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Author Topic: Will "we" have capacity to handle traffic to Weymouth next summer?  (Read 1540 times)
grahame
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« on: September 11, 2021, 07:45:23 am »

From the Dorset Echo

Headline is
Quote
'Weymouth and Dorchester will NOT get two trains an hour to and from London Waterloo'

but posting on "Heart of Wessex" board to quote

Quote
Please, for the sake of the future of our local rail services, may I urge all who really want and expect better to get improved services by contacting their local councillors and South Western Railway (SWR» (South Western Railway - about)) direct. It really does matter that decision-makers are reminded of the need.

On a more recent note, on the blazingly-hot Tuesday of this week I chose to catch the Great Western Railway (GWR (Great Western Railway)) 10.47 service from Dorchester to Weymouth; what a disgraceful situation others were confronted with as just two carriages trundled into the station, absolutely bursting at the seams with some 350 passengers squeezed into cattle-like conditions!

So full was the train that some passengers wishing to alight at Upwey were unable to reach the doors in time, so ended up at Weymouth.

Finally, arriving at Weymouth it was quite obvious that many passengers would be desperate to use a toilet but, as train travellers are well aware, Weymouth station toilets have not been available for well over 18 months. What an unhappy experience for those who had travelled further than me in such appalling conditions.

This particular train was due to depart almost as soon as it arrived, with well over 100 passengers climbing aboard; I wonder whether there had been time for checking the toilets and having a clean-up, normally very efficiently carried out by Weymouth station-based staff.

Summer 2021 - now drawn to a close - has been like no other, with passenger flows utterly different in profile to those from summer 2019 and previous.  The grand total journey count is down, but on some services it is very much up - at the same time that trains are running shorter routes, are cancelled, or are running with less carriages than they really need or even were supposed to be.    Leading to stories like the one above.

What prospects by summer 2022??

Will enough trains be scheduled?
Will they be long enough?
Will there be enough crews to run them?
Will people still want (safety/Covid, service reliability, train capacity, desire) to travel by train?
Will fares remain cheap enough and people's disposable income for them to want to use the train?
Will there be enough to do in [Weymouth / Looe / Newquay / St Ives / Severn Beach / Falmouth] for them?
What state will CRP (Community Rail Partnership) activities on the line [Heart of Wessex / v / South Wessex] be in?
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2021, 09:00:05 am »

From the Dorset Echo

Headline is
Quote
'Weymouth and Dorchester will NOT get two trains an hour to and from London Waterloo'

but posting on "Heart of Wessex" board to quote

Quote
Please, for the sake of the future of our local rail services, may I urge all who really want and expect better to get improved services by contacting their local councillors and South Western Railway (SWR» (South Western Railway - about)) direct. It really does matter that decision-makers are reminded of the need.

On a more recent note, on the blazingly-hot Tuesday of this week I chose to catch the Great Western Railway (GWR (Great Western Railway)) 10.47 service from Dorchester to Weymouth; what a disgraceful situation others were confronted with as just two carriages trundled into the station, absolutely bursting at the seams with some 350 passengers squeezed into cattle-like conditions!

So full was the train that some passengers wishing to alight at Upwey were unable to reach the doors in time, so ended up at Weymouth.

Finally, arriving at Weymouth it was quite obvious that many passengers would be desperate to use a toilet but, as train travellers are well aware, Weymouth station toilets have not been available for well over 18 months. What an unhappy experience for those who had travelled further than me in such appalling conditions.

This particular train was due to depart almost as soon as it arrived, with well over 100 passengers climbing aboard; I wonder whether there had been time for checking the toilets and having a clean-up, normally very efficiently carried out by Weymouth station-based staff.

Summer 2021 - now drawn to a close - has been like no other, with passenger flows utterly different in profile to those from summer 2019 and previous.  The grand total journey count is down, but on some services it is very much up - at the same time that trains are running shorter routes, are cancelled, or are running with less carriages than they really need or even were supposed to be.    Leading to stories like the one above.

What prospects by summer 2022??

Will enough trains be scheduled?
Will they be long enough?
Will there be enough crews to run them?
Will people still want (safety/Covid, service reliability, train capacity, desire) to travel by train?
Will fares remain cheap enough and people's disposable income for them to want to use the train?
Will there be enough to do in [Weymouth / Looe / Newquay / St Ives / Severn Beach / Falmouth] for them?
What state will CRP (Community Rail Partnership) activities on the line [Heart of Wessex / v / South Wessex] be in?

Disgraceful state of affairs

Why not put all that to M Hopwood and ask him what he proposes to do about it?

There has to be a responsibility on GWR to prevent such extreme overcrowding and allowing their trains to become viral petri dishes.

Toilets not being available for 18 months is shocking - for example TfL» (Transport for London - about) have transformed Taplow station in recent months - as well as the much improved regularity and Sunday services we now have a new ticket hall and gates -  this involved closing the toilets but temporary facilities have been made available throughout, and kept hygienic.

Many more people will be holidaying abroad next year assuming the COVID situation improves, however given experiences such as those described above, even those heading for Weymouth etc will most likely jump in the car.
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broadgage
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2021, 09:36:02 am »

Did 350 people really manage to board a 2 car train ?

Even if it was not quite that many, still an appalling service. Short formations seem to be the new normal, not thinking of IETs (Intercity Express Train) here but of other stock as used on branch line and secondary services.

I thought that the transfer of the Turbos from Thames valley services to the West country, and the introduction of the Castles was going to result in "plenty of stock" Yet the actual position seems to have got worse. So what went wrong ? 50 short forms a day seems to be the new norm on weekdays, less at weekends as many services are cancelled instead.

Is it in fact due to the failed IET project ? with Castles, Turbos and others being used in place of IETs, or has something else gone badly wrong.

Whatever the cause, something needs to be done well before next Summer, NOT a study or review part way through Summer that concludes that further studies are called for, thereby pushing the problem into 2023.

IMHO (in my humble opinion), a derogation to permit of heritage stock being used on secondary routes would help.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
eightonedee
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2021, 01:44:27 pm »

Quote
I thought that the transfer of the Turbos from Thames valley services to the West country, and the introduction of the Castles was going to result in "plenty of stock" Yet the actual position seems to have got worse. So what went wrong ? 50 short forms a day seems to be the new norm on weekdays, less at weekends as many services are cancelled instead.

Is it in fact due to the failed IET (Intercity Express Train) project ? with Castles, Turbos and others being used in place of IETs, or has something else gone badly wrong.

From what I see at "our" end, the full cascade of Turbos has not happened. There seem still to be a lot at Reading, so I guess either they have turned unreliable and have to be sent back there for repair, or they are still with us for another reason.

Here's my guess (but I look forward to seeing our industry insider members' responses).

Firstly the real procurement disaster is the 769 fleet. I have still not seen more than 3 at Reading and just one "in the wild" on what I expect was another test run. This means that the North Downs and Reading - Basingstoke services, the former now almost back at full frequency must still be keeping the same number of units as the 769 order (19 if I recall correctly) here in the Thames Valley.

Secondly, the Pacers have gone, in a fit of anti-Pacer fervour that over-rode the need to ensure adequate cover. Add to this the delivery of almost no new diesels (other than those replacing Pacers in the north) and the halt that seems to have been put to electrification, meaning no diesels available to be released to cover in the meantime. All DfT» (Department for Transport - about) can do is twitter on about battery and hydrogen.

Then there is the curtailing of the electrification projects, which presumambly means that although we currently have a colourful collection of loaned Electrostars in our part of the world, there are vast parts of the system the IETs  cover where they cannot run. But I have not seen much by way of comment about lack of space on Inter City services, so is it perhaps the first two factors?
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2021, 02:09:25 pm »

Firstly the real procurement disaster is the 769 fleet. I have still not seen more than 3 at Reading and just one "in the wild" on what I expect was another test run. This means that the North Downs and Reading - Basingstoke services, the former now almost back at full frequency must still be keeping the same number of units as the 769 order (19 if I recall correctly) here in the Thames Valley.

That's probably the "big one". 19 units on order, zero in revenue earning traffic.  Equates to 19 x 165/166 units that have not been released - say 15 or 16 diagrams.   Add another diagram at the moment for the Bedwyn shuttle that should be an IET (Intercity Express Train).

Twenty more trains based at St Philips Marsh would be a big help .... even if we found some of those lovely (if a bit short) class 158 trains heading out further west ...
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broadgage
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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2021, 04:45:40 pm »

Thanks for the above replies, whilst I was aware that the 769s had yet to enter service, I did not know that the resultant shortfall was 19 units. I thought that it was a smaller scale trial than that.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
hoover50
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2021, 01:19:52 pm »

On Saturday (11th Sep) I travelled by train from Pewsey to Bristol Temple Meads via Westbury.

As my train from Pewsey was delayed by 30 minutes, I missed by intended connection (12:12) at Westbury but there was a train from Weymouth to Bristol (which then went onto Gloucester) at 12:40

However, when this turned up (a few minutes late) it was only 2 carriages and was full and standing. In this day and age, I no longer feel comfortable travelling on crowded trains so I refused to board it. The next train to Bristol was the one from Salisbury at 13:12 This turned up with 5 carriages and had plenty of seating, so I was happy to board that.

It is completely unacceptable to run 2 carriage trains for such a busy route on summer Saturdays. GWR (Great Western Railway) should bring back the "Weymouth Wizard" HSTs (High Speed Train) or else trains that have an adequate number of carriages for the expected passenger flows.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2021, 01:27:46 pm by hoover50 » Logged
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