Coffee Shop Old Home Page

30th October 2021 • updated 8th and 22nd November and 5th December 2021

Not the front page you expect? Our regular front page has been changed (go there) while we support the campaign asking that the Department for Transport to
Continue to run through trains from Bristol to Waterloo via Trowbridge
Services will CEASE after 10th December - details at

Although the services will cease from 11.12.2021, you can still add your support for change next year.
Looking to sign the petition? - Link here (Government site)
Looking to send a letter to your MP? - Link here (we provide a tuned template)
Looking to read more before you sign or write? - Link here

Looking for a campaign update? - Link 17 Oct 21, 7 Nov 21, 22 Nov 21 and 5 Dec 21
Looking for a case summary? - Link here
Looking for a petition update? - Link here

Looking for our main forum? - Link here (Our regular site)
Looking to contact the Coffee Shop team? - Link here

This campaign is an association between user groups covering the regions which is set to lose services.
Friends of Bristol Suburban RailwaysTwo Tunnels
West Wiltshire Rail User GroupRailfuture (Severnside)
TraveWatch SouthWest(this) Coffee Shop Forum

This is web site run by Great Western Railway (Formerly First Great Western) customers and for Great Western and other Railway and bus company Customers.

Looking for our main forum? - Link here (Our regular site)

Looking for historic posts?
Jump to from

YOU, Dear Reader, are very welcome indeed to register with the forum, ask questions, and provide comment and answers on and relating to transport at travel. It's free to register and contribute - we only ask for a few details to ensure the forum's kept roughly on topic, and so that our admin team can reach you in an emergency. Please register here.

This site was originally set up in January 2007, at something of a low point for rail travel in the South West. In the Bristol area, 3 car trains had been reduced to 2 cars, services slashed by up to 60%, and even on those changes reliability of what remained had plummeted as trains no longer required had been withdrawn from the area. The attitude seemed to be that local and regional trains were an evil necessity that got in the way of long distance expresses, and if you put off some passengers it didn't really matter as the trains were full anyway, and there war plenty more fist in the sea.

How things have changed, and very much for the better.

It is indeed sensible to review provision at times, but the December 2006 changes were predicated on a growth rate of under 1% per annum from 2003 / 2004 figures, when the actual growth turned out to be 8% per annum compound. So when cuts were made, the exact opposite should have been happening. And over the seven years from December 2006, slowly, most individual lines and case has been considered and adjusted to better meet the needs as they have turned out. Highlights include services such as Severn Beach, Falmouth, and Barnstaple ... restrengthening of Cardiff - Portsmouth, and of all 125 expresses too, and most recently the provision of extra trains on the Transwilts line from Swindon to Westbury.

To a degree, this forum has turned from being a protest site into a co-operative site. It's very much run by Great Western customers - however, it's now very much a team effort with train users, staff, newcomers to rail all contributing and wanting to pull along in the same direction. We can (and do) encourage lively debate, and the sharing of knowledge - views can and will differ. Those of us who know little about trains will continue to make "silly suggestions" - simply because we don't know they're silly. But that leaves us all better informed, and with a real resource, so that we can help - in our own very small way - to help bring understanding, better suggestions, and a very positive common approach as we move forward.

Writing in December 2013 (update overdue - August 2018!), we look forward to the completion of works at Reading, Crossrail, Electrification and with it new trains, a new management operation / franchise in 2 years from now and a further one beyond that, to East - West Rail, to redoubling of lines and extra capacity of passing loops and platforms, and indeed to lines reopening to places like Tavistock. Exciting times ahead.

If you are a newcomer here, please take a look at our forum - it's here. Almost all of the content is public readable, and we encourage YOU to sign up for a free account (we have to get signups to look after copyright and spam issues!)

Contact details

This site is maintained by the team at the Great Western Coffee Shop Forum to whom all queries should be addressed

Great Western Coffee Shop Forum

17 years, 3342 members, 25964 topics, 344634 individual posts. Our forum is lively and active - and friendly too. It's run by passengers, for passengers. Visit us at

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