Worle railway station

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Worle National Rail
Worle
A CrossCountry train passes west through Worle in 2012.
Location
Place Worle
Local authority North Somerset
Coordinates 51°21′29″N 2°54′34″W / 51.3580°N 2.9094°W / 51.3580; -2.9094Coordinates: 51°21′29″N 2°54′34″W / 51.3580°N 2.9094°W / 51.3580; -2.9094
Grid reference ST367624
Operations
Station code WOR
Managed by First Great Western
Number of platforms 2
Live arrivals/departures and station information
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2002/03 79,254
2004/05 Increase 93,989
2005/06 Increase 0.107 million
2006/07 Increase 0.118 million
2007/08 Increase 0.139 million
2008/09 Increase 0.172 million
2009/10 Increase 0.181 million
2010/11 Increase 0.216 million
2011/12 Increase 0.241 million
History
Original company British Rail
Opened 24 September 1990
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Worle from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
Portal icon UK Railways portal

Worle railway station, on the Bristol to Exeter Line, serves the Worle, West Wick and St Georges suburbs of Weston-super-Mare in North Somerset, England. It is 16 miles (26 km) west of Bristol Temple Meads railway station, and 134 miles (216 km) from London Paddington. Its three-letter station code is WOR. It was opened in 1990 by British Rail. The station, which has two platforms, is managed by First Great Western, the seventh company to be responsible for the station, and the third franchise since privatisation in 1997. They provide all train services at the station, mainly hourly services between Bristol Parkway and Weston-super-Mare, and between Cardiff Central and Taunton. The station's car park was significantly expanded in 2013, with a bus interchange built at the same time.

The line through Worle is not electrified, but there is significant local support for it to be electrified as part of the 21st-century modernisation of the Great Western Main Line, partly motivated by worries that unless the line is electrified, Weston-super-Mare will lose direct services to London.

Description[edit]

Worle railway station is located in the east of Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, serving the suburbs of Worle, West Wick and St Georges. The surrounding area is primarily residential, but with several commercial developments, including the Worle Parkway office development next to the station. The station is located just off the B3440 Bristol Road, near the M5 motorway junction 21 and the A370. There is a car park on the north, east and south sides of the station.[1][2][3] The station is on the Bristol to Exeter Line, 16 miles 11 chains (26.0 km) from Bristol Temple Meads and 134 miles 42 chains (216.5 km) from London Paddington (via Chippenham). It is the fifth station along the line from Bristol Temple Meads.[4][5] The station is oriented along an axis at 57 degrees to the meridian.[1]

There are two platforms, on either side of the two tracks through the station. The southern platform, platform 1, serves westbound trains (towards Weston-super-Mare and Taunton); the northern platform, platform 2, serves eastbound trains (towards Bristol). Both platforms are 100 metres (110 yd) long. The line through the station has a speed limit of 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), and is not electrified.[6] Access between the platforms is via an open footbridge with long, sloped ramps for step-free access. Ticket machines are available, and a small ticket office operates during the weekday morning peak, but the station is otherwise unstaffed. Help points are provided, allowing travellers to ask questions of a call centre. There are metal and glass waiting shelters on both platforms – two on the eastbound platform and one on the westbound.[2]

49 chains (0.99 km) west of the station is Worle Junction, where the single-track loop line to Weston-super-Mare diverges from the main line towards Taunton.[6] The next station west along the loop is Weston Milton, the next station west on the main line is Highbridge & Burnham. The next station east of Worle is Yatton.[4]

Services[edit]

All services at Worle are operated by First Great Western, mainly commuter services between Taunton, Weston-super-Mare, Bristol and Cardiff.

The station is managed by First Great Western, who operate all rail services from the station.[2] The basic service consists of two trains in each direction per hour: one is the Bristol Parkway to Weston-super-Mare service, calling at all stations; the second is the faster Cardiff Central to Taunton service, non-stop between Bristol Temple Meads and Nailsea & Backwell, Worle and Weston-super-Mare. Some westbound services are extended to Exeter St Davids or Plymouth. There is one service to Avonmouth on weekday evenings. Each Sunday there are two services to and from the Severn Beach Line. During summer months these terminate at Severn Beach; the rest of the year only one does, the other terminating at Avonmouth.[7][8] The typical journey time to Bristol Temple Meads is 25 minutes, to Weston-super-Mare is 8 minutes.[7]

Services between London Paddington and Weston-super-Mare call at Worle in the early morning and evening, running non-stop between Bristol Temple Meads and Nailsea and Backwell. From Monday to Friday there are four morning services and one evening service to London, with seven services from London, all in the evening. One service from London is extended to Taunton, and another to Penzance. Saturday sees two services to London, all in the morning, and three services from London, all in the evening – one is extended to Exeter St David's, another to Plymouth. There are five services to and six from London on Sundays, spread throughout the day, with one service extended to Taunton and another to Exeter. All trains call at Weston-super-Mare westbound, and at Yatton and Nailsea and Backwell eastbound, but not all stop at Weston Milton. The typical journey time to London is 2 hours 15 minutes.[7][9]

Local services from Worle are operated by Class 150, 153 and 158 diesel multiple-unit trains. Until 2012, Class 143 Pacer units were a regular sight, but these have been moved south to work in Devon and Cornwall following a cascade of Class 150/1 units from London Midland and London Overground.[10][11] Services to and from London are formed of High Speed Train sets, which are longer than the station, so passengers in the front carriages have to move to a different carriage to get out.[7][9] Passengers are prevented from getting out onto the tracks by a selective door-opening system.[12]

CrossCountry services pass through the station throughout the day, operating services between Cornwall and Scotland, but do not stop.[13] Occasional First Great Western intercity services between London and Weston-super-Mare or Taunton and Exeter also pass through non-stop.[14]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Yatton   First Great Western
Bristol Parkway – Weston-super-Mare
  Weston Milton
First Great Western
Cardiff Central – Taunton
Weston-super-Mare
First Great Western
London Paddington – Weston-super-Mare
Weston Milton
Weston-super-Mare

History[edit]

A Class 108 DMU at Worle on the first day of service.
Looking west along the platforms.
The station car park, seen here in 2012, was expanded in 2013 with 320 extra spaces and a bus interchange.

The line through Worle saw its first use on 14 June 1841, when the first section of the Bristol and Exeter Railway's (B&ER) main line between Bristol and Bridgwater was opened. The line, engineered by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, was built as 7 ft (2,134 mm) broad-gauge but was reconstructed as a mixed-gauge line to accommodate local 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)-gauge traffic by 1 June 1875. Services were operated by the Great Western Railway (GWR) on behalf of the B&ER until 1 May 1849. The B&ER then took over its own workings until the company was amalgamated into the GWR on 1 January 1876. Broad-gauge trains ceased operation on 20 May 1892. When the railways were nationalised by the Transport Act 1947, the line became part of the Western Region of British Railways.[15]

The modern Worle railway station is the fourth station to serve Worle. The first station, 47 chains (0.95 km) east of the modern station, was opened in 1841 as Banwell and was known as Worle from 1869 to 1884, then as Puxton and Worle from 1922 until closure in 1964. From 1884 to 1922, there was a station called Worle on the loop line to Weston-super-Mare, 60 chains (1.2 km) west of the modern station. There was also a station on the nearby Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Light Railway, which was known as Worle from 1897 to 1913, then as Worle (Moor Lane) until 1917, and as Worle Town until closure in 1940.[5][16][17]

The station at Worle was developed as a joint initiative between British Rail and Avon County Council. It cost £700,000 and was built using lightweight construction materials due to being sited on marshy ground.[16] The station was opened on 24 September 1990 by Councillor Betty Perry, the chair of Avon Council.[18] The first train was a westbound Regional Railways service, operated by Class 150 Sprinter DMU 150270. All services were local ones – no scheduled intercity services would call at Worle until 2007.[16]

Upon the privatisation of British Rail in 1997, services were franchised to Wales and West, which was in turn succeeded in 2001 by Wessex Trains, an arm of National Express.[19][20] The Wessex franchise was amalgamated with the Great Western franchise into the Greater Western franchise from 2006, and responsibility passed to First Great Western, a subsidiary company of First Group.[21][22][23] First Great Western services to and from London Paddington started calling at Worle in 2007. Due to the trains being longer than the platforms, a selective door opening system was used to prevent passengers opening doors which were not adjacent to the platform.[12]

In 2012, plans to enhance the station's facilities were approved by the Department for Transport.[24] The works, part of a large transport scheme called the Weston Package, included expanded the car park by 320 spaces, better facilities for cyclists and motorcyclists, and a bus interchange. A bus link to the nearby Queensway retail park was also included in the scheme.[25][26] The expansion took over unused land to the east and south of the station, and required the removal of slow worms and grass snakes to a nature reserve in Cheddar.[27] The work, which started in April 2013, was completed later the same year with the new car park opening on 3 September 2013.[25][28]

Worle has had a large number of incidents of railway vandalism and antisocial behaviour, and the stretch of line through Worle is considered one of the most vandalised in the United Kingdom – obstructions have been left on the line and stones have being thrown at railway staff.[29] There have been several incidents of train guards being attacked by passengers who refused to pay their fares, including one incident where the guard was dragged from the train and knocked to the ground.[30][31][32] Vandals have also damaged the station's ticket machines, attacked passengers and slashed the tyres of cars parked at the station.[33][34]

Preceding station Historical railways Following station
Yatton   Regional Railways
Bristol to Exeter Line
(1990–1997)
  Weston Milton
  Wales and West
Bristol to Exeter Line
(1997–2001)
 
  Wessex Trains
Bristol to Exeter Line
(2001–2006)
 

Future[edit]

First Great Western declined an option to continue the Greater Western passenger franchise (of which services at Worle are a part) beyond 2013, citing a desire for a longer-term contract due to the impending upgrade to the Great Western Main Line.[23] The franchise was put out to tender,[35][36][37] but the process was halted and later scrapped due to the fallout from the collapse of the InterCity West Coast franchise competition.[38] A two-year franchise extension until September 2015 was agreed in October 2013, following negotiations between First Great Western and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP.[39][40]

With the impending upgrade, the main line from London to Bristol is due to be electrified. However, the electrification will not extend beyond Bristol to Weston-super-Mare, so Worle will continue to be served by diesel trains.[41] This could entail the removal of direct London services, as electric trains would not be able to operate beyond Bristol.[42] Services could however continue using bi-mode trains.[43] The group Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways supports the electrification continuing to Weston,[44][45] as does MP for Weston-super-Mare John Penrose.[42][46]

Worle is on the Weston-super-Mare/Yate corridor, one of the main axes of the Greater Bristol Metro, a rail transport plan which aims to enhance capacity in the Bristol area. The plan calls for longer and newer trains to prevent overcrowding.[47][48]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b OS Landranger Map 182 – Weston-super-Mare. Southampton: Ordnance Survey. 2011. ISBN 978-0-319-22860-9. 
  2. ^ a b c "Station facilities for Worle (WOR)". National Rail Enquiries. Association of Train Operating Companies. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Pickstock, H (27 February 2013). "Staff allowed back to work after "bomb threat" forced evacuation of Weston-super-Mare offices". Bristol Post (Local World). Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Baker, S.K. (2010). Rail Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland (12th ed.). Ian Allan. ISBN 978-0-86093-632-9. 
  5. ^ a b Deaves, Phil. "Engineers' Line References: MLN1 Paddington to North Road Junction". Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Network Capability – Baseline Declaration: (1) Track and Route mileage: (2) Line-speeds: Western Route". Network Rail. 1 April 2009. p. 56. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Central 4: Guide to train times 8 December 2013 to 17 May 2014 – Cardiff and Bristol to Weston-super-Mare and Taunton". First Great Western. November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Central 6: Guide to train times 8 December 2013 to 17 May 2014 – Bristol tp Severn Beach". First Great Western. November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Central 1: Guide to train times 8 December 2013 to 17 May 2014 – London to Bristol, Cheltenham Spa and South Wales". First Great Western. November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  10. ^ Miles, Tony (December 2010). "LOROL Class 150s all with FGW". Modern Railways (London: Key Publishing). p. 90. 
  11. ^ Salveson, Paul (June 2012). "Severn Beach: Not your typical branch line!". In Abell, Paul. Today's Railways (Sheffield: Platform 5) (126): pp. 42–47. 
  12. ^ a b "February 2007". Cardiff and Avonside Railway Society. February 2007. Retrieved 13 May 2012. "The station platforms [at Worle] are to be extended to accommodate First/GW HST trains from December 2007, with the newly introduced partial door opening system which does see regular daily use at other North Somerset stations at Yatton and Nailsea & Backwell." 
  13. ^ "Timetable: Scotland, the North East to the South West and South Coast; 11 December 2011 to 13 May 2012". CrossCountry. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  14. ^ "Timetable 24: London Paddington to Bath Spa, Bristol, Weston-super-Mare and South Wales; 14 May to 8 December 2012". First Great Western. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  15. ^ MacDermot, E.T. (1931). History of the Great Western Railway, vol. II: 1863–1921. London: Great Western Railway. pp. 133–4, 617. OCLC 55853736. 
  16. ^ a b c Oakley, Mike (2002). Somerset Railway Stations. Wimbourne: Redcliffe Press. ISBN 1-904349-09-9. 
  17. ^ Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 26. ISBN 1-8526-0508-1. OCLC 60251199. 
  18. ^ BristleGWR (23 January 2008). "File:Worle3.jpg (Photograph of plaque outside Worle station)". The Bristol Railway Archive. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  19. ^ Frith, Malcolm (November 1999). "Track record: West and South-West". BBC. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  20. ^ "Wales and West". Wales and West. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  21. ^ "Wessex Trains". The Iron Road: Railway Photography by Scott Borthwick. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  22. ^ "FirstGroup wins rail franchises". BBC News (BBC). 13 December 2005. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  23. ^ a b "First Great Western bids for longer rail franchise deal". BBC News (BBC). 11 May 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  24. ^ "Weston-super-Mare and M5 junction 21 plans approved". BBC News (BBC). 26 November 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  25. ^ a b "Major Roadworks to Start in Weston". BBC News (BBC). 28 March 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  26. ^ "£15m project starting soon to tackle Weston's traffic congestion". Bristol Post (Local World). 1 April 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  27. ^ "Reptiles Make Way for Railway". Bristol Post (Local World). 29 August 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  28. ^ "Train station car park opens". Weston, Worle and Somerset Mercury (Archant Community Media). 3 September 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  29. ^ "Vandals threw rocks at driver after he stopped to clear concrete from line". This is Bristol (Local World). 24 February 2010. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  30. ^ "Did you see this man threaten train guard". This is Bristol (Local World). 16 December 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  31. ^ "Weston to Bristol train 'abuse' pair image released". BBC News (BBC). 16 June 2010. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  32. ^ "Hunt for two men over Bristol train conductor attack". This is Bristol (Local World). 2 December 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  33. ^ "Tyre-slasher strikes in car park". BBC News (BBC). 12 December 2006. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  34. ^ "Man beaten after challenging gang". BBC News (BBC). 6 November 2008. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  35. ^ Haigh, Philip (18 April 2012). "First leads a field of seven bidding for rail franchises". RAIL (Peterborough: Bauer Media) (694): pp. 8–9. 
  36. ^ "Great Western franchise to be extended". Railnews. 19 July 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  37. ^ "New Great Western franchise to deliver new express trains" (Press release). Department for Transport. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  38. ^ "Great Western London to south Wales rail contest scrapped". BBC News (BBC). 31 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  39. ^ "First celebrates last-minute Great Western deal". Railnews. 3 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  40. ^ "First Great Western retains Wales and west rail franchise". BBC News (BBC). 3 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  41. ^ "Bristol to London line to be electrified". This is Bristol (Northcliffe Media). 23 July 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  42. ^ a b "Weston's rail commuter services could be cut, warns town's MP" (Press release). John Penrose MP. 17 July 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  43. ^ Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways. "Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways' response to Network Rail's Great Western Route Utilisation Strategy". Network Rail. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  44. ^ "Benefits of Bristol to London high-speed rail link 'must go beyond just mainline'". This is Bristol (Northcliffe Media). 3 March 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  45. ^ "FoSBR Newsletter" (78). Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways. Autumn 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  46. ^ "MP takes drive for better rail services to top". This is Bristol (Local World). 29 October 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  47. ^ White, James (13 March 2009). "Item 04: Greater Bristol Metro". West of England Partnership. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  48. ^ "A campaign to revolutionise Bristol's local rail service that could see trains from Temple Meads serving all local stations every half hour is being launched today". This is Bristol (Northcliffe Media). 17 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012.