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All across the Great Western territory => Across the West => Topic started by: TaplowGreen on September 15, 2017, 05:46:33 pm



Title: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 15, 2017, 05:46:33 pm
.......in the Friday rush hour.....WTF is going on?


Cancellations to services between London Paddington and Maidenhead
Due to a shortage of train crew between London Paddington and Maidenhead fewer trains are able to run.
Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled. Disruption is expected until 19:30 15/09.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on September 15, 2017, 07:14:26 pm
Union meeting?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 20, 2017, 01:23:00 pm
WTF is going on?

Having done a bit of digging, I think those cancellations (and probably a large slice of other cancellations due to crew shortages across the network) are being caused by the company removing the incentive to do overtime or break Union rules by coming off their shift to cover another.  This is as a result of pressure from the Union following widespread breaking of those union rules.

As an example, previously a driver might be asked to do an hours overtime on a 10 hour shift, but they would get another extra hour of pay as an extra incentive, no rules broken doing that but they are now only getting the hours extra they work and no extra incentive.  Or a driver would be asked to come in to cover a different shift (which does break the 'rules') and again there would be an incentive for them to do that. 

Those incentives are now not being offered, so many drivers are no longer interested in helping out.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 20, 2017, 08:19:30 pm
Very interesting II thanks for the background............a load more cancellations tonight due to crew shortages and this made worse by events at Ealing.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 21, 2017, 07:00:58 am
............lots more cancellations this morning - according to GWRHelp;

"We don't have the specifics as to why drivers are unavailable I'm afraid. There are staff rostered in for the services" -

clearly the instruction to GWR staff is "be ambiguous"


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on September 21, 2017, 09:27:21 am
I wonder whether they've been poached by Norwegian railways?  :P


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: LiskeardRich on September 21, 2017, 09:40:03 am
At least Ryanair can admit its bad management though.

I assume that GWR are recruiting to sort this mess out? I accept an odd day for an anomaly of sickness levels etc, but not daily. If its ongoing training they should have adequate staffing to release others for training.

Are the management not keeping their staff happy? Happy staff will almost always help between them to cover shifts but when morale is low the answer is normally "no".


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on September 21, 2017, 09:53:42 am
Are the management not keeping their staff happy? Happy staff will almost always help between them to cover shifts but when morale is low the answer is normally "no".
From II's post yesterday (see above) and what's been demonstrated every weekend (and weekdays now too) the answer is clearly no.



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: stuving on September 21, 2017, 11:31:49 am
Here's an item that could fit in at least four current threads:

PACA region of France proposes to privatise its railway network (http://www.lefigaro.fr/conjoncture/2016/10/05/20002-20161005ARTFIG00278-la-region-paca-ouvre-ses-trains-regionaux-a-la-concurrence.php). (nothing in English)

The boss of SNCF has admitted that they didn't forecast how many drivers would retire last year and this, and now need to find 1000 extra ones. PACA (Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur) was badly hit by train cancellations as a result, and  has imposed financial penalties on SNCF.

French regions buy rail services from SNCF, often paying well over half the cost. PACA and some neighbours are now saying the bill is too high, and have started the process of looking for another operator to buy services from. This would be based on the open access market model mandated by the EU, and in the case of PACA it could genuinely be cross-border - not just Liguria but Monco too.

Of course this is also a way of putting pressure on SNCF, and a negotiating tactic is probably all it will ever be.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 21, 2017, 02:08:50 pm
In view of these apparently ongoing problems, I have now expanded the heading of this topic.  :o ::)



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: plymothian on September 21, 2017, 02:52:11 pm
WTF is going on?

Having done a bit of digging, I think those cancellations (and probably a large slice of other cancellations due to crew shortages across the network) are being caused by the company removing the incentive to do overtime or break Union rules by coming off their shift to cover another.  This is as a result of pressure from the Union following widespread breaking of those union rules.

As an example, previously a driver might be asked to do an hours overtime on a 10 hour shift, but they would get another extra hour of pay as an extra incentive, no rules broken doing that but they are now only getting the hours extra they work and no extra incentive.  Or a driver would be asked to come in to cover a different shift (which does break the 'rules') and again there would be an incentive for them to do that. 

Those incentives are now not being offered, so many drivers are no longer interested in helping out.

From listening to drivers' moaning (which is most of the time), it is the Union that has brought in rules to stop incentives, not GWR.  A driver CAN extend and get an incentive, but CANNOT get an incentive to work a rest day or change shifts.  Additionally any signed routes or traction that a driver does not have in his/her normally rostered duty must come off their competence card.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 21, 2017, 03:00:21 pm
At least Ryanair can admit its bad management though.

I assume that GWR are recruiting to sort this mess out?

Plenty of trainee drivers currently going through the system, though it takes time especially with a general shortage of instructors, some of whom often drive trains that their trainees won't drive, so much of their shift is wasted.   So the company are certainly guilty of doing too little too late and in a very inefficient way IMHO.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 21, 2017, 03:25:45 pm
What would be really good, and would make a refreshing change, would be a statement from Hopwood apologising & explaining fully and frankly all the issues with lack of drivers, serviceable trains, poor levels of customer service etc and giving a recovery plan for each....that would show decency, leadership  & courage...........I'm not holding my breath.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 21, 2017, 03:50:58 pm
I agree.  Why not email him personally with that very suggestion?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 21, 2017, 03:59:30 pm
I agree.  Why not email him personally with that very suggestion?

May just do that, I'll update all after Christmas when I get a reply (not sure which Christmas that'll be though judging by the speed of GWR replies!).......although to be honest, if he can't do the right thing without being told by a customer, it's a pretty poor reflection of him & the Business he runs.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on September 21, 2017, 04:02:36 pm
Responses from Mark H personally come back quite smartish in my experience - he may of course, pass your query to customer services.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 21, 2017, 04:14:28 pm
Responses from Mark H personally come back quite smartish in my experience - he may of course, pass your query to customer services.

.......in which case the trainee drivers alluded to earlier by II will probably have retired by the time a reply arrives.....


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: chrisr_75 on September 21, 2017, 04:26:09 pm
I agree.  Why not email him personally with that very suggestion?

A TG says, if he needs prompting like that from a disgruntled customer, he really ought to re-consider his future in the service sector.

Like him or loath him, Michael O'Leary has got it spot on this time by holding his hand up and saying 'we made a mistake' and taking the public responsibility. Mr Hopwood, please take note.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: John R on September 21, 2017, 04:29:55 pm
Though it seems as though Mr O'Leary is at increasing war with his pilots over the issue, so maybe that aspect of his tactics should be avoided.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: chrisr_75 on September 21, 2017, 04:50:15 pm
Though it seems as though Mr O'Leary is at increasing war with his pilots over the issue, so maybe that aspect of his tactics should be avoided.

Indeed.

Nevertheless M.O'L has been big enough to stand up in front of the media and his company's AGM and tell them he's made a huge cock up, mostly taking personal responsibility for that problem.

As has been noted elsewhere on the forum, Mr Hopwood seems to have become the invisible man of late, now that things aren't going quite so well to plan.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 21, 2017, 05:35:43 pm
Nevertheless M.O'L has been big enough to stand up in front of the media and his company's AGM and tell them he's made a huge cock up, mostly taking personal responsibility for that problem.

As has been noted elsewhere on the forum, Mr Hopwood seems to have become the invisible man of late, now that things aren't going quite so well to plan.

I am disappointed as well that Mark Hopwood has not made a public apology - even if it was a letter on the seats of trains as had been the case before.  Though had GWR been on the front cover of national newspapers and a lead article on national TV news programmes, like Ryanair have been, I am sure Mark Hopwood would have been forced into doing something.  Had Ryanair been subjected to the fairly low press coverage, mostly small articles in local newspapers, like GWR have been, then I expect Michael O'Leary would have taken a much lower profiled approach.  He's clearly a worried man!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: chrisr_75 on September 21, 2017, 05:51:59 pm
Nevertheless M.O'L has been big enough to stand up in front of the media and his company's AGM and tell them he's made a huge cock up, mostly taking personal responsibility for that problem.

As has been noted elsewhere on the forum, Mr Hopwood seems to have become the invisible man of late, now that things aren't going quite so well to plan.

I am disappointed as well that Mark Hopwood has not made a public apology - even if it was a letter on the seats of trains as had been the case before.  Though had GWR been on the front cover of national newspapers and a lead article on national TV news programmes, like Ryanair have been, I am sure Mark Hopwood would have been forced into doing something.  Had Ryanair been subjected to the fairly low press coverage, mostly small articles in local newspapers, like GWR have been, then I expect Michael O'Leary would have taken a much lower profiled approach.  He's clearly a worried man!

I'm sure M.O'L is indeed a little worried currently! Although a 'marmite' character, his business success in an extremely competitive marketplace cannot be denied and I am sure he will likely turn things around after this slip up, as long as he can do so without alienating his workforce too much.

Mr Hopwood however, has the comfortable umbrella of First Group and a fixed term monopoly position to hide underneath and appears to be doing just that. If the status quo continues at GWR, I can see a few headlines looming on the horizon...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 21, 2017, 05:57:03 pm
......as my dear old Grandad used to say, anyone can run, hide, make excuses or blame others, but it takes a man to stand up & say sorry.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 21, 2017, 06:40:51 pm
......as my dear old Grandad used to say, anyone can run, hide, make excuses or blame others, but it takes a man to stand up & say sorry.

Or the alternative version of "anyone can run, hide, make excuses or blame others, but it takes a desperate man to stand up & say sorry."


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 21, 2017, 07:34:42 pm
......as my dear old Grandad used to say, anyone can run, hide, make excuses or blame others, but it takes a man to stand up & say sorry.

Or the alternative version of "anyone can run, hide, make excuses or blame others, but it takes a desperate man to stand up & say sorry."

Not really. There is dignity in apologising for failure. Much more than can be found in hiding behind the Boardroom door. I know which I'd regard as more desperate.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 21, 2017, 08:22:06 pm
Oh I agree, TG.  Though dignity from Michael O'Leary doesn't seem to have had much effect on this current Ryanair PR disaster.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Birdie100 on September 21, 2017, 08:30:32 pm
An oddity as a result of this - currently sitting on a class 165  of the delayed 20:13 between Paddington and Ealing Broadway and have the entire train to myself. They were only boarding the front carriages until merging the trains. I then  snuck back to the back three coaches all to myself...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on September 21, 2017, 08:36:25 pm
Bith the last two Oxford/Banbury shuttles this evening have been cancelled! That's 25% of services today.
Oh, we list the first one today to a failed train too.
So that's actually 37.5% gone today


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on September 21, 2017, 08:39:29 pm
Bith the last two Oxford/Banbury shuttles this evening have been cancelled! That's 25% of services today.
Oh, we list the first one today to a failed train too.
So that's actually 37.5% gone today
When I saw that earlier today on Journey Check I thought that would get your attention.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on September 21, 2017, 09:18:09 pm
Bith the last two Oxford/Banbury shuttles this evening have been cancelled! That's 25% of services today.
Oh, we list the first one today to a failed train too.
So that's actually 37.5% gone today

I'll happily help you draft a letter to Mr Hopwood.  :P


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on September 21, 2017, 09:30:33 pm
Bith the last two Oxford/Banbury shuttles this evening have been cancelled! That's 25% of services today.
Oh, we list the first one today to a failed train too.
So that's actually 37.5% gone today

I'll happily help you draft a letter to Mr Hopwood.  :P

Could throw in services on the Cardiff to Portsmouth Hbr/Brighton on Sundays as well for good measure


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on September 21, 2017, 09:57:31 pm
I'll get a better response by going to the relevant Director


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on September 22, 2017, 07:54:14 am
06:42 Hereford - Paddington cancelled between Hereford and Worcester Shrub Hill this morning.

Fortunately I'd arrived at Foregate St in sufficient time to catch the preceding London Midland train round to Shrub Hill.

According to realtimetrains,
Quote
This service was cancelled between Hereford and Worcester Shrub Hill due to an issue with the train crew (TG).

According to journeycheck,
Quote
This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.

Which should I believe?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on September 22, 2017, 07:59:13 am
Was there fog in your area? That might have delayed the crews taxi up to HFD, meaning they went to WOS?

Does Realtimetrains show an ECS move from HFD at usual time, or did the stock go direct to WOS?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on September 22, 2017, 09:34:19 am
Apart from the Hereford/Worcesters mentioned above, things seem to be much improved this morning with no cancellations due to train crew shortages.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on September 22, 2017, 11:41:53 am
According to realtimetrains, the 06:42 from Hereford is formed by an empty stock movement from St Philip's Marsh at 04:30, arrive Hereford 06:29. This didn't operate "due to an issue with the train crew".

Judging from the shuffling of stock that I could see at Shrub Hill, the HST that normally sleeps there so as to form the 07:08 departure to Paddington via Cheltenham (and its crew) were used for the 07:32 departure to Paddington via Oxford. The HST was in reverse formation, which is what I'd expect if it was supposed to operate via Gloucester.

The 07:08 via Cheltenham is being shown in realtimetrains as having been cancelled between Shrub Hill and Cheltenham, but operating normally beyond. There's an empty stock movement from St Philip's Marsh (depart 05:10) associated with this.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: BBM on September 22, 2017, 12:07:52 pm
On Thursday evening of last week I was up in London for a show. The most convenient train for me back to Twyford would have been the 2318 PAD-OXF semi-fast but I checked RTT and discovered it was being regularly cancelled "due to an issue with the train crew". Instead I drove and parked in Westfield and used the Tube from there. I've just taken a look at RTT and so far that train's been cancelled every night this week.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 22, 2017, 12:31:00 pm
Yes, the 23:18 is often sacrificed as the driver and train work empty from Oxford at around 9pm, so a driver and carriages can be used for other duties for over three and a half hours with the cancellation of just that one train.  Also, there's the 23:30 fast to Reading which Reading passengers can use.  I think, at that time of night, stops on that 23:30 should be inserted at Slough, Maidenhead and Twyford given the generous running times at that time of night, but I've not observed that to be the case.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on September 22, 2017, 03:19:26 pm
Just one for today so far o the LTV - Maidenhead this evening


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: NickB on September 22, 2017, 05:49:49 pm
On Thursday evening of last week I was up in London for a show. The most convenient train for me back to Twyford would have been the 2318 PAD-OXF semi-fast but I checked RTT and discovered it was being regularly cancelled "due to an issue with the train crew". Instead I drove and parked in Westfield and used the Tube from there. I've just taken a look at RTT and so far that train's been cancelled every night this week.


The 23.18 is quite a vital post-pub train, and is regularly very busy. All I can say is that GwR had better get this mess sorted by the time that Christmas party season starts or they will be needing some extra BTP at Paddington to deal with very frustrated and lively passengers.
Ps. 17.36 to Oxford, rammed in its normal 5 carriage form, is a pleasant 2 carriage squash-fest today - and left passengers on the platform.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Sixty3Closure on September 22, 2017, 06:04:29 pm
The 17.36 is meant to be a 8 car HST. Replacing it with a 5 car turbo would be just about manageable as that's what it use to be. Some people standing but generally folks could get on. The 2 cars though is just a joke and becoming all to frequent.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on September 22, 2017, 06:37:59 pm
No, the 17:36 is diagrammed as a turbo (and has been since 4th September) therefore I'm assuming 5 car as NickB said


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on September 22, 2017, 07:11:19 pm
18:22 Paddington - Hereford cancelled this evening between Shrub Hill and Hereford "due to a shortage of train crew"


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Sixty3Closure on September 22, 2017, 07:45:41 pm
No, the 17:36 is diagrammed as a turbo (and has been since 4th September) therefore I'm assuming 5 car as NickB said

Pretty sure its been a HST last couple of times I've caught it although I've generally been taking advantage of the 17.18 stopping at Twyford again. If it is going to be a 5 car turbo again (in theory) that's a bit of a disappointment.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: NickB on September 22, 2017, 11:20:00 pm
The 17.36 certianly used to be an 8 car HST and needed to be as such. It toyed with being an adelante when an HST was removed for a few weeeks last summer. The 5 car turbo is poor and the 2 car is criminal.

This simply shifts more passengers for maidenhead to the next direct service which is the  perennially overcrowded 18.18 which is a turbo itself and is the worst train of the schedule.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: johoare on September 23, 2017, 11:21:56 am
GWR seem to be gradually removing the HSTs from the Maidenhead timetable.. So having given us extra capacity with the EMUs they are then taking it away again.. Added to that the lack of drivers and therefore train cancellations it feels like one step forward and two steps back currently.. That will teach me to be so optimistic!  ::) :P


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 23, 2017, 11:30:47 am
The 17.36 certianly used to be an 8 car HST and needed to be as such. It toyed with being an adelante when an HST was removed for a few weeeks last summer. The 5 car turbo is poor and the 2 car is criminal.

This simply shifts more passengers for maidenhead to the next direct service which is the  perennially overcrowded 18.18 which is a turbo itself and is the worst train of the schedule.

There's also the 17:49 HST which also usually loads to near/full capacity but is occasionally subbed with a 180 or Turbo.  Stopping on the main line it will often do the run in a very impressive 17 minutes for the 24 miles, though if you're at the back of the queue for the steps then you can add another three minutes before you can get off the platform unless you walk down the ramp to the car park!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on September 23, 2017, 08:28:47 pm
Quote
Yes, the 23:18 is often sacrificed as the driver and train work empty from Oxford at around 9pm.

This practice will stop in January, with what looks like the last service from Greenford and the evening Bourne End shuttle forming at Paddington to create the 23:20 to Oxford


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: NickB on September 23, 2017, 09:48:55 pm
GWR seem to be gradually removing the HSTs from the Maidenhead timetable.. So having given us extra capacity with the EMUs they are then taking it away again.. Added to that the lack of drivers and therefore train cancellations it feels like one step forward and two steps back currently.. That will teach me to be so optimistic!  ::) :P

Could be time to call the PM again. She got the HSTs reinstalled last time FGW tried to ditch them.
Another morning commuter mentioned one of the morning HSTs has been canned recently as well. The 8.02??


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on September 23, 2017, 10:23:20 pm
The former 07:59? service which was an HST has now been replaced by the 08:02 8 car electric service since beginning of the month.

I don't know how busy the HST got but at least you now have a guaranteed seat on that service (when it runs  ;))


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Sixty3Closure on September 24, 2017, 01:45:23 am
Hopefully its only temporary but the 06.53 from Twyford has been only 3 carriages a couple of times this week. Gets a bit cosy and more so by Maidenhead. It was its customary 3-5 minutes late so GWR are keeping some things as before.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 24, 2017, 07:53:10 am
48 cancellations already today, all due to shortage of train crew. Still not a whisper from Hopwood.

I think it's time for fewer "keynote" speeches from him, and more attention to the day to day operation of his business.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on September 24, 2017, 08:18:31 am
48 cancellations already today, all due to shortage of train crew. Still not a whisper from Hopwood.

I think it's time for fewer "keynote" speeches from him, and more attention to the day to day operation of his business.
And stop wasting money on fantasy adverts that show nothing of the reality of travelling GWR at the moment which could go to paying your staff to actually run something passengers pay you to do... trains!

I'd hate to think how much it cost First to run that ad during prime time Saturday night on ITV. No comfort if you were going to be on one of their 48 cancelled or 21 terminating/starting short services today.

Without being able to look back, this looks to be one of the worst Sundays for cancelled/affected services down to train crew. Is this 'unofficial' action (which they are entitled to do) by train crew escalating?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: johoare on September 24, 2017, 09:47:54 am
Yep - the 7.59am HST (8 coaches) and the 8.02am from Henley (5 coaches) which ran non stop from Maidenhead to Paddington have been replaced by one 8 carriage electric train. The 7.59am was probably the busiest HST other than the 7.08am.. I've not tried the 8.02am electric train but I'm pretty sure you won't be guaranteed a seat on it seeing the amount of people who used to use the 7.59am...

I am looking forward to a week of cancellations again since the Electric train drivers have been working this weekend...

As I said - one step forward and two massive ones back. Thanks GWR  - I expect you'll still be happy to take my money when I go to get my new monthly ticket later


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 24, 2017, 11:18:31 am
Without being able to look back, this looks to be one of the worst Sundays for cancelled/affected services down to train crew. Is this 'unofficial' action (which they are entitled to do) by train crew escalating?

I did post in another thread, but the engineering work imposed by NR didn't give enough notice for GWR to issue amended crew diagrams, so in many cases they were relying on staff cooperation.  With incentives to cooperate recently removed at the behest of the union and other things such as West and LTV drivers now being paid much less (circa 8k a year) less than their HSS colleagues, goodwill is unsurprising quite thin on the ground at the moment.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: NickB on September 24, 2017, 11:44:02 am
Yep - the 7.59am HST (8 coaches) and the 8.02am from Henley (5 coaches) which ran non stop from Maidenhead to Paddington have been replaced by one 8 carriage electric train. The 7.59am was probably the busiest HST other than the 7.08am.. I've not tried the 8.02am electric train but I'm pretty sure you won't be guaranteed a seat on it seeing the amount of people who used to use the 7.59am...

I am looking forward to a week of cancellations again since the Electric train drivers have been working this weekend...

As I said - one step forward and two massive ones back. Thanks GWR  - I expect you'll still be happy to take my money when I go to get my new monthly ticket later

Without wanting to go too far off topic, how does GWR get away with slashing services like this?  Who holds them to account and challenges the decision making process? They just seem to come up with an idea and run with it without any thought or consideration, and once it's done it's harder to undo.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on September 24, 2017, 03:25:52 pm
A round trip from Paddington to Hereford cancelled today - 12:42 from Paddington, and 16:34 back from Hereford.

According to JourneyCheck,
Quote
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

According to realtimetrains,
Quote
This service was cancelled throughout due to a planning error (TA).


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on September 24, 2017, 03:29:21 pm
The planning error being that they mistakenly thought drivers would actually turn up on a Sunday


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on September 24, 2017, 03:45:39 pm
Yep - the 7.59am HST (8 coaches) and the 8.02am from Henley (5 coaches) which ran non stop from Maidenhead to Paddington have been replaced by one 8 carriage electric train. The 7.59am was probably the busiest HST other than the 7.08am.. I've not tried the 8.02am electric train but I'm pretty sure you won't be guaranteed a seat on it seeing the amount of people who used to use the 7.59am...

I am looking forward to a week of cancellations again since the Electric train drivers have been working this weekend...

As I said - one step forward and two massive ones back. Thanks GWR  - I expect you'll still be happy to take my money when I go to get my new monthly ticket later

Without wanting to go too far off topic, how does GWR get away with slashing services like this?  Who holds them to account and challenges the decision making process? They just seem to come up with an idea and run with it without any thought or consideration, and once it's done it's harder to undo.

Isn't it covered by Section 7 of the Franchise Agreement?  I think a lot of the blame lays with the client, DfT, for not enforcing it..... ::)
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/first-great-western


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on September 24, 2017, 06:17:25 pm
A round trip from Paddington to Hereford cancelled today - 12:42 from Paddington, and 16:34 back from Hereford.

According to JourneyCheck,
Quote
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

According to realtimetrains,
Quote
This service was cancelled throughout due to a planning error (TA).

The planning error is that they don't have enough crew to run all the trains  ;D ;D

I've travelled today on a Great Western train, a Cross Country train, a Virgin West Coast train and an Arriva  Trains Wales train, and am now on a vehicle run by Irish Ferries.   

Once I departed Bristol (see picture attached), I saw no further signs of last minute cancellations on the departure boards at Birmingham New Street or Crewe ... which rather goes to prove it can be done!



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 25, 2017, 05:56:46 am
Yep - the 7.59am HST (8 coaches) and the 8.02am from Henley (5 coaches) which ran non stop from Maidenhead to Paddington have been replaced by one 8 carriage electric train. The 7.59am was probably the busiest HST other than the 7.08am.. I've not tried the 8.02am electric train but I'm pretty sure you won't be guaranteed a seat on it seeing the amount of people who used to use the 7.59am...

I am looking forward to a week of cancellations again since the Electric train drivers have been working this weekend...

As I said - one step forward and two massive ones back. Thanks GWR  - I expect you'll still be happy to take my money when I go to get my new monthly ticket later

You must be psychic!!!

07:17 Maidenhead to London Paddington due 08:03
07:17 Maidenhead to London Paddington due 08:03 will be started from Ealing Broadway.
It will no longer call at Maidenhead, Burnham, Slough, Langley and West Drayton.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers

06:12 London Paddington to Maidenhead due 06:58
06:12 London Paddington to Maidenhead due 06:58 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: NickB on September 25, 2017, 06:29:23 am
And the 06.40 Maidenhead to Paddington is cancelled.

Useless.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Sixty3Closure on September 25, 2017, 08:49:28 am
Looking forward to my trip home already. Fortunately I have an understanding manager who doesn't mind a bit of flexibility but it must be really tough if you're on a fixed shift or start times.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Jason on September 25, 2017, 09:00:16 am
0734 Didcot Parkway to London Paddington
This service was cancelled throughout due to an issue with the train crew

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/C20004/2017/09/25/advanced (http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/C20004/2017/09/25/advanced)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on September 26, 2017, 10:23:04 am
Out of interest, what will happen to the class 360 drivers? Will they be transferred to crossrail or stay with GWR and operate class 387s?

If the latter then that would be a handful of extra drivers added to the roster pool from May? next year when TFL takes over the Heathrow stoppers.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 26, 2017, 10:29:17 am
The Heathrow Connect drivers are not GWR drivers, they are the same drivers that drive the Heathrow Express trains.  Not sure what will happen to them next year though.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 27, 2017, 05:38:39 pm
Not too many alternative options for shift workers with these two cancelled.......a long, long wait for some.

28/09/17 02:24 Reading to London Paddington due 03:18 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.

28/09/17 03:34 London Paddington to Reading due 04:30 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on September 27, 2017, 09:08:12 pm
How many shifts start at thise times?

All they would carry are those finishing after midnight. Bar workers mainly


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: BBM on September 29, 2017, 09:08:06 am
Not too many alternative options for shift workers with these two cancelled.......a long, long wait for some.

28/09/17 02:24 Reading to London Paddington due 03:18 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.

28/09/17 03:34 London Paddington to Reading due 04:30 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.

I've just been looking at RTT for overnight last night, Down stoppers from PAD at 22:57, 23:49, 01:34, then 05:17 & 06:12 were all cancelled due to "an issue with the train crew". After the 01:34 there's nothing for another 2 hours so presumably taxis were provided?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on September 29, 2017, 10:35:07 am
Crew shortages. What did they expect to happen?  TfL are recruiting all new drivers rather than take them from GWR.
Once CrossRail starts and takes over services from GWR there is a good chance that the current GWR will close. As a result drivers are leaving and who can blame them. They aren’t going to sit and wait to be made redundant.
The whole situation has been handled very poorly considering not that many years ago GWR heavily recruited drivers in the area with the expectation of them being transferred over to CrossRail


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on September 29, 2017, 10:55:03 am
Taking them from GWR would presumably mean TUPEing them on existing T&Cs?

Going out & recruiting them directly means they can be offered the contract TfL/Crossrail want them to have. Who can blame TfL?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 29, 2017, 11:05:32 am
With Boxing Day working included for example.  Along with having to set up a new relationship with unions rather than an existing one established over many decades.

Personally I don't think the situation is quite as bleak as 'a-driver' thinks, but time will tell.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on September 29, 2017, 11:41:07 am
Crew shortages. What did they expect to happen?  TfL are recruiting all new drivers rather than take them from GWR.
Once CrossRail starts and takes over services from GWR there is a good chance that the current GWR will close. As a result drivers are leaving and who can blame them. They aren’t going to sit and wait to be made redundant.
The whole situation has been handled very poorly considering not that many years ago GWR heavily recruited drivers in the area with the expectation of them being transferred over to CrossRail

Why would the "present GWR close" ? Surely GWR will still be running all the non  Crossrail routes and will still need large numbers of drivers to so do.
First group might lose the franchise of course, but that is a separate issue, and the new operator would have to take on the drivers.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 29, 2017, 03:09:17 pm
Peak services out of Paddington being cancelled tonight, looks like mostly 387s........all that money spent on these lovely new trains, but someone forgot they need people to drive them...............


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ray951 on September 29, 2017, 04:01:11 pm
1521 Worcester Shrub Hill to Paddington cancelled due to 'Shortage of Train Crew' according to RTT.
Empty stock running on the same schedule http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/O31084/2017/09/29/advanced (http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/O31084/2017/09/29/advanced), so I assume that is a shortage of guard's.

And the obvious substitute from Oxford the 1611 or 1638 to Marylebone are also cancelled, this is due to a broken down train at Denham.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Jason on September 29, 2017, 04:57:20 pm
And also on the Basingstoke <-> Reading shuttle
http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/C20702/2017/09/29 (http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/C20702/2017/09/29)
http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/C20703/2017/09/29 (http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/C20703/2017/09/29)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: NickB on September 29, 2017, 05:19:14 pm
Are any forum members close enough to gwr to understand if they recognise this as a problem??   Obviously there is no use asking customer services about this as I won't get a reply until crossrail goes live, but it would be reassuring to know that this at least registers as a problem and someone is working on it...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on September 29, 2017, 05:25:59 pm
I notice London - Worcester/Hereford services aren't stopping at Foregate St to due a shortage of station staff. Is this because of a requirement for HSTs to be dispatched by someone on the platform owing to the curve?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on September 29, 2017, 05:28:03 pm
I notice London - Worcester/Hereford services aren't stopping at Foregate St to due a shortage of station staff. Is this because of a requirement for HSTs to be dispatched by someone on the platform owing to the curve?
Got my answer  :)
http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/15567228.Delays_at_Worcester_rail_station_due_to_staff_sickness/

Yes owing to the curvature of the platforms


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on September 29, 2017, 05:35:24 pm
Are any forum members close enough to gwr to understand if they recognise this as a problem??   Obviously there is no use asking customer services about this as I won't get a reply until crossrail goes live, but it would be reassuring to know that this at least registers as a problem and someone is working on it...

The operational team that's trying to schedule the rotas is only too aware there's a problem.   It's recognised as a problem as you get further from the operation team, but the problem becomes muted as you move steps away from the actual team trying to squeeze five cups of tea out of 4 teabags.    Because crew training is a convenient reason (and probably with much more than a grain of truth in it) and next year's training program is 33% down on this year's, the strategists away from the front line may be tempted to see it as a temporary problem, especially when they look at new crew being trained to add to the rotas next year.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 29, 2017, 06:46:39 pm
Are any forum members close enough to gwr to understand if they recognise this as a problem??   Obviously there is no use asking customer services about this as I won't get a reply until crossrail goes live, but it would be reassuring to know that this at least registers as a problem and someone is working on it...

The operational team that's trying to schedule the rotas is only too aware there's a problem.   It's recognised as a problem as you get further from the operation team, but the problem becomes muted as you move steps away from the actual team trying to squeeze five cups of tea out of 4 teabags.    Because crew training is a convenient reason (and probably with much more than a grain of truth in it) and next year's training program is 33% down on this year's, the strategists away from the front line may be tempted to see it as a temporary problem, especially when they look at new crew being trained to add to the rotas next year.

.........strategists? Are you suggesting GWR have some? 😉


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: plymothian on September 29, 2017, 09:50:30 pm
Exeter conductors are being trained to work HSTs as conductors (not the pocket rockets).


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 29, 2017, 10:00:56 pm
A number of tomorrow mornings services to/from Paddington already being cancelled/curtailed.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 29, 2017, 11:30:30 pm
I shall therefore brace myself for the likely need to further expand the heading of this particular topic to include October ...  ::) :o ;D



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on September 30, 2017, 12:40:45 pm
Crew shortages. What did they expect to happen?  TfL are recruiting all new drivers rather than take them from GWR.
Once CrossRail starts and takes over services from GWR there is a good chance that the current GWR will close. As a result drivers are leaving and who can blame them. They aren’t going to sit and wait to be made redundant.
The whole situation has been handled very poorly considering not that many years ago GWR heavily recruited drivers in the area with the expectation of them being transferred over to CrossRail

Why would the "present GWR close" ? Surely GWR will still be running all the non  Crossrail routes and will still need large numbers of drivers to so do.
First group might lose the franchise of course, but that is a separate issue, and the new operator would have to take on the drivers.

There are two depots at Paddington.  HSS & LTV.  It is thought that Paddington LTV will only be a small depot, significantly smaller than it is now and there has been rumours it will relocate to West Ealing where the 387's are stabled.  Drivers who are LTV to the core are leaving the company or transferring over to HSS so it shows what a bleak future they believe the depot has.  The Bedwyn & fast Oxford services will be operated with IEP's, if this goes to HSS it will leave Paddington LTV with just the Greenford's.  The rest of the work can be covered by other depots.  Oxford is also massively overstaffed and with an HSS driver depot opened at Worcester their workload is decreasing. 
The problem they've been faced with is the drivers who have left/transferred or are shortly to leave include the driving instructors.
TfL are proposing a train every 5 minutes West of Paddington plus they have proposed an enhanced peak service which will see TfL take the 5 GWR services operating in both peaks on the relief lines.

Taking them from GWR would presumably mean TUPEing them on existing T&Cs?

Going out & recruiting them directly means they can be offered the contract TfL/Crossrail want them to have. Who can blame TfL?

Good point.  I hadn't considered that. 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: hassaanhc on September 30, 2017, 11:16:53 pm
Not too many alternative options for shift workers with these two cancelled.......a long, long wait for some.

28/09/17 02:24 Reading to London Paddington due 03:18 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.

28/09/17 03:34 London Paddington to Reading due 04:30 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.

I've just been looking at RTT for overnight last night, Down stoppers from PAD at 22:57, 23:49, 01:34, then 05:17 & 06:12 were all cancelled due to "an issue with the train crew". After the 01:34 there's nothing for another 2 hours so presumably taxis were provided?

The 0134 was replaced by buses. I took the following screenshot that evening:


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on September 30, 2017, 11:48:30 pm
Thank you for your first post, and that screenshot, hassaanhc - and may I offer you a very warm welcome to the Coffee Shop forum.  :)



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on October 01, 2017, 03:22:14 am

The 0134 was replaced by buses. I took the following screenshot that evening:


Welcome indeed to the forum.

It's ironic that a shortage of one train driver that night lead to a requirement for at least two bus drivers, and perhaps one more than that if the incoming service was also replaced by a bus that would still be some way off Paddington when the return service left.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: insider on October 01, 2017, 10:19:34 am
An emergency agreement between GWR and LTV drivers for some flexibility to their conditions has been reached. With immediate effect drivers can agree to do different turns if it suits them. If a driver has the route and traction knowledge ( such as an instructor or assessor) they can now work any turn even if not training another driver. This was previously being done which was a breach of conditions. A driver who does overtime will get a taxi home if the new end time means they can not get home by train. A one off payment is being made to all LTV drivers for the above.

From next week additional flex to.those drivers who.opt in and agree. The drivers turn can be extended by 1 hour (start or end) for any reason. This was previously not allowed. And a spare, rest day work or someone on overtime was needed. This mainly affects very early and late trains due to engineering and the retaining of services or ECS moves to depots.

These arrangements are a short term fix and valid.until end of the year only.
Harmonization talks are ongoing for a long term fix


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on October 01, 2017, 10:55:17 am
I wonder if some sort of agreement has been reached with West train crew as well? Very few services affected by train crew shortages today. A huge improvement on last week  :)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on October 01, 2017, 01:29:21 pm
Indeed one swallow doesn't make a summer, or should it - now we are in October - be one avocet doesn't make an autumn, but only two cancellations so far (1 HSS from Bristol to London and 1 Bristol Parkway to Portsmouth) but also no over-running engineering work and no reported short formed workings.
.
.
.
.
.
so far!  ;)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on October 01, 2017, 02:19:57 pm
The over-running work moved north to Berwick this morning. Trains up to 2hrs late southbound at Newcastle.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on October 01, 2017, 03:48:24 pm
Indeed one swallow doesn't make a summer, or should it - now we are in October - be one avocet doesn't make an autumn, but only two cancellations so far (1 HSS from Bristol to London and 1 Bristol Parkway to Portsmouth) but also no over-running engineering work and no reported short formed workings.
.
.
.
.
.
so far!  ;)

Ironically, one of the SWR services from Bristol is cancelled due to crew issues!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 01, 2017, 04:44:15 pm
Amazing the effect a "one off payment" can have on the prioritisation of work/life balance!!!  :D


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 01, 2017, 05:00:17 pm
I would imagine there will be roughly a 75/25 percentage split in favour of opting in.  Good time of year to be offering a 'bonus' with Christmas presents to pay for!  With harmonisation unlikely to be sorted until the new year (agreement reached/members balloted/having a deal put in place all takes time even if it clears at the first hurdle) this was realistically the only way of stemming the worst of the current mini-crisis on LTV and allowing for drivers to be released to learn 387s ready for the Didcot launch in January.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: hassaanhc on October 01, 2017, 09:13:54 pm
Thank you for your first post, and that screenshot, hassaanhc - and may I offer you a very warm welcome to the Coffee Shop forum.  :)




Welcome indeed to the forum.

It's ironic that a shortage of one train driver that night lead to a requirement for at least two bus drivers, and perhaps one more than that if the incoming service was also replaced by a bus that would still be some way off Paddington when the return service left.

Thanks for the welcome! I live locally to Southall station and use it quite regularly. I've been lucky to not been affected by these cancellations, and I also have alternative routes that I can use. I was actually out late on the above night and did consider using the 0034 from Paddington, but as the services either side were cancelled I didn't trust this one to run either, and instead used the Piccadilly line to Hounslow East. Really can't be fun waiting for a replacement bus at that time of night, especially as you can't track it online.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 01, 2017, 09:24:41 pm
Welcome, Hassaanhc.  It's nice to hear the views of a regular traveller from Southall as the inner Thames Valley stations are amongst the busiest passenger wise, yet worst represented in terms of people on this forum.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 01, 2017, 09:31:04 pm
I would prefer 'least' rather than 'worst'.  ;)



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: hassaanhc on October 02, 2017, 01:12:07 pm
Yeah I've noticed the lack of posts about the London stations. I have mostly been an irregular off peak passenger until recently, but from today I'll be commuting about 4 times a week (although not all of them in the peak). The service has become far more attractive to use since the extra Hayes & Harlington services started, which plug big gaps both off peak and at certain times in the morning peak. Previously my preferred route for Z1 was using SWR from Hounslow, especially in the morning peak, but the 0821 from Southall is a perfect option now :D (previously there was a gap from 0810 to 0836). Just hope it doesn't get cancelled!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: LiskeardRich on October 02, 2017, 11:20:16 pm
Amazing the effect a "one off payment" can have on the prioritisation of work/life balance!!!  :D

I posted such a suggestion in another thread about Sunday cancelations months ago. Maybe I should start charging them consultancy fees  ;D



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on October 11, 2017, 06:01:55 pm
If anyone wants to help GWR address the driver shortage problem:

https://uk.firstgroupcareers.com/vacancy/great-western-railway-gwr-trainee-train-driver-6056-london-paddington-station/6084/description/


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 22, 2017, 02:24:44 pm
Lots of cancellations/alterations again today due to crew shortages causing severe overcrowding on longer distance routes.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on October 22, 2017, 03:26:17 pm
You cant expect a full service on a Sunday.
Except in an emergency, I gave up weekend travel on FGW as they were then known, years ago.
Engineering work, staff shortages, no proper first class, and no Pullman.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on October 22, 2017, 04:44:53 pm
Lots of cancellations/alterations again today due to crew shortages causing severe overcrowding on longer distance routes.
Just a typical Sunday travelling with GWR sadly. So much so that no one's bothered to say anything about it anymore.

Looking at the list it's the usual suspects that appear with the Portsmouths, the Cheltenham's and Bristol to London copping it again.

Still, at least you could say even with the cancelled services, it's better than the fair being offered to and from London last weekend. I know that's not saying much.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 22, 2017, 06:07:42 pm
Lots of cancellations/alterations again today due to crew shortages causing severe overcrowding on longer distance routes.
Just a typical Sunday travelling with GWR sadly. So much so that no one's bothered to say anything about it anymore.

Looking at the list it's the usual suspects that appear with the Portsmouths, the Cheltenham's and Bristol to London copping it again.

Still, at least you could say even with the cancelled services, it's better than the fair being offered to and from London last weekend. I know that's not saying much.

Indeed......GWRs weekend service is now so regularly woeful it's regarded as Business as usual, but today the resulting overcrowding seems particularly bad judging by comments/pictures on Twitter etc......half term effect perhaps?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on October 22, 2017, 06:12:04 pm
It will be everyone going on an 'adventure' as the advertisement says to do.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on October 22, 2017, 09:12:15 pm
Five arrive at the station to find their train cancelled due to shortage of train crew.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on October 22, 2017, 09:20:42 pm
Five arrive at the station to find their train cancelled due to shortage of train crew.

Five?   ... only 3 arrived back into Melksham by taxi at 21:05 (that would have been next available train from Swindon to Chippenham after the cancelled 19:53 from Swindon, due at 20:19). I expect one of them and the dog had to make their own other arrangements, as rail replacement won't take dogs.   Sad end to three days of surveying and counting.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 23, 2017, 05:23:58 am
Along with numerous other peak services this morning.....brand new trains, no-one to drive them.....

07:17 Maidenhead to London Paddington due 08:03 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.

.............perhaps the title of this thread needs to be extended beyond September?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 23, 2017, 09:00:17 am
In view of these apparently ongoing problems, I have now expanded the heading of this topic.  :o ::)

I've now made a further expansion in the heading of this topic.  ::) :o ;D



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bradshaw on October 23, 2017, 09:02:06 am
Weymouth services significantly affected today, not helped by the 0533 failing before it left.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: BandHcommuter on October 23, 2017, 09:46:05 am
Weymouth services significantly affected today, not helped by the 0533 failing before it left.
The last train of the day back to Weymouth is also affected:
Quote from: journeycheck
20:49 Bristol Temple Meads to Weymouth due 23:13 will be started from Westbury.
It will no longer call at Bristol Temple Meads, Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Bath Spa, Freshford, Avoncliff, Bradford-On-Avon and Trowbridge.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.
Further Information
Passengers are requested to utilise the next available service.

This had become a frequent occurrence at weekends, and is now encroaching onto weekdays. Maybe there is a half-term annual leave effect on driver availability? I am reminded of an occasion when the last train to Weymouth was cancelled on a Saturday back in July. I had turned up to catch it from Oldfield Park station, where someone on the help point told me to get a local bus from the Lower Bristol Road to Bath Station, where a taxi would be provided. Trouble is, Bath Station couldn't rustle up enough taxis. A solution on this occasion would be either to delay the preceding Portsmouth train into the times of the Weymouth as far as Westbury (calling additionally at places like Oldfield Park, Freshford etc.), or hold the Weymouth train at Westbury until the following Portsmouth train arrives. It will be interesting to see how GWR choose to mitigate the impact on passengers.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 23, 2017, 11:05:56 am
Half term week will indeed mean more drivers are off on leave.  For example at one of the medium sized depots nine drivers have taken their block leave this week, which is one below the maximum allowed.  That drops to three next week, so a difference of six.  Multiply that number by the dozen or so GWR depots and you get some idea of the difference.  That can normally just about be coped with by ‘the system’, and no doubt training has been scaled back a bit this week, but there’s just not enough guys and gals around at the moment thanks to poor management.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: froome on October 23, 2017, 03:42:47 pm
Weymouth services significantly affected today, not helped by the 0533 failing before it left.
The last train of the day back to Weymouth is also affected:
Quote from: journeycheck
20:49 Bristol Temple Meads to Weymouth due 23:13 will be started from Westbury.
It will no longer call at Bristol Temple Meads, Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Bath Spa, Freshford, Avoncliff, Bradford-On-Avon and Trowbridge.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.
Further Information
Passengers are requested to utilise the next available service.

This had become a frequent occurrence at weekends, and is now encroaching onto weekdays. Maybe there is a half-term annual leave effect on driver availability? I am reminded of an occasion when the last train to Weymouth was cancelled on a Saturday back in July. I had turned up to catch it from Oldfield Park station, where someone on the help point told me to get a local bus from the Lower Bristol Road to Bath Station, where a taxi would be provided. Trouble is, Bath Station couldn't rustle up enough taxis. A solution on this occasion would be either to delay the preceding Portsmouth train into the times of the Weymouth as far as Westbury (calling additionally at places like Oldfield Park, Freshford etc.), or hold the Weymouth train at Westbury until the following Portsmouth train arrives. It will be interesting to see how GWR choose to mitigate the impact on passengers.

I can remember occasions when a Portsmouth train has been stopped at Oldfield Park etc to make up for a cancelled preceding train, but not recently. Instead, more recently I've been on Oldfield Park station waiting for what has turned out to be a cancelled train and seen the next Portsmouth train coming through which looked like it had spare capacity in it, but not stopping. >:(


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: hassaanhc on October 23, 2017, 06:20:24 pm
As of 1815, 10 alterations on JourneyCheck due to train crew issues. There were also a few Thames Valley cancellations in the morning due to either no or late crew.

Quote
15:08 Weymouth to Gloucester due 18:33
15:08 Weymouth to Gloucester due 18:33 will be started from Bristol Temple Meads.
It will no longer call at Weymouth, Upwey, Dorchester West, Maiden Newton, Chetnole, Yetminster, Thornford, Yeovil Pen Mill, Castle Cary, Bruton, Frome, Westbury, Trowbridge, Bradford-On-Avon, Avoncliff, Freshford, Bath Spa, Oldfield Park and Keynsham.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.
Further Information
Customers for Westbury and stations to Cardiff Central are requested to travel to Southampton Central on South West Trains services for next available GWR connections to Cardiff Central, Bristol Temple Meads or Great. Malvern.
Customers for intermediate stations will be requested to utilise replacement road transport.
Customers are requested to wait for road transport in the designated road replacement areas. Customers are advised that buses will run later that than the advertised train times due to line of route and additional time required for loading and unloading.
Quote
17:02 Brighton to Bristol Temple Meads due 20:28
17:02 Brighton to Bristol Temple Meads due 20:28 will call additionally at Avoncliff and Freshford.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.
Quote
17:30 Weymouth to Bristol Temple Meads due 20:09
17:30 Weymouth to Bristol Temple Meads due 20:09 will be terminated at Westbury.
It will no longer call at Trowbridge, Bradford-On-Avon, Avoncliff, Freshford, Bath Spa, Oldfield Park, Keynsham and Bristol Temple Meads.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.
Quote
17:44 Bristol Parkway to Westbury due 18:54
17:44 Bristol Parkway to Westbury due 18:54 will be terminated at Bristol Temple Meads.
It will no longer call at Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Bath Spa, Freshford, Avoncliff, Bradford-On-Avon, Trowbridge and Westbury.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.
Quote
17:57 London Paddington to Maidenhead due 18:43
17:57 London Paddington to Maidenhead due 18:43 will be starting late from London Paddington.
This is due to train crew being delayed.
Quote
18:00 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 19:39
18:00 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 19:39 will call additionally at Keynsham.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.
Quote
18:10 London Paddington to Maidenhead due 18:48
18:10 London Paddington to Maidenhead due 18:48 will be starting late from London Paddington.
This is due to train crew being delayed
Quote
20:21 Weymouth to Bristol Temple Meads due 22:45
20:21 Weymouth to Bristol Temple Meads due 22:45 will be terminated at Westbury.
It will no longer call at Trowbridge, Bradford-On-Avon, Avoncliff, Freshford, Bath Spa, Oldfield Park, Keynsham and Bristol Temple Meads.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.
Quote
20:30 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 23:54
20:30 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 23:54 will call additionally at Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Freshford and Avoncliff.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.
Quote
20:49 Bristol Temple Meads to Weymouth due 23:13
20:49 Bristol Temple Meads to Weymouth due 23:13 will be started from Westbury.
It will no longer call at Bristol Temple Meads, Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Bath Spa, Freshford, Avoncliff, Bradford-On-Avon and Trowbridge.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Alan Pettitt on October 23, 2017, 09:45:43 pm
It does seem to be an absence of adaptability, we have had the best part of a year of short formed and cancelled trains in the Bristol area, it is absolutely ridiculous that the commuter trains in the evening from Bristol Temple Meads have often been cut from 4 or 5 coaches to 2, it is high time that trains should not be cancelled when the next one on the route is more than, say 30 minutes later, and unless that following train has sufficient capacity, this has certainly been a very poor year for 'customers' in the Bristol, Yate, Frome areas, let alone Melksham. Most years in the summer the trains to Weymouth have been 5 coaches, this year they actually ran one that was 1 coach and had to leave loads of people behind at Trowbridge. I'd like to sign this as "Not Impressed"


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: hassaanhc on October 24, 2017, 12:25:56 am
It does seem to be an absence of adaptability, we have had the best part of a year of short formed and cancelled trains in the Bristol area, it is absolutely ridiculous that the commuter trains in the evening from Bristol Temple Meads have often been cut from 4 or 5 coaches to 2, it is high time that trains should not be cancelled when the next one on the route is more than, say 30 minutes later, and unless that following train has sufficient capacity, this has certainly been a very poor year for 'customers' in the Bristol, Yate, Frome areas, let alone Melksham. Most years in the summer the trains to Weymouth have been 5 coaches, this year they actually ran one that was 1 coach and had to leave loads of people behind at Trowbridge. I'd like to sign this as "Not Impressed"
The missing of stops when late also happens in the Thames Valley, and indeed most routes really. I actually don't mind it when only one or two individual services are delayed due to an issue, but if everything is delayed then it is better for everything to stop, especially if services already don't have enough capacity when things are running well. This is what happened to my brother last week: (he commutes from Southall to Reading)

Last week Tuesday when there was an issue at Paddington all day, there ended up being a 50 minute gap for westbound trains beyond Hayes & Harlington at Ealing Broadway, Southall, Hayes & Harlington and West Drayton.
At Southall the 0657 (8-car 387) ran pretty much on time, then the 0710 (3-car DMU) was 23 minutes late in departing and was run non-stop to Slough. After that the 0725 (8-car 387) was 20 minutes late but at least it stopped as normal. It had 8 coaches but it was full throughout as it had passengers from 3 services (as it turned up at 0745 and had passengers that usually took the 0710, 0725 and 0741 services). The 0741 (his usual train) was 14 minutes late and is usually a busy 166 unit.
He took the delayed 0725, then noticed that at Slough he could run and get the 0806 non-stop to Reading (1M99 0750 London Paddington to Banbury and Great Malvern) and he actually arrived at the same time as he would have if his usual train was on time! ;D


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 24, 2017, 10:03:31 am
There’s a phenomenon I’ve noticed on the Thames Galley suburban routes called ‘2-car roulette’ which means whenever there’s disruption and cancellations you can usually count on a 2 being thrown meaning a 2-car Turbo is the first train to turn up!  At least that is set to change over the next couple of years when practically everything will either be 8 or 9 cars.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: NickB on October 25, 2017, 07:38:24 am
Delays due to trespassers on the track at Acton this morning but, according to our TM, one of the people out looking for the trespassers is the driver of another service. So there you go - GWR actually have spare drivers to go looking for mentalists.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Oxonhutch on October 25, 2017, 08:18:51 am
That driver might have been driving his own train but under caution, and very slowly.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on October 25, 2017, 08:40:23 am
Indeed it was a driver of a train in the area.  He could hear a man calling for help, has now located him and waited for a medical team to arrive and treat him.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: NickB on October 25, 2017, 08:50:41 am
Impressive stuff.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on October 25, 2017, 12:20:54 pm
Indeed it was a driver of a train in the area.  He could hear a man calling for help, has now located him and waited for a medical team to arrive and treat him.

Now that is one of the circumstances where "delayed due to awaiting driver" or "shortage of drivers" is acceptable for consequential disruption.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on October 28, 2017, 08:11:00 am
No GWR services to/from Brighton today due to train crew issues. At least there are plenty of alternative services available for anyone making long distance journeys because it's Saturday and not Sunday.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on October 28, 2017, 09:36:18 am
No GWR services to/from Brighton today due to train crew issues. At least there are plenty of alternative services available for anyone making long distance journeys because it's Saturday and not Sunday.

Recently added to today's cancellation list - everything between 15:22 and 21:06 from Swindon to Westbury.

Wonderful day to leave the TransWilts bereft of return trains when a timetable leaflet hit every letter box in Melksham on Thursday.   Prior to those cancellations being announced, I popped down to Melksham station and chatted with people using the train for the first time ... 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on October 28, 2017, 09:38:03 am
Re Brighton services - 1046 ex-GMV arriving 1615 reinstated, according to journeycheck

But the last two services to/from Melksham gave gone again owing to staff shortages


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on October 28, 2017, 09:59:22 am
Re Brighton services - 1046 ex-GMV arriving 1615 reinstated, according to journeycheck

But the last two services to/from Melksham gave gone again owing to staff shortages

See Attachment ...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 28, 2017, 10:27:32 am
Re Brighton services - 1046 ex-GMV arriving 1615 reinstated, according to journeycheck

But the last two services to/from Melksham gave gone again owing to staff shortages

See Attachment ...

Looks like you've got road replacement in place anyway if worst comes to worst.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on October 28, 2017, 10:29:54 am
They so have a legal requirement to 'repatriate' the day trippers....


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on October 28, 2017, 11:03:13 am
An interesting and telling comment on the WNXX Forum from somebody on the inside:

Quote
With fleet reliability, I don't doubt the maintenance staff do the best they can with what they have. I don't think anyone goes to work to deliberately do a bad job.

Despite this, it is an inescapable fact that fleet reliability is sub-par, and has been for years. Next month is the Modern Railway Golden Spanner Awards. Will we see yet another year where GWR is the bottom of the pile for unit and HST reliability? If this summer is anything to go by, probably. I remember on one day in the Summer, we had half the 158 fleet grounded.

This is not a personal attack on the staff. It's a harsh reality check about how GWR seems to do things. The company knew years ago that we'd lose maintenance staff to Hitachi. What did they do to mitigate the shortage of staff? Not a lot. It's also worth noting that in the past we used to have fitters visit some of our outstations overnight to do minor work. Doesn't happen any more unless there is a major issue. I reckon that it is cheaper to cancel trains than spending the money to keep them up together.

It is true that GWR has a knackered and stretched fleet, but the same is also true at TOCs such as Northern and EMT, and they do better than us somehow.

It's not just the fleet side either, on the train crew side things are a mess. We have over established depots that have had work taken away from them, while depots that are notoriously short of train crew such as Bristol have had an increase of work. We have diagrams produced in cookoo land, and then the company scratches its head when a train is cancelled due to a lack of crew, while another depot has drivers sat around spare that don't sign the route/traction. Modern day railway.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on October 28, 2017, 05:02:54 pm
An interesting and telling comment on the WNXX Forum from somebody on the inside:

Telling. Very telling. GWR is being very badly managed across all aspects of the business.

Accountability from senior management and the board is missing. Sadly there is no chance of butt kicking from the DfT. For ideological reasons the Conservative government won't countenance putting the operator on an improvement notice or consider stripping failing FirstGroup of the franchise.

Passengers will continue to suffer on GWR until the next franchise. FirstGroup don't deserve to be even considered for the next franchise.

What can GWR do to restore some faith from passengers and improve staff morale? Well, a public apology from Mark Hopwood would be a start...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: RA on October 28, 2017, 06:54:08 pm
Re Brighton services - 1046 ex-GMV arriving 1615 reinstated, according to journeycheck

But the last two services to/from Melksham gave gone again owing to staff shortages

Fortunately the cancelled Melksham services have all been reinstated, although not of use if you have already made alternative plans assuming that the trains were not running.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on October 28, 2017, 06:56:06 pm
Re Brighton services - 1046 ex-GMV arriving 1615 reinstated, according to journeycheck

But the last two services to/from Melksham gave gone again owing to staff shortages

Fortunately the cancelled Melksham services have all been reinstated, although not of use if you have already made alternative plans assuming that the trains were not running.

I was just writing that up as a separate topic - took the dog for a walk in Chippenham to see how busy the reinstated trains were.  http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18908.msg224076#msg224076


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 04, 2017, 06:08:01 am
Quite a few of these this morning - Christmas hols starting?


07:32 Maidenhead to London Paddington due 08:06 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 04, 2017, 06:56:02 am
Oh dear, another subject line needs updating!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on December 04, 2017, 08:52:17 am
Quite a few of these this morning - Christmas hols starting?


07:32 Maidenhead to London Paddington due 08:06 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.


Might be as a reaction to yesterday's problems - crews not able to fit their legal break between shifts in.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on December 04, 2017, 07:48:53 pm
Oh dear, another subject line needs updating!

Thanks, ChrisB - now done!  ;) :D ;D



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: hassaanhc on December 05, 2017, 01:02:57 am
In the morning the 2S10 0745 London Paddington to Hayes & Harlington and return 2S11 0818 Hayes & Harlington to London Paddington (0821 at Southall) were originally shown as cancelled due to a lack of traincrew, but were suddenly reinstated and appear to have run virtually to time. Losing that as well as the 0806 Heathrow Connect (due to a unit failure, not traincrew issues!) had me worried about being able to board my preferred service* (0831 non-stop to Paddington) but in the end there was no issue, and it was actually on time! ;D

*A couple of weeks ago the 0836 Heathrow Connect was cancelled, and maybe another service that doesn't call at Southall, which meant I couldn't board the 0831 and had to wait until the 0847. The 0831 is a pretty empty 5-car DMU (especially in Coach 4) which after Slough only calls at Southall and Paddington, and in January becomes the 0827 8-car EMU which will have also called at Langley, West Drayton, Hayes & Harlington and then afterwards Ealing Broadway :'( having an Ealing Broadway call will guarantee a wedged service! Unless people get better at using the full length of the train ::)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on December 05, 2017, 04:02:15 am
In the morning the 2S10 0745 London Paddington to Hayes & Harlington and return 2S11 0818 Hayes & Harlington to London Paddington (0821 at Southall) were originally shown as cancelled due to a lack of traincrew, but were suddenly reinstated and appear to have run virtually to time. Losing that as well as the 0806 Heathrow Connect (due to a unit failure, not traincrew issues!) had me worried about being able to board my preferred service* (0831 non-stop to Paddington) but in the end there was no issue, and it was actually on time! ;D

The cancellation and re-instatement of trains is a concern to us on the TransWilts and something that's happened sufficient times on the TransWilts for it to move from "surprised" when it happens to "routine" or even "not again!!".  It's damaging for a train to be removed from the schedule and re-instated some hours later, as the cancellation is flagged up and people are put off their (day return) journeys when in the end both the trains wanted run ( hassaanhc - we only have a train every 2 hours here, so a gap means bus or taxi for part of the route and a massive slowing of end-to-end timing, even assuming you can persuade the "help" point operative to get in touch with GWR to make alternative arrangements!)

Shortage of crews ... "oh my goodness, we can't run this" may be overcome later by Brunhilda or Siegmund being persuaded to work an extra shift, or finding that the train on the other line where they were supposed to work is one of "more trains than usual requiring repair at the same time" and I certainly would support the re-instatement, but I wonder if at times the cancellations are announce too early?    There are other reinstatements too at the end of a series of cancellations where engineering works / repairs / recovery of broken trains finish early or are quicker than expected - they're more understandable as blocks of train have to be cancelled up to some estimated completion point.

With my maths background, I would like to see probabilities of running against trains in doubt, and indeed notes of when an update to the probability and how woolly the figure given is.   I suspect I'm in a tiny minority wanting that data which would be time-consuming to provide when the real job to be done is fixing the issue to run the trains.

Do the systems in place have guidance about the probability level at which a train is publicised as cancelled?    80% chance it won't run?  90%?   Or is it not that scientific?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 05, 2017, 08:49:34 am
The latter.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 05, 2017, 09:07:31 am
Brunhilda and Siegmund are two of the more militant drivers, you won’t get any favours out of them...  ;)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 06, 2017, 05:59:10 am
......fantastic advice from GWR, whoever would have thought of this?  ::)


04:00 Oxford to London Paddington due 05:50 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

Additional Information
Customers are advised to travel on the next available train service.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 06, 2017, 04:53:04 pm
Disappointed to see this evening’s service between Weymouth and Westbury affected by train crew issues and it’s not even the weekend.

Replacement buses will run in place of trains.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 06, 2017, 05:04:26 pm
I would anticipate problems with crew shortages until the new year on all days of the week now, as large numbers of crew, quite often the maximum allowed at a given depot, will be taking leave each day.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Surrey 455 on December 06, 2017, 09:22:00 pm
I would anticipate problems with crew shortages until the new year on all days of the week now, as large numbers of crew, quite often the maximum allowed at a given depot, will be taking leave each day.

I suspect these crew members are agency staff empoyed by Ryanair.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 06, 2017, 09:27:50 pm
I would anticipate problems with crew shortages until the new year on all days of the week now, as large numbers of crew, quite often the maximum allowed at a given depot, will be taking leave each day.

I'm not surprised, given the inability of GWR to manage & maintain their workforce efficiently.  In the real World, the needs of the business & it's customers are the first consideration when approving Annual leave.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on December 06, 2017, 10:26:23 pm
I would anticipate problems with crew shortages until the new year on all days of the week now, as large numbers of crew, quite often the maximum allowed at a given depot, will be taking leave each day.

I'm not surprised, given the inability of GWR to manage & maintain their workforce efficiently.  In the real World, the needs of the business & it's customers are the first consideration when approving Annual leave.

Too often there is a simplistic assumption that when there is a problem you can expect staff to work their holiday. However we are in a period of labour shortage and particularly for skilled labour you cannot simply go out and employ skilled staff who are unemployed, staff know this and if their employers treat them badly they know they can take their valuable skills elsewhere.  Cancelling leave can therefore be counter productive as it can create more shortages.

Cancelling leave can also lead to tired staff who are more prone to illness, leading to absence and more staff shortages.

Training new drivers is expensive and takes time.  There is a therefore an inevitable lag time in responding to shortages, particularly where they are unexpected. What incentive does a company with short franchise (though just being expended) to spend money on training that their successor will benefit from not them.

The shortage at the moment is partly due to a short term peak in training brought about by the introduction of new and cascaded stock. The use of temporary replacement staff is not very practical fro train drivers.   




Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on December 07, 2017, 01:25:29 am
Whilst I appreciate that recruiting and training drivers takes time, how long should GWR be given to address this issue ?
Weekend staff shortages have become the "new normal" and weekday services are now nearly as bad.

The need to train staff on new rolling stock should have been foreseen, surely, and not come as a surprise.

I would have more sympathy with GWR if some exceptional event had left them short of staff, but I can not accept that weekends, weekdays, December, the long planned arrival of new trains, and the like are exceptional.
And as for "not wanting to train staff for a potential new TOC" Well I am afraid that this of one of the entirely foreseeable hazards of running a business on a fixed term franchise basis, that MIGHT or might not be extended.

I forgive many sins of GWR, because I so enjoy the Pullman restaurants,  these are IMO far superior to the catering facilities offered by any other UK TOC. There is however a lot more to running a TOC than entertaining me with smoked salmon, red wine, fillet steak, cheese board  and port !

The ROUTINE failure to recruit and retain enough drivers and other front line staff to reliably operate the advertised services is in my view a lack of basic competence.






Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: PhilWakely on December 07, 2017, 06:33:13 am
I would anticipate problems with crew shortages until the new year on all days of the week now, as large numbers of crew, quite often the maximum allowed at a given depot, will be taking leave each day.

I'm not surprised, given the inability of GWR to manage & maintain their workforce efficiently.  In the real World, the needs of the business & it's customers are the first consideration when approving Annual leave.

Throughout the year, I guess there have been instances of 'Leave Declined' for various reasons and now it is a case of 'Use all of your leave before the end of the year or lose it'


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on December 07, 2017, 08:14:03 am
Whilst I appreciate that recruiting and training drivers takes time, how long should GWR be given to address this issue ?

How long does it take to train a driver?

The need to train staff on new rolling stock should have been foreseen, surely, and not come as a surprise.

I would have more sympathy with GWR if some exceptional event had left them short of staff, but I can not accept that weekends, weekdays, December, the long planned arrival of new trains, and the like are exceptional.

Have the delays in delivery meant that training is being carried out over a shorter timescale? 

And as for "not wanting to train staff for a potential new TOC" Well I am afraid that this of one of the entirely foreseeable hazards of running a business on a fixed term franchise basis, that MIGHT or might not be extended.

Yes - as you say made worse by a series of short term extensions so the TOC only ever has a maximum couple of years to get a return on their investment in training. As I understand it GWR did do a large driver recruitment at the start of this extension and those driver may now be in post.  Perhaps DfT needs to build something into the franchise agreement on handing on sufficient staff. 

They negotiate the price so hard that they should not be surprised if a TOC only delivers the minimum in the agreement.

The DfT is therefore to blame for this as well.
The ROUTINE failure to recruit and retain enough drivers and other front line staff to reliably operate the advertised services is in my view a lack of basic competence.

Failure to recruit possibly - but see above about the agreement.

Failure to retain - now that is more difficult.

We are thankfully not in a society (yet) where people are forced to stay in a particular job therefore an employer is not wholly in control of staff retention.  In times of when opportunities for alternative employment are poor the employer can get away with a lot.  In times where there are plenty of opportunities for alternative employment the employer must go out of their way to ensure that they make their employees want to stay.

What I have heard employment practices in the rail industry (though perhaps better than the bus industry) does not fill me with confidence that TOC s understand this. 

These jobs inevitably involve unsocial hours so other things have to balance that.  Those who are demanding that GWR change their staff terms on weekend working should bear this in mind. That might mean that the TOC may have to pay significantly more for their staff - which again comes back to money and DfT demanding a best deal for the treasury rather than the passenger.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bradshaw on December 07, 2017, 08:54:04 am
Three afternoon services to Weymouth cancelled beyond Westbury today, with bus replacements.
It is happening on this route more regularly now.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 07, 2017, 09:26:14 am
Here is the current list of GWR vacancies from the First Group website...........I see none for drivers, train crew, ticket office staff etc despite constant cancellations due to traincrew shortages and many LTV ticket offices now being virtually permanently closed.......due to "staff shortage" according to GWR.

You will also note the absence of Customer service staff to deal with correspondence/complaints, despite the months long delay in getting responses which has now been going on for over a year - some of this may have been outsourced, but accountability for it sits with GWR.

..............I can see why "Performance analysts" are required, I suspect they may be busy.


Engineering Project Team Coordinator
Engineering - Swindon - Engineering Project Team Coordinator
Service Delivery Assistant
CS - Stations - Reading Station - Service Delivery Assistant
Senior Performance Analyst
Finance - Swindon - Senior Performance Analyst
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Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 07, 2017, 09:29:47 am
Whilst I appreciate that recruiting and training drivers takes time, how long should GWR be given to address this issue ?

Given that the vast majority of shortages are down to accelerated training, as long as it takes to get the stock moves done & services running the new stock timetabled & running?
Unfortunately, there are no driver temp agencies that suitably-trained drivers can be gleaned from.

Quote
The need to train staff on new rolling stock should have been foreseen, surely, and not come as a surprise.

It would have been planned for when the stock was originally due. Once delays were introduced by the DfT, the training would have needed to be put back - you can't train & then not use that training for months, can you? It would be forgotten quite quickly. So no planning for training could be done until they got a guarantee from the DfT & the supplier that delivery was going to definitely happen - hence it all being fitted in to quite a short time period, more intensively to get enough drivers trained to start on Jan 2. You can't blame the TOC in this instance.

I would have more sympathy with GWR if some exceptional event had left them short of staff[/quote]

The DfT-induced delays are exceptional, sorry. And as indicated above, the root cause of all these shortages, or the vast majority, at least.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 07, 2017, 09:32:58 am
Here is the current list of GWR vacancies from the First Group website...........I see none for drivers, train crew, ticket office staff etc despite constant cancellations due to traincrew shortages and many LTV ticket offices now being virtually permanently closed.......due to "staff shortage" according to GWR.

Bears out what I said in my previous post - that the shortages are down to training, and once complete, there won't be any shortages as they'll all be back on the 'new' stock they've been trained on.

Quote
You will also note the absence of Customer service staff to deal with correspondence/complaints, despite the months long delay in getting responses which has now been going on for over a year - some of this may have been outsourced

All those posts are outsourced, so GWR won't be advertising any vacancies, will they?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 07, 2017, 09:59:30 am
You have to remember Mr Hopwood needs to show a profit coming from GWR into First's coffers otherwise there would be no point in First having the franchise. Training crew costs money, money that would deny profit for the company.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 07, 2017, 10:01:03 am
Bears out what I said in my previous post - that the shortages are down to training, and once complete, there won't be any shortages as they'll all be back on the 'new' stock they've been trained on.
I hope that declaration that there won't be any more shortages doesn't come back to haunt you Chris.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 07, 2017, 10:03:09 am
Here is the current list of GWR vacancies from the First Group website...........I see none for drivers, train crew, ticket office staff etc despite constant cancellations due to traincrew shortages and many LTV ticket offices now being virtually permanently closed.......due to "staff shortage" according to GWR.

Bears out what I said in my previous post - that the shortages are down to training, and once complete, there won't be any shortages as they'll all be back on the 'new' stock they've been trained on.

Quote
You will also note the absence of Customer service staff to deal with correspondence/complaints, despite the months long delay in getting responses which has now been going on for over a year - some of this may have been outsourced

All those posts are outsourced, so GWR won't be advertising any vacancies, will they?

..................no, which was why I mentioned the outsourcing, but the fact that their performance in this area is particularly appalling is another illustration of the poor decision making within GWR, and as I pointed out, they are 100% accountable for their suppliers performance.

As it's your (I'm sure) well informed position that there are numerous drivers, traincrew and ticket office staff in training and soon to descend upon the network to deliver previously unprecendented levels of service, reliability and customer satisfaction I'm sure that we will all take comfort from that.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Tim on December 07, 2017, 11:01:11 am
You have to remember Mr Hopwood needs to show a profit coming from GWR into First's coffers otherwise there would be no point in First having the franchise. Training crew costs money, money that would deny profit for the company.

Nothing wrong with profit. The problem may be that the incentives have not been set up so that cancelling trains put a bigger dent in the profit (and provide a greater threat to Mr Hopwood's continued employment) than training staff. 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 07, 2017, 11:04:17 am
Nothing wrong with profit. The problem may be that the incentives have not been set up so that cancelling trains put a bigger dent in the profit (and provide a greater threat to Mr Hopwood's continued employment) than training staff. 
Indeed nothing wrong with making a profit Tim, just not at the expense of GWR's customers which has been going on for far too long with the same rail companies being rewarded with new contracts to carry on regardless.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 07, 2017, 11:33:56 am
Here is the current list of GWR vacancies from the First Group website...........I see none for drivers, train crew, ticket office staff etc despite constant cancellations due to traincrew shortages and many LTV ticket offices now being virtually permanently closed.......due to "staff shortage" according to GWR.

Bears out what I said in my previous post - that the shortages are down to training, and once complete, there won't be any shortages as they'll all be back on the 'new' stock they've been trained on.

Quote
You will also note the absence of Customer service staff to deal with correspondence/complaints, despite the months long delay in getting responses which has now been going on for over a year - some of this may have been outsourced

All those posts are outsourced, so GWR won't be advertising any vacancies, will they?

..................no, which was why I mentioned the outsourcing, but the fact that their performance in this area is particularly appalling is another illustration of the poor decision making within GWR, and as I pointed out, they are 100% accountable for their suppliers performance.

As it's your (I'm sure) well informed position that there are numerous drivers, traincrew and ticket office staff in training and soon to descend upon the network to deliver previously unprecendented levels of service, reliability and customer satisfaction I'm sure that we will all take comfort from that.

There are a lot of new drivers currently going through training who will be passing out over the next six months, so I think the crew issue on LTV will be much improved in the new year, I’m not so sure about the situation on West.  The mistake was to not anticipate the current shortfall and then panic and hire a load of new staff at the same time a massive training programme of existing staff on the new trains needs to be undertaken.  So I wouldn’t be as brave as ChrisB to predict there won’t be any shortages, but it should become a much improved situation from the new year and through the summer and next Christmas.

There are agreed leave levels with the unions per depot and above and beyond that level it will only be granted if their shift can be covered.  That means, using one depot as an example, six people who wanted the day off this Saturday have been refused it, but there are still seven open turns without cover which will either be covered by another depot, or result in cancellations.

Ticket office staff at most of the locations where there have been recent shortages will become the responsibility of TfL Rail.  I wonder how quickly they’ll get on top of it?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on December 07, 2017, 12:39:18 pm
Nothing wrong with profit... and if, as we are told, profits only make up 3% of the bill then are they really all that relevant?

Given that we have a state-controlled railway, surely it is the government's fault if its agents (the TOCs) provide a poor service? The government writes and enforces (or fails to enforce) the rules...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 07, 2017, 03:24:49 pm
Wouldn't disagree with that....and yes, that 3% is significant (to the TOCs at least). If they find they can't generate it they hand back the keys (so take a minimum loss) or don't bid in the first place. cf the lack of bidders on mew franchises


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Tim on December 07, 2017, 03:59:23 pm
the 3% figure is a complete and utter red herring when it comes to rail franchises.  But it looks small and reasonable and so the ToCs and their cheerleaders in Government and at ATOC keep repeating it.  I would hope that we don't inadvertently do their work for them by repeating that nonsense number as if it was significant. 

For a "normal" business profit is expressed as percentage return on capital.  On that yardstick a 3% profit would be low especially for a business that carried a risk of loss of capital.  Remember profit is not a reward for running the business (the people who run the business are rewarded in their pay package).  Profit is essentially the rent paid to the investors for the use of their capital.   

BUT First Group invest virtually zero capital into the business.  If they don't make any profit their capital is not lost.  GWR is essentially a "pass-through" business.  They rake in a huge farebox and pass most of it out as costs keeping 3% for themselves.  Comparing them and their profit percentage to, say Marks and Spencer (or a RoSCo), is therefore completely meaningless.  A better comparison would be to compare them to say, American Express.  American Express collect huge amounts of money from card holders and pay almost all of it to retailers, retaining a small fraction of a percentage for themselves.  Now if Amex was making a profit of 3% of the total transactions on their cards, most people would regard that as a huge margin, massively unfair and contrary to the public interest.  And in fact the EU has decided that Amex's "cut" of transactions must be no more than 0.3% (and only a fraction of that "cut" is profit). 

My question is why is profit of less than 0.3% seen as adequate for Amex, but 3% is seen as barely enough for a ToC? 

Don't get me wrong.  I am not against profit in the rail industry.  I don't have a problem with Hitachi making a decent margin on their IEP leasing deal because they had to attract investors to cough up billions to pay for the trains, but the idea of using a mechanism (profit) designed to attract investors into a business like a ToC which doesn't invest in anything beyond their branding seems to have little justification. 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Western Enterprise on December 07, 2017, 04:08:35 pm
Amex & First are chalk and cheese.
There is no comparison between Amex, who have a very different business model to First.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: didcotdean on December 07, 2017, 05:17:53 pm
Amex cards issued by themselves are not subject to the cap on credit card transaction fees. Although they may find their merchant base shrinking if they are too much out of line and can't compensate with its higher volume clients. Also the transaction fee is not the only source of income for credit cards and they are starting to charge merchants separately for some services that they used to bundle in within the transaction fee.

I have expressed my view many times on the franchise concept as it currently operates, ie that in essance it manages to combine the disadvantages of both public and private sector operations and minimises the benefits of both as well.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on December 07, 2017, 05:29:03 pm

BUT First Group invest virtually zero capital into the business.  If they don't make any profit their capital is not lost.  GWR is essentially a "pass-through" business.  They rake in a huge farebox and pass most of it out as costs keeping 3% for themselves.  Comparing them and their profit percentage to, say Marks and Spencer (or a RoSCo), is therefore completely meaningless.  A better comparison would be to compare them to say, American Express.  American Express collect huge amounts of money from card holders and pay almost all of it to retailers, retaining a small fraction of a percentage for themselves.  Now if Amex was making a profit of 3% of the total transactions on their cards, most people would regard that as a huge margin, massively unfair and contrary to the public interest.  And in fact the EU has decided that Amex's "cut" of transactions must be no more than 0.3% (and only a fraction of that "cut" is profit). 


That's an interesting take. If the Train Companies were just acting as fare collectors, it would also be a fair one, but of course they are doing rather more than that. However most passengers see high fares that increase by more than inflation every year (3.4% next year! (https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/dec/05/rail-fares-rise-ticket-prices)), and imagine that some stereotypical fat cat is in control of this and bleeding them dry, whereas as all of us here know it is the government that largely sets the level of fares. In that context, quibbling over 3% or 0.3% is indeed a red herring.



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: stuving on December 07, 2017, 07:44:02 pm
My question is why is profit of less than 0.3% seen as adequate for Amex, but 3% is seen as barely enough for a ToC? 

Amex is a card issuer as well a settlement network, so it's easier to look at Mastercard as an example of a transaction processor's business model.

If you pay £100 for a railway ticket, that's the cost of that service - being conveyed by rail.

If you pay £100 for something - say a big toy for a small undeserving relative - using your card that's  the cost of what you bought. If MC gets paid 30p for doing their accounting, that is the cost of the service they provide. According to their figures, of their $9.2Bn of annual global revenue they end  up with $3.4Bn to distribute to shareholders: about 35%.

So, very different.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 07, 2017, 09:23:16 pm
There's a fair few LTV cancellations tonight and also services starting/finishing short and/or missing out stations......shortage of crew cited in almost every case.....this is going to cause real problems in the evenings going forward as we get into the Christmas party season.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 07, 2017, 09:27:25 pm
It sure is, and it would’ve been worse had a short term flexibility agreement with LTV drivers not been brokered with the unions.  As I said a few days ago, expect a very poor Christmas of cancellations.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on December 07, 2017, 09:40:30 pm
It sure is, and it would’ve been worse had a short term flexibility agreement with LTV drivers not been brokered with the unions. As I said a few days ago, expect a very poor Christmas of cancellations.

And that is a caution echoed for other parts of GWR by other knowledgeable sources.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 07, 2017, 10:07:58 pm
It sure is, and it would’ve been worse had a short term flexibility agreement with LTV drivers not been brokered with the unions. As I said a few days ago, expect a very poor Christmas of cancellations.

And that is a caution echoed for other parts of GWR by other knowledgeable sources.

Rather like leaves on the line isn't it? Everyone knows it's coming every year, but the railways always seem to be caught out.

Suffice to say, in the (awful) words of Chris Rea, I'm driving home for Christmas but my thoughts will be with anyone brave/unlucky/unfortunate enough to have opted for the GWR sardine Christmas experience.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 07, 2017, 10:54:26 pm
Indeed, I’m optimistic it will be much better next year.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on December 07, 2017, 11:43:23 pm
I happen to share your optimism, IndustryInsider - if only because it can't get much worse next year.  ;)



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on December 08, 2017, 01:02:22 am
I am reminded of a quote that I came across once - and now can't find, even given the wonders of search engines. It's something like

    Saturday, which always comes as a surprise to the Metropolitan Railway.

and (I think) it's from either Gilbert or Sullivan. Can anybody find this for me?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 08, 2017, 01:13:50 am
I happen to share your optimism, IndustryInsider - if only because it can't get much worse next year.  ;)

Hmmmm, I'm reminded of the utter shambles in the late 2000s - still a long way to go until we stoop that low!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 08, 2017, 09:08:56 am
Indeed, I’m optimistic it will be much better next year.

Is that an early iteration of the Invisible Hopwood/GWR's latest (and perennial) advertising catchphrase?  ;D


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: lympstone_commuter on December 08, 2017, 10:09:17 am
I am reminded of a quote that I came across once - and now can't find, even given the wonders of search engines. It's something like

    Saturday, which always comes as a surprise to the Metropolitan Railway.

and (I think) it's from either Gilbert or Sullivan. Can anybody find this for me?

Lovely quote! It seems a similar set of words was used in the Illustrated London News in 1863:

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ZuWGDAAAQBAJ&pg=PA20&lpg=PA20&dq=surprise+to+the+%22metropolitan+railway%22&source=bl&ots=GT4XGPzwzN&sig=PqSziMJqBw_wLbgtXoAfVBQ_UYI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwic7p-SlfrXAhUHmbQKHd8SBFoQ6AEIVTAK#v=onepage&q=surprise%20to%20the%20%22metropolitan%20railway%22&f=false (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ZuWGDAAAQBAJ&pg=PA20&lpg=PA20&dq=surprise+to+the+%22metropolitan+railway%22&source=bl&ots=GT4XGPzwzN&sig=PqSziMJqBw_wLbgtXoAfVBQ_UYI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwic7p-SlfrXAhUHmbQKHd8SBFoQ6AEIVTAK#v=onepage&q=surprise%20to%20the%20%22metropolitan%20railway%22&f=false)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 08, 2017, 12:12:04 pm
Indeed, I’m optimistic it will be much better next year.

Is that an early iteration of the Invisible Hopwood/GWR's latest (and perennial) advertising catchphrase?  ;D

Appreciating the smiley at the end of your post, I do genuinely feel optimistic that the new year will see us start to turn the corner as some of the ‘perfect storm’ pressures that have caused all the recent problems start to subside, some of which were GWR’s making, and some of them weren’t.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on December 08, 2017, 01:13:31 pm
2018 all depends on the ORR signing off Reading Electrification by 28 December.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on December 08, 2017, 01:16:41 pm
2018 all depends on the ORR signing off Reading Electrification by 28 December.

In the context of GWR changes, yes, maybe ... out of context, 1st January 2018 is unstoppable once 31st December 2017 has ended  ;D


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Oxonhutch on December 08, 2017, 01:32:10 pm
In the context of GWR changes, yes, maybe ... out of context, 1st January 2018 is unstoppable once 31st December 2017 has ended  ;D

There's always a 'Vogon Constructer Fleet (http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/Vogon_Constructor_Fleet)'! "A lucky break for Arsenal" if it did!  ;D


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Tim on December 08, 2017, 04:43:30 pm


That's an interesting take. If the Train Companies were just acting as fare collectors, it would also be a fair one, but of course they are doing rather more than that. However most passengers see high fares that increase by more than inflation every year (3.4% next year! (https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/dec/05/rail-fares-rise-ticket-prices)), and imagine that some stereotypical fat cat is in control of this and bleeding them dry, whereas as all of us here know it is the government that largely sets the level of fares. In that context, quibbling over 3% or 0.3% is indeed a red herring.



The ToCs do much more than simply collect fares.  But I the extra stuff they do (employ staff, buy fuel, plan timetables drive trains) is not capital intensive and therefore cannot be used to justify the profit.  Remember profit is a reward for the owners of the company.  In any large business, all the owners do is provide capital and so logically the profit cannot be a reward for anything other than the provision of capital.  The other stuff the ToC does is not done by the owners.  It is done by the staff and staff are rewarded not by profit but by salary/bonus etc.

Look at it this way.  Suppose the capital required to run a ToC is £1million, and the annual farebox is £100million.   A 3% profit is £3million.  If the shares are owned by 1000 people investing £1000 each, each shareholder get £3000 per year on an holding of £1000.  That would suggest an extremely excessive profit which suggests that the market has broken and the public are being ripped off.   

The reality is very different from my example because the number of shares is fixed and so the law of supply and demand means that the price per share would increase if holding them was really as lucrative as my example until a point is reached where holding them is no longer extremely lucrative.  This means that if I were to buy some First shares today, I would be getting only a few percent return on my investment because the share price has been driven up by competition for shares. But that doesn't hide the fact that the system is set up so badly that the one thing private sector investors are great at doing (providing money for investment thereby sparing the tax payer) does not happen.   Still it looks like market capitalism and 3% looks reasonable so we carry on defending the system. 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on December 08, 2017, 05:29:52 pm
My question is why is profit of less than 0.3% seen as adequate for Amex, but 3% is seen as barely enough for a ToC? 


Good question. Amex's turnover, at $32 billion pa, is around five times First Group's (not just GWR) turnover, so a smaller margin still yields a lot of cash. Plus the two companies are doing completely different things. I used to have an Amex card, which wasn't really welcome in many places (except Wetherspoon's). I asked a friendly hotel owner why this was, and he said it was because their charges were higher than others, and they were slow to pony up the dough.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on December 08, 2017, 08:29:33 pm
The ToCs do much more than simply collect fares.  But I the extra stuff they do (employ staff, buy fuel, plan timetables drive trains) is not capital intensive and therefore cannot be used to justify the profit.
What about the cost of bidding for a franchise? Does that count as 'capital'?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 08, 2017, 09:19:44 pm
The ToCs do much more than simply collect fares.  But I the extra stuff they do (employ staff, buy fuel, plan timetables drive trains) is not capital intensive and therefore cannot be used to justify the profit.
What about the cost of bidding for a franchise? Does that count as 'capital'?

Nope, that's Opex.

I see that several of the late night Reading/Oxford trains are being/have been cancelled tonight due to driver shortages and (in some cases) replaced with road transport from Paddington. As Christmas party season is in full swing, I hope they have plenty of coaches arranged to maintain the party spirit, otherwise it may get rather  unpleasant at PAD and points in between to Oxford.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 08, 2017, 10:34:30 pm
Not supplying intermediate timings is wrong though....imagine turning up for a cancelled train to Oxford at Reading.....just how long would you need to wait for that bus??? Surely you ought to know should you find out early in the evening?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on December 08, 2017, 10:48:01 pm
My question is why is profit of less than 0.3% seen as adequate for Amex, but 3% is seen as barely enough for a ToC? 

The simple answer is Risk.  If you were assured a nice steady return with little likelihood of loosing your original capital, then you should expect a low rate of return. 0.3% suggests a really solid investment.  

On the other hand if you were likely to get nothing at all because the likelihood is that the company will make nothing at all or even loose your capital because the company goes bust, then you would expect a very high return to make it worth your while investing in the shares.  

Earlier post talked about shareholders.  When we speak of TOCs they are separate companies (usually) wholly owned by the holding company.  So there are shareholders - just they are corporate shareholders.

If we look at the East Coast debacle - we see that two previous companies have handed in the keys (not just exercised a break clause) and another one is about to do so.  The fact that the current Government seems likely to let Stagecoach off lightly is something that had a risk to it as well as we all know that politicians are unpredictable.  

The result therefore of DfT's push to get the best deal and, on bidding, appear to transfer huge risk to the TOC  means that bidders will factor in for higher returns to cover the risk. They say they have transferred risk.  In some (but not all) cases they have created that risk in order transfer it, which is madness as it just creates excess cost!

Government is seen as a low risk borrower so they can borrow at much lower interest rates. However when they privatise they transfer risk so must pay more. This is why some (right and left alike) are asking if privatisation is worth it.  

What about the cost of bidding for a franchise? Does that count as 'capital'?
Nope, that's Opex.

I disagree. It is money put up front in the hope of getting a return. If the bidder looses they get nothing! In my judgement therefore it can be considered capital.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Surrey 455 on December 08, 2017, 11:33:03 pm
In the context of GWR changes, yes, maybe ... out of context, 1st January 2018 is unstoppable once 31st December 2017 has ended  ;D

There's always a 'Vogon Constructer Fleet (http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/Vogon_Constructor_Fleet)'! "A lucky break for Arsenal" if it did!  ;D

The new series (series 6) of the Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy begins next Spring. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-41594664) I've been catching up with the previous five series in the last few weeks. Just 3 more episodes to go for me!  :)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: NickB on December 09, 2017, 12:13:19 am
All semi direct and direct services are cancelled due to lack of staff. Paddington looks like 7pm on a Friday due to overcrowding and the ‘staff’ are giggling rather than sorting anything out. What a total shower of shit. And no, I won’t retract that.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on December 09, 2017, 12:14:55 am

Nope, that's Opex.


Isn't that in the eye of the beholder?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: NickB on December 09, 2017, 12:45:04 am
It’s looking like all late night LTV services are cancelled due to lack of drivers.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 09, 2017, 07:35:57 am
The extras running for the last weekend of the Bath Christmas market this morning between Bristol and Westbury have been cancelled so normal scheduled services on this line are likely to be very busy.

And no GWR services to/from Brighton today.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on December 09, 2017, 07:58:01 am
The extras running for the last weekend of the Bath Christmas market this morning between Bristol and Westbury have been cancelled so normal scheduled services on this line are likely to be very busy.

As that's due to crew rather than train shortage, I would hope that scheduled services are strengthened with the units not running the specials.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 09, 2017, 08:50:01 am
30 cancellations listed already today and another 21 "updates" of which the vast majority give details of alterations which amount to cancellations for many people at the stations being missed out as services are being started/finished short - nearly all due to "crew shortage"

Sorry, but this is getting towards meltdown now - notwithstanding the tragic events last night, most of the late night cancellations were down to traincrew shortages and customers were left swinging in the breeze into the early hours all along the LTV line with no meaningful help or information.

A glance at the customer experiences described on Twitter and on here from NickB give an idea of what it was like........interestingly, GWR Twitter this morning has stated that "there is not a shortage of drivers, all timetabled services have a full complement of crew rostered in"...............so where the hell are they?

The message has to be - don't rely on the train to get you home for Christmas...........God help the Famous Five.

Any word from Hopwood yet?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on December 09, 2017, 09:13:57 am
Every train formation "update" refers to the normal reduced train lengths, mainly 2 car instead of 3 or 4 and a few 3 car instead of 5.
No increased train lengths then. So what are they doing with all the units that would have been used on the services cancelled due to failure to employ enough staff.
With 30 cancellations and many more part cancellations, there should be enough units to strengthen some of those services that are running.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 09, 2017, 09:51:14 am
The extras running for the last weekend of the Bath Christmas market this morning between Bristol and Westbury have been cancelled so normal scheduled services on this line are likely to be very busy.
Unsurprisingly so have the afternoon’s extras been cancelled. Coupled with some trains running shorter than normal it’s not a good performance once again. We can’t say we weren’t warned by Industry Insider that this was going to be the case until the end of the year.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on December 09, 2017, 10:03:48 am
And now today to add to all the woes there is industrial action.


07:23 Warminster to Great Malvern due 10:32

07:23 Warminster to Great Malvern due 10:32 has been delayed at Bristol Temple Meads and is now 29 minutes late.

This is due to industrial action.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 09, 2017, 10:12:24 am
And now today to add to all the woes there is industrial action.


07:23 Warminster to Great Malvern due 10:32

07:23 Warminster to Great Malvern due 10:32 has been delayed at Bristol Temple Meads and is now 29 minutes late.

This is due to industrial action.
Probably linked to XC’s revised timetable due to Industrial action.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on December 09, 2017, 10:14:14 am
And now today to add to all the woes there is industrial action.


07:23 Warminster to Great Malvern due 10:32

07:23 Warminster to Great Malvern due 10:32 has been delayed at Bristol Temple Meads and is now 29 minutes late.

This is due to industrial action.
Probably linked to XC’s revised timetable due to Industrial action.

This is probably a knock on effect from XC Train Manager's strike today as you say.  This action won't help GWR's position of accommodating passengers today as they are accepting XC tickets


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 09, 2017, 11:00:04 am
The extras running for the last weekend of the Bath Christmas market this morning between Bristol and Westbury have been cancelled so normal scheduled services on this line are likely to be very busy.
Unsurprisingly so have the afternoon’s extras been cancelled. Coupled with some trains running shorter than normal it’s not a good performance once again. We can’t say we weren’t warned by Industry Insider that this was going to be the case until the end of the year.

Which begs the question, if Industry Insider could see it coming from months away, why didn't the Industry itself, and specifically GWR, do something about it?

And I repeat, according to GWR this morning,  ".....there is not a shortage of drivers, all timetabled services have a full complement of crew rostered in" -  so where are they all?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on December 09, 2017, 01:01:58 pm
Why does the dispute on cross country result in cancellation of GWR  services?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on December 09, 2017, 02:08:22 pm
Why does the dispute on cross country result in cancellation of GWR  services?

Nobody has said a train was cancelled,  merely delayed.   The root cause is the cause quoted and delay can be for a number of reactionary reasons. such as problem with XC train blocking platform for one.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: insider on December 09, 2017, 03:06:19 pm
The extras running for the last weekend of the Bath Christmas market this morning between Bristol and Westbury have been cancelled so normal scheduled services on this line are likely to be very busy.
Unsurprisingly so have the afternoon’s extras been cancelled. Coupled with some trains running shorter than normal it’s not a good performance once again. We can’t say we weren’t warned by Industry Insider that this was going to be the case until the end of the year.

Which begs the question, if Industry Insider could see it coming from months away, why didn't the Industry itself, and specifically GWR, do something about it?

And I repeat, according to GWR this morning,  ".....there is not a shortage of drivers, all timetabled services have a full complement of crew rostered in" -  so where are they all?

Well if you believe the GWR twitter feed??

The ongoing issue with Crew Shortage is multiple things. Yes on paper there are enough drivers. There are 3 main things one is the high number of training programmes at present. There are around 6-10 drivers a day released for 387 training. There are also roughly the same number for Route briefings for post Xmas changes. This training has to be done or we will be in an even worse state than now post New Year. THIS INFO IS JUST LTV (not sure about WEST issues but probably similar)

Then the other reason is the season, high levels of annual leave and sickness. However if you didn't have the 1st issue of approx. 20 drivers a day being released the 2nd issue would probably go all but unnoticed.

20 drivers a day is 20 diagrams of work uncovered, with approx. 6 hours of driving on average per turn that's a lot of uncovered trains.

The 3rd reason is the ongoing issue of overtime payment. There are no incentive payments to work overtime. Yes there is a flexibility deal (opt in or out) for majority of drivers but that doesn't cover any last minute issues. This is the railways industry own making. When you are being paid over £50k a year why would you agree to work an extra hour for roughly £20 (take home). Most would rather just go home, so drivers are refusing overtime.

So what are they doing about it???

LTV has over 40 active trainee drivers but this takes time. Recently around 8 have become competent. This number should have been higher. But training and exams are tough and some haven't passed the relevant tests. Why not train more you ask. It just isn't possible. Each trainee needs (after many weeks in classroom), 250 hours of driving over the routes that they will work. There are only so many instructors, many drivers don't want the added pressure or responsibility of teaching and that cant be forced on anyone. So it all takes time
GWR has had a huge training programme for trainee drivers over the last 7 years. Unfortunatly other TOCS know this and they just don't bother and then advertise for Qualified drivers and poach staff. Other parts of the country are much cheaper to live in and you can earn a higher salary for some TOCS. So the turnover of Drivers in LTV area is very high.
Reading currently has 45 drivers on a waiting list for transfers to other parts of GWR!!! they currently have around 28 trainees so it is a constant battle that will be here for the foreseeable future. (and another batch of trainees is starting next year)

My sources say its going to get even worse from New Year...so brace yourselves (but I keep my fingers crossed for a happy new year)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on December 09, 2017, 03:22:46 pm
Similarly to LTV drivers learning Class 387s, West drivers are training on the Turbos.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on December 09, 2017, 06:35:43 pm
Presumably HST Drivers are learning on IETs as well

A question though:

Then the other reason is the season, high levels of annual leave and sickness. However if you didn't have the 1st issue of approx. 20 drivers a day being released the 2nd issue would probably go all but unnoticed.

Has late delivery of stock and cascade pushed the training into a season where it has more impact on performance, or compressed it so more training is happening at once, or was this always going to happen?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 10, 2017, 09:02:47 am
The extras running for the last weekend of the Bath Christmas market this morning between Bristol and Westbury have been cancelled so normal scheduled services on this line are likely to be very busy.
Unsurprisingly so have the afternoon’s extras been cancelled. Coupled with some trains running shorter than normal it’s not a good performance once again. We can’t say we weren’t warned by Industry Insider that this was going to be the case until the end of the year.

Which begs the question, if Industry Insider could see it coming from months away, why didn't the Industry itself, and specifically GWR, do something about it?

And I repeat, according to GWR this morning,  ".....there is not a shortage of drivers, all timetabled services have a full complement of crew rostered in" -  so where are they all?

Well if you believe the GWR twitter feed??


Snipped it a bit for the sake of space.

As GWR's twitter feed is now it's main interface and virtually the only means of getting a response within an acceptable timeframe (emails take months as we all know), I'd be very concerned if your suggestion that it gives out dishonest information is true.

The detail you give on training, annual leave, sickness etc is interesting and enlightening however these are factors which every Business has to deal with, basic workforce management, and in the main they cope without collapsing in the way that GWR frequently do.

GWR must have known that all these training commitments were coming up months if not years in advance, yet it now seems that it has crept up on them unannounced.

Ultimately, this reeks of poor planning and weak management.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 10, 2017, 11:35:03 am
Who do you think is around to shunt & join these units together? And getting the decision to do so to anyone to notify said shunter?

Shunters don't grow on units in sidings....


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on December 10, 2017, 01:21:40 pm
The detail you give on training, annual leave, sickness etc is interesting and enlightening however these are factors which every Business has to deal with, basic workforce management, and in the main they cope without collapsing in the way that GWR frequently do.

Yes but most businesses can just go out to a temp agency and get more staff in off the street!  They don't have to train them for months before they can use them.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 10, 2017, 01:29:03 pm
Indeed, TG isn't reading what several of us are telling him.....


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Tim on December 11, 2017, 02:37:25 pm
My question is why is profit of less than 0.3% seen as adequate for Amex, but 3% is seen as barely enough for a ToC? 

The simple answer is Risk.  If you were assured a nice steady return with little likelihood of loosing your original capital, then you should expect a low rate of return. 0.3% suggests a really solid investment.  

On the other hand if you were likely to get nothing at all because the likelihood is that the company will make nothing at all or even loose your capital because the company goes bust, then you would expect a very high return to make it worth your while investing in the shares.  

Earlier post talked about shareholders.  When we speak of TOCs they are separate companies (usually) wholly owned by the holding company.  So there are shareholders - just they are corporate shareholders.

If we look at the East Coast debacle - we see that two previous companies have handed in the keys (not just exercised a break clause) and another one is about to do so.  The fact that the current Government seems likely to let Stagecoach off lightly is something that had a risk to it as well as we all know that politicians are unpredictable.  

The result therefore of DfT's push to get the best deal and, on bidding, appear to transfer huge risk to the TOC  means that bidders will factor in for higher returns to cover the risk. They say they have transferred risk.  In some (but not all) cases they have created that risk in order transfer it, which is madness as it just creates excess cost!

Government is seen as a low risk borrower so they can borrow at much lower interest rates. However when they privatise they transfer risk so must pay more. This is why some (right and left alike) are asking if privatisation is worth it.  

What about the cost of bidding for a franchise? Does that count as 'capital'?
Nope, that's Opex.

I disagree. It is money put up front in the hope of getting a return. If the bidder looses they get nothing! In my judgement therefore it can be considered capital.

A really good reply.  If I paraphrase you correctly, it seems that profit is justified to cover the ToC's risks of a) spending huge sums on a bid and not winning, and b) performance being below par and having to pony up because the system is set up to put artificial barriers (performance bonds etc) in the way of a ToC walking away from a franchise which is loosing money.

It would be churlish to point out that both of those risks only exist because of the crazy way in which Government has chosen to set up the system. 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on December 14, 2017, 09:45:08 pm
Henley on Thames finishing the day with buses due shortage of drivers.   Many LTV services cancelled for this reason.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 14, 2017, 10:00:52 pm
Henley on Thames finishing the day with buses due shortage of drivers.   Many LTV services cancelled for this reason.

Merry Christmas from GWR......make your own way home!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 15, 2017, 08:43:28 am
......a flavour of the "feedback" received by GWR last night as a result of them being unable to manage their workforce effectively and cancelling numerous late night services on one of the busiest evenings of the year......this from a personal friend who is not given to hyperbole

"......In nearly 30 years of commuting I have never experienced conditions like this evening. As a company you should be embarrassed to treat your customers like that...."

............from what I understand at one point train drivers on 3 carriage trains at Paddington (which idiot was responsible for only sending 3 car units in these circumstances?) were radioing control begging them to send more carriages for trains which were packed beyond the point of overcrowding 10 minutes before departure (this has been confirmed by GWR staff) - fights to get on trains, people left on platforms after last trains had left, no sign of any "customer service" staff.....naturally..............I wonder if any of this will feature in Hopwood's next Powerpoint presentation?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 15, 2017, 01:01:58 pm
I assume this is referring to the later evening trains?  Expect the same or similar every night until Christmas, as I have little faith in any appropriate response from senior management.

For the late evening services, my suggestion would be temporary diagrams with selected advance notice cancellations and a minimum of 6-car length trains that do run, to apply until 22nd December.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 15, 2017, 04:20:12 pm
I assume this is referring to the later evening trains?  Expect the same or similar every night until Christmas, as I have little faith in any appropriate response from senior management.

For the late evening services, my suggestion would be temporary diagrams with selected advance notice cancellations and a minimum of 6-car length trains that do run, to apply until 22nd December.

Yep, roughly 10pm onwards............as for senior "management", I couldn't agree more.....they've all been too busy [snip - GE], preaching about future glories rather than dealing with mundane little things like having enough drivers to get their customers home............here's our anonymous friend on a rare excursion from the Boardroom at the GWR Christmas party, taking his turn on the Karaoke..........apparently he chose "Midnight Train to Georgia" but sadly it had been cancelled as no driver was available!

It will be interesting to see how things pan out tonight, probably the biggest party night of the year, I see one of the peak Maidenhead services and a mid evening one have already been cancelled.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on December 15, 2017, 06:43:14 pm
I assume this is referring to the later evening trains?  Expect the same or similar every night until Christmas, as I have little faith in any appropriate response from senior management.

For the late evening services, my suggestion would be temporary diagrams with selected advance notice cancellations and a minimum of 6-car length trains that do run, to apply until 22nd December.

Yep, roughly 10pm onwards............as for senior "management", I couldn't agree more.... [snip]

It will be interesting to see how things pan out tonight, probably the biggest party night of the year, I see one of the peak Maidenhead services and a mid evening one have already been cancelled.


I have been asked if the text I have snipped has crossed the line and become a personal attack.  You might like to consider going back and editing your post?     The question of copyright on the image has also been raised - it looks very much like one of mine, but I don't recall giving permission, nor attending any GWR Christmas Party.

Edit to add ... 12 hours later, I have gone back and snipped a handful of words which had coe to key attention from multiple sources as being over the top.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: NickB on December 15, 2017, 07:08:27 pm
No comment about the copyright question but a personal attack?? Really?
The comments were directed towards the head of the company that this message board was set up to discuss - a person who has presided over operational failures that are accelerating not reducing and, most relevant of all, has completely withdrawn all means of customer feedback whilst enjoying self-congratulatory industry backslaps.
If Mark Hopwood had any courage at all he would meet his customers at Paddington station one evening, and then he might understand the pent up anger that his customers feel towards him and his management team. Until then he may have to cope with some needling on here.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on December 15, 2017, 07:22:13 pm
Until then he may have to cope with some needling on here.

Appreciated.  And indeed I probably snipped more than I needed in quoting back.  I loved the cancellation of the midnight train to Georgia, for example ...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 15, 2017, 07:46:13 pm
No comment about the copyright question but a personal attack?? Really?
The comments were directed towards the head of the company that this message board was set up to discuss - a person who has presided over operational failures that are accelerating not reducing and, most relevant of all, has completely withdrawn all means of customer feedback whilst enjoying self-congratulatory industry backslaps.
If Mark Hopwood had any courage at all he would meet his customers at Paddington station one evening, and then he might understand the pent up anger that his customers feel towards him and his management team. Until then he may have to cope with some needling on here.

I have heard a rumour that

GWR proved too much for the man,
So he's leavin' the life he's come to know,
He said he's goin' back to find
Ooh, what's left of his world,
The world he left behind
Not so long ago.

.........but I can't confirm it unfortunately 😜


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: FremlinsMan on December 15, 2017, 09:55:39 pm


I have heard a rumour that

GWR proved too much for the man,
So he's leavin' the life he's come to know,
He said he's goin' back to find
Ooh, what's left of his world,
The world he left behind
Not so long ago.

.........but I can't confirm it unfortunately 😜

Does anyone know roughly what time he'll be leaving?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 16, 2017, 12:16:07 am
I’m sure it’s fingers crossed for the new timetable in Jan.  I think if that works, he’ll stay, if not he’ll be gone...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on December 16, 2017, 08:24:29 am
I’m sure it’s fingers crossed for the new timetable in Jan.  I think if that works, he’ll stay, if not he’ll be gone...

He won’t be going until First give up the franchise.... and they will because who would want it. The new IET’s and the failed electrification project have pushed operating costs through the roof. There would have to be some big commitments from the DfT to get any interest in the franchise.
First have done well with the little assets they were allocated with by the DfT and I say that from someone who has recently left the company.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on December 16, 2017, 08:28:35 am
I assume this is referring to the later evening trains?  Expect the same or similar every night until Christmas, as I have little faith in any appropriate response from senior management.

For the late evening services, my suggestion would be temporary diagrams with selected advance notice cancellations and a minimum of 6-car length trains that do run, to apply until 22nd December.

This does mean the TOC has to go to DfT and admit they are unable to run the agreed service which would likely mean financial penalties and payments to NR for access; they don't get hit for running short trains 2 car instead of 5 and can live with the odd cancellation as they get cancelled out by NR delay attribution.

I’m sure it’s fingers crossed for the new timetable in Jan.  I think if that works, he’ll stay, if not he’ll be gone...

I hope they have it right, willing to give a few days to allow what is a major operating change to bed in.

The transition to a new type of traction and the cascade of existing stock to elsewhere is always challenging for a TOC and NR.   The short form DMU trains in the TV is a result I suspect of the 165 going west add to that the 180 progressively going off hire, the staff at OOC having to maintain HSTs yet they know the closure of the depot is oh so close, the storing of the new trains.

Add on top of that all the training of staff, its not only drivers but all the train crew as well; the fitters in the depots all needed to be trained on the new train, Hitachi having to recruit there recruitment ground being OOC and having to compete with TfL and other London train maintenance depots.  Even station staff need training in the dispatch etc of the new trains.

And keep a "normal" service running ................................ its a big task


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 16, 2017, 10:39:09 am


I have heard a rumour that

GWR proved too much for the man,
So he's leavin' the life he's come to know,
He said he's goin' back to find
Ooh, what's left of his world,
The world he left behind
Not so long ago.

.........but I can't confirm it unfortunately 😜

Does anyone know roughly what time he'll be leaving?

Depends on the Pips - they're speaking to the RMT apparently, not happy about working weekends.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on December 16, 2017, 02:09:42 pm
I’m sure it’s fingers crossed for the new timetable in Jan.  I think if that works, he’ll stay, if not he’ll be gone...

I hope they have it right, willing to give a few days to allow what is a major operating change to bed in.

The transition to a new type of traction and the cascade of existing stock to elsewhere is always challenging for a TOC and NR.   The short form DMU trains in the TV is a result I suspect of the 165 going west add to that the 180 progressively going off hire, the staff at OOC having to maintain HSTs yet they know the closure of the depot is oh so close, the storing of the new trains.

Add on top of that all the training of staff, its not only drivers but all the train crew as well; the fitters in the depots all needed to be trained on the new train, Hitachi having to recruit there recruitment ground being OOC and having to compete with TfL and other London train maintenance depots.  Even station staff need training in the dispatch etc of the new trains.

And keep a "normal" service running ................................ its a big task

Of course it is and that is why DfT have kept renewing FGW/GWR's franchise because it would be an even bigger risk for anyone else and so they might not have got any bidders. 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on December 16, 2017, 05:26:59 pm
No mention of the problem at the Customer Panel Meeting on 18th November nor of number of trains out of service.  Seemed to have been kept off the Agenda,


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on December 16, 2017, 05:27:57 pm
No comment about the copyright question...

I have heard a rumour that

GWR proved too much for the man,
So he's leavin' the life he's come to know,
He said he's goin' back to find
Ooh, what's left of his world,
The world he left behind
Not so long ago.

.........but I can't confirm it unfortunately 😜

I deplore the absence of an acknowledgement of James D Weatherly's part in all this.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on December 16, 2017, 05:46:44 pm
No mention of the problem at the Customer Panel Meeting on 18th November nor of number of trains out of service.  Seemed to have been kept off the Agenda.

Different groupings have very different slants as to what comes up; I went along to the first of the hew style panels in Bristol, and the concerns there were overwhelmingly biased to the ease of otherwise of getting on an off the station and train, and with the availability or lack thereof (at times) of staff at stations.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on December 18, 2017, 08:59:11 pm
I see that in the latest issue of Rail Magazine GWR is advertising for "Qualified Train Drivers"
 
Positions available at "Paddington, Reading, Oxford, Bristol, Gloucester, Westbury, Exeter and Penzance."


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on December 19, 2017, 12:01:51 am
I see that in the latest issue of Rail Magazine GWR is advertising for "Qualified Train Drivers"
 

I saw that too. Just that word "Qualified" in the way...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 19, 2017, 01:56:06 am
I see that in the latest issue of Rail Magazine GWR is advertising for "Qualified Train Drivers"
 
Positions available at "Paddington, Reading, Oxford, Bristol, Gloucester, Westbury, Exeter and Penzance."

Yep, seeing if they can poach anyone from any other TOC, or, more likely, FOC.  Shorter training period of course than taking somebody off of the street.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 19, 2017, 06:02:20 am
Great to see GWR looking to recruit drivers to solve the shortage  :)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: NickB on December 19, 2017, 07:05:59 am
Yeah - now if only they had done this 9 months ago they could have avoided inconveniencing hundreds of thousands of passengers...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on December 19, 2017, 11:15:01 am
Been advertising for some of those depots for the past few years!  The LTV depots with the start of CrossRail are a sinking ship


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 19, 2017, 12:01:32 pm
Yeah - now if only they had done this 9 months ago they could have avoided inconveniencing hundreds of thousands of passengers...

9 months ago, the delivery of IETs wasn't set in stone. And that's been the problem, along with the problem that a-driver refers to.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on December 19, 2017, 12:13:31 pm
9 months ago, the delivery of IETs wasn't set in stone. And that's been the problem, along with the problem that a-driver refers to.

...err, I think it was in the contract.  See physical Page 91 onwards here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/355607/great-western-iep-network-train-agreement.pdf

Health Warning: Its a large document


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 19, 2017, 12:18:37 pm
Ok, thanks. 9 months hasn't been long enough to train up the current GWR drivers (it's still ongoing now!), so when would the new drivers have been trained?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on December 19, 2017, 04:29:18 pm
Training on the IET’s was only allowed to commence once testing had been completed and the IET was handed over to GWR. Testing was carried out using GBRf drivers. I think it’s something like 3 or 4 weeks to fully train a driver on the IET.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on December 19, 2017, 05:56:04 pm
Training on the IET’s was only allowed to commence once testing had been completed and the IET was handed over to GWR. Testing was carried out using GBRf drivers. I think it’s something like 3 or 4 weeks to fully train a driver on the IET.

At first glance, that seems a curious arrangement ... there will be two lots of drivers to train rather than just the one set, and the GWR driver training will be compressed into a month during which the driver(s) concerned will contribute to a peak in the "shortage of train drivers".   We should thank goodness that the 800 class is being ramped up and not coming in with a massive spike (even if the 387s are)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 19, 2017, 06:11:47 pm
I suspect Hitachi wanted the testing done by third party drivers who couldn't be 'influenced' in their reporting back?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on December 19, 2017, 08:24:22 pm
I suspect Hitachi wanted the testing done by third party drivers who couldn't be 'influenced' in their reporting back?

Plus testing started on the East Coast mainline. Your freight drivers would already have the route knowledge to enable this to happen for a start


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on December 20, 2017, 12:54:33 pm
Cardiff to Tauntons suffering today including 2 whole round trips together with the afternoon Brighton and a Portsmouth Cardiff round trip.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 20, 2017, 07:00:50 pm
Plenty of cancellations and services terminating short this evening, looks more like a weekend day not a weekday.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Sixty3Closure on December 20, 2017, 07:10:33 pm
17.18 fast service for Maidenhead and Twyford ran non stop to Reading and the next fast service was reduced in size. Lot of angry people as these services are busy at the best of times and looked like a lot of people couldn't get on the 17.36

Just to add to the frustration it was another passenger who told everyone the 17.18 wasn't stopping where most people got off. Nothing on the displays and no announcement from the driver. Plenty of space for the few people who stayed on though...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: insider on December 21, 2017, 02:48:30 am
17.18 fast service for Maidenhead and Twyford ran non stop to Reading and the next fast service was reduced in size. Lot of angry people as these services are busy at the best of times and looked like a lot of people couldn't get on the 17.36

Just to add to the frustration it was another passenger who told everyone the 17.18 wasn't stopping where most people got off. Nothing on the displays and no announcement from the driver. Plenty of space for the few people who stayed on though...

This service was amended at 1652 well in advance of the departure time!!! Some people just choose not to look at the CIS at Paddington and just go to the platform. The train was expected 10 late and if it had run with the booked stops would have caused more delays to more people.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Sixty3Closure on December 21, 2017, 08:54:56 am

Some people just choose to be really patronising...

Where I was standing the service wasn't on the board until well past departure time and there were no announcements about changes. I know because I was stood there waiting for the platform to be called and then had to go ask the driver what was happening after being tipped off by a passenger.

And I'm sure that's a great comfort to the people who couldn't get on the shortened 17.36


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: BandHcommuter on December 21, 2017, 02:42:54 pm
According to National Rail Enquiries app,four consecutive trains from Southampton to Westbury are cancelled this evening. 1842, 1910, 2010 and 2110. Might try another route home... :-[


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on December 21, 2017, 03:04:17 pm
According to National Rail Enquiries app,four consecutive trains from Southampton to Westbury are cancelled this evening. 1842, 1910, 2010 and 2110. Might try another route home... :-[

There are trains from Southampton to Salisbury at 18:40 and 19:37 which arrive in Salisbury just before Westbury trains leave there - operated by SWR so won't show up on GWR-only sources.  The connection off the 18:40 is very tight indeed - in a co-ordinated world, they might hold the connection.

This does also suggest there could be some sanity in linking Southampton - Salisbury and Salisbury - Westbury services ... ;-)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 21, 2017, 05:36:30 pm
According to National Rail Enquiries app,four consecutive trains from Southampton to Westbury are cancelled this evening. 1842, 1910, 2010 and 2110. Might try another route home... :-[
Pathetic.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: rogerw on December 21, 2017, 06:32:49 pm
Cancellation of services on the Portsmouth line actually made the travel news on BBC Wiltshire tonight although no specific details were given


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on December 21, 2017, 07:29:26 pm
Cancellation of services on the Portsmouth line actually made the travel news on BBC Wiltshire tonight although no specific details were given

The BBC might try and get an interview with the Ghost man, Mark Hopwood, to find out what's going on.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 21, 2017, 07:34:05 pm
The service is so poor tonight it’s appearing on the front page of the GWR website and as a line update on Journeycheck:

Quote
Cancellations to services between Bristol Temple Meads and Portsmouth Harbour

Due to a shortage of train drivers between Bristol Temple Meads and Portsmouth Harbour fewer trains are able to run.

Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled or revised. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.

Customer Advice
South Western Railway are conveying passengers between Reading and Portsmouth Harbour via Salisbury and Southampton Central in both directions until further notice.

How First are allowed to get away with providing such a poor service at weekends and now on weekdays without any penalty is beyond me. Instead the government invite them to talks on awarding them a new short term franchise.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on December 21, 2017, 08:48:48 pm
Quote
Cancellations to services between Bristol Temple Meads and Portsmouth Harbour

Quote
Customer Advice
South Western Railway are conveying passengers between Reading and Portsmouth Harbour via Salisbury and Southampton Central in both directions until further notice

If I was unfamiliar with the railways, I would read that as if I wish to travel from Bristol to Portsmouth, I should travel to Reading, then onto Salisbury before heading down to the South Coast? A rather scenic way round


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: rogerw on December 21, 2017, 09:04:06 pm
The information on replacement coaches is also somewhat ambiguous appearing to be only operating between Westbury and Bristol with nothing to cover the gap between Salisbury and Westbury (or can you travel on SWR via Yeovil?)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 21, 2017, 09:05:45 pm
Nice bit of extra work for the coach companies now the schools are out for Christmas.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on December 21, 2017, 09:14:37 pm
The information on replacement coaches is also somewhat ambiguous appearing to be only operating between Westbury and Bristol with nothing to cover the gap between Salisbury and Westbury (or can you travel on SWR via Yeovil?)

Northbound calls at Warminster made (or expected) at 18:01, 19:01, 21:16, 22:14 and 23:30 - just one serious gap. Southbound at 18:15, 19:50, 20:30, 21:11, 22:15, 22:26 and 23:12 - again just on serious gap.

Edit to add - missed the crush-busting extra service at 18:18 that ran from Warminster to Westbury  ;D


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 22, 2017, 04:34:22 pm
Looks like it's catching across First Group........

Fury at Christmas Getaway rail chaos warning after guards call in sick | London Evening Standard https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/fury-at-christmas-getaway-rail-chaos-warning-after-guards-call-in-sick-a3725651.html


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 22, 2017, 04:48:38 pm
So far so good as far as services affected by train crew issues. Maybe that was the plan, have a bad day yesterday to have as many crew available as possible today.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 22, 2017, 05:42:29 pm
......now you have to add this to the equation too.....anyone fancy the 1903 tonight?


14:07 London Paddington to Penzance due 19:33


14:07 London Paddington to Penzance due 19:33 has been previously delayed, has been further delayed at Reading and is now 12 minutes late.
This is due to overcrowding.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 22, 2017, 06:31:00 pm
.......blimey they're all at it! Did all TOCs have their Christmas parties last night?

https://www.southernrailway.com/travel-information/plan-your-journey/service-updates?uq=636495641305800000#INC1AC82EFE8C3949A6A693511D045E9370


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on December 22, 2017, 08:31:48 pm
You could try flying from Bristol instead...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on December 23, 2017, 07:58:22 am
Seems even Santa has been hit by staff shortages

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/S73184/2017/12/24/advanced (http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/S73184/2017/12/24/advanced)

Quote
Due to a lack of elves, this service will be formed of five instead of ten sleighs. All stops will still be served.

 ;D


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 23, 2017, 08:47:48 am
Seems even Santa has been hit by staff shortages

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/S73184/2017/12/24/advanced (http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/S73184/2017/12/24/advanced)

Quote
Due to a lack of elves, this service will be formed of five instead of ten sleighs. All stops will still be served.

 ;D

Unions won't have it - Christmas Day working - thin end of the wedge......................treble time anyone?  :)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on December 23, 2017, 08:53:39 am
I'll have a treble... oh no cross purposes there... ;D


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 23, 2017, 08:55:18 am
I think the handful of GWR drivers who do work on Christmas Day get treble time.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 23, 2017, 09:14:09 am
I think the handful of GWR drivers who do work on Christmas Day get treble time.

My first job was in a Naval Base and the offer for Christmas Day was treble time + a day off in lieu.......loads of people used to volunteer (mostly single blokes/those without children) , 0700-1500 so basically you had a late Christmas lunch and counted the money!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 23, 2017, 10:29:12 am
I think that’s true of the railways as well, hence you’d have no problems getting in enough staff for a reduced Boxing Day Service if the offer is good enough.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 23, 2017, 11:55:28 am
After a fairly good day yesterday, normal* service has been resumed on the Cardiff-Portsmouth/Brighton line  ::)

*normal by GWR standards of service on weekends.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 23, 2017, 01:14:50 pm
I think that’s true of the railways as well, hence you’d have no problems getting in enough staff for a reduced Boxing Day Service if the offer is good enough.

Agreed, but possibly causing severe overcrowding as pretty much *everyone wanting to get home* would try & use those trains, rather than a full service on the 27th/spreading themselves out, especially when the 27th is a workday.
The overcrowding/unable to board would generate the complaints one might expect. Is it something the TOCs want?

Also, the obvious question is how the extra cost (staffing being 25% of the cost of running a 'mormal' service) can be recovered. Would people pay extra? I doubt it generally, a few might, leading to empty seats if the fare differential between 26th & 27th was substantial.

I think the only way would be for the DfT to require a full Saturday service in new franchises with a triple pay/day off in lieu staff pay requirement for those choosing to work. How the lack of staff volunteering problem might be solved if it arose, I'm not sure. It could be used against the TOC should there be unrest at that time.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 23, 2017, 05:27:29 pm
I think that’s true of the railways as well, hence you’d have no problems getting in enough staff for a reduced Boxing Day Service if the offer is good enough.

Agreed, but possibly causing severe overcrowding as pretty much *everyone wanting to get home* would try & use those trains, rather than a full service on the 27th/spreading themselves out, especially when the 27th is a workday.
The overcrowding/unable to board would generate the complaints one might expect. Is it something the TOCs want?

Also, the obvious question is how the extra cost (staffing being 25% of the cost of running a 'mormal' service) can be recovered. Would people pay extra? I doubt it generally, a few might, leading to empty seats if the fare differential between 26th & 27th was substantial.

I think the only way would be for the DfT to require a full Saturday service in new franchises with a triple pay/day off in lieu staff pay requirement for those choosing to work. How the lack of staff volunteering problem might be solved if it arose, I'm not sure. It could be used against the TOC should there be unrest at that time.

I think if there were trains on 26th as well as 27th it would spread things out a great deal more than the current situation of everyone trying to travel on the 27th................we cannot of course be sure either way......it would certainly be very handy for sporting events etc.

Is it fair to say though Chris that a significant part of the point you are trying to make, albeit quite subtly, taking into account premium pay etc is.......................Ooooooooos gunna pay for it?  ;)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 23, 2017, 05:58:57 pm
Of course that comes into it...but the bigger problem is that of capacity! Full football fixture list *plus* many returning from Christmas will surely result in ooosnot getting on their train. :-)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 23, 2017, 06:12:05 pm
There was a full football fixture list today and people going away in their droves.  A few isolated problems but largely dealt with fairly easily.  We won’t know until we give it a go...  ;)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 23, 2017, 07:03:22 pm
Those going away have been doing so since Thursday evening....till tomorrow afternoon. More wish to return on Boxing Day to save holiday usage on the 27th when thats a working day methinks, which will concentrate the travelling.

You're right, it has to be tried with suitable warnings for those services with reservations when there's none left? But getting TOCs to try it with the costs involved will need DfT making payments or at least zero Advance fares


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 23, 2017, 07:45:22 pm
I’ll be undertaking a long distance car journey Boxing Day afternoon, and will report back on the state of the motorways.  Perhaps any other forum members undertaking a similar journey could do the same?  A comparison with a typical Sunday on the motorways, with an allowance for the fact they’ll be slightly busier anyway because the train isn’t an option, will give a very good indication as to likely demand.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 23, 2017, 07:55:49 pm
I’ll be undertaking a long distance car journey Boxing Day afternoon, and will report back on the state of the motorways.  Perhaps any other forum members undertaking a similar journey could do the same?  A comparison with a typical Sunday on the motorways, with an allowance for the fact they’ll be slightly busier anyway because the train isn’t an option, will give a very good indication as to likely demand.

Yep I'm driving back on Boxing Day, I'll report back too.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on December 24, 2017, 12:45:57 am
I'll be driving the road equivalent of Nailsea & Backwell to Totnes on Boxing Day morning: I, too, will report back.  ;)

I will also look at splitting these latest posts off into their own new topic, as they don't relate to 'train crew shortages' directly.  ::)



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 24, 2017, 07:26:19 am
I’ll be flying out of Bristol Airport at 7am on Boxing Day  :o so will update how I get on there.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on December 24, 2017, 08:24:17 am
After many years in the past having to work over Christmas and Boxing Day improving the Railway infrastructure; having changed what I do few years ago I now enjoy staying at home over those two day and only travel locally  :)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on December 24, 2017, 08:28:42 am
After many years in the past having to work over Christmas and Boxing Day improving the Railway infrastructure; having changed what I do few years ago I now enjoy staying at home over those two day and only travel locally  :)

Me to.  When I started as an S&T Technician on the southern end of the WCML way back in the early 1970s, I worked many xmas eves/xmas days/Boxing days.  I remember trains running on xmas eve up to about 0200 on xmas day.  Oh fun times...... ::) :P

Any way, a happy xmas and new year to all.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: simonw on December 24, 2017, 11:12:15 am
This thread has been active several months now, and this issue appears to getting worse, not better.

Is there a serious reason for this? Does GWR have issues training enough drivers|guards generally, or for particular routes, or where they over reliant on overtime and drivers|guards are not doing as much now?

Whilst my main journey, from Bristol Parkway to Bristol Temple Meads is frequent and short, I see many cancellations from the boards, and experience a fair number of them myself.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on December 24, 2017, 11:23:05 am
Interestingly despite it being a Sunday AND Christmas Eve today it seems sufficient staff have been resourced so far.

Up to 11am there have been no GWR cancellations or short workings and only one train formed with fewer than the planned number of coaches.

Indeed there are a handful of additional services planned for this afternoon in South Devon, but that may be adding ones which had been accidentally omitted from the original timetable.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on December 24, 2017, 11:27:40 am
This thread has been active several months now, and this issue appears to getting worse, not better.

Is there a serious reason for this? Does GWR have issues training enough drivers|guards generally, or for particular routes, or where they over reliant on overtime and drivers|guards are not doing as much now?

Whilst my main journey, from Bristol Parkway to Bristol Temple Meads is frequent and short, I see many cancellations from the boards, and experience a fair number of them myself.

I understand that one of these is being delivered over Christmas and the New Year:

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/magicwand.jpg)

It comes in the form of class 166 units which have already started to move down - enough for five or six diagrams from the start of service on 2nd January, with drivers and train managers who have been substantially away on training also returning from that training to drive the new services, allowing stock released to lengthen the remaining one car "multiple" unit (!) trains in the area, and indeed providing something of an oversupply allowing 150/1 trains to be released to go "up north".

It does all still depend on some works being completed over the next 8 days, sign-offs to allow electric trains to run between Maidenhead and Didcot (otherwise - watch the panic transfer back of the 166s!).  And of course, being "railway", it does require paperwork and certification of the magic wand in time.   Should that not happen, I expect we would see a storm of complaints about the overrun like we've never seen before!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on December 24, 2017, 11:42:53 am
According to WNXX Forum posts the Maidenhead to Didcot electrification has already been signed off: https://twitter.com/IanProsser7/status/944259672487399424


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 24, 2017, 11:48:32 am
I thought we had noted that already (maybe in another thread?)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: plymothian on December 24, 2017, 12:03:38 pm
It's amazing what double time and a 1/4 will do for people who 'never work Sundays'.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on December 24, 2017, 12:04:03 pm
I thought we had noted that already (maybe in another thread?)

We may have done, Chris ... such is the volume of stuff happening and the busyness of the forum that things end up getting repeated.   Chris from Nailsea does an excellent lead job of joining threads up so they form a building reference later (we really appreciate that Chris), but it's the nature of breaking news that the same data may fly in from several angles at once.

I'm a tutor (in IT) in my day job. And one of the tips I learned, from a cynic, was to repeat myself.  "Tell they what you're going to tell them.  Tell them.  Tell them what you've told them. And they may remember it".   Now I don't hold fully with that, though there's an element of truth; there is certainly a need for a pulling together of individual threads into a total picture ("summarising and adding context").    And  I do wonder how anyone can see the full flow of posts here and elsewhere and take it all in ... so a moderate repetition of key items does (IMHO) more good than harm.

Quote
I thought we had noted that already (maybe in another thread?)

Repeating and highlighting certainly helps bring home key information - thank you for the highlight  ;)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on December 24, 2017, 12:33:47 pm
I was unaware it had been, the last thing I recall being mentioned was that it was due to be signed off between Xmas and NY, so good to see if it officially has been


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: stuving on December 24, 2017, 12:39:00 pm
I was unaware it had been, the last thing I recall being mentioned was that it was due to be signed off between Xmas and NY, so good to see if it officially has been

I think that's right. The sign-off only happened last Friday morning, so it can hardly have been reported before that. Given how important this was, that is certainly taking it right down to the wire - or perhaps (like all well-behaved pantographs) up to the wire.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 24, 2017, 02:24:40 pm
Yes, definitely signed off.

The main issue for the new year and new timetable is the 387 service extending to Didcot, and the few 12-car formations that will be operating.

Most drivers will not have driven an electric 8-car train west of Maidenhead, so they will be cautiously finding their feet when it comes to stop car markers and braking points.

12-car trains will provide a big capacity boost, but at stations like Slough, Maidenhead, and Twyford they will be stopping at platforms with the doors opening on as few as 7 cars, which will no doubt take a while for customers to get used to, and needs publicising extensively.  At Reading the rear four will be locked out of use, so again there's a performance risk of delays whilst that takes place.

I forsee those issues causing a few delays to begin with, but I think the crew shortage problem will be significantly eased.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 24, 2017, 04:03:55 pm
Been a much much better day today, the best for a long time  :)

Things looked to have been going smoothly with the diverts to and from Marylebone. I think GWR have been wise to just operate an hourly service along with the hourly services between Bristol and Reading (to change for services to Waterloo)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 24, 2017, 04:17:05 pm
Yes, everyone who works today is on ‘double time and a quarter’ meaning there were enough volunteers to counter those who had taken the option to not work.  Same deal for New Years Eve as well.

The run up to Christmas was very poor, but the big getaway period itself has largely been very successful - largely due to it being spread out more.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 24, 2017, 04:47:28 pm
Sadly the same cannot be said for XC services with the already reduced timetable due to strike action being further reduced due to traincrew issues. Looking at RTT you have trains due to run cancelled operating only as empty coaching stock to their destinations.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on December 24, 2017, 04:54:30 pm
Been a much much better day today, the best for a long time  :)

Things looked to have been going smoothly with the diverts to and from Marylebone. I think GWR have been wise to just operate an hourly service along with the hourly services between Bristol and Reading (to change for services to Waterloo)

GWR - Nil   Northern - 73


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 24, 2017, 05:20:08 pm
GWR - Nil   Northern - 73
Perhaps Northern weren’t offering something as generous as GWR were for working today?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: stuving on December 24, 2017, 05:30:15 pm
The run up to Christmas was very poor, but the big getaway period itself has largely been very successful - largely due to it being spread out more.

While this year's calendar has been relatively favourable for railway planners, it has been quite the opposite for SNCF. They have been getting flak for crowded trains and stations, and for "overbooking". Part of their excuse is that this year's school holidays start on the 23rd, which is as late is ever happens and it's been ages since the last one (actually 2006) so everyone has forgotten what to expect.

That is probably true, and the press comment is largely synthetic outrage. For a start all TGVs and some Intercités are reservation only, and while there may have been the odd glitch that led to people being unable to take their reserved seats that wasn't the big problem. It's the other Intercités where reservations are optional, and TERs that don't have reservations at all, that were so full it left barely enough elbow room for sending angry tweets.

I still haven't found out where SNCF tell you which Intercités require reservations, but I'm sure they must do somewhere. These are longer distance trains, of the traditional cross-country kind, and not very fast. I didn't realise until now that there are also long-distance TERs, which are even slower - so neither "express" nor "régional". For example, Paris Bercy-Lyon takes 3 hours to Dijon and 5 to Lyon.

SNCF didn't help their case when one of their staff tweeters used the word overbook and said they do it for the same reasons recently given here - people like the turn-up-and-go flexibility. Later they corrected that to point out these were trains with no bookings or admitting passengers without. Note that their unreserved tickets now valid for a week from the date you ask for - so the charge of "selling too many tickets" is less apt than it is here.

The complaint with most force was from people who did reserve but couldn't travel as the train was already full and in some cases left early for safety reasons. The SNCF answer was that they can't reasonably call the police to clear a train - but that is an admission that they don't attempt to regulate boarding on those trains (not so very many) nor enforce reservations.

Of course the journalistic comment didn't bother to understand any of that. And I do expect some here will be envious of that level of crowding.   


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 24, 2017, 05:33:58 pm
Sadly the same cannot be said for XC services with the already reduced timetable due to strike action being further reduced due to traincrew issues. Looking at RTT you have trains due to run cancelled operating only as empty coaching stock to their destinations.

Irrespective of the leverage it gives, you have to question the morals and human decency of those prepared to strike in these circumstances on Christmas Eve knowing the misery it will cause to thousands of people.

Great to hear that GWR services have held up so well today.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on December 24, 2017, 07:12:43 pm
Irrespective of the leverage it gives, you have to question the morals and human decency of those prepared to strike in these circumstances on Christmas Eve knowing the misery it will cause to thousands of people.

Great to hear that GWR services have held up so well today.

I think this is more than a little of an overreaction TG.

I would have thought that this year - with Christmas Eve being a Sunday and with the rush starting on Friday - this was more a symbolic strike at one of the least disruptive days. After all NR have already started Christmas shutdowns. 

I don't know if XC staff are contracted to do Sundays or whether it is voluntary...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 24, 2017, 09:08:13 pm
I would have thought that this year - with Christmas Eve being a Sunday and with the rush starting on Friday - this was more a symbolic strike at one of the least disruptive days. After all NR have already started Christmas shutdowns. 
Well the next XC strike day certainly won’t be a ‘symbolic’ one...it's on the 27th.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 24, 2017, 10:16:32 pm
....and the 31st....


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on December 24, 2017, 10:27:42 pm
....and the 31st....
Yup, along with all the other dates in January across various TOCs. I guess that’s one thing we can be thankful for that GWR are one of the few TOCs not involved in an industrial dispute.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: old original on December 25, 2017, 04:37:48 am
Irrespective of the leverage it gives, you have to question the morals and human decency of those prepared to strike in these circumstances on Christmas Eve knowing the misery it will cause to thousands of people.

Great to hear that GWR services have held up so well today.

I think this is more than a little of an overreaction TG.

I would have thought that this year - with Christmas Eve being a Sunday and with the rush starting on Friday - this was more a symbolic strike at one of the least disruptive days. After all NR have already started Christmas shutdowns. 

I don't know if XC staff are contracted to do Sundays or whether it is voluntary...

..and XC were also on strike on the 23rd..


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 26, 2017, 03:58:56 pm
I’ll be undertaking a long distance car journey Boxing Day afternoon, and will report back on the state of the motorways.  Perhaps any other forum members undertaking a similar journey could do the same?  A comparison with a typical Sunday on the motorways, with an allowance for the fact they’ll be slightly busier anyway because the train isn’t an option, will give a very good indication as to likely demand.

So, to report back as promised.  An early to mid-afternoon journey on Boxing Day taking in sections of the M1 and M40 as well as several major A roads, and I was surprised just how busy it was out there!  I would estimate, based on previous experience, around 70-80% as busy as a typical Sunday afternoon, which is probably the best day to use for comparisons.  Noticeably less HGV traffic as you would expect, but certainly no shortage of cars, and proof in my mind that, from a national public service perspective, more trains are needed on Boxing Day.  I'll be interested to hear other travellers experiences.

Obviously that's not an in-depth study, but I don't think anyone can seriously claim that if an extensive train service operated on Boxing Day nobody would use it, but there might be the potential for overcrowding if you didn't operate trains at a sufficient frequency, or ban walk-on fares.  Both are potential options (as is doing nothing!), but I think I favour the gradual introduction of routes, so you can stop the system being swamped by reducing the number of possible journeys being available, but once you've proven you can cope with the numbers (and you can entice sufficient staff in) you can introduce more routes as necessary.

So, for example, start off with Paddington to Oxford/Bristol/Westbury and Reading to Gatwick.  Then the following year extend to Bristol and Cardiff, then if all is going well Exeter, Swansea, Worcester and Gloucester the year after that, then finally Weston-Super-Mare, Plymouth and perhaps Cardiff-Portsmouth and there you have it.  From nothing, to most of the GWR routes within 5 years.   ;)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 26, 2017, 05:07:23 pm
The M40 was pretty busy at 0700 this morning. We get to hear the swish of teaffic noise from the decking outside our house once a certain level is reached! That would mistly be football traffic.

Complaints from fans early on 5Live breakfast from those about to drive/catch a (free, put on by their club) coach that they had to go early as they couldn't have a drink until they got there, so had to travel early. I don't have much sympathy for fan drinking frankly


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 26, 2017, 05:22:47 pm
I’ll be undertaking a long distance car journey Boxing Day afternoon, and will report back on the state of the motorways.  Perhaps any other forum members undertaking a similar journey could do the same?  A comparison with a typical Sunday on the motorways, with an allowance for the fact they’ll be slightly busier anyway because the train isn’t an option, will give a very good indication as to likely demand.

So, to report back as promised.  An early to mid-afternoon journey on Boxing Day taking in sections of the M1 and M40 as well as several major A roads, and I was surprised just how busy it was out there!  I would estimate, based on previous experience, around 70-80% as busy as a typical Sunday afternoon, which is probably the best day to use for comparisons.  Noticeably less HGV traffic as you would expect, but certainly no shortage of cars, and proof in my mind that, from a national public service perspective, more trains are needed on Boxing Day.  I'll be interested to hear other travellers experiences.

Obviously that's not an in-depth study, but I don't think anyone can seriously claim that if an extensive train service operated on Boxing Day nobody would use it, but there might be the potential for overcrowding if you didn't operate trains at a sufficient frequency, or ban walk-on fares.  Both are potential options (as is doing nothing!), but I think I favour the gradual introduction of routes, so you can stop the system being swamped by reducing the number of possible journeys being available, but once you've proven you can cope with the numbers (and you can entice sufficient staff in) you can introduce more routes as necessary.

So, for example, start off with Paddington to Oxford/Bristol/Westbury and Reading to Gatwick.  Then the following year extend to Bristol and Cardiff, then if all is going well Exeter, Swansea, Worcester and Gloucester the year after that, then finally Weston-Super-Mare, Plymouth and perhaps Cardiff-Portsmouth and there you have it.  From nothing, to most of the GWR routes within 5 years.   ;)

Clear run up the A38/M5/M4 from Plymouth, just over 3 hours door to door, time to drop off luggage/gifts in Taplow and then on to MK Dons to watch Argyle win 1-0, great journey, great result!  :)

Can't imagine being able to match that itinerary by train at the best of times!!! (......but would be good to have the option).


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on December 29, 2017, 05:13:35 pm
Cancellations to services between Swindon and Cheltenham Spa


Due to a shortage of train drivers between Swindon and Cheltenham Spa fewer trains are able to run.
Train services running through these stations may be cancelled. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.


Transwilts being hit quite hard too.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on January 02, 2018, 02:55:39 pm
A quick look at the GWR website reveals approximately 40 cancellations, most of which are LTV services and have appeared in the last hour, all due to shortage of train crew throughout peak time tonight and beyond. Possibly the worst I've seen......combined with the number of short formations this morning what a farcical start to the "Brave new World" of reliability and capacity we've all been promised.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on January 02, 2018, 03:24:33 pm
And on the same day the fares went up.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on January 02, 2018, 03:25:58 pm
Yes, a very poor start to the year.
I would have some sympathy with GWR if some exceptional circumstance had caused a sudden and unexpected staff shortage, but cant consider January the second to be in any way exceptional.

Never mind it will all be all right when the new trains come into service  ???


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Sixty3Closure on January 02, 2018, 03:27:47 pm
Would it be right to assume that these cancellations (or rather the crew shortage) have been known about all day? Most businesses would know what resources they have on the day (and even before) so why not make this information available earlier? Give people the chance to plan their day? Work from home/elsewhere if they can?





Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on January 02, 2018, 03:38:44 pm
To be generous to GWR, this MIGHT be a case of late shift drivers not turning up due to last minute sickness. Or of earlier shift drivers declining to work overtime.

Whatever the detail, it is the job of the TOC to recruit and retain enough staff to run the advertised service in all but truly exceptional conditions. GWR have failed miserably in this respect, for some months.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on January 02, 2018, 03:49:44 pm
Sorry, you can't expect companies to cover for industrial action (fake sickness is an RMT trick right now, so I include that) - how many companies have staff around to cover for unplanned or planned action, for example.

I'm not saying it is this, but if it was.

II has also posted elsewhere as to a reason staff shortages might be prevalent this week, but I can't find it. It can take many months to train a driver, and considerable cost. I agree rosters should all be covered, but unless you want higher fares, they aren't going to have drivers sat around just in case. That last happened over 30 years ago.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on January 02, 2018, 03:55:07 pm
To be generous to GWR, this MIGHT be a case of late shift drivers not turning up due to last minute sickness. Or of earlier shift drivers declining to work overtime.

Whatever the detail, it is the job of the TOC to recruit and retain enough staff to run the advertised service in all but truly exceptional conditions. GWR have failed miserably in this respect, for some months.

GWR have recruited drivers in there hundreds, I would estimate in the region of 500 drivers in the past three or four years and that doesn’t include the recruiting of already qualified drivers but as quickly as they pass out new drivers others are leaving the company.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 02, 2018, 03:55:31 pm
I'm not saying it is this, but if it was.

Well it obviously isn't, so I'm not sure quite why you are saying it, even if you aren't.  ;)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 02, 2018, 03:59:43 pm
GWR have recruited drivers in there hundreds, I would estimate in the region of 500 drivers in the past two or three years and that doesn’t include the recruiting of already qualified drivers but as quickly as they pass out new drivers others are leaving the company.

Quite a significant number of which do not live locally, or have moved themselves down here into rented accommodation leaving family at whatever distant town 'home' may be.  Unsurprisingly at the first opportunity they get a job with a TOC close to wherever home is.  Is it really beyond the wit of GWR to find people who are local? (cue League of Gentlemen impressions!).


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Gordon the Blue Engine on January 02, 2018, 04:12:35 pm
If the current shortage is due to a higher than expected turnover I would expect HR to know the reason why and to address it.  Ditto if absence due to sickness is higher than expected.  Incidentally, I don’t buy this fake sickness suggestion.

Others have reported that RD and overtime payments have been reduced.  This is not the best strategy if you know you’re short (or going to be short) of Drivers and need to rely on RD and overtime working to keep the service going.  Drivers are a TOC’s most important resource and they need to be managed (in the broadest sense) effectively.

But then in my day there were experienced Employee Relations people.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on January 02, 2018, 04:18:29 pm
One TOC gave their drivers 28% over several years.....do you support going that far?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Gordon the Blue Engine on January 02, 2018, 04:31:16 pm
It’s not just the money.  Anyone in any job likes to feel valued, respected, treated reasonably etc.  I know plenty of people who have moved to a lower paid job and been happier for it because of the job satisfaction they get which they didn’t get before. 

You don’t necessarily need money to reduce turnover, just good management (again, in the broadest sense) to help retain staff who you may lose if you don’t treat them right.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on January 02, 2018, 04:43:25 pm
If the current shortage is due to a higher than expected turnover I would expect HR to know the reason why and to address it.  Ditto if absence due to sickness is higher than expected.  Incidentally, I don’t buy this fake sickness suggestion.

Others have reported that RD and overtime payments have been reduced.  This is not the best strategy if you know you’re short (or going to be short) of Drivers and need to rely on RD and overtime working to keep the service going.  Drivers are a TOC’s most important resource and they need to be managed (in the broadest sense) effectively.

But then in my day there were experienced Employee Relations people.


Most progressive organisations regard customers as on a par with staff as their most important resource.

But then in the real world there's competition.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 02, 2018, 04:45:33 pm
I'm not sure many passengers would be happy being described as a resource?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on January 02, 2018, 04:51:56 pm
I'm not sure many passengers would be happy being described as a resource?

I appreciate that regarding your customers as an asset to be treated accordingly is utterly alien to the railways, and therefore I get why the concept has gone straight over your head.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on January 02, 2018, 04:55:45 pm
GWR have recruited drivers in there hundreds, I would estimate in the region of 500 drivers in the past two or three years and that doesn’t include the recruiting of already qualified drivers but as quickly as they pass out new drivers others are leaving the company.

Quite a significant number of which do not live locally, or have moved themselves down here into rented accommodation leaving family at whatever distant town 'home' may be.  Unsurprisingly at the first opportunity they get a job with a TOC close to wherever home is.  Is it really beyond the wit of GWR to find people who are local? (cue League of Gentlemen impressions!).

At Paddington, a lot of drivers are  considered to be local.  I can’t remember many coming from outside London. Since I left I’ve seen ex-GWR drivers walking around in TfL uniforms and working for other London TOC’s. I don’t know about Oxford and Reading but, like London, they aren’t cheap places to move to and rent.  I guess if they haven’t got the number of local applicants to apply then there’s not much option.
I remember 3 years ago at Padd we had drivers worrying about job security because they considered the company to be recruiting far too many new drivers, now look at it!  


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 02, 2018, 05:01:25 pm
I'm not sure many passengers would be happy being described as a resource?

I appreciate that regarding your customers as an asset to be treated accordingly is utterly alien to the railways, and therefore I get why the concept has gone straight over your head.

Resource to me means something to be used.  Seems to be the dictionary definition as well?  Asset is a much better word.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 02, 2018, 05:07:52 pm
I guess if they haven’t got the number of local applicants to apply then there’s not much option.

I think that's the problem - local advertising is not being done effectively.  Appreciating that London is very different, I don't believe that there's not a pool of people living in Reading or Oxford or the surrounding villages that would make excellent train drivers and be more than happy to do the job if some kind of appropriate weighting was given living local to the depot during the application process. 

Would that fall foul of employment law?  As a business you could argue that people who live close to the depot are likely to be more punctual and be able to get to work when the weather is bad as well as more likely to stay.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Gordon the Blue Engine on January 02, 2018, 05:09:22 pm
I'm not sure many passengers would be happy being described as a resource?

I appreciate that regarding your customers as an asset to be treated accordingly is utterly alien to the railways, and therefore I get why the concept has gone straight over your head.

A company’s resources may include many things, eg land, capital, plant, equipment, expertise, people (ie human resources, a horrible modern term) etc.

However, customers are most definitely NOT a resource.   How a company treats its customers is a completely different issue.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: lbraine on January 02, 2018, 05:16:16 pm
At the risk of being knee jerk reactive (and coming across as Mr Angry) - the first full work day of the new ‘improved’ timetable in the TV was a shambles,  especially through the rush hours.

Both trains I aimed for (in and out) of Reading were cancelled with others on the board in a similar state.

What is the point of FGW publishing a timetable they clearly cannot honour - whether the reasons be infrastructure issues, stock defects or the much discussed lack of drivers.

What should have been a positive experience day (perhaps negating some of the sticker shock of the new fare increases) was in fact firmly negative. Like most commuters I have waited pateniently through the massive amount of disruptions to the Paddington lines over the last 4 years - understanding that there was many hard yards to be experienced before something better would emerge.

Today was a joke. I’m expecting it to descend into farce as short-comings become more effident and continual.

I have attached the list of 35 cancellations listed from 5pm on Journey check around ( in the main) Reading. Most due to ‘lack of driver’.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 02, 2018, 05:20:02 pm
Indeed, a pathetic first day.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on January 02, 2018, 05:28:44 pm
Is it a simple lack of drivers or it is a lack of trained drivers (route briefings/traction training)?

I’m guessing it’s a shortage of 387 trained drivers. Now electrification extends to Didcot and there’s more 387’s running perhaps now they’ve got more services on which drivers can be trained on.

Edit:  I see some services are now being reinstated.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on January 02, 2018, 05:45:32 pm
I'm not sure many passengers would be happy being described as a resource?

I appreciate that regarding your customers as an asset to be treated accordingly is utterly alien to the railways, and therefore I get why the concept has gone straight over your head.

Resource to me means something to be used.  Seems to be the dictionary definition as well?  Asset is a much better word.

An asset is a resource with economic value.....this particular asset is on a 2 car Turbo  (usually 8 car Electric) stopper packed beyond belief before it's even left Paddington.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Sixty3Closure on January 02, 2018, 05:46:18 pm
My original query wasn't so much about the lack of drivers but GWR knowing that they had a shortage today (and other days). Putting that to one side (for a moment anyway) did they really only realise they couldn't cover shifts a couple of hours ago?

As someone who has had to rota staff in the past I look at what I have for the day and then give teams affected by lack of 'resource' as much notice as possible. Am I missing something in not assuming that GWR would have known at 8am today or yesterday what trains they could run allowing for a small notice of short notice changes?



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 02, 2018, 05:53:29 pm
They would have certainly had a fair idea, though a lot of juggling goes on during the day to try and minimise shortages.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on January 02, 2018, 06:11:39 pm
Hence some reinstatements.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on January 02, 2018, 06:12:00 pm
They would have certainly had a fair idea, though a lot of juggling goes on during the day to try and minimise shortages.

Not enough jugglers but a load of balls.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: lbraine on January 02, 2018, 06:53:04 pm
Well there were 35 cancellations, then it dropped to 14 - just now back up to 27.

That’s all within 1 hour.

How the hell are passengers supposed to know if a train is going to run or not ? Crystal Ball ? Make a phone call to FGW M.D.

How does this install confidence ?

I’d like FGW to get behind a hashtag #honourthetimetable - and state as policy that no matter what the occurrence, they will run the trains timetables - even if in doing so they take a financial hit.

What says everyone ? Do we start adding #honourthetimetable with every communication with FGW ?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on January 02, 2018, 07:31:44 pm
There’s Turbos coming back from Bristol being put back on service trains in the Thames Valley


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on January 02, 2018, 07:39:06 pm
There’s Turbos coming back from Bristol being put back on service trains in the Thames Valley
Funny, was just about to suggest ‘would you like some Turbos back?’ But where does that leave the West fleet bearing in mind some 150 stock has already left for up North?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on January 02, 2018, 10:41:11 pm
At first glance I thought it was a tongue in cheek comment...

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/O57302/2018/01/02/advanced


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on January 03, 2018, 06:26:30 am
There’s Turbos coming back from Bristol being put back on service trains in the Thames Valley
Funny, was just about to suggest ‘would you like some Turbos back?’ But where does that leave the West fleet bearing in mind some 150 stock has already left for up North?

It leaves the west fleet short ... at least six diagrams involved ...

Quote

07:23 Warminster to Great Malvern due 10:31 will be cancelled.
This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.

Facilities on the 08:00 Cardiff Central to Paignton due 11:20.
This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.
Will be formed of 2 coaches instead of 4.
 
Facilities on the 06:58 Barnstaple to Exeter Central due 08:10.
This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.
Will be formed of 2 coaches instead of 4.

Facilities on the 07:33 Westbury to Swindon due 08:19.
This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.
Will be formed of 1 coach instead of 2.

Facilities on the 07:35 Taunton to Bristol Parkway due 09:03.
This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.
Will be formed of 2 coaches instead of 3.

Facilities on the 07:30 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 10:52.
This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.
Will be formed of 3 coaches instead of 5.



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on January 03, 2018, 06:42:59 am

I’d like FGW to get behind a hashtag #honourthetimetable - and state as policy that no matter what the occurrence, they will run the trains timetables - even if in doing so they take a financial hit.

What says everyone ? Do we start adding #honourthetimetable with every communication with FGW ?

But run the trains involves actually having some trains available to them. No amount of money is going to get a train to magically appear in the depot! 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on January 03, 2018, 07:12:11 am

I’d like FGW to get behind a hashtag #honourthetimetable - and state as policy that no matter what the occurrence, they will run the trains timetables - even if in doing so they take a financial hit.

What says everyone ? Do we start adding #honourthetimetable with every communication with FGW ?

But run the trains involves actually having some trains available to them. No amount of money is going to get a train to magically appear in the depot! 


You'll find them in the depot.....more than usual of these (brand new) trains need repair (apparently).......maybe you need some mechanics to magically appear.....or the RMT to stop encouraging drivers to phone in sick? (Allegedly) 😉


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on January 03, 2018, 07:46:38 am
It leaves the west fleet short ... at least six diagrams involved ...

Quote

07:23 Warminster to Great Malvern due 10:31 will be cancelled.
This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.

Facilities on the 08:00 Cardiff Central to Paignton due 11:20.
This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.
Will be formed of 2 coaches instead of 4.
 
Facilities on the 06:58 Barnstaple to Exeter Central due 08:10.
This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.
Will be formed of 2 coaches instead of 4.

Facilities on the 07:33 Westbury to Swindon due 08:19.
This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.
Will be formed of 1 coach instead of 2.

Facilities on the 07:35 Taunton to Bristol Parkway due 09:03.
This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.
Will be formed of 2 coaches instead of 3.

Facilities on the 07:30 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 10:52.
This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.
Will be formed of 3 coaches instead of 5.

To list but a few, West Services taking quite a hit looking at JourneyCheck this morning with many short formed services or services starting/ending short.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on January 03, 2018, 09:51:01 am
Well there were 35 cancellations, then it dropped to 14 - just now back up to 27.

That’s all within 1 hour.

How the hell are passengers supposed to know if a train is going to run or not ? Crystal Ball ? Make a phone call to FGW M.D.

How does this install confidence ?

I’d like FGW to get behind a hashtag #honourthetimetable - and state as policy that no matter what the occurrence, they will run the trains timetables - even if in doing so they take a financial hit.

What says everyone ? Do we start adding #honourthetimetable with every communication with FGW ?

I E-Mailed Mark Hopwood at the end of last week not just about crew shortages but also about "More trains than usual under repair" and requesting a Public Statement be issued.   Guess what ?   No reply


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on January 03, 2018, 09:53:50 am
It’s not just the money.  Anyone in any job likes to feel valued, respected, treated reasonably etc.  I know plenty of people who have moved to a lower paid job and been happier for it because of the job satisfaction they get which they didn’t get before. 

You don’t necessarily need money to reduce turnover, just good management (again, in the broadest sense) to help retain staff who you may lose if you don’t treat them right.


The wages paid to train drivers seem to me to be generous. If recruiting or retaining drivers is problematic then that certainly suggests that it is about more than the money.
There is a fairly widely held view among train drivers that there are too many "bright young managers" often with irrelevant degrees, whose job seems to be to victimise drivers.
Said young managers are widely believed to despise the train drivers whom are paid a lot more than the managers.

It is alleged by some drivers, that managers employ underhand tactics to catch them out. Examples include use of forward facing CCTV to catch drivers going the other way whilst not wearing correct uniform, and telephoning a drivers mobile number during a shift in the hope that they will answer and can then be disciplined.

Such behaviour would not help to retain drivers.

I have left a (non railway) job because of overbearing management and their security staff. Said security staff appeared to view their job as being to trap employees into breaking the rules, rather than the detection of actual dishonesty. And they wondered why retaining staff was difficult !


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on January 03, 2018, 10:56:19 am
The wages paid to train drivers seem to me to be generous. If recruiting or retaining drivers is problematic then that certainly suggests that it is about more than the money.
There is a fairly widely held view among train drivers that there are too many "bright young managers" often with irrelevant degrees, whose job seems to be to victimise drivers.
Said young managers are widely believed to despise the train drivers whom are paid a lot more than the managers.

Are you quoting hearsay or have you actually spoken to any drivers? Many? I'm not calling your hearsay untrue, but I think you need to be upfront about your statement.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on January 03, 2018, 12:28:49 pm
The wages paid to train drivers seem to me to be generous. If recruiting or retaining drivers is problematic then that certainly suggests that it is about more than the money.
There is a fairly widely held view among train drivers that there are too many "bright young managers" often with irrelevant degrees, whose job seems to be to victimise drivers.
Said young managers are widely believed to despise the train drivers whom are paid a lot more than the managers.

Are you quoting hearsay or have you actually spoken to any drivers? Many? I'm not calling your hearsay untrue, but I think you need to be upfront about your statement.

I have actually spoken to several train drivers, all of whom have expressed very negative views about young managers without railway experience, whom they consider are "out to get drivers"
Two work for south west trains, as they were known at the time of the conversation.
One works for GWR.
One worked for south west trains, but was dismissed unfairly. BTW, the "unfairly" bit is not simply their view, they won compensation for unfair dismissal.
I also know well a driver who works for a rail freight company, they moved from a passenger TOC due to what they considered as the bad management attitude at the passenger TOC. They speak well of their present employer.

I have also heard hearsay expressing similar views.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on January 03, 2018, 01:19:56 pm
And I have a train driving friend who's just moved from freight to passenger. He speaks well of his present employer.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Henry on January 03, 2018, 03:29:38 pm

 I do not think the 'rumblings' of low morale is solely restricted to driver's.

 In the South Devon area, where their are a lot of experienced railway people, I'm heard of similar stories.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on January 04, 2018, 04:53:45 pm
Well there were 35 cancellations, then it dropped to 14 - just now back up to 27.

That’s all within 1 hour.

How the hell are passengers supposed to know if a train is going to run or not ? Crystal Ball ? Make a phone call to FGW M.D.

How does this install confidence ?

I’d like FGW to get behind a hashtag #honourthetimetable - and state as policy that no matter what the occurrence, they will run the trains timetables - even if in doing so they take a financial hit.

What says everyone ? Do we start adding #honourthetimetable with every communication with FGW ?

I E-Mailed Mark Hopwood at the end of last week not just about crew shortages but also about "More trains than usual under repair" and requesting a Public Statement be issued.   Guess what ?   No reply

I have now received a reply acknowledging my E-Mail addressed to the MD and we will reply in due course.    No progress, just left to Customer to concoct some reply which probably won't answer the question.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on January 04, 2018, 05:33:26 pm

 I do not think the 'rumblings' of low morale is solely restricted to driver's.

 In the South Devon area, where their are a lot of experienced railway people, I'm heard of similar stories.

I think driver morale it different depending on the depot.

As for managers, there’s not many with actual driving experience or front line experience and that cause some issues, but, you won’t find many drivers wanting to give up driving to become a manager so I suppose they don’t have much choice. Most of our managers tend to just leave you alone to get on with it.
Morale is also affected by events that GWR can’t control. Most of us want to get back and finish on time, train managers want a smooth trip with no grief etc!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on January 07, 2018, 08:33:25 am
IC services taking a real hit today with 17 cancellations listed with others terminating short. Surprisingly, ‘West’ services all looking good...so far.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on January 07, 2018, 10:09:09 am
IC services taking a real hit today with 17 cancellations listed with others terminating short. Surprisingly, ‘West’ services all looking good...so far.

.......cancellations getting further West unfortunately.........

19:57 London Paddington to Exeter St Davids due 22:36 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on January 07, 2018, 05:16:29 pm
Oh dear...

Quote
Cancellations to services between Swansea and Bristol Parkway
Due to a shortage of train crew between Swansea and Bristol Parkway all lines are disrupted.
Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled. Disruption is expected until 19:00 07/01.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on January 07, 2018, 05:37:37 pm
Shameful  >:(


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: alphaline on January 14, 2018, 05:26:56 pm
A couple of years ago around 100 were rumoured to be in a talent pool for trainee driver courses with most of those for Bristol depot.

Those who were 'accepted' were fed emails every three months with vague wording implying that the candidates would be selected based on overall scores (never mind the fact they had passed three interviews and psychometrics)

Noone was told their score.  The carrot continued to be dangled for months which was great for morale.  Some people got taken on and well done to them.

Six months was enough for me.  I applied elsewhere and got my key despite enduring a pay cut in the process.  I would imagine many others did the same.

Recruitment is a nightmare in the rail industry generally when it comes to drivers and the Great Western electrification delay was largely to blame.

However their recruitment process really needs looking at.  Hopefully it has now improved.  I wonder how many who 'passed' this process got given jobs how many had to reapply and of those how many then failed the tests.  Obviously it is worth it in the end but taking 100 drivers on at one depot was never going to work.  Recent vacancies tend to at least be honest about the 'possibility' of placements rather than giving people false hope. 

There must be plenty still in a talent pool who could reduce these cancellations.  More incentive needed for DIs too?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on January 14, 2018, 07:10:26 pm
Thank you for posting that fascinating insight to the GWR driver recruitment process, alphaline - and a very warm welcome to the Coffee Shop forum!  :)



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on January 28, 2018, 09:49:04 am
...........all cancelled today due to shortage of train crew - good to see GWR getting on top of the problem.....best of luck if you're travelling to/from West Wales today, buses from Swindon/Cardiff are "looking to be sourced"


08:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 10:44

10:37 London Paddington to Carmarthen due 15:29

11:18 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 13:33

12:37 London Paddington to Swansea due 16:27

13:05 Bristol Temple Meads to Taunton due 14:04

13:37 London Paddington to Carmarthen due 18:30

14:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 18:18

15:19 Taunton to Bristol Temple Meads due 16:20

15:23 Carmarthen to London Paddington due 20:32

15:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 19:18

16:37 London Paddington to Swansea due 20:30

17:15 Swansea to London Paddington due 21:08

17:21 Carmarthen to London Paddington due 22:13

19:15 Swansea to London Paddington due 23:17

19:20 Carmarthen to London Paddington due 00:12


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 28, 2018, 10:18:22 am
Isn’t that pretty much the entire Swansea/Cardiff to London service wiped out after 3pm today?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: chuffed on January 28, 2018, 03:45:07 pm
Perhaps they are all needed in Cardiff, to take all those sobbing light blue Mancunians back to Manchester ??!!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on January 28, 2018, 04:08:14 pm
Or could it be ;-

Lack of train crew signing the diversionary route.

 ::)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on January 28, 2018, 05:38:33 pm
Or could it be ;-

Lack of train crew signing the diversionary route.

 ::)
Could well be martyjon. Whatever the reason it’s been a very poor service operating between South Wales and London today.

And there was me going to post to this thread earlier today how much things have improved on local ‘West’ services which they have only for the perennial problem of lack of train crew to pop up somewhere else. Still, at least it’s been a better day on the North Cotswold line.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: chuffed on January 28, 2018, 06:26:39 pm
Sorry getting my b's and d's muddled up there! ;D


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on February 03, 2018, 08:37:47 pm
Sorry getting my b's and d's muddled up there! ;D

Dugger.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Western Pathfinder on February 03, 2018, 11:27:37 pm
Bings bollage bainbridge ?.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on February 04, 2018, 03:13:42 pm
Bings bollage bainbridge ?.

[pedant]
(Khaki, Kettle, Kipling, Kuwait,) Kings Bollege Bambridge.
[/pedant]

[pedant back on again]
Although that is only on the record. It was Keble Bollege Oxford in the original TV.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz2LaJOVAiA
[/pedant back off]


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Western Pathfinder on February 04, 2018, 04:38:21 pm
Poke in the eye with a sharp stick ?  Different sketch same album Live at Druy Lane 😀


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 09, 2018, 10:17:06 pm
.....not ideal on a Friday night....all cancelled due to crew shortage;

21:29 Reading to London Paddington due 22:28
23:00 London Paddington to Reading due 23:57
23:12 London Paddington to Reading due 00:16
00:14 Reading to London Paddington due 01:11
01:34 London Paddington to Reading due 02:28


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on February 11, 2018, 09:24:37 am
Terrible today affecting HSS services,  Cheltenham services especially hit.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on February 11, 2018, 09:30:44 am
Suspect the start of half term in many areas has reduced the number of staff volunteering to work.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 11, 2018, 09:47:05 am
Terrible today affecting HSS services,  Cheltenham services especially hit.

Woeful.

GWR seem no nearer to addressing the Sunday issue. I would not currently recommend planning long distance Sunday travel by rail to anyone.............that's before even taking the weekday staffing situation into account.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: welshman on February 11, 2018, 11:07:28 am
It is nothing short of preposterous that any company should try to run a 7 day business with staff only contracted to a 6 or even 5 day week.

The majority of organisations (eg the NHS) have rotas and you have to do your turn.   My daughter is a "junior doctor" (7 years qualified) and she has to do her nights/weekends/public holiday shifts as part of her contract.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: paul7755 on February 11, 2018, 04:12:33 pm
Perhaps the future newly nationalised railway will have standardised national 7/7 contracts?

Paul


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 11, 2018, 05:15:20 pm
Perhaps the future newly nationalised railway will have standardised national 7/7 contracts?

Paul

..............run that one past the Unions!

I suspect that the current situation is a legacy of old BR terms and conditions which GWR et al have not had the cojones to challenge?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on February 11, 2018, 05:45:31 pm
It is nothing short of preposterous that any company should try to run a 7 day business with staff only contracted to a 6 or even 5 day week.

The majority of organisations (eg the NHS) have rotas and you have to do your turn.   My daughter is a "junior doctor" (7 years qualified) and she has to do her nights/weekends/public holiday shifts as part of her contract.

Agree entirely, I feel that enforcing a significant change on existing staff would be unreasonable, and possible contrary to employment law.
I have however previously suggested that all new staff should be required to work weekends, there is nothing unreasonable about this if the requirement is made clear at the recruitment stage.
There would still be a need for some voluntary overtime working by existing staff for some years, but at least it would be a steadily reducing problem rather than ongoing and perhaps worsening.
I would also suggest that if existing employees apply for a new role, that the new role should require weekend working. Anyone who considers this to be unreasonable need not apply.

A more radical proposal might be to allow existing train crew who are about to retire, to continue part time work at weekends only, for say a year.
Todays increasingly busy railway is not the place for very elderly workers, but I also doubt that a driver or train manger suddenly become unfit/unsafe on a certain birthday.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on February 11, 2018, 06:40:44 pm
I thought we had seen the back of this at the start of the year, been a poor excuse of a service on HSS lines to South Wales and Cheltenham.

As for services to/from Carmarthen why don’t GWR give up?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on February 11, 2018, 06:44:19 pm
I fear for summer weekends if they can’t cover at the moment despite plenty of bribes being handed out.

Meetings between Union and company continue with regard to bringing Sunday’s in the working week for drivers.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on February 11, 2018, 06:53:45 pm
I fear for summer weekends if they can’t cover at the moment despite plenty of bribes being handed out.
Last summer wasn’t great if I remember rightly.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on February 11, 2018, 06:58:13 pm
As for services to/from Carmarthen why don’t GWR give up?

Perhaps they are doing - the Red / Blue franchises map shows neither franchise going beyond Swansea, and the consultation asks about services logically taken away or added in.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 11, 2018, 07:18:52 pm
I fear for summer weekends if they can’t cover at the moment despite plenty of bribes being handed out.

Meetings between Union and company continue with regard to bringing Sunday’s in the working week for drivers.

What progress has been achieved through these meetings? Are they anywhere near an agreement to resolve this ridiculous situation?

If the "safety" issues around DOO with Southern can be evaporated by a huge pay rise I'm sure a similar approach would ultimately do the trick here.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on February 11, 2018, 11:44:20 pm
Sufficient progress has obviously been made for the meetings to continue, though I don’t know much more than that.

Comparisons with Southern are misleading as they were in dispute and so far there seems precious little appetite from the Government or other stakeholders to get involved and put pressure on GWR to resolve the issue.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: NickB on February 12, 2018, 06:19:02 pm
All fast and semi fast services to Maidenhead cancelled due to staff shortages.

Utterly useless.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 14, 2018, 07:33:58 am
Serious problems and overcrowding at Maidenhead this morning due to several peak cancellations caused by insufficient staff.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on February 14, 2018, 08:38:51 am
Quote
This service has been cancelled. This is due to more staff asking for half term week off than usual and management accepting all these requests as usual.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: froome on February 14, 2018, 09:09:06 am
Does GWR's leave period run from April to March like many office based jobs? If so, does that mean there will be another spike in leave related absence in the run up to Easter weekend, which is right at the beginning of April?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 14, 2018, 09:26:32 am
Does GWR's leave period run from April to March like many office based jobs? If so, does that mean there will be another spike in leave related absence in the run up to Easter weekend, which is right at the beginning of April?

Almost inevitably, & throughout August and any other half terms/Bank Holidays............despite these all being in calendars for months and able to be planned for by management.............well most businesses seem to manage it OK without their service melting down.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Sixty3Closure on February 14, 2018, 09:32:32 am
I wish when I had to do rotas for a 24/7 service I could just cancel services and just put a note up saying 'sorry'.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 14, 2018, 09:35:07 am
I wish when I had to do rotas for a 24/7 service I could just cancel services and just put a note up saying 'sorry'.

Yep, me too! Life would have been so much easier!!!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on February 14, 2018, 12:01:12 pm
Does GWR's leave period run from April to March like many office based jobs? If so, does that mean there will be another spike in leave related absence in the run up to Easter weekend, which is right at the beginning of April?

As far as I know all the driver and guard depots have leave allocations that run out at the end of the year, not at the end of March. 

A very small number of days can be carried over at the depot managers discretion.  That sometimes happens if a driver has tried to take holiday in December, but has had the request declined (as little as 48 hours notice as to whether you have got a day off or not is given) and they have had no opportunity to apply for another day.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 14, 2018, 01:15:25 pm
Does GWR's leave period run from April to March like many office based jobs? If so, does that mean there will be another spike in leave related absence in the run up to Easter weekend, which is right at the beginning of April?

As far as I know all the driver and guard depots have leave allocations that run out at the end of the year, not at the end of March. 

A very small number of days can be carried over at the depot managers discretion.  That sometimes happens if a driver has tried to take holiday in December, but has had the request declined (as little as 48 hours notice as to whether you have got a day off or not is given) and they have had no opportunity to apply for another day.

Just out of interest, how many days annual leave do drivers/guards get with GWR (roughly)?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on February 14, 2018, 01:23:59 pm
It varies slightly from depot to depot and grade to grade, but around 30 is probably the average.  Higher than most people, but if you are rostered to work on Bank Holidays and want to take the day off it comes out of that total (no days in lieu), and if Christmas Day and Boxing Day fall on days you are due to work then they come off the total as well.  Usually just over 50% of those days are allocated to block weeks, with the rest ad-hoc.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on February 14, 2018, 07:55:02 pm
It varies slightly from depot to depot and grade to grade, but around 30 is probably the average.  Higher than most people, but if you are rostered to work on Bank Holidays and want to take the day off it comes out of that total (no days in lieu), and if Christmas Day and Boxing Day fall on days you are due to work then they come off the total as well.  Usually just over 50% of those days are allocated to block weeks, with the rest ad-hoc.
So that 2 days more than the statutory minimum if it includes bank holidays isn't it?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on February 14, 2018, 09:19:45 pm
It varies slightly from depot to depot and grade to grade, but around 30 is probably the average.  Higher than most people, but if you are rostered to work on Bank Holidays and want to take the day off it comes out of that total (no days in lieu), and if Christmas Day and Boxing Day fall on days you are due to work then they come off the total as well.  Usually just over 50% of those days are allocated to block weeks, with the rest ad-hoc.

And with ad-hoc leave only a certain number of staff will be guaranteed it.  The amount guaranteed depends on the size of the depot.  For example, if 8 drivers put in for leave 3 could be guaranteed the day off the remainder will only be granted if all the jobs from the depot are covered.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: simonw on February 15, 2018, 07:42:39 am
And this morning, the 0624 from Bristol Parkway to Penzance was cancelled (second time this week), only to appear at Bristol Temple Meads twenty minutes later (a nice announcement as I left my interstation taxi at Temple Meads).

Interestingly, a co-passenger confirmed that Bristol Depot where struggling to cope with their work load after a large amount of staff left GWR to work for Hitachi at Stoke Gifford.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on February 15, 2018, 12:27:32 pm
Might be a good idea for GWR to produce a special timetable for each school holiday seems they are unable to run the advertised service, that way everyone would at least have more confidence that their train would run.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 15, 2018, 09:01:30 pm
Late evening LTV services decimated again - all cancelled due to lack of drivers.

22:01 Reading to London Paddington due 23:08
22:18 London Paddington to Oxford due 23:29
22:21 London Paddington to Bedwyn due 00:02
22:27 London Paddington to Reading due 23:45
23:12 London Paddington to Reading due 00:16
23:27 London Paddington to Didcot Parkway due 00:50


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on February 15, 2018, 09:47:31 pm
Late evening LTV services decimated again - all cancelled due to lack of drivers.

22:01 Reading to London Paddington due 23:08
22:18 London Paddington to Oxford due 23:29
22:21 London Paddington to Bedwyn due 00:02
22:27 London Paddington to Reading due 23:45
23:12 London Paddington to Reading due 00:16
23:27 London Paddington to Didcot Parkway due 00:50
What are people who were due to travel on these trains expected to do?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on February 15, 2018, 09:59:59 pm
GWR Twitter's cut and paste:-

 Sorry for the cancellations this evening. We do have staff on standby to cover to prevent these situations but sometimes we can't always get them to where they are needed to be in time, this therefore causes delays/cancellations.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 15, 2018, 10:02:50 pm
..............I certainly wouldn't advise going via Waterloo..........

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/waterloo-station-delays-south-western-railway-commuters-caught-up-in-huge-crowds-at-uk-s-busiest-hub-a3767951.html


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Surrey 455 on February 15, 2018, 11:03:44 pm
..............I certainly wouldn't advise going via Waterloo..........

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/waterloo-station-delays-south-western-railway-commuters-caught-up-in-huge-crowds-at-uk-s-busiest-hub-a3767951.html

Too late. I turned my phone volume off whilst at work today and consequently missed the alert for journeycheck emails. Got home an hour and a half later than expected. Once I finish reading todays coffee shop posts I'm onto the Delay repay website for the second time this week.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Thatcham Crossing on February 16, 2018, 07:56:19 am
Quote
22:21 London Paddington to Bedwyn due 00:02

So I wonder how the good people of Kintbury, Hungerford and Bedwyn got home last night?

(there is of course a later train for stations to Newbury, as long as that wasn't cancelled aswell ::))


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on February 16, 2018, 08:07:03 am
This thread, and many others on this forum, are a sad indictment of just how shit GWR has become as a train operator.

All the factors affecting rolling stock cascades, maintenance,  training, staffing levels, infrastructure improvements, haven't just crept up on GWR unannounced. They've been known about for years. GWR have failed spectacularly to plan effectively.

That is a failure of the senior management and directors at GWR and FirstGroup. Someone should be kicking their butts. The problem is the only potential butt kickers are the DfT. For ideological reasons the current incumbents there won't do anything for fear of upsetting FirstGroup and scaring them away from rail franchising.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on February 16, 2018, 08:22:35 am
That is a failure of the senior management and directors at GWR and FirstGroup. Someone should be kicking their butts. The problem is the only potential butt kickers are the DfT. For ideological reasons the current incumbents there won't do anything for fear of upsetting FirstGroup and scaring them away from rail franchising.
Couple this with the great time First are having running the SW franchise. Stagecoach must think they dodged a bullet losing the SW franchise or they saw trouble coming and put in a low bid.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on February 16, 2018, 08:29:47 am
I think Stagecoach did see the trouble ahead. They refused the DfT's offer of a contract extension which meant the franchise re-tender was triggered earlier than HMG wished.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on February 16, 2018, 09:03:07 am
I think Stagecoach did see the trouble ahead. They refused the DfT's offer of a contract extension which meant the franchise re-tender was triggered earlier than HMG wished.
Exactly, so the writing was on the wall back then.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on February 16, 2018, 11:20:54 am
This thread, and many others on this forum, are a sad indictment of just how shit GWR has become as a train operator.

All the factors affecting rolling stock cascades, maintenance,  training, staffing levels, infrastructure improvements, haven't just crept up on GWR unannounced. They've been known about for years. GWR have failed spectacularly to plan effectively.

That is a failure of the senior management and directors at GWR and FirstGroup. Someone should be kicking their butts. The problem is the only potential butt kickers are the DfT. For ideological reasons the current incumbents there won't do anything for fear of upsetting FirstGroup and scaring them away from rail franchising.

To say that GWR are totally responsible for current situation is totally incorrect. 
The promised electrification work has been delayed and deferred...... responsible party, the DfT and NR. 
The cascade of units away from the franchise was agreed by the DfT in the new franchise for Northern.  GWR were not even consulted by the DfT, the first they knew was in the franchise spec for Northern . 
Extensions were granted to the lease of the HST's for as long as possible but ultimately work to the sets for ScotRail had been signed.
Staff who were working for Wabtec on the short HST sets for the West Country were poached by Hitachi which contributed to deadlines being missed
Staff working at GWR depots left because the company couldn't give assurances on their future employment.  Then the plans changed and it is now too late.
The request from GWR for additional units to cover was declined.  Chiltern were approached.  There are no other units available to lease.
The levels of staffing is specified by the DfT.  The level of staffing has been met.  The DfT/TFL paid for GWR to recruit and train a specified number of drivers.  This was also met.
Just some of the reasons why the DfT can't kick the butt of GWR.  Nothing to do with scaring them off.  The DfT simply know who's at fault.
GWR threw money at us, and I think they still are, for drivers to become more flexible in regards to working new trains and training.

You can't train drivers on the new trains if you firstly haven't got the infrastructure to run the new trains.  You also can't train drivers if the manufacturer of the trains haven't handed them over to the train operator. 
There's in the region of 300 drivers, probably more than that, working on the Thames Valley routes alone.  You can't train all them overnight.  The whole electrification project has been completely mishandled by the DfT and NR and GWR have been left to pick up the pieces.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 16, 2018, 11:42:29 am
This thread, and many others on this forum, are a sad indictment of just how shit GWR has become as a train operator.

All the factors affecting rolling stock cascades, maintenance,  training, staffing levels, infrastructure improvements, haven't just crept up on GWR unannounced. They've been known about for years. GWR have failed spectacularly to plan effectively.

That is a failure of the senior management and directors at GWR and FirstGroup. Someone should be kicking their butts. The problem is the only potential butt kickers are the DfT. For ideological reasons the current incumbents there won't do anything for fear of upsetting FirstGroup and scaring them away from rail franchising.

You can't train drivers on the new trains if you firstly haven't got the infrastructure to run the new trains.  You also can't train drivers if the manufacturer of the trains haven't handed them over to the train operator. 
There's in the region of 300 drivers, probably more than that, working on the Thames Valley routes alone.  You can't train all them overnight.  The whole electrification project has been completely mishandled by the DfT and NR and GWR have been left to pick up the pieces.

I'd suggest if that's your opinion that you discuss it with GWR, as their direct response to the question posed last night was as follows;

Customer: "Last month, 2 of your staff at RDG told me you didn’t have enough trained drivers to run the new electric trains. Is this not true (in which case you need to inform your staff)?"

GWR: "This is not true"

.............the "party line" seems almost as inconsistent as the train service.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on February 16, 2018, 12:02:14 pm
This thread, and many others on this forum, are a sad indictment of just how shit GWR has become as a train operator.

All the factors affecting rolling stock cascades, maintenance,  training, staffing levels, infrastructure improvements, haven't just crept up on GWR unannounced. They've been known about for years. GWR have failed spectacularly to plan effectively.

That is a failure of the senior management and directors at GWR and FirstGroup. Someone should be kicking their butts. The problem is the only potential butt kickers are the DfT. For ideological reasons the current incumbents there won't do anything for fear of upsetting FirstGroup and scaring them away from rail franchising.

You can't train drivers on the new trains if you firstly haven't got the infrastructure to run the new trains.  You also can't train drivers if the manufacturer of the trains haven't handed them over to the train operator. 
There's in the region of 300 drivers, probably more than that, working on the Thames Valley routes alone.  You can't train all them overnight.  The whole electrification project has been completely mishandled by the DfT and NR and GWR have been left to pick up the pieces.

I'd suggest if that's your opinion that you discuss it with GWR, as their direct response to the question posed last night was as follows;

Customer: "Last month, 2 of your staff at RDG told me you didn’t have enough trained drivers to run the new electric trains. Is this not true (in which case you need to inform your staff)?"

GWR: "This is not true"

.............the "party line" seems almost as inconsistent as the train service.

I doubt very much that the Twitter team know exactly how much drivers are trained on a certain traction at each depot.  Ask them in terms of a % how many are trained!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on February 16, 2018, 01:15:13 pm
The Twitter team are just left to do their best to answer questions but the answers are actually in the "back office".
Re the DFT, what can be expected if civil servants with little railway experience are making important rail decisions and micro-managing.   I understand that the hierarchy of TOCs are not allowed to put any blame to the DFT thus allowing the TOCs  to take all the flak when anything goes wrong while the real perpetrators are allowed to hide away in the background and not willing to accept any criticism.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: simonw on February 16, 2018, 01:37:42 pm
Whilst I except that that GWR is not fully to blame for the current poor show, I am sure that if every passenger whose train was cancelled at short notice, or whose train was running late, received either  100% or 50% refund of the walk on fare, then GWR and DfT would sort out this issue.

Whilst many cancellations are not a big issue for many, compensation should be given just to encourage GWR|DfT to do better. However, if you where to miss the 0624 Bristol Parkway to Penzance train, you then have a 3 hour hole in your day. This has happened this week, Monday and Thursday.
 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 16, 2018, 04:23:48 pm
Whilst I except that that GWR is not fully to blame for the current poor show, I am sure that if every passenger whose train was cancelled at short notice, or whose train was running late, received either  100% or 50% refund of the walk on fare, then GWR and DfT would sort out this issue.

Whilst many cancellations are not a big issue for many, compensation should be given just to encourage GWR|DfT to do better. However, if you where to miss the 0624 Bristol Parkway to Penzance train, you then have a 3 hour hole in your day. This has happened this week, Monday and Thursday.
 

I'll tell you the best way to focus a few minds and encourage a swift improvement - link senior management pay rises/bonuses to customer satisfaction ratings - you'd soon see a bit more urgency if that happened.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on February 16, 2018, 07:31:58 pm
Whilst I except that that GWR is not fully to blame for the current poor show, I am sure that if every passenger whose train was cancelled at short notice, or whose train was running late, received either  100% or 50% refund of the walk on fare, then GWR and DfT would sort out this issue.

Whilst many cancellations are not a big issue for many, compensation should be given just to encourage GWR|DfT to do better. However, if you where to miss the 0624 Bristol Parkway to Penzance train, you then have a 3 hour hole in your day. This has happened this week, Monday and Thursday.
 

I'll tell you the best way to focus a few minds and encourage a swift improvement - link senior management pay rises/bonuses to customer satisfaction ratings - you'd soon see a bit more urgency if that happened.

No you wouldn't..... because if I knew management pay rises/bonses were linked to customer satisfaction ratings I would ensure my satisfaction was always deeply negative!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on February 16, 2018, 08:54:07 pm
A study of the effect of bonuses found that most people on incentive bonus schemes were incentivised by doing a good job, not by money. 

Looking at some recent City scandals where some others are motivated by money, it appears it motivates them to do things that are not in the long term interests of the company, sometimes not even in the short term interests, and possibly in some cases to fiddle to books to make it look like they achieved their targets. 

Many years ago I received extremely poor service when trying to buy a car, which I am convinced was due to the salesman (he was a man) either having such a low basic salary that he needed the bonus or was too incentivised by it that he wanted to sell me what would give him a bonus not what I wanted. Had his colleague not intervened I would have walked out at the point of sale. 

It seems to me that bonuses are at best a waste of money and at worst an incentive to fiddle the books. 



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 17, 2018, 12:22:47 am
A study of the effect of bonuses found that most people on incentive bonus schemes were incentivised by doing a good job, not by money. 

Looking at some recent City scandals where some others are motivated by money, it appears it motivates them to do things that are not in the long term interests of the company, sometimes not even in the short term interests, and possibly in some cases to fiddle to books to make it look like they achieved their targets. 

Many years ago I received extremely poor service when trying to buy a car, which I am convinced was due to the salesman (he was a man) either having such a low basic salary that he needed the bonus or was too incentivised by it that he wanted to sell me what would give him a bonus not what I wanted. Had his colleague not intervened I would have walked out at the point of sale. 

It seems to me that bonuses are at best a waste of money and at worst an incentive to fiddle the books. 



That's why I said link their bonuses to customer satisfaction rather than profitability or revenue generation.

A high % of satisfied customers is generally a good indication that people are doing a good job.

The "City scandals" you refer to aren't remotely comparable in this context.

If you feel however (based on inside knowledge?) that GWR senior managers are the sort of people who would be incentivised to fiddle the books in order to maximise their bonuses, that raises a whole new issue around their integrity, upon which I wouldn't care to speculate.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on February 17, 2018, 06:39:51 am
Given that there are 25 cancellations on JourneyCheck as of 06:30 this morning, something needs to be done:

Quote
06:30 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 08:14
07:10 Newport South Wales to London Paddington due 09:00
07:31 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 09:39
08:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 10:14
09:10 Newport South Wales to London Paddington due 11:01
09:30 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 11:15
10:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 12:14
10:45 London Paddington to Newport South Wales due 12:30
11:30 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 13:14
12:00 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 13:40
13:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 14:39
13:04 Newport South Wales to London Paddington due 15:07
14:00 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 15:41
14:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 15:41
15:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 17:14
15:45 London Paddington to Newport South Wales due 17:30
16:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 17:38
16:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 18:14
17:45 London Paddington to Newport South Wales due 19:30
18:07 Newport South Wales to London Paddington due 20:07
18:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 20:14
18:45 London Paddington to Newport South Wales due 20:30
19:59 Newport South Wales to London Paddington due 22:07
20:45 London Paddington to Newport South Wales due 22:44
21:09 Newport South Wales to London Paddington due 23:13


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 17, 2018, 08:04:23 am
Up to 31 cancellations now.......but don't worry, the GWR website is advising;

There is generally a good service on the GWR network.

So no need to worry!  ::)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on February 17, 2018, 08:23:15 am
Up to 31 cancellations now.......but don't worry, the GWR website is advising;

There is generally a good service on the GWR network.

So no need to worry!  ::)

With the intent of being controversial ... 31 cancellations out of over 1500 scheduled GWR services is around 2% - 1 in 50.  Which whilst it is around 4 times more than the 99.5% to run that's supposed to happen, but 49 out of 50 are running.   I do note at least one point where two successive services from Paddington via Swindon are lost, but I am not seeing massive gaps without any trains at all. Whether the surviving trains will cope with the crowds ...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on February 17, 2018, 08:43:26 am
There can be no defence for GWR having to cancel so many IC services today particularly to/from South Wales where the service is just hourly coupled with those travelling from Swansea and Cardiff having to get a bus to Newport owing to engineering work.

Bristol-Paddington outside the morning and evening ‘weekend peak’ can cope with a number of cancellations but once again the passenger is inconvenienced by the failure of the railway to run the timetabled service.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: BBM on February 17, 2018, 10:20:49 am
The 10:28 service from Reading to Bristol TM (the 10:00 from PAD) is shown on the departure boards as ‘reported full and standing’ with only 7 coaches.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on February 17, 2018, 10:31:34 am
The 10:28 service from Reading to Bristol TM (the 10:00 from PAD) is shown on the departure boards as ‘reported full and standing’ with only 7 coaches.
Not surprised. When I said Bristol-Paddington can cope in my above post, I later thought but it would mean the services that do run will be full and standing with passengers possibly being left behind. Two trains into one doesn’t always go. Feel for the staff on board and at stations who have to deal with stressed and angry passengers owing to failings of those above them, whoever that is GWR or Dft who is at fault for this sham of a franchise.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: didcotdean on February 17, 2018, 10:44:42 am
1A12 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington left Swindon full and standing. I see only the front 5 are in use on this one.

Many of the cancelled IC services are those that call at Didcot, so there are extra stops on the other already full trains.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on February 17, 2018, 10:53:25 am
1A12 Bristol Temple Meads to Paddington left Swindon full and standing. I see only the front 5 are in use on this one.

Many of the cancelled IC services are those that call at Didcot, so there are extra stops on the other already full trains.

That's another aggravating situation in addition to the cancellations and 2 trains of people squeezing into one. due to no crew member to staff the rear 5 carriages


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on February 17, 2018, 10:59:25 am
There can be no defence for GWR having to cancel so many IC services today particularly to/from South Wales where the service is just hourly coupled with those travelling from Swansea and Cardiff having to get a bus to Newport owing to engineering work.

Bristol-Paddington outside the morning and evening ‘weekend peak’ can cope with a number of cancellations but once again the passenger is inconvenienced by the failure of the railway to run the timetabled service.


Yes there is it is as a-driver says further up this thread http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18719.msg231525#msg231525 (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18719.msg231525#msg231525)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on February 17, 2018, 11:30:38 am
Regarding post #402, linked to above, I find the statement that I quote below,

 "The levels of staffing is specified by the DfT.  The level of staffing has been met.  The DfT/TFL paid for GWR to recruit and train a specified number of drivers.  This was also met."

To be very surprising indeed, as I was not aware that the DfT specified staffing levels. If the O/P is correct in this, then does that mean that GWR are in fact doing OK by DfT standards and that we should accept the present level of cancellations as being the "new normal" ?




Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on February 17, 2018, 11:31:29 am
Yes there is it is as a-driver says further up this thread http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18719.msg231525#msg231525 (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18719.msg231525#msg231525)
I suggest you go tell those whose journeys have been messed up this past half term and this weekend and long before under the stewardship of Firstgroup. People are tired of excuses, they just want to get what they pay good money for.

Delays and cancellations happen in any form of transportation but this is about a failure to provide an adequate resource in the form of providing enough staff to run the advertised service. This has been going on for years yet the fares go up every year along with promises that things will get better for you handing over even more money.

I respect your unwavering defence of GWR ellendune but there are some high up management in GWR who are paid a lot of money to preside over a service that lets passengers down time and time again. Where’s the accountability from these managers?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on February 17, 2018, 01:32:52 pm
Yes there is it is as a-driver says further up this thread http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18719.msg231525#msg231525 (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18719.msg231525#msg231525)
I suggest you go tell those whose journeys have been messed up this past half term and this weekend and long before under the stewardship of Firstgroup. People are tired of excuses, they just want to get what they pay good money for.

Delays and cancellations happen in any form of transportation but this is about a failure to provide an adequate resource in the form of providing enough staff to run the advertised service. This has been going on for years yet the fares go up every year along with promises that things will get better for you handing over even more money.

I respect your unwavering defence of GWR ellendune but there are some high up management in GWR who are paid a lot of money to preside over a service that lets passengers down time and time again. Where’s the accountability from these managers?

IMO GWR are being paid to take the flak for the failure of DfT and NR.  What is worse they can do absolutely nothing about it!  So who's stewardship is it?

You can criticise them for not providing enough information and for their appalling response times to letters of complaint or any of those other things, but the one thing they can do nothing about at the moment is provide a more reliable train service until:

a) The new trains ordered by DfT work reliably.
b) they are given enough time with enough new infrastructure to retrain their existing drivers to work the new trains.

DfT knew this was going to be bad - that is why GWR were given a direct award. 

Of course GWR could launch a PR campaign to explain exactly what the problem is and why it will take time to solve, but that might be seen as a career limiting manoeuvre by those people at Great Minster House.  Though I suspect they can't be that choosy or they will run out of anyone willing to bid. 



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bradshaw on February 17, 2018, 02:17:05 pm
I find it curious that SWR, with four days of strike action taking place, can run a full service with fewer cancellations than GWR on a ‘normal’ day.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on February 17, 2018, 02:25:40 pm
"until the new trains ordered by DfT work reliably"

Do I surmise from the above quote that the new trains are NOT working reliably ? I thought that the general view was that they are splendid and that only a few naysayers and old dinosaurs like me dared to express doubts about reliability.



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on February 17, 2018, 04:43:23 pm
Did you express doubts about reliability prior to introduction?

I thought it was the subjective issues of seat comfort/alignment and catering that were your bête noire.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on February 17, 2018, 05:37:49 pm
Yes, I did.
Can not find the post in order to quote it, but I said something like "Diesel engines and electric drives are mature technologies and should hopefully work reasonably reliably. The problems IMHO are likely to be with computers and software. Unlike mechanical components, software is NEVER a mature technology, "if it works it must be obsolete"
The new DMUs are likely to contain a large number of computer systems, all of which have to work together, first time every time"

In other posts I also expressed doubts as to electrification being completed on time, and about the reliability of the electrification equipment. I specifically forecast that a single pigeon could cause widespread disruption.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on February 17, 2018, 07:19:34 pm
Hitachi as proven software on the Cl. 395’s but the DfT didn’t want that. They wanted a different unproven system, and guess what?!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: mjones on February 17, 2018, 07:32:49 pm
There can be no defence for GWR having to cancel so many IC services today particularly to/from South Wales where the service is just hourly coupled with those travelling from Swansea and Cardiff having to get a bus to Newport owing to engineering work.

..


Especially when those buses fail to meet the timetabled connecting service, and the following one is cancelled, as I've just experienced.

The bus operation seemed quite disorganised, with slow loading at Cardiff, and then being dropped off on a busy road outside Newport station with no proper signposting, so a lot of passengers were confused about which direction to head in, and nowhere safe to cross the road.
..


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on February 17, 2018, 07:50:19 pm
Hitachi as proven software on the Cl. 395’s but the DfT didn’t want that. They wanted a different unproven system, and guess what?!

That proves it!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: stuving on February 17, 2018, 08:11:16 pm
Hitachi as proven software on the Cl. 395’s but the DfT didn’t want that. They wanted a different unproven system, and guess what?!

It's a very different train, so it needs quite different software. A bit like the driver for a bit of PC hardware, and not one where there's a standard interface/protocol.

Within that, there should be a lot of reuse of software components, especially of the same team were involved. I would expect (and hope) that the software is now the responsibility of the UK-based team, in which case it would have been transferred at some stage. That can be tricky...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 17, 2018, 09:54:53 pm
Yes there is it is as a-driver says further up this thread http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18719.msg231525#msg231525 (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18719.msg231525#msg231525)
I suggest you go tell those whose journeys have been messed up this past half term and this weekend and long before under the stewardship of Firstgroup. People are tired of excuses, they just want to get what they pay good money for.

Delays and cancellations happen in any form of transportation but this is about a failure to provide an adequate resource in the form of providing enough staff to run the advertised service. This has been going on for years yet the fares go up every year along with promises that things will get better for you handing over even more money.

I respect your unwavering defence of GWR ellendune but there are some high up management in GWR who are paid a lot of money to preside over a service that lets passengers down time and time again. Where’s the accountability from these managers?

IMO GWR are being paid to take the flak for the failure of DfT and NR.  What is worse they can do absolutely nothing about it!  So who's stewardship is it?

You can criticise them for not providing enough information and for their appalling response times to letters of complaint or any of those other things, but the one thing they can do nothing about at the moment is provide a more reliable train service until:

a) The new trains ordered by DfT work reliably.
b) they are given enough time with enough new infrastructure to retrain their existing drivers to work the new trains.

DfT knew this was going to be bad - that is why GWR were given a direct award. 

Of course GWR could launch a PR campaign to explain exactly what the problem is and why it will take time to solve, but that might be seen as a career limiting manoeuvre by those people at Great Minster House.  Though I suspect they can't be that choosy or they will run out of anyone willing to bid. 





Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on February 17, 2018, 10:00:29 pm
You clearly weren't a passenger on Virgin WC when they were being criticised during the rebuilding of the WCML  Or perhaps you were putting forward the same blame the TOC for everything view. This is just history repeating itself. 

GWR are far from perfect in many ways but blaming them for things outside their control is not going to help anyone.  If you think any other operator (private or - dare I say it - public) would be able to run any better service in these circumstances then you are mistaken.

This continued criticism further demoralises staff so that they are less likely to turn out when they do not need to and strengthening the power of the most militant in the unions. II makes an interesting point about the intervention of the Unions to stop some incentives to work additional hours. But GWR are also trying to negotiate with the same unions on use of the new stock.  et that wrong and you could be having to find other ways to travel like they did in Southern. 

With the benefit of hindsight GWR should have refused a franchise extension and left DfT to take it on themselves.  The train service would be no better but DfT would have nowhere to hide.  Our railways are run by real people not robots. 

If you have ever been in a position where you were being blamed for not being able do something that is totally outside your control then you should understand the effect of your criticism. 



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: eXPassenger on February 17, 2018, 10:51:58 pm
You clearly weren't a passenger on Virgin WC when they were being criticised during the rebuilding of the WCML  Or perhaps you were putting forward the same blame the TOC for everything view. This is just history repeating itself. 

GWR are far from perfect in many ways but blaming them for things outside their control is not going to help anyone.  If you think any other operator (private or - dare I say it - public) would be able to run any better service in these circumstances then you are mistaken.

This continued criticism further demoralises staff so that they are less likely to turn out when they do not need to and strengthening the power of the most militant in the unions. II makes an interesting point about the intervention of the Unions to stop some incentives to work additional hours. But GWR are also trying to negotiate with the same unions on use of the new stock.  et that wrong and you could be having to find other ways to travel like they did in Southern. 

With the benefit of hindsight GWR should have refused a franchise extension and left DfT to take it on themselves.  The train service would be no better but DfT would have nowhere to hide.  Our railways are run by real people not robots. 

If you have ever been in a position where you were being blamed for not being able do something that is totally outside your control then you should understand the effect of your criticism. 



Sorry.  I understand where you are coming from but if you are aware that things will go pear shaped you should do the following in advance:

- Beef up your customer service team and make them highly responsive
- Do not launch a major advertising campaign when you know you will have problems delivering the expectations you have raised
- Set up contingency plans.  In this case planned contracted road transport that can quickly slot into place.
- Agree with your sponsor that you will explain the problems, apologise for them and make OTT payments in compensation

If you have done this then you can genuinely claim that you foresaw the problem and planned to mitigate the issues.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on February 17, 2018, 11:01:31 pm
eXPassenger, well said.

It beggars belief that some are trying to defend the indefensible.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on February 18, 2018, 06:14:49 am
06:15 and not one cancellation, short working or short formation on journeycheck, perhaps there's a shortage of trained IT staff today, give it an hour or two.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on February 18, 2018, 07:38:21 am
If you have ever been in a position where you were being blamed for not being able do something that is totally outside your control then you should understand the effect of your criticism. 

Well said ... and (yes) that's the position that so many of the GWR team find themselves in - at whatever level we can (or cannot) pin blame for the failure to deliver a service to specified reliability on the GWR corporate / what level of realistic choice they have.

January in my neck of the woods was a breath of fresh air in terms of service improvement.  The last fortnight, alas, the wheel seems to have fallen off the wagon again with faulty and unfit rolling stock, lack of train crew and infrastructure problems all contributing to on-the-day cancellations on a virtually daily basis, with a sprinkling of planned engineering changes at weekend to put off the timid new customer even more.   But only rarely can I blame the people on the team I come across in any way; typically the opposite, with them going out of their way to provide help as best they can to the customers caught up in this.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on February 18, 2018, 07:58:48 am
06:15 and not one cancellation, short working or short formation on journeycheck, perhaps there's a shortage of trained IT staff today, give it an hour or two.
Sadly not, 3 have appeared at the time of writing and it’s on the one route that cannot afford cancellations due to engineering work already making the journey between South Wales and London more of a challenge. Imagine getting on a train at Swansea, getting off at Cardiff onto a bus to arrive at Newport to find your connection to London cancelled. It happened yesterday and is happening again today


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on February 18, 2018, 08:35:11 am
Sorry.  I understand where you are coming from but if you are aware that things will go pear shaped you should do the following in advance:

- Beef up your customer service team and make them highly responsive
- Do not launch a major advertising campaign when you know you will have problems delivering the expectations you have raised
- Set up contingency plans.  In this case planned contracted road transport that can quickly slot into place.
- Agree with your sponsor that you will explain the problems, apologise for them and make OTT payments in compensation

If you have done this then you can genuinely claim that you foresaw the problem and planned to mitigate the issues.


Now that I can agree with.  All that is within GWR's control corporately.  However remember it is seldom within the control of the staff we meet.   


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 18, 2018, 08:57:34 am
Sorry.  I understand where you are coming from but if you are aware that things will go pear shaped you should do the following in advance:

- Beef up your customer service team and make them highly responsive
- Do not launch a major advertising campaign when you know you will have problems delivering the expectations you have raised
- Set up contingency plans.  In this case planned contracted road transport that can quickly slot into place.
- Agree with your sponsor that you will explain the problems, apologise for them and make OTT payments in compensation

If you have done this then you can genuinely claim that you foresaw the problem and planned to mitigate the issues.


Now that I can agree with.  All that is within GWR's control corporately.  However remember it is seldom within the control of the staff we meet.   

I would very much doubt that anyone holds Bob in the ticket office responsible for the systemic problems alluded to above which the Senior Management of GWR have brought upon themselves, and their frontline staff who have to deal with the consequences.

The four bullet points which exPassenger provides are excellent examples of the shortcomings and oversights which have brought us to where we are now, and had these been considered it's entirely possible things would be calmer - particularly when it comes to a Business promising things which it knows it cannot deliver, with shiny, expensive and facile advertising campaigns

The time is now ripe for Hopwood to emerge from the bunker stand up and publicly give details of the recovery plan with lessons learned, realistic outcomes and datelines - if it means an emergency timetable for a short time, well that would be better than the utter chaos we saw yesterday, and see in the Cotswolds on a daily basis.

It's called Leadership and accountability, and many of us in service industries who have been in the position which ellendune rhetorically described have learned that the latter is the one thing that cannot be delegated if you wish to be considered worthy of the former - it's perhaps time for Hopwood to demonstrate to his customers that he understands that principle.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on February 18, 2018, 12:09:52 pm
"until the new trains ordered by DfT work reliably"

Do I surmise from the above quote that the new trains are NOT working reliably ? I thought that the general view was that they are splendid and that only a few naysayers and old dinosaurs like me dared to express doubts about reliability.

Yes, I did.
Can not find the post in order to quote it, but I said something like "Diesel engines and electric drives are mature technologies and should hopefully work reasonably reliably. The problems IMHO are likely to be with computers and software. Unlike mechanical components, software is NEVER a mature technology, "if it works it must be obsolete"
The new DMUs are likely to contain a large number of computer systems, all of which have to work together, first time every time"

In other posts I also expressed doubts as to electrification being completed on time, and about the reliability of the electrification equipment. I specifically forecast that a single pigeon could cause widespread disruption.

A couple of points are worth mentioning I think.

Overall, the reliability of the new electrification equipment has been pretty good in my opinion.  I can't recall any major 'wires down' incidents that would no doubt have crippled the service a couple of times by now if we had the cheap system as installed on the ECML.  The pigeon incident occurred at West Ealing, so that's on the part of the route that has been electrified for 20 years and could have happened at any time since then.  IIUI it was more to do with the poor condition of masonry on the underside of the bridge rather than anything else, and the increased clearances between wires and bridge that the newly electrified sections have should make it much less likely to happen there.  Headspan wires are largely being removed where they were installed originally between Airport Junction and Paddington, however the low clearances under bridges will not be altered (the cost would be huge), so I guess there remains a risk on the old sections of electrification.

Regarding the new train reliability, I think by and large they are settling in quite well, if by no means perfectly.  There have been too many ADD incidents, particularly with the 387s, but otherwise many of the delays can be attributed to staff familiarisation as much as anything else.  Drivers who had driven Turbos or HSTs for decades knew how to remedy most faults quickly as they had experienced them many times before, but on the new trains there are new/different faults with new/different remedies so fault finding and resolution understandably takes longer.

Launch day embarrassment aside I can only think of one major incident involving an IET, which was the one at Hayes & Harlington on 21st December (which was indeed a big one!).  Sure there's been plenty of more minor delays and cancellations, but I think it's right to point out that there's been two high-profile HST failures more recently - the one outside Paddington on Feb 8th as well as the massive disruption caused last Friday when the HST sat down near Westbury. 

The new trains are likely to get more reliable over time, the old trains are likely to get less reliable.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 23, 2018, 05:04:12 pm
After the chaos on services to/from Wales last weekend due to staff shortages, I'd hope that GWR have sorted themselves out for this weekend, especially with a 6 Nations match at Cardiff tomorrow with all the extra traffic that entails?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on February 23, 2018, 05:07:17 pm
After the chaos on services to/from Wales last weekend due to staff shortages, I'd hope that GWR have sorted themselves out for this weekend, especially with a 6 Nations match at Cardiff tomorrow with all the extra traffic that entails?

Wales 6 Nations match tomorrow is in Dublin


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 23, 2018, 05:31:56 pm
After the chaos on services to/from Wales last weekend due to staff shortages, I'd hope that GWR have sorted themselves out for this weekend, especially with a 6 Nations match at Cardiff tomorrow with all the extra traffic that entails?

Wales 6 Nations match tomorrow is in Dublin

You're right! Doh! I'll get my coat!🙈🙊


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on February 23, 2018, 06:40:34 pm
Let’s hope it’s a better weekend for all those travelling GWR than it was last weekend.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on February 24, 2018, 06:14:08 am
Another day of service excellence from Rail Business of the Year during the Saturday ‘evening peak’.

So far we have...

Both the 17.00 and 17.30 London-Bristol/Weston services cancelled. So it’s either the 16.30 or 18.00 which will be cosy so no worries about being cold with plenty of close up shared bodily warmth. All part of the service from our Rail Business of the Year.

Worse if you are heading TO London from Bristol/Bath/Chippenham this evening as both return journeys are also cancelled so nothing between 18.30 and 21.47 from Bristol TM.

To top it off on the London-Bristol line, the last direct train of the day for Chippenham/Bath/Bristol TM from London, the 21.32 is also cancelled so miss the 20.30 you are gonna be in for a late evening involving a rail replacement bus.

South Wales passengers aren’t going to get away with it entirely either with the 16.45 Padd-Swansea train terminating at Bristol Parkway. But a huge improvement on last Saturday.

Two cancellations so far on North Cotswold line:
5.18 Padd-Great Malvern. Okay unfortunate but means the 8.43 return to London is canned.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on February 24, 2018, 07:36:57 am
The next Cotswold Line train after that one also cancelled from Oxford.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on February 24, 2018, 03:19:38 pm
Pleased to report that the 17.00 Pad-Bristol, 20.09 WSM-Pad and 21.32 Pad-Bristol have all been removed from the cancellations list so can assume crew were found and that they are now running which will be good for those travelling this evening on this line.

Edit to say 20.09 WSM starts at Bristol TM and will also convey passengers on the diverted 18.29 Swansea-Pad which terminates at Bristol TM due to crew issues.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: CyclingSid on February 24, 2018, 06:58:54 pm
This morning Reading - Paddington service, calling at Slough, depart Reading 10:57 (from Gt Malvern) cancelled due to crew shortage


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on February 24, 2018, 07:27:29 pm
Already posted three posts back


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on February 25, 2018, 07:00:21 am
It’s looking like bad news again if you are travelling from/to South Wales with cancellations of Newport-Paddington services from this afternoon onwards coupled with engineering work between Cardiff and Newport.

Let’s hope GWR can find some drivers and get services reinstated later.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 25, 2018, 09:34:15 am
It’s looking like bad news again if you are travelling from/to South Wales with cancellations of Newport-Paddington services from this afternoon onwards coupled with engineering work between Cardiff and Newport.

Let’s hope GWR can find some drivers and get services reinstated later.

As this now seems to be a weekly event on Sundays, surely there is a case for GWR planning/sourcing some bus replacement, Newport to Cardiff at least as a contingency/mitigation rather than just leaving people stranded for hours? I can't see there being any availability problems on Sundays?

(............stands back and takes cover from the "ooooooooooooos gunna pay for it?" brigade!)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on February 25, 2018, 07:15:41 pm
Let’s hope GWR can find some drivers and get services reinstated later.
Well they didn’t and some Weston/Bristol-Pad and Pad-Bristol/Weston were added to the cancellations list so another poor weekend for IC services. Can’t blame the school holidays for this weekend’s canned services.

West local services are doing well though I’m pleased to report  :)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Jason on February 27, 2018, 04:32:57 pm
If my SMS alerts are correct then the following services that cover the Paddington to Reading portion of my journey are all canned due to lack of crew:
18:12
18:29
18:42
18:52
18:59


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Sixty3Closure on February 27, 2018, 06:01:12 pm
Mine too - guess that's going to make the 18.19 cosy if you're going to Twyford or Maidenhead.

Annoyingly (and as per usual) nothing on the website when I left work though.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on February 27, 2018, 07:58:49 pm
Looking at the 20 cancellations listed on Journey Check, I wonder if there were drivers available to cover all the services affected by the signalling problems, or whether that was used to hide bad news?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on February 27, 2018, 10:11:20 pm
When people tweet GWR re cancellations due to lack of traincrew, the copy and paste reply says "staff are rostered".
If questioned further, the reply then is that they are not sure of the actual specifics.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on March 09, 2018, 05:13:13 pm
Tonight's selection (so far) - all cancelled due to shortage of drivers - always seems to be worse on a Friday, wonder why?


15:32 Didcot Parkway to London Paddington due 17:03
16:22 London Paddington to Great Malvern due 19:26
16:32 Reading to London Paddington due 17:33
16:45 London Paddington to Hayes & Harlington due 17:06
17:12 London Paddington to Reading due 18:08
17:18 Hayes & Harlington to London Paddington due 17:40
17:45 London Paddington to Hayes & Harlington due 18:07
18:01 Didcot Parkway to London Paddington due 19:31
18:18 Hayes & Harlington to London Paddington due 18:40
18:18 Reading to London Paddington due 19:15
18:45 London Paddington to Hayes & Harlington due 19:06
19:18 Hayes & Harlington to London Paddington due 19:40
19:27 London Paddington to Didcot Parkway due 20:50
19:42 Great Malvern to London Paddington due 22:29
19:42 London Paddington to Reading due 20:38
20:15 London Paddington to Hayes & Harlington due 20:36
20:48 Hayes & Harlington to London Paddington due 21:10
21:15 London Paddington to Hayes & Harlington due 21:36
21:48 Hayes & Harlington to London Paddington due 22:10
22:27 London Paddington to Reading due 23:29




Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on March 09, 2018, 07:16:23 pm
Tonight's selection (so far) - all cancelled due to shortage of drivers - always seems to be worse on a Friday, wonder why?

I don't know. Why?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on March 09, 2018, 10:37:15 pm
Tonight's selection (so far) - all cancelled due to shortage of drivers - always seems to be worse on a Friday, wonder why?


15:32 Didcot Parkway to London Paddington due 17:03
16:22 London Paddington to Great Malvern due 19:26
16:32 Reading to London Paddington due 17:33
16:45 London Paddington to Hayes & Harlington due 17:06
17:12 London Paddington to Reading due 18:08
17:18 Hayes & Harlington to London Paddington due 17:40
17:45 London Paddington to Hayes & Harlington due 18:07
18:01 Didcot Parkway to London Paddington due 19:31
18:18 Hayes & Harlington to London Paddington due 18:40
18:18 Reading to London Paddington due 19:15
18:45 London Paddington to Hayes & Harlington due 19:06
19:18 Hayes & Harlington to London Paddington due 19:40
19:27 London Paddington to Didcot Parkway due 20:50
19:42 Great Malvern to London Paddington due 22:29
19:42 London Paddington to Reading due 20:38
20:15 London Paddington to Hayes & Harlington due 20:36
20:48 Hayes & Harlington to London Paddington due 21:10
21:15 London Paddington to Hayes & Harlington due 21:36
21:48 Hayes & Harlington to London Paddington due 22:10
22:27 London Paddington to Reading due 23:29




..and some more, of the final Friday night LTV services cancelled, same reason.....how are people supposed to get home? (.....a question the GWR twitter service is struggling to answer)

23:12 London Paddington to Reading due 00:13
23:27 London Paddington to Didcot Parkway due 00:56
23:42 London Paddington to Reading due 00:22


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: GBM on March 10, 2018, 05:40:22 am


..and some more, of the final Friday night LTV services cancelled, same reason.....how are people supposed to get home? (.....a question the GWR twitter service is struggling to answer)

23:12 London Paddington to Reading due 00:13
23:27 London Paddington to Didcot Parkway due 00:56
23:42 London Paddington to Reading due 00:22
[/quote]
It was always understood in Kernowland that whatever else was cancelled, the last bus services of the day HAD to run, no matter what. 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on March 10, 2018, 07:31:03 am
I see the last train from London to Chippenham, Bath and Bristol TM the 21.32 is cancelled again. They really should make a priority of being able to provide train crew for this train being the last one of the day.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on March 10, 2018, 10:09:43 am
One of GWR cut and paste Twitter replies.

We do have staff on standby but as train services start in a number of locations across the network we can't always get them to where they are needed in time.

Another one says:

Staff are rostered in but I don't know the actual specifics


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on March 10, 2018, 10:22:52 am
One of GWR cut and paste Twitter replies.

We do have staff on standby but as train services start in a number of locations across the network we can't always get them to where they are needed in time.

Another one says:

Staff are rostered in but I don't know the actual specifics

It's a great shame that no senior manager within GWR has the courage or integrity to come out and publicly explain the reason for this ongoing farce, preferring instead to leave the grunts on the frontline (digital or otherwise) to take the stick and trot out standard non answers (which no doubt they have been briefed to offer), it is the very nadir of Leadership and the culture clearly comes from the very top down.

Hardly what one expects from the "Rail Operator of the Year"  ::)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on March 10, 2018, 11:08:39 am
One of GWR cut and paste Twitter replies.

We do have staff on standby but as train services start in a number of locations across the network we can't always get them to where they are needed in time.

Another one says:

Staff are rostered in but I don't know the actual specifics
Other times they are just plain honest with no spin:

Hello there. The cancellation is because of a shortage of train crew. I am sorry for the disruption to your journey.

TG apologies for being pedantic but GWR were awarded “Rail Business of the Year” crazy I know. The rail industry must have pretty low standards handing an award like that for the level of service provided at present.

“Rail Operator of the Year” was awarded to Chiltern, somewhat more deserved IMHO.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on March 11, 2018, 08:37:05 am
................today's collection (so far) - all cancelled - to pick just one, cancelling the 1722 from Cardiff back to London is particularly moronic as it would be one of the first to be available for those leaving the Millennium stadium after today's Wales v Italy match.


08:00 London Paddington to Great Malvern due 10:54
08:27 London Paddington to Cardiff Central due 10:57
09:30 London Paddington to Swansea due 12:48
09:54 Swindon to Cheltenham Spa due 10:54
11:10 Bristol Temple Meads to Portsmouth Harbour due 13:52
11:14 Great Malvern to London Paddington due 14:07
11:18 Cheltenham Spa to Swindon due 12:23
12:28 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 14:45
12:37 London Paddington to Swansea due 15:57
14:42 London Paddington to Hereford due 17:56
15:46 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 18:01
16:30 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 18:46
16:51 Swansea to London Paddington due 20:12
17:05 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 18:58
17:22 Cardiff Central to London Paddington due 20:00
17:28 Cardiff Central to Swansea due 18:24
17:30 Cardiff Central to Bristol Temple Meads due 18:38
18:30 Hereford to London Paddington due 22:13
19:05 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 20:57
19:37 London Paddington to Swansea due 22:55
19:42 London Paddington to Great Malvern due 22:26
19:45 Cardiff Central to Swansea due 20:41
19:46 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 22:00
20:03 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare due 22:28
20:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 22:40
22:03 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 00:06
22:33 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 00:17
22:49 Weston-Super-Mare to Bristol Temple Meads due 23:06
23:03 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 01:03


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on March 11, 2018, 09:07:29 am
Quote
Cancellations to services on all routes

Due to a shortage of train crew between London Paddington and Swansea:
Train services running across the whole Great Western Railway network may be cancelled. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.

Customer Advice
Due to a train crew shortage today, some Great Western Railway High Speed Services between London Paddington-Penzance/Bristol/Swansea/Cheltenham/Worcester/Hereford are subject to alteration or cancellation.

A majority of the additional trains that were due to operate today in conjunction with the rugby match at Cardiff are cancelled today along with many other alterations. Individual train alterations can be found on journey check, https://www.journeycheck.com/greatwesternrailway/ .

Please allow more time for your journey.

If you have been delayed you may be entitled to compensation, please visit https://www.gwr.com/help-and-support/refunds-and-compensation/delay-compensation for more details.

Last Updated:11/03/2018 08:45


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on March 11, 2018, 09:09:48 am
Another day of service excellence from Rail Business of the Year  ::)

Now up to 31 services cancelled. Last weekend GWR could hide behind the poor weather cancelling services...not today.

It’s abundantly clear train crew don’t want to work on Sundays as is their right and they are excercising that right. Shows what they think about the company they work for.

If you are travelling to/from South Wales, Cheltenham and the Cotswolds it’s another day of cancellations and overcrowded trains.

As for travelling out of London mid to late evening the IC service is decimated. Unacceptable.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: chuffed on March 11, 2018, 09:20:18 am
No doubt the Hopwood helicopter and/or chauffeur driven limousine are available to whisk him to wherever he wants ( wants, not needs) to go, in some comfort and style ! I don't think even ChrisB has a leg to stand on, with this one !


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on March 11, 2018, 09:25:56 am
No doubt the Hopwood helicopter and/or chauffeur driven limousine are available to whisk him to wherever he wants ( wants, not needs) to go, in some comfort and style ! I don't think even ChrisB has a leg to stand on, with this one !

Hey of course, that champagne won't drink itself!!!

..................but seriously, what a bloody disgrace. The time is long overdue for Hopwood to stand up and publicly account for his Company's appalling performance.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on March 11, 2018, 09:30:50 am
Well someone needs to stand up and take responsibility for this shambles of a franchise but that would mean more than one person and going back years and years. What we see on the GW mainline today has been years in the making.

I have no problem with people or organisations being recognised for good service but it was way premature to be awarding GWR such an award until things have greatly improved. Cancelling 31 trains is not an improvement.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on March 11, 2018, 09:41:08 am
Todays 08:27 Paddington - Cardiff cancellation is 1Z30, a planned Rugby special
Todays 17:22 Cardiff - Paddington cancellation is 1Z50, return of above.
Todays 17:28 Cardiff - Bristol Temple Meads cancellation is 1Z60 return of 1Z20 rugby special NOT reported as cancelled YET.

With the above and one other cancellation on PAD to CDF route the sardines are going to be really cosy on their sports supporting journeys today.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on March 11, 2018, 09:51:20 am
Discussions have been ongoing between GWR/the DfT and the unions for sometime to get Sunday’s included in the working week for both drivers and guards/train managers. I think train managers were or are on and enhanced rate as an incentive to work Sunday’s. Once the train is completed there will be more than enough drivers (I don’t know about other grades) to bring Sunday’s within the working week so it will happen.

I, for one, don’t work Sunday’s and never have done. It had nothing to do with what I thought about GWR but it was the one day I could guarantee to have with my family. My wife works Mon to Fri. I signed a contract of employment which stipulated this and no financial incentive would have changed my mind. This are T&C’s bought over the days of BR.

If another company took over the franchise our terms and conditions would not change. You would still be in a situation where Sunday’s are not in the working week.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on March 11, 2018, 10:27:13 am
Discussions have been ongoing between GWR/the DfT and the unions for sometime to get Sunday’s included in the working week for both drivers and guards/train managers. I think train managers were or are on and enhanced rate as an incentive to work Sunday’s. Once the train is completed there will be more than enough drivers (I don’t know about other grades) to bring Sunday’s within the working week so it will happen.

I, for one, don’t work Sunday’s and never have done. It had nothing to do with what I thought about GWR but it was the one day I could guarantee to have with my family. My wife works Mon to Fri. I signed a contract of employment which stipulated this and no financial incentive would have changed my mind. This are T&C’s bought over the days of BR.

If another company took over the franchise our terms and conditions would not change. You would still be in a situation where Sunday’s are not in the working week.

You're currently fortunate enough to enjoy those terms and conditions and no-one can blame you for taking advantage of them, it's not the fault of individual employees however the world has moved on in the decades since BR and most people get used to variations in their working practices (even the Civil Service!).

It's incumbent upon (primarily) your senior managers to work with the Unions in order that the 7 day service to which the railway is committed can be fulfilled - that will probably mean both sides having to move towards each other and give a little, as generally happens in the real world when negotiations take place. The days of folding arms, jutting out chins and taking am immovable position are thankfully virtually over.

Endless talking seems to be producing little in terms of results, and the situation is getting worse, not better. Today really is the icing on the cake.

If I was an employee, or more especially a manager of an organisation that was repeatedly failing on all levels to deliver, I'd be thoroughly ashamed.............in fact in pretty much every sector I've worked in, if I was towards the top of the tree, I'd probably be looking for another job if performance was this poor.

GWR is not currently serving the public in anything approaching an acceptable level in this context.As others have indicated, pictures of Hopwood glugging champagne at mutual backslapping sessions does not help the mood........remember a chap who fiddled whilst Rome burned?



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Richard Fairhurst on March 11, 2018, 11:46:51 am
It's a great shame that no senior manager within GWR has the courage or integrity to come out and publicly explain the reason for this ongoing farce, preferring instead to leave the grunts on the frontline (digital or otherwise) to take the stick and trot out standard non answers (which no doubt they have been briefed to offer), it is the very nadir of Leadership and the culture clearly comes from the very top down.

The reason given by Jane Jones (GWR Head of Public Affairs) at the public meeting in Charlbury a few weeks ago was that the IET driver shortage is Network Rail's fault. Because the electrification was running late, drivers weren't able to be trained on bimode IETs due to the lack of a "long enough" electrified section to learn on. The Network Rail person (sorry, forgot his name) sitting at the same table didn't contradict this.

I have to admit I'm not entirely convinced this is a good reason. Sure, electrification was late. So run the IETs on diesel only for a while and refuel them more often: there should be plenty of fuel in the tank for a Worcester-Paddington out and back.

And electrification running late shouldn't have been a shock to GWR - there was plenty of time to rejig diagrams so that a couple more Turbos stayed in the Thames Valley to run always-cancelled services like the 16.22. It does smack a bit of waking up on 1st January with a hangover and saying "ngggh, I can't remember what I did last night - did I really send all the 180s up north?".


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: rogerw on March 11, 2018, 11:54:26 am
I am sure that GWR would have liked to keep more turbos in the Thames valley.  However they were contractually required to release 150s to Northern and the turbos were required to replace them.  In theory there should have been enough IETs to cover the Cotswold turns but this has not proved to be the case


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on March 11, 2018, 11:58:50 am
I think everyone accepts the world has moved on, everyone accepts Sunday's will eventually be in the working week and trains will operate on Boxing Day.  When you say both sides need to move towards each other and give a little from a staff point of view, you're either committed to working Sunday's or not.  There isn't much room for us to move. It's going to take a large basic pay rise or a reduction in the working week to tempt enough staff to accept.  They've had enhanced rates of pay on Sunday to tempt drivers in to work and even that doesn't work, proof that throwing money at a problem doesn't always fix it.

The current poor performance can easily be justified, and the DfT knows the reasons why and this is shown in the fact the DfT keep extending First's contract to operate the franchise without competition.  The DfT know full well they won't be able to attract the money through the franchise bids until the infrastructure work has been completed and the new trains have been fully introduced.  If the DfT were unhappy with the number of cancellations and delays and thought that GWR were fully responsible they would have intervened by now.  
 
GWR have kept there end of the contract, for example, in the West Country the driver depots in those regions have had, for some time now, the driver numbers in place to commence training on the new IET's.  The first one isn't suppose to run in passenger service until June/July.  


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on March 11, 2018, 12:01:24 pm
.... and to add to the woes of the rugby fans, the 08:30 Paddington - Swansea was also a LATE cancellation due to a problem under investigation. Probably fans booked on the cancelled 08:27 Paddington - Cardiff special trying to board the 08:30 instead.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on March 11, 2018, 12:03:53 pm
I have to admit I'm not entirely convinced this is a good reason. Sure, electrification was late. So run the IETs on diesel only for a while and refuel them more often: there should be plenty of fuel in the tank for a Worcester-Paddington out and back.

The delay in electrification lead to delays in manufacturing, this is turn delayed Hitachi commencing testing the IET's and subsequently handing over units to GWR to commence training.  Don't forget, the 9-car IET's have had to be modified from a fully electric unit to a bi-mode.  
Rumor had it, that Hitachi stated the trains weren't ready for passenger traffic but GWR had been left with no choice but to use them.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on March 11, 2018, 01:17:28 pm
Whilst passenger journey numbers have rocketed over the past 20 years - since privatisation - the division of responsibility in that current system makes for an environment where buck passing thrives.

All the passenger wants is a train (s)he can rely on to run more or less to time, at a time (s)he wants,  with enough capacity for comfort (which means seated for medium and longer time journeys), safe and at a sensible price.

When something's not right, the passenger looks at a failure of the rail industry - and whether that's the train operator, the infrastructure provider, the specifier / controller of services, the previous or current government, the rail unions, the train manufacturers / servicer or the RoSCos is of minimal consequence.   At least we all knew it was "British Railways" to point the finger at in the [good/bad] old days.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on March 11, 2018, 01:53:53 pm
.... and another woe to rugby fans, a points failure between Swansea and Cardiff.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on March 11, 2018, 04:39:27 pm
Nonsensical wording but some minor good news.............


17:22 Cardiff Central to London Paddington due 20:00


17:22 Cardiff Central to London Paddington due 20:00 will be reinstated.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.
Will be formed of 10 coaches.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on March 11, 2018, 04:55:25 pm
Nonsensical wording but some minor good news.............


17:22 Cardiff Central to London Paddington due 20:00


17:22 Cardiff Central to London Paddington due 20:00 will be reinstated.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.
Will be formed of 10 coaches.
Need to leave the ground NOW to have any chance of catching it mind.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on March 11, 2018, 05:07:38 pm
You're currently fortunate enough to enjoy those terms and conditions and no-one can blame you for taking advantage of them, it's not the fault of individual employees however the world has moved on in the decades since BR and most people get used to variations in their working practices (even the Civil Service!).

Nearly! As a former Civil Servant of many years' standing (plus quite a few sitting down) I was never required to work weekends or evenings. Over the years, I took on a number of job roles that could not be done during office hours alone, and worked many weekends and other unsocial hours. I was paid a decent premium, the eventual withdrawal of which fortunately coincided with me deciding that I had enough money and preferred free time instead.
As the world moved towards a 24/7 model, so did my former department. New staff for contact centres were recruited with terms of employment that included variable shift patterns including some weekends. They didn't mind, as it was exactly what they had applied for.

Then, a couple of years back, that same department launched a campaign to get everyone on the same terms, including those who like me weren't employed as the office equivalent of battery chickens. After much talking to the unions, a deal was hammered out, which made adoption of the new contract purely voluntary, but with a bigger pay rise that year for all who agreed to it. I signed up, and my new terms and conditions came into force on the 1st of the following month.

The point is that even the Civil Service saw the benefit of persuasion as opposed to threats and coercion. New railway staff are needed, and at first sight it would seem to make sense to hire them on terms that are more favourable to the company, and maybe offer inducements to existing employees to switch. Retirements and resignations will soon whittle down the numbers on "legacy" contracts. The problem, though, is that whereas my old department will continue in some form indefinitely,  First might find themselves handing their staff over to another company before any negotiations have really got under way. That process would be greatly complicated by having staff employed on a variety of different terms. To make matters even more tricky, many of them have skills of a very portable kind, in considerable demand by other companies. My thinking is that First can't completely solve the problem alone, but that no-one else is going to help them do it.

How did I get on with my new conditions? Having put it off until after the pay rise, I retired 10 days later. I can see similar being a danger for GWR too.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on March 11, 2018, 05:25:31 pm
Could be unpleasant at Bristol TM and Bath Spa over the next hour with both 1705 and the 1730 (ex Plymouth) to Paddington both canned. I can imagine all those turfed off the Plymouth train werent too pleased. Neither will everyone be when all those from the 1705 and 1730 all try and get on the 1805 from Paignton to London.

Spare a thought for all those GWR staff who ARE working today having to deal with the fallout from all this from the platform staff to the Train Managers on the services that are running.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on March 11, 2018, 05:29:38 pm
Could be unpleasant at Bristol TM and Bath Spa over the next hour with both 1705 and the 1730 (ex Plymouth) to Paddington both canned. I can imagine all those turfed off the Plymouth train werent too pleased. Neither will everyone be when all those from the 1705 and 1730 all try and get on the 1805 from Paignton to London.

Spare a thought for all those GWR staff who ARE working today having to deal with the fallout from all this from the platform staff to the Train Managers on the services that are running.

..............and bear in mind that GWR's Twitter feed is advising people whose direct London trains from Cardiff have been cancelled to go to Bristol TM and change there......could get a bit messy.

..........and this won't help either!

Delays to services between London Paddington and Slough

Due to a fault with the signalling system between London Paddington and Slough the line towards Slough is disrupted.
Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed by up to 30 minutes. Disruption is expected until 20:00 11/03.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on March 11, 2018, 05:41:04 pm
Oh no, with reports coming in of services that are running being absolutely rammed, the last thing you need is a signal fault between Slough and London!

I really feel for those travelling on GWR right now.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on March 11, 2018, 05:46:05 pm
Nonsensical wording but some minor good news.............


17:22 Cardiff Central to London Paddington due 20:00


17:22 Cardiff Central to London Paddington due 20:00 will be reinstated.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.
Will be formed of 10 coaches.
Don’t wish to burst your positive bubble TG, but to run this service they cancelled the service before the 1551 Swansea to London train at Cardiff. Robbing Peter to pay Paul.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on March 11, 2018, 06:36:22 pm
And from the front page of the GWR website...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on March 11, 2018, 07:02:06 pm
Nonsensical wording but some minor good news.............
17:22 Cardiff Central to London Paddington due 20:00
17:22 Cardiff Central to London Paddington due 20:00 will be reinstated.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.
Will be formed of 10 coaches.
Don’t wish to burst your positive bubble TG, but to run this service they cancelled the service before the 1551 Swansea to London train at Cardiff. Robbing Peter to pay Paul.

On RTT 1L82 canned at CDF due to an unknown reason (TZ), stock held in Platform 1 and departed as 1Z50 at 1723 1/2 vs 1722, wonder if pax already on 1L82 were turfed off the set only to have to join the scrum to get back on the same set and probably not be able to sit in same seats even if seats were reserved and occupied from stations west of CDF.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on March 11, 2018, 07:10:23 pm
You’d hope common sense prevailed and that they were allowed to stay on the train.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Jason on March 16, 2018, 04:45:11 pm
Due to a shortage of train drivers between London Paddington and Hayes & Harlington fewer trains are able to run.
Impact: Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.
Customer Advice:
London Underground are conveying passengers between London Paddington and Hayes & Harlington in both directions until further notice. Arrangements have been made for Great Western Railway rail tickets to be accepted for these journeys.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Sixty3Closure on March 16, 2018, 05:08:43 pm
I didn;t think there was a London Underground station near Hayes & Harlington?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: nickswift99 on March 16, 2018, 06:00:26 pm
I didn;t think there was a London Underground station near Hayes & Harlington?

Bus to Uxbridge, Ealing or Heathrow. Then take your pick of Piccadilly, Metropolitan, Central or District lines.

This is starting to make Southern/GTR look professional


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on March 16, 2018, 06:36:22 pm
I didn;t think there was a London Underground station near Hayes & Harlington?

Bus to Uxbridge, Ealing or Heathrow. Then take your pick of Piccadilly, Metropolitan, Central or District lines.

This is starting to make Southern/GTR look professional

Welcome to the forum, Nick.  Where there's a pattern that takes in Southern, Northern and Western, perhaps the problem lies not (entirely ?) with them but in the system or at some common point?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: stuving on March 17, 2018, 12:00:47 am
There have been a number of comments on this and other threads about what the franchise agreement commits GWR to by way of staffing. As fas as I can see, there is nothing that names numbers at all, even by implication. There's a lot of "reasonable endeavours" and "adequate provision", and at least one use of the words "staffing level" but really about gateline opening hours. There is less than I would expect about transfer of staff into and out of the franchise - but then GWR were their own predecessors.

There is a section (Schedule 1.2, page 110) about "operating obligations". It goes on a bit - as you'd expect. Here are a couple of relevant slabs of it:

Quote
Operating Obligations

1. Daily Operating Obligations

1.1 The Franchisee agrees to use all reasonable endeavours to operate on each day of the Franchise Term each of its Passenger Services as are set out in the Plan of the Day for that day with at least the Passenger Carrying Capacity specified in the Train Plan for that Passenger Service. The Franchisee shall notify the Secretary of State as soon as reasonably practicable if it has on any day of the Franchise Term failed to operate to a material extent each of its Passenger Services as are set out in the Plan of the Day for that day and with at least the Passenger Carrying Capacity specified in the Train Plan for that Passenger Service.
...
7. Obligation to use all reasonable endeavours

7.1 Any obligation in this Schedule 1.2 on the part of the Franchisee to use all reasonable endeavours to operate railway passenger services shall include an obligation to:
(a) ensure (so far as it is able to do so) the provision of the Passenger Services as set out in the Plan of the Day in accordance with the Train Plan in ordinary operating conditions;
(b) take reasonable measures to avoid and/or reduce the impact of any disruption to the Franchise Services having regard to all the circumstances, including the reasonably foreseeable risks arising from the matters referred to in paragraph 7.2; and
(c) actively manage the performance by Network Rail of its contractual relationship with the Franchisee (and provide appropriate management resources for this purpose) so as to secure the best performance reasonably obtainable from Network Rail by these means (including taking the steps referred to in paragraph 7.4), having regard to all the circumstances.

7.2 The matters to which the Franchisee is to have regard pursuant to paragraph 7.1(b) shall include:
(a) variations in weather and operating conditions (including Network Rail's infrastructure not being available for any reason), which may in either case include seasonal variations;
(b) default by, or restrictions imposed by, suppliers to the Franchisee;
(c) shortages of appropriately skilled or qualified Franchise Employees;
(d) disputes with Franchise Employees;
(e) the availability of the Train Fleet, having regard to maintenance requirements and any Mandatory Modifications;
(f) establishing reasonable Turnaround Time allowances for enabling or disabling (as appropriate) any part of a train, the rostering of any train crew and the servicing or cleaning of any rolling stock vehicles; and
(g) failures of rolling stock vehicles in service and contingency arrangements (including Hot Standbys and rescue traction).

7.3 For the purpose of taking measures in respect of any disruption to the Franchise Services in accordance with paragraph 7.1(b) and assessing the extent of any risk referred to in paragraph 7.1(b) and any such risk's reasonable foreseeability, regard shall be had both:
(a) to the historical levels of incidence of disruption in the operation of:
  (i) the Franchise Services;
  (ii) similar services both by the Franchisee and/or its predecessors; and
  (iii) other services of a type similar to the Franchise Services; and
(b) to potential changes in circumstances which may affect those levels.

7.4 The steps to which paragraph 7.1(c) refers include:
(a) co-operating with Network Rail in the development, agreement and implementation of:
  (i) a 5-year (rolling) Performance Strategy Plan; and
  (ii) recovery plans in response to failures to achieve the performance levels specified in any Performance Strategy Plan;
(b) co-operating with Network Rail in adopting the principles set out in any Service Recovery Plans agreed between Network Rail and the Franchisee from time to time;
(c) undertaking regular reviews of:
  (i) the most common and most detrimental causes of PPM attrition and delay to the Passenger Services; and
  (ii) the ten causes of delay to the Passenger Services with the longest duration (to the extent not already reviewed in accordance with paragraph 7.4(c)(i)), which have occurred during that defined review period (e.g. weekly / four weekly / quarterly) and which have been caused by the Franchisee, any other Train Operator, any other train operator licensed under the Act or Network Rail;
(d) undertaking with Network Rail a review of the time taken to recover the Passenger Services following the occurrence of any of the events specified in paragraphs 7.4(c)(i) and 7.4(c)(ii) and seeking to identify and implement actions that reduce the delay effect of such events;
(e) setting up and holding regular and effective performance review meetings with Network Rail, evidenced by meeting minutes and the closure of actions agreed between the parties;
(f) regularly monitoring (at least every Reporting Period) the delivery of commitments made by Network Rail in the Performance Strategy Plan and derived delivery plans and using reasonable endeavours to specify and develop such delivery plans;
(g) as and when required by Network Rail, co-operating with Network Rail in improving the accuracy of future timetables by providing access to trains (and data collected from on train systems), other facilities and/or information;
(h) co-operating with Network Rail in other delay management initiatives and ongoing quarterly reviews of the Performance Strategy Plan;
(i) regularly reviewing (at least every Reporting Period) the imposition and clearance of temporary speed restrictions;
(j) regularly reviewing (at least every Reporting Period) the timely and efficient handover and hand-back of possessions; and
(k) where appropriate and where Network Rail fails to perform its obligations under the Track Access Agreement, enforcing the Franchisee's rights under such Track Access Agreement.

7.5 The Franchisee undertakes to reasonably co-operate with Network Rail with regard to Network Rail's management of the network, including in relation to the establishment of up to date Timetable Planning Rules (as such term is defined under the Network Code).

7.6 To the extent not already provided for in the Franchise Agreement, the Franchisee shall use all reasonable endeavours to ensure the performance by Network Rail of its obligations under any relevant agreement including, where appropriate or where requested by the Secretary of State, enforcing its rights against Network Rail under any such agreement.

7.7 When and to the extent reasonably requested by the Secretary of State, the Franchisee shall provide to the Secretary of State evidence of the steps taken by it in order to comply with its obligations under this paragraph 7.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: devonexpress on March 17, 2018, 01:05:07 am
I've found GWR fairly good for staffing at Newton Abbot, apart from the bad weather from storm emma(several days after it was over) where there was only 4 staff, and half of them left after 4pm leaving gatelines open and ticket office shut.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on March 17, 2018, 07:12:33 am
One amongst dozens (as usual), but what it means is, if you're a Spurs fan, you won't be getting to the match today.


06:57 London Paddington to Swansea due 10:44
06:57 London Paddington to Swansea due 10:44 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on March 17, 2018, 08:59:27 am
....  if you're a Spurs fan, you won't be getting to the match today.

Spurs fans WILL make it if the 08:00 PAD - SWA runs to schedule and the fans perform a Usain Bolt from Swansea Station to the Football Stadium.

What plonker at GWR decided to cancel the 06:57 from PAD which no doubt would be heavily booked for today's F A Quarter Final Cup Tie.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Surrey 455 on March 17, 2018, 09:17:48 am
I didn;t think there was a London Underground station near Hayes & Harlington?

Hatton Cross and Heathrow Central would be the nearest. Take the 90 or 140 bus respectively. In the evening peak both bus journeys should be about 18 minutes. I've had to do that a few times.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on March 17, 2018, 09:45:13 am
....  if you're a Spurs fan, you won't be getting to the match today.

Spurs fans WILL make it if the 08:00 PAD - SWA runs to schedule and the fans perform a Usain Bolt from Swansea Station to the Football Stadium.

What plonker at GWR decided to cancel the 06:57 from PAD which no doubt would be heavily booked for today's F A Quarter Final Cup Tie.

The 0900 is starting from Bristol Temple Meads, so no chance of jumping on that one at Paddington and at least getting there for the second half (.....or a delayed kick off?)

Never realised there were so many Arsenal fans at GWR.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on March 17, 2018, 04:02:57 pm
Welcome indeed, nickswift99. You have a point. It's a shambles.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: WelshBluebird on March 17, 2018, 04:31:35 pm
I swear they are doing everything they can to put people off using their services. Just looking on Twitter now, the last two Swansea - Paddington services tonight are being cancelled, no buses or taxis being offered and hotel costs only "considered".


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on March 17, 2018, 05:17:48 pm
I swear they are doing everything they can to put people off using their services. Just looking on Twitter now, the last two Swansea - Paddington services tonight are being cancelled, no buses or taxis being offered and hotel costs only "considered.
Yes an interesting exchange of tweets there between a customer and GWR.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on March 17, 2018, 05:35:41 pm
I swear they are doing everything they can to put people off using their services. Just looking on Twitter now, the last two Swansea - Paddington services tonight are being cancelled, no buses or taxis being offered and hotel costs only "considered".

Has the SPURS fans been told this, expect quite a few hotel costs 'to be considered' and consequential losses claims to be made !!!!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: YouKnowNothing on March 18, 2018, 05:04:58 pm
I swear they are doing everything they can to put people off using their services. Just looking on Twitter now, the last two Swansea - Paddington services tonight are being cancelled, no buses or taxis being offered and hotel costs only "considered.
Yes an interesting exchange of tweets there between a customer and GWR.

You're welcome. I actually fully appreciate what GWR are going through but the lack of Senior Management communications is what really turns my gears. A least Ryanair had the bravery to come out and admit they had issues. They tried to paper over people's rights but that got corrected. The passengers have so few rights due to the lack of delay repay that they should be reminded from time to time.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on March 18, 2018, 05:31:58 pm
Welcome to the forum YouKnowNothing.
 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: YouKnowNothing on March 18, 2018, 05:46:58 pm
Thank you. Long time reader but first time poster. However, I see some of your forum members have read my tweets.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on March 18, 2018, 05:47:35 pm
Welcome to the forum YouKnowNothing.
 

Welcome indeed.   I'm wondering who is the "you" and what  unknown is - fascinating forum name, and I hope you'll stick around and help us learn something. :)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IanL on March 18, 2018, 05:50:15 pm
Welcome to the forum YouKnowNothing.
 

Welcome indeed.   I'm wondering who is the "you" and what  unknown is - fascinating forum name, and I hope you'll stick around and help us learn something. :)

Perhaps this is the real Jon Snow?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 07, 2018, 08:28:25 am
Today's cancellation collection so far due to lack of drivers.

(I note that we'd lost a couple of weeks worth of contributions on this thread since the server meltdown!)

08:43 Great Malvern to London Paddington due 11:29
10:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 11:39
11:22 London Paddington to Great Malvern due 14:03
11:45 London Paddington to Swansea due 14:43
12:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 13:41
12:22 London Paddington to Moreton-In-Marsh due 14:00
12:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 14:14
13:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 14:39
13:29 Swansea to London Paddington due 16:31
14:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 16:14
14:35 Great Malvern to London Paddington due 17:26
14:45 London Paddington to Swansea due 17:43
14:50 Moreton-In-Marsh to London Paddington due 16:29
15:00 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 16:38
15:29 Swansea to London Paddington due 18:30
16:45 London Paddington to Swansea due 19:43
17:22 London Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street due 19:44
17:45 London Paddington to Carmarthen due 21:48
18:00 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 19:37
18:03 London Paddington to Penzance due 23:22
18:15 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 20:22
18:29 Swansea to London Paddington due 21:28
19:15 London Paddington to Swansea due 22:20
20:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 21:44
20:04 Worcester Foregate Street to London Paddington due 22:29


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: rower40 on April 07, 2018, 08:36:51 am
(I note that we'd lost a couple of weeks worth of contributions on this thread since the server meltdown!)
Maybe the server needs to have some drivers re-installed...



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on April 07, 2018, 08:47:09 am
(I note that we'd lost a couple of weeks worth of contributions on this thread since the server meltdown!)

(I note that we'd lost a couple of weeks worth of contributions on this thread since the server meltdown!)
Maybe the server needs to have some drivers re-installed...

?

To my knowledge, we should only have lost data lunchtime on Good Friday (13:26 on 30th March) to the end of 2nd April - that's Easter Monday.     Please let me know what else has been lost outside that timeframe; I still have the database backup from lunch time on Good Friday that I restored from and can take a further look.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on April 07, 2018, 09:15:45 am
From Easter Sunday (1st April), posted by TaplowGreen and just forwarded to me by another member who's watching the thread and notifications.   I'm advised no notifications so no contribution to the thread from 18th March until 31st March (data incomplete for that day),  so the gap is most likely explained by the lack of contributions rather than anything being lost.   It would have been very odd indeed for us to have been able to restore everything *except* this thread, and even odder had notifies failed, so I'm pretty satisfied with my dates and limitations of loss.

Quote
All cancelled. Happy Easter from GWR....

08:27 Bath Spa to London Paddington due 10:13
08:57 London Paddington to Plymouth due 12:29
09:03 London Paddington to Cardiff Central due 11:32
10:03 London Paddington to Cardiff Central due 12:26
11:03 London Paddington to Cardiff Central due 13:25
11:55 Cardiff Central to London Paddington due 14:16
12:55 Cardiff Central to London Paddington due 15:15
13:40 Bath Spa to London Paddington due 15:20
13:48 Cardiff Central to London Paddington due 16:14
14:03 London Paddington to Cardiff Central due 16:40
14:40 Bath Spa to London Paddington due 16:21
15:03 London Paddington to Cardiff Central due 17:32
15:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 18:50
16:03 London Paddington to Cardiff Central due 18:33
16:29 London Paddington to Bath Spa due 18:14
17:03 London Paddington to Cardiff Central due 19:32
17:20 Cardiff Central to London Paddington due 19:50
17:29 London Paddington to Bath Spa due 19:14
18:20 Cardiff Central to London Paddington due 20:50
18:40 Bath Spa to London Paddington due 20:21
19:20 Cardiff Central to London Paddington due 21:43
19:30 London Paddington to Bath Spa due 21:14
19:40 Bath Spa to London Paddington due 21:20
21:03 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 22:45
21:30 Bath Spa to Swindon due 21:57
22:05 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 23:47
22:23 Swindon to Bath Spa due 22:53
22:33 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 00:17


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 07, 2018, 09:47:21 am
Must be my mistake, apologies!  :)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on April 07, 2018, 09:52:24 am
There are quite a few of those that are scheduled to run which look like being cosy due to several 5 vice 10s because, allegedly, of faults.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on April 07, 2018, 10:21:27 am
Concerned for the ‘evening peak’ out of Paddington this evening particularly to South Wales and the South West with the last train to Penzance the 18.03 canned. Frustrating when all the cancellations appear together at the same time and at the wrong time, if there’s ever a right time of course.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on April 07, 2018, 10:49:10 am
Cancelling the 18-03 is very poor indeed.

It is indeed the last through service to the far west, except on a Friday when the 19-03 runs to Penzance.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on April 07, 2018, 10:55:04 am
I thought that the train crew situation was meant to be improving "in the new year" ?
This year is not of course over yet, but we are over one quarter through the year without significant improvement.

"In the new year" is generally understood to mean reasonably early in the new year.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 07, 2018, 11:06:12 am
I thought that the train crew situation was meant to be improving "in the new year" ?
This year is not of course over yet, but we are over one quarter through the year without significant improvement.

"In the new year" is generally understood to mean reasonably early in the new year.

Ah but which year  (if any) was specified? 🤔


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on April 07, 2018, 11:10:05 am
I thought that the train crew situation was meant to be improving "in the new year" ?
This year is not of course over yet, but we are over one quarter through the year without significant improvement.

"In the new year" is generally understood to mean reasonably early in the new year.

Ah but which year  (if any) was specified? 🤔

"In the new year" probably came from one of my posts / based on my enquiries.   If so, related to services operated by regional trains to, from or through the Westbury hub.  And there has been a massive improvement in crew availability on those services.  Still not perfect, and we've had other issues, some new ones ....


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on April 07, 2018, 12:14:42 pm
I would be surprised at the rate we’re going if driver shortages are resolved in any meaningful way before Autumn.  We are (slowly and inefficiently) getting through the backlog, but I foresee any improvement in the percentage of drivers fully trained being nullified by the increase in drivers on leave over summer.  In fact I would put money on it getting worse before it gets better.

Now we have 769s thrown into the mix that will mean even more training.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on April 07, 2018, 12:21:59 pm
I thought that the 769s are the ex class 319s that have been rendered bi-mode by fitting diesel engines, are these to utilised in the GWR area ?
I thought that they were destined for the North.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on April 07, 2018, 12:28:04 pm
I thought that the 769s are the ex class 319s that have been rendered bi-mode by fitting diesel engines, are these to utilised in the GWR area ?
I thought that they were destined for the North.

19 are coming to GWR IIRC - mostly destined for the Reading to Gatwick Line, but also some of the branches.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on April 07, 2018, 12:41:36 pm
I thought that the 769s are the ex class 319s that have been rendered bi-mode by fitting diesel engines, are these to utilised in the GWR area ?
I thought that they were destined for the North.

There are a total of around 80 class 319 units and conversion could go well beyond a couple of dozen.  As third rail capable units, they have a thumping great 750v bus bar along the train, and the supply of electric to that bar from a diesel engine running under one or two of the lighter coaches in the set is logical and relatively straightforward, I am told.



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on April 07, 2018, 12:50:15 pm
Was not aware of this.
I can see the merits of these trains, but find it most regrettable that training on new stock has such adverse effects on existing services.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 07, 2018, 01:09:44 pm
In the latter part of 2017 (and for many months previously) we were all led to believe by GWR that the early part of 2018 would see the arrival at the promised land, with loads of new stock, previously unheard of steps up in capacity, reliability etc etc.

Somewhere along the line, before making all these promises and raising expectations accordingly, perhaps Marketing/PR should have spoken to Operations to ascertain that there would be enough drivers to move the above around, and that there would be sufficient reliable stock available to run the service  rather than "more than usual being in for repair" which has now been going on for what must be approaching 2 years.

If II is to be believed (and I see no reason why he shouldn't) it won't improve before the Autumn.

Next time people tell me off for criticising GWRs "Manana Manana" promises, they may care to bear this in mind, as it seems that for GWR and their customers, "Manana" never comes.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on April 07, 2018, 01:14:37 pm
It’s only an opinion, and I’m certainly not always right (witness my own ‘turning the corner’ posts at the end of last year), but we have been inept in virtually every regard since the turn of the year so it’s an opinion I hold with a certain amount of confidence.  I really hope I’m wrong.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 07, 2018, 01:29:15 pm
It’s only an opinion, and I’m certainly not always right (witness my own ‘turning the corner’ posts at the end of last year), but we have been inept in virtually every regard since the turn of the year so it’s an opinion I hold with a certain amount of confidence.  I really hope I’m wrong.

Your honesty and candour is always appreciated amongst the sea of defensiveness elsewhere II.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on April 07, 2018, 02:56:57 pm
I thought that the 769s are the ex class 319s that have been rendered bi-mode by fitting diesel engines, are these to utilised in the GWR area ?
I thought that they were destined for the North.

There are a total of around 80 class 319 units and conversion could go well beyond a couple of dozen.  As third rail capable units, they have a thumping great 750v bus bar along the train, and the supply of electric to that bar from a diesel engine running under one or two of the lighter coaches in the set is logical and relatively straightforward, I am told.




ATW are due to receive 5 x 769s also.   The GWR ones are meant for the North Downs.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on April 07, 2018, 03:45:11 pm
GWRs "copy and paste" usually says that there are staff rostered but don't have the specifics or that there are spare staff available but are in the wrong place.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on April 07, 2018, 03:57:46 pm
ATW are due to receive 5 x 769s also.

Indeed. 

Plans for their use?    Ebbw Vale and Cheltenham services??  or Manchester services??


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on April 07, 2018, 04:08:11 pm
Don't think they'd make Ebbw Vale on diesel.



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on April 07, 2018, 07:45:01 pm
ATW are due to receive 5 x 769s also.

Indeed. 

Plans for their use?    Ebbw Vale and Cheltenham services??  or Manchester services??

Not decided yet.    Most probably to replace 4 car formations (these are 4 Car units)  on the Cardiff Valleys so that these can be used elsewhere on the Network.     ATW just say to provide extra capacity but it seems to be to release 150s for PRM Mods  which nobody has done anything about yet, despite the Welsh Government being told about it in 2013. 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: stuving on April 07, 2018, 08:17:12 pm
I thought that the 769s are the ex class 319s that have been rendered bi-mode by fitting diesel engines, are these to utilised in the GWR area ?
I thought that they were destined for the North.

There are a total of around 80 class 319 units and conversion could go well beyond a couple of dozen.  As third rail capable units, they have a thumping great 750v bus bar along the train, and the supply of electric to that bar from a diesel engine running under one or two of the lighter coaches in the set is logical and relatively straightforward, I am told.

Even with two of the proposed MAN D2876 engines, at their highest rating of 390 kW, and a pretty lightweight train, the performance is very unimpressive: a P/W of 4.4 kW/t (half of a cl 180's). Even as an EMU it wasn't brilliant, at 7.2, even if it is rated at 100 mph. So not an obvious choice for the North Downs Line.

I'm still puzzled how the 769s' use on GWR went from pure speculation to accepted fact in the last three months without, AFAICS, going through the intervening stage of a reliable piece of news announcing it.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on April 07, 2018, 09:15:49 pm
Cancelling the 18-03 is very poor indeed.

It is indeed the last through service to the far west, except on a Friday when the 19-03 runs to Penzance.

Re-instated


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on April 07, 2018, 09:58:19 pm
All in all wasn’t too bad a day unless you were travelling to South Wales.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 07, 2018, 10:16:12 pm
All in all wasn’t too bad a day unless you were travelling to South Wales.

Awesome I'd say..........unless

Cancellations to services between Newport South Wales and Cardiff Central
Due to a fault with the signalling system between Newport (South Wales) and Cardiff Central the line towards Cardiff Central is blocked.
Train services running through these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 120 minutes or terminated at and started back from Newport South Wales. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on April 08, 2018, 06:26:27 am
With the line between Bath and Bristol closed today I had concerns for passengers using Bath Spa to travel to/from London that services could be affected by train crew issues.

Well I was right to be concerned, far worse than I thought with the train shuttle service between Bath and Swindon virtually wiped out and the few direct trains due to run from/to London either cancelled or terminating at Swindon.

I’ll leave it to others to talk through the other so far 55 cancellations apart from to say if you are hoping to travel from Cheltenham to London today forget it and as II mentioned on another thread WoE look to be affected today also.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on April 08, 2018, 07:28:59 am
With the line between Bath and Bristol closed today I had concerns for passengers using Bath Spa to travel to/from London that services could be affected by train crew issues.

Well I was right to be concerned, far worse than I thought with the train shuttle service between Bath and Swindon virtually wiped out and the few direct trains due to run from/to London either cancelled or terminating at Swindon.

I’ll leave it to others to talk through the other so far 55 cancellations apart from to say if you are hoping to travel from Cheltenham to London today forget it and as II mentioned on another thread WoE look to be affected today also.

GWR web site is not offering much:

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/cpm_bth_20180408.jpg)

So during the day, that's train to Swindon, train to Temple Meads (via Parkway, sometime with a change) and bus to Bath Spa.

But note

* X31 bus runs every two hours. Chippenham Station to Bath Spa Station. Run by - err - First  ;D

* If you know what you're doing, you can travel hourly from Chippenham to Bath Spa with a change at Trowbridge - e.g. 12:35 at Chippenham, 12:50 to 13:17 at Trowbridge, into Bath Spa at 13:35.   Some journeys have a better change.

Not only a failure to provide a train service, but also a failure to provide correct information about alternatives!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on April 08, 2018, 07:34:27 am
P.S.  Here's the total Journey Check comment - no advise here on what to do instead.

Quote
11:55 Swindon to Bath Spa due 12:30
11:55 Swindon to Bath Spa due 12:30 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

My Dad was a wise man. Much missed. 
Quote
If you have go give bad news to someone / say "NO" ...
1. Express Regret
2. Give Reason
3. Suggest Alternative
GWR are scoring just one out of three - pretty poor for a company that's been running these services for decades, and should know a bit about customer relations by now  ;D



Edit to add - my attempt at advise ... not really my job to fill in for TOC failures, but it doesn't half help the CRP's profile as an important and useful player for the passenger!

https://www.facebook.com/TransWilts/photos/a.402860103147371.1073741825.294993730600676/1356304114469627




Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on April 08, 2018, 08:15:39 am
Indeed it would be useful to let those intending to travel out of Bath today just how they are going to be able to travel. I can only assume GWR have sourced buses to take Bath passengers to either Chippenham or Swindon to get a train from there.

I wonder how far back they knew they weren’t going to be able to run the timetabled service out of Bath today?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on April 08, 2018, 08:17:29 am
Spare a thought for the passengers on the last Paddington - Cardiff service which "Will be terminated at Bristol Parkway due to lack of train crew"

Told at Paddington that there would be onward road transport to Newport and Cardiff available at Bristol Parkway.

Arrived at Parkway no road transport except a handful of taxis and almost as one the taxi drivers stood firm and refused to accept fares across the POW bridge claiming they'd been on duty since 14.00 or 16.00 hrs that day.

Harassed member of GWR staff on duty made a couple of phone calls and established there was a coach on its way from West Bromwich and would be there in about two hours time.

He was finishing his shift and he had to secure the station for the night and so left the luckless passengers shivering in the vehicle entrance to the multi storey car park as that was about the only shelter available from the torrential rain that night.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Western Pathfinder on April 08, 2018, 08:24:07 am
The couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery syndrome strikes again
Frankly that is a disgusting way to treat paying customers,
And whoever locked them out of Parkway and went home ,definitely needs to be spoken too and harshly.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on April 08, 2018, 08:28:28 am
Spare a thought for the passengers on the last Paddington - Cardiff service ..

Harassed member of GWR staff on duty ...

Very much a thought for the passengers ... and also a thought for the staff on the ground who in most cases are doing their very best to be helpful.   

I noted your previous post about a member of staff leaving his job / retiring early, and the first few days of this month have brought more lomg-experienced operational staff who have to face passengers - platform staff, ticket office, train conductors / manager to the point of asking "why do I do this".

Provision  by management to the staff who face passengers daily of a service they can be proud of - or failing that excellent backup in adversity, with high-quality and accurate explanations and prompt alternatives - would not only help passengers, but would also help their staff retention.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on April 08, 2018, 08:31:58 am
The couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery syndrome strikes again
Frankly that is a disgusting way to treat paying customers

Agreed. Totally

Quote
And whoever locked them out of Parkway and went home ,definitely needs to be spoken too and harshly.

Agreed. With one proviso. If (s)he could not stay on due to health and safety rules / timeouts etc.  There is a slight possibility (I'm sure others will advise us) that staying on could have resulted in a significant disciplinary ... working too long a shift around the railway, etc ...



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 08, 2018, 08:34:23 am
Cancellations so far today.........apparently the Famous Five are signing up with National Express.


08:00 London Paddington to Great Malvern due 10:54
08:19 Cardiff Central to Bristol Temple Meads due 09:09
08:22 Slough to Windsor & Eton Central due 08:28
08:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 10:44
08:32 Windsor & Eton Central to Slough due 08:38
09:00 Bath Spa to Swindon due 09:33
09:10 Swindon to Bath Spa due 09:44
09:13 Cardiff Central to Bristol Temple Meads due 10:12
09:30 London Paddington to Port Talbot Parkway due 12:24
09:55 Swindon to Bath Spa due 10:30
10:00 Bath Spa to Swindon due 10:31
10:03 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare due 12:32
10:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 12:44
10:55 Swindon to Bath Spa due 11:26
11:02 Bath Spa to Swindon due 11:35
11:14 Great Malvern to London Paddington due 14:07
11:18 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 13:27
11:55 Swindon to Bath Spa due 12:30
12:13 Bath Spa to Swindon due 12:40
12:28 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 14:45
12:55 Swindon to Bath Spa due 13:26
13:00 Bath Spa to Swindon due 13:35
13:09 Port Talbot Parkway to London Paddington due 16:06
13:20 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington due 15:59
13:38 Bath Spa to Swindon due 14:05
13:46 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 16:01
14:16 Swindon to Bath Spa due 14:48
14:30 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 16:45
14:42 London Paddington to Hereford due 17:56
15:11 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 16:58
15:25 Bath Spa to Swindon due 15:52
15:42 London Paddington to Worcester Foregate Street due 18:06
15:46 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 18:01
16:30 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 18:46
16:37 London Paddington to Port Talbot Parkway due 19:35
16:43 Bath Spa to London Paddington due 18:22
17:03 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 18:43
17:46 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 20:00
18:26 Worcester Foregate Street to London Paddington due 21:00
18:27 London Paddington to Bath Spa due 20:08
18:30 Hereford to London Paddington due 22:13
18:43 Bath Spa to London Paddington due 20:22
18:57 London Paddington to Plymouth due 22:29
19:12 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 20:57
19:27 London Paddington to Bath Spa due 21:00
19:46 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 22:00
20:15 Westbury to Bath Spa due 20:43
20:21 Bath Spa to Swindon due 20:48
21:03 Bath Spa to Weymouth due 23:11
21:07 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 22:52
21:25 Swindon to Bath Spa due 21:58
21:25 Bath Spa to London Paddington due 23:22
22:03 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 23:57
22:17 Westbury to Bath Spa due 22:42
22:23 Bath Spa to Swindon due 22:50
22:33 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 00:17
23:15 Bath Spa to Westbury due 23:43


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on April 08, 2018, 08:55:02 am
Spare a thought for the passengers on the last Paddington - Cardiff service which "Will be terminated at Bristol Parkway due to lack of train crew"

Told at Paddington that there would be onward road transport to Newport and Cardiff available at Bristol Parkway.

Arrived at Parkway no road transport except a handful of taxis and almost as one the taxi drivers stood firm and refused to accept fares across the POW bridge claiming they'd been on duty since 14.00 or 16.00 hrs that day.

Harassed member of GWR staff on duty made a couple of phone calls and established there was a coach on its way from West Bromwich and would be there in about two hours time.

He was finishing his shift and he had to secure the station for the night and so left the luckless passengers shivering in the vehicle entrance to the multi storey car park as that was about the only shelter available from the torrential rain that night.
West Bromwich!?!?!

How GWR can be allowed to get away with this is a joke.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on April 08, 2018, 08:58:09 am
The couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery syndrome strikes again
Frankly that is a disgusting way to treat paying customers

Agreed. Totally

Quote
And whoever locked them out of Parkway and went home ,definitely needs to be spoken too and harshly.

Agreed. With one proviso. If (s)he could not stay on due to health and safety rules / timeouts etc.  There is a slight possibility (I'm sure others will advise us) that staying on could have resulted in a significant disciplinary ... working too long a shift around the railway, etc ...



I understand the local constabulary were called and attended with a 'blue lighter' and advised the GWR staff.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on April 08, 2018, 09:02:58 am
I’m not surprised the police were called after being told your bus is coming all the way from West Brom people would have had enough.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on April 08, 2018, 09:08:27 am
Cancellations so far today.........apparently the Famous Five are signing up with National Express.


I like that comment.

BUT what is the Rail Regulator / Minister of Transport doing about the situation, I'll tell you, sweet F A, because neither of them got any guts.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 08, 2018, 09:57:05 am
Spare a thought for the passengers on the last Paddington - Cardiff service which "Will be terminated at Bristol Parkway due to lack of train crew"

Told at Paddington that there would be onward road transport to Newport and Cardiff available at Bristol Parkway.

Arrived at Parkway no road transport except a handful of taxis and almost as one the taxi drivers stood firm and refused to accept fares across the POW bridge claiming they'd been on duty since 14.00 or 16.00 hrs that day.

Harassed member of GWR staff on duty made a couple of phone calls and established there was a coach on its way from West Bromwich and would be there in about two hours time.

He was finishing his shift and he had to secure the station for the night and so left the luckless passengers shivering in the vehicle entrance to the multi storey car park as that was about the only shelter available from the torrential rain that night.

If, as appears to be the case it was known, hours in advance, that there was no driver available to take the service forward past Bristol and yet no provision was made by GWR for timely road transport, either by coach or taxi, and/or warm and secure accommodation to be made available whilst they waited, then something more than a "harsh talking to" is required, and at a somewhat higher level than the poor sap who was left to deal with it.

It is beyond comprehension that the disorganisation and disarray within GWR/First Group has got to such a stage that buses have to be summoned from the Midlands to Bristol to take customers on to Wales late at night, and for those already hugely inconvenienced passengers to have to wait hours on end for them to arrive.

As to Graham's comments about "elf and safety timeouts", you may recall that a couple of weeks ago the actions of a French Policeman, no doubt in contravention of Health and Safety advice, saved lives at the cost of his own.

I think that perhaps puts the dreadful dangers and self sacrifice of using one's discretion/common sense and sticking around to allow members of the public to wait in a safer, warmer and drier environment late at night into perspective.

I very much doubt he would have faced disciplinary action had he done so unless GWR wish to appear even more incompetent and ridiculous than they already do - it would perhaps however have been refreshing in the circumstances if a couple of Managers had shown leadership and pitched up to take over from him? It would be interesting to know what advice he was given in terms of closing the station.



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: chuffed on April 08, 2018, 12:14:52 pm
I am going to ask for a refund on my 3 year  Disabled Railcard, as there are simply not the trains to use it on! When the list of cancellations exceeds the number of services running, surely it is time for Hopwood to man up and speak out.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on April 08, 2018, 12:47:45 pm
It would have been preferable for the station employee to remain at work beyond their normal departure time. It would be unreasonable to insist on this of course.
If the employee was unwilling to remain, then yes I agree that a manager should have been sent.

A point not yet mentioned however is that the employee might well have felt it dangerous to be on their own and surrounded by a crowd of increasingly enraged passengers.

This sounds to me like lack of basic competency on the part of GWR

Initially, lack of basic competence in recruiting, training, and retaining enough staff to run the advertised service.
Later, lack of competence in arranging alternative transport in a timely fashion. It was known before the service left London that onward road transport would be needed.
And finally lack of basic competence in shutting up the station, presumably without any effort to arrange overtime working by existing staff, or substitute staff from elsewhere.

Whilst I would not support violence, had I been present, I might have been tempted to try a bit of passive resistance ! Simply sit in the waiting area and decline to move. It would take several policemen to carry me out, and since the police are often a lot more reasonable than "the railway" One might hope that the police might enquire as to what was going on.



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: YouKnowNothing on April 08, 2018, 12:51:34 pm
Has the experience been documented anywhere else other than this forum?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on April 08, 2018, 01:00:32 pm
Has the experience been documented anywhere else other than this forum?

Don't know.
It is however known that at Paddington that the train was announced as terminating short.
It is also known that it did indeed terminate short.

It would however be interesting to know more details.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 08, 2018, 02:07:32 pm
Whilst I would not support violence, had I been present, I might have been tempted to try a bit of passive resistance ! Simply sit in the waiting area and decline to move. It would take several policemen to carry me out, and since the police are often a lot more reasonable than "the railway" One might hope that the police might enquire as to what was going on.



I suspect that the Police, given their greater predisposition to common sense and the wellbeing of the public would have suggested politely but firmly that the waiting area should remain open for customers rather than dumping them outside in the cold/dark to await the arrival of the West Bromwich cavalry and would have escalated the situation rapidly up the chain of command in order to catalyse the removal of the collective GWR thumb from the orifice.

There simply has to be an on call senior manager within GWR to handle this type of scenario or other serious OOH problems to whom staff on the ground can refer to...........hasn't there???  ???


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on April 08, 2018, 08:50:26 pm
Well GWR managed to run three Paddington to Bath services and return this afternoon/evening presumably operated by London based train crew. The other London services to/from Bath and the Swindon-Bath shuttles all canned.

A pretty much full Bath to Westbury also ran so Bath wasn’t totally bereft of train services today.

Next weekend we have South Wales and Bristol services diverted via the Berks and Hants to look forward to because of engineering work at Swindon. Wonder what mischief to the planned timetable because of traincrew issues we’ll see then?

I’ll try and be optimistic and say hopefully not a lot.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on April 08, 2018, 11:08:03 pm
And trouble getting to Cardiff again ...

Quote
Cancellations to services between Newport South Wales and Cardiff Central
Due to theft of signalling cables between Newport (South Wales) and Cardiff Central all lines are blocked.
Train services running through these stations may be cancelled or delayed by up to 120 minutes. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.

Customer Advice

Due to a cable theft the signalling system cannot be used between Newport and Cardiff Central. Trains are currently unable to operate and no trains are running between Wales and the Bristol area.

Network Rail will be deploying staff to allow a degraded method of working to operate between Newport and Cardiff. This will take some time to implement, and trains will be subject to severe delay and alteration in the meantime.

Attempts are being made to source Replacement Road Transport to operate between Bristol Parkway, Newport and Cardiff Central.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 08, 2018, 11:38:02 pm
And trouble getting to Cardiff again ...

Quote
Cancellations to services between Newport South Wales and Cardiff Central
Due to theft of signalling cables between Newport (South Wales) and Cardiff Central all lines are blocked.
Train services running through these stations may be cancelled or delayed by up to 120 minutes. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.

Customer Advice

Due to a cable theft the signalling system cannot be used between Newport and Cardiff Central. Trains are currently unable to operate and no trains are running between Wales and the Bristol area.

Network Rail will be deploying staff to allow a degraded method of working to operate between Newport and Cardiff. This will take some time to implement, and trains will be subject to severe delay and alteration in the meantime.

Attempts are being made to source Replacement Road Transport to operate between Bristol Parkway, Newport and Cardiff Central.

.........across the West Midlands bus drivers are starting their engines........


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 21, 2018, 08:23:28 am
.......cancellations so far today.........good luck if you're aiming to travel London - Bristol this morning!

05:29 Swansea to London Paddington due 08:30
07:59 Swansea to London Paddington due 11:01
08:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 09:41
08:15 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 10:22
08:43 Great Malvern to London Paddington due 11:29
09:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 10:39
10:00 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 11:40
10:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 11:39
11:00 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 13:07
11:30 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 13:14
12:15 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 14:22
12:22 London Paddington to Moreton-In-Marsh due 14:00
14:00 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 15:41
14:50 Moreton-In-Marsh to London Paddington due 16:29
15:00 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 17:07


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on April 21, 2018, 09:11:32 am
 :( after a good weekend last week it doesn’t look good for this weekend.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 21, 2018, 10:49:10 am

More cancellations being added.............

15:00 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 16:38
16:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 17:38
18:29 Swansea to London Paddington due 21:28
18:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 20:14
19:45 London Paddington to Swansea due 22:44
20:04 Worcester Foregate Street to London Paddington due 22:29


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on April 21, 2018, 11:33:14 am
Interesting to see the 1145 Pad-Swansea is being diverted between Swindon and Bristol Parkway to call at Chippenham and Bath Spa This is due to a shortage of train drivers. Overcrowding due to earlier Bristol services being cancelled?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on April 21, 2018, 11:47:41 am
Interesting to see the 1145 Pad-Swansea is being diverted between Swindon and Bristol Parkway to call at Chippenham and Bath Spa This is due to a shortage of train drivers. Overcrowding due to earlier Bristol services being cancelled?

There is some logic in that - provided the trains will have the capacity. 

Reductio ad absurdum ...  2 an hour Bristol to London + 1 an hour Swansea to London and 1 an hour Cheltenham Spa to London (4 trains) reduces to 2 trains - one from Swansea and 1 from Bristol, with connections at Bath Spa for London to give a second option in each hour from Bristol, and at Swindon with an extra local from Cheltenham Spa.

Of course once you also need to serve Malmesbury Road ...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on April 21, 2018, 11:54:14 am
:( after a good weekend last week it doesn’t look good for this weekend.

Sunnier weather?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on April 21, 2018, 11:58:22 am
Interesting to see the 1145 Pad-Swansea is being diverted between Swindon and Bristol Parkway to call at Chippenham and Bath Spa This is due to a shortage of train drivers. Overcrowding due to earlier Bristol services being cancelled?

There is some logic in that - provided the trains will have the capacity. 

Reductio ad absurdum ...  2 an hour Bristol to London + 1 an hour Swansea to London and 1 an hour Cheltenham Spa to London (4 trains) reduces to 2 trains - one from Swansea and 1 from Bristol, with connections at Bath Spa for London to give a second option in each hour from Bristol, and at Swindon with an extra local from Cheltenham Spa.

Of course once you also need to serve Malmesbury Road ...
Try 0 an hour between Pad-Bristol:
1130, 1200 and 1230 all canned hence the decision to divert the Swansea train. Bet it’s cosy on board.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on April 21, 2018, 12:11:49 pm
:( after a good weekend last week it doesn’t look good for this weekend.

Sunnier weather?

Well - last weekend there were an awful lot of pre-planned early cancellations because Swindon was shut.   Is the difference today is that they're just being implemented on the day?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: didcotdean on April 21, 2018, 12:12:02 pm
And the headline message on the website?

"There is generally a good service on the GWR network."


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on April 21, 2018, 01:50:48 pm
Try 0 an hour between Pad-Bristol:
1130, 1200 and 1230 all canned hence the decision to divert the Swansea train. Bet it’s cosy on board.
As the saying well sort of goes...what doesn’t go down on the ‘down main’ won’t come back up on the ‘up main’.
1400, 1430 and 1500 Bristol-Pad all canned. Shortage of London based crew day?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on April 21, 2018, 02:09:06 pm
And the headline message on the website?

"There is generally a good service on the GWR network."

I have long since given up regarding the front page of the GWR website as being a useful source of information, at best it should be considered as an advertisement, and at worst as propaganda, not a news source.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on April 21, 2018, 02:19:42 pm
Interesting to see the 1145 Pad-Swansea is being diverted between Swindon and Bristol Parkway to call at Chippenham and Bath Spa This is due to a shortage of train drivers. Overcrowding due to earlier Bristol services being cancelled?

Only got as far as Bristol Parkway.   Broke.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on April 21, 2018, 07:07:47 pm
Interesting to see the 1145 Pad-Swansea is being diverted between Swindon and Bristol Parkway to call at Chippenham and Bath Spa This is due to a shortage of train drivers. Overcrowding due to earlier Bristol services being cancelled?

Only got as far as Bristol Parkway.   Broke.

It can now therefore be moved to the other column, "More trains than usual needing repairs at the same time".


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on April 22, 2018, 07:19:00 am
GWR bracing everyone for a rough day ahead. On the plus side, if you hold an Advance ticket you can use it on any train. Good that common sense has prevailed on that one and one less thing the staff who are working today have to deal with when checking tickets.

Quote
Cancellations to services on all routes
Due to a shortage of train crew:
Train services running across the whole Great Western Railway network may be cancelled or revised. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.
Customer Advice
South Western Railway are conveying passengers between London Waterloo and Exeter St Davids in both directions until further notice.
Additional Information
Due to severe shortages of train crew today, disruption and cancellations to High Speed, Long Distance services can be expected on all routes.

Ticket restrictions have been lifted on all routes. Customers with 'advance' tickets may use them on any GWR train today; however reservations cannot be honoured on services other than your booked train. Please note other operators have NOT lifted advance ticket restrictions; and if your journey involves other operators you will have to travel on your booked train with that operator.

If you are delayed by more than 1 hour; you may be eligible for delay compensation. Please visit the GWR website for further details on how to claim.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 22, 2018, 08:13:19 am
GWR bracing everyone for a rough day ahead. On the plus side, if you hold an Advance ticket you can use it on any train. Good that common sense has prevailed on that one and one less thing the staff who are working today have to deal with when checking tickets.

Quote
Cancellations to services on all routes
Due to a shortage of train crew:
Train services running across the whole Great Western Railway network may be cancelled or revised. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.
Customer Advice
South Western Railway are conveying passengers between London Waterloo and Exeter St Davids in both directions until further notice.
Additional Information
Due to severe shortages of train crew today, disruption and cancellations to High Speed, Long Distance services can be expected on all routes.

Ticket restrictions have been lifted on all routes. Customers with 'advance' tickets may use them on any GWR train today; however reservations cannot be honoured on services other than your booked train. Please note other operators have NOT lifted advance ticket restrictions; and if your journey involves other operators you will have to travel on your booked train with that operator.

If you are delayed by more than 1 hour; you may be eligible for delay compensation. Please visit the GWR website for further details on how to claim.

..............there's a plus side?  :o


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 22, 2018, 08:21:12 am
The detail (so far) - this is the first time I've noticed the far South West services being so badly affected - the 0840,1011 and 1100 services from Plymouth are the first three direct of the day - given how colossally overcrowded services from Devon and Cornwall always are on Sundays, travelling on the later services which will have to pick up all these abandoned customers simply does not bear thinking about.


07:45 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 09:39
08:30 London Paddington to Port Talbot Parkway due 11:30
08:34 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 10:44
08:40 Plymouth to London Paddington due 12:22
08:44 London Paddington to Oxford due 10:00
10:05 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare due 12:31
10:11 Plymouth to London Paddington due 14:00
10:34 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 12:44
10:37 London Paddington to Port Talbot Parkway due 13:31
10:53 Oxford to London Paddington due 12:06
11:00 Plymouth to London Paddington due 14:28
11:18 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 13:27
12:43 Swansea to Carmarthen due 13:30
13:20 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington due 15:57
14:04 Port Talbot Parkway to London Paddington due 17:07
14:11 Carmarthen to Swansea due 14:56
14:37 London Paddington to Port Talbot Parkway due 17:31
15:05 Swansea to Carmarthen due 15:51
16:05 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 17:55
16:07 Carmarthen to Swansea due 16:51
16:37 London Paddington to Port Talbot Parkway due 19:35
17:55 Swansea to Carmarthen due 18:40
18:09 Port Talbot Parkway to London Paddington due 21:07
19:05 Carmarthen to Swansea due 19:49


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on April 22, 2018, 08:31:04 am
Additional advice has been posted

Quote
CrossCountry are conveying passengers between Plymouth and Bristol Parkway in both directions until further notice.

Customers with tickets dated Sunday 22nd April 2018 may use them on GWR services ONLY on Monday 23rd April 2018.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on April 22, 2018, 08:42:10 am
Quote
If you are delayed by more than 1 hour; you may be eligible for delay compensation. Please visit the GWR website for further details on how to claim.

I really do hope this runs into the many thousands of pounds, surely better to use said money on staff to provide an actual service.




Oh and one for Taplow Green and others, if you click on the 'Train Running' button which takes you to the JourneyCheck page, then at the top click 'Customer Service', it kind of says it all really


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on April 22, 2018, 08:46:44 am
Quote
the 0840,1011 and 1100 services from Plymouth are the first three direct of the day -


Not to worry, the 11:00 has been re-instated!
Quote
11:00 Plymouth to London Paddington due 14:28 will be reinstated.
Horray!


Quote
It will be terminated at Exeter St Davids.
It will no longer call at Tiverton Parkway, Taunton, Reading and London Paddington.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.
Ah!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on April 22, 2018, 08:54:53 am
Quote
the 0840,1011 and 1100 services from Plymouth are the first three direct of the day -


Not to worry, the 11:00 has been re-instated!
Quote
11:00 Plymouth to London Paddington due 14:28 will be reinstated.
Horray!


Quote
It will be terminated at Exeter St Davids.
It will no longer call at Tiverton Parkway, Taunton, Reading and London Paddington.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.
Ah!
Oh well, at least it gives the chance to change at Exeter for services to Waterloo.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: plymothian on April 22, 2018, 09:10:09 am
Co-ordinated action ("Barbecue Sunday") by Plymouth depot today with no guards and only 2 drivers willing to work.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on April 22, 2018, 09:12:35 am
And for the trains that are running:

Quote
Cancellations to services between London Paddington and Slough

Due to a person being hit by a train between London Paddington and Slough all lines are blocked.
Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 90 minutes or revised. Disruption is expected until 12:00 22/04.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on April 22, 2018, 09:26:10 am
And for the trains that are running:

Quote
Cancellations to services between London Paddington and Slough

Due to a person being hit by a train between London Paddington and Slough all lines are blocked.
Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 90 minutes or revised. Disruption is expected until 12:00 22/04.

Person was clipped by a HEx service. Lines will reopen very quickly.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 22, 2018, 09:28:02 am
Co-ordinated action ("Barbecue Sunday") by Plymouth depot today with no guards and only 2 drivers willing to work.

If that's the case then I am ashamed of my fellow Janners - hope they choke on their sausages!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 22, 2018, 09:41:05 am
Latest cancellation picture - situation deteriorating - there are also dozens of "updates" which are effectively cancellations for large parts of services but too many to list here.

07:45 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 09:39
08:30 London Paddington to Port Talbot Parkway due 11:30
08:34 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 10:44
08:40 Plymouth to London Paddington due 12:22
08:44 London Paddington to Oxford due 10:00
10:05 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare due 12:31
10:34 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 12:44
10:37 London Paddington to Port Talbot Parkway due 13:31
10:53 Oxford to London Paddington due 12:06
11:18 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 13:27
12:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 14:22
12:34 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 14:45
12:43 Swansea to Carmarthen due 13:30
13:20 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington due 15:57
13:46 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 15:59
14:00 London Paddington to Plymouth due 17:29
14:04 Port Talbot Parkway to London Paddington due 17:07
14:11 Carmarthen to Swansea due 14:56
14:37 London Paddington to Port Talbot Parkway due 17:31
15:05 Swansea to Carmarthen due 15:51
15:05 London Paddington to Taunton due 17:59
15:46 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 17:57
16:05 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 17:55
16:07 Carmarthen to Swansea due 16:51
16:34 London Paddington to Hereford due 20:10
16:37 London Paddington to Port Talbot Parkway due 19:35
17:55 Swansea to Carmarthen due 18:40
18:09 Port Talbot Parkway to London Paddington due 21:07
18:30 Hereford to London Paddington due 22:14
18:39 Westbury to Swindon due 19:22
19:00 London Paddington to Plymouth due 22:29
19:05 Carmarthen to Swansea due 19:49
19:43 Severn Beach to Bristol Temple Meads due 20:21
19:53 Swindon to Westbury due 20:36
20:15 Liskeard to Looe due 20:44
20:42 London Paddington to Oxford due 22:00
20:50 Looe to Liskeard due 21:18
22:35 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 00:29
22:50 Oxford to London Paddington due 23:58


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on April 22, 2018, 10:19:22 am
Quote
the 0840,1011 and 1100 services from Plymouth are the first three direct of the day -


Not to worry, the 11:00 has been re-instated!
Quote
11:00 Plymouth to London Paddington due 14:28 will be reinstated.
Horray!


Quote
It will be terminated at Exeter St Davids.
It will no longer call at Tiverton Parkway, Taunton, Reading and London Paddington.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.
Ah!
Oh well, at least it gives the chance to change at Exeter for services to Waterloo.

Those Plymouth to Paddingtons that are being reinstated and running to Exeter only are formed with 2 carriages so seems they are being crewed by West staff rather than HSS crews


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on April 22, 2018, 10:50:59 am
Those Plymouth to Paddingtons that are being reinstated and running to Exeter only are formed with 2 carriages so seems they are being crewed by West staff rather than HSS crews

I have no proof ... but the suggestion that there's a staff BBQ today seems to fit the bill. To my knowledge Sunday working is still a matter of choice for many / most, so no contractual reason that individuals should choose driving a train over a social with their colleagues.  Indeed, if said BBQ is organised by colleagues it catches individuals between a rock and a hard place of not letting their colleagues down by missing the event, and letting a wider public down by being an element in train services being cancelled wholesale.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on April 22, 2018, 11:01:37 am


Oh and one for Taplow Green and others, if you click on the 'Train Running' button which takes you to the JourneyCheck page, then at the top click 'Customer Service', it kind of says it all really

It does indeed say it all. Unusually honest.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 22, 2018, 11:03:31 am
Those Plymouth to Paddingtons that are being reinstated and running to Exeter only are formed with 2 carriages so seems they are being crewed by West staff rather than HSS crews

I have no proof ... but the suggestion that there's a staff BBQ today seems to fit the bill. To my knowledge Sunday working is still a matter of choice for many / most, so no contractual reason that individuals should choose driving a train over a social with their colleagues.  Indeed, if said BBQ is organised by colleagues it catches individuals between a rock and a hard place of not letting their colleagues down by missing the event, and letting a wider public down by being an element in train services being cancelled wholesale.

It's almost beyond parody.

"We apologise to customers on Platform 1, your train is cancelled due to a staff BBQ"

Once again, IF this is the case, it MUST have been a foreseable circumstance that the timetable would be decimated as a result - if so, why was a workable emergency timetable not scheduled and advertised rather than everything being cancelled at the last minute when it was far, far too late for customers to make alternative arrangements?

Let's be charitable and put it down to embarrassment rather than incompetence.

Nothing like putting the customer first, is there?  ::)




Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on April 22, 2018, 11:19:28 am

Oh and one for Taplow Green and others, if you click on the 'Train Running' button which takes you to the JourneyCheck page, then at the top click 'Customer Service', it kind of says it all really

It does indeed say it all. Unusually honest.

Would you care to quote the page / give a direct link please?   I couldn't find anything ...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on April 22, 2018, 11:31:33 am
https://www.gwr.com/customer-service (https://www.gwr.com/customer-service)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on April 22, 2018, 11:40:49 am
Following the link to customer services produces a page that states "CUSTOMER SERVICES, WERE SORRY THIS PAGE DOES NOT EXIST" and error 404.

Entertaining in a black humour sort of way. I assume a natural breakdown rather than hackers. Had hackers been at it, I would expect something more humorous and also a bit insulting. Such as "WE have all gone to a barbecue. So very few trains are running. We hope you enjoy your day"


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: RA on April 22, 2018, 12:02:15 pm
Co-ordinated action ("Barbecue Sunday") by Plymouth depot today with no guards and only 2 drivers willing to work.

If that's the case then I am ashamed of my fellow Janners - hope they choke on their sausages!

Not the staff you should be ashamed of. It is the fault of the TOC for advertising a 7 days a week timetable when it only has staff contracted for 6 days of the week. 'Buying out' the Terms and Conditions of staff to include Sundays inside the week would be expensive, as well as requiring in the region of a 20 to 25% increase in headcount per depot, as Sundays would constitute part of the contracted hours and not be worked as overtime as present. This is why the TOC continue with the current set up. Once the increasingly limited amount of staff goodwill has been used up, the service falls apart.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: WelshBluebird on April 22, 2018, 12:05:48 pm
Co-ordinated action ("Barbecue Sunday") by Plymouth depot today with no guards and only 2 drivers willing to work.

If that's the case then I am ashamed of my fellow Janners - hope they choke on their sausages!

They do not have to work Sundays. So why shouldn't they do something nice when they can? The real problem is that GWR assume they can run a 7 day service without having the staff to do so, as RA has also explained above.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on April 22, 2018, 01:54:38 pm
It is now a couple of years since I suggested that NEW staff should be required to work on Sundays. There is nothing unreasonable in this if the requirement is clear at the recruitment stage.

An initially limited but steadily growing pool of staff who are required to work on say alternate weekends would limit the impact of this sort of thing.
It would not be an overnight cure of course but at least the problem would be getting better and not worse.

The unions would hate this of course, but ultimately it will have to be done.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on April 22, 2018, 02:20:51 pm
One thing many employers in this country do not understand is that the employer is not always the one in the strongest position.  If there is a shortage of labour with a certain skill, then the boot is very much on the other foot. An employer that does not appreciate that they are in such a position might carry on in some high handed fashion and find there is no good will left.

You could insist on new staff working Sundays, but if other employers of drivers do not then you could just become a training ground for other companies drivers.

It would seem that GWR find themselves in this position, though they are not alone. Politicians are the worst possible at this.  After all if you need more doctors you just put a card in the job centre don't you!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 22, 2018, 02:21:47 pm

The unions would hate this of course, but ultimately it will have to be done.

Dinosaurs never liked change. They're now extinct.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on April 22, 2018, 02:25:09 pm
Sunday’s within the working week will be a much quicker and more effective solution than Broadgage’s, which would take several years to have any meaningful impact, though the principle behind it is fair enough.  Driver wise I believe a provisional target implementation date has been set by both management and unions for the end of 2019.  A long way off still, but talks are ongoing.

Driver harmonisation appears to be closer than ever with a referendum due on a deal which should sail through meaning much more effective use of drivers can soon be made (IET’s running DCO on some routes for example).

Plymouth had an industrial relations issue recently, so I expect that’s why there are issues again this weekend, rather than someone throwing an impromptu BBQ - though perhaps that’s happened as a result?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on April 22, 2018, 03:02:45 pm
..............there's a plus side?  :o
Not really TG, I’m just trying to find a positive in negative situation. Polishing something that can’t be polished comes to mind.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 22, 2018, 03:34:02 pm
..............there's a plus side?  :o
Not really TG, I’m just trying to find a positive in negative situation. Polishing something that can’t be polished comes to mind.

I'd advise against polishing it or indeed trying to put it on the BBQ.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on April 22, 2018, 03:54:39 pm
Sunday’s within the working week will be a much quicker and more effective solution than Broadgage’s, which would take several years to have any meaningful impact, though the principle behind it is fair enough.  Driver wise I believe a provisional target implementation date has been set by both management and unions for the end of 2019.  A long way off still, but talks are ongoing.

Driver harmonisation appears to be closer than ever with a referendum due on a deal which should sail through meaning much more effective use of drivers can soon be made (IET’s running DCO on some routes for example).

Plymouth had an industrial relations issue recently, so I expect that’s why there are issues again this weekend, rather than someone throwing an impromptu BBQ - though perhaps that’s happened as a result?

Read in another Forum that a long serving and respected person at Plymouth is holding his retirement do today is the reason


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Sixty3Closure on April 22, 2018, 04:35:42 pm
I haven't seen this statement from GWR mentioned but there's so many threads about performance at the moment I could very easily have missed it.

http://www.clpg.org.uk/blog/cotswold-line-service-problems-a-response-from-gwr/



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on April 22, 2018, 04:45:21 pm
Plymouth had an industrial relations issue recently, so I expect that’s why there are issues again this weekend, rather than someone throwing an impromptu BBQ - though perhaps that’s happened as a result?
Quote
Read in another Forum that a long serving and respected person at Plymouth is holding his retirement do today is the reason

Is Mr. Hopwood motoring down to make the presentations seeing the rail service is decimated.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Western Pathfinder on April 22, 2018, 04:50:49 pm
I haven't seen this statement from GWR mentioned but there's so many threads about performance at the moment I could very easily have missed it.

http://www.clpg.org.uk/blog/cotswold-line-service-problems-a-response-from-gwr/


that link is well worth a look over thanks for posting it Sixty3


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 22, 2018, 04:57:55 pm
Plymouth had an industrial relations issue recently, so I expect that’s why there are issues again this weekend, rather than someone throwing an impromptu BBQ - though perhaps that’s happened as a result?
Quote
Read in another Forum that a long serving and respected person at Plymouth is holding his retirement do today is the reason

Is Mr. Hopwood motoring down to make the presentations seeing the rail service is decimated.

He's flipping the burgers on the BBQ.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on April 22, 2018, 05:00:46 pm
I haven't seen this statement from GWR mentioned but there's so many threads about performance at the moment I could very easily have missed it.

http://www.clpg.org.uk/blog/cotswold-line-service-problems-a-response-from-gwr/



Looks like you found it at about the same time as Timmer ... and we were wondering where best to put it.   As it covers so much more than train crew, I suspect it's worth its own thread - so thank you indeed for first mention, but best in the other thread.   I'll see if I can work out how to split this post off here and add it to the other thread later so you get credit ... a bit nervous about my ability though, especially during the day.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on April 22, 2018, 05:09:05 pm
Plymouth had an industrial relations issue recently, so I expect that’s why there are issues again this weekend, rather than someone throwing an impromptu BBQ - though perhaps that’s happened as a result?
Quote
Read in another Forum that a long serving and respected person at Plymouth is holding his retirement do today is the reason
Is Mr. Hopwood motoring down to make the presentations seeing the rail service is decimated.
He's flipping the burgers on the BBQ.

Who's turning the sausages for the hot dogs then, Mrs. Hopwood ?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: RA on April 22, 2018, 05:36:08 pm

The unions would hate this of course, but ultimately it will have to be done.

Dinosaurs never liked change. They're now extinct.
As I previously commented, it is the cost to the TOC that is the main barrier to changing the current set up, not the reluctance of the respective trade unions. There is nothing to stop the TOC making an offer to the unions and staff to effectively 'buy out' the current terms and conditions to facilitate Sunday working within the contracted working week. The other main issue would be a required increase in headcount at each depot of approximately 20 to 25 per cent, a substantial cost. As Sundays are currently worked as overtime, bringing them into the contracted working week requires an increase in staff numbers to cover all the shifts over the course of the week, unless you are willing to rely on covering turns with voluntary overtime and rest day working (just look at the current weekend chaos to see why this would not be a good idea).


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: RA on April 22, 2018, 06:27:08 pm
A little bit of background to how the current Sunday traincrew staffing situation came to be.

In BR (remember them ;))days, traincrew pay was comparatively low. Sundays were historically outside of the working week, with no shortage of willing volunteers at depots keen to earn a few more pounds to boost the pay packet. Then along came privatisation. One unforseen side affect of subjecting the industry to 'market forces' was the affect this would have on staff pay. Smaller regional franchises effectively became free training schools for the more glamorous inter-city franchises. To avoid the significant cost of staff leaving one TOC to join another one with better pay and conditions, pay for frontline staff improved significantly across the board compared to BR. A consequence of this is that many staff no longer have an incentive to work more hours than contracted as the basic pay is adequate to provide a comfortable lifestyle.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on April 22, 2018, 06:37:37 pm
I have no proof ... but the suggestion that there's a staff BBQ today seems to fit the bill. To my knowledge Sunday working is still a matter of choice for many / most, so no contractual reason that individuals should choose driving a train over a social with their colleagues.  Indeed, if said BBQ is organised by colleagues it catches individuals between a rock and a hard place of not letting their colleagues down by missing the event, and letting a wider public down by being an element in train services being cancelled wholesale.

It's a nice day for it.

Read in another Forum that a long serving and respected person at Plymouth is holding his retirement do today is the reason

Always a nice day for retirement!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: FarWestJohn on April 22, 2018, 06:46:06 pm
Even Radio Cornwall was warning of trains cancelled with shortage of drivers today. I don't know what was cancelled.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: nickswift99 on April 22, 2018, 07:10:56 pm
I have no proof ... but the suggestion that there's a staff BBQ today seems to fit the bill. To my knowledge Sunday working is still a matter of choice for many / most, so no contractual reason that individuals should choose driving a train over a social with their colleagues.  Indeed, if said BBQ is organised by colleagues it catches individuals between a rock and a hard place of not letting their colleagues down by missing the event, and letting a wider public down by being an element in train services being cancelled wholesale.

It's a nice day for it.

Read in another Forum that a long serving and respected person at Plymouth is holding his retirement do today is the reason

Always a nice day for retirement!

While I'd never wish someone not to be able to celebrate their no doubt hard earned retirement, even if you take out what would be the Plymouth turns there's still way too many staff shortage cancellations/partial cancellations today (Cotswold/Oxford/Wales).

With less than a month to the next timetable change, I hope GWR take resourcing into account during their planning.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 22, 2018, 08:48:00 pm
The 1900 & 2000 Paddington-Plymouth have been cancelled. Nothing more past Exeter till the sleeper. I'm told there are 400 people at Paddington trying to get to the Westcountry. They are being told to "ask staff about alternative arrangements"

I really hope all the GWR staff are enjoying the BBQ and/or retirement party.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Zoe on April 22, 2018, 08:55:59 pm
The 2100 to Exeter is calling additionally at Pewsey, Westbury and Castle Cary but there still doesn't seem to be anything for Newton Abbot, Totnes and Plymouth (or for anyone wanting to head west from Newbury).


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on April 22, 2018, 09:20:33 pm
I’m guessing there will be issues with HSS services starting from Plymouth tomorrow morning if all drivers have made themselves unavailable tonight.


Title: Cancellations Due To Crew Shortages
Post by: CJB666 on April 22, 2018, 09:21:48 pm
It was the London Marathon today - hottest on record. Thousands took part. And it was great to see so many GWR crew running too. Wonder how much they raised for their charities. So many crew were running that GWR had to cancel no end of services to / from Paddington and West. What a great company GWR is - er - well actually perhaps not. Thank's for all of the disruption today. If GWR crew don't want to work there are hundreds of unemployed who will.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on April 22, 2018, 09:22:03 pm
The 2100 to Exeter is calling additionally at Pewsey, Westbury and Castle Cary but there still doesn't seem to be anything for Newton Abbot, Totnes and Plymouth (or for anyone wanting to head west from Newbury).

1V68 1403 Motherwell to Plymouth (22:47 from EXD)
1Z98 2320 Exeter St Davids to Plymouth

that latter connects from 21:00??


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Zoe on April 22, 2018, 09:25:35 pm
The 2100 to Exeter is calling additionally at Pewsey, Westbury and Castle Cary but there still doesn't seem to be anything for Newton Abbot, Totnes and Plymouth (or for anyone wanting to head west from Newbury).

1V68 1403 Motherwell to Plymouth (22:47 from EXD)
1Z98 2320 Exeter St Davids to Plymouth

that latter connects from 21:00??
Yes, looks like it has been arranged at short notice (presumably a unit crewed by a West driver).


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on April 22, 2018, 09:29:07 pm
An interesting comment on the WNXX Forum....

Quote
It's not just the cost of the cancellation and good will of the customer, GWR have to still pay for the class 800s they don't use if Hitachi have made the train available. For example, today Hitachi provided 27 units but we only needed 21 of them - that's 6 units paid for that didn't turn a wheel....


Title: Re: Cancellations Due To Crew Shortages
Post by: ellendune on April 22, 2018, 09:42:39 pm
If GWR crew don't want to work there are hundreds of unemployed who will.

What you fail to appreciate is that you cannot just put a card in the job centre and sift through the numerous applicant to get a train driver.  This is a skill in short supply so the boot is on the other foot. Rail companies must compete for drivers by offering them the best terms (no just money) and if they train them (as GWR do) they must compete to keep them. There is a limit to how many they can train as they need senior drivers to be involved and this is difficult when they are short of drivers.

The government makes the same mistakes over doctors.

Mods consider merging with the more general topic of shortage of drivers http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18719.0;topicseen (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18719.0;topicseen)

Also look at the letter from Mr Hopwood to CPLC CLPG at http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=19697.msg236334#msg236334 (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=19697.msg236334#msg236334)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on April 22, 2018, 09:42:59 pm
I’m guessing there will be issues with HSS services starting from Plymouth tomorrow morning if all drivers have made themselves unavailable tonight.

We're straight off one set of changes onto another ... 4 day blockage Westbury to Theale ... which is suspect changes the number of crews needed (certainly less train drivers and more bus driver needed for TransWilts services!)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 22, 2018, 09:48:42 pm
The 2100 to Exeter is calling additionally at Pewsey, Westbury and Castle Cary but there still doesn't seem to be anything for Newton Abbot, Totnes and Plymouth (or for anyone wanting to head west from Newbury).

1V68 1403 Motherwell to Plymouth (22:47 from EXD)
1Z98 2320 Exeter St Davids to Plymouth

that latter connects from 21:00??
Yes, looks like it has been arranged at short notice (presumably a unit crewed by a West driver).

Advice is now that the 2100 PAD-Exeter St David's will go through to Plymouth & terminate there.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on April 22, 2018, 09:49:37 pm
The 2100 to Exeter is calling additionally at Pewsey, Westbury and Castle Cary but there still doesn't seem to be anything for Newton Abbot, Totnes and Plymouth (or for anyone wanting to head west from Newbury).

1V68 1403 Motherwell to Plymouth (22:47 from EXD)
1Z98 2320 Exeter St Davids to Plymouth

that latter connects from 21:00??
Yes, looks like it has been arranged at short notice (presumably a unit crewed by a West driver).

I suspect it's the same train ... 1C98 has a 2 minute "connection" into 1Z98.  Shame if it isn't and the 21:00 arrival has been delayed by the extra calls ...

Advice is now that the 2100 PAD-Exeter St David's will go through to Plymouth & terminate there.

Yep!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Zoe on April 22, 2018, 10:05:25 pm
I suspect it's the same train ... 1C98 has a 2 minute "connection" into 1Z98.  Shame if it isn't and the 21:00 arrival has been delayed by the extra calls ...
Indeed so, I just realized that it is pathed as an HST.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on April 22, 2018, 10:37:10 pm
I’m pleased to see something was sorted so that the 2100 can run through to Plymouth so at least everyone stuck at Paddington will get home even if it’s later than planned.

In other news, I noticed the Par-Penzance shuttle service was being operated by a single 153 instead of an HST because of shortage of traincrew. That must have been interesting at times today.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 22, 2018, 10:41:37 pm
More fun & games now at Bristol Paekway....2037 Paddington-Port Talbot terminated short with only a few minutes notice, everyone (including lots of exhausted marathon runners) turfed off and told onward transport had been arranged......only problem being.....No-one had told Bristol Parkway....and no transport arranged.


Title: Re: Cancellations Due To Crew Shortages
Post by: ChrisB on April 23, 2018, 09:51:20 am
Can a Mod correct the typo please - its [b[CLPG[/b] CLPG


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on April 23, 2018, 04:55:01 pm
Can a mod also fix ChrisB's attempt to bold CLPG?

 :P


Title: Re: Cancellations Due To Crew Shortages
Post by: grahame on April 23, 2018, 06:41:34 pm
CPLC

[b[CLPG[/b]

Can a mod also fix ChrisB's attempt to bold CLPG?

 :P

I am the world's wurst at spelling!   Think I have done it


Title: Re: Cancellations Due To Crew Shortages
Post by: Timmer on April 23, 2018, 09:54:55 pm
It was the London Marathon today - hottest on record. Thousands took part. And it was great to see so many GWR crew running too. Wonder how much they raised for their charities. So many crew were running that GWR had to cancel no end of services to / from Paddington and West. What a great company GWR is - er - well actually perhaps not. Thank's for all of the disruption today. If GWR crew don't want to work there are hundreds of unemployed who will.
Tonight’s BBC Points West ran a story about the problems marathon runners had getting home yesterday.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0b027rk/points-west-evening-news-23042018
Item starts at 5.10
Expires 7pm 24/04


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ray951 on April 23, 2018, 10:16:51 pm
There was chaos at Oxford tonight due to shortage of crew and train issues.
The 1707 to Reading was cancelled after we had boarded due to an issue with the train, this had a knock on effect with the 1716 to Bournemouth and the 1731 to Paddington both arriving late.
This was then compounded by  the 1731 arriving in P3 and no driver being available, the announcer said that the driver was arriving on the 1723 to Great Malvern which itself was 13 late. I then waited until 1755 but the driver still hadn't turned up and of course this meant that no trains could go towards Didcot as Platform 3  was blocked.
I then went and caught the bus home.
In the meantime the 1731 to Paddington was cancelled as well as the 1735 to Didcot.
The 1743  XC to Guilford reversed in and out of P1.
The 1810 to Reading left at 1813 and was due to be formed of 2 coaches, and if that was the case then people must have been left on the platform.
The next train to Paddington was the 1806 which left at 1834.

This is the 2nd time in a week it has taken to me over 90 minutes to get home. It is also the 2nd time this year that I have had to resort to the bus, have never needed to in the last 9 years I have been commuting to Oxford.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 29, 2018, 04:19:56 pm
Cancellations to services between Swansea and Carmarthen
Due to a shortage of train drivers between Swansea and Carmarthen:
Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled. Disruption is expected until 20:00 29/04.
Further Information
Owing to a shortage of train drivers there will be no GWR train services between Swansea and Carmarthen, and return, operating today. Road transport will oprate instead.
Note that those train services on this route which are operated by Arriva Trains Wales are not affected and will operate as scheduled.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on April 29, 2018, 04:45:18 pm
A much better day all round for cancellations today, though of course holiday season doesn't start for a few weeks so I would expect things to be a little better now Easter is out of the way at weekends, but steadily worsening from June onwards until early September.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 29, 2018, 05:25:27 pm
A much better day all round for cancellations today, though of course holiday season doesn't start for a few weeks so I would expect things to be a little better now Easter is out of the way at weekends, but steadily worsening from June onwards until early September.

Bit better as you say but not really BBQ weather today!  ;)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on April 29, 2018, 05:53:21 pm
There was chaos at Oxford tonight due to shortage of crew and train issues.
The 1707 to Reading was cancelled after we had boarded due to an issue with the train, this had a knock on effect with the 1716 to Bournemouth and the 1731 to Paddington both arriving late.
This was then compounded by  the 1731 arriving in P3 and no driver being available, the announcer said that the driver was arriving on the 1723 to Great Malvern which itself was 13 late. I then waited until 1755 but the driver still hadn't turned up and of course this meant that no trains could go towards Didcot as Platform 3  was blocked.
I then went and caught the bus home.
In the meantime the 1731 to Paddington was cancelled as well as the 1735 to Didcot.
The 1743  XC to Guilford reversed in and out of P1.
The 1810 to Reading left at 1813 and was due to be formed of 2 coaches, and if that was the case then people must have been left on the platform.
The next train to Paddington was the 1806 which left at 1834.

This is a classic case of stupid rostering of drivers.  At a key location like Oxford where one issue can rapidly cause chaos due to the inflexible layout you have the driver that brings the 17:31 in from Hereford being relieved by a driver who is due to arrive just minutes earlier on the 17:23 from Paddington as you state in your post.  So, any slight delay on that leaves the 17:31 in the platform without a driver, as it takes a good five minutes to walk from the end of the platform, over the bridge and to the other end of the other platform.  A remarkably similar set of circumstances occurred the week previous.

Added to that, the driver that brings the 17:31 in from Hereford is then due to work the 17:35 to Didcot, so if the 17:31 is late there's no way the 17:35 can be brought in to depart first unless you've got a spare driver hanging around.  However, the lack of an AOM (Area Operations Manager) at Oxford has meant the 17:35 set has been brought into the platform on several occasions with no driver to take it forward, so again you have a blocked platform until you can get it out of the way again.  Net result of GWR looking shambolic again.

The good news, despite this complete lack of organisation and common sense rostering, is that come the end of the summer blockade the layout at Oxford will become much more flexible and finally allow departures towards the Didcot direction from Platform 4.  Also, after nearly a year without an AOM the post has just been restored, so the resolution of such issues should be much quicker and they should be less likely to happen in the first place.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ray951 on April 29, 2018, 09:05:49 pm
Thanks for the update ii, and I don't think it is a case of looking shambolic it is shambolic.
Having said that let's hope the combination of the AOM and completion of the signalling upgrade will bring some much needed order to the chaos. Although obviously a change to the rostering could easily solve it.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: CJB666 on April 30, 2018, 09:20:22 am
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5672149/Pensioner-72-shames-Great-Western-Railway-finds-half-trains-late-cancelled.html

It's not Great, Western! Pensioner, 72, shames rail firm after he finds HALF of the trains that passed through his station are either late or cancelled

* Tim Brown kept a diary of a week's services scheduled at Worcester Shrub Hill
* He found 164 of the 379 scheduled GWR services were either cancelled or late
* Mr Brown, who lost a leg in a car crash, said he was nervous about using GWR

By James Salmon Transport Editor For The Daily Mail

A rail enthusiast has found that almost half of daily rail services passing through his local station are cancelled or delayed.

Tim Brown kept a diary of a week’s services scheduled to terminate or pass through Worcester Shrub Hill station.

The 72-year-old found 164 of the 379 scheduled Great Western Railway services were either cancelled or more than ten minutes late.

Mr Brown, who lost one of his legs in a car crash when he was 18, said GWR’s service was so unreliable he was nervous about using it.

Tim Brown, 72, found that 164 of the 379 scheduled Great Western Railway services were either cancelled or more than ten minutes late

He said: ‘To put it politely, the service is absolutely awful. I’m disabled and do not want to be stuck on a train late at night.’

On Sunday, March 11, Mr Brown recorded that 20 out of 35 trains on the North Cotswold line were delayed or cancelled.

The following day, 30 of 59 trains were delayed or cancelled. Another nine missed out certain stops. On Tuesday March 13, 26 of 59 trains were delayed or cancelled, with one arriving at Worcester Shrub Hill 56 minutes late.

Nineteen were cancelled or delayed on the Wednesday, 32 on Thursday, and 24 on Friday. On the Saturday, 13 of 49 trains were late or cancelled.

Referring to the rail operator’s slogan – ‘more seats, more trains, more adventures’ – Mr Brown said: ‘If only this were true. I would like to sample the new trains but have yet to venture out for fear of being stranded a long way from my own bed somewhere on a truncated return working between Paddington and Worcester.’


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: devonexpress on April 30, 2018, 09:33:36 am
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5672149/Pensioner-72-shames-Great-Western-Railway-finds-half-trains-late-cancelled.html

It's not Great, Western! Pensioner, 72, shames rail firm after he finds HALF of the trains that passed through his station are either late or cancelled

* Tim Brown kept a diary of a week's services scheduled at Worcester Shrub Hill
* He found 164 of the 379 scheduled GWR services were either cancelled or late
* Mr Brown, who lost a leg in a car crash, said he was nervous about using GWR

By James Salmon Transport Editor For The Daily Mail

A rail enthusiast has found that almost half of daily rail services passing through his local station are cancelled or delayed.

Tim Brown kept a diary of a week’s services scheduled to terminate or pass through Worcester Shrub Hill station.

The 72-year-old found 164 of the 379 scheduled Great Western Railway services were either cancelled or more than ten minutes late.

Mr Brown, who lost one of his legs in a car crash when he was 18, said GWR’s service was so unreliable he was nervous about using it.

Tim Brown, 72, found that 164 of the 379 scheduled Great Western Railway services were either cancelled or more than ten minutes late

He said: ‘To put it politely, the service is absolutely awful. I’m disabled and do not want to be stuck on a train late at night.’

On Sunday, March 11, Mr Brown recorded that 20 out of 35 trains on the North Cotswold line were delayed or cancelled.

The following day, 30 of 59 trains were delayed or cancelled. Another nine missed out certain stops. On Tuesday March 13, 26 of 59 trains were delayed or cancelled, with one arriving at Worcester Shrub Hill 56 minutes late.

Nineteen were cancelled or delayed on the Wednesday, 32 on Thursday, and 24 on Friday. On the Saturday, 13 of 49 trains were late or cancelled.

Referring to the rail operator’s slogan – ‘more seats, more trains, more adventures’ – Mr Brown said: ‘If only this were true. I would like to sample the new trains but have yet to venture out for fear of being stranded a long way from my own bed somewhere on a truncated return working between Paddington and Worcester.’


Whilst the service might be going through a bad patch due to the transition to new stock, why is the Daily Mail trying to break up the franchise with bad headlines, and seriously how much did this guy get paid to stand on a station, have his photo taken and say a load of stuff with no proof.

Yes i agree GWR's performance on many routes has been bad recently, on other routes its been mad for a long time, however that down to other reasons as well(old signalling, fatalities, vandalism, overcrowding).   When it comes down to it a lot of it is down to under funding by the government, who have let a lot of the issue carry on for 20 years, forcing GWR to keep 40 year old HST's rather than purchase new rolling stock(something they did try with the 180 Adelante). Overall GWR have had to do as best as they can with old rolling stock, old and tired track & signalling.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on April 30, 2018, 09:44:08 am
Whilst the service might be going through a bad patch due to the transition to new stock, why is the Daily Mail trying to break up the franchise with bad headlines, and seriously how much did this guy get paid to stand on a station, have his photo taken and say a load of stuff with no proof.

Yes i agree GWR's performance on many routes has been bad recently, on other routes its been mad for a long time, however that down to other reasons as well(old signalling, fatalities, vandalism, overcrowding).   When it comes down to it a lot of it is down to under funding by the government, who have let a lot of the issue carry on for 20 years, forcing GWR to keep 40 year old HST's rather than purchase new rolling stock(something they did try with the 180 Adelante). Overall GWR have had to do as best as they can with old rolling stock, old and tired track & signalling.

I'm going to have to challenge you on part of your last statement.  More than 70% of the signalling equipment on our area is less than 10 years old, with some less than 5 years old.  Its not age thats the problem, its how you look after it.  Having worked for 50% of my 50 year long career in S&T maintenance I can tell you its boring, repetitive, stuff.  It requires attention to detail and dedication.  Trouble is it doesn't score points in NR because most managers there are only interested in the 'shiny new things'.  A bit of 'Back to Basics' is required to get on top of the problem.  Generally we are finding now that significant signalling failures are occuring almost daily, and I noted that new kit at Bristol failed the other day after only a week and a half in use!

...anyway, back to train crew shortages....


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on April 30, 2018, 09:47:27 am
There are certainly failings, but it seems to me that the NEW signalling in the Reading area is a major source of delays, especially if it rains.
I think it has been reluctantly admitted that the NEW trains have yet to meet the hoped for standards of reliability.

So it may not be a case of old equipment.

I consider that the failure to engage, train, and retain sufficient staff to run the advertised service is entirely a GWR problem.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on April 30, 2018, 10:00:07 am
Well we've been wondering why the press hasn't been reporting on the issues facing GWR passengers...well they are now!

I really wouldn't want to be travelling to the South West or South Wales this bank holiday weekend with the reduction of services to/from London due to work taking place at Slough. I think you are better to travel to Reading and change there for Waterloo. Yes takes longer but more chance of travelling in comfort.

All it takes for just a couple of the through to/from London trains to be cancelled owing to crew shortage for some unpleasant overcrowding or people being left behind at stations to occur.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 05, 2018, 06:28:23 am
.....welcome to the long weekend. Don't plan on travelling by rail.....


Cancellations to services between Swindon and London Paddington
Due to a shortage of train crew between Swindon and London Paddington fewer trains are able to run.
Train services running to and from these stations will be cancelled or diverted to and from Reading. London Paddington will not be served. Disruption is expected until 23:59 07/05.
Customer Advice
It has not been possible to resource sufficient additional road transport to operate between Reading and London due to other replacement road transport commitments. Therefore, the following advice stands for customers travelling to or from London:

Travel towards London Paddington:

A limited, non-stop train service will operate between Swindon and London Paddington. These will principally be services that originated in the West of England, Devon and Cornwall. These services are anticipated to be exceptionally busy; customers are strongly advised to only travel on these services if they already hold a reservation.

Train services originally advertised to operate South Wales - Swindon - London Paddington will be diverted from Swindon and terminate at Reading. They will not serve Oxford or London Paddington.

Upon arrival at Reading customers are advised to travel on the XX06 Reading to Basingstoke service; and change at Basingstoke for South Western Railways' XX30 or XX35 Basingstoke to London Waterloo services.

South Western Railway have kindly agreed to accept GWR tickets for these journeys.

Due to rugby at Twickenham customers are strongly advised NOT to attempt to travel on direct South Western Railways services from Reading to London Waterloo.

---

Travel from London Paddington:

A limited; non-stop service will operate between London Paddington and Swindon. These services will principally go on to destinations in the West of England, Devon and Cornwall. These services are anticipated to be exceptionally busy; customers are strongly advised to only travel on these services if they already hold a reservation.

Train services originally advertised to operate London Paddington - Swindon - South Wales will be amended to start from Reading. There will be no direct services from London or Oxford to South Wales.

Customers travelling from London to South Wales are advised to make their way to London Waterloo and travel on the XX39 South Western Railways service from London Waterloo to Poole; change at Basingstoke for Great Western Railways' XX40 service from Basingstoke to Reading; and change at Reading for onward rail connections.

South Western Railway have kindly agreed to accept GWR tickets for these journeys.

Due to rugby at Twickenham customers are strongly advised NOT to attempt to travel on direct South Western Railways services from London Waterloo to Reading.

---
Additional Information
Due to high volumes of engineering works across the country; delays have been encountered in the Railway Industry producing timetables for this bank holiday weekend (Saturday 5th to Monday 7th May).

As a result, this has affected Great Western Railway's ability to prepare, plan and run many of the train services initially advertised to run over the weekend. Insufficient train crew are available to meet the demands of the timetable originally planned to run. It will also impact the quality of information available on some journey planners used by customers.

Customers travelling between Swindon and Reading, and Swindon and London Paddington on Saturday should only travel if absolutely necessary. Customers who decide not to travel on these routes will be eligible for a full refund of their fares; and should visit our refunds page for further details.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on May 05, 2018, 07:10:21 am
Any regular traveller reading today's excuses on Journeycheck will think huh !

When do HSS services regularly change drivers at Swindon ?

Would it not have been better to state that due to insufficient drivers being available with the route knowledge to drive the services to Paddington (or Marylebone) planned to operate via Oxford will now operate to Reading where those services will terminate (and passengers for Paddington can chance their luck from there).


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: YouKnowNothing on May 05, 2018, 07:28:28 am
Will Mark Hopwood make an appearance
?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: chuffed on May 05, 2018, 07:36:07 am
Had planned to go to Didcot today with trainer leaving Temple Meads at 0940. The two following trains at 1040 and 1140 are cancelled. Don't fancy sharing a rammed train with pi55ed and pi55ed off rugby fans going to Twickenham who have had an early morning scramble for the ONLY train that will get them to the match in time. The 1642 return from Didcot is also cancelled. Leaving there at 1542 cuts the day short, while 1742 is rather a long time to wait after the 2 minutes of joy and discovery that is the rest of Didcot.

See how it looks on Monday.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on May 05, 2018, 07:44:54 am
UNBELIEVABLE! NO actually it’s not. Shocking and quite frankly poor. I thought there was a problem with RTT when I looked up trains today between Bath and London and most had disappeared as they originate from South Wales, then I came here.

So yesterday we had Mark Hopwood having a go at Network Rail for not finalising trains until last Wednesday only for his company to come along and do this. Hmmmmm.

Could be some serious issues at Swindon and Reading today.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on May 05, 2018, 07:51:21 am
Had planned to go to Didcot today with trainer leaving Temple Meads at 0940. The two following trains at 1040 and 1140 are cancelled. Don't fancy sharing a rammed train with pi55ed and pi55ed off rugby fans going to Twickenham who have had an early morning scramble for the ONLY train that will get them to the match in time. The 1642 return from Didcot is also cancelled. Leaving there at 1542 cuts the day short, while 1742 is rather a long time to wait after the 2 minutes of joy and discovery that is the rest of Didcot.

See how it looks on Monday.


So how will the rugby fans with tickets for the match fare when they get to BRI and find there is no train that will get them to the match in time for kick-off.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on May 05, 2018, 07:52:15 am
This really is a new low on the GW mainline and Grayling needs to get a grip. GWR and Network Rail Western region aren’t fit for purpose.

My sympathies with anyone travelling to/from London or Twickenham today.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: chuffed on May 05, 2018, 08:07:17 am
So how will the rugby fans with tickets for the match fare when they get to BRI and find there is no train that will get them to the match in time for kick-off ?

Given how tanked up, some of them will be, I hope BTP have got horses and riot shields on standby. A few water cannon ( apply to Boris Johnson) might be useful too.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: didcotdean on May 05, 2018, 08:23:19 am
Chiltern have apparently provided 18,754 extra seats between Oxford and Marylebone this weekend ... difficulty might be getting to Oxford. Also have Women's FA Cup Final at Wembley today.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 05, 2018, 08:35:20 am
So how will the rugby fans with tickets for the match fare when they get to BRI and find there is no train that will get them to the match in time for kick-off ?

Given how tanked up, some of them will be, I hope BTP have got horses and riot shields on standby. A few water cannon ( apply to Boris Johnson) might be useful too.

I suspect that there will be a number of very wealthy taxi drivers by the end of the day, with receipts and compensation claim forms landing on GWRs desks early next week.

There'll be no need for horses or riot shields, these are rugby folks remember, many of whom will be current/ex servicemen to boot, not football morons.

There's also all the Exeter Chiefs fans travelling to the Stoop for their match with Quins too of course.

Now if it was Swansea v Chelsea today.......it may have got interesting.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on May 05, 2018, 08:53:26 am
So how will the rugby fans with tickets for the match fare when they get to BRI and find there is no train that will get them to the match in time for kick-off ?

Given how tanked up, some of them will be, I hope BTP have got horses and riot shields on standby. A few water cannon ( apply to Boris Johnson) might be useful too.

As others have posted, rugby fans are less liable to bad behaviour than are football fans, in general.
However I do perceive some risk of disorder even from rugby fans if provoked to the extent that looks likely.
It would seem that fans will get as far as Bristol, but then find no effective service to Reading.

In my view, GWR should be held liable for consequential losses in this case, such as a refund of the money paid for rugby tickets, and the costs of taxis.
GWR and other TOCs are very keen to extract penalty fares from passengers who have "made a mistake", perhaps this should work both ways ? Since GWR have "made a mistake" by not running an effective service, they should consider a flat rate penalty payment of say £80 to each passenger affected. This should be in addition to refunding wasted tickets to matches and useless railway tickets. Just as a penalty fare is in addition to payment of the fare evaded.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on May 05, 2018, 09:14:36 am
I’m on the 07:27 from London Paddington to Plymouth.  We stopped at Oxford to change crew and am
Now approaching Swindon.

It’s busy but by no means overcrowded.  However suspect later services will be different.

Apparently yesterday around 400 travelled to Penzance for the Gig racing festival on the Isles of Scilly.  I wonder how their travel was.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on May 05, 2018, 09:26:43 am
UNBELIEVABLE! NO actually it’s not. Shocking and quite frankly poor. I thought there was a problem with RTT when I looked up trains today between Bath and London and most had disappeared as they originate from South Wales, then I came here.

So yesterday we had Mark Hopwood having a go at Network Rail for not finalising trains until last Wednesday only for his company to come along and do this. Hmmmmm.

Could be some serious issues at Swindon and Reading today.

Presumably they could not do a crew roster until there was some sort of timetable, which might have been another reason for Mr Hopwood's letter. 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on May 05, 2018, 09:50:00 am
UNBELIEVABLE! NO actually it’s not. Shocking and quite frankly poor. I thought there was a problem with RTT when I looked up trains today between Bath and London and most had disappeared as they originate from South Wales, then I came here.

So yesterday we had Mark Hopwood having a go at Network Rail for not finalising trains until last Wednesday only for his company to come along and do this. Hmmmmm.

Could be some serious issues at Swindon and Reading today.


Have read elsewhere that GWR didn't receive the Timetable for today from Network Rail until 1700 last night.    How can GWR be expected to plan accordingly.

Presumably they could not do a crew roster until there was some sort of timetable, which might have been another reason for Mr Hopwood's letter. 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on May 05, 2018, 09:51:31 am
There'll be no need for horses or riot shields, these are rugby folks remember, many of whom will be current/ex servicemen to boot, not football morons.


As others have posted, rugby fans are less liable to bad behaviour than are football fans, in general.
However I do perceive some risk of disorder even from rugby fans if provoked to the extent that looks likely.

Rugby fans apparently are more of a nuisance to the British Transport Police than football fans.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on May 05, 2018, 09:54:52 am
Presumably they could not do a crew roster until there was some sort of timetable, which might have been another reason for Mr Hopwood's letter. 
But surely they knew they were going to run an hourly service to/from South Wales using a similar timetable to times previous when services have operated via Oxford? It’s been on RTT for a few weeks just with big gaps in the timetable.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on May 05, 2018, 09:59:38 am
UNBELIEVABLE! NO actually it’s not. Shocking and quite frankly poor. I thought there was a problem with RTT when I looked up trains today between Bath and London and most had disappeared as they originate from South Wales, then I came here.

So yesterday we had Mark Hopwood having a go at Network Rail for not finalising trains until last Wednesday only for his company to come along and do this. Hmmmmm.

Could be some serious issues at Swindon and Reading today.

Presumably they could not do a crew roster until there was some sort of timetable, which might have been another reason for Mr Hopwood's letter. 

I disagree. Shortage of train crew is a serious and ongoing problem. It would therefore have made sense to roster ALL AVIALABLE train crew, even if the exact duties required of each worker were not known.

I hope that GWR have not been so incompetent as leave otherwise available crew sitting at home, whilst cancelling numerous trains.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on May 05, 2018, 10:08:46 am
Presumably they could not do a crew roster until there was some sort of timetable, which might have been another reason for Mr Hopwood's letter. 

Twitter message from GWR supports this view.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on May 05, 2018, 10:10:56 am
Lets hope the Transport Select Committee gets hold of this and drags in all of the responsible NR and GWR managers and gives them all a good spanking.... :P


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on May 05, 2018, 10:16:09 am
I disagree. Shortage of train crew is a serious and ongoing problem. It would therefore have made sense to roster ALL AVIALABLE train crew, even if the exact duties required of each worker were not known.

I hope that GWR have not been so incompetent as leave otherwise available crew sitting at home, whilst cancelling numerous trains.

Have read elsewhere that GWR didn't receive the Timetable for today from Network Rail until 1700 last night.    How can GWR be expected to plan accordingly.

And we are told he has already been told by DfT to cancel trains in order to speed up the delayed (by NR and DfT) crew training on IETs and 387s.  Planning is something that has to be done in advance if drivers are to get an appropriate amount of rest to ensure that they can safely drive. Rostering on the hoof will never be the best that would have been possible!

  


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on May 05, 2018, 10:19:26 am
I think there is more to this than we are being told. I’m not buying these explanations as we know how spun out they are.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: didcotdean on May 05, 2018, 10:49:41 am
Also buried away in the detail is that the trains still running from Maidenhead to Oxford and beyond are nearly all 2 or 3 carriage turbos.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on May 05, 2018, 12:20:34 pm
Also buried away in the detail is that the trains still running from Maidenhead to Oxford and beyond are nearly all 2 or 3 carriage turbos.

Why ? they can hardly claim shortage of stock with the present number of cancellations.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 05, 2018, 02:11:46 pm
Hearing reports from pals who are trying to get to Twickenham, it's absolutely hopeless. People giving up and going home. Disabled veterans unable to attend one of the highlights of their year due to the incompetence of GWR and the rest of the hopeless railway crowd. All involved in this farce should be ashamed of themselves.  The likes of Hopwood should meet these guys and explain themselves/ apologise in person.

Still, nice BBQ weather for those who aren't working. Wonder how many trains will run tomorrow?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on May 05, 2018, 03:55:57 pm
Whilst it would seem that network rail have again been incompetent in not announcing what trains could run until the day before, I still feel that GWR are substantially to blame for the ongoing failure to engage sufficient staff to run the advertised service.

If GWR cant run the NORMAL advertised service for want of staff, then I doubt that they would suddenly have found enough staff for today, no matter how far in advance network rail had announced what could run.

I suspect that yesterday, that GWR knew that they would again be very short of staff for today, and that the press release by Mark Hopwood was a belated attempt to deflect blame.

Yet again "the railway" have come out of this very badly.

I have made numerous trips on FGW and later on GWR and these have been generally enjoyable, BUT these trips were often discretionary, almost always first class, and were carefully planned to avoid weekends, bank holidays, engineering works and anything else that could lead to a fiasco.

My generally favourable experiences are therefore not an accurate reflection of the service in general.
 Today seems to be worse than an already very poor "new normal"

P.S. fine weather is forecast tomorrow, good barbecue weather  :)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: 1st fan on May 05, 2018, 04:14:06 pm
I now need to be in London this evening and for the rest of the weekend. As is usual when there's any sort of RRBS on the Cotswold line or beyond I'm only going to use the train as far as Oxford. I will walk to the Oxford Tube and get that the rest of the way. It's normally inconvenient but I'm actually needing to be close to one of the OT stops so a bonus in this case.  There's more computing power in my phone than they had to put a man on the moon and we're now in the 21st century but this sort of thing still happens?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: lordgoata on May 05, 2018, 09:20:17 pm
Also buried away in the detail is that the trains still running from Maidenhead to Oxford and beyond are nearly all 2 or 3 carriage turbos.

Yup, can confirm that as I was stuck at Reading for the best part of an hour while the whole "timetable" fell to bits due to Didcot signalling, yet again. Some ancient old turbos that sounded like they had flat spots on every bloody wheel. Everything going Maidenhead to Oxford/Banbury was 2 or 3 car, most delayed by 20-30 minutes during the time I was there this afternoon.

P*ss up and brewery springs to mind.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 05, 2018, 10:52:17 pm
Anybody care to hazard a guess on the number of cancellations tomorrow? Aside from the well documented NR/GWR SNAFU this weekend, it's a Sunday, a bank holiday weekend and perfect BBQ weather......might even get weather related problems with the tracks too!

Come to think of it, may be easier to put a figure on the number of services which WILL run! 🤔


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on May 05, 2018, 11:04:20 pm
Anybody care to hazard a guess on the number of cancellations tomorrow? Aside from the well documented NR/GWR SNAFU this weekend, it's a Sunday, a bank holiday weekend and perfect BBQ weather......might even get weather related problems with the tracks too!

Come to think of it, may be easier to put a figure on the number of services which WILL run! 🤔
My guess will be services terminating at Oxford and everyone piling on Chiltern trains to get to/from London. It’s a different timetable (if we can still call them that) tomorrow compared with Saturday and Monday hence my guess that some trains stop/start at Oxford.

Hope for those travelling that I’m wrong.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: 1st fan on May 06, 2018, 01:03:35 am
I had my first trip on a (34 minute late) IET today amidst the chaos today. It wasn't very full but I didn't see whether it was a 5 or 5+5 train. The seats are too hard for me but the armrest by the window does move making sleep easier. Despite the train running slowly there was no sign of the train manager or the trolley from Moreton all the way through to Oxford.

I therefore needed to purchase my ticket at the Oxford barrier. I then asked if they had a compensation form as my train was more than 40 minutes late by the time we finally arrived. Bloke on the gate quite dismissive until I showed him the delay on my phone. Pointed me in the direction of the information desk where I was given a form. Oxford Tube was then smooth going all the way into London.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on May 06, 2018, 04:01:02 am
Anybody care to hazard a guess on the number of cancellations tomorrow? Aside from the well documented NR/GWR SNAFU this weekend, it's a Sunday, a bank holiday weekend and perfect BBQ weather......might even get weather related problems with the tracks too!

Come to think of it, may be easier to put a figure on the number of services which WILL run! 🤔

More optimistic from the top of GWR.com:

Quote
Urgent Timetable update 6 May.  Services on Sunday 6 May will operate as advertised

Confirmed by clicking on that as a link which tells me

Quote
Urgent timetable update Saturday 5 May

Customers travelling between Swindon and Reading, and Swindon and London Paddington on Saturday 5 May and Monday 7 May should only travel if absolutely necessary. Services on Sunday 6 May will operate as advertised.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on May 06, 2018, 06:10:45 am
The Severn Riviera Express is taking the hit today along with my locals between Gloucester and Bristol.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on May 06, 2018, 06:35:39 am
Rather misleading to state that services today will operate "as advertised" It would have been more accurate to say that services today "will be subject to the normal weekend levels of cancellations and part cancellations"

Well over 50 cancellations and part cancellations so far, almost all due to staff shortage.

And a warning not to travel on bank holiday Monday unless "absolutely necessary" well that that is helpful for customers who have unwisely decided to take a holiday over a holiday weekend, and who wish to return.



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on May 06, 2018, 06:44:43 am
Now over 60 cancellations and part cancellations.
But no need to worry, "there is a generally good service" according to the top of the GWR site.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on May 06, 2018, 06:48:26 am
More optimistic from the top of GWR.com:

Quote
Urgent Timetable update 6 May.  Services on Sunday 6 May will operate as advertised

Confirmed by clicking on that as a link which tells me

Quote
.... Services on Sunday 6 May will operate as advertised.

Advertising is, however, changing ... I appreciate this is just 4 out of 45 cancellations, with 17 other services cut short.   Not been through them all, but mostly are "shortage of train crew".    Most losses are Bristol based / scheduled to go no nearer to London that Swindon or Salisbury, so for people in the Thames Valley it may be "as advertised" ... whichever advert that is.

Quote
16:20 Westbury to Swindon due 17:05
16:20 Westbury to Swindon due 17:05 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

17:28 Swindon to Westbury due 18:11
17:28 Swindon to Westbury due 18:11 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

18:39 Westbury to Swindon due 19:22
18:39 Westbury to Swindon due 19:22 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

19:53 Swindon to Westbury due 20:36
19:53 Swindon to Westbury due 20:36 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on May 06, 2018, 08:31:10 am
Indeed, very much the turn of local West services to take the hit today with IC services looking much better today.

Slight concern the 1610 from Weymouth is starting at Westbury this evening. Have a feeling the Heart of Wessex line is going to be very busy today. There was a report of not being able to board trains yesterday such was the demand.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 06, 2018, 08:44:17 am
More optimistic from the top of GWR.com:

Quote
Urgent Timetable update 6 May.  Services on Sunday 6 May will operate as advertised

Confirmed by clicking on that as a link which tells me

Quote
.... Services on Sunday 6 May will operate as advertised.

Advertising is, however, changing ... I appreciate this is just 4 out of 45 cancellations, with 17 other services cut short.   Not been through them all, but mostly are "shortage of train crew".    Most losses are Bristol based / scheduled to go no nearer to London that Swindon or Salisbury, so for people in the Thames Valley it may be "as advertised" ... whichever advert that is.

Quote
16:20 Westbury to Swindon due 17:05
16:20 Westbury to Swindon due 17:05 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

17:28 Swindon to Westbury due 18:11
17:28 Swindon to Westbury due 18:11 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

18:39 Westbury to Swindon due 19:22
18:39 Westbury to Swindon due 19:22 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

19:53 Swindon to Westbury due 20:36
19:53 Swindon to Westbury due 20:36 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

The Thames Valley "service" to London today involves a bus from Maidenhead to High Wycombe and then a train to Marylebone, at least Chiltern are more reliable I guess.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on May 06, 2018, 09:22:51 am
Quote
The Thames Valley "service" to London today involves a bus from Maidenhead to High Wycombe and then a train to Marylebone, at least Chiltern are more reliable I guess.

I suppose the bus journey to High Wycombe from Maidenhead is shorter than from Maidenhead to Ealing Broadway.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on May 06, 2018, 09:29:46 am
Quote
The Thames Valley "service" to London today involves a bus from Maidenhead to High Wycombe and then a train to Marylebone, at least Chiltern are more reliable I guess.

I suppose the bus journey to High Wycombe from Maidenhead is shorter than from Maidenhead to Ealing Broadway.

Maidenhead to High Wycombe is another of those broken rail links that should never have been broken ... along with Bere Alston to Crediton (gone 50 years and a day) and Oxford to Cambridge.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: NickB on May 06, 2018, 10:11:24 am
It would certainly save me and GWR a lot of money in taxi refunds if the link still existed. It would also make Marlow semi-accessible and greatly reduce the number of residents who drive to either Maidenhead or the Met/Central Line on a daily basis.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: paul7755 on May 06, 2018, 03:59:03 pm
Maidenhead to High Wycombe is another of those broken rail links that should never have been broken ... along with Bere Alston to Crediton (gone 50 years and a day) and Oxford to Cambridge.
The more I read about this, separate Oxford to Bletchley and Bletchley to Cambridge services appear to have been the normal operation, it was hardly ever a through service while open.  I think the use of the term Varsity Line conjures up some sort of end to end traffic that was more about modern rose tinted hindsight than historically accurate...

Paul


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on May 07, 2018, 06:52:34 am
"Meltdown Monday"

The day the rail industry belatedly planned engineering works and scheduled trains ... then within hours of them being due to run changed them again because they find (taken by surprise?) that they don't have the crew available.

Is this a lack of joined up thinking, a false dream of a a great crew room full of staff, incompetence, or planned to let people down in two more gentle steps rather than one big step?

Quote
Other Train Service Updates
06:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 11:02
07:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 12:02
08:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 13:02
08:57 London Paddington to Swansea due 13:50
09:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 14:02
09:57 London Paddington to Swansea due 14:50
10:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 15:02
10:57 London Paddington to Swansea due 15:50
11:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 16:02
11:57 London Paddington to Swansea due 16:50
12:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 17:02
12:57 London Paddington to Swansea due 17:51
13:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 18:02
13:57 London Paddington to Swansea due 18:51
14:29 Swansea to London Paddington due 19:02
14:57 London Paddington to Swansea due 19:50
15:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 20:02
15:57 London Paddington to Swansea due 20:50
16:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 21:02
16:57 London Paddington to Swansea due 21:50
17:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 22:02
17:57 London Paddington to Swansea due 22:50
18:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 23:02
18:57 London Paddington to Swansea due 23:50
19:57 London Paddington to Swansea due 00:52
21:57 London Paddington to Swansea due 02:16

Quote
In each case

14:57 London Paddington to Swansea due 19:50 will be started from Reading.
It will no longer call at London Paddington.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

and customer advise

Quote
Cancellations to services between Swindon and London Paddington
Due to a shortage of train crew between Swindon and London Paddington fewer trains are able to run.
Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled or diverted to and from Reading. London Paddington will not be served. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.
Customer Advice
It has not been possible to resource sufficient additional road transport to operate between Reading and London due to other replacement road transport commitments. Therefore, the following advice stands for customers travelling to or from London:

Travel towards London Paddington:

A limited, non-stop train service will operate between Swindon and London Paddington. These will principally be services that originated in the West of England, Devon and Cornwall. These services are anticipated to be exceptionally busy; customers are strongly advised to only travel on these services if they already hold a reservation.

The majority of train services originally advertised to operate South Wales - Swindon - London Paddington will be diverted from Swindon and terminate at Reading. They will not serve Oxford or London Paddington.

Upon arrival at Reading customers are advised to travel on the XX05 Reading to Basingstoke service; and change at Basingstoke for South Western Railways' XX43 or XX57 Basingstoke to London Waterloo service.

The journey time from Reading to London Waterloo; including changing trains at Basingstoke is approximately 90 minutes.

South Western Railway have kindly agreed to accept GWR tickets for these journeys.
Cross Country have also kindly agreed to accept GWR tickets for journeys between Reading and Basingstoke.

---

Travel from London Paddington:

A limited, non-stop service will operate between London Paddington and Swindon. These services will principally continue to destinations in the West of England, Devon and Cornwall. These services are anticipated to be exceptionally busy; customers are strongly advised to only travel on these services if they already hold a reservation.

The majority of train services originally advertised to operate London Paddington - Swindon - South Wales will be amended to start from Reading. After the departure of the 07:57 London Paddington to Swansea there will be no direct services from London to South Wales.

Customers travelling from London to South Wales are advised to make their way to London Waterloo and travel on the XX39 South Western Railways' service from London Waterloo to Poole, and change at Basingstoke for the XX36 Great Western Railway service from Basingstoke to Reading; or the XX49 Cross Country service from Basingstoke to Manchester Piccadilly; then change at Reading for onward rail connections to South Wales departing Reading at XX20.

The journey time from London Waterloo to Reading; including change trains at Basingstoke is approximately 80 minutes.

South Western Railway and Cross Country have both kindly agreed to accept GWR tickets for these journeys.

---
Additional Information
Due to high volumes of engineering works across the country; delays have been encountered in the Railway Industry producing timetables for this bank holiday weekend (Saturday 5th to Monday 7th May).

As a result, this has affected Great Western Railway's ability to prepare, plan and run many of the train services initially advertised to run over the weekend. Insufficient train crew are available to meet the demands of the timetable originally planned to run. It has also impacted the quality of information available on some journey planners used by customers.

Customers travelling between Swindon and Reading, and Swindon and London Paddington on Monday should only travel if absolutely necessary. Customers who decide not to travel on these routes will be eligible for a full refund of their fares; and should visit out refunds page for further details.
Further Information
An update will follow within the next 2 hours.
Last Updated:07/05/2018 05:18



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 07, 2018, 07:10:11 am
Incompetence gets my vote Graham.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on May 07, 2018, 07:27:02 am
Why are GWR sending people via Basingstoke and not Reading-Waterloo which is running four services an hour today.

No rugby at Twickenham today.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on May 07, 2018, 07:41:19 am
The more I read about this, separate Oxford to Bletchley and Bletchley to Cambridge services appear to have been the normal operation, it was hardly ever a through service while open.  I think the use of the term Varsity Line conjures up some sort of end to end traffic that was more about modern rose tinted hindsight than historically accurate...

Paul

I can recall a timetable from the latter years of the line showing around 4 services each way per day going through; doesn't sound like many at all, until you look at other service frequencies at around that time - I was looking at Pewsey the other day and that had just two trains each way per day, Barnstaple (and Ilfracombe) were two and three hour gaps, etc.   I do not have a date / reference to hand though (Physical separation from the paperwork this week!) ... will have a look next week / scan and upload if I remember or am reminded!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on May 07, 2018, 07:46:21 am
Why are GWR sending people via Basingstoke and not Reading-Waterloo which is running four services an hour today.

No rugby at Twickenham today.

May be at SWR's request - they have signalling problems near Twickenham

Quote
Due to a signalling problem between Feltham and Clapham Junction fewer trains are able to run on some lines.

What's Going On:
Train services running to and from these stations may be delayed by up to 5 minutes or revised. Disruption is expected until 11:00 07/05.

What We're Doing About It:
We have been made aware of a signal failure near St Margarets which has resulted in a signal being out of use. As a result, some trains travelling from Reading towards London Waterloo will be diverted via Hounslow.

As a result, a reduced service will operate between Feltham and Clapham Junction via Richmond. Network Rail, who own and maintain the railway infrastructure, are on site working to rectify the fault. However, until the problem is fixed, trains may be delayed or altered at short notice.


To help you complete your journey, your ticket will be accepted on London Bus services between Feltham and Richmond by any reasonable route.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on May 07, 2018, 10:50:38 am
..at least its one of those good explanations as to what has gone wrong (again).


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on May 07, 2018, 10:56:40 am
What it doesn't say is the signal was showing a single yellow and a green.....


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on May 07, 2018, 10:58:34 am
What it doesn't say is the signal was showing a single yellow and a green.....

Oh, a WSF (Wrong Side Failure).  That will take a few hours to test then..... :P


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on May 07, 2018, 11:11:43 am
What it doesn't say is the signal was showing a single yellow and a green.....

Oh, a WSF (Wrong Side Failure).  That will take a few hours to test then..... :P

Isn't yellow + green valid for home signal cleared and distant signal not cleared  ;D


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on May 07, 2018, 02:11:17 pm
"Meltdown Monday"

The day the rail industry belatedly planned engineering works and scheduled trains ... then within hours of them being due to run changed them again because they find (taken by surprise?) that they don't have the crew available.

Is this a lack of joined up thinking, a false dream of a a great crew room full of staff, incompetence, or planned to let people down in two more gentle steps rather than one big step?

Train crew rosters are should be published to traincrew 5 days in advance.  Once they have been published that's it, they can't be changed, unless the driver or TM agrees.  All the company can do is change the content of the diagram within the published booking on and off times.
Traincrew also get 5 days notice as to whether their leave has been granted.  If a driver is available for rest day working and hasn't been booked out they can be asked at anytime whether they want to work.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on May 07, 2018, 02:16:15 pm
What it doesn't say is the signal was showing a single yellow and a green.....

Oh, a WSF (Wrong Side Failure).  That will take a few hours to test then..... :P

Isn't yellow + green valid for home signal cleared and distant signal not cleared  ;D

You might think that, but I couldn't possibly comment..... :D


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Wizard on May 07, 2018, 02:32:14 pm
"Meltdown Monday"

The day the rail industry belatedly planned engineering works and scheduled trains ... then within hours of them being due to run changed them again because they find (taken by surprise?) that they don't have the crew available.

Is this a lack of joined up thinking, a false dream of a a great crew room full of staff, incompetence, or planned to let people down in two more gentle steps rather than one big step?

Train crew rosters are should be published to traincrew 5 days in advance.  Once they have been published that's it, they can't be changed, unless the driver or TM agrees.  All the company can do is change the content of the diagram within the published booking on and off times.
Traincrew also get 5 days notice as to whether their leave has been granted.  If a driver is available for rest day working and hasn't been booked out they can be asked at anytime whether they want to work.

Of course, the more a member of traincrew is willing to be moved at short notice the more they get favours back in the future.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on May 20, 2018, 04:09:05 am
A sunny Sunday is scheduled, so guess what...

Quote
08:02 London Paddington to Great Malvern due 10:54
08:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 10:43
08:34 London Paddington to Hereford due 11:51
09:30 London Paddington to Carmarthen due 13:37
09:56 Cheltenham Spa to Cardiff Central due 11:36
10:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 12:45
11:13 Great Malvern to London Paddington due 14:10
11:18 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 13:30
11:22 Gloucester to Cardiff Central due 12:41
11:30 London Paddington to Carmarthen due 15:49
12:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 14:46
12:34 London Paddington to Hereford due 15:55
13:08 Cardiff Central to Bristol Parkway due 13:50
13:32 Hereford to London Paddington due 17:11
13:33 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 15:45
14:55 Bristol Parkway to Cardiff Central due 15:41
16:22 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 18:40
16:34 Hereford to London Paddington due 20:08
16:55 Carmarthen to London Paddington due 21:10
18:42 Swindon to Gloucester due 19:42
19:32 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 21:45
19:41 Westbury to Cheltenham Spa due 21:28
21:36 Gloucester to Cheltenham Spa due 21:45
22:01 Cheltenham Spa to Cardiff Central due 23:39
All cancelled due to driver shortage, no doubt more to follow

Along with numerous other truncations


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bradshaw on May 20, 2018, 08:29:43 am
And the first Okehampton return service


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on May 20, 2018, 08:32:50 am
The list has been updated since last post was posted but suffice to say that the main headline is both North and South Cotswold lines taking a hit today. After such a great performance by GWR yesterday on the Windsor line, normal weekend service resumed today.

UPDATE add South Wales line to the list.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on May 20, 2018, 08:33:34 am
And the first Okehampton return service

Shortage of crews with current route knowledge?   ;D ;D


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bradshaw on May 20, 2018, 08:49:44 am
Possibly, but the other three services seem to be running.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on May 20, 2018, 09:14:08 am
The first round trip to Okehampton has now been re-instated.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Charlie (in Gloucester) on May 20, 2018, 09:14:40 am
My trip to Swindon  then will be on a voyager. Amazing.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on May 20, 2018, 11:47:07 am
My trip to Swindon  then will be on a voyager. Amazing.
Yup, XC services diverted via Swindon today so extra trains between Cheltenham and Swindon will make up for the cancelled GWR ones. These might be quite busy though.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on May 20, 2018, 12:00:58 pm
Confirmation if travelling to/from Cheltenham to use XC, GWR tickets accepted.

Quote
Cancellations to services between Swindon and Cheltenham Spa
Due to a shortage of train crew between Swindon and Cheltenham Spa fewer trains are able to run.
Train services running through these stations may be cancelled. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.
Customer Advice
Replacement transport has been arranged to run in place of cancelled train services. Please check your journey before travel and allow extra time. Please check station signage for the pick-up location of the rail replacement coaches.
CrossCountry are conveying passengers between Swindon and Cheltenham Spa in both directions until further notice. Arrangements have been made for Great Western Railway rail tickets to be accepted for these journeys.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Charlie (in Gloucester) on May 20, 2018, 12:16:33 pm
I went to parkway to change on a via Stroud ticket? I guess I am not meant to be?  ::)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on May 20, 2018, 02:15:51 pm
I went to parkway to change on a via Stroud ticket? I guess I am not meant to be?  ::)

We (at TransWilts) have had some interesting discussions with GWR and established that on principle passengers should have to pay no more for their journey when engineering works are going on or there's other disruption than when trains are running to the normal timetable that's published twice a year.

As a "for instance", passenger on the 11:32 from Warminster for Chippenham via Melksham - change at Westbury, arrive 12.12, normal day return fare £7.50 should be allowed to go via Bath Spa rather than having to either pay £14.00 or not arrive in Chippenham until 14:45.   

This makes common sense - passengers should not have to pay for the failure of the railway industry (for whatever reason) to run their regular services ... and for diverting them to a more expensive route.   

In practise, I did not hear of anyone being surcharges during the first (March) period of the change above - but as we have so many engineering days (over 50 this year) where the same thing applies, we persisted and got the principle established.  It has also helped passenger who's evening train was moved a few minutes earlier (and then took longer!) as the start time moved from super off peak to off peak.

If there's changes such that you cannot practically travel the normal "via" route, then I believe that the principle we have established allows you to take any route that's reasonable on the day.  I will leave it to you to judge how that works today ...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: plymothian on May 20, 2018, 06:43:14 pm
Possibly, but the other three services seem to be running.

The Okehampton driver duty have been split across three diagrams meaning 3 drivers with route knowledge needed...
The guard's is still one.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 21, 2018, 06:51:04 am
Possibly, but the other three services seem to be running.

The Okehampton driver duty have been split across three diagrams meaning 3 drivers with route knowledge needed...
The guard's is still one.

I guess with 3 drivers there is always one free to look after the BBQ? 😉


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on May 26, 2018, 06:58:55 am
One train you really don’t want to cancel heading SW on a half term bank holiday weekend:

09:03 London Paddington to Penzance due 14:27 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train guards.

Wouldn’t want to be on the 10:03.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on May 26, 2018, 07:46:37 am
Agreed - although I am surprised there are not more cancellations/short workings given it is a bank holiday weekend and half term.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: lbraine on May 26, 2018, 07:47:34 am
I’ll let you know - as I’m on the 10:03 (with reservations in Coach B)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on May 26, 2018, 08:00:44 am
Agreed - although I am surprised there are not more cancellations/short workings given it is a bank holiday weekend and half term.
Yes it appears GWR have faired better this time around with sorting out the rosters in time for the weekend. Mind you I should wait before saying that as we haven’t seen what’s to come for Sunday yet!

A few cancellations/short workings spread around the West local part of the service which we haven’t seen much of late.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 26, 2018, 08:23:04 am
Agreed - although I am surprised there are not more cancellations/short workings given it is a bank holiday weekend and half term.
Yes it appears GWR have faired better this time around with sorting out the rosters in time for the weekend. Mind you I should wait before saying that as we haven’t seen what’s to come for Sunday yet!

A few cancellations/short workings spread around the West local part of the service which we haven’t seen much of late.

Not too bad (so far) apart from (inevitably) the Cotswold line, and I'd have thought GWR could make the advice a bit more helpful...……….several like this

09:18 London Paddington to Evesham due 11:19


09:18 London Paddington to Evesham due 11:19 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train drivers.
Further Information
Customers are advised to travel on the next available train service.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: lbraine on May 26, 2018, 09:55:43 am
Reservations on the 10:93 have been cancelled  :(

Doubling the misery from one train load of passengers to two train loads.

Railway logic at work again :(


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on May 26, 2018, 11:48:24 am
Reservations on the 10:93 have been cancelled  :(

Doubling the misery from one train load of passengers to two train loads.

Railway logic at work again :(

I have very limited faith in reservations.
When is there plenty of room, you don't really need a reservation, though it is nice to have just in case.
When you really want/need a reservation due to overcrowding, then they are either not enforced or not put out.

I try to avoid rail travel at times when experience suggests that overcrowding is likely. I have however been caught out by unforeseen circumstances such as the cancellation of a previous train.
On at least two occasions my reserved seat has been occupied by someone else who has declined to move. Being reluctant to thump them, there is no option but standing.
On other occasions I have taken my reserved seat by arriving in plenty of time but still faced considerable argument from others who felt that they had a greater need.

One particular problem is when someone has booked a seat on a cancelled train , they often feel that they are entitled to that seat on the following service.

These days of course we have the added joys of the new shorter trains and what to do about reservations for the missing 5 coaches when 5 turn up instead of 5+5, or when an HST deputises for an IEP.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: lbraine on May 26, 2018, 11:53:37 am
So .. the 10:03 ex PAD arrived full and standing with passengers - like my family - left on the platform as it departed. Bursting.

Talked to the Dispatch Manager (sterling lady trying her utmost to get people on trains) and decided that the best way to get on a train and pay for first class upgrade (for 4 adults and 2 children - gulp !).

Boarded coach L to find both L and K has no seats - and the  train manager announcing that there were no first class upgrades :(

A seat was found for my 78 year old father-in-law, so kudos points to the train crew for that.

Overall we have paid just over £1000 pounds for return tickets - for the privilege of standing/sitting on a vestibule floor.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on May 26, 2018, 12:05:49 pm
Very poor, and increasingly common, regrettably.
Under the circumstances, I don't see what else the staff could have done.

If however GWR were running their business competently, by engaging enough staff to reliably run the advertised service, then this sort of situation would not regularly arise.


 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: lbraine on May 26, 2018, 12:06:35 pm
Oh - and the continuous scrolling messages on the platform train destination boards detailing the  better, faster, more trains railway in 2019 caused many a sarcastic comment from GWR customers.

‘All for nothing/waste of money’ if trains can’t be run to the published timetables now was the general sentiment. Perhaps a little more flowery language was used though.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on May 26, 2018, 12:41:19 pm
Most of the crew shortages today seem to be at the back end rather than drivers


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 26, 2018, 02:01:51 pm
Agreed - although I am surprised there are not more cancellations/short workings given it is a bank holiday weekend and half term.
Yes it appears GWR have faired better this time around with sorting out the rosters in time for the weekend. Mind you I should wait before saying that as we haven’t seen what’s to come for Sunday yet!

A few cancellations/short workings spread around the West local part of the service which we haven’t seen much of late.

Thought it was too good to last, cancellations are rolling in thick and fast now............…usual reasons, no drivers/Guards.

They'd better not cancel any more Exeter services this evening with Chiefs playing at Twickenham this afternoon.

09:03 London Paddington to Penzance due 14:27
12:18 London Paddington to Moreton-In-Marsh due 14:00
12:28 Evesham to London Paddington due 14:30
12:30 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare due 14:40
12:58 Oxford to London Paddington due 14:00
13:30 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 15:20
14:40 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 16:38
14:48 London Paddington to Oxford due 15:50
15:00 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington due 17:38
15:28 Evesham to London Paddington due 17:30
15:29 Swansea to London Paddington due 19:14
15:30 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare due 17:40
16:03 London Paddington to Penzance due 21:28
16:18 London Paddington to Evesham due 18:23
16:29 Swansea to London Paddington due 20:14
16:40 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 18:37
16:58 Oxford to London Paddington due 18:00
17:00 Brighton to Bristol Temple Meads due 20:28
17:00 London Paddington to Carmarthen due 21:48
17:03 London Paddington to Plymouth due 20:35
17:25 Evesham to London Paddington due 19:30
17:30 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare due 19:50
18:00 London Paddington to Swansea due 21:43
18:00 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington due 20:40
18:18 London Paddington to Evesham due 20:23
18:48 London Paddington to Oxford due 19:50
19:20 Westbury to Southampton Central due 20:22
20:45 London Paddington to Swansea due 00:25
21:36 Evesham to London Paddington due 23:51
21:40 Bristol Temple Meads to Avonmouth due 22:08
22:16 Avonmouth to Bristol Temple Meads due 22:50
22:20 London Paddington to Oxford due 23:27
23:35 Reading to Gatwick Airport due 01:05


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on May 26, 2018, 02:27:49 pm
disappointing after a reasonable start. Big gaps in IC services appearing later in the afternoon.




Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on May 26, 2018, 03:24:25 pm
And a huge gap in the London - Evesham trains, with three successive ones cancelled and nothing between the 15:18 and 19:48 departures from paddington.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on May 26, 2018, 03:29:14 pm
Overall we have paid just over £1000 pounds for return tickets - for the privilege of standing/sitting on a vestibule floor.

It is frequently said on GWR’s Twitter feed that if you reserve seats and they aren’t provided and there is nowhere else to sit that you can claim compensation.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on May 26, 2018, 03:38:06 pm
So .. the 10:03 ex PAD arrived full and standing with passengers - like my family - left on the platform as it departed. Bursting.

Talked to the Dispatch Manager (sterling lady trying her utmost to get people on trains) and decided that the best way to get on a train and pay for first class upgrade (for 4 adults and 2 children - gulp !).

Boarded coach L to find both L and K has no seats - and the  train manager announcing that there were no first class upgrades :(

A seat was found for my 78 year old father-in-law, so kudos points to the train crew for that.

Overall we have paid just over £1000 pounds for return tickets - for the privilege of standing/sitting on a vestibule floor.
I was really concerned when I saw the 09.03 canned today of all days and with what you’ve reported with good reason. As Bob says, because your seat reservations were cancelled you can claim compensation.

I do hope your return journey is a better one.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on May 26, 2018, 05:39:32 pm
Overall we have paid just over £1000 pounds for return tickets - for the privilege of standing/sitting on a vestibule floor.

It is frequently said on GWR’s Twitter feed that if you reserve seats and they aren’t provided and there is nowhere else to sit that you can claim compensation.

Yes, but the passenger must PROVE there was no where else to sit as invariably GWR reject such claims citing "according to our records the service you were booked on ran as scheduled".


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on May 26, 2018, 05:46:35 pm
Judging by the comments on Twitter and the fact it was showing on the Customer screens as "full & standing" that might be easier than usual.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 26, 2018, 06:15:15 pm
Judging by the comments on Twitter and the fact it was showing on the Customer screens as "full & standing" that might be easier than usual.

Provide the drivers/guards for the trains which are advertised and it won't be an issue.......admittedly I accept  it's a radical concept  ::)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on May 26, 2018, 06:19:30 pm
Judging by the comments on Twitter and the fact it was showing on the Customer screens as "full & standing" that might be easier than usual.

Provide the drivers/guards for the trains which are advertised and it won't be an issue.......admittedly I accept  it's a radical concept  ::)

Actually taking that a step further - provide the NAME of the guard/train manager when you put in your claim also helps.  They often give their name when giving announcements or if you see their badge during the journey or on the platform when getting off.   It is a handy way of strengthening your claim you were on the train in question.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: lbraine on May 26, 2018, 08:46:37 pm
So we finally arrived at St Ives, after a very tight connection at St Erith, just 3 hours after we should have.

Despite all the problems today I do feel compelled to call out the amazing resilience, good nature, and customer focus of the front line FGW people we met.

They didn’t hide. They didn’t shirk. No problem was to great. Reassurance was given. Generosity (dare I say at the expense of breaking company rules/policies) was the norm. Time and time again I found myself wincing at the public requests, not all delivered with the good grace shown to them by the GWR staff, only to be amazed at how compentently situations were handled.

On a day like today they made the difference. To any front line staff on this board - your efforts and professionalism were noted, and not once did your colleagues drop the ball or lower the bar on customer service.

I wish that the situations they had to deal with simply did not arise, but I suspect this will require more recognition of issues and a willingness by FGW senior management to ‘break a few rules’ and fix what is a rapidly tiresome repeatitive trend of shoddy planning.

I repeat a statement from earlier, picked up time and time again by fellow passengers : if you (FGW) CANT operate a timetable as published - change the F@*%@?n thing to one you can operate.

Expectation management 101.

[edited to fix some typos. It’s been a long day...]


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on May 26, 2018, 08:56:27 pm
I know we live in an age of compensation culture but I would urge you to put in a claim while highlighting the actions of staff on the front line.  The messages are fed back to staff and you deserve something for today.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 26, 2018, 09:43:34 pm
So we finally arrived at St Ives, after a very tight connection at St Erith, just 3 hours after we should have.

Despite all the problems today I do feel compelled to call out the amazing resilience, good nature, and customer focus of the front line FGW people we met.

They didn’t hide. They didn’t shirk. No problem was to great. Reassurance was given. Generosity (dare I say at the expense of breaking company rules/policies) was the norm. Time and time again I found myself wincing at the public requests, not all delivered with the good grace shown to them by the GWR staff, only to be amazed at how compentently situations were handled.

On a day like today they made the difference. To any front line staff on this board - your efforts and professionalism were noted, and not once did your colleagues drop the ball or lower the bar on customer service.

I wish that the situations they had to deal with simply did not arise, but I suspect this will require more recognition of issues and a willingness by FGW senior management to ‘break a few rules’ and fix what is a rapidly tiresome repeatitive trend of shoddy planning.

I repeat a statement from earlier, picked up time and time again by fellow passengers : if you (FGW) CANT operate a timetable as published - change the F@*%@?n thing to one you can operate.

Expectation management 101.

[edited to fix some typos. It’s been a long day...]

Heartening that you witnessed and received excellent customer service from individual rail staff - they do exist - but don't let that detract from complaining and requesting adequate compensation in order to highlight the systemic failings within GWR - publicise it widely if you are able to.

Your experience has been appalling and no-one paying high prices for a service should have to suffer this, and we know from our experiences and other accounts on this Forum that you are one of many who regularly do at the moment through the incompetence of GWR and the railways as a whole.


I hope it doesn't detract too much from a pleasant weekend in Cornwall, notwithstanding the hours you have lost, and that the inconvenience you have suffered is reflected in the gesture which I would hope GWR will make in respect of it.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: GBM on May 27, 2018, 03:48:11 pm
So we finally arrived at St Ives, ....

May I wish to you all a lovely stay in a lovely town.
Although the weather has taken it's usual bank holiday expected turn, it's still a lovely place to be.
Seem to be many visitors down the far west already.
Much to see and do, despite the cost.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 27, 2018, 04:55:36 pm
This afternoon/evenings collection of cancellations and "updates" , some of the latter being services starting/finishing so short that they might as well be the former - a lot of the long haul Devon/Cornwall services affected.

There's been a considerable deterioration as the day has gone on.

14:34 London Paddington to Evesham due 16:45
15:47 Brighton to Bristol Temple Meads due 19:13
16:47 Par to Newquay due 17:39
16:57 London Paddington to Penzance due 22:22
17:08 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 20:52
17:45 Newquay to Par due 18:34
17:55 Evesham to London Paddington due 20:07
17:56 Weymouth to Bristol Temple Meads due 20:23
18:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 20:09
18:56 Taunton to Bristol Temple Meads due 19:52
19:00 London Paddington to Exeter St Davids due 22:27
19:22 Par to Newquay due 20:13
20:00 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare due 22:45
20:04 Plymouth to Bristol Temple Meads due 22:00
20:20 Newquay to Par due 21:07
22:48 Weston-Super-Mare to Bristol Temple Meads due 23:07

20 Other Train Service Updates

11:57 London Paddington to Penzance due 17:30
12:08 Cardiff Central to Brighton due 16:44
12:30 London Paddington to Carmarthen due 17:45
13:00 Penzance to London Paddington due 18:25
13:08 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 16:42
13:08 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 16:52
14:08 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 17:51
14:37 Penzance to Bristol Temple Meads due 19:19
15:00 London Paddington to Taunton due 18:05
15:00 Penzance to London Paddington due 20:25
15:59 Newquay to London Paddington due 21:28
16:04 Exeter St Davids to Penzance due 19:33
16:08 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 19:52
16:10 Plymouth to London Paddington due 20:28
16:55 Carmarthen to London Paddington due 22:15
17:08 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 20:43
18:10 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 21:51
19:05 Carmarthen to London Paddington due 00:20
20:08 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 23:41


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on May 27, 2018, 05:00:42 pm
Why is the Cardiff-Portsmouth line being badly affected again? Thought we’d seen the back of crew issues on West local services.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on May 27, 2018, 05:02:50 pm
Those who took a day trip to Weymouth face a bus ride home tonight with the 1756 being canned.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: johoare on May 28, 2018, 10:31:04 pm
I've just dropped my son off at Maidenhead for the 10.17 to Paddington.. It's cancelled due to lack of drivers.. Not ideal at this time of night when it was only a half  hourly service anyway..  ???


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on May 28, 2018, 10:41:03 pm
I've just dropped my son off at Maidenhead for the 10.17 to Paddington.. It's cancelled due to lack of drivers.. Not ideal at this time of night when it was only a half  hourly service anyway..  ???

I think some readers would be amazed by the statement 'only a half hourly service' 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: johoare on May 28, 2018, 10:45:47 pm
I've just dropped my son off at Maidenhead for the 10.17 to Paddington.. It's cancelled due to lack of drivers.. Not ideal at this time of night when it was only a half  hourly service anyway..  ???

I think some readers would be amazed by the statement 'only a half hourly service' 

Would they be readers on the mainline into Paddington from what is basically a commuter town?  Comparing like for like hopefully?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on May 29, 2018, 05:37:45 am
I've just dropped my son off at Maidenhead for the 10.17 to Paddington.. It's cancelled due to lack of drivers.. Not ideal at this time of night when it was only a half  hourly service anyway..  ???
I think some readers would be amazed by the statement 'only a half hourly service' 
Would they be readers on the mainline into Paddington from what is basically a commuter town?  Comparing like for like hopefully?

The economy of towns like Maidenhead and its transport links to the nearby massive employment areas (Central London) have grown up in a symbiotic relationship - you would have the trains without the need to travel, and you wouldn't have the need to travel (i.e. people would not have moved there) without the fast and frequent trains - thus making it a commuter town.  And, sure, in context "only" half an hourly service is a valid descriptor.

The economy of - err - Melksham, where I live, has had a huge boost in transport links to the nearby massive employment areas (such as Swindon and Bath) in public transport.  Indeed, for the last month our bus to Bath has gone up to 3 journeys per hour (regrettably not every 20 minutes, nor with interchangeable tickets), and our train service leapt from every 12 hours to every 2 hour from 2014.   And the social and economy changes are happening - symbiotic again, with some people moving here because they can use an established train service to Swindon.  "Half hourly" we would love - though I suspect the business case based on volume is currently only there for an hourly train.  In the future, planned symbiotic growth continues, who knows?

With a service above a certain frequency,  the customer (who is King, remember) can plan his day and then work out which train fits.  Below that frequency, the customer need to choose his trains and then plan his day around them - second best in terms of temping people to use the train.  Where is the crossover?   My feeling is that it's at the point whether the frequency of service is the same as the travel time.   Thus - Melksham to Swindon, just under half an hour - so the train service needs to be "only"  ;D every half hour in order for people to plan their lives first and have the train times secondary.   Of course, traffic volume economics may preclude such a frequency away from the biggest of cities.

Interesting discussion point Jo and Ellendune ... and I fear taking us way off topic.  It is not pleasant waiting around for an extra half hour in the evening for a train hoping the next one will show up - agreed.



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 03, 2018, 10:14:21 am
Today's cancellations so far due to driver shortage...….numbers seem to be steadily increasing as time goes by, however not as bad as recent weekends (yet!)


08:15 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 10:05
08:30 London Paddington to Swansea due 11:49
10:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 12:45
10:30 London Paddington to Swansea due 13:46
10:43 Redhill to Reading due 12:06
12:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 14:46
12:50 Reading to Redhill due 14:14
13:00 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 14:50
13:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 16:40
13:33 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 15:45
14:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 17:40
15:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 18:40


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Worcester_Passenger on June 03, 2018, 02:32:46 pm
That's a big hit on Swansea and Cardiff - taking out three successive trains on the hourly service.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on June 03, 2018, 02:50:31 pm
Added to the list since TG’s post:

Pad-Bristol services reduced to hourly with xx.00 departures canned upto and including the 20:00 to WSM.
And 18:27 Pad-Bristol train cancelled.

 :(

UPDATE: What goes down must come back up. Return journeys up to London now starting to appear in the list. After a quiet start this morning with not many listed, the service has rapidly gone down hill.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 03, 2018, 03:01:09 pm
13:00 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 14:50
13:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 16:40
13:33 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 15:45
14:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 17:40
15:00 London Paddington to Taunton due 18:01
15:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 18:40
15:30 London Paddington to Swansea due 18:54
15:33 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 17:45
16:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 17:58
16:22 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 18:45
16:51 Swansea to London Paddington due 20:11
17:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 18:56
18:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 19:56
18:27 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 20:21
18:51 Swansea to London Paddington due 22:13
18:56 Taunton to London Paddington due 21:53
19:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 21:25
19:32 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 21:45
20:00 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare due 22:32
20:26 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington due 23:03


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on June 03, 2018, 08:05:08 pm
All in all a pretty poor show once again. Sadly everyone’s attention is on what’s going at Northern and GTR and rightly so because it’s a mess but as this thread shows this problem is not confined to these two franchises.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 10, 2018, 09:37:35 am
Welcome to Sunday! Cancellations so far...…………. >:(

08:30 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 10:43
10:30 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 12:45
11:18 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 13:35
12:23 Bristol Temple Meads to Severn Beach due 12:58
13:12 Severn Beach to Bristol Temple Meads due 13:54
13:33 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 15:43
16:12 Bristol Temple Meads to Cardiff Central due 17:06
17:40 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 21:21
18:37 Bristol Temple Meads to Worcester Shrub Hill due 20:20
20:38 Worcester Shrub Hill to Bristol Temple Meads due 22:06
20:53 Bristol Temple Meads to Clifton Down due 21:06
21:23 Clifton Down to Bristol Temple Meads due 21:38
21:46 Brighton to Portsmouth Harbour due 23:07
22:01 Cheltenham Spa to Gloucester due 22:11


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 17, 2018, 08:32:14 am
Today's cancellation collection for neatness - with thanks to Graham - possibly the worst yet, interestingly GWR's website suggests that there is "generally a good service across the network" - so clearly we are just being ungrateful.


08:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 10:43
08:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 10:10
09:00 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare due 11:18
10:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 12:10
10:34 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 12:20
10:34 London Paddington to Hereford due 14:07
11:18 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 13:30
11:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 13:15
11:54 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington due 14:24
12:00 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare due 14:37
12:23 Bristol Temple Meads to Severn Beach due 12:58
12:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 14:46
12:34 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 14:20
13:12 Severn Beach to Bristol Temple Meads due 13:54
13:20 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington due 15:54
13:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 15:15
13:34 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 15:15
14:22 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 16:47
14:32 Hereford to London Paddington due 18:09
15:00 London Paddington to Taunton due 18:01
15:00 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 16:54
15:00 Penzance to London Paddington due 20:28
15:27 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 17:18
15:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 17:15
15:33 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 17:45
15:34 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 17:20
15:47 Brighton to Bristol Temple Meads due 19:09
16:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 17:58
16:22 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 18:45
16:27 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 18:18
16:28 Worcester Foregate Street to London Paddington due 19:07
16:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 18:15
16:34 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 18:20
17:23 Exmouth to Paignton due 18:49
17:27 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare due 19:57
17:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 19:15
17:33 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 19:45
17:34 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 19:10
17:50 Paignton to Exmouth due 19:18
18:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 19:56
18:22 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 20:45
18:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 20:15
18:34 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 20:10
18:38 Hereford to London Paddington due 22:07
18:54 Paignton to Exmouth due 20:24
18:56 Taunton to London Paddington due 21:53
19:00 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 20:51
19:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 21:25
19:32 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 21:45
19:34 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 21:10
19:53 Paignton to Exmouth due 21:25
20:09 Weymouth to Bristol Temple Meads due 22:37
20:22 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 22:35
20:26 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington due 23:03
20:28 Exmouth to Paignton due 21:49
20:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 22:10
20:34 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 22:13
20:53 Bristol Temple Meads to Clifton Down due 21:06
21:23 Clifton Down to Bristol Temple Meads due 21:38
21:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 23:10
21:30 Exmouth to Paignton due 22:56
21:53 Paignton to Exmouth due 23:20
22:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 23:57
22:05 Bristol Parkway to Bristol Temple Meads due 22:21
23:00 Paignton to Exeter St Davids due 23:52
23:03 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 01:06
23:10 Bristol Temple Meads to Weston-Super-Mare due 23:43
23:29 Exmouth to Exeter St Davids due 00:04
23:47 Weston-Super-Mare to Bristol Temple Meads due 00:20


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on June 17, 2018, 09:17:26 am

GWR acknowledging there’s a problem again today.

From Journey Check:

Quote
Cancellations to services on all routes

Due to a shortage of train crew between London Paddington and Weston-super-Mare fewer trains are able to run.
Train services running across the whole Great Western Railway network may be cancelled or revised. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.

Customer Advice
Customers travelling between London Paddington and Cheltenham Spa/Gloucester are advised to travel via Bristol Temple Meads or Bristol Parkway. Customers for Kemble, Stroud and Stonehouse should change at Swindon or Gloucester for replacement road transport.
CrossCountry are conveying passengers between Cheltenham Spa and Bristol Temple Meads via Gloucester in both directions until further notice. Arrangements have been made for Great Western Railway rail tickets to be accepted for these journeys.

Gloucester and Chetenham passengers encouraged to use XC services. Trains already packed on a weekend. Hmmm.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on June 17, 2018, 09:45:32 am
Today's cancellation collection for neatness - with thanks to Graham - possibly the worst yet, interestingly GWR's website suggests that there is "generally a good service across the network" - so clearly we are just being ungrateful.

One of the great difficulties I have when I see a list like this is understanding what's running and how to plan my journey.

May I recommend the TransWilts App (from your iPhone or Android store, or online at https://transwilts.org/app ) to set the picture in context for your Wiltshire station or for other favourites such as Paddington, Bristol Temple Meads and Oxford

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/twapp_01.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/twapp_02.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/twapp_03.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/twapp_04.jpg)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 17, 2018, 09:49:05 am

GWR acknowledging there’s a problem again today.

From Journey Check:

Quote
Cancellations to services on all routes

Due to a shortage of train crew between London Paddington and Weston-super-Mare fewer trains are able to run.
Train services running across the whole Great Western Railway network may be cancelled or revised. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.

Customer Advice
Customers travelling between London Paddington and Cheltenham Spa/Gloucester are advised to travel via Bristol Temple Meads or Bristol Parkway. Customers for Kemble, Stroud and Stonehouse should change at Swindon or Gloucester for replacement road transport.
CrossCountry are conveying passengers between Cheltenham Spa and Bristol Temple Meads via Gloucester in both directions until further notice. Arrangements have been made for Great Western Railway rail tickets to be accepted for these journeys.

Gloucester and Chetenham passengers encouraged to use XC services. Trains already packed on a weekend. Hmmm.

GWR need to bite the bullet (rather than directing it at their collective feet) and introduce a workable temporary weekend timetable until they sort out this crew availability farce once and for all.

Only someone brave, foolish, totally unaware of the state of GWR, or with no other choice would take a chance on relying on a long distance weekend journey on the regions railways at the moment, especially on Sundays.

Probably better off staying at home and firing up the BBQ...………………….like the train drivers!  ;)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Charlie (in Gloucester) on June 17, 2018, 11:00:07 am
I refuse to travel Sundays now because I used to most Sundays travel to Swindon from Gloucester, but they cancel every possible service. I drive now and until the drivers get back from their weekly Sunday Spa I can not be bothered to use a service that will be cancelled...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on June 17, 2018, 02:04:02 pm
(http://www.wellho.net/pix/twapp_04.jpg)


I have a small feeling that may not quite be Bristol Temple Meads


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on June 17, 2018, 02:19:41 pm
I have a small feeling that may not quite be Bristol Temple Meads

It was, but scrolling within the app so looking ahead a bit.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: trainer on June 17, 2018, 05:38:35 pm
I have resigned myself to the fact that my upcoming 7 day rail rover break will in practice be a 6 day one as I have no intention of ending the holiday with the stress of trying to get home on a Sunday.  Since there is no planning which is obvious to the average potential passenger in the running (or not) of trains on Sunday one could spend an entire day at a station waiting, or be cosily tucked up in the luggage rack on the way home with several train loads of others squeezed into the one running.

I will console myself with the thought that I am performing a public duty in not taking a space a person with more urgent need may need.  :)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on June 17, 2018, 06:11:41 pm
I have resigned myself to the fact that my upcoming 7 day rail rover break will in practice be a 6 day one as I have no intention of ending the holiday with the stress of trying to get home on a Sunday.  Since there is no planning which is obvious to the average potential passenger in the running (or not) of trains on Sunday one could spend an entire day at a station waiting, or be cosily tucked up in the luggage rack on the way home with several train loads of others squeezed into the one running. ...

Have you tried "defensive scheduling"?     It's something the rail industry should itself practise on a daily basis, but singularly fails to do.

Last Sunday, Rosslare to Melksham (Fishguard Harbour on rail) an "the system" came up with me changing at Bridgend and Swindon.   Yes - but what if there are problems on London to Swansea? ... and I chose to change at Cardiff Central, in the knowledge that if there was a multi-hour gap on the Paddingtons from Bridgend, there would be a fallback on a different route - changing at Trowbridge, or even at Bristol Temple Meads and Bath (for a bus) or Chippenham.

London westward beyond the commuter belt has been very much a Sunday problem of late ... but defensive scheduling and informed travelog decisions offer you alternatives from Waterloo, and perhaps from Marylebone and (for the top of the North Cotswolds) even Euston.

Allow plenty of time, take a fully charged laptop so you can make use of waits, change where there's a network of options not a single service to carry on to ... and you may be lucky. Or it may be that you make your own luck.

Defensive scheduling Melksham to London is always change at Swindon rather than Chippenham.   And in reverse, it's get the first train that calls at Swindon out of Paddington, even if that gives you longer at Swindon.   And if you'r on a train that calls at Chippenham from London, change there rather than Swindon; that way you're just a shorter taxi ride from your final target.

Simples  ;D ;D


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: YouKnowNothing on June 17, 2018, 06:19:04 pm
They can even get split ticketing right and you expect them to able to implement this system?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 17, 2018, 06:37:52 pm
I have resigned myself to the fact that my upcoming 7 day rail rover break will in practice be a 6 day one as I have no intention of ending the holiday with the stress of trying to get home on a Sunday.  Since there is no planning which is obvious to the average potential passenger in the running (or not) of trains on Sunday one could spend an entire day at a station waiting, or be cosily tucked up in the luggage rack on the way home with several train loads of others squeezed into the one running. ...

Have you tried "defensive scheduling"?     It's something the rail industry should itself practise on a daily basis, but singularly fails to do.

Last Sunday, Rosslare to Melksham (Fishguard Harbour on rail) an "the system" came up with me changing at Bridgend and Swindon.   Yes - but what if there are problems on London to Swansea? ... and I chose to change at Cardiff Central, in the knowledge that if there was a multi-hour gap on the Paddingtons from Bridgend, there would be a fallback on a different route - changing at Trowbridge, or even at Bristol Temple Meads and Bath (for a bus) or Chippenham.

London westward beyond the commuter belt has been very much a Sunday problem of late ... but defensive scheduling and informed travelog decisions offer you alternatives from Waterloo, and perhaps from Marylebone and (for the top of the North Cotswolds) even Euston.

Allow plenty of time, take a fully charged laptop so you can make use of waits, change where there's a network of options not a single service to carry on to ... and you may be lucky. Or it may be that you make your own luck.

Defensive scheduling Melksham to London is always change at Swindon rather than Chippenham.   And in reverse, it's get the first train that calls at Swindon out of Paddington, even if that gives you longer at Swindon.   And if you'r on a train that calls at Chippenham from London, change there rather than Swindon; that way you're just a shorter taxi ride from your final target.

Simples  ;D ;D

Drive, and don't worry about totally unreliable  trains. Simples.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on June 17, 2018, 06:41:22 pm
Drive, and don't worry about totally unreliable  trains. Simples.

I am no longer able to drive long distances without being worn out for the next day. Sads.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on June 17, 2018, 06:55:04 pm
I have a small feeling that may not quite be Bristol Temple Meads

It was, but scrolling within the app so looking ahead a bit.

I was referring to the picture  ;)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 17, 2018, 08:01:46 pm
Drive, and don't worry about totally unreliable  trains. Simples.

I am no longer able to drive long distances without being worn out for the next day. Sads.

I'd suggest that following the "defensive scheduling" itineraries you propose and the time spent faffing around, going around the houses & resultant journey times & stress would leave you considerably more "worn" than a car journey directly from A to B with a break or two en route, but each to their own! 🙂


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: BBM on June 17, 2018, 08:30:46 pm
Looks like the 15.59 Newquay-PAD was diverted via Bristol this evening to cater for passengers affected by consecutive train cancellations:

Quote
15:59 Newquay to London Paddington due 21:27 will be diverted between Taunton and Reading.
It will no longer call at Westbury and Newbury but will call additionally at Weston-super-Mare, Bristol Temple Meads, Bath Spa, Chippenham, Swindon and Didcot Parkway.
It will be delayed due to the diversion and is expected to be 19 minutes late.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on June 17, 2018, 10:57:39 pm
Another difficult day for those travelling to/from South Wales today having to get a bus from Newport to pick up the train at Bristol Parkway...if there was one.

Pad-Bristol Parkway 8 out of 14 trains cancelled including 4 in a row meant no direct service between 14.30 and 19.30.

Bristol Parkway-Pad 7 out of 14 trains cancelled.

How did passengers getting from/to South Wales cope with so many services canned?

Wasn’t too clever either between Temple Meads and Paddington and return this evening with a string of cancellations. As BBM noted the Newquay-Pad train was diverted to help out. Also 21.30 Pad-Bristol Parkway diverted after Swindon to serve Chippenham, Bath and Bristol Temple Meads.



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: trainer on June 17, 2018, 10:58:34 pm
Graham asks 'Have you tried defensive scheduling?'.  Indeed.  I'm coming back the day before my ticket allows. ;D

I'm not taking a car - driving is not especially relaxing - but, I'm hanging on to some strange idea that rail travel in the UK is still the best way to travel where possible.  We know it can be. One way for me to hang on to that notion is not to put myself deliberately at risk of high blood pressure by pretending that the railway industry might deliver what I know that (at present) it will not and then fuming about it.

Staff shortages are only one one piece of the jig-saw of failure.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Sixty3Closure on June 18, 2018, 09:08:48 am

....How did passengers getting from/to South Wales cope with so many services canned?


Short answer for me is you don't. I was planning to split my time between Thames Valley and South Wales with long weekends and flexible working.  Even with an understanding manager its been impossible to plan. The uncertainty and overcrowding just don't make it a relaxing or practical way to travel so I'm still pretty much London based.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on June 18, 2018, 11:43:11 am
No one has so far mentioned that it was Father's Day yesterday.....most drivers I suspect are fathers. Until Sunday is a rostered day, it will be probably the worst Sunday of the year for driver availability


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 18, 2018, 12:15:46 pm
I think it was mentioned albeit on another thread, and if it is indeed the worst Sunday of the year for driver availability, surely that strengthens the case even further for a properly Planned, realistic and workable emergency timetable, rather than the chaotic farce we saw yesterday?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on June 18, 2018, 01:13:25 pm
Another difficult day for those travelling to/from South Wales today having to get a bus from Newport to pick up the train at Bristol Parkway...if there was one.

Pad-Bristol Parkway 8 out of 14 trains cancelled including 4 in a row meant no direct service between 14.30 and 19.30.

Bristol Parkway-Pad 7 out of 14 trains cancelled.

How did passengers getting from/to South Wales cope with so many services canned?

Wasn’t too clever either between Temple Meads and Paddington and return this evening with a string of cancellations. As BBM noted the Newquay-Pad train was diverted to help out. Also 21.30 Pad-Bristol Parkway diverted after Swindon to serve Chippenham, Bath and Bristol Temple Meads.



The South Wales passengers were told on Twitter to go Temple Meads.   Problem - They were cancelled from there as well


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on June 18, 2018, 08:31:47 pm
I think it was mentioned albeit on another thread, and if it is indeed the worst Sunday of the year for driver availability, surely that strengthens the case even further for a properly Planned, realistic and workable emergency timetable, rather than the chaotic farce we saw yesterday?

The problem with producing an emergency timetable is that far fewer services would be scheduled to run than there currently is. It would be a bare minimum skeleton service because they won’t know driver availability far enough in advance to produce a timetable. Train crew rostering don’t know numbers of drivers available until Monday/Tuesday therefore a timetable won’t be able to be published until about Thursday.  Once the roster is published it will still be “fine tuned” right up until Sunday when drivers book on for duty and they’re asked “would you mind working a bit longer to cover x” which is why you often see some services reinstated during the day. 

The question really boils down to wether it’s better to have a vastly reduced service which leads to severe overcrowding but is reliable or to run as many services as you can with the resources you have available on the day.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 18, 2018, 10:11:00 pm
The whole situation is ludicrous and almost beyond parody. GWR "management" and the Unions should be locked in a room, have their heads repeatedly banged together & supplied with enough beer and sandwiches to keep them there until they get an agreement on this ridiculous Sunday issue....a few boots to the arse on both sides wouldn't go amiss either. I'm sure there wouldn't be a shortage of volunteers to deliver them.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Wizard on June 18, 2018, 10:15:50 pm
I don’t see what the unions have to do with anything.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on June 18, 2018, 11:13:09 pm
The whole situation is ludicrous and almost beyond parody. GWR "management" and the Unions should be locked in a room, have their heads repeatedly banged together & supplied with enough beer and sandwiches to keep them there until they get an agreement on this ridiculous Sunday issue....a few boots to the arse on both sides wouldn't go amiss either. I'm sure there wouldn't be a shortage of volunteers to deliver them.

Are you trying to create a strike? Or do you subscribe to the Genghis Khan school of diplomacy?  I suggest that sort of pressure - the sort applied by DfT on the Southern dispute - would produce very similar results to that!

Also if you had been reading other posts on this site you would know that:

1) GWR have more drivers than they would need were it not for the accelerated training programme;
2) Drivers are already doing rest day working to undertake the training;
3) Making Sunday working part of contracted hours would require the recruitment of more drivers and it would take at least a year to train them even if they could all be trained at once.

So even if your approach got agreement it would not provide the instant solution you seek.   

Much as I would like a solution by next Sunday it is not going to happen and it is far better that GWR pursue it in a manner that does not make the weekday services even worse than they are at the moment. 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on June 18, 2018, 11:46:16 pm
How do you propose GWR pursue the matter then?

Sunday working has been an issue since BR days. Many TOCs have got a handle on it. The majority of the Greater Western franchise area has been in the hands of the same parent company almost since day one of privatisation. The expanded franchise has been with FirstGroup since 2006.

Let's let GWR continue to pursue the matter at their current glacial pace shall we? They've only had 12 years to achieve something.  ::)

I'm with TG on this one. Time for some toecaps to connect with fundaments.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on June 18, 2018, 11:55:28 pm
I don't know how fast they are pursuing it as I don't know at what stage in the last 12 years they actually started!

All I know is that it can't be solved overnight with or without a boot. And previous applications of a boot in these sort of circumstances have left us ordinary passengers coming off worst.   


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on June 18, 2018, 11:58:30 pm
The only way I can see to resolve this in the short term is to chuck money at the drivers. They ‘only’ get time-and-a-quarter for working a Sunday.  Make that time-and-a-half, or even double time, until you’ve got on top of the problem, and you might persuade enough to tip the balance back to where it should be with more drivers making themselves available than exercising their contractual right to say no.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 19, 2018, 06:38:06 am
The only way I can see to resolve this in the short term is to chuck money at the drivers. They ‘only’ get time-and-a-quarter for working a Sunday.  Make that time-and-a-half, or even double time, until you’ve got on top of the problem, and you might persuade enough to tip the balance back to where it should be with more drivers making themselves available than exercising their contractual right to say no.

That's a good short term solution to treat the symptoms, but the cause is these outdated contracts, which do not reflect the 7 day nature of the business, and need to be brought up to date - that will require said isolation of GWR/Unions with headbanging/arsekicking/electrodes etc applied to BOTH sides as necessary until a solution is reached. I'm sure it won't be cheap.  :)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on June 19, 2018, 07:09:16 am
So is it cheaper for GWR to cancel services at the rate they’ve been doing on Sundays then to pay their drivers time and a half to work Sundays?

Or is the dead hand of Dft stopping GWR from doing just that because it will tip the franchise into loss making teritory meaning which Dft will then have to pay for?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on June 19, 2018, 08:05:16 am
The only way I can see to resolve this in the short term is to chuck money at the drivers. They ‘only’ get time-and-a-quarter for working a Sunday.  Make that time-and-a-half, or even double time, until you’ve got on top of the problem, and you might persuade enough to tip the balance back to where it should be with more drivers making themselves available than exercising their contractual right to say no.

If drivers are already working on rest days to do training would even that be enough?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on June 19, 2018, 08:17:24 am
Not enough for everybody, no.  You only need to tip the balance a little bit though as even on the worst Sunday’s there’s still usually over 90% coverage of shifts.

I suppose it could backfire in that drivers might be more inclined to work a Sunday instead of a Rest Day which they would otherwise have applied for, leaving us shorter in the week.

There will be no major movement on this, electrodes or otherwise, for a couple of years as more drivers are required, so it might be worth trying as a quick temporary fix.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on June 19, 2018, 08:42:52 am
The trouble with offering Double Pay for a Sunday is that most of it is lost in tax!  You’ve also got the issue where Sunday is shift changeover day. Those working late shifts on a Saturday might then be rostered earlies on Monday so you lose a proportion of your drivers there. 

Any changes to contracts probably also need to be agreed by the DfT


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 19, 2018, 08:44:58 am
The trouble with offering Double Pay for a Sunday is that most of it is lost in tax! 

As they say, you've got to earn it to pay it! 🙂


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on June 19, 2018, 08:48:53 am
I suppose it could backfire in that drivers might be more inclined to work a Sunday instead of a Rest Day which they would otherwise have applied for, leaving us shorter in the week.

I wondered this - would such an action just be shifting the problem?

To better understand (not that it's my business!) I would love to see figures for how contracted hours, rest day hours and Sunday hours worked for a typical driver or train manager have changed over recent years.  And with that table, a column showing training hours and other hours which are not immediately productive (such as traveling to duty.

A classic story told me by an old-school bus operator of many years experience.  His yard-man worked consistently Monday to Friday and Saturday mornings and did a superb job.   Such a superb job that the bus operator gave him a nice salary rise.  "Wow - thank you.  That means I can now afford not to work Saturday mornings ...."


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Phantom on June 19, 2018, 12:12:43 pm
Was talking to a friend who works at a local station, won't name to save them getting into trouble

They said last Sunday there were 90 cancellations between WSM and BTM due to a lack of drivers

This Sunday there is an airshow at WSM, and many drivers are choosing not to work on that day because of England playing in the world cup

It will be fun getting those extra thousands of people home on Sunday !


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 19, 2018, 01:28:20 pm
Ed Sheeran live in Cardiff too.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on June 19, 2018, 02:49:54 pm
Ed Sheeran live in Cardiff too.

Got a mate back at GWR who’s taking his daughter to see Ed Sheran at the weekend,
“Saving myself a fortune by staying overnight in Bristol” he said
Somebody then advised him of the fact the Severn Tunnel is closed and it’s buses.  Apparantly the grin was soon wiped off his face. 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Jason on June 21, 2018, 09:06:32 am
What might have happened on this one ?
http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/C40319/2018/06/21/advanced (http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/C40319/2018/06/21/advanced)

0603 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington - This service was cancelled between Swindon and London Paddington due to an issue with the train crew (TG).

Yet another delay to my journeys in what has been a very bad two weeks.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: RA on June 21, 2018, 10:47:24 am
What might have happened on this one ?
http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/C40319/2018/06/21/advanced (http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/C40319/2018/06/21/advanced)

0603 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington - This service was cancelled between Swindon and London Paddington due to an issue with the train crew (TG).

Yet another delay to my journeys in what has been a very bad two weeks.

TG is the delay attribution code for driver related issues. Appears to be no driver to bring the 3G02 empty stock from Paddington to Swindon. It looks like the set from 1L05 was used to form the 1G02 06:40 Swindon to Cheltenham service instead.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 21, 2018, 10:10:37 pm
Should make the late evening interesting tonight at Paddington for those who've had a few ales.....all cancelled, including the last stopper

22:27 London Paddington to Reading due 23:40
23:14 Reading to London Paddington due 00:14
23:20 London Paddington to Oxford due 00:32
00:34 London Paddington to Reading due 01:34


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: NickB on June 22, 2018, 09:34:33 am
Does anyone know what happened at Paddington last night to get the Thames valley home when these services were cancelled?

Ps. Further peak services cancelled this morning for the same reason. I guess it is holiday season.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 24, 2018, 08:16:42 am
BBQ weather, AND the football's on...…………..today's crew shortage cancellations so far

08:27 London Paddington to Swansea due 12:26
08:39 Exeter St Davids to Barnstaple due 09:50
09:58 Barnstaple to Exeter Central due 11:10
10:04 Bristol Temple Meads to Weston-Super-Mare due 10:30
11:25 Taunton to Weston-Super-Mare due 11:57
11:27 London Paddington to Paignton due 15:03
11:59 Exeter Central to Barnstaple due 13:16
12:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 14:46
12:48 Bristol Temple Meads to Bristol Parkway due 13:00
13:00 Penzance to London Paddington due 18:25
13:06 Plymouth to Gunnislake due 13:52
13:22 Barnstaple to Exeter Central due 14:35
13:23 Bristol Temple Meads to Severn Beach due 13:59
13:58 Gunnislake to Plymouth due 14:43
14:12 Severn Beach to Bristol Temple Meads due 14:54
15:33 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 17:42
15:45 Paignton to London Paddington due 19:45
16:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 17:58
17:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 18:56
18:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 19:56
19:15 Swansea to London Paddington due 23:24
19:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 21:24

……..plus another 20 or so "updated" services which amount to cancellations for large numbers of customers......ie Penzance to Paddingtons "starting from Exeter"


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on June 24, 2018, 08:31:06 am
Seems it isn't just on train staff that are in short supply.   

Seen at Newquay yesterday

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/nqybook.jpg)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on June 24, 2018, 08:32:21 am
Indeed, not looking too clever if you are travelling to/from the Southwest today. Much better if you are travelling to/from Bristol, South Wales and Cheltenham apart from late afternoon between Paddington and Bristol.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Charlie (in Gloucester) on June 24, 2018, 09:16:11 am
Well done GWR. For the first time in 7 or 8 weeks you have only cancelled one of the Sunday Cheltenham service!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 24, 2018, 09:48:34 am
Well done GWR. For the first time in 7 or 8 weeks you have only cancelled one of the Sunday Cheltenham service!


Indeed. More than makes up for the other 50+ (and rising) cancellations in full or part!  ;)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: old original on June 24, 2018, 12:55:10 pm
Seems it isn't just on train staff that are in short supply.   

Seen at Newquay yesterday

(http://www.mbob.co.uk/rforum/nqybook.jpg)

Trouble recruiting seasonal staff. Relying on the regulars working overtime to cover. Should be full cover by mid July/school holidays


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on June 24, 2018, 03:49:44 pm
Not been a great day on West local services with Bristol Parkway-Portsmouth particularly affected but cancellations and short running services across the GWR West region. Can’t blame IET training for that.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 24, 2018, 04:29:53 pm
Latest state of play, the situation has deteriorated throughout the day, another 30 - odd "updates" in addition to these cancellations due to lack of crew.

13:00 Penzance to London Paddington due 18:25
15:33 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 17:42
15:45 Paignton to London Paddington due 19:45
15:52 Bristol Parkway to Portsmouth Harbour due 18:52
16:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 17:58
16:04 Gunnislake to Plymouth due 16:49
16:14 Falmouth Docks to Truro due 16:39
16:36 London Paddington to Oxford due 17:46
17:08 Portsmouth Harbour to Bristol Parkway due 19:59
17:35 Bristol Temple Meads to Portsmouth Harbour due 20:21
17:48 Reading to Redhill due 19:06
17:50 Bristol Parkway to Portsmouth Harbour due 20:52
18:03 Weston-Super-Mare to Taunton due 18:34
18:39 Westbury to Swindon due 19:21
19:00 Oxford to London Paddington due 20:06
19:15 Swansea to London Paddington due 23:24
19:20 Weston-Super-Mare to Bristol Temple Meads due 19:47
19:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 21:24
19:42 Plymouth to Penzance due 21:40
19:43 Redhill to Reading due 21:07
19:53 Bristol Temple Meads to Avonmouth due 20:17
19:55 Swindon to Westbury due 20:35
20:01 Plymouth to Gunnislake due 20:47
20:08 Portsmouth Harbour to Bristol Parkway due 23:00
20:22 Avonmouth to Bristol Temple Meads due 20:50
20:50 Gunnislake to Plymouth due 21:35
20:53 Bristol Temple Meads to Clifton Down due 21:06
21:02 Bristol Parkway to Portsmouth Harbour due 23:50
21:23 Clifton Down to Bristol Temple Meads due 21:38
22:17 Reading to Gatwick Airport due 23:48
23:46 Bristol Parkway to Bristol Temple Meads due 23:59


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on June 24, 2018, 06:50:47 pm
This was posted earlier:
https://www.gwr.com/travel-updates/live-network-updates/disruption-information
Quote
Amended train service Sunday 24th June

Last updated at 16:04 24/06/2018

Due to a shortage of traincrew, GWR services between London Paddington, Bristol Temple Meads, South Wales, Worcester and Cheltenham will be significantly amended today; Sunday 24th June 2018.

Impact on your journey:
Due to the large number of alterations, services are expected to be extremely busy. Most affected train services have another train service within 60 minutes.

Ticket acceptance:
If your train service has been cancelled, your ticket will be valid with CrossCountry between Penzance and Cheltenham Spa and also with South Western Railway between Exeter St David's and London Waterloo.

If you have a ticket(s) dated for today Sunday 24th June and have an advance purchase ticket(s), you will be able to travel on the train service before or after the cancelled train. If you have been unable to travel due to the cancellations today caused by a member of train crew being unavailable, your ticket(s) will be valid for travel tomorrow; Monday 25th June 2018.

Real-time travel updates for your journey can be found at GWR Today.

Train services between London Paddington, Bristol Temple Meads and Weston-super-Mare
15:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington, this service is cancelled.
16:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads, this service is cancelled.
16:30 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads, this service is running.
17:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads, this service is cancelled.
18:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads, this service is cancelled.   
19:00 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington, this service is running.       
19:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington, this service is cancelled.
20:26 Weston-super-Mare to London Paddington will terminate at Bristol Temple Meads
21:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads, this service is running.

Train services between London Paddington and Cheltenham Spa
15:33 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington, this service is cancelled.           
12:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa, this service is cancelled.

Train services between London Paddington, Swansea, Hereford and Carmarthen   
16:27 London Paddington to Hereford, this service is running.
19:15 Swansea to London Paddington, this service is cancelled.

Train services between London Paddington, Exeter St David's, Plymouth and Penzance
11:27 London Paddington to Paignton, this service is cancelled.           
13:00 Penzance to London Paddington, this service will start at Exeter St David’s
13:37 Penzance to Exeter St David’s, this service will terminate at Plymouth.
14:50 Plymouth to Penzance, this service is cancelled.
14:57 London Paddington to Penzance, this service will terminate at Exeter St David’s.
15:00 Penzance to London Paddington, this service will start at Exeter St David’s
15:45 Paignton to London Paddington, this service is cancelled.   
16:12 Plymouth to London Paddington, this service is running and will call additionally at Ivybridge.
16:13 Penzance to London Paddington will start at Exeter St David’s.
16:57 London Paddington to Penzance, this service is running. 
19:00 London Paddington to Exeter St David’s, this service will terminate at Bristol Temple Meads.           
19:00 Penzance to Plymouth, this service is cancelled.           
19:42 Plymouth to Penzance, this service is cancelled.   
19:57 London Paddington to Plymouth will terminate at Exeter St David’s
22:58 Plymouth to Exeter St David’s, this service is cancelled.

Train services between Plymouth and Penzance
From 18:25 until 20:26 there are no train services running from Plymouth to Penzance. We are currently struggling to source replacement road transport to cover the gap in the train service

GWR
14:57 London Paddington to Penzance will terminate at Exeter St David's at 17:18.
CrossCountry
10:08 Edinburgh to Penzance will terminate at Plymouth at 18:53.
GWR
19:42 Plymouth to Penzance is cancelled.
The next train service to run on this route will be:
16:57 London Paddington to Penzance, due to depart Plymouth at 20:26. This train service is expected to be very busy as a result of the gap in the train service.

Compensation:
If your train service was delayed or cancelled, you could be entitled to a refund or compensation, please check our Refunds and Compensation page for more information

At least they are being up front about it with this appearing on the front page of the GWR. You have to ask when is this going to end?

This also appeared on GWR Twitter Feed about an hour ago:

Quote
From now until 20:25 there are no train services running from Plymouth to Penzance, and no replacement transport available. Next trains at 20:25, 20:50 & 21:35. Tickets on this route this evening will also be accepted on services tomorrow.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 24, 2018, 07:10:36 pm
I should imagine GWR will be facing a pretty chunky compensation bill later this week when all those taxi receipts start coming in for fares from Plymouth to West Cornwall.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on June 24, 2018, 07:25:49 pm
A tweeted reply from GWR to a punter today:-

Crew are rostered in to cover all timetabled services but if there is an absence and we can't get suitable cover in time services can be affected. Apologies for the effect on your journey. Phil.

If this situation got as much publicity in the Media as GTR and Northern, Mark Hopwood would be forced out of his bunker.  He seems to be well in with a Cotswold Group but not interested in the remainder of his Network.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on June 24, 2018, 07:38:06 pm
A tweeted reply from GWR to a punter today:-

Crew are rostered in to cover all timetabled services but if there is an absence and we can't get suitable cover in time services can be affected. Apologies for the effect on your journey. Phil.

If this situation got as much publicity in the Media as GTR and Northern, Mark Hopwood would be forced out of his bunker.  He seems to be well in with a Cotswold Group but not interested in the remainder of his Network.
As I say, if the amount of cancellations and services running short that happen every Sunday took place during the working week, Mark Hopwood would be feeling a bit of the pressure that his colleagues who run GTR and Northern are facing regardless of who is at fault here. 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 24, 2018, 07:48:17 pm
A tweeted reply from GWR to a punter today:-

Crew are rostered in to cover all timetabled services but if there is an absence and we can't get suitable cover in time services can be affected. Apologies for the effect on your journey. Phil.

If this situation got as much publicity in the Media as GTR and Northern, Mark Hopwood would be forced out of his bunker.  He seems to be well in with a Cotswold Group but not interested in the remainder of his Network.
As I say, if the amount of cancellations and services running short that happen every Sunday took place during the working week, Mark Hopwood would be feeling a bit of the pressure that his colleagues who run GTR and Northern are facing regardless of who is at fault here. 

........they'd have to find him first! ☺


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bradshaw on June 24, 2018, 08:35:20 pm
I received this reply to an email I sent last week.

Thank you for your email regarding GWR Sunday service cancellations. I will ensure it is drawn to the attention of the Committee.
Deborah Courtney - Senior Committee Assistant - Transport Committee | House of Commons


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on June 24, 2018, 09:29:25 pm
The cancellations on the Pompeys appear to have been due to shortage of guards as units seemed to be flying about to take up their next workings.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 24, 2018, 10:23:52 pm
https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/local-news/gwr-train-chaos-leaves-passengers-1710987


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: sikejsudjek3 on June 25, 2018, 12:11:20 am
So why couldn't they organise alternative transport? Given the repeated shocking state of GW Sunday services its not like this wasn't predictable. Glad it's finally hitting the press. This company needs a parliamentary foot up its managerial backside for its longstanding failure to run a Sunday service. The only mystery is how they've got away with it for so long 🙄


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on June 25, 2018, 06:25:23 am
There’s the rub.  There will be no parliamentary kick up the backside because the DfT are partly culpable.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 25, 2018, 07:08:44 am
There’s the rub.  There will be no parliamentary kick up the backside because the DfT are partly culpable.

I see your point however GWR is 100% culpable for not having contingency planning in place for alternative transport when they know damn well that this ridiculous Sunday situation is ongoing.

To have a 2 and a half hour gap with no sort of service between Plymouth and Penzance as happened last night is an absolute disgrace as was the typical GWR attitude of "you're on your own"

Hopwood/GWR are only getting away with it at the moment because they are fortunate in even worse railway chaos elsewhere with Northern/GTR keeping the spotlight off them and I am sure he is down on his knees giving thanks for that on a daily basis - that won't last forever of course.


The implications for high summer weekends really don't bear thinking about.


I've got several trips to the Westcountry coming up in the next couple of months and whereas I would usually make the trip by train I'll be on the motorway this time as I have absolutely no faith in GWRs ability to get me back to the South East on a Sunday.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on June 25, 2018, 02:03:24 pm
Of the three down services cancelled between Plymouth and Penzance, one was a CrossCountry.  There was no coaches available for the companies to hire in. Most Sundays see some coaches parked in Plymouth station car park on standby. Coaches I suspect will become harder to source now we are getting closer to peak holiday season.

Is GWR an actual true franchise or is it run under a management contract?

Hopwood and GWR are only “getting away with it” because of the delays caused by the DfT and NR with electrification, subsequent late delivery of new trains and the DfT allocating trains to new operators far to quickly which doesn’t allow for any teething problems. Having to introduce new trains at this time of year is never going to go smoothly, GWR are  coming up to the high summer timetable when resources, both trains and crews are at their highest.  This is why there’s currently so many short formed IETs. The units are being used for training purposes.
Staffing levels aren’t the issue. Staffing at most depots, especially the HSS ones, are at their highest they’ve ever been.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on June 25, 2018, 02:15:26 pm
Yesterdays problems weren't helped by the failure of 1V50 XC HST 0900 Leeds to Plymouth that failed attempting to climb Rattery Bank west of Totnes, with one power car dead and 7 on.  I know this because I was sat on it at the time.  It took over an hour for the train to set back to Totnes and terminate in the Up Platform after a bit of shunting.  I must say, as a semi-retired railwayman with a little bit of "insider knowledge", that the customer service was extremely abysmal, with wrong information being given out on the PA by the Train Manager.  There were lots of confused passengers in the coach I was in so in the end I decided to stand up and tell them exactly what was going to happen in straightforward English, not in 'railway speak'.  Before anybody says it, I will acknowledge that such failures can be quite stressful for train staff, but they are trained to be professional in such circumstances are they not?...….

EDIT TO ADD:… and just to add to everything, half way through the set back process the PASSCOM Disabled Toilet Alarm decided it had enough and started "DING-DONG - Will a member of train staff please go to Zone A - DING-DONG"  pause for 5 seconds then "DING-DONG - Will a member of train staff please go to Zone A - DING-DONG" pause for 5 seconds then....you guessed it.  It went on for 10 minutes until the Train Manager came on the PA when he could and said he had switched the PASSCOM Disabled Toilet Alarm off.  I didn't think that was very safe action on a stranded train!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Western Pathfinder on June 25, 2018, 02:18:41 pm
Sounds like the benefit of a wise head on older shoulders to me ,it's a shame that so much experience is missing from the network these days.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on June 25, 2018, 02:24:04 pm
Yesterdays problems weren't helped by the failure of 1V50 XC HST 0900 Leeds to Plymouth that failed attempting to climb Rattery Bank west of Totnes, with one power car dead and 7 on.  I know this because I was sat on it at the time.  It took over an hour for the train to set back to Totnes and terminate in the Up Platform after a bit of shunting.  I must say, as a semi-retired railwayman with a little bit of "insider knowledge", that the customer service was extremely abysmal, with wrong information being given out on the PA by the Train Manager.  There were lots of confused passengers in the coach I was in so in the end I decided to stand up and tell them exactly what was going to happen in straightforward English, not in 'railway speak'.  When I have typed up my story I'll add it here.  before anybody says it, I will acknowledge that such failures can be quite stressful for train staff, but they are trained to be professional in such circumstances are they not?...….

I’m surprised it couldn’t make it on one power car unless the working power car was running with power notches out.
The problem you have in those situations is that train operator control, Network control and Network rail signallers all have different ideas on how to rectify the issue.  What one party may be happy to authorise another may not.  Long gone are the days when the train crew can tell everyone else what’s going to happen.  Frustratingly for train crew, we know how to sort the situation out within 10-15 minutes. Now it takes someone in an office an extra 45 minutes plus to come to the same conclusion!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on June 25, 2018, 02:27:52 pm
Yesterdays problems weren't helped by the failure of 1V50 XC HST 0900 Leeds to Plymouth that failed attempting to climb Rattery Bank west of Totnes, with one power car dead and 7 on.  I know this because I was sat on it at the time.  It took over an hour for the train to set back to Totnes and terminate in the Up Platform after a bit of shunting.  I must say, as a semi-retired railwayman with a little bit of "insider knowledge", that the customer service was extremely abysmal, with wrong information being given out on the PA by the Train Manager.  There were lots of confused passengers in the coach I was in so in the end I decided to stand up and tell them exactly what was going to happen in straightforward English, not in 'railway speak'.  When I have typed up my story I'll add it here.  before anybody says it, I will acknowledge that such failures can be quite stressful for train staff, but they are trained to be professional in such circumstances are they not?...….

I’m surprised it couldn’t make it on one power car unless the working power car was running with power notches out.
The problem you have in those situations is that train operator control, Network control and Network rail signallers all have different ideas on how to rectify the issue.  What one party may be happy to authorise another may not.  Long gone are the days when the train crew can tell everyone else what’s going to happen.  Frustratingly for train crew, we know how to sort the situation out within 10-15 minutes. Now it takes someone in an office an extra 45 minutes plus to come to the same conclusion!

Yes, so was I, but my understanding of the Devon Bank rules is that if one power car is out the banks must not be attempted from a station stop at Totnes.  However, speaking to the station supervisor at Totnes whilst waiting for the next service, he told me that rule has been superseded if the HST only has 7 coaches on.  Is that correct?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on June 25, 2018, 02:37:14 pm
Apologies to the moderators.  I realise this thread is about GWR train crew shortages but I thought it was relevant as it added to the dreadful service confusion down in the far South West yesterday evening.....


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on June 25, 2018, 02:39:49 pm

Yes, so was I, but my understanding of the Devon Bank rules is that if one power car is out the banks must not be attempted from a station stop at Totnes.  However, speaking to the station supervisor at Totnes whilst waiting for the next service, he told me that rule has been superseded if the HST only has 7 coaches on.  Is that correct?

Yes, trains on one engine and formed of 8 trailers must not stop at Totnes or be routed through the platform.  
I think the only time they’d consider not stopping with 7 trailers is during the Autumn.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on June 25, 2018, 02:57:43 pm
Staffing levels aren’t the issue. Staffing at most depots, especially the HSS ones, are at their highest they’ve ever been.

Then why were the majority of yesterday's (and last Sunday's, and the previous Sunday's... ad infinitum) attributed by GWR to a lack of staff?

Yes, a few of us in the know are aware that training on new/cascaded stock is impacting rosters with rest day working on other days of the week impacting on Sunday working. Yes, a few of us are aware that because of new/cascaded stock there are maintenance issues. Key maintenance personnel having gone from GWR to Hitachi. Yes, a few of us know that Network Rail are behind the curve with electrification. And, yes, a few of us know that stock is moving away from GWR at a rapid pace, putting pressure on what's left. You and I know this, but I'd wager the vast majority of those wanting to use the advertised service on a Sunday are not aware of all these issues. That's not acceptable. There needs to be an explanation and apology from the top of GWR. It is not good enough to leave social media and front line staff in the firing line every Sunday.

GWR share equal blame for the ongoing fiasco. They are the public face of the railways so they have to take their share of the blame for not managing the situation. It is disingenuous of them to abrogate responsibility for the issues to the DfT and Network Rail. As a TOC you can't just sit there quietly twiddling your thumbs, taking in the subsidies and trousering the profit, whilst every one day in seven there is a service meltdown. Mark Hopwood must break from cover and apologise, explain why, then explain how he plans to resolve.

GWR keep accepting the franchise extensions. What it seems they are not accepting though is any responsibility to the people who provide their income. The fare payers and taxpayers.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: didcotdean on June 25, 2018, 03:11:54 pm
And in the mean time, the marketing part of GWR keeps churning platitudes out, seemingly oblivious to everything else. The latest slogan today being 'Arrive ready for business with Great Western Railway, where travel time needn’t be wasted time.'

They would be better off taking the KFC approach after their problems. Admit things aren't right, say what you are working on, then when things are back to being right (let's take it for now that at some time they will be) then do the aspirational stuff.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on June 25, 2018, 03:16:49 pm
...yes, and being honest by reducing the train service level to that which CAN be resourced and run reliably in the interim...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on June 25, 2018, 04:00:06 pm
...yes, and being honest by reducing the train service level to that which CAN be resourced and run reliably in the interim...

But as staff availability will vary from week to week depending on the weather and local and national events, engineering works.  If you reduce the train service to that which you can reliably resource then you are looking at a much reduced service than is currently being run. Extensive engineering works aren’t helping because they require more crew because trips would exceed maximum driving hours or go over diversionary routes that some depots don’t sign.  As engineering works vary week to week so do the diagrams so the requirement for train crew also varies.... and some of the diagrams are nasty, another reason why some drivers may not volunteer to work.
Throwing money at a problem doesn’t always fix it.  For example, a lot of the London crews don’t live in London so they rely on train services, not necessarily GWR services, to get them into work.  That’s not possible on a Sunday morning so they don’t make themselves available to work. 

Any changes to train crew contracts on GWR are handled by the DfT as the franchise is up for renewal in a couple of years time so GWR can’t yet include Sunday’s in the working week so Hopwood’s hands are a little tied.

I can’t honestly see why they don’t explain things fully to customers.  The fact is, it wouldn’t damage the business to be honest, which is why I always think there’s something or someone preventing them from doing so.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on June 25, 2018, 04:15:05 pm
And in the mean time, the marketing part of GWR keeps churning platitudes out, seemingly oblivious to everything else. The latest slogan today being 'Arrive ready for business with Great Western Railway, where travel time needn’t be wasted time.'

Controlled carefully, you can do that.

Through a series of business meetings at the end of last week (and more at the end of this week), I'm travelling by train and my travel time is not being wasted; hard at work except when the spectacular scenery distracts.  However, I'm always ahead of myself / with a fallback if there are problems, and I'm always arriving well in advance for any appointments along the way, and never on the last available train on the day.  Early arrival time is not wasted either ... I can find somewhere to sit and work.

Contrast that to the alternatives of driving myself, or going on a bus where I personally feel so thrown around that I can't work ...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 25, 2018, 05:48:26 pm
And in the mean time, the marketing part of GWR keeps churning platitudes out, seemingly oblivious to everything else. The latest slogan today being 'Arrive ready for business with Great Western Railway, where travel time needn’t be wasted time.'

Controlled carefully, you can do that.

Through a series of business meetings at the end of last week (and more at the end of this week), I'm travelling by train and my travel time is not being wasted; hard at work except when the spectacular scenery distracts.  However, I'm always ahead of myself / with a fallback if there are problems, and I'm always arriving well in advance for any appointments along the way, and never on the last available train on the day.  Early arrival time is not wasted either ... I can find somewhere to sit and work.

Contrast that to the alternatives of driving myself, or going on a bus where I personally feel so thrown around that I can't work ...

You cando that, if the train is reliable and on time, of the advertised size rather than only 50% and packed to the gunwhales, has a good and consistent wifi connection, and is blessed with a driver...…….at the moment GWR struggle with those variables both individually and in combination, and I certainly wouldn't rely on them to get me anywhere of critical importance at a designated time.


Arriving well in advance "defensive scheduling" I think you call it - acknowledges that there is a problem, and for most people building in huge margins of error and trying to find somewhere to sit around is not effective or secure working time.


Sometimes it seems that GWR just devise these advertising campaigns to highlight their ineptness.


(Graham I know you're one of the faithful, please don't take offence!)  :)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on June 25, 2018, 05:57:02 pm
How would you defensively schedule if you had an appointment in Cheltenham at 15:00 on a Sunday, aim to arrive at 18:00 on the Saturday?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on June 25, 2018, 07:52:38 pm
Arriving well in advance "defensive scheduling" I think you call it - acknowledges that there is a problem, and for most people building in huge margins of error and trying to find somewhere to sit around is not effective or secure working time.

I agree. 

I happen to be sitting semi-working / sorting out today's stuff and on the forum in the Alexander Bain,as recommended by mine host at the B&B I'm spending the night it.  I find it's very productive to work in the sort of environment.   And we have other members who have or do express an ability to work on the road as good as or better than at base.   "How CAN you work with all this lovely scenery going by" said someone to me today ...

It is the minority that will work in this defensive way - but not as tiny a minority as you might think.

Cheers - over a pint of Durdle Door that's come a bloomin' long way to find me.

Quote
(Graham I know you're one of the faithful, please don't take offence!)  :)

Nah - I don't take offence. Rather, I cry in frustration to what's being done to so many "normal" people who just want a train journey where they can travel at the time published and get a seat if they're going a significant distance.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on June 25, 2018, 07:56:50 pm
How would you defensively schedule if you had an appointment in Cheltenham at 15:00 on a Sunday, aim to arrive at 18:00 on the Saturday?

Arrive in Cheltenham for a Sunday lunch.  If megaproblems via Kemble, go via Parkway.   All this assuming a London start.   If Pilning start then, yes, travel on Saturday.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: trainbuff on June 25, 2018, 09:44:53 pm
Yesterdays problems weren't helped by the failure of 1V50 XC HST 0900 Leeds to Plymouth that failed attempting to climb Rattery Bank west of Totnes, with one power car dead and 7 on.  I know this because I was sat on it at the time.  It took over an hour for the train to set back to Totnes and terminate in the Up Platform after a bit of shunting.  I must say, as a semi-retired railwayman with a little bit of "insider knowledge", that the customer service was extremely abysmal, with wrong information being given out on the PA by the Train Manager.  There were lots of confused passengers in the coach I was in so in the end I decided to stand up and tell them exactly what was going to happen in straightforward English, not in 'railway speak'.  When I have typed up my story I'll add it here.  Before anybody says it, I will acknowledge that such failures can be quite stressful for train staff, but they are trained to be professional in such circumstances are they not?...….

EDIT TO ADD:… and just to add to everything, half way through the set back process the PASSCOM decided it had enough and started "DING-DONG - Will a member of train staff please go to zone A DING-DONG"  pause for 5 seconds then "DING-DONG - Will a member of train staff please go to zone A DING-DONG" pause for 5 seconds then....you guessed it.  It went on for 10 minutes until the Train Manager came on the PA when he could and said he had switched the PASSCOM off.  I didn't think that was very safe action on a stranded train!

The message you heard is not the PASSCOM being activated. It is either the Disabled Toilet Alarm or one of the emergency alarms in the disabled area being activated. It cannot be stopped until the Train Manager gets to the site. Had it been a PASSCOM the train would not have moved as all air would have been evacuated from the braking system leaving the brakes on


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on July 01, 2018, 07:53:29 am
…...hope you've all been working on your defensive scheduling?  ;)

All cancelled, or "updated" to a similar extent.

08:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 10:43
10:00 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare due 12:33
10:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 12:25
11:18 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 13:30
12:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 14:46
12:45 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 14:43
13:45 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 15:40
14:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 15:56
15:30 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 17:28
15:33 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 17:45
16:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 17:58
16:27 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 18:25
16:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 18:24
17:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 18:56
17:33 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 19:45
18:45 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 20:38
18:56 Taunton to London Paddington due 21:53
19:00 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 20:51
19:30 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 21:28
19:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 21:25
19:45 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 21:37
20:45 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 22:40
21:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 23:25
21:46 Brighton to Portsmouth Harbour due 23:07
13:20 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington due 15:54
16:13 Penzance to London Paddington due 21:35
17:35 Penzance to London Paddington due 23:38
17:35 Bristol Temple Meads to Brighton due 21:10
17:57 London Paddington to Penzance due 23:35
18:45 Plymouth to London Paddington due 22:37
20:26 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington due 23:03


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on July 01, 2018, 08:27:13 am
I like this one....

Quote
11:18 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 13:30 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.
Additional Information
----snip----
Customers travelling from Cheltenham Spa or Gloucester to Swindon, Reading and London Paddington should travel via Bristol Parkway.

Journey times will be extended by up to 60 minutes.

Ok, so the next train to arrive Bristol Parkway first from Cheltenham is the 12:10 which arrives Bristol Parkway at 12:39, not bad as the next service to Paddington is at 12:45 so that shouldn't delay me too much  :) .......... Oh...

Quote
12:45 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 14:43 will be cancelled.

Oh well, I'll just wait an hour for the next service from Bristol Parkway instead......

Quote
13:45 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 15:40 will be cancelled.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on July 01, 2018, 09:08:08 am
…….here we go again...……..


Cancellations to services between London Paddington and Swindon


Due to a shortage of train crew between London Paddington and Swindon:

Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled or revised. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.
Customer Advice
Owing to a shortage of train crew there will be reduction in the frequency of train services between London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads / London Paddington and Bristol Parkway / London Paddington and Cheltenham Spa in both directions. This is likely to be the case for the remainder of the day.

Intending customers are advised to use the 'JourneyCheck' section of the GWR website for the latest updates on cancelled, altered and reinstated train services during the day.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on July 01, 2018, 09:58:09 am
…….here we go again...……..


Cancellations to services between London Paddington and Swindon


Due to a shortage of train crew between London Paddington and Swindon:

Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled or revised. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.
Customer Advice
Owing to a shortage of train crew there will be reduction in the frequency of train services between London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads / London Paddington and Bristol Parkway / London Paddington and Cheltenham Spa in both directions. This is likely to be the case for the remainder of the day.

Intending customers are advised to use the 'JourneyCheck' section of the GWR website for the latest updates on cancelled, altered and reinstated train services during the day.

Love this update!  ::)

Kindly note that at certain times this may result in successive train cancellations along the London Paddington - Reading - Didcot Parkway - Swindon corridor.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on July 01, 2018, 10:17:31 am
If people haven’t got the message by now that travelling GWR on Sundays is a complete lottery. Even if your train does show up you will likely be sharing it with those whose train was cancelled earlier leading to sardine like conditions.

And still GWR bombard us with the Famous Five advertising campaign encouraging us to go on ‘a great adventure’ on their trains.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on July 01, 2018, 10:24:05 am
I like this one....

Quote
11:18 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 13:30 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.
Additional Information
----snip----
Customers travelling from Cheltenham Spa or Gloucester to Swindon, Reading and London Paddington should travel via Bristol Parkway.

Journey times will be extended by up to 60 minutes.

Ok, so the next train to arrive Bristol Parkway first from Cheltenham is the 12:10 which arrives Bristol Parkway at 12:39, not bad as the next service to Paddington is at 12:45 so that shouldn't delay me too much  :) .......... Oh...

Quote
12:45 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 14:43 will be cancelled.

Oh well, I'll just wait an hour for the next service from Bristol Parkway instead......

Quote
13:45 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 15:40 will be cancelled.
They need to revise that advice  ::) Best to stay on the train and travel to Temple Meads. Of course there will be those due to travel on the 1245 from South Wales and Parkway joining the 1239 train. I can’t imagine the chaos at stations this causes when everyone tries to get on an already packed train. I feel for the station staff I really do. Perhaps it would be good for Mark Hopwood and his senior management to help out at Bristol Parkway today.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on July 01, 2018, 10:49:50 am
Do any railway MD's / Senior management come out at weekends?





(And yes I know certain ones aren't often seen on weekdays either)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on July 01, 2018, 11:14:29 am
Do any railway MD's / Senior management come out at weekends?

My understanding is that there is a member of very senior management on call to deal with any out of the ordinary issues at "unusual" times ... the specific data I have relates to the Christmas and New Year period, but I'm pretty sure it applies at other times too - and I expect I could name about half a dozen people who would / will be on the rota.

But they are to deal with "out of the ordinary" issues.  Sadly, this weekend's meltdowns are ordinary.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on July 01, 2018, 12:15:22 pm
Do any railway MD's / Senior management come out at weekends?


In the past when I regularly visited Cardiff at weekends I very often saw the MD, I think, of Wales and Borders Trains, (you know the outfit that was the other part of Wales and West Trains when they split and the other half became Wessex Trains and Valley Lines was still an independent operation) Chris Gibbs out on the frontline at Cardiff Central assisting with the despatch of trains, particularly after an event at the Millenium Stadium, assisting passengers with their enquiries AND PICKING UP LITTER, REMOVING USED COFFEE CUPS FROM PLATFORM SEATS and I thought at the time that he was a shinning example of a top dog getting his hands "dirty". Chris of course went on to become MD of a VT franchise succeeding another Chris, Chris Green, he of Network South-East fame. 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on July 01, 2018, 12:38:51 pm
Do any railway MD's / Senior management come out at weekends?


In the past when I regularly visited Cardiff at weekends I very often saw the MD, I think, of Wales and Borders Trains, (you know the outfit that was the other part of Wales and West Trains when they split and the other half became Wessex Trains and Valley Lines was still an independent operation) Chris Gibbs out on the frontline at Cardiff Central assisting with the despatch of trains, particularly after an event at the Millenium Stadium, assisting passengers with their enquiries AND PICKING UP LITTER, REMOVING USED COFFEE CUPS FROM PLATFORM SEATS and I thought at the time that he was a shinning example of a top dog getting his hands "dirty". Chris of course went on to become MD of a VT franchise succeeding another Chris, Chris Green, he of Network South-East fame. 

That's an excellent example of  the difference between Leadership & Management. In contrast, GWR seems to be over supplied with the latter, and desperately lacking the former.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on July 01, 2018, 12:57:20 pm
That's an excellent example of  the difference between Leadership & Management. In contrast, GWR seems to be over supplied with the latter, and desperately lacking the former.
It would be useful if they could all drive trains.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on July 01, 2018, 01:16:51 pm
That's an excellent example of  the difference between Leadership & Management. In contrast, GWR seems to be over supplied with the latter, and desperately lacking the former.
It would be useful if they could all drive trains.

Careful! Don't let the Unions hear that, they'll have everyone out on strike! 😃


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: trainer on July 01, 2018, 02:03:25 pm
If I consult Journey Check on the NR site at this moment on Sunday 1st July (13:50) I see that there is a Good Service.  I feel one could have a semantic discussion at this point as the 14:00 to Bristol is cancelled 'due to an issue with the train crew' (Real Time Trains). So are the 15:00 to Taunton and 15:30 to Bristol.  If management rely on the same information as pax then there's no need to be out on a hot day explaining and the front line staff are left to give the glad tidings.


Edited to include missing word.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Charlie (in Gloucester) on July 08, 2018, 09:32:42 am
20 cancellations today. 18 due to a shortage of train crew. None of those are the Cheltenham line, however 14:00-18:00 a few services between Paddington and Bristol/Cardiff/Swansea are cancelled. The rest are lines in Cornwall.

I could say this is an improvment from this time (two/three) weeks ago?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on July 08, 2018, 10:42:06 am
I could say this is an improvment from this time (two/three) weeks ago?

Certainly an improvement for us [TransWilts] over yesterday, where after the 13:32 round trip only the 21:06 from Swindon actually ran as far as I can tell.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on July 08, 2018, 12:17:44 pm
I could say this is an improvment from this time (two/three) weeks ago?
It is unless you so happen to be booked on one of the cancelled services or the one that follows the cancelled train.

I can’t begin to imagine what service will be offered if England reach the World Cup Final next Sunday.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: NickB on July 08, 2018, 01:25:10 pm
It’s coming home... via replacement bus service.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Wizard on July 08, 2018, 07:01:38 pm
If England are in the World Cup Final I imagine the number of travellers will reduce greatly.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on July 08, 2018, 07:54:16 pm
If England are in the World Cup Final I imagine the number of travellers will reduce greatly.
True, but there will still be those who have to travel and those who can’t stand football  ;)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on July 21, 2018, 08:03:05 am
Given that the World Cup is now over, and having seen no update from GWR to the contrary, presumably the full, advertised Sunday service will be running tomorrow, with no chaos due to lack of staff?

 (I acknowledge however that it is still BBQ weather)

 ???


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: YouKnowNothing on July 21, 2018, 04:41:02 pm
Journey checker today looked very healthy


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on July 21, 2018, 04:48:48 pm
Journey checker today looked very healthy

With every man and his dog taking last Sunday off and partying until they burned a hole in their pockets, perhaps there will be a rebound this weekend where every man wants to work to help top up his pay-packet to his normal monthly average.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on July 21, 2018, 05:13:18 pm
Journey checker today looked very healthy

Hang on for tomorrow...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Charlie (in Gloucester) on July 22, 2018, 07:44:07 am
My phone and computer are broken. The day has finally come, for the first time in over 10 weeeks, there are no cancellations at all according to journey check.

Well done GWR for running train services.



Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adelante_CCT on July 22, 2018, 07:46:10 am
For the record, as we speak the only alteration is:

Quote
07:11 Gatwick Airport to Reading due 08:35 will be terminated at Redhill.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: YouKnowNothing on July 22, 2018, 08:03:58 am
Somethings not right..... I have a bad feeling about this.....


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on July 22, 2018, 08:11:39 am
Somethings not right..... I have a bad feeling about this.....

Twilight zone?

Maybe train drivers aren't interested in Golf?

Or Aldi sold out of sun cream, burgers and sausages?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on July 22, 2018, 08:25:45 am
Great news indeed for GWR’s long suffering weekend passengers that a full service is planned to run today  :)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on July 22, 2018, 08:40:51 am
Great news indeed for GWR’s long suffering weekend passengers that a full service is planned to run today  :)

Handful gone .... spread across the patch.  For example

Quote
07:11 Gatwick Airport to Reading due 08:35
07:11 Gatwick Airport to Reading due 08:35 will be terminated at Redhill.
It will no longer call at Reigate, Dorking Deepdene, Guildford, Ash, North Camp, Farnborough North, Blackwater, Sandhurst, Crowthorne, Wokingham and Reading.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

Quote
17:08 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 20:52
17:08 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 20:52 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

Quote
10:58 Paignton to Exmouth due 12:24
10:58 Paignton to Exmouth due 12:24 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

But yes, yes, YES ... much better!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: YouKnowNothing on July 22, 2018, 09:11:22 am
I would seriously like to know now such a stepped change is possible.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on July 22, 2018, 09:27:18 am
I would seriously like to know now such a stepped change is possible.

We're normally told by those "in the know" that the situation re: availability is much worse during school holidays when drivers want to spend more time with their families and/or go on holiday themselves. Today is the first weekend of 95% of schools being on holiday, and nearly all advertised trains are running for the first time in months. Strange that.

 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on July 22, 2018, 09:31:30 am
I would seriously like to know now such a stepped change is possible.

Sunday working is very largely reliant on staff volunteering to work overtime.
Therefore large scale cancellations can be expected if popular sporting events, or fine weather, or school holidays reduce the number of such volunteers.
Although the weather remains fine, the football is now over and it would seem that enough staff have volunteered  to work, that an almost full service can be offered.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on July 22, 2018, 09:40:10 am
No HSS services listed and which usually bear the brunt.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 22, 2018, 09:48:19 am
Surprising, but great, to see a virtually full service today.  Don’t expect the remainder of the summer to be the same though, but hopefully the worst weekend was last weekend.

Reasons?  Well, the Oxford engineering blockade (and to a lesser extent the Newbury one) means fewer trains are running, so less crews are required, so that is definitely helping.  Holiday wise it’s potentially twice as bad when many staff are starting their holiday and others finishing their holiday on the same weekend.  Obviously with the schools just breaking up, very few are finishing their holidays this weekend.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: YouKnowNothing on July 22, 2018, 11:10:10 am
Appreciate everything you said but the issues on Sunday have been in place since last year. Either the driver training has actually come to fruition or the number of IET trains has increased.


I would seriously like to know now such a stepped change is possible.

We're normally told by those "in the know" that the situation re: availability is much worse during school holidays when drivers want to spend more time with their families and/or go on holiday themselves. Today is the first weekend of 95% of schools being on holiday, and nearly all advertised trains are running for the first time in months. Strange that.

 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 22, 2018, 11:29:30 am
Basically nothing much has changed, just the ebbing and flowing of availability from week to week meaning we're either just surviving with what we've got (with a lot of jiggery pokery from the resourcing staff), or there are shortages.  Ongoing training is gradually easing things a little, but no magic wand can be waved.  Even last weekend you were only looking at less than a 10% shortfall in driver numbers over the day, but witness what an affect that has after you've wrung every last drop out of any slack in the existing diagrams, and factor in that most of the shortfall was for the late shifts.

I note that there are now four additional cancellations on the Cheltenham/Paddington route, indicating that we are very much in 'just about surviving' mode today.  A couple of late notice sick days and the cancellations would soon mount up into double figures.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on July 22, 2018, 12:11:58 pm
Also noticed there don't seem to be any 5 vice 10 IET services this weekend.  A 9 and a 10 were swapped around on Bristol services due to late running yesterday but I have not spotted anything else.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 22, 2018, 03:51:29 pm
A few other cancellations to Swindon<>Gloucester local trains now added, so the South Cotswolds line has once again drawn the short straw on a Sunday.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on July 22, 2018, 03:54:23 pm
And no diverted Cross Country services as back up this weekend either.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Charlie (in Gloucester) on July 22, 2018, 04:27:37 pm
And the plan for one train per hour direct to London from Cheltenham (and Sundays) would work successfully. or not.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on July 22, 2018, 06:14:48 pm
Somethings not right..... I have a bad feeling about this.....

I'm watching Groundhog Day as I type. Just saying...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on July 22, 2018, 06:28:45 pm
Somethings not right..... I have a bad feeling about this.....

I'm watching Groundhog Day as I type. Just saying...

Lets hope it isn't really Groundhog day for you and the tv box blows up a second time....   ;D


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on July 22, 2018, 06:58:16 pm
People may be wondering...

Last night while watching TV, my Youview set top box went pop, with an accompanying electrical flash and puff of smoke. Frightened the bejesus out of me. Fortunately today I managed to source a temporary replacement until engineer visit.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: chuffed on July 22, 2018, 07:16:59 pm
Are you certain it wasn't Finn telling you it's tiddle time ?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on July 22, 2018, 07:22:14 pm
Are you certain it wasn't Finn telling you it's tiddle time ?

No, Finn had already done the tiddle and that was what caused the box to flash and smoke !!!!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on July 22, 2018, 09:12:08 pm
I nearly tiddled myself, thanks. Made I jump, made Finn jump. And my loud expletive had him disappear into the bathroom.

I now think it was a capacitor that popped.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on July 22, 2018, 09:14:32 pm
I nearly tiddled myself, thanks. Made I jump, made Finn jump. And my loud expletive had him disappear into the bathroom.

I now think it was a capacitor that popped.

Was it a canine comment on your choice of viewing? 😃


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on July 22, 2018, 10:48:15 pm
No idea. But tonight it's a full power cut. ETR 0130.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on July 25, 2018, 11:33:58 pm

Lets hope it isn't really Groundhog day for you and the tv box blows up a second time....   ;D

i know somebody who plays with that band. i strongly recommend them!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on July 27, 2018, 12:24:30 pm
2312 Paddington - Reading & 0022 Paddington- Oxford cancelled tonight, "shortage of train crew" - really poor on a Friday night especially, two of the key LTV services for Friday night revellers.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on July 29, 2018, 07:30:38 am
The regular normal for a Sunday again. Can't call it the 'new normal' any more.

20 cancellations so far. All due to lack of train crew.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on July 29, 2018, 07:34:31 am
As at 7.30 99% of IC services running with just the 2026 WSM-PAD only getting as far BRI.

However...

Very poor service today on local services particularly Cardiff-Portsmouth which has many cancellations and services running short today. Best avoided if possible.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on July 29, 2018, 08:11:11 am
Strange isn't it?

Two weeks ago GWR told us the staff shortages were down to nice weather and Croatia v France - now it's raining and there's no football on, but still no staff?


Are they all huge Tour de France fans, or perhaps recovering from Hopwood's wedding celebrations?



 ???

08:18 Gatwick Airport to Reading due 09:38
09:20 Bristol Temple Meads to Worcester Shrub Hill due 10:51
11:38 Worcester Shrub Hill to Bristol Temple Meads due 13:09
13:23 Bristol Temple Meads to Severn Beach due 13:59
14:12 Severn Beach to Bristol Temple Meads due 14:54
15:47 Brighton to Bristol Temple Meads due 19:09
17:28 Bristol Temple Meads to Weston-Super-Mare due 18:01
17:56 St Erth to St Ives due 18:10
18:10 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 21:51
18:12 St Ives to St Erth due 18:25
18:30 St Erth to St Ives due 18:44
18:50 St Ives to St Erth due 19:03
19:08 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 22:52
19:30 St Erth to St Ives due 19:44
19:46 St Ives to Penzance due 20:09
21:18 Cardiff Central to Bristol Temple Meads due 22:21
22:01 Cheltenham Spa to Gloucester due 22:11
22:08 Portsmouth Harbour to Westbury due 23:59
22:27 Exmouth to Exeter St Davids due 22:59
09:08 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 12:41
10:08 Cardiff Central to Brighton due 14:49
13:08 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 16:42
13:08 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 16:52
14:08 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 17:43
14:27 Exmouth to Paignton due 15:50
14:37 Penzance to Bristol Temple Meads due 19:19
15:08 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 18:42
15:55 Paignton to Exmouth due 17:19
16:08 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 19:52
16:10 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 19:42
16:10 Weymouth to Bristol Temple Meads due 18:29
17:08 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 20:43
17:08 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 20:52
18:16 Weston-Super-Mare to Severn Beach due 19:29
19:08 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 22:45
20:08 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 23:41
20:26 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington due 23:03
20:41 Bristol Temple Meads to Cheltenham Spa due 21:47
20:53 Paignton to Exmouth due 22:21


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: old original on July 29, 2018, 05:40:25 pm
First weekend of the school holidays and after getting used to having Sundays off maybe reluctant to start working them again!!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on July 29, 2018, 06:39:06 pm
First weekend of the school holidays and after getting used to having Sundays off maybe reluctant to start working them again!!

If you notice, they are Regional trains rather than HSS today


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on July 31, 2018, 03:55:15 pm
.....so now we're getting mass cancellations during the week too....

16:56 London Paddington to Maidenhead due 17:36
17:32 West Ealing to Greenford due 17:44
17:42 Maidenhead to London Paddington due 18:27
17:47 Greenford to West Ealing due 17:58
18:02 West Ealing to Greenford due 18:14
18:22 Greenford to West Ealing due 18:33
18:42 London Paddington to Reading due 19:43
19:32 Reading to Gatwick Airport due 20:54
19:35 London Paddington to Didcot Parkway due 20:34
19:52 Reading to London Paddington due 20:46
21:00 Gatwick Airport to Reading due 22:21
23:34 Reading to Gatwick Airport due 01:07


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on July 31, 2018, 04:24:15 pm
Not sure if it’s still the case but the 21:00 to Reading and 23:34 return to Gatwick used to be crewed by Southern staff under an agreement with FGW/GWR.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: didcotdean on August 04, 2018, 12:12:54 pm
Not sure if it was due to staff availability or not, but the booking office at Didcot was closed this morning when I walked by. Queues in excess of a dozen deep for each of the ticket machines, snaking outside. One person there with a hand-held device. Twitter advising people to use the app ...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: YouKnowNothing on August 05, 2018, 05:55:50 pm
Did I just see a 9 car train on the South Wales line to Swansea? Will this be the new normal? I thought the 10 car trains were going to be run on this line? Some one please enlighten me.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Charlie (in Gloucester) on August 05, 2018, 06:27:59 pm
Did I just see a 9 car train on the South Wales line to Swansea? Will this be the new normal? I thought the 10 car trains were going to be run on this line? Some one please enlighten me.

They can operate on all lines that the 5 and 10 cars can. In the new timetable, the majority of Bristol and South Wales services will be operated by 9 car trains. The five cars will run off peak trains to Cheltenham and Bedwyn and continues to operate Cotswolds services. The odd off peak service to Bristol may be a five car however no peak services will run less than 9 or 10 coaches.

The 9 cars were planned to operate Bristol and South Wales from the start, however they were made bi-mode and the 5 cars came first.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: YouKnowNothing on August 05, 2018, 06:38:19 pm
interesting, so do the new 9 car trains provide more or the same number of seats as the old trains?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 05, 2018, 06:44:06 pm
Over 20% more.  Walking inside from one end to the other gives you an idea just how bloody long they are!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on August 05, 2018, 07:04:28 pm
Getting back to talking about traincrews again, discussion seems to concentrate on drivers and guards but, according to peope's Tweets to GWR, it seems that there are many instances of catering crew not available even on a journey from Penzance to London on a Sunday.    GWR Journey Check tends not to show them even as there is a box for the info to be posted.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on August 05, 2018, 09:28:13 pm
Getting back to talking about traincrews again, discussion seems to concentrate on drivers and guards but, according to peope's Tweets to GWR, it seems that there are many instances of catering crew not available even on a journey from Penzance to London on a Sunday.    GWR Journey Check tends not to show them even as there is a box for the info to be posted.

Makes sense. If the catering staff are working, there's no one to do the BBQ for the drivers that aren't. The Union is very strict about this sort of thing......one driver flips a burger and we'd be looking at months of strikes! ☺


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 05, 2018, 10:18:14 pm
Hmmm... You don't want to risk overcooking your BBQ references, TG.  ;)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on August 12, 2018, 07:41:56 am
From the RMT:

Quote
SUNDAY WORKING, GUARDS – GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY

Further to my Circular No IR/300/18 dated the 4th July 2018 with regards to the above matter and where I informed you of the meeting with our GWR Divisional Council Representatives, the Lead Officer and National Officers to discuss the union’s negotiating position regarding the issues raised in the resolution received from our Plymouth No 1 Branch.

“That this Plymouth No 1 Branch recognises that the GWR Guard Sunday enhancement payment is reaching its trial conclusion. Branch reiterates its position that Sunday Working Payments should include all grades that this Union represents and demands that any future talks should be inclusive of all grades.

Branch believes that a 1¾ payment with ‘no strings’ is a practical solution to solve the ongoing Sunday Working issue. Should there be no satisfactory outcome, then we urge the NEC to create a dispute situation between this Union and the GWR.

Branch is aware that the IET sets are operational and that the travelling public have not been happy with the absence of a buffet car/shop facility on board. We request that the NEC re-open talks about the inclusion of a buffet car/shop facility in line with the East Coast IET sets which will create a better service for passengers and a better and safer working environment for our members."


I can now advise you that following conclusion of this meeting, the union’s National Executive Committee has again considered the matter and I have been instructed to negotiate a Sunday Working Agreement for all grades with Great Western Railway. Therefore, I am in the process of making the necessary arrangements for a meeting to be held and I will, of course, keep you fully advised on any further developments as and when the arise.

In accordance with the above, I would be most grateful if you could bring the content of this circular to the attention of your GWR Guard members.

Best wishes.

Mick Cash
General Secretary

http://www.rmt.org.uk/news/members-updates/sunday-working-guards--great-western-railway090818/

A typical RMT starting point to negotiations. "Give us what we want or we'll strike."  ::)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on August 12, 2018, 08:16:15 am
Not looking good if you are travelling to/from Cheltenham today, otherwise a good service elsewhere.

Quote
Cancellations to services between London Paddington and Cheltenham Spa
Due to a shortage of train crew between London Paddington and Cheltenham Spa fewer trains are able to run.
Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.
Customer Advice
CrossCountry are conveying passengers between Cheltenham Spa and Bristol Temple Meads via Gloucester in both directions until further notice. Arrangements have been made for Great Western Railway rail tickets to be accepted for these journeys.
Additional Information
Replacement Road Transport has been requested to run in place of cancelled trains between Swindon and Gloucester. This has yet to be confirmed.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on August 12, 2018, 12:33:33 pm
I spoke to soon, the list of cancellations and short workings has increased as the day has progressed particularly on West local services.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on August 12, 2018, 05:33:25 pm
I spoke to soon, the list of cancellations and short workings has increased as the day has progressed particularly on West local services.


Same old same old Sunday  ::)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on August 12, 2018, 06:46:31 pm
There are 3 services cancelled in each direction between Swansea and Paddington that haven't even been posted on Journey Check.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on August 12, 2018, 08:47:09 pm
There are 3 services cancelled in each direction between Swansea and Paddington that haven't even been posted on Journey Check.
A few London-Bristol-London trains added to the list as well. After what looked to be a good service away from the Cheltenham line, in the end as Taplow Green says Same old same old Sunday.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on August 12, 2018, 08:58:25 pm
With the last train of the day to South Wales the 2130 cancelled, how do GWR intend to get people for South Wales home tonight? Note just to help things the 2200 to Bristol is cancelled too.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on August 12, 2018, 09:07:47 pm
With the last train of the day to South Wales the 2130 cancelled, how do GWR intend to get people for South Wales home tonight? Note just to help things the 2200 to Bristol is cancelled too.
And here’s my answer, just reinstated. Good work.

Quote
21:30 London Paddington to Swansea due 00:53 will be reinstated.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.
Will be formed of 5 coaches instead of 10.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on August 13, 2018, 06:22:33 am
Monday morning......all cancelled, no crew.

05:18 Reading to London Paddington due 06:16
05:32 Reading to Gatwick Airport due 06:54
06:20 London Paddington to Oxford due 07:22
06:30 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 08:42
06:33 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 08:14
06:42 London Paddington to Reading due 07:43
07:03 Gatwick Airport to Reading due 08:29
08:07 Oxford to London Paddington due 09:10
08:50 London Paddington to Oxford due 09:51
11:01 Oxford to London Paddington due 11:58




Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on August 15, 2018, 05:55:42 am
Morning peak LTV services. All cancelled. Given the time of year, I suspect this is down to poor management of resources/allowing too much Annual Leave?

05:57 Reading to London Paddington due 06:36

06:15 Reading to London Paddington due 06:45

06:20 London Paddington to Oxford due 07:22

06:42 London Paddington to Reading due 07:43

07:44 Maidenhead to London Paddington due 08:18

07:50 Didcot Parkway to London Paddington due 08:53

08:07 Oxford to London Paddington due 09:07

08:29 London Paddington to Reading due 09:25


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: devonexpress on August 17, 2018, 03:23:10 pm
From the RMT:

Quote

Branch is aware that the IET sets are operational and that the travelling public have not been happy with the absence of a buffet car/shop facility on board. We request that the NEC re-open talks about the inclusion of a buffet car/shop facility in line with the East Coast IET sets which will create a better service for passengers and a better and safer working environment for our members."[/i]

Best wishes.

Mick Cash
General Secretary

Hmmmm I treat this with some cynicism, Back in 2014 they striked over no buffet cars on IET's, and now they're saying the public as whole complains about no buffet's where is the proof?  If it had come from Passenger Focus then I would accept it. I do believe on the whole the IET project is a complete balls up, but we will just have to make do for 10 years or so until they get refurbished.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on August 17, 2018, 03:49:00 pm
On a Friday in August, probably one of the worst to cancel;

17:33 London Paddington to Paignton due 21:19
17:33 London Paddington to Paignton due 21:19 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: PhilWakely on August 17, 2018, 03:56:27 pm
On a Friday in August, probably one of the worst to cancel;

17:33 London Paddington to Paignton due 21:19
17:33 London Paddington to Paignton due 21:19 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

Given this is a Peak service, it is not so crucial for long distance travellers, so I would suggest that, if any are to be cancelled, then this is the prime candidate.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on August 17, 2018, 04:03:10 pm
On a Friday in August, probably one of the worst to cancel;

17:33 London Paddington to Paignton due 21:19
17:33 London Paddington to Paignton due 21:19 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

Given this is a Peak service, it is not so crucial for long distance travellers, so I would suggest that, if any are to be cancelled, then this is the prime candidate.

Really? Fancy trying to cram them all onto the 1803 which is the suggested alternative?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: PhilWakely on August 17, 2018, 04:07:14 pm
On a Friday in August, probably one of the worst to cancel;

17:33 London Paddington to Paignton due 21:19
17:33 London Paddington to Paignton due 21:19 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

Given this is a Peak service, it is not so crucial for long distance travellers, so I would suggest that, if any are to be cancelled, then this is the prime candidate.

Really? Fancy trying to cram them all onto the 1803 which is the suggested alternative?

What I was trying to say, is that this service is not popular with long-distance travellers, so there won't be that many of them. Having travelled on it before on a Summer Friday, it is likely to be more than half empty after Newbury and there are plenty of other services for Reading* and Newbury.

* It being Friday, the service is Pick-Up Only at Reading, so, naturally, there will not be anybody boarding at Paddington for Reading  ;)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on August 17, 2018, 04:35:00 pm
It has now been partially re-instated and will run as one coach from Exeter St Davids to Paignton.   The 18:03 connects into it - which of course means the 18:03 will be very busy.  How the one car train from Exeter fares is open to debate - I have caught the service from Paddington through to Paignton before and it is very much quieter after Exeter.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on August 18, 2018, 07:40:43 am
…..it's a summer Saturday and people want to go to the coast (amongst other places), so these are cancelled...………

06:22 London Paddington to Great Malvern due 09:00
06:54 Westbury to Weymouth due 08:26
07:45 London Paddington to Swansea due 10:43
08:15 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 10:22
08:35 London Paddington to Paignton due 12:10
09:45 Great Malvern to London Paddington due 12:26
10:35 London Paddington to Paignton due 14:12
11:00 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 13:07
13:08 Paignton to London Paddington due 17:00
14:50 Paignton to London Paddington due 18:13


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on August 18, 2018, 03:35:59 pm
…..it's a summer Saturday and people want to go to the coast (amongst other places), so these are cancelled...………

06:22 London Paddington to Great Malvern due 09:00
06:54 Westbury to Weymouth due 08:26
07:45 London Paddington to Swansea due 10:43
08:15 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 10:22
08:35 London Paddington to Paignton due 12:10
09:45 Great Malvern to London Paddington due 12:26
10:35 London Paddington to Paignton due 14:12
11:00 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 13:07
13:08 Paignton to London Paddington due 17:00
14:50 Paignton to London Paddington due 18:13
The in between expresses stopped at the stations due to be served by the Paigntons so would have probably been quite cozy on board especially if the air con in any of the carriages wasn’t working.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on August 18, 2018, 04:59:13 pm
…..it's a summer Saturday and people want to go to the coast (amongst other places), so these are cancelled...………

06:22 London Paddington to Great Malvern due 09:00
06:54 Westbury to Weymouth due 08:26
07:45 London Paddington to Swansea due 10:43
08:15 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 10:22
08:35 London Paddington to Paignton due 12:10
09:45 Great Malvern to London Paddington due 12:26
10:35 London Paddington to Paignton due 14:12
11:00 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 13:07
13:08 Paignton to London Paddington due 17:00
14:50 Paignton to London Paddington due 18:13
The in between expresses stopped at the stations due to be served by the Paigntons so would have probably been quite cozy on board especially if the air con in any of the carriages wasn’t working.

A pal of mine was heading back to Plymouth for the weekend this morning and said it was predictably appalling as you suggest.

Mass cancellations on a Saturday. God knows what it'll be like tomorrow when the BBQs come out.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: PhilWakely on August 19, 2018, 08:09:58 am
Let the Sunday games begin...........

cancelled.....
08:30 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 10:43
08:36 London Paddington to Hereford due 11:51
11:18 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 13:29
13:32 Hereford to London Paddington due 17:05
15:20 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington due 17:55
16:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 18:40
17:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 18:56
18:56 Taunton to London Paddington due 21:49
19:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 21:16
19:32 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 21:37

08:23 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington due 10:50   will be started from Bristol Temple Meads
08:33 London Paddington to Swansea due 11:49                   will be terminated at Cardiff Central
11:40 Penzance to London Paddington due 17:27                  will be started from Plymouth
12:00 London Paddington to Weston-super-Mare due 14:37   will be terminated at Bristol Temple Meads
12:36 London Paddington to Hereford due 15:55                   will be started from Reading
13:20 Weston-super-Mare to London Paddington due 15:50   will be terminated at Bristol Temple Meads
15:00 London Paddington to Taunton due 18:01                    will be terminated at Bristol Temple Meads
15:59 Newquay to London Paddington due 21:27                  will be terminated at Plymouth
16:13 Penzance to London Paddington due 21:35                  will be terminated at Exeter St Davids
16:26 Worcester Foregate Street to London Paddington due 19:05 will be terminated at Reading


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on August 19, 2018, 05:50:21 pm
Interesting one here, 1559 Newquay-Paddington terminates at Plymouth. Okay not a problem, the 1613 from Penzance to Paddington is not far behind. Oh dear, that one only goes as far as Exeter!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on August 19, 2018, 07:41:34 pm
Looks like a solution was found  :) Pick up a Bristol crew member.

Quote
16:13 Penzance to London Paddington due 21:35 will be diverted between Taunton and Reading.
It will be delayed due to the diversion and is expected to be 26 minutes late.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on August 19, 2018, 07:59:14 pm
Looks like a solution was found  :) Pick up a Bristol crew member.

Quote
16:13 Penzance to London Paddington due 21:35 will be diverted between Taunton and Reading.
It will be delayed due to the diversion and is expected to be 26 minutes late.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

Hmmm ... and use it to pick up passengers for the 19:30 Bristol to Paddington which has also been cancelled?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on August 19, 2018, 09:18:14 pm
.....my sympathy is with those on board, the overcrowding must be absolutely hideous.........


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on August 19, 2018, 09:28:54 pm
The 2000 Bristol TM went up infront of it so it would be the Bristol service that may be like that....


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on August 20, 2018, 08:13:10 am
Looks like GWR'S inability to manage their Annual Leave schedule is causing problems again today, a number of long distance peak services cancelled due to staff shortages. Some very unhappy customers out there.....who are being advised to complain with the rider that due to a backlog (still going on!) they'll probably be waiting 3 or 4 weeks for a reply.....


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: the void on August 20, 2018, 01:28:46 pm
Looks like GWR'S inability to manage their Annual Leave schedule is causing problems again today

It has nothing to do with an ability to manage annual leave. It's all down to the perfectly normal and valid situation whereby the entire railway workforce cannot be compelled to come to work on a Sunday. It's the Lord's day! Woe betide anyone who dares attempting to force staff to give up going to church. Strike, strike, strike! So if staff cannot be bribed into coming in with massive overtime payments then everything falls apart. Ain't railways brilliant.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: tomL on August 20, 2018, 01:40:00 pm
Looks like GWR'S inability to manage their Annual Leave schedule is causing problems again today

It has nothing to do with an ability to manage annual leave. It's all down to the perfectly normal and valid situation whereby the entire railway workforce cannot be compelled to come to work on a Sunday. It's the Lord's day! Woe betide anyone who dares attempting to force staff to give up going to church. Strike, strike, strike! So if staff cannot be bribed into coming in with massive overtime payments then everything falls apart. Ain't railways brilliant.

Last time I checked it wasn’t Sunday...  ???


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 09, 2018, 08:39:43 am
Summer holidays and the BBQ season are over, but...…………it's Sunday so these are all cancelled because there aren't any crew available.

08:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 10:43
09:24 Great Malvern to London Paddington due 12:08
10:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 12:45
10:57 London Paddington to Penzance due 16:11
11:00 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 12:50
11:18 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 13:30
11:27 London Paddington to Paignton due 15:03
13:33 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 15:45
15:24 Swansea to London Paddington due 18:40
15:42 Plymouth to London Paddington due 19:29
15:45 Paignton to London Paddington due 19:50
16:13 Penzance to London Paddington due 21:42
16:22 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 18:45
16:51 Swansea to London Paddington due 20:10
19:32 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 21:45
20:57 London Paddington to Exeter St Davids due 23:35
21:30 London Paddington to Swansea due 00:53


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on September 09, 2018, 08:49:08 am
Think you should add this one to your list too Taplow Green:

Quote
09:30 London Paddington to Carmarthen due 13:37 will be started from Swansea.
It will no longer call at London Paddington, Reading, Swindon, Bristol Parkway, Newport (South Wales), Cardiff Central, Bridgend, Port Talbot Parkway and Neath.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

A next to useless service unless you are travelling between Swansea and Carmarthen where all the passengers could probably all fit into a 153!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Charlie (in Gloucester) on September 09, 2018, 10:27:57 am
Think you should add this one to your list too Taplow Green:

Quote
09:30 London Paddington to Carmarthen due 13:37 will be started from Swansea.
It will no longer call at London Paddington, Reading, Swindon, Bristol Parkway, Newport (South Wales), Cardiff Central, Bridgend, Port Talbot Parkway and Neath.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

A next to useless service unless you are travelling between Swansea and Carmarthen where all the passengers could probably all fit into a 153!
Not exactly the worse one of the day, I think all Cheltenham ones are cancelled.


This is unacceptable, GWR with there poor delivery of services. Cancel every Cheltenham, leaving Stroud Stonehouse and Kemble with a 3/4 hourly service. Gloucester has a 5 minute connection at Parkway, so no use for slow people and those with heavy luggage. Beyond a joke.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on September 09, 2018, 11:01:29 am
There were 20 when I looked, all HSSs apart from the first 2 StIves Trips.    The Regional ones, especially on the Cardiff to Portsmouth route, tend to show up as the day goes on.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 09, 2018, 03:44:01 pm
Early September is always popular for the crews who don’t have children to take holidays as the weather is still generally good.  GWR have also generally gotten on with training over the past couple of months when they may have been guilty in the past of delaying training but then exasperating the problem later on.

That’s not to say all these cancellations are acceptable mind you, but I would guess the situation at weekends will improve by the end of the month.  Note the word ‘improved’ and not ‘resolved’!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on September 09, 2018, 03:55:45 pm
In their response via Twitter to somebody with a Cheltenham cancellation query, GWR said that all timetabled trains have a full crew rostered in.   Is this a "wind up"


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on September 09, 2018, 04:21:31 pm
Looks like the majority could be Paddington drivers.  I wonder if the proposed new driver depot at Swindon might be seen by GWR management as a solution to staffing Paddington on Sunday’s??


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Charlie (in Gloucester) on September 09, 2018, 04:24:12 pm
They roster staff in though you can pull out with seven days notice, and this is what all the staff are doing.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 09, 2018, 04:26:44 pm
They roster staff in though you can pull out with seven days notice, and this is what all the staff are doing.

Basically then they pencil them in and hope for the best?




Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on September 09, 2018, 04:40:22 pm
They roster staff in though you can pull out with seven days notice, and this is what all the staff are doing.

Basically then they pencil them in and hope for the best?


The roster is done around 5 days in advance.  Up until that point you can make yourself unavailable to work.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: LiskeardRich on September 09, 2018, 09:30:38 pm
I found all the unavailable staff today.... riding the (rumour has it) last ever HST to Newquay.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 10, 2018, 08:50:50 am
I found all the unavailable staff today.... riding the (rumour has it) last ever HST to Newquay.


.......rather fortunate that they could find a driver for that one!  ::)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: GBM on September 10, 2018, 08:55:09 am
Looks like the majority could be Paddington drivers.  I wonder if the proposed new driver depot at Swindon might be seen by GWR management as a solution to staffing Paddington on Sunday’s??
Proposed? Surely it will take a few years to build a depot, then staff it.
A long way off for now.
Maybe the next franchisee would benefit more from this.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on September 10, 2018, 09:07:44 am
Looks like the majority could be Paddington drivers.  I wonder if the proposed new driver depot at Swindon might be seen by GWR management as a solution to staffing Paddington on Sunday’s??
Proposed? Surely it will take a few years to build a depot, then staff it.
A long way off for now.
Maybe the next franchisee would benefit more from this.

I would suspect that a "driver depot" isn't quite such a big build as a train depot.

A signing on and off point for a late train (turbo?) from Bristol via Chippenham - for which there is an 800 signature petition floating around. Return train in the morning at around 05:30 to provide the first Bath to Bristol service, assuming that Cross Country pull theirs. Also for the first Southampton departure / last Southampton arrival when Swindon - Westbury, Westbury - Salisbury and Salisbury - Solent - Romsey get joined up.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on September 10, 2018, 10:28:47 am
There has been mention elsewhere of work having started at COCKELBURY SIDINGS.  Not been that way for a long time, so not sure how accurate that is.  Its going to be, together with READING, a sub-depot of ST.PHILIPS MARSH.

Edit to Add: ....and its going to be a LIGHT MAINTENANCE FACILITY


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: LiskeardRich on September 10, 2018, 10:30:07 am
I found all the unavailable staff today.... riding the (rumour has it) last ever HST to Newquay.


.......rather fortunate that they could find a driver for that one!  ::)


The driver is a well known driver in enthusiast circles.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on September 10, 2018, 11:10:24 am
There has been mention elsewhere of work having started at COCKELBURY SIDINGS.  Not been that way for a long time, so not sure how accurate that is.  ...

I've noticed work going on / laying new tracks in that area on my last couple of journeys ... probably to do with this.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 10, 2018, 11:27:46 am
I found all the unavailable staff today.... riding the (rumour has it) last ever HST to Newquay.


.......rather fortunate that they could find a driver for that one!  ::)


The driver is a well known driver in enthusiast circles.

.......just trying to imagine a similar scenario with an airline.....BA decide to stop using 737s on a particular route so a load of flights are cancelled at the last minute, customers left stranded and all the pilots who were supposed to be flying them pile onto the final 737 flight instead, which is being flown by a pilot who is also a plane spotter........naturally they also travel for free on staff passes (although to be fair BA don't receive huge taxpayer subsidies so perhaps more forgivable), can you imagine the reaction?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on September 10, 2018, 11:42:13 am
Who'd want to fly on a 737? But the last HST to X now that's a winner.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 10, 2018, 12:00:52 pm
Who'd want to fly on a 737? But the last HST to X now that's a winner.

......both ancient relics I grant you, but at least you'd be sure of a seat on the plane, and Broadgage would be happy, he'd get some food on board! 🙂


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: WelshBluebird on September 10, 2018, 02:24:31 pm
15:42 Plymouth to London Paddington due 19:29
15:45 Paignton to London Paddington due 19:50

That had the fun of funneling three lots of train passengers onto one train when the 16.12 Plymouth to Paddington rolled into Exeter St Davids at 17.17!

Thankfully I was in First class (thanks to some really good advance tickets!) so didn't have to deal with any of it, but based on how full the platform at Exeter was when boarding, it didn't look great!

Not sure I'd have like to seen what would have happened if it had been a 5 car 800 either!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 10, 2018, 03:25:27 pm
I guess it wil be much better if and when it is a 9/10 car IET.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Thatcham Crossing on September 10, 2018, 04:18:04 pm
Quote
and Broadgage would be happy, he'd get some food on board!

....albeit served from a trolley, or more acurately, a cart.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on September 10, 2018, 04:19:43 pm
There has been mention elsewhere of work having started at COCKELBURY SIDINGS.  Not been that way for a long time, so not sure how accurate that is.  ...

I've noticed work going on / laying new tracks in that area on my last couple of journeys ... probably to do with this.

We need to get somebody local to take some piccies..... ;)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: tomL on September 10, 2018, 04:51:43 pm
Heading that way tomorrow so can hopefully grab some pics.

Maybe worth a new thread for discussion of the new “Swindon depot”?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on September 10, 2018, 06:24:03 pm
There has been mention elsewhere of work having started at COCKELBURY SIDINGS.  Not been that way for a long time, so not sure how accurate that is.  Its going to be, together with READING, a sub-depot of ST.PHILIPS MARSH.
Edit to Add: ....and its going to be a LIGHT MAINTENANCE FACILITY

I noticed sidings have been electrified and when I mentioned this to a true spotter he told me that its to stable 387's which will operate peak hour stopping services to/from Paddington when the full 5-car non stop to Paddington IET timetable comes in. Mind you I know him to be a leg puller at times but judging by the present service GWR are providing, he might be right.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on September 10, 2018, 06:57:53 pm
There has been mention elsewhere of work having started at COCKELBURY SIDINGS.  Not been that way for a long time, so not sure how accurate that is.  ...

I've noticed work going on / laying new tracks in that area on my last couple of journeys ... probably to do with this.

We need to get somebody local to take some piccies..... ;)


It isn't the easiest location to photograph unless you are on a passing train - and then, for preference, an HST with windows you can open in the vestibules.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 10, 2018, 09:12:26 pm
There has been mention elsewhere of work having started at COCKELBURY SIDINGS.  Not been that way for a long time, so not sure how accurate that is.  Its going to be, together with READING, a sub-depot of ST.PHILIPS MARSH.
Edit to Add: ....and its going to be a LIGHT MAINTENANCE FACILITY

I noticed sidings have been electrified and when I mentioned this to a true spotter he told me that its to stable 387's which will operate peak hour stopping services to/from Paddington when the full 5-car non stop to Paddington IET timetable comes in. Mind you I know him to be a leg puller at times but judging by the present service GWR are providing, he might be right.

Initially it will be stabling for 387s, the ones currently stabled at Maidenhead that Crossrail will need and would have originally been stabled at Oxford had the electrification there not been postponed.  Swindon was the nearest sensible alternative apparently.

I would imagine they will operate empty to/from Swindon and either Didcot or Reading to form the scheduled services they do now as they will all be heading out of Swindon too early or arriving back too late to be of much use as commuter trains from there.  There may be scope for the odd passenger train using them though I suppose.

Drivers are being taken out of the Reading depot establishment to supply the new ‘satellite’ depot at Swindon, using volunteers.  No shortage of them as quite a few Reading drivers live in or around Swindon and will obviously save significant time on their current commute.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bobm on September 10, 2018, 09:23:11 pm
Might cut down the number who board the up sleeper when it makes its unadvertised stop at Swindon at 03:15 for staff only. 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on September 11, 2018, 09:25:55 pm
......both ancient relics I grant you,

One of which is still being built.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on September 23, 2018, 07:38:08 am
Due to a shortage of train crew between Swindon and Cheltenham Spa fewer trains are able to run.
Train services running through these stations may be cancelled. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.
Customer Advice
Due to a shortage of train crew we are unable to operate a number of trains between London Paddington and Cheltenham Spa. Replacement road transport will operate where trains are cancelled between Swindon and Gloucester. Customers travelling between London and Cheltenham Spa should use alternative GWR services to and from Swindon, changing for road transport.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Charlie (in Gloucester) on September 23, 2018, 08:04:58 am
This weekend is the anniversary of these cancellations!  We are currently on week 30 in a row of Cheltenham’s being cancelled (over half)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Charlie (in Gloucester) on October 07, 2018, 09:41:42 am
GWR must be treating their staff because no Cheltenham services are cancelled just yet. A very well done to GWR to be able to provide what there purpose is to do!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 07, 2018, 10:11:55 am
They’ll probably be ok now the holiday period is well and truly over.  Until the next holiday period.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 07, 2018, 10:42:10 am
They’ll probably be ok now the holiday period is well and truly over.  Until the next holiday period.

Half term soon  :)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on October 10, 2018, 07:31:35 pm
They’ll probably be ok now the holiday period is well and truly over.  Until the next holiday period.

Half term soon  :)

Then Christmas.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 11, 2018, 08:52:09 am
....was this Broadgage in disguise? 😉

https://www.cornwalllive.com/news/cornwall-news/gwr-passengers-told-no-sandwiches-2095320.amp?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebar&__twitter_impression=true


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on October 11, 2018, 09:00:08 am
No, but it seems that someone else is not entirely happy with catering (non)provision on the new trains.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on October 11, 2018, 09:07:04 am
No, but it seems that someone else is not entirely happy with catering (non)provision on the new trains.
To be fair its happened to me on HST operated services too, either no catering crew or no first class host. This is not a new problem.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on October 11, 2018, 11:24:22 am
Travelled on my first IET yesterday, in Cornwall, and there was catering onboard (and a Train Manager).


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: 1st fan on October 11, 2018, 02:08:15 pm
No, but it seems that someone else is not entirely happy with catering (non)provision on the new trains.
To be fair its happened to me on HST operated services too, either no catering crew or no first class host. This is not a new problem.
I boarded an HST at Paddington in 1st and unpacked a few bits and pieces. Then the Train Manager comes on the tannoy and tells us that there is a problem with the catering,  There was no food and we were missing the crew member for 1st. Then at departure she appears again and says we may have to change trains please listen for further announcements. Then she came back on and told us to get off the train, cross the platform and get on the HST on the other side. Not ideal as some people had settled in but off we went, people who had been standing in the vestibules got off and then on first and now got seats. This HST had a stocked mini/micro buffet and a full 1st trolley and crew member serving from it. Much better from my point of view but a bit of a faff. We made up the lost time by Reading so no real damage done. The original HST left Paddington without food to another destination later according to the Train Manager.

I've also been on an IET where the only catering was in 1st and consisted of a packet of crisps and a can of coke. Wouldn't have minded so much but I hadn't eaten all day and had not had time at Paddington or anywhere else to buy anything.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Charlie (in Gloucester) on October 21, 2018, 10:15:19 am
Last weekend services were terminating at Swindon although they all ran. This weekend all Cheltenham’s are running as of 10:14. Half term has just started as well so it seems like it’s a step in the right directio


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: old original on October 22, 2018, 08:12:46 pm
Last few Truro - Falmouths cancelled today, probably due to someone going sick at this late stage.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adrian on October 22, 2018, 08:41:34 pm
The 1400 CDF - TAU and 1607 TAU - CDF as far as Bristol today are shown on RealtimeTrains as cancelled due to a planning error (TA) - whatever that means?  I think Journeycheck had them down as staff shortages. 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on October 22, 2018, 08:48:36 pm
The 1400 CDF - TAU and 1607 TAU - CDF as far as Bristol today are shown on RealtimeTrains as cancelled due to a planning error (TA) - whatever that means?  I think Journeycheck had them down as staff shortages. 

Probably got the planning wrong so there was no driver available


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on October 22, 2018, 09:39:19 pm
Last weekend services were terminating at Swindon although they all ran. This weekend all Cheltenham’s are running as of 10:14. Half term has just started as well so it seems like it’s a step in the right directio

Didn't say anything yesterday but all that I could find was one which terminated short.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: PhilWakely on October 27, 2018, 10:02:55 am
Make of this what you will..........
From Devon Live (https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/train-stranded-exeter-st-davids-2151687?fbclid=IwAR0CGKDfOWz65StNZfFsjS4LAGbqaWnELCExza33A6aWU0J-iWe6snsxE-4) (apologies for the click bait)
Quote
Train stranded at Exeter St Davids after driver 'goes missing'
Confused passengers took to social media in a bid to find the missing driver
(https://i2-prod.devonlive.com/incoming/article851742.ece/ALTERNATES/s810/IMG_2234.jpg)
Exeter St Davids station (Image: Rom Preston-Ellis)

Passengers have reportedly been left stranded on a train at Exeter St Davids after the driver apparently went missing.
A flurry of tweets from angry passengers on the Penzance to London Paddington train flagged up the problem shortly after 3pm on Friday.

The GWR service eventually got moving shortly before 3.30pm following a short delay.

One passenger said: "Currently on a train at Exeter Station without a driver. How can you provide a Penzance to Paddington service without the foresight to have a driver for the whole journey?

Another passenger, Stephen Thomson, wrote on Twitter: "Apparently the driver of my train from Exeter to London has gone missing. Can I have a go please? I'll be really careful!!!"

Meanwhile Sheila O'Connor did not see the funny side.

She wrote: "Currently on the 12.04 from Penzance now at Exeter St David’s and we appear to have no driver!!! Who is responsible for planning the staff rota? Hope I don’t miss my onward train to Leeds..... GWRHelp poor job again."

The person manning the GWR twitter account tried to laugh off the incident, telling Stephen that they could see the train was moving once more, although seemed mildly concerned that he may have carried out his threat to drive the train himself.

Jo from GWR tweeted: "Hi Stephen. I can see you are on your way now. Its not you driving the train, is it??? - Jo."

Jo was a bit more sympathetic with Mary, writing: "Really sorry for the delay to your journey today Mary. I can see you are now moving but I appreciate how frustrating this has been - Jo."

A spokesperson for GWR said: "There is a scheduled driver swap at Exeter St Davids on this service, however due to a short notice staff absence we had to source a replacement driver.

"The train was unfortunately delayed by 20 minutes as a result."


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on October 27, 2018, 11:46:27 am
More Twitter ‘journalism’  ::) Big deal, Often happens. At least there was a driver to take the train forward after a reasonably short delay. I don’t think XC will be too pleased an image of one of their trains was used either.

News organisations must pay people to trawl through company Twitter feeds looking for a story. Lazy journalism.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 27, 2018, 04:03:14 pm
More Twitter ‘journalism’  ::) Big deal, Often happens. At least there was a driver to take the train forward after a reasonably short delay. I don’t think XC will be too pleased an image of one of their trains was used either.

News organisations must pay people to trawl through company Twitter feeds looking for a story. Lazy journalism.

I really enjoy being a part of this forum but one of the things I find quite bizarre is the venom with which any external person/organisation who/which highlights a failure of the railway tends to be descended upon - if it's an individual, their character/motivation/integrity is immediately called into question, if it's any type of media, it must be biased, worthless untrustworthy or lack objectivity (Twitter is the part of the future of instant news, best get used to it, not everything takes 24 hours to appear in the Press/TV any more, the world is changing very quickly!) - the ignorance of the travelling public is generally taken for granted and sneered at, whereas a judicial level of proof seems necessary before the failure of any member of the "railway family" is acknowledged.

Perhaps it's a societal thing - it almost mirrors the behaviour of Corbyn's Momentum mob, whereby any criticism of Magic Grandpa means you must be Blairite or a "Tory" (now a generic Corbynista term for anyone not on the far left) and any media criticism can only be explained by the extreme bias of the "Mainstreammeeja" - the possibility of failures closer to home which need addressing is treated as heresy.

In my own organisation, things go wrong. Not too often, but more often than we'd like. When they do, we don't get defensive, we learn from it, and if possible build it into service improvement and make things better for our customers...........we encourage and welcome feedback, and we let people know what we've done as a result.

Then again, we care about our customers, they're the reason we exist and of course we have competition...............what a shock most of those employed on the railway would have if that was the case!

Anyway, just an observation - not pointing at any one individual, look upon it as an outsider looking in - who pays £thousands over to the railway every year - have a great Saturday night all!  :)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 27, 2018, 04:42:05 pm
the world is changing very quickly!

And sometimes for the better as well. 

Though without wishing to come across as venomous, I must admit I find articles like the one Phil linked for us pretty pathetic.  That's not in defence of the railway - it can equally be applied to other news genres such as politics, health, education, showbiz etc.  It increasingly seems to be a world where we get fed stories using very little other than Twitter quotes, dubious facts, and 'click bait' headlines - even from some of the more 'serious' news outlets.

That's not a change for the better IMHO.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 27, 2018, 04:52:39 pm
the world is changing very quickly!

And sometimes for the better as well. 

Though without wishing to come across as venomous, I must admit I find articles like the one Phil linked for us pretty pathetic.  That's not in defence of the railway - it can equally be applied to other news genres such as politics, health, education, showbiz etc.  It increasingly seems to be a world where we get fed stories using very little other than Twitter quotes, dubious facts, and 'click bait' headlines - even from some of the more 'serious' news outlets.

That's not a change for the better IMHO.

A measured reply as always II, but I don't think there's anything too dubious or pathetic about the story, and I'd respectfully suggest that the fact that customers have been delayed for almost half an hour, inconvenienced and will quite possibly miss connections or other commitments as a result as well as being treated flippantly by GWR staff is more important than any subjective reservations about the source from which the information comes........so often this seems to be overlooked. - Play the ball, not the man!  ;)




Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: PhilWakely on October 27, 2018, 05:15:55 pm
the world is changing very quickly!

And sometimes for the better as well. 

Though without wishing to come across as venomous, I must admit I find articles like the one Phil linked for us pretty pathetic.  That's not in defence of the railway - it can equally be applied to other news genres such as politics, health, education, showbiz etc.  It increasingly seems to be a world where we get fed stories using very little other than Twitter quotes, dubious facts, and 'click bait' headlines - even from some of the more 'serious' news outlets.

That's not a change for the better IMHO.

A measured reply as always II, but I don't think there's anything too dubious or pathetic about the story, and I'd respectfully suggest that the fact that customers have been delayed for almost half an hour, inconvenienced and will quite possibly miss connections or other commitments as a result as well as being treated flippantly by GWR staff is more important than any subjective reservations about the source from which the information comes........so often this seems to be overlooked. - Play the ball, not the man!  ;)


One of the reasons I posted the link with the comment 'Make of this what you will' was simply because there were so many inaccuracies in an article that was supposed to highlight the problem of a shortage of train crews.

The simple fact that the train arrived at Exeter at 14:56, already 6 minutes late and then left at 15:16 (NOT 'shortly before 3.30pm' as the article suggests) just 21 minutes late. Hardly a major problem in the grand scheme of things.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 27, 2018, 05:37:00 pm
So, if they thought it a story worth running with then perhaps 'Train at platform for 20 minutes' would be a more accurate headline than 'Train stranded at Exeter St Davids after driver 'goes missing'.

I have to say I thought the Twitter responses were spot on.  Perhaps some would see it as flippant, but to me a light-hearted and humourous tweet from Stephen was given a light-hearted and humourous response.  And a response that was sincere and apologetic was given to Mary who I presume made a more serious tweet.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on October 27, 2018, 05:49:33 pm
So, if they thought it a story worth running with then perhaps 'Train at platform for 20 minutes' would be a more accurate headline than 'Train stranded at Exeter St Davids after driver 'goes missing'.

I have to say I thought the Twitter responses were spot on.  Perhaps some would see it as flippant, but to me a light-hearted and humourous tweet from Stephen was given a light-hearted and humourous response.  And a response that was sincere and apologetic was given to Mary who I presume made a more serious tweet.

All very subjective of course, but I'd be wary of sending "light hearted" tweets to customers in these circumstances.

Fact remains however that people here seem more concerned about minor inaccuracies and rubbishing the source than the inconvenience and concern to which customers were put - sometimes it's best to see the bigger picture, and ask yourself what matters more.

No-one's suggesting that this was a Pulitzer prize winning article, but let's try to get priorities the right way around?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: stuving on October 27, 2018, 05:52:21 pm
So, if they thought it a story worth running with then perhaps 'Train at platform for 20 minutes' would be a more accurate headline than 'Train stranded at Exeter St Davids after driver 'goes missing'.

I have to say I thought the Twitter responses were spot on.  Perhaps some would see it as flippant, but to me a light-hearted and humourous tweet from Stephen was given a light-hearted and humourous response.  And a response that was sincere and apologetic was given to Mary who I presume made a more serious tweet.

That's not how Twitter works, is it? Everyone is listening in, and with different trigger filters for irony and tongue-in-cheek comments. So what may well have started with one passenger mischievously misunderstanding an announcement about needing to find a driver as "gone off and not told anyone", so as to make a joke about "can I have a go", ends with a lot of misunderstandings.

Of course drivers do sometimes go missing in that sense - you hear the PA messages for them. But if the word "missing" was used in an announcement, its range of idiomatic uses does make misunderstandings, genuine or willful, likely.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on October 27, 2018, 08:43:24 pm
Make of this what you will..........
From Devon Live (https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/train-stranded-exeter-st-davids-2151687?fbclid=IwAR0CGKDfOWz65StNZfFsjS4LAGbqaWnELCExza33A6aWU0J-iWe6snsxE-4) (apologies for the click bait)
Quote
Train stranded at Exeter St Davids after driver 'goes missing'
Confused passengers took to social media in a bid to find the missing driver
(https://i2-prod.devonlive.com/incoming/article851742.ece/ALTERNATES/s810/IMG_2234.jpg)
Exeter St Davids station (Image: Rom Preston-Ellis)

Passengers have reportedly been left stranded on a train at Exeter St Davids after the driver apparently went missing.
A flurry of tweets from angry passengers on the Penzance to London Paddington train flagged up the problem shortly after 3pm on Friday.

The GWR service eventually got moving shortly before 3.30pm following a short delay.

One passenger said: "Currently on a train at Exeter Station without a driver. How can you provide a Penzance to Paddington service without the foresight to have a driver for the whole journey?

Another passenger, Stephen Thomson, wrote on Twitter: "Apparently the driver of my train from Exeter to London has gone missing. Can I have a go please? I'll be really careful!!!"

Meanwhile Sheila O'Connor did not see the funny side.

She wrote: "Currently on the 12.04 from Penzance now at Exeter St David’s and we appear to have no driver!!! Who is responsible for planning the staff rota? Hope I don’t miss my onward train to Leeds..... GWRHelp poor job again."

The person manning the GWR twitter account tried to laugh off the incident, telling Stephen that they could see the train was moving once more, although seemed mildly concerned that he may have carried out his threat to drive the train himself.

Jo from GWR tweeted: "Hi Stephen. I can see you are on your way now. Its not you driving the train, is it??? - Jo."

Jo was a bit more sympathetic with Mary, writing: "Really sorry for the delay to your journey today Mary. I can see you are now moving but I appreciate how frustrating this has been - Jo."

A spokesperson for GWR said: "There is a scheduled driver swap at Exeter St Davids on this service, however due to a short notice staff absence we had to source a replacement driver.

"The train was unfortunately delayed by 20 minutes as a result."

There was a fatality earlier on that day near Newbury, that might have had an effect on crew availability.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightonedee on October 27, 2018, 10:02:54 pm
To be fair, announcements on-board, apologising and keeping passengers up to date with estimated arrival time of replacement driver would have helped.

If the fatality earlier in the day was at the root of it all, frankly it would be better to say so. An announcement that the rostered driver is not available as a consequence of a fatal incident earlier in the day, that a replacement driver is on their way and should be with you in 20 minutes would have kept everyone informed and would have stopped this game of social media chinese whispers. Perhaps there might even have been some sympathy with the problems TOCs and their staff face on a day to day basis.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 27, 2018, 11:30:59 pm
To be fair, announcements on-board, apologising and keeping passengers up to date with estimated arrival time of replacement driver would have helped.

If the fatality earlier in the day was at the root of it all, frankly it would be better to say so. An announcement that the rostered driver is not available as a consequence of a fatal incident earlier in the day, that a replacement driver is on their way and should be with you in 20 minutes would have kept everyone informed and would have stopped this game of social media chinese whispers. Perhaps there might even have been some sympathy with the problems TOCs and their staff face on a day to day basis.

Surely an annoucement on board must have been made?  Otherwise how would everyone who tweeted know it was a driver shortage?  Of course, there might have been a mad scramble behind the scenes to get a replacement driver to the train as soon as they could and so an estimated time of arrival might not have been immediately known. 

The train was at the station for twenty minutes - I know how quickly that time goes by when involved in trying to sort out such things, so to give accurate information isn't always possible, certainly not immediately.  For example, it takes a couple of minutes for the driver to communicate to the guard/dispatch staff that there is no relief for him/her.  A couple more minutes radioing/phoning the resource centre to see who should have been there and why they weren't (there could be a multitude of reasons).  Several minutes can easily elapse whilst things are juggled about and a replacement driver sourced and told.  Then that replacement driver has to get to the train which takes several more minutes depending on where they are at the time.  Before you know it, there's your 20 minutes gone!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 30, 2018, 03:14:03 pm
Cancelled due to crew shortage - Friday afternoon - bit chilly for a BBQ?

16:10 Slough to Windsor & Eton Central due 16:16
16:18 Reading to London Paddington due 17:20
16:19 Windsor & Eton Central to Slough due 16:25
17:29 London Paddington to Reading due 18:29
18:31 Reading to Gatwick Airport due 19:50
20:00 Gatwick Airport to Reading due 21:20
20:57 London Paddington to Didcot Parkway due 22:23
22:31 Didcot Parkway to Oxford due 22:46


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 30, 2018, 03:19:36 pm
I should imagine the closer to Christmas we get the more we’ll struggle with Friday and weekend coverage.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on November 30, 2018, 03:46:44 pm
I should imagine the closer to Christmas we get the more we’ll struggle with Friday and weekend coverage.

"We apologise for the cancellation of xxxx service, this is due to a staff Christmas party"


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on November 30, 2018, 09:14:55 pm
I should imagine the closer to Christmas we get the more we’ll struggle with Friday and weekend coverage.
Shame as it’s been a great few weeks with virtually no cancellations down to train crew to speak of.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: a-driver on December 02, 2018, 10:27:08 am
I should imagine the closer to Christmas we get the more we’ll struggle with Friday and weekend coverage.
Shame as it’s been a great few weeks with virtually no cancellations down to train crew to speak of.

I can’t see it being that much of a problem, the only issues may be Sunday 23.

For me, coming to work gets me out of being dragged round the shops and Christmas markets!


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: GBM on December 02, 2018, 10:44:49 am

Quote
For me, coming to work gets me out of being dragged round the shops and Christmas markets!

Boo, hiss.  I love being dragged round shops.  Now reached the stage where I'm deposited in a coffee shop to await the returning shopper at some point.  Result  ;D ;D :D


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 24, 2019, 07:31:43 am
Back to the usual Sunday routine....cancelled due to "crew shortage" if they were drowning their sorrows following England's defeat in Cardiff yesterday, I have some sympathy.........

14:30 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 16:47
16:27 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 18:14
17:46 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 20:06
17:53 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 19:45
18:50 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 20:46
20:03 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare due 22:35
20:57 London Paddington to Taunton due 22:48


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on February 24, 2019, 08:26:09 am
Back to the usual Sunday routine....cancelled due to "crew shortage" if they were drowning their sorrows following England's defeat in Cardiff yesterday, I have some sympathy.........

14:30 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 16:47
16:27 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 18:14
17:46 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 20:06
17:53 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 19:45
18:50 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 20:46
20:03 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare due 22:35
20:57 London Paddington to Taunton due 22:48


Well it promises to be a warm February day, warm enough to crowd around a busy barbeque to keep the chill off.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on February 24, 2019, 08:32:32 am
Well it promises to be a warm February day, warm enough to crowd around a busy barbeque to keep the chill off.

You are a cynic.  Is it also the last day of half term across much of the GWR area?   


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on February 24, 2019, 12:19:49 pm
Half term is of course the main reason.  Doesn't bode well for the coming year on Sunday's though as there is currently more drivers than needed at most depots and training has reached a stage where it is no longer much of a problem.  Since last year all new drivers are required to work their rostered Sunday unless cover can be found - but as I said at the time, that will take years to make much of a difference.  Talks and planning for bringing Sunday into the 'working week' continue still with a target implementation date of December 2020 as far as I know.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Charlie (in Gloucester) on February 24, 2019, 12:32:13 pm
Still better than the non existent service last year


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on February 24, 2019, 01:01:32 pm
Still better than the non existent service last year

True, though it was mainly Easter onwards until the end of the school holidays when cancellations were commonplace on Sundays last year.  It remains to be seen how this year will compare.  For the record I expect it to be better, but still expect an unacceptably high number of cancellations during high summer especially.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on February 24, 2019, 04:36:23 pm
Bit of everything on this one!!!

Delayed, shortformed, short of crew and no catering...………...at least the toilets are working? (one would hope!)

14:58 Carmarthen to London Paddington due 19:11 has been delayed at Swansea and is now 22 minutes late.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.
Will be formed of 5 coaches instead of 10. Catering is not available.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on February 24, 2019, 05:38:05 pm
Such a shame, I thought we had seen the back of this issue especially after a good Christmas/New Year and a good few weeks with little if any cancellations due to crew shortages.

Just for the record the 15.57 Pad-Tau and the 18.34 Tau-Pad have been added to the list along with the 18.51 Swa-Pad terminating at Bristol Parkway.

We can only hope today is just a blip, though I’m not too confident it will be from what II is telling us  :(


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on February 24, 2019, 05:50:51 pm
We can only hope today is just a blip, though I’m not too confident it will be from what II is telling us  :(

I think the weekday and Saturday situation will be much improved this year as the majority of training has been completed and depot establishments are generally very healthy for the work that needs covering.  Though nothing much has changed on Sundays - all drivers who are HSS ones can simply say they're not coming in to work on Sundays providing they give adequate notice.  Two more summers of that at least until Sunday becomes part of the working week.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 02, 2019, 09:15:18 am
Welcome back to BBQ season! (All cancelled today due to "shortage of train crew")



09:10 Plymouth to Gunnislake due 09:56
10:10 Gunnislake to Plymouth due 10:55
12:41 Gloucester to Cheltenham Spa due 12:51
13:46 Cheltenham Spa to Gloucester due 13:58
14:32 Hereford to London Paddington due 17:59
15:02 Liskeard to Looe due 15:31
15:34 Looe to Liskeard due 16:02
15:50 Exeter St Davids to Penzance due 19:32
16:10 Liskeard to Looe due 16:39
16:42 Looe to Liskeard due 17:10
16:46 Exeter St Davids to Exmouth due 17:19
17:05 Exeter St Davids to Okehampton due 17:50
17:23 Exmouth to Paignton due 18:49
17:35 Liskeard to Looe due 18:04
17:56 Okehampton to Exeter St Davids due 18:41
18:15 Looe to Liskeard due 18:43
18:42 London Paddington to Swindon due 19:35
18:54 Paignton to Exmouth due 20:24
19:00 Penzance to Exeter St Davids due 22:21
19:49 London Paddington to Great Malvern due 22:27
20:15 Liskeard to Looe due 20:44
20:47 Looe to Liskeard due 21:15
20:51 Swindon to London Paddington due 21:54
21:48 Brighton to Portsmouth Harbour due 23:07
23:07 Cardiff Central to Bristol Temple Meads due 23:59
23:25 Exeter St Davids to Exmouth due 23:57
00:01 Exmouth to Exeter St Davids due 00:32


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on June 02, 2019, 10:02:49 am
Welcome back to BBQ season! (All cancelled today due to "shortage of train crew")



09:10 Plymouth to Gunnislake due 09:56
10:10 Gunnislake to Plymouth due 10:55
12:41 Gloucester to Cheltenham Spa due 12:51
13:46 Cheltenham Spa to Gloucester due 13:58
14:32 Hereford to London Paddington due 17:59
15:02 Liskeard to Looe due 15:31
15:34 Looe to Liskeard due 16:02
15:50 Exeter St Davids to Penzance due 19:32
16:10 Liskeard to Looe due 16:39
16:42 Looe to Liskeard due 17:10
16:46 Exeter St Davids to Exmouth due 17:19
17:05 Exeter St Davids to Okehampton due 17:50
17:23 Exmouth to Paignton due 18:49
17:35 Liskeard to Looe due 18:04
17:56 Okehampton to Exeter St Davids due 18:41
18:15 Looe to Liskeard due 18:43
18:42 London Paddington to Swindon due 19:35
18:54 Paignton to Exmouth due 20:24
19:00 Penzance to Exeter St Davids due 22:21
19:49 London Paddington to Great Malvern due 22:27
20:15 Liskeard to Looe due 20:44
20:47 Looe to Liskeard due 21:15
20:51 Swindon to London Paddington due 21:54
21:48 Brighton to Portsmouth Harbour due 23:07
23:07 Cardiff Central to Bristol Temple Meads due 23:59
23:25 Exeter St Davids to Exmouth due 23:57
00:01 Exmouth to Exeter St Davids due 00:32


There are also some curtailed journeys, especially on Cardiff Portsmouth Hbr/Brighton route.   There are some services cancelled which should be calling at Dawlish with an impact on passengers returning home from the Air Show


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on June 02, 2019, 10:39:24 am
There are also some curtailed journeys, especially on Cardiff Portsmouth Hbr/Brighton route.
For completeness they are:
15:00 Penzance-London Paddington terminates at Reading
16:35 Cardiff-Brighton terminates at Bristol TM
18:08 Cardiff-Portsmouth terminates at Westbury
19:08 Portsmouth-Cardiff terminates at Bristol TM
20:28 Exmouth-Paignton starts at Exeter St Davids


We’ve seen far worse. Of course there is now delay repay available for those affected.

PS Not looking a great day for a BBQ  ;)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on June 02, 2019, 12:47:59 pm
Looks like my comments up thread a little will be about right.  Significantly better than the last two years, but still not good enough.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on June 02, 2019, 12:52:36 pm
Looks like my comments up thread a little will be about right.  Significantly better than the last two years, but still not good enough.

Agree, a poor performance, but this should gradually get better and not worse as more new staff displace resignations and retirements.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: phile on June 05, 2019, 10:55:23 am

The shortage has reared it's head today in mid-week in the Bristol area affecting Regional West services


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Incider on June 05, 2019, 05:39:41 pm
Looks like my comments up thread a little will be about right.  Significantly better than the last two years, but still not good enough.

Agree, a poor performance, but this should gradually get better and not worse as more new staff displace resignations and retirements.

The amount of resignations from well paid rail jobs is negligible, certainly nowhere near enough to affect service.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on June 06, 2019, 08:44:51 pm

The amount of resignations from well paid rail jobs is negligible, certainly nowhere near enough to affect service.

Is there much movement between TOCs by drivers?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on June 06, 2019, 09:31:46 pm

The amount of resignations from well paid rail jobs is negligible, certainly nowhere near enough to affect service.

Is there much movement between TOCs by drivers?

I have heard a senior person at a TOC suggesting that it's very frustrating to train drivers just to have them moved to  (be poached by) another TOC.  Qualitative comment though - I have no quantities / percentage data.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on June 06, 2019, 10:57:09 pm
We used to lose quite a few to Chiltern amongst others.  Following the wages shooting up on GWR, Chiltern drivers are starting to come the other way.  ;)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: old original on June 12, 2019, 05:50:50 am
Second day in a row, a few of the first Truro-Falmouth services cancelled, no driver


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: GBM on June 12, 2019, 07:40:25 am
Second day in a row, a few of the first Truro-Falmouth services cancelled, no driver

But it's not B-B-Q weather  ???


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Henry on June 12, 2019, 08:06:24 am
 I suspect the railway industry will always be reliant on staff working extra hours.
 
 The salary of driver's now probably means they less inclined to work overtime, whereas rail
 companies are reluctant for staff to 'sit spare'.
 
 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: GBM on June 12, 2019, 10:26:28 am
I suspect the railway industry will always be reliant on staff working extra hours.
 
 The salary of driver's now probably means they less inclined to work overtime, whereas rail
 companies are reluctant for staff to 'sit spare'.
 
 
Same with bus drivers in Kernowland.
Each depot could do with 3 spare staff each day (early morning/mid/late) and a large and small bus spare, but that would cost too much money so would never happen, unfortunately.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on June 12, 2019, 02:22:05 pm
Second day in a row, a few of the first Truro-Falmouth services cancelled, no driver

But it's not B-B-Q weather  ???

Now, now, stop nicking TaplowGreen’s only best joke.  ;)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on June 12, 2019, 08:58:39 pm
Now, now, stop nicking TaplowGreen’s only best joke.  ;)

Aww...


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on June 12, 2019, 09:07:41 pm

The amount of resignations from well paid rail jobs is negligible, certainly nowhere near enough to affect service.

Is there much movement between TOCs by drivers?

I have heard a senior person at a TOC suggesting that it's very frustrating to train drivers just to have them moved to  (be poached by) another TOC.  Qualitative comment though - I have no quantities / percentage data.

I have a train driving friend whose on his fourth TOC/FOC since 2005. Of course that's only anecdotal data. I know not his reasons for changing employers.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on June 12, 2019, 09:14:48 pm

I have a train driving friend whose on his fourth TOC/FOC since 2005. Of course that's only anecdotal data. I know not his reasons for changing employers.

Twenty quid a week would do it for me, especially if no passengers were involved.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 16, 2019, 06:34:59 am
Sundays cancellations so far.....I'm sure you can guess the reason.......a number of others "amended" too.

Seems GWR still don't have a handle on this, and we're some way from the holiday season yet.


09:15 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare due 11:20
10:37 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 12:45
11:49 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington due 14:02
12:37 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 14:46
13:25 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 15:02
13:46 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 15:53
14:45 London Paddington to Newport South Wales due 16:37
15:37 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 17:14
15:46 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 17:53
16:15 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 17:57
16:42 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 18:47
17:03 Newport South Wales to London Paddington due 19:00
17:07 London Paddington to Bedwyn due 18:27
17:15 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 18:57
18:54 Bedwyn to London Paddington due 20:17
19:46 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 21:54


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Wizard on June 16, 2019, 07:09:34 am
Father’s Day maybe?


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on June 16, 2019, 08:58:50 am
Father’s Day maybe?

Quite possibly yes, but compared to this time last year...
Quote
08:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 10:43
08:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 10:10
09:00 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare due 11:18
10:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 12:10
10:34 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 12:20
10:34 London Paddington to Hereford due 14:07
11:18 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 13:30
11:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 13:15
11:54 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington due 14:24
12:00 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare due 14:37
12:23 Bristol Temple Meads to Severn Beach due 12:58
12:27 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 14:46
12:34 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 14:20
13:12 Severn Beach to Bristol Temple Meads due 13:54
13:20 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington due 15:54
13:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 15:15
13:34 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 15:15
14:22 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 16:47
14:32 Hereford to London Paddington due 18:09
15:00 London Paddington to Taunton due 18:01
15:00 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 16:54
15:00 Penzance to London Paddington due 20:28
15:27 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 17:18
15:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 17:15
15:33 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 17:45
15:34 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 17:20
15:47 Brighton to Bristol Temple Meads due 19:09
16:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 17:58
16:22 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 18:45
16:27 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 18:18
16:28 Worcester Foregate Street to London Paddington due 19:07
16:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 18:15
16:34 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 18:20
17:23 Exmouth to Paignton due 18:49
17:27 London Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare due 19:57
17:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 19:15
17:33 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 19:45
17:34 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 19:10
17:50 Paignton to Exmouth due 19:18
18:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 19:56
18:22 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 20:45
18:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 20:15
18:34 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 20:10
18:38 Hereford to London Paddington due 22:07
18:54 Paignton to Exmouth due 20:24
18:56 Taunton to London Paddington due 21:53
19:00 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 20:51
19:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 21:25
19:32 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 21:45
19:34 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 21:10
19:53 Paignton to Exmouth due 21:25
20:09 Weymouth to Bristol Temple Meads due 22:37
20:22 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 22:35
20:26 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington due 23:03
20:28 Exmouth to Paignton due 21:49
20:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 22:10
20:34 Bristol Parkway to London Paddington due 22:13
20:53 Bristol Temple Meads to Clifton Down due 21:06
21:23 Clifton Down to Bristol Temple Meads due 21:38
21:30 London Paddington to Bristol Parkway due 23:10
21:30 Exmouth to Paignton due 22:56
21:53 Paignton to Exmouth due 23:20
22:00 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 23:57
22:05 Bristol Parkway to Bristol Temple Meads due 22:21
23:00 Paignton to Exeter St Davids due 23:52
23:03 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 01:06
23:10 Bristol Temple Meads to Weston-Super-Mare due 23:43
23:29 Exmouth to Exeter St Davids due 00:04
23:47 Weston-Super-Mare to Bristol Temple Meads due 00:20


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: GBM on June 16, 2019, 11:27:25 am
A very interesting comment, surely?
On journeycheck
https://www.journeycheck.com/greatwesternrailway/
11:00 Penzance to London Paddington due 16:21
11:00 Penzance to London Paddington due 16:21 will be started from Plymouth.
It will no longer call at Penzance, St Erth, Camborne, Redruth, Truro, St Austell, Par, Bodmin Parkway and Liskeard.
This is due to a shortage of trains because of extra safety inspections.
Further Information

If you hold a valid single, return, or weekly ticket, you will be able to claim compensation for delays of 15 minutes or more. Please keep your ticket and visit GWR.com/DelayRepay
Last Updated:16/06/2019 05:10


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on June 16, 2019, 12:50:54 pm
Is "extra safety inspections" of trains, the new term for "we don't have enough trains in working order" perhaps it is considered to sound better than the old "more trains than usual needing repairs"

Some years ago "safety inspection of the track" started to replace the old "track defect"

The logical next step would be "safety checks of the signalling system" instead of "signalling fault"


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Wizard on June 16, 2019, 02:59:07 pm
If I was to hazard a guess, the ‘safety inspections’ referred to would have been of the overhead line equipment yesterday evening on the B&H line, which could well have caused a train that should have ended at Penzance last night to have actually finished at Plymouth.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Timmer on June 17, 2019, 09:16:21 am
A good post from member ‘jimm’ this morning over on RailForums as to the possible reason for the cancellations yesterday:

Quote
It might have had something to do with the closure of the line between Newport, Cardiff and Bridgend yesterday, with Swansea crews perhaps not rushing to volunteer to work a Sunday and then spend large parts of their day riding in taxis along the M4 in South Wales.

By the look of it not enough staff at Bristol and Paddington then volunteered to cover what was still running to Newport, plus the Bristol/Weston and Cheltenham services.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: Clan Line on June 17, 2019, 09:15:42 pm
Too many drivers -   I don't believe that !

(http://i65.tinypic.com/2ly09ah.jpg)


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: nickswift99 on June 18, 2019, 07:31:33 pm
Some peak services caped this evening from Paddington due to shortage of drivers.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 18, 2019, 08:38:22 pm
Some peak services caped this evening from Paddington due to shortage of drivers.

Yeah I noticed that. I expect they're at Royal Ascot 😉


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightonedee on June 18, 2019, 10:44:35 pm
I was caught up in this today.

I arrived at Reading at about 18-55 hoping to get the 18-57 Electrostar stopper from Didcot. Real Train Times (in the absence of Journey Check which had gone AWOL) showed it on its way from Twyford, but it was shown as "Cancelled" when I arrived - the stock was on Platform 13, empty. Enquiries of the train crew about to take it to the depot confirmed that they did not have a driver available, and I was told that "management" had been aware of this problem for weeks.

The next train was the 19-20 - a stopping train starting at Reading, a Turbo service, all stops to Didcot, then Culham and Oxford. Until May, this was a 2 car service, often from Platform 3. However it is now a 6 car, but 3 locked out of service, train. Why? Because it calls at Culham, which cannot take a train this long, so the second half of the train is an empty stock working on the back of a service train (why not announce that travelers to Culham should travel in the front of the train, like they used to?).

Today there was a 3 car train at 12, ready to be the "empty" portion. The incoming train to form the other half arrived - today, with all the passengers from the cancelled 18-57 waiting, it was just a 2 car Turbo, and one of those gutted of many of its seats at one cab end for the cycle/luggage rack, and also in the main saloon for the second rack. As they buffered up, the rear train was locked out of use as usual.

I counted 202 passengers who had to crowd into the front 2 coaches (I think 170 seats max), while behind then there were over 250 empty seats locked out of use trundling along behind us in the 3 car 165 we could not use....

You couldn't make it up  - do they not like passengers?


 


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on June 18, 2019, 11:27:23 pm
Appreciating the frustration entirely, but this is the sort of thing that used to happen regularly. Nowadays with very few trains booked to call at Appleford or Culham of anything more than 3-cars without SDO it is, at least, a very rare occurrence these days.

Time to empty out and lock the rear set out of use (around 5 minutes) would need to be built into the schedule at either Reading or Didcot for the whole train to be in use. 

You could certainly argue that was worthwhile doing, or accepting that the combination of events this evening (previous train cancelled and this one a 2-car at the front) is worth incurring a delay at either Reading or Didcot for.


Title: Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on June 19, 2019, 09:39:10 am
Too many drivers -   I don't believe that !

(http://i65.tinypic.com/2ly09ah.jpg)