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Author Topic: My first rail commute for six months  (Read 349 times)
eightonedee
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« on: September 15, 2020, 08:40:33 am »

Odd feeling to be getting up at what used to be my usual time.

As I am only expecting to do two days a week in future I am no longer a member of the Gold Card club, but have signed up for my senior Railcard so with ticket splitting at Reading it is a not unreasonable ?13 odd a day.

Goring was very quiet.  Most passengers on the platform clearly on their way to school and indeed only one other person definitely not of school age. Car park almost empty at 8
7-40. Pangbourne and Tilehurst a little busier. Plenty of empty space on the 8 car Electrostar.

On passing Reading depot saw first 769. Shiney green gloss paint job minus signwriting emphasised old rippled coachwork!

Reading Station quiet but not deserted. Pleasingly clear of litter at this hour. Endless signage about distancing and face masks , and almost complete compliance. Still though a few who don't seem to understand that the mask goes over the nose as well (or are they medically exempt? ). Hand sanitizer at town end of over bridge empty, but I was thanked by a member of staff for drawing it to their attention.


Incoming train from Redhill quite busy.  Counted 107 off (normally rammed). Now on somewhat busier (than my first leg) 8-20 to Redhill. 20 plus in my coach from Reading, but most off by Sandhurst.

Further instalments follow!
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 09:00:06 am by eightonedee » Logged
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2020, 10:48:39 am »

Welcome back, eightondee!
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To view my GWML Electrification cab video 'before and after' video comparison, as well as other videos of the new layout at Reading and 'before and after' comparisons of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/IndustryInsider/
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2020, 11:43:34 am »

Welcome back, eightonedee!
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Personal opinion only.  Writings not representative of any union, collective, management or employer. (Think that absolves me...........)
eightonedee
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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2020, 06:34:48 pm »

Train late into Guildford (nothing changed there then!), ran slow from Warnborough. Guildford station at just passed 9 AM also quiet. There's often queues at the barriers but it was straight through today.  Car park looked possibly 25% full, but I didn't check closely.  Footbridge floor and treads on steps nicely refurbished to include one way signs.  Mask wearing generally observed apart from the odd uncovered nose.

The bottom end of the town had more life and there was a reasonable amount of traffic, but it could hardly be described as busy, although some colleagues have recently been delayed by traffic. The top of the High Street does now have a lot of empty shops.

This evening the number of people and volume of traffic at 6 PM was more like what  I would expect at 8 PM. The same applies to the number of passengers on the 18-13 to Reading from where this installment is being sent.

During the day I participated in a regional business group's regular video conference meeting with a property theme. There seems to be a general opinion that the shift to home working is unlikely to be completely reversed, but that the office will still be needed. There is less consensus on how much the requirement for space will reduce.

I'll sit back now and enjoy the Blackwater Valley towns, although perhaps not being re-acquainted with Turbo seats!

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stuving
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2020, 06:42:29 pm »

There is a service update for Wokingham saying "Trains between Wokingham and Guildford may be delayed by up to 15 minutes or revised due to a speed restriction over defective track in place."  And one for your train saying "This train has been delayed by a points failure" - but it's shown as running on time. Funny old world!
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eightonedee
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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2020, 06:53:50 pm »

Thanks Stuving

I am just pulling into Wokingham on time!

Proceeding train shown on time all the way to Wokingham but cancelled into  Reading.

Has Winnersh Traingle become the  Bermuda Triangle of the  North Downs Line? 😀

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eightonedee
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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2020, 06:55:54 pm »

No - just got through safely.......
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eightonedee
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« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2020, 09:37:25 pm »

Arrived at Reading on time. Having 20 minutes for my onward train, and being told that the waiting stock on Platform 3 was not the 19-22 stopper to Oxford, I did a bit of reconnaissance.

I counted 42 off my train from Redhill, of which at least 8 were wheeling luggage, some with airport tags still attached. On there way back to quarantine themselves if they were from at-risk countries? There were 34 off an incoming Elizabeth Line train, but my count of 29 on the departing Cross Country to Manchester can be ignored - I assumed only the front set was in use, but saw that the second one was part occupied too as it pulled out past me.

Reading was quiet, but not deserted. Again, most of the people on the station were observing "the rules". There were 4 youths without masks who ran across the overbridge, and one uniformed and unmasked GWR staff member walking the wrong way through the one way system on the over bridge. The hand sanitiser at the foot of the stairs on the town side of the over bridge was still not working.

The 19-22 was lightly loaded, mostly empty by the time we reached Goring on time where just 4 passengers including myself left the train.

Conclusions? I felt comfortable throughout the journey, the main anxiety was remembering which pocket I put my mask in. There's plenty of room on the trains, and most people seem to be behaving responsibly. I might have felt differently if I had seen the airline passengers in my coach when I joined the train at Guildford. I would though encourage anyone thinking of a return to commuting to give it a try.
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