Bristol Metro Go Ahead Announced?

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fgwrich

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Helvellyn

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Interesting. I wonder what stock they have in mind for these services - 165s displaced from Thames Valley services by electrifcation?
 

Techniquest

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Bath to Bristol T.M. shuttle: hourly? That doesn't sound much like a Metro to me.
Doesn't read that way to me, it suggests the extension to Severn Beach is hourly. Therefore you get shuttle services between Bath and Bristol but one per hour does Bath to Severn Beach and vice versa. Interesting idea, wouldn't have thought there was that much call for through services from Avon to Avonmouth/Severn Beach. The shuttle betwixt Bath and Bristol sounds interesting, but with 4 trains an hour already serving both cities this could be overkill outside peak times. Indeed, getting enough platform dwell time at Bath without getting in the way of other services could be difficult. Putting in a signal on the west end of the Up platform there though could easily resolve that.

Reopening Portishead is good for me as I still need that line. Henbury I've no idea about but need it :)
 

WelshBluebird

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I very much hope this will increase the number of services between Bath and Bristol that stop at Oldfield Park and Keynsham. And if this can be worked with the electrification of the GWML and the new franchise, then maybe we can see a Cardiff - Bath shuttle service that also stops at those two stations (it is mad that there is a better service for me on a Sunday than there is on a weekday).
This is just me hoping really, but I we should see improvements in general assuming this does go ahead.

The shuttle betwixt Bath and Bristol sounds interesting, but with 4 trains an hour already serving both cities this could be overkill outside peak times.:)
I think the idea there is that the shuttle would stop at Oldfield Park, Keynsham, and a reopened station at Saltford.
Area's which are generally not well served by the current services (which in the main are London or Portsmouth harbour services).
 

chuckles1066

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I very much hope this will increase the number of services between Bath and Bristol that stop at Oldfield Park and Keynsham. And if this can be worked with the electrification of the GWML and the new franchise, then maybe we can see a Cardiff - Bath shuttle service that also stops at those two stations (it is mad that there is a better service for me on a Sunday than there is on a weekday).
This is just me hoping really, but I we should see improvements in general assuming this does go ahead.
I've a letter upstairs somewhere, personally signed by the Hopwood character no less, stating quite clearly that there is no rolling stock available to increase the frequency of service in this area (we're treated to one train an hour if we're lucky enough to get one that isn't shortformed).

So I very much doubt that, out of thin air, someone will magically conjure up a shedload of extra units to provide this new service.
 

WelshBluebird

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I've a letter upstairs somewhere, personally signed by the Hopwood character no less, stating quite clearly that there is no rolling stock available to increase the frequency of service in this area (we're treated to one train an hour if we're lucky enough to get one that isn't shortformed).

So I very much doubt that, out of thin air, someone will magically conjure up a shedload of extra units to provide this new service.
I would imagine however that with electrification projects on the way, there would be was of finding stock from other areas.
There have been discussions about using 315's for valley lines electrification, so I don't see why similar ideas cannot be banded about for such a shuttle service in the Bristol / Bath area.
 

chuckles1066

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I would imagine however that with electrification projects on the way, there would be was of finding stock from other areas.
There have been discussions about using 315's for valley lines electrification, so I don't see why similar ideas cannot be banded about for such a shuttle service in the Bristol / Bath area.
Nope.

Won't wash with me.

Either you have the rolling stock and the goodwill to use it or you don't.

It's fairly black and white and Hopwood has nailed his trousers to the mast (ergo, he can't climb down).

Just because someone starts waving around a brown envelope filled with used £20 notes and a piece of paper titled "METRO CONTRACT" doesn't change that.
 

tbtc

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Sounds good if it happens, but I thought I read something elsewhere recently about additional capacity being required at Temple Meads for the doubling of the Bristol - London service because the current platforms couldn't cope - is there really space for even more trains too?

Is there an official definition of a "metro" service with regards to frequency?
I'd say you'd want four trains an hour to justify the "Metro" name (which is what many of the lines in Glasgow/ Birmingham have). An hourly Metro really isn't a Metro (to me).
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Either you have the rolling stock and the goodwill to use it or you don't
Sorry to be a killjoy re this scheme, but I've argued on several other proposals that any spare stock should be used to beef up existing services first (e.g. four coach services from Weston to Parkway) rather than introducing additional services (which need more staff, more paths, more chance of disruption etc)
 

Techniquest

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I very much hope this will increase the number of services between Bath and Bristol that stop at Oldfield Park and Keynsham. And if this can be worked with the electrification of the GWML and the new franchise, then maybe we can see a Cardiff - Bath shuttle service that also stops at those two stations (it is mad that there is a better service for me on a Sunday than there is on a weekday).
This is just me hoping really, but I we should see improvements in general assuming this does go ahead.

I think the idea there is that the shuttle would stop at Oldfield Park, Keynsham, and a reopened station at Saltford.
Area's which are generally not well served by the current services (which in the main are London or Portsmouth harbour services).
Ahhh, that's a fair point. Forgot about those shacks (forgive me, it's been a long time since I last went down that way!), and re-opening Saltford seems a reasonably good idea.
 

Schnellzug

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Maybe if Keynsham and Oldfield P were served by a Bristol-Bath local service, they might not need to stop Weymouth trains there, except perhaps for one or two in the morning & evening, as they only stop to provide a local service into Bristol.
 

swt_passenger

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Sounds good if it happens, but I thought I read something elsewhere recently about additional capacity being required at Temple Meads for the doubling of the Bristol - London service because the current platforms couldn't cope - is there really space for even more trains too?
Various schemes are proposed in the NR 'CP5 shopping list' - they seem to deal with both additional IEP services and Bristol metro services as described in the GWML RUS.

Seems that NR are on the case already...
 

LE Greys

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Various schemes are proposed in the NR 'CP5 shopping list' - they seem to deal with both additional IEP services and Bristol metro services as described in the GWML RUS.

Seems that NR are on the case already...
I believe one of those involves reopening the original Brunel station as a terminus, although it is on the wrong side of the line for London trains.
 

fgwrich

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I believe one of those involves reopening the original Brunel station as a terminus, although it is on the wrong side of the line for London trains.
That's the plan, although it's going to lead to a fair number of comflicting moves across the eastern approach to the station. What's holding it back at the moment? Well, tracks cannot be placed into the original GWR / Brunel terminus untill Bristol Panel Signal Box is moved and intergrated into one of the signalling centres, as this is currently built on the formation / front of the shed.
 

BestWestern

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I'd have to agree with others that it's a case of 'if and when' in my humble view. I'd also agree that there is scant need or space for any further Bath - Bristol shuttles, and that it would cause significant capacity problems at the major stations. However, there is a clear need for more services to call at Keynsham and Oldfield Pk. It strikes me as an odd decision not to stop the Portsmouth - Cardiff services at these stations, considering that they offer a full stopping patter Warminster - Bradford on Avon (excepting Dilton Marsh in most cases), and the Pad - Bristol's provide a fast link into Temple Meads from Bath. Perhaps there is room for improvement in the existing timetable.

The obvious need above anything else is Portishead. This should have been open an age ago, and this must be made the priority here. If it ends up with nothing else changing but a simple shuttle into Temple Meads then that is still a massive improvement for Bristol's rail network.
 

swt_passenger

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I believe one of those involves reopening the original Brunel station as a terminus, although it is on the wrong side of the line for London trains.
But is it on the wrong side for London trains via Bristol Parkway?
AIUI the two extra IEP operated services are to run that way.

Resignalling has to be completed by 2015, because it is a prerequiste for the electrification due by 2016. That allows for the existing signal box removal.
 

sprinterguy

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Does this then go some way to explaining the delay in publishing the Great Western ITT? Were the DfT awaiting a decision on Bristol Metro funding in order to be able to set out the terms of the new franchise with greater certainty?
I've a letter upstairs somewhere, personally signed by the Hopwood character no less, stating quite clearly that there is no rolling stock available to increase the frequency of service in this area (we're treated to one train an hour if we're lucky enough to get one that isn't shortformed).

So I very much doubt that, out of thin air, someone will magically conjure up a shedload of extra units to provide this new service.
The rolling stock “landscape” will look drastically different come 2016 – 2018 following Great Western electrification though: Just because there are no spare trains available at the present time, or in the immediate future, does not mean that this will continue to be the case indefinitely. I’m not aware that electrification is promised as part of the Bristol Metro proposals, but nonetheless the appearance of electric trains on Thames Valley services from Paddington will release Network Turbo DMUs which will almost certainly directly or indirectly lead to many more diesel units being available for use in the Bristol area. These trains are not being conjured “out of thin air”, it is well known that the Great Western electrification will free up many of the trains presently used on Thames Valley services. Plus, in 2016 – 18 Great Western will be a different franchise: It might not even be First group in charge of it.

If electrification was part of the Bristol Metro package, then as others have said it wouldn’t be a bad idea to make use of class 315 EMUs released from Great Eastern inner-suburban services by Crossrail.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I'd say you'd want four trains an hour to justify the "Metro" name (which is what many of the lines in Glasgow/ Birmingham have). An hourly Metro really isn't a Metro (to me).
There are only short sections of the “Bristol Metro” network that are only intended to see an hourly service though, in most areas, it is more frequent than that. A half hourly service all the way around the “Avon horseshoe” from Portishead to Severn Beach via Temple Meads is very reasonable for the size of the potential market that it serves, and I’m with techniquest in thinking that the wording on the diagram suggests that the Bath – Bristol service will be more frequent than hourly, with an hourly extension to Severn Beach. Plus, there will be a very frequent service to be channelled through Bristol Temple Meads, particularly up to Stapleton Road, that does give the impression of warranting the Metro name, and no doubt pathing constraints through this section restrict the number of trains per hour that could be run on each separate leg of the Metro network.

Not, mind you, that I’m convinced that the Bristol Metro will go ahead, let alone in its’ entirety. I believe that there is a strong case for the improvement (and re-introduction, with regards to the Southern half) of services on the Portishead – Bristol – Severn Beach “horseshoe”, but outside of that the proposals strike me as little more than a prospectus of optimistic aspirations. I’m with others in thinking that there’s little spare capacity to accommodate a Bath to Bristol stopping service, even if it’s principal intention is to provide a more frequent service to the intermediate stations rather than to meet demand for end to end journeys.
 
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tbtc

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There are only short sections of the “Bristol Metro” network that are only intended to see an hourly service though, in most areas, it is more frequent than that. A half hourly service all the way around the “Avon horseshoe” from Portishead to Severn Beach via Temple Meads is very reasonable for the size of the potential market that it serves, and I’m with techniquest in thinking that the wording on the diagram suggests that the Bath – Bristol service will be more frequent than hourly, with an hourly extension to Severn Beach. Plus, there will be a very frequent service to be channelled through Bristol Temple Meads, particularly up to Stapleton Road, that does give the impression of warranting the Metro name, and no doubt pathing constraints through this section restrict the number of trains per hour that could be run on each separate leg of the Metro network.
Fair point, but I still think that "Metro" is a bit too grand a name for hourly/ half-hourly routes. There will be a fairly frequent service from Temple Meads to Bristol Parkway, Bath etc (as there are now), but if I lived in Portishead I'd be expecting something more frequent given the "Metro" name.
 

YorkshireBear

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But with current use the proposed upgrades could easily make it look like metro system as it will be a drastic improvement in frequencies.
I agree with sprinter guy in that the main arterial routes will be busy enough to warrent metro with only the extremities being a bit low.
 

WelshBluebird

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I’m with others in thinking that there’s little spare capacity to accommodate a Bath to Bristol stopping service, even if it’s principal intention is to provide a more frequent service to the intermediate stations rather than to meet demand for end to end journeys.
Would just changing some of the current services to stopping be a more realistic alternative then?

I mean I really don't see why the Cardiff-Portsmouth services cannot also call at Oldfield Park and Keynsham (they already do on Sundays), and the same is true for the limited SWT service from Bristol to Waterloo (which already stops at Keynsham IIRC). Plus I think there is also a HST that already stops at Keynsham in the morning peak.

And even then that is just thinking about current services. As you say, it could be totally different come 2016. A new franchise operator could decide to operate totally different services, especially once electrification is finished. Maybe split the Cardiff - Taunton service into a Cardiff - Bath stopper using EMU's and a Bristol - Taunton using DMU's. Just speculating here, but you never know really.

Either way it will be interesting to see how all this pans out.
 

stut

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Fair point, but I still think that "Metro" is a bit too grand a name for hourly/ half-hourly routes. There will be a fairly frequent service from Temple Meads to Bristol Parkway, Bath etc (as there are now), but if I lived in Portishead I'd be expecting something more frequent given the "Metro" name.
Metro may be a bit misleading, but I can think of plenty S-Bahn networks with similar frequencies (I can think of one with a couple of 1tp2h lines!) Do we have an equivalent "brand" to S-Bahn (even Copenhagen used the name for the S-Tog network, even though the S has no meaning in Danish...)
 

Techniquest

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With a half hourly service there for the vast majority of the day, I don't see it being necessary. Re-opening the old platform next to the Down Goods (or whatever it's called) at Westbury and running the stoppers to there would be better. So would actually extending the Bedwyn services to Westbury so as to give Pewsey and Westbury a decent service, as was proposed years ago.
 

fgwrich

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With a half hourly service there for the vast majority of the day, I don't see it being necessary. Re-opening the old platform next to the Down Goods (or whatever it's called) at Westbury and running the stoppers to there would be better. So would actually extending the Bedwyn services to Westbury so as to give Pewsey and Westbury a decent service, as was proposed years ago.
True, and i'll agree about extending the Bedwyns to Westbury - Perhaps allowing for this long mooted devises parkway too?.
 

LE Greys

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With a half hourly service there for the vast majority of the day, I don't see it being necessary. Re-opening the old platform next to the Down Goods (or whatever it's called) at Westbury and running the stoppers to there would be better. So would actually extending the Bedwyn services to Westbury so as to give Pewsey and Westbury a decent service, as was proposed years ago.
I'd prefer to see them extended to Taunton or Exeter, which would give Frome (population 24,000 - more than twice that of Westbury) a decent London service. Even if only one out of two was extended, that would still be a reasonable service. Another possibility would be to use Frome as an extended turnback siding, considering its relatively low occupation.
 

Techniquest

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This is true, although for its size Frome gets a modest level of service. Could be a lot better mind, and I suspect a couple of daytime London services would be popular. Got to be worth a go for at least one timetable period. Westbury was suggested because I'd forgot about Frome and Westbury is much bigger in terms of room to put trains.

If only I had the money to finance an OAC, I'd give Frome to London a go...
 
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