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1  Journey by Journey / London to Swindon and Bristol / Re: 5 into 10 goes once on: May 20, 2018, 11:34:59 pm
Jam tomorrow.
Was is not implied that we would start to see the benefits of the new trains from the beginning of THIS year ?

What has actually happened is regular 5 car DMUs replacing 8 car HSTs. Advocates of the new units now say "don't judge them on these interim problems, wait until the whole fleet is in service.

Likewise with the downgrade from a buffet to a trolley. It was certainly stated on these forums that the new DMUs would have "improved catering trolleys that keep hot food hot and cold food cold" and also that 5+5 trains would have a trolley in each portion. And that hot food would be offered in standard class.

Of course the new trolleys are much like the old ones, a single trolley in a 5+5 train is a regular feature.
The alleged hot food offer also seems to have become a future aspiration instead of a promise.
I pointed these downgrades out elsewhere on these forums, and advocates of the new DMUs suggested that such criticisms are unwarranted until the whole fleet is in service.

Why ? If DECENT  trolley catering was planned, why not do this from day one ?
I suspect that a year or two after all the new units are in use, that a survey will be done to show that no one wants a trolley any more.
2  Journey by Journey / London to Swindon and Bristol / Re: 5 into 10 goes once on: May 20, 2018, 08:12:31 pm
When the fact that 5 car trains were being ordered was first discovered, I seem to remember the FGW apologists claiming that all would be well because services that needed 10 vehicles would get them!

I suspect that this has become an aspiration, that they are "working towards" rather than a promise.
All very Voyager like, but at least they do not smell as bad.
3  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Weather disruption caused in 2014, and how to prevent it happening again - ongoing discussion on: May 19, 2018, 04:04:48 pm
Surely this can not mean that actual building work is to start ! Must be time for a few more studies, reviews and consultations.
A few posts* back, I expressed doubts about moving the line out to sea, and would be interested to see exactly how they propose to do this.

Are any drawings or plans of the works available ?

*see post #939
4  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: East Coast rail franchise - ongoing discussion on: May 19, 2018, 01:03:58 pm
I put "comfortable seats" a fair way down my list because this is  so subjective and open to differing interpretations.
5  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: M1 diversion: Drivers warned to expect delays over weekend - 12 / 13 May 2018 on: May 19, 2018, 07:35:09 am
I doubt that an Equerry would comment in detail on the inadequacy of a particular train service, they are probably not even aware of the details.

I could however see such an advisor suggesting "I feel that a London venue might be a better choice, your Highness. Large numbers of your loyal subjects will no doubt wish to attend, and London is better served by numerous public transport links. For those unable to make the return trip in one day, London also the merit of numerous large hotels" 
6  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: East Coast rail franchise - ongoing discussion on: May 18, 2018, 08:54:03 pm
Whilst I would hope for a smart livery, this is a long way down my list of concerns.
Higher priorities are on board facilities and comfort.
Restaurant
Buffet
Luggage space
Leg room
Tables
Windows
Air conditioning that works
Toilets that work, including the emptying of retention tanks and filling of water tanks
Comfortable seats
Gangwayed throughout
Peak fares high enough to deter overcrowding and off peak fares low enough to make best use of the trains

External livery can hardly be seen once on board so is a LONG way down my list of preferences.
7  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Royal Wedding Weekend - What's going to happen? on: May 18, 2018, 06:16:40 pm
I expect that the Windsor services will run reasonably well, with the "eyes of the world upon them" GWR will no doubt provide extra resources, even if that makes the usual weekend chaos elsewhere even worse. I think that fine weather is expected, ideal for barbecues Smiley

I do not THINK that incompetent railway directors can be beheaded at the Tower of London, but there might be some ancient statute that permits it.

Any bad c0ck ups would likely prevent the granting of a knighthood to any senior figure who might otherwise have been so honoured.
8  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: East Coast rail franchise - ongoing discussion on: May 18, 2018, 11:17:43 am
My main issue is will they paint the trains LNER green Tongue   
With the carriages wrapped in teak-coloured vinyls ...

Would never be allowed, the doors would have to be a contrasting colour under present regulations, thereby ruining the whole effect.
9  Journey by Journey / London to South Wales / Re: Dangerous overcrowding 16/8 London-Swansea on: May 17, 2018, 08:08:45 pm
I have no doubt as to the facts, but the date looks wrong ? I presume that this occurred on May 15, 2018.

It sounds worse than I realised, was not aware that all toilets out of order.
10  Journey by Journey / London to South Wales / Re: Dangerous overcrowding 16/8 London-Swansea on: May 17, 2018, 07:46:23 pm
Anyway, no cause for concern as "the on board staff are trained to monitor loadings and will intervene if necessary" Was some special event adding significantly to passenger numbers ? Or is this just the consequences of a new shorter train.

It is also implied that the air conditioning was not working properly or perhaps not coping with the crowds.  
11  Journey by Journey / London to South Wales / Re: Dangerous overcrowding 16/8 London-Swansea on: May 17, 2018, 04:19:12 pm
According to one of the comments, yes it was a 5 car.

12  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: East Coast rail franchise - ongoing discussion on: May 17, 2018, 12:50:54 pm
SWR, by contrast are doing better from the passengers point of view. There is always room for improvement of course but as regards the percentage of trains that are short formed/cancelled/part cancelled they are doing better than GWR.
SWR are however reportedly in financial trouble.

Seriously? SWR are majority FirstGroup, no?

SWR are indeed part owned by First group who have a majority interest. AFAIK they are a separate company and any financial failure of SWR would not mean the failure of the rest of First group.

Just as National Express are still a going concern despite the failure of their East Coast franchise.
13  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: East Coast rail franchise - ongoing discussion on: May 17, 2018, 12:19:18 pm
Those other 4 TOC's are probably in trouble for financial reasons, i.e. they have overbid and passenger growth has not been as strong as they predicated.
That is different from GWR who 'are in trouble' because they don't have enough trains and/or staff and therefore have not been able to provide a very satisfactory service.


Agree entirely.
I feel that some people are confusing poor performance from the PASSENGERS point of view, with a poor FINANCIAL  performance.
The two are very different, though either would be grounds for concern.

GWR are doing very poorly from the passenger service point of view, simply look at the endless problems reported elsewhere on these forums. But AFAIK they are not in danger of going bust.

SWR, by contrast are doing better from the passengers point of view. There is always room for improvement of course but as regards the percentage of trains that are short formed/cancelled/part cancelled they are doing better than GWR.
SWR are however reportedly in financial trouble.
14  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: May 17, 2018, 05:20:28 am
Safety critical but not such that they are being suspended from service.

Can't be that critical.

Indeed, as is well known I do not think a lot of the new trains, and I suspect that reliability/availability may fall short of that expected. However a "safety critical flaw" seems a bit unlikely as they are still running in passenger service.
Of course "safety critical" might be only in the eyes of the RMT ! Most strikes or threats thereof are over "safety" though a big enough pay rise can make the problem go away.

Or of course there might be some design flaw that results in some technical non compliance with something that most of us would regard as trivial. Something like a grab rail in the disabled toilet being a few mm too high or too low for example. That would be "safety critical" according to some healthansafety experts, but of little real world importance.
15  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: East Coast rail franchise - ongoing discussion on: May 16, 2018, 06:58:53 pm
Can't help wondering how much worse GWR has to get, before Graying considers it a prime candidate for DoR

I cant see this happening.
Remember that the various East coast franchises have not been ended due to poor performance, customers were generally happier than on FGW, Connex, Thameslink, and others.
The franchises ended because the operators were loosing money and have gone bust had they continued.

The FGW/GWR failings would have to get a lot worse before they get kicked out for poor performance. And SOME of the problems are due to network rail who are a government department in all but name.
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