The Anonymous Widower

Bedwyn Station

I had to go to a meeting in Marlborough, so I took a train to Bedyn station for the first time in my life.

I took these pictures.

This Google Map shows the layout of the station.


I have commuted from a couple of stations like this in Suffolk over the years and Bedwyn doesn’t impress me.

It is not a question of what the station has, but what it hasn’t.

  • No local catchment area as Great Bedwyn only has a population of 1353 according to the 2011 Census.
  • No car parking.
  • No good road access.
  • No step-free access.
  • No welcoming facilities.
  • No pub within walking distance.
  • No mobile phone signal.
  • No possibility of electrifying past Bedwyn, because of the need to demolish the bridge at the station.

I am surprised that GWR have kept it going so long!

Near where I lived in Suffolk was a station called Dullingham, which is just as welcoming as Bedwyn, but at least it had enough car parking for someone, who wanted to pop up to London and not drive.

There are only a few  reasons, why GWR keep this station going.

  • Historically, as they’ve always done it this way.
  • Bedwyn is the best station to turn trains and has a convenient reversing siding.
  • The guy, who decides the route lives in Bedwyn.

But I think they use Bedwyn to turn trains for one of the best reasons; to cut costs.

If you look at train timings from London, they are as follows.

Newbury – 52 minutes

Hungerford – 63 minutes

Bedwyn – 73 minutes

As they want to run an hourly service, turning the train at Bedwyn might mean that they can use a train less than doing it at say Pewsey, as timings work out well.

I think that as they need time to turn a train and give the driver a rest, that a journey time of 73 minutes means that a round trip to Bedwyn takes three hours with an allowance for a small delay.

After all it can’t be unprofitable as this article in the Marlborough News is entitled Back on track: Bedwyn to keep direct London trains after 2018.

This is said.

Great Western Railway announced today (February 24) that investment has been agreed with the Department for Transport that will, from 2018, bring brand new hybrid trains  capable of switching between diesel and electric power to replace the diesel turbo fleet now serving Bedwyn travellers.


I think that the only reason they wouldn’t turn the trains at Bedwyn, is that there was a better alternative down the line., like perhaps at  Westbury.

Incidentally, as the new trains could be faster, it might be that the turnback point could be further out

But both these scenarios would mean that Bedwyn will still get at least the same service it does now.

A Station For Marlborough

I wrote a post called A Station For Marlborough, a couple of weeks ago and this might be a possibility for a new terminus.

  • It is a town of nearly 10,000 people.
  • A lot of people in the town commute to Reading or London.
  • The town has identified a place for a new station, which is on the old railway alignment from Bedwyn.
  • If the train terminated at Marlborough, the timetable from Bedwyn could be the same.
  • The train would need to be self-powered, as is Great Wstern Railway’s bi-mode trains.

It might even be better value-for-money to create the rail link to Marlborough, than rebuild Bedwyn station for electrification and with a car park and step-free access.







February 26, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

West Anglia Route Improvement – Cheshunt Station – 26th February 2017

I took these pictures at Cheshunt station.

This Google Map shows the layout of the station.

Cheshunt Station

Cheshunt Station

The station is very much a gateway to the Lea Valley Country Park and it could be difficult to find a by-pass for the level crossing.

I think putting two extra tracks through the station could be difficult.

  • ,The space is a bit narrow.
  • The level crossing will probably have to stay.
  • A lot of express trains stop, so that passengers can change to the London Overground.

Perhaps the solution is to do something like the following.

  • Extend the London Overground service to Broxbourne station, where there is space for extra platforms.
  • Stop fast services calling at Cheshunt station.
  • Move the two slow tracks Westward a bit, to create space for the two new lines on the Eastern side.

I also think, that extending the Overground to Broxbourne would make Broxbourne station an even better interchange.



February 26, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

West Anglia Route Improvement – Timings Between Tottenham Hale And Broxbourne Stations

How long do various trains take between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne stations?

The Line

The distance between the two stations is 11.2 miles or 18 kilometres and there are the following stations.

The stations marked with an asterisk (*) have level crossings.

The line has an operating speed of 100 mph in places, but a lot of places are much slower.

Slow Services

The slowest service takes twenty minutes  stopping at all stations except for Northumberland Park and Angel Road stations.

Fast Services

The fastest service takes thirteen minutes with just a stop at Cheshunt, which gives an average speed of about 52 mph.

Fast Services Using A Dedicated Line

If a dedicated line between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne were to be built where trains perhaps only stopped at Broxbourne, averaging 80 mph would mean a time of 8.4 minutes.

So there is potential if the dedicated fast line were to be built as a 100 mph line and trains ran non-stop to make savings of several minutes.

Slow Services Stopping At All Stations With Modern Trains

Crossrail is replacing elderly Class 315 trains with new Class 345 trains and it might be worth looking at these times for between Goodmayes and Brentwood stations, where there are four stops.

  • Class 315 train – 21 minutes
  • Class 345 train – 15 minutes

Greater Anglia are swapping elderly Class 317 trains with new Aventras, which are designed for quick stops, as are Crossrail’s Class 345 trains.

So I suspect that if a minute is saved for each stop, that would mean with the same stopping pattern, a time of 15 minutes could be possible.

I just wonder, if with a few tweaks, that trains can could match the current fastest time of thirteen minutes stopping at everywhere except for Northumberland Park and Angel Road stations.


  • All stations will be made step-free, so once passengers learn the ropes, loading and unloading delays will be minimised.
  • Platforms will be aligned to the trains for fast loading and unloading.
  • STAR will handle Angel Road and Northumberland Park stations.
  • Four level crossings will be closed, which must help.
  • Both types of trains on the route would have similar performance and they would just run slower for slow services.
  • Fast trains will have their own line.
  • Help from the signalling and Driver Assistance Systems.

In addition, we mustn’t underestimate the contribution driver skill will make.

An Ideal World

In an ideal world the following could happen.

  • Every fast train to London, would be met at Broxbourne station by a paired slow train and passengers would take a train according to their needs, by just walking across the platform.
  • The next stop for the fast train would be Liverpool Street or Stratford, after running down the new fast line at a speed approaching 100 mph.
  • The slow train would stop everywhere, but arrive at Tottenham Hale in a time, that fast trains achieve today.

Coming out from London, the process would reverse.

No journeys would take longer than now, but some would be several minutes quicker.

All changes would be cross-platform at Broxbourne.

The Design Of The Fast Lines

If the fastest route between A and B, where there is no direct train, is to change at Broxbourne, there would never be a need to change anywhere else, so the only station with platforms on the fast and slow lines is Broxbourne.


I’m probably not exactly right here, but if the Crossrail actual and proposed timings are correct, there is a substantial time saving to be made.

The fast lines can also be very simple without platforms, which means that at stations like Tottenham Hale, Enfield Lock and Waltham Cross, it might be possible to squeeze the lines in.


February 26, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

West Anglia Route Improvement – How Many Slow Services Will Go Through Tottenham Hale Station?

Currently there are the several slow trains on the West Anglia Main Line, running a rather complicated service to give most stations four tph.

The major services are.

  • 1 tph between Liverpool Street and Cambridge.
  • 2 tph between Liverpool Street or Stratford and Hertford East.
  • 2 tph between Liverpool Street or |Stratford and Bishops Stortford.

Obviously in the Peak there is more, but four-five slow trains per hour through Tottenham Hale station to Broxbourne wouldn’t be far away from the overall frequency, if the fast trains are ignored.

Greater Anglia probably have plans to increase the frequencies.

February 26, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

West Anglia Route Improvement – How Many Fast Services Will Go Through Tottenham Hale Station?

Currently, there are the following fast trains.

  • 1 tph between Liverpool Street and Cambridge.
  • 4 tph between Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport.

There is also 1 tph stopping train from Cambridge, which I found a pain, as like most people, I just wanted to get to and from London quickly.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see this number increased to something like.

  • 4 tph between Liverpool Street and Cambridge.
  • 4 tph between Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport.
  • 2 or 4 tph between Stratford and Stansted Airport.

This is only one train in every five or six minutes.

As Tottenham Hale to Broxbourne is about eleven miles, one of Stadler’s new trains going non-stop on a clear line would probably do the trip in around 8 minutes compared to the current fastest of about 19 minutes.

February 26, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

West Anglia Route Improvement

I have decided to bring all of my posts on the following subjects together under a tag of West Anglia Route Improvement.

  • STAR – The local Stratford-Tottenham-Angel Road service connecting the Meridian Water development to Tttenham Hale and Stratford stations.
  • Crossrail 2 along the Lea Valley.
  • Four tracking of the West Anglia Main Line between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne.
  • Station Improvements between Tottenham Hale and Broxbourne.

I also suspect other subjects connected with the improvement of the West Anglia Main Line and other related rail routes will also be added.


February 26, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment