Salisbury to Reading direct

FuzzyDuck

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Anyone know why there is a single SWR evening service that originates in Salisbury and after stopping at Basingstoke then goes non-stop to Reading (and returns later)?

I thought the only TOC's using the Basingstoke/Reading line were GWR and XC. It's unlikely that it is required to add capacity at that time of night and it leaves BSK only a few minutes before a scheduled GWR service. Just seems an odd routing for SWR.
 
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Starmill

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SWR have been running Salisbury to Reading services for much of Sunday for some time now, in order to offer Salisbury passengers fast London connections at times of day when the trains cannot all run to London Waterloo.
 

Starmill

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30907

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One service only, at 2149, only in one direction, and only 7 minutes behind an existing service, and on an STP schedule suggests it probably won't be made permanent.
It is on a VAR schedule mid-Sept and is booked into Platform 11 on the Relief Lines side of RDG which confirms the suspicion that it's route retention - the normal Sunday trains use the Berks and Hants bays as you would expect.
It is presumably also helpful for Sarum crews to know Worting Jn to Eastleigh.
 

TEW

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The weekday service running to Reading is for route knowledge retention purposes. When introduced it provided a later stopping service from Salisbury to Basingstoke than before, which allows the 1925 Exeter St Davids to Waterloo to be speeded up beyond Salisbury. The 2149 Salisbury to Reading also has a good connection at Basingstoke for Waterloo too.
 

pompeyfan

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Yep its a 5xxx headcode. Will be going back to the depot at Salisbury for end of service.
That fact it’s a 5Yxx headcode also indicates it’s of an unusual route, via Southampton is certainly to retain diversionary knowledge incase of a line block incident at Andover or similar. However with Yeovil, Waterloo and Basingstoke also crewing west of England services (none of which know Test Valley), it’s not as useful as it perhaps could have been.
 

Surreytraveller

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That fact it’s a 5Yxx headcode also indicates it’s of an unusual route, via Southampton is certainly to retain diversionary knowledge incase of a line block incident at Andover or similar. However with Yeovil, Waterloo and Basingstoke also crewing west of England services (none of which know Test Valley), it’s not as useful as it perhaps could have been.
Does 'Y' indicate an unusual route, then? Wasn't aware of that. 'Y' is used for normal trains as well
 

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