‘Thun­der­birds’ could go

Rail (UK) - - Letters -

In­dus­try In­sider’s col­umn in RAIL 866 cer­tainly chimed with me, par­tic­u­larly his com­ments about miss­ing out sta­tion stops.

Re­cently, Great Western Rail­way had to divert the 0519 Padding­tonSwansea train. Nor­mally this runs via Bris­tol Tem­ple Meads, but it ran via Bris­tol Park­way in­stead.

So, ev­ery­one wait­ing at Chip­pen­ham for their 0642 would have to wait just over an hour for the next ser­vice at 0745. I asked one of the ticket bar­rier staff why the train was can­celled. Ap­par­ently, this was due to a freight train breaking down be­tween Bris­tol Tem­ple Meads and Fil­ton Abbey Wood.

This train is the only di­rect train from Chip­pen­ham to Fil­ton Abbey Wood, so is pop­u­lar with many peo­ple who work at the big of­fice com­plex there. Oth­ers rely on it to get them to Bath or Bris­tol if they need to start work early.

I was lucky in that I can (and do) work from home. So, I re­turned home after de­mand­ing - and get­ting - my ticket re­funded. But there were many who could not do that, and they were left to go off in search of taxis. Ap­palling cus­tomer ser­vice!

Per­haps GWR could take a leaf out of Lon­don North Eastern Rail­way’s book and have ‘Thun­der­bird’ diesel lo­co­mo­tives on standby at strate­gic places? Then they could have re­moved the failed freight train so that the pas­sen­ger ser­vice could have run by its booked route. Richard Put­ley, Chip­pen­ham

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