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1  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: FirstBust ? on: Today at 10:32:05 am
It would be good if the government could create a 'government franchise of GWR and the infrastructure, and take Network Rail out of the equation. A fully integrated franchise would hopefully be a lot more efficient.

Right and how would that work where operators share infrastructure?
Would you give the line between Temple Meads and Parkway to GWR or XC?
Would you give the line between Cardiff Central and Newport to GWR or ATW or XC?
Etc etc.
2  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: The Consultation is On! on: June 13, 2018, 10:21:06 am
A post on the Southern Electric Group's Facebook page pointed to this blog which has some interesting observations on the consultation  https://diamondgeezer.blogspot.com/2018/06/easier-fares-consultation.html?m=1

His blog is usually pretty good in general!

Back onto topic, I specifically agree with his conclusion of "but in a consultation which can only keep average fares the same, what's the betting that the potential losers ultimately drown out the potential winners?"
3  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Great Western Railway: on-board catering, buffets, Travelling Chef, Pullman - ongoing discussion on: June 11, 2018, 11:44:39 am
As discussed elsewhere on these forums, a number of the IETs are running as single 5 car units instead of the promised 5+5 formation.

I have recently noticed on the GWR website, under "catering updates" that short trains are often advertised as "catering reduced" Since catering had already been downgraded to only a trolley, "catering reduced" presumably means no catering.

Why ?

Wonder if they are anticipating that the trolley won't be able to get through the people having to stand due to the short formation?
4  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: May 29, 2018, 04:52:07 pm
I've just read that there's no little cycle logo to identify which door to put bikes in on the IETs, and that this is because Hitachi refused to allow it as part of the vinyl wrap. Can this really be true?
http://road.cc/content/news/242347-train-manufacturer-said-be-preventing-gwr-putting-cycle-logos-carriages-where
Quote
Now road.cc reader Oliver Strother has been in touch to flag up another problem with getting a bike onto a GWR service, one related to new rolling stock and the difficulty he encountered finding the part of the train where cycles are stored – and once he did, how poor the facility was.

One of the problems he had was that unlike on the previous trains that the new ones have replaced, there is no sticker with a picture of a bicycle on the side of the carriage where bikes can be placed – and he was later told that the reason was that the train manufacturer, Hitachi, won’t permit them.

That seems rather strange to us – given that the bike storage area isn’t going to move around the train, surely the bicycle logo could (and should) have been incorporated in the vinyl wrap of the GWR livery?

Quote
Head to platform, train arrives, as the train passes I look for cycle symbol but there isn't one. I head to the last section of the train, but no bike symbol anywhere. #wheredoigo? Train manager Simon pops out and says carriage 'A' or 'D' , at this point I'm stood outside 'L'. (later the I'm told the staff are not permitted by Hitachi to put a bicycle sticker on the outside of the train).

Don't you have to have a reservation to carry a bike on the new trains though? And wouldn't that reservation tell you which carriage to put the bike (and if it doesn't, it should!).
Yes to the first part.
Quote
So I took a punt, and went down to the station ticket office who at 1715 said there was plenty bike spaces available, so I booked a ticket avec cycle reservation.
No to the second part. Presumably because it's just a space you've reserved, not a particular space, and unlike seats, where there are five or more carriages each with fifty or more seats, there are only a small number of cycle spaces all in one place. Or maybe in two places on the 5+5 IETs.

Really? So the quote GWR have given - "the location of the bike reservation (ie where in the train you have been allocated a space), is clearly marked on that reservation" is a lie then?

Don't get me wrong, I think there should be some kind of indication on the outside of the train too. But if the reservation does say which carriage (which is what GWR are claiming, I can't verify as I have never had to get one) then its not THAT big of a deal.
5  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, 10:57:46 am
I've just read that there's no little cycle logo to identify which door to put bikes in on the IETs, and that this is because Hitachi refused to allow it as part of the vinyl wrap. Can this really be true?
http://road.cc/content/news/242347-train-manufacturer-said-be-preventing-gwr-putting-cycle-logos-carriages-where
Quote
Now road.cc reader Oliver Strother has been in touch to flag up another problem with getting a bike onto a GWR service, one related to new rolling stock and the difficulty he encountered finding the part of the train where cycles are stored – and once he did, how poor the facility was.

One of the problems he had was that unlike on the previous trains that the new ones have replaced, there is no sticker with a picture of a bicycle on the side of the carriage where bikes can be placed – and he was later told that the reason was that the train manufacturer, Hitachi, won’t permit them.

That seems rather strange to us – given that the bike storage area isn’t going to move around the train, surely the bicycle logo could (and should) have been incorporated in the vinyl wrap of the GWR livery?

Quote
Head to platform, train arrives, as the train passes I look for cycle symbol but there isn't one. I head to the last section of the train, but no bike symbol anywhere. #wheredoigo? Train manager Simon pops out and says carriage 'A' or 'D' , at this point I'm stood outside 'L'. (later the I'm told the staff are not permitted by Hitachi to put a bicycle sticker on the outside of the train).

Don't you have to have a reservation to carry a bike on the new trains though? And wouldn't that reservation tell you which carriage to put the bike (and if it doesn't, it should!).
6  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: May 22, 2018, 01:35:32 pm
Even if they are under orders to not blame the DfT, surely there is a code for staff training, or the need for units elsewhere, that better covers this situation? No need to even mention the DfT?
7  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: May 22, 2018, 10:45:28 am
Lots of these today...…………………..


09:30 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 11:09


Facilities on the 09:30 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 11:09.
This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.
Will be formed of 5 coaches instead of 10.

And broadly similar today, with about 15 short formations consisting of a 5 car instead of 10 car.
Also several 8 car instead of 10 car, suggesting an HST instead of an IET.

Some, if not all, are enforced by the DfT to release units for driver training. There’s over 40 drivers who have completed the theory but need practical handling but there’s no units available.

In which case why can GWR not just be honest? Because saying it is because of repairs or just "we don't know" (which is the answer I got over the weekend) when they know the actual reason just is not on.
8  Journey by Journey / London to Reading / Re: May Bank Holiday 2018 - 100% Cancellations on: May 02, 2018, 04:23:48 pm
And for those who bought HEX & HConn tickets in advance these wont be valid on the Piccadilly Line will they? Another rip-off Britain scam?

Surely you could just get a refund in that case as there isn't a service running?
9  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - 2018 to 2045 / Re: 24 hour trains on: May 02, 2018, 09:46:52 am
but you just try asking for a train after 22:35 from Bristol to Chippenham / Swindon / London, or after even after 20:06 from Swindon to Westbury on a Monday to Friday, or after 18:35 from Westbury to Swindon on a Saturday!

Exactly this. Most people I know who travel by rail do not want a 24 hour service. They just want one which ends a bit later!
10  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: GWR mobile tickets on: May 01, 2018, 11:03:32 am
From the National Rail Conditions of Travel:

Quote
4.2 Some Tickets are held as an electronic record on a smartcard or electronic device, or may be transmitted to you for you to print out yourself. In such cases you will be advised of (and must comply with) the specific conditions applying to Tickets held in those formats.

Provided you are advised of any specific conditions prior to purchase then TOCs can use this clause to add additional conditions, such as a prohibition on break of journey, to the use of e-tickets.

Stick to paper tickets folks. What you are getting with GWR e-tickets is a more restricted product for the same price as a paper ticket.

Are you advised prior to purchase though? I certainly cannot see anywhere on the information web page / faq / T&Cs that states that GWR mobile tickets prohibit break of journey apart from on the actual ticket screen after you have bought one. Was going to double check on the app / website, but the transactional part of the site seems to be down, yay.
11  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: GWR mobile tickets on: May 01, 2018, 10:42:56 am
Incidentally I did see that the ticket contained a term disallowing breaks in journey.

I wonder how enforceable that actually is? Since as far as I know you don't actually see that until after you have bought the ticket and I can't see any wording on the GWR website or app to imply that is the case (indeed the site just links to the normal T&C's for the ticket types, which obviously for some of them say BoJ is always allowed).
12  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: More dangerous overcrowding to the Westcountry on: April 30, 2018, 02:59:00 pm
I would say a trolley is more suitable than a buffet rather than better, though I remain of the opinion they should have a buffet for the WoE routes.

Only if a trolley actually runs through the whole train.
I haven't been on that many IET journeys yet, but on more than a couple of them, the trolley was only available in the front 5 coaches.
13  All across the Great Western territory / Diary - what's happening when? / Re: FOSBR Quarterly meeting - Friday 20 April 7.15pm, Alma Church Hall BS8 2ES (CFN) on: April 23, 2018, 11:31:44 am
I'll be honest, based on my experiences of the Severn Beach line over the last 8 months or so (visiting friends who moved out to Shirehampton), I do not blame anyone for taking an adversarial stance with GWR. The service has sometimes been appalling with passengers treated with either utter contempt or simply ignored. On multiple occasions I had have had to get a bus, putting myself out of pocket, and I would be surprised if I was only person in that situation.

For a great example of how it seems like GWR treat passengers - the bustituation that happened at the end of November and beginning of December took the biscuit, with them toing and froing between blaming engineering work or blaming the fact the rolling stock had to be used to provide extra capacity for the Bath Xmas market. Now that may have been genuine miscommunication from GWR. But how do you think that appears to passengers when that happens multiple weekends in a row, with staff telling passengers it won't happen next week, only for it to happen next week!

I get GWR currently have a very difficult job, but with all this going on, I really don't think you can blame anyone who feels a "protest" meeting or whatever is the only way to get themselves heard.

As an aside - I do find it quite interesting to see how different groups attempt to essentially solve the same problem. Coming from my own bubble, where I don't really have the confidence or ability to feel like I can make a difference, I just hope no one is disheartened from trying to make things better, just because different groups have different views!
14  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion on: April 22, 2018, 12:05:48 pm
Co-ordinated action ("Barbecue Sunday") by Plymouth depot today with no guards and only 2 drivers willing to work.

If that's the case then I am ashamed of my fellow Janners - hope they choke on their sausages!

They do not have to work Sundays. So why shouldn't they do something nice when they can? The real problem is that GWR assume they can run a 7 day service without having the staff to do so, as RA has also explained above.
15  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: mTickets and fairness on: April 20, 2018, 01:41:58 pm
I don't see why the same discount isn't given to those paying by contactless card or by smartcard tbh. If the reasoning for the discount is, as First say, to reduce dwell times (by disincentive cash payment), then surely those two options should also count?

edit - just looked and it appears the cheaper fares are now available with the touch smartcard. Maybe I was mistaken or has that changed since it was launched? Either way, I don't see why contactless should be left out in the cold!

And of course, you have the issue with the mtickets (and the smartcard) that you have to buy groups of tickets if you want a single. So in Bath its a group of 5 for £10, even if you just want to buy the one single.
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