Absolutely useless

two timetables published by Fishguard Trains

times in your pocket

One of the pleasures of publishing this website is we get to publish your comments. So here’s a great one just in from Fraser Gardiner:

Hi, Thank goodness you are not responsible for train timetables nationwide. the attempt at the simplification of the timetable is absolutely useless. Fraser

We say two cheers to you, Fraser. Thank goodness we are not responsible for train timetables nationwide. It frees us  to publish the timetables we think people travelling from Fishguard really need.

It also means we are not responsible for the kind of mess that the national timetable publishers make of our times (what do we mean? Click on INDEX, scroll to INFORMATION PROBLEMS, and read ten stories about errors with Fishguard times.)

But you don’t get a third cheer, Fraser, as we’re not convinced that our latest published timetable really is Absolutely Useless.

Unless you live in north Pembrokeshire, you might not realise that as well as running this website, Fishguard Trains publishes timetables in print, available through local stores.

The first, FISHGUARD AND SIX NATIONS, published for  the launch of the new service, gave you all the direct and connecting times for travel between Fishguard and south-east Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England, France and Belgium. The point was to show that even though some of our new trains only run as far as Clarbeston Road, by making connections, we can now easily reach London, Glasgow, Paris and Brussels in time for lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.

We didn’t forget local connections either, showing how to use the new Fishguard trains to connect with central and south Pembrokeshire.

The drawback of this timetable with all its connections is that can’t show all variations at the weekend, and it also gets out of date very quickly.

So for our next publication, the BOOKMARK TIMETABLE, we went to the opposite extreme, just showing times at the newly-opened Fishguard and Goodwick Station. The idea is to answer three simple questions:  when’s the next train, where’s it going, where’s it coming from. Think of it like a live train indicator board, except in your pocket.

The point of this simplified timetable is to put Fishguard and Goodwick Station on the map, after a closedown lasting 50 years. We want to encourage the idea that there’s a great station just down the hill, and there’s another train due in … well let’s check the Bookmark Timetable. Hey – let’s go to Carmarthen for the afternoon.

If you want more information – when does the next train reach Cardiff – what time’s the last connection from London – then you need a full timetable as well. Is that a problem?

So is the Bookmark Timetable Absolutely Useless? Fishguard Trains wants to hear more views. There’s a practical reason: with new bus times starting, new connections are possible with the trains. Come September there will be new national rail times, and we are now considering what kind of timetable would be valuable to follow on from these first two.

Would you like to add your views to Fraser’s? We’d like to hear from you too.


Filed under Timetables

9 Responses to Absolutely useless

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *