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Author Topic: "Shortage of train crew"  (Read 12586 times)
Gordon the Blue Engine
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« Reply #45 on: June 30, 2017, 06:26:34 pm »

You are entitled to your view, but I stand by what I said.
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a-driver
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« Reply #46 on: June 30, 2017, 07:42:15 pm »

In the days of NSE Thames and Chiltern, Thames Trains, FGW Link and I think even the early days of FGW, there was a traincrew management presence at (for example) Paddington, and it almost unheard of to cancel trains through lack of traincrew.  I remember occasions when the local manager would ask traincrew the day before, or even phone them at home on the day, to work all or part of their Rest Day to cover an open turn.  The local manager would always find someone to keep the service going, even if it meant tweaking the diagrams to do so. 

The managers knew their staff and there was mutual trust and support, and the “small company” culture was similar to what chrisr_75 is suggesting.  That local management presence has now gone, and traincrew are now just a resource (like a train or a locomotive) who – operationally at least - are managed (if that isn’t too strong a word) remotely by people who have probably never met them.   

I would be very surprised if traincrew productivity has not fallen over the years.


We are still managed locally and there's still phone calls made to get work covered or diagrams tweaked. There's even bribes of 12 hours pay etc to cover jobs but at the end of the day, delays and engineering works is just too much hassle and stress on top of what we deal with during the week!!!
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the void
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« Reply #47 on: July 03, 2017, 06:10:10 am »

You are entitled to your view, but I stand by what I said.

my 'view' is a fact.
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Gordon the Blue Engine
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« Reply #48 on: July 03, 2017, 10:28:50 am »

I wasn’t going to come back on this, but now I will.  I hope “the void” will acknowledge that what I say below is correct.

In the past there were Train Crew Supervisors (TCS’s) at Paddington etc.  They were management grades. They would see their staff as they booked on, maybe have a quick chat, and ensure all the diagrams were covered.  They could make short term changes if circumstances required, maybe face to face.  They knew their staff and knew (for example) who were willing to work RD’s. 

FGW decided to abolish these posts and to centralise all booking on and diagram resourcing activities to Swindon.  Booking on is now done by the Driver phoning up an automated telephone system.  A Driver can go days without seeing a manager.  These changes do not help build a “small company” culture.

I accept that the Drivers’ line manager is their Depot Manager, but this role is not directly involved in resourcing diagrams, which is the issue under discussion in this topic.
 
On a broader note, I hope current GWR employees will accept that this topic is a legitimate area for discussion.  When I was a BR manager I would get extremely irritated by retired BR managers telling me how things were or could be done better, so I do have some sympathy with to-day’s managers in this respect. 
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #49 on: July 03, 2017, 11:30:29 am »

Yes, there's a difference in the term 'managed' for drivers in regard to managing them and resourcing them effectively.

Their line management is pretty much as it's been for years - in fact the increased assessments, monitoring and delay attribution workload means that most locations have seen an increase in depot management numbers.  The resourcing management - producing the crew rosters, covering sickness and absence at short notice and dealing with displaced crews and trains when it goes belly up, used to be dealt with at each major location by a TCS (Train Crew Supervisor).  This is now all done centrally from Swindon.  The larger locations have an Area Operations Manager and the very largest have a local control office as well who act as an intermediately between the crew and Swindon but their powers are very limited.  With Swindon needing to make virtually all the decisions throughout the whole GWR network, as soon as it goes badly wrong they are completely overwhelmed. 

AOM's until recently (earlier this year) existed at Oxford, Westbury and Cardiff but these have now been removed leaving just Paddington, Reading, Bristol and Exeter.  This has increased the workload on Swindon even more.

Whether the rostering of train crew has been improved or not by the centralising to Swindon is difficult to prove.  There's no doubt that getting the diagrams covered from a central point a day or two in advance where you can see all the depots allocations at once is a better way of matching open turns with spare crew.  But there was much more of a local camaraderie with the old system of TCS's who knew who they could rely on for favours and when they could see them to ask - leaving hopeful voicemail messages on staff mobile phones is not an effective way to cover trains at short notice!
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #50 on: July 16, 2017, 08:57:56 am »

Cancellations to services between Swindon and Cheltenham Spa.

8 x services between London and Cheltenham services cancelled - is that pretty much the whole day's worth?

Due to a shortage of train crew between Swindon and Cheltenham Spa:
Train services running through these stations may be cancelled.

Disruption is expected until 21:30 16/07.
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grahame
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« Reply #51 on: July 16, 2017, 09:22:39 am »

Cancellations to services between Swindon and Cheltenham Spa.

8 x services between London and Cheltenham services cancelled - is that pretty much the whole day's worth?


It leaves a minimum half hourly service between London and Swindon, with a connection every 2 hours for Kemble, Stroud, Stonehouse, Gloucester and Cheltenham Spa.  I'm not sure on Sundays, but daytime / weekdays, a single extra 150 added to the two currently running (cycling every 4 hours) would allow the service to be stepped back up to hourly - just not through to London.
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