Fishguard Trains takes the 9:56

0946 train arrives at Fishguard Harbour on a wet day

wet Tuesday

We’ll know we’ve secured the future of our rail service when taking the train is just a normal everyday matter in Fishguard.

This week we made a return trip to Cardiff.  Here’s our photo report. Was it normal, or exceptional? Let’s see.

9:31 A rainy day in Fishguard. Parked the car facing the sea at Goodwick Parrog car park. The nearest public parking to the Harbour station. But not for long – we see that Pembrokeshire CC is bringing in charges for parking at Parrog, and no doubt banning overnight parking. They’d better get on with reopening Goodwick station.

a cigarette between journeys

a legal smoke

9:41 Brisk walk along the harbour road to reach the station in ten minutes. That would be 20 minutes lugging a suitcase and into the teeth of a westerly gale.

9:46 The incoming train from Hereford and Cardiff is dead on time. One passenger gets off.

9:48 The only station in Britain where you can legally smoke.

9:53 The temporary shuttle bus from Fishguard Square was due in at 9:50. It arrives late, with just three minutes to spare. Two passengers join the train from the bus.

shuttle bus arrives from Fishguard Square

late bus

From September 30th this shuttle bus will be replaced with a re-timed and re-routed 410 Town Bus, due two minutes earlier at 9:48. An important bus, because it picks up across Fishguard, Goodwick, Stop & Call and all points in between before reaching the harbour.

9:56 Train leaves on time, with ten passengers. We’re encouraged – that’s a respectable number for this new service on a wet Tuesday.

Goodwick with St Peter's Church from the train

goodbye Goodwick

 

The sights and sounds of our town are changing – it’s many years since you could wave goodbye to Goodwick on a morning train. And all along the line, the sound of passing trains is becoming part of the daily pattern.

 

train conductor issuing tickets

any more fares?

 

 

The conductor sells tickets. We hand out Fishguard & Six Nations timetables.

10:49 Arrives on time at a busy Carmarthen station. As far as we can see, all ten passengers cross to the far platform for the connecting train east to Swansea and Cardiff.

12:47 On time into Cardiff. A successful trip. Is this really how normal travel from Fishguard has become? Carry on from here and we could be in London by 3pm and Paris before 8pm.Today it’s just Penarth by 13:17.

wrong timetable still displayed at Cardiff Central

the wrong times

Just one fly in the ointment: The timetables on the platforms still show the wrong times for Fishguard – Fishguard Trains reported their errors on September 14th. We find an Arriva manager on the platform and take him over to the display – he notes the mistakes, takes a photo of the timetable as a reminder.

Our conclusions –

GOOD THAT – everything is just as it should be. Trains on time, efficient interchange at Carmarthen (with enough time for a tea from the station buffet). The train out of Fishguard has attracted ten passengers, who were travelling well east of Carmarthen. On a wet Tuesday, there’s really no better way of getting to Swansea by noon and Cardiff by 1. Even the brisk walk from the Parrog to the train had its health benefits.

SHAME THAT – they still can’t get the timetables right.

Will the return journey be just as successful? Read the next post.

3 Comments

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3 Responses to Fishguard Trains takes the 9:56

  1. Rhydgaled

    Their continued mistakes with the timetable have just lead me to discover an error in your six nations timetable. Your photograph of the timetable at Cardiff that ommits the 15:14 to Fishguard also shows what I initally thought to be another mistake with their timetable, an 18:04 departure with a change at Clarbeston Road, leaving Clarbeston Road at 20:30 and arriving at FGH at 20:55.

    Unless the East Coast journey planner is wrong as well, this is in fact the actual time on Saturdays, replacing the 17:39. According to East Coast, there are a few other slight changes on Saturdays, for example a 09:53 departure from Fishguard rather than the normal 09:56.

  2. Anthony

    I have also noticed someting with the FGW & ATW journey planner’s. Each time i select that i want to Travel from Pyle to Fishguard Hbr, the only train that appears is the 15:42 sdeparture. For some reason the 07:10 which splits at Whitland is not shown.

    • Rhydgaled

      Just had a look to see if the problem you report applies to the East Coast journey planner and it shows a 07:10 departure from Pyle to Fishguard tommorow (with a change at Whitland, I don’t think it can handle the split). As you say though, the FGW website doesn’t seem to want to provide that option. Perhaps it is a problem with the trainline booking engine (which I think East Coast is one of the few TOCs who don’t use it).

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