Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour First Great Western

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railjunkie

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Hiya all

Was wondering if someone could help me, does anyone know what type of train first great western operates between Cardiff Central and Portsmouth Harbor is it a HST? Also has anyone traveled on the service is it reliable?

Thanks in advance. :D
 
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ainsworth74

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It's 158s on that route. Not sure about the reliability as I've only used it once but it ran to time when I did!
 

anthony263

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The route is normally pretty reliable hwoever yes there are the occasional problems.

Stock used is normally a 3 carriage class 158 although class 150's turn up occasionally
 

Robinson

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The route is normally pretty reliable hwoever yes there are the occasional problems.

Stock used is normally a 3 carriage class 158 although class 150's turn up occasionally
150s/153s are used on the Great Malvern/Bristol services more than the Cardiff-Portsmouth ones, based on observations at Southampton.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Although I have occasionally seen 150s coupled to 158s as well...
 

BestWestern

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They are indeed usually three car 158's. 150's do crop up from time to time. All except one (158 798) are 'hybrid' units, i.e. formed of one and a half standard two car sets. This means that some have one disabled space, some have two. If you specifically need this area then you would be best advised to book, although at the moment not all services have the seating reservations in operation due to some ongoing problems printing the labels for the seats. However, any assisted passengers booked will show on the Guard's report sheet.

The service is generally reliable, but the trains do get very busy at weekends and around Bath/Bristol during the evening peaks. Also be aware that there may be no catering, even if it is advertised on your particular train :|
 

Greenback

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We have used the route a fair bit, usually to Southampton Central, but it is normally reliable and punctual. However, we were once affected by a cancellation, no one cna ever guarantee that delays and cancellations won't happen!
 

Brucey

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I used this route (well, Bristol to Pompey) for three years. Made about 95 return journeys in this time.

Out of all of these journeys, I'd say about 5% were 150s, the rest were 158s.

I've suffered just 4 delayed trains, excluding planned engineering works.

Guards are also very friendly on this route, so you shouldn't have any problems in additional assistance is required.
 

TEW

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Not just when it's hot tbh, 158 air-con is just prone to failure. Usually you can find at least one carriage with it working though.
 

wintonian

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I must be unlucky then as I find it is delayed aprox 30 - 40% of the time this can be 5min or 30mins, less being more often if that makes any sense.
 
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As a regular user Bath to Salisbury can certainly agree with others that this service can be very overcrowded. The end of working day services form BTM towards Trowbridge can be packed with more wanting to get on at Bath and the reverse is true (particularly the early trains getting people to Bath and Bristol)

There is a respite for the Saturday/Sunday services going down to Southampton for the football - will be interesting to see how elevation to the Premiership will affect those trains :(.

Other times I have seen very crowded trains include when a ships company of RN sailors climb aboard at Pompey (still happens). They tend to be coming back off a long tour and the train tends to become a mobile pub ain the times I have been aboard! Lots of luggage too.

Despite what I have said I rarely have had severe delays (about the worst was when a preceding service hit a cow on the line after Bradford upon Avon. When we did get going we had the announcement that looking out the windows was not recommended... which guaranteed everyone staring out the window to view the results of a 158 hitting a large cow).

The bad old days of the 2 unit 158 are now thankfully over on that route. The best journey was when there service I got from Portsmouth going back to bath late (after 9pm) turned up with 7 or 8 units - bliss - had a carriage to myself even with the rear few carriages dark and locked off.

There are times when an 8 coach set would not be enough but overall over the past 15 years of using the service it has been pretty reliable although very hot in the warm summer days.

In respect of the disabled accessible seating - the best thing I can say on this - it is always reassuring to see that where assistance is requested it has been given readily and reserved seats are swiftly made available if occupied!

Not a lot to see until you get to Westbury where you can see some of the heavy diesels moving the quarry wagons around, after that the break into the water views on the final run into Southampton.

C
 

Nevasleep

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I must be unlucky then as I find it is delayed aprox 30 - 40% of the time this can be 5min or 30mins, less being more often if that makes any sense.
Same here. I don't use the service, but it usually looks delayed when checking nationalrail website.
 

Waldgrun

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As a route serving Six city's the Portsmouth to Cardiff line is I feel poorly served.
I can remember when trains were formed of a Class 33 loco, 4 x BR Mark 1 T.S.O. each with 64 seats (256 seats in total) and a BR Mark 1 B.G. (Full Brake) no seats but loads of floor space! Ideal when the Navy turned out, on Friday Lunch times! These where replaced by Class 155 units with about half the seating capacity.
At the time other routes had services upped from one train every 2 hours to hourly which roughly kept the same number of seat available! Nearly 25 Years later the capacity problem remains on the Portsmouth to Cardiff route, what will it take to rectify it?
 

chuckles1066

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Hiya all

Was wondering if someone could help me, does anyone know what type of train first great western operates between Cardiff Central and Portsmouth Harbor is it a HST? Also has anyone traveled on the service is it reliable?

Thanks in advance. :D
No, it's completely unreliable (or it was early last year).

It used to pitch up at Patchway shortformed on a regular basis.....it should have been three coaches (standing room only) so FGW thought it amusing to send it out occasionally with two coaches (or, on one memorable occasion, a single carriage).

Look elsewhere, my friend, for a grown up solution to your travel needs.
 
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