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Author Topic: South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed  (Read 40876 times)
Lee
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« Reply #75 on: August 31, 2021, 12:49:28 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!

You are entitled to your opinion. All I will say is that I have very credible information and reasons for describing the situation in the way that I have.
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Lee
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« Reply #76 on: August 31, 2021, 01:21:17 pm »

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?

Neither - I prefer the way we do things over here in Brittany - A very similar way, in fact, to that which grahame and I suggested back in 2016 with our Option 24/7 proposals:

Our 2016 Option 24/7 proposals for bus franchising in Wiltshire included a proposal that bus services would be specified by a committee that brought together passengers, local authorities and bus companies. Unfortunately, Wiltshire Council were not ready at the time to accept what they considered to be a radical plan, and the proposal did not go ahead.

One of the reasons I moved to France in September 2017 was the opportunity to help shape the future of public transport in Brittany, as the specification of the local bus network transferred to the regional level and was placed under a unified structure with the local rail network which had been already specified by the region for several years. This unified structure came into being in September 2018 under the Breizhgo brand.

I am pleased to say that since then, bus and rail services in Brittany have been specified in a very similar way to that envisaged by us in Option 24/7. There are 7 Comités De Lignes each corresponding to a particular area of Brittany, bringing together passengers, regional and local authorities, SNCF (Societe Nationale des Chemins de fer Francais - French National Railways) and bus companies to specify their local bus and rail services.

My local Comité De Lignes covers the Saint Brieuc-Lannion, Saint Brieuc-Morlaix, Guingamp-Carhaix and Guingamp-Paimpol local rail services, and all the local bus services in the area shown in the map below:



Each Comité De Lignes has an annual "listening exercise", where the views and ideas of the public on a wide range of issues are sought, and we are currently in the middle of ours, which runs from 1 February-14 February 2021. Normally we would accompany this with public meetings in various towns and villages, but this year due to coronavirus it is being conducted online and by post.

This doesnt mean though that the public only have a 14-day window each year to send in their ideas and suggestions. Far from it - These are welcomed by the committee all year round, and all are considered for the next upcoming timetable change. These happen 3 times a year in July, September and December, with bus and rail services changing together on those same dates. This aims to balance both the flexibility and the stability of the timetables, whilst allowing for their integration. However, just as we envisaged with Option 24/7, there is a mechanism that allows urgent or particularly no-brainer changes to be made at short notice if required.

Finally, in normal times, several public meetings all year round in towns and villages are organised, along with sessions in rail and bus stations that are very similar to the way "Meet the Manager" works in the UK (United Kingdom). There is also a regular newsletter published by each Comité De Lignes, detailing the latest news, project updates, and including passenger numbers and performance figures for each rail and bus route in the area.

By contrast, both the UK rail industry and the Treasury/DfT are united in wanting to cut the passenger, or customer if you prefer, out of the rail consultation decision-influencing equation completely.

All I will say is this - We have faced a similar Covid situation to the UK over here in France, and while this will undoubtedly involve changes to TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse) services where travel patterns have been impacted the most, at our local/regional level in Brittany we are not looking at service cuts or withdrawals - Far from it, our rolling programme has reopenings - a process that has begun on the Pontivy route - and service expansion as key themes.

In Wiltshire now in 2021, we are seeing as part of the DfT Bus Back Better strategy the embryonic beginnings of a Comités De Lignes approach that will see Option 24/7 as a bridge between Local Transport Authorities,  Bus Operators, and the local community and its bus users, along with a growing view that, while it is unlikely that everyone will get everything they want, there will be a better bus network as a result going forward.

I really think it is time that serious questions were asked as to why rail passengers/customers are not to be entitled to the same treatment.
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« Reply #77 on: August 31, 2021, 01:34:56 pm »

What is the situation at a local/regional level in other parts of France?

I recall serious cutbacks being proposed only a couple of years ago.  Are any lines, services, stations still under threat?
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Lee
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« Reply #78 on: August 31, 2021, 01:50:07 pm »

What is the situation at a local/regional level in other parts of France?

I recall serious cutbacks being proposed only a couple of years ago.  Are any lines, services, stations still under threat?

The Spinetta report to which you refer had the Beeching-esque section put on ice after a huge public backlash. However, it is true to say that ever-present danger remains of "Temporary Suspensions" due to ongoing lack of maintenance that turn out to be permanent in many cases. We try and forestall that by ensuring that budgets are properly structured to ensure that backlogs dont occur - Our branch lines will normally have an engineering shutdown for a couple of weeks each year as well so bigger jobs are not neglected. We also have a rolling full line renovation programme, the latest to emerge from which was the Dol-Dinan line.

We do have one "Temporary Suspension" on our network, that of Morlaix-Roscoff. Unfortunately, legacy neglect of maintenance had already seen a hefty funding estimate for a full line renovation before storms/floods washed away part of the line, leading to the current situation. However, it is still shown on our rail publicity maps as part of the rail network, and every funding opportunity is sought and assessed with a view to bringing the line back into service as soon as is practical, this time with a more appropriate Comités De Lignes-designed timetable.
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« Reply #79 on: August 31, 2021, 03:57:34 pm »

Let’s hope for a similar public backlash should the axe loom too large over here then.
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« Reply #80 on: September 02, 2021, 01:00:07 pm »

SWR» (South Western Railway - about) train services from December are now in the system and can be seen on RTT» (Real Time Trains - website).

I have selected SWR trains passing through Westbury on Monday December 13th which shows services only running Salisbury to Yeovil via Westbury services, none to Bristol:
(Westbury - next trains)/2021-12-13/0000-2359?stp=WVS&show=all&order=wtt&toc=SW" target="_blank">https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/detailed/gb-nr:WSB/2021-12-13/0000-2359?stp=WVS&show=all&order=wtt&toc=SW
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« Reply #81 on: September 02, 2021, 01:19:14 pm »

SWR» (South Western Railway - about) train services from December are now in the system and can be seen on RTT» (Real Time Trains - website).


Bizarre !  That's not a train service................looks more like ECS (Empty Coaching Stock) movements picking up a few people en route. Makes Yeovil look a bit like Kabul - lots leaving but not much coming in.
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« Reply #82 on: September 02, 2021, 01:21:07 pm »

RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) won’t necessarily paint an accurate picture this far in advance.
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« Reply #83 on: September 02, 2021, 05:21:42 pm »

RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) won’t necessarily paint an accurate picture this far in advance.
Normally I would agree with you, but with SWR» (South Western Railway - about) not making major changes to their timetable until December 2022 I don’t expect what is on RTT, in the case of SWR services, it will change much between now and December.
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Mark A
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« Reply #84 on: September 02, 2021, 06:13:00 pm »

... but with SWR» (South Western Railway - about) not making major changes to their timetable until December 2022...

See title of thread. :-)
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« Reply #85 on: September 02, 2021, 07:11:39 pm »

... but with SWR» (South Western Railway - about) not making major changes to their timetable until December 2022...

See title of thread. :-)
Well yes Mark, Bristol to Waterloo services excepted  Smiley
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Mark A
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« Reply #86 on: September 03, 2021, 08:41:06 am »

If it's really the case that the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) required both SWR» (South Western Railway - about) and GWR (Great Western Railway) to cut services and for the Bristol to Salisbury line and they initially did just that but *without reference to each other's actions* then it's

a) embarrassing

b) going to be a bit of a rough year for people travelling by rail, not least if they're expecting a connection at Salisbury.

There might not be time to sort this before the larger timetable change in 2022 - which always offered an appropriate timescale in which to reorganise the through Waterloo-Bristol trains rather than a bit of short-term slash and burn in the rail equivalent of the bird nesting season*.

Mark

* Given the looked for recovery of leisure travel.
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grahame
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« Reply #87 on: September 03, 2021, 09:56:25 am »

If it's really the case that the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) required both SWR» (South Western Railway - about) and GWR (Great Western Railway) to cut services and for the Bristol to Salisbury line and they initially did just that but *without reference to each other's actions* then it's ...

Don't think it's *quite* as simple as that ... from what I'm gathering, independent initially but then co-ordinated is my best guess.   With GWR running the extra in the evening as far as Westbury, and also (in another case of TOC (Train Operating Company) cutting back) taking over the Cross Country Cardiff to Bristol service in the morning peak.

Will write more on SAL->WSB» (Westbury - next trains) this evening - out of the house in 10 minutes
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grahame
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« Reply #88 on: September 03, 2021, 02:18:04 pm »

Will write more on SAL->WSB» (Westbury - next trains) this evening - out of the house in 10 minutes

Few minutes now ...

Taking (initially) northbound departures from Warminster, the Decemeber 2019 (i.e. precovid) timetable, here are the passenger train calls. "X" are the SWR» (South Western Railway - about) Bristol services marked for the chop in December, and "Y" are the GWR (Great Western Railway) services that we are told won't run south of Warminster from December.  There has to be more to that latter than simply terminating at Warminster, as there's no siding to store the train in until it comes back about 2 hours later.

06:29   SAL   GLC (Glasgow Central)
X 07:02   SAL   BRI» (Bristol Temple Meads - next trains)
07:28   WMN» (Warminster - next trains)   GMV
07:38   PMH   CDF» (Cardiff - next trains)
09:00   PMH   CDF
09:22   SOU   GMV
09:44   WAT   YVP
10:01   PMH   CDF
10:12   WMN   WSB
11:01   PMH   CDF
X 11:12   WAT   BRI
11:32   BTN   GMV
12:01   PMH   CDF
13:01   PMH   CDF
Y 13:26   SOU   GMV
14:01   PMH   CDF
X 14:12   WAT   BRI
14:44   WAT   YVP
15:01   PMH   CDF
15:30   WMN   WOF
16:01   PMH   CDF
17:01   PMH   CDF
17:30   WMN   GMV
18:01   PMH   CDF
18:15   WMN   BPW» (Bristol Parkway - next trains)
X 18:21   WAT   BRI
19:01   PMH   CDF
19:31   BTN   BPW
20:01   PMH   CDF
20:18   WAT   CLC (Castle Cary)
21:01   PMH   CDF
X 21:17   WAT   BRI
22:01   PHM   CDF
Y 22:13   SOU   WSB
23:19   PMH   BRI

You'll note a very patchy service at present - 3 trains within 31 minutes in some hours, but then gaps of an hour or more at other times. The whole thing COULD provide a service about every 30 minutes, and save 3 trips per day, changed as follows:

0 Move 07:38 to 08:00
+1 Add 08:30
-1 Remove either 09:22 or 09:44
0 Move 10:12 to 10:30
-1 Remove 11:12
+1 Add 12:32
-1 Remove either 14:12 or 14:44
+1 Add 16:30
-1 Remove 18:15
0 Move 20:18 to 20:30
-1 Remove 21:17
-1 Remove 22:13

BUT ... where do they come from / go to? 07:32 and every 2 hours from Waterloo and feed into becoming the stopper to Bristol from Warminster, except the 11:32 and 19:32 which start from Brighton.  Alternate hours are Romsey "6" trains which are alternately extended to Swindon. All these :32 trains to call at Dilton Marsh.

If there isn't time to set this up for December 2021 (and there IS more timetabling work to be done), please leave the service alone this Christmas and do it December 2022.

Note that this also reduces the service a little north of Westbury by sharing the local train with the :32 off Warminster ... slows down the London to Bristol slightly by adding extra station calls.
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« Reply #89 on: September 03, 2021, 06:20:20 pm »

Given that we're now at the end date for the Bristol Temple Meads engineering works: tomorrow, SWR» (South Western Railway - about) intended to resume the remaining through services from Waterloo - but they've just announced that they're cancelled - along with a raft of impactful changes on the line to Exeter.

Especially as I have travel booked for both routes next week, I'm wondering how the staff shortages will manifest themselves from Monday through to Friday, especially as... GWR (Great Western Railway) are ramping up the number of  trains that they're running between the likes of Bristol and London, yes?
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