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.

bedwyn

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 | Travel | , , ,

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