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Author Topic: MetroWest services begin  (Read 903 times)
Red Squirrel
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« on: December 12, 2021, 12:04:22 pm »

Quote
First GWR (Great Western Railway) train services to run as part of MetroWest December timetable changes

The first in a series of improvements for the West of England will see rail services on the Severn Beach line increase to half-hourly as GWR begins to realise MetroWest ambitions in its December timetable change.

From Monday 13 December GWR will double services on the Severn Beach Line, from hourly to half-hourly, throughout the course of the day. These mark the first step in providing thousands of additional seats, alongside plans for new stations through the MetroWest initiative backed by the West of England Combined Authority.

West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris, who plans to travel on one of the first trains, said:

“I’m delighted to be travelling on one of the first new services from Temple Meads to Severn Beach.

“This is the first important piece in the MetroWest jigsaw. The MetroWest initiative will reopen two lines and up to seven new stations by 2024. It’s going to give 80,000 more people access to train services.

“Having a good public transport network is crucial in helping our region thrive. Helping more people to get about more easily is another good sign that our region is on the up. People want and deserve a great railway in the West. All aboard!”

The next stages of the initiative are planned to include additional services between Bristol and Gloucester, and between Bristol and Westbury via Bath, in future timetable changes subject to approval from the West of England Combined Authority and the Department for Transport.

GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said:

“Good rail services are key to economic recovery and to decarbonisation.

“We believe that this new timetable, introducing the very first of our planned MetroWest enhancements, will provide our communities with the help and support they need as together we rebuild and renew for the future.”

The new services will deliver over 4,000 more seats for passengers every weekday. Additional services through Bristol form part of the wider Bristol Rail Regeneration programme, delivering new railway tracks and signalling to transform the railway serving the Bristol area.

Network Rail Project Director Jonathan Davies said:

“It is great to see just one of the many positive impacts of our £132m track upgrade work at Bristol East Junction in the summer, with the introduction of half-hourly services on the Severn Beach Line this December.

“The major upgrade of Bristol East Junction earlier this year was a key enabler for supporting the introduction of new suburban services in the future as part of the West of England Combined Authority’s (WECA» (West of England Combined Authority - about)) MetroWest scheme and providing over 4,000 additional seats on trains every day in the area.

“The doubling of services on the Severn Beach Line marks one of the first realisations of making Bristol Temple Meads a key transport hub in the West of England that will serve millions of passengers each year and support business right across the region.”

This December will also see the region’s train operator restore some train services reduced during the pandemic. Services between Cardiff and Paddington will be restored to half-hourly throughout the day; and Cheltenham to London Paddington restored to hourly direct services.

Better connecting Bristol and Cardiff, the timetable change will introduce all-electric Class 387 services between London Paddington and Cardiff for the first time, providing a low carbon, sustainable way to supplement capacity on the popular route. These will start with a limited service on Saturdays and Sundays, plus an early-morning service on weekdays, but will also mean GWR can in the future provide additional, up to 12 carriage, capacity for events at the Principality Stadium.

More services will also be extended from Cardiff through to Penzance, better connecting the South West with South Wales.

In line with the latest Government advice, GWR is encouraging customers to travel safely. People are reminded to:

Wear a face covering
Wash your hands more regularly
Buy tickets online, on a smart card or by using the GWR app

From January GWR branch lines in London and the Thames Valley will also have their frequency restored to pre-Covid levels: trains between Slough and Windsor will return to three trains an hour; the Greenford branch line will return to a half-hourly service, as will trains between Twyford and Henley. Local services between Didcot and Paddington are also to be restored to a full half-hourly service off peak.

Source: GWR
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Mark A
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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2021, 07:06:10 pm »

This article... I mean I'm sure passengers all know this development, yes?

https://blog.brfares.com/2021/04/29/bristol-payg-fares-reform/
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TonyK
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2021, 08:21:23 pm »

22 trains each way every weekday - that is quite a leap forward for Severn Beach! I like the near clockface timing, although it does seem to involve rather a long wait at Severn Beach between arrival and departure. Interesting to see Partway Porkway in the timetable, just in case it ever gets finished.
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2021, 08:28:05 pm »

It’s only a few short years since Turbos were introduced on the line and there were serious performance concerns initially.  Staff familiarity of the Turbos seems to have sorted itself out after those early issues.
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2021, 07:37:18 am »

Pete Simpson BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) radio Bristol reporter is travelling on the 07:12am on Monday Morning and providing up dates en route.

Expecting to interview Dan Norris some where along the route.

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johnneyw
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2022, 05:03:56 pm »

I don't know if this is related in any way to Metrowest but I noticed these works in progress at Redland Station today.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2022, 05:45:41 pm »

There has been similar activity at Montpelier. We’re told that it’s for ticket vending machines.
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2022, 04:59:22 pm »

Quick update on the work at Redland Station as shown on a post last week.  The groundwork seems to be done.  It just remains to install the above ground equipment which RS has helpfully (see above) identified as being for a ticket machine. Whether both the concrete bases will support ticket machines  seems doubtful to me given the size of the station but watch this space!

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TonyK
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2022, 08:37:37 pm »

Quick update on the work at Redland Station as shown on a post last week.  The groundwork seems to be done.  It just remains to install the above ground equipment which RS has helpfully (see above) identified as being for a ticket machine. Whether both the concrete bases will support ticket machines  seems doubtful to me given the size of the station but watch this space!



It would make sense to have two, there are a lot of people using the station. Then it is handy to have a spare. I hope the TVMs (Ticket Vending Machine) are made from concrete too, given what happened to the one at Clifton Down.
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2022, 10:57:27 pm »

I don't know what happened to the one at Clifton Down before my time, but most times I've tried to use it recently it doesn't work. Either it has nothing on which to print tickets, or it can't get a network connection.

Perhaps when there are a few more machines to service along the line, it will be more worthwhile sending out someone with a roll of blank tickets and some networking knowhow from time to time?
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« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2022, 03:47:30 pm »

I don't know what happened to the one at Clifton Down before my time, but most times I've tried to use it recently it doesn't work. Either it has nothing on which to print tickets, or it can't get a network connection.

Perhaps when there are a few more machines to service along the line, it will be more worthwhile sending out someone with a roll of blank tickets and some networking knowhow from time to time?

I understand it was vandalised early on. I can imagine someone looking at the cost of repair against the likely income, and deciding against fixing it. Anyone heading for Temple Meads at peak times is likely to have to queue up to pay anyway. Better than having someone with a roll of tickets would be to move into the digital age. If contactless cards could be used in such a way that that they are quickly and easily checkable on the train, the train crew will have more time to extract the £2.00 from anyone who still uses cash. And if more people end up paying the fare, more might opt for period tickets. I believe skilled technicians are working on some sort of scheme to encompass all public travel, so maybe around 2032 it will happen.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2022, 07:44:45 pm by TonyK » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2022, 06:06:04 pm »

If my recollection is correct, this would be the 2nd attempt at installing a ticket machine at Redland.  Does any else remember the adapted street parking ticket machine that was trialled?  I think it only dispensed tickets for the Severn Beach Line as it could only cope with limited ticket options and was withdrawn due to reliability issues.
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