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February 24, 2018, 08:04:27 AM *
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News: A forum for passengers ... with input from rail professionals welcomed too
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1  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Weather disruption caused in 2014, and how to prevent it happening again - ongoing discussion on: February 20, 2018, 10:28:29 PM
Fair comment, ChrisB:  I've therefore updated this topic's heading to reflect more accurately where we are now.  Wink Cheesy Grin

2  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Pullman on IET on: February 19, 2018, 01:00:10 AM
Well really! (I was waiting for CfN to contribute in his usual blunt (but frankly accurate) way!)

I strive to be factual, whenever possible.  Wink

Might have to treat bignosemac to breakfast and we can annoy the staff by working our way around the tables in the name of research!

My favourite memory of bignosemac's research around seating is the time he tried to disappear under one, when the conductor appeared at the end of the carriage.  Grin

3  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Relationships with fellow passengers on: February 19, 2018, 12:26:24 AM
Not a relationship, but an interesting sequence of events.  Wink

A few years ago now, I used to commute into Bristol daily by train, and often there was a blind man with his guide dog making the same journey.  We regular passengers used to help him and his dog climb aboard, and alight, as appropriate.  Indeed, on one occasion (I have recounted this story before), the guide dog toppled off the platform while trying to avoid walking through puddles at Nailsea & Backwell - and several of us rushed over to retrieve her from the tracks.

Years later, in my current job, I now deliver groceries to that man - and I introduced myself, on the first occasion, by referring to that incident.  The blind man was delighted to renew our acquaintance - "Blimey, Chris, I haven't seen you for ages!" he said.  Grin

4  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Two dead as train and car collide on level crossing at Barns Green, West Sussex - 17 Feb 2018 on: February 18, 2018, 11:50:14 PM
From the BBC:

Barns Green: Church service for level crossing victims

A service of remembrance has been held for a boy and his grandfather who died when their car was struck by a train at a level crossing in West Sussex.

The 72-year-old man and his 15-year-old grandson were pronounced dead at the scene following the crash at the Barns Green crossing in Horsham on Saturday.

Carol Shepherd, Lay Reader at St Nicolas Church in Itchingfield, said the whole community was in shock.

"We feel for the family terribly. They're well known," she said.

Speaking ahead of Sunday's service, Ms Shepherd told BBC Sussex there would be a minute's silence and a candle would be lit.

"We'll be praying for the family and the village because the young boy, I believe, was into football. His grandfather was well known," she said.

"They're going to be hurting and they are going to need a lot of compassion."

No-one on the train was injured in the crash, which happened at 08:47 GMT.

British Transport Police (BTP) said the family of the victims were being supported by specialist officers.

Det Insp Brett Walker said: "This is an extremely tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.

"Our officers have been working at the scene to ensure we gain as much information about how the collision happened."

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has been informed, and sent two of its investigators to the scene on Saturday.

5  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: East Coast rail franchise - ongoing discussion on: February 12, 2018, 02:11:12 AM
From the BBC:

Stagecoach East Coast deal to be probed by MPs

The decision to end the East Coast Mainline rail franchise early is to come under scrutiny from MPs.

The Department for Transport has said Stagecoach and Virgin will withdraw from running the service within months after running into difficulties.

Now the House of Commons transport committee has announced that it will hold an inquiry into the matter.

Lilian Greenwood, who chairs the committee, said lessons needed to be learned from the failure.

Last week, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said Stagecoach had "got its numbers wrong" and would continue running the London to Edinburgh line only for "a small number of months and no more".

He said the government might step in to run the service, adding that the day-to-day operation of the line would be unaffected.

The National Audit Office has already announced it will investigate the government's handling of the franchise.

The East Coast Mainline franchise was taken into public ownership in 2009 after being run by National Express.

It was re-privatised when Stagecoach and Virgin signed a deal to run the East Coast line from 2015 to 2023, promising to pay the government 3.3bn to run the service.

Stagecoach owns 90% of the joint venture and Virgin owns the remaining 10%.

Ms Greenwood said: "There are serious questions to be asked of the train operator, Network Rail and ministers and the transport committee intends to ask them. The failure of the East Coast franchise has wider implications for rail franchising and the competitiveness of the current system. Lessons need to be learned by all concerned. In the meantime, the Department for Transport must take the right steps to protect passengers and taxpayers. Safeguards must be put in place to restore public confidence in the sustainability of our railways."

Mr Grayling has said he is considering two approaches. One option is to allow Stagecoach to continue operating the franchise on a short-term and not-for-profit basis until a new contract is awarded in 2020. Alternatively, East Coast Mainline could be brought back under government control and be run by the Department for Transport through an operator of last resort.

Mr Grayling told the House of Commons on Monday last week: "The problem is that Stagecoach got its numbers wrong. It overbid and is now paying a price."

6  Journey by Journey / Portsmouth to Cardiff / Re: Dog hit by train in Westbury has 'amazing' escape on: February 10, 2018, 01:50:16 AM
Many (probably about 15) years ago, I helped to retrieve a blind man's guide dog from the railway tracks at my local station.

Apparently, the dog was so averse to walking through the puddles of rainwater on the platform that she inadvertently toppled over the platform edge onto the track while trying to avoid them.

Several of us promptly rushed over and lifted the dog back up onto the platform.  Wink

7  Journey by Journey / Portsmouth to Cardiff / Re: Dog hit by train in Westbury has 'amazing' escape on: February 07, 2018, 04:33:52 PM
Without showing a ticket???  Shocked Roll Eyes

8  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Pullman on IET on: February 06, 2018, 11:41:20 PM
However, for reasons no-one can explain, there is also no ice being provided.  Hopefully whatever the reason that will be resolved.

No, that is to prevent plebeians from putting some into their glass of single malt whisky.  Roll Eyes

9  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Unusual terms and conditions on: February 06, 2018, 10:57:42 PM
... tusk, tusk: in case they damage the trunking, possibly?  Roll Eyes

10  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: SandTEngineers Spot the Railway Location Photograph Quiz on: February 06, 2018, 10:52:48 PM
May I offer you our very grateful thanks for posting all of those fascinating historic images, together with details of their locations and significance, SandTEngineer.

Chris.  Wink Cheesy Grin

11  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: East Coast rail franchise - ongoing discussion on: February 05, 2018, 10:35:38 PM

Mod request. I think this Stagecoach/East Coast saga should be split into its own topic. Only tangentially linked to Andrew Adonis.

Agreed - now done.  CfN.  Wink

12  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Pop up stations - where should be tried?? on: February 05, 2018, 01:19:02 AM
... Collumpton ...

Ah, you got me guessing with that one.  Wink

13  Journey by Journey / TransWilts line / Re: Daytime Traffic on the TransWilts on: February 05, 2018, 01:08:56 AM
More serious issue - TVM at Melksham out of order, and conductor apologetic as he could not sell tickets - didn't have a working machine available.  I wonder what the proportions are of:
* Paid passengers
* Passenger who want to pay but are not given any opportunity (waves card at conductor who apologises because he can't sell a ticket)
* Passengers travelling legitimately without tickets (staff passes, under 5 year olds)
* Passengers who are intent on not paying

... or indeed,

Passenger who want to pay but are not given any opportunity (waves cash at conductor who apologises because he can't sell a ticket)

 Roll Eyes
14  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: Late nights and senior cards on: February 04, 2018, 10:17:50 PM
there was just one passenger on the bus who looked old enough to be on a senior card

Was that you  Grin

I'll let you be the judge of whether or not I look old enough to be on a senior card  Grin

I am not old enough under current rules to hold an ENCTS card - though I do have a senior railcard.  I suppose - if you think I look that old - there were two passengers on the bus who looked old enough to hold a card ... but I happened to know that one doesn't!

At the other end of the age scale: in my day job, I have to verify the age of my home delivery customers, to ensure that they are at least 18 - and the rule is, 'challenge 25, if you don't know they are at least 25'.

A week ago, I did indeed ask a Mrs W. in Backwell her age, and she said '32'.  When I then explained why I'd asked, she was delighted: "Oh, that's made my day!" she laughed.

 Wink Cheesy Grin

15  All across the Great Western territory / Diary - what's happening when? / Re: Old Oak Common Open Day - Saturday 2nd September 2017 on: February 04, 2018, 09:43:19 PM
Is this engine still out and about?
Surprised not to have seen it during my daily commute

Saw it at Swindon just over a week ago.   First time I had seen it for a while.

Don't worry about either of you not having seen it much - it's probably 'been kept indoors' for a while, due to 'more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time'.

 Roll Eyes
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