The Anonymous Widower

Trains Between Barnstaple, Exmouth and Paignton

The trains work a triangular schedule with  Barnstaple, Exmouth and Paignton stations at the points and most cross-Exeter services calling at Exeter Central and Exeter St. Davids stations,

Current times in the afternoon timetable for the various legs are

  • Exeter St. Davids to Barnstaple – Minimum – 68 minutes – 6 stops
  • Exeter St. Davids to Barnstaple – Maximum – 77 minutes – 11 stops
  • Barnstaple to Exeter St. Davids – Minimum – 62 minutes – 6 stops
  • Barnstaple to Exeter St. Davids – Maximum – 76 minutes – 10 stops
  • Exeter St. Davids to Exmouth – Minimum – 29 minutes – 5 stops
  • Exeter St. Davids to Exmouth – Maximum – 34 minutes – 9 stops
  • Exmouth to Exeter St. Davids – Minimum – 26 minutes – 5 stops
  • Exmouth to Exeter St. Davids -Maximum –  34 minutes – 9 stops
  • Exeter St. Davids to Paignton – Minimum – 54 minutes – 8 stops
  • Exeter St. Davids to Paignton – Maximum – 62 minutes – 8 stops
  • Paignton to Exeter St. Davids – Minimum 48 minutes – 6 stops
  • Paignton to Exeter St. Davids – Maximum – 62 minutes – 8 stops

From the timetable, the timings seem all over the place.

But consider.

  • I was told that the trains aren’t very reliable and sometimes a Class 143 train turns up and struggles.
  • So timings are probably worked out for a Class 143 train, which is a Pacer.
  • Some trains skip several stops.
  • The Exmouth and Paignton legs seem to have better performance, but then the terrain is not so hilly.
  • Four-car trains are needed much of the time. At least platforms seem to be built for at least that length.

The people who devised the current timetable probably found it challenging.

It could probably be simplified, by more, better, faster and more powerful trains.

After I visited the Buxton Line I wrote Thoughts On The Buxton Line.

I said this.

The Buxton Line is very stiff for a railway in England. Wikipedia says this about the rolling stock.

Due to steep gradients on this line, Class 142 and Class 153 DMUs are banned from the section of line between Hazel Grove and Buxton. Therefore, services to Buxton are worked by Class 150 and Class 156 DMUs. Also Class 158 DMUs were once blocked from operating on the line to Buxton due to the possibility of the large roof-mounted air vents striking low bridges on the route.Piccadilly to Hazel Grove services used Class 323 electric multiple units up until 2008.

I went up in a Class 150 train and came down in a Class 156 train.

The Class 150 train definitely found the climb a struggle and it wasn’t even that full.

So why if Northern have stopped using Class 142 and Class 153 trains on steep hills, does it look like GWR are still doing it on the Tarka Line?

Probably, because it is all they’ve got!

If the electrification of the Great Western Railway had been going to the original schedule, the trains would have been replaced with some of the twenty two-car and sixteen three-car Class 165 trains or twenty-one three-car Class 166 trains, currently used between London and Reading.

Surely, these would be able to work as three or four car units on the lines out of Exeter!

As the trains are more powerful, perhaps they could work a faster and more passenger and operator friendly timetable.

April 5, 2017 - Posted by | Travel | , , , ,

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