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June 26, 2019, 02:37:07 am *
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[139] ...once I caught a fish alive...
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1  All across the Great Western territory / Your rights and redress / Re: Unmanned gatelines on: June 23, 2019, 07:28:18 pm
But did the guy have a simple foot switch to instruct the gateline to accept the ticket?
2  All across the Great Western territory / Other ways to travel: cycle routes, cycles, and how the railways deal with them / Re: Bad train trip? Share your experiences of taking bikes on trains on: May 25, 2019, 05:18:02 pm
There is also the problem of consistency.  My son used to live in Bristol and cycle to work in Yate.  When he had to work late he liked to get the train back.  This was scheduled as a local train with no bike problems.  About 20% of the days an HST turned up and he couldn't put the bike on because he hadn't booked, even though it was supposed not to require a bike booking.
3  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Bristol Freightliner Depot Closure on: May 22, 2019, 04:52:17 pm
Is this the complex just along from Parson Street station on the way out of Bristol?

Complex is a little OTT for a loop siding, some piled containers and a couple of mobile container cranes.
4  Journey by Journey / Plymouth and Cornwall / Re: GWR bans surfboards from IET services on: May 17, 2019, 04:59:09 pm
And whilst I have not yet seen every example of the IET fleet, I can state that none of them have buffets.
Toilets are unreliable.
Seat reservations seldom work.
Seat are too hard.
Single 5 car formations are a frequent feature, over a dozen yesterday.
The catering downgrade has been a fiasco, with the trolley often either entirely absent, or hiding in first class, or in the other unit of a 5+5 train.

Yesterday the 9:00 Temple Meads to Paddington was 2x5.  No trolley in front portion and a garbled announcement that the static trolley was in coach B in the rear portion.  No seat reservations and no announcements of that fact.  No sign of any GWR staff all journey.

Return 20:45.  Paper seat reservations, no sign of any trolley and train manager checked tickets after Swindon.

Seats Yatton Temple Meads and return FAR more comfortable than the IETs.
5  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: James Freeman on radio bristol on: May 10, 2019, 06:31:16 pm
Friday 10 May 2019 from 09:00am.

6  All across the Great Western territory / Who's who on Western railways / Re: Tax status of Network Rail contractors on: May 03, 2019, 01:02:32 pm
Basically you are correct.  NR is doing this because it is now a requirement for HMG and nationalised industries to assume IR35 applies unless proved otherwise.  The HMRC web site test has been blasted by contractors and a parliamentary committee as not fit for purpose.

A few minor alterations to your note:
  • Since you are retired you are probably at, or past the state pension age so NI would not be payable
  • You can opt out of any pension arrangements
  • The allowed expenses are greater if you are a contractor and not under IR35.

I am also relieved to be retired and not fighting IR35.  It is noticeable that HMRC lose the high profile cases which they take to tribunal.
7  Journey by Journey / Plymouth and Cornwall / Re: GWR bans surfboards from IET services on: April 30, 2019, 02:32:52 pm
Let's hope the Famous Five don't have any surfing planned.

Like the picture of the Famous Five surfing which I received in an email from GWR yesterday.
8  Journey by Journey / Transport for London / Re: Climate change protests to target overground? on: April 28, 2019, 05:38:48 pm
IME, most of the populace DO care about climate change, but WONT accept any measures that significantly affect THEM.

Arguably that's where the problem with our democracy lies: we want the moon on a stick, and are furious with our politicians when they say we can't have it.

No.  The politicians promise it to get elected and then we get angry when they cannot deliver it.
9  Journey by Journey / Transport for London / Re: Climate change protests to target overground? on: April 28, 2019, 01:54:43 pm
I am indeed a bit radical, but also realistic.

So true.
10  Journey by Journey / London to Reading / Re: Crossrail - The Elizabeth Line - ongoing discussion, merged topics on: April 27, 2019, 07:52:39 pm
Wish our current PM would get on with her current project...

But any methodology requires:
  • A clear, concise definition of the requirements
  • Clear responsibilities
  • Identify risks and mitigating factors
  • etc
There is no way any of this was provided so the project is doomed to crash.
11  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Bristol Temple Meads Station redevelopment on: April 26, 2019, 10:51:39 pm
In the next year work will begin on a new roof at the station which will enable the continued safe running of the station and more than 150 new seats will be installed.

Not quite sure how to read that...

I envisaged the seats on the roof to watch the building work.
12  Journey by Journey / London to Reading / Re: Crossrail - The Elizabeth Line - ongoing discussion, merged topics on: April 26, 2019, 10:46:03 pm
So, we're relying on PRINCE now? Must be a Sign o' the Times...

I will rise to that one as a PRINCE practitioner.
Properly followed by ALL concerned it will guide decision making and assist in making the correct decisions.  No methodology, though, can match an experienced project manager who eats ground glass for breakfast and politicians (elected or corporate) for lunch.
13  Journey by Journey / London to Reading / Re: Crossrail - The Elizabeth Line - ongoing discussion, merged topics on: April 26, 2019, 05:19:09 pm
In my experience in IT projects the failures come from:
  • Inadequate initial definition and resource costings
  • 'Moving of goal posts' by client / senior management
  • Rosy views by management that ignore reports and hide developing problems
Processes like GRIP and PRINCE are designed to alleviate these issues but they are frequently not properly followed.

A successful PM should report truthfully and resist underbudgeting and scope change.  Grahame has quoted a typical example of local government scope change.
14  Journey by Journey / London to Reading / Re: New Platform Markings at Reading on: April 04, 2019, 03:27:40 pm
Is there any reason why they can't have coach numbers rather than coach letters?
Where 1 is the front of the train and 5,9,10 is the end, especially as they are no longer using semi-permanent labelling on carriages.
It would stop nonsense such as (Zones 1 to 5) A B C D E - L K J H G (Zones 6 to 10) which most people would struggle to work out while stood on the platform.

I appreciate front of the train maybe an issue for XC at Reading or Cardiff-Portsmouth services at BTM, but for most services this would work.

Is the use of letters a limitation of the reservation system or will it change when HST's are no more?

Since the internal layout of the coaches is not identical (first class etc) it will still be necessary to identify reservations by coach letter which is independent of the actual train configuration.
15  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: It didn't all go Beeching's way/ on: March 31, 2019, 11:16:37 pm
Flanders and Swan The slow train

Well I think I count seven of the named stations still open ....

'No more shall I go from St Erth to St Ives ..'
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