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Old 19th March 2017, 19:35   #1
SwindonBert
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I was told that there are plans for 2 new platforms at Swindon station​. One on the waste ground opposite platform 1 (easy to do) & the other behind platform 4 (much more problematical)

Has anyone else heard this? I wouldn't normally ask about rumours, but the person who told me works in the railway industry
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Old 19th March 2017, 22:14   #2
59CosG95
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Given that piling has started to take place in the station, the idea may be dead on arrival, but I don't know the exact positions of the piles, so it *could* be accommodated. Google Maps seemed to show that there was a former track behind P4, but how that will be accommodated remains to be seen.
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Old 19th March 2017, 23:13   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 59CosG95 View Post
Given that piling has started to take place in the station, the idea may be dead on arrival, but I don't know the exact positions of the piles, so it *could* be accommodated. Google Maps seemed to show that there was a former track behind P4, but how that will be accommodated remains to be seen.
Until the layout was 'rationalised' in the 1960s and that awful tower block built on the track bed, the Down side platform was an island. The northerly side of the platform was on a loop off the Down Main and the track on the southern side of the island seems - on the basis of old photographs and track plans in Cooke's Atlas of the Great Western Railway - to have been laid out for use by trains crossing to the Kemble line over flat crossings in the Down and Up Main.
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Old 19th March 2017, 23:19   #4
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I haven't heard anything about it, but I have a simple question: why would you *need* two extra platforms at Swindon?

Let's look at the evening peak (I assume the morning is similar). The typical timetable headway on the GWML is 3 minutes, giving a maximum theoretical 20tph (trains per hour) departing on the main lines out of Paddington in the evening peak. Four of those are Heathrow Express, meaning a maximum of 16tph to Reading.

Of the current 12tph in the hour 1700-1759 leaving Paddington on the main lines, three of those trains (the 1703, 1706 and 1733) turn left at Reading to head down the B&H towards Newbury, and three of those trains (the 1718, 1722 and 1749) turn right at Didcot to head towards Oxford, leaving just six heading for Swindon.

Assuming that all four additional train paths were used for trains towards Swindon, that's still only at most 10tph calling at Swindon in the evening peak. At least one of those (the current 1742) will have to use platform 3 to access Cheltenham, leaving at most 9tph for platform 4.

Moreover, as I understand it the plans for the post-IEP timetable include some trains running non-stop from Reading to Bristol Parkway (or possibly even Paddington to Bristol Parkway). Assuming that's at least 2tph, that leaves at most 7tph to actually call in platform 4, and it's quite possible that one or more of those could use platform 3 while an up train is using platform 1.

Is that really enough to justify building two extra platforms? I honestly don't know the answer, and the answer may indeed be that yes, it is justified. But given that many, many platforms get more than 7 trains an hour, it doesn't seem immediately obvious why Swindon should get more platforms.
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Old 20th March 2017, 01:42   #5
alxndr
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There's the sidings into the steel terminal adjacent to platform 1 as well, so even putting another one there isn't that simple, unless that's not where you're thinking of.

I can't see how something behind platform 4 would work, and I'm sure there's at least one electrification pile in the way already.
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Old 20th March 2017, 02:36   #6
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Can't see a pressing need for more platforms, but there would be some logic in an additional 'back face' for the modern downside facility currently consisting of side platform 4. At the time it was being built, I was told the new platform could not be built against the old down goods loop like the old parcels platform, as it was longer than that old facility and extended further west past the tower block, which needed to retain its rear access road for safety reasons. So to keep the access road the new platform was built on top of the old loop instead, against the down main, which was also easier for signalling alterations incidentally. That means there is probably little chance of a new southerly track and back face to the downside platform unless the tower block is demolished as part of a major redevelopment.

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Old 21st March 2017, 00:05   #7
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Interesting! I work in the railway and live in Swindon, but have not heard anything about these plans.

There was a plan for a whole new station in Swindon kicking around a few years back but it never really came to anything.

There is the plan for a completely new station to eventually be built soon on the line towards Kemble, to meet an extended south end of the Swindon and Cricklade railway at Moulden Hill. Again, that's been around for years but at least looks like it will happen one day.

Perhaps they were talking about one of those schemes and getting a bit confused? If there is a real plan for a new set of platforms I agree I'm not sure why they are needed but better facilities and operational flexibility at my home station is always welcome!!

I know a few people that know about future projects so will ask around and see if I can find out anything...
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Old 21st March 2017, 07:31   #8
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Thanks for the comments, this may well be a very long term plan, so not expecting to see it imminently
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Old 21st March 2017, 14:06   #9
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What is the max speed a non-stop can go through Swindon at present? Is it the same both ways? I am thinking of the non-stops from Parkway (incl. two an hour from BRI, Temple Meads). Are not two central mains needed through Swindon?
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Old 21st March 2017, 14:32   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowardGWR View Post
What is the max speed a non-stop can go through Swindon at present? Is it the same both ways? I am thinking of the non-stops from Parkway (incl. two an hour from BRI, Temple Meads). Are not two central mains needed through Swindon?
85mph for passenger trains on the Up Main and Down Main (Platform 4).
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