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1  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: First Great Western rebrands to Great Western Railway and related department changes on: August 20, 2015, 20:47:00

If there's still a 1st class fare after 6th September, I wouldn't bank on that at all. While a refund is certainly due if a 165 turns up on a 166 diagram & you hold a 1st class ticket, I think you could get a penalty fare sitting in 1st without a 1st ticket, assuming the fare continues.

The normal routine on other TOCs (Train Operating Company) is that if the service is shown in the public timetable as not having first class, then the first class section of any train or unit that turns up with it is declassified for that service.

The staff brief on the changes confirms that if a 166 turns up on a service advertised as Standard Class only in the timetable then First Class is declassified.
2  Journey by Journey / London to the Cotswolds / Re: Cotswold Line 90% fare increases from 17 May 2015 on: April 21, 2015, 23:13:26
I've seen a brief regarding the IT error preventing Advance Purchase fares being shown. It seems the error is because the National Reservation System has a limit of 99 ticket types for each flow, and if there are any more than that it doesn't work and won't be able to search for reservations. This error was previously unknown, presumably because 99 ticket types for one flow is a huge number which has never been exceeded before.
3  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Excessing super off-peak to off-peak on board on: April 02, 2015, 15:51:25
The reason for allowing it on the train is the often lack of a ticket office (whether not present or often out of opening hours)
But even if you weren't allowed to excess on board generally, if the ticket office was closed you'd have to be offered the excess on board anyway as it would be the first opportunity to purchase. Allowing change of route and time restriction based excess fares to be obtained on board at no penalty under all circumstances is a special exception, there must be some reason other than the lack of a ticket office. Otherwise the rule would be the same as that generally relating to buying before you board, where there are no ticket issuing facilities available before boarding you may purchase at the first available opportunity. A possible reason could be that Off Peak restriction are complex, and it easy for people to be confused. It wouldn't be fair to penalise passengers where there has been confusion, so they are only asked to pay the correct fare due.
4  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Ticket gate behaviour on: March 28, 2015, 23:44:29
This is a feature of Wide Gates when they are set to be bi-directional. Although they will accept tickets from both directions, they are only looking to accept tickets in one direction at any given moment. They swap which side they are taking from every 5 seconds or so. This means they will never take one ticket from each side simultaneously, which would no doubt cause the gate to crash. If you are using a Wide Gate don't push your ticket in against any resistance, this won't make it accept it any faster but often will lead to the ticket becoming creased/damaged. If you push it too far the ticket will go through, but the gate won't read it and will just spit it back out. It can cause the ticket reader to go out of service too, requiring the gate to be reset. The trick is to just put the ticket in as far as any resistance and wait for the gate to take the ticket and open. It will take it within a couple of seconds.
5  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: FGW Statement on Quiet Carriages on: August 02, 2014, 03:23:10
I have to say FGW (First Great Western) that I do resent the snugger feel when I catch a 1.5 1st stock on the way into and out of PAD» (Paddington (London) - next trains) in the rush, but what I really miss is my 1st quiet coach.  I hate half telephone conversations - a couple of days ago, I swear someone was starting to divorce his wife by phone - it was awful.  Please FGW, give us premium season ticket purchasers our quiet zone back - we deserve better in this regard - thanks.
To me the pertinent question appears to be, why would you want to hold such a conversation in earshot of others? I normally take any phone call in the vestibule, regardless of whether I'm in the quiet coach or not. I see it is much more polite, and it gives a little welcome privacy.
6  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: FGW Statement on Quiet Carriages on: August 01, 2014, 16:53:04
If people are just using the free Wi-Fi to browse the internet on their phone then it shouldn't be noisy. It's the same with texting. Sending a text or browsing the internet in the quiet carriage is fine in my opinion, provided you don't have irritating keypad sounds turned on on your phone.
7  Journey by Journey / London to the Cotswolds / Re: Proposed May 2015 timetable changes on: July 24, 2014, 14:40:38
I'd say the lack of Weekend work for 180s is probably more capacity related. Most services between London and Oxford are 5 or 6 carriage Turbos at Weekends. A single 180 would struggle to provide enough capacity.
8  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: 19/07 Exeter<>Honiton Line Closed Due To Obstruction At Feniton on: July 21, 2014, 23:32:06
I was on the train coming the other way which you passed at Pinhoe. The incident was definitely at Crannaford, not Feniton. We were cautioned over the crossing and there was a Network Rail van parked alongside.
9  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Overnighter ticket - out late one day, back early the next on: July 14, 2014, 02:20:05
When the railway day finished at 0230 the rule was that you were able to complete any travel started prior to 0230. That changed when the railway day changed to finishing at 0430.
10  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Overnighter ticket - out late one day, back early the next on: July 09, 2014, 23:58:51
The railway day changed a couple of years ago from finishing at 0230 to finishing at 0400, in order to align with TfL» (Transport for London - about). A ticket dated 06/07/14 would be valid until 0400 07/07/14. Travelling early in the morning it may often be cheaper to buy an Off-Peak Day Return for the previous date as a ticket for the 'correct date' would have to be an Anytime Day Return on many flows.
11  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Heritage railway lines, Railtours, other rail based attractions / Re: Helston Railway - line re-opening plans on: July 08, 2014, 22:58:42
The opposition is mainly a few, vocal, 'NIMBYs'. The most vocal of the campaigners has actually built his house next to the railway within the last couple of years. Not only did the original railway come first in this case, but the preserved railway also came first.
12  Journey by Journey / London to Reading / Re: 18:05 Paddington-Frome 08/07 on: July 08, 2014, 22:54:20
Yes, but obviously they aren't going to look at it constantly whilst driving. Only a couple of fast trains a day call at Twyford so it must be quite easy for a driver to forget momentarily, or realise too late, that they are meant to stop. They're only human after all.
13  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: Which station am I (and they) talking about? on: July 08, 2014, 11:35:09
Dilton Marsh and Frome would both probably fit the description.
14  Journey by Journey / London to the Cotswolds / Re: Hanborough passing loop on: July 08, 2014, 11:33:08
I'd have thought either double track through from Hanborough to Wolvercote Junction, or at least nearly Wolvercote Junction, would provide the most benefits. That would provide benefits to the network at large as it would mean less services having to wait in the Oxford area for the single line to become free.
15  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: FGW fail to make the accessibility charts ! on: July 04, 2014, 09:52:26
The HSTs (High Speed Train) are expected to be retired by the 31/12/19 deadline so won't have these modifications.

What will be running to Devon and Cornwall then?
There are still several options for Devon and Cornwall; life-extending HSTs, a follow on order for more IEPs (Intercity Express Program / Project.) or Class 222s displaced from the Midland Main Line when it is electrified.
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