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Author Topic: News from Bedwyn and on trains making calls between Newbury and Westbury  (Read 1569 times)
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« on: August 04, 2023, 01:25:39 pm »

News from Steve Smith (newsletter from Bedwyn Trains Passenger Group)

Meeting with Network Rail
On Wednesday July 26th Bill Wells and I attended a meeting with Network Rail on the ‘Wiltshire Strategic Study’.  This is to “consider the various stakeholder aspirations in the Wiltshire area and possible timetable and infrastructure interventions required to inform an incremental, integrated development programme.”
As you can imagine, we reiterated our case of restoring our direct Paddington services. Interesting for us is that Network Rail wish to see an hourly Paddington to Westbury service with a stopping pattern of Reading, Newbury, Kintbury, Hungerford, Bedwyn, Pewsey then possibly Devizes Gateway before turning around at Westbury.
This would solve all our problems (and give us the westbound service we have always campaigned for). However, it’d be a minimum of six years away, would require IETs (Intercity Express Train) or further electrification, a new platform at Westbury and double heading (i.e. two locos) the stone trains so they move faster. Therefore, we are still campaigning for the restoration of our pre-Covid service.
Hungerford and Kintbury
It’s been mentioned to us a couple of times that there is a feeling that the non-stop 1321 from Newbury to Bedwyn (not calling at Kintbury or Hungerford) is a concession to us in the passenger group. This is not so. When the timetable changed in May 2022 there were two trains that were non-stop Newbury to Bedwyn. We protested on behalf of Kintbury and Hungerford and GWR (Great Western Railway) managed to sort one of them out and add a Hungerford stop on the 1316 Newbury to Exeter departure.
The 1321 from Newbury remains as not calling at Kintbury and Hungerford. It has to provide a connection from the above Exeter departure and then 'belt its way down to Bedwyn' to not get in the way of a freight train. GWR are very aware that this is still a problem, but it can only really be solved by the reintroduction of a direct train from Paddington, which would run ahead of the Exeter service.
The passenger group is for Kintbury, Hungerford and Bedwyn. The only things we don’t campaign for, regarding Kintbury and Hungerford, are on-station facilities – though we are always happy to pass comments on to GWR.

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