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376  Journey by Journey / London to the Cotswolds / Re: Class 180s return to the Cotswolds on: November 28, 2012, 02:52:23 pm
Going for a new record this week.  Two sets out on Monday, one yesterday and none so far today!  That could be a deliberate plan based on maximising Train Manager availability (Turbos run DOO (Driver-Only Operation (that is, trains which operate without carrying a guard)) between Oxford and Paddington), or it could be that they are all just knackered!
And one of those running on Monday had a problem according to the train manager when I got on it due to it running late, and this was the 06:48 from Paddington to Great Malvern.

And I should add that the service I usually catch home from work is diagrammed for a 180 but over the last couple of months I think I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times that has happened. They have not exactly been a success:-)
377  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Mass disruption due to flooding - December 2012 on: November 27, 2012, 09:41:44 am
The flooding in the Hinksey Yard area between Radley and Oxford is now affecting the running lines. 5mph ESR (Emergency Speed Restriction ) on the up line but still line speed on the down at the moment.

Services to/from Oxford are starting to be cancelled....

I have just been though there and we certainly weren't at line speed on the down, although that may of course been because of congestion:-)
378  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion on: November 15, 2012, 08:47:24 pm
I saw this on Twitter earlier from Modern Railways:

"With 319s overcommitted, Southern is ordering more EMUs (Electric Multiple Unit) and now we hear DfT» (Department for Transport - about) to order 125mph EMUs for Oxford - double-price Desiros, anyone?"

Anyone know any more and given how long it is taking to sign the Thameslink train contract with Siemens there is a good chance that the infrastructure will be ready but we will have no electric trains available:-)
379  Journey by Journey / London to Didcot, Oxford and Banbury / Re: Didcot Parkway - timetable changes, incidents, barriers and forecourt improvements on: October 05, 2012, 08:59:11 am
Barriers were in place this evening, but not operational yet. (In fact, they might have been installed much earlier, as this evening was my first visit to the station since last Friday).

They have been there since at least Tuesday.

Still not clear how they wil stop passengers going straight to P1 via the outside ramp (required for people with bikes, luggage,etc. as no lift), or using the side entrance or going to the Railway Centre.
380  Journey by Journey / London to the Cotswolds / Re: Class 180s return to the Cotswolds on: July 26, 2012, 12:19:05 pm

Probably a case of biting off more than we could chew, though the 'promise' was made for the Olympics and I wouldn't be surprised if it had to be kept at all costs to comply with the agreement with the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) for the 180s return.  I believe there are four 180s available for use at the moment 103, 106 and 108 were joined this week by 104.  No sign of 102 yet.

Well I am sure it was 102 on the service I caught on Tuesday (17:06 ex OXF» (Oxford - next trains)).

Another question, are these services being operated as Driver Only, and if so how can they react to a disabled person using the  alarm in the toilet particuarly when they are between stations?
381  Journey by Journey / London to the Cotswolds / Re: Class 180s return to the Cotswolds on: July 24, 2012, 09:24:39 pm
I thought I would add my first experience of an Adelante (180102) which was interesting.
I caught the 17.06 Oxford to Paddington to Didcot, this service had previously been a 3 car turbo.
The train left Oxford 9 minutes late due to late running preceding trains and arrived at Didcot 20 minutes late due to several issues.
The first was just a general lack of passenger familiarisation, especially those with bicycles, leading to longer dwell times at Radley and Culham. Not sure that they should be used on these stoppers as a lot of bicycles are carried, a cyclist was left at Oxford due to lack of space and the bicycles loaded at Radley and Culham must have been placed in the vestibules.
The second issue was that it couldn't pull away from Radley and required the onboard staff  (fitters or instructors?) to fix/reset something before it could leave. Judging by their expression this may have been down to driver error rather than an issue with the train.
There also seemed to be an issue with the aircon which was working and great on a day like today compared with the normal non-aircon Turbo we have on this service, but it was still hot and I am sure there was heat coming out of the heaters, they certainly felt warm to touch.

But once they sort out the aircon and other teething issues they seem like a nice train to travel in and are certainly a lot smoother and quieter than the turbo.
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