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Author Topic: Heart of Wessex - not a clever Sunday or Monday start  (Read 1680 times)
grahame
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« on: August 13, 2018, 05:01:00 am »

From Journey Check this morning ...

Quote
13/08/18 05:33 Weymouth to Bristol Parkway due 08:27 will be started from Westbury.
It will no longer call at Weymouth, Upwey, Dorchester West, Maiden Newton, Chetnole, Yetminster, Thornford, Yeovil Pen Mill, Castle Cary, Bruton and Frome.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.
Additional Information
Customers travelling from unstaffed stations are requested to make use of the Customer Help Point systems available, or contact National Rail Enquiries on 03457 484 950 detailing the total number of passengers travelling, and their intended destinations.
Last Updated:12/08/2018 08:47
Quote
05:33 Weymouth to Westbury due 07:08
Additional 05:33 Weymouth to Westbury due 07:08 will no longer call at Bruton and Frome.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.
Additional Information
Please note bus departure time will be later than advertised from stations after Weymouth.
Customers will be able to connect for onward travel to Bristol at Westbury.
Last Updated:13/08/2018 03:46

Quote
06:20 Yeovil Pen Mill to Westbury due 07:07
An additional bus service has been planned to operate as shown 06:20 Yeovil Pen Mill to Westbury due 07:07.
Additional Information
Please note bus departure time will be later than advertised from stations after Weymouth.
Customers will be able to connect for onward travel to Bristol at Westbury.
Last Updated:13/08/2018 03:47

The Heart of Wessex line is one of four the was highlighted by GWR themselves (Mark Hopwood on 15th June to the Community Rail Conference) as performing significantly worse than most of the GWR network, and where additional attention would be given to the raising of performance to at least a similar level to other GWR services.  Being kind, this appears to remain "work in progress".  Issues such as the above, where the first train has been replaced by two buses should be very rare indeed.   I note that (on most trains) passenger's destinations from Frome and south thereof is beyond Westbury, and that a later arrival at Westbury by bus will mean they cannot connect into the train intended, which is still running north thereof.

Yesterday, I visited Weymouth on what was originally planned to be the young carer's day out, but which we aborted.  I noted:
10:43 arrival into Weymouth didn't get there until 11:44
11:45 arrival into Weymouth arrived 12:01
11:00 departure from Weymouth left at 12:04 and terminated short of destination
14:14 departure was a very busy 2 car train with inadequate seating for a long journey; standing from Frome
15:55 arrival into Weymouth has started short of its timetabled starting point
16:10 departure was terminated at Westbury due to shortage of crew to run it beyond.
23:07 arrival was cancelled ( train terminated at Westbury)
With just 5 arrivals and 5 departures scheduled, that's 70% of services noted for being below par ...
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bignosemac
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2018, 05:52:48 am »

Still "work in progress" after two months.

I predict it'll be another few weeks before things settle down. Around the time when the kids are back in school and fewer leisure travellers are using the line. And fewer staff are on annual leave.

A natural fix, rather than anything Hoppity and Co will have achieved.
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2018, 06:03:19 am »

Still "work in progress" after two months.

I predict it'll be another few weeks before things settle down. ....

Consideration should be given to re-arranging the carer's day out during the autumn - with less crowds on the trains and Weymouth being quieter.  Many of the young people that plan to go on this trip are, of course, at school from Monday to Friday - but a Sunday trip during term time, with a shorter stay in Weymouth (mid rather than late afternoon return) might work even better for everyone than what we had originally planned.  As you say (Bignosemac), annual leave issues for everyone - staff and also stand-in carers - will be far less of a problem.
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bradshaw
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2018, 08:54:52 am »

I think there are a number of issues here. One is crew availability. I presume the lack of crew meant that the unit for today’s 0533 did not get to Weymouth. I still wonder if a crewing system based on Westbury might work better, rather like Salisbury and WoE. It may mean more ecs moves however.

A second issue is the diagrams. While these may optimise usage of the units they do leave possibilities of knock on effects. The two Great Malvern services to Weymouth show less than 30% arrive within 5 minutes, over the last 8 weeks.

If I need to go to the Bath and Bristol areas I consider using Crewkerne or Axminster. It may take longer but is more reliable and has an hourly service. In addition the ticket to Bristol is the same fare via Salisbury or Exeter, thus effectively giving an half hourly service. Both connect well for the onward journey.
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Southernman
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2018, 09:59:53 am »

Grahame said:-

Yesterday, I visited Weymouth on what was originally planned to be the young carer's day out, but which we aborted.  I noted:
10:43 arrival into Weymouth didn't get there until 11:44
11:45 arrival into Weymouth arrived 12:01
11:00 departure from Weymouth left at 12:04 and terminated short of destination

I believe that the 10.43 arrival met a tree on the line which caused the delay. And of course there is often a short turnaround time at Weymouth so late in means late out! I can only agree that the performance (availability of trains and crew) are very poor.

The cancellation (and unusually a bus replacement arranged) of the first departure from Weymouth was due to the unit on the last down on Sunday being terminated at Westbury due to crewing issues!
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Timmer
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2018, 10:45:18 am »

When you couple shortage of train crew, infrastructure issues etc with the loss of the Weymouth Wizard HST service, its not been a good summer on the Heart of Wessex for the many passengers who used or have tried to use the line. 165/166s aren't great for long distance travel in their current seating format.
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bobm
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2018, 11:05:23 am »

The cancellation of the first train from Weymouth and replacement by a bus to Westbury was first signposted on Journeycheck late on Sunday afternoon so at least some advance warning was given.  The second bus from Yeovil was added overnight.
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phile
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2018, 01:37:38 pm »

I think there are a number of issues here. One is crew availability. I presume the lack of crew meant that the unit for today’s 0533 did not get to Weymouth. I still wonder if a crewing system based on Westbury might work better, rather like Salisbury and WoE. It may mean more ecs moves however.

A second issue is the diagrams. While these may optimise usage of the units they do leave possibilities of knock on effects. The two Great Malvern services to Weymouth show less than 30% arrive within 5 minutes, over the last 8 weeks.

If I need to go to the Bath and Bristol areas I consider using Crewkerne or Axminster. It may take longer but is more reliable and has an hourly service. In addition the ticket to Bristol is the same fare via Salisbury or Exeter, thus effectively giving an half hourly service. Both connect well for the onward journey.

The 0533 ex Weymouth is worked by a Westbury driver who should have worked the cancelled one Sunday night and stays at Weymouth overnight unless it has changed
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Timmer
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2018, 02:15:08 pm »

The 0533 ex Weymouth is worked by a Westbury driver who should have worked the cancelled one Sunday night and stays at Weymouth overnight unless it has changed
Don't GWR have any drivers based at Weymouth? I know they have guards based there.
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phile
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2018, 07:40:01 pm »

The 0533 ex Weymouth is worked by a Westbury driver who should have worked the cancelled one Sunday night and stays at Weymouth overnight unless it has changed
Don't GWR have any drivers based at Weymouth? I know they have guards based there.

No.   A Westbury driver is taxied in for the 0644 departure
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bobm
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2018, 08:00:57 pm »

Trying to think what the logic would be of having depots with guards and no drivers.  In the absence of DOO, if you need one, you need the other.
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Timmer
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2018, 08:16:45 pm »

Is hotel accommodation provided for the driver coming in on the late arrival into Weymouth? Not a lot of time to sleep to be back at the station in time to take the 5.33 departure surely.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2018, 10:06:27 pm »

Is hotel accommodation provided for the driver coming in on the late arrival into Weymouth? Not a lot of time to sleep to be back at the station in time to take the 5.33 departure surely.

They wouldn't be driving the 0533. 'Hidden' rules stipulate anyone doing safety critical work must have a 12 hour gap between shifts.

No idea on the lodging arrangements or whether the late arrival driver is taxied home.
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phile
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« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2018, 10:29:24 pm »

Is hotel accommodation provided for the driver coming in on the late arrival into Weymouth? Not a lot of time to sleep to be back at the station in time to take the 5.33 departure surely.

They wouldn't be driving the 0533. 'Hidden' rules stipulate anyone doing safety critical work must have a 12 hour gap between shifts.

No idea on the lodging arrangements or whether the late arrival driver is taxied home.

No, it's a through turn of duty.  ATW have one where crew stay at Hereford overnight
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martyjon
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« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2018, 10:41:34 pm »

In the past there was a BR hostel in Redland, Bristol, not far from Redland Railway Station where rail crew on an out and back turn would stay overnight and would be provided with an evening meal and breakfast, I know, I delivered the bread on my Saturday Job.
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