Swindon to Gloucester line: More services?

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by 7ftBroad, 11 Jan 2018.

  1. 7ftBroad

    7ftBroad Member

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    When the Swindon to Gloucester line was redoubled, more services were promised. But is still only one train a hour, seems a waste money. Has anyone know if there is to be any new services, or come up with anything to offer. Thanks
     
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  3. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member

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    A key reason the doubling was done when it was was to provide additional capacity for the diverted services from South Wales to London during the Severn Tunnel closure.

    I understand there were some minor speed improvements too?
     
  4. SwindonBert

    SwindonBert Member

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    As Starmill said it was to do with a diversionary route for South Wales, despite being the original route, not increasing the number of trains. It also helps Cross Country when there is a problem around Bristol.

    There will be an improvement when we get more trains direct to Paddington once the IEPs get on this route, but that's more on seat numbers rather than number of trains. This will be really helpful when Gloucester are at home as on 2 coach trains it's been full & standing before leaving Swindon
     
  5. pdeaves

    pdeaves Established Member

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    and just happens to have been used that way last Tuesday (9 January).
     
  6. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR Established Member

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    Originally, the Gloucester to Golden Valley push-pull trains were fairly well-used and it seems surprising that there is no animus to re-institute them and the 'haltes', especially as Gloucester Central really is central. Does anyone have local knowledge that would support this idea?
     
  7. SwindonBert

    SwindonBert Member

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    If they were to look at opening stations on this line I would suggest a couple of stations to cover the commuter traffic in Swindon & Gloucester

    Swindon would be easier, a station close to where Purton Road, crosses the line, it will have good links to north & west Swindon so will work for commuter traffic - including to London

    Gloucester is trickier, something around Quedgeley would be the best location - residential area, close to a main road (A38) & there's land close by - however, this is on the main line between Bristol & Birmingham, would that cause issues if there are regular stopping trains here? (someone in the industry would know better than me)
     
  8. davetheguard

    davetheguard Member

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    It's quite a climb up the Golden Valley towards Sapperton tunnel; I wonder, would ORR allow "new" stations to be built on a stiff gradient?
     
  9. SWTrainspottin

    SWTrainspottin Member

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    I'm sure a better service will be provided in the near future, especially as now the Turbos have been introduced on the line and the IETs will be introduced soon.
     
  10. 50031

    50031 Member

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    The franchise spec talked about peak time Turbo extras in addition to hourly IETs but seemed to suggest for people commuting to Gloucester rather than Swindon
     
  11. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    Makes sense - there isn't that much demand for commuting from Gloucester/Stroud to Swindon and people from Cirencester will drive or get the bus, as using rail would involve driving all the way out to Kemble first.

    But going in the other direction, the Air Balloon roundabout acts as a rush-hour roadblock on the A419 for anyone driving from Cirencester to Gloucester, so getting a train from Kemble is an option, and the rail journey time from Stroud and Storehouse is competitive with the roads.

    The autotrains were largely run to carry mill workers up and down the valley between Chalford and Stroud. The mills are now mostly light industry, etc, and far fewer people work in them. At the same time, there aren't actually all that many people living down in the valley - most of the houses are up on the tops of the (steep) hills, so not much of a market to be had.
     
  12. Noddy

    Noddy Member

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    Well we were told the line would get upgraded to 110mph which makes sense seeing as it’s virtually a straight line.

    http://www.cliftonbrown.co.uk/content/swindon-kemble-–-getting-speed

    But it hasn’t happened and now the new rolling stock isn’t capable of that sort of speed anyway...
     
  13. Noddy

    Noddy Member

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    Stroud local plan includes the following statement:

    ‘Land at Naas Lane (on the Hunts Grove development site) has been safeguarded as a location for a potential new railway station. The land should continue to be safeguarded as part of any new masterplan and appropriate contributions sought from development towards the provision of a railway station on the Gloucester-Bristol line, subject to the plans of Network rail’ Page 71 https://www.stroud.gov.uk/media/1455/stroud-district-local-plan_november-2015_low-res_for-web.pdf

    However, in my view any more stations on the Bristol-Birmingham route need to be supported by fast accelerating 100mph stock rather than 25+year old 90mph (at best) stock to keep them out of the way of XC.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jan 2018
  14. mds86

    mds86 Member

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    Slightly OT but I personally would like to see a station provided in the Hunts Grove area as a Gloucester South Parkway. It could act in the same way as Bristol Parkway does when the Severn Tunnel is closed for maintenance and GWR services between Swansea and London divert via Gloucester. Passengers could then change onto XC services to/from the Midlands and points further north relatively easily. At present passengers have to be bussed between Newport and Bristol Parkway or use the limited capacity Turbostars between Cardiff and Birmingham during any closures.
     
  15. SWTrainspottin

    SWTrainspottin Member

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    I like your thinking.
     
  16. tigerroar

    tigerroar Member

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    To think all of that time and money wasted on the proposed P&R at Elmbridge Court, look at the size of Kingsway now and Hunts Grove and the proximity to Stonehouse and the possibilty to link any future station to J12 of the M5. It would be far enough away from Cheltenham for CC to stop at both too. I'd love to see this built.
     
  17. Doctor Fegg

    Doctor Fegg Member

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    I wonder if there’d be an opportunity for GWR to extend its current Gloucester terminators (from Bristol) to Stroud - giving Golden Valley residents a direct link to their nearest big city. (I like Gloucester, but there’s much less there than Bristol.)

    It’s a pretty big double-back geographically, but journey times would still be roughly comparable to driving - around 1hr15 from Stroud to Temple Meads.
     
  18. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member

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    This would be better achieved I think if there were a fast service between Gloucester and Bristol that connected reasonably with Golden Valley line trains. The difference between a fast train and a stopping train is quite significant, 36 minutes vs 51.

    The fact that there are only a tiny number of fast trains per day between Gloucester and Bristol continues to surprise me greatly. Of course if you are travelling from Gloucester itself you can change at Cheltenham Spa for a quicker journey but this very rarely seems useful for the Golden Valley.
     
  19. DylanThomas

    DylanThomas Member

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    I was under the impression that when all IETs are in service and new timetable enacted that there will be an hourly service from Paddington to Cheltenham (I work for GWR), rather than the current two hourly
     
  20. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    That's right, plus the extra peak trains into Gloucester in the mornings and back the other way in late afternoon mentioned above, which presumably will run from the start of next year.

    The initial poster may have been envisioning a 30-minute frequency of hourly IETs plus hourly Swindon-Gloucester/Cheltenham Turbos all day.
     
  21. Mintona

    Mintona Established Member

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    I’d like to think that might happen one day. Preferably with the turbos starting back from Cardiff. Providing a half hourly service for Caldicot, Chepstow, Lydney, Stonehouse, Stroud and Kemble all day. And speed up the XC trains again between Newport and Gloucester.
     
  22. SwindonBert

    SwindonBert Member

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    Are you envisioning a single route from Cardiff Central to Swindon via Gloucester, or 2 routes between Swindon & Gloucester & Cardiff & Gloucester?
    This would make more use of platform 2 at Swindon which will be underutilised once all trains from Cheltenham go to Paddington
     
  23. tgrb

    tgrb Member

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    I would like to see at least an increase in the number of morning and evening peaks by at least one or two in each direction as the current service doesn't even really provide adequate service for commenters and I suspect school children/students, for example going from Kemble to Gloucester your choices are either leave at 06:54 arriving at 7:31 and undoubtedly have an hour to sit in the pumpkin cafe before meeting/work/classes/lectures begin or get then 08:05 arriving at 08:48 which doesn't give you time to get anywhere - aside for the not particularly convenient timings that's not even hourly! It's a similar story in the evening with departures from Gloucester towards Kemble with departures at 15:33, 16:43, then not until 17:54.

    Going from Kemble towards Swindon in the morning seems to give you better arrival times in the morning of 07:35 and 08:35 but again there is that hour gap but again the return is hopeless with departures at 16:50 and then not until 18:08

    I would suggest this would make commuting from Gloucester to Swindon or vice versa a long old day and this could be easily rectified (yes with extra stock, crew, paths etc) with and extra 3 or 4 services a day.

    Saying that it's not greatly designed for the off peak/leasuire traveller either, especially weekends when there is often 2 hours between trains

    So I'd suggest the core route frequency needs addressing before extra destinations being introduced - but saying that being able to get to Bristol direct(ish) would be great as would there being an increase to the odd trains that go to melksham/Southampton!
     
  24. Mintona

    Mintona Established Member

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    I meant as a single through route. Just feel it could be handy and open up some new journey possibilities.
     
  25. 50031

    50031 Member

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    As I understand it, GWR are already planning peak services for Gloucester commuters, when London services go hourly in the new full IET timetable next year
     
  26. Charlie M.

    Charlie M. Member

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    Sorry to come back into a quiet thread but this is what I have established.

    All shuttles replaced by directs to London, operated by 5-cars/9-cars off peak and 9 and 10 peak. Different timings and overall acceleration making the journey approximately 15 minutes faster from London to Cheltenham.

    New late and early trains and shuttles between Gloucester and Swindon in the morning and evening.

    Weekends 1tph with one late shuttle and the rest direct, new evening services on Saturdays.

    In the next 10 years, Network Rail plan to make it a 2tph frequency between Paddington and Cheltenham (two not calling at Gloucester). However, if plans for a South Gloucester Parkway emerge all London trains will call there instead of Gloucester Central.
     
  27. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    However I doubt Gloucester (Central) will be happy losing its direct trains to London.
     
  28. mds86

    mds86 Member

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    I thought the long term plan was 1tph starting from Gloucester to Paddington, and another 1tph from Cheltenham to Paddington (avoiding Gloucester to reduce travel time), so 2tph between Stonehouse and Paddington.

    May I ask where you found this information?
     
  29. Mintona

    Mintona Established Member

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    If that is the plan then surely one of the trains has to run fast to Swindon, it would seem an incredibly strange decision for each Gloucester and Cheltenham to have 1tph to London whilst Stonehouse has 2.
     
  30. Charlie M.

    Charlie M. Member

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    Peak services would apparently run fast, with a possible Hereford service as well. Only rumours, the rest is information from Network Rail teams.


    It is very difficult to work around this plan at the moment as Cheltenham is at full traffic and Gloucester can not miss out on all of those London services. So that’s why a possible bay platform may be introduced at Cheltenham and the Gloucester Parkway as well.

    Personally, I would think this would be the best plan:

    1tph Gloucester Central - Gloucester South Parkway - Swindon - Reading - Paddington.
    1tph Gloucester Central - Gloucester South Parkway - Stonehouse - Stroud - Kemble - Swindon - Didcot Parkway - Reading - Paddington.
    2tph Cheltenham Spa - Gloucester Parkway - Stonehouse - Kemble - Swindon - Didcot Parkway - Reading - Paddington.
     
  31. mds86

    mds86 Member

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    One option to reduce the number of terminating trains at Cheltenham is to extend the London services to Worcester and fulfil an aim of 2 tph here without having to re-double more of the North Cotswold line (even though it should be fully redoubled). By running fast between Gloucester and Swindon the overall journey time to Worcester would be more competitive with the north Cotswold route.

    For my 2p worth I'd like to see this service in the future as I can't see there being the passenger numbers for 4 tph:

    1 tph: Worcester Shrub Hill - Ashchurch for Tewkesbury - Cheltenham Spa - Gloucester Central - Gloucester South Parkway - Swindon - Reading - Paddington
    1 tph: Cheltenham Spa - Gloucester Central - Gloucester South Parkway - Stonehouse - Stroud - Kemble - Swindon - Didcot - Reading - Paddington

    Maybe in time the Cheltenham starter can drop the Gloucester Central stop which will speed up journeys to/from Cheltenham with a new service starting from Gloucester Central and then calling at the same stations to London to keep the local connections.
     

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