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2020, 10:36:03 pm »

Hopefully today’s services ran with extra units bearing in mind neither the Summer extra Bristol-Weymouth and SWR Yeovil-Weymouth trains are running.
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2020, 04:55:25 am »

Hopefully today’s services ran with extra units bearing in mind neither the Summer extra Bristol-Weymouth and SWR Yeovil-Weymouth trains are running.

For today (Sunday) just two round trips are scheduled into Weymouth via the Heart of Wessex and they are strengthened from 3 carriages to 4:

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09:34 Bristol Temple Meads to Weymouth due 11:54
Facilities on the 09:34 Bristol Temple Meads to Weymouth due 11:54.
Will be formed of 4 coaches instead of 3.
also

14:08 Weymouth to Bristol Temple Meads due 16:29
17:45 Bristol Temple Meads to Weymouth due 20:04
20:09 Weymouth to Bristol Temple Meads due 22:30
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2020, 07:14:26 pm »

Looks like it may have been an interesting day in Weymouth ... usually the 20:21 that has trouble

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17:23 Weymouth to Bristol Temple Meads due 19:50
17:23 Weymouth to Bristol Temple Meads due 19:50 has been previously delayed, has been further delayed between Castle Cary and Bruton and is now 23 minutes late.
This is due to passengers causing a disturbance on a train.
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2020, 08:39:10 am »

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07:40 Gloucester to Weymouth due 10:57 will no longer call at Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Freshford, Avoncliff, Bradford-On-Avon and Trowbridge.
It has been previously delayed, has been further delayed at Cam & Dursley and is now 36 minutes late.
This is due to a tree blocking the railway.

... and I REALLY hope something ahead of it will pick up passengers headed for a day out in Weymouth from  the stations skipped and have them in Westbury ahead of the delayed train!
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grahame
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2020, 09:49:04 am »

If you effectively cut off a high proportion of the holiday / leisure activities that people can get involved with this summer [I am NOT saying there are not good reasons to do it], you are naturally going to squeeze a proportion of people's activities into the remaining allowed activities, even if many do nothing but stay at home. And if you then reduce the bandwidth of those remaining activities, you have a double whammy.

So it's zero surprise to see the JourneyCheck reports of overcrowding and trouble on certain trains / hotspots such as the train that gets into Weymouth at around 11:00 and the one that heads back at around 17:30.  Figures suggest overcrowding levels (on new social distanced capacity levels) which make ORR commuter reports of around 150% on London and Manchester commuter runs look like light loads. 

Here is a table of GWR stock types and passenger capacities with and without social distancing to current rules:


E&OE / some variations within individual classes too

A three car 166 to Weymouth, last year, had a capacity of 319 (including standees - less than pleasant all the way), but this year it's down to a capacity of 79.  Not quite that simple, because the new capacity figures and seating arrangements seem to calculate based on individuals not bubbles/families which are the main trade on the train in question.  Good to see the train increased to 4 cars ... if (probable) that's 2 x 165, it takes new age capacity up to 2 x 55 = 110.  Might be sensible to use a castle (I believe HSTs have been to Weymouth in the past - are Castles short or long swing link?) and you step up to a capacity of 146.  Still not brilliant, but bringing 300%+ loading down to just 150%+ ... or would you gain so many members of the rail enthusiast fraternity that you would be counterproductive?

Noting that Cardiff / Portsmouth trains seem to have dropped back to 3 carriages ... and are also coming up with some less dramatic overcrowding figures.  Why have they been dropped back if the 3 cannot cope with current standards? We do know that 2 of the 2-car units are being used on the strengthened Weymouths ...

No conclusions - a juggling game and a note (away from the Heart of Wessex line) that there are also overloads on the St Ives branch, and from Bristol to Weston-super-mare for days out and getting back home afterwards.  Perhaps the Heart of WALES people have it right by providing an unusable service on a line that would in normal travel times be well patronised by leisure travellers in the summer.

As responsible campaigners, we worked with GWR (FGW as it was) to avoid overloading the summer Saturday peak to Weymouth in 2011 and from 2014, by encouraging traffic from Swindon / Chippenham / Melksham on a Sunday instead, and feeding it into the train that started from Westbury rather than the one from Bristol and Bath.  For this summer, although we're encouraging moderate local use of the train services at quieter times, I have to say please do not try for a day trip to Weymouth. Sad, really, because it encourages those who know no better, or ignore the advise, to have a fun day out at the expense of the more responsible people who listen but do not travel there
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