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Author Topic: Diary Of A Reasonably Frequent Rail User  (Read 15209 times)
Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2016, 04:53:29 pm »

Indeed...but it was a brilliant game to watch and both the Ulster supporters and the wider population of Belfast were extremely friendly and helpful. I also took in Titanic Belfast and the Giant's Causeway so it was still a very good weekend.
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2016, 10:39:36 am »

Friday 4th November 2016 - BSO Concert At The University
2T26 1821 DIG > 1829 EXC
Class 143 x 2
I would guess 30% loaded although +/-30 pax boarded at DIG. Service departed EXM on-time but then ran 2-3 mins down on my journey; leaf fall?

2F59 2235 EXC > 2243 DIG
Class 143 x 1
143603 with a fairly obvious wheel flat! Service just about ran to time. About 80% loaded from EXC. Nice to see the EXC gateline still in operation that late. It is noticeable that on occasions the PA at DIG is not synchronised with actual arrivals/departures; this evening the '...next train to arrive...' announcement was still going when the service departed towards EXM.

Fare: Senior Railcard Off-Peak Return £2.00; bargain - the bus costs £3.70 (Exeter Dayrider) with an E2E journey time of 50 minutes.   
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2016, 07:27:49 pm »

Thursday 17th November 2016 - Quick Shopping Trip
2B74 1012 DIG > 1018 EXC
Class 143 x 1
Service, very close to full, ran 9 mins down after being held at Topsham waiting for the late 2F15. TVM at DIG 'Out Of Service' again; I informed the EXC gateline staff.

2F21 1120 EXC > 1128 DIG
Class 143 x 2
Service on time. Another 'clunking' ride, this one due to a wheelflat on 143612.
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2016, 01:18:13 pm »

Tuesday 29th November 2016 - Abortive Dental Appointment
2B73 0912 DIG > 0920 EXC
Class 143 x 1
Slightly delayed service about 90% loaded.

2F15 0953 EXC > 0959 DIG
Class 153 x 2
Service ran 5 mins late. Very lightly loaded.


Thursday 1st December 2016 - Too Icy For The Bike
2B73 0912 DIG > 0920 EXC
Class 150 x 1
Service 6 mins late. About 90% loaded. TVM at DIG Out of Service.

2F17 1020 EXC > 1028 DIG
Class 143 x 2
Service 5 mins late. Lightly loaded. TVM at DIG was back online. The CIS & PA at EXC specified that 2F17 was reported to be 'full & standing', something that proved to be entirely correct. However the same information was delivered on arrival at DIG when it was obviously not the case as a large number of passengers alighted at EXC. Lack of attention to detail in the delivery of customer information.
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chuffed
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« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2016, 03:32:32 pm »

TVM at DIG Out of service

Did you all have snow shovels ? Or could you have called on a passing snowplough for service ?
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2017, 01:03:00 pm »

Monday 9th January 2017 - A Quick Trip To Town
2B74 1012 DIG > 1018 EXC
Class 150/2 x 1 - actually the fully refurbished 150248 which delivered a very pleasant travelling experience.
TVM at DIG not available as it was being attended to by a couple of GWR bods; not sure if this was cash collection or fault rectification. Service on time. About 95% loaded. On-board ticket purchase very easy.

2F21 1120 EXC > 1128 DIG
Class 143 x 1 - although the CIS showed 4 coaches until very shortly before arrival at EXC.
Service 5 mins late; RTT showed the service initially delayed on the approach to NTA. Given the late departure of the subsequent 1L44 from EXD I wonder if the other 2 coaches of 2F21 were detached there. Lightly loaded. 3 Guard/Conductor staff on-board - revenue protection or training?

PS. Tweeted @GWRHelp to highlight the out-of-date poster at DIG advertising pre-fare rise prices for EXC & EXM CDR tickets - GWR still frequently failing on the 'attention to detail' front.
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2017, 10:23:10 am »

Thursday 19th January 2017 - Too Icy To Cycle
2T08 0843 DIG > 0852 EXC
Class 143 x 2
Service essentially on time. Full & standing (but tickets were still being checked).

2F13 0920 EXC > 0928 DIG
Class 143 x 1
Service on time. About 60% loaded. Tickets checked.

...and later:

Thursday 19th January 2017 - BSO Concert At The University
2T26 1821 DIG > 1829 EXC
Class 143 x 2
Service 10 minutes late having waited at TOP for the delayed 2F47. However the short journey was much improved by my first encounter with 'Conductor David' who regaled us with such gems as '...change at Exeter Central for the city centre and the exquisite Exeter Prison...' & '...don't forget to take your belongings, and your own partner...'.

2F59 2235 EXC > 2243 DIG
Class 143 x 1
Service on time. About 30% loaded. Tickets not checked.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 07:26:45 am by Bob_Blakey » Logged
Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2017, 10:20:14 am »

Thursday 9th / Saturday 11th March 2017 - A Couple Of Days In London
Thu 2B74 1012 DIG > 1023 EXD + 1A16 1056 EXD > 1340 PAD
Class 150/1 + HST
On-time (actually 2 mins early at final destination) E2E journey although 1A16 left EXD 5 mins late having been delayed by 'safety checks' in Cornwall.

Sat 1C86 1448 PAD > 1731 EXD + 2F47 1745 EXD > 1758 DIG
HST + Class 150/1
Another on-time E2E journey.
Tickets checked on all 4 services.

A couple of random observations:
1) On the return HST the GWR WiFi worked well enough to allow me to keep fully up to speed with the rugby score; on all previous appropriate journeys WiFi speed has been similarly acceptable. So what exactly is the problem?
2) Appropos the proposed installation of 'pretty' OHLE gear through the Bath Sydney Gardens area I would have more respect for the opinions of the local NIMBYs & council representatives if they got off their hypocritical high horses/backsides and did something about the mass of graffiti (or 'street art' for those of you who prefer the PC approach  Grin) currently despoiling the location.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2017, 11:39:57 am »

Re wifi...speeds are fine until the train gets busy....usually shoulder-peak/peak services. Then its bandwidth thats the problem & slso possibly the number of connections. I'm not surprised it was fine on your off-peak services
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2017, 11:05:51 am »

Thursday 16th March 2017 - BSO Concert At The University
2T26 1821 DIG > 1829 EXC
Class 143 x 2

2F59 2235 EXC > 2243 DIG
Class 143 x 1
Both services on time. No ticket checks on either train. I may be imagining things but the 150/2's seem to have temporarily vanished from the Exmouth branch.

Sunday 19th March 2017 - Anglo-Welsh Rugby Cup Final At The Twickenham Stoop (Yes, Exeter Lost Again  Sad)
2T10 0929 DIG > 0942 EXD + 1A78 0956 EXD > 1225 RDG + 2C38 1258 RDG > 1356 TWI
143 & 153 + HST + 450 x 2
On-time E2E journey. Obviously plenty of timetable padding for the diverted 1A78 which apparently made up 8 minutes between YVJ & YVP! From memory my first ever trip along the YVJ>CLC section of diversionary route; I hadn't realised that YVP was such an absolute technological backwater from a railway perspective.

2C53 1749 TWI > 1847 RDG + 1C95 1932 RDG > 2120 EXD + 2F59 2148 EXD > 2200 DIG
450 x 2 + HST + 143
An on-time E2E journey despite both TWI>RDG & RDG>EXD services running slightly late throughout.

Tickets checked on all 4 GWR trains. Very surprised, given their reputation, that neither SWT service included any ticket checks; according to my son, who lives in Reading and uses the RDG<>WAT route on a regular basis, this is quite normal.

And finally...which twit decided to change the CIS description for LYC from Lympstone Cmdo(x) to Lympstone Comma(x)?
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2017, 11:06:03 am »

Saturday 27th May 2017 - A Day Out At Twickenham For The Rugby Premiership Final

Victory at last! Brilliant game and atmosphere at HQ.

Outward
2B73 0912 DIG > 0925 EXD
Class 153 + 150/2
Service pretty well loaded and on-time. Given the potential passenger traffic on a busy sporting weekend for Exeter it was good to see ticket sellers at both POL & SJP.

1A78 0954 EXD > 1147 RDG
HST 8 Coach
Service full & standing from EXD. 9 late into RDG due to passenger (un)loading delays at both TVP & WSB. No ticket check.

2C36 1212 RDG > 1311 TWI
Class 450
Service full & standing all the way to TWI; pax (un)loading delays at various stations along the route.

Return
2C55 1810 TWI > 1915 RDG
Class 450
Train 21 mins late into RDG due to following the delayed preceding 2Z75 after FEL(tham). Service full & standing from TWI and significant additional pax at VIR & SNG from the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

1C96 2035 RDG > 2235 EXD
HST 8 Coach
Service arrived RDG on-time but departed 8 mins late due to loading delays. Full & standing as far as WSB. 11 late into EXD. Some of this additional delay undoubtedly due to inconsiderate alighting passengers not closing doors at unstaffed stops - the new power door equipped stock cannot arrive soon enough!

2F61 2309 EXD > 2321 DIG
Class 150/2
Service 4 late due to following delayed 1L88 as far as Exmouth Junction. The excellent guard started ticket checks/sales before departure from EXD.


I cannot help thinking that on days like this the relevant TOC's should seriously consider reintroducing reservation only 'sport special' services; given appropriate publicity via the clubs involved I believe they could be run on a commercial basis. And the travelling experience for other 'ordinary' passengers would be significantly improved.




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ChrisB
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« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2017, 12:01:28 pm »

But more trains would be needed to shift pax unable to be carried on those 'reservation only' trains?....
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #27 on: July 06, 2017, 08:22:53 am »

Sunday 2nd July 2017 - Dawlish In The Sunshine

Outward
2F05 1129 DIG > 1147 EXM
Class 143
Service lightly loaded. Ran 3 mins down having left EXC late.

(Stroll around Exmouth followed by 1240 ferry to Starcross and a very pleasant walk to Dawlish interrupted by an excellent (seafood) lunch at the Anchor Inn, Cockwood - try it if you ever get the chance.)

Return
2F17 1624 DWL > 1658 DIG
Class 143 x 2
Lightly loaded service ran around 5 mins down throughout due to the developing signalling failure between EXD & TVP. Disappointed to report a 'free' trip because the DWL TVM was OOS and no attempt was made to check/sell tickets on board (despite a non-stop run from DWW>EXD).
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #28 on: October 22, 2018, 09:51:13 am »

An appropriate juncture to resurrect this thread (?)

Wednesday 17th October 2018 - My First Conveyance By An IET
2B80 1643 DIG > 1655 EXD
Class 150/2 + 153
Service ran a few minutes late due, not unusually*, to waiting a late running Exmouth-bound service at Topsham. Conductor not doing proper ticket checks (the fact that I had one was deemed sufficient) because, he explained, the revenue protection team had taken up residence at Polsloe Bridge. I failed to see the connection between these two events.

*Perhaps Sir Tom Jones could be persuaded to catalogue the many failings of our railway system in a song.

1A93 1702 EXD > 1920 PAD
Class 80x 9-Car
The wrong type of IET! 9 cars instead of the apparently rostered 10 so no reservations (not that it mattered as there were plenty of spare seats). I found the seats to be acceptable in terms of comfort and the increased legroom was a welcome improvement. I thought overall ride quality was a slight step up from the HST and background noise was noticeably reduced. The positioning of the power socket information panels (partly obscured under the lower window frame) was obviously the work of an imbecile and I found that my 3-pin plug (a USB adapter) would not seat fully into the sockets and it was a struggle to get the juice flowing. I have never had the same issue with this adapter anywhere else.
Pedant Alert: I dislike the internal scrolling displays because I find the repetition of the final destination as a calling point annoying unnecessary.
And, finally, the really poor bit: Service arrived at Paddington 17 minutes late following a delay in the Lydford area (c. 5 miles west of CLC) due to a cow on the line. Why the hell is this still allowed to happen? 
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Lee
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« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2018, 10:05:54 am »

An appropriate juncture to resurrect this thread (?)

Wednesday 17th October 2018 - My First Conveyance By An IET
2B80 1643 DIG > 1655 EXD
Class 150/2 + 153
Service ran a few minutes late due, not unusually*, to waiting a late running Exmouth-bound service at Topsham.

*Perhaps Sir Tom Jones could be persuaded to catalogue the many failings of our railway system in a song.

#Hold on, I'm coming...#
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