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News Archive 2019

Reading Buses set to Purchase Courtney

Reading Buses is about to purchase Finchampstead based Courtney Buses which provides local services in Maidenhead. The Courtney business will continue as it is for the time being, and will eventually absorb Reading’s outpost at Slough which operates Green Line route 702. Courtney's founder and MD, Bill Courtney-Smith will retire.

Bourne End Modifications

The project to provide two trains per hour all day is making slow progress. A risk assessment has needed to be carried out on all level crossings on the branch because of the extra train movements. Most of the crossings are on the Bourne End to Marlow section and many of these are occupation and user worked crossings which are known to be misused. Some crossings may need miniature warning lights and/or enhanced signage.

Because of the tight curve into Bourne End from Marlow Network Rail has required that platform 1 be used for trains departing towards Marlow because their speed will be lower than when arriving. Although it might seem logical to use the up platform (2) for Maidenhead trains this is less than ideal for several reasons. Most passengers using the station travel towards Maidenhead and the ticket office, waiting room and canopy are on platform 1. Also it means that there is potentially a conflict if trains arrive at the same time (because their paths cross over). In this situation one train would be held outside the station while the other one crossed in front of it. If the platforms were swapped over the conflict could arise on departure so one train could wait in the station while the other departed.

Speed-up in December

GWR is consulting with stakeholders, including ourselves, on the new timetable to be introduced in December 2019. Journey times will be reduced as GWR takes advantage of the performance of its new trains. The speed-up should have happened last December but GWR got caught in the backwash of the Northern/GTR timetable fiasco last May. This year’s May update will be minimal.

The new timetables haven’t been finalised so we can't give details, but MTR-Crossrail will take over the two trains per hour (tph) service between Paddington and Reading (probably still branded as TFL-RAIL) whilst GWR will run 2 tph between Paddington and Didcot Parkway. The alternate stopping pattern (Taplow and Burnham vs Langley and Iver) will continue off-peak. During the peaks, GWR will run fast services between Maidenhead and Paddington with about half calling at Slough. MTR will provide the stopping service on the relief lines.

We are pressing for good connections at Maidenhead between the GWR mainline services and the Marlow branch.

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Last updated 11th May, 2019