Newquay on summer Saturdays

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nanstallon

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I have noticed from the on line timetables that there are no through trains from London or other 'upcountry' cities to Newquay. I wonder what trains will work over the branch, as surely a two car, or even four car, Sprinter set will not be able to cope with the traffic. Does anyone know, please, what is likely to be used?
 
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HamworthyGoods

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I have noticed from the on line timetables that there are no through trains from London or other 'upcountry' cities to Newquay. I wonder what trains will work over the branch, as surely a two car, or even four car, Sprinter set will not be able to cope with the traffic. Does anyone know, please, what is likely to be used?

4 car 150 on Summer Saturdays.
 

HamworthyGoods

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Thank you. These trains may be very crowded.

Capacity will be around the same as previous years - a 4 car 150 has more seats than the equivalent 5 car voyager (nearly 300 v 250) and whilst its shorter than the daily seasonal IET London service the branch has an extra round trip in the day compared to normal Summer Saturdays.
 

irish_rail

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Believe running some 80x ex London at selected times is being looked at, maybe boardmasters, that sort of thing.....
 

Wilts Wanderer

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Believe running some 80x ex London at selected times is being looked at, maybe boardmasters, that sort of thing.....

That will be extremely dependent on the IET availability, Covid situation, impact of Bristol East block etc.
 

irish_rail

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That will be extremely dependent on the IET availability, Covid situation, impact of Bristol East block etc.
If boardmasters goes ahead I'm not sure there is an alternative. Might be they have to cancel some other stuff to provide the sets if necessary? Not even sure if boardmasters is due to occur this year anyway??!!
 

43055

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If boardmasters goes ahead I'm not sure there is an alternative. Might be they have to cancel some other stuff to provide the sets if necessary? Not even sure if boardmasters is due to occur this year anyway??!!
Boardmasters website says 11-15 August and some tickets are on sale.
 

berneyarms

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Believe running some 80x ex London at selected times is being looked at, maybe boardmasters, that sort of thing.....
There are paths in the system for through services to/from Paddington that could be activated if needs be.
 

Ianno87

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Capacity will be around the same as previous years - a 4 car 150 has more seats than the equivalent 5 car voyager (nearly 300 v 250) and whilst its shorter than the daily seasonal IET London service the branch has an extra round trip in the day compared to normal Summer Saturdays.

Also presumably the train can shuttle Par-Newquay more frequently, compared to an IET from Paddington that needs a 30+ minute turnround time at Newquay whilst it sits in the sunshine.
 

berneyarms

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Comparing the high Summer 2019 schedule with Summer 2021:

Monday-Friday:
Summer 2019: Five shuttles to/from Par; One direct to/from Paddington
Summer 2021: Eight shuttles to/from Par

Saturdays:
Summer 2019: GW: One shuttle to/from Par. three others to/from Plymouth and beyond; XC: Three return services
Summer 2021: GW: Seven shuttles to/from Par (including one starting in Exeter)

Sundays:
Summer 2019: GW: Four shuttles to/from Par and one to/from Paddington; XC: One return service
Summer 2021: GW: Six shuttles to/from Par
 

Ianno87

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Comparing the high Summer 2019 schedule with Summer 2021:

Monday-Friday:
Summer 2019: Five shuttles to/from Par; One direct to/from Paddington
Summer 2021: Eight shuttles to/from Par

Saturdays:
Summer 2019: GW: One shuttle to/from Par. three others to/from Plymouth and beyond; XC: Three return services
Summer 2021: GW: Seven shuttles to/from Par (including one starting in Exeter)

Sundays:
Summer 2019: GW: Four shuttles to/from Par and one to/from Paddington; XC: One return service
Summer 2021: GW: Six shuttles to/from Par

Strikes me as generally better.

Shows what can be done if the obsession with oddball through trains run for no reason than carrying on what somebody thought was a good idea to use a spare HST in 1976 or whenever.
 

Horizon22

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There are paths in the system for through services to/from Paddington that could be activated if needs be.

I imagine with the generally reduced IET availability at present, it is highly unlikely to be activated.

Boardmasters website says 11-15 August and some tickets are on sale.

In fact, they say they've sold out already.
 

irish_rail

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Strikes me as generally better.

Shows what can be done if the obsession with oddball through trains run for no reason than carrying on what somebody thought was a good idea to use a spare HST in 1976 or whenever.
Hmm lack of lifts at Par could cause a bit of a problem no? Or is disability discrimination just when it suits?
 

Ianno87

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Hmm lack of lifts at Par could cause a bit of a problem no? Or is disability discrimination just when it suits?

So what happens on the couple of hundred days of the year when there are no through trains already?
 

Wilts Wanderer

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So what happens on the couple of hundred days of the year when there are no through trains already?

The reality is very few people travel to/from Newquay by rail off-season. In high summer there has traditionally been a very sharp uplift in long distance travel, hence the direct trains from afar. It will be interesting to see if this traffic returns in 2021 without the direct services.

Hmm lack of lifts at Par could cause a bit of a problem no? Or is disability discrimination just when it suits?

Isn’t there a contingency that involves taxiing a customer from St Austell to Newquay?
 

Ianno87

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Happy to be corrected, but I don‘t believe there is a single precedent for provision of a through service purely on disabled accessibility grounds. The “reasonable adjustment“ is either a taxi, or permitting the passenger to double back to the first station with step free access (for a passenger travelling from London, would be St Austell).

This, of course, is only an issue in one direction.

The reality is very few people travel to/from Newquay by rail off-season. In high summer there has traditionally been a very sharp uplift in long distance travel, hence the direct trains from afar. It will be interesting to see if this traffic returns in 2021 without the direct services.

My experience of doing a summer Saturday HST on a sunny afternoon in 2013 was pretty lightly loaded.

Isn’t there a contingency that involves taxiing a customer from St Austell to Newquay?

Which is probably faster!
 
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43096

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Strikes me as generally better.

Shows what can be done if the obsession with oddball through trains run for no reason than carrying on what somebody thought was a good idea to use a spare HST in 1976 or whenever.
Taking the Saturday service, how is 7 shuttles better than 6 through trains and one shuttle. Sunday likewise: 6 shuttles as against 4 shuttles and 2 long distance. That is a demonstrably worse service.
 

Ianno87

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Taking the Saturday service, how is 7 shuttles better than 6 through trains and one shuttle. Sunday likewise: 6 shuttles as against 4 shuttles and 2 long distance. That is a demonstrably worse service.
Not if they’re better spread across the day to to meet times of demand (rather than being driven by paths at Paddington)
 

northernbelle

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Taking the Saturday service, how is 7 shuttles better than 6 through trains and one shuttle. Sunday likewise: 6 shuttles as against 4 shuttles and 2 long distance. That is a demonstrably worse service.
It's better if 7 shuttles run reliably than if 6 through trains are planned and aren't reliable. Given the situation with the IETs and the need to provide as much space as possible on the core XC services, along with poor loadings on the direct services in recent years, this seems to be the most sensible way forward this year in terms of providing predictability to passengers.
 

43096

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Not if they’re better spread across the day to to meet times of demand (rather than being driven by paths at Paddington)
They have to be spread through the day because of the single track on the Newquay branch.

Have you ever actually been on one of the Newquay trains? If you had maybe you'd understand why through trains are needed.
 

Ianno87

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They have to be spread through the day because of the single track on the Newquay branch.

Have you ever actually been on one of the Newquay trains? If you had maybe you'd understand why through trains are needed.

Yes, I said upthread. My experience of one on a sunny summer Saturday afternoon in 2013 was a very lightly loaded one.

More people are served by sending the path down the main line to Penzance instead.
 

Wilts Wanderer

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Yes, I said upthread. My experience of one on a sunny summer Saturday afternoon in 2013 was a very lightly loaded one.

More people are served by sending the path down the main line to Penzance instead.

It is true that by 2013 the seasonal peaks were less well patronised - gone were the days when specially formed FGW 2+9 HST sets were provided (with an extra TGS for luggage) and the 0705 ex-Paddington to Newquay on summer Saturdays was advertised as first stop Par. (It stopped at Reading and Plymouth to pick up only.) A particularly effective low-cost airline offering between Southend and Newquay took much of the traffic almost overnight. However in the school holidays the 1135 Padd-Newquay still regularly exceeds 300 pax on arrival at destination. The 1130 Newquay-Padd was similarly popular pre-Covid. The early morning ex-London and 13xx return were diverted to/from Penzance in 2014 to relieve the 0730 Padd-Penzance.
 

Kite159

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I can recall taking a HST which arrived in the early afternoon on a Saturday in August 2018, and I had an entire coach to myself both ways.

Then it was followed by a 2 coach 150 which was completely rammed towards Penzance
 

berneyarms

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Taking the Saturday service, how is 7 shuttles better than 6 through trains and one shuttle. Sunday likewise: 6 shuttles as against 4 shuttles and 2 long distance. That is a demonstrably worse service.
The intermediate stations all get a service throughout the day on Saturdays (two trains operate non-stop) which they didn’t during high summer before (previously there was only one stopper - the last train of the day). That’s an improvement surely?

I imagine with the generally reduced IET availability at present, it is highly unlikely to be activated.



In fact, they say they've sold out already.
True - I was just making the point that GWR did keep paths for potentially operating direct trains to Newquay if needed.

Whether they operate or not given the rolling stock constraints is indeed questionable.

It would need some creative diagramming to say the least.

They have to be spread through the day because of the single track on the Newquay branch.

Have you ever actually been on one of the Newquay trains? If you had maybe you'd understand why through trains are needed.
I get the impression that demand on the route that would justify through trains, is focussed on certain times of the summer and not every single weekend?

It’s a tough one to balance - GWR clearly are making an effort to build up local usage after years of poor timetables on the line. There are trains on weekdays now every two hours from 06:00 to 20:30 out of Par - unheard of before.

All bar one of the trains on Saturday will be four car Class 150 with an extra set coming down from Exeter.

My own experience is limited to the last weekend of the summer schedule in 2019 when on the Sunday morning the first shuttle had a 2/3 seated load out of Newquay but it was not exceptionally busy.
 
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Ianno87

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I get the impression that demand on the route that would justify through trains, is focussed on certain times of the summer and not every single weekend?

I suspect that's the issue - certain trains on certain dates are busy. Does that justify writing the entire summer timetable period around it? Is that to the cost of making the branch more "useful" for local journeys (especially now the Cornish main line service is more frequent), and how many passengers are actually put off by the change at Par? Doesn't seem to be an issue for the other Cornish branches* when the connection is frequent enough.

*Which would of course get a further connection (Falmouth and St Ives) if a Newquay path were diverted to Penzance.
 

nanstallon

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Another factor could be that surfboards are not allowed on IETs, which rather limits their usefulness for many of Newquay's customers. I, as a local, have to admit that summer Saturday traffic on the railway to Newquay has dropped off somewhat - at least in the early part of the season. I recall a journey from Plymouth to Newquay on an IET in the early (i.e. before school holidays) season in 2019 where we stopped just at Par and I had a coach practically to myself. There was a trolley service providing coffee and cakes etc - very civilised, but perhaps not a lot of profit in it!

The intermediate stations all get a service throughout the day on Saturdays (two trains operate non-stop) which they didn’t during high summer before (previously there was only one stopper - the last train of the day). That’s an improvement surely?


True - I was just making the point that GWR did keep paths for potentially operating direct trains to Newquay if needed.

Whether they operate or not given the rolling stock constraints is indeed questionable.

It would need some creative diagramming to say the least.


I get the impression that demand on the route that would justify through trains, is focussed on certain times of the summer and not every single weekend?

It’s a tough one to balance - GWR clearly are making an effort to build up local usage after years of poor timetables on the line. There are trains on weekdays now every two hours from 06:00 to 20:30 out of Par - unheard of before.

All bar one of the trains on Saturday will be four car Class 150 with an extra set coming down from Exeter.

My own experience is limited to the last weekend of the summer schedule in 2019 when on the Sunday morning the first shuttle had a 2/3 seated load out of Newquay but it was not exceptionally busy.
While I query the provision for summer Saturdays in at least high season (people with luggage don't like changing trains, especially when a walk up, over and down a footbridge is involved), I do recognise the efforts of GWR to improve the branch service generally. They are doing their best; not long ago there were just four return trips on weekdays, even in summer.
 
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Llandudno

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I suppose one advantage of running local shuttle trains between Par and Newquay instead of long distance trains from London and the Midlands is that Luxulyan gets a much improved service....!!
 

D6975

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There's a trailing crossover just W of Par, so down trains could use the up platform. There's not such an intensive service that this would cause problems, 2tph each way on the mains on a summer Sat.
 

nanstallon

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There's a trailing crossover just W of Par, so down trains could use the up platform. There's not such an intensive service that this would cause problems, 2tph each way on the mains on a summer Sat.
Handy for people with bags and surfboards if they can just walk across the island platform. Perhaps we've seen the last of the through trains to Newquay.
 
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