Pilning - why didn't it close in the 1960s

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by infobleep, 5 Jun 2019.

  1. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I appricate why one wouldn't want to close Pilning now but why didn't it close in the 1960s? Was their enough demand to keep it open?
     
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  3. 306024

    306024 Established Member

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    Bit off topic but mentioning Pilning there seemed to be a campaign to move the footbridge from Angel Road, which closed last weekend, to Pilning. It being of sufficient height for the overhead wires. The footbridge has apparently already been removed from Angel Road.
     
  4. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    ...Of sufficient height for the height they are strung at at Angel Road (and the line speed through there, etc.), which may not be TSI compliant when shifted to Pilning.

    Some of the outer return wire things were actually attached to the footbridge steps at Angel Road, with guards around them to stop them being touched. Not sure that could be 'got away with' for a new installation
     
  5. Train Maniac

    Train Maniac Member

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    For the same reason why it didnt when the footbridge was demolished, People complained for the sake of complaining. Why not just use Severn Beach? Its only a 20ish minute walk away.
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2019
  6. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

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    Nobody ever used Pilning in the 1960s either, when it had both HL and LL stations - must have been the least used point to have two stations.

    I suspect that, like the equally vacant Severn Tunnel Junction platforms, it was operationally convenient to have a station at each end of the tunnel. What did the Beeching Report say?
     
  7. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    The only references I see to Pilning are a recommendation of removing passengers services from Bristol Temple Meads-Patchway-Pilning and Bristol Temple Meads-Clifton Down-Pilning, and a closure of Pilning Low Level.
     
  8. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    More like 50ish minute walk away from Pilning station. Although for the residents of Pilning village it will be less.

    I think the main problem with Pilning is its location, the main village it serves is around a mile away from the station, down unlit country lanes, the car parking at the station is limited. Even if it got a decent level of service it won't get used
     
  9. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Perhaps that was the reason. I mean they closed Wotton Bassett, which was located next to the town or is village.

    Would it still be operationally convenient to have a station at both ends, irrespective of whether its not worth the cost closing or future house developments in the area? Or has tech moved on that it wouldn't be needed, either end of the tunnel?

    I think car parking is key. After all fast trains stop at Bristol Parkway, which must have enough parking.
     
  10. Glenn1969

    Glenn1969 Member

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    In the last year figures are available it was used by 468 passengers which is double the previous year and 432 more than 2 years ago. How has a station with that little usage managed to stay open and can anything be done to make it so more people will use the station?
     
  11. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

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    But why should any such effort be made? The ghostly station is in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by marshes, like something out of the opening chapter of Dickens' "Great Expectations". It's nowhere near the few houses of Pilning village, and only approached by a series of obscure narrow country lanes. I bet when the car carrying service through the tunnel ran before 1965 the few drivers got lost trying to find it. That's not the sort of market that railways do best. It does actually have some quite space for parking, but being unstaffed in such an isolated place would you like to leave your car there? Anyway, the parking area is regularly completely filled by civil engineers' vehicles, plant and stored materials for tunnel and other works, who seem to regard it as their own compound.
     
    Last edited: 6 Jun 2019
  12. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    1. Reopen the second platform or some other way of giving it service in both directions - how high is the drain bridge at the west end?
    2. More car parking - 10 spaces is pathetic, but not much point without return services;
    3. More cycle parking - 4 space is pathetic, but not much point without return services;
    4. Go really wild and signpost roads and footpath routes from the village centre - are there any signs for the station except the station sign?
    5. Crayons: rebuild the connection to Severn Beach to make another Bristol Metro circle service but if you're going to do that, you almost might as well rebuild Cross Hands (was on the north edge of the village) and close Pilning...

    Pilning station is 20 minutes walk from the village across playing fields and a fairly quiet lane, while Severn Beach station is 30 minutes alongside busier roads and over a motorway.
     
  13. randyrippley

    randyrippley Established Member

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    I assumed it was needed as an emergency staging post in the event of an incident in the tunnel
     
  14. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Is this still the case, given one platform is out of use?
     
  15. Peter C

    Peter C Member

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    It's amazing that Pilning is only getting that amount of passengers. Combe station, on the Cotswold Line (nr. Oxford), got 1,994 passengers in 2017 - 2018 and it's just a piece of concrete next to the tracks.*

    *I know that's kind of the definition of "platform", but look up Combe on Google. It really isn't much to shout about.

    -Peter

    EDIT: To get more people to use the station, they need to give people a good reason for going somewhere else. Just saying, "Oh, give us access to the new platform and we will use the station a whole lot more" is like saying, "Oh give Kingham station (on the Cotswold Line) back the old two platforms from the 1960s and we'll use it a lot more". People won't - using cars is easier and unless people live right next to the station, they'll want to use their cars. Also, cars are cheaper than the rail fares.
    Putting more road signs around wouldn't necessarily help, as locals have probably already learnt a route for getting somewhere and round by me when a new road sign goes up very few people notice.
    I think that the station at Pilning should just be closed, really. There's no point in keeping it open. about 400 used it this year, and I bet that many of them were people who were going there for the sake of going there ("All the Stations" inspired?). If we closed half the network across the country in the 1960s, why can't we close Pilning now?
    If someone needed to get around by train and they needed to go in the opposite direction to the one the platform was on, they should buy a ticket going one stop in the "wrong direction" (for them) and then go from there to their destination.
    Getting a new footbridge for Plining would not be the only solution to getting the other platform. If there is a roadbridge going over the line at the end of the platform, add an access point from that road to the other platform. Sorted.
    Also, from the "All the Stations" video about Pilning and the Twitter page for the station, the people advocating for a new footbridge seem to think that it is all easier than it is. They say that the young people in the village can't get out because there are no trains and no buses. Use the car! My town doesn't have a railway and the buses are so rubbish on days which aren't weekdays that people who have cars use them and those who don't stay at home and everything works here.
     
    Last edited: 9 Jun 2019
  16. randyrippley

    randyrippley Established Member

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    all you would need is one platform if what you were doing is running a shuttle into the tunnel and back (same line) to retrieve stranded passengers and transfer them to ambulances, or to take emergency kit into the tunnel.
     
  17. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

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    Tunnel evacuation is now done by road-rail vehicles. Apparently the one on the English side is based at Avonmouth fire station. Probably a bit more reliable than the shambles with the tunnel rescue train after the collision.
     
  18. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    How interesting.
     
  19. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    So there are loads of 12-16 year olds driving in your town? The police must love that!
     
  20. Peter C

    Peter C Member

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    I believe I said "people who have cars use them". :)


    -Peter
     
  21. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    And to heck with the rest, eh? :(

    But also, you definitely told the young people of Pilning to "use the car!" (as well as repeating the very debatable claim that cars are cheaper than trains). If it's not a solution for the young people of "Somewhere" then why is it a solution for the young people of Pilning?
     
  22. Peter C

    Peter C Member

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    OK. What I meant was that those who have access to a car through any legal means (e.g. a parent driving their child under the age of 18 somewhere) should use it if they want to go somewhere & if the train isn't a viable option.
    Cars can be somewhat cheaper than trains over long distances, and some people from Pilning may wish to travel long distances. You pay £x for petrol/diesel, and this can be used for your "main" journey (going from your house to the holiday hotel/house) and other smaller journeys, which works out cheaper than a train ticket (in some cases) which only works for one journey. Please bear in mind that not all people know about buying in advance and some plan to and then forget, thus having to spend more money on higher fares.
    Also, I am permitted to use quotes from what I have said to support my ideas. :)

    -Peter
     
  23. Tom Quinne

    Tom Quinne Member

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    This is correct, after the accident in the tunnel the English side access was moved to the tunnel mouth via Pilning.
     
  24. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Where was the previous access?
     
  25. Tom Quinne

    Tom Quinne Member

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    The RV point was at Pilning station, I think the dark brick building on the up platform was the control point for such events.

    The Class 09 hauled train would come from Sudbrook Pumping station reverse at Severn Tunnel Junction and into the tunnel.

    There was some confusion when this was required for real after the accident in the 90s though.

    South Wales and Avon Fire services both have road rail trucks now which replace the train.
     

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