Could someone from SWR please confirm they are working closely with GWR, in addition to NR, on aligning the timetable changes for May 2019?
At interchange stations such as Reading and Basingstoke timetables don't currently seem to be aligned between the companies to allow customers to join ongoing services without long waits.
I'm particularly concerned about the North Camp and Ash Vale interchange where customers are often left waiting 20 minutes or more for ongoing services on the current timetables.
There also seems to be very little communication between GWR and SWR on a day to day together where delays on one company's trains can affect customers trying to join the trains of the other company.
Given both companies are part of the First Group I would expect them to work very closely together.
There is timetable co-ordination although it isn't apparent at times.
Reading to Basingstoke is quite complex with two passenger operators (GWR and Cross Country) and three regular freight operators. All these movements need to be co-ordinated to fit across junctions at Basingstoke and Reading into other patterns of service beyond this route and the junction margins for signalling safety. There is also the headways to consider (separation of trains). The GWR stopping service takes about 7 minutes longer end to end than a non stop Cross Country service or container train. Therefore it makes sense to let non stop passenger services precede the stopping services.
Any changes to services have to bid into "white space" where no other trains are planned, but in reality there is often consultation between operators before submitting their proposed timetables to Network Rail for validation.
For further information download this link and select train planning rules.