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Author Topic: Unreliable  (Read 963 times)
grahame
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« on: September 01, 2022, 06:58:50 am »

I was going to post an "opinion piece" but I will just post the record

Yesterday (31st August 2022) at Melksham

11 trains ran more or less to plan
5 were cancelled and did not run
1 was cancelled but re-instated later and ran
So that's 65% ran as advertised (or 71% with the reisnstated one) against a target of 98%

Reasons given:
"Problem under investigation", "Fault on the train", "Safety inspection of the track"

To Swindon
Scheduled and ran: 05:33, 07:53 (*) (at 07:59), 10:02, 12:33 (at 12:40), 18:50, 20:22 (at 20:24)
Cancelled and re-instated: 07:21 (*)
Cancelled and no alternative offered: 14:32 and 16:41

To Westbury
Scheduled and ran: 06:36, 09:10 (at 09:21), 11:31, 13:40, 19:17 (at 19:20)
Cancelled and no alternative offered: 15:39, 18:03 (*) and 21:10

A gap of 6 hours and 10 minutes in the northbound service
A gap of 5 hours and 40 minutes in the southbound service

Services marked (*) are designated as priority services to be run above all others.

No strikes.
No weather issues.
No disruption overspill from other lines.

Was the service Great Western Railway provided fit for purpose?

If you consider this service to be below standard, are there extenuating circumstances

How can people be encouraged to use GWR (Great Western Railway) when its this unreliable?
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2022, 03:06:42 pm »

To labour a well-know quotation, to cancel one train could be seen as misfortune; to cancel two smacks of carelessness...

And carelessness it is. It is clear that GWR (Great Western Railway) couldn’t care less about maintaining their ADVERTISED service on this line.

As I see it, their task is to run the service they advertise unless exceptional circumstances arise. Put simply, if they can’t or won’t run their advertised services them they shouldn’t be advertising it in the first place. I do not see this as a big ask.

The “exceptional circumstances” claimed are too vague to draw conclusions. What, for example, does “fault on the train” mean? Has a wheel fallen off or the engine blown up? Or is it a sticky flush handle in the toilet? Some “faults on the train” may require it being immediately taken out of service; others may not

“Safety inspection of the track.” I believe I am right in saying that I have seen operatives working alongside a live running line recently, so how bad does the potential fault need to be to cancel a train? And in my – ok – armchair and perhaps naive view, if it was a serious fault them there would have been a need for an occupation and a number of trains would have been cancelled. If it wasn’t a serious fault, can trains no longer proceed at caution and at walking pace if necessary?

The less said about “problem under investigation” the better. It is absolutely pointless to put that out as an excuse – it conveys no meaningful information whatsoever, and reminds me in a way of those people who say “xxx is there for a reason” you know” without actually specifying what that reason is. Perhaps it’s because the reason ain’t a very good one...

So, in answer to your 3 quations:


1 No
2 No
3 I haven’t got a clue. I’m increasingly surprised that anybody is still using Melksham station at all with GWR’s couldn’t-care-less attitude to the commitments that it itself has made




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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2022, 03:16:13 pm »

What, for example, does “fault on the train” mean? Has a wheel fallen off or the engine blown up? Or is it a sticky flush handle in the toilet? Some “faults on the train” may require it being immediately taken out of service; others may not

There are in-depth fault matrices which cover all sorts of faults on all the types of train and whether they broadly come under ‘out of service immediately’,  ‘out of service at the first suitable location’ or ‘continue in service with repair at the end of the diagram’.  Sometimes whether a train is DOO (Driver-Only Operation (that is, trains which operate without carrying a guard)) or not can affect the category.  I’m not sure the average passenger needs or wants to know what the fault is, only the severity of it.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2022, 01:47:19 pm »

What, for example, does “fault on the train” mean? Has a wheel fallen off or the engine blown up? Or is it a sticky flush handle in the toilet? Some “faults on the train” may require it being immediately taken out of service; others may not

There are in-depth fault matrices which cover all sorts of faults on all the types of train and whether they broadly come under ‘out of service immediately’,  ‘out of service at the first suitable location’ or ‘continue in service with repair at the end of the diagram’.  Sometimes whether a train is DOO (Driver-Only Operation (that is, trains which operate without carrying a guard)) or not can affect the category.  I’m not sure the average passenger needs or wants to know what the fault is, only the severity of it.

Thanks for the clarification, and apologies for the delay in replying but somehow I missed your post when it was on my “unread posts” list

I appreciate that perhaps few passengers want to know the details of reasons for grain failures, and I also appreciate that it is not practically possible to give chapter and verse on an information display screens.

But I do not apologise for the tone of my last post. The service, or lack of it, on the direct Westbury to Swindon service is absolutely appalling and should not be tolerated. What Graham describes is not a fluke; not a one-off; it is happening time and time again on this line and nothing whatsoever appears to be being done about it.

Somebody needs to call GWR (Great Western Railway) out about it but nobody seems to be doing that, or even if they are their comments are falling on deaf ears
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