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Old August 4th, 2009, 12:39 PM   #41
cle
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Reading is the busiest station on the GWML after Paddington, and the busiest intercity route pairing in the country. No trains would really be worth skipping it, except maybe a couple of peak expresses.

York is as busy as Newcastle and more so than Edinburgh - trains wouldn't be viable skipping it so the slow approach doesn't matter.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 02:56 PM   #42
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Reading is the busiest station on the GWML after Paddington, and the busiest intercity route pairing in the country. No trains would really be worth skipping it, except maybe a couple of peak expresses.

York is as busy as Newcastle and more so than Edinburgh - trains wouldn't be viable skipping it so the slow approach doesn't matter.


I hear you, although I believe the Network Rail plans allow for trains to run through Reading on the 'new' fast lines at speed (not 125mph I don't think), so they must be thinking the rail operators might want to run some trains that skip a stop at the town.

I thought that York is worth all trains stopping at. I guess the same goes for Newcastle.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 03:03 PM   #43
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I suppose Reading could maybe lose a Bristol or Cardiff train and hour, but the amount of connections people need alone, not counting Reading as final destination, probably require 2tph.

Swindon could certainly be skipped, the HSTs have awful dwell times and de/acceleration so it makes a big difference.

It's hard because cutting Swindon to 2tph to London would be a big deal. I'd assume these would be the non-Didcot stopping trains, so there would be no trains between Swindon and Didcot.

Equally Reading to Bristol at 1tph is crap. Until the frequencies are better due to lots more stock and paths, I think it generally is best as it is now.

One solution might be having semi-fast trains to Swindon, say 1tph which could stop at Slough and Didcot, and alternate with Oxford trains perhaps.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 03:12 PM   #44
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As I understand it Reading is the bottleneck on the entire line, so once it's sorted out - and especially once the line is electrified - there can be *more* trains on the line in total. So these non-stopping Bristol expresses can be new additions to the timetable and not disadvantage anywhere on the line. Well, except Swindon. Nobody really cares about Swindon do they? >
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Old August 4th, 2009, 03:21 PM   #45
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I confess I hate Swindon. I've been known to refer to it as a shithole many times. But I don't to take away it's train services just because it's crap.

So yes, perhaps it's best to keep things as they are until the Reading thing is out of the way. Then more trains will be able to be run, and that may mean some of these can skip Swindon.

Am I right to think the GWML mainline West of Didcot is four-track? If so, at what point does it become two tracks again?
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Old August 4th, 2009, 03:49 PM   #46
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Nope it's two track from Didcot to Newport, near enough and to Bristol. Give or take the odd section.

It's only the 4tph London - Bristol/S Wales and 0.5tph Cheltenham which use the stretch.

Also Chippenham probably doesn't need both trains stopping there, while we're at it.

O/T - Poor Harry's Swindon is getting a cussing, nice post on the Moscow takeover thread. I've had to go to Swindon with work the odd time (WH Smiths are there) and it's a bit of a dump, but mainly because it's boring and ugly. There are much worse places with less of a reputation but I think the mediocrity itself and lack of character propels it into the limelight.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 03:52 PM   #47
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I think Swindon's travelling football fans are responsible for much of the reputation the town gets. I don't even follow football and I've heard of them.
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Old August 4th, 2009, 07:35 PM   #48
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Quote:
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I think Swindon's travelling football fans are responsible for much of the reputation the town gets. I don't even follow football and I've heard of them.
I'm a huge football fan but I've never thought of Swindon as being 'Nawty' to borrow a phrase from that wannabe hoolie, Danny Dyer...
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Old August 5th, 2009, 06:10 PM   #49
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I'll happily admit that Swindon is not the belle of the ball. I'm also very critical of the local council there, who manifestly failed to get a town centre regeneration under way during the boom years (as Reading did). Swindon is now very much the poor relation, albeit one with nearly 200,000 people living there.

I lived there as a child and again when I graduated, but left soon after for London and now live in Hampshire - not far from Reading as it happens. Still have many good friends in Swindon, though, and the football affiliation stays with you for life. I agree that it's not as bad as some make out, but I would never move back. Unfortunately, it is surrounded by the likes of Bath and Cheltenham which, as towns, have always been quite sniffy about Swindon due to its working class roots.

As for the train services, 2 tph is a complete non-starter for a town of its size. It will never happen, not least because both Swindon North and Swindon South are marginal Labour seats (at the moment).

And finally - as for Swindon Town fans having a poor reputation - that's complete rubbish! Every club attracts a few idiots but, in general terms, you would have to go some distance to find a softer set of fans.

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Old August 6th, 2009, 05:32 AM   #50
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And finally - as for Swindon Town fans having a poor reputation - that's complete rubbish! Every club attracts a few idiots but, in general terms, you would have to go some distance to find a softer set of fans.[/QUOTE]


I take it back then. I don't even follow football, so what would I know?

In fact, I've never been in Swindon itself, just through it.

But I know from reading 'stuff and that', a makeover for the town would be welcome for those living there.
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Old October 21st, 2009, 04:09 PM   #51
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as the station area is to change, i thought i would show what is there at the moment.
location of the new relief line platforms on the northern side of the station.
looking west

looking east




another platform will be added next to the 4a/b southern electric platforms for the provision of airtrack, if it ever happens

running along this little used footpath

dive under tunnel east of the station will be brought back into use so trains from the southern lines from wokingham can terminate on the northern side, or run through onto the gw relief lines towards didcot. currently to do this they have to cross the gwml.


this building in the foreground will be the site of a new northern entrance now the post office have moved

approach to the new entrance

the site of a new interchange for buses travelling through and terminating on the northern side, will be on the right of this photo. with the right side of the road becoming bus priority lanes and the left side widened for two way traffic. the approach road is on the far right.
the reason the road is so wide here is because it was built to have a flyover in the middle for the roundabout futher down. this would have been junction 1 of the m31(now a329m)


looking north from reading west station showing oxford road junction.

currently trains from the south going to reading general go right at this fork.
in the new plans they will go left onto the avoiding line then immediately fork right at a new junction, dive under the mainline and appear on the northern side of the station

this new line will run across this site meaning the current train depot on cow lane will move

also as part of the project the problematic, single file cow lane bridges wil be widened




spotted this wierd sign as well down kenavon drive east of the town centre as well. any ideas?

Last edited by reading general; October 21st, 2009 at 04:17 PM.
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Old October 21st, 2009, 04:27 PM   #52
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Quote:
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spotted this wierd sign as well down kenavon drive east of the town centre as well. any ideas?
Someone stole it in France and thought they'd put it on a lampost in the UK? Can't think of any reason why the council would put a TGV station french design sign up in the UK...
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 06:20 PM   #53
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I don't think it requires much work to the lines once they diverge west of Reading, more the actual platform design and assignment. There is a track between platforms 4 and 5 which I presume only gets used for freight. Why not use that for intercity services which can bypass Reading. Not every Bristol, Cardiff or Plymouth service has to stop at Reading surely?

Platforms 8 and 9 are currently relief lines. Make them Bristol, Cardiff, Oxford lines and then leave 4 and 5 for Westbury bound services only. To the west this would require slight changes to points locations and to the east the trains on 8 and 9 would have to move over to the fast tracks again, but at least you wouldn't have this awful queue of trains using platforms 4 and 5. Delays to services behind could effectively jump the queue if necessary. If more off-peak intercity services called at Slough or Maidenhead then the need for the slow trains to Paddington would be lessened.

Cross-country is given platform 7 and platform 10 is used more often than 6 so that slow london bound trains don't get caught up in the extra westbound intercity services.

Just an idea.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 06:21 PM   #54
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Maybe one of the goods lines to the north of the station could be used as a new platform 11 as well?
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 10:18 PM   #55
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nothing really happening yet except a bit of shrubbery clearance from embankments and the demolition of a small industrial building in cardiff road north of the mainline about quarter of a mile to the west of the station. i'm assuming this is for access to the line for the construction of a new depot perhaps.
a couple of photos of the station from the top of the soon to be demolished garrard street car park.


new southern entrance and footbridge will be on the left of this photo

and on the right of this one
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Old January 4th, 2010, 03:08 PM   #56
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so any more pictures of the final plans yet other than the very conceptual ones in april!
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Old May 13th, 2010, 07:37 PM   #57
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http://richardwillisuk.files.wordpre...entrance-3.jpg
a render of the station and new footbridge from above. the southern entrance (on the left) will be funded by the council so my not be built, but the footbridge and northern entrance is part of the network rail project and is going ahead.
a display of more will happen in the next few days.
http://www.getreading.co.uk/business..._station_plans
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Old May 14th, 2010, 02:22 AM   #58
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So apart from some stupidly expensive fancy staircases, will there actually be any improvement work done to the services running through Reading?!

Quite frankly the percentage of trains that must arrive and leave on time is nothing short of a disgrace.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 05:11 AM   #59
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yep. the fast line platforms will bee increased from 2 to 4, which appears to big the biggest problem. trains arrive and have nowhere to stop until the train ahead has left. relief line trains use the new platforms on the northern side. at the western junction with the berks hants line the fast line will be raised in order to avoid conflict with crosscountry services and frieght crossing from the relief lines on the northern side to the berks hants line on the southern side.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 12:15 AM   #60
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if anybody is passing the station thursday or friday(20th 21st may)
http://www.getreading.co.uk/business...on_development
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