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Author Topic: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed  (Read 40877 times)
grahame
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« Reply #60 on: August 29, 2021, 07:18:14 am »

Travelling from Southampton to Westbury (railhead for Melksham) yesterday, it struck me just what a strong leisure traffic route the lines from Bristol via Salisbury provide - not only for traffic within those limits but across the tentacles too - onward to Southampton and Portmouth, to Cardiff, and to London (Waterloo) too.  Lisa and I were speaking with an older lady on the train yesterday - on her way from Southampton to Cardiff; not too worried about how long it took but supremely thankful it was a through train, and worried at one point when it was suggested there might have to be a set swap along the way.

Through trains from Bristol via Salisbury have been a leisure sucess over the years. The London service was very popular pre-Covid - affordable, comfortable, and making many more direct journeys possible than would be the case without it. Onward connections at Clapham Junction and Waterloo saved many headed for South London, Kent and East Sussex the trauma (it would be for them) of the underground from Paddington.  With Covid lockdowns, the services not running, and the "essential travel only" mantra, use fell - short term - but it now should be coming back and with the success story reborn.  These are the very sorts of service that can and should grow very strongly in the future. 

At the moment, they are a mess - see http://www.passenger.chat/25396 for my experience yesterday, and I'm noting that the SWR» (South Western Railway - about) service are cut back to Bath - or even to Westbury - during engineering at Bristol. Natural, I suppose, for the powers that be to put them at the bottom of the pile having decided to cease them after December ... but what an unfortunate decision on something which has (or had) a really good prospect in the new world where leisure traffic is so much more important than it was ...
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Mark A
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« Reply #61 on: August 29, 2021, 09:54:29 am »

... and I'm noting that the SWR» (South Western Railway - about) service are cut back to Bath - or even to Westbury - during engineering at Bristol.

They've not run West of Salisbury since (I think) Friday 20th August and will not run until 31st...
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Mark A
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« Reply #62 on: August 29, 2021, 10:02:09 am »


...
Through trains from Bristol via Salisbury have been a leisure sucess over the years. The London service was very popular pre-Covid - affordable, comfortable, and making many more direct journeys possible than would be the case without it. Onward connections at Clapham Junction and Waterloo saved many headed for South London, Kent and East Sussex the trauma (it would be for them) of the underground from Paddington.  With Covid lockdowns, the services not running, and the "essential travel only" mantra, use fell - short term - but it now should be coming back and with the success story reborn.  These are the very sorts of service that can and should grow very strongly in the future. 
...

This is a very significant point and I'm grateful to Grahame for making it. These are the services that could show above-average growth and will do more of the same, it is crass to axe the Bristol to Waterloo service and will not address the balance sheet woes - rather the opposite.
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paul7575
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« Reply #63 on: August 29, 2021, 11:38:53 am »

There’s no consistency in these decisions across TOCs (Train Operating Company). If SWR» (South Western Railway - about) to Bristol 3 times a day is an unnecessary duplication, then by any similar logic so is GWR (Great Western Railway) running to Brighton twice a day.  Yet that latter off-piste adventure is still very clearly shown in the latest GWR service requirement, just published by DfT» (Department for Transport - about).

So perhaps those asking the questions should ask why the different treatment - unless of course that would be seen as risking the Brightons…

Paul.
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Clan Line
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« Reply #64 on: August 29, 2021, 11:47:38 am »


Through trains from Bristol via Salisbury have been a leisure sucess over the years. The London service was very popular pre-Covid - affordable, comfortable, and making many more direct journeys possible than would be the case without it. Onward connections at Clapham Junction and Waterloo saved many headed for South London, Kent and East Sussex the trauma (it would be for them) of the underground from Paddington.  With Covid lockdowns, the services not running, and the "essential travel only" mantra, use fell - short term - but it now should be coming back and with the success story reborn.  These are the very sorts of service that can and should grow very strongly in the future. 


As a regular user of this through service to/from Waterloo I totally agree with Grahame's comments above. Not only has the BRI» (Bristol Temple Meads - next trains) - WAT service been a success but (Pre Covid) the TOC (Train Operating Company) had also introduced additional through services to WAT from Yeovil (Via WSB» (Westbury - next trains)). This was obviously thought to be a sound commercial decision. "Someone" has now decided otherwise !! Grahame's tale of his trip home from Southampton says far more that I could possibly say about the shabby treatment the line between Cardiff and Portsmouth has received over the past few years from GWR (Great Western Railway) and how this flows down to the "customer".
I read that GWR is going to extend its Cardiff to Taunton services further down to the West. An excellent idea ! Make it an hourly service - then give the Bristol to Portsmouth franchise to SWR» (South Western Railway - about) in its entirety. I daresay that SWR could then do something about linking up the TransWilts and the Romsey/Salisbury services.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #65 on: August 29, 2021, 01:05:22 pm »

There’s no consistency in these decisions across TOCs (Train Operating Company). If SWR» (South Western Railway - about) to Bristol 3 times a day is an unnecessary duplication, then by any similar logic so is GWR (Great Western Railway) running to Brighton twice a day.  Yet that latter off-piste adventure is still very clearly shown in the latest GWR service requirement, just published by DfT» (Department for Transport - about).

So perhaps those asking the questions should ask why the different treatment - unless of course that would be seen as risking the Brightons…

Can you post a link to that just published spec please?

I do expect GWR to Brighton to be cut back back to at least SOU at some stage
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paul7575
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« Reply #66 on: August 29, 2021, 02:17:02 pm »

There’s no consistency in these decisions across TOCs (Train Operating Company). If SWR» (South Western Railway - about) to Bristol 3 times a day is an unnecessary duplication, then by any similar logic so is GWR (Great Western Railway) running to Brighton twice a day.  Yet that latter off-piste adventure is still very clearly shown in the latest GWR service requirement, just published by DfT» (Department for Transport - about).

So perhaps those asking the questions should ask why the different treatment - unless of course that would be seen as risking the Brightons…

Can you post a link to that just published spec please?

I do expect GWR to Brighton to be cut back back to at least SOU at some stage

It’s here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/great-western-2020-rail-franchise-agreement

If you scroll down to updates, it says the train service requirement was added on 26 Aug 21.
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stuving
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« Reply #67 on: August 29, 2021, 02:32:58 pm »

There’s no consistency in these decisions across TOCs (Train Operating Company). If SWR» (South Western Railway - about) to Bristol 3 times a day is an unnecessary duplication, then by any similar logic so is GWR (Great Western Railway) running to Brighton twice a day.  Yet that latter off-piste adventure is still very clearly shown in the latest GWR service requirement, just published by DfT» (Department for Transport - about).

So perhaps those asking the questions should ask why the different treatment - unless of course that would be seen as risking the Brightons…

Can you post a link to that just published spec please?

I do expect GWR to Brighton to be cut back back to at least SOU at some stage

It’s here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/great-western-2020-rail-franchise-agreement

If you scroll down to updates, it says the train service requirement was added on 26 Aug 21.

The final "modified" date of the PDF is 26/8/21, but I don't think it has been revised since it was first agreed with GWR. It has no dates in it, and appears to me to be TSR1, for the 2020 direct award contract. If a new TSR (Temporary Speed Restriction) is agreed (as opposed to one modified temporarily for Covid reasons) it will presumably be TSR2, and if it follows the previous pattern will have a start date in it.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #68 on: August 29, 2021, 02:44:35 pm »

The ERMA is the latest doc/pdf there, is there a TAR within it? I’m on an iphone & looking through a 92 page pdf aint easy!
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stuving
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« Reply #69 on: August 29, 2021, 02:46:51 pm »

The ERMA is the latest doc/pdf there, is there a TAR within it? I’m on an iphone & looking through a 92 page pdf aint easy!

I've not seen any ERMA published; the EMA is on that page.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #70 on: August 29, 2021, 05:45:45 pm »

You are right….theERMA will have some form of TSR (Temporary Speed Restriction), likely to be to continue running the Covid timetable in form at the time it cane into force; with any changes you reconmend to be approved by us (DfT» (Department for Transport - about)) before implementation
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stuving
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« Reply #71 on: August 29, 2021, 06:59:02 pm »

You are right….theERMA will have some form of TSR (Temporary Speed Restriction), likely to be to continue running the Covid timetable in form at the time it cane into force; with any changes you reconmend to be approved by us (DfT» (Department for Transport - about)) before implementation

I don't think that's the case. A service requirement is part of the contracting process; the TOC (Train Operating Company) signs up to meet the requirement (subject to a load of if and buts). In principle it should be valid for the whole contract duration, though it might have several dated phases. Anything else would imply a negotiated change.

An EMA or ERMA involves DfT deciding the services, and they can change their mind at any time. The contract is not to operate a predefined TSR, but whatever the current TSR happens to be.

In contract terms, the EMA did not replace the 2020 direct award (which was not yet in place, of course!). It is a second contract that amends whatever the "franchise" contract would otherwise be. The way it removed the requirement to operate the TSR is very indirect, and it seems to be this section that does it:
Quote
14. OBLIGATIONS OF THE FRANCHISEE UNDER THE FRANCHISE AGREEMENT
14.1  Following execution of this EMA, the Parties shall within thirty (30) Weekdays of the date of this EMA meet and consider, acting reasonably and in good faith, whether the completion of: (i) each obligation of the Franchisee under Schedule 6 of the Franchise Agreement; and (ii) each other obligation of the Franchisee as may be specified by either the Secretary of State or the Franchisee (in each case acting reasonably), will be:
(a) continued "as is";
(b) delayed;
(c) suspended; or
(d) reduced in scope or application.

Most of the EMA is concerned with reporting (to DfT) and incentives. Schedule 6 is not the one that had a reference to the TSR in it, that's Schedule 1.1 - an "other obligation ".
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Mark A
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« Reply #72 on: August 31, 2021, 09:32:57 am »

Quoting from I think Lee from another thread, and putting this here to remind myself and to conjecture as to how this then leads to the short-horizon for the ceasing of the Bristol to Waterloo trains, (an entire service):

"As other members with inside knowledge of the process have said elsewhere, the Treasury/DfT» (Department for Transport - about) may be the ones asking for the budget cuts, but they have left the method of execution very much down to the rail industry to decide.

And as those of us who have studied Network Rail Business Plans over the years know, that method of execution is very much in line with what they have wanted to do all along."

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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #73 on: August 31, 2021, 11:24:53 am »

A question for passengers and stakeholders - would you rather decisions on what to cut and where were left to the ‘railway industry’ or to government in the form of the DfT» (Department for Transport - about)/Treasury?
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« Reply #74 on: August 31, 2021, 12:35:52 pm »

Quoting from I think Lee from another thread, and putting this here to remind myself and to conjecture as to how this then leads to the short-horizon for the ceasing of the Bristol to Waterloo trains, (an entire service):

"As other members with inside knowledge of the process have said elsewhere, the Treasury/DfT» (Department for Transport - about) may be the ones asking for the budget cuts, but they have left the method of execution very much down to the rail industry to decide.

And as those of us who have studied Network Rail Business Plans over the years know, that method of execution is very much in line with what they have wanted to do all along."



I am not clear that it is that simple.  If the Treasury say they want x% expenditure cuts over a few years there are options that can be considered, if they want them over the next few weeks the options for railway managers become narrower.  I suspect at the moment DfT will have their finger in the pie somewhere to narrow the options further perhaps by say what cannot be cut!
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