Monday, 16 September 2013

The Loop

I was also asked why the timetable doesn't feature regular steam to Laverton

Considerable time was spent on this during timetable planning

The problem is that allowing for 20 minutes run round time for the loco, it was just not possible to produce a model that would accommodate three round full line journeys a day. The best was two and a half  and achieving that  would restrict crew rest periods.

If we reduced train frequency there would be long gaps at stations without trains which wouldn't be popular with visitors who are very complimentary about the integrated DMU service

However, if anyone can make a timetable work please lets us have details



  1. Why was a perfectly reasonable comment here deleted?

  2. Because it was anonymous

    Comments are welcome but we like to know who is making them

  3. I'm not sure I would agree that it was 'perfectly reasonable" as it was suggesting double tracking the line between Toddington and Winchcombe to facilitate a more frequent service. And whilst I appreciate that not everyone is completely au fait with the costs of infrastructure improvements and subsequent maintenance, I would have thought it fairly obvious that such a project would be a pretty massive undertaking for the railway, so a complete non starter just to facilitate a short term timetable tweak whilst we aim for the ultimate goal of Broadway.

  4. I'm puzzled by the 20 minutes figure. It seems an inordinately long time for a loco to run round whereas in the Blue timetable the allowance is 10 minutes.

  5. Neil. Ops Manager.24 September 2013 at 16:13

    Hi Dave,

    The 20 minutes figure probably comes from my telling Malcolm that it takes at least an extra 20 minutes if the train goes to Laverton, over turning it round at Toddington. The loco would then also run round in the middle of nowhere with no watering facility so extra delays are added at Toddington for water, and for exchanging the Laverton staff. This means that the crews get no break between trips unless the timetable is stretched and then we can't fit in as many round trips without finishing much later in the evening. Also most of our coach parties, on some days 50% of our business, have no wish to go to Laverton and sit in a loop for ten to fifteen minutes. Believe me all the pros and cons have been worked out and the timetables are written to reach the best compromise between passenger experience, volunteer aspirations and volunteer effort. Whatever is done some will like it and some won't.


  6. A rather belated addition (because I've only just seen these comments...)

    I suspect double-tracking Toddington - Winchcombe wouldn't make much difference, operationally. It's only a short section, and trains clear it in a matter of minutes. It's not a big capacity constraint. It would be more logical to double-track one of the longer sections (CRC - Gotherington?) where a train in occupation means a longer wait for every other service.

    But it would be a massively expensive undertaking, just to create a little extra flexibility in the peak season timetable (the less intensive timetables wouldn't need extra track capacity anyway). It would be a lot of effort and expense for minimal gain.

    In fact, by diverting resources away from other projects, it would probably set the railway's progress back overall. Completion to Broadway would be delayed by a few years; Honeybourne would vanish into the vague future.

    I think double-tracking is likely to be the next big step forward for heritage railways in general - the GCR has already done it, the Mid-Norfolk is working on it. The GWR's policy has always been to leave the double-trackbed clear of permanent obstructions, so there's certainly potential there. But at this stage it's not a 'Must-have'. It's more of a 'Nice to have - one day, maybe.'