Ashchurch and Tewkesbury District Rail Promotion Group

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Posted by ATDRPG Support Ashchurch station on December 2, 2016 at 3:55 AM





Welcome to the November edition of ATDRPG Matters. This will the last issue of 2016 so therefore we would like to this opportunity to wish you and your family a Happy Christmas and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

Our next Open Meeting will be held on Friday 2nd December 7 for 7.30 in the Elmbury Room at Tewkesbury Library GL20 5NX. Our Guest speaker for the evening is Richard, Lord Faulkner of Worcester introducing his latest book ‘Disconnected’– looking at lines /routes that have been lost and some of the political games behind the scenes.

Complimentary light refreshments to be served beforehand.




In the three months since the last meeting, there has been actual progress and promise of future developments. Your committee has remained busy behind the scenes, not least with preparations for a leaflet regarding possible changes at the station and, also, for the building of a shed/signal box at the garden. Here are some of the more important events:

9 September 2016 – the judge finally came to look at the station garden for ACoRP’s competition. A little late in the season but our bed holders had all worked hard to make sure that their planters were still looking good and he seemed suitably impressed. They are again to be congratulated on their efforts and continued enthusiasm.

29 September 2016 – John and Richard attended ACoRP’s Awards Dinner in Southport, to discover whether we had won anything from our garden’s entry. GWR had sponsored our presence at the dinner and the overnight accommodation and we are very grateful to them for that support. We were honoured to be on GWR’s table, along with Mark Hopwood, the company’s MD. We were pitted against 16 other entries and we were delighted to receive a Silver Award. The certificate for this is on show at the station and in our notice board at Cheltenham Spa station.

13 October 2016 - the footfall count was on a dull and chilly Thursday, but it was pleasing to see the numbers rising from recent counts and the day still showed numbers in excess of the official ones for the station. As several our regulars were away, for various reasons, it was gratifying to have two of our time slots filled by new volunteers. They all survived (!) and we look forward seeing them again. Perhaps this might encourage others to also take part in future. The next one is on Friday, 9 December.

16 October 2016 – four individuals leading the project to construct a shed in the form of a signal box, at the northern end of the garden, visited Oddingley box, on the Bristol-Birmingham main line, that was due to close two weeks later. Various measurements and photographs were taken to aid the project.

17 October 2016 – the first meeting was held on site at the garden, by the four individuals leading the signal box project, to discuss the practicalities and needs of the proposed project. The way forward was beginning to take shape.

Looking ahead – February 2017 –A Roundtable meeting arranged to meet with industry and other stakeholders.

3 March 2017 – the next meeting’s speaker has not yet been finalised, but we are working on several avenues for an interesting evening. Thank you.



Cause for Concern? We have received a "consultation document" from Cross Country Trains which details some significant changes to their services from December 2017. They propose to withdraw all calls on their services at Bromsgrove. This affects commuters who use the "split ticket" option for journeys between Ashchurch for Tewkesbury and University / Birmingham New Street. We shall be objecting to these proposals, as among the "small print" is the information that the 17.30 service from Birmingham New Street which is currently a 3 car train, will be just two cars, totally unsuitable for a peak hour commuter service from Birmingham to Ashchurch for Tewkesbury, Cheltenham Spa and Gloucester. More details will be provided at our meeting.


Even before the enormity of my revelation that the average train fare is only £5.47 (annual revenue £9.3 billion for 1.7 billion passenger journeys) has sunk in, the explanation has emerged – courtesy of ‘You and Yours’ on BBC 4. Apparently there is a conspiracy to bring down the Government and destabilise the economy by flooding the country with forged rail tickets. So not only can we not trust the currency to be genuine but the cut-price rail ticket bought on-line for a fraction of its true price may turn out to be a fake. According to the BBCs fake ticket expert, the forgeries look quite realistic but do not have the metallic strip which should enable them to be read at ticket barriers (no they haven’t got to Ashchurch for Tewkesbury Station yet). This should mean that holders of forged tickets are detained at the barrier where the deception will quickly be detected and the miscreant apprehended. However so many valid tickets also get rejected by the barriers that the staff who man them generally wave passengers through and the BBC reporter (who had of course purchased both a forgery and the appropriate genuine ticket before “testing the system”) was never challenged when presenting a fake for manual examination.

When asked about the revenue loss caused by forgeries, a figure of £200 million was suggested by the industry spokesman. If this is based on numbers of tickets actually inspected, we can reasonably assume the true total to be significantly higher since most tickets spend their entire life unexamined. The people behind the forgeries claim they are not doing it for financial gain but to bring the railway back into public ownership so we have to take them seriously. Clearly we must either move quickly to hologramed plastic tickets with iris or finger print recognition software, or do away with physical tickets altogether in favour of a virtual, online permit to travel which will start debiting your bank account the moment you board a train and only stop when you either get off or run out of money.

DEREK POTTER November 2016

Passenger Count/Information Day. The next scheduled ‘passenger count’ day is for Friday 9th Dec. when members and supporters will be in attendance offering group information and travel advice too.


***New addition to the timetable-come and join us***

On Sunday 11th December the new service from Bristol Temple Meads to Worcester Shrub Hill will be calling at Ashchurch for Tewkesbury station at 10.30. We are inviting potential passengers to join us on its inaugural journey to Worcester. Group Save prices would apply.


It is with regret that we inform you that since the last edition, the group has lost two much respected supporters.

Councillor and former Chairman of Northway Parish Council, Steve Cooper passed away in October. Always willing to get involved in any activity and support the Groups aims.

Mr Peter Kearney passed away in November. Peter played a major part in the campaign for the opening of a station for Tewkesbury at Ashchurch, almost 20 years ago, for that we give thanks.


*Produced and Published in good faith by ATDRPG, as always please check all details before you travel. Contact details; web -; e-mail - [email protected]; facebook Tewkesbury Ashchurch Rail atdrpg. Thank you for reading, please consider the environment and redistribute. Rail related articles, letters etc. suitable for future issues welcome. Editors’ decision is final.


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