|MARLOW - MAIDENHEAD
TWYFORD – TAPLOW / HIGH WYCOMBE
Events and Articles
The Marlow - Maidenhead Passengers' Association is the public transport user group - bus and train - in the area served by the Maidenhead to Marlow railway line in the Thames Valley including its former route into High Wycombe. We cover main line services from Taplow, Maidenhead and Twyford as well as High Wycombe station. The Association’s Constitution may be viewed here.
We lobby the operators and local government on behalf of users to improve services and facilities, and we bring you timely information regarding proposed and actual service changes.
The more members we have the stronger is our voice in fighting for your interests. For more about the benefits of membership and an application form please visit the Membership Page or e-mail us.
Timetable Downloads (PDF)
Great Western Railway until 31 December 2018:
More timetable links on our Timetable Index.
Compensation for Delays
For Chiltern Railways please see their Contact Us page.
from 20 May until 31 December 2018
Unit 165134 crosses Cock Marsh on 6.4.2013. Click photo to enlarge.
© 2013 R. Porter
Intercity Express units 800 008 and 009 prepare for the launch into public service with the 07:00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads on Monday 16th October. On the right 57604 “Pendennis Castle” is about to leave with the empty “Night Riviera” stock. (R. Porter)
GW Franchise Not to be Split
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has let it be known that the Great Western franchise will not be split into smaller units for the next
tender. The possibility had been suggested in the recent public consultation but most respondents, MMPA included, were against the idea.
MMPA’s response was that although one large franchise we could mention is in trouble it didn't mean that big is bad. Splitting the franchise
would only have created more interfaces and more attribution clerks trying to apportion the blame for every delay minute. The fragmentation of the
industry is a contributary cause of the timetable débacle in May this year.
Battery Trains for the Branch?
Members of the Committee were recently invited to see and ride in a battery powered Class 230 train built by Vivarail at Long Marston. The train uses the body shells and bogies from withdrawn District Line D78 trains, but the traction package and other components are new. The bogies have only been in service for ten years and are noted for their good riding characteristics. Seating and door configuration are up to the customer, and the original seating could be refurbished. Emission controlled toilets could be fitted.
The Class 230 can be powered by two battery rafts or diesel generator sets which are fitted under the coaches, or the train can operate in hybrid mode. For battery operation automatic charging units (ACUs) would be installed at each terminus and would connect to the train using a short section of conductor rail in the middle of the track, which is only energised when a train is proved to be above it. The ACU contains batteries which charge up while the train is away, and then dump their charge into the train’s batteries when the train arrives.
Vivarail managing director, Adrian Shooter, said he hoped to be able to demonstrate his train on the Thames Valley branches this Autumn.
Great Western Railway would like to transfer as many Class 165/166 Turbo units as possible to strengthen services in the Bristol area and
are looking at alternatives for the branches including using Class 679 Flex trains which will be converted from the ex-Thameslink Class 319s
by fitting diesel generator sets under two coaches. Being four car units the Class 379s would not be suitable for the Marlow branch.
Mobile Ticketing rolled out across GWR
Smartphone tickets are now available for many GWR journeys, through updated apps for iOS and Android. These include most single and return fares but not
season tickets or London Travelcards. The tickets display QR codes which will open the gates where scanners are provided. At the moment scanners are not
available at all stations with gatelines so visual inspection may be necessary. We found a number of teething problems which we hope will soon be sorted
out, including using the wallet to pay for tickets.
Update: GWR has advised us that mobile tickets cannot be delivered for journeys to Paddington until QR code readers have been installed on the
gatelines for platforms 10/11 and 12/14.
Taplow Footbridge Saga
A new temporary footbridge has been erected on the site of the old footbridge. This will enable a new permanent footbridge with lifts
to be built at the London end of the platforms (various excuses for it not being in the original position have been put forward).
Provision is being made for a lift to platform 1 and the south car park although this may not be installed initially.
One span, presumably the undamaged one) of the old footbridge will go to the Gloucester & Warwickshire Railway for use at
Cheltenham Racecourse station.
Save Money by Splitting Your Ticket
If you buy an anytime return ticket to Paddington you may save money by splitting your ticket at Slough, as long as you travel on trains which stop at Slough. For example the anytime return fare from Bourne End to Paddington is £25.70 but a ticket from Bourne End to Slough (£6.80) plus a ticket from Slough to Paddington (£16.60) saves you £2.30. With an anytime travelcard you would save £3.40 (Jan 2018 fares).
There are no such savings on off-peak or season tickets. However if you have a railcard and need to travel up in the morning peak then an anytime
single plus a reduced off-peak single to come back may save you money.
Cookham Ticket Office Reopens
The booking office and waiting room at Cookham reopened on Monday 13th August after about a year out of use. Rain water from the platform had been
accumulating in the void under the floor, which led to the timber becoming infected with dry rot. Tonnes of concrete were poured into the void, so the
floor is now solid.
December Timetable Change Binned
GWR along with seven other operators (including SWR and Cross Country) has decided to cancel the planned timetable update in December. This is in
response to the chaos caused by the May update which particularly affected Northern and Govia-Thameslink services. GWR will continue to operate the
current timetable from 1st January 2019. Chiltern is not included at this point in time.
Update: Please see this letter from Mark Hopwood. There will be some timetable changes in January because
of infrastructure changes over the Christmas period. In particular the HST depots at Old Oak Common and Laira will close.
The introduction of Intercity Express Trains will continue as planned.
We are aware of a planning application to build on the trackbed of Bourne End to High Wycombe line at Princes’s Gate north of the A40 in
High Wycombe. This runs in the face of the £100k study, unless it is back and they have accepted a total turndown. Access to the main line
and High Wycombe station was protected after the line was closed in 1970 and we are fighting the application. The reference number is 18/06430/OUT.
Bourne End Latest
The feasibility study conducted by Atkins identified that it would not be possible to meet current Network Rail (NR) standards within the constraints of the railway land available, and it would be necessary to secure Network Rail approval to deviate from their set standards. Since then GWR has been working with NR on the necessary deviations. GWR initially planned to secure approval in principle for the deviations before proceeding with GRIP 3, which is the next stage in the design and options process. The complexity of the site, and the range of options available is making it difficult to conclude discussions.
GWR has made the decision to proceed with the GRIP 3 work now to keep things moving. This is a major piece of work, and is expected to complete in October. It will identify which signalling and track options are most appropriate and provide the level of design work needed to enable full consideration of the deviations required. The ongoing discussions about the project have also identified some additional challenges, including the need for the Marlow platform to be extended to accommodate a 3-car train, and the possible need for mitigation works at level crossings on the line to offset the increase in risk generated by the additional services. Development work on these elements will be undertaken concurrently with the GRIP 3 design work for Bourne End.
NB: GRIP is Network Rail’s process for the Governance of Rail Investment Projects.
Ticket Machines for Marlow and Cookham
GWR will be installing ticket vending machines (TVMs) at Cookham and Marlow in December. They will be card-only (and probably NFC) .
Update: Cabling and shlters for the ticket machines have now been installed. GWR has a franchise
committment to install TVMs by end December 2018.
Latest: TVMs are now in operation.
Crossed Legs on Crossrail Campaign
Unlike our current GWR trains or the North-South Thameslink trains, the new East-West Elizabeth Line trains will have no toilets and
very limited, mostly inwards-facing seats. A 9-car Crossrail train will have fewer seats than a 5-car Turbo. Click on the image to enlarge.
Bourne End looking North-East in 1947. The bay platform for the “Marlow Donkey” is on the left.
Wednesday 15th August - Official opening of Platform 4 at Princes Risborough for the Chinnor and Princes Risborough Railway (more details).
Monday 10th September - Rail Delivery Group’s Easier Fares Consultation ends.
Weekend 22nd-23rd September - London Transport Museum Acton Depot Open Weekend. Theme: Moving London. Acton Town station or bus 207 from Ealing Broadway to Denehurst Gardens and short walk.
Saturday 10th November - Railfuture Autumn Converence, Novotel Reading.
GWR Report to the AGM 2018
Intercity Express - First Impressions
Big Housing Developments Need Public Transport
Housing developments are proposed for Slate Meadow. Bourne End (250 houses) and in the field behind the Garibaldi, accessed through Holland Farm (500 houses). The roads are very narrow, Cookham Bridge a major problem , Bourne End Parade not easy, Hedsor Road already tough. This clearly brings public transport into the frame in a big way and MMPA is on the case!
The group responsible is Keep Bourne End Green.
Electrifying the Branch
Obstacles and Opportunities
A personal view (html) by Richard Porter.
Could High Wycombe Line Be Reopened?
Read this article
from the Bucks Free Press.
Latest MMPA Newsletter
Latest Railfuture Newsletter
Last updated 16th August, 2018
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