Welsh rail network is worst in Britain

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by jones_bangor, 9 Dec 2013.

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  1. jones_bangor

    jones_bangor Member

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    According to an article in the North Wales Daily Post
    http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/welsh-rail-network-worst-britain-6387059

     
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  3. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Scotland is investing money in railways.

    Welsh politicians seem to have other priorities...
     
  4. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    It's all very subjective.
    The quote is from the Campaign for Better Transport.
    I don't see much difference between ATW services and those provided by, say, Northern or the Wessex part of FGW.
    The Northern users, if this forum is to be believed, consider they own the "worst network in Britain" tag.

    The fact is, Wales manages the ATW franchise even if DfT/SRA specified it.
    Scotland also has more devolved powers over transport (eg it sets its own HLOS/SoFA).
    Scotland has a different demography which means there are good inter-urban services (eg Glasgow/Edinburgh/Dundee/Aberdeen).
    Wales has one big hub with a few satellites, and several sub-networks.
    The Welsh network is also not self-contained, with many services crossing the border, unlike Scotland.

    ATW (and FGW and Virgin) will probably counter with evidence of good satisfaction levels and ATW at least is pretty punctual.
    In railway terms, Wales is not a network, it's an accident of history and geography.
    You also have to look at the subsidy per passenger statistics and the affordability of any improvements.
    Anyway, haven't they heard about South Wales electrification and IEP?
     
  5. Butts

    Butts Established Member

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    The North of Scotland is as poorly served as Cymru :p
     
  6. LBSCR Times

    LBSCR Times Member

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    The North of Scotland probably gets the level of service it can justify, especially if you mean north of Inverness.
    If it was anywhere in a England then the lines would probably have been shut by the 1970's.
     
  7. merlodlliw

    merlodlliw Established Member

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    Interesting comment from the article

    I hope in North East Wales situation, this means Cardiff Bay listening and understanding local needs,which is sadly lacking.
     
  8. alex17595

    alex17595 Member

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    It nearly was.
     
  9. TorqueOfTheDevil

    TorqueOfTheDevil Member

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    Slow news day? This sounds about as valid as the front page story in the same rag last year about needing to build another bridge across the Menai Strait because sometimes drivers had to queue for over 10 minutes!
     
  10. cf111

    cf111 Established Member

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    I'm in Thurso and I have to agree with this. 4 trains each way a day is excellent. I wish the last southbound train was a bit later but no real complaints as I understand why it's timed as it is.
     
  11. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    Duplicate motorways are a big priority for some, seriously that's what we face in Wales. The CBT sponsored study is actually done fairly well using a set of a dozen or so variables you may or may not agree with its on their website its the journalists spin that's shock horror.
     
  12. merlodlliw

    merlodlliw Established Member

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    The inquiry into the Future Wales & Borders franchise by Welsh Assembly is now Published,not sure if its on the WG website yet.

    A lot of discussion appears to have taken place with Scotland,I received a very large PDF due to submitting a question, sorry I don't have a link, but if any RF members wish to see the PDF please PM me with a valid E Mail address. Or contact Mike Lewis below for a copy at WG


    Bob
     
    Last edited: 12 Dec 2013
  13. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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  14. jones_bangor

    jones_bangor Member

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  15. oldman

    oldman Member

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    This suggestion immediately follows:

    – Aspirations and resources need to be brought into balance.

    I thought that was quite funny. :lol:
     
  16. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    Shock. Horror. ATW's English lines subsidise those in Wales.
    Paraphrased as English lines covering their operating costs, but not the Welsh.

    The report does not mince its words about the challenge of the WG developing the skills to run a new franchise bid and manage it thereafter.
    The alternative funding and management models all come with significant issues.

    I note the WG thinks the 2018 W&B franchise map will be expanded, but the DfT expects it to shrink.
    I also can't see the WG becoming a ROSCO and owning its train fleet.

    Good to see this being published though, warts and all.
    The contributions from Transport Scotland from their experience are telling.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---

    Today's DfT announcement about enhancement schemes including Wigan-Bolton electrification includes a short list of further lines which are under review.
    The aim is to accelerate the roll-out of further electrification.
    The list is essentially related to the Northern Hub project, but does include 2 routes on the ATW network - Chester-Crewe and Chester-Warrington.
    As you would expect, this is the necessary precursor for any wider electrification in North Wales.
    It therefore has a material impact on the W&B franchise planning for 2018.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/road-and-rail-projects-to-boost-local-and-regional-transport--2

    We can speculate whether this means W&B will get an electric fleet for these services, or whether it is the catalyst to detach those lines from the W&B map and give them to a "rail north" franchise.
    It would also alter the nature of the Euston-Chester-North Wales service.
    I hope Cardiff Bay gets fully involved with the review.
     
    Last edited: 13 Dec 2013
  17. aformeruser

    aformeruser Veteran Member

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    As I've suggested in another thread the current plans for both Chester-Manchester lines post-Northern Hub are an hourly pattern of:
    * North Wales-Warrington-Manchester Airport (diesel)
    * Chester-Warrington-Bradford-Leeds (extended diesel)
    * Chester-Altrincham-Manchester (existing diesel)
    * Greenbank-Stockport (new diesel)

    To maximise use of Warrington-Chester electrics and with Slade Lane Junction capacity improvements this could change to:
    * North Wales-Altrincham-Manchester (diesel semi-fast east of Chester)
    * Chester-Warrington-Manchester Airport (electric)
    * Chester-Warrington-Manchester (electric -additional)
    * Chester-Altrincham-Manchester (stopping diesel)

    If a good path is made available for North Wales-Altrincham-Manchester then it could do Chester-Manchester in 75 minutes so could be more beneficial to North Wales passengers than splitting at Chester. Although it would mean Manchester journeys take 10 minutes longer it would actually allow faster services to Sheffield and beyond from North Wales by changing at Stockport instead of Manchester Piccadilly.
     
  18. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    I think getting the wiring approved is the first thing.
    Cardiff will want the fastest route from Chester to Manchester.
    The only other "beyond" destination ever discussed locally is Leeds, which used to be a through service in the past.
    And Liverpool of course, via Halton.
    Electrification to Chester would also bring the Wirral into play, if dual voltage stock was used.
     
  19. aformeruser

    aformeruser Veteran Member

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    It might be if they want that then they'll have to either fund electrification work (in North Wales) or new dual powered trains or settle for services being split or diverted.

    Long term the Manchester Airport spur might be extended to Mobberley (it's a proposed CP6 scheme) and if that happens Cardiff will have to decide whether they'd rather have the fastest route between the Airport and North Wales or the fastest route between central Manchester and North Wales as it won't be the same route.
     
    Last edited: 13 Dec 2013
  20. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    Various options open up with wires to Chester, but the CLC route currently has a low speed limit (compared with the Warrington route) and 3 single track sections which makes it unsuitable for through services.
    Extending the Airport line would indeed make a difference, but the line west of there still needs upgrading to be any use.
    The airport scheme also keeps failing to get traction.
    Meanwhile, Warrington is a significant interchange from the west, and North Wales-Chester-Warrington is a decent business.

    Anyway, the politicos still have to get the lines to Chester to the front of the queue.
    There is a good prospect (well if not now, when?) that the Welsh end will prioritise wiring west of Chester once the lines eastward are committed.
     
  21. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    sleep walking into splitting services at Chester is another option with the hourly Cardiff to Holyhead service taking precedence which wont need wires.
     
  22. aformeruser

    aformeruser Veteran Member

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    Regional services can operate on single track sections. The regional trains get priority for paths and times and the stoppers have to fit in around those times, so they aren't in the way of regional trains.

    There did used to be a path on the Mid-Cheshire line for a late afternoon loco-hauled semi-fast train for a Chester to Blackpool via Stockport service.
     
  23. Francis

    Francis Member

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    The mountains make Wales a beautiful country, but they also make north-south communications very difficult. Linking the Wales' rail network together again without resorting to the Hereford - Shrewsbury - Chester corridor is probably just a pipe dream.
    It would require the reopening of
    Merthyr - Talyllyn Jc (Brecon) - Builth Wells - Llanidloes - Caersws (for Machynlleth and Aberystwyth)
    (Porthmadog) - Afon Wen Jc - Caernarfon - Bangor
    or alternatively the Carmarthen - Lampeter - Aberystwyth route.
    (Wrexham) - Rhiwabon - Llangollen - Bala - Dolgellau - Barmouth would also have been a superb route for tourist trips.
    These were all painfully slow even in their heyday, but then so are the trans-Wales bus routes from north to south.


    The T4 from Cardiff to Newtown via Merthyr, Brecon, Builth Wells, Llandrindod Wells runs every two hours and takes 3 hrs 35 mins
    There is only one through coach a day at 17.15 Cardiff to Aberystwyth (arr. 21.18), via Carmarthen and Lampeter. At other times of the day you would have to travel to Carmarthen, then a bus to Lampeter (1 hr) and another bus to Aberystwyth (1 hr 5 mins).
    The T2 Aberystwyth - Bangor service runs three times a day (once with a change at Dolgellau) and takes 3 hrs 30 mins. No wonder the Freedom of Wales pass gives you 8 days on the buses and just four on the trains - you'll need all that time. Over 8 hrs if you went on the bus to get from Cardiff to Bangor. Still, plenty of time to admire the scenery.....

    Warning: The TravelineCymru website is bizarre. If you just put in Cardiff - Dolgellau or Cardiff -Bangor or even Cardiff - Aberystwyth it just replies - Your travel needs cannot be met at this time! Yes. Too true.
     
  24. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    The money they want to spend on the So called M4 relief road and the heads of the valleys dualling would probably get Moat Lane Jnc to Merthyr and afonwen to Bangor done!
     
  25. merlodlliw

    merlodlliw Established Member

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    It is unfortunate the line Wrexham/Llangollen is built over at Llangollen and the River Bridge at Llangollen is jacked up where the line ran.
    Some good news GHA take over the X 94 bus route from Arriva Bus Wales running from Wrexham to Barmouth, Arriva gave notice to stop the service from Dec 21st.
     
  26. johnnychips

    johnnychips Established Member

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    Works for me!
     
  27. merlodlliw

    merlodlliw Established Member

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    This proposed service hourly from Cardiff to Holyhead,the brain child of a Prof Cole of Glamorgan Uni finding work for defunct HSTs when Cardiff gets wired,which could spoil North Wales getting wires to run services that are better needed, in my opinion
     
  28. jones_bangor

    jones_bangor Member

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    Refurbished HST from FGW with an operational life of 10 yrs will hardly cause that many issues.

    The impetus for North Wales Coast Electrification must come from Welsh Government as well as the Welsh Secretary.

    A neglected North Wales is unlikely to return Labour politicians in places like Vale of Clwyd, Delyn and Anglesey.....
     
  29. Flamingo

    Flamingo Established Member

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    I have to say, I know Prof Cole, he is very knowledgable and enthusiastic about railways, and is quite a switched on cookie. If he's proposing it (which I wasn't aware of), it's probably well worth considering...
     
  30. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    If the first time you came across him was his speech to the Montgomeryshire Society this July I went to you wouldn't be so sure...he was also somewhat rude to the staff and passengers waiting to buy tickets at Newtown Station Travel when he panicked about leaving something in his hotel room the next morning. I've come across him for over 10 years and whilst there has been some good stuff in the past recently I've been disappointed and disagreed with much he said.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    With GWML electrification due to be complete by 2018 are you saying that we can put off NWML wires until 2028 on the basis of the shelf life of HST's running Cardiff to Holyhead? You then still have the problem of making the business case with an hourly diesel service to Cardiff which you'll have to find stock for to replace the HST's.

    I suspect that Cardiff will have to put its hands in its pockets if it wants NWML wired, the GWML and the Valleys being paid for 100% by DfT is probably a one off never to be seen again in Wales. You can see the tactic in the far south west and other areas that want wiring - we will have 100% of our trains powered by electric not a fraction like in Wales who should be paying for it entirely themselves.
     
  31. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    Today's transport investment, by the way (road and rail) is only in England, but will have Barnett consequentials.
    This means Wales will get some extra funds (or already had got it in the Autumn Statement).
    We'll have to see how it spends the money...
    You could argue the Wrexham-Chester redoubling is part of it.
     
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