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Author Topic: Swindon to Kemble re-doubling - ongoing discussion and updates  (Read 243450 times)
paul7755
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« Reply #435 on: November 06, 2014, 10:05:01 am »


'Four Track, Now', ellendune, others:  Do you know of any timetable for doubling Didcot-to-Swindon to four tracks now that Swindon-to-Kemble is open, or at least adding a third track?  Surely Didcot-to-Swindon is the next bottleneck.  Maybe an extra track or pair of tracks should be added from Didcot all the way to Wootten Bassett, given the heavy traffic to Bristol and S Wales.
 

The wording in the route study mentioned in the previous post being:

Quote
In the long-term additional capacity would be required between
Didcot and Swindon to accommodate growth in passenger and
freight services. The Route Study has examined the provision of
12-mile ^dynamic^ loops in each direction, formed by extending the
existing short loops and will further assess the timeframe for when
this intervention would be required.
Wootton Bassett Junction, west of Swindon, where the lines to
Bristol Temple Meads and South Wales diverge, is due for renewal in
2036. This would be the best opportunity to consider remodelling
the junction to increase the current 75mph speed limit for services
to/from the South Wales direction which could contribute to
improvements in overall end to end journey times.

They have probably taken into account that the majority of 'mixed traffic' (XC, EWR, GW and most of the freight) from the 4 track section east of Didcot takes the Oxford route, so that would eventually become a higher priority for full four tracking:

Quote
Two possible interventions to accommodate any growth
in services [towards Oxford]  are grade separation north of
Oxford, or provision of four tracks between Didcot and Oxford,
together with changes to the platforming of services at Oxford
Station to avoid the need for grade separation at Oxford.
 

But as indicated 4 tracking is seen as an either or option with grade separation at Oxford North.  

However, what really has to be considered is if, (in comparison with other high speed two track sections of the national network), Didcot to Swindon is actually that busy?

Paul
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 10:12:22 am by paul7755 » Logged
ChrisB
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« Reply #436 on: November 06, 2014, 02:16:57 pm »

Definitely needed for non-125mph stock (eg EastWest to the West) and/or Wantage Road additional station
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stuving
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« Reply #437 on: November 06, 2014, 03:56:51 pm »

Definitely needed for non-125mph stock (eg EastWest to the West) and/or Wantage Road additional station

Well, Wantage Road is on the bit that's already 4-track - I take it that's the goods loops to be extended, despite the lines being labelled as Relief/Main. And with 12-mile dynamic loops, about half the distance would be 4-track. So it's getting towards being a difference without a distinction. Though of course if those freight paths are still a constraint, "4-track" would mean 4 tracks plus loops as well.

Looking at the back of this timetabler's envelope, the 2043 passenger service seems to be 10 tph, so 6 minutes apart. For 120 and 80 mi/hr, the times are 12 and 18 minutes - using up all that spacing. So the mix only works with a smaller speed differential (even with ERTMS) or some other timetabling constraint.

And of course the study doesn't mention any such new station.
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paul7755
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« Reply #438 on: November 06, 2014, 04:01:57 pm »

Any future westward extension to EWR could easily be running with 110 mph EMUs - they seem to get on ok with 125 mph Pendolinos nowadays, over greater distances...

It's not necessarily going to be the same problem as it would be using today's stock.

Paul
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bobm
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« Reply #439 on: November 12, 2014, 06:50:25 am »

Just for completeness, according to the Swindon Panel Society, the new level crossing at Minety has been brought into use.

Quote
After various false starts, the level crossing on the former Swindon Panel area at Minety has finally been brought back into use and the road re-opened.

For the benefit of history:

The equipment was brought into use at 0259 on Monday 3 November 2014, and it is now controlled from the Level Crossing Workstation at the Thames Valley Signalling Centre.

The first train over the crossing was 3S32 0353 Worcester to Swindon at approximately 0310 top and tailed by 37175 and 37219!

The Level Crossing Workstation at Didcot already controls the two crossings at Steventon and one at Appleford.


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« Reply #440 on: November 12, 2014, 02:42:02 pm »


bobm, have you heard of any planning for a possible local train service that would stop in places such as Minety or perhaps Chalford in future?  Or alternatively, have you heard anything indicating that the double-tracking will have no effect on adding stations and local stops?  I often think back to the days when the Auto-train used to run between Chalford and Gloucester, with maybe 10 halts in-between.  A different Britain!  How I cherish memories of those days!

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grahame
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« Reply #441 on: November 12, 2014, 05:27:26 pm »

I often think back to the days when the Auto-train used to run between Chalford and Gloucester, with maybe 10 halts in-between.

Purton; Minety and Ashton Keynes; Oaksey; Kemble; Coates; Chalford; St Mary's Crossing; Brimscombe; Bridge; Ham Mill; Borowbridge Crossing; Stroud; Downfield Crossing; Caches Green; Ebley; Stonehouse (Burdett Road); Haresfield; Gloucester ... there are certainly aspirations for an extra service every hour, but whether that would go so far as "planning" for one I'm not sure.   The only station I have heard talked of would be one to serve the north west of Swindon.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #442 on: November 12, 2014, 07:46:31 pm »

From the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:

Quote
Seasoned rail commuter airs grievance over Swindon to Kemble rail line


Stock picture of a First Great Westrern train

A LONGSTANDING train passenger is the latest commuter to air his frustration with First Great Western over the recently redoubled Swindon to Kemble rail line.

Princess Anne officially opened the line last month but more services will not be considered until 2017, even though the infrastructure exists after a ^17million investment. Trains currently run on average hourly between Kemble and London.

Jim Woodcock, who has commuted between Kemble to London for 18 years, told the Standard he has previously had to put up with "all manner of excuses and delays" from FGW and their predecessors, with connections at Swindon being cancelled or delayed due to the single line.

Mr Woodcock said: "Now this is no longer a barrier FGW must put on a more frequent service at peak (all day would be nice but one step at a time!) than seen at present."

In an email sent to FGW's managing director Mark Hopwood on Monday, Mr Woodcock wrote: "I have commuted from Kemble for 18 years, I cannot tell you how many times I have sat at Swindon station where a Paddington train has been delayed which has resulted in me missing the connection to Kemble - given the bottleneck of the single track has been removed you now have the infrastructure to offer a half-hourly service at peak."

He went on to say: "I am sure that rolling stock availability, or the lack of, will be raised as an issue."

Mr Woodcock had not received a response from Mr Hopwood when the Standard went to press but was told by FGW's customer relations team, in response to a previous email: "The December timetables have not yet been realised so I am unable to advise you further".

Last month Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown joined commuters in criticising the delay in upgrading services from the Swindon to Kemble rail line.

MP Mr Clifton-Brown said: ^It was expected by myself, my constituents and everyone that uses this line that in return for the huge investment into the infrastructure we would receive improved and increased services. If I travel from Swindon I wait 20 minutes maximum for a train.^

James Davis, a spokesman for First Great Western, said the reason services on the line are not being improved is because the government is currently unable to provide more trains.

Mr Davis said: "There is a national shortage of rolling stock. Just because the infrastructure has improved at this moment in time it does not mean there is more rolling stock to provide additional services - but it does allow immediate improvements in reliability to help passengers keep moving on trains as Network Rail continue to electrify the Great Western mainline."

Mr Davis added: "Clearly there have been some services that don't run according to the timetable and that is frustrating for passengers."
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
patch38
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« Reply #443 on: November 25, 2014, 04:09:58 pm »

More services demanded but no increase in parking - article from the Wilts & Glos Standard.

http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/11624219.Residents_frustration_over_Kemble_station_car_park_chaos/

Quote
Car parking chaos at Kemble railway station is causing misery for residents and commuters.

As there are not enough spaces in the car park, commuters using train services early in the morning have been forced to park their cars on grass verges and in narrow streets around the village, causing congestion.

Bob Williams, who lives near the station, said that cars were being parked all along the Station Road and Windmill Road sides of the car park.

They are also being parked near the junction of Station Road and Windmill Drive, making it a blind corner and very dangerous, Mr Williams said.


He added: ^I am sure that in the last year or so it has become much more of a problem. I am not sure why.

^You can see cars parked there all week.^

Mr Williams is concerned that if train services are increased as expected in the next few years, the car parking problem at the station will only get worse.

He said: ^With the railway redoubling that has happened that means that more trains could be going through and more commuters - the traffic will only increase.^

Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has campaigned for a solution and in 2011, First Great Western (FGW), which is responsible for the car park, agreed to spend ^145,000 creating 65 new spaces.


But those plans were scuppered when FGWfailed to get planning approval for the upgrades.

James Davis, a spokesman for FGW, said he understood that there was a need for a solution to car parking at the station and that the company was investigating how to do this.

He said: ^I think car parking is in demand and there is a demand to park. We are looking into car parking works and providing car parking spaces.^

But Mr Davis said he was unable to give any more details on the car parking plans at this time.

However, Nick Spindler, clerk to Kemble Parish Council, was able to give more clarity on the work FGW was doing to improve car parking.

He explained that Bathurst Estate is in ongoing discussions with letting land it owns in Station Road to FGW so the company can create more parking spaces.

He said: ^We are in discussions with both parties. Our position is we definitely support it and we are pursuing all options. We are addressing the issue.We want the car parking upgrades done.^

Jeremy Lilley, parliamentary assistant to Mr Clifton-Brown, said that for the past few years rail infrastructure operator Network Rail and FGW have been shifting responsibility for upgrading the car park between each other.

He claimed FGW had told Mr Clifton-Brown that it was unable to commit to investing in the car park as it was unsure if it would be given a new franchise period with the government after its current one ends in 2016.

Mr Lilley explained that Claire Perry, who works for the Department ForTransport and is responsible for railway issues, has said to him she would be working with FGW to address the parking problem at Kemble.
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paul7755
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« Reply #444 on: November 25, 2014, 04:19:57 pm »


Quoting the local media...

Quote
Jeremy Lilley, parliamentary assistant to Mr Clifton-Brown, said that for the past few years rail infrastructure operator Network Rail and FGW have been shifting responsibility for upgrading the car park between each other.
[...]
Mr Lilley explained that Claire Perry, who works for the Department ForTransport and is responsible for railway issues, has said to him she would be working with FGW to address the parking problem at Kemble.


Does he really not know she is an 'under Secretary of State' at the DfT?   

Or is it an intentional demotion?

Paul
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ChrisB
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« Reply #445 on: November 25, 2014, 04:34:14 pm »

He is the writer / reporter in this case, not Mr Lilley.

The reporter obviously forgot to ask mr Lilley what position Claire holds. Reporters in our regular experience, are not intelligent animals
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patch38
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« Reply #446 on: November 25, 2014, 04:37:40 pm »

The reporter probably spent a good many seconds exhaustively researching Ms Perry on Wikipedia...
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ChrisB
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« Reply #447 on: November 25, 2014, 05:06:39 pm »

Quite
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ellendune
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« Reply #448 on: November 25, 2014, 09:54:22 pm »


'Four Track, Now', ellendune, others:  Do you know of any timetable for doubling Didcot-to-Swindon to four tracks now that Swindon-to-Kemble is open, or at least adding a third track?  Surely Didcot-to-Swindon is the next bottleneck.  Maybe an extra track or pair of tracks should be added from Didcot all the way to Wootten Bassett, given the heavy traffic to Bristol and S Wales.
 
The latest draft route study talks only of extending the Challow to Wantage loop to allow more flexibility in overtaking trains. If it were all four tracked this would be very expensive an have a high impact in Steventon and Stratton St Margaret.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #449 on: May 05, 2015, 10:36:19 pm »

I often think back to the days when the Auto-train used to run between Chalford and Gloucester, with maybe 10 halts in-between.

Purton; Minety and Ashton Keynes; Oaksey; Kemble; Coates; Chalford; St Mary's Crossing; Brimscombe; Bridge; Ham Mill; Borowbridge Crossing; Stroud; Downfield Crossing; Caches Green; Ebley; Stonehouse (Burdett Road); Haresfield; Gloucester ... there are certainly aspirations for an extra service every hour, but whether that would go so far as "planning" for one I'm not sure.   The only station I have heard talked of would be one to serve the north west of Swindon.
Wow! I remember the platforms - or one of them at least - at Ebley halt, but it had long since ceased to have services. There was vague talk of reopening it in the late '80s.
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