Train Graphic
Great Western Passengers' Forum Great Western Coffee Shop - [home] and [about]
Read about the forum [here].
Register and contribute [here] - it's free.
article index - [here]
 tomorrow - RailFuture National, Bristol
25/09/2019 - WWRUG / Transport Focus
03/10/2019 - ACoRP Community Rail Awards
05/10/2019 - WSR shuttle last for 2019
10/10/2019 - IET Signalling Talk - Reading
16/10/2019 - MRUG meeting
Random Image
Train Running @GWR Twitter Acronyms/Abbreviations Station Comparator Rail news GWR co. site Site Style 1 2 3 4 Chat on off
Next departures • Bristol Temple MeadsBath SpaChippenhamSwindonDidcot ParkwayReadingLondon PaddingtonMelksham
Exeter St DavidsTauntonWestburyTrowbridgeBristol ParkwayCardiff CentralOxfordCheltenham SpaBirmingham New Street
September 20, 2019, 08:52:29 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Forgotten your username or password? - get a reminder
Most liked recent subjects
[164] IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent pe...
[79] St.Erth Park and Ride
[73] Rail firms should not be paid when trains run late
[71] Templecombe
[49] Travelogue observations - 17th September 2019 - switching
[46] Service collapse, Reading-Didcot stopping trains, evening of 1...
News: A forum for passengers ... with input from rail professionals welcomed too
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: [1]
Author Topic: Bristol via Westbury and Frome - status update on enhancement proposals  (Read 1812 times)
Hero Member
Posts: 26513

View Profile WWW Email
« on: April 07, 2019, 10:40:06 am »

From my Railfuture talk on Wider Wiltshire yesterday which included status updates for a number of current aspirations - ranging from improved and new services and through new stations and line improvements. In Wiltshire, I do not see any lines being (re)laid in the next few years.

These are elements which relate to Frome

Status update - Metro West to Wiltshire

Local trains from Bristol to Bath are to be stepped from hourly to twice an hour ... perhaps May or December 2020? It's not operationally practical for them to reverse at Bath Spa, and an extra turnback facility at Batheaston would cost a fortune. Suggestions have been to run them on to Swindon (via Corsham, Chippenham and Royal Wootton Bassett) or to Westbury (via Bradford-on-Avon and Trowbridge), with that latter appearing to be the option currently planned for implementation.

With employment growing faster than housing in Bath, and housing growing faster that employment in West Wilts, and with trains already very full on that route, an extra train each hour (up from 2 to 3 if you include the Cardiff - Portsmouth) makes sense.

With just 3 platform faces at Westbury, current operational constraints which restrict connectional timetabling could become worse. However, reducing terminating trains by linking Swindon - Westbury to Westbury - Salisbury at the time of change would help. Additionally, a local train arriving every 60 minutes and returning 10 (or 70) minutes later (as we have at present) would be replaced by a 30 minute cycle - allowing a 40 minute or 100 minute turn around - equal to a service extension to Frome or to Yeovil.

Status update - services via Frome

On the boundary of Wiltshire, Frome is a town of considerable size that suffers from big service gaps due to railway geography.

It is proposed to extend some SWR trains to / from Waterloo to or via Frome and / or Yeovil - first changes, May 2019

Changes in December 2020 at Frome and Yeovil Pen Mill will be purely to "shoehorn" the services between the mail line expresses as I understand it. Apart from the morning peak train to London and evening return, none of the new trains London trains will call at Frome - so no Taunton service (for example).

See also MetroWest which could well provide a half hourly service to Frome (hourly extension to Yeovil) and Go-op (Taunton to Nuneaton) which would provide on current plans services to Swindon and Oxford (around 6 per day) and Yeovil and Taunton (total of around 6 per day).

Status update - Go-op and Swindon to Oxford

Proposal for a Taunton - Frome - Westbury - Swindon - Oxford - Coventry - Nuneaton Open Access service. Identified potential flows look good / fill some much needed gaps. But Go-op have been working on this / similar schemes for a number of years and deadlines have slipped even more than is usual in the rail industry. They have something of a credibility problem; as a service subcontracted to an existing operator (could be a Midland one headed south, or one of the two already in Wiltshire) the trains would be very welcome and supported.

It's unlikely that both this proposal and the Swindon - Solent one (perhaps extended to Oxford - Solent) could both run as proposed - capacity issues. It should be the fervent hope of the passenger who want to see the present poor service between Westbury and Swindon, and Swindon and Oxford, stepped up to a decent level the the two schemes don't slog it out to the extent that both are left mortally wounded and we get nothing.

Audience reaction ... overall, the desire for better (more frequent) train links from Frome, with especial mention of services to Westbury from where connecting services run. A lack of knowing who to talk to / how to ask or campaign for realistic service improvements, and how to evaluate some of the options being suggested.

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and of RailFuture
Do you have something you would like to add to this thread, or would you like to raise a new question at the Coffee Shop? Please [register] (it is free) if you have not done so before, or login (at the top of this page) if you already have an account - we would love to read what you have to say!

You can find out more about how this forum works [here] - that will link you to a copy of the forum agreement that you can read before you join, and tell you very much more about how we operate. We are an independent forum, provided and run by customers of Great Western Railway, for customers of Great Western Railway and we welcome railway professionals as members too, in either a personal or official capacity. Views expressed in posts are not necessarily the views of the operators of the forum.

As well as posting messages onto existing threads, and starting new subjects, members can communicate with each other through personal messages if they wish. And once members have made a certain number of posts, they will automatically be admitted to the "frequent posters club", where subjects not-for-public-domain are discussed; anything from the occasional rant to meetups we may be having ...

Pages: [1]
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
This forum is provided by a customer of Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western), and the views expressed are those of the individual posters concerned. Visit for the official Great Western Railway website. Please contact the administrators of this site if you feel that the content provided by one of our posters contravenes our posting rules (email link). Forum hosted by Well House Consultants

Jump to top of pageJump to Forum Home Page