Train Graphic
Great Western Passengers' Forum Great Western Coffee Shop - [home] and [about]
Read about the forum [here].
Register and contribute [here] - it's free.
 17/12/2018 - Removal of Severn Bridge Tolls
22/12/2018 - Christmas service changes
04/01/2019 - Look forward - 2019 Severnside
07/01/2019 - JSP consultation closes
10/01/2019 - CHRUG
14/01/2019 - TWSW Board
Random Image
Train Running @GWR Twitter Acronyms/Abbreviations Station Comparator Rail News GWR co. site Site Style 1 2 3 4 Chat on off
December 15, 2018, 11:37:28 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Forgotten your username or password? - get a reminder
Most liked recent subjects
[137] Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion
[95] XC Dawlish cancellations now beyond a joke!
[94] Advent quiz 2019
[65] JourneyCheck ... reasons given
[54] 17th December 2018 - the start of toll free Severn Bridges
[52] Christmas 2018 - Timetables for the TransWilts Line
News: A forum for passengers ... with input from rail professionals welcomed too
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Linked Events
  • Last train - Pilning to Wales: October 29, 2016
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
  Print  
Author Topic: Pilning - the station, services, viability and closure of down platform - ongoing discussion  (Read 63081 times)
Lee
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 6260

He who laughs last hasn't got all the facts.


View Profile WWW
« on: October 16, 2007, 03:30:20 pm »

I last visited Pilning station in July 2006. Here is whats changed (and what hasnt) :

Pilning station is currently served by stops in the West Country - Weston - Super - Mare - Cardiff Central service.

This service does not appear in the final FGW December 2006 timetable and neither do any trains that call at Pilning.

The Weston - Cardiff service is to return , but the Monday - Friday Pilning stops wont be making a comeback.

Pilning has 10 car parking spaces available.

And still does today. Thats 8 more parking spaces than the number of trains that call at Pilning per week.

A very recent independent assessment of the Pilning station facilities found that the nameboards had not been First Great Western "re-branded , " unlike the vast majority of stations on the FGW network. First have been there , because they have put up a FGW poster and taped over the Wessex Train logos.

The nameboards on the footbridge are now FGW - branded , but the one on the former station building still has "Wessex Trains" written on it. FGW have now put a poster up stating "there is a very limited train service from this station" (!) and which also lists the 2 trains per week that call there. To give them credit , the shelters are in good condition (better than at Melksham , for example) and the usual no - smoking / train tracker signs are on display. The information point (for what its worth) is also in working order.

Pilning has a telephone box but it is in a very poor state , and it was suspected that the telephone itself had not worked for some time (emergency calls only.)

Its still not working.

The former sidings at Pilning are up for sale by BRB (Residuary) (link below.) The former coal yard at Pilning is actually "under offer."
http://www.brb.gov.uk/property/property_listings?keyword=Pilning

The sidings are still up for sale , but the coal yard has now been sold.

I can't see loadings being very high on a Pilning train. It is in the middle of nowhere!

Heres an interesting fact :

I was at Mottisfont & Dunbridge station very early the same morning.

Did you know that there are less houses within 5 minutes walk of Mottisfont & Dunbridge station than there are within 5 minutes walk of Pilning station?

Yet Mottisfont & Dunbridge will have a 2 - hourly (rising to hourly in the peak) service from December 2007 , while Pilning will remain on 2 trains per week! This is bizarre , when a study of the timetable tells us that there is virtually no time penalty to be accrued from calling at Pilning (same principle as STJ on the other side of the tunnel.) As if to prove my point , a totally unannounced 1508 service called when I was there waiting for the 1541 to Cardiff (anyone know why?)

While I wouldnt begrudge Mottisfont & Dunbridge their improved service for one moment , I do feel that some consistency (even if only in the form of a Monday - Friday commuter service) is called for regarding Pilning.
Logged

Currently muddling along the Guingamp-Carhaix line

http://twitter.com/research_gwchat
John R
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 4416


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2007, 08:51:28 pm »

I'm going to be contraversial now, but of all the campaigns in this Coffee Shop, I think the case for restoring a semblance of a train service to Pilning is pretty weak.

1. Pilning itself has a pretty small population.
2. The village isn't within a sensible walking distance of the station.
3. Given you've got to drive, Severn Beach station is at most a couple of minutes further away (although accept the service from there to Bristol is also meagre and slow).
4. It's on a very busy main line, operating close to capacity, with a mix of trains.

If I lived in Pilning I'd be more miffed that the village is surrounded by motorways (and presumably noise), and very close to a junction, but you still have to drive for miles to access the motorway network. 
Logged
martyjon
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 1317


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2007, 09:09:16 pm »

For what use Pilning is today the station might as well be closed.

In recent years the only direction you could get a train to and come back the same day was Bristol. The service then wouldnt allow a passenger to travel into Bristol and back again if following a 9 - 5 employment.

What the powers to be should have done is closed the station when either the line to Severn Beach was closed in the sixties or the original Severn Bridge was opened.

I can remember tha days when Pilning was a busy station with commuters travelling through the tunnel to SVJ and beyond which even included free the travel railwaymen going to work at the yard at SVJ.

Pilning even had a motorail service, it wasnt called that though, and conveyed cars to SVJ. Very useful when the winds stopped the Aust ferry from operating and avoided the slog up to Gloucester and back to Chepstow.

As I said, for what use Pilning is today thw station might as well be closed.
 
Logged
Lee
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 6260

He who laughs last hasn't got all the facts.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2007, 11:00:40 am »

Thanks so much for the positive suggestions. FOSBR & I will just have to give up then.

4. It's on a very busy main line, operating close to capacity, with a mix of trains.

I would like to (not for the first time) dispute this. John's point (though correct) makes little difference when stopping a train at Pilning. For example :

On Saturdays , the time taken for the 0800 Cardiff - Weymouth service to travel between Severn Tunnel Junction and Patchway WITH a stop at Pilning is 16 minutes.

The time taken for the 1000 Cardiff - Southampton service to travel between Severn Tunnel Junction and Patchway WITHOUT a stop at Pilning is ALSO 16 minutes.

Going in the other direction , the time taken for the Saturday 1249 Weymouth - Cardiff service to travel between Patchway and Severn Tunnel Junction WITH a stop at Pilning is 13 minutes.

The time taken for the Monday - Friday 1732 Westbury - Cardiff service to travel between Patchway and Severn Tunnel Junction WITHOUT a stop at Pilning is 14 minutes.

Not stopping at Pilning has nothing to do with operational reasons , and everything to do with spite and the undeclared (but real) wish to close the station.

A good opposing view to John's overall one , along with some background , can be found in the link below.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilning_railway_station

Quotes :

"Prior to the timetable change in December 2006, Pilning was served by 1 train each way on weekdays. From December 2006 First Great Western decided to cut the service to just one train a week in each direction on Saturdays only. (westbound Cardiff Central and eastbound Weymouth.) This is in spite of the site being surrounded by undeveloped land, close to major arterial roads, and the line being used by Intercity and Cross Country services."

"It has been speculated that a decision was taken to close the station by stealth after the Severnside Stadium housing development stalled. This had been an extensive new housing project near the station and would have provided much commuter traffic to the area."

I would argue (as do FOSBR) that we need to keep the station open now , because it will be needed in the future (link below.)
http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=357.msg1034#msg1034
Logged

Currently muddling along the Guingamp-Carhaix line

http://twitter.com/research_gwchat
Lee
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 6260

He who laughs last hasn't got all the facts.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2007, 03:17:10 pm »

Did you know that there is another FGW station , not too far away , that closely fits most of John's criteria?

1. Pilning itself has a pretty small population.
2. The village isn't within a sensible walking distance of the station.
4. It's on a very busy main line, operating close to capacity, with a mix of trains.

If I lived in Pilning I'd be more miffed that the village is surrounded by motorways (and presumably noise), and very close to a junction, but you still have to drive for miles to access the motorway network. 

Here are a few clues :

1) Its service was increased from 2 - hourly to hourly in December 2006.

2) Its passenger numbers have grown from 50534 in 2002 / 2003 to 72113 in 2005 / 2006.

3) Nobody (as far as I am aware) is suggesting that it should be closed.

4) See link below.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cam_and_Dursley_railway_station
Logged

Currently muddling along the Guingamp-Carhaix line

http://twitter.com/research_gwchat
Jim
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1186


View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2007, 03:18:15 pm »

They don't want to close the station, as I belive it costs more than it does to leave it open and give it a train service!
Logged

Cheers
Jim Smiley
AG's most famous quote "It'll be better next week"
Lee
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 6260

He who laughs last hasn't got all the facts.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2007, 03:23:52 pm »

They don't want to close the station, as I belive it costs more than it does to leave it open and give it a train service!

That may have been true a couple of years ago , but it isnt true now.

Jim , we've been through this one before (on the MTLS forum) but I guess we will have to go through it again. See link below for details of the new DfT Closure Guidance (which I presume you read last time I posted it in response to similiar comments from your good self.)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/actionnetwork/F3641215?thread=2441627
« Last Edit: October 17, 2007, 03:27:18 pm by Lee Fletcher » Logged

Currently muddling along the Guingamp-Carhaix line

http://twitter.com/research_gwchat
Jim
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1186


View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2007, 03:27:01 pm »

They don't want to close the station, as I belive it costs more than it does to leave it open and give it a train service!

Jim , we've been through this one before (on the MTLS forum) but I guess we will have to go through it again. See link below for details of the new DfT Closure Guidance (which I presume you read last time I posted it in response to similiar comments from your good self.)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/actionnetwork/F3641215?thread=2441627

Ooops, sorry Lee,forgot about that
Logged

Cheers
Jim Smiley
AG's most famous quote "It'll be better next week"
Lee
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 6260

He who laughs last hasn't got all the facts.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2007, 03:29:18 pm »

Sorry as well if my comments sounded a bit off , but you know what I am like regarding potentially threatened lines & stations....
Logged

Currently muddling along the Guingamp-Carhaix line

http://twitter.com/research_gwchat
vacman
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 2528


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2007, 05:35:30 pm »

My opinion is that the station is being kept open because if it were to close then it would be very difficult to reopen it again if it were needed in the future, by stopping one train a week doesn't really cost much and keeps options open for the future. No one uses it so theres not much wear and tear on the station.
Logged
Shazz
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 534


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2007, 06:13:24 pm »

Did you know that there is another FGW station , not too far away , that closely fits most of John's criteria?

1. Pilning itself has a pretty small population.
2. The village isn't within a sensible walking distance of the station.
4. It's on a very busy main line, operating close to capacity, with a mix of trains.

If I lived in Pilning I'd be more miffed that the village is surrounded by motorways (and presumably noise), and very close to a junction, but you still have to drive for miles to access the motorway network. 

Here are a few clues :

1) Its service was increased from 2 - hourly to hourly in December 2006.

2) Its passenger numbers have grown from 50534 in 2002 / 2003 to 72113 in 2005 / 2006.

3) Nobody (as far as I am aware) is suggesting that it should be closed.

4) See link below.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cam_and_Dursley_railway_station

Agreed with most of that, apart from 4

I live right next to the line, it isnt really what i'd call a "busy line" (about C&D)

there are 3 passenger trains each way every hour with the ocasional freight, and this will be reduced to 2 tph when the new XC service comes in,

it's not the busiest line in the world, and is no where near capacity!

also, those figures were published before it changed to 1tph each way at C&D iirc, i wouldnt be suprised if the stats had gone through 100,000 as a result.

One thing it has over pilning though, it has an incredibly reliable bus service purely for connections to local towns for the train!
Logged
John R
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 4416


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2007, 07:42:20 pm »

The main difference between Pilning and C&D is that the latter was built to serve the populations that give it its name, and are within a few minutes drive. It's not obvious what populations of similar size Pilning could serve. 

Sorry if I sound negative Lee, but with the best will in the world I just can't see what market this station would serve, even if it had a half hourly service. It's only purpose now seems to be as an emergency place to detrain passengers in the event of an incident in the ST. What am I missing?   
Logged
devon_metro
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 5174



View Profile
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2007, 08:56:10 pm »

Pilning is in the middle of nowhere. Trust me i've been there.

Its not far from the M4 and the other road that crosses the Severn.
Logged
Graz
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 444


View Profile WWW
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2007, 09:28:26 pm »

I feel that the clear issues surrounding Pilning now, are:
The station is quite far from Pilning village. The road that links Pilning to the station is, according to the OS map, a narrow country lane. The station is accessible only via minor roads. There are no easy connections to the motorways.
There are few other villages nearby. Almondsbury is quite close but road links are poor.
The residents of Pilning (probably) find it easier to get to Severn Beach station due to the connecting B road.
And the skeletal service doesn't help at all, the station has practically been wiped off the FGW map.

However, the station does have potential. If Pilning were to extend to the east, which I feel is likely, it could serve a lot of commuters.
Better roads to the station, even from Pilning itself, would certainly help with a roadside footpath / cycleway connecting the village to the station.
I have noticed, according to the OS map, that there is a pub and plenty of country footpaths nearby, so the station could appeal to walkers. An untapped market maybe?
Of course, all of this would not be possible without an increased service. There has to be at least daily peak hour trains to serve potential market for a quick peak hour service to Bristol/Cardiff and more trains on a saturday to appeal to leisure trips. If it was true that stops at Pilning would not matter to overall timings, there seems little reason not to.

A quick further comment- I wish the line from Severn Beach to Pilning had not been closed. With that, we could have seen frequent Bristol circular services via Severn Beach serving Pilning.
Logged
Shazz
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 534


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2007, 09:32:05 pm »


A quick further comment- I wish the line from Severn Beach to Pilning had not been closed. With that, we could have seen frequent Bristol circular services via Severn Beach serving Pilning.

In the proposals the the SB line, FGW did a while back, aparently there is to be an "investigation" into making it a circular in each way. but not for the near future anyway
Logged
Do you have something you would like to add to this thread, or would you like to raise a new question at the Coffee Shop? Please [register] (it is free) if you have not done so before, or login (at the top of this page) if you already have an account - we would love to read what you have to say!

You can find out more about how this forum works [here] - that will link you to a copy of the forum agreement that you can read before you join, and tell you very much more about how we operate. We are an independent forum, provided and run by customers of Great Western Railway, for customers of Great Western Railway and we welcome railway professionals as members too, in either a personal or official capacity. Views expressed in posts are not necessarily the views of the operators of the forum.

As well as posting messages onto existing threads, and starting new subjects, members can communicate with each other through personal messages if they wish. And once members have made a certain number of posts, they will automatically be admitted to the "frequent posters club", where subjects not-for-public-domain are discussed; anything from the occasional rant to meetups we may be having ...

 
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
This forum is provided by a customer of Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western), and the views expressed are those of the individual posters concerned. Visit www.gwr.com for the official Great Western Railway website. Please contact the administrators of this site if you feel that the content provided by one of our posters contravenes our posting rules (email link). Forum hosted by Well House Consultants