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Author Topic: Is it time to campaign for an Open Access Operator in The GW area  (Read 39594 times)
simonw
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« on: October 19, 2007, 10:06:06 pm »

Other parts of the country have Open Access Operators that provide additional services due to the poor performance of the principal train operator.

For example

GNER (Great North Eastern Railways):
Hull Express Train operated by First Group
Grand Central

Virgin West Coast:
Wrexham and Shropshire

Is it possible that another train operator could operate within the GWR (Great Western Railway) area, to provide a better, cheaper service than FGW (First Great Western)?
« Last Edit: January 01, 2008, 11:32:08 am by simonw » Logged
devon_metro
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2007, 10:25:26 pm »

I can't see a company commiting unless it went to London as they need high passenger numbers. Local stuff isn't really profitable as FGW (First Great Western) have showed us.
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John R
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2007, 10:27:32 pm »

Well. Hull Trains has been a great success for the travelling public (not sure about it's shareholders), although being allowed to run reasonably free of interference by it's parent First Group has definitely helped. Remember the concept and early years of running predated ownership by First when it acquired GB (Great Britain) Railways.

Grand Central still isn't up and running, and if it doesn't start soon will start to lose credibility. And it's only 3 trains a day.

Wrexham and Shropshire has only just got approval to run services, so let's wait and see what materialises.

All three operators only gained their access by running to places that were not served by franchise operators (excluding the once a day GNER (Great North Eastern Railways) train to Hull). It's clear that to win the right to run a service a prospective operator has to provide passengers a new service, not a competitor to an existing service (if for no other reaons than it screws the economics of the existing franchisee.) Given that constraint, there are no current proposals to run services on the lines run by FGW (First Great Western), and it's not clear what service might meet these criteria.

So regrettably, I'm afraid we're stuck with First for the forseeable future.      
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TerminalJunkie
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2007, 11:33:12 pm »

Quote from: John R
Well. Hull Trains has been a great success for the travelling public

That's not really a good example, since Hull Trains is owned by First Group... Shocked
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Ollie
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2007, 02:09:54 am »

In the GW (Great Western) Area there are 3 I can think of, 4 if you include South Wales.

Arriva Trains Wales
First Great Western
South West Trains
Virgin Cross Country, soon to be Arriva

Plus there is all the freight that runs in the area.

I don't think it would make sense to have another operator.

Your examples are all wrong, Open Access Operators provide a service where none or little service currently exists.
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vacman
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2007, 06:06:32 am »

Also there are no spare paths between Reading and London with Reading already at capacity the ORR» (Office of Rail and Road formerly Office of Rail Regulation - about)/DFT (Department for Transport) probably wouldn't allow an open access operator.
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Lee
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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2007, 10:16:48 am »

Here are 2 relevant proposals :

Save The Train - Swindon - Westbury (link below.)
http://www.savethetrain.org.uk/open.html

Upstart Coop West Country (links below.)
http://www.upstart.coop/Why%20a%20co-op%20OARO.doc

http://www.upstart.coop/Rail%20map.pdf
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12hoursunday
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2007, 05:45:30 pm »

There is no more room to run anymore Firstgroup services (well HST (High Speed Train)'s) Reading to London is saturated already so having an open access operator is just pie in the sky.
And where would a go it alone outfit if it decided to run a "local" service get it's rolling stock from? If Great Western can't get it then they probally won't.


Still, Dream On!
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grahame
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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2007, 08:32:04 am »

There is no more room to run anymore Firstgroup services (well HST (High Speed Train)'s) Reading to London is saturated already so having an open access operator is just pie in the sky.

And where would a go it alone outfit if it decided to run a "local" service get it's rolling stock from? If Great Western can't get it then they probally won't.

Still, Dream On!

I agree with your comments about stock and space on the lines / through Reading - indeed there are othe issues too - not only where is the stock obtained from, but where do you get it stabled, serviced, staffed. And what about convincing the powers that be that you have everything in place and are a fit company to run a train service.

And yet ...

Looking that little bit wider. Looking at the proposals that are linked to earlier in this thread. The issues are acknowledged and solutions offered - at least in the "Save the Train" case.

At the Southern end of the TransWilts line is a depot that's already got a load of class 159 diesel units based there, operated by a company which has clearly convinced the powers that be that they can run a train service. Terminating at Salisbury from the South and East you have trains from Southampton and from Waterloo - run them on through as a commercial exercise up to Trowbridge (along a line already served by those trains) then up to Melksham, Chippenham and Swindon.

Extra stock?   You may be able to juggle it cleverly - in the interim before the newly autorised Axminster loop is installed, there may be a little slack in the stock of 159 units, and there's a unit not on lease at Doncaster too.  I understand it might not be in running order - but it's just an option.  It's what is run our from Salisbury, so woul dbe natural for them to use - but the St Phiips Marsh team wouldn't want one oddball, would they?

Track capacity?   I have correspondence from Network Rail assuring me that there isn't a track capacity issue in getting an extra passenger service along the TransWilts above the current pathetic two per day.   And onwards from Salisbury to London or Southampton - NOT an issue; the train runs already!

Extra traffic offered by the service?  Well - the figures for the TransWilts are around and I can dig 'em out again.   They look excellent for a corridor that's got six SSTCs (Strategically Significant Towns and Cities) on it for now and for the future.  Add to that (if we take the London case) direct trains from Melksham, Trowbridge and Warminster to London where there is no or linited thhrough service at the moment. Major additional London service from Swidnon, Chippenham and Westbury.   Yes, it woul dbe slower but in would also be lower cost, give extra capacity against overcrowded routes that look set to get even busier, and for anyone travelling to the South of the river in London would give a fare better London arrival point.

But, yes, I probably am dreaming ... there's a difference between coul dbe done and will be done.  And a feeling that all the TOCs (Train Operating Company) are so busy coping with expansion and traffic and issues on existng routes that they may not feel able to expand into other routes.
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tom-langley
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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2007, 06:36:17 pm »

I don^t see why FGW (First Great Western) gets the monopoly on trains running out of Paddington. Why can^t we have another company offering services out of Paddington on an open access system? I think a bit of competition would be good for keeping FGW in check.

I agree that it would be a challenge due to the capacity issues at Reading, however I though Network rail has plans to improve capacity at Reading.

We have seen a gradual deterioration of the services on the GWML (Great Western Main Line), especially after the issuing of the Greater western, franchise.
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devon_metro
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« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2007, 06:56:23 pm »

The DafT specifies that it basically wants one TOC (Train Operating Company) per London terminal.

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simonw
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« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2007, 08:07:11 pm »

Which London station do Hull and Grand Central( does it run yet?) use?
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martyjon
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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2007, 08:19:28 pm »

Which London station do Hull and Grand Central( does it run yet?) use?


Hull Trains currently run to Kings Cross and when Grand Central start up they too will run to Kings Cross.
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Btline
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« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2007, 02:42:44 pm »

I can think of a route that an Open Access operator could do, avoiding London and Reading, starting a through route that was discontinued long ago.

Bristol to Oxford.

It could call at:

Oxford, Didcot, Swindon, B Parkway and Temple Meads, or;
Oxford, Didcot, Swindon, Chippingham, Bath, Temple Meads.

There could be extensions to Cardiff or Taunton here.

It could also serve a few new local stations on the GWML (Great Western Main Line) if they were opened.

What do others think? Would it work?
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Lee
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« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2007, 02:49:38 pm »

Oxford, Didcot, Swindon, Chippingham, Bath, Temple Meads.

There could be extensions to Cardiff or Taunton here.

It could also serve a few new local stations on the GWML (Great Western Main Line) if they were opened.

What do others think? Would it work?

A similiar service is included in Gateway To The Future (link below.)
http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=357.msg1034#msg1034
« Last Edit: December 31, 2007, 03:09:31 pm by Lee Fletcher » Logged

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