Nat Rail allows ATW dispensation for delayed timetable

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merlodlliw

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I was invited yesterday to attend the The Association of Community Rail Partnerships – ACoRP within the Senned/Cardiff Bay also present were the six rail partnerships in Wales, I was informed by trustworthy sources that

ATW have been given dispensation by National Rail, to delay the Dec 2011/12 timetables, due to further delay in preparation of the "Strategic Review of Transport for Wales" being undertaken by the Minister, this review was due in Autumn,and as this review is considering the future of the Open Access "WAG Expresses" their fate remains unknown, hence the timetable delay.
The review is also looking at Capitol spend & includes the Saltney to Wrexham double track, with £28millions ring fenced to 2012.


The Minister Carl Sargent was Agenda timetabled to make an important announcement at 1140 but to everyone's surprise,no announcement was made by him yet the reception was brought forward one hour to accommodate the Ministers speech. The Minister was however present to meet the partnerships, but left after 20 minutes. Also present were ATW Senior Managers & Network Rails National Director for rail partnerships.

Bob
 
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Gareth Marston

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I was invited yesterday to attend the The Association of Community Rail Partnerships – ACoRP within the Senned/Cardiff Bay also present were the six rail partnerships in Wales, I was informed by trustworthy sources that

ATW have been given dispensation by National Rail, to delay the Dec 2011/12 timetables, due to further delay in preparation of the "Strategic Review of Transport for Wales" being undertaken by the Minister, this review was due in Autumn,and as this review is considering the future of the Open Access "WAG Expresses" their fate remains unknown, hence the timetable delay.
The review is also looking at Capitol spend & includes the Saltney to Wrexham double track, with £28millions ring fenced to 2012.


The Minister Carl Sargent was Agenda timetabled to make an important announcement at 1140 but to everyone's surprise,no announcement was made by him yet the reception was brought forward one hour to accommodate the Ministers speech. The Minister was however present to meet the partnerships, but left after 20 minutes. Also present were ATW Senior Managers & Network Rails National Director for rail partnerships.

Bob
Southbound WAG 2 I saw at Shrewsbury today - the very definition of carting fresh air. I think the problem if you like is that Welsh Labour do not want to be seen to be cutting services- I suspect the delay is due to trying to find some way of keeping WAG Expresses going. I know many on this forum have concerns about their relevance to the real world. However cuts are what the CONDEMS do.
 

Squaddie

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One of the most frequent comments on this forum is that a train is "carting fresh air". What's so wrong with a lightly-loaded train? It makes for a much more pleasant experience for everyone on board.
 

MCR247

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One of the most frequent comments on this forum is that a train is "carting fresh air". What's so wrong with a lightly-loaded train? It makes for a much more pleasant experience for everyone on board.
Well in that case if it is that much more pleasent, should we charge the people on it more so the train can at least break even?
 

WestCoast

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One of the most frequent comments on this forum is that a train is "carting fresh air". What's so wrong with a lightly-loaded train? It makes for a much more pleasant experience for everyone on board.
Great for the passenger's onboard, not great for the (Welsh) taxpayer.
 

Pacerpilot

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A less obvious benefit of this, No December link changes for the Traincrew.... Long weekend off over Christmas for Pacerpilot then...Hooray!
 

tbtc

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One of the most frequent comments on this forum is that a train is "carting fresh air". What's so wrong with a lightly-loaded train? It makes for a much more pleasant experience for everyone on board.
For me its about efficient use of resources.

ATW are running a four coach train (with First Class/ Restaurant) on this service, yet only two coach DMUs on routes like Swansea - Cardiff (and Pacers on most Valley services).

How would you feel, crammed onto a two coach DMU whilst the Politicians have "a much more pleasant experience" on their lightly loaded (four coach) service"?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
What?! :o

I've caught this service many times (0942 from Wrexham General) and have found it to be overcrowded on several occasions, seeing as its only a 2-unit service.
By "overcrowded" I presume that you mean "full and standing load, with more people standing than the train was designed to carry"?

(sorry, but it bugs me the way that any busy service is automatically described as "overcrowded")
 

12CSVT

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If a train has more passengers than seats then I think you could legitimately say it is overcrowded (at least for the part of the journey where people are having to stand)
 

MCR247

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If a train has more passengers than seats then I think you could legitimately say it is overcrowded (at least for the part of the journey where people are having to stand)
how is that overcrowded? Trains are made with standing capacity. Is every 378 overcrowded because people are standing? No.
 

emoaconr

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By "overcrowded" I presume that you mean "full and standing load, with more people standing than the train was designed to carry"?

(sorry, but it bugs me the way that any busy service is automatically described as "overcrowded")
No, I would describe it as "full and standing load, with a significantly greater number of people standing throughout the train than is commonplace in other services of that route"

;)
 

merlodlliw

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No, I would describe it as "full and standing load, with a significantly greater number of people standing throughout the train than is commonplace in other services of that route"

;)
I too have used WAG2, remember it replaced a busy Birm Int to Shrewsbury the first discounted service on the up, it empties at Shrewsbury, on the various occasions I have used this service to Cardiff, & has never been more than quarter full from Salop to Cardiff. Below is a note of my travel on Thursday, using a ATW 55 card, sent to colleagues via e mail.

Out of Interest.....
I did travel down to Cardiff on WAG1 Gerald from Chester, after almost an hour on Chester station, the only connection is the 0604 from Wrexham for the 0709 Cardiff Express, as usual the train empted majority pax at Crewe & after Shrewsbury the standard three coaches were less than half filled,with only two pax in First which I counted when visiting the buffet.
The 0604 ex WRX was a three coach 175, which parked on platform 7 at Chester,then formed a Manchester Picc.
After a walk from Cardiff Central to Queen St Station,the "Bubble Car" was running to Cardiff Bay, one forgets the rattle & noise.
My return was the 1450 two car 175 Man Picc, full on arrival & standing to Newport, the look of dismay on pax when a two car turns up.
After a short 40 minute wait at Shrewsbury, caught the 1724 three car 175 to Holyhead back to Wrexham. I must have been lucky not a 150 or 158 on the day. Noted the 0630 Vt to Euston was full out of Chester, and the 0700 Wrexham/Euston voyager passed through Chester on the down to Wrexham at 0635, stopping on platform 3 to pick up what appeared another driver who got into the rear cab. I would have posted sooner, but SWMBO was on the keyboard.
 

Daimler

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Surely that's just "crowded"?
Perhaps the definition depends on the type of service - for a long distance inter-city or inter-regional service (such as the one in question), then I would agree that if people are standing, the train is 'overcrowded'. If it's a suburban service running into the city in the rush hour, or a metro service, then this definition changes.
 

jones_bangor

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For me its about efficient use of resources.

ATW are running a four coach train (with First Class/ Restaurant) on this service, yet only two coach DMUs on routes like Swansea - Cardiff (and Pacers on most Valley services).

How would you feel, crammed onto a two coach DMU whilst the Politicians have "a much more pleasant experience" on their lightly loaded (four coach) service"?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I've been on this service frequently, and have yet to see a politician.

I would remind you that Swansea - Cardiff is served by first class services courtesy of FGW, with a morning and evening service as far as Carms.

I think your issue is more to do with Cardiff and London having equality in terms of the provision of services provided. Cardiff is the administrative centre, why should there not be IC standard services to the Welsh regions?

Are you also suggesting first class on the Valley Lines as well?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
One of the most frequent comments on this forum is that a train is "carting fresh air". What's so wrong with a lightly-loaded train? It makes for a much more pleasant experience for everyone on board.
My personal view is that WAG 2 should be become a northbound train leaving Cardiff c. 6am, with a return leaving Holyhead c. 1530.

I fail to see who would use WAG 2 to get to Cardiff on business purposes, doesn't get there until midday.
 
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RP

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Local press carrying a story today of a "rail link express bus" between Rogerstone and Newport railway stations timed to connect with trains at Rogerstone on Mondays to Saturdays with through ticketing - a year-long pilot. Others may be aware that its predecessor was not at all successful, probably partly because of the 40 minute journey and circuitous route it took.
 

anthony263

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Local press carrying a story today of a "rail link express bus" between Rogerstone and Newport railway stations timed to connect with trains at Rogerstone on Mondays to Saturdays with through ticketing - a year-long pilot. Others may be aware that its predecessor was not at all successful, probably partly because of the 40 minute journey and circuitous route it took.
I hope this trial bus service does a lot better than the previous one. However I think they should just get on with building the extension between Ebbw Vale town and Ebbw Vale Parkway as well as the rest of the work to enable a hourly Ebbw Vale - Newport service..

With the WAG's I personally dont see the point of the 2nd southbound WAG I would much rather a 2nd WAG express running from Cardiff to Holyhead at around 06:15 with a return working from Holyhead around 17:30 arriving back into Cardiff around 22:00.

Also I would like to see the stock geting more use on weekends especially if 1 set is sitting at Canbton, surely a run on a saturday & sunday from Cardiff - Manchester & back providing the stock is being serviced etc especially with the south wales - manchester service being very overcrowded at times especially on the weekends.
 

merlodlliw

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I hope this trial bus service does a lot better than the previous one. However I think they should just get on with building the extension between Ebbw Vale town and Ebbw Vale Parkway as well as the rest of the work to enable a hourly Ebbw Vale - Newport service..

According to people at the reception I attended, there is move by Sth Wales politicians to try & divert the Wrexham/Saltney money to Ebbw Vale town extension , plus the £28M ring fencing ends this year.

Neither , ATW/NR/Politicians see the Newport extension for years,unless more funding is found,but no figures are avail to back this up, the push is more Cardiffs according to those in the know.

Bob
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I've been on this service frequently, and have yet to see a politician.

I would remind you that Swansea - Cardiff is served by first class services courtesy of FGW, with a morning and evening service as far as Carms.

I think your issue is more to do with Cardiff and London having equality in terms of the provision of services provided. Cardiff is the administrative centre, why should there not be IC standard services to the Welsh regions?

Holyhead/London is also served by VT 1st class franchise trains. As for the open access Wag1 "Gerald" 2 first class passengers on Thursday, does not prove a demand is there.

Bob
 
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Rhydgaled

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If a train has more passengers than seats then I think you could legitimately say it is overcrowded (at least for the part of the journey where people are having to stand)
Perhaps the definition depends on the type of service - for a long distance inter-city or inter-regional service (such as the one in question), then I would agree that if people are standing, the train is 'overcrowded'. If it's a suburban service running into the city in the rush hour, or a metro service, then this definition changes.
That's what I was going to say, for intercity/regional express services (also long distance buses such as TrawsCambria X40), 'overcrowding' to me is if anyone has to stand/sit on the luggage rack/floor. However, for suburban/metro routes (and I guess the first 5mins out of Aberystwth on my example of the X40 bus) then 'overcrowding' wouldn't be hit until there are quite a number of standing passengers.

With the WAG's I personally dont see the point of the 2nd southbound WAG I would much rather a 2nd WAG express running from Cardiff to Holyhead at around 06:15 with a return working from Holyhead around 17:30 arriving back into Cardiff around 22:00.
Agreed, WAG 2 should leave Cardiff in the morning (maybe not quite as early as 6:15 though) rather than Holyhead, and provide an express departure back from Holyhead somewhere between 16:30 and 18:00.

Also I would like to see the stock geting more use on weekends.
Very much agreed.
 

merlodlliw

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You're right, it proves nothing.
Whatever,I consider the Premier element an extravagance,after two years of running, just two first class passengers on average per journey to Cardiff says it all in my book.

Talk also of a South/North Premier service, but with all respect, who wants to go to Holyhead from Cardiff first class, semi fast yes, but drop this Premier Idea, all that is wanted is a buffet, this was well used on Thursday by the obvious majority,

Bob
 
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Squaddie

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Whatever,I consider the Premier element an extravagance,after two years of running, just two first class passengers on average per journey to Cardiff says it all in my book.
Is that the actual average number of first class passengers per service, or are you extrapolating from the fact that you only saw two first class passengers when you travelled on the train?
 

jones_bangor

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Whatever,I consider the Premier element an extravagance,after two years of running, just two first class passengers on average per journey to Cardiff says it all in my book.

Talk also of a South/North Premier service, but with all respect, who wants to go to Holyhead from Cardiff first class, semi fast yes, but drop this Premier Idea, all that is wanted is a buffet, this was well used on Thursday by the obvious majority,
Please, your journey cannot come up with an "average" usage figure! However, I'm sure that statistically correct First & Standard usage figures will be available to the Minister.

Nevertheless, I agree the "Premier" tag could be dropped, a buffet or microwaved food is adequate, as I've indicated previously.

I'm not sure who goes to Holyhead, but when I came off at Bangor three weeks ago or so, there were three "Councillor" types in First for Holyhead.

If changes to WAG need to be made, I stick to the line that the morning southbound WAG 2 serves little useful purpose, WAG 1 is the one to keep. Maybe one morning southbound, one northbound, and the same in the evening? An 1800ish northbound probably is useful.
 
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Gareth Marston

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Please, your journey cannot come up with an "average" usage figure! However, I'm sure that statistically correct First & Standard usage figures will be available to the Minister.

Nevertheless, I agree the "Premier" tag could be dropped, a buffet or microwaved food is adequate, as I've indicated previously.

I'm not sure who goes to Holyhead, but when I came off at Bangor three weeks ago or so, there were three "Councillor" types in First for Holyhead.

If changes to WAG need to be made, I stick to the line that the morning southbound WAG 2 serves little useful purpose, WAG 1 is the one to keep. Maybe one morning southbound, one northbound, and the same in the evening? An 1800ish northbound probably is useful.
We could all suggest several better uses of the 2 car 175 that does the WAG 2 service. The 1239 Holyhead to Maesteg was absolutely rammed on arrival at Chester on Friday lots of ferry foot passengers on it all changing- it was 3 car 175 as well. Personally I would use the unit to run a Cardiff to Abergavenny diagram every 2 hrs and give a 2 tph service for Abergavenny/Cwmbran into Newport/Cardiff it would relieve a lot of pressure on the Manchester trains.
 

merlodlliw

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Is that the actual average number of first class passengers per service, or are you extrapolating from the fact that you only saw two first class passengers when you travelled on the train?
The two pax in Premier is not unusual, several colleagues report similar, I have probably made the same journey four times this year,alas 2 is the average,on one occasion none,others on Rail Forums report similar.

Bob
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I'm not sure who goes to Holyhead, but when I came off at Bangor three weeks ago or so, there were three "Councillor" types in First for Holyhead.

If changes to WAG need to be made, I stick to the line that the morning southbound WAG 2 serves little useful purpose, WAG 1 is the one to keep. Maybe one morning southbound, one northbound, and the same in the evening? An 1800ish northbound probably is useful.[/QUOTE] Jones Bangor
....................................................................................................
On the first point, what I meant was, if the train ran early South/North, who would travel Premier to Holyhead, when there is the WAGAIR still flying to Valley.

I fully agree I can not see any purpose for WAG2, except it goes via Wrexham,which gave the town no extra overall train, mealy serving a political mission, leaving this fully serviceable two coach 175 parked up at Canton between noon and 1800 doing nothing, on a Friday especially benefits no one,
 

jones_bangor

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The two pax in Premier is not unusual, several colleagues report similar, I have probably made the same journey four times this year,alas 2 is the average,on one occasion none,others on Rail Forums report similar.
Well, I've never used First class on this service, but I guess one reason people pay the First premium is to enjoy a quieter carriage etc etc.

As I've said, the WG will have the actual usage figures to hand.
 

Sun!

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For long distance services anyone standing for a period of time eg 30+minutes is overcrowding. This isnt the Valleys Lines or some suburban London service.

Also for the Trawscambria X40 service anyone standing is overcrowding as on the motorway standing passengers arent allowed. (I have heared of people thrown off the bus is Carmarthen because of this on busier buses)
 

merlodlliw

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Well, I've never used First class on this service, but I guess one reason people pay the First premium is to enjoy a quieter carriage etc etc.

As I've said, the WG will have the actual usage figures to hand.
I should think this Minister will have the figures in front of him, must say compared to DMUs except 175, the standard carriages are very nice & quiet plus table,one excellent point, the conductor makes the announcements on Wag 1, which I find to be Sharp/Concise & Polished which is all that is required, as opposed to the never ending recordings on DMUs.

I also agree with Gareth Marston, the current WG would be loath to kill off a service with all the overcrowding, but no one would miss the WAG2 175 which could be better used, but WAGAIR must be the first candidate for axing,I don't think the present Minister would have allowed the 4/5 year deal which was demanded by the only airline that was even remotely interested in the contract,which is now just a tourist flight to fill seats.The first WAGAIR Company went bust & it should have been left at that, but Political promises to constituents outweigh common sense at times.

The 2011/2012 timetable will be awash with amendments.

Bob
 
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