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1801  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: M5 Crash 04/11/2011 on: November 05, 2011, 02:50:40 pm
This tragic accident does however demonstrate the differing standards accepted on roads versus railways.

Do we hear calls for a public inquiry ?
For the temporary closure of motorways, pending a review to "ensure that it never happens again"
Calls to find out who caused it, and jail them ?
For the speed limit to be reduced ?
For strict action to ensure that those who drive dangerously are banned for life.

Most unlikely.

A train driver who deliberatly and substantialy exceeded the correct speed would almost certainly be dismissed and probably not be allowed to drive a train again.
A road vehicle driver would receive a small fine.

A TOC whose trains had dangerous faults would face severe penalties, as would the persons or firms who serviced them. The operators of unroadworthy vehicles usually get away with a small fine.

By next week this accident will be forgotten except by those injured or bereaved.
A train crash with a similar death toll would be called a "disaster" and not an "accident", and would be disscussed and inquired into for years.



1802  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Great Western Railway: on-board catering, buffets, Travelling Chef, Pullman - ongoing discussion on: November 02, 2011, 03:08:07 pm
Not only is the supply of Plymouth Gin under threat, as noted above, but now they have no port AGAIN.

Cant fault the food or the service, but no port AND no proper gin ! The empire will fall !

I like the new menus though, fillet steak on all 3 menus, but with a different sauce, most enjoyable.

On the train now, plenty of Plymouth gin AND port, and very good port too !
Also, dessert wine,by the glass, just the thing with pudding.
The food and service  being of the usual high standard.
1803  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: FGW high speed services now almost at the bottom of the performance table on: October 28, 2011, 12:08:37 pm
In my view, official figures on the performance of TOCs give undue weight to relatively minor delays, and not enough importance is attached to substantial delays and gross overcrowding.

I would prefer the train to be on time, but dont regard an 11 minute delay as important in most cases.

Obtaining a seat, preferably in the restaurant is of greater importance to me than minor delays.

Some trains, as reffered to above, are so grossly overcrowded that passengers are unable to board. From the point of view of those unable to board, the train was effectively cancelled, yet according to official figures, all was well.
The cancellation of a train is of course reflected in reliability figures, but if as a result the following services are so crowded as to be unusable, then this is not recorded.
Likewise, AFAIK, no account is taken of the consequences of a cancellation. If the next train is only a few minutes after the canceled one, and has room to board, who cares much ? If on the other hand the next train is 2 hours later, involves standing for 2 hours, and is much slower, then that is a serious matter.
1804  All across the Great Western territory / Smoke and Mirrors / Re: Bright lights! Bright lights! (Poor Gizmo could never travel with FGW) on: October 27, 2011, 03:46:43 pm
Was interested to see that the lighting had been altered on last nights train.
(18-03 from Paddington, 26/10/2011, coach F)

The previously used "daylight" lamps had been replaced with "warm white" still with only alternate lamps lit.
Do not know if this was throughout or only in the restaurant.
Trains in other platforms still had daylight lamps.

Although I like daylight flourescent lamps and use them at home, I accept that I am in a minority regarding this and I suspect that most customers will welcome this change to warm white lighting.

Does anyone know if this is just for the restaurant, or throughout.
1805  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Great Western Railway: on-board catering, buffets, Travelling Chef, Pullman - ongoing discussion on: October 27, 2011, 03:25:08 pm
Enjoyed an excellent meal last night on the 18-03.
Plymouth gin was available I am glad to say, and I noted that the menus included a "house cocktail" in which Plymouth gin is used, so presumably it is being stocked regularly, not just whilst stocks last.

I also noted several other improvements, real butter served on a dish instead of small plastic wrapped portions, mineral water in glass bottles instead of plastic, menus in leather effect folders.

All very impressive, it would appear that FGW are serious about promoting pullman dining.

In the menus, they state that FGW are the only TOC offering a full "silver service restaurant on high speed trains" which is true AFAIK.

Still no port though Sad
1806  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: 11/09/11 - DIG>PAD Return - Bit Of A C*ck-Up On The Catering Front, etc. on: October 12, 2011, 01:56:02 pm
In my experience, the travelling chef service often consists of only sandwiches, rather than the extensive sounding menu.

As regards the Pullman, it is very good when available, but reliability of catering equipment seems poor.
There has only been one sitting for some years, though in the past meals were served to customers boarding at Taunton.
1807  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: The oncoming storm on: October 11, 2011, 12:46:32 pm
FGW did indeed cope better with last winters bad weather than many other TOCs.
Probably because most of their trains are old and/or diesel.

Electric trains are vulnerable to bad weather, conductor rail powered trains more vulnerable still, and generally the newer the train, the worse it performs in snow.

I am old enough to remember the slam door third rail EMUs, these coped fairly well in snowy weather, and in really bad conditions could be assisted by a steam or diesel locomotive.

Then came class 455s for Waterloo suburban services, these seemed less reliable and frequently suffered from frozen sliding door mechanisms.

Some years later, slam door units on Blackfriars suburban services were replaced by class 319s, theses were so bad in snow that services were withdrawn if snow was even forecast, with customers advised not to travel.

We then suffered another modernisation in south east London when the networkers came into use, and performed very poorly in snow or ice, with customers again advised against travel. (last winter, just to make certain that no one could get to work, they stopped all the buses as well !)

I cant imagine FGW or their replacement, coping very well in snow when 40 year old HSTs are replaced by modern EMUs.
1808  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Police appeal after train staff abused in Somerset - Thursday 4 August 2011 on: October 10, 2011, 09:01:46 am
If the card was declined, does the machine still store the card number?  If it does, that could be a simple way of tracing them (although I'm sure the BTP have already explored this route...)

That would be of limited use if the card was stolen, which could well have been the reason that it was not accepted.
1809  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Crossrail - The Elizabeth Line - ongoing discussion, merged topics on: September 19, 2011, 03:04:34 pm

What a ridiculous statement to make.  The seating layout will be specified in the ITT, not chosen by Bombardier.

Paul

No agree  but TFL will have alot to say about the ITT and they have been going for longitudinal seats in both the 378 and the new S stock etc.

As pointed out, the train builder does not choose the seating layout.

BUT experience of other new trains suggests that the seating layout chosen will be a backward step.
Either longitudinal with mainly standing space, or at best high density bus style with minimal legroom.
1810  Journey by Journey / Cross Country services / Re: Feasibility study: Bombardier to fit crosscountry class 220/221's with pantograph cars on: September 17, 2011, 10:03:08 am
I am not aware of any reason that requires different vehicles in a train to built of the same material.
Use of steel and aluminium in close proximity does indeed promote corosion, but "close proximity" is generally understood to mean the two materials bolted or riveted together, not adjacent vehicles of a train.
1811  Journey by Journey / Cross Country services / Re: Feasibility study: Bombardier to fit crosscountry class 220/221's with pantograph cars on: September 13, 2011, 12:43:25 pm
Sounds a good idea, but things do not allways work out so well in practice.
Voyagers are still nasty though ! even with an extra vehicle.

If this goes ahead, could two sets run in multiple on electric power ? I though that at more than 100MPH only one pantograph could be used on a train.
1812  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Great Western Railway: on-board catering, buffets, Travelling Chef, Pullman - ongoing discussion on: September 06, 2011, 02:53:11 pm
Not only is the supply of Plymouth Gin under threat, as noted above, but now they have no port AGAIN.

Cant fault the food or the service, but no port AND no proper gin ! The empire will fall !

I like the new menus though, fillet steak on all 3 menus, but with a different sauce, most enjoyable.Edit, the above was true when I posted it, but port is now available again.
1813  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Locking intermediate doors on: September 06, 2011, 07:47:27 am
It used to be done, to confine second or third class class to the correct area of the train.
Dont know if it is allowed these days though.
1814  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: No Standard Class standees in First Class vestibules. on: September 05, 2011, 03:27:50 pm
Interesting, as posted above, the timetable linked to in the previous post suggests that the Golden Hind may be used to travel from Paddington to Reading, except on Fridays.

This timetable thoughhttp://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk/Documents/Custom/TTs%20Apr%20'11/GW11M_TT04_WEB_V3.pdf
States that Reading is pick up only every weekday, not just Fridays.

One might hope that the information would at least be the same, no matter which current timetable was consulted.
1815  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: No Standard Class standees in First Class vestibules. on: September 05, 2011, 01:30:18 pm
Yes the 1803 is still called the Golden Hind.
I agree that as the Reading stop is meant to be pick up only, that it should not be announced at Paddington, nor on the train.

Although the timetable gives the Reading stop as pick up only, the train is still anounced as calling at Reading.

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