Reading railway station
Reading railway station is a major transport hub in Reading, England. It is on the northern edge of the town centre, near the main retail and commercial areas and the River Thames, 36 miles from London Paddington. Reading is the ninth-busiest station in the UK outside London, the second busiest interchange station outside London, with over 3.8 million passengers changing trains at the station annually. Reading is one of 19 stations managed by Network Rail; the station is served by three train operating companies: Great Western Railway, CrossCountry and South Western Railway. The first Reading station was opened on 30 March 1840 as the temporary western terminus of the original line of the Great Western Railway; the time taken to travel from London to Reading was reduced to one hour and five minutes, less than a quarter of the time taken by the fastest stagecoach. The line was extended to its intended terminus at Bristol in 1841; as built, Reading station was a typical Brunel-designed single-sided intermediate station, with separate up and down platforms situated to the south of the through tracks and arranged so that all up trains calling at Reading had to cross the route of all down through trains.
In 1844, the Great Western Hotel was opened across the Forbury Road for people visiting the town. It is thought to be the oldest surviving railway hotel in the world. New routes soon joined the London to Bristol line, with the line from Reading to Newbury and Hungerford opening in 1847, the line to Basingstoke in 1848. Between 1865 and 1867, a station building, built of buff bricks from Coalbrookdale with Bath Stone dressings, incorporating a tower and clock, was constructed for the Great Western Railway. Sources differ as to. In 1898 the single sided station layout was replaced by a conventional design with'up','down' and'relief' platforms linked by a pedestrian subway. Access to the station from Broad Street was not direct, until Queen Victoria Street was built in 1903; this provided a route through to Station Road. The station was named Reading and became Reading General on 26 September 1949 to distinguish it from the neighbouring ex-South Eastern Railway station; the "General" suffix was dropped from British Rail timetables in 1973, but some of the station nameboards still stated "Reading General" in 1974.
The juxtaposition of the two stations meant that the town's buses showed the destination'Stations'. From 6 September 1965, services from the former Reading Southern station were diverted into a newly constructed terminal platform in the General station; this was long enough for a single eight coach train, found to be inadequate, so a second terminal platform serving the same line was opened in 1975 for the commencement of the service from Reading to Gatwick Airport. In 1989 a brand new station concourse was opened by InterCity, including a shopping arcade named after Brunel, opened on the western end of the old Reading Southern station site, linked to the platforms of the main station by a new footbridge. At the same time a new multi-level station car park was built on the site of the former goods yard and signal works to the north of the station, linked to the same footbridge; the station facilities in the 1860s station building were converted into The Three Guineas public house. The Queen reopened the station on 4 April 1989.
By 2007, the station had become an acknowledged bottleneck on the railway network, with passenger trains needing to wait outside the station for a platform to become available. This was caused by limited number of through-platforms, the flat junctions east and west of the station and the need for north-south trains to reverse direction in the station; the Great Western Main Line at Reading has two pairs of tracks – the Main lines on the southern side and the Relief lines on the northern side. Trains transferring between the Relief lines and the lines that run through Reading West had to cross the Main lines; those trains slow-moving freight trains, blocked the paths of express trains. In July 2007, in its white paper Delivering a Sustainable Railway, the government announced plans to improve traffic flow at Reading mentioned along with Birmingham New Street station as "key congestion pinch-points" which would share investment worth £600 million. On 10 September 2008 Network Rail unveiled a £400 million regeneration and reconfiguration of the station and surrounding track to reduce delays.
The following changes were made: Five new platforms: Four new through platforms on the northern side and an extra bay platform for the Wokingham lines. A new footbridge on the western side of the station, replacing the 1989 footbridge; this included a new entrance on the southern side, for ticket holders only. A new street-level entrance and ticket office on the northern side of the station; the original subway was converted into a pedestrian underpass between the two sides of the station, with no access to the platforms. Making the Cow Lane bridge under the tracks two-way with a cycle path. A flyover to the west of the station for trains to allow fast trains to cross over the lines to Reading West, replacing the flat junction. A section of track beneath the flyover to provide a connection between Reading West and the relief lines; the redevelopment was designed to provide provision for future Crossrail and Airtrack services at Reading station. The improvements have allowed capacity for at least 4 extra trains in each direction every hour and 6 extra freight trains a day.
The local council has planned developments of the surrounding area in association with the developments a
Great Western Railway (train operating company)
First Greater Western Limited, trading as Great Western Railway, is a British train operating company owned by FirstGroup that operates the Greater Western railway franchise. It manages 197 stations and its trains call at over 270. GWR operates long-distance inter-city services along the Great Western Main Line to and from South West England and South Wales, as well as the Night Riviera sleeper service between London and Penzance, it provides commuter/outer-suburban services from its London terminus at Paddington to West London, the Thames Valley region including parts of Berkshire, parts of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. GWR was due to begin operating the Heathrow Express service under a management contract on behalf of Heathrow Airport Holdings from August 2018; the company began operating in February 1996 as Great Western Trains, as part of the privatisation of British Rail. In December 1998 it became First Great Western after FirstGroup bought out its partners' shares in Great Western Holdings.
In April 2006, First Great Western, First Great Western Link and Wessex Trains were combined into the new Greater Western franchise and brought under the First Great Western brand. The company adopted its current name and a new livery in September 2015 to coincide with the start of an extended franchise, due to run until April 2020; as part of the privatisation of British Rail, the Great Western InterCity franchise was awarded by the Director of Passenger Rail Franchising to Great Western Holdings in December 1995 and began operations on 4 February 1996. Great Western Holdings was owned by some former British Rail FirstBus and 3i. In March 1998, FirstGroup bought out its partners' stakes to give it 100% ownership. In December 1998, the franchise was rebranded as First Great Western. On 1 April 2004, First Great Western Link commenced operating the Thames Trains franchise, it operated local train services from Paddington to Slough, Henley-on-Thames, Didcot, Newbury, Worcester, Hereford and Stratford upon Avon.
It operated services from Reading to Gatwick Airport, from Reading to Basingstoke. On 1 April 2006, the Great Western, Great Western Link and Wessex Trains franchises were combined into a new Greater Western franchise. FirstGroup, National Express and Stagecoach were shortlisted to bid for this new franchise. On 13 December 2005, it was announced. First planned to subdivide its services into three categories based on routes. Following feedback from staff and stakeholders, the decision was taken to re-brand and re-livery all services as'First Great Western'. In May 2011, FirstGroup announced that it had decided not to take up the option to extend its franchise beyond the end of March 2013. FirstGroup stated that, in the light of the £1bn plan to electrify the Great Western route from London via Bristol to Cardiff, it wanted to try to negotiate a longer-term deal. CEO Tim O'Toole said: "We believe we are best placed to manage these projects and capture the benefits through a longer-term franchise."By not taking up the option to extend its original franchise contract for a further three years, FirstGroup avoided having to pay £826.6m to the government.
In March 2012 Arriva, FirstGroup, National Express and Stagecoach were shortlisted to bid for the new franchise. The winner was expected to be announced in December 2012, with the new franchisee taking over in April 2013; the ITT ran from the end of July until October 2012. The winner would have been announced in March 2013, taken on the franchise from 21 July 2013 until the end of July 2028; the new franchise would include the introduction of new Intercity Express Trains, capacity enhancements and smart ticketing. The award of the franchise was again delayed in October 2012, while the Department for Transport reviewed the way rail franchises are awarded. In January 2013, the government announced that the current competition for the franchise had been terminated, that FirstGroup's contract had been extended until October 2013. A two-year franchise extension until September 2015 was agreed in October 2013, subsequently extended until March 2019. A further extension to April 2019 was granted in March 2015.
The refurbishment of first class carriages in 2014 included interiors that featured a new GWR logo and no First branding. The whole company was rebranded as Great Western Railway on 20 September 2015 and introduced a green livery in recognition of the former Great Western Railway; the new livery was introduced when HST interiors were refurbished, on sleeper carriages and Class 57/6 locomotives. Great Western Railway is the primary train operator in Devon, Somerset, Berkshire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire. Great Western Railway operates commuter services between London and destinations such as Slough, Reading, Oxford, Bedwyn, Hereford and Banbury. There are services between Reading and Basingstoke. Trains run on various north-south routes from Cardiff and Worcester to Taunton, Salisbury, Southampton and Brighton. Many of these run via Bristol; the company runs trains on local routes including branch lines in Devon and Cornwall, such as the Looe, Newq
Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives by wheel arrangement, 4-6-0 represents the configuration of four leading wheels on two axles in a leading bogie, six powered and coupled driving wheels on three axles and no trailing wheels. In the mid 19th century, this wheel arrangement became the second most popular configuration for new steam locomotives in the United States of America, where this type is referred to as a Ten-wheeler; as a locomotive pulling trains of lightweight all wood passenger cars in the 1890-1920s, it was exceptionally stable at near 100 mph speeds on the New York Central's New York to Chicago Water Level Route and on the Reading Railroad's Camden to Atlantic City, NJ, line. As passenger equipment grew heavier with all steel construction, heavier locomotives replaced the Ten Wheeler. During the second half of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries, the 4-6-0 was constructed in large numbers for passenger and mixed traffic service.
A natural extension of the 4-4-0 American wheel arrangement, the four-wheel leading bogie gave good stability at speed and allowed a longer boiler to be supported, while the lack of trailing wheels gave a high adhesive weight. The primary limitation of the type was the small size of the firebox. In passenger service, it was superseded by the 4-6-2 Pacific type whose trailing truck allowed it to carry a enlarged firebox. Prussia and Saxonia however went directly to the 2-8-2 Mikado type. For freight service, the addition of a fourth driving axle created the 4-8-0 Mastodon type, rare in North America, but became popular on Cape gauge in Southern Africa; the 4-6-0T locomotive version was a far less common type. It was used for passenger duties during the first decade of the twentieth century, but was soon superseded by the 4-6-2T Pacific, 4-6-4T Baltic and 2-6-4T Adriatic types, on which larger fire grates were possible. During the First World War, the type was used on narrow gauge military railways.
In 1907, five 6th Class locomotives of the Cape Government Railways were sold to the 3 ft 6 in Benguela Railway. These included one of the Dübs-built locomotives of 1897 and two each of the Neilson and Company and Neilson and Company-built locomotives of 1897 and 1898. In the mid-1930s, in order to ease maintenance, modifications were made to the running boards and brake gear of the CFB locomotives; the former involved mounting the running boards higher, thereby getting rid of the driving wheel fairings. This gave the locomotives a much more American rather than British appearance. In April 1951, three Class NG9 locomotives were purchased from the South African Railways for the Caminhos de Ferro de Moçâmedes, they were placed in service on the Ramal da Chibía, a 600 mm gauge branch line across 116 kilometres from Sá da Bandeira to Chiange. The locomotives were observed dumped at the Sá da Bandeira shops by 1969 and the branch line itself was closed in 1970. In 1897, three Class 6 4-6-0 locomotives were ordered by the Cape Government Railways from Neilson and Company for use on the new Vryburg to Bulawayo line of the fledgling Bechuanaland Railway Company.
The line through Bechuanaland Protectorate was still under construction and was operated by the CGR on behalf of the BR at the time. The locomotives were returned to the CGR; the Finnish State Railways operated the Classes Hk1, Hk2, Hk3, Hk5, Hv1, Hv2, Hv3, Hv4, Hr2 and Hr3 locomotives with a 4-6-0 wheel arrangement. The Class Hk1, numbers 232 to 241, was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1898; the ten Baldwin locomotives were designated H1 class. Numbers 291 to 300 and 322 to 333 were built by the Richmond Locomotive Works in 1900 and 1901; the 22 Richmond locomotives were designated H2 class and were nicknamed Big-Wheel Kaanari. One of them, no. 293, the locomotive that brought Lenin from exile in August–September 1917 prior to the Russian Revolution, was presented by Finland to the Soviet Union on 13 June 1957 and is preserved at the Finland Station in St. Petersburg, Russia. Another 100 of these locomotives were manufactured in Finland from 1903 to 1916, numbered in the range from 437 to 574 and designated H3 to H8 classes.
The Class Hk5 was numbered from 439 to 515. One, no. 497, is preserved at Haapamäki. The Class Hv1 was built from 1915 by Lokomo, they were nicknamed Heikki and were numbered 545 to 578 and 648 to 655. The class remained in service until 1967. One, no. 555 named Princess, is preserved at the Finnish Railway Museum. The Class Hv2 was built by Berliner Maschinenbau and Lokomo in the years between 1919 and 1926, they were numbered 579 to 593, 671 to 684 and 777 to 780. One, no. 680, is preserved at Haapamäki. The Class Hv3 was built by Berliner and Lokomo in the years from 1921 to 1941, they were numbered 638 to 647, 781 to 785 and 991 to 999. Three Class Hv3 locomotives were preserved, no. 781 at Kerava, no. 995 at Suolahti and no. 998 at Haapamäki. The Class Hv4 was built by Tampella and Lokomo in the years from 1912 to 1933 and were numbered 516 to 529, 742 to 751 and 757 to 760. Two, numbers 742 and 751, are preserved at Haapamäki; the Swedish State Railways sold its Class Ta and Tb locomotives to Finland in 1942.
At the time, they were not in traffic in Sweden and, since they were purchased by Finland, they were not considered as war assistance. The Class Ta was designat
British Railways, which from 1965 traded as British Rail, was the state-owned company that operated most of the overground rail transport in Great Britain between 1948 and 1997. It was formed from the nationalisation of the "Big Four" British railway companies and lasted until the gradual privatisation of British Rail, in stages between 1994 and 1997. A trading brand of the Railway Executive of the British Transport Commission, it became an independent statutory corporation in 1962 designated as the British Railways Board; the period of nationalisation saw sweeping changes in the national railway network. A process of dieselisation and electrification took place, by 1968 steam locomotion had been replaced by diesel and electric traction, except for the Vale of Rheidol Railway. Passengers replaced freight as the main source of business, one third of the network was closed by the Beeching Axe of the 1960s in an effort to reduce rail subsidies. On privatisation, responsibility for track and stations was transferred to Railtrack and that for trains to the train operating companies.
The British Rail "double arrow" logo is formed of two interlocked arrows showing the direction of travel on a double track railway and was nicknamed "the arrow of indecision". It is now employed as a generic symbol on street signs in Great Britain denoting railway stations, as part of the Rail Delivery Group's jointly-managed National Rail brand is still printed on railway tickets; the rail transport system in Great Britain developed during the 19th century. After the grouping of 1923 under the Railways Act 1921, there were four large railway companies, each dominating its own geographic area: the Great Western Railway, the London and Scottish Railway, the London and North Eastern Railway and the Southern Railway. During World War I the railways were under state control, which continued until 1921. Complete nationalisation had been considered, the Railways Act 1921 is sometimes considered as a precursor to that, but the concept was rejected. Nationalisation was subsequently carried out after World War II, under the Transport Act 1947.
This Act made provision for the nationalisation of the network, as part of a policy of nationalising public services by Clement Attlee's Labour Government. British Railways came into existence as the business name of the Railway Executive of the British Transport Commission on 1 January 1948 when it took over the assets of the Big Four. There were joint railways between the Big Four and a few light railways to consider. Excluded from nationalisation were industrial lines like the Oxfordshire Ironstone Railway; the London Underground – publicly owned since 1933 – was nationalised, becoming the London Transport Executive of the British Transport Commission. The Bicester Military Railway was run by the government; the electric Liverpool Overhead Railway was excluded from nationalisation. The Railway Executive was conscious that some lines on the network were unprofitable and hard to justify and a programme of closures began immediately after nationalisation. However, the general financial position of BR became poorer, until an operating loss was recorded in 1955.
The Executive itself had been abolished in 1953 by the Conservative government, control of BR transferred to the parent Commission. Other changes to the British Transport Commission at the same time included the return of road haulage to the private sector. British Railways was divided into regions which were based on the areas the former Big Four operated in. Notably, these included the former Great Central lines from the Eastern Region to the London Midland Region, the West of England Main Line from the Southern Region to Western Region Southern Region: former Southern Railway lines. Western Region: former Great Western Railway lines. London Midland Region: former London Midland and Scottish Railway lines in England and Wales. Eastern Region: former London and North Eastern Railway lines south of York. North Eastern Region: former London and North Eastern Railway lines in England north of York. Scottish Region: all lines, regardless of original company, in Scotland; the North Eastern Region was merged with the Eastern Region in 1967.
In 1982, the regions were abolished and replaced by "business sectors", a process known as sectorisation. The Anglia Region was created in late 1987, its first General Manager being John Edmonds, who began his appointment on 19 October 1987. Full separation from the Eastern Region – apart from engineering design needs – occurred on 29 April 1988, it handled the services from Fenchurch Street and Liverpool Street, its western boundary being Hertford East and Whittlesea. The report, latterly known as the "Modernisation Plan", was published in January 1955, it was intended to bring the railway system into the 20th century. A government White Paper produced in 1956 stated that modernisation would help eliminate BR's financial deficit by 1962, but the figures in both this and the original plan were produced for political reasons and not based on detailed analysis; the aim was to increase speed, reliability and line capacity through a series of measures that would make services more attractive to passengers and freight operators, thus recovering traffic lost to the roads.
Important areas included: Electrification of principal main lines, in the Eastern Region, Birmingham to Liverpool/Manchester and Central Scotland Large-scale dieselisation to replace steam locomotives New passenger and freight rolling stock R
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Stroud railway station
Stroud railway station is a railway station that serves the town of Stroud in Gloucestershire, England. Stroud railway station was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, it was opened on 12 May 1845 with the opening of the Kemble to Gloucester section of the Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway part of the Great Western Railway. For a period between 1886 and 1947 when Stroud had two passenger railway stations, it was known as Stroud Great Western, Stroud Russell Street or Stroud Central. Stroud's second station, Stroud Wallbridge, was the terminus of a short branch line from the Midland Railway's Stonehouse and Nailsworth Railway, freight services were always more important there than passengers. Stroud station is served by Great Western Railway; the station has a ticket office, located on the Swindon bound platform, open for most of the day, seven days a week. Great Western Railway operate services from London Paddington to Gloucester and Cheltenham using InterCity 125 trains, local services from Swindon to Gloucester and Cheltenham using the former Wessex Trains Class 150 two carriage sets.
Trains call hourly each way Mon-Sat, with some additional weekday business peak services. On Sundays, there is a basic hourly service each way but with some two-hour gaps. A history of the Swindon-to-Gloucester line
Cheltenham Spa railway station
Cheltenham Spa railway station is a railway station serving Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, England. Situated on the Bristol-Birmingham main line, it is managed by Great Western Railway and is about one mile from the town centre; the official name of the town is Cheltenham, when the station was renamed in 1925, the London and Scottish Railway chose to add Spa to the station name. The first railway to Cheltenham was the broad-gauge Cheltenham and Great Western Union Railway, authorised by Act of Parliament in 1836, opened between Cheltenham and Gloucester in 1840. In the same year, the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway opened its line between Cheltenham and Bromsgrove, whence trains ran on mixed-gauge tracks to Gloucester. Both railways had their own stations, but the B&GR station, on the edge of the town and was named Lansdown after a housing development in that area, is the only one remaining; the buildings were designed by the architect Samuel Daukes. Opened by the B&GR on 24 June 1840 as Lansdown, it was renamed Cheltenham Spa on 1 February 1925 by the London and Scottish Railway, renamed again as Cheltenham Spa by British Railways at some point after 1 January 1948.
The C&GWUR was taken over by the Great Western Railway in 1844, the B&GR by the Midland Railway in 1846. Within the town, there were three other passenger railway stations: Malvern Road, St James's and Cheltenham South and Leckhampton. Cheltenham Spa Malvern Road West Signal Box, its east equivalent, had the longest namesigns on the GWR. Cheltenham Spa station is served by approx 8 to 12 trains every hour during the daytime on Mondays to Saturdays. Great Western Railway operate approx hourly Cheltenham Spa – Swindon via Gloucester services; some extend through to Didcot Parkway and London Paddington. Great Western Railway operates local services on the Bristol to Gloucester, Cheltenham Spa & Worcester Shrub Hill route; these serve Cheltenham every two hours each way, with some southbound services continuing onwards to Westbury, Weymouth or Brighton. CrossCountry trains serve Cheltenham Spa on three routes, the Cardiff Central to Birmingham New Street/Nottingham service, the longer-distance Penzance/Plymouth – Cheltenham Spa – Glasgow Central, with extensions to Aberdeen, the Bristol Temple Meads – Manchester Piccadilly routes.
All three of these services run hourly each way, giving a net half-hourly service to Bristol Temple Meads and three departures per hour to/from Birmingham New Street. CrossCountry operate a morning service to Stansted Airport as well as summer Saturday trains to Newquay. West Midlands Trains operate the once a week limited service from Birmingham New Street to Gloucester on Friday evenings. Transport for Wales operate hourly with a Maesteg via Bridgend, Cardiff Central and Chepstow to Gloucester & Cheltenham Spa service. In early 2012 Cheltenham Council released a Railway Station concept statement, promoting various enhancements at the station; this was followed in March 2013 by the newly formed Gloucestershire Local Transport Body asking for bids from the local area for transport projects which could be funded in the period 2015 to 2019. The Cheltenham Development Taskforce decided to seek support from the railway industry and key local supporters, to promote a scheme first raised in 2008; this proposed to enhance the station, with new passenger facilities and a new south-facing bay platform to enable terminating London and South Wales services to turn back in the station clear of the mainline rather than having to run empty to the carriage sidings north of the station at Alstone to reverse as at present.
During the development and optioneering phase of the stage 1 LTB submission, it was discovered that to ensure operational flexibility and to provide sufficient capacity, that two new bay platforms were required. This configuration formed the basis of a station regeneration proposal, submitted to the Gloucestershire Local Transport Body for consideration in early March 2013. Following short listing to stage 2, a second funding proposal was submitted on 10 May 2013. Cheltenham Spa Station and the other various transport scheme proposals were all published for public consultation on the LTB website on 13 May 2013. However, in February 2014 the scheme was shelved after both Network Rail and train operator First Great Western refused to back the portion of the proposals relating to the additional platforms, though they were supportive of the need to upgrade other passenger facilities. Mitchell, Vic. Bromsgrove to Gloucester. Middleton Press. Figs. 86–95. ISBN 9781904474739. OCLC 931169432. Mitchell, Vic.
Cheltenham to Redditch. Middleton Press. Figs. 2-9. ISBN 9781904474814. OCLC 851839542