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Author Topic: More dangerous overcrowding to the Westcountry  (Read 17860 times)
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2016, 12:52:59 pm »

Whether they transferred through a resigned pragmatism, through believing that a nonstop coach would get them there earlier, or because they liked the idea of a coach .. I know not.   But it does work in that case, and on a weekly basis I understand.

Though, as I'm sure you appreciate, Graham, there's rather a difference there.  One is a branch line with a slow average journey time by train and being offered a non-stop coach, and the other could be, for example, being invited to get off a crowded train and on to a bus between Exeter and Plymouth, when you've got several cases and have fought hard to get your square foot of standing space!
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plymothian
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« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2016, 02:21:35 pm »

There is always a standby coach for the 15.27 and 17.00 standby coach for Exeter St David's - Barnstaple direct.

The coach is rarely used as people prefer to squeeze on to the train as it takes 10-15 minutes longer by road.

During high season it is easier to cherry pick people off platform 1 and on to the coach, usually on average 30-35 passengers, especially those with bikes and luggage, as they haven't boarded the train yet - mostly having come off the mainline connection.

During high season there has also been a coach available for the 08.43 and 09.43 Barnstaple - Exeter St David's departures. GWR control have been known to beg Barnstaple station to force people on to the coach to justify the expense of hiring one.  Again people just won't take the coach and would rather stand on a packed train (and complain) than risk missing their connection; and I think this coach may been withdrawn as a result.
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Tim
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« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2016, 03:10:37 pm »

I take the point about the undesirability of a coach versus a train, personally, I'd stay on the train even if it was crowded not because I dislike coaches but because I wouldn't trust FGW to be telling me the truth that the coach was immediately available. 

Surely the answer is to stick the coach journey into the journey planner and skew the advance purchase availability so that the coach journey is a couple of quid cheaper for those buying online.  There is a sizeable number of passengers who will make their decisions entirely on price and just a couple of quid saving would tempt them onto a coach. 

The financials might even make sense for FGW.  When a big event is planned and extra passengers expected, they can pull the advance purchase fares selectively for point to point journeys for which the coach is a viable option WRT timings etc and offer discounted fares on the coach only (and only up to the number of seats available on the coach). 
 
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richwarwicker
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« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2016, 03:28:26 pm »

I'm one that will book the cheapest option be that train, coach, plane or even drive myself  but if I'm going by coach I will pick megabus or natex rather than a rail duplicate unless the rail dupe matches megabus/natex prices.

Megabus tomorrow evening (bank holiday weekend, Friday eve) 1800 from Victoria arriving Plymouth 2345 is currently 18.90 (plus 1.50 booking fee)


Alternatively the cheapest rail ticket for the 1803 Paddington to Plymouth arriving 2118 will be 71.20.

If I was being chucked onto a coach dupe I would expect to pay no more than the 20 megabus can offer such a service at.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2016, 04:31:56 pm »

All fair enough, though worth pointing out that it's currently 54 by train on the three later alternatives that still get you into Plymouth before the bus you specified.  They will all no doubt be extremely busy.
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richwarwicker
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« Reply #35 on: August 25, 2016, 05:39:35 pm »

Still at 54 guaranteed seat at less than 50% of the price.
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Billhere
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« Reply #36 on: August 25, 2016, 07:51:49 pm »

Summer holiday time is the time for school bus Drivers to have annual leave as the schools are shut!

Like most industries most employees get something like four weeks leave a year, and the school holidays are the obvious time to take it  as there is little or no demand unless the company has an excursion or busy private hire programme, and plenty of drivers, of which there is still a nationwide shortage.

Additionally, in this area anyway,  most school bus drivers are not full time, but deemed to be 'casual', that is they are used when required. When I was a full time 'casual' school holidays were off for six weeks in the Summer, three weeks at Christmas, and a fortnight at Easter - not required. Additionally if all the work was taken by full time drivers us casuals were not required then either. Real day to day stuff, and not guaranteed at all. The idea that school buses are in fulltime use and available for ordinary work is a bit of a fallacy. On the old decker I regularly drove for schools you wanted wipers on the inside let alone the outside when it rained, it used to pour down the inside of the screen and a roll of kitchen tissue was a necessity not an option.

My bus used to stand unused during the holidays because there was no way it would fit into the requirements of rail replacement. I remember one company I used to drive for locally got a job as standby in the Home Counties parked up at an airfield for a fortnight 'just in case' it was wanted to replace trains. Two weeks sitting on the vehicle, hotel accommodation overnight, three meals a day and all the trimmings. It must have cost the railway an absolute fortune. I wasn't on that job, it was during the Summer holidays and I wasn't required, all the full time Drivers got that, and welcome to it.

Bus companies don't have coaches and drivers hanging about on the off chance that the railway will call. It isn't that easy, or viable either. I tried to hire a coach for a private event and was quoted 350 a day, and I was driving it. Coach alternatives are not cheap.

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Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #37 on: August 25, 2016, 10:20:24 pm »

And as with trains, there is a finite number of serviceable coaches. Their advantage is that they can squeeze around the fallen tree or divert around the flood, but they can't do 125 mph and find every light on green, while carrying 500 passengers or more.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #38 on: August 26, 2016, 08:39:12 am »

And as with trains, there is a finite number of serviceable coaches. Their advantage is that they can squeeze around the fallen tree or divert around the flood, but they can't do 125 mph and find every light on green, while carrying 500 passengers or more.

For how much of a journey between Paddington and Penzance do HSTs travel at 125 mph, all things being equal?

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PhilWakely
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« Reply #39 on: August 26, 2016, 11:01:07 am »

And as with trains, there is a finite number of serviceable coaches. Their advantage is that they can squeeze around the fallen tree or divert around the flood, but they can't do 125 mph and find every light on green, while carrying 500 passengers or more.

For how much of a journey between Paddington and Penzance do HSTs travel at 125 mph, all things being equal?


And how often is every light on green?
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Thatcham Crossing
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« Reply #40 on: August 26, 2016, 11:18:07 am »

Quote
For how much of a journey between Paddington and Penzance do HSTs travel at 125 mph, all things being equal?

If going via B&H (which I guess most do), probably between PAD and RDG and that's it!

I think there are some 110mph sections (eg, through Newbury to Kintbury area) but that's as fast as it gets.....and a lot of it (esp. Cornwall) is a lot slower.
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richwarwicker
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« Reply #41 on: April 17, 2017, 03:02:33 pm »

I'm waiting for the 1502 totnes to Plymouth, there's only 3 of us heading west.
On the other side for the 1502 to Paddington., I've just counted roughly and lost count at 250 people waiting on the up platform.im guessing the hst will already be well loaded off Plymouth.
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Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #42 on: April 17, 2017, 05:05:16 pm »

Anyone would think it was Bank Holiday Monday.
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broadgage
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« Reply #43 on: April 17, 2017, 05:52:00 pm »

Anyone would think it was Bank Holiday Monday.

Cant be a bank holiday because it is not raining ! Any fule knoweth that it rains on bank holidays.
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"When customers say that they want a seat, they dont mean they want to sit with their knees behind their ears so that 4 more can sit down. They mean that they want an extra coach so that 74 more can sit down"
"Capacity on intercity routes should be about number of vehicles, not compressing people"
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« Reply #44 on: April 17, 2017, 07:54:45 pm »

Surely First (oops, GWR) knows they should run extra train every evening Friday out of London, and every bank holiday Monday out of Plymouth.
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