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Author Topic: Central Timetable Briefing - initial feedback for members  (Read 2199 times)
eightonedee
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« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2023, 18:55:24 »

Quote
Reading has not been the county town since Berkshire was split into 6 unitary authorities. Their equivalent locations are now are Slough (lots of passing services), Maidenhead (ditto), Bracknell (I think all trains stop there), Wokingham (as Bracknell), Newbury (skipped by the fast B&H (Berks and Hants - railway line from Reading to Taunton via Westbury)▸ services) and Reading itself.

I think we are focussing on the wrong issue here. Surely the key factors in deciding how many trains will stop at a station are the size of the settlement, the number of passengers who use the service and its importance as an interchange between different rail services/routes.

Trowbridge, like Northallerton, Dorchester (the Dorset one) or Winchester is not the largest town in its county nor a key interchange on the rail system even though it is the county town. The key interchange points on the GW (Great Western) system are (I am pretty certain) from east to west - Reading, Oxford, Swindon, Cheltenham, Worcester, Gloucester, the two main Bristol stations, Exeter St Davids and Plymouth. Westbury, Didcot (at least until there's OHL (Over-Head Line) to Oxford), Bath & Salisbury also probably rank above Trowbridge or any seat of local government in any unitary authority taking all these factors into account.
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nickswift99
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« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2023, 21:45:41 »

I think we’re agreeing. County towns are no longer the centre of the local universe. Since the advent of the motor car and demise of many rural rail lines, regional hubs - like those you’ve listed above - are the most important.
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grahame
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« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2023, 11:31:12 »

Rather interesting future suggestion in the February / Network Rail document - I included it in my slide set at WWRUG» (West Wiltshire Rail Users Group - about) at the start of this month ( http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/mirror/wwrug_20230301.pdf ) showing 5 trains an hour Bristol to Westbury, 3 of which are all stations and 2 of which only call at Bath Spa.  So the Trowbridge "quantum" is up from the 2 (at present, until May) to 3, but with six intermediate stops on all service into Bristol. And there are 2 trains running through none-stop.

There is a case for some very long distance stuff to skip significant places. I could fancy a Lumo-priced service from Plymouth to Scotland, none-stop from (say) Bristol, Gloucester or Cheltenham Spa to perhaps Preston or Doncaster, or Carlisle or Newcastle, or even into Scotland - first stop Motherwell, Coatbridge or Falkirk for connections into Glasgow and Edinburgh then Perth, Dundee and Aberdeen.  Two active train sets, making a daytime and an overnight run.  Potential timetabling nightmare with the other services on many of the lines all being regional cross country ones, and pressure from communities skipped to add stops at underserved stations such as Northallerton and Chathill.

Much of this post is so futuristic it will be seen as a "ha,ha, lets have a laugh" idea, and people may check whether it's already 1st April.  I would be surprised to see Network Rail's 3 trains an hour each way at Avoncliff happening, and apart from London services I see no-one suggesting long distance services with a primary business case of moving people between major regions of the UK (United Kingdom) (in competition with airlines).
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grahame
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« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2023, 20:09:11 »

And the future with my local view: http://grahamellis.uk/blog799.html
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ChrisB
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« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2023, 20:31:51 »

You ought to explain why other local stations have faired better? Isn't it because their increase is mainly down to WEVA's Metrowest scheme (and therefore WECA» (West of England Combined Authority - about) money being spent, rather than a GWR (Great Western Railway) initiative?
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grahame
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« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2023, 20:48:07 »

You ought to explain why other local stations have faired better? Isn't it because their increase is mainly down to WEVA's Metrowest scheme (and therefore WECA» (West of England Combined Authority - about) money being spent, rather than a GWR (Great Western Railway) initiative?

There have been three reasons given.  The first is indeed that it's a WECA initiative. The second we are told is that there are no more paths available over the single track (and that there's now no possibility of an upgrade until 2029, and funding for Melksham improvements needs to come from Melksham).   The third, given by GWR during the briefing, is that some peripheral services have been pulled to make things more operationally efficient and make the core services more reliable.   

It's some of each of those but, as ever, more complex and there are shades of grey in what's been said.  I would rather have a service every 2 hours that runs 95% of the time than a service that's timetabled every hour, but only runs 75% of the time.
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