Network Rail: count the mistakes

poster advertising new trains to Fishguard on Cardiff commuter train

marketing to the capital

A new poster campaign encourages Cardiff rail commuters to “Escape to the great outdoors – Visit Fishguard and North Pembrokeshire by Train.”

Nice campaign, and great to see it where it matters and when it counts – right now.

poster advertifing "Escape to Fishguard" by train

Escape to Fishguard

We hope the message persuades many commuters upon leaving the train to head across the platform to the nearest timetable information.

Unfortunately, Network Rail have got the times wrong yet again. The times of Fishguard trains on display at Cardiff Central Station have no less than three mistakes – including a whole missing train.



times of FIshguard trains dispplayed at Cardiff Centrat station

Network Fail

1 The 6.42 is shown as a connecting service. It isn’t. It is a through service from Cardiff to Fishguard.

2 The same train is noted as requiring a change at Whitland. It doesn’t.

3 The 15.14 is simply not listed. Fishguard Trains reported the last time Network Rail’s database lost the 15.14 through train from Cardiff to Fishguard. Now they’ve lost it again.

The worst thing about these errors is that instead of showing Cardiff travellers the best reason to take the train to Fishguard – we now have three direct services from the capital, six days a week – it shows only the boat train as a through service, as if nothing has changed.

Fishguard Trains has no inside knowledge that tells us Network Rail publishes wrong, misleading and incomplete information about our new rail service, at the most important station in Wales. All we do is use Arriva’s own published timetable. Is that beyond the UK’s national rail authority?

Perhaps it’s time for Network Rail to Escape to the great outdoors.

(Alert Fishguard Trains regular John Davies spotted the error about the same time as we did. He comments “Potential revenue for the service will be lost”, and he’s right.)


Filed under News & weather

4 Responses to Network Rail: count the mistakes

  1. Rhydgaled

    The East Coast journey planner doesn’t say the 6.42 is a through service from Cardiff to Fishguard either. In fact, it shows that particular arrival in Fishguard as originating at Whitland. It is the Pembroke Dock portion that is advertised as coming through from Hereford so I don’t know if anyone can say for sure that both units will actually come from Hereford. The Fishguard unit could be attached to the Hereford – Pembroke through train at Cardiff, or possibly even Carmarthen or Swansea.

    It is about time they sorted out the contstantly disapearing 15:14 service though, that is completly unaceptable.

    • Spad

      The 6:42 is a through service from Cardiff to Fishguard. Our source is authoritative: Arriva Trains Wales West Wales Timetable No 3, 12 Sep – 10 Dec 2011, page 28. What’s more, Arriva’s South Wales to North Wales & Manchester Timetable No 2, 22 May – 10 Dec 2011, page 17 reveals that this service originates from Hereford at 5:25. Compare the times in the two timetables – they are obviously the same train. That’s why our Fishguard and Six Nations pocket timetable shows this Hereford – Fishguard through service, and that’s why Network Rail should too. Why are we having to do the rail authorities’ job for them?

      • Rhydgaled

        I stand corrected, my appologies. I guess the journey planners just cannot handle services that spilt on-route (I’ve seen similar with the Aberystwyth/Pwllheli – Birmingham services, though I’ve heard that occasionally a change is required at Machynlleth on services that are normally 2 units spliting there).

  2. Swansea Jack

    I think the problem is that the train headcodes will be causing the issue for the database. The Hereford to Pembroke dock train will have the same train headcode throughout on the database, so it shows up as a through train on the website. The Fishguard train gains its separate headcode at Whitland, so the website just assumes it isn’t a through train, even though it is.

    Surely in this day and age the NR database and website could have some tag on the system that would allow splitting trains to be shown as being a through tain to both destinations. After all BR timetables managed to do it, as does ATW’s timetable booklets and the on-line version does.

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