Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

It doesn’t mean it isn’t a good idea

Posted in Customer service, Great Britain by Chairman Pip on 1 March 2010

The rejection by the ORR of Arriva Trains Wales’ proposal for an Aberystwyth-London service does not necessarily make it a bad idea. After all, Aberystwyth is one of the major towns of mid-Wales, and is a significant university town. Having a direct service to London would make sense. The problem stemmed from the way ATW went about it, and the level of impact it would have had on Wrexham & Shropshire’s operation. I’ve spoken of the dispute before, and suggested how it could have been resolved to everyone’s benefit. Assuming the train paths were still available, why not try that solution of Wrexham & Shropshire running the services on Arriva Trains Wales’ behalf? This would then benefit ATW (they get their trains to London), W&S (they don’t lose money) and the people of Aberystwyth and the surrounding area. Everybody wins. While we at it, and given how far it is to Aberystwyth and that people may need to be longer in the metropolis than any proposed timetable would allow for a single day, might not a sleeper be feasible that could run through north and mid Wales? Both Wrexham & Shropshire’s timetable and the Arriva proposal do not allow the flexibility of someone from say Scotland, who can come down on an early train to Euston or King’s Cross, if necessary spend the whole day in the capital and, to avoid the prospect of getting home dog tired at 2 or 3am can return on the sleeper from Euston. No doubt the Aberystwyth student arriving in London with the prospect of sitting up for five or six hours back to his or her university digs may welcome the prospect of a good night’s kip while on the way home.

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