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Journey by Journey => South Western services => Topic started by: JayMac on August 19, 2022, 12:19:59 pm



Title: Operational rather than passenger convenience EXD-WAT 19/08/2022
Post by: JayMac on August 19, 2022, 12:19:59 pm
The 0823 and 0925 from Exeter today, 19th August 2022 were terminating at Salisbury rather than running through to Waterloo. That's okay following a strike day when stock and staff issues means such a change to normal running is the best option.

What's not okay is failing to hold the connection at Salisbury for both these trains for just a few minutes after both incurred delays up from EXD. The 0823 arrived in Salisbury at 1023 instead of 1016. The connection went at 1021. The 0925 arrived at 1124. The connection went at 1121.

If you are splitting the services for operational reasons then connections should be held for very minor delays. By not doing so you are further inconveniencing and delaying passengers who have already been inconvenienced by not having a through train.

In both these cases this morning, passengers for Waterloo have had to make ANOTHER change at Basingstoke (incidentally, on services that used to run through to Waterloo) or wait nearly an hour for the next train from Salisbury to Waterloo.

I fully understand the reasons for not routinely holding connections. But when an operator has decided to make late changes to through services by splitting them, every effort should be made to maintain connections. Particularly when the incoming delays were so minor.

Not good enough SWR. You're supposed to run a railway for the benefit of passengers, not operational convenience. :-[


Title: Re: Operational rather than passenger convenience EXD-WAT 19/08/2022
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 19, 2022, 12:26:04 pm
Agree 100% provided that platform availability wasn’t an issue and the connection wasn’t already full.


Title: Re: Operational rather than passenger convenience EXD-WAT 19/08/2022
Post by: JayMac on August 19, 2022, 12:44:26 pm
Agree 100% provided that platform availability wasn’t an issue and the connection wasn’t already full.

Services unlikely to be full starting at Salisbury.

I heard rumour of platform availability issues. But all the through platforms at Salisbury can take 12 cars (2x 6car 159s). A little foresight, even without the minor delays, could have seen the incoming services 'called on' to the connecting trains.


Title: Re: Operational rather than passenger convenience EXD-WAT 19/08/2022
Post by: froome on August 19, 2022, 01:27:51 pm
I can't imagine platform availability is ever likely to be an issue at Salisbury.

However, I suspect 'platform availability' might be an excuse when the actual reason is 'staff availability', or short staffing. What I have noticed happening more often these days (at many major stations) is services being moved to another platform which already has services stopping at it shortly before or afterwards, away from platforms which are otherwise little used. This does give rise to confusion for passengers (I've seen plenty of examples at Temple Meads when another service is moved across to a platform which already has a service due, and many passengers either get on the wrong train or are just confused about which is which, especially when the screens suddenly change to show a different train due in first). I can only assume this is due to 'staff unavailability'.


Title: Re: Operational rather than passenger convenience EXD-WAT 19/08/2022
Post by: grahame on August 19, 2022, 03:51:47 pm
I can't imagine platform availability is ever likely to be an issue at Salisbury.

Maybe not - except that two of the platforms (1 and 5) are not available for passenger services, and clearances on platform 3 have (quite recently, but not sure it's a current restriction) meant that certain types can't use it!


Title: Re: Operational rather than passenger convenience EXD-WAT 19/08/2022
Post by: JayMac on August 19, 2022, 04:41:37 pm
I took my leisure day trip today using Delay Repay compo from a previous journey. That was a 50% refund.

Today's journey has netted 100%.

RTP far better than gambling!

I would rather have timetabled, advertised and on time trains though.


Title: Re: Operational rather than passenger convenience EXD-WAT 19/08/2022
Post by: froome on August 19, 2022, 05:07:37 pm
I can't imagine platform availability is ever likely to be an issue at Salisbury.

Maybe not - except that two of the platforms (1 and 5) are not available for passenger services, and clearances on platform 3 have (quite recently, but not sure it's a current restriction) meant that certain types can't use it!

Why are platforms 1 and 5 not available? I can't picture in my mind which they are (one or both may be dead ends, which might then might make sense, as I don't think there are any terminating services there?).


Title: Re: Operational rather than passenger convenience EXD-WAT 19/08/2022
Post by: JayMac on August 19, 2022, 06:38:04 pm
P1 is on the north side of the station, from where you could once exit onto Windsor Rd/Fisherton St through/by the former GWR station buildings built by IKB. Said buildings still in place and listed.

P5 is the west facing bay on the south side of the station.


Title: Re: Operational rather than passenger convenience EXD-WAT 19/08/2022
Post by: grahame on August 20, 2022, 05:00:12 am
Why are platforms 1 and 5 not available? I can't picture in my mind which they are (one or both may be dead ends, which might then might make sense, as I don't think there are any terminating services there?).

P1 is on the north side of the station, from where you could once exit onto Windsor Rd/Fisherton St through/by the former GWR station buildings built by IKB. Said buildings still in place and listed.

P5 is the west facing bay on the south side of the station.

To take the answer further ... I understand that the signalling systems on these platforms are not up to the level of specification  required for their use in passenger service.


Title: Re: Operational rather than passenger convenience EXD-WAT 19/08/2022
Post by: broadgage on August 21, 2022, 01:33:00 am
In my view, cases like this should be treated far more seriously.
At present, the performance of TOCs is assessed by the total number of delay minutes among many other factors.

In my view delays that are directly the fault of the operator should be treated as far more serious than those from say trespassers.

Unless there was some exceptional circumstance of which I am unaware, then those passengers obliged to wait nearly an hour for the next train were delayed SIMPLY by the deliberate actions of the TOC. No one else is to blame.
Who made the decision ?
Will they face criticism ?
Or is this just how we run railways in the UK.


Title: Re: Operational rather than passenger convenience EXD-WAT 19/08/2022
Post by: grahame on August 21, 2022, 07:44:06 am
Unless there was some exceptional circumstance of which I am unaware, then those passengers obliged to wait nearly an hour for the next train were delayed SIMPLY by the deliberate actions of the TOC. No one else is to blame.
Who made the decision ?
Will they face criticism ?
Or is this just how we run railways in the UK.

No - they actually had a wait of only 24 minutes at Salisbury, then a slower train to Basingstoke and 5 minute connection there that did work (that was an extra change) with a London arrival (the example I have tracked) at 12:20 against an original schedule of 11:49.

The decision to do this sort of thing is a policy one and criticism and examination needs to be of the system.  It was a 2 minute miss (ouch!) but would have been more like a five to ten minute delay by the time passengers were transferred and, yes, it is just how we run our railways on a day by day basis.  We run them with what could be viewed as a bias of policy towards the fit working men and women who are in managerial positions,  typically travelling without children or awkward luggage, well informed and mentally agile enough to take changes literally in their stride and for them, half an hour late rather than 10 minutes late would have been no great shakes.


Title: Re: Operational rather than passenger convenience EXD-WAT 19/08/2022
Post by: broadgage on August 21, 2022, 09:22:32 am
Still very poor though, and is the sort of thing that reinforces the view held by some that decisions are made against the interests of paying customers simply "because they can"


Title: Re: Operational rather than passenger convenience EXD-WAT 19/08/2022
Post by: JayMac on August 21, 2022, 02:13:43 pm
No - they actually had a wait of only 24 minutes at Salisbury, then a slower train to Basingstoke and 5 minute connection there that did work (that was an extra change) with a London arrival (the example I have tracked) at 12:20 against an original schedule of 11:49.

The decision to do this sort of thing is a policy one and criticism and examination needs to be of the system.  It was a 2 minute miss (ouch!) but would have been more like a five to ten minute delay by the time passengers were transferred and, yes, it is just how we run our railways on a day by day basis.  We run them with what could be viewed as a bias of policy towards the fit working men and women who are in managerial positions,  typically travelling without children or awkward luggage, well informed and mentally agile enough to take changes literally in their stride and for them, half an hour late rather than 10 minutes late would have been no great shakes.

Which just reinforces the points I made in the OP. SWR could have had a bunch of passengers up to 10 minutes late at Waterloo, provided they could path what would have been slightly delayed connecting trains. Had the incoming services been on time the connection would have been 5 minutes. Cross platform that should be plenty of time. So there's no reason to presume the connecting trains couldnt have got away just 7-8 minutes late. It seems though that they preferred to run the connecting train on time for the convenience of pathing and not incurring any performance penalty at the destination. I guess that's the cheaper option than inconveniencing dozens of passengers with an additional connection and a 30+ minute delay. Many of whom won't bother to claim their Delay Repay entitlement.

You can bet though that many will have spoken with friends and family about the woeful service. Reinforcing views that taking the train is a crap idea. Thinking twice about going by train next time.

On a wider note. Of the last ten journeys I've made from and to Templecombe (five returns) all legs have been eligible for Delay Repay. Six of those journeys had connections with operators other than SWR. Only one of which was responsible for a delay. So whilst I'm not happy with the delays, I am happy that I'm getting to travel around so cheaply, courtesy of SWRs woeful service between Salisbury and Exeter.

I shall be attending the upcoming SERUG meeting and giving Claire Mann a piece of my mind!



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