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1  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Buffet Cars on: Yesterday at 07:37:35 pm
You left it in the Buffet Car Lee.

Probably in a buffet car that is being scrapped.

More seriously, might it be worth merging this thread with the other major thread about catering ?
2  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - 2018 to 2045 / Re: Rise in car dependency - unintended consequence, or expected effect of policy? on: Yesterday at 04:31:14 pm
Does say a sprinter actually burn 4 times as much fuel per mile as an SUV ? That seems surprising to me.
Estimating 30 miles to a gallon for the SUV, does a pacer really only go 7.5 miles on a gallon ?

I have heard, but can not substantiate, that the fuel consumption of a pacer is about the same as an SUV, and therefore that the pacer saves fuel with only two passengers.

Perhaps we need some new 2 car battery multiple units ?
3  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Intercity Express Train (IET) failure, near Exeter, 13 September 2018 on: Yesterday at 01:45:31 pm
Only a driver is required to move the train, but a guard is on board to check tickets and close the doors.
Also two staff in the buffet which offers a pleasing choice.
4  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Intercity Express Train (IET) failure, near Exeter, 13 September 2018 on: Yesterday at 11:43:22 am
I cant speak for Devon, but here in Somersetshire we move with the times.
On the Minehead branch line was recently demonstrated a new type of train, this appears to have no locomotive nor any fireman, but proceeds under the direction of only a driver. It does however make an odd noise and may frighten horses.
5  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - 2018 to 2045 / Re: Rise in car dependency - unintended consequence, or expected effect of policy? on: Yesterday at 11:16:22 am
Here in North Somerset, bus services have noticeably worsened.
Local employers have got fed up with staff turning up late due to bus problems, and almost all local job adverts now state "must have own transport"

Speaking more generally, I blame a lot of the problems on new housing developments that have no effective public transport provision. Residents of such estates therefore have to drive, often needing multiple cars per household.

There seems to be a general view that new housing developments cant be served with public transport until a proven demand can be demonstrated. By which time of course every resident has purchased a car and got used to driving.
IMHO, new housing developments need an effective bus service from before the first resident moves in.

A comparison could be made with electricity supply. Who would build a new housing estate without an electricity supply ? No one ! Despite the fact that INITIAL electricity demand is probably insufficient to justify the costs.
Similar arguments apply to mains water or roads within the estate.
"here is your new home. Sorry about the walk across a muddy field to get to your front door. But don't worry, we will consider building a road once enough demand exists"
6  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture Overseas / "4 children die in Dutch level crossing accident" 20 Sept 2018 on: September 20, 2018, 05:31:31 pm
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45586492

4 children are reported killed and others hurt after being struck by a train at a gated level crossing.
The young victims were being transported to school in an electric cart operated by an adult. This past under the barrier and was struck by a train.
Some reports state the brakes failed on the electric cart.

I am sure that the bereaved and injured are in our thoughts Cry
7  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Great Western Railway: on-board catering, buffets, Travelling Chef, Pullman - ongoing discussion on: September 20, 2018, 04:04:14 pm
At least those units primarily intended for long distance services should have had proper buffet cars.
If they sometimes end up being used on other routes, then so be it.

New allegedly intercity trains without a buffet car is a significant downgrade for 4+ hour journeys. This is not just my view.
IETs for other operators DO have buffets so it looks as though the downgrade was a GWR policy, not the department for transport as is sometimes claimed.
Did Daft REALLY say "passengers headed north are allowed buffets, but those headed west are not allowed buffets" ? I rather doubt it.
8  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Great Western Railway: on-board catering, buffets, Travelling Chef, Pullman - ongoing discussion on: September 20, 2018, 03:41:03 pm
Then make them longer, and with a buffet car.
BTW, I suspect that Cotswold commuters would enjoy a buffet, especially for real coffee and fresh cooked bacon rolls in the morning peak, and alcoholic drink in evening peak.
9  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Great Western Railway: on-board catering, buffets, Travelling Chef, Pullman - ongoing discussion on: September 20, 2018, 03:02:09 pm
I seem to remember that another issue was that the 802s would not only be working to Plymouth/Penzance but also on Cotswold services (which would not have a buffet) so it was thought better to have a uniform fleet without a buffet.

Always downgrade facilities as much as possible. If SOME units allegedly don't need a buffet, then build them ALL without a buffet. No question of course of building them all WITH a buffet, even if this might not be needed on every diagram.
10  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Intercity Express Train (IET) failure, near Exeter, 13 September 2018 on: September 18, 2018, 11:19:34 pm
I am aware of at least one case in which a modern EMU was disabled after striking a goose, the impact of which broke an air connection.

So yes it is possible. If such incidents recur regularly then that suggests a need to make the relevant parts of the air system more impact resistant or easier to isolate.
If it was a very rare event, then (goose)shit happens!
11  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Intercity Express Train (IET) failure, near Exeter, 13 September 2018 on: September 18, 2018, 07:05:58 pm
Seem to remember something similar with a 180 versus a pigeon on the Cotswold line some years back. The 180 lost all air.

But was the pigeon alright ?
12  Journey by Journey / Plymouth and Cornwall / Re: Plymouth station stabbing: Murder investigation as man dies - 8 August 2017 on: September 18, 2018, 10:47:15 am
Quote
A brave member of Great Western Railway staff, John Phare, managed to grab Skinner in a bear hug and pull him to the ground Ė where the attacker was restrained by colleagues and members of the public.
...
Judge Paul Darlow awarded Mr Phare £100 from public funds for tackling the frenzied knifeman.  He added: ďHe very much put himself in harmís way."


Indeed: well done, John Phare.  Lips sealed




Whilst I am pleased to see that the bravery of the man has recognised, £100 seems rather paltry these days.
IMHO an award of at least £1000 would be more appropriate.
In view of the relatively small number of such cases, the total drain on the public purse would not be great.

Hopefully the brave employee will not face any disciplinary action for violating any "non confrontation" or similar policy.
Hopefully the armed attacker will not receive any compensation for violation of his human rights.

BTW, many years ago when I was rather younger and fitter, I tackled an armed thief and was given an award out of public funds, whilst I was honoured to receive this award, the actual amount was considerably less than I lost in wages whilst attending court as a witness.
13  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Intercity Express Train (IET) failure, near Exeter, 13 September 2018 on: September 17, 2018, 11:31:45 am
Worth remembering that such a long delay due to brake failure is not unique to IETs. The sainted HSTs aren't beyond sitting down and stranding passengers for hours.

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=12752.0

I agree, hence my limited criticism of this particular incident. Trains old or new DO breakdown, and anything new is more liable to breakdowns initially.
Hitachi will presumably act to improve reliability, they have a strong financial incentive to so do.

I feel that the response to both this recent IET failure, and to the earlier HST failure, could have been better. A poor response is however not the fault of the train, old or new.

My criticism of the IETs is more general, and may be summarised as being a general downgrade from a proper inter-city train to a regional DMU.
14  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: September 16, 2018, 01:58:44 pm
HST failures did indeed occur regularly, but this was not comparable  to the present situation with IETs.
A failed HST usually resulted in a FULL LENGTH loco hauled train being substituted, with padded seats, reservations, and a buffet.

Today we get a half length DMU if lucky, or nothing if less lucky.

I, and I suspect many others, would have accepted the IETs if firstly they had been proper inter-city trains, full length, gangwayed throughout, with a buffet car, working reservations, padded seats, and so on, AND if the inevitable initial unreliability had been covered by retaining enough HSTs so as to minimise effects on passengers.

15  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: September 15, 2018, 10:34:48 pm
Finances.

GWR can't continue leasing HSTs alongside IETs.

They won't take the financial hit, and the DfT won't bankroll it as they'd be admitting their IEP project is struggling.

But I thought that the IEPs only have to be paid for when they are available ? The recent levels of non availability should be SAVING GWR a lot of money, some of which they could spend on spot hire or monthly hire of a few HSTs.
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