• Our booking engine at tickets.railforums.co.uk (powered by TrainSplit) helps support the running of the forum with every ticket purchase! Find out more and ask any questions/give us feedback in this thread!

Could XC serve Reading Green Park?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Mark J

Member
Joined
12 May 2018
Messages
286
Are Crosscountry services scheduled to call at this station in the future? Especially for the Football traffic that will be generated from the nearby Reading FC's Madejski Stadium.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

willgreen

Member
Joined
11 Jan 2020
Messages
631
Location
Leeds
I'm not a planning expert, but the likelihood of a national operator serving a station purely because there is a football game there every fortnight is close to nil. The days of the football special are all but over
 

HST43257

Established Member
Joined
10 Apr 2020
Messages
1,467
Location
York
Are Crosscountry services scheduled to call at this station in the future? Especially for the Football traffic that will be generated from the nearby Reading FC's Madejski Stadium.
I'm not a planning expert, but the likelihood of a national operator serving a station purely because there is a football game there every fortnight is close to nil. The days of the football special are all but over
I only see XC using it if there’s a fixture from somewhere else on or near their routes,
like Coventry or Birmingham. Even then, I reckon the normal service plus a GWR shuttle from RDG would be better in terms of pathing out of RDG
 

Shaw S Hunter

Established Member
Joined
21 Apr 2016
Messages
2,973
Location
Sunny South Lancs
The problem with the OP's suggestion is that pathing on the Reading-Basingstoke route is pretty well maxed out (in normal times). Frankly it's one of the more miraculous parts of the network with a half-hourly XC service, a half-hourly stopper and at least one (long) freight each hour without regular operational meltdowns. Doubtless the major remodelling around Reading has been particularly beneficial for this route. Inserting an additional stop into XC schedules would likely upset the whole scheme. I would guess the only way to have a Reading/Green Park shuttle would be with a reversing platform between the two running lines. Was this ever considered during the station's planning stage?
 

AlastairFraser

Established Member
Joined
12 Aug 2018
Messages
2,225
Are Crosscountry services scheduled to call at this station in the future? Especially for the Football traffic that will be generated from the nearby Reading FC's Madejski Stadium.
Even with the P and R use as well, the capacity of the Class 165 could be easily doubled up on peak/football matchdays, so GWR services would cater for the match day traffic from outside Reading mostly.

Reading Buses run a comprehensive and reasonably priced football bus network for local fan, GWR have absolutely no way of undercutting their fares sustainably because I'd estimate about half the local fans live more than a mile from any Reading railway stations (most of Woodley,Tilehurst,Southcote,Calcot and the better part of Caversham/Emmer Green).

About 50k to 70k live within roughly 2 -3 miles of the stadium, they'll either walk or catch a local (non-football) bus.

No point in XC serving the area, GWR will make a big profit , but more likely off the 1300 new homes being built in Green Park Village right next to the station, the 10k other homes within a mile who could use it to get in to town faster (the local buses are very frequent but slower than the trains for everyone living in Whitley/Whitley Wood itself), the businesses employing thousands of people already in Green Park business park, commuters who want to avoid Central Reading parking prices can park in Madejski Stadium's P and R outside matchdays and walk 5 mins to the station etc..

Rich pickings outside football, but not enough regular traffic that won't be taken by GWR for XC to consider slowing down their massively overcrowded regional expresses.
 

pdeaves

Established Member
Joined
14 Sep 2014
Messages
5,631
Location
Gateway to the South West
As a source of custom, no for reasons others have given. As an operational convenience (to avoid Reading reversal); probably only if both Reading and Tilehurst are unavailable (highly unlikely).
 

RobShipway

Established Member
Joined
20 Sep 2009
Messages
3,337
I have to agree with the others comments. If XC was to have stopped at Reading Green Park, then they would have already been stopping at Reading West which is current nearest station to Reading's Football ground prior to Reading Green Park opening.
 

Mark J

Member
Joined
12 May 2018
Messages
286
The problem with the OP's suggestion is that pathing on the Reading-Basingstoke route is pretty well maxed out (in normal times). Frankly it's one of the more miraculous parts of the network with a half-hourly XC service, a half-hourly stopper and at least one (long) freight each hour without regular operational meltdowns. Doubtless the major remodelling around Reading has been particularly beneficial for this route. Inserting an additional stop into XC schedules would likely upset the whole scheme. I would guess the only way to have a Reading/Green Park shuttle would be with a reversing platform between the two running lines. Was this ever considered during the station's planning stage?
The main problem with the Reading to Basingstoke line is the 75mph top speed - which would play a pretty big part in the overall capacity of the line.

Are there any plans to increase this going forward?

With regards to my original post.

It was merely a question out of curiosity. I know that the local Police usually like to get away fans out of the area they visit as quickly as possible, to avoid troubles flaring up. Therefore I wasn't sure if provisions were being made for XC to call at Green park on match days to get away fans from the North and South, out of the area quicker via XC services at Green park.
 

The Planner

Veteran Member
Joined
15 Apr 2008
Messages
16,133
The main problem with the Reading to Basingstoke line is the 75mph top speed - which would play a pretty big part in the overall capacity of the line.

Are there any plans to increase this going forward?

With regards to my original post.

It was merely a question out of curiosity. I know that the local Police usually like to get away fans out of the area they visit as quickly as possible, to avoid troubles flaring up. Therefore I wasn't sure if provisions were being made for XC to call at Green park on match days to get away fans from the North and South, out of the area quicker via XC services at Green park.
Not sure it is the speed to be honest, and I doubt it would particularly dent the stopping service times by much if you raised it. Any speed increase would likely just end you up being pathed out at Basingstoke and Reading. You get stumped by the 5½ minute headway if you are following a stopper down there.
 

MarkyT

Established Member
Joined
20 May 2012
Messages
6,311
Location
Torbay
Not sure it is the speed to be honest, and I doubt it would particularly dent the stopping service times by much if you raised it. Any speed increase would likely just end you up being pathed out at Basingstoke and Reading. You get stumped by the 5½ minute headway if you are following a stopper down there.
A fairly low maximum speed probably helps ensure sectional running times are closer for different classes of traffic, which should help capacity. If the XC expresses were able to go faster they'd only catch up the stopper or freight in front. On the face of it that actually could favour an extra stop purely from a local point of view in a blank sheet exercise but in real life the long distance paths also have to continue to fit elsewhere and I don't think such a stop would make sense commercially anyway. Reading West was perfectly good for football access when Reading were at Elm Park!
 

Ianno87

Veteran Member
Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
15,215
This is another "lets add a relatively local stop to crowd out already under-capacity XC services" (like Kenilworth).

Short answer: No.
 

Kite159

Veteran Member
Joined
27 Jan 2014
Messages
19,361
Location
West of Andover
As a source of custom, no for reasons others have given. As an operational convenience (to avoid Reading reversal); probably only if both Reading and Tilehurst are unavailable (highly unlikely).

They have used Reading West in the past when the Reading station remodeling was being done a few years ago.
 

cle

Established Member
Joined
17 Nov 2010
Messages
4,102
If (big if, but it has been mentioned) this was wired, then I could see stopping EMUs keeping time better and maybe 3tph. I don't think anything faster needs to stop at Green Park, as yet. 75mph does seem a bit feeble for a non-stop XC run, surely 90 would be better if not more.

That said, perhaps if Paddington services eventuated, as has occasionally been mentioned for the Reading fast shuttles, then it might make sense to stop at these stations as London service would drive new demand. But would need much longer platforms.

Or a more regular Reading -> SWT territory service perhaps. Salisbury/Exeter being diesel would work, and add a frequency and broader connectivity to that line (which can't get more into Waterloo)
 

David Goddard

Established Member
Joined
8 Aug 2011
Messages
1,503
Location
Reading
Whist this is a good idea, and a question that many people asked when the station was first mooted, it is unlikely that XC will make matchday only calls at Green Park, as others have said. There is a possibility that this could create more problems than it solves, particularly if an XC train of just four coaches gets clogged up with short hops from RDG or BSK, which with end doors and limited standing space could rapidly be out of control.

The calling of the GWR local trains will do a lot to shift the crowds, and it is probable that these may be strengthened on match days, but this is constrained by the length of the bay at Basingstoke (subject to line capacity) additional trains run.

I have seen it mentioned elsewhere that the aspiration is for this line to be wired, which as cle has mentioned will improve running times for the whole line, and may then help to create a third hourly path for the shuttles.

The established matchday bus shuttle service from Reading Buses does a very good job, and I expect will continue to even after the station opens, delivering match attendees back to Reading General in batches of 80-90 at a time which spreads the load through the station.
 

JonathanH

Veteran Member
Joined
29 May 2011
Messages
19,011
There is already an extra fourth peak diagram in the 769 plans which enables 3tph of GWR services between Reading and Basingstoke in the peaks (although not with even departure times).

Green Park only appears to be long enough for five coaches so any thought of through services from London after a future electrification seem a little optimistic. As noted before, the bay at Basingstoke (and Reading) and platform lengths at Mortimer and Bramley is an issue for longer trains
 

cle

Established Member
Joined
17 Nov 2010
Messages
4,102
There is already an extra fourth peak diagram in the 769 plans which enables 3tph of GWR services between Reading and Basingstoke in the peaks (although not with even departure times).

Green Park only appears to be long enough for five coaches so any thought of through services from London after a future electrification seem a little optimistic. As noted before, the bay at Basingstoke (and Reading) and platform lengths at Mortimer and Bramley is an issue for longer trains
What are their lengths? Green Park is 150m I believe, so should be good for 6 cars. Or a 5 car 800!

But yes this will have to begin with the 2tph stoppers.
 

AlastairFraser

Established Member
Joined
12 Aug 2018
Messages
2,225
The main problem with the Reading to Basingstoke line is the 75mph top speed - which would play a pretty big part in the overall capacity of the line.

Are there any plans to increase this going forward?

With regards to my original post.

It was merely a question out of curiosity. I know that the local Police usually like to get away fans out of the area they visit as quickly as possible, to avoid troubles flaring up. Therefore I wasn't sure if provisions were being made for XC to call at Green park on match days to get away fans from the North and South, out of the area quicker via XC services at Green park.
An easier way to do that would be raising matchday parking prices significantly at the Madejski and lowering the price of the station shuttle( not other matchday services) to pick up all the passengers. RB have plenty of buses to meet the capacity, even more in future if GWR takes most of the Green Park/Kennet Island/RIBP/Mad Stad area traffic, because RB would then reduce the frequency on their Greenwave services to the same area.
The issues with clearing fans are to do with the chronic congestion from fans living in nearby car centered estates like Calcot, Lower Earley and Woodley, who drive to the stadium because there is no direct public transport option for a lot, apart from the football buses, which obviously have a limited capacity. More shuttles to Reading Station would be the most sensible option because all the buses to most of suburban Reading leave from the town centre.

I have to agree with the others comments. If XC was to have stopped at Reading Green Park, then they would have already been stopping at Reading West which is current nearest station to Reading's Football ground prior to Reading Green Park opening.
Problem with that is you have to get a jetpack unless you want to walk back towards the Town Centre to get on to the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath (the only pedestrian/cycle route to the stadium). As someone's already mentioned, Reading's old ground was a few streets across from West at Elm Park, but that's now a housing development and the Mad Stad was deliberately located near the good motorway connections to help transport for those living in suburban developments further out close to the M4 (and partly because the land is cheap, it was a landfill site before!)
 
Last edited:

David Goddard

Established Member
Joined
8 Aug 2011
Messages
1,503
Location
Reading
An easier way to do that would be raising matchday parking prices significantly at the Madejski and lowering the price of the station shuttle( not other matchday services) to pick up all the passengers. RB have plenty of buses to meet the capacity, even more in future if GWR takes most of the Green Park/Kennet Island/RIBP/Mad Stad area traffic, because RB would then reduce the frequency on their Greenwave services to the same area.
The issues with clearing fans are to do with the chronic congestion from fans living in nearby car centered estates like Calcot, Lower Earley and Woodley, who drive to the stadium because there is no direct public transport option for a lot, apart from the football buses, which obviously have a limited capacity. More shuttles to Reading Station would be the most sensible option because all the buses to most of suburban Reading leave from the town centre.


Problem with that is you have to get a jetpack unless you want to walk back towards the Town Centre to get on to the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath (the only pedestrian/cycle route to the stadium). As someone's already mentioned, Reading's old ground was a few streets across from West at Elm Park, but that's now a housing development and the Mad Stad was deliberately located near the good motorway connections to help transport for those living in suburban developments further out close to the M4 (and partly because the land is cheap, it was a landfill site before!)
At £2 for a single or a return, I think the matchday buses are very cheaply priced already! Reading Buses are pretty demand responsive with these so if they get busier I expect that (subject to available vehicles) more journeys could be run.

The current Greenwave 50 service covers a large part of the Green Park development- it is true that some will switch to the train (likely if travelling on elsewhere such as London, Newbury or Oxford) by train but if just going to the town centre the bus will still be quicker so I can see this continuing at a good frequency even after the station opens. Kennet Island is closer to town than to Green Park station, now with its own separate shuttle bus service so these people are not likely to go out of their way to the new station. Likewise RIBP is a good distance from the new station and it will still be quicker to use the calls on the Mereoak Park & Ride which calls in there.

Yes Reading West was is not far from Elm Park site, and I expect there was time that trains did make additional calls there, but the station (even after the proposed enhancements) is highly unsuitable for mass volumes of passengers descending on it at once, so there would be serious safety issues against such calls. What's more, the most appropriate walking route is actually further than from Reading General.
 

WelshBluebird

Established Member
Joined
14 Jan 2010
Messages
4,924
I've been to The Madejski a few times now and each time have been impressed by the buses put on from the train station to the stadium. Certainly I don't think I've seen any better example around the country when travelling to watch football. Even leaving afterwards I've never had to wait more than about ten minutes to be on a bus and moving. I'm really not sure how that would be made a better experience by having a train station a mile away as by the time I'd be half way walking to that station, I'd already be on a bus and moving to the main station.
 

MarkyT

Established Member
Joined
20 May 2012
Messages
6,311
Location
Torbay
Yes Reading West was is not far from Elm Park site, and I expect there was time that trains did make additional calls there, but the station (even after the proposed enhancements) is highly unsuitable for mass volumes of passengers descending on it at once, so there would be serious safety issues against such calls. What's more, the most appropriate walking route is actually further than from Reading General.
Also, Reading West's platforms are situated in the capacity constrained double track bottleneck between Oxford Rd Jn and Southcote Jn. Scheduling ANY additional trains to stop there would be problematic I believe, and counterproductive to performance, especially slow loading long distance services.

I've been to The Madejski a few times now and each time have been impressed by the buses put on from the train station to the stadium. Certainly I don't think I've seen any better example around the country when travelling to watch football. Even leaving afterwards I've never had to wait more than about ten minutes to be on a bus and moving. I'm really not sure how that would be made a better experience by having a train station a mile away as by the time I'd be half way walking to that station, I'd already be on a bus and moving to the main station.
I wonder whether the station will be added to the 'Reading Stations' fare group along with Tilehurst, Reading West and Earley (I think). If so, fans able and willing to walk might be able to save money by transferring to the main station by local train instead of bus.
 
Last edited:

JonathanH

Veteran Member
Joined
29 May 2011
Messages
19,011
I wonder whether the station will be added to the 'Reading Stations' fare group along with Tilehurst, Reading West and Earley (I think). If so, fans able and willing to walk might be able to save money by transferring to the main station by local train instead of bus.
I think that fare groups and clusters are being confused here.

'Reading Stations' (0403) as a destination is just Reading and Reading West. A ticket to Reading Stations isn't valid at Tilehurst or Earley unless stopping short.

For many fares, certainly within the South East, a single fares cluster (Q086) of Tilehurst and Reading Stations exists.

Earley tends to be in the same fare cluster (Q089) with Winnersh, Winnersh Triangle and Wokingham for these purposes

Mortimer and Bramley are in fare cluster Q396.

It seems possible that Reading Green Park goes into Q396.

However, there are some fares for longer distance journeys where a larger cluster applies and it seems possible that the fare to Reading Green Park will be the same as for Reading in those cases.

That said, I note that 'XC only' fares won't be valid to Reading Green Park if XC don't stop there. Also, if GWR introduce counted place reservations on Reading to Basingstoke services, the quotas may not match up for through tickets.
 
Last edited:

MarkyT

Established Member
Joined
20 May 2012
Messages
6,311
Location
Torbay
... Also, if GWR introduce counted place reservations on Reading to Basingstoke services.
Seriously, on a local stopping service? Do you mean reduced COVID capacity limits actually counted by the guard. At intermediate stations I can't see how that could be policed realistically if it was exceptionally busy, unless only a single door was opened (and I can imagine this possibly risking a riot with a large football crown at the new station). Actual place reservations would have been impossible when I travelled Basingstoke-Reading West regularly as part of my commute, as I never knew which train I would actually be on, going home especially, some weeks boarding a different evening departure from Basingstoke every single day.
 

David Goddard

Established Member
Joined
8 Aug 2011
Messages
1,503
Location
Reading
I wonder whether the station will be added to the 'Reading Stations' fare group along with....
I think that fare groups and clusters are being confused here.

'Reading Stations' (0403) as a destination is just Reading and Reading West. A ticket to Reading Stations isn't valid at Tilehurst or Earley unless stopping short.
With the station being named "Reading Green Park" then tickets to "Reading Stations" could naturally (innocently or arrogantly) be assumed to include it.
If it is not to be included then the group will need to become "Reading or Reading West", which (I think) is what happens in Exeter to exclude St Thomas.
 

JonathanH

Veteran Member
Joined
29 May 2011
Messages
19,011
Seriously, on a local stopping service? Do you mean reduced COVID capacity limits actually counted by the guard. At intermediate stations I can't see how that could be policed realistically if it was exceptionally busy, unless only a single door was opened (and I can imagine this possibly risking a riot with a large football crown at the new station). Actual place reservations would have been impossible when I travelled Basingstoke-Reading West regularly as part of my commute, as I never knew which train I would actually be on, going home especially, some weeks boarding a different evening departure from Basingstoke every single day.
They have introduced counted place reservations on 'local stopping services' on the North Downs Line, ie the Redhill terminators, not just the Gatwick trains (although the Shalford terminators don't have them). As discussed in other threads, it doesn't seem to be about enforcement, it is about making the trains not appear on online journey planners if bookings are at a high level. If it is a success for GWR from that point of view, it could be applied to other LTV routes, including Reading to Basingstoke. Transport for Wales have counted place reservations on all their Valley Lines services now, although not compulsory.

Anyway, the point here is that Reading Green Park could be the same fare as to Reading for some flows (and obviously so from the south) but for other directions the monetary convenience (saving the bus fare) needs to be weighed up against the timing convenience (a quicker journey to Reading for connections). It doesn't seem obvious that XC will stop on matchdays - I can't think of any corresponding places they make extra stops (although perhaps there aren't any such places).

With the station being named "Reading Green Park" then tickets to "Reading Stations" could naturally (innocently or arrogantly) be assumed to include it.
If it is not to be included then the group will need to become "Reading or Reading West", which (I think) is what happens in Exeter to exclude St Thomas.
Yes, I can see the scope for confusion - it would seem to be possible to show Reading or Reading West. Exeter doesn't have an "Exeter Stations".

There are other cases - eg Warrington West isn't in the 'Warrington Stations' group
 

MarkyT

Established Member
Joined
20 May 2012
Messages
6,311
Location
Torbay
... it is about making the trains not appear on online journey planners if bookings are at a high level. If it is a success for GWR from that point of view, it could be applied to other LTV routes, including Reading to Basingstoke. Transport for Wales have counted place reservations on all their Valley Lines services now, although not compulsory.
So is the purpose to discourage ad hoc travel around commuter peaks by denying that the peak trains exist to those who don't know the timetable? Do large gaps in the online timetable appear just around peak times? Why not just advisories that 'this train very busy. We suggest you try a later one'. This is not how to encourage travellers back onto the railway. Mind you buses can be little better at times. I travel a lot by bus in Devon and I haven't really had any pandemic problems so far. Three weeks ago at Totnes however I had nearly half an hour to wait for my Torquay bus at the railway station so I decided to walk into town and catch it by the Seven Stars. The bus arrived as expected and didn't seem particularly full. I let two young mothers with a gaggle of kids go ahead of me in the queue because they couldn't use the similarly timed 'Bob the bus' community service up the hill to the local estate as they hadn't got the cash required for 'Bob', so wanted to use the Stagecoach card payment facility. I got to the door and it was summarily slammed in my face when the driver presumably judged the vehicle had reached some arbitrary COVID limit decided by the company, nowhere near full. I was absolutely freaking fuming because 1. If I'd waited back at the station I could have almost certainly got on, and 2. I desperately needed to be home on time that evening, which was why I left a little early to avoid the peak. I jumped into the vacant taxi that had quite mysteriously pulled up in traffic almost in front of me at the stop instead of waiting for the next bus in 30 minutes, actually saving well over an hour on the total journey, but costing me 4 times as much as the dayrider ticket I already had. Is the next step reservations for specific trains on the Piccadilly line?
 

davetheguard

Established Member
Joined
10 Apr 2013
Messages
1,813
Yes Reading West was is not far from Elm Park site

You could see the floodlights of the old Reading FC ground from the up platform at Reading West.

I've never been to the "new" Reading stadium; I know it is close to the new Green Park station, but just how close are we talking about, I wonder: 5 - 10 minutes' walk, or less than that?
 

swt_passenger

Veteran Member
Joined
7 Apr 2010
Messages
31,562
You could see the floodlights of the old Reading FC ground from the up platform at Reading West.

I've never been to the "new" Reading stadium; I know it is close to the new Green Park station, but just how close are we talking about, I wonder: 5 - 10 minutes' walk, or less than that?
I would say it’s about a mile, but the possible pedestrian routes are not that clear on current Google satellite view. As the crow flies it’s about 0.8 mile.
 

David Goddard

Established Member
Joined
8 Aug 2011
Messages
1,503
Location
Reading
I would say it’s about a mile, but the possible pedestrian routes are not that clear on current Google satellite view. As the crow flies it’s about 0.8 mile.
You can pretty much go from the stadium to the station in a straight line - cross the car park then there is a path down some steps and across the brook to where you can then walk along National Cycle Route 23 to Kirtons Farm Road corner, which is then just another 200 yards to the station.
 

Attachments

  • gp.JPG
    gp.JPG
    147 KB · Views: 25
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top