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Author Topic: Class 387 coming to Thames Valley - ongoing discussion  (Read 167027 times)
johoare
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« Reply #810 on: January 11, 2018, 07:03:21 PM »

7.33 Mai to pad was very full when it left maidenhead this morning.  I decided to opt out. I see no evidence of extra capacity currently
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NickB
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« Reply #811 on: January 11, 2018, 10:28:46 PM »

7.33 Mai to pad was very full when it left maidenhead this morning.  I decided to opt out. I see no evidence of extra capacity currently

This is my problem. I donít want to sound like a perpetual moaner but frankly the New Year changes have been utterly underwhelming.
In the morning the 7.01 Maidenhead to Paddington remains a 6 (often 5, sometimes 3) car turbo. Rammed. Followed by a 7.08 HST. Rammed. The changes for Henley make the Twyford connection trains utterly overcrowded as Jo reports above
In the evening the 17.49 HST is now an electric but appears to be full and standing WAY before the 17.49 ever did. Same for the 18.18 which theoretically has doubled in length and yet still requires passengers to ask others to move down and squeeze in at the doors. The 19.05 has gone leaving the improvement in running time of the 18.42 (now 18.49?) as the only improvement.
This is not good. When does the IET programme roll out in full so that I can see the benefits?
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Sixty3Closure
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« Reply #812 on: January 12, 2018, 08:22:55 AM »

I have to echo what NickB says.

In fact from my point of view its probably worse with fewer trains when I travel in the evening and it sounds like its not worth waiting for the 17.49 or 18.18.

The fast trains from Twyford when I travel  in the morning are still Turbos which means they're unreliable and often short formed. The fact they come from Oxford means they're busy by the time they reach Twyford and the changes to Henley make them even busier.

Despite this we seem to have gained an extra stopping service at 06.49 that I've never seen anyone on. I suspect it will get busier after Slough but when I've caught the stoppers around this time they're nothing like as crowded as the fast trains.

I'm not convinced the IET will make much difference as Twyford at least only has one or two of these stopping and I wouldn't be surprised if they were only 5 cars initially.

Long experience has taught be not to much faith in the GWR publicity machine but just for a moment I thought there might be an improvement. The answer as always seems to maŮana this time with Crossrail.
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lordgoata
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« Reply #813 on: January 12, 2018, 09:07:05 AM »

It's really strange, I've not had a "typical" day since I came back after Christmas - one day a particular service is 8 cars, another its 4. One day its cancelled, the next its not. One day its on time, the next its delayed. So I really can't get a feel for how the service has changed, as its been so bloody random for the past 2 weeks it feels like pot luck every day!

Thus far, I have gotten the 0651, 0703, 0730 from Goring. The 0651 misses Twyford, so is currently my preferred train, as the 0703 and 0730 get soooo busy at Twyford (which is fast becoming the new Maidenhead), wherever I end up sitting is a battle to get out the seat, before the inevitable battle to get out the door vs the passengers trying to get on.

Due to the 0651 being cancelled due to a train fault this morning (despite being On Time just 10 minutes before), today was my first trip on the 0703. It was extremely quite until Twyford (just 2 in the area I was sitting in, including me). That was probably due to the 0644 running a few minutes late, so collecting most of the 0651 passengers at Goring and the following stations I guess, but when we left Twyford every seat was occupied.

At the other end, I have gotten the 1710, 1740, 1810 from Maidenhead, and its been much the same experience with cancellations, short forms, delays, so again, hard to get a feel for what it will be like when it settles. Certainly there seems to be a hell of a lot of trains that arrive at Maidenhead and continue to Reading between 1700 and 1810 now (1714, 1726, 1743, 1752), but its a shame some of them can't carry on to Didcot.

There certainly seems to be more, longer trains arriving at Maidenhead in the evening when I am hanging around these days, compared to before, but I guess the majority are not the fast/semi-fast that NickB and co desire, hence there being no improvement in that regard.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #814 on: January 13, 2018, 09:06:04 AM »

7.33 Mai to pad was very full when it left maidenhead this morning.  I decided to opt out. I see no evidence of extra capacity currently

This is my problem. I donít want to sound like a perpetual moaner but frankly the New Year changes have been utterly underwhelming.
In the morning the 7.01 Maidenhead to Paddington remains a 6 (often 5, sometimes 3) car turbo. Rammed. Followed by a 7.08 HST. Rammed. The changes for Henley make the Twyford connection trains utterly overcrowded as Jo reports above
In the evening the 17.49 HST is now an electric but appears to be full and standing WAY before the 17.49 ever did. Same for the 18.18 which theoretically has doubled in length and yet still requires passengers to ask others to move down and squeeze in at the doors. The 19.05 has gone leaving the improvement in running time of the 18.42 (now 18.49?) as the only improvement.
This is not good. When does the IET programme roll out in full so that I can see the benefits?

The morning experience matches mine and others I've spoken to - I've gone back to getting up (even) earlier and getting the stopper from Taplow as the 0701 "fast" from Maidenhead is hopelessly overcrowded, even worse I think than the "old" 0702.

Any additional capacity is eaten up by trains starting from Didcot etc rather than Maidenhead - did no one at GWR work that out?

The short formations, delays and unreliability (these are new trains remember) need to be sorted out fast so that the true picture of the much heralded additional capacity can be assessed - right now between Twyford and Paddington it seems pretty much the same, very poor story.
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ellendune
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« Reply #815 on: January 13, 2018, 10:17:56 AM »

Any additional capacity is eaten up by trains starting from Didcot etc rather than Maidenhead - did no one at GWR work that out?

So why are the people from Didcot choosing these trains rather than the ones they used to?  Were those trains already similarly packed?
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didcotdean
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« Reply #816 on: January 13, 2018, 11:02:28 AM »

The 7:01 at Maidenhead starts all the way back at Oxford, and calls at every station between there and Maidenhead. For those between Oxford and Didcot it is now the only early morning option to London that does not require a change at Didcot or Reading, which might be an attraction to some, even though the journey might be slower overall.
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ellendune
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« Reply #817 on: January 13, 2018, 12:23:29 PM »

The 7:01 at Maidenhead starts all the way back at Oxford, and calls at every station between there and Maidenhead. For those between Oxford and Didcot it is now the only early morning option to London that does not require a change at Didcot or Reading, which might be an attraction to some, even though the journey might be slower overall.

That makes more sense then. 
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Sixty3Closure
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« Reply #818 on: January 13, 2018, 05:24:20 PM »

As the 06.53 from Twyford it also picks up all the Henley passengers who get in a few minutes earlier (Although not early enough to get the non stop to London service at 06.44). Both trains are currently Turbos with all that entails.



Edit:  The direct to london service is at 06.44 not 08.44 as i managed to type
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #819 on: January 13, 2018, 10:13:58 PM »

As the 06.53 from Twyford it also picks up all the Henley passengers who get in a few minutes earlier (Although not early enough to get the non stop to London service at 08.44). Both trains are currently Turbos with all that entails.

Perhaps one of GWRs resident geniuses could pick up on this and reschedule the Henley connection by a few minutes accordingly?
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Sixty3Closure
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« Reply #820 on: January 14, 2018, 12:39:15 PM »

That would be my suggestion but that won't work while the faster train is a 3 car turbo. I tend to avoid it as it can be even more crowded than the 06.53/07.01 that we've been discussing. It's also steadily shrunk over the years from when it use to be a 125.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #821 on: January 14, 2018, 05:43:56 PM »

And if you were to schedule that Henley train a few minutes earlier, other Henley trains before it would also need retiming earlier, which would worsen the previous connection which at 7 minutes is currently a very good one.  That said, there would be fewer people travelling earlier, so if that fast from Twyford was to be extended beyond a 3-car Turbo, or the calling patterns are changed so that it started at Reading rather than Newbury so it wasn't as full when it gets to Twyford it might be a sensible change to make.  But if you do that, then you'd anger the good folk of Newbury, Thatcham and Theale unless you tinkered around elsewhere which of course might have a knock-on effect to somebody else.  You do indeed need to be a genius at GWR timetable planning to please everybody.

Mark Hopwood has said that fine tuning of the new timetable will be needed to optimise it.  There is no douby many people have seen big improvements to their commute, but it's clear some routes and times of day are still very poor. It will be interesting to see what is done in the interim before the Elizabeth Line kicks in properly next year, give the ineffective way the company is currently being run.  I am also very interested to see how Twyford, Maidenhead and Slough commuters are catered for post Elizabeth Line.
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« Reply #822 on: January 15, 2018, 11:22:16 AM »

Had my first experience of the GWR 387s yesterday (Sunday). I took a return journey from Paddington to Slough on an 8 car stopping service. It was very lightly loaded.
Seats - The seats seemed hard but did not cause me discomfort during the short journey. I was pleased with the seats. 2+2 seating is a lot more comfortable than the cramped 2+3 seating we had with the turbos.
Leg room - And the leg room is a lot better. My height and inside leg measurements are less than the UK average, but still my knees brush up against the seat in front on a turbo. Not so on the 387.
Seat Tray - The turbos originally had a small fold down tray on the back of seats for cups but were removed sometime later. I guess because the hole in the tray to was only big enough to fit a plastic cup of water from a water fountain and not the big coffee cups we see now and because of vandalism perhaps. Its good to see a proper seat back tray on the new trains.
Plug socket - Didn't need to use but could these have also incorporated a USB socket as well?
On board announcements - this was a strange one. There seems to be 4 different people on the recordings. The main female voice telling you where the train is going etc, a male voice telling you to mind the gap, another female voice  saying "Coach x of y". The phrase "London Paddington" as the destination appears to be spoken by another female voice instead of the main voice and sounds odd when stuck on the end of the main calling pattern announcement.

Overall my impressions of the train itself are positive.  How they are used by GWR may be another matter.
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NickB
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« Reply #823 on: January 15, 2018, 06:10:01 PM »

Awesome. The 18.19 to Didcot is formed of 4 cars rather than 12 due to a fault.  This wonít be rammed and miserable at all.
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BBM
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« Reply #824 on: January 15, 2018, 06:30:10 PM »

Awesome. The 18.19 to Didcot is formed of 4 cars rather than 12 due to a fault.  This wonít be rammed and miserable at all.

Also, the 1749 to Didcot was shown as having 6 cars so presumably that one was a pair of Turbos.
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