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June 22, 2018, 11:45:35 pm *
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1  All across the Great Western territory / Your rights and redress / Re: Costs of congestion on: June 15, 2018, 06:00:55 pm
Interesting thoughts. Quite hard to measure but for instance would you charge a different rate for delays going to work or coming home. As aside why is one always delayed when you want to get home early?

Would you factor in those people who allegedly lost their jobs because of the Southern fiasco?

What about leisure travel would you have a different rate to business travel?.

Then there's the internal cost of delay attribution which is alleged-to require a large number of people to manage this might add more.

Although the delay minutes are known for every train you would have to guestimate the number of people on each delayed train to get the total cast.

But I'm sur it could be done.
 


I think it could actually be much simpler than that, as all that is needed is a very rough figure. It should be much simpler than the congestion on the roads, as you know roughly who is using the trains from the tickets bought, especially those on season tickets, whereas it is impossible to know who is using the roads at any one time and how they are faring. It always intrigues me how a figure for the costs of congestion on the roads is arrived at.
2  All across the Great Western territory / Your rights and redress / Re: Costs of congestion on: June 15, 2018, 05:57:13 pm
I'd also add the emotional impact of delays. I see it on a regular basis in my office when people turn up late after delays. Many are angry and frustrated others are upset. It's not only the missed meetings or shift start but I've found a bad journey stays with me for some of the day and probably makes me less productive or certainly less diplomatic.

Yes definitely. There was a piece on the radio a few minutes ago about a woman who had a breakdown after it was announced on the train she was sat on that it wouldn't be stopping at her station because of delays, and she had to sit on it watching her station pass by. It was the last straw, and she went to her doctor with stress and was laid up.
3  All across the Great Western territory / Your rights and redress / Costs of congestion on: June 11, 2018, 10:21:01 pm
A lot is talked about the costs to the economy associated with congestion on the roads. On the rail system, if everything was running as per timetables, there would be no problems with congestion. But, of course, that does not always happen. I was reminded of that today when I was on the train from Temple Meads to Bath that broke down at Keynsham, blocking the main London line. I was on the train there for 20 minutes until the TM opened the doors and said the train would have to wait for a fitter, at which point I took my Brompton and cycled to Bath, getting home quicker, I understand, than those who stayed on the train. A lot of trains were blocked by that incident, with cancellations and much delay.

Which made me wonder whether anyone has ever tried to estimate what the costs to the economy are of congestion on the rails, whether caused by train breakdowns or just overcrowding of the system. Obviously it wouldn't be on the scale of that on the roads, but judging from the number of trains I've been on that have broken down, I suspect it may be significant.
4  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Not just GWR... on: June 06, 2018, 01:58:23 pm
Is what has happened on the Oxenholme to Windermere line unprecedented? In effect, what has happened there is that due to being unable to cope with planned timetable changes, the entire service has been removed for 2 weeks, and no trains will run at all. While bustitution for a week due to line maintenance isn't unusual, complete closure for a fortnight due to inability to cope with planned changes must be unique.

I though the striking thing about the removal of that service is that it barely needs a timetable at all. Even if the through trains pose a problem of some kind, once the branch has been given a train for the day it can just chug up and down without even the signallers worrying about where it is. It saves one (small) train and a crew, that's all.

Exactly. And the other striking point is that the roads that the bustitutes will have to use are notoriously congested. I have used the Lakes bus between Kendal and Windermere a few times, and getting in and out of Kendal is a nightmare. It often loses half an hour from the timing it is supposed to be keeping to.
5  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Not just GWR... on: June 06, 2018, 07:05:14 am
Is what has happened on the Oxenholme to Windermere line unprecedented? In effect, what has happened there is that due to being unable to cope with planned timetable changes, the entire service has been removed for 2 weeks, and no trains will run at all. While bustitution for a week due to line maintenance isn't unusual, complete closure for a fortnight due to inability to cope with planned changes must be unique.
6  Journey by Journey / Bristol Commuters / Re: MetroBus on: May 30, 2018, 08:24:00 am
A couple of weeks ago I used the 62 bus that goes from Bristol to Berkeley (and on to Gloucester), returning on it to Bristol in the early afternoon. The relevance of this is that it uses the M32 and so makes use of the bus lane that has been put in for Metrobus.

What actually happened, when we got onto the M32 a bit before 3pm (so well out of the rush hour) was that the M32 was already pretty congested with all lanes of traffic full. The bus took the outside lane, i.e. next to the central reservation, so that it could get into the bus lane when that lane started, which is quite a long way along the M32. However, when it got to that point, the traffic ahead was trying to pull over into the middle lane, as it wasn't allowed into the bus lane, and the traffic in the middle lane wasn't allowing anyone to move over. So the bus was blocked and we had to watch traffic passing us by on the inside, until the bus driver also tried to pull into the middle lane to get round the blocking traffic, which eventually did free up the lane and allowed him to get back over into the bus lane.

So what happens with Metrobus here? I didn't notice any signals to allow it onto the bus lane, but I wasn't able to see that closely, so perhaps there are some. If not, will it too be stuck in the lane like the 62 bus?
7  Journey by Journey / London to Swindon and Bristol / Re: GWR Overcrowding on: May 25, 2018, 03:21:32 pm


................so if this was the case, why were we promised all the wonders of additional capacity by GWR? I do not recall any of the Famous Five advertisements or other declarations from on high being tempered with the type of caveats to which you allude (and which I don't doubt are accurate!)
[/quote]

Eureka!!  Iíve finally worked it out!!  I could never understand the link between GwR and The Famous Five campaign, but now itís obvious - itís the five car short formed services.  😉
[/quote]

Yep. Five step into five coaches and find themselves lying on the track.
8  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: Forgetting where you parked on: May 25, 2018, 12:24:47 pm
I don't drive, but when I'm cycling into town it is very easy to lock your bike up to a stand and not take in where the stand actually is. Being of a senior age now, I do find I have to concentrate very hard sometimes for some time before remembering, and am trying to train myself in taking more notice when parking.  Cheesy

I'm not sure that memory issues actually affect the way you ride/drive, but they may indicate the need for better concentration, which is certainly an issue in some accidents.
9  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: May 24, 2018, 07:45:45 am
Apparently another issue is the system gets confused when it loses its GPS ďfixĒ while passing through tunnels.  Hence why after the tunnels at Twerton on an up service it gets out of sync with regard to the Bath Spa station stop.

That would explain the confusion around Keynsham, as the train would have passed through the long tunnel at St Annes after leaving Bristol. But was this not an issue in HSTs? I don't remember it being one, and if not, how have we ended up with a worse system in these new trains?
10  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: May 23, 2018, 10:43:46 pm
I have now travelled on about 5 IET services, and apart from the short formations, the worst issue for me has been the wrong announcements that are made in the train and wrong information shown on the internal screens. All 5 journeys have had this problem. Some have come from what I assume is a preset computer system which hasn't been set to the actual journey, so that, for instance on my journey yesterday, the screens showed and the announcements made said that after Reading the next stop would be Swindon, when the train was actually due to stop at Didcot Parkway. The screens also stated that the train would terminate at Temple Meads, when it was actually terminating at Weston-super-Mare. On a previous journey on an IET I made just from Temple Meads to Bath Spa, the announcements started to announce our arrival at Bath Spa before we got to Keynsham, and then started announcing that the next stop would be Chippenham just after we had gone though Keynsham.

The problem with all of this, is that many travellers will be left thoroughly confused, and some may well get off at the wrong station. It's not as if we don't get any tourists on this line, and if I heard this sort of misinformation as a first time traveller, I might well make a bad mistake, and even if not, would be put off from using the service again.

What is going on with the communications system that has meant issues like these still seem to be happening all the time?

That issue has been reported by all staff and Hitachi are working on it. The onboard system doesnít recognise all the headcodes so the system is setup using a generic route, none of the generic routes have Didcot as a calling point!

How can they not have Didcot as a calling point?
11  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: May 23, 2018, 08:06:07 am
I have now travelled on about 5 IET services, and apart from the short formations, the worst issue for me has been the wrong announcements that are made in the train and wrong information shown on the internal screens. All 5 journeys have had this problem. Some have come from what I assume is a preset computer system which hasn't been set to the actual journey, so that, for instance on my journey yesterday, the screens showed and the announcements made said that after Reading the next stop would be Swindon, when the train was actually due to stop at Didcot Parkway. The screens also stated that the train would terminate at Temple Meads, when it was actually terminating at Weston-super-Mare. On a previous journey on an IET I made just from Temple Meads to Bath Spa, the announcements started to announce our arrival at Bath Spa before we got to Keynsham, and then started announcing that the next stop would be Chippenham just after we had gone though Keynsham.

The problem with all of this, is that many travellers will be left thoroughly confused, and some may well get off at the wrong station. It's not as if we don't get any tourists on this line, and if I heard this sort of misinformation as a first time traveller, I might well make a bad mistake, and even if not, would be put off from using the service again.

What is going on with the communications system that has meant issues like these still seem to be happening all the time?
12  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Amazing what a month can bring ... on: April 20, 2018, 06:33:32 am
Today at 28.3C in St James's Park London sees the hottest temperature officially recorded on any day in April since 1949.

It is also the highest temperature recorded on 19 April ever, smashing the previous record of 25.6C recorded as long ago as 1893.

It is already becoming somewhat a year of extremes.

It reached 29.1C in St James Park, just shy of the April record of 29.4C. Yes this has been a year so far of exceptional extremes in our weather, and there is every likelihood we will see similar disparities in future years, if not greater. The rail service is obviously going to be susceptible to this, and this needs to be planned for. I don't see any evidence of this happening.
13  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Super off peak to London on: April 09, 2018, 03:38:40 pm
Many thanks bignosemac, very helpful.
14  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Super off peak to London on: April 08, 2018, 09:06:35 pm
I was looking at tomorrow, but I did that because that would give me the full fare rather than an advanced fare. If I do make the journey, it is likely to be later this month, probably in about 2 weeks.
15  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Super off peak to London on: April 08, 2018, 08:43:58 pm
Has there been a change to timings of the Super Off Peak fares? I've used these to go to London from Bath quite often, and I'm sure the first train back from Paddington on which they were allowed was the 19.30. However, I've just checked the National Rail website and it shows them available on the 19.00. Is this new?
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