Train Graphic
Great Western Passengers' Forum Great Western Coffee Shop - [home] and [about]
Read about the forum [here].
Register and contribute [here] - it's free.
Attend the wrong meeting - [here]
 26/02/2019 - WWRUG AGM
11/03/2019 - ACoRP Conference
16/03/2019 - Railwayana Auction
20/03/2019 - TWSW General Meeting
20/03/2019 - JLTP Consultation closes
22/03/2019 - Flying Scotsman, Swanage Rly
Random Image
Train Running @GWR Twitter Acronyms/Abbreviations Station Comparator Rail news GWR co. site Site Style 1 2 3 4 Chat on off
Next departures • Bristol Temple MeadsBath SpaChippenhamSwindonDidcot ParkwayReadingLondon PaddingtonMelksham
Exeter St DavidsTauntonWestburyTrowbridgeBristol ParkwayCardiff CentralOxfordCheltenham SpaBirmingham New Street
February 21, 2019, 04:19:47 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Forgotten your username or password? - get a reminder
Most liked recent subjects
[108] Cucumbers
[68] Bradford North Curve / Direct services Melksham to Bath and Br...
[46] FlyBMI - Gone into administration.
[32] Okehampton-Tavistock. Discussion on reopening and potential us...
[22] February / March 2019 engineering closures
[5] Server struggling over last hour
News: A forum for passengers ... with input from rail professionals welcomed too
 
  Home Help Search Calendar Login Register  
  Show Posts
Pages: 1 ... 119 120 [121] 122 123 ... 142
1801  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture - related rail, public and other transport issues / Re: FirstGroup win InterCity West Coast Franchise on: August 20, 2012, 08:39:24 am
You may expect it broadgage but that doesn't mean it will happen.

Why not wait and see what First actually propose to do when they refurbish the Pendolinos and Voyagers?

Remember, these are dedicated inter-city stock and are not performing duties similar to FGW HSTs which act as London - Thames Valley commuter trains as well as inter-city trains.

At least you didn't speculate on 2+3 in Standard on a Voyager or Pendolino as has been done elsewhere.  Roll Eyes

I cant see how First expect to carry more passengers and raise more revenue from a nearly fixed train fleet without much higher density seating in the new third class.
I did not speculate on 2+3 seating because I took that for granted in third.
Other TOCs have shown the way in this regard.
"thousands of extra seats"  "options to suit all budgets "
And the infamous "it is what customers want, surveys show it"

It could certainly be argued that parts of the West coast route serve long distance commuters, in much the same way as FGW HSTs do, and similar arguments could be applied to justify downgrading the seating layout from inter city to commuter.

MY negative thoughts regarding "improvements" are not entirely aimed at First group since I believe that similar downgrades would been done by Virgin had they retained the franchise.
Higher density seating, removal of tables and luggage space and downgrading catering is generally regarded as progress on todays railway, and does indeed provide more seats.
1802  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture - related rail, public and other transport issues / Re: FirstGroup win InterCity West Coast Franchise on: August 19, 2012, 07:42:58 pm
Are you certain that club class will be a first class carriage ?

My natural cynicism leads me to suspect that club class will be a way of charging more for standard class, rather than a way of charging less for first class coaches.

I would expect club class to be like the present standard class, with the new higher density standard being made worse.

FIRST almost all table seats , 2+1 seating

CLUB CLASS , Like present standard with some tables, in effect second class but not called that

STANDARD, High density budget airline seating, minimal luggage space. In effect third class but not called that.


Will soon become known as first, second and third.
1803  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture - related rail, public and other transport issues / Re: FirstGroup win InterCity West Coast Franchise on: August 16, 2012, 06:18:42 pm
First have confirmed that buffet cars will be kept.
Catering staff will RISE.
"In-seat dining" introduced.

Source: Radio 4

Whilst that sounds good, did they say ALL buffets or SOME buffets.
Whilst I have slightly more faith in First than I have in Virgin, FGW do not a have a very good record.

Micro-buffets replacing proper ones
7 return pullman workings to/from the West gradually reduced to 2.
ALL Welsh Pullmans withdrawn.

Stating in a railway magazine that "existing restaurants would be retained" and then withdrawing another before the publication was on sale !.


OTOH Virgin do not offer any proper restaurants, and FGW still have 2 and might manage several more in a larger franchise.
1804  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture - related rail, public and other transport issues / Re: FirstGroup win InterCity West Coast Franchise on: August 16, 2012, 10:41:57 am
Yes, I would back First as well.
I have misgivings about First, but on balance would prefer them to Virgin.

Virgin services allways feel subjectively like a not very good airline, rather than like a railway.
Being told where to sit, and the included but not very good reheated airline type meal is part of this.

Some Virgin fares seem outrageuos, on not very busy trains.
I can understand charging relatively high fares on busy services, but last minute travel on lightly used services seems unduly expensive.

As an example the off peak fare from Taunton to London is about ^40, with tickets available at the last minute, and valid on any off peak train.
I suspect that a last minute off peak journey on Virgin, of similar length, would cost much more.
1805  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture - related rail, public and other transport issues / Re: FirstGroup win InterCity West Coast Franchise on: August 16, 2012, 08:42:21 am
Nothing much about catering.

Is the shop being axed? it says something like "at seat catering for all customers"...
They could do a XC, put luggage racks there and then rip them out in the saloons.
No mention of restaurants or travelling chefs (probs because they are not viable/profitable).

Hpefully they will run some proper restaurants.
The cynic in me is however aware that a sandwich sold from a trolley is "at seat catering"
Almost any downgrade or reduction can be marketed as an improvement, if you have a good marketing department.

Squeezing in a few more seats by removing tables " thousands of extra seats a day. customers much prefer new layout, surveys show it"

Remove the restaurant/buffet, a great impovement "customers much prefer a trolley service, surveys show it"
1806  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture - related rail, public and other transport issues / Re: FirstGroup win InterCity West Coast Franchise on: August 15, 2012, 09:41:38 am
Virgin tried to run the railway more like an airline.
I suspect that they minimised intermediate stops simply because most aircraft do not stop en route !
They certainly seemed to have an active policy of discouraging local commuters and shoppers from useing their trains.
1807  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture - related rail, public and other transport issues / Re: FirstGroup win InterCity West Coast Franchise on: August 15, 2012, 08:18:14 am
Congratulations to First.

Although they have their faults, in my view they are better than Virgin.

Despite the generous number of staff on Virgin services, I have often been dissapointed by the on train service.
"its not my job" "youve had a complimentary drink, you cant have another until after XX"
And worst all, regularly being told where "you have got to sit" ! surely with a first open ticket I should be able to sit where I please ? (subject of course to the seat not being occupied  or booked by someone else)

My main concerns with the new First franchise is what downgrades to passenger comfort are planned.
They have shown the way with the improved HSTs "thousands of extra seats"

IF  First group retain the Great western franchise, then presumably rolling stock used on both franchises can be loaned/transfered between Western and West coast as needed. Does not increase the total pool of course, but might give a little valuable extra flexibility.
1808  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture - related rail, public and other transport issues / Re: FirstGroup trumps Virgin as frontrunner for WCML franchise (guardian 29/07/2012) on: August 13, 2012, 12:29:34 pm
"Overbidding", and consequent failure is certainly a risk as previous events on the East coast route have shown.

I dont understand how making the winner give up other franchises would help in this respect.
If first group have bid excesively for the west coast franchise, then how would making them give up one or other of their other franchises help ?
1809  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture - related rail, public and other transport issues / Re: FirstGroup trumps Virgin as frontrunner for WCML franchise (guardian 29/07/2012) on: August 13, 2012, 09:35:52 am
I rather prefered this livery !http://www.fictitiousliveries.co.uk/photo.php?S_A4_1_vt.jpg
1810  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture - related rail, public and other transport issues / Re: FirstGroup trumps Virgin as frontrunner for WCML franchise (guardian 29/07/2012) on: August 11, 2012, 03:41:43 pm
Isn't there anything more important than catering in first class depending upon the outcome of this franchise award?  Undecided

Yes, but.
Although many factors are more important than first class catering, most of these such as timetables, regulated fares, and so on are fairly tightly specified.
Catering is more or less optional, and therefore a matter of some concern.

Re-introduction of proper restaurants  Smiley
Or adjust "in line with changing customer needs" i.e. just a trolley Angry
1811  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Turbo refresh started. on: August 11, 2012, 11:03:02 am
Chiltern Units don't have air conditioning but air chillers. Makes them easier and quicker to replace when the go wrong.

There may be some subtle difference, but for all practical purposes they are the same thing.
All use electric or other power to reduce air temperatures to significantly below the outside air temperature.

Some types are much more readily repaired or replaced than others.
1812  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Turbo refresh started. on: August 11, 2012, 09:45:07 am
If there is no functioning air conditioning, then opening a window is better than leaving it closed.
If the air conditioning has been defective for some time, or if none is fitted, then outside air will normally  be less hot than that inside.

Without ventilation or air conditioning the inside air will rapidly become very humid, this makes it feel hotter still since high humdity impairs the natural cooling of the human body.
Air conditioning reduces not only the temperature but also the humidity (unless already low), therefore in the absence of funtioning air conditioning, opening of windows will reduce excessive humidity.

At high temperatures, moving air is more comfortable than still air, and again in the absence of working air conditioning the opening of windows helps.
On a moving train, considerable internal airflow results and conditions might be acceptable even on a hot day. When stopped there will still be a slight air movement, better than nothing.


Old trains with numerous large opening windows were relatively comfortable without air conditioning, at least when moving. The drawbacks being the admission of noise and dirt, and in steam days smoke from the engine.





1813  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture - related rail, public and other transport issues / Re: The cans are back!!! :D on: August 11, 2012, 01:53:23 am
Fanta fizzy orange is good with gin.
The larger cans than those used for mixers mean that more gin must be purchased in order to use the whole can.

BTW is there any policy on carrying goods for sale on the trolley that serves complimentaries in First ?
Seems pot luck at present. Most trolley staff carry some saleables, but others dont. This causes delay whilst the goods are fetched from the buffet, and the endless walking to and fro must be irksome.
1814  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture - related rail, public and other transport issues / Re: Scotrail Alcohol ban on: August 11, 2012, 01:42:02 am
In the good old days of course those who became drunk and disorderly could be arrested and charged.
Now the answer is to ban everyone from drinking, progress I suppose.

I wonder how it will be enforced ?
Cans of beer are fairly obvious, but what about spirits that the customer discreetly adds to soft drinks from a flask carried for the purpose. Or even bottles of soft drink to which spirits have been added before boarding.
Smoking on trains has been prohibited for some years, but seems widespread on local trains in the late evening.
And how will they stop people drinking in the toilets ? It is bad enough now with all the smokers queueing up to use the smoking compartment (AKA as the toilet)
If they are really going to engage security staff or police officers to patrol late night trains looking for drink/drinkers, then it would probably be simpler to allow drinking, and use the police officers instead to arrest drunks, rather than to stop all drinking.
1815  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture - related rail, public and other transport issues / Re: FirstGroup trumps Virgin as frontrunner for WCML franchise (guardian 29/07/2012) on: August 11, 2012, 01:24:45 am
Presuming that First Group have got the west coast franchise, will they re-introduce any proper Pullman restaurants ?
The two return services a day offered on Great western is a pretty paltry offering
 in terms of numbers though excellent in qaulity.

West coast being a larger franchise, they might manage 4 return restaurants a day ?

On a more negative note, I wonder what reductions in train lengths or other downgrades in qaulity are planned.
This may seem unlikely, but remember that the first action of the new franchisee of services from London Liverpool street was to replace 12 car trains with 8 car.
Pages: 1 ... 119 120 [121] 122 123 ... 142
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
This forum is provided by a customer of Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western), and the views expressed are those of the individual posters concerned. Visit www.gwr.com for the official Great Western Railway website. Please contact the administrators of this site if you feel that the content provided by one of our posters contravenes our posting rules (email link). Forum hosted by Well House Consultants