How to write a timetable #2

The story so far …

In part one (see How to write a timetable #1) Spad found that a first train out of Fishguard at 7:24 gets to Carmarthen in time for decent connections to Swansea, Cardiff, London and Manchester. That has to be good sense.

So he planned the first return trip to connect with an early arrival from Hereford, Cardiff and Swansea, back to Fishguard by 9:46. A good result for the first round trip. In these timetables, red times are direct trains to/from Fishguard:

Fishguard 7.24
Clarbeston Road 7.51
Clunderwen 7.59
Whitland 8.05
Carmarthen arr 8.20
Carmarthen dep 8.30
Swansea arr 9.23
Swansea dep 9.28
Cardiff arr 10.22
Cardiff dep 10.25
London 12.23
Bristol TM 11.53
Cheltenham 11.56
Birmingham 12.45
Manchester 14.15
Hereford 5.25
Cardiff arr 6.33
Cardiff dep 6.42
Swansea arr 7.45
Swansea dep 7.50
Carmarthen arr 8.40
Carmarthen dep 8.50
Whitland 9.05
Clunderwen 9.11
Clarbeston Road 9.19
Fishguard 9.46

 

This effort seemed to exhaust Spad, but after a weekend in a sunny Pembrokeshire garden (more spade than Spad), he’s back to finish the job.

The second train of the day from Fishguard leaves at 10:00, into Carmarthen at 10:56 with more good connections east. The first connection from London reaches Carmarthen at 10.51, and soon after, our shuttle leaves for Fishguard, arriving at 12:11. The third morning train from Fishguard leaves at 12:30, into Carmarthen at 13:26, where there’s a slightly longer wait for connections east. Now a brief pause in the shuttling while the lunchtime boat train runs to and from Fishguard.

At 13:55 the shuttle resumes, arriving Fishguard at 14:51. The remaining two return journeys follow the same pattern, always looking for the best connections and timings at Carmarthen. The final shuttle trip of the day leaves Carmarthen at 19:10, having met the 17:04 from Cardiff, 18:09 from Swansea. And for late travellers, there’s still the evening boat train.

With these five return trips added to the boat trains, Fishguard gets a pretty remarkable service: Swansea is an easy commute for a full day’s work or study – arrive at 9.23, leave when you want – 15:00, 18:09 or 23:45. Cardiff is almost as good – arrive at 10:22, stay on until 14:04, 17:04 or 22:26. You can even go to London for a meeting, shopping, early supper – arrive 12:23, leave at 20:15. Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester are all within reach. And connections at Carmarthen are fine – none are too tight, and all are under half an hour, mostly around 10 minutes.

Of course two journeys stand out – the express boat train from Cardiff at 10:54 and from Fishguard at 13:30. But they have a secret weapon – the Swansea District Line – a subject so important that it deserves a whole campaign of its own. More of that in future posts.

So finally, here is Spad’s Fishguard timetable, version 1.0:

Fishguard 1.50 7.24 10.00 12.30 13.30 15.00 17.26
Clarbeston Rd 2.10 7.51 10.27 12.57 13.57 15.27 17.53
Clunderwen 7.59 10.35 13.05 15.35 18.01
Whitland 2.22 8.05 10.41 12.71 14.02 15.41 18.07
Carmarthen arr 2.39 8.20 10.56 13.26 14.19 15.56 18.22
Carmarthen dep 2.44 8.30 11.04 14.05 14.22 16.05 18.31
Swansea arr 3.25 9.23 11.51 14.49 15.23 16.48 19.23
Swansea dep 3.57 9.28 11.55 14.55 16.55 19.29
Cardiff arr 5.02 10.22 12.47 15.47 16.04 17.47 20.22
Cardiff dep 5.14 10.25 16.05
London 7.32 12.23 15.08 18.02 18.24 19.54 22.45
Bristol TM 6.42 11.53 13.53 16.53 18.55 21.44
Cheltenham 7.34 11.56 14.34 17.35 19.34 22.14
Birmingham 8.26 12.45 15.26 18.26 20.28 23.27
Holyhead 10.05 18.19 20.49 22.56 2.15
Manchester 9.15 14.15 16.15 19.15 19.49 21.15
Manchester 5.05 6.43 8.30 10.30 13.30 18.30
Holyhead 5.32 6.55 8.55
Birmingham 5.42 8.30 9.30 11.30 14.30 19.30
Hereford 5.25 7.42 8.42 10.38 12.38 15.38 21.01
Bristol TM 7.54 10.54 12.54 15.54 21.19
London 6.45 8.45 9.45 11.45 14.45 20.15
Cardiff 6.42 9.04 10.54 12.04 14.04 17.04 22.26
Swansea 7.50 10.00 13.02 15.00 18.09 23.45
Carmarthen arr 8.40 10.51 13.44 15.42 19.00 00.27
Carmarthen dep 8.50 11.15 13.55 16.05 19.10 00.30
Whitland 9.05 11.30 12.34 14.10 16.20 19.25 00.45
Clunderwen 9.11 11.36 14.16 16.26 19.31
Clarbeston Rd 9.19 11.44 14.24 16.34 19.39 00.59
Fishguard 9.46 12.11 13.15 14.51 17.01 20.06 01.26
Fishguard 1.50 7.24 10.00 12.30 13.30 15.00 17.26
Clarbeston Road 2.10 7.51 10.27 12.57 13.57 15.27 17.53
Clunderwen 7.59 10.35 13.05 15.35 18.01
Whitland 2.22 8.05 10.41 12.71 14.02 15.41 18.07
Carmarthen arr 2.39 8.20 10.56 13.26 14.19 15.56 18.22
Carmarthen dep 2.44 8.30 11.04 14.05 14.22 16.05 18.31
Swansea arr 3.25 9.23 11.51 14.49 15.23 16.48 19.23
Swansea dep 3.57 9.28 11.55 14.55 16.55 19.29
Cardiff arr 5.02 10.22 12.47 15.47 16.04 17.47 20.22
Cardiff dep 5.14 10.25 16.05
London Paddington 7.32 12.23 15.08 18.02 18.24 19.54 22.45
Bristol TM 6.42 11.53 13.53 16.53 18.55 21.44
Cheltenham 7.34 11.56 14.34 17.35 19.34 22.14
Birmingham 8.26 12.45 15.26 18.26 20.28 23.27
Holyhead 10.05 18.19 20.49 22.56 2.15
Manchester 9.15 14.15 16.15 19.15 19.49 21.15

5 Comments

Filed under Timetables

5 Responses to How to write a timetable #2

  1. Rhydgaled

    I have concerns about the first train. How early does it need to arrive in Carmarthen to be a good commuter service? With the times you have there, leaving Fishguard at 7:24, the first train will be gone before the first bus from north of Fishguard gets down. That means anyone from Dinas Cross, Newport and Eglwyswrw would have to wait until 10:00. That is why I suggested the train leave at 7:50, as then the first bus down from Cardigan (which is also the only bus that currently gets passengers from north of Fishguard to Goodwick without having to change onto the town service) can be used to access the first train. The bus leaves Cardigan at 7:00, arriving at Goodwick at 7:46. The issue is whether there is enough time to get from Carmarthen station to work in Carmarthen if the train doesn’t leave Fishguard until 07:50.

  2. Pingback: Meet the bus or meet the train? | Fishguard Trains

  3. ian burnley

    I wouldnt have thought that Arriva would want to leave a train in fishguard overnight, therefore doesnt the timetable above amount to 6 workings each way with 1 each way being an ecs working. Is that very likely?

    • Spad

      Ian – you’re right. It’s most unlikely that Arriva would want to run six returns when they’re only being funded to run five. But Fishguard Trains exists to promote what rail travellers want, not what Deutsche Bahn subsidiary Arriva wants.
      Let’s hope that our taxpayers’ money will subsidise a service designed for passenger convenience rather than TOC margins. The consultation starts any day now.

    • Rhydgaled

      It is my opinion that if the train does not spend the night in Fishguard then even if the working into Fishguard in the morning is a timetabled passenger service it will amount to an ECS (Empty Coaching Stock) working anyway, with it being too early for anyone to use. Due to this, it is my opinion that the carbon footprint will be smaller if the staff drive to Fishguard (sharing a single car) from Carmarthen (where I think the nearest traincrew depot is) than if they have to move the train empty (or almost empty) into Fishguard from Carmarthen, Cardiff or Swansea. I hope Fishguard Harbour’s platform is permissive, or our train can be locked in the passing loop overnight, otherwise they’ll have to stable the stock elsewhere and our service is not going to be such a triumph for the enviroment.

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