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Author Topic: Expansion of SWR services to Swindon and Okehampton?  (Read 918 times)
Southernman
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« on: November 22, 2020, 09:35:14 pm »

This image is from another forum - I have no idea if its genuine but if so, might explain opening of Yeovil depot to provide space at Salisbury?

Certainly Okehampton line is now receiving replacement rails (Class 70 and Class 66 top and tail engineering train on the branch in the last few days) and sleepers and inspection of structures. I read that a regular service is due to start within a year.

There are also rumour regarding use of Meldon stone on HS2 but not so sure about that!
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Timmer
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2020, 09:54:38 pm »

Can?t add anything to above, but looking at RTT, the SWR timetable from December for services running via Westbury looks very different to the current timetable with quite an increase in the number trains.

More services to/from Yeovil - Salisbury/Waterloo, but the morning Bristol-Waterloo along with the early morning Salisbury-Bristol positioning train withdrawn.

I look forward to hearing any thoughts from SWR as to the reasoning for these changes.
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2020, 10:30:21 pm »

This image is from another forum - I have no idea if its genuine ....

There is considerable sense in joining up Solent - Salisbury, Salisbury - Westbury and Westbury - Swindon services rather that running them more or less separately.  The idea is far from new and has been going through various stages. Do not be surprised if it comes about.

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Timmer
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2020, 07:01:26 am »

If it happens it would be a return to the Wessex Trains days when they used to run a useful service between Swindon and Southampton.
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chuffed
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2020, 07:18:56 am »

https://youtu.be/DULlPrOOtuc

With SWR as strapped for cash as they are, they might invest in a few of these !!!
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bradshaw
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2020, 08:33:46 am »

From the Cornwall Railway Society website

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, it is planned the line will be reopened for regular passenger services and ballast trains from Meldon quarry in connection with HS2 -  Driver Alan Peters

http://www.cornwallrailwaysociety.org.uk/latest-input--news--old-pictures-etc

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Jamsdad
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2020, 12:52:54 pm »

Encouraging news about Okehampton. In the "olden days" ( 1960's) Okehampton was very much the railhead for most of North Cornwall and given the awful traffic congestion experienced by anyone wanting to drive in to Exeter St Davids these days, leaving the car at Okehampton will be a very sensible option.
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RichardB
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2020, 01:03:00 pm »

From the Cornwall Railway Society website

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, it is planned the line will be reopened for regular passenger services and ballast trains from Meldon quarry in connection with HS2 -  Driver Alan Peters

http://www.cornwallrailwaysociety.org.uk/latest-input--news--old-pictures-etc



Everyone is very hopeful but reopening is not a done deal yet.  The business case is with the DfT for consideration and they could, of course, say no.  Work taking place on the line before the DfT answer is known (this is expected to be early in the new year) is simply to allow the ultrasonic test train to run, given there has been nothing on the line since Dartmoor Railway's Christmas trains.
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paul7755
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« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2020, 03:19:52 pm »

Surely the Yeovil depot was to deal with the extra and altered services which should have started in the December 2019 timetable?

I remember seeing a long document listing all the changes, but unfortunately didn?t keep a copy.

Paul
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grahame
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2020, 03:27:11 pm »

If it happens it would be a return to the Wessex Trains days when they used to run a useful service between Swindon and Southampton.

This is an example of how it could look - this being a snippet example of the timetable pattern.



SWR as part of their franchise were required to take a look / study this one and I spent some time working it in far more detail than above with Chris Loder who worked for them at the time.  It takes the three trains on the "Romsey 6" or "Romsey Rocket" and extends alternate trains to Swindon.  The extended train to Swindon passes the one that ran two hours ahead of it somewhere near Codford (Warminster area); the extra train needed for the service is the one that GWR have been using for the TransWilts shuttle.

There are a number of benefits as well as the through service - the need for platform- blocking reversals at Westbury is reduced, and the need for Westbury - Warminster shuttles and Westbury - Southampton GWR extras is also reduced.  There is a need to co-ordinate in "The Brighton"s which already get in the way of the Romsey 6 in the Southampton area.    Trains like the 15:28 Warminster to Great Malvern remain, as does the second peak Westbury to Swindon morning service that goes on to Gloucester and has recently been the most overloaded GWR train. The pattern above does not shown where trains start and end from - extra runs to and from Salisbury and Westbury. Other resources around the Westbury area can usefully fill gaps to Frome and Yeovil rather. 

There is capacity for the extras mentioned above - and already running - Westbury to Swindon, but not simply by extending the service from Salisbury every hour.  That would work if the two trains could pass each other just north of Melksham - a dynamic loop from Dunch Lane to Lacock would allow this to happen, and further provide a freight path each way each hour on the single line.  Paths though the Southampton area and into Salisbury are unchanged from the Romsey 6, so should work.  There is a reasonable separation of the 2 trains per hour onward to Westbury - one train having five more stops than the other between Southampton and Westbury means it cannot be every 30 minutes everywhere.

Schedule examples were set using class 150 and 153 timings - 75 m.p.h. stock, though some have crept towards 158/165/166 90 m.p.h. timetables.  Between Warminster and Wilton / Salisbury, and from Chippenham to Swindon and back, this leaves a couple of minutes slack.   There is also a couple of minutes around Westbury and around Salisbury too.  And there is 5 minutes above minimum for the Swindon turn around.  All put together, probably enough to make it robust and to allow the trains to be combed in as they head east from Thingley.
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stuving
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2020, 03:47:21 pm »

Picking up on Graham's mention of the (2017) SWR Franchise, this is the relevant section from Schedule 6.1:
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11. Report on optimisation of passenger services on Specified Routes

11.1 The Franchisee shall by no later than 1 February 2018 submit to the Secretary of State a report setting out its view as to how the provision of passenger services by both the Franchisee and other Train Operators can be optimised in relation to each of the Specified Routes by reference to:
   (a) current and anticipated future passenger demand;
   (b) the relevant aspirations of the Secretary of State and Stakeholders;
   (c) the optimal use of rail infrastructure capacity and its efficient operation, maintenance and renewal
by reference to a ?whole industry cost? approach.

The report may consider, inter alia, proposals for:
   (i) closer co-ordination between the Franchisee and other Train Operators with regard to the exercise of timetable development rights (subject to the terms of Licences and any applicable Law); and
   (ii) remapping of passenger services between franchises
and shall comment on how its proposals might be most effectively implemented identifying relevant costs and risks and how they might be minimised or mitigated.

11.2 For the purposes of informing the production of the report the Franchisee shall use all reasonable endeavours to engage effectively with all other Train Operators, and open access passenger operators and freight operators using each relevant route together with Network Rail and relevant Stakeholders.

11.3 The Secretary of State shall have the right to require the Franchisee to produce revised and updated reports in relation to any of the Specified Routes to a specification provided by him on reasonable notice so that such reports are submitted to the Secretary of State on any of 1 December 2018, 1 December 2019 and 1 December 2020.

11.4 As required by the Secretary of State the Franchisee shall meet with the Secretary of State to discuss the contents of any report provided to the Secretary of State pursuant to this paragraph and provide such further information and analysis as he may reasonably require.

11.5 For the purpose of this paragraph 11 ?the Specified Routes? means each of the following routes:
   (a) Brighton - Exeter via Southampton and Salisbury;
   (b) Portsmouth - Southampton ? Bristol;
   (c) Bristol ? Yeovil/Weymouth;
   (d) Southampton Airport ? Salisbury ? Swindon; and
   (e) Reading ? Guildford ? Gatwick Airport (North Downs Line).

If this is a live issue just now, presumably DfT have replied to SWR's original reports with modified questions and asked for new ones on 1st December. Which might imply that the other routes have been dropped. (Okehampton is not mentioned in the agreement.)
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grahame
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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2020, 08:38:28 pm »

Picking up on Graham's mention of the (2017) SWR Franchise, ...

If this is a live issue just now, presumably DfT have replied to SWR's original reports with modified questions and asked for new ones on 1st December. Which might imply that the other routes have been dropped. (Okehampton is not mentioned in the agreement.)

Not sure of the implication - Swindon to Southampton is very much simpler than some of the others and there's folks batting strongly in its favour, and ready to help promote it when it starts.   Clear case too  Grin
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bradshaw
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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2020, 08:58:58 am »

From the Moorlander,  piece on the developments on the Okehampton line

https://themoorlander.co.uk/oke-rail-update-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel/
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REVUpminster
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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2020, 06:04:02 pm »

I don't think Okehampton will be operated by SWR but by GWR as part of the Devon Metro. It maybe by 158s based at Exeter or replacement 165s. They only need four to get rid of the eight 143s which are supposed to go this December.

GWR have, to me anyway, been frightened of the latent demand there might be from Okehampton and Crediton for which an hourly service could not cope.
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Timmer
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« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2020, 01:32:00 pm »

Can?t add anything to above, but looking at RTT, the SWR timetable from December for services running via Westbury looks very different to the current timetable with quite an increase in the number trains.

More services to/from Yeovil - Salisbury/Waterloo, but the morning Bristol-Waterloo along with the early morning Salisbury-Bristol positioning train withdrawn.

I look forward to hearing any thoughts from SWR as to the reasoning for these changes.
UPDATE: SWR have updated their winter timetable with it pretty much being the same as the current reduced timetable. The morning Bristol-Waterloo along with the early morning Salisbury-Bristol positioning train continue to operate.

GWR are going to need to update timetable B1 as it is currently showing SWR services that won?t now be running. Understandable in these current uncertain times.

Waterloo-Bristol/Exeter Monday-Friday timetable from 14th December:
https://www.southwesternrailway.com/plan-my-journey/~/media/6656d821bfd146a2b026937b20dbbbc6.ashx
« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 01:40:32 pm by Timmer » Logged
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