• Our booking engine at tickets.railforums.co.uk (powered by TrainSplit) helps support the running of the forum with every ticket purchase! Find out more and ask any questions/give us feedback in this thread!

XC should call at Bromsgrove - better connectivity between Bristol & Birmingham

Status
Not open for further replies.

TheWalrus

Established Member
Joined
6 Oct 2008
Messages
1,989
Location
UK
My idea is for XC services between Bristol-Manchester & Cardiff-Nottingham to call at Bromsgrove to improve connectivity between stations on this corridor. Currently passengers from Bromsgrove have to change at Birmingham or Worcester and Cheltenham to reach Bristol, South Wales and South West. Calling at Bromsgrove would also enable connections to local stations towards Birmingham on the Cross City line, and also towards Worcester and Hereford.

I also suggest the Cardiff-Nottingham services call at Ashchurch, giving an hourly service to Birmingham, Cheltenham and Gloucester. My other suggestion is to cut back the Bristol-Great Malvern services to Gloucester, as it is most likely quicker to change at Cheltenham for Bristol. The Cheltenham-Worcester section would be served by extending the Maesteg-Cheltenham services to Worcester.

Would any of these ideas work?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
25,013
Location
Nottingham
As these are some of the most overcrowded long distance trains on the network, it would certainly need more rolling stock. The other problem is that they would fill up with Bromsgrove-Birmingham commuters at the relevant times of day (and shoppers at other times), just as they do at Tamworth and Burton.

I think a better idea would be to run Birmingham-Bromsgrove-Worcester-Ashchurch-Cheltenham-Gloucester(?)-Parkway-Temple Meads semi-fasts which could be overtaken by Cross Country as they loop through Worcester. They could maybe take over the Great Malvern paths between Gloucester and Worcester.
 

The Planner

Veteran Member
Joined
15 Apr 2008
Messages
16,079
Good luck getting XC to do long distance at Bromsgrove, especially as they have no interest in Worcestershire Pwy.
 

TheWalrus

Established Member
Joined
6 Oct 2008
Messages
1,989
Location
UK
Good luck getting XC to do long distance at Bromsgrove, especially as they have no interest in Worcestershire Pwy.
True but if it was written into their SLC they would have to call there?

As these are some of the most overcrowded long distance trains on the network, it would certainly need more rolling stock. The other problem is that they would fill up with Bromsgrove-Birmingham commuters at the relevant times of day (and shoppers at other times), just as they do at Tamworth and Burton.

I think a better idea would be to run Birmingham-Bromsgrove-Worcester-Ashchurch-Cheltenham-Gloucester(?)-Parkway-Temple Meads semi-fasts which could be overtaken by Cross Country as they loop through Worcester. They could maybe take over the Great Malvern paths between Gloucester and Worcester.
That would be a good idea, but are there paths available for an extra service into Birmingham?

I'm not sure TfW would want to go that far into England.
maybe but they already go as far as Birmingham International and Manchester.
 

The Planner

Veteran Member
Joined
15 Apr 2008
Messages
16,079
True but if it was written into their SLC they would have to call there?

maybe but they already go as far as Birmingham International and Manchester.
Why would it get written in to their SLC, increase of journey time reduces the money DfT get back. Cardiff to Manchester is a massive money spinner and International is more of an operational neccessity.
 

Grecian 1998

Member
Joined
27 Oct 2019
Messages
423
Location
Bristol
In normal times, which will resume at some unspecified point in the future, there is no point asking XC to stop anywhere new between Bristol and Birmingham. There is no capacity on board and no slack in the timetable.

Until XC have adequate stock for the services they provide, forget it. They might have adequate stock if AWC 221s and EMR 222s are cascaded to them, but that lies in the future.
 

daodao

Established Member
Joined
6 Feb 2016
Messages
2,984
Location
Dunham/Bowdon
In normal times, which will resume at some unspecified point in the future, there is no point asking XC to stop anywhere new between Bristol and Birmingham. There is no capacity on board and no slack in the timetable. Until XC have adequate stock for the services they provide, forget it. They might have adequate stock if AWC 221s and EMR 222s are cascaded to them, but that lies in the future.
The Cardiff-Birmingham service could call there. In the past some such trains did call at Bromsgrove; I recall once (in the 1990s) changing there from a train originating at Cardiff for a train to University station.
 

TheWalrus

Established Member
Joined
6 Oct 2008
Messages
1,989
Location
UK
The Cardiff-Birmingham service could call there. In the past some such trains did call at Bromsgrove; I recall once (in the 1990s) changing there from a train originating at Cardiff for a train to University station.
That would make sense, at least passengers for stations south towards Bristol and South West could change at Cheltenham Spa.

Why would it get written in to their SLC, increase of journey time reduces the money DfT get back. Cardiff to Manchester is a massive money spinner and International is more of an operational neccessity.
There’s probably a lot of things written into SLCs that operators have to operate which are losing a lot of money or are relatively pointless. For example there used to be Westbury-Warminster shuttles which ran empty and right behind a Portsmouth service. Bedwyn has to have an hourly service but passenger numbers probably don’t justify it. Coming back on topic, I think XC calls at Bromsgrove would give greater journey opportunities which probably would be used. I would have thought Bromsgrove passengers would travel towards places like Gloucester, Cheltenham, Bristol and Cardiff, although I realise the main passenger flow probably is, and always will be, to/from Birmingham and maybe Worcester.
 
Last edited:

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
25,013
Location
Nottingham
That would be a good idea, but are there paths available for an extra service into Birmingham?
There might be if the Bordesley Curves are built to allow trains to get to Moor Street, although it could result in a rather messy split of Birmingham stations for trains towards Cheltenham.
 

The Planner

Veteran Member
Joined
15 Apr 2008
Messages
16,079
There’s probably a lot of things written into SLCs that operators have to operate which are losing a lot of money or are relatively pointless. For example there used to be Westbury-Warminster shuttles which ran empty and right behind a Portsmouth service. Bedwyn has to have an hourly service but passenger numbers probably don’t justify it. Coming back on topic, I think XC calls at Bromsgrove would give greater journey opportunities which probably would be used. I would have thought Bromsgrove passengers would travel towards places like Gloucester, Cheltenham, Bristol and Cardiff, although I realise the main passenger flow probably is, and always will be, to/from Birmingham and maybe Worcester.
The only ones that would stop there are the Cardiff trains. You would likely have to back time them to Cardiff as well unless the Cross City frequency drops which is a possibility.
 

peteb

Member
Joined
30 Mar 2011
Messages
1,172
My idea is for XC services between Bristol-Manchester & Cardiff-Nottingham to call at Bromsgrove to improve connectivity between stations on this corridor. Currently passengers from Bromsgrove have to change at Birmingham or Worcester and Cheltenham to reach Bristol, South Wales and South West. Calling at Bromsgrove would also enable connections to local stations towards Birmingham on the Cross City line, and also towards Worcester and Hereford.

I also suggest the Cardiff-Nottingham services call at Ashchurch, giving an hourly service to Birmingham, Cheltenham and Gloucester. My other suggestion is to cut back the Bristol-Great Malvern services to Gloucester, as it is most likely quicker to change at Cheltenham for Bristol. The Cheltenham-Worcester section would be served by extending the Maesteg-Cheltenham services to Worcester.

Would any of these ideas work?
I very much like the idea of XC stopping at Bromsgove, if only to set down north bound and pick up south bound. This would avoid lengthy journeys into and out of New Street for those living in Redditch and Bromsgrove going south. It would also give better connectivity by train between Redditch, Bromsgove, Pershore and Evesham, all in Worcestershire. If the XC's currently stopping at Worcestershire Parkway also served Bromsgrove it would open up better journey possibilities from the GWR cotswold line into and out of south Birmingham. I think the SD and PU would ensure Bromsgrove commuters stuck to the cross city line, except for late evenings when loadings are light. It's a shame they cant run a Birmingham to Bristol stopper calling at University, Bromsgrove, Worcs Parkway, Ashcurch, Cheltenham, Gloucester (rev) and so on to Temple Meads.
 

TheWalrus

Established Member
Joined
6 Oct 2008
Messages
1,989
Location
UK
I very much like the idea of XC stopping at Bromsgove, if only to set down north bound and pick up south bound. This would avoid lengthy journeys into and out of New Street for those living in Redditch and Bromsgrove going south. It would also give better connectivity by train between Redditch, Bromsgove, Pershore and Evesham, all in Worcestershire. If the XC's currently stopping at Worcestershire Parkway also served Bromsgrove it would open up better journey possibilities from the GWR cotswold line into and out of south Birmingham. I think the SD and PU would ensure Bromsgrove commuters stuck to the cross city line, except for late evenings when loadings are light. It's a shame they cant run a Birmingham to Bristol stopper calling at University, Bromsgrove, Worcs Parkway, Ashcurch, Cheltenham, Gloucester (rev) and so on to Temple Meads.
I agree with you on this and think it’s a great idea! Glad you agree with me! I think the Gloucester reversal sort of kills the Bristol-Birmingham stopper idea, but how many travel from Worcestershire to Bristol? A change at Cheltenham would probably be quicker which could easily be facilitated by calling the Cardiff-Nottinghams at Bromsgrove.

The only ones that would stop there are the Cardiff trains. You would likely have to back time them to Cardiff as well unless the Cross City frequency drops which is a possibility.
Isn’t CrossCity every 15 minutes at the moment?
 

ABB125

Established Member
Joined
23 Jul 2016
Messages
3,785
Location
University of Birmingham
I agree with you on this and think it’s a great idea! Glad you agree with me! I think the Gloucester reversal sort of kills the Bristol-Birmingham stopper idea, but how many travel from Worcestershire to Bristol? A change at Cheltenham would probably be quicker which could easily be facilitated by calling the Cardiff-Nottinghams at Bromsgrove.


Isn’t CrossCity every 15 minutes at the moment?
Not yet, they've simply removed 2tph, resulting in a 10/20 minute interval service
 

peteb

Member
Joined
30 Mar 2011
Messages
1,172
I agree with you on this and think it’s a great idea! Glad you agree with me! I think the Gloucester reversal sort of kills the Bristol-Birmingham stopper idea, but how many travel from Worcestershire to Bristol? A change at Cheltenham would probably be quicker which could easily be facilitated by calling the Cardiff-Nottinghams at Bromsgrove.


Isn’t CrossCity every 15 minutes at the moment?
So maybe a very regular service: Birmingham to Gloucester via University, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire Parkway, Ashchurch and Cheltenham, to supplement the XC services, allowing easy same platform interchange at Cheltenham for the West Country; and interchange at Gloucester for all stations to Bristol via Yate and XC or Wales services to Cardiff etc. So no need for a Bham to Bristol stopper. If GWR could connect sensibly at Worcestershire Parkway for Worcester, Malvern, Hereford that would negate the need for through Malvern to Bristol/Swindon services. Maybe line capacity on the Cotswold route could allow a Worcester Evesham stopper hourly to supplement the London services? The waits are simply too long at Parkway at present.
 

tbtc

Veteran Member
Joined
16 Dec 2008
Messages
17,882
Location
Reston City Centre
Getting the crayons out, I like the idea of two trains per hour from Nottingham to Cardiff, i.e. extending the current Nottingham - Birmingham "short" through Bromsgrove to replace the TfW service from Cheltenham to Cardiff.

That way you could have two longer distance trains per hour stopping at University/ Bromsgrove/ Worcester Parkway if required, but stock availability and local politics means it'll never happen (even if the paths were magically available)

You could also try to ensure good connections at Worcester Parkway with two trains per hour on that corridor two.

As for stopping the longer distance XC services... seems a non-starter (no pun intended)... even if there were plenty of spare seats on these services, adding in a stop would threaten reliability between the fixed paths they have through New Street/ Bristol Parkway - given how any minor delay to XC services can see them stuck behind a stopper elsewhere on the network and easily lose half an hour. Voyagers don't load/unload particularly fast, given the door situation.

Trying to impose setting down/ picking up restrictions would create problems with long distance passengers - e.g. if I came from northern England then I wouldn't be allowed to get off a train that stopped at Bromsgrove? Or would you try to restrict it to only New Street passengers? Asking for arguments/ confusion - XC gave up on their attempts to do the same with Leeds - Wakefield "local" passengers - they haven't tried to do the same on journeys like New Street - Wolverhampton - nice idea on paper but not going to work in reality. You might just end up with the situation of local passengers avoiding their intended commuter EMUs and cramming on to the "fast" service but XC getting none of the revenue (since they didn't officially carry people on such a short distance)

Also, where do you stop with such suggestions? Should XC stop at Drem so that East Lothian passengers don't need to go all the way into Edinburgh to double back on journeys to England?
 

TheWalrus

Established Member
Joined
6 Oct 2008
Messages
1,989
Location
UK
So maybe a very regular service: Birmingham to Gloucester via University, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire Parkway, Ashchurch and Cheltenham, to supplement the XC services, allowing easy same platform interchange at Cheltenham for the West Country; and interchange at Gloucester for all stations to Bristol via Yate and XC or Wales services to Cardiff etc. So no need for a Bham to Bristol stopper. If GWR could connect sensibly at Worcestershire Parkway for Worcester, Malvern, Hereford that would negate the need for through Malvern to Bristol/Swindon services. Maybe line capacity on the Cotswold route could allow a Worcester Evesham stopper hourly to supplement the London services? The waits are simply too long at Parkway at present.
To be honest I think Cardiff-Nottingham services could call at Bromsgrove and Ashchurch which would pretty much solve this issue with the opportunity to change at Cheltenham. I imagine not many from Bromsgrove would want to travel to Bristol but this would give the option of changing at Cheltenham.
I saw on Facebook an article suggesting further redoubling of the Cotswold line, facilitating 2tph to Worcester with one continuing to Kidderminster and the other to Malvern. Therefore Worcestershire Parkway would get 2tph giving better connections there.

Also, where do you stop with such suggestions? Should XC stop at Drem so that East Lothian passengers don't need to go all the way into Edinburgh to double back on journeys to England?
Personally I think there should be some southbound connections from Drem, although it would probably be better to call a TPE service there or extend the Newcastle-Morpeth stopper to Edinburgh, or the Edinburgh-Dunbar services further south, if they are still operating.
 

GoneSouth

Member
Joined
17 Dec 2018
Messages
782
The Cardiff-Birmingham service could call there. In the past some such trains did call at Bromsgrove; I recall once (in the 1990s) changing there from a train originating at Cardiff for a train to University station.
The occasional XC service did indeed call at Bromsgrove and I think only ceased to do so when the new station opened. Just about all the Cardiff to Nottingham service stop at university these days I think.

Now Worcestershire Parkway is up and running, it would be nice to see it used as an interchange between the 2 lines it serves a little more. New St-Uni-Brom-Parkway-Cheltenam-Glos sounds good but I fear a consequence might be for Malvern to lose its service to Gloucester, Bristol and Bath. I tried to travel from Cheltenham to Malvern recently and it was almost hopeless already, very bad indeed on a Sunday. Had long waits at Parkway and I could honestly have cycled between the 2 places faster. I’d hate to see improvements to Bromsgrove services result in it being easy to get to Cheltenham and Glos from Brom but then cut back the Malvern service because Worcester has an alternative to Bristol
 

Sprinter107

Member
Joined
26 Mar 2019
Messages
937
The Cross Country trains ceased to call at Bromsgrove when the Cross City trains were extended there. The Cross Country trains called at Bromsgrove for the benefit of commuters to and from Birmingham, so of course, when the Cross City trains got extended, those commuters were adequately served. It didn't seem to occur to anybody that people actually used them to travel south.
 

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
25,013
Location
Nottingham
The Cross Country trains ceased to call at Bromsgrove when the Cross City trains were extended there. The Cross Country trains called at Bromsgrove for the benefit of commuters to and from Birmingham, so of course, when the Cross City trains got extended, those commuters were adequately served. It didn't seem to occur to anybody that people actually used them to travel south.
Don't the Birmingham-Worcester trains still call?
 

Southern Dvr

Member
Joined
13 Oct 2010
Messages
880
If XC were using electric or bi mode units there might be less of a problem stopping there now its electrified, but without those the time taken to accelerate back to line speed combined with dwell times would just make it impractical. Remember as well that once you start doing something, its very difficult to stop doing it on the railway. If XC were somehow able to stop at Bromsgrove only during the Covid timetable periods, they'd find it very difficult to withdraw such a service when the good times eventually return.
 

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
25,013
Location
Nottingham
If XC were using electric or bi mode units there might be less of a problem stopping there now its electrified, but without those the time taken to accelerate back to line speed combined with dwell times would just make it impractical. Remember as well that once you start doing something, its very difficult to stop doing it on the railway. If XC were somehow able to stop at Bromsgrove only during the Covid timetable periods, they'd find it very difficult to withdraw such a service when the good times eventually return.
Particularly so as Bromsgrove is at the foot of the Lickey, and a train starting from a stand will take a lot longer to get to the top than one that has taken a run at it.
 

Sprinter107

Member
Joined
26 Mar 2019
Messages
937
Don't the Birmingham-Worcester trains still call?
Yes, they still call at Bromsgrove, but they arent really much use for passengers wanting Cheltenham and beyond. Some of them will make the odd connection at Worcester sometimes.
 

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
25,013
Location
Nottingham
Yes, they still call at Bromsgrove, but they arent really much use for passengers wanting Cheltenham and beyond. Some of them will make the odd connection at Worcester sometimes.
Building on the idea of a Birmingham-Bristol semi-fast, I wonder if the answer would be a split/join at one of the Worcester stations (if Foregate Street it would need remodeling) for Bristol and Hereford. Unfortunately Worcestershire Parkway makes this more difficult, as it would be an ideal stop for a semi-fast but a train towards Bristol can't serve both the Parkway and one of the stations nearer the centre (which would also allow faster trains to overtake).
 

TheWalrus

Established Member
Joined
6 Oct 2008
Messages
1,989
Location
UK
The occasional XC service did indeed call at Bromsgrove and I think only ceased to do so when the new station opened. Just about all the Cardiff to Nottingham service stop at university these days I think.

Now Worcestershire Parkway is up and running, it would be nice to see it used as an interchange between the 2 lines it serves a little more. New St-Uni-Brom-Parkway-Cheltenam-Glos sounds good but I fear a consequence might be for Malvern to lose its service to Gloucester, Bristol and Bath. I tried to travel from Cheltenham to Malvern recently and it was almost hopeless already, very bad indeed on a Sunday. Had long waits at Parkway and I could honestly have cycled between the 2 places faster. I’d hate to see improvements to Bromsgrove services result in it being easy to get to Cheltenham and Glos from Brom but then cut back the Malvern service because Worcester has an alternative to Bristol
How many people travel between Malvern and Cheltenham, Gloucester, Bristol?
 

GoneSouth

Member
Joined
17 Dec 2018
Messages
782
I would hazard a guess and suggest "not many"!
You are probably right.

By train, very few.
By car, lots more.

Worcestershire Parkway could be the answer but there doesn’t seem to be the will to connect it to Bristol.

I think it’s one of those situations where you can say the service has never been good enough to make it worth the hassle so nobody will ever know for sure what the demand might be.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top