Wednesday 16 December 2015

A Big Disappontment [2]

Whatever Happened?
fbb was very excited to hear a talk from Cheery Chris at the Travel Watch South West biennial "do" back in March. The improvements to services from Waterloo via Salisbury were fascinating and opened up a whole set of new travel opportunities. The panel below was taken from a summary of the proposed changes.
The new timetable started on Sunday last, 13th December and ...


Lets look at the proposed changes one by one

fbb has found 10 NOT DELIVERED

Most the these are in the afternoons, so their usefulness is very limited. There is little point in being able to join a train at Yeovil Pen Mill and return to Yeovil Junction. They are a long way apart.
There is a bus, but you would more realistically go by car.

This was the feature that was the most "exciting". Instead of terminating at Salisbury, some trains would continue to Westbury, reverse, nip down the Great Western main line via Bruton them join the Bristol to Westbury Line to Yeovil Pen Mill and Junction. The new goodies are highlighted on the latest SouthWest Trains leaflet (No. 20) for the "main line" service.
Separate tables are provided merging this super-duper new service with existing trains from Salisbury to Bristol.

And what a disappointment.
The "two trains a day from Waterloo" turns out to be one at a fairly useless time. The news is potentially better in the other direction where we find ...
... THREE trains, not two; all in the evening. So there is no chance of a day return from Bruton to Waterloo and, in the other direction, you can arrive in Bruton at 1516 and have a choice of 1 hour 40, 4 hours 10, 5 hours 11 minutes enjoying the fleshpots of the village.

What a disappointment.

It ain't there.  NOT DELIVERED

Yipee. This dramatic improvement of one extra train IS DELIVERED
There it is at 12 minutes after the "standard" Waterloo departure from St David's. The 1624 is a very busy train and extra capcity is useful but by no means essential. But it does not come even close to being half hourly. The rigours of a single track line with passing loops doesn't help.

Way back in March several comment writers commented assorted comments:-
Whichever way you look at it this "improvement" isn't much of one.

And Now the final Disappiointment!

None of these "useful" additional services and routes operates on Saturdays or Sundays!

Maybe a blog reader can tell us (a) why the proposals have been chopped back to a near-useless level and (b) what benefits these changes will bring to the customers. fbb's occasional Yeovil corrsponden emailed just yesterday.
The first train to Yeovil Junction from Yeovil Pen Mill (YPM) on Monday. Richard at YPM sold a ticket! The train actually had a few passengers who got off (they probably just caught it instead of the later GWR train).

We received a flyer yesterday by Royal Mail announcing the 'many improvements'. However cycling past YPM yesterday morning, the new GWR Weymouth/Bristol timetable sheet didn't show these new services and SWT's hadn't put their timetable sheet up although Richard (booking clerk) did have a copy.

The district council has stated that these services are good news as they will help ease traffic congestion! (I cycled past gridlocked traffic to get to YPM yesterday afternoon!).

No one seems to know what use these services are going to be as at the moment they are very unbalanced.

There is a rumour that morning services may be forthcoming in the future, but as it's classed as a "Speller" amendment the whole set-up be stopped at any time.
There were some shepherds in that part of the country who were spending the night in the fields, taking care of their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them, “Don't be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people."

 You have to reckon that you would have been scared witless if you had seen this!
But, as we said when we looked at Mary's announcing angel, these heavenly apparitions are never reported to have wings when observed on earth.

Anyway, at this stage of the "happening", Luke only mentions one solitary angel.

An unexplained bright light? Voices in their heads? Strange noises off? So many ways have been documented over the years of scaring people via inexplicable "visions". We tend to forget that God can do and reveal exactly what he wants (that's what "God" means!) so whatever happened makes most sense if it emanates from Him.

It may need Faith, but there is no lack of logic in understanding that an omnipotent God can send "his assistants" to reveal Good News.

But whatever it was, it is what happened next that is really odd - almost inexplicable.

Unless, of course, it was true!

The First Noel, the Angel did say
Was to summon poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter's night that was so deep.

They looked up and this caught their eye?
An unexplained thingey high in the sky.
And all around it gave great light
And but to the poor shepherds it gave such a fright.

      Next tram blog : Thursday 17th December  

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