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Author Topic: More dangerous overcrowding to the Westcountry  (Read 23525 times)
broadgage
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« Reply #120 on: June 03, 2018, 12:09:26 pm »

I too only read the first bit, and was put off by the irrelevant picture which looks like a SWT unit, perhaps at Clapham Junction, and is not at Paddington nor of a GWR train.

And anyway, as we all know, overcrowding is not dangerous !
And it is the customers fault for choosing to make a presumably leisure trip on a holiday weekend.
And for choosing to get on a busy train!

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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"
didcotdean
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« Reply #121 on: June 03, 2018, 01:44:14 pm »

More reports like this could lead to compulsory reservations and/or boarding controls.
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phile
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« Reply #122 on: June 03, 2018, 03:17:59 pm »

More reports like this could lead to compulsory reservations and/or boarding controls.

I doubt it.  If they didn't have walk on fares they would lose money.
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broadgage
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« Reply #123 on: June 03, 2018, 04:33:04 pm »

More reports like this could lead to compulsory reservations and/or boarding controls.

I doubt it.  If they didn't have walk on fares they would lose money.

I cant agree with any proposal to ban the sale of walk on fares, or with any similar proposal to restrict the use of such tickets.
I have previously suggested that sales of discounted tickets should be restricted or eliminated for very busy trains.
The original idea of these discounted advance tickets was to fill seats that would otherwise go unused. NOT to make overcrowded trains even worse.

It would be very odd to ban or restrict use of the most expensive tickets, so as to give more room for holders of discounted tickets.
If very busy trains were "full fare only" that would either greatly reduce crowding, or perhaps greatly increase revenue.
Any significant increase in revenue could be spent on some more trains.
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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"
didcotdean
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« Reply #124 on: June 03, 2018, 05:14:57 pm »

I was of course being a bit provocative, although many countries do run their longer distance services requiring reservations, or quotas for particular types of customer, or boarding queues. Or indeed by charging a premium fare.

However, it is clear at every peak getaway time that a significant number of people believe that if booking online that's they select a particular departure time, even if they do not get a seat reservation (*) they have still in some manner secured a seat somewhere on that service and if they don't get one it is because it is 'overbooked'.

The only explanation I can think for this is that they believe it works like an airline, where they might get a specific seat reservation free, or paid for, but if they don't it is allocated or found on the day.

(*) the reservation may of course not be honoured by failing to be displayed on the train, or someone refusing to move from it, or being physically unable to get to it.
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bobm
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« Reply #125 on: July 24, 2018, 10:54:17 am »

BBC Spotlight ran a report last night on an unspecified train from Paddington to Plymouth yesterday which was overcrowded to the extent that some children were allowed to sit in the crew room next to the buffet.

Seems the train had no reservations (I assume because the train arrived late into Paddington to form the journey) and had at least one coach with no aircon and was formed of 2+7 rather than the usual 2+8.

GWR were quoted as saying anyone who had a seat reservation but wasn't able to claim it will be able to claim a full refund.

I note today's 12:30 from Paddington to the West of England (via Bristol due to the engineering works on the Berks & Hants) will run fast between Reading and Bristol Temple Meads with a relief train for intermediate stations leaving London three minutes behind it.
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Timmer
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« Reply #126 on: July 24, 2018, 10:57:02 am »

I note today's 12:30 from Paddington to the West of England (via Bristol due to the engineering works on the Berks & Hants) will run fast between Reading and Bristol Temple Meads with a relief train for intermediate stations leaving London three minutes behind it.
I noticed this too and applaud GWR for doing this. Not often you see relief trains running these days. Why they decided to merge two trains into one in the first place when it's a long distance WofE train I don't know.
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bobm
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« Reply #127 on: July 25, 2018, 04:31:04 am »

I note today's 12:30 from Paddington to the West of England (via Bristol due to the engineering works on the Berks & Hants) will run fast between Reading and Bristol Temple Meads with a relief train for intermediate stations leaving London three minutes behind it.
I noticed this too and applaud GWR for doing this. Not often you see relief trains running these days. Why they decided to merge two trains into one in the first place when it's a long distance WofE train I don't know.

Looking at Real Time Trains it seems that relief train is going to run for the rest of this week.
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Timmer
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« Reply #128 on: July 25, 2018, 06:02:37 am »

That doesnít surprise me, after all on a normal running week it would be. GWR trying to save money running one train instead of two. You may get away with it in winter but not in the middle of summer.
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bobm
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« Reply #129 on: July 25, 2018, 12:54:15 pm »

You can't have it all - today's relief train has no catering.  Grin
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bignosemac
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« Reply #130 on: July 25, 2018, 01:45:12 pm »

Here's the article:

Quote

It was the worst train journey I have ever been on. And I say that as one who travelled in a sleeper carriage from Delhi to Ahmedabad some years ago and woke in the middle of the night to find my feet being fiddled with by a strange man.

It was the 14.03 from London to Penzance on the Friday of the bank holiday. Having a ticket but no seat, I ambled along the platform at Paddington looking for the unreserved carriage. It was around then I realised that people were running past me as they do in disaster movies, an ash cloud or spacecraft about to overshadow them. One woman overtook at a gallop, a small boy bouncing behind her like a toy dog on a string.

I reached the unreserved carriage and found it was already full, so turned back to see a great tsunami of travellers bearing down on me. They did not look overjoyed to be heading to Cornwall on their bank holiday. They looked like they were being sent to war, so I decided to hop on to the nearest carriage and sit on the floor.

Iíve done that on journeys across Britain before, itís not so bad. Galling when youíve re-mortgaged to afford the ticket in the first place, but mustnít grumble and all that.

I couldnít sit down, however, because the gap between the carriages Ė and all the other carriages, it turned out Ė was already full of standing travellers. I squeezed into one of them muttering apologies and watched as others continued to sprint up and down the platform. Several families simply couldnít fit, and stood there forlornly after the guards rammed the doors closed and the train heaved its way out of the station.

We were a tight bunch in that space, packed like breadsticks, and British camaraderie immediately burst forth. One woman passed round her meze platter from M&S (Iím not sure the garlic helped, to be honest); another man produced a bottle of wine and offered to share it from his plastic cup as if administering Holy Communion.

At Reading, violence broke out when a bully in a white shirt insisted he was getting on ďor elseĒ and rammed his suitcase into our space. This struck my left foot and Iím sorry to say I swore so loudly that the man with the wine shouted, ďDONíT HURT WOMENĒ. Genuinely, it was a farcical scene. I got off at Exeter, so only suffered a mere two hours shifting weight from one foot to another, but the poor lady millimetres from my own face was doing the full five or so hours to Penzance.

Why are train companies allowed to oversell tickets like this? A public consultation into fares has just been announced to make ticketing less complicated, but the railways need more of a shake-up. Why canít there be a centralised system that prevents ticket sales once a certain number has been reached? I just about made it thanks to a couple of olives and a sip of warm sauvignon blanc, but they cannot always be guaranteed.

The writer's questions in the last paragraph are answered by her statement in the second. She turned up with a walk-up ticket. The TOC has no idea what service she will use unless she reserves a seat. For as many of those who demand 'Reservation Only' trains, there's an equal amount who will decry the loss of a turn up and go railway.
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Timmer
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« Reply #131 on: July 25, 2018, 02:41:20 pm »

That's the choice you make when not reserving a seat and hoping for the best.

I do remember towards the end of Intercity on busy weekends/holidays, services to the West of England boarding cards were issued to ensure everyone got a seat. Once these were handed out the service was classed as full and you couldn't board. I guess the system didn't work very well as it was dropped at privatization.
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broadgage
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« Reply #132 on: July 25, 2018, 03:06:35 pm »

I am a strong believer in the principle of a walk up railway with no requirement to book.
As I have previously stated, I believe that sales of discounted advance tickets should be limited or even eliminated for services that are expected to be overcrowded.

I see no merit in the sale of discounted tickets when this results in the scenes described.

And as for the advice to book a seat, I very much doubt that so doing would have helped in the situation described.
At least twice I have booked a seat and found it taken by someone else who simply refused to move. On one journey the on board staff felt unable to intervene, on the other occasion I saw no staff.
Being reluctant to give the usurper a good thump, I had to stand to Taunton. And that was in first class, cattle class was presumably even worse.

On another occasion when I DID get my reserved seat, I was asked very firmly by the train manager to give it up  in order that a mother and baby could sit. Splendid value for over £150 to Taunton.
I was refused any refund for having to stand with a first class ticket.

Whilst most of my FGW/GWR trips go very much better than that, this is only because I avoid days when the railway can not cope.

It will be interesting to see what happens when a single 5 car DMU turns up for a popular Penzance service !
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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"
grahame
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« Reply #133 on: July 25, 2018, 03:12:40 pm »

The writer's questions in the last paragraph are answered by her statement in the second. he turned up with a walk-up ticket. The TOC has no idea what service she will use unless she reserves a seat. For as many of those who demand 'Reservation Only' trains, there's an equal amount who will decry the loss of a turn up and go railway.

Totally agree.

Those who require a seat on a specific train can reserve one.  Those who require the flexibility of an open ticket can also have it, often paying a little more for the privilege than they would for a train-specific advanced ticket on the same train.

Many of us find it quite impossible to know when a meeting / appointment / task will finish and for us a "must reserve" system would be a nightmare.  I have seen (and shuddered in sympathy) with passengers travelling with cycles who have been bumped (cancelled) off a TransWilts service, and who have then had to visit the ticket office to get a cycle reservation for the following train, because it's a 125 via Bath Spa.  Just imagine such a system if it wasn't just the cyclists, but all the passengers bumped!
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bignosemac
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« Reply #134 on: July 25, 2018, 03:20:28 pm »

There were certainly 'Reservations Compulsory' trains in the BR era and into the early years of privatisation. The printed timetable symbol, a boxed, black capital 'R' on a white background, is still listed in the printed National Rail Timetable. See attached.

Of course, the privatised TOCs are far more concerned about maximising revenue, overcrowding helps the bottom line. This is one area where British Rail were more customer focused than revenue focused.

Should such 'Reservation Compulsory' trains be brought back? Perhaps in GWR land it shouldn't be blanket for a train's entire journey. London/Reading to Taunton/Exeter/Newton Abbot/Plymouth/stations in Cornwall and vice versa. The train still being accessible to those making intermediate journeys such as Taunton - Plymouth, Exeter-Truro. Those travelling furthest are less likely to be travelling on the hoof so have to reserve and are guaranteed a seat. Make it a positive with an advertising campaign. Offer an incentive in the early days if the scheme. - free drink and snack voucher. Those travelling regionally take their chance on availability of a seat. Elderly and disabled excepted.


« Last Edit: July 25, 2018, 03:26:26 pm by bignosemac » Logged

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