Wessex Trains Alphaline – Now 55 Minutes Late

Well, the pictures tell the story. This was the sign on Bristol Temple Meads station this Friday night at 18:47pm. Train scheduled for 18:22 but not expected to arrive until 19:08. It actually left Temple Meads at 19:17 – 55 minutes late. The interior picture shows the usual overcrowding.

You can’t really see in this small picture, but the poor guy with the refreshments trolley was jammed against the far left door. It caused some amusement when he started selling his wares by people passing (and even throwing) money and packets of crisps up and down the carriage.

Incidentally, I must thank the nice young chap in the black jumper who got me a seat at one point. Maybe I’m beginning to look my age and frankly I wasn’t sure whether to be pleased or annoyed, but I accepted gratefully and did get a seat for half the journey. Maybe age has its compensations!

Seriously though, this is beyond a joke. Not only was this two coach train again packed to unsafe levels, but by it being 56 minutes late, (which became and hour and ten minutes late by Southampton) I missed two connections at Southampton Central and reached Poole over an hour and a half later than I should have.

Wessex Trains – same question! Reply to me and I’ll post your words here.

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Wessex Trains Again – Around 400 Passengers in 2 Coaches!


I thought two weeks ago was bad, but have a look at last night’s picture. This is a disgrace!

This is again the Friday night Wessex Trains AlphaLine service from Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour via Bristol and Southampton. As you can just about make out in the dingy lighting, there were people sitting in the aisles with their feet under the seats on either side – because you can squash more people in that way. I counted as best as I could – and there were 147 people visible to me in the coach I was packed into.

When the train reached Bath Spa, many people who had been waiting there for the (by now well-delayed) train simply could not get on. One man with a bike had no chance, as even the space reserved for a mere two bicycles was packed with five people and there was simply nowhere else for them to go.

Local Liberal Democrat MP Sandra Gidley (Click Here) would NOT be pleased! She has already had occasion to take Wessex Trains to task on this subject.

Wessex Trains, I repeat this is not good enough; two coaches are grossly insufficient for a Friday night commuter train linking four major UK cities: Cardiff, Bristol, Southampton and Portsmouth ! This train should consist of a minimum of four carriages. So, what are you going to do about it?

My last post on this subject was read by over 1,700 people by the way, so perhaps you would like to answer me? I repeat I will gladly publish any reply you care to send. Click the Feedback link at the top of the page to get in touch. Similarly, if you also were a passenger on the train and wish to comment, please do!

Wessex AlphaLine Trains – They’re NOT “Getting There”!

For the past 9 or 10 weeks I have travelled every Friday evening on the 18:22 Wessex trains, “AlphaLine” service from Bristol Temple Meads to Southampton, where I change trains to Poole.




This train links two major cities and is timed to catch the commuter traffic at the end of the week. The first time I caught this train, just two carriages turned up. It was alreay packed – having already come down from Cardiff Central. There must have been around 120-140 people waiting at Bristol. Needless to say, it was crowded well beyond merely “packed”! At the time, I thought this must be an abberation – a short train because of some fault somewhere. Now I know this is not the case!




Every week without fail, the same two coach train arrives to accommodate around (I estimate) 500 passengers. Now is the time I start complaining! I took the above picture last night. I personally was wedged between the two carriages in the corridor. There were people standing throughout the train and all the gangways and passageways were crammed with people and luggage; yet we were all paying full price for this journey!




Wessex Trains – this is not good enough! I expect a seat at least most of the time, but every week without is taking the mickey. The profit you guys must be making on this trip; you lay on two carriages and take around 500 full fares!




The announcement at the station reports “There is a trolley service of drinks and light refreshments on this train” and yes, the man and his trolley are there alright but the chance of him moving down the train is zero. I happened to be wedged in near him last week and he reports he has never once managed to move through the train until at least Salisbury.




I could go on to speak about the safety angle but frankly the thought scares me. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions from the picture.




If you wish to comment, Wessex Trains, I’ll gladly post your reply here!