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Author Topic: People want a reliable train service ...  (Read 598 times)
grahame
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« on: December 05, 2023, 11:22:47 »

People want trains they can travel on, at know times so they can plan well ahead.  Occasional transgressions are understood, but this sort of this day after day tries the patience, and puts people off travelling or leads them to look for alternatives.

Quote
4 Line Updates

Quote
Cancellations to services on all routes
Due to industrial action:
Train services running across the whole Great Western Railway network may be cancelled. Disruption is expected until the end of the day on 09/12/23.

Quote
Cancellations to services between Bristol Parkway and Swindon
Due to heavy rain flooding the railway between Bristol Parkway and Swindon all lines are closed.
Train services running through these stations may be cancelled, delayed or diverted. Disruption is expected until 12:00 05/12.
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Cancellations to services between Westbury and Weymouth
Due to a shortage of train crew between Westbury and Weymouth all lines are closed.
Train services running to and from these stations will be cancelled. Disruption is expected until 11:30 05/12.

Quote
Cancellations to services between Taunton and Westbury
Due to heavy rain flooding the railway between Taunton and Westbury all lines are blocked.
Train services running through these stations will be cancelled, delayed or diverted. Disruption is expected until 12:00 05/12.

Sadly, I'm at my wit's end knowing how to cast a positive light on this. Drilling down into the detail you find

Quote
39 Train Cancellations
45 Other Train Service Updates
19 Train Formation Updates
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2023, 12:02:37 »

Westbury to Weymouth now for the rest of the day:

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Cancellations to services between Westbury and Weymouth

Due to a shortage of train crew between Westbury and Weymouth all lines are closed.
Train services running to and from these stations will be cancelled. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.

Customer Advice
Due to a ASLEF» (Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen - about) strike action 1-9 December 2023, the line between Westbury to Weymouth is affected by numerous cancellations. Road transport will not be provided during strike action. Our sincere apologies, for the inconvenience this may cause you.
Southern Railway are conveying passengers via any reasonable route until further notice.
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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2023, 12:10:40 »

Reliability has been truly shocking over the last month.

One little anecdote: on Saturday we were in Oxford with Junior (age 7), looking round the Christmas Market then getting a bite to eat. We checked our phones and our train home was simply showing "Delayed". A quick check on RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) showed it hadn't left Paddington yet.

Given the reliability of GWR (Great Western Railway) in general and the Cotswold Line in particular, we weren't going to risk making bedtime an hour late. With the train still at Paddington 15 minutes after its departure time, we cut our losses and sprinted across the road to catch the S3 bus.

As it happened, the train eventually left Paddington a few minutes after that, which meant we got home about the same time - the S3 is really not a fast route. But it's depressing that we now routinely expect the trains to be cancelled.
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froome
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2023, 13:46:28 »

Another little anecdote. I was making the short journey from Trowbridge to Bath yesterday afternoon. We were on the edge of the heavy rain area and this line didn't flood, but at Trowbridge I found my train to Oldfield Park was cancelled and the next to Bath Spa wasn't due for 40 minutes, and the following one to Oldfield Park was also cancelled. I came back for the Bath Spa train to find various people had been waiting for an hour there, with very few seats and only minimal shelter, and that the later cancelled train was now showing as 'on time'. However, in the next few minutes both it and the Bath Spa train showed some minutes delay, and the Oldfield Park train then went to just being delayed. There was a lot of frustration there and confusion with the different messages coming up on the screen. Eventually the Bath Spa train arrived a few minutes late and I got that. Probably just as well, as of course at Bath there was a huge number of people waiting to get on, due to the market there, and it was only two carriages.

Just another little anecdote - I can't actually remember the last time I made a journey which didn't involve some disruption. As has been already said, we have just got used to having to wait longer than we should, or having make alternative plans in case of cancellations.
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2023, 18:56:03 »

Also from this morning ... ITV

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Urgent repairs are underway after a cracked rail was discovered at Brockenhurst level crossing overnight, forcing the line to close.

Passengers were unable to travel between Bournemouth and Southampton this morning. Network Rai Wessex said crews were "working round the clock to replace 63ft of rail to keep the crossing open."

South Western Rail said all lines are blocked and warned journeys would take longer, posting on X, "At this time, we estimate that disruption to our services will end at 12:00"

and

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There’s been a landslip at Crewkerne Tunnel with debris falling close to the track.

Services between Salisbury and Exeter St Davids have also been cancelled due to a landslip.

The Crewkerne Tunnel (between Crewkerne and Yeovil Junction stations) will be shut on Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 December, with passengers asked not to attempt to travel.


Oh for a reliable industry fit for the future ...
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2023, 19:15:04 »

The industrial action that has and still is plaguing the railways is not helping attracting passengers back to the railways; the industry knows people want to use trains.

On-top of the industrial action Network Rail has recently (in the last 8 weeks) implemented a "new way of working" for maintenance delivery.   The new way of working may effect the response to some faults and defects this new way of working is taking time to bed in and inevitably the first set of new rosters may need to be changed, new rosters cannot be implemented before the current 13 week cycle has completed.  Also the "modernising maintenance" that was the driver for the new way of working has required a number of voluntary redundancies this has resulted in quite a number of the long service hence experienced people going, and retiring in the process.

The railways have also had a cut in real terms the money it gets from the Government.

The above are not excuses, just some of the reasons   
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grahame
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2023, 07:49:32 »

Quote from: Electric train link=opic=28217.msg341244#msg341244 date=1701803704
The above are not excuses, just some of the reasons   

Agreed.    And I am reminded of the four steps I can up with for myself in 2005 for "Save the Train".
1. Make (influential) people realise there is an issue to be resolved
2. Get it worked out what a proper solution is
3. Get the solution implemented
4. Work like heck to get the system that has been implemented to make it work

These things / stages overlap but much of it feels like we are at early stages again with the rail network as a whole. Locally we are at stage 4, with ten years of working-like-heck but with some eyes off the target of late, and some diversion off the "make it work" to other objectives - but that is not for this thread.

We are - as a community - starting to get wider recognition that there is an issue. Painfully so by having an unreliable public transport system, mind you.
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