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Journey by Journey => Cross Country services => Topic started by: shadow on January 11, 2008, 10:58:19 pm



Title: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: shadow on January 11, 2008, 10:58:19 pm
Sorry if this is in the wrong area or anything, But i wanted to see what peoples opinions are on something that has been bothering me for a while, since XC took over the cross country franchise. I know this was talked about a little when Graz started a post on the CrossCountry franchise draft timetable consultation ( http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=824.0 (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=824.0))

Anyone who uses/used a Virgin/XC train from anywhere in the SW. What do you think about this idea of taking out the shop out and one of the toilets, and replaceing it with more seating? I can't see it adding much more seating, and the trains in the busy period, would 14 to 20 seats really make much difference?

Also, if they take the shop and replace it with a trolley, how is the trolley going to get though when the train is really busy? Also, the hot food would go. Ok, so they only offer three items of hot food, but from experience when I've not had time to have breakfast, a bacon roll is good enough to fill me up. Also, what about stock and stuff? people could buy all the beer in the first 5 minutes of the journey, then they wouldn't have any till the next 'stock stop'.

And what about when they bring the 5 or so HST's into play? would they get rid of the buffet on those??

Ok, i know these are silly questions, but i just wanted to get people's opinions on the matter.



Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: Graz on January 11, 2008, 11:14:45 pm
I agree, I can't say I used the buffet too often personally, but a trolley service is just inadequate for long distance travel as is the removal of a toilet. I don't agree with the proposals, a few more seats will be gained which is a plus but surely there are other ways of doing that?


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: shadow on January 11, 2008, 11:19:12 pm
Add another charage? Have a 6 charrage instead of 4/5
I know theres been 'chat around the water cooler' about have 10 charage voyager/super voyagers (have to call them mega voyagers or something) Maybe double up a glasgow/dundee etc, and have the second train decouple at which ever stations first, and carry on up?

Ok, maybe some far fetched ideas i guess.


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: Timmer on January 12, 2008, 08:22:56 am
I think getting rid of one of the toilets, even though they smell, is a very bad idea as XC services are more often then not full or overcrowded. If you thought they smell now, just imagine a set with just two toilets on it. I realise that a two car 158 has only one toilet on board but on services operated by 158s passengers tend to travel on them for shorter distances whereas XC passengers in the main are travelling for an average of 2 hours+


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: Conner on January 12, 2008, 09:04:48 am
158's Have two toilets.
And I think Cross Country are really stupid to get rid of the shop, it is usefal and I've never seen a trolley that is adequate before. They won't be able to get through the train.
The removal of the shop and toilet will create luggage space which in turn will free up space for seats as the seats by the old toilet/ old shop will have no windows.


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: devon_metro on January 12, 2008, 09:46:14 am
Add another charage? Have a 6 charrage instead of 4/5
I know theres been 'chat around the water cooler' about have 10 charage voyager/super voyagers (have to call them mega voyagers or something) Maybe double up a glasgow/dundee etc, and have the second train decouple at which ever stations first, and carry on up?

Ok, maybe some far fetched ideas i guess.

If they are going to add more carriages, at least add enough. 8 coach minimum if you ask me.


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: vacman on January 12, 2008, 10:23:30 am
On the subject of trolleys, a lot of passengers would prefer it, particularly the elderly, when we used to have trolleys on the units people were always glad to not have to get out of their seats, particularly on a busy train when someone could nick their seat when they go up to the buffet, with regards to storage, I would have thought that they will use the pantry area in the first class where there are fridges etc. I would miss the bacon rolls though!


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: smokey on January 12, 2008, 11:47:34 am
I thought the Idea on Arriva XC was to remove the Disabled toilet from One Coach and replace with 2 standard toilets and extra seats.

Someone got it wrong when Voyagers were built, they thought Every toilet had to be disabled friendly:

NOT SO, 1 needed in every unit, NOT every Carriage.

The Disabled toilets take up about 1/4 of a carriage


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: vacman on January 12, 2008, 11:54:30 am
I thought the Idea on Arriva XC was to remove the Disabled toilet from One Coach and replace with 2 standard toilets and extra seats.

Someone got it wrong when Voyagers were built, they thought Every toilet had to be disabled friendly:

NOT SO, 1 needed in every unit, NOT every Carriage.

The Disabled toilets take up about 1/4 of a carriage
Nope, they are replacing the buffet area with luggage space and then the luggage space in the saloons will be replaced with seats, remember, theres no windows in the buffet area!


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: devon_metro on January 12, 2008, 11:57:10 am
Disabled toilets are awful, I have problems working out where all the buttons are. Don't see what wrong with a mk3 'closet' toilet.


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: Btline on January 12, 2008, 06:34:46 pm
They are removing one disabled toilet and the shop.

The problem is:

If they have all the luggage space where the shop was, won't this cause security problems- people not seeing their luggage, and won't there be overcrowding were the luggage is? People in Coach A having to go to D to get their luggage at their station.

Can't see it working. people will board the train in their carriage, and have nowhrere (except the pathetic overhead racks) to put their luggage.

People with no reservations will not want to waste time putting their luggage in D- they will want seats!


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: Jim on January 12, 2008, 10:33:45 pm
theres no windows in the buffet area!

About the same view available there as half the seats then!


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: Btline on January 12, 2008, 11:42:16 pm
theres no windows in the buffet area!

About the same view available there as half the seats then!
:D ;D :D ;D

But the voyagers are not as bad as Pendalinos when it come to this. All/most "restricted view" seats on voyagers have some window.
On Pendalinos, some seats have no (or perhaps 1 inch (2.54 cm) of window).



Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: zebedee on January 16, 2008, 09:39:10 am
Interestingly, XC have made the 8:03 train (from Newton Abbot) to Manchester a carriage shorter (4 instead of 5) - I asked why and apparantely Virgin took many of the 5 carriage ones with them.


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: Tim on January 16, 2008, 01:42:34 pm
Two toilets is very bad.  A couple of years ago I travelled on a Scotland - Penzance Voyager from Brum to Bristol TM.  One of the toilets was out of use because it was blocked.  Another was out of use because the stupid sliding door was broken and the other shut itself down near Cheltenham because its tank was full.  As we were putting into Bristol the TM accounced that the stop was for 5 minutes and that there were toilets in the station underpass but that passengers would need to be quick because the train would not wait for them.  As I got off teh train at Bristol, I looked back to see two blokes pissing against the side of the train and thought it was an appropraite comment on such a useless train.


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: shadow on January 16, 2008, 08:26:06 pm
Interestingly, XC have made the 8:03 train (from Newton Abbot) to Manchester a carriage shorter (4 instead of 5) - I asked why and apparantely Virgin took many of the 5 carriage ones with them.


According to wikipedia, so I'm not 100% how accurate this is, there are officially 44 sets of super voyagers.
Currently XC have 23 Class 221 (the super voyagers) and Virgin West Coast have 21.
They also have all 34 Class 220's (Normal Voyagers).
Virgin's west coast fleet is made up mainly of the pendlinos and the other 21 Super Voyagers
usully the penzance/plymouth to scotland services have the 5 carriage super voyagers, whilst newcastle gets a normal voyager. I'm not sure about the other services though, i can only talk about ones i see at Bristol.


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: Conner on January 16, 2008, 10:10:27 pm
Interestingly, XC have made the 8:03 train (from Newton Abbot) to Manchester a carriage shorter (4 instead of 5) - I asked why and apparantely Virgin took many of the 5 carriage ones with them.


According to wikipedia, so I'm not 100% how accurate this is, there are officially 44 sets of super voyagers.
Currently XC have 23 Class 221 (the super voyagers) and Virgin West Coast have 21.
They also have all 34 Class 220's (Normal Voyagers).
Virgin's west coast fleet is made up mainly of the pendlinos and the other 21 Super Voyagers
usully the penzance/plymouth to scotland services have the 5 carriage super voyagers, whilst newcastle gets a normal voyager. I'm not sure about the other services though, i can only talk about ones i see at Bristol.
Penzance-Manchester is Super Voyager. But I think Plymouth-Manchester is Voyager apart from the two Penzance diagramms.


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: shadow on January 16, 2008, 11:55:45 pm
I guess it can also depends on what train sets are at what depot?


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: devon_metro on January 17, 2008, 04:37:46 pm
Silly thing is, Birmingham - Manchester is tilt (5 car)

And yet the ECML route via Sheffield is busier and not tilt, so 220s are more prefered.


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: swlines on January 17, 2008, 06:52:42 pm
Noticed a few comments about making the Voyagers longer...

While that may be the best thing to do (with common sense and what not) in many cases it is no longer practical. Birmingham New Street where many trains now reverse gets busy very easily and as Voyagers can take half a platform it is much easier to get paths there.

In addition, the Voyagers cover the entire network. Reversing at Reading would be problematic for the Bournemouth route as they mainly use the bay platforms opposite the Southern side in the mornings, which can't take any longer than a 5 coach! ;)


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: shadow on January 18, 2008, 06:57:00 pm
I suppose when they bring the 5 HST's into play, things might chance.


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: swlines on January 20, 2008, 09:39:52 am
The CrossCountry HSTs will displace several units and will be doubling up busy trains on the Bournemouth route initially I'm told.


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: devon_metro on January 20, 2008, 10:34:38 am
I was on a Voyager yesterday.

Stank of the toilel in the vesutiable and the window alignment is simply shocking!


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: dog box on January 20, 2008, 10:08:09 pm
Bloody horrible vomit comets


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: swlines on January 21, 2008, 06:10:02 am
I was on a Voyager yesterday.

Stank of the toilel in the vesutiable and the window alignment is simply shocking!

That's because the retention tank was designed as if the train wouldn't be moving... hence why the aircon inlet is right next to it...  ;D ;D

Well, it doesn't move on paper.  ;)


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: Timmer on January 21, 2008, 07:15:18 am
That's because the retention tank was designed as if the train wouldn't be moving... hence why the aircon inlet is right next to it...  ;D ;D

Well, it doesn't move on paper.  ;)

I'm surprised thats not a Health and Safety issue.


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: Doctor Gideon Ceefax on January 22, 2008, 08:48:18 pm
Voyagers are without a doubt the worst long distance stock I have ever travelled on. Overcrowding is often horrendous, it's not too infrequent that passengers are turned away from travelling on them, and the seating is far too upright and uncomfortable. Two four car voyagers actually have less seats than one 2+7 HST.

They don't appear to be overly popular with the staff either, the guard rather than having a guards van or a back cab appears to share a tip up seat in a fairly public area with the stewards, and doesn't actually even have a window to look out of. Indeed I've seen their own staff rammed in vestibules with the punters on a regular basis, as they don't appear to have any proper accomodation for themselves to sit in!

Because of the tapered bodysides, the standing room in vestibles is also far more uncomfortable than other trains. The fixtures and fittings rattle away, which I believe is due to poor design rather than underfloor engines, the 170's, 180's and 158's certainly don't seem anywhere near as bad.

However the increase in frequency was definitely welcome, timekeeping isn't generally that bad, and the onboard staff are superb.


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: Timmer on January 22, 2008, 09:22:41 pm
Welcome to the forum Doctor Gideon Ceefax.


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: Btline on January 22, 2008, 09:37:53 pm
Voyagers are without a doubt the worst long distance stock I have ever travelled on. Overcrowding is often horrendous, it's not too infrequent that passengers are turned away from travelling on them, and the seating is far too upright and uncomfortable. Two four car voyagers actually have less seats than one 2+7 HST.

They don't appear to be overly popular with the staff either, the guard rather than having a guards van or a back cab appears to share a tip up seat in a fairly public area with the stewards, and doesn't actually even have a window to look out of. Indeed I've seen their own staff rammed in vestibules with the punters on a regular basis, as they don't appear to have any proper accomodation for themselves to sit in!

Because of the tapered bodysides, the standing room in vestibles is also far more uncomfortable than other trains. The fixtures and fittings rattle away, which I believe is due to poor design rather than underfloor engines, the 170's, 180's and 158's certainly don't seem anywhere near as bad.

However the increase in frequency was definitely welcome, timekeeping isn't generally that bad, and the onboard staff are superb.

You are right- they are dreadful!

But- why aren't the Mk2 carriages that the new Virgin Trains replaced being put in for FGW.

Andrew Haines said: "we are scouring the land for more rolling stock- it is curently not available."

Yes it is - liar!!!!


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: swlines on January 23, 2008, 04:36:01 am
He's not lying, he's actually correct but just isn't saying the full answer.

Mk2 rolling stock is not 125mph rolling stock and currently the only paths on the fast lines other than the few for Turbos are 125mph. As such, 125mph rolling stock is needed...


Title: Re: A Cross Country Trains Ponder
Post by: smokey on January 23, 2008, 05:48:13 pm
That's because the retention tank was designed as if the train wouldn't be moving... hence why the aircon inlet is right next to it...  ;D ;D

Well, it doesn't move on paper.  ;)

I'm surprised thats not a Health and Safety issue.


As I've said on another post I understand there is a design fault, the waste pipe is ribbed to with stand the external pressure when vacuum operates, the pipe bends are not so leakage occurs if the filler in the bends fails.



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