I have to admit that my original post was rather tongue in cheek , as indeed were the following ones from the Save The Train Forum , which I posted in November 2006. With apologies to TerminalJunkie and everyone at North Devon Rail Users Group who I know genuinely and successfully
campaigned hard against the proposed December 2006 timetable cuts , I reproduce them below. Any similiarity between certain sections and certain AG quotes is purely coincidental.....
Of course , the worst thing about the near - death of the Pilning train service is the precedent that it could set.
Here is a list of the First Great Western stations that , along with Pilning , rank in the bottom 100 of the latest publicly - available usage stats for the entire country.
St Budeaux Ferry Road
St Columb Road
Newton St Cyres
Dorchester West (disputed , as many passengers ask for "Dorchester")
Just to cap it off , the thing that strikes me most is that the majority of these stations are in Devon & Cornwall. Save The Train has featured the Looe Valley & Newquay lines , but there are 4 stations on the list above that form part of a line that we havent mentioned so much - Exeter - Barnstaple or the "Tarka Line" (link below.)http://ndrailusers.wikispaces.com/
One station from the above list deserves special attention (link below.)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton_St_Cyres_railway_station
Newton St Cyres was proposed for closure as part of Beeching's plan for faster links between Exeter - Barnstaple. Jacobs Consultancy also recommended this in the Greater Western Franchise Replacement Outline Business Case Report (pages 212 & 213 of the link below.)http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_foi/documents/page/dft_foi_612538.pdf
Newton St Cyres is also featured in this Beeching 2 background article (link below.)http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2806285.stm
Quote from the above link :
"Newton St Cyres narrowly escaped the Beeching cuts, but forty years on hardly anyone uses it."
Newton St Cyres passengers have had a lucky escape. Their passenger train service was due to be cut from 9 trains per weekday to just 2. However , as a result of intervention by those with an extensive knowledge of the local area & its rail users , Newton St Cyres has ended up with 8 trains per weekday , a remarkable acheivement.
Newton St Cyres is not the only fortunate station on the Exeter - Barnstaple line. From 11 December 2006 , there will be 1 MORE train from Copplestone (11 places above Pilning & 561 places below Melksham in the latest publicly - available station usage stats) than the week before.
I certainly take my hat off to those responsible.
However , other stations have not been so lucky. Here is another quote from the same BBC article , which will ring a bell with Pilning passengers.
"Denton in south Manchester is the only station on the network where you cannot buy a return ticket. There is just one train a week in one direction only. You can go but you cannot come back."
Network Rail have proposed the closure of Denton station , along with Ardwick & Reddish South (link below.)http://www.savethetrain.org.uk/forum/index.php?topic=641.msg1929#msg1929
I tend to look at the issue of "low usage" stations from the same perspective as Christian Wolmar , which is articulated in the following article (link below.)http://www.christianwolmar.co.uk/articles/rail/516.shtml
"So there is an important regeneration point: should not these stations be used as a regenerative tool to foster development rather than simply be abandoned....."
The village of Newton St Cyres (population 1000) is also worth zooming in for a closer look (links below.)http://www.francisfrith.com/search/england/devon/newton+st+cyres/newton+st+cyres.htm
Another impressive feature of the Newton St Cyres campaign is the way that they have grasped the chance for Tarka Line trains to integrate with main line trains. One of the advantages that the final December 2006 Newton St Cyres timetable has over the original draft is that there is a decent evening service that allows this.
For example , what if you are a Newton St Cyres long - distance commuter facing the prospect of a lengthy working day in (say) the Bristol area?
Here are some examples of possible "commutes" from December 2006 , courtesy of National Rail Enquiries :
Newton St Cyres depart 0805.
Exeter St Davids arrive 0813 & change.
Exeter St Davids depart 0823.
Bristol Temple Meads arrive 0925.
Journey Time - 1 hour 20 minutes.
Bristol Temple Meads depart 1644.
Exeter St Davids arrive 1743 & change.
Exeter St Davids depart 1755.
Newton St Cyres arrive 1802.
Journey Time - 1 hour 18 minutes.
Bristol Temple Meads depart 1744.
Exeter St Davids arrive 1843 & change.
Exeter St Davids depart 1908.
Newton St Cyres arrive 1917.
Journey Time - 1 hour 33 minutes.
Bristol Temple Meads depart 1944.
Exeter St Davids arrive 2043 & change.
Exeter St Davids depart 2055.
Newton St Cyres arrive 2102.
Journey Time - 1 hour 18 minutes.
As you can see from the link below , such commuting opportunities would have been far more limited had the original December 2006 Draft Timetable been implemented , especially with long working days becoming the norm in many occupations / industries.http://ndrailusers.wikispaces.com/DraftTT
If only Melksham - Bristol commuters were so lucky.
I suppose its a perk of the job having your own personal station. I wonder if the station signs for this station went on ebay?
As I regularly do , I was out yesterday checking the state of Severn Beach Line stations.
One thing that struck me was that , since First Great Western took over , almost every station has had a portion of its platform put "out of bounds" to passengers.
This looks particularly silly at St Andrews Road , where the out of bounds section includes a lampost with an FGW station name sign on it , and at Severn Beach , where the out of bounds section includes one of the large station name signs.
The slightly naughty side of me did wonder how much the large Severn Beach Line sign would fetch at auction.....