October diary

(Mostly) good news from up and down the Fishguard line in autumn

SPARKS
All the way from Swansea to London, works to electrify the main line are appearing. Pylons to carry the overhead wires are going up, and the depots at Swansea, Bristol Parkway and Reading already have a near-complete overhead installation. Pylon foundations for the overhead gantries have recently appeared between Cardiff and Newport, as well as right across southern England to London.

Right now, only three European countries are without a single kilometre of electric railway – Moldova, Albania and Wales. When they switch on the Swansea depot, Wales will finally lose that unenviable status.

works to extend car park at Fishguard and Goodwick station

Fishguard & Goodwick is growing

PARK AND RIDE

Nearer home, and on a more humble scale, works to double the size of the car park at Fishguard and Goodwick are well under way. More parking for park-and-ride travellers, more lighting, and even toilets are appearing. What better testimony to the success of Fishguard’s revived rail service!

TRAVEL WITHOUT A TICKET

It’s official. Arriva allows you to travel as long as you have already bought your ticket, where there is no way to collect your ticket at your departure station – in other words at both of Fishguard’s stations. Fishguard Trains asked Arriva to clarify the situation. Adam Stanley of Arriva Trains Wales tells us:

ticket vending machine with out of order sign

out of order

“Where there are no ticket collection facilities available at the origin station, customers may board the train and provide the Conductor on-board with their reference number and the payment card used to pay for the tickets. The reference number can be displayed by showing the Conductor either the confirmation email or text message received when ordering the tickets, or a printout of the confirmation that shows the reference number and the journey details. Customers are then able to collect their tickets at the next available station on the line with a Ticket Vending Machine.”

But be warned, what is good for Arriva is no good for First Great Western, now rebranded as Great Western Railway:

They sternly warn “If you are starting your journey at an unmanned station without a self-service ticket machine, and have selected to collect your tickets from an alternative stations, you must collect your tickets before you travel. You are not permitted to travel to that station using the booking reference or confirmation email for this booking to collect your tickets”

So travel east of Newport (Gwent) at your own risk.

Fishguard Trains thinks this is absurd. London is a common destination for Fishguard passengers. One ticket policy applies to half the journey, and the opposite policy to the other half. The train operating companies need to get their act together.

3 Comments

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3 Responses to October diary

  1. I think you have interpreted Arriva’s response differently to me. “Customers are then able to collect their tickets at the next available station on the line with a Ticket Vending Machine.” To me, that means if I were to board the 07:50 Fishguard to Manchester at Fishguard I would be forced to alight at Carmarthen (the first station on the line with a ticket machine, since Clarbeston Road, Clunderwen and Whitland don’t have one either) to collect my ticket. Or, if you were going to Milford Haven you’d need to get off at Haverfordwest, get your ticket and get back on, similarly for Fishguard to Pembroke get off at Tenby to get your ticket. Since FirstGWR don’t run to Fishguard, their different policy does not effect Fishguard passengers.

    Actually, there is one possible exception where First’s policy would effect Fishguard travellers. If you are travelling to the Pembroke Dock line on summer Saturdays until 2018 there’s a possibility part of the journey before you reach a ticket machine would be with FirstGWR.

    • Spad

      No interpretation needed, Rhydgaled.
      Arriva lets you travel without a ticket from a station without ticketing facilities to collect your pre-booked ticket at the first available station.
      Great Western Railway doesn’t.
      That’s nonsense, and it should be sorted.

  2. In the latest Rail magazine (11th May 2016) there was a small piece (page 23) that Stena are looking for planning permission to develop the Harbour station which will include cutting the line back to Goodwick. What is the current position ?

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