check out page 8 - proposed no through service to/from Paignton. Travellers will need to change at Exeter.
Thank you Lynne. I see that, in part-compensation, they say that from Dec 2018, GWR "will double the frequency of services between Paignton and Exeter to deliver a 2 trains per hour service as part of Devon Metro." We shall see.
Thanks for the info Lynne. The two trains an hour were based on us getting the 'new' second hand rolling stock as part of the electrification upgrade. We now know that work has been curtailed but don't know whether that will have an impact on our line getting the new stock. If we don't get it then the two trains an hour will not happen.
We lost the SouthWest trains service beyond Exeter a few years ago and now we are losing CC services beyond Exeter - at least as a service for the Riviera Line - please write to our MP and complain loudly. Our services are already overpacked, with the loss of the CC service it will just be worse. I know from my own experience that the 14.07 from Manchester to Paignton fills up at Exeter with local traffic and is often full and standing yet CC are going to terminate it at Exeter. Mind you, I wish someone would EXterminate CC, their services are appalling, instead of reducing services they should be improving them.
This mail distributed by GWR on Wednesday:
You may have seen that the Minister for Rail Paul Maynard has today confirmed that Network Rail will be deferring four parts of the Great Western electrification programme. This does not affect services in your area.
Schemes affected include the Thames Valley Branch lines (Henley and Windsor), Didcot to Oxford, Bath to Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway to Bristol Temple Meads.
I thought it would be useful to drop you a quick note to clarify any concerns that the announcement may have caused.
Having queried how our services would not be affected if the GWR diesel fleet was not to rolled out as expected (i.e Paddington to Bristol TM 125s and Thames Valley Turbos) this further communication was forthcoming:
Thank you for your email. You are correct, we do plan a cascade of vehicles from London to the South West following electrification of the mainline. We have however already made significant progress with DfT in looking at ways to provide the improvements we originally planned, without the electrified infrastructure expected following the Hendy Review.
Today’s announcement may mean we need to do some further work and we continue talks with the Department to finalise the details and hope to say more soon.
In other words, we should not rely on GWR to make up any shortfall in the XC service cuts any time soon, due to a shortage of cash or commitment (or both) at Network Rail and the Department for Transport.
Thanks Gary, that is exactly what I thought! I will be putting a 'model' letter together tomorrow to send to AM, TDC, the PM DoT, NWR and any one else I can think of. If anyone wants a copy then please private message me and I will send you a copy. Remember to change a few words and personalise it. We have to fight this as once again the SW is being downgraded, left behind, treated as a Cinderella area, choose your own description but at the end of the day our train service will be even more diabolical than it is now! Perhaps we ought to be strongly objecting to CC even getting the franchise but sometimes the devil you know............. ? The problem with CC's proposals is that GWR will have sole control in the SW and will be able to do pretty much do what they like with ticket prices. Currently, GWR offer some great deals on fares but we can't guarantee that will continue if they are the sole operator in the area.
Thanks Lynne, the comments at the end of the story sum the position well. I know Ellen is also doing a piece for Dawlish Gazette as well. Still to do my letter but I WILL get it done.
Surely the point is that CC tendered for and was awarded a contract on the basis of the trains and routes being served at that time and the minister must now hold them to what they bid for. The fact that some trains or routes are loss making is irelevant, they must take the bad with the good. If all the train operators are going to be allowed to cherry pick what routes they operate then cuts will be made to all services, if that happens then will the next step be for GWR to say that they are going to cut the lesser used trains past Exeter. With all the housing development going on in this area there will be a need for a frequent and reliable train service. After all the buses in this area are very expensive and most of us know that it's cheaper to go to Exeter by train than bus, unless you are lucky enough to have a bus pass (for the time being).
Very good point Ken, which I will incorporate into my letter to AMM et al. Thank you.
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You could do but usually consultation by companies like CC means 'we have made the decisions, we are not changing our minds, but we will jump through the hoops'. Questions have already been asked in Parliament, let's hope our MP earns her salary and speaks out to protect our services.
I wouldn't disagree with you at all Margaret but if we don't complain to CC directly then they have the added excuse of saying they received no objections from the public.
I have sent my objection email, having read the Cross Country document it's not only the Paignton services that are to be dropped but services to Penzance as well. In effect they are proposing to cut everything west of Exeter. So the land past Exeter is not part of this country according to Cross Country.
Don't get me wrong Lynne, I agree and I will be completing the consultation document but I think it is putting pressure on our MP and the DfT that will potentially have the greatest impact.
@ken, that is exactly what southwest trains were allowed to do in 2009! we cannot let yet another train company get away with the same thing.
I know what SW Trains did, every time we need to travel now to Woking to see family its first to Exeter then change and on to Woking the same coming back. but when we first moved to the west country we could travel from Dawlish direct to Woking.
I remember SW Trains when there was a through service to Hove from here.
Cross Country run only a few services to Paignton and Penzance. Most do not stop at Dawlish. All of them stop at Exeter St. Davids. I see peoples point but I do not think there Is much you can do to change there mind. I think that this Is all down to seawater getting Into the gap at top of train.
So the answer is............use trains that don't have holes in the top of them!
According to my Riviera Line timetable, Cross Country trains presently stop at Dawlish at the following times:
Travelling towards Exeter
Mon-Fri: 0726; 1031; 1433;
Sat: 0731; 1009; 1035; 1309; 1424; 1710;
Travelling towards Plymouth
Mon-Fri: 1237; 1824
Sat: 1059; 1239; 1504; 1636;
Sun: 1725; 2142
Yes you are correct. GWR HST do not have gaps at the top, Cross Country Voyagers do. Why, I do not know. Just shows you that HST are the best and they were british built.
Standing on Newton Abbot station on Thursday morning at 9:15 and a Cross Country train from Manchester to Paignton arrived and I made a point of counting the number of passengers on the train. To the best of my ability I counted 63 passengers just a small difference to their average figure of 25.
Cross Country only own (lease) five HSTs, which is why we see very few of them down here. The CC trains are the original Virgin Voyagers made by..........Virgin..........byword for cheap and nasty!! Sadly, people, like CC, use the word average to get out of all sorts of arguments. They will tell us we see many more passengers on individual trains but say the AVERAGE NUMBER is........ and it is very difficult if not impossible to prove them wrong. The only way of doing this is to find out what period of time they used to work out their average e.g. one week, one month etc and then for a group of us to use the same period to count the passengers on the trains. I would be happy to be part of a group doing this.
Didn't Beeching do some kind of similar statistical analysis back in the 60s in order to justify closing down loads of branch lines and/or stations?
Yes Lynne he did and his statistics have since proved to be utterly and completey inaccurate as corrupt MPs (nothing new there then!) were involved and were cashing in on road building programmes. This is a fact which has been publicly aired in various TV Programmes.
The goverment must arrange its own independent count of passenger numbers throughout the year, but I still say that CC must continue the existing timetable
From BBC Spotlight's Facebook page:
South West MPs fighting to stop changes to rail services say they've made little headway today but have vowed to carry on. They met with rail bosses to try to stop plans by the rail company Crosscountry to cut services from the Midlands and the North into South Devon. It's proposed that from next year all but one of the long distance services to-and-from Paignton will start and end at Exeter. The rail company says the changes will provide more options and faster journey times.
and more profits for Cross Country trains?
Isn't that what this cherry-picking exercise is really all about?
Thanks for the petition link Lynne. Obviously the more that sign the petition better - and as with all these things it will be good to see what sort of response this will generate.