Wales & Borders Franchise Consultation

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by LNW-GW Joint, 1 Mar 2017.

  1. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Established Member

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    I think this franchise competition is a different kettle of fish from running the current one, not least because of the Metro.
    We tend to think of just the railway operational issues and that (eg) the same rolling stock will just roll over to the new operator with the same staff.
    But the commercial terms will be very different, and the ITT will contain confidential WG information for the bidding teams.
    There's also the fact that the bids are actually from consortia, with other commercial entities involved and requiring confidentiality agreements.
    Arriva was not the only member of its consortium. It may even have been their partners who backed out of the bidding.
    I'm sure the incumbent ATW management will be consulted (by all parties equally), but unable to see the detail of any of the bids.
    The same applies to Network Rail who need to see all the bids and advise on their deliverability, but they have to keep full confidentiality.
     
  2. Rhydgaled

    Rhydgaled Established Member

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    I wonder how the word 'Rheilffordd' is pronounced, I don't think I've ever heard anyone say it. "Rheilffordd Cymru" is what I would go for if pronounced in the way I imagine it would be pronounced, otherwise I think they should just go with "Wales & Borders" for most of the franchise area and "Cardiff Metro" on the Swanline, Cheltenham, Hereford and ValleyLines stopping services.

    I agree with you that Gerald is the only INTERCITY service on the franchise, although I think a few of the Manchester workings could maybe be made INTERCITY. However, I strongly disagree that the suburban door layout is fine for regional express services. I used to not really consider the door layout, until one of my brothers (not a rail enthusiast) came home after a Cardiff-Nottingham trip and told me that the doors were in the wrong place. I then got thinking and realised that the wide area just inside the doors is standing room at the expense of either seats or legroom; or both. Thus, while you need the doors-at-thirds to cut dwell times on busy suburban services with frequent stops, they are highly undesirable on long-distance services (particularly fast ones where dwell time is less important because there are fewer station stops).
     
  3. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    However if a train carries large numbers of standing passengers for parts of its journey, then a layout with large vestibules at one and two thirds is far more comfortable for both standees and those seated. Transpennine is a classic example and the 170s used on Cardiff-Nottingham are another, as they effectively function as commuter services for Birmingham.
     
  4. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    A problem with making Manchester services 'Intercity' is there's a lack of paths for an additional semi-fast, so having an express to Cardiff and a semi-fast to Shrewsbury probably wouldn't work. Would a Shrewsbury-Hereford semi-fast be an option?
     
  5. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    The NR Wales Route plan for the Marches is to accommodate 2 "fast" train paths per hour between Shrewsbury and Newport with one freight path per hour along with a one "slow" passenger path per hour between Shrewsbury and Craven Arms and one "slow" passenger path per hour between Abergavenny and Newport.
     
  6. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Established Member

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    The pronunciation of "Rheilffordd" would be "Hrileforth"
     
  7. glynmonhughes

    glynmonhughes New Member

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    Welsh is not a foreign language. It is a language of the U.K. and has been spoken here a lot longer than English.
     
  8. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    Welsh isn't an official language in Chester or Manchester anymore than Gaelic is. On a Manchester Airport to Chester train there's a long list of languages which would be more useful than Welsh. At Chester getting the pronunciations of Cheshire stations correct needs to be a far higher priority than offering non-English announcements.
     
  9. Parallel

    Parallel Established Member

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    Which ones are wrong? I guess ‘Lostock Gra-lam’ is one?
     
  10. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    Yes and Bache. I also think Shrewsbury is incorrect.
     
  11. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    And if you don't have to walk 11.5 metres through seating bays (with some crossover) to get to a seat it's much easier with luggage etc.

    I used to be convinced of the doors argument as above, but have since used busy long-distance services using 170s and 350s and have noticed how much easier it is. A long 23-24m (or even 26m) coach with doors at quarters (offering a long but not too long central section) seems to me to be the best compromise, and with the right seating layout still feels InterCity. The perfect layout for such a coach is with 9 window bays (2 on each end section, 5 in the centre section) with the seats aligned to them, each bay having either a table or two airline rows.

    Don't forget that pre-aircon Mk1 and Mk2 stock had a centre door. One big saloon only came with Mk2 aircon stock.
     
    Last edited: 19 Nov 2017
  12. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    The Marches route offers the quickest journeys between a number of pairs of non London City Regions and each other.
    Cardiff to Manchester (direct) and Cardiff to Liverpool (Change at Crewe) and Cardiff to Leeds (change ta Manchester) is similar time to using XC via BHM.

    It also offers slightly extended journey times over XC via BHM on a number of others.
    Cardiff to Sheffield (change at Stockport), Cardiff to Newcastle (change Manchester), Bristol to Manchester (change at Newport) and Bristol to Liverpool (change at Newport and Crewe).

    It also functions as a Regional Express route for Shrewsbury to Manchester and Hereford to Cardiff flows and Changing at Newport Hereford to Bristol.
    The route provides change for London connections primarily at Newport & Crewe and to a lesser extant Shrewsbury and Hereford and is well used for Hereford to London flows vai Newport.

    Having services extended through to Liverpool or Bristol would attract more passengers and revenue than North Wales to South Wales.
     
  13. Railwaysceptic

    Railwaysceptic Member

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    Has there ever been a Bristol/Liverpool service via Hereford and Shrewsbury?
     
  14. Harbornite

    Harbornite Established Member

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    I think so. Until about 1967 or 68, a number of Southwest to north West services were routed via Shrewsbury.
     
  15. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Established Member

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    Yes, it was a mainstay of the old North and West route before the through trains were diverted via Birmingham and became "Cross Country" in (I think) 1969.
    Liverpool-Plymouth was one of the services, calling just Runcorn, Crewe, Shrewsbury and Hereford to Bristol (avoiding Newport on the Maindee Curve).
    Full restaurant car throughout, LMR stock.
    Some services had portion working (eg combining Liverpool and Manchester portions at Crewe).
    Before Beeching, I think the only northwest-southwest service to run via Birmingham was the Pines Express, and that originally started out as a Midland service via Derby.
    All the others including sleepers and portions from Glasgow went via the Marches route.
     
  16. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    The North West to South West Long Distance expresses used the Marches (historically known as the north and west route my 1951 WEstern Region timetbale shows noe fewer than 18 expresses including overnight ones Friday/Saturday originating from Glasgow/Preston/Liverpool/Manchester) until BR decided to concentrate everything via Birmingham in the 1970's, even then summer Saturdays until the 1980's saw Manchester to Paignton services via the Marches. Wales and West under Chris Gibb reintroduced Marches to Bristol and beyond services - there were 3 a day up until the Wales and Borders franchise- the SRA was in its "clean and tidy franchise boundary phase" and pretending rail use was going to go into decline so there was "no future for them" despite them being well used.

    Today the question mark is on capacity through the Severn Tunnel given that theirs 2 IC train to London, the Portsmouth to Cardiff service is hourly plus the stopping service between Cardiff and Taunton is hourly as well.

    A Swiss Taktarfhplan style service would see an hourly Manchester to Swansea Regional Express service and an hourly Crewe to Cardiff stopper as the optimum for the route.
     
  17. sw1ller

    sw1ller Member

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    I’ve never heard the Bache (the Bache is how it’s locally known) being announced at Chester. How do they pronounce it??
     
  18. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Established Member

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    I have heard the ATW announcer use "Back" in the past, to general bafflement, but I think it might have been corrected.
    Merseyrail get it right on the train.
    I'm not sure how Shrewsbury can be wrong when the inmates themselves can't agree on how it should be pronounced. ;)
    I've never heard it called Amwythig by anybody outside Wales though, and not many within it.
    In Chester you do see Caer regularly on the (mostly Arriva) buses, and there are plenty of Welsh-aware residents/commuters/visitors.
     
  19. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    Not mutually exclusive of course ...
     
  20. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

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    Well, since even the locals can't agree whether it's Shrewsbury or Shrewsbury ( :D ) it's a bit tricky ...
     
  21. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    My understanding is the correct pronunciation is Shroosbury but the BBC in Birmingham for years insisted it was Shrowsbury which led to a mispronunciation being commonplace.
     
  22. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    Which of the 3 sentences in the quoted post is that in response to?
     
  23. sw1ller

    sw1ller Member

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    I’m on my way there today at 1700ish. I’ll listen out for it. I know Runcorn East it always whispered for some weird reason!!
     
  24. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Until the BBC stop referring to "controwversy" they can be ignored, I think :D
     
  25. sw1ller

    sw1ller Member

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    I’ve spoken to people from Shrewsbury and they seem to think it depends what side of the river you’re from dictates how you pronounce it.
     
  26. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham Established Member

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    Who says so? I can find no empirical evidence of such.
     
  27. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    It's the way most people in the town pronounce it and numerous local surveys have been done and there has never been one where more people have said Shrowsbury than Shroosbury.

    I wonder if you'd respond the same way if a Welsh language announcement said "Lan-dud-no"?
     
  28. Mathew S

    Mathew S Member

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    Indeed. When I lived there it was Shroosbury (as in shrew). Only visitors, and generally a certain type of English visitor at that, ever said Shr-oh-sbury.
     
  29. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham Established Member

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    So there has been no actual or real research into the pronunciation, other than a few local surveys.
     
  30. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    One was carried out by a University professor who said he had done research and found that Shrowsbury was incorrect and he used the results from the survey as further evidence.
     

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