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Journey by Journey => Cross Country services => Topic started by: Umberleigh on November 10, 2019, 07:55:54 pm



Title: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: Umberleigh on November 10, 2019, 07:55:54 pm
The XC rolling stock is looking decidedly tatty, especially when set against the IETs and Castles. Are they ever going to spruce up the exterior of the units? You can still see where the Virgin crest used to sit on the front of the end units - how many years ago was that?

They may be claustrophobic, cramped, usually overcrowded and smell of sewage, but at least paint them please XC!


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: CyclingSid on November 11, 2019, 07:20:15 am
Or maybe the Army saying "you can't polish a t**d" applies.


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: Celestial on November 11, 2019, 10:00:22 am
The XC rolling stock is looking decidedly tatty, especially when set against the IETs and Castles. Are they ever going to spruce up the exterior of the units? You can still see where the Virgin crest used to sit on the front of the end units - how many years ago was that?

They may be claustrophobic, cramped, usually overcrowded and smell of sewage, but at least paint them please XC!

I don't care what they look like outside, I'd much rather that the inside is seen to. They were unpleasant and smelly when new, and nearly 20 years on with nothing done to them other than stripping out the buffet, they are even more unattractive as a place in which to spend more than half an hour. 


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: johnneyw on November 11, 2019, 01:32:27 pm
The XC rolling stock is looking decidedly tatty, especially when set against the IETs and Castles. Are they ever going to spruce up the exterior of the units? You can still see where the Virgin crest used to sit on the front of the end units - how many years ago was that?

On the subject of exteriors, it's now four years since the GWR re branding and I still regularly see rolling stock in the old livery which, to me, gives the whole project a rather inconsistent, half hearted and messy feel.


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: ellendune on November 11, 2019, 07:21:24 pm
On the subject of exteriors, it's now four years since the GWR re branding and I still regularly see rolling stock in the old livery which, to me, gives the whole project a rather inconsistent, half hearted and messy feel.

Would you like them to take more rolling stock out of service to fix that now (and cancel or short form more services) or wait until they have all the trains they have ordered?


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: johnneyw on November 11, 2019, 07:41:10 pm
On the subject of exteriors, it's now four years since the GWR re branding and I still regularly see rolling stock in the old livery which, to me, gives the whole project a rather inconsistent, half hearted and messy feel.

Would you like them to take more rolling stock out of service to fix that now (and cancel or short form more services) or wait until they have all the trains they have ordered?

Certainly not but it has been 4 years now. Rebrands are expensive things and having something of an image mish-mash for so long can perhaps frustrate the public awareness benefits that the rebrand strives to achieve.


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: plymothian on November 11, 2019, 07:54:16 pm
Operation Princess never had an end date.


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: ellendune on November 11, 2019, 09:56:36 pm
On the subject of exteriors, it's now four years since the GWR re branding and I still regularly see rolling stock in the old livery which, to me, gives the whole project a rather inconsistent, half hearted and messy feel.

Would you like them to take more rolling stock out of service to fix that now (and cancel or short form more services) or wait until they have all the trains they have ordered?

Certainly not but it has been 4 years now. Rebrands are expensive things and having something of an image mish-mash for so long can perhaps frustrate the public awareness benefits that the rebrand strives to achieve.

Ok for how much of that period has GWR had a shortage of rolling stock?


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: johnneyw on November 12, 2019, 12:51:12 am
On the subject of exteriors, it's now four years since the GWR re branding and I still regularly see rolling stock in the old livery which, to me, gives the whole project a rather inconsistent, half hearted and messy feel.

Would you like them to take more rolling stock out of service to fix that now (and cancel or short form more services) or wait until they have all the trains they have ordered?

Certainly not but it has been 4 years now. Rebrands are expensive things and having something of an image mish-mash for so long can perhaps frustrate the public awareness benefits that the rebrand strives to achieve.

Ok for how much of that period has GWR had a shortage of rolling stock?

I get your point but I think my emphasis was elsewhere.

It was my own feeling was that some of the positive re branding impact has been lost on me after seeing the old branding still much in evidence after the best part of half a decade..... and with that, I might not be the only person to be given that impression.

More in general, there may be counterproductive effects of still having the old image exposed to the public so long after a much publicized re branding.

Now, how GWR do it is their business but that is the effect the time taken has had on me.

(I perhaps should come clean at this stage that I never was a fan of the old livery anyway!)


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: CyclingSid on November 12, 2019, 07:04:32 am
Similar "problem" with SWR. To a large degree I don't care what the outside looks like, as long as there aren't important bits falling off. I'd far prefer the money to be spent on keeping them running, and then clean inside.


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: The Tall Controller on November 12, 2019, 09:30:14 am
In order to keep rebranding costs to a mimimum, I belive rebranding trains into GWR livery was only done to trains that met either of the two criteria:

- They were due to stay beyond 2020 and required modification to fall in line with disability regulations
- They were due a repaint as part of their maintenance cycle

I believe the only ones left in FGW colours are old HSTs which are due to go off-lease post 2019 and the odd Turbo/150 which had already been modified and had a fresh lick of FGW paint just before GWR started. They'll be GWRised once their repaint cycle comes up again.


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: Surrey 455 on November 12, 2019, 01:49:40 pm
Similar "problem" with SWR. To a large degree I don't care what the outside looks like, as long as there aren't important bits falling off. I'd far prefer the money to be spent on keeping them running, and then clean inside.

With SWR, I understand that their red trains are all due to be replaced within the next few years so I can understand why the livery has not changed inside or out but that does not explain why none of the blue trains to my knowledge have yet to be re-branded and the slow re-branding of the white trains.


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: paul7755 on November 12, 2019, 03:49:16 pm
Similar "problem" with SWR. To a large degree I don't care what the outside looks like, as long as there aren't important bits falling off. I'd far prefer the money to be spent on keeping them running, and then clean inside.

With SWR, I understand that their red trains are all due to be replaced within the next few years so I can understand why the livery has not changed inside or out but that does not explain why none of the blue trains to my knowledge have yet to be re-branded and the slow re-branding of the white trains.
IIRC a decision was made to do the Desiro interiors first, and then start on their exteriors afterwards, AIUI to limit the total number of units out of service at a time.  Then the lack of the 442s has also screwed up the numbers being given interior mods.  The 444 interiors have only just about finished, (maybe the last is in progress), so that will probably be why their exterior work has just recently started.   Lastly, a proper paint job is planned which needs availability of a dedicated paint facility, (Bournemouth where the 442s were being done), as opposed to applying vinyls.

Of course the 36 “blue” 458/5s are also being replaced, so wouldn’t be expected to be repainted.

Paul


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: hoover50 on November 12, 2019, 05:37:49 pm
I don't care what they look like outside, I'd much rather that the inside is seen to. They were unpleasant and smelly when new, and nearly 20 years on with nothing done to them other than stripping out the buffet, they are even more unattractive as a place in which to spend more than half an hour. 

Better still, scrap the lot of them and replace them all with refurbished HST's.


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 12, 2019, 06:02:16 pm
In order to keep rebranding costs to a mimimum, I belive rebranding trains into GWR livery was only done to trains that met either of the two criteria:

- They were due to stay beyond 2020 and required modification to fall in line with disability regulations
- They were due a repaint as part of their maintenance cycle

I believe the only ones left in FGW colours are old HSTs which are due to go off-lease post 2019 and the odd Turbo/150 which had already been modified and had a fresh lick of FGW paint just before GWR started. They'll be GWRised once their repaint cycle comes up again.

I think that was the sensible decision, though I’m surprised they haven’t got GWR stickers to cover over the old company name and website for some of those that haven’t yet gone green.


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: southwest on June 04, 2020, 06:18:10 pm
I emailed CrossCountry about this a while ago and got a shirty response back saying they would only do what the franchise agreement requires.  The voyagers are so poor, dirty, smell, noisy and rattling constantly.


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: Celestial on June 04, 2020, 06:38:38 pm
I emailed CrossCountry about this a while ago and got a shirty response back saying they would only do what the franchise agreement requires.  The voyagers are so poor, dirty, smell, noisy and rattling constantly.
They are on a very short direct award, which finishes later this year, so unless the DfT pays for it, they aren't going to do anything.  Indeed, with the franchise now being on emergency arrangements until it ends, XC doesn't even have any say so, as far as I understand it, to do any such work.


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: southwest on June 05, 2020, 12:41:22 am
I emailed CrossCountry about this a while ago and got a shirty response back saying they would only do what the franchise agreement requires.  The voyagers are so poor, dirty, smell, noisy and rattling constantly.
They are on a very short direct award, which finishes later this year, so unless the DfT pays for it, they aren't going to do anything.  Indeed, with the franchise now being on emergency arrangements until it ends, XC doesn't even have any say so, as far as I understand it, to do any such work.

I sent the email back in 2014  :D Hence why I said a while ago. ;)


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: grahame on June 05, 2020, 05:00:38 am
I emailed CrossCountry about this a while ago and got a shirty response back saying they would only do what the franchise agreement requires.  The voyagers are so poor, dirty, smell, noisy and rattling constantly.
They are on a very short direct award, which finishes later this year, so unless the DfT pays for it, they aren't going to do anything.  Indeed, with the franchise now being on emergency arrangements until it ends, XC doesn't even have any say so, as far as I understand it, to do any such work.

I sent the email back in 2014  :D Hence why I said a while ago. ;)

Hey - you used current tense saying the voyagers are ... suggesting your correspondence was much more of a current issue than it's turned out to be, and on a recent (less than 6 month old) thread.

It's all too easy to be accidentally misleading in posting, but if it happens, please take the clarification in good grace rather than snapping back at people ... thanks!


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: infoman on June 05, 2020, 06:30:29 am
This is my two peneth.

Would prefer the interiors to get some attention than something(the train) that goes past in a flash saying I am the new TOC.

We sit in the train for much longer and can see (and smell)all the negative things about the interiors.


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: paul7755 on June 05, 2020, 12:51:59 pm
IMHO the Voyager interior looked old the day the trains entered service.  Looked a generally dated ambience, table tops are very old-fashioned looking, and the ceiling panels seem a dirty shade of beige, likened to tobacco staining... 

Paul


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: Celestial on June 05, 2020, 12:58:17 pm
IMHO the Voyager interior looked old the day the trains entered service.  Looked a generally dated ambience, table tops are very old-fashioned looking, and the ceiling panels seem a dirty shade of beige, likened to tobacco staining... 

Paul
Agree completely, especially the tobacco staining likeness. I doubt younger members will remember the joys of the top deck of a bus where the ceiling appeared lined with nicotine.


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: southwest on June 05, 2020, 07:24:27 pm

Hey - you used current tense saying the voyagers are ... suggesting your correspondence was much more of a current issue than it's turned out to be, and on a recent (less than 6 month old) thread.

It's all too easy to be accidentally misleading in posting, but if it happens, please take the clarification in good grace rather than snapping back at people ... thanks!

Grahame I did not 'snap back' at anyone so please do not accuse me of something i didn't do, if it looked or sounded like that I apologise.  However, I find it interested following our email discussion recently that the item I raised with you was brushed off, yet something harmless leads me to get a telling off, double standards?  Let's say no more. :D :D


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: grahame on June 05, 2020, 08:42:08 pm
Grahame I did not 'snap back' at anyone so please do not accuse me of something i didn't do, if it looked or sounded like that I apologise.  However, I find it interested following our email discussion recently that the item I raised with you was brushed off, yet something harmless leads me to get a telling off, double standards?  Let's say no more. :D :D

You came across to me as snapping, I'm afraid - and it wasn't the first time either, which is why I mentioned it somewhat more directly this time.  I note that a number of members liked my comment,  I'm sure we're all relieved you didn't intent it to look the way it did - thank you.

The moderator team took a look your 'notify' complaint the other day about a post from another member, and I wrote you a considered response.  That system works by email, allowing a quick response to issues by whoever's around on the team.  I'm afraid we couldn't agree with your complaint, and I wrote to explain why (and not sidestep) in some detail, taking some time going into our reasoning.  I had wondered if my reply had actually reached you but clearly, as you have now referred to it, it did. With the question answered, we've all moved on.

Back to topic, Cross Country has always been a franchise that has neither any London services, nor been the dominant operator in any region, and as such has been one of the least cherised or community supported. As it, uniquely, does not operate a single station, it has zero local base.


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: MVR S&T on June 05, 2020, 09:25:33 pm
Cross country has in my opinion, has huge potential, with a 800 type bi mode train, say 7 coaches, running pretty much the present network, with perhaps some better service to the south east, say Brighton and possibly Margate. Could clean up quite nicly, operation princess take 2.
I live near Brockenhurst, that XC serve, and while I am not keen on the voyagers, allway seemed to be packed north of Winchester, and it only takes one bad journey to put average public off. I have plenty of places on the route I do wish to visit between Reading and Wolverhampton, but not on a hot packed 4 coach voyager, even if I was seated.
If it was say a MK 3 set ex LNER with a Class 88 on one end now I might reconsider, even with an old sock over my face.


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: Celestial on June 06, 2020, 10:22:55 am
A long journey on a cramped Voyager is an endurance, particularly if they are overcrowded, as is too often the case.  I am sure that more people would be attracted to the type of journey that would present a modal shift from air if the passenger environment was more conducive to a journey of several hours. Fares would have to be cheaper too, but that second point is probably a digression.



Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: southwest on September 16, 2020, 09:36:26 pm
A long journey on a cramped Voyager is an endurance, particularly if they are overcrowded, as is too often the case.  I am sure that more people would be attracted to the type of journey that would present a modal shift from air if the passenger environment was more conducive to a journey of several hours. Fares would have to be cheaper too, but that second point is probably a digression.



You would need more than passenger comfort to improve things, as you say cheaper fares is one way but most people who use XC are either commuters or business workers, the later don't want to spent hour on a train from Plymouth to Newcastle when they can drive to Exeter, fly to Newcastle and be back before the kids go to bed. XC is never going to match what most people want which is speed which is probably why it has been struggling to make any decent profit in years.


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: Celestial on September 16, 2020, 11:00:09 pm
A long journey on a cramped Voyager is an endurance, particularly if they are overcrowded, as is too often the case.  I am sure that more people would be attracted to the type of journey that would present a modal shift from air if the passenger environment was more conducive to a journey of several hours. Fares would have to be cheaper too, but that second point is probably a digression.



You would need more than passenger comfort to improve things, as you say cheaper fares is one way but most people who use XC are either commuters or business workers, the later don't want to spent hour on a train from Plymouth to Newcastle when they can drive to Exeter, fly to Newcastle and be back before the kids go to bed. XC is never going to match what most people want which is speed which is probably why it has been struggling to make any decent profit in years.
I agree re business passengers in terms of journeys taking more than 4 hours.

However, I notice a tendency to resurrect old threads, such as this one, where nothing has been posted for a few months, and I'm not sure of the merits of reopening a discussion on threads which appeared to have drawn to a natural conclusion, unless of course there has been some new information that would trigger it.   


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: broadgage on September 16, 2020, 11:43:57 pm
I prefer the revival of old threads to the starting of a new thread on the same or a very similar subject.
Keeps the discussion in one place.

If I have something to say, I search for an existing thread to which my comments could be added, rather than start a new one.

A good example being my recent comment on surfboards not being allowed on IETS. In the news recently, and worth adding to an existing thread IMO, but not worth starting a new thread.


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: Richard Fairhurst on September 17, 2020, 12:19:00 am
You would need more than passenger comfort to improve things, as you say cheaper fares is one way but most people who use XC are either commuters or business workers
Historically CrossCountry was the franchise with the greatest proportion of leisure travel. I don't know if this is still the case but I could believe it.


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: grahame on September 17, 2020, 07:05:43 am
... a tendency to resurrect old threads, such as this one, where nothing has been posted for a few months, and I'm not sure of the merits of reopening a discussion on threads which appeared to have drawn to a natural conclusion, unless of course there has been some new information that would trigger it.   

Our forum alerts posters if they're about to re-open a thread that has no recent activity - set at 120 days; this thread we're in had been unaltered for rather less than that - 100 days.  We have never altered this definition of and perhaps we should review / reduce it to help members be alerted rather earlier?   Off the Voyager topic - discussion at http://www.passenger.chat/24023


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: Robin Summerhill on September 17, 2020, 10:27:48 am
You would need more than passenger comfort to improve things, as you say cheaper fares is one way but most people who use XC are either commuters or business workers
Historically CrossCountry was the franchise with the greatest proportion of leisure travel. I don't know if this is still the case but I could believe it.

Quite. IMHO your quoted poster didn't really think it through before typing.

XC does what it says on the tin. It operates cross-country providing a service to numerus provincial towns and cities which will generate leisure travel for shopping, exploraion or events. Taunton to Bristo or Exeter; Cheltenham Tamwioth and Burton to Brum; Derby to Sheffield; Darlington to York - the list is pretty long.

I was on one a couple of years ago that suddnly became full and standing beyond Chesterfield with large numbers of people dressed in mildly unusual clothing - it turned out they were all off to York races.


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: eightonedee on September 17, 2020, 09:27:37 pm
Quote
You would need more than passenger comfort to improve things, as you say cheaper fares is one way but most people who use XC are either commuters or business workers, the later don't want to spent hour on a train from Plymouth to Newcastle when they can drive to Exeter, fly to Newcastle and be back before the kids go to bed. XC is never going to match what most people want which is speed which is probably why it has been struggling to make any decent profit in years.

and

Quote
Quote from: Richard Fairhurst on Today at 12:19:00 am
Quote from: southwest on Yesterday at 09:36:26 pm
You would need more than passenger comfort to improve things, as you say cheaper fares is one way but most people who use XC are either commuters or business workers
Historically CrossCountry was the franchise with the greatest proportion of leisure travel. I don't know if this is still the case but I could believe it.

Quite. IMHO your quoted poster didn't really think it through before typing.

XC does what it says on the tin. It operates cross-country providing a service to numerus provincial towns and cities which will generate leisure travel for shopping, exploraion or events. Taunton to Bristo or Exeter; Cheltenham Tamwioth and Burton to Brum; Derby to Sheffield; Darlington to York - the list is pretty long.

I was on one a couple of years ago that suddnly became full and standing beyond Chesterfield with large numbers of people dressed in mildly unusual clothing - it turned out they were all off to York races.

I feel that I am becoming the forum's defender of XC and Voyagers!

This franchise provides a number of useful ways of filling gaps that the other franchise holders do not cover, and supplement their services.

From my experience on the south east "leg" of their network, quite a few business travellers use it to get to Birmingham in particular from the Thames Valley and Solent regions, and I find it useful to get to Manchester - more pleasant than going via London, not too long a journey, and probably by the time you get to an airport (by whatever means!) check in then battle into the city centre, quicker than by air from Reading or Oxford, as well as giving you that smug feeling of being less environmentally damaging. However there seems to be quite a few people unaware that the service exists. Southampton, Reading, Birmingham and Manchester are all substantial centres for the provision of professional services, and there will be a reasonable amount of transactions being dealt with between firms based in them. If we get back to the days of meeting to negotiate, discuss and agree in person, there's a market for business travel directly between them. In my last firm, a senior colleague in our Manchester office was unaware that there were regular direct trains between his home station in Macclesfield and Reading until we both had to attend a meeting there together, and I suggested meeting him at the station.

Yes - there is still a substantial volume of leisure business - the contemporary equivalent of granny from the north taking her seaside holiday in Bournemouth using the Pines Express. I have used it myself- to get to North Yorkshire to see my wife's family, and on the way back from Inverness five years ago, when we decided to change at Newcastle rather than have to cross London in the rush hour. This also gave my an opportunity to have a back to back comparison of comfort between East Coast HSTs and Voyagers - the latter winning hands down as the seats fitted on the last refit of the East Coast HSTs were much inferior to those on GWR. There's also better informed travellers who use XC to get to Gatwick from the Midlands and the North - two of those wheeling airline luggage off the Redhill train referred to in my recent post headed off to the XC on platform 7. 

Then there are commuters who use the services which are thread between the services of the regional operators whose territories they run through. If (for example) you travel between Reading and Oxford or Reading and Basingstoke it adds capacity and to your choice of trains. I for one perfectly understand why commuters between Birmingham and places like Leamington use available XC services, even if they have to stand, rather than wait for the next stopping train. I think it's somewhat mean minded for those travelling longer distance who usually have booked seats to resent their presence for a modest part only of their journey. From comments on this forum there appears to be more of a problem with crowding on the south west leg of their network - is it because their trains are proportionally more of the fast/semi-fast trains, compared with those coming up from the south east?

So - it is a very useful part of the nation's railway provision - long may it continue, and perhaps if it was better known (and more capacity when Midland Main Line is ready to cascade their Meridians) it might even prosper! 


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: Rhydgaled on September 25, 2020, 02:34:34 pm
Cross country has in my opinion, has huge potential, with a 800 type bi mode train, say 7 coaches, running pretty much the present network, with perhaps some better service to the south east, say Brighton and possibly Margate.
I think even the Voyagers could have potential, the only black against them that is drawn in permanent marker being that they drink alot of diesel. The other major shortcoming is that they are too short, which could potentially be solved in the next few years if XC receive the class 222s from the East Midlands and class 221s from InterCity West Coast by either doubling up sets or storing/scraping some driving cars to allow the intermediate vehicles to lengthen other sets. If they were longer you could then afford to take out a few seats to improve legroom, add more tables and align all seats with the windows. Some 5-car sets (with 1st class reduced or removed) could take over Cardiff-Nottingham services, and by 2035 electrification to Aberdeen and Inverness should allow LNER to release some class 800s to XC. Similarly wires from London to Oxford, Bristol, Sheffield and Nottingham, if and when they happen, should release some bi-mode units. If XC were to get all of these it would go some way to replacing the Voyagers, which will be life-expired by then.

I'm not keen on expanding the use of diesel by introducing Brighton/Margate services, but would a Long-Distance High-Speed (LDHS) train tri-mode be feesible? If not, I would wait until the missing sections (the North Downs Line, Didcot to Birmingham and Crewe to Holyhead) have been electrified and then introduce a Holyhead to Brighton or Dover service using dual-voltage trains (3rd rail plus overhead).


Title: Re: Tatty XC Vomiters
Post by: Celestial on September 27, 2020, 11:30:31 pm
The other major shortcoming is that they are too short, which could potentially be solved in the next few years if XC receive the class 222s from the East Midlands and class 221s from InterCity West Coast by either doubling up sets or storing/scraping some driving cars to allow the intermediate vehicles to lengthen other sets. If they were longer you could then afford to take out a few seats to improve legroom, add more tables and align all seats with the windows.
I've had exactly the same thought myself.  Four coach sets are horribly inefficient for seating, and so must cost a lot per seat mile to run.

By scrapping the driving vehicles of half of the 34 Class 220 and 2 x 4 Car Class 221s you could make 19x6 car sets.  With the 20 AWC sets added, you could then switch the diagrams around so just about all the existing 5 car diagrams are 6 car, and the 4 car become 5 car. A reasonable result in terms of capacity, and I would have thought the lessor would probably be reasonably happy if it guarantees work for the majority of the cars in the fleet, when there must be a risk that they could all get replaced by IET's if Hitachi strike a competitive deal to keep the factory going.  (I doubt the Class 220s would find a replacement home due to the cost and inefficient seating capacity.)



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