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Cookham Station House to Reopen

The station building is due to reopen on 9th August. The old Station Master’s house will be returning to Network Rail. The control box for the “millenium clock” has been found and Cookham Parish Council hopes to be able to send a contractor in to service the clock. GWR’s Facilities Manager, Paul Willis said an official reopening of the station may be held. He promised an in depth cleaning of the area around the station especially in regard to the vegetation and undergrowth.
[20180717]

Update: The latest word from GWR is that Network Rail is due to finish work on Thursday 9th as planned. GWR will move the equipment from the temporary hut back into the ticket office on Friday and the office should be open for business on Monday morning, 13th August.
[20180806]

Bourne End Latest

Network Rail has advised us that the surveys for the new chord are complete and the findings are being “drawn together”. Network Rail were due to meet GWR and its contractor (Atkins) in April to “understand the output of the surveys”. We understand that the project has not yet reached Network Rail’s GRIP stage 3 which is option selection.
[20180721]

Newbury Electrification

GWR has reminded us that the next stage of Newbury electrification work starts on Monday, 9th July and runs until Thursday 12th July, the line will be open on Friday 13th July and for the weekend of 14th and 15th July. It then closes on Monday 16th July and will not re-open until Sunday 5 August. This line closure includes weekends and weekday.

More details including diversionary routes, bus times and alternative car park arrangements are on GWR’s dedicated Newbury upgrade web page.

The company has used social and traditional media, on board and at station messages, staff at stations and on trains to alert customers to the longer closure through July and into August, and it will have extra staff on hand to help throughout.
[20180705]

Cookham Station

The temporary ticket office is now in operation. We understand that the Gents toilet has been kept in service and the Ladies has now been offered back to GWR for use. Network Rail has put out a tender for the repair of the station areas affected by dry rot, and they are hoping that work will be completed in the summer.
[20180214]

May Timetables Available

The new GWR timetables valid from 20th May should be available at staffed stations. There are minor changes to the Marlow branch on weekdays. The Sunday service has been shifted by a few minutes and will change again on 16th September.

Chiltern has a limited supply of the timetable booklets but they will be under the counter and you will need to ask. We expect to be sending the smaller High Wycombe leaflets to members who have requested them.
[20180426]

News Archive 2018

More Capacity from May 20

GWR made a few timetable changes in May which should provide more capacity for Maidenhead and Twyford. The 0730 Maidenhead to Paddington will become 12 coaches. The 0802 will be 12 coaches and will start from Twyford (0752) instead of Didcot Parkway. In the evening the 1749 from Paddington may be retimed to 1742 to even up loadings. The 1842 will be retimed to 1836 and could be extended to 12 coaches.

GWR is seeking approval to retime evening branch services to provide a 6-minute connection. 1713 through to 2043 would be retimed to 1716 to 2046.
[20180118]

GWR to Operate Heathrow Express

Great Western Railway has concluded a contract to take over the operation of the Heathrow Express from the end of 2019. The Heathrow infrastructure will continue to be owned by Heathrow Airport Limited. GWR will be using 12 of the new Class 387 Electrostars which will be converted with first class accommodation and extra luggage racks. Some of these units are surplus because of delays and cancellations of electrification projects by the Secretary of State, Chris Grayling - notably Didcot Parkway to Oxford and and the Henley and Windsor branches.

GWR will also be getting some Class 769 units to fill the gap. These are ex-Thameslink Class 319 units which are being fitted with diesel engines and fuel tanks under two of the four coaches. They are three years older than the Thames Turbos they will be replacing. It is likely that Class 769s will be used on the Windsor and Henley branches and fopr the peak Maidenhead - Bourne End shuttle. 2-car Class 165 units will be retained for the Marlow and Greenford branches.

The reasoning behind the move is that Heathrow Express is required to vacate its depot at Old Oak Common to make way for the new HS2 station. The original plan was to relocate to a new depot at Langley, but the new arrangement means that the 387s can continue to be maintained at Reading Traincare Depot. The current Heathrow Express Class 332 units are likely to be scrapped.

The Heathrow Connect Class 360 units will also go, being replaced by Elizabeth Line Class 345 trains which will run from both terminals to Abbey Wood (see next item). The HST depot at Old Oak Common has already been evaucated, as HSTs are being replaced by Class 800 bi-mode trains. The remaining HSTs are maintained at other depots on the network.
[20180417]

Crossrail Service Details

MTR have released details of indicative service levels from December 2019 (see diagram). The peak service could be as follows (tph = trains per hour):

2 tph RDG-TWY-MAI-SLO-WDT-EAL-PAD-all stations to ABW
2 tph RDG-ABW all stations except HAN, AML
2 tph MAI-ABW all stations except HAN, AML
2 tph HWV-ABW all stations except AML
4 tph HAF-ABW all stations
12 tph PAD-SNF all stations
4 tph LST High Level-SRA-all stations to GDP

Tickets will be fully interoperable with TfL and franchise services. Travelcards covering zone 6 will be valid to Heathrow terminals on Elizbeth Line services, but separate fares to Heathrow will apply to single journeys.
[20180330]

Taplow Footbridge Saga

We’re grateful to Mark Langman, Western Route MD at Network Rail for the latest news. Network Rail and its insurers have decided that the old bridge is not repairable. However, following representations from MMPA, NR and TfL have agreed to extend the fully accessible replacement bridge to span all four lines between the north and south car parks. We pointed out that without a lift on the south side, wheelchair users would need to make a dangerous journey through the railway underbridge where there’s no footpath and a history of flooding, in order to get to the new shopping centre and bus stops.
[20180214]

Update Crossrail wants to build the new footbridge where the temporary footbridge is now, which means they will have to erect a new temporary footbridge where the old footbridge was. The new footbridge will be extend to platform 1 and the southern car park but will not have a lift at that side. Space will be left for a lift to be installed at a later date, but no committment was made.
[20180326]

AGM - Friday 23 March

Our AGM will be held on Friday March 23rd at Bourne End Community Centre, Wakeman Road, starting at 19:45 hrs which should fit in with trains from Maidenhead and Marlow. After the formal AGM we shall have updates from GWR, Chiltern and Network Rail followed by a question and answer session. All are welcome.
[20180118]

Extended Hopper Fare now in Operation

You can now make unlimited bus and tram journeys in the TfL area using Oyster of NFC (“contactless”) within one hour of first touching in. More information.
[20180131]

Great Western Franchise Consultation

DEADLINE 21 FEBRUARY

The government is currently running a consultation on the specification of the next Great Western Franchise. The options put forward include splitting the franchise into two: London - South Wales and Bristol and London to the South West, and hiving off certain services such as Ealing West to Greenford to Chiltern. MMPA will of course be responding but individuals are also welcome to submit responses. Al responses must be received by Wednesday 21st February.

You can find more information and the consultation documents here.
[20180118]

IET Seats to be Replaced

Following a torrent of complaints from passengers the austere “ironing board” seats in the new Intercity Express Trains are to be replaced. The cost will fall to the DfT (and thus the tax payer) as it was they who specified the trains.
[20180118]

First Berkshire Quits Slough Bus Routes

First Berkshire has announced the following service withdrawals:

  • Service 2: (Slough Dedworth) from Friday 29 January.
  • Service 5: (Slough Cippenham) from Saturday 20 January 2018.
  • Service 6: (Slough Wexham Court) Sunday service from Sunday 21 January 2018.
  • Services 10 & 11: (Slough Datchet Wrasybury Heathrow) from Saturday 20 January 2018 Service.
  • Service 15: (Slough Eton Wick) from Saturday 20 January 2018.

On Service 4: (Slough Maidenhead) there will be changes to the evening timetable throughout the week.

Slough Borough Council has confirmed that it has contracted Reading Buses to provide some of the services withdrawn by First Berkshire on routes 4, 5 & 6 from 20 January 2018.

Reading Buses has announced that from Saturday 20 January, Reading Buses, who will trade under the Thames Valley name in Slough, will provide the following services:

  • Service 4 (Slough-Bath Road-Maidenhead) - Evening service.
  • Service 5 (Slough-Chalvey-Cippenham Green-Cippenham) - Complete service.
  • Service 6 (Slough-Wexham Park-Knolton Way) - Sundays.

We await further information regarding services 2, 10, 11 and 15.

First Berkshire Quits Slough Bus Routes

First Berkshire has announced the following service withdrawals:

  • Service 2: (Slough Dedworth) from Friday 29 January.
  • Service 5: (Slough Cippenham) from Saturday 20 January 2018.
  • Service 6: (Slough Wexham Court) Sunday service from Sunday 21 January 2018.
  • Services 10 & 11: (Slough Datchet Wrasybury Heathrow) from Saturday 20 January 2018 Service.
  • Service 15: (Slough Eton Wick) from Saturday 20 January 2018.

On Service 4: (Slough Maidenhead) there will be changes to the evening timetable throughout the week.

Slough Borough Council has confirmed that it has contracted Reading Buses to provide some of the services withdrawn by First Berkshire on routes 4, 5 & 6 from 20 January 2018.

Reading Buses has announced that from Saturday 20 January, Reading Buses, who will trade under the Thames Valley name in Slough, will provide the following services:

  • Service 4 (Slough-Bath Road-Maidenhead) - Evening service.
  • Service 5 (Slough-Chalvey-Cippenham Green-Cippenham) - Complete service.
  • Service 6 (Slough-Wexham Park-Knolton Way) - Sundays.

We await further information regarding services 2, 10, 11 and 15.

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Last updated 27th July, 2018