I’ve been contacted by passengers on GWR commuter trains to Bristol about the number of carriages on this service.
So I’ve raised this with GWR and they’ve apologised for fleet issues. The service has changed from a three carriage class 150 train to a two car “turbo” service. The turbo is a newer train, with longer carriages and more capacity per carriage, but nonetheless 2 longer carriages doesn’t equal the number of seats on 3 shorter ones and we need more capacity not less.
GWR has assured me that they will look to add a further carriage on every service when additional stock is freed up from the London Thames Valley.
So I am chasing up to see when the extra carriages will be available.
Longer term as some of you know I’m pushing a new extra every 30 mins GWR service to Bristol as well as the introduction of the 2 extra services a day from Cross Country committed to once Filton Bank work is completed.
This is not to be confused with the extra direct every hour service to Paddington, which was due to start at the end of this year and may now be delayed to May 2019.
That is a Network Rail decision to ensure no timetable and delay confusion at Didcot (the station through which so many services converge) when the new timetable starts.
Obviously I regret this but would rather have this very important extra service introduced smoothly and safely in 2019 than with confusion and delays.
Meanwhile the new additional car park and entrance on Great Western Road to our Railway Station will be opened soon, making the logistics of parking, and getting in and out of the station, easier.
And the tender for all the works sponsored by the government via our LEP’s tender - including a new exit from the existing car park to Metz Way, an improved under pass and a better station forecourt - is out already from the city council.
So we’re doing our bit locally, helped by the government: now we need Network Rail to get the timetabling absolutely right for our extra services to London, finish the Filton works so we get more Cross Country trains, and then more carriages - and ultimately more services - from GWR to Bristol.
Plenty of change underway and much more to come..