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Train Punctuality for January to April 2019, by Nick Hurrell

Train punctuality is measured on a daily basis. For the Waterloo/Exeter line, a train is considered “On time” if its arrival is with 10 minutes of timetabled arrival at its destination. The PPM target is 89.2% of trains to arrive at their destination with 10 mins of advertised time.

January 2019 88.3%

February 2019 73.3%

March 2019 76.9%

Period of GWR diversions (18 Feb – 8 March): 72.7%

April 2019 83.3%

Since 1st January 2019, the 89.2% target has been achieved on 45 days out of a total of 120 days.

The very poor February figure is mainly due to the regular chaos caused by trying to squeeze the diverted GWR on to the Exeter/Yeovil section. One late train will create a snowball effect of delays for many hours and the timetable is fragile enough, without the added complication of hosting other company’s services. The February figure proves yet again that investment in extra passing loops is essential to achieve some level of timetable resilience.

9th March 2019 – Southern Western Railway announces May 2019 timetable changes.

SWR have announced the timetable changes which will come into effect on 19th May 2019. These include some modest improvements for services west of Salisbury.  The changes affecting the West of England line can be seen on our Timetable page, together with the new timetable.

Follow this link for full details: SWR May updates

Apologies from SWR about short train formations. (November 2018 to March 2019) 

SWR have apologised for short train formations leading to overcrowding and occasionally delayed services. This has been caused by old age of the diesel units, delayed refurbishment, and a change of engine suppliers at Salisbury Depot. We are told that this position should be remedied soon and for all units by 2020 at the latest. There should have been a return to full formations early in 2019 but unfortunately this did not happen although by  March 2019 there had been some improvement – more to come when we know it.

SERUG Statement on SWR Strike Action

The last of the known strike days was Saturday 24th November 2018 but we think there will be more – watch the SWR website please for news. South Western Railway (SWR) confirmed that all stations between Yeovil Junction and Exeter will have a replacement bus service on strike days. This follows an outcry from SERUG, local rail users and pressure from the media (including the BBC) to think again about not providing a service of any sort (bus or rail) on strike days.

Please visit the SWR website for timetables of the revised services.

Rail Passengers faced weeks of summer disruption in 2018

The last-minute announcement by South Western Railway (SWR) of 8 more days of strikes by the RMT caused more misery to passengers on the Waterloo/Salisbury/Exeter line. Yet again, the West of England line suffered the most appalling disruption.

Where strikes fell on a Saturday, the service was  worse, with no trains serving Tisbury or Templecombe, in addition to the above. SWR are simply advising passengers not to travel at all on their network – that’s a very big ask during the peak of the summer holiday season. Try telling your children that they can’t go on holiday.

There are only 9 stations across the whole of the SWR network with no Saturday service on strike days… 7 of these were on the Salisbury to Exeter section. One wonders whether passengers themselves will throw in the towel too.

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