All aboard for new high-speed train service between Bristol and Weymouth

All aboard for new high-speed train service between Bristol and Weymouth

ON THE RIGHT TRACK: HST at Yeovil Pen Mill. Picture by John Chappell

EXPRESS: The new service could bring in more tourists

First published in News
Last updated
by

WEYMOUTH is on track for a high-speed summer as slick express trains bring tourists to the resort.

High Speed Trains (HST) normally seen on mainline services between London and major cities will be used for a Saturday special from Bristol to Weymouth this summer.

It is part of a range of improvements by operator First Great Western.

Although it will be unlikely for HSTs to reach express speeds on the rural Bristol branch – which is mostly single line between Weymouth and Castle Cary – the introduction of longer and more comfortable trains for the summer is a welcome boost for day-tripping families.

Traditionally known as the ‘bucket and spade train’, the Saturday trip from Bristol is an additional service in the summer timetable, bringing hundreds of people to Weymouth at a time. Leaving Bristol at just after 9am, it allows people to spend a day at the seaside before making the return journey home at teatime.

This will be the first time prestigious HSTs have been used for the May-September bucket and spade train. They made an appearance in Weymouth in summer 2012 hauling special Olympic spectator trains.

Mayor of Weymouth and Portland Ray Banham said: “This is great news.

“It’s fabulous for the passengers who will be coming here and for us as a town where they will be spending their money.

“Many people from Bristol and Somerset spend their holidays in Weymouth and a lot of them come on the train. With the introduction of the HST on the line it may even encourage more people to visit.”

The HST, known by its brand name of InterCity 125 when introduced by British Rail in the 1970s, operates up to 125mph. It holds the record for being the fastest diesel powered train in the world at 148mph.

First Great Western said it has reached agreement with the Department for Transport on a number of timetable changes being introduced in May.

These changes will provide for additional strengthening of services across the West of England.

A spokesman said: “Features include the use of a High Speed Train on the Bristol-Weymouth route on summer Saturdays to provide more capacity to and from the coast.”

Comments (13)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:23am Sat 15 Mar 14

arlbergbahn says...

Should use Class 57s!
Should use Class 57s! arlbergbahn
  • Score: 2

8:29am Sat 15 Mar 14

JamesYoung says...

arlbergbahn wrote:
Should use Class 57s!
55s! The good old Deltic!
It will be interesting to see how these ultra heavy diesels cope with the mostly rotted out sleepers at Dorchester West station.
[quote][p][bold]arlbergbahn[/bold] wrote: Should use Class 57s![/p][/quote]55s! The good old Deltic! It will be interesting to see how these ultra heavy diesels cope with the mostly rotted out sleepers at Dorchester West station. JamesYoung
  • Score: -1

9:02am Sat 15 Mar 14

dorsetbeachcomber says...

arlbergbahn wrote:
Should use Class 57s!
FGW would have to hire in rolling-stock - more expensive than using one of their own HSTs.
[quote][p][bold]arlbergbahn[/bold] wrote: Should use Class 57s![/p][/quote]FGW would have to hire in rolling-stock - more expensive than using one of their own HSTs. dorsetbeachcomber
  • Score: 1

10:36am Sat 15 Mar 14

annotater says...

What we need is a Steamer.
What we need is a Steamer. annotater
  • Score: -1

10:40am Sat 15 Mar 14

malkie says...

So, FGW will use these on Saturdays in the Summer and for the rest of the journeys, they will use their normal old sh**e that we have become accustomed to. Big deal !!!
So, FGW will use these on Saturdays in the Summer and for the rest of the journeys, they will use their normal old sh**e that we have become accustomed to. Big deal !!! malkie
  • Score: 6

5:29pm Sat 15 Mar 14

dorset & proud says...

Well high speed it certainly won't be!

However it's nice to see some life being breathed into the Weymouth to Bristol line. So much more could be done to improve this stretch of railway. The class 150 stock that normally rules the line are totally unsuited to the long journeys and are packed to capacity frequently on return journeys.

Would be nice to see some investment in this line, it could be a real gem if it ever got the attention it deserves.
Well high speed it certainly won't be! However it's nice to see some life being breathed into the Weymouth to Bristol line. So much more could be done to improve this stretch of railway. The class 150 stock that normally rules the line are totally unsuited to the long journeys and are packed to capacity frequently on return journeys. Would be nice to see some investment in this line, it could be a real gem if it ever got the attention it deserves. dorset & proud
  • Score: 19

8:55pm Sat 15 Mar 14

arlbergbahn says...

The trouble is that rolling stock allocation is decided entirely by the Government, and when FGW absorbed the Wessex Trains franchise the department of Transport took away quite a sizeable proportion of their fleet and gave them to Northern Rail. it's easy enough to say "why don't they put more carriages on?", but the Government decides.
The trouble is that rolling stock allocation is decided entirely by the Government, and when FGW absorbed the Wessex Trains franchise the department of Transport took away quite a sizeable proportion of their fleet and gave them to Northern Rail. it's easy enough to say "why don't they put more carriages on?", but the Government decides. arlbergbahn
  • Score: 3

1:26pm Mon 17 Mar 14

dorsetdog says...

dorset & proud wrote:
Well high speed it certainly won't be! However it's nice to see some life being breathed into the Weymouth to Bristol line. So much more could be done to improve this stretch of railway. The class 150 stock that normally rules the line are totally unsuited to the long journeys and are packed to capacity frequently on return journeys. Would be nice to see some investment in this line, it could be a real gem if it ever got the attention it deserves.
I 100% agree. It would be nice too if two or three trains could be extended to Paddington making connections to Heathrow easier as well as providing an alternative route to London.
[quote][p][bold]dorset & proud[/bold] wrote: Well high speed it certainly won't be! However it's nice to see some life being breathed into the Weymouth to Bristol line. So much more could be done to improve this stretch of railway. The class 150 stock that normally rules the line are totally unsuited to the long journeys and are packed to capacity frequently on return journeys. Would be nice to see some investment in this line, it could be a real gem if it ever got the attention it deserves.[/p][/quote]I 100% agree. It would be nice too if two or three trains could be extended to Paddington making connections to Heathrow easier as well as providing an alternative route to London. dorsetdog
  • Score: 3

4:47pm Thu 20 Mar 14

davecook says...

Be interesting to try to hail it at Chetnole as it comes hammering through at 15mph..........
Be interesting to try to hail it at Chetnole as it comes hammering through at 15mph.......... davecook
  • Score: 1

4:48pm Thu 20 Mar 14

davecook says...

annotater wrote:
What we need is a Steamer.
There is a regular Bristol - Weymouth steam excursion on Summer Sundays.
[quote][p][bold]annotater[/bold] wrote: What we need is a Steamer.[/p][/quote]There is a regular Bristol - Weymouth steam excursion on Summer Sundays. davecook
  • Score: 1

5:08pm Thu 20 Mar 14

davecook says...

arlbergbahn wrote:
The trouble is that rolling stock allocation is decided entirely by the Government, and when FGW absorbed the Wessex Trains franchise the department of Transport took away quite a sizeable proportion of their fleet and gave them to Northern Rail. it's easy enough to say "why don't they put more carriages on?", but the Government decides.
At least this last week the services I was on had 158's on them, which are much more comfortable than the 150's. In an ideal world, with the new electric trains and other new stock coming onto the main FGW routes in the next few years, I'm hopeful that the really rubbishy class 142's on the Paignton - Exmouth services can be replaced by our 150's, 158's can replace our 150's, and something better than the 158's can be used on the Portsmouth - Cardiff services which are full of luggage for cruise passengers when the big ships arrive in at Southampton. But I suspect a logical cascade is just wishful thinking......
[quote][p][bold]arlbergbahn[/bold] wrote: The trouble is that rolling stock allocation is decided entirely by the Government, and when FGW absorbed the Wessex Trains franchise the department of Transport took away quite a sizeable proportion of their fleet and gave them to Northern Rail. it's easy enough to say "why don't they put more carriages on?", but the Government decides.[/p][/quote]At least this last week the services I was on had 158's on them, which are much more comfortable than the 150's. In an ideal world, with the new electric trains and other new stock coming onto the main FGW routes in the next few years, I'm hopeful that the really rubbishy class 142's on the Paignton - Exmouth services can be replaced by our 150's, 158's can replace our 150's, and something better than the 158's can be used on the Portsmouth - Cardiff services which are full of luggage for cruise passengers when the big ships arrive in at Southampton. But I suspect a logical cascade is just wishful thinking...... davecook
  • Score: 2

4:05pm Thu 27 Mar 14

rogace says...

i wish we could have a regular HST from Weymouth to Paddington - come on FGW please
i wish we could have a regular HST from Weymouth to Paddington - come on FGW please rogace
  • Score: 4

4:06pm Thu 27 Mar 14

rogace says...

davecook wrote:
annotater wrote:
What we need is a Steamer.
There is a regular Bristol - Weymouth steam excursion on Summer Sundays.
also some this season from London too with steam dreams and railway touring company
[quote][p][bold]davecook[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]annotater[/bold] wrote: What we need is a Steamer.[/p][/quote]There is a regular Bristol - Weymouth steam excursion on Summer Sundays.[/p][/quote]also some this season from London too with steam dreams and railway touring company rogace
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree