The Anonymous Widower

Grand Union Seeks ’91s’ To Cardiff

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in the May 2019 Edition Of Modern Railways.

These are points fro the article.

  • Grand Union Railway is a new open access operator.
  • Trains will be formed of a Class 91 locomotive, nine Mark 4 coaches and a driving van trailer.
  • Trains will go between London and Cardiff, stopping at Bristol Parkway, Severn Tunnel Junction and Newport
  • Trains will leave Paddington hourly from 07:35 to 21:35
  • Trains will leave Cardiff hourly from 06:35 to 19:35
  • The journey time will be one hour and forty-five minutes.
  • To run this timetable would appear to need four trains. Grand Union will probably have a fifth train, to allow for one in maintenance.

The service is subject to regulatory approval.

Note that the company has been formed by Ian Yeowart, who was previously Managing Director of Grand Central.

Currently, Great Western Railway (GWR) runs the following trains to South Wales

  • Paddington and Cardiff via Reading, Didcot Parkway, Swindon, Bristol Parkway and Newport
  • Paddington and Swansea via Reading, Swindon, Bristol Parkway, Newport, Cardiff, Bridgend, Port Talbot Parkway and Neath

Services will soon be run exclusively by Class 800 or Class 802 trains.

Note.

  1. Some of the Swansea services are extended to Carmarthen and Pembroke Dock.
  2. Paddington to Cardiff takes two hours and eight minutes.
  3. Paddington to Swansea takes just under three hours.
  4. These times will be improved when the the electrification is completed between Paddington and Cardiff

Paddington and Cardiff will be getting three trains per hour (tph) and two operators

Great Western Railway And Grand Union Services Compared

It is interesting to compare the two services.

Journey Times

Consider.

  • The Grand Union service at one hour forty-five minutes appears to be quicker than the GWR service at two hours eight minutes.
  • But are we comparing times after full electrification of the route to Cardiff, which the Class 91 locomotives will need to operate?
  • There is also the possibility of digital signalling being fitted to both sets of trains.
  • Both trains can run at 140 mph with in-cab signalling
  • The Grand Union service has less stops than the GWR service.

Will the trains settle for a draw and have the same journey times?

Capacity

The seating capacity of the two trains are as follows.

  • GWR Class 800/802 train – 655 seats
  • Grand Union – InterCity 225 – 535 seats

My only thought, is that is there enough space in the GWR train or all luggage.

Bicycles And Bulky Luggage

Tourists with cycles are increasing in number and Wales will become a destination.

Hitachi Class 800 trains do not have much space for bicycles and  bulky luggage.

On the other hand, the driving van trailer of an InterCoty225 can swallow a lot.

Will There Be Sufficient Demand For An Extra Service between London and Cardiff?

A friend asked.

Is there actually a market/capacity for an extra hourly service?

I made these points in reply.

  • The South Wales Metro will be one of the best City metros in the world and will improve feeder services to Cardiff Central dramatically.
  • The M4 is getting busier between Bristol and Cardiff, partly due to the abolition of tolls on the Severn Bridge.
  • The Principality Stadium
  • Tourism to South Wales is growing.
  • Business and finance in Wales is finally looking up.
  • All trains will be at 140 mph for long stretches, so journey times will be one hour forty-five minutes.
  • Paddngton is not an attractive place to arrive at in London, but after Crossrail opens, all should  be different.
  • City of London to City of Cardiff in two hours.
  • Cardiff will be closer to the City of London, than Brussels, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester or Paris!
  • Heathrow’s Third Runway.
  • Four wheels bad, rails good
  • Kids are getting to like trains, just as  we did.
  • The next generation of on-train Internet will be much faster for working and keeping kids of all ages amused.
  • GWR, Grand Union and the Welsh Government could market the route as High Speed Wales!

Will three tph be enough?

My Prediction In October 2013

In October 2013, I wrote Will We Get HSW Before HS2?

This was the conclusion of that post.

So I believe that even if it still goes slower on opening, trains to Bristol and Wales will be doing 225 kph before the end of this decade.

If that isn’t a high speed railway like HS1, I don’t know what is?

But whatever we call it, it’ll be here several years before HS2!

I think we need to call for three cheers for Brunel, who got the route right in the first place.

I felt the biggest problem would be the Severn Tunnel! I got that wrong, as that difficult job is now done.

Conclusion

I like this proposal.

  • The important Paddington and Cardiff route gets a fifty percent increase in train frequency.
  • There could be genuine competition on the route.
  • Grand Union would be using five of the thirty InterCity225 sets, which are in good condition, judging by my recent journeys.
  • Could we see a customer service and catering war between the two operators?

If Grand Union Railway runs to Cardiff, I’ll give it a go.

 

 

April 25, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lessons From Extinction Rebellion

I only came across Extinction Rebellion once and I took these pictures.

Oxford Circus was totally blocked.

So what have we learned?

A Relatively Small Largely Peaceful Group Can Bring A British City To A Halt

By not using any violence or threats of violence, the good nature of the Metropolitan Police meant that the protest was able to continue, despite the large number of arrests.

It also seemed that many after arrest, went back to the protest.

The Great British Public Didn’t Seem To Be Too Annoyed

Although, one or two celebrities, white van and black cab black drivers seemed to be annoyed, when they were interviewed, the Great British Public seemed to take it on the chin.

Crime Didn’t Seem To Rise In Areas Unaffected By The Protests

I’m not sure of this, but do-called newspapers like the Express, Mail and Sun didn’t seem to have any screaming headlines on the subject.

At The Right Time These Protests Can Be Cleared Without Heavy Police Force

In the end, the Oxford Street and Waterloo Bridge protests, were cleared by strength of numbers and no use of pepper spray, baton rounds or water cannon.

The Future Of Protest

I think we will see more protests of this type against or for such issues as Brexit, Remain and onald Trump.

Would the Met be able to cope with simultaneous protests for the first two groups?

Thinking About Climate Change

Will the Extinction Rebellion protests make us think more about climate change?

Investing In Renewable Energy

One trend I have noted over the past few years, is companies like Aviva, are investing large amounts of our pension funds in large renewable energy projects.

I wrote about one project in World’s Largest Wind Farm Attracts Huge Backing From Insurance Giant.

The Extinction Rebellion protests, must make it easier for Aviva and their like, to justify their investment decisions.

I feel that if the Government sets the right guidelines and tax rules, that companies like Ariva with their billions of pounds of funds, have more power than the Government to change the future.

Politicians

politicians in the UK are like a load of peasants on bicycles trying to put on a synchronised cycling display in a heavy thunderstorm.

They are morons led by mules!

I regularly use this phrase.

Engineering is the science of the possible, whereas politics is dreams of the impossible.

You can substitute lots of other professions for engineering.

But what we need is politician, who think in scientifically-correct pathways.

After all, you can’t disobey the laws of maths, physics, chemistry, biology and human nature.

But politicians believe you can otherwise racism, Marxism and Fascism wouldn’t exist.

Mondeo Man And Woman Living In A Comfortable House

Are these the real problem, as they drive around in their diesel car, live in very eco-unfriendly houses and fly to their holidays in America and the Far East?

How many of the vast majority of the UK population, even accept that climate change exists?

If they do, they always point to places like China and the United States, who carry on as normal!

Conclusion

There will be more and bigger protests, until politicians manage the art of synchronised bicycle riding!

 

April 25, 2019 Posted by | World | , , | 5 Comments