Train Graphic
Great Western Passengers' Forum [home] and [about]
November lockdown advice
Forum in and beyond Coronavirus
DfT Covid Travel Advice
Read about the forum [here].
Register [here] - it's free.
What do I gain from registering? [here]
 04/12/20 - TWSW AGM - ONLINE
09/12/20 - Community Rail Network Awards
13/01/21 - Melksham RUG - ONLINE
Random Image
Train Running Polls Acronyms/Abbreviations Station Comparator Rail news GWR co. site Site Style 1 2 3 4
Next departures • Bristol Temple MeadsBath SpaChippenhamSwindonDidcot ParkwayReadingLondon PaddingtonMelksham
Exeter St DavidsTauntonWestburyTrowbridgeBristol ParkwayCardiff CentralOxfordCheltenham SpaBirmingham New Street
November 26, 2020, 01:23:32 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Forgotten your username or password? - get a reminder
Most liked recent subjects
[166] Roger Newman - RIP
[101] Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers
[92] Dawlish - permanent resilience work - ongoing discussions
[49] Will you be travelling by train over the Christmas / New Year ...
[44] Great Western Railway offers free travel to women fleeing dome...
[43] Journey Makers - recruiting for Swindon, Bath Spa and Newbury
News: A forum for passengers ... with input from rail professionals welcomed too
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 [3]
  Print  
Author Topic: Calne branch - past, present, future  (Read 9331 times)
Robin Summerhill
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 884


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2019, 08:51:01 pm »

Quote from: grahame
We seem to have widened from Calne!

OK - at present the directions that people from Norton Radstock want to travel are north north east to Bath, or north west to Bristol.  And the one remaining ("mothballed") rail line runs the opposite way - south south east to pass through Frome (though not through Frome station) and to Westbury.  Journey times, I concur, via this route to Bath and Bristol would be substantial. But then is Bath and / or Bristol the natural destination in a generation's time?   

Which came first - the chicken or the egg?  The Railway or the housing? 

That's not an easy question to answer because there is no one answer.

Back in 1972 or so John Betjamin hosted a documentary called "Metroland" (I was only watching a VHS tape of it again last week as it happened!) which showed that the growth in commuting along the Metropolitan Railway was the result of the railway's own policy of buying land and selling parcels off to speculative builders. So in that case the railway came first.

Quite a few years ago now the MOD moved its administrative centre from Bath to Abbey Wood and a new station was provided. In that case you could say that the station was provided as a result of a major change to local commuting habits. Yes the railway came first but not in quite the same way as with the Metropolitan - indeed, the existence of the railway may have influenced the MOD decision to relocate there rather than somewhere else.

In the case of Yate the station closed in 1965 just as the first foundations for the New Town were being laid. In that case the housing definitely came first and well before the station was reopened.

The real question that needs to be asked is what are people commuting for (yes of course to get to work, but why they are living where they are living and not a few minutes walk from their employment)? Initially the answer to that was the reasonably well-heeled moving out from the centre of filthy Victorian cities onto the surrounding leafy glades. There is still an element of that but it has also been exacerbated by housing costs. People commute from Frome to London because the houses are cheaper, or from Norton Radstock to Bristol for the same reason.

But whatever the specific reasons for the commute there is one constant, and that is that people tend to commute to large industrial and/or commercial centres with high staff requirements, and that generally means large cities of their environs.

In this neck of the woods, London, Bath and Bristol are going to be the major magnets for commuting for the foreseeable future, and to me that means in a generations time if not longer. Other major centres like Swindon, Reading and Oxford will also have their commuters from this part of the world, although I suspect less in proportion than the three first mentioned. Unless something major and unexpected happens (for instance an expansion of Warminster or similar to a population of 250,000, or perhaps a slump in house prices in particular parts of the country) I doubt that things will change much for many generations.

There is also the global warming/ carbon emissions etc issue of course, but if anything I would expect that to reduce commuting rather than find new destinations for it.
Logged
Bmblbzzz
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 3131


View Profile
« Reply #31 on: July 29, 2019, 12:47:17 pm »

Another question is to what extent commuting patterns are determined by available transport links and vice versa. I know several people who commute from Bristol to Cardiff, Bath, Gloucester and even Reading, but no one who commutes to Oxford. Is this because it's a bit harder to get to Oxford or because Oxford's job market is less attractive? Or something else?
Logged

Tuesday had come down through Dundrum and Foster Avenue, brine-fresh from sea-travel, a corn-yellow sun-drench that called forth the bees at an incustomary hour to their bumbling.
ellendune
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 3727


View Profile
« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2019, 09:43:30 pm »

Another question is to what extent commuting patterns are determined by available transport links and vice versa. I know several people who commute from Bristol to Cardiff, Bath, Gloucester and even Reading, but no one who commutes to Oxford. Is this because it's a bit harder to get to Oxford or because Oxford's job market is less attractive? Or something else?

People I know commute to Oxford. It's just that from Swindon they do not use the train.  I am sure some people commute to Oxford by train e.g. from Didcot or Banbury or Bicester (that was after all the reasons  for reopening the Bicester line).
Logged
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 31249



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #33 on: July 30, 2019, 06:45:07 am »

Another question is to what extent commuting patterns are determined by available transport links and vice versa. I know several people who commute from Bristol to Cardiff, Bath, Gloucester and even Reading, but no one who commutes to Oxford. Is this because it's a bit harder to get to Oxford or because Oxford's job market is less attractive? Or something else?

Something else.

Bristol has direct train to ... "Cardiff, Bath, Gloucester and even Reading".  It doesn't have direct trains to Oxford.

From Bristol, from Chippenham, there was a direct service early in the last decade that built up good custom - I recall a pretty crowded service which in the peak skipped Didcot and I'm pretty sure those were travellers on a daily basis.    Fast forward to today, and you've got to change at Didcot to make the journey (or double back for £££ via Reading) using a train that's just once an hour from Bristol, Bath or Chippenham, with the Didcot train times not appearing to be designed as a well-making connection, and changing into what are local trains for the final section of the journey.   With the lack of reliability and timekeeping, connections are especially unstable too as they double the risks - I've done quite a bit of work in Oxford going up there via Chippenham and I'm very used to the "Didcot Dance" - pulling in there and seeing an onward train pulling out, whether or not the timetable suggests that should happen.

Interestingly, there are others who commute from Bristol (and Cardiff) and intermediate stations in WECA to Swindon who are going to have a significant loss of service from they December ...
Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
Bmblbzzz
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 3131


View Profile
« Reply #34 on: July 30, 2019, 08:30:39 am »

Another question is to what extent commuting patterns are determined by available transport links and vice versa. I know several people who commute from Bristol to Cardiff, Bath, Gloucester and even Reading, but no one who commutes to Oxford. Is this because it's a bit harder to get to Oxford or because Oxford's job market is less attractive? Or something else?

People I know commute to Oxford. It's just that from Swindon they do not use the train.  I am sure some people commute to Oxford by train e.g. from Didcot or Banbury or Bicester (that was after all the reasons  for reopening the Bicester line).
Obviously, if you change the starting point you change the likely destinations. I don't know anyone who commutes to Newcastle but I quite likely would if I lived in Sunderland!
Logged

Tuesday had come down through Dundrum and Foster Avenue, brine-fresh from sea-travel, a corn-yellow sun-drench that called forth the bees at an incustomary hour to their bumbling.
jamestheredengine
Transport Scholar
Sr. Member
******
Posts: 148


View Profile
« Reply #35 on: July 30, 2019, 08:45:42 am »

Another question is to what extent commuting patterns are determined by available transport links and vice versa. I know several people who commute from Bristol to Cardiff, Bath, Gloucester and even Reading, but no one who commutes to Oxford. Is this because it's a bit harder to get to Oxford or because Oxford's job market is less attractive? Or something else?

I think the data seem to back up your perception of things here.
Logged

Red Squirrel
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 3972


There are some who call me... Tim


View Profile
« Reply #36 on: July 30, 2019, 12:56:12 pm »

Another question is to what extent commuting patterns are determined by available transport links and vice versa. I know several people who commute from Bristol to Cardiff, Bath, Gloucester and even Reading, but no one who commutes to Oxford. Is this because it's a bit harder to get to Oxford or because Oxford's job market is less attractive? Or something else?

I think the data seem to back up your perception of things here.

That is an interesting resource!

This view rather makes the obvious point that commuting depends on good transport links: Lots of people commute into Bristol from Weston, but very few from Wells or indeed Norton Radstock... is it too big a leap to assume that more people would do so if it were easier? 'Commute' in this context is arguably shorthand for 'take advantage of economic and educational opportunities'.
Logged
Bmblbzzz
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 3131


View Profile
« Reply #37 on: July 30, 2019, 05:08:13 pm »

My "perception" was really more of a thinking-aloud question about the interplay between job market, transport links and housing on commute patterns, and on each other.

But in a way I started from the wrong end. I was thinking of people I know who live in Bristol and work elsewhere, but Bristol is mainly an attractor of commutes and jobs (as is Oxford) rather than an origin.
Logged

Tuesday had come down through Dundrum and Foster Avenue, brine-fresh from sea-travel, a corn-yellow sun-drench that called forth the bees at an incustomary hour to their bumbling.
Marlburian
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 309


View Profile
« Reply #38 on: December 09, 2019, 05:06:13 pm »

At risk of throwing the points and sending us off on another diversion.

There was a railway, of sorts, from Salisbury to Amesbury via Porton. The extensions to Larkhill and Bulford. I believe it was entirely military so no "venture capital" involved.

And now for something completely different in relation to the chalk downlands. In the 1914 edition of "Notes on Reconnaissance & survey of military railways" there is an exercise to reconnoitre a military railway from the existing railway station at Hungerford to the existing railway station at Chipping Norton. Materials supplied half-inch OS map of the area (with railways removed), part sections and suggested answer. The 1940 edition "Notes on Military Railway Engineering" Part 1 (Survey) has similar. Possibly useful as an exercise, in an area the military was familiar with, but unlikely to ever exist as commercial entity.


Warnings:

1. I'm going to continue Sid's diversion (after observing that 20 months ago I explored the trackbed from Calne to Chippenham).

2. My Specialist Subject is "Military Wiltshire 1897-1920", meaning I can be very boring about military railways in the county.

Despite its name, the Amesbury and Military Camp Light Railway carried civilian traffic to Amesbury and on an extension to a civilian station at Bulford. In 1914 a branch was built over the River Avon through Lark Hill Camp and eventually terminating at an airfield close to Stonehenge. Jeffery Grayer, Rails Across the Plain, is an excellent history.

As for the military railway from Hungerford to Chipping Norton, this was obviously a hypothetical exercise, hence the removal of actual railways from the map. Neither town had much military significance (though the former hosted troops camping on the Common and convoys of lorries moving along the Bath Road). My first thought was that the line would go north west through Aldbourne and then one side or other of Liddington Castle to Chisledon, where the MSWJR had found a way to Swindon. The east-of-Hungerford solution would have taken the route to Newbury and, presumably, thence north along the route actually chosen by the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton line.

Any other route between these two would have had to go over hilly country before somehow having to get down the very steep escarpment into the Vale of the White Horse.

Marlburian
Logged
CyclingSid
Data Manager
Hero Member
******
Posts: 1063


Hockley viaduct


View Profile
« Reply #39 on: December 10, 2019, 08:10:17 am »

Apologies to moderators, split if necessary.

It was a survey exercise, not sure at this distance in time as to whether it was purely a table-top exercise or whether they rode the country.
Proposed route goes east from Hungerford, generally following the line of the R. Kennet. After it crosses the R. Lambourne it routes towards Chieveley then Hampstead Norris where it turns north to Compton.
It continues north between Upton and Harwell (similar to Didcot to Newbury line?). East of Abingdon and than a broad sweep round towards Eynsham, then east of Handborough and Charlbury then follows the R. Evenlode round to Shipton.
Then skirts north towards Churchill and then to Chipping Norton.
Spellings as the original map.

I have a scan of the original map, too big to fit on here (thank goodness think mods!)
Logged
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 31249



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #40 on: April 20, 2020, 05:04:48 pm »

Chippenham to Calne timetable - January 1960

Amazing how many lines with an excellent service in 1960 were gone by 1970 ...

Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
Robin Summerhill
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 884


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #41 on: September 21, 2020, 10:48:34 am »

Time for a thread resurrection  Grin

I haave niw posted the final timetable for the Calne branch to Flickr, together with a collection of tickets from the line I bought in 1965 and a more recent shot of what is left of Black Dog Halt

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93122458@N08/50350173566/
« Last Edit: September 25, 2020, 10:13:03 pm by Robin Summerhill » Logged
Do you have something you would like to add to this thread, or would you like to raise a new question at the Coffee Shop? Please [register] (it is free) if you have not done so before, or login (at the top of this page) if you already have an account - we would love to read what you have to say!

You can find out more about how this forum works [here] - that will link you to a copy of the forum agreement that you can read before you join, and tell you very much more about how we operate. We are an independent forum, provided and run by customers of Great Western Railway, for customers of Great Western Railway and we welcome railway professionals as members too, in either a personal or official capacity. Views expressed in posts are not necessarily the views of the operators of the forum.

As well as posting messages onto existing threads, and starting new subjects, members can communicate with each other through personal messages if they wish. And once members have made a certain number of posts, they will automatically be admitted to the "frequent posters club", where subjects not-for-public-domain are discussed; anything from the occasional rant to meetups we may be having ...

 
Pages: 1 2 [3]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
This forum is provided by a customer of Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western), and the views expressed are those of the individual posters concerned. Visit www.gwr.com for the official Great Western Railway website. Please contact the administrators of this site if you feel that the content provided by one of our posters contravenes our posting rules (email link). Forum hosted by Well House Consultants

Jump to top of pageJump to Forum Home Page