Mark Hopwood, GWR Managing Director, informs us:
Dear Henley Herald readers
You may have seen Monday’s media release by the Rail Delivery Group, confirming that timetable changes for December 18 have been postponed. This includes GWR timetable plans.
This is very disappointing news for customers. However, it is important that everyone is confident in the industry’s ability to deliver on timetable improvements as important as these, and although the delivery of trains and crew remains on track, it is clear from Network Rail’s recent review that there is some nervousness about the ability of the industry to deliver the new timetable in December 2018.
Given that position, we understand why Andrew Haines, new CEO of Network Rail, has recommended holding off key aspects of the December 2018 timetable change to protect day to day journeys for customers.
Changes to track layout and depot access in December will mean the current GWR timetable cannot simply be extended, and some work to re-write timetables will be needed. We will be working with Network Rail to make sure both our planning team, and theirs, have the support and resource required to ensure a smooth transition for some changes in December, with a view to May 2019 for the main timetable recast.
While timetable changes are pushed back, we will continue to deliver the improvements promised customers from early 2019, like the continued roll out of the Intercity Express Trains – which are more reliable and have around 20% more seats than the High Speed Trains they replace. However, it is the timetable change that brings faster journeys and frequency improvements and it is these additional benefits that will be delayed.
We will be keeping in close contact with Network Rail and will keep you updated as things progress.
Mark Hopwood | Managing Director | Great Western Railway
Note: If you have any queries on this notice, please drop our friends at Henley Trains a note – firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @Henleytrains – and they will co-ordinate input for us.