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Railhub Archive
2003-05-12 WES-001
Wessex Trains


Summer brings improvement to South West region’s rail services

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Wessex Trains

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Wessex Trains

Summer brings improvement to South West region’s rail services

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12 May 2003
source Wessex Trains
type Press release

The summer timetable begins on Sunday 18 May and heralds the start of an even higher level of service for rail users in the South West provided by Wessex Trains.

In addition to the usual improvements to cater for the increased use of rail services during the summer months, Wessex Trains are introducing three new services. These will restore services removed by other train companies and deliver a more balanced timetable by removing significant gaps to services in Cornwall.

With its commitment to ensuring that the South West region’s local services are maintained, Wessex Trains is operating new morning services between Bristol-Penzance and Penzance-Plymouth. In addition a new early afternoon Plymouth-Par service operates calling at intermediate stations in Cornwall, filling a two-hour gap in the timetable and the lunchtime Penzance-Newton Abbot is extended to Bristol, delivering a more passenger friendly timetable. A number of key alterations have also been made to other local services to deliver better connections and a more reliable timetable. Some late evening services will also run earlier in order to allow Network Rail more time at night to undertake essential engineering work.

Significantly, in partnership with First Great Western, a new timetable is being delivered for services between Cheltenham / Gloucester and Swindon / London. Wessex Trains will take over the operation of local services on this line while First Great Western will nearly double the number of direct services between Cheltenham / Gloucester and London. This partnership will see services on the line placed on a firm footing and delivers significant enhancements to the line’s users.

Enhanced travel opportunities for passengers are not confined to increased service levels by Wessex Trains. This summer also sees the completion of the refurbishment program for all its two-coach class 150 trains, followed by the start of refurbishment of all class 153 single-coach trains in the early autumn. When complete, this investment will see a significantly improved passenger environment on these trains, with new seating and furnishings, cleaner and more pleasant surroundings.

Planning for journeys has also been simplified. To coincide with the start of the summer timetables, Wessex Trains has made changes to the format of the published timetables by merging the current eight editions into three simple booklets, each covering a distinct geographical area. The new booklets are:

Timetable A – The South Coast to Bristol and South Wales
Timetable B – The Bristol area
Timetable C – Devon and Cornwall

By condensing the timetables into these booklets, passengers will find it easier to use and the booklets will continue the tradition of showing train services provided by all train operators not just those of Wessex Trains. To complement the timetable booklets, there will also be a series of 10 credit card sized summary timetables for the more heavily used routes between principal stations.

Commenting on the changes, Wessex Trains Managing Director, Charles Belcher, said: “This timetable represents our continuing efforts to ensure our services are tailored to suit the needs of the region and its passengers. With a number of new services and others retimed to provide a better, more reliable timetable, we have listened to our passengers’ requests and delivered a significantly improved service to the South West.

“In addition, our new timetable booklets will make it easier for passengers to plan their journeys without the need to carry a number of timetables for each route. Together with the credit card-sized summary timetables, this improvement should be of considerable benefit to our passengers."

“With ever-increasing numbers of visitors, particularly during the summer months, it is more important than ever that public transport plays its part in the region’s economic prosperity. The reliable, comfortable and safe railway we are delivering to the regions’ rail users will ensure that rail remains an essential transport choice in the South West.”

Railhub Archive ::: 2003-05-12 WES-001


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