Sun - January 8, 2006

MP vows to tackle continuing problems on the cotswold line

Hereford Lib Dem MP, Paul Keetch met with members of the Cotswold Line Promotion Group this week to discuss rail services between Hereford and London. Mr Keetch, a keen supporter of rail use is a Vice President of the Group. Read the full report here.

Posted at 09:14 PM     Top  

Tue - December 13, 2005

New rail franchise operator promises major station improvements - but not Hereford as far as we can tell ...

The Department for Transport today announced that First Group has been awarded the contracts to run both the Thameslink/GN and Greater Western rail franchises from 1 April 2006.

The Greater Western franchise will include routes on the national rail network currently operated by First Great Western, First Great Western Link and Wessex Trains. More information from - news for the public sector and beyond. Read the full article here.

Posted at 04:19 PM     Top  

Fri - September 16, 2005

Rail for Herefordshire - forthcoming meetings

The next meeting (November 10) is at The Salmon, Hampton Park Road at 7.30pm. Note change of venue again as The Kings Fee proved unsuitable.

Following meetings begin 7.30 p.m. as usual unless noted.
Nov 10 - Speaker David Koring, Shropshire Rail Officer
Dec 8 - Speaker Mike Taplin, Cotswold Line Promotion Group 2006
Jan 12 - AGM – speaker to be announced
Feb 9 - Speaker John van Dyke, Station Manager, Hereford
Mar 9 - Speaker Jane Lewis, Head of Tourism, Herefordshire Council
April 13 - Speakers Cllr Wilcox and Richard Ball, Head of Transport, Hfds Council

For more information on Rail for Herefordshire, go to their website, click here.

Download minutes. These are saved as .pdf files. Use Acrobat Reader to view them.
Minutes for Oct 05 meeting Rail-Oct05Minutes.pdf
Minutes forSept 05 meeting Sept05Minutes.pdf

Posted at 09:14 AM     Top  

Trains and Tribulations - Rail Travel by Gerald Dawe of Rail for Herefordshire

Luke was apparently standing at the gantry, at the far end of the platform, ready to dash for the right platform as soon as it became publicised. I was sitting in the 'Mad Bishop and Bear' downing a pint of ESB, anxiously surveying the departure board, handily placed in the bar for beer drinkers, for whom time was of the utmost criticality. Andrew meanwhile, where was Andrew? Perhaps he was sitting under the main display board at the head of the platform. We were all, unbeknownst to each other, awaiting the 17.22 departure for Hereford. The minutes ticked by, interminably slowly: 16.50, 16.51, 16.52, 16.53, and 17.01 even.

Now: I didn't lose my nerve. I continued to relax and drink my luscious pint in what I thought looked like a casual fashion. The train didn't, after all, leave Paddington for Hereford until 17.22, and it was well-known that they left it until absolutely the last minute for people to board. Hmmm ... it had now changed to Platform 3 and they'd installed those dreadful barriers. There would be a mass rush for them, then, crash! Akin to a rugby scrum. Ah! 17.10, my time is up, and now I leave the 'Mad Bishop', descend swiftly, and walk across in the general direction of Platform 3.
Then: at 17.15, mayhem breaks out. What Luke, Andrew and I have all been waiting for, our eyes peeled, it suddenly shows, THE DEPARTURE PLATFORM. It is: (YES!) Platform 3. They have given us a generous seven minutes to board, today. There is an almighty rush at the barriers, people are running up the platform, scattering luggage, some of them tripping over in the rush. I sprint up Platform 3 as if my life depends on it, bundle several passengers out of the way, get on the train (presumably at the same time that Luke is swiftly descending from the gantry), and sit down in a good spot. Relief! It seems like there are thousands of people still rushing past on the platform. Much, much later on, outside London, in the Cotswolds in fact, through the hubbub, I recognise the voices of Luke and Andrew, and I know that here is the secret society of the Hereford-bound.
Train journeys these days are great fun, as anyone knows. Stamina, fitness, and sharp mental acuity are all called for. Not to say, profound meditative ability, as anyone who has been stranded at a rain-soaked Ledbury or Malvern station late in the day will know. Rail travel is also now officially classified as an Extreme Sport, as persons who have attempted the Worcester Foregate street staircase Olympic challenge, alternately descending and then ascending the massive flights, several times, within minutes, as trains are switched between platforms, will know!
If you want to do something to improve the services, why not come along to one of our Rail for Herefordshire meetings? They're great fun, actually. Finally, most positively, do you want to know a secret? Rail will whiz you from Hereford to Leominster in 13 minutes, practically a supersonic speed compared with car travel. And, in the process, less carbon dioxide will be produced (than via car travel), minimising your contribution to climate change. So, it is simple: 'just do it'.

Gerald Dawe is the Chair of of Rail for Herefordshire who can be contacted at
PO Box 299, Hereford HR1 2YE

All welcome to Rail for Herefordshire meetings. Held on the second Thursday in every month, from 7.30 to 8.30 p.m. at The Kings Fee (Weatherspoons), Commercial Road, Hereford. This is a smoke and music free pub.

Posted at 12:00 AM     Top