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Author Topic: Channel 5 series - Paddington Station 24/7, starting 11 September 2017  (Read 4354 times)
Timmer
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« Reply #30 on: September 19, 2017, 04:34:37 PM »

(Minor spoiler warning)

I think one of the moments I've enjoyed most so far was in the first episode in the context of the busy Friday night and someone asking for a first class ticket to Plymouth or Penzance (sorry can't quite remember). Usually this incurs a reaction of disbelief when the person is told the price but not this time - I laughed loudly at the quip by the staff member on receiving payment.
It was for either 4 or 5 passengers travelling to Cardiff. I laughed loudly too at the quip made by the staff member...priceless.
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Fourbee
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« Reply #31 on: September 19, 2017, 04:42:21 PM »

Think the gent wanted First Class Singles, so 4 x £189 = £756. I remember £800 was handed over.

They don't need a thick glass screen at Paddington, even with that wedge. Some banks have gone open plan over the years, yet still many stations still cling on to their glass screens despite falling cash transactions generally. How much easier from a customer viewpoint not to have to talk through glass.
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Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #32 on: September 19, 2017, 10:07:10 PM »

It's not as though someone is going to poke a gun at the cashier and say "Hand over the money", is it? I mean, not only is there a long queue of witnesses waiting behind him, there may be angry shouts of "Wait your turn!". Then the place is practically glazed with CCTV, and if you want to see a copper with a gun, you could do worse than try Paddington.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #33 on: September 21, 2017, 11:30:27 AM »

[Do I still need to add a spoiler alert at this late stage? If so, here it is]

Given the amount of rebuilding and re-engineering that has gone into the GWML electrification, is anyone able to explain to me how the bloody hell a pigeon was able to strike an arc into the rebar of an overbridge and thereby bring the netwrok to its knees for the worst part of a day?
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« Reply #34 on: September 21, 2017, 11:50:36 AM »

[Do I still need to add a spoiler alert at this late stage? If so, here it is]

Given the amount of rebuilding and re-engineering that has gone into the GWML electrification, is anyone able to explain to me how the bloody hell a pigeon was able to strike an arc into the rebar of an overbridge and thereby bring the netwrok to its knees for the worst part of a day?

We did have an explanation here. But basically birds rarely cause a big enough current to damage masonry, and only recently was installation practice changed to make it even less likely. So it's like a lot of other things that occasionally cause big trouble, and could have at least been made less common  by small design changes. The OLE in question was the old stuff, without earthed straps (lightning conductors, as it were). And of course the pigeons are still the old Mk I kind, as conductive as ever.
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« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2017, 08:02:26 PM »

I watched it as a passenger and someone who works in the industry - broadcasting rather than rail.

I'll try talk in general terms in case we're still avoiding spoilers.

As a passenger it felt a bit too much of a PR puff. The way the incident at Paddington was presented didn't really reflect my experience. I felt it downplayed the impact and implied people were travelling if a bit delayed. Colleagues at work commented that it didn't seem that bad. The editing felt fairly generous to GWR and NR even though I don't think they came out of it very well. There didn't seem to be anyone in command or tracking resources/staff which confirmed my view of GWR in a major incident.

As someone who's made TV the summary after each break really winds me up even the audience research people tell us its essential. Some of the voice over script such as "unprecendented disruption" felt a bit over the top as disruption in July seemed a fairly regular occurance. It certainly wasn't unprecendented. Again though I've done it myself and written headlines for stories that in a normal day you wouldn;t even mention as you need to draw the audience in.

It also felt a bit soft on GWR/NR but I accept that you have to be reasonable to get access and also most people don't want to do a hatchett job. Perhaps a few more passenger comments might have balanced things? Personally I couldn't find any GWR staff to ask questions of although the filming implied they were out and about. I think what I did want was a bit analysis of how the companies involved could have responded. Do they have an incident plan for delays (rather than safely type incidents)? Might not have made thrilling TV though and a limited audience.

On the whole I enjoyed the programme more than I expected.
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Gordon the Blue Engine
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« Reply #36 on: September 23, 2017, 09:53:50 AM »

... The editing felt fairly generous to GWR and NR even though I don't think they came out of it very well. There didn't seem to be anyone in command or tracking resources/staff which confirmed my view of GWR in a major incident.

I agree with these comments.  While the people on the ground were portrayed as doing their best, their precise roles were unclear and appeared to overlap.  This could have been the editing of course.

It seemed that GWR have no adequate management system in place to deal with incidents like this.  Or as has been noted here before, the cull of posts in short term train crew management and lack of adequate staff numbers in Control at Swindon means that they are overwhelmed when major incidents occur, even if there is an Incident Plan that is supposed to be followed. 
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Sixty3Closure
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« Reply #37 on: October 19, 2017, 11:04:53 PM »

Having watched  a couple more of these they really don't fill me with confidence in the current structure of the railways or GWR. Every episode seems to be an 'unprecedented' incident followed by lots of confusion and a slight suggestion/hint of the problems faced by passengers. I know that to a certain extent the demands of TV influence this but could the film makers really have been expecting a complete melt down for every programme.

As I said in an earlier post the playing down of the disruption did really annoy me as someone who was there for most of them and this was the same for this weeks programme.
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chrisr_75
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« Reply #38 on: October 19, 2017, 11:44:45 PM »

Having watched  a couple more of these they really don't fill me with confidence in the current structure of the railways or GWR. Every episode seems to be an 'unprecedented' incident followed by lots of confusion and a slight suggestion/hint of the problems faced by passengers. I know that to a certain extent the demands of TV influence this but could the film makers really have been expecting a complete melt down for every programme.

As I said in an earlier post the playing down of the disruption did really annoy me as someone who was there for most of them and this was the same for this weeks programme.

I had a similar feeling as I sat at Ealing Broadway late last night waiting for a train and watching the orange people working. Except most of the activity appeared to involve standing around talking and bitching/gossiping about managers or supervisors or sitting on the station forecourt smoking. What little work I did see going on on the platforms appeared to be being done in the most inefficient, labour intensive manner possible and I felt a little better informed about why many major rail projects overrun budgets or projected completion dates.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #39 on: October 20, 2017, 11:20:48 AM »

Every episode seems to be an 'unprecedented' incident followed by lots of confusion and a slight suggestion/hint of the problems faced by passengers. I know that to a certain extent the demands of TV influence this but could the film makers really have been expecting a complete melt down for every programme.

It's the format, innit?

Compare and contrast:

1. Salvage Hunters: Drew Pritchard has offered the 7th Duke of Tharg £200 for something that looks like a rat's nest on legs. But His Lordship want £400! Will they do a deal? Cue adverts. Blimey, yes they will, Drew meets him half way and gets it for £300, leaving him with scope for a reasonable profit.

2. Paddington Station 24/7: Some blokes in a shed near Reading are taking a gearbox out of a Class 166. The job should take 4 hours. But the train is needed in just over 4 hours' time! Will they manage it? Cue adverts. Blimey, yes they will. Turns out they are professionals and they know what they're doing.

Perhaps we should be grateful that there were some real crises to report, otherwise we would have had:

Martin is a cleaner. Without him, the station would soon start to look scruffy. But there's a problem: an empty crisp packet is blowing towards the edge of the platform. The 12.29 from Swansea is approaching! Will he be able to pick up the packet before it blows on to the track? Cue adverts. Blimey, yes he will etc etc.

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« Reply #40 on: October 20, 2017, 05:24:24 PM »

Watching this series it has crossed my mind that perhaps some or all of this summers utterly awful cock-ups were actually arranged by Channel5 in some extreme dystopian manipulation. Maybe...  Wink

I stopped watching after the episode with Henley Regatta and the cows on the line, where I was supposed to believe that these were overlapping events that GWR had to 'struggle' against - when everyone knows that Henley is the last week of June and the cctv of the cows revealed it was 18th August.

Well... it is GWR and Channel5 so I don't think 'reliability' should be the expectation...
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bradshaw
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« Reply #41 on: October 23, 2017, 04:29:16 PM »

Tonight's episode covers the derailment of the PAD-PNZ HST
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sanfrandragon
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« Reply #42 on: October 24, 2017, 08:36:19 AM »

Spoiler for disgusting content - apologies!

I watched this episode last night and was surprised/disgusted that apparently the trains dont have a holding tank for human waste (is it just HSTs?) so if you use the facilities in the station it just empties on to the track.  Is this correct?  But why is there no smell?  The waste is cleaned up only every 3 months in the station, but what happens on the tracks outside - it must be left to decompose naturally?

Apologies again, but hard to belive my understanding is correct!
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johnneyw
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« Reply #43 on: October 24, 2017, 01:07:02 PM »

I had a similar feeling as I sat at Ealing Broadway late last night waiting for a train and watching the orange people working. Except most of the activity appeared to involve standing around talking and bitching/gossiping about managers or supervisors or sitting on the station forecourt smoking. What little work I did see going on on the platforms appeared to be being done in the most inefficient, labour intensive manner possible and I felt a little better informed about why many major rail projects overrun budgets or projected completion dates.

I have to admit to having been playing a game on my journeys down Filton Bank since 4 tracking began. It started with spot the 2/3 person shovels but has evolved into 'how many staff does it take to dig a hole'?  The old 3-4 figures I regularly spotted peaked recently at 7 staff leaning on a temporary fence chatting/ texting while watching one person digging a hole.

It wouldn't have really made much impression on me had I not noticed it every journey I was on that holes were being dug along the bank. Perhaps I'm missing something?




Edit note: Quote marks fixed, for clarity. CfN.  Smiley
« Last Edit: October 24, 2017, 03:57:44 PM by Chris from Nailsea » Logged
ellendune
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« Reply #44 on: October 24, 2017, 02:05:42 PM »

It wouldn't have really made much impression on me had I not noticed it every journey I was on that holes were being dug along the bank. Perhaps I'm missing something?

I think you may be missing the link between all these events.  The link is perhaps that at the time you are observing them... ...there was a train passing - the one you were in.  From my short time working on a live railway - many years ago - the rules were that when a train approached on an adjacent track you stopped working and looked towards the driver and acknowledged to them that you had seen their approach.  Only when the train had passed did you resume work.  After the cab has passed it would be very reasonable to try and have a short conversation before you were able to resume work. Though I have to say in my experience (deltics passing at 100mph) conversation was not possible in that time due to the noise.   
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