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Author Topic: Service meltdown - advice is to use other means to travel  (Read 16126 times)
Timmer
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« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2017, 09:24:26 am »

No meltdown on the Transwilts today Graham.................just the rest of the GWR network!!!  Angry
Indeed, at present a full 'West' service running with no cancellations, short formed or terminating short. Been a while since that happened.
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Timmer
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« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2017, 09:28:23 am »

Whoops! Spoke too soon. Here they come, just appeared on journey check both train crew issues:


08:05 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 11:52 will be terminated at Westbury.

13:08 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 16:45 will be started from Westbury.
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grahame
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« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2017, 09:32:21 am »

No meltdown on the Transwilts today Graham.................just the rest of the GWR network!!!  Angry

Yeah ... and if only we could schedule meltdowns well ahead, it would be so much easier.  Grin

Discussion yesterday.  "Didn't you market the final Wizard via Melksham". "No [reasons]". "I'm so glad you didn't as it turned out" ...

Serious point to my answer: There are ways and means in the theory of the timetable that things could be done to schedule to fill a couple of gaps and better meet peak flows.  Current practical experience is that there aren't enough drivers / conductors / useable train available to provide even what's scheduled on a 99% basis, and until that situation changes it would be foolish to press for something that's going to be even less reliable, or market in a way that's going to attract people to try the train just to have them disappointed more than very occasionally.  Where journeys involve connections, a failure of any one leg of the journey is a failed experience.   Last Sunday, TransWilts ran .. but the 17:56 from Weymouth was cancelled. Bad experience for those tempted to take a day out!
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TransWilts Rail - Linking North to West and South 9 times a day. [see here]
grahame
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« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2017, 10:00:35 am »

No meltdown on the Transwilts today Graham.................just the rest of the GWR network!!!  Angry

Think you missed out the word "yet" ...  Undecided ....

Quote
12:30 Westbury to Swindon due 13:20
12:30 Westbury to Swindon due 13:20 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

13:28 Swindon to Westbury due 14:10
13:28 Swindon to Westbury due 14:10 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

More cancellations / short workings coming up at each refresh - 3 each way on the Cardiff / Portsmouth corridor gone south of Westbury / Salisbury.

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TransWilts Rail - Linking North to West and South 9 times a day. [see here]
grahame
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« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2017, 10:05:17 am »

And two more as I was posting that

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16:20 Westbury to Swindon due 17:05
16:20 Westbury to Swindon due 17:05 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

17:18 Swindon to Westbury due 18:01
17:18 Swindon to Westbury due 18:01 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

That's 4 of 13 single journeys - 30.7% cancellation rate.   Up even on yesterday, 4 of 16 cancelled which was a 25% rate.
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TransWilts Rail - Linking North to West and South 9 times a day. [see here]
grahame
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« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2017, 10:08:13 am »

Shouldn't post so quickly ...

Quote
18:39 Westbury to Swindon due 19:22
18:39 Westbury to Swindon due 19:22 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

19:55 Swindon to Westbury due 20:38
19:55 Swindon to Westbury due 20:38 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

6 out of 13 journeys gone - 46% cancellation rate.

At least there's now a coach planned - "may not be at published train times".  With connections all along the line, there's an issue with coaches that set off at the train's proper time but have slower journeys.
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TransWilts Rail - Linking North to West and South 9 times a day. [see here]
Timmer
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« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2017, 10:11:48 am »

How are GWR allowed to get away with this week after week and what are they doing to fix the problem of not having enough crew at Westbury? This is nothing new as previous historic topics on this forum will back up that Westbury crew depot has a staffing issue.

If GWR cannot run a reliable timetable on the Cardiff-Portsmouth/Weymouth and Transwilts, then a reduced timetable with longer trains should be bought in. Less convenient yes but at least you can turn up at the station to find your train is actually running.
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grahame
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« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2017, 12:30:30 pm »

Quote
14:35 Westbury to Swindon due 15:20
14:35 Westbury to Swindon due 15:20 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

15:28 Swindon to Westbury due 16:10
15:28 Swindon to Westbury due 16:10 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

I make that 8 out of 13 cancelled.  61% cancellation rate.  With the exception of times that the line has been closed (flood, points failure, etc) I think that is the worst I have seen.   Even worse that early 2007 when First, as victor over National Express, decimated the services put on by their former competitor.

How are GWR allowed to get away with this week after week and what are they doing to fix the problem of not having enough crew at Westbury?

There are lot of words and promises, but people can't travel on words.

You say "allowed" to get away with ... who can / should hold them to account?   The rail industry is a rich tapestry for smoke and mirrors that dilutes any holding to account.   I note Department for Transport, Member of Parliament, Transport Focus, Local Passenger Transport Authority, Customer Panel, Office of Rail and Road, Community Rail Partnerships, Passengers, press - traditional and online, TravelWatch, First Group board, Rail User Groups. I wonder who if any have teeth and inclination to use them, or powers of persuasion which will actually be used to persuade.
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TransWilts Rail - Linking North to West and South 9 times a day. [see here]
bobm
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« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2017, 12:35:06 pm »

Not only can't people travel on words - some can't travel on rail replacement coaches - those with bikes, those with dogs and those who have non collapsible prams or pushchairs.  Bit of a snag if you have made your outward journey but now can't get home....
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2017, 12:45:39 pm »

It's been very poor for West services over this summer on weekends (and not much better for LTV and HSS), but I don't think it's quite reached the tipping point yet where it's bad enough for those responsible to be forced to be held to account and take action.  It's also a little easier to hide from the headlines when it is predominantly weekend services affected as they aren't as high profile as weekday commuter ones.  If it continues for the next few months then it might reach that point, but if it settles down at the end of the summer and all is well until next year then GWR will probably get away with it.  And before TG leaps in, I am not for one minute suggesting that is an acceptable situation from a customer perspective, but I expect that is what will happen.

London Midland a couple of years ago reached the tipping point when for several weekends there was a very high cancellation rate due to drivers not coming in on Sunday's - unofficial strike action if you will - and that obviously reached the level where the national press got interested in it.  The same can obviously be said for the ongoing Southern fiasco.

One slight light at the end of the tunnel is that I gather through the grapevine that talks to bring Sunday work within the working week are likely to be on the table sooner rather than later.  I had feared the recent IEP deal for HSS drivers had meant that was unlikely to be the case.
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Timmer
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« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2017, 01:53:37 pm »

Not getting much attention could also be down to the fact that it's local services (Cardiff-Portsmouth not really local or didn't used to be classed as such) not connected to London where it could get more scrutiny. As II also points out its mainly happening on weekends when you don't have those commuting to and from work more leisure travellers.
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grahame
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« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2017, 04:09:07 pm »

In the light of the shocking problems over the summer months, I thought I would ask GW via their live chat if it was safe to plan a Melksham to Weymouth trip for next Sunday.

Quote
Graham
Seeing a train next Sunday (17th) Melksham to Weymouth / change Westbury at 09:53, return service at 17:56, due 19:56. Will these trains run?

Melanie G
16:36: Just searching now,thank you.

Melanie G
16:37: According to my search,they are showing up as still running.If you contact us the day before however for a further update. As of today yes they are.

Graham
16:38: OK - sounds like you would advise us to book anything to do in Weymouth that can't be cancelled then :-(

Melanie G
16:40: At present all seems fine,but as trains change daily dependant on whether there are disruptions,I cannot assure you that there may not be any changes. Today they are still showing on the search as they are planned as normal Graham.

(Agent's name changed)
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TransWilts Rail - Linking North to West and South 9 times a day. [see here]
TaplowGreen
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« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2017, 04:29:47 pm »

No meltdown on the Transwilts today Graham.................just the rest of the GWR network!!!  Angry

Graham my sincere apologies for putting a curse on the Transwilts today.........witches used to be burned for less!!!
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ChrisB
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« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2017, 07:23:24 pm »

Could it be a case of having enough staff, but those staff choosing not to work after they've been rostered? Something they are able ad allowed to do in their contracts?

So what is needed is not more drivers, but a change if contract? One maybe can't expect a depot to be effectively overstaffed, but with enough drivers on the 'right', newer contract?
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2017, 07:26:27 pm »

Could it be a case of having enough staff, but those staff choosing not to work after they've been rostered? Something they are able ad allowed to do in their contracts?

I don't think anyone is allowed to do that on a Saturday, when there have also been widespread problems this summer, but many can do on a Sunday (though usually with 5 days notice required, so not just on a whim that morning).
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To view my cab run over the new Reading Viaduct as well as a relief line cab ride at Reading just after Platforms 12-15 opened and my 'before and after' video comparison of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/IndustryInsider/1
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