Cross Country services from Guildford, are they likely to return?

infobleep

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In July I entered a Criss Country competition to win tickets to travel anywhere on their network.

I didn't win but I noticed that their Reading and North timetable PDF showed a spur from Guildford on the map.

Currently, no scheduled services are running from Guildford. Are they likely to return at any point?

As an aside, I had wondered what would happen if I'd won the competition and wanted to travel from Guildford. It's showed on their network map. I wonder if they would have paid for my travel to Reading on Great Western Railway.
 
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Ianno87

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No doubt the competition has a T&C buried that says "...on scheduled CrossCountry services" - I.e. doesn't matter if its not on the map,it's whether it's in the timetable that counts.
 

infobleep

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No doubt the competition has a T&C buried that says "...on scheduled CrossCountry services" - I.e. doesn't matter if its not on the map,it's whether it's in the timetable that counts.
I don't seem to think it mentioned scheduled services but Cross Country routes and the map on the leadlet shows Guildford in the same colour as other cross country routes, despite no trains running currently. It's the same thickness of line too.

The map in question is titled Reading to Birmingham and the North East.

So are services likely to return to Guildford at some point?
 

HamworthyGoods

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I don't seem to think it mentioned scheduled services but Cross Country routes and the map on the leadlet shows Guildford in the same colour as other cross country routes, despite no trains running currently. It's the same thickness of line too.

The map in question is titled Reading to Birmingham and the North East.

So are services likely to return to Guildford at some point?

Not in forthcoming timetables, who knows long term!?

There’s several locations on the XC map that feature in there because they normally have a handful of services; Guildford, Weston, Hayle amongst others.
 
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IIRC after the service was cut back from Brighton/Gatwick Airport, wasn't this kept for drivers' route knowledge for diverting via the Pompey Direct to get to Soton?
 

Ianno87

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IIRC after the service was cut back from Brighton/Gatwick Airport, wasn't this kept for drivers' route knowledge for diverting via the Pompey Direct to get to Soton?

Can do that with an ECS move though. Which is how it is done now.

I presume the logic was if you're running an ECS anyway, it might as well run in service at very little extra cost, and tick a political box of maintaining a token service to Guildford.
 

tommy2215

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The one a day CrossCountry to/from Guildford was in the draft timetables in for the May 2022 ECML consultation. But of course that's been postponed and could well be altered.
 

221129

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I presume the logic was if you're running an ECS anyway, it might as well run in service at very little extra cost, and tick a political box of maintaining a token service to Guildford.
Which is basically how it was before. But given that a couple of years ago there was talk of axing that route, it would be naiive to think it is 100% certainly coming back.
 

infobleep

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Which is basically how it was before. But given that a couple of years ago there was talk of axing that route, it would be naiive to think it is 100% certainly coming back.
If it doesn't come back, I wonder at which point will they decide this and at what point they will update the map to remove it.
 

DelW

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In recent years it hasn't been a practical service for most passengers anyway, with a single departure northbound at around 06:00 and a single return at about 20:00 - 22:00.

On the couple of occasions that I used it, there were no more than a handful of passengers south of Reading. It did save the change in Reading, though, which allowed a quicker journey between the Midlands and Guildford.

At one time I'd thought of using the service throughout, just for fun as a day trip from Guildford to either York or Newcastle (it terminated at each on different timetables). But it was virtually impossible to persuade journey planners to give a price for the direct train, even with a combination of "via" & "avoid" settings, it kept routing me onto the ECML somewhere. It was probably a daft idea anyway ;)

Rather more useful are the XC weekend diversions via the Direct when the main line is closed, which give Guildford a usable XC service if only for a day or two.
 

Ianno87

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In recent years it hasn't been a practical service for most passengers anyway, with a single departure northbound at around 06:00 and a single return at about 20:00 - 22:00.

It did settle down as a reasonably timed train for Guildford residents to have a "business day" in Birmingham...not that there were many such passengers, I suspect.

The Sunday train was better timed for leisure journeys.

Which is basically how it was before. But given that a couple of years ago there was talk of axing that route, it would be naiive to think it is 100% certainly coming back.

It was consulted on as part of XC's proposed Dec 2018(?) changes. Which would be the "air cover" to do so.
 

DelW

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Since it was principally a route knowledge special, with the empty set stabling (IIRC) at Eastleigh, I was always puzzled that the passenger limit was Guildford rather than say Havant, which would have given connections from or to Coastway services. Wouldn't XC guards have to have route knowledge of Havant when working diversions via the Direct, or do they not make passenger calls there?
 

swt_passenger

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Since it was principally a route knowledge special, with the empty set stabling (IIRC) at Eastleigh, I was always puzzled that the passenger limit was Guildford rather than say Havant, which would have given connections from or to Coastway services. Wouldn't XC guards have to have route knowledge of Havant when working diversions via the Direct, or do they not make passenger calls there?
There are no passenger calls Guildford to Southampton when on diversions. Of course the diversions also usually operate via the Netley line, which isn’t actually covered by the normal ECS move, so they presumably use cab rides for that bit. I believe from previous discussions the guards join and leave the train at Guildford, and aren’t present on the ECS.
 

DelW

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There are no passenger calls Guildford to Southampton when on diversions. Of course the diversions also usually operate via the Netley line, which isn’t actually covered by the normal ECS move, so they presumably use cab rides for that bit. I believe from previous discussions the guards join and leave the train at Guildford, and aren’t present on the ECS.
Thanks for the explanation, I'd thought that there might be other station calls on the diversion route.
 

swt_passenger

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Thanks for the explanation, I'd thought that there might be other station calls on the diversion route.
I was on one westbound some years ago, held at a red signal at Fareham, and a chap thought it would be a good idea to argue that the guard should have let him out, he threatened to use the emergency egress. Got no joy of course…

Getting back to the point about interchange though, the usual reason for XC running via Havant is that the Basingstoke area is completely closed, and so SWR would also be likely to be running that way, and they do usually call at Havant and Fareham as well.
 
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Ianno87

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Since it was principally a route knowledge special, with the empty set stabling (IIRC) at Eastleigh, I was always puzzled that the passenger limit was Guildford rather than say Havant, which would have given connections from or to Coastway services. Wouldn't XC guards have to have route knowledge of Havant when working diversions via the Direct, or do they not make passenger calls there?

I presume at the time the Guildford service was reduced to once per day (2008), Havant/Haslemere had seen no XC service for 5 years, so re-instating those call was not seen as necessary.
 
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There are no passenger calls Guildford to Southampton when on diversions. Of course the diversions also usually operate via the Netley line, which isn’t actually covered by the normal ECS move, so they presumably use cab rides for that bit. I believe from previous discussions the guards join and leave the train at Guildford, and aren’t present on the ECS.
That is correct. Bournemouth and Reading guards have dedicated route refresh days for that one and Romsey I believe
 

47827

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A far cry from the "good old days". Brighton XC was one of oddments of the IC work with 4 or 5 guards but drivers from farther afield once the small NSE link who drove ex Brighton was taken off. Brighton XC then shut down with guards from other depots such as Birmingham, Bournemouth and Manchester playing roles until 2001 when the extra Gatwick and Guilford voyagers came in and Brighton opened with some of the original staff plus several new faces. Of course it then shut down again when XC pulled the plug on Brighton altogether, or around that period. The reincarnated depot was briefly required to work loco hauled turns too as well plus vice voyager stuff up until the end of mk2 stock. So all new staff received full training.

Arguably XC has lost too many of its through links it . A shame, but they didn't fit the modern day railway timetabling or service patterns.
 

infobleep

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It did settle down as a reasonably timed train for Guildford residents to have a "business day" in Birmingham...not that there were many such passengers, I suspect.

The Sunday train was better timed for leisure journeys.
I have actually use XC for a business day trip to Birmingham and back.

Prior to that Id had also used it for a leisure trip to visit a friend in York.

Occasionally I've uses it to travel back from Oxford. The keyword in all of this is occasional.
.
I imagine there is more demand for Bournemouth, being on the coast.

Perhaps they could make the Guildford link on the map a dotted line to indicate limited service or only service during some engineering work.
 

Revilo

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On a similar theme, does anyone have any idea when XC might return to Weston-super-Mare?
 

Jamesrob637

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The Bristol to Manchester is scheduled to return in December so some might be extended to Weston-super-mud then.
 

The Planner

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Internal sources say so. Rumour had it earlier but December is the next significant timetable change (amd the main one for most of continental Europe, however that's going off-topic).
Clearly a change in direction then as the last I heard Dec was pretty much a rollover.
 

XC victim

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Internal sources say so. Rumour had it earlier but December is the next significant timetable change (amd the main one for most of continental Europe, however that's going off-topic).
Any news of the Newcastle - Reading / Southampton services returning?
 

Watershed

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Internal sources say so. Rumour had it earlier but December is the next significant timetable change (amd the main one for most of continental Europe, however that's going off-topic).
Not sure which sources you're going off, but XC are definitely just rolling over their current timetable. It's started showing on RTT today.
 

Mainline421

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Not sure which sources you're going off, but XC are definitely just rolling over their current timetable. It's started showing on RTT today.
More worryingly all of the 'service stop unadvertised' calls have been removed. I really hope they are not hoping to make this halved service permanent, the Newcastle-South Coast services were quite useful. I don't see what excuse they have for continuing with this, off-peak and weekend demand must be back to 2019 levels.
 

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