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Author Topic: Question 2 for Ben Rule - 19.12 - Buffet cars v Trolley service  (Read 7659 times)
Brucey
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« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2015, 08:03:43 PM »

I think the members of this forum do not necessarily represent a good cross section of the travelling public.

My preference is definitely for a trolley service as I do not need to carry all my belongings to the buffet car.  I suspect most other passengers would also prefer this.
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richwarwicker
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« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2015, 08:07:27 PM »

I think the members of this forum do not necessarily represent a good cross section of the travelling public.

My preference is definitely for a trolley service as I do not need to carry all my belongings to the buffet car.  I suspect most other passengers would also prefer this.

Mine too. when travelling with children its an inconvenience to go down to the buffet with children. I rarely visit the buffet.
On XC services I often buy from the trolley
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grahame
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« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2015, 08:12:09 PM »

I ... avoid ... expressing personal preference on these things too often as I'm just one passenger; in the past when trains were quiet I enjoyed the walk to the buffet car on long distance trains.  These days, fear of loosing my seat and with so much publicity about keeping baggage mean that - as a lone traveller - I don't risk the buffet.  So trolley wins for, alas, reasons that don't thrill me.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2015, 08:13:05 PM »

And I'll add that I'm not against a high quality trolley service.

I am though against obfuscation and spin and remain unconvinced there was any intention to do things different if the survey result had been different.

That Ben Rule has said that the methodology of the survey is not to be revealed speaks volumes.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2015, 08:16:58 PM »

I think the members of this forum do not necessarily represent a good cross section of the travelling public.
Judging by the much greater interest in this question than any of the others, I think that's true!
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thetrout
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« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2015, 08:57:22 PM »

Perhaps much more revealing were the in-service trials we carried out across the network, which effectively sold twice as much as we would normally expect to sell at the buffet car. This is not simply asking someone's opinion, rather measuring their actual behaviour, which is much more useful in my view.

I appreciate I've missed the boat here. But something doesn't sit well with me on this. When was this trial carried out?

Was this the trial of removing Buffet Cars and having a Trolley in Coach A at the front of the train? I thought this was done as an attempt to decrease journey times by removing the 2nd heaviest vehicle in the consist? But when it made very little difference and/or proved impractical we saw the Buffets come back?

If it really was the case that customers preferred a trolley then why did FGW decide to go with Micro Buffets instead of trolleys?

I don't doubt that this survey was done; however I never got the opportunity to participate. But between January and March 2014 we saw some of the biggest disruption on the network in it's 175 year history if you recall... So was that really a true and fair analysis of the market based on a typical operating period? Many people might have just been glad there was a train running at all...

There are plenty of more sophisticated trolleys on the market that keep things hot, and keep things cool, and even serve a proper cup of coffee. A quick google will give you some idea.

But if you board the train and sit on it for an hour or 2 and it never passes you then it doesn't matter how fancy it is. Strongly playing devils advocate here. But XC sometimes announce a static trolley in Coach F. So if you make your way to the trolley and ask for a complimentary drink if travelling First Class you won't get one. Because the host will say all the complimentary coffee cups are in Coach A. So the trolley in Coach F is of practically no good to me. Even if it can make a 5* Cafe Latte...

Sorry folks, but some of these responses just dont cut the mustard for me Lips sealed Undecided Embarrassed

*corrected a typo - increase journey times was meant to say decrease journey times. Thank you broadgage for pointing that out Smiley
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 12:31:17 PM by thetrout » Logged

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broadgage
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« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2017, 03:53:39 PM »

A cynic like me might suspect that FGW "have generally not been very good at articulating what we intend to offer in terms of food and drink" because they wanted to conceal the fact that the new trains don't have buffets, until it was too late to alter this.
For some year on these forums I have offered as an opinion, and more recently I have stated as a fact that "the new trains wont have buffets"
Many respected members of these forums felt that such views were unduly negative.

"of course they will have buffets"
"they will probably have buffets"
"a buffet could be installed if the TOC want one"
"a buffet could be retrofitted"

And eventually an admission that they don't have buffets.

I too share the doubts expressed by others as to how precisely hot food is to be served in standard class from a trolley, I also have doubts about the sufficiency of trolley stocks of chilled beer. I have observed very substantial volumes of beer being sold on some trains and doubt that a trolley could cope.

Sorry this is your view, but we've not sought to hide it. Staff started looking at and giving feedback on the plans for the new trains around three years ago.

I think many of the concerns you mention are based on the idea that somehow we think we can deliver this service with something similar to the current trolleys. We can't.
There are plenty of more sophisticated trolleys on the market that keep things hot, and keep things cool, and even serve a proper cup of coffee. A quick google will give you some idea.





Edit note: Quote marks fixed, purely for clarity. CfN.

Has anyone seen one of these new "more sophisticated trolleys ----that keep things hot, and keep things cool" Or seen a list of what it is proposed to sell from the trolley ?
Or perhaps heard precisely how the hot meal service in standard class is to operate, or has it been dropped.

My crystal ball says that the new trolleys will be broadly similar to the old ones, and the great improvements quoted above have probably already turned into an "aspiration".

I know that this is an old thread, but it is again topical as the new DMUs are about to enter service.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 01:40:50 PM by broadgage » Logged

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ChrisB
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« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2017, 01:16:21 PM »

Probably appear all at once once the IEPs are running?
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« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2017, 10:58:50 AM »

Has anyone seen one of these new "more sophisticated trolleys ----that keep things hot, and keep things cool" Or seen a list of what it is proposed to sell from the trolley ?
Or perhaps heard precisely how the hot meal service in standard class is to operate, or has it been dropped.

My crystal ball says that the new trolleys will be broadly similar to the old ones, and the great improvements quoted above have probably already turned into an "aspiration".

I know that this is an old thread, but it is again topical as the new DMUs are about to enter service.

I haven't seen one of the new trolleys or other equipment, but they are going to be using Atlas Carts for the First Class service, which has an improved range of items over the current offering (croissants, sandwiches etc.)

Other information you might be interested in:
1) A planned six month trial of hot food in standard class (no doubt a cynic like you will think that the results of the trial have already been determined).
2) The trolley uses a 'high-tech hot water urn exchange system' which means it can easily and quickly be topped up with hot water on board the train.
3) Several training runs between Bristol Parkway and Slough with staff testing all the procedures, equipment and products on the move including hot food from the steam ovens and the new coffee brewer.
4) A Pullman Working Group has been set up and tasked with looking at how they transfer what they deliver to their Pullman customers today and what they'll be doing on the IET's.  First Pullman on the IET expected to be the morning breakfast train from Paddington to Swansea early next year, with the west country services due to be rolled out Summer 2018.
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bobm
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« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2017, 11:01:52 AM »

4) A Pullman Working Group has been set up and tasked with looking at how they transfer what they deliver to their Pullman customers today and what they'll be doing on the IET's.  First Pullman on the IET expected to be the morning breakfast train from Paddington to Swansea early next year, with the west country services due to be rolled out Summer 2018.

At the risk of being pedantic - but just to be clear - is that the existing 10:45 Paddington-Swansea Brunch train or are we talking about an additional earlier train serving Breakfast?
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2017, 11:17:45 AM »

It just says 'the Swansea breakfast train from Paddington to Swansea' so I'm unable clarify, Bob.
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« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2017, 06:43:39 AM »

Two very interesting replies on Facebook linked to the "Ask the Director" session yesterday that we have discussed (here)

Quote
Samyutha Shewchuk: Will the new trains have catering on them

Julie Collier: There will be an "at seat trolley service" except on the Pulman services

Quote
Peter Skuce: When you introduce the Class 800 IEP trains, will you expand the Pullman Dining Restaurant to more services? Also will it still be possible to use the Pullman Dining Restaurant with a Standard Class ticket?
 
Julie Collier: Only Pulman services will have kitchens/buffet cars. Other services will have an "at seat trolley service", as voted for by customers.

Is it just me - or does that read, twice over, as if there will not be a trolley on Pullman services - it's either a trolley or a pullman service.  Normally I would look at such a suggestion as a slip in wording, but it reads that way twice in very different answers, so I do wonder.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2017, 06:58:28 AM »

Sounds the me like Julie was just briefed to avoid talk of buffets at all costs, and as a result made some incorrect/confusing statements. 
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ChrisB
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« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2017, 08:50:11 AM »

It does read that way to me too, Graham. Might be worth a follow-up, rather than simply assuming she's wrong. Working out her email address isn't difficult.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2017, 08:55:41 AM »

She does not specifically say Pullmans will not have a trolley service but she does imply it. It does seem to be duplicating resources to have a trolley and a buffet (or dining car or whatever they want to call it nowadays) on the same train. Having put the kitchen in, they want people to use it rather than buy from the trolley, surely! But I note she can't spell Pullman (or is it that I can't spell Pulman?). Needs checking. Could be there's no decision yet.
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