|MARLOW - MAIDENHEAD PASSENGERS' ASSOCIATION|
We have a number of concerns about the Elizabeth Line.
Taplow’s Fourth Bridge
The new footbridge and lifts are now open. We are concerned about the gateline proposals which would stop non-passengers using the bridge to cross the line when the roadway is flooded.
Bourne End - High Wycombe
There is growing pressure for the line to be reopened as it will provide an essential link between the Chiltern Line and Heathrow Airport when the western link to Heathrow is built. The connection is also seen as an extension to the Windsor Link Railway project to join up the two railways into Windsor. Unfortunately the trackbed has been built over in a few years.
Taplow Bus Stops
The bus stops on Bath Road have been relocated closer to Tesco and are less convenient for the station. We are trying to get the stops for the station reinstated.
CIS at Stations
The customer information system at Furze Platt has not been working for several months. We have reported it several times, as has our ticket clerk, Janet Foote. It would appear to be a problem with the mobile data modem. The CIS has been showing “Train information not currently available”.
MMPA believes that HS2 must be built, but does not express a view on routeing through the Chilterns. We note the proposals for an interchange with the Great Western lines, Crossrail, Chiltern (possibly) and Heathrow Express at Old Oak Common. This also offers opportunities for interchange with the London Overground and Underground lines through Willesden Junction if a connection is put in. The additional stop for Thames Valley passengers will increase journey times but this will be offset by the improved connectivity. We believe that the interchange should also be provided with the West Coast Main Line at Willesden.
Sunday Service at Taplow
We are pleased that TFL-Rail is now providing two trains per hour each way on Sundays.
Paddington Interchange with Hammersmith & City Line
A lot of complaints have been received about the new Circle/H & C station at Paddington. Whereas it used to be possible to cross between Platforms 13/14 (GWR suburban) and platforms 15/16 (Underground) in under a minute it now takes at least five minutes by a circuitous route passing through two gatelines to get from one side of a locked passage to the other side. This can result in missed connections at other main line stations because the extra time has not been allowed for. What is needed is a new transfer deck connecting all the platforms on the paid side, and complete removal of the redundant Victorian cab ramps.
December 2019 Timetables
We welcome the general speed-up of services, and the provision of 12-car trains on peak services. Unfortunately most GWR departures from Paddington in the evening peak (1650 t0 1820) are barred to off-peak ticket holders. TFL Rail will accept off-peak tickets but the journey time to Maidenhead is 43 minutes compared with 18 minutes by the fastest GWR services. Passengers to Marlow line stations face an additional 4 minutes connection time off TFL Rail.
We welcome electrification of the Thames Valley services between Paddington and Didcot Parkway / Newbury, and to Cardiff via Bristol Parkway (electrification from Appleford to Oxford has been shelved pending a decision on four-tracking the railway). We are disappointed that after the sensible decision had been taken to extend electrification to the Thams Valley branches, Basingstoke and Swansea, it was reversed by the government. Electrification to Bristol TM via Bath was also curtailed at Thingley Junction.
Western Rail Link to Heathrow
Network Rail is now actively considering a scheme to build a new line from Heathrow Terminal 5 passing over the GW Main Line on a flyover to join the Relief Lines between Iver and Langley. This is not likely to materialise before 2024.
The help points on the Marlow branch are operational. However pressing the middle button initiates a mobile call which is forwarded to a call centre in India, and the agent answering it does not have accurate information about the location of trains. If you can’t get a sensible answer use the phone at the level crossing to contact the signaller. Please don’t abuse this facility.
Last updated 26th December, 2019