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Author Topic: Class 180s return to the Cotswolds  (Read 188865 times)
Andy W
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« Reply #195 on: December 16, 2012, 10:10:22 am »

Quite frankly I cannot see that any TOC (Train Operating Company) with a franchise expiring in a little over 3 months time and with a temporery extension for the next year or two whilst franchise tendering arrangements are being sorted out by DafT, investing any more than it can get away with. Training staff means that there must be adequate staff remaining to take over duties while staff are actually being trained and this costs plenty of money. It is more likely that unfilled posts due to staff turnover are left unfilled to save costs as much as they can be, so that shareholders' rewards can be maximised.
I find this utterly depressing on so many levels:-

First chose to terminate the contract early to avoid paying ^800,000,000 that they bid to win the franchise so the franchise terminates in 3 months due to their actions

Secondly, now that they only I have 3 months to run it appears acceptable to provide diminishing levels of service

Thirdly, I trust that First will not run the service after the termination of the current franchise - even in an interim capacity without paying the full price they bid for the franchise in the first place.

I believe that the vast majority of the staff would do a far better job of providing a service when they work for an organisation that actually values its customers and shows pride in the services they provide.
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John R
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« Reply #196 on: December 16, 2012, 11:03:30 am »

I find this utterly depressing on so many levels:


Secondly, now that they only I have 3 months to run it appears acceptable to provide diminishing levels of service

Thirdly, I trust that First will not run the service after the termination of the current franchise - even in an interim capacity without paying the full price they bid for the franchise in the first place.



Just because one poster speculates that this is how First are running the service doesn't mean it is happening.

As for paying the full price if the contract is extended for a few months, that will be the subject of negotiation. As First had every right to terminate when they did, if the government asks them to continue for a few months then it will have to be on mutually acceptable terms. As it's the government which is now effectively on the back foot due to their incompetency elsewhere, I'm not sure they are in a strong negotiating position, as they are (contractually) asking for a favour from First in maintaining the service. 
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RodC
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« Reply #197 on: December 16, 2012, 02:46:47 pm »

This exchange reminds me of a contribution that I made to the "Much improved London Midland services to Hereford" topic on December4th, namely that the absurd situations that we all frequently encounter while FGW (First Great Western) and other TOC (Train Operating Company)'s hold the franchises for running our train services will never be resolved until the railways are re-nationalised. That view was very promptly dismissed by Industry Insider, of course.     
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inspector_blakey
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« Reply #198 on: December 16, 2012, 02:58:39 pm »

That was probably because you made absolutely no cogent argument that was in any way persuasive to back up your claim that BR (British Rail(ways)) would have put in better connections on the services referenced in that thread. Re-nationalization is not the panacea that many naive idealists seem to believe that it would be. The railway today is a very different one from the one that BR used to operate: it's carrying far more trains and far more people. Large parts of the network are straining to accommodate all this traffic and the result is that when extra services are introduced it won't always be possible to provide everyone who lives in a no-horse village in the back of beyond a five-minute connection to Paddington.

I'm not really sure where you're coming from in this thread either, other than a generalized moan that "BR was better", since you haven't actually described what these alleged "absurd situations that we all frequently encounter with FGW (First Great Western) and other TOC (Train Operating Company)'s (sic)" are. But what I can say is that I am one of "us" and I do not frequently encounter absurd situations, despite using the railways more or less every day.
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ellendune
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« Reply #199 on: December 16, 2012, 03:52:43 pm »

First chose to terminate the contract early to avoid paying ^800,000,000 that they bid to win the franchise so the franchise terminates in 3 months due to their actions

We are never going to agree on this one.

Secondly, now that they only I have 3 months to run it appears acceptable to provide diminishing levels of service

It isn't, but investment for the future is difficult to justify at this stage.  If DfT» (Department for Transport - about) was not in such a pickle we and they would know who had the next franchise and the winner could be making meaningful investment decisions.

Thirdly, I trust that First will not run the service after the termination of the current franchise - even in an interim capacity without paying the full price they bid for the franchise in the first place.

I think this is back to your first point again.  You really don't like First do you.

I believe that the vast majority of the staff would do a far better job of providing a service when they work for an organisation that actually values its customers and shows pride in the services they provide.

I do not think First is that bad.  There is a difference between valuing them and actually being able to do anything to improve their lot.  To do that we need a new franchise agreed by a DfT that actually wants to provide capacity.  They did not last time and that is why we are in the mess we are.

And before anyone claims otherwise. I do not believe that BR (British Rail(ways)) had the slightest idea about customer service. It is their legacy that we have this culture on the railways. 
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CLPGMS
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« Reply #200 on: December 16, 2012, 04:56:07 pm »

Perhaps we should return to the subject - Class 180s return to the Cotswolds.

Personally, I much prefer Class 180s to Class 166s, and even more so when we get Class 165s.  What I do not like is when the 180s fail to appear!  I think that FGW (First Great Western) does need to give us a full explanation of the problems causing the large scale failure of them.  Do the other TOCs (Train Operating Company) who use the other 9 units experience the same level of unavailability?
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Southern Stag
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« Reply #201 on: December 16, 2012, 07:21:59 pm »

Hull Trains suffer badly with their 180s. Far too often they have to run an emergency timetable with a dumbed down service because of a lack of available units. Last Saturday they were using FGW (First Great Western)'s 180102.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #202 on: December 17, 2012, 11:14:35 am »

All four diagrams are covered today.  Crisis over?
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Super Guard
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« Reply #203 on: December 17, 2012, 12:05:50 pm »

Without wanting to go OT again, I believed no TOC (Train Operating Company) could potentially hand over a franchise unless there was sufficient staff to run the franchise as this immediately places the incoming TOC in a negative staffing position and throws staff finance costs out the window from day 1 for them.
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ray951
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« Reply #204 on: December 17, 2012, 08:54:18 pm »

All four diagrams are covered today.  Crisis over?
Don't know about crisis over but I can state that at least 2 of the diagrams were still covered by class 180 tonight namely the diagrams including the 17:06 Oxford - London and 17:15 Didcot to Worcester.
Lets see how long it lasts:-)
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #205 on: December 18, 2012, 11:27:25 am »

Lets see how long it lasts:-)

3 out of 4 today...  Undecided
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CLPGMS
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« Reply #206 on: December 18, 2012, 09:32:01 pm »

Yes, I saw 180102, 180104 and 180108 on my travels today.  The diagram which includes the 0921 PAD» (Paddington (London) - next trains)-WOF and the 1206 WOF-PAD was the one operated by a Turbo.
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stebbo
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« Reply #207 on: December 18, 2012, 09:51:31 pm »

Let me add a curved ball here on the subject of nationalisation or not.

The class 180s have not been a success I think it's fair to say. The Voyagers (Virgin/Cross Country) have I think been relatively successful (though not entirely my cup of tea as a traveller). The two types of train are designed roughly to cover similar diagrams yet they are very different, not least in terms of their drive - one being mechanical, the other diesel electric.

So with franchising etc we end up with two types of train designed for similar operations and with different end results in terms of quality of operation - and presumably more expensive to produce as a larger order for one type ought to cost less.

So now I've lit a potential fuse, I'll retreat and cover my ears.
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inspector_blakey
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« Reply #208 on: December 19, 2012, 02:55:06 pm »

It's a rather pedantic point, but the 180s are diesel hydraulic, rather than diesel mechanical - mechanical transmission is relatively unusual on DMUs (Diesel Multiple Unit) these days, as far as I'm aware, although it does feature on LM (London Midland - recent franchise)'s new class 172s.

That said, you make a very fair point: in the south east for example mark I third rail stock was replaced with a mixture of Bombardier and Siemens units: the Electrostar and Desiro families have both been very successful, but there is no interoperability (i.e. you can't couple one up to the other) with a consequent loss of operating flexibility.

Unfortunately as an industry we don't really have a mechanism for central procurement, and DfT» (Department for Transport - about) attempts to procure new trains have ended up with the longwinded, potentially disastrous process that is the IEP (Intercity Express Program / Project.) scheme.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #209 on: December 19, 2012, 05:29:04 pm »

Yes, I saw 180102, 180104 and 180108 on my travels today.  The diagram which includes the 0921 PAD» (Paddington (London) - next trains)-WOF and the 1206 WOF-PAD was the one operated by a Turbo.

Same three diagrams covered today.  The fourth diagram does include just that one trip along the Cotswold Line, so is now the obvious candidate as the first to go to a Turbo, as it means 12 out of the 14 daily trips are still covered by 180s.
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