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1  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: June 20, 2018, 11:31:32 am
As well as getting the training finished another big help to running Sunday services will be an agreement between GWR and ASLEF over making Sunday part of the working week rather than voluntary.  Talks are ongoing apparently.

They are indeed talking about it.  Though implementation date is not expected to be before January 2021 as it is recognised that a significant recruitment drive will be needed to bring it in and cover shifts for the rest of the week, and a trainee driver, once they have passed all the initial tests, take a year to become fully qualified.

So three more years of this (to a greater or lesser degree) then?

GWR should have got this sorted out so that the latest tranche of recruits could not just opt out of Sunday working at will - they knew they were joining a 7 day a week operation, for God's sake it's not 1975 any more.

I know of no other service industry which feather beds its workers quite so much to the detriment of its performance and customers.

Anyone in my work who started before 1994 can opt out of any Sunday. Those of us who started after have no choice, although a local unwritten agreement is in place on my department we can have either Saturday or Sunday off if wished. Nobody is contracted to work both weekend days unless voluntarily picked both for personal reasons of needing weekdays off.
2  All across the Great Western territory / Who's who on Western railways / Re: Charles Howeson on: June 14, 2018, 04:06:22 pm
Just heard on radio hes been found Not guilty of these later offences

3  Journey by Journey / Plymouth and Cornwall / Re: Class 802s on: June 13, 2018, 03:47:34 pm
There’s a pair of 802s in Laira Parked up nearest The main road, been there for over a week.
4  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: Jurassic Mule runs again for 2018 on: June 13, 2018, 10:19:17 am
New operations manager unveiled for the 2018 season,


We are very pleased to announce that after much speculation from members of the public, Jurassic Mule Motorbus are to re-introduce their tourist services for the summer season, running the 124 open top tour service form 21st July to 2nd September 2018.  Services are again to be operated by a fleet of classic open top double decker buses with the occasional appearance of “Eric” the rare open top single decker.
Derek Gawn, the Mendip Mule/Jurassic Mule proprietor has appointed a new, enthusiastic Operations Manager who will oversee the entire operation for this season.
Edward Jacobs, will already be familiar to many of you as he is well known as a professional musician, entertainer, musical director and music teacher working all over the South West of England and other parts of the U.K. What many of you may not know is that he also has a transport industry background, having run his own bus and coach company in South East Cornwall for 20 years up to 2007. He has also managed a stretch limousine and wedding car company in Plymouth and currently runs “Jeeves”, a resurrected smaller wedding car company based in East Devon. Some of his vehicles may be used in conjunction with Jurassic Mule advertising.
Edward is very excited about this forthcoming opportunity and is looking forward to managing this year’s Jurassic Mule operation, allowing Derek to take more of a back seat ….. except of course when he is driving one of the Jurassic Mule buses!
Edward commented: “I am excited about the challenge of managing the Jurassic Mule operation this year and looking forward to stepping up to the challenges ahead and working with the team. This will be very different from my usual line of work and gives me a welcome opportunity to return to the public transport industry.  I know that we can help generate business and income for this beautiful part of East Devon and bring pleasure to many people who would like to ride our scenic route.”
Edward had already been working closely with Derek to make initial preparations for the forthcoming season and is currently meeting with team members and overseeing the preparation of the vehicles which will form the operational fleet. He will be working very closely with drivers, publicity staff, mechanics and volunteers.
Edward will also be liaising with local town councils and residents to form valuable working relationships and develop a positive ethos within the area.  Further developments of the Jurassic Mule operation will be in the local newspapers and posted on the Mendip/Jurassic Mule Facebook page.
Jurassic mule also has a new website:
5  Journey by Journey / Heart of Wessex / Re: Nothing to go on. on: June 09, 2018, 11:53:53 pm
Is no toilet better than cancelling the service because the toilet is faulty?
6  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / All Line Rover information on: June 06, 2018, 08:30:48 pm
I'm tempted to do an all line rover for my next week off work.

My idea is to go for the Up sleeper on the Friday night after work.

The sleepers first stop after midnight is Totnes, so can my ALR start at Totnes at 00:22, and purchase a Liskeard to Totnes single? Or does ticket validity kick in at a different time?

I want my 7 days to be Saturday to Friday.
7  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture Overseas / Re: Morlaix-Roscoff Line Closed Indefinitely Due To Flooding on: June 05, 2018, 11:23:17 pm
Last time I was in Roscoff they had two services a day to morlaix and a few rail operated bus services.

The sleepers were of questionable quality then!
8  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: The changing ways of getting a driving license on: June 04, 2018, 10:52:47 am
Other entitlements are interesting and probably confusing as well.

Trailers depending on when you passed you can tow different sizes. I Was comparing with friends of different pass dates, only last week as we were camping on a site that also has an on-site caravan dealer, so naturally curiosity kicked in and we looked round the caravans for sale.

Mine allows me to tow a trailer up the equivalent weight of the tow car, but not exceeding a combined 3.5T

Another friend who passed a few years after me can only tow up to a maximum 750kg

And the other friend who passed most recently can’t tow anything!

I believe older licence holders can tow with even less restrictions.
9  All across the Great Western territory / Who's who on Western railways / Re: Tim O'Toole leaves First CEO role on: June 03, 2018, 01:34:41 pm
Perhaps the UK could follow a similar model

My favourite part:
Clearly, the zones are using maintenance work as an excuse to hide their inefficiency,”

If you hit senior rail management in the pocket in respect of poor service you'd be amazed at how quickly it improved......for starters, link Directors bonuses to Customer Satisfaction scores. I've seen it done, and the stunning effect on the priority that Customer service gets from on high as a result!

My former employer introduced this style bonus scheme in place of the former system that was numbers based.
We went from horrible people worried about numbers getting sales, etc to the nicest people ever overnight
10  All across the Great Western territory / Who's who on Western railways / Re: Tim O'Toole leaves First CEO role on: June 01, 2018, 12:18:47 pm
The figures aren’t as bad as first appears.
£277m write down on the Greyhound coach business in USA
£106m write down on the TPE franchise.

Both one off write downs due to poor management decisions in the past.

Having these two items written down should result in an increased value to shareholders for a sale.

Of interest First Southwest (Kernow and buses of Somerset) turned a profit for the first time in many years and we’ve seen investment in both fleets as a result. I suspect the Hinckley point contract contributed heavily to the south west figures
11  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: Forgetting where you parked on: May 26, 2018, 07:21:14 am
I once lost my hire car in Greece. Or did I get lost trying to get back to it? probably the latter. I knew I’d parked on a side street near a motorbike dealer.
12  All across the Great Western territory / Buses and other ways to travel / Re: Jurassic Mule runs again for 2018 on: May 22, 2018, 11:54:17 pm
Thanks Grahame.

Following discussions this week, we will now run on Saturday 21st July and Monday 23rd July also.
There will be no service on Tuesday 24th July as we had already been committed to some end of school term hires in Taunton for the last day of term.
13  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Where did Phil's latest Madventure take him to? on: May 21, 2018, 10:59:20 pm
somewhere Tiny?

Or maybe that’s an error with the page?

The photos have loaded around 3mm x 3mm square
14  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Rail staff told not to help disabled passengers ... on: May 20, 2018, 05:15:20 pm
That wasn’t my interpretation. My interpretation is if they aren’t ready to go don’t rush them on.
15  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Rail staff told not to help disabled passengers ... on: May 20, 2018, 12:34:36 pm
What they’re saying is if the passenger isn’t ready they don’t get rushed into the train at the platform but the next one minutes later.

But if train one in the Thameslink core is a minute or three late, then so is the next one, and the next one...

It's not for rail staff to decide which train a disabled person should board. It should be the train that person wants. Whilst the core may well have a train every couple of minutes, the destination the disabled passenger wants may well not.

I have to be there ready to board or I miss the train, so if they’re not ready for boarding they miss the train too. If it takes me 2 mins to walk across the concourse and footbridges etc I get to station at least 3 minutes before departure. If it’s going to take me 5 minutes to walk across to the platform get there 6 or 7 minutes before departure.
If you need help don’t turn up at the last seconds and expect it instantly
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