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Author Topic: 2021 timetable changes - GWR Central Area  (Read 961 times)
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« on: November 19, 2020, 10:37:33 am »

Posting in WECA commuters but covers most regional services operated by trains bases at St Phillips Marsh.

Although "Dear Graham", in practise I'm pretty darned sure not just to me ... as (members may have guessed) many of the requested adjustments came from others and the responses are addressed to them too.

Dear Graham
I promised to keep you up to date on our timetable changes.  We have a new timetable starting on Sunday 13 December, with both weekend and weekday changes.  Online timetable journey planners have been updated, and you can download copies of specific timetable booklets from our website on
Our rationale has been to produce a timetable that is robust and reliable, that our customers can count on, and that our teams can deliver.   This will be challenging.
As with any business Covid-19 is impacting on our available staff numbers and our teams are working very hard to keep services running on time.  I am very proud of all they have done, and really grateful for the support our stakeholders and partners have given us as we have built back services and built back rail travel.
As you know as part of our support for Network Rail?s improvement work around Bristol and in recognition of the impact the Covid has had on our driver training programme, weekend services will finish earlier on Saturday evenings, and start later on Sunday mornings.
These services are lightly used currently, and by making this proactive decision now, we have been able to improve the ability to deliver important rail enhancement works during 2021.  It will also mean we can reduce the potential for ad hoc and late notice cancellations.
We have made some revisions to the plans we discussed based on your comments, for instance we have added Keynsham and Oldfield Park calls into a later service as requested.  We have also retained the early Sunday services on the TransWilts line.  There is a slight caveat to that, as we will not been able to find a way to operate as a rail service through the Winter.  We can however offer a rail service from April and we have taken the decision to operate as a bus service from December.   
You also asked us to look at whether we could:
* extend any services through to Frome and Weymouth prior to December, we did look but we could not find a way this year, but we will keep it on the aspirations list for the future
* extend services terminating at Filton Abbey Wood from Weston-super-mare through to Bristol Parkway. We are working on a significant recast for December 2021 in the meantime we have made some small improvements for the Weston-super-mare services and we can talk more about the recast when we next meet
* retime the 06:01 Portsmouth-Cardiff to reduce the dwell time at Westbury and improve the journey time.  We had a good look at this.  There is a 0612 to Littlehampton and a 0615 service to Waterloo from Southampton, if we get ahead of them we also need to get ahead of a Barnham to Southampton service ? when we do that we clash with an stock movement  into Southampton.  If we could find a way through that, we would then clash with a Romsey starter.  We will keep looking at it for future timetables, but not one we can solve this time
If 2020 has taught us anything however, we know that predicting the future is not easy, and while we will be working hard to maintain this timetable through to May 2021, we may need to make further changes during the course of the timetable.  If that happens, we will keep you informed and we will work with you, and the Department for Transport, to make sure that we are delivering a safe and efficient railway, doing the best we can for our customers and for the communities that rely on us.
Thank you again for all your help and support this year. It has been a real boost for our staff to know that their efforts are appreciated, and you have my assurance that we will keep doing all we can to keep communities connected and to play our role in economic renewal and recovery.
Best wishes

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2020, 09:50:56 pm »

I will be interested to see what that recast comes up with for December '21. The only changes to Weston services mentioned on a poster at Temple Meads are the following additional services:

- 1601 & 1656 Bristol Parkway to Weston-super-Mare. The 1601 departure appears to be in place of the 1557 Bristol Parkway to Exeter St. Davids service which appears to be withdrawn.

- 1704 & 1803 Weston-super-Mare to Bristol Parkway. The 1704 departure is just 6 minutes ahead of the current 1710 - which will continue to run - and both trains have a journey time of a mere 30 minutes end-to-end from Weston.

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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2020, 10:31:03 pm »

Wow, that is forward planning for December 2021 could I borrow their crystal ball please....
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2020, 10:58:56 pm »

Wow, that is forward planning for December 2021 could I borrow their crystal ball please....

I'm sure that was a typo. But, yes there are some thoughts going in to May '21 and December '21 changes ... to be informed by the next six to nine months.

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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