• Our booking engine at tickets.railforums.co.uk (powered by TrainSplit) helps support the running of the forum with every ticket purchase! Find out more and ask any questions/give us feedback in this thread!

"plans" for faster trains from Weymouth to London Waterloo

Status
Not open for further replies.

dgl

Established Member
Joined
5 Oct 2014
Messages
2,449
Just seen this on the Dorset Echo website,

http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/14...multi_million_pound_project_gets_green_light/

TRAIN journey times between Weymouth and London could be slashed by almost an hour if a multi-million pound project to develop a new route gets the green light.

Top-level discussions will take place today (tues) to put together plans for a new route that would go to the capital from Weymouth, via Yeovil and Salisbury, and would take two hours and 15 minutes.

As part of the plans, the line between Weymouth and Yeovil would be significantly upgraded to accommodate a fast train, which would take approximately 30 minutes.

The track from Yeovil to London, via Salisbury, would also be upgraded and then would take approximately one hour 45 minutes.

The talks, which will include representatives from Dorset County Council, the Dorset LEP, chief executive of West Dorset, North Dorset and Weymouth and Portland councils Matt Prosser, the Government's trains minister Claire Perry, local MPs, and South West Trains, will take place at around noon today before a debate, called by south Dorset MP Richard Drax, will be held at the House of Commons.

The discussions are being spearheaded by Mr Drax, who told the Echo plans were being put together after he had a private meeting with the Chancellor George Osborne, who agreed to consider granting funding for the project if it could be proven the new train line would be economically viable for the south west.

South Dorset MP Richard Drax, who has been discussing the options for several months, said: “If everything goes well we would be thrilled because it means getting people to Weymouth that much quicker, which is great for businesses, commuters and tourists.

“Everyone is taking it very seriously, this is the second meeting we will have on the possibility and it has the backing of all the local MPs, the LEP and the councillors.

“We are still in the preliminary stages, but, everybody is working together and if we can achieve it, it would be excellent.”




The reason that the new route via Yeovil and Salisbury is because the current route to London from Weymouth, which goes through Bournemouth and Poole, is already full to capacity and the track does not have enough electricity to power a fast train.

The plans come as it's revealed that spending on public transport in London compared to the south West is more than £2,000 more.

Figures released by the HM Treasury National Infrastructure Pipelines 2015 report reveals that per head per year, only £304 is spent on public transport in the region, compared to London where it is £2,604.

Cllr Robert Gould, who will be represented at the meeting by his deputy Cllr Peter Finney, said: “We see the meeting with the rail minister Claire Perry as an important opportunity to press the case for improved rail connections.


“We are working closely with the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership to encourage further investment in rail infrastructure.

“Better, faster rail connections will help us realise the great potential for economic growth in the Weymouth area and the western part of the County to the benefit of all our residents.”



Whilst slightly quicker journeys would be nice and the West Of England Main Line does need fully double tracking (which I suspect would need to be part of the plans) it seems completely un-workable. Upgrading the Heart Of The Wessex Line would be difficult for a start and if required to run via the current connection (albeit upgraded) would require reversing twice.
Also it would probably be astronomically expensive to achieve.

What are other peoples thoughts on these ideas, surely removing the single line between Dorchester and Moreton would be a better idea and seeing if it is possible to have a service that has less stops.


This new route, however, might be a good use for all the spare HST's that should be available if this did ever happen :)
 
Last edited:
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

jamesr

Member
Joined
29 Dec 2010
Messages
136
Having lived in that part of the work for years, it seems like a pie-in-the-sky idea conceived with no concept of the costs involved. It doesn't avoid the busiest part of the SWML (the bits closer to London), it wouldn't be practical without a new junction at Yeovil, which would then in turn miss both of the Yeovil stations - meaning there'd be no sizeable populace on the route between Dorchester and Salisbury.

There may be some benefit in campaigning for a semi-fast out of Paddington through Newbury to Westbury which went alternately to Exeter and Weymouth, and could achieve roughly the times proposed here, but this idea seems like a dead end to me!
 

Nozzacook

Member
Joined
3 Sep 2013
Messages
24
It would be fairly easy to reinstate the curve into Yeovil Jct to make it only one reverse of direction.


Perhaps a use for 442 in some form or another. (Puts on hard hat and ducks for cover).
 

Hophead

Established Member
Joined
5 Apr 2013
Messages
1,202
The local paper seem to be unaware how long the trains currently take to get to London (or maybe they've just printed what they've been given):

Fast train: approx 2:45
Slow train: approx 3:00

And that presumably affects the viability of the project, even disregarding the likely number of Weymouth folk desperate to get to London a little bit quicker.
 

341o2

Established Member
Joined
17 Oct 2011
Messages
1,911
as much as I welcome any improvement/reopening of railways...really

The reason that the new route via Yeovil and Salisbury is because the current route to London from Weymouth, which goes through Bournemouth and Poole, is already full to capacity and the track does not have enough electricity to power a fast train.

LOL
 
Last edited:

MTN

Member
Joined
19 Mar 2015
Messages
28
Location
Affpuddle
The main issue is the speed of services - I know of people who commute from the Dorchester area, and they drive to Southampton Airport and take the train from there.

It takes about an hour to drive to SOA, compared to about 1hr45 by train.

However, the SWML between Weymouth and Bournemouth is predominantly a branch line local service, catering for people commuting locally to Poole and Bournemouth (Also many students to / from Brockenhurst College.)

For this plan to work, it would need the South - West curve at Yeovil Junction to be instated, as well as major investment in the Wessex and west of England lines.

Probably easier to wait until Crossrail 2 frees some Waterloo capacity which may enable faster services to be run on the SWML.

Doubling the Dorchester to Moreton section makes sense anyway from an operational point of view, particularly since the 2tph service to Weymouth was introduced.
 

SpacePhoenix

Established Member
Joined
18 Mar 2014
Messages
5,491
Wouldn't it be better if they were to convert the whole of the SWML from Waterloo-Weymouth over to AC (or at least as far as Poole)?

Which would cost more, converting Waterloo-Weymouth via Bournemouth to AC or electrifiying Waterloo-Weymouth via Salisbury and Yeovil (in either case all sections at least double track)?
 

D1009

Established Member
Joined
22 Feb 2012
Messages
3,166
Location
Stoke Gifford
Surely there are worse capacity issues into London, you would need the same number of London trains from Bournemouth and Southampton to carry the traffic, so rerouting the Weymouth services via Yeovil and Salisbury would need additonal non existent paths into Waterloo.
 

The Ham

Established Member
Joined
6 Jul 2012
Messages
10,458
The current Weymouth to Yeovil trains can do it in 45 minutes including 6 intermediate stops, remove 5 of those stops and the journey time would be close to 30 minutes anyway. Some line speed improvements would be needed to get it just below 30

That just requires a reduction in journey time of about 30 minutes between Yeovil and Waterloo. Some of that could be done by missing a few more stops out, but probably of line speed improvements (including shaving a few minutes off the Weymouth section to reduce the need elsewhere)
 

Morgsie

Member
Joined
3 Jun 2011
Messages
371
Location
Stoke-On-Trent
I was born and lived in Poole and I have family who still live there.

The SWML should have been upgraded when it was fully electrified back in the late 1980s and there was a criticism from someone cannot remember who that the line should have been upgraded for the 2012 Olympics. It makes sense to upgrade the SWML and doubling the track in the Dorchester area.

As for Mr Drax's proposals more studies required to see if this plan is financially viable
 

Farsight

New Member
Joined
15 Dec 2015
Messages
2
This is an interesting proposal.

But my colleague was 10 minutes late for work today, "because of the new timetable". He travels from Woking to Branksome, and now he's got more stops. As it happens he doesn't care too much, because he's leaving at the end of the month. But IMHO this shows the way things are going.

It seems to me that the line between Weymouth and Waterloo has morphed into a stopping service between Weymouth and Winchester. It's a good run between Waterloo and Winchester, but after that it's slow. It's 41 miles from Winchester to Bournemouth, but the journey takes between 1hour 5 minutes and 1 hour 12 minutes in the morning, and between 46 minutes and 2 hours 5 minutes in the afternoon.

There seems to be no serious effort to make things better. Instead it feels like we're a captive market and things are getting worse. How do you prove that "the new train line would be economically viable for the south west"? In my experience talk is cheap, and I've seen a lot of broken promises. So I'm afraid I don't hold out much hope for the guys in Weymouth.
 
Last edited:

HSTEd

Veteran Member
Joined
14 Jul 2011
Messages
17,048
And for some reason this is a better idea than a couple of extra substations on the existing route?
 

The Ham

Established Member
Joined
6 Jul 2012
Messages
10,458
And for some reason this is a better idea than a couple of extra substations on the existing route?

No and Yes.

No it's not better if you are only looking at Weymouth to Waterloo.

Yes it could be better if you are looking at other problems which makes doing this better value.

If there is scope, by doing this and some other works to get one extra train into Waterloo then there could be scope to resolve some of the capacity issues in the Salisbury services.

For instance, replace the chord to enable Weymouth-Yeovil Junction services, line speed improvements and electrification of the route. (Bearing in mind that 18 miles of electrification is likely to be easier than wiring up to Exeter).

Then by running EMU's on services between Weymouth/Salisbury and Waterloo it increases the capacity of trains for Salisbury services, you may even manage to squeeze a few extra services in running towards London which would further increase capacity.

For instance you could have 5 coaches running Weymouth to Yeovil, which join 5 coaches there (which picked up people changing from further west) and then ran with limited stops (say; Salisbury, Andover, Basingstoke and Waterloo). With the DMU from further west waiting at Yeovil for enough time to let the EMU go before following along behind stopping at all stations to Basingstoke before running semi fast to Waterloo.

That would bring many more benefits than a few extra substations in the existing Weymouth line, and depending on how easy it is to install those substations could provide to be a better value scheme.
 

bnm

Established Member
Joined
12 Oct 2009
Messages
4,996
Of course you don't need two reversals to travel from Weymouth via Yeovil and Salisbury to Waterloo. It can be done with just one reversal.
 

SpacePhoenix

Established Member
Joined
18 Mar 2014
Messages
5,491
Would it be worth them lumping into the plan a new chord running north of Dorchester on the SWML connecting up with the Weymouth-Bristol route?
 

anme

Established Member
Joined
8 Aug 2013
Messages
1,777
there was a criticism from someone cannot remember who that the line should have been upgraded for the 2012 Olympics.

It would have been stupid to upgrade the line just for a couple of weeks of rather dull sport.
Better to hold the event nearer London, or just encourage people to watch on TV. :)
 

Trog

Established Member
Joined
30 Oct 2009
Messages
1,546
Location
In Retirement.
When I first travelled from Waterloo to Weymouth, they took the Merchant Navy off outside Weymouth Town and a Class 03 diesel was used for the last part of the journey. I won't say it was slow or a long time ago but there was a man walking in front of the train with a flag. :)
 

NSEFAN

Established Member
Joined
17 Jun 2007
Messages
3,504
Location
Southampton
Regarding the original 1980s upgrade, yes it should have been done properly but there was no political will power to do so. "Do it cheap or not at all" was the idea.

That said, given how infrastructure costs have ballooned since 1995, it would probably have been cheaper if BR had done it properly anyway! :lol:
 

swt_passenger

Veteran Member
Joined
7 Apr 2010
Messages
31,623
So an MP who doesn't have much of a clue how a railway operates wants a personal fast service to Waterloo, hopefully missing out all those inconvenient places along the way where ordinary people want to get on and off the train? But if that isn't possible create a new route that will need electrification and significant double tracking?

Is that about it?

As said elsewhere as this sort of proposal hasn't already made it into the Wessex or Western route studies then it is a complete pipe dream.

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

Would it be worth them lumping into the plan a new chord running north of Dorchester on the SWML connecting up with the Weymouth-Bristol route?

What plan is this then, and what written evidence can you cite? I suggest it is nothing more than a 'join the dots' proposal by various crayon wielding individuals.

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

It would have been stupid to upgrade the line just for a couple of weeks of rather dull sport. :)

Agree entirely. The existing service, already doubled in frequency well ahead of the Olympics as part of the franchise renewal process, proved perfectly adequate.

Staff have told me that the few extra diesel operated services put on during the games by SWT and XC were carting around fresh air, and with hindsight were not actually needed.
 
Last edited:

The Ham

Established Member
Joined
6 Jul 2012
Messages
10,458
So an MP who doesn't have much of a clue how a railway operates wants a personal fast service to Waterloo, hopefully missing out all those inconvenient places along the way where ordinary people want to get on and off the train? But if that isn't possible create a new route that will need electrification and significant double tracking?

Is that about it?

As said elsewhere as this sort of proposal hasn't already made it into the Wessex or Western route studies then it is a complete pipe dream.

As I pointed out, it depends on whether it provides a convenient add on to improving services through Salisbury. Although would tend to agree that it does seem a little far fetched.

Agree entirely. The existing service, already doubled in frequency well ahead of the Olympics as part of the franchise renewal process, proved perfectly adequate.

Staff have told me that the few extra diesel operated services put on during the games by SWT and XC were carting around fresh air, and with hindsight were not actually needed.

It was nice of XC to provide extra capacity for the part of the route above Southampton (pairs of units rather than single units), so it wasn't a complete waste.
 

swt_passenger

Veteran Member
Joined
7 Apr 2010
Messages
31,623
It was nice of XC to provide extra capacity for the part of the route above Southampton (pairs of units rather than single units), so it wasn't a complete waste.

It also proved there was another perfectly reasonable way of providing extra capacity. So it never had to be more, or longer, SWT EMUs anyway.

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


But no-one who can read a timetable would ever take that 2 hr 5 mins train, because it is overtaken by following trains at Southampton and Brockenhurst. Even if they did take it there would be plenty of announcements telling them to change along the way.

It is the all stations stopper that provides connections in and out of the reasonable 2 tph service, it's not intended for end to end use on that section of route; and using it as a 'bad example' of a slow train is meaningless.
 
Last edited:

HowardGWR

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2013
Messages
4,983
Agree entirely. The existing service, already doubled in frequency well ahead of the Olympics as part of the franchise renewal process, proved perfectly adequate.

Staff have told me that the few extra diesel operated services put on during the games by SWT and XC were carting around fresh air, and with hindsight were not actually needed.

Neither was a huge new road cutting through an AONB and Ancient Woodland with a park and ride at Dorchester (like Norden for Swanage). The event itself was 'watched' by a few thousand family and friends and organisers.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Would it be worth them lumping into the plan a new chord running north of Dorchester on the SWML connecting up with the Weymouth-Bristol route?

No. It would be environmentally unacceptable (scenically as well), through the Frome valley floodplain and you'd need yet another station, I suppose somewhere below the old prison.

It is technically possible to make a chord across the central market area or one skirting the Maumbury Rings behind the police station, but good luck with that one. :D

A fast route for London would be 5 car ATR IEP from Weymouth to Castle Cary, join up with an ex-Plymouth 5 car and onto Pad. Just stop at Dorchester, Yeovil Pen Mill. It was done once, with slip coaches; a similar idea.
 
Last edited:

HSTEd

Veteran Member
Joined
14 Jul 2011
Messages
17,048
The 1980s project is often maligned but it delivered an electric railway for almost nothing.

Southern frugality at its best.
 

The Ham

Established Member
Joined
6 Jul 2012
Messages
10,458
The 1980s project is often maligned but it delivered an electric railway for almost nothing.

Southern frugality at its best.

With a certain class of EMU being the stock which often used it, which leads to the question would that stock have been built without the electrification of the line to Weymouth?
 

HSTEd

Veteran Member
Joined
14 Jul 2011
Messages
17,048
With a certain class of EMU being the stock which often used it, which leads to the question would that stock have been built without the electrification of the line to Weymouth?

Its probably something similar to those units would have been built.

Although its entirely possible you could have ended up with some kind of wierd Mark 3 bodyshell 4REP.
 

swt_passenger

Veteran Member
Joined
7 Apr 2010
Messages
31,623
I'm just telling you just how long it takes to cover 41 miles. Even the "fast" trains are slow.

I didn't imply the basic 2 tph was fast. I was just pointing out that the down Poole service is not representative, and I think including its 2 hr 5 mins is exaggerating your otherwise perfectly valid point...

At the same time, how would you plan to improve it? Straighten the track west of Southampton perhaps?
 

dgl

Established Member
Joined
5 Oct 2014
Messages
2,449
I think part of the problem is the single track section between Dorchester and moreton, if that was doubled then it would remove the need for the fast train to make additional stops between Poole and Bournemouth and these could possibly be added to the current semi-fast service instead, also could there be ay worthwhile speed increases between Weymouth and Bournemouth.
You would also need to look at what a fast service should serve. I'm guessing at least WEY-WRM-POO-BMH-SOU-SOA-WIN-WOK-WAT to make it viable cost wise. But then any fast service would possibly just get held up near waterloo anyway.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top