Trivia - Rail Replacement Buses or diversions that are quicker than the normal route

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heart-of-wessex

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Ok so there's thread on the most ridiculous through trains, and I thought I wonder how many rail replacement routes or diversions that are quicker than the normal routes, but only run now and again as it only runs because of engineering work.

A couple I can think of:

Rail Replacement bus from Newbury Park to Ingatestone/Wickford. There's no direct rail service and by train would normally involve taking the Central to Stratford then GA up to Ingatestone/Wickford.

Direct rail replacement bus between Bristol and Castle Cary, GW have done this over the electrification work blockades, and although there's only one round trip, it's quicker than going on a direct stopper via Westbury, and quicker than going round via Taunton as the bus only takes about 50-60 minutes to do the journey!


Anyone know of any similar instances?
 
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Ianno87

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In Ireland, after the Malahide viaduct collapsed, the replacement buses between Dundalk and Dublin were considerably quicker than the Enterprise and commuter services, operating via the motorway and [then] new port tunnel into Dublin city centre. So much so that the regular commuters ran an [unsuccessful] campaign to retain the bus after the viaduct was rebuilt.
 

najaB

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Ok so there's thread on the most ridiculous through trains, and I thought I wonder how many rail replacement routes or diversions that are quicker than the normal routes, but only run now and again as it only runs because of engineering work.
Rail replacement buses to anywhere north of Tain.
 

HarleyDavidson

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If you get a clear run Portsmouth - Waterloo via EH, as once you're clear of the platforms & crossovers at EH, you can accelerate to 90 & 100 mph quite easily and sit there for most of the trip to Woking, compared to the slow & twisty route via Guildford.

Beaten one via the direct before via EH.
 

CalaisFret

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Bexhill to west St Leonard's. Bus is direct; train requires a change at warrior square.
 

thenorthern

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When the line through Dawlish was closed I think the rail replacement bus was quicker.

I have never seen the timetable but it wouldn't surprise me if the Slough to Windsor and Eton Central was quicker by rail replacement bus.
 

Kite159

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Southampton Airport Parkway to Bournemouth, the rail replacement express coaches are faster than the train

When the line is closed before Bournemouth
 
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AM9

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Sometime in the '80s, I left Fareham for Bath expecting to go via Soton to Romsey then onwards. To my surprise the delayed train set off for Eastleigh, then swung onto the line through Chandlers Ford to Romsey, taking a good 30 minutes off the normal journey time. I never did find out why the diversion was in place but as the Thumpers were still running to Soton, I assume that something west of there was closed for engineering works.
 
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darloscott

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Middlesbrough to Whitby usually gets direct buses which are faster than the train - last time there was a blockade they ran double decks direct, coaches on a sort of semi-fast and minibuses to serve all stations as some are down country lanes.
 

Dai Corner

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Ebbw Vale line services diverted to Newport during engineering work provide a much quicker journey than the normal one involving going to Cardiff and
back
 

TEW

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There was some late notice engineering work between Woking and Surbiton one Sunday morning recently. The planned all station Guildford-London Waterloo via Woking services were diverted via Cobham and ran non-stop from Guildford to Surbiton which cut about 15 minutes off the 1 hour journey.
 

PHILIPE

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Ebbw Vale line services diverted to Newport during engineering work provide a much quicker journey than the normal one involving going to Cardiff and
back

These are trains aren't they, not replacement busses ? Obviously quicker because Newport is a shorter distance than Cardiff anyway. The Cardiff trains have to skirt Newport.
 

heart-of-wessex

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These are trains aren't they, not replacement busses ? Obviously quicker because Newport is a shorter distance than Cardiff anyway. The Cardiff trains have to skirt Newport.

Yes but this thread is about replacement buses and train diversions that provide a direct service that wouldn't normally happen, so in this case from Newport on a normal day you'd have to go to Cardiff and double back on an Ebbw Vale service, but on engineering days you'd get a direct service fron Newport, if you see what I mean.

I forgot about a couple of these, I've been on one of those Portsmouth services that got diverted via Eastleigh skipping out the windy route via Southampton.

Forgot about those fast Southampton Airport - Bournemouth buses too, isn't there usually one that does it non stop and the other is a stopper or something?
 

CyrusWuff

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Due to the circuitous nature of the railway route, coupled with a low top speed, RRBs between Royal Leamington Spa and Stratford-upon-Avon are as quick as the train, if not a bit faster.
 

PHILIPE

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Yes but this thread is about replacement buses and train diversions that provide a direct service that wouldn't normally happen, so in this case from Newport on a normal day you'd have to go to Cardiff and double back on an Ebbw Vale service, but on engineering days you'd get a direct service fron Newport, if you see what I mean.

I forgot about a couple of these, I've been on one of those Portsmouth services that got diverted via Eastleigh skipping out the windy route via Southampton.

Forgot about those fast Southampton Airport - Bournemouth buses too, isn't there usually one that does it non stop and the other is a stopper or something?

Sorry, my fault. Misread title (carelessly) and busses only in my head at the time.
 

swt_passenger

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Sometime in the '80s, I left Fareham for Bath expecting to go via Soton to Romsey then onwards. To my surprise the delayed train set off for Eastleigh, then swung onto the line through Chandlers Ford to Romsey, taking a good 30 minutes off the normal journey time. I never did find out why the diversion was in place but as the Thumpers were still running to Soton, I assume that something west of there was closed for engineering works.

That diversion is still very regular, during closures near Southampton and as far as Redbridge for routine maintenance; it probably happens 4 or 5 Sundays most years. Since the re-opening of Chandlers Ford station FGW and now GWR call there most hours instead of SWT's normal service - this means that during engineering work Chandlers Ford has a much wider set of through destinations, and presumably appears on station displays as far away as Cardiff...
 

Busaholic

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I do hope the heirs of Dr Beeching are not making notes from this thread!
 

nickw1

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Maybe not strictly in line with the thread title, but whenever there's engineering work between Southampton Central and Romsey on the direct line, the Salisbury stoppers run SOU-Eastleigh-Romsey-Salisbury and get given a much better path from the POV of even interval service from St Denys (combined with the Portsmouth trains) and good connections.
 
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Mag_seven

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Swindon - Pewsey - when a RBB is in operation its about 40 mins, by train its about 60-70 mins with a change at Reading (or via Westbury) and a good connection.
 

Kite159

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When the newquay line is closed, don't replacement buses start from St Austall rather than Par? (And that the non-stop services are quicker than the dogbox?)
 

Blindtraveler

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doesnt always happen but when Dundee Aberdeen is shut amd express RRBs running it has been known to be quicker if no traffic. Also once did Perth Inverness 30 quicker during a flood closure which had kept many off the A9
 

najaB

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Also once did Perth Inverness 30 quicker during a flood closure which had kept many off the A9
Perth-Inverness will always be fairly close. On at least a couple of occasions I've seen the same coach or truck out of the train window several times along the route - when we stop at Slochd to wait for a passing train, near Kingussie/Newtonmore and again heading between Dalwhinnie and Blair Atholl.

So a non-stop RRB would probably be pretty close to a stopping train - no more than 15 minutes in it either way at a guess.
 
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exile

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Hardly comparing like with like - non-stop RRB over 120 miles vs train stopping several times. However I suppose someone travelling end-to-end probably doesn't care that much about intermediate stations!

On the other side of the argument - non stop RRB Carlisle to Appleby is 20 minutes slower than the stopping train it replaces, despite being M6/A66 and avoiding built up areas after leaving Carlisle.
 

najaB

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However I suppose someone travelling end-to-end probably doesn't care that much about intermediate stations!
Indeed, and in my experience Scotrail run two buses - one direct and one calling all stations.
 

heart-of-wessex

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Ah yes forgot about that, East Grinstead to Gatwick.

Good one on Swindon to Pewsey too, only thought of it today then I saw someone beat me to it :lol:!

What I wanted on this thread really is indirect routes, rather than buses on the same route being faster than the train, I.E routes by train or buses during engineering work that provide a direct service that would otherwise involve one or more changes of trains, examples like Swindon to Pewsey, Gatwick to East Grinstead, Newbury Park to Wickford etc, and a good train example like Newport to Ebbw Vale.

I can accept diverted services making calls at stations on diversion, like the Chandlers Ford example that enjoys a direct service to Portsmouth that would otherwise involve a change at Eastleigh.

Actually, Melksham get's some through traffic too, when Trowbridge - Bath is shut, the Portsmouth's - Cardiff's usually end up terminating at Swindon, and doubles up as the Westbury - Swindon service too, so Melksham can get a rare through train to/from Portsmouth.
 

Clansman

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A good few years ago now, Perth to Inverkeithing is at least 25 minutes quicker via road than rail -- even if it is a replacement bus service.
On the diversion side of things, late Inverness-Edinburgh trains are often diverted non stop from Perth to Haymarket via Stirling which is about 10-20 minutes quicker as it takes advantage of the 100mph speed boards most of the way. Theoretically the journey itself is longer as you're delayed but the diversionary route itself is quicker.
 
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JonathanH

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pdeaves

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During blocks of the Swindon-Chippenham-Bath-Bristol TM line, diversions often run Swindon-Bristol Parkway-Bristol TM. It's appreciably faster.
 
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