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1  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Rail Strike Looming on: May 30, 2022, 13:13:31

Perhaps, but doing away with the old is of no benefit to those using the new.

It is, if the alternative, now that costs are being paid directly by the taxpayer, is reduction in services to achieve the savings required. Are you suggesting that the taxpayer should pump £1.5billion a year into the railways so as you retain things as currently?

Quote
It is simply saving money for a private rail operator, the profit of which goes to shareholders.

Get with the times? The operators now are paid a management fee, and costs and revenue pass to the taxpayer. So the 'profit' you refer to evaporates, turning into a £1.5billion / year loss. That's unsustainable, surely.

What's your suggestion then, if your plan would be to retain all the staff?

Yes. Retain the staff and the public should fund a railway for everyone all over the country. Defund and reduce the railway now and it won’t be coming back. The railway is of economic significance to this country even if it’s not noticeable to the operators or the, referred to as a minority, taxpayer. Yes, less people are travelling to work, largely in London, each day but reducing staff and costs now under the impression that the railway is always going to have this level of passengers is short term for profit thinking and excluding more people. This is an opportunity to build a railway for everyone, promised by this ludicrous government. You drop staff and services now and you will require incentive and demand to get the same services back when things change. The bargaining price suggested that the public will pay is nothing more than the bribery that will be used as an excuse to release more of it into the private sector and make it a consumer choice rather than what should be a life necessity. Nobody ever questions the cost of the tarmac and road infrastructure which covers this country as it’s recognised that its benefits are beyond the price of repair. Perhaps we should consider privatising roads.
2  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Rail Strike Looming on: May 30, 2022, 12:05:10
It does if it costs money to staff sales points? (Just making the point, not saying I'm in agreement)
Perhaps, but doing away with the old is of no benefit to those using the new. It is simply saving money for a private rail operator, the profit of which goes to shareholders. It’s not as if journeys will be overall improved for the majority using a new method by doing away with the old, or become cheaper as the public pocket isn’t supposed to be supporting it. Staff may not be of use to most on the modern railway but retaining them is a way of creating equal access. Transport should be under heavier scrutiny with changes as the alternatives for an individual may not exist, unlike retail where a different shop could be chosen.

Requiring continued investment, understanding and a charged battery of personal technology to go about everyday business may be the norm for most but not all, and we should all be on board with keeping options open for those people whom it isn’t the norm until we can come up with a way that everyone can use without playing catch up, and on public transport, a universal free card system for everything seems the most sensible option, even if that is to purchase a paper ticket.
3  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Rail Strike Looming on: May 30, 2022, 10:23:29
I suggest that if private companies involved in something which is perceived as a public service want to change the way people use that service because new technology becomes available, then those companies make sure they are not excluding individuals who may not be able, as confident or have the money available to get involved in the technology. The railway isn’t retail, it is a huge aspect of some people’s lives, much like any other form of public transport. It isn’t the same as someone like McDonald’s deciding to use and automated system instead of more traditional means as it provides access. A reasonable and negotiated period should be as long as it takes for a rail operator to find out who is using the old, yet perhaps most simple to some, system of doing things, and then make sure those people have the means to continue to use the railway in the same way as the rest of us. You can let technology and markets lead retail, but everyday services heavily involved in people’s lives should require inclusion for everyone, so change should be scrutinised and not hurried through because the majority are doing things a new way. Having more than one system in place for people to use doesn’t much affect those using a new technology anyhow.
4  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Rail Strike Looming on: May 29, 2022, 22:09:42
Yes, I agree.  Although I suspect ticket vending machines will also largely become a thing of the past in the coming years, as e-tickets/passes will quickly become established as the primary way of obtaining authority to travel.

What about the minority who are and I suspect will still be in the future unable or unwilling to use the internet?

It'll become a progressively smaller cohort - "unable" to use the internet will need to be properly catered for, but "unwilling"? I suggest that they will need to move with the times.

I’m not sure it’s a case of unwilling, more a case of the independence we have previously offered as an affluent country to those in different positions to the majority of us. Set up individuals and a coherent system so everyone can join in and I agree that we can positively progress in the way we live and operate, but assuming that some don’t swap to the technology leading society because they don’t want to move with the times is foolhardy. We must remember that it is largely privately funded technology and the private companies that adopt it leading the rapid change in culture and society nowadays, rather than authorities including the government. As often explained on this forum, even those in the know often see the flaws in automated systems and apps that don’t tell the full truth. So expecting everyone to be on board without a reasonable and negotiated period of inclusion isn’t particularly fair.
5  Journey by Journey / Transport for London / Re: Crossrail/Elizabeth Line. From construction to operation - ongoing discussion on: May 26, 2022, 13:02:29
What a ridiculous rail system we have where stuff like this exists. High prices for those who don’t individually do the research. It’s 2022.

This just reflects the way GWR (Great Western Railway) pricing has been for years. Contactless fares for the bit outwards of Paddington (which is most of the cost here) have been set at half the equivalent day return fare. For Reading-Paddington you can split at Slough: £11.80+£18.60 vs. £52.10 (anytime) saving £21.70. In this case you don't even need to get off!

Quite. The fact that all these arrangements still exist all over the network demonstrates what a poor railway it is with loopholes and discrepancies. We require a railway where everything is transparent on the price without having to shop around and do research. We require a railway which all works as one system rather than one with competitive pricing and operators. Instead, demonstrated by the misinformation over this vast project and the above fare arrangements, we still have a confusing railway that shows no signs of changing or moving on to become a simple, useable, affordable network for everyone to use for all journeys, without using apps and the internet to find what the best or cheapest way of doing things is. As far as I’m concerned, we’re getting transport wrong.
6  Journey by Journey / Transport for London / Re: Crossrail/Elizabeth Line. From construction to operation - ongoing discussion on: May 26, 2022, 06:55:57
What a ridiculous rail system we have where stuff like this exists. High prices for those who don’t individually do the research. It’s 2022.
7  Journey by Journey / Transport for London / Re: Crossrail/Elizabeth Line. From construction to operation - ongoing discussion on: May 25, 2022, 19:49:24
Many don’t seem to notice how far they walk underground without landmarks, they do just follow the signs and the crowd. The same is true of how far people are willing to walk indoors in a shopping centre perhaps, or inside the barriers of stations. If you get off the last coach of a ten coach southern electric train at Reading the barriers are further away than Friar Street is from the same barriers.
8  Journey by Journey / Transport for London / Re: Crossrail/Elizabeth Line. From construction to operation - ongoing discussion on: May 25, 2022, 15:55:13

... Some of the vox pops on the TV item still don't seem to realise that it takes an hour to get from Reading to Paddington, yet the reporter said that when Crossrail was fully open it would be possible to get from Reading to Central London in under an hour...

The thought  occurs that since the 1970s and the introduction of HSTs (High Speed Train) it's been possible to get from Reading to Central London within an hour: 25 minutes to Paddington; 10-minutes walk and wait for Tube; 15 minutes to Oxford Circus.

Not sure if the journey time has differed that much in the time but the Bakerloo line timetable suggests 8 minutes journey time on the train to Oxford Circus underground from Paddington underground. Obviously leaving the station takes a bit of time has the platforms at Oxford Circus seem to be half way down Regent Street towards Piccadilly. Which does make me wonder whether you could just fool people into walking large distances in underground tunnels instead of running trains. Anyone who’s ever used the lie of a tube entrance for South Kensington station on exhibition road by imperial college.
9  Journey by Journey / Transport for London / Re: Crossrail/Elizabeth Line. From construction to operation - ongoing discussion on: May 25, 2022, 07:48:23
Reading this latest article and watching the Meridian TV news coverage about Crossrail, I wonder if I'm missing something - or more than two somethings.

Some of the vox pops on the TV item still don't seem to realise that it takes an hour to get from Reading to Paddington, yet the reporter said that when Crossrail was fully open it would be possible to get from Reading to Central London in under an hour.

"Travellers boarding at Reading, Maidenhead and Slough will soon have access to more modern, less crowded trains, and some will have faster commutes." Haven't these trains been running for more than two years?

This appears to have been the marketing from the start. It does seem that only those with knowledge of the railways know what the arrangement is, everyone else has been conned with misleading information about a new line for the entire 70 odd miles. The ‘new’ line the Thames valley is getting is the same one that’s been open since 1840. Yes, journey times once IN London have improved for those going there but the over the top hype about this project from the media and property companies has mostly been misleading, particularly for Reading as the journey times quoted, largely never mentioned that you’ll still be on the very same mainline trains you’ve been on for decades to achieve the advertised times. The real benefits to Reading are the same as they would be for Swindon, Bath, Bristol and anywhere else on the former Intercity routes from London Paddington. Cynical I know but I do dislike misinformation and the way things are marketed to be more than they perhaps are, particularly when it means I can no longer afford to live in the town I’m from.
This post is all just my opinion.
10  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Sleeper in daylight on: May 15, 2022, 11:22:28
I spotted this on the real-time trains and saw it returning from Didcot at Lower Basildon heading for Newbury. It then appeared not to make it beyond Theale as I watched a pair of 47’s on a charter pass Aldermaston. I had to head somewhere so I didn’t have time to see if it left Theale for Newbury and back. I have seen the set before pass Theale on a Saturday morning at around this time before so I’ve concluded that it must be a test run for the locos after servicing of some description.
11  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Engines left running on train layovers on: March 25, 2022, 20:40:15
With older buses on layover, they were left running all day from the start for fear of never starting again out on the road, and perhaps this is the case with older multiple units. Many older buses would come with a large note in the cab with instructions not to switch off. There were also huge air leaks so it would take several minutes to build pressure back up meaning many drivers would rev the damn things hard till pressure built up. However, times should have moved on and more modern buses and rolling stock should be more than capable of being built and maintained to a level where they can be turned off during layover, thus saving from pollution, fuel waste and, often overlooked, noise.
12  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Railway History and related topics / Re: OTD - 10th March (2000) - Ban on smoking on FGW trains. on: March 11, 2022, 17:22:00
Blimey, was it that long ago? I recall one coach of the southern slam door stock were the last trains you could smoke on lines running out of Reading (General). As a smoker at the time I wasn’t that bothered that it came to an end, it never made for a pleasant atmosphere on trains. On the platform took a bit more getting used to.
13  Journey by Journey / London to Kennet Valley / Re: Off peak trains from Bedwyn replacement by Newbury shuttle to be permanent on: March 03, 2022, 16:21:54
Yes, I think this was inevitable post electrification. The Bedwyn run is clearly a special use for the IET (Intercity Express Train). As I’ve said before if it didn’t turn short at Bedwyn and instead terminated at Westbury, you would save a Pewsey stop on faster trains, create an hourly frequency at Pewsey, and a key hourly link west for Newbury.

I guess the service has been restored to what it was in the locomotive hauled, NSE (Network South East),  network express days and it was only convenience that Bedwyn got its link, through the arrival of the turbos and less coaches being required.
14  Journey by Journey / Transport for London / Re: Crossrail/Elizabeth Line. From construction to operation - ongoing discussion on: February 10, 2022, 10:07:31
This has been going on since the end of British Rail. Crossrail has been sold and confused as a brand new line for the service’s entire length rather than a tunnel under london joining railways well established. I guess it’s a marketing trick learnt from estate agents and the like that the current cabinet are now also using for ‘new’ hospitals etc. Using the word ‘delivered’ to describe something done appeared around the same time. It works too, many times have I corrected better educated than me people on what crossrail actually is, with many convinced it was a brand new line in tunnel from Reading to Essex running at unimaginable speeds. The connecting of stopping services much like Thameslink, which wasn’t promoted in the same manner and isn’t confused as more than it is.
15  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: 16th March 2022 - Where should the GBR HQ be? on: February 07, 2022, 19:02:16
It does fit the competition on every level agenda though. Pit people or places against each other for jobs and economic growth.
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