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1  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: First Great Western to Give up Franchise? on: March 17, 2011, 01:07:46 pm
Oh, there's no way the DfT wouldn't specify those - or be allowed not to!

Why do you say that??

I supect the present regime are all about slaughtering sacred cows.

2  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: First Great Western to Give up Franchise? on: March 17, 2011, 11:40:54 am
Eh? Like what for example?

The franchise is a public domument on the web. Can you point to which pages you refer to?

Ye Gods!

The existing franchise specification lays down the minimum service frequencies, earliest trains, last trains, places which have through services to London etc, etc. All of which can be eroded if you want to reduce costs.
3  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: First Great Western to Give up Franchise? on: March 16, 2011, 04:49:39 pm
It seems the DfT would want First to not to take the franchise extension as then they could re-tender it with a lower (cheaper) service franchise commitment.

With the country in dire straits, why would the DfT want less in way of a franchise payment? I'm sure they're hoping exactly the opposite - that FGW continue to 2016 and get the near-^1billion in franchise payments due in those three years.

Because they don't ever expect they'll get the money. There are some expensive service commitments burried in the current franchise which if removed would make a cheaper to operate franchise for anyone who won it. As a nation we are in a retrenchment, The Greater Western franchise is not immune from it.
4  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Stock cascade of class 150s on: March 16, 2011, 04:39:34 pm
153s also have less power than 150s, 155s, 156s and 158s so for that reason that can't run routes that have steep gradients such as Buxton-Manchester, which is also a route that 14xs aren't permitted to run. 

Not a question of power, as the engine is the same. It's the extra  4 tonnes per vehicle (compared to a 150) that makes them slow of the mark. 2x 153 is marginally quicker than a single due to frontal aspect versus installed hp ratio, but it don't make much difference.
5  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: First Great Western to Give up Franchise? on: March 14, 2011, 02:38:20 pm
Lots of nice speculation on this thread, so i'll add some of my own.

It seems the DfT would want First to not to take the franchise extension as then they could re-tender it with a lower (cheaper) service franchise commitment.

First  and DFT all happy, passengers less so, and no arguments about taking home balls.
6  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion on: February 04, 2011, 11:41:00 am
Coming so soon after the decision to axe air links from Plymouth to Gatwick this proposal to eventually replace HSTs to the South West with Meridians wont be favourably recieved by the regions Political and Business leaders but given the "Value for money" remit now dominating the Rail agenda I am not surprised.
 Personally I avoid Voyagers like the plague and will only tolerate them for short journeys.Meridians may be better but they are still not equal to a HST from the passengers point of view.In short the best that FGW or whoever will be able to offer their customers to the South West tomorrow is what XC offer their customers today and we know that many people already choose to travel via London to avoid the "Voyager" experience.There seems to be a premier league of Rail routes developing in investment terms and the South West is clearly not in that league.

Personally, as someone who may have to work said trains. Meridians would provide a step change for the better. HST's just aren't a sensible choice for the long term.
7  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Next Great Western franchise could be Pacer-less on: January 25, 2011, 11:10:52 am
I'm sure someone mentioned something before that the pacers had something to do with local councils who had paid for them so whoever takes on the franchise has to take them on. Not certain on this though so don't hold me to it. Would make sense though as none of the leasing companies have them on their books

Matt is correct. The units in question were purchased by Local Authorities. It is part of the franchise obligation to transfer 'ownership' to the current franchise holder.
It could however, be renegotiated in the future under the terms of a new franchise. Local Authorities could be pursuaded to do anything if there is a positive trade off elsewhere.
8  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: DB Schenker to run 125 mph services in 2011? on: December 01, 2010, 12:01:17 pm
And what rolling stock do they have in mind, since loco-hauled MK3s and DVTs have never operated above 110mph?

True, but the only difference between 110 and 125mph operation for any type of MK3 vehicle is the maintenance schedule.
9  Journey by Journey / Shorter journeys in Devon / Re: Exeter to Exmouth line 8/11/10 on: November 10, 2010, 02:06:35 pm
What on earth was going on yesterday? I caught the 1722 train from Exeter Central-it did not make it to Exmouth until 1817.
Someone mentioned 'adverse weather conditions'. It was raining...

The Exmouth line was as bad for poor rail head conditions on Monday evening as I have ever experienced.

Between Digby and Lympstone the rails were black, when you opened the power controller the wheels would spin to no effect, when you touched the brake the wheels locked-up. But the staff did a professional job, and got you home safely.
10  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Loco hauled on: October 05, 2010, 01:47:57 pm
Had an email from one of my freinds who is working for FGW and have also read this on WNXX that the  FGW Loco hauled trains are set to continue for at least a few more weeks/months til London Overground release  their class 150's.
Staff have been told that DBS are on a rolling 1 week contract now for provision of one of the loco hauled sets. So it could stop quite abruptly.
11  Journey by Journey / Shorter journeys in Devon / Re: Disruptive Passengers Exmouth branch line 27/9/10 on: September 30, 2010, 12:29:11 pm
Shop em to their respective barracks commandant. They'll either get hammered by their CO's or worse the rest of their mates when their mates get leave refused because of behaviour.

Funnily enough I did threaten to inform the camp security the other day after I had a bunch of clowns playing chicken by leaning in front of the train as I rolled in.
12  Journey by Journey / Shorter journeys in Devon / Re: Disruptive Passengers Exmouth branch line 27/9/10 on: September 29, 2010, 02:35:53 pm
As someone who has the misfortune to cart them around, I can tell you that some are a real problem on the trains.

Abusive behaviour when drunk is the main problem. Ability to hold drink is obviously not part of the selection procedure.
13  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: Okehampton-Tavistock. Discussion on reopening and potential use as a diversionary route on: September 05, 2010, 12:15:20 pm
And the rolling stock is coming from where.....??
I presume the clue is in the words "off peak".
14  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: Okehampton-Tavistock. Discussion on reopening and potential use as a diversionary route on: September 03, 2010, 01:52:20 pm
Rumour going around the mess room and at Exeter that FGW have been asked to run a service on behalf of DCR from Dec. timetable change. 4 off peak trips per day as a demonstation.
15  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Reading Station improvements on: July 30, 2010, 04:03:10 pm
This will also require trackside running boards as the driver changes ends *outside* of the HST...

Safe walking Route. Any place where Drivers change end outside the train will be risk assessed and approved as part of the project. The safe walking route can be the cess if it is level and no adjacent running line.

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