GWR timetable recast 2018?

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TheWalrus

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I was wondering with the electrification delays etc. will there still be a timetable recast in December 2018? I’m particularly interested in the London Paddington to Exeter semi-fast, London to Plymouth and Penzance intercity services and the local Devon services between Exmouth and Paignton.

Will we be seeing new trains (802s) in Devon in December with a timetable recast including the semi-fast Exeter service?

Many Thanks
 
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jimm

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Yes - though the GW timetable change will be from the start of January, same as this year.

All the indications are that Network Rail is going to meet the revised electrification targets for Bristol Parkway/Cardiff and to Newbury.

You will be seeing Class 802s on existing services from this summer - I think July is the target for entry into service.
 

TheWalrus

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Thank you for your response.

So half-hourly Exmouth to Paignton and two-hourly London to Exeter semi-fast will start in January?
 

Wilts Wanderer

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I will believe electrification to Cardiff for Jan 2019 when I see it. I think Paddington-Bristol Parkway is a far more realistic target, although I will be exceptionally happy to be proved wrong. (It will take a brave person to formally acknowledge if Hendy is to be missed.)
 

nickw1

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Thank you for your response.

So half-hourly Exmouth to Paignton and two-hourly London to Exeter semi-fast will start in January?

How will the Exeter semi fast work incidentally? An extension of alternate Bedwyns calling Pewsey, Westbury, Frome, Bruton, Castle Cary and stations to Exeter?
 

Wilts Wanderer

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Totally separate service.

Bedwyns remain similar to now, but worked by 5-car 800s. The Exeter semi fast is an additional service every 120 mins, calling at Reading, Newbury, Pewsey, Westbury, Castle Cary and Taunton.
 

700007

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With the arrival of the Elizabeth line as well in the Thames Valley to Heathrow and also the MetroWest, DevonMetro and TransWilts services kicking in, expect a huge amount of frequency increases and improvements in services.
 

TheWalrus

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Totally separate service.

Bedwyns remain similar to now, but worked by 5-car 800s. The Exeter semi fast is an additional service every 120 mins, calling at Reading, Newbury, Pewsey, Westbury, Castle Cary and Taunton.

Seems crazy to upgrade Bedwyns to a 800 every hour!
 

JonathanH

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Seems crazy to upgrade Bedwyns to a 800 every hour!

If they do, it isn't because of the importance of Kintbury, Hungerford and Bedwyn, rather it helps with pathing between London and Reading, frees up Turbos, possibly helps with diagramming and recognises the passenger demand at Newbury.

The alternative would be to run 800s just to Newbury - you probably couldn't do this with just 2 800s reliably - and extend the stopping service from Reading to Bedwyn. I would expect that the train company's forecasting models probably indicate a better return on running through trains to Bedwyn than making passengers at Kintbury, Hungerford and Bedwyn change trains for London even allowing for the additional cost of them being 800s rather than Turbos.
 

jimm

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With the arrival of the Elizabeth line as well in the Thames Valley to Heathrow and also the MetroWest, DevonMetro and TransWilts services kicking in, expect a huge amount of frequency increases and improvements in services.

So far as I am aware, all that Crossrail will be doing west of Paddington from May this year until December 2019 is taking on the current Paddington-Hayes & Harlington shuttles from GWR and the Heathrow stopping service from Heathrow Connect - with no changes to frequencies on either service. And a May start date could be optimistic, given all issues with the 345s.

Seems crazy to upgrade Bedwyns to a 800 every hour!

It's either that or 387s between Paddington/Reading and Newbury and a Turbo shuttle from Newbury - which was the initial plan. And given how heavy the loadings can be on some of the existing Turbo services between Paddington, Reading, Newbury and Bedwyn, the extra capacity is likely to be useful anyway, even if not right out at the western end of the journey.
 

TheWalrus

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The original plan was for EMUs to run Paddington to Newbury with a turbo shuttle to Bedwyn. However people didn’t want to change at Newbury so put pressure on government for electrification to Bedwyn. This didn’t happen so having 800s to Bedwyn is purely a political move I would say.
 

70014IronDuke

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Totally separate service.

Bedwyns remain similar to now, but worked by 5-car 800s. The Exeter semi fast is an additional service every 120 mins, calling at Reading, Newbury, Pewsey, Westbury, Castle Cary and Taunton.

Does this mean the WoE expresses will drop all stops between Reading and Taunton, or will the odd one stop to augment the 2-hourly semi-fasts? Westbury, at least, and possibly Castle Cary, would warrant that I'd have thought - to facilitate people changing into trains serving west of Exeter, ie save them changing twice.
 

Wilts Wanderer

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Does this mean the WoE expresses will drop all stops between Reading and Taunton, or will the odd one stop to augment the 2-hourly semi-fasts? Westbury, at least, and possibly Castle Cary, would warrant that I'd have thought - to facilitate people changing into trains serving west of Exeter, ie save them changing twice.

I believe most fast Plymouth / Penzance will be non stop between Reading and Taunton, yes. Possibly calls will be made in the late evening after the semi fasts finish. Also note a couple of semi fasts may extend beyond Exeter, to Paignton or Plymouth to augment the hourly fast services.
 

swt_passenger

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Does this mean the WoE expresses will drop all stops between Reading and Taunton, or will the odd one stop to augment the 2-hourly semi-fasts? Westbury, at least, and possibly Castle Cary, would warrant that I'd have thought - to facilitate people changing into trains serving west of Exeter, ie save them changing twice.
The 2015 GW franchise brief showed the hourly Plymouth/Penzance expresses non stop Reading to Taunton, yes.
The supporting text was:
December 2018 - South West Services

Standard pattern hourly service from London
running non-stop between Reading and Taunton
extending hourly to Plymouth and 2 hourly to
Penzance. Depending on stock choice trains may
split at Plymouth, with half the train continuing to
Penzance

Rolling stock will be either refreshed High Speed
Trains, equipped with automatic doors and
accessible toilets, or new trains. A decision on
rolling stock will be taken by the Department for
Transport by June 2015

[Now known to be covered by the Class 802 order]

The core intercity service will be supported by a
two hourly stopping service between Paddington
and Exeter to provide connectivity to the
intermediate stations.

Cannot find an online copy to link to at the moment.
 

70014IronDuke

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The 2015 GW franchise brief showed the hourly Plymouth/Penzance expresses non stop Reading to Taunton, yes.
The supporting text was:


Cannot find an online copy to link to at the moment.

Hmmm. thanks, and to WiltsWanderer.
I can see the advantages of the new semi-fast service (assuming it is all day, from morning till, say, 18.00 ish) - it would mean, for example, that Newbury will see more trains heading west in the morning (currently just one service, IIRC, the 07.03 ex Paddington). But I do think it a shame that Weymouth/Bournemoth passengers don't get the chance to change at C Cary for a fast train to beyond Exeter. Ditto passengers who'd like to change at Westbury.
 

Wilts Wanderer

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Westbury I agree with to some extent. I think the number of connections made at Castle Cary from the Weymouth line to/from the West Country is so low as to be insufficient to justify calling more Intercity trains there. A two hourly service to London/Taunton/Exeter is about as good a service as C Cary has ever had. Until fairly recently it only had 2-3 HST calls each way plus the local DMUs!
 

TT-ONR-NRN

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Westbury I agree with to some extent. I think the number of connections made at Castle Cary from the Weymouth line to/from the West Country is so low as to be insufficient to justify calling more Intercity trains there. A two hourly service to London/Taunton/Exeter is about as good a service as C Cary has ever had. Until fairly recently it only had 2-3 HST calls each way plus the local DMUs!
Well, you get direct links to Waterloo there now too!
 

jimm

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I believe most fast Plymouth / Penzance will be non stop between Reading and Taunton, yes. Possibly calls will be made in the late evening after the semi fasts finish. Also note a couple of semi fasts may extend beyond Exeter, to Paignton or Plymouth to augment the hourly fast services.

The outline of future GWR express services for the South West can be seen in a GWR presentation to TravelWatch South West from 2015.

Standard pattern hourly service from London running non-stop between Reading and Taunton extending hourly to Plymouth and 2 hourly to Penzance.

Two hourly stopping service between Paddington and Exeter to provide connectivity to the intermediate stations.

Paignton will be served by 3 intercity services each way (Mondays-Fridays)

http://travelwatchsouthwest.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Travelwatch-Presentation-October-2015.pdf

The original plan was for EMUs to run Paddington to Newbury with a turbo shuttle to Bedwyn. However people didn’t want to change at Newbury so put pressure on government for electrification to Bedwyn. This didn’t happen so having 800s to Bedwyn is purely a political move I would say.

It does also eliminate Turbo workings on the Berks & Hants, with another set free to go to Bristol as a result, so not entirely political in its motivation. It's not a bad thing, is it, that the through service is being maintained and with better rolling stock and reduced journey times?
 

nickw1

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Totally separate service.

Bedwyns remain similar to now, but worked by 5-car 800s. The Exeter semi fast is an additional service every 120 mins, calling at Reading, Newbury, Pewsey, Westbury, Castle Cary and Taunton.

Thanks - would it not make sense for these to also call at Frome, Bruton and Tiverton, as presumably the whole point is to serve the intermediate stations?
 

Taunton

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Stopping Penzance services at the likes of Castle Cary has always seemed wasteful, as those seats are unlikely to be required again for the rest of the journey. There is not a lot of intermediate traffic to be picked up on westbound services - Westbury provides some connecting passengers from Southampton etc, and Exeter from both connections and originating passengers, but otherwise the stops are principally for setting down. Even Taunton has always had little focus towards Devon and beyond - commercially it has always looked to Bristol, despite this being further distance than Exeter. I do suspect the new semi-fasts will be pretty empty by the time they get to the latter.

Tiverton Parkway is a strange omission by the new semi-fasts, maybe it will come with time. Frome is a nuisance being on a slow single track loop well off the main line, and risks conflict with Weymouth services in either direction, although it is a significant town (larger than Westbury). Bruton does not have any tradition of London services. I still hold out for one or both of Somerton or Langport getting a reinstated station, both quite significant local centres where the line passes through the centre of town, more than can be said for either Westbury or especially Castle Cary. And maybe, one day in the far future, Wellington.
 
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cle

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Which electric services will run to Newbury? Just the bi-mode Bedwyns? Or other stopping services? I had thought there might be an uplift.

And if no turbos, what will be running from the bays at Reading (other than Basingstokes) ?
 

swt_passenger

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Which electric services will run to Newbury? Just the bi-mode Bedwyns? Or other stopping services? I had thought there might be an uplift.

And if no turbos, what will be running from the bays at Reading (other than Basingstokes) ?
The Newbury stoppers from Reading will be 387s
 

Wilts Wanderer

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Tiverton Parkway is a strange omission by the new semi-fasts, maybe it will come with time. Frome is a nuisance being on a slow single track loop well off the main line, and risks conflict with Weymouth services in either direction, although it is a significant town (larger than Westbury). Bruton does not have any tradition of London services. I still hold out for one or both of Somerton or Langport getting a reinstated station, both quite significant local centres where the line passes through the centre of town, more than can be said for either Westbury or especially Castle Cary. And maybe, one day in the far future, Wellington.

Tiverton Parkway will be served by the hourly fasts. I think the choice is a mix of demand and timetabling - as a Parkway railhead, there will be more demand for fast links to Reading and London than for local traffic to Castle Cary etc. And in the down direction, the semi fast will be caught up by the next Padd-Plymouth fast by Taunton, so it doubly makes sense for the Tiverton stop to be in the latter.
 

Class 170101

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So far as I am aware, all that Crossrail will be doing west of Paddington from May this year until December 2019 is taking on the current Paddington-Hayes & Harlington shuttles from GWR and the Heathrow stopping service from Heathrow Connect - with no changes to frequencies on either service. And a May start date could be optimistic, given all issues with the 345s.

I think it will be Class 345s (7 car) to Hayes only for the time being. I don't think the bay is yet long enough for 9 car Class 345s. Class 315s staying put on the GEML for the time being.
 

TheWalrus

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The outline of future GWR express services for the South West can be seen in a GWR presentation to TravelWatch South West from 2015.



http://travelwatchsouthwest.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Travelwatch-Presentation-October-2015.pdf



It does also eliminate Turbo workings on the Berks & Hants, with another set free to go to Bristol as a result, so not entirely political in its motivation. It's not a bad thing, is it, that the through service is being maintained and with better rolling stock and reduced journey times?
It would be better if it went to Westbury rather than waste money extending a turnback siding. I would definitely use it as I live in Exeter and family lives near Bedwyn and Hungerford.
 

TheWalrus

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Stopping Penzance services at the likes of Castle Cary has always seemed wasteful, as those seats are unlikely to be required again for the rest of the journey. There is not a lot of intermediate traffic to be picked up on westbound services - Westbury provides some connecting passengers from Southampton etc, and Exeter from both connections and originating passengers, but otherwise the stops are principally for setting down. Even Taunton has always had little focus towards Devon and beyond - commercially it has always looked to Bristol, despite this being further distance than Exeter. I do suspect the new semi-fasts will be pretty empty by the time they get to the latter.

Tiverton Parkway is a strange omission by the new semi-fasts, maybe it will come with time. Frome is a nuisance being on a slow single track loop well off the main line, and risks conflict with Weymouth services in either direction, although it is a significant town (larger than Westbury). Bruton does not have any tradition of London services. I still hold out for one or both of Somerton or Langport getting a reinstated station, both quite significant local centres where the line passes through the centre of town, more than can be said for either Westbury or especially Castle Cary. And maybe, one day in the far future, Wellington.

They did this before, when FGW first introduced the 180s on Exeter semi-fasts they omitted Tiverton Parkway. They started calling there later.
 

jimm

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Tiverton Parkway is a strange omission by the new semi-fasts, maybe it will come with time. Frome is a nuisance being on a slow single track loop well off the main line, and risks conflict with Weymouth services in either direction, although it is a significant town (larger than Westbury). Bruton does not have any tradition of London services. I still hold out for one or both of Somerton or Langport getting a reinstated station, both quite significant local centres where the line passes through the centre of town, more than can be said for either Westbury or especially Castle Cary. And maybe, one day in the far future, Wellington.

I don't know that Tiverton Parkway is a strange omission - it will have an hourly London service and presumably GWR has plenty of evidence from ticket sales as to the overall level of demand to/from Reading and London and thinks it doesn't justify more than an hourly call. Pathing may also put the semi-fasts close behind or just ahead of an XC service or GWR Bristol-Devon/Cornwall train (both running in a regular hourly path, as opposed to every couple of hours) as well, in which case the odds of picking up/putting down any local traffic would probably be limited.

Which electric services will run to Newbury? Just the bi-mode Bedwyns? Or other stopping services? I had thought there might be an uplift.

And if no turbos, what will be running from the bays at Reading (other than Basingstokes) ?

I think there will be some 387 extras in the peaks between Paddington and Newbury as well as the Bedwyn IETs, plus 387s on the Reading-Newbury stoppers. I gather the number of weekday Newbury-London through services both ways will go up from about 40 now to 50-odd, made up of IETs on Bedwyns and the Exeter semi-fasts, plus some 387s.

It would be better if it went to Westbury rather than waste money extending a turnback siding. I would definitely use it as I live in Exeter and family lives near Bedwyn and Hungerford.

It would probably need five 800s, instead of three, to provide an hourly service out to Westbury and I doubt there would be be the day-round demand to justify an hourly London service there, never mind Pewsey.

How could you use such a service, as there would be no connections to/from Exeter at Westbury, other than the semi-fasts, which will be calling at Bedwyn and Hungerford anyway?
 
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