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Author Topic: Diary Of A Reasonably Frequent Rail User  (Read 15215 times)
LiskeardRich
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« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2018, 09:33:16 pm »

Quote
Conductor not doing proper ticket checks


On a recent 3 in 7 FoSW I had my tickets checked 3 times in my 3 days.... twice was by the same guard on a round trip to Barnstaple.
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #31 on: June 21, 2019, 11:04:58 am »

Tuesday 18th / Wednesday 19th June 2019 - Personal Business In London
Outward
2B74 1012 DIG > 1022 EXD
Class 150/2
5 minutes late due to waiting a late running Exmouth-bound train at Topsham (again!). Very poor (33 minutes) connection into: 

1A81 1055 EXD > 1315 PAD
Class 800 x 2 - 10 Cars
Service a little late arriving at EXD due to the Teignmouth signalling issue. Platform PIS indicating electronic reservations not posted, although the system miraculously burst into life shortly after departure from EXD (this of course created more problems than it cured at Taunton - perhaps a lesson for the future?). Front unit trolley not able to provide hot drinks, not impressed.

Return
1C92 1803 PAD > 2016 EXD
Class 800 - 9 Cars
On time. Reservations provided by both electronic system & paper cards (I assume GWR / Hitachi still do not entirely trust the former). Excellent advertising of the Pullman Dining Service (last PA stated only 1 place remaining).

2F55 2034 EXD > 2046 DIG
Class 143 x 2
On time.
   
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #32 on: July 13, 2019, 02:21:26 pm »

Saturday 13th July 2019 - A Quick Shopping Trip Not Possible By Bike

Outward
2B75 1114 DIG > 1120 EXC
Class 143 x 2
On time. Presence of ticket checked but sight of railcard not requested.

Return
2F23 1153 EXC > 1158 DIG
Class 150/2 x 2
Late departure from EXD. No ticket check.
In the same carriage as me was a passenger who was intending to travel to WAT but, because the 1130 SWR service to London was delayed (35 mins), he had boarded the wrong train. This despite a number of quite specific PA announcements at EXC regarding the order of train arrival.
My question is: Can the PIS displays be manually overridden to reflect the actual situation so passengers don't receive conflicting information? The displays at EXC are of the type which display full details of the 1st train and a summary of the 2nd & 3rd services - 1L44 was always shown as the first departure.
(It probably didn't help that the passenger concerned was 'Eastern European' and possibly not that familiar with UK rail travel.)
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #33 on: July 13, 2019, 07:04:34 pm »

Quote from: Bob_Blakey

In the same carriage as me was a passenger who was intending to travel to WAT but, because the 1130 SWR service to London was delayed (35 mins), he had boarded the wrong train. This despite a number of quite specific PA announcements at EXC regarding the order of train arrival.
My question is: Can the PIS displays be manually overridden to reflect the actual situation so passengers don't receive conflicting information? The displays at EXC are of the type which display full details of the 1st train and a summary of the 2nd & 3rd services - 1L44 was always shown as the first departure.
(It probably didn't help that the passenger concerned was 'Eastern European' and possibly not that familiar with UK rail travel.)

There must be an insider on here somewhere who can answer this question definitively, but from my own experience I don't think that they can be overridden locally.

They can, however be changed somewhere in the system. There is a standard train pattern at Bath where something southbound (ie. to Westbury and usually beyond) departs at 9 minutes past the hour, and the London comes in shortly behind. I have been at Bath on at least two occasions when one the southbound service has been delayed and runs behind the London, and the departure boards (both the one-line summary board and the detailed one) have been changed. On one recent occasion they changed more than once, as it became clear that Control was having a difference of opinion on which one to send out from Bristol first Smiley

Manual PA announcements were made in all cases.

On another occasion some years ago I was on a St Pancras to Dover - non stop to Ashford then all stations. We were held for 20 minutes at STP because of an idiot trespasser, and the decision was taken to skip the intermediate stops between Ashford and Dover (I believe this was a DOO service as I never saw another staff member on the train). A manual announcement was made before Ashford that passengers to intermediate stations should change, but the automated announcements kept going. On departure from Ashford the driver came on to tell passengers to ignore the automatic announcements, so he clearly couldn't shut the thing off.

Needless to say, however, there were a number of irritated passengers on that train who ended up unexpectedly at Dover because they took no notice of the manual announcement.

If passengers insist on not listening to announcements made over a PA system (such as at EXC as indicated above), nobody can be blamed but the passengers themselves if they end up on the wrong train or at the wrong station. But that said, the display boards should have been updated and that certainly didn't help. I won't go into the Eastern European issue because exactly the same thing could have happened to a deaf white bloke from Honiton who was waiting for that train.

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bobm
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« Reply #34 on: July 13, 2019, 07:12:48 pm »

Ideally they shouldn't need to be overridden as they rely on the signalling system to identify where each train is.

However Exeter Central's close proximity to Exeter St David's means the information may not be available until the last minute when whichever train is coming first departs (or perhaps fractionally before that when the signaller sets the road).

I have often seen it at Swindon where a service from Bristol and one from South Wales jockey for position until one gets to go in front at Wootton Bassett Junction.
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #35 on: August 15, 2019, 03:20:51 pm »

Thursday 15th August 2019 - Bicycle Is OOU For A Major Transmission Repair

Outward
2B73 0912 DIG > 0920 EXC
Class 150/2 x 2
I am pleased to report the much more frequent appearance of 4 car services (except 143 x 2 obviously) recently. Noticed that this service departed DIG at 09:11:17 (according to the PIS clock) leaving at least one extremely p*ssed-off intending passenger on the platform. Is this a bit naughty or are the clearly displayed notices concerning 'early' closing of the train doors sufficient?
Also the train PIS was stuck on '...next station is Lympstone Village...'; there isn't much point in having these if the TM can't be bothered to ensure they are providing accurate information.

Return
2F17 1020 EXC > 1028 DIG
Class 143 x 2
2 late from EXC, 4 late at DIG. Additional delay at SJP due to detraining family group with pushchairs through the single front door. POL also very busy with pax heading for a day at the seaside.
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #36 on: January 13, 2020, 01:47:43 pm »

Thursday 9th January / Sunday 12th January 2020 - A Rugby 'Weekend' In Scotland

Yes, I could have made these journeys much quicker, and possibly cheaper, by flying between Exeter & Glasgow but Flybe are the only route service provider and they remain on my blacklist for previous appalling customer service failures.

Yes, I could have done this slightly quicker, but certainly NOT cheaper without a significant amount of mucking about with split ticketing, by using the more direct 'cross country' route via Birmingham. Each E2E journey cost me around £47 - GWR £16, Avanti £30 plus Oyster.

Outward
2T11 0913 DIG > 0926 EXD : 1 x 150/2 + 1 x 143
1A77 0941 EXD > 1209 PAD : IET 9 Car
Tube Paddington > Euston Square + Walk
1S69 1330 EUS > 1759 GLC : Pendolino
The journey to London was a tad late due to a short hold immediately outside Paddington - still did RDG>PAD start to stop in 25 mins. The IET electronic reservation system was not activated until after departure from EXD. There was some extremely rough riding east of Somerton tunnel - I assume the 14/03-27/03 CLC<>TAU line closure will deal with this; it would be interesting to know why the diversionary route via Yeovil is not being used during this blockade.
Arrival in Glasgow was 11 late due to slow running through Bletchley, Crewe, on the approach to Oxenholme and over Beattock. RTT seems to show 1S69 behind a late TPE Edinburgh service at the final location.

Return
1M07 1038 GLC > 1518 EUS
Walk + Tube Euston Square > Paddington
1C88 1603 PAD > 1815 EXD : IET 5 Car
2F22 1840 EXD > 1901 DIG : 1 x 150/2 + 1 x 143
Arrived home at the expected time but...1M07 never recovered from a short complete stop immediately north of Crewe and arrived at EUS 6 down. During the tube trip I checked RTT which initially had 1C88 leaving from platform 3 at PAD but this subsequently changed to P10. When I arrived at PAD (1545) there was a 10 car IET in P10 but no departure advertised. At about 1550 the departure boards listed the 1600 BRI service leaving from P10 while 1C88 continued to show as 'Preparing'. There was no indication that 1C21 was only the front 5 coaches, or that 1C88 the rear 5, and the concourse staff had absolutely no idea what was happening. Utter chaos. At 1558 1C88 finally showed as a P10 departure. Unsurprisingly the electronic reservation system was not in use but the TM did not make a 'sit anywhere' announcement. Shortly after a delayed (5 mins) departure the customer host announced that refreshments would only be available from a static trolley; is this due to the trolley water supply not having been pre-heated? 1C88 ran late throughout but due to a timetabled 6 minute dwell at TVP arrived at EXD only 4 mins down! And now the really annoying bit; the line towards Plymouth was closed so all Avocet line services were starting from/terminating at EXD but no attempt had been made to adjust the schedule of what had essentially become a 'self-contained' service to provide better connections. There were however extended - up to 11 minutes - stops at EXC in the EXM services.
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #37 on: February 13, 2020, 02:36:09 pm »

Friday 7th February / Monday 10th February 2020 - Yorkshire For The Weekend

Again both out and back via London as it was cheaper than travelling via Birmingham

Outward
2T11 DIG 0913 > EXD 0926  : 1 x 150/2 + 1 x 158
1A77 EXD 0941 > PAD 1209 (+11)  : IET 9 Car
Tube Paddington > Piccadilly Circus + Leicester Square > Kings Cross/St.Pancras (Chinatown Shopping!)
1D18 KGX 1433 > WKF 1631  : 2 x 801/1
For some unknown reason both PIS & PA at Digby insisted that 2T11 only had 2 coaches.
After Taunton timekeeping on 1A77 was poor and the service was then additionally held at Southcote Junction due to the congestion caused by the Basingstoke points failure. I noted freight trains waiting on both Up line from BSK and the Reading West Curve (from Tilehurst). 14 late from RDG and 11 down at PAD. On the plus side the refreshment trolley was double 'manned' and made two runs through the train.
Just for the hell of it I travelled 1st Class on the LNER Azuma; the food & drink service (at no extra charge over the £38.95 ticket price) was in my opinion exceptional with a brilliant selection of both hot & cold options. The Azuma provided a significantly better ride quality than the IET but I will leave the experts to decide whether that was down to the train or track or a combination of the two.

Saturday 8th February - A Day Trip To York
1D03 WKF 0901 (+1)  > LDS 0914 (+4)  : Azuma
1E27 LDS 0927 > YRK 0955 (+2)  : Nova 3
Lots of service disruptions, in particular congestion on the approach to LDS, due to the early stages of Storm Ciara. The essentially brand new TPE Nova 3 unit rattled continuously on the journey to York; it seems there might be some build quality issues with these trains.
(Returned to Wakefield by road)

Sunday 9th February - Accommodation Move
2805 WKF 1134 (+10) > FZW 1144 (+11) : Class 331
A short trip at the height of Storm Ciara, but the ride quality & internal layout and appearance of the Class 331 created a very good impression with me.

Return
1A28 WKF 1158 (+1) > KGX 1402 (+3) : Azuma
Tube Kings Cross/St. Pancras > Paddington
1C86 PAD 1504 (+17) > EXD 1715 (+21) : IET10
2F27 EXD 1741 (OT) > DIG 1755 (+4) : 1 x 150/2 + 1 x 143
We travelled on through WKF > DIG Advance Singles at a cost of £37.95 which I reckon is extremely good value.
Given the conditions - very strong SW winds & intermittent downpours - a very impressive run down to London.
Followed by (the not uncommon) chaos at Paddington! - late arrival of the train at platform, late notification via PIS & PA and, quelle surprise, no seat reservations. And as mentioned above I don't fully understand why the LNER Azuma feels like a significantly better train than the GWR IET given that they are, I assume, the same basic design.
As luck would have it, because of the extended EXD > EXM connection times introduced by the December timetable change, arrival at home was only a tad later than scheduled due to waiting for a late running 2T28 coming off the Exmouth branch.
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #38 on: February 20, 2020, 11:50:33 am »

Thursday 20th February 2020 - Bike Replacement Train
On time trips in both DIG-EXC directions but I did think that the 'Passengers for St. James Park should only travel in the front coach of this service' PA announcement AFTER departure from EXC on the return leg qualified as slightly less than helpful given that it was the usual 150/2 + 143 combo.
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #39 on: August 28, 2020, 09:13:19 am »

Thursday 27th August 2020 - First Post-Lockdown Rail Journey
The 'Reasonably Frequent' part of the thread title still being somewhat optimistic!
0843 DIG>EXC which, going by a few previous journeys on the same service, would normally be full and standing was carrying about half-a-dozen pax in each of the four carriages. Some things however seemingly do not change - the DIG TVM was 'Out Of Service'!
0955 EXC>DIG return also lightly loaded.
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #40 on: September 12, 2020, 09:50:44 am »

Thursday 10th September 2020 - Return Home From Lunch In Town (Outward By Other Means)
2F25 1651 EXC > 1700 DIG
We should, from past experiences, have known better but some delightful early-Autumn sunshine prompted a post-prandial stroll around the Exeter Quay area and we ended up catching what has become known as the 'Exeter College Chucking Out' train. Prior to departure both main EXC platforms were quite crowded (there is a same time service to Paignton). Repeated PA appeals for passengers to move away from the stairwell areas, and essentially socially distance themselves along the platforms, were ignored and many individuals only donned face coverings when instructed to do so over the tannoy. On the subject of on-train distancing you would, as they say, be having a laugh - in some parts of our carriage it would have been difficult to swing a gerbil never mind a cat. And in the middle of this an unfortunate wheelchair passenger wishing to alight at EXC was completely forgotten until one of her companions collared a member of platform staff. Happy days!  Roll Eyes
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #41 on: October 04, 2020, 08:43:02 am »

Quick DIG<>EXC return trip a couple of days ago; good to see that work on the SJP Platform 2 (Up Waterloo) extension has finally started. And my return 1054 EXC>1100 DIG (2F13 PGN>EXM) disgorged something like 50-60 pax on arrival at EXC which I thought was encouraging.
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #42 on: October 17, 2020, 09:53:44 am »

Tuesday/Wednesday 13th/14th October 2020 - The Metropolis That Is Basingstoke!
Helping one of our children move into their new home. Tickets split at EXC saving ?11.55 over the SVR fare.
Outward
DIG 0743>EXC 0752 (2T08 EXM>PGN) + EXC 0827>BSK 1055 (1L32 EXD>WAT)
Both services on time and lightly loaded. Local connection only 2 coaches despite station PIS saying 4 (again). Waterloo service 6 coaches to Salisbury and 9 thereafter, definitely optimistic!

Return
BSK 1507>EXC 1737 (1L41 WAT>EXD) + EXC 1745>DIG 1755 (2F27 PGN>EXM)
Again both trains on time at destination but the SWR service was slightly delayed leaving SAL I think due to an issue with dropping the rear 158 (8 coaches before SAL, 5 from there to EXD). I travelled in 1st with SWR - at ?12.85 with a crinklies card it would have been daft not to - which was a very pleasant experience. And busier than I expected. Only issue was the train PIS showing '...Next Station Is Tisbury...' all the way to EXC; I dislike such laziness on the part of the TM.

SWR have still not reinstated the catering trolleys on their services, and the information was not particularly easy to find on the website, but given all the Covid-19 precautions I think this is very poor.
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