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Author Topic: Problems with the Night Riviera sleeper - December 2014 onwards  (Read 142162 times)
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #495 on: March 19, 2018, 01:25:33 pm »

I would be surprised if the sleeper was to be axed anytime soon, even with upcoming improvements to journey time and frequency of daytime trains - but Iíve been surprised before regarding decisions on the railway.
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« Reply #496 on: March 19, 2018, 01:57:39 pm »

Would certainly expect the berth to be refunded (if bought separately) and as arrival into Reading and London was over three hours late; the fare too.
The Sleeper is a hotel on wheels.  If it does run, but arrives extremely late, (if only to ensure the stock is ready for the next day), then GWR will refund the fare, but will charge extra for the berth for "late checkout"!  Wink
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« Reply #497 on: March 19, 2018, 11:34:38 pm »

Hmm.  If I recall correctly, it was pressure from several West Country MPs, amongst others, that kept the Night Riviera sleeper service going.  Roll Eyes



Yes 10 years ago, when we had a shortage of rolling stock and it wasn't economical to run later trains, Exeter & Plymouth have vastly grown in 10 years, also with IET's being able to run as 5 car units, there is less financial risk on GWR.

Exeter has experienced considerable economic growth, Plymouth (my home town) is sadly fading away although it's by far the biggest city in the Southwest and the most strategically significant with vast potential.

I can see the argument for the up sleeper, as it gives a perfect arrival time in London for a day's business, but the down sleeper is only really attractive for those heading for the depths of Cornwall.

If you want to make the down sleeper a "sell" for Plymouth, then it has to have more practical timings, if it did, it could be an asset, particularly since (ludicrously) the airport closed.

Being turfed off at 0515 is useless for tourists or business - I believe that "in the old days" a sleeper carriage was detached at Plymouth and those on board could slumber on until a more practical hour - this would make it far more attractive. Either that, or move the departure time back at Paddington a couple of hours, I'm sure it's not necessary for the sleeper to sit in Exeter and elsewhere for hours on end.

I noted (before Graham censored it  Wink) Hopwood's comments about increased partnership between GWR and the regions. Let's see if words translate into actions.

Otherwise (or preferably additionally) introduce a faster, early morning service Paddington - Taunton - Exeter - Plymouth.



From memory the axing of the Plymouth carriage was down to the extra expense of running it. I think they had to have a shunter & driver there to move the carriage which wasn't cheap apparently. I used it at least once and it was convenient but I think the shunting woke me up.

Anyone know why the service is only running to/from Plymouth tonight?
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LiskeardRich
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« Reply #498 on: March 20, 2018, 12:21:18 am »

Only to Plymouth all week as line is closed west of Truro
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1st fan
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« Reply #499 on: March 20, 2018, 01:26:50 am »

Only to Plymouth all week as line is closed west of Truro
Thanks, at the back of my mind I think I knew that
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« Reply #500 on: March 20, 2018, 08:54:35 am »

From memory the axing of the Plymouth carriage was down to the extra expense of running it. I think they had to have a shunter & driver there to move the carriage which wasn't cheap apparently. I used it at least once and it was convenient but I think the shunting woke me up.

Yes, thatís right.  It in effect saved what was a marginal service good for the region, as the extra cost of the Plymouth portion was dragging it down financially.  It would be nice if it could have a Plymouth portion (as it would be nice if it had an Exeter portion) but few would say the outlay makes financial sense.  A later departure time from Paddington might be a better idea to allow a later arrival time at Plymouth, though if itís too late then the attraction of joining it at Reading is reduced significantly.  As is often the case, there has to be a sensible trade off.
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« Reply #501 on: March 20, 2018, 09:03:19 am »

I cant see the sleeper being withdrawn any time soon. It is much favoured by drunken Sorry hard working and stressed MPs.

A later evening or earlier morning service is a very poor substitute for a night in bed if suffering from a "stress headache"
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« Reply #502 on: March 20, 2018, 10:46:25 am »

From memory the axing of the Plymouth carriage was down to the extra expense of running it. I think they had to have a shunter & driver there to move the carriage which wasn't cheap apparently. I used it at least once and it was convenient but I think the shunting woke me up.

Yes, thatís right.  It in effect saved what was a marginal service good for the region, as the extra cost of the Plymouth portion was dragging it down financially.  It would be nice if it could have a Plymouth portion (as it would be nice if it had an Exeter portion) but few would say the outlay makes financial sense.  A later departure time from Paddington might be a better idea to allow a later arrival time at Plymouth, though if itís too late then the attraction of joining it at Reading is reduced significantly.  As is often the case, there has to be a sensible trade off.

Not sure it is still exists but there used to be a ticket easement which allowed Exeter passengers to double back via Plymouth so they didn't have quite such an early start.   Perhaps there should be an easement for those travelling to Plymouth to allow them to go to say Bodmin Parkway or Truro and catch one back and be in Plymouth in time for a morning meeting.
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Umberleigh
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« Reply #503 on: March 20, 2018, 09:06:03 pm »

The sleeper neither lacking in passengers or recent investment, and is hugely important to residents of Cornwall.

However, Exeter, Totnes, Newton Abbot and Plymouth deserve a 23.00 fast train from Paddington, and I personally believe this would not impact the sleeper adversely
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #504 on: March 20, 2018, 09:34:27 pm »

Note sure it is still exists but there used to be an ticket easement which allowed Exeter passengers to double back via Plymouth so they didn't have quite such an early start.   Perhaps there should be an easement for those travelling to Plymouth to allow them to go to say Bodmin Parkway or Truro and catch one back and be in Plymouth in time for a morning meeting.
I asked that very question a couple of years back when using the sleeper back to Exeter. Their answer was...
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travel on to Plymouth would be overcarrying and an excess would need to be paid to cover this portion of the journey.
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« Reply #505 on: March 20, 2018, 10:51:45 pm »

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However, Exeter, Totnes, Newton Abbot and Plymouth deserve a 23.00 fast train from Paddington

Seems a fair point, Swansea have one that departs PAD at 2245 and Cardiff a 2330.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #506 on: March 21, 2018, 08:11:53 am »

Note sure it is still exists but there used to be an ticket easement which allowed Exeter passengers to double back via Plymouth so they didn't have quite such an early start.   Perhaps there should be an easement for those travelling to Plymouth to allow them to go to say Bodmin Parkway or Truro and catch one back and be in Plymouth in time for a morning meeting.
I asked that very question a couple of years back when using the sleeper back to Exeter. Their answer was...
Quote
travel on to Plymouth would be overcarrying and an excess would need to be paid to cover this portion of the journey.


Which just goes to show the lack of joined up thinking - what use is a "sleeper" that turfs you out at Exeter at 3am, or Plymouth just after 5am?

It may be an asset to the good people of Cornwall, but from a business perspective, which must be one of its drivers, Westbound to Devon it's pretty useless.

A 2230-ish fast service as suggested would be far more practical, at least you'd be able to get a bit more kip in a hotel when you arrive ready for the next day, or an 0530 fast service Taunton - Exeter - Plymouth..........make it a Pullman and serve breakfast!
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« Reply #507 on: March 21, 2018, 10:35:10 am »

The trend is for later departures so I can see a later evening service being a distinct possibility - to complement the sleeper service, not replace it.b
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« Reply #508 on: March 21, 2018, 04:35:05 pm »

The trend is for later departures so I can see a later evening service being a distinct possibility - to complement the sleeper service, not replace it.b

Let's hope so - but if there's a later evening service that gets to Exeter at (for example) around 0030 and Plymouth an hour  later, it stands to reason that you can expect far fewer customers for those major destinations to use the sleeper.
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« Reply #509 on: March 22, 2018, 06:58:54 pm »

The trend is for later departures so I can see a later evening service being a distinct possibility - to complement the sleeper service, not replace it.b

Let's hope so - but if there's a later evening service that gets to Exeter at (for example) around 0030 and Plymouth an hour  later, it stands to reason that you can expect far fewer customers for those major destinations to use the sleeper.

The question is during the winter months how many people in Exeter & Plymouth use the sleeper to make it viable, and would a late evening Paddington to Plymouth and late Plymouth to Padd service take some of those passengers away, making it unprofitable? As apart from the holiday season, there is hardly a massive demand for a 7 or 8 coach sleeper train to Penzance if two of your key stops can get served by a train that arrives before or just after midnight.
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