Great Marlow Line MARLOW - MAIDENHEAD PASSENGERS’ ASSOCIATION

TWYFORD – TAPLOW / HIGH WYCOMBE
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The Marlow - Maidenhead Passengers' Association is the action group for all public transport users - bus and train - in the area served by the Maidenhead to Marlow railway line in the Thames Valley including its former route into High Wycombe. We cover main line services from Taplow, Maidenhead and Twyford as well as High Wycombe station.

We lobby the operators and local government on behalf of users to improve services and facilities, and we bring you timely information regarding proposed and actual service changes.

The more members we have the stronger is our voice in fighting for your interests. For more about the benefits of membership and an application form please visit the Membership Page or e-mail us.

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The Association’s Constitution may be viewed here.

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Newsletter 166, May 2015 (PDF) - Newsletter Archive

165134 crosses Cock Marsh
Unit 165134 crosses Cock Marsh on 6.4.2013. Click photo to enlarge.
© 2013 R. Porter

 
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Timetables (PDF)
May 2015

Table 115 Chiltern Mainline
Table 116 London-Bedwyn,
Oxford...Birmingham

Table 117 London-Reading
Table 120 Marlow Branch
Table 121 Henley Branch

Marlow Branch (html)

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Hot Weather Service Changes

No throught trains between Paddington and Bourne End today or tomorrow. Trains will terminate at Maidenhead with connecting services to Bourne End. This is imposed by Network Rail to minimise the risk of points failing due to high ambient temperatures. More information here.
[20150630]

Taplow Footbridge

The footbridge at Taplow Station was damaged by a rail crane and has been closed between platforms 1 ans 2 (over the main lines). A minibus shuttle is operating between the north and south sides of the station. We understand that the provision of a temporary footbridge is being pursued pending repairs and electrification clearance work on the existing bridge. In the longer term an accesible footbridge with lifts will be built between platforms 3 and 4 only.
[20150608]

Two Trains per Hour Off-peak?

First Great Western is looking at the possibility of running a half-hourly off-peak service on the Marlow branch without the need to change trains. This would require track and signalling modifications at Bourne End so that trains can access platform 2 from Marlow. It is dependent on getting Local Growth Fund money from Thames Valley Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership. This is awaiting conformation.

A service interval improvement from 45 to 30 minutes is being considered for Henley, but at the cost of reducing the service from Wargrave to hourly. This is subject to consultation.
[20141103]

Electrification Works

Piling and erection work continues along the line, mostly at night and over weekends when the Relief lines can be closed. Local residents will have been warned about possible disruption and replacement bus services for Burnham and Taplow at these times.
[20150414]

Western Rail Access to Heathrow

Network Rail has been holding information sessions to explain its plans for a rail link to Heathrow from the west and would welcome any feedback here (e-mail). More information can be found here.
[20150204]

MMPA Thanks Susan Morrison

The MMPA Committee presented outgoing chairperson, Susan Morrison, with an engraved silver plate to thank her for her sterling work on behalf of the Association and rail travellers in our area. MMPA Treasurer John Marsh presented the plate (below).

John Marsh, Susan Morrison

Chiltern Line to Oxford to open on 26th October

Chiltern Railways has announced that its service between Oxford Parkway (at Water Eaton) and Marylebone via Bicester Village and High Wycombe will commence on Monday 26th October (See BBC News story). The service will be extended to Oxford station later, but in the mean time buses will operate from the Park & Ride area adjacent to Parkway station.
[20150504]

Update: you can download the draft October timetables here.
[20150609]

Marlow Electrification shelved for CP5

Although electrification of the Windsor and Henley branches is to go ahead, the Marlow branch will not now be done in Control Period 5 (to 2019) despite the fact that it was added to the Government’s High Level Output Specification for CP5. Network Rail is citing technical difficulties as the reason although they could quite easily electrify a simple branch line if they wanted to. One or two bridges may need clearance work but this can often be done by lowering the trackbed. There are no footbridges at stations to worry about.

The main difficulty for the operator is that non-standard three car trains with 20m coaches will be needed because of the limited distance between the buffer stops at Bourne End and the junction for Marlow. Such trains are in use elsewhere e.g. class 319, 320 and 334 in Scotland, not to mention class 313/4/5 which are getting a bit long in the tooth. There are no 2-car 25kV overhead electric trains.

It should be noted that Reading Traincare Depot already maintains two very non-standard prototype Class 150 units (150001/2) which are used on the Basingstoke service, so having a small dedicated electric fleet for the Great Marlow Line should not be a problem.

If funding is achieved for the infrastructure changes at Bourne End (see left) then it makes sense to do these before electrifying the line. However we shall be pressing our MPs to make sure that electrification is included in CP6.
[20150402]

Comment

We asked Maidenhead MP Theresa May why her government allowed First Group to negotiate Maidenhead - Marlow electrification out of the new Great Western franchise. So far we have not heard a dicky bird from her.
[20150416]

We have now received an acknowledgement from Theresa May's office. Mrs May is going to take the matter up with the DfT. We have heard nothing more.
[20150608]

Thames Branches Day Ranger Tickets

These tickets permit travel between Paddington, Tilehurst, Reading West and Winnersh Triangle incuding the branch lines but not into Heathrow Airport. They are valid at any time on weekends, and after 09:30 weekdays except on High Speed services leaving Paddington between 16:00 and 19:15. Prices are £19 for adults, £9.50 for children and £12.50 for railcard holders. 3- and 7-day Thames Rover tickets are also available.
[20150222]

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