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Author Topic: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion  (Read 70315 times)
TaplowGreen
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« on: September 15, 2017, 05:46:33 pm »

.......in the Friday rush hour.....WTF is going on?


Cancellations to services between London Paddington and Maidenhead
Due to a shortage of train crew between London Paddington and Maidenhead fewer trains are able to run.
Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled. Disruption is expected until 19:30 15/09.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2017, 07:14:26 pm »

Union meeting?
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2017, 01:23:00 pm »

WTF is going on?

Having done a bit of digging, I think those cancellations (and probably a large slice of other cancellations due to crew shortages across the network) are being caused by the company removing the incentive to do overtime or break Union rules by coming off their shift to cover another.  This is as a result of pressure from the Union following widespread breaking of those union rules.

As an example, previously a driver might be asked to do an hours overtime on a 10 hour shift, but they would get another extra hour of pay as an extra incentive, no rules broken doing that but they are now only getting the hours extra they work and no extra incentive.  Or a driver would be asked to come in to cover a different shift (which does break the 'rules') and again there would be an incentive for them to do that. 

Those incentives are now not being offered, so many drivers are no longer interested in helping out.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2017, 08:19:30 pm »

Very interesting II thanks for the background............a load more cancellations tonight due to crew shortages and this made worse by events at Ealing.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2017, 07:00:58 am »

............lots more cancellations this morning - according to GWRHelp;

"We don't have the specifics as to why drivers are unavailable I'm afraid. There are staff rostered in for the services" -

clearly the instruction to GWR staff is "be ambiguous"
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bignosemac
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2017, 09:27:21 am »

I wonder whether they've been poached by Norwegian railways?  Tongue
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Former FGW/GWR regular passenger. No more. Despicable company.
LiskeardRich
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2017, 09:40:03 am »

At least Ryanair can admit its bad management though.

I assume that GWR are recruiting to sort this mess out? I accept an odd day for an anomaly of sickness levels etc, but not daily. If its ongoing training they should have adequate staffing to release others for training.

Are the management not keeping their staff happy? Happy staff will almost always help between them to cover shifts but when morale is low the answer is normally "no".
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Timmer
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2017, 09:53:42 am »

Are the management not keeping their staff happy? Happy staff will almost always help between them to cover shifts but when morale is low the answer is normally "no".
From II's post yesterday (see above) and what's been demonstrated every weekend (and weekdays now too) the answer is clearly no.

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stuving
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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2017, 11:31:49 am »

Here's an item that could fit in at least four current threads:

PACA region of France proposes to privatise its railway network. (nothing in English)

The boss of SNCF has admitted that they didn't forecast how many drivers would retire last year and this, and now need to find 1000 extra ones. PACA (Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur) was badly hit by train cancellations as a result, and  has imposed financial penalties on SNCF.

French regions buy rail services from SNCF, often paying well over half the cost. PACA and some neighbours are now saying the bill is too high, and have started the process of looking for another operator to buy services from. This would be based on the open access market model mandated by the EU, and in the case of PACA it could genuinely be cross-border - not just Liguria but Monco too.

Of course this is also a way of putting pressure on SNCF, and a negotiating tactic is probably all it will ever be.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2017, 02:08:50 pm »

In view of these apparently ongoing problems, I have now expanded the heading of this topic.  Shocked Roll Eyes

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plymothian
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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2017, 02:52:11 pm »

WTF is going on?

Having done a bit of digging, I think those cancellations (and probably a large slice of other cancellations due to crew shortages across the network) are being caused by the company removing the incentive to do overtime or break Union rules by coming off their shift to cover another.  This is as a result of pressure from the Union following widespread breaking of those union rules.

As an example, previously a driver might be asked to do an hours overtime on a 10 hour shift, but they would get another extra hour of pay as an extra incentive, no rules broken doing that but they are now only getting the hours extra they work and no extra incentive.  Or a driver would be asked to come in to cover a different shift (which does break the 'rules') and again there would be an incentive for them to do that. 

Those incentives are now not being offered, so many drivers are no longer interested in helping out.

From listening to drivers' moaning (which is most of the time), it is the Union that has brought in rules to stop incentives, not GWR.  A driver CAN extend and get an incentive, but CANNOT get an incentive to work a rest day or change shifts.  Additionally any signed routes or traction that a driver does not have in his/her normally rostered duty must come off their competence card.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2017, 03:00:21 pm »

At least Ryanair can admit its bad management though.

I assume that GWR are recruiting to sort this mess out?

Plenty of trainee drivers currently going through the system, though it takes time especially with a general shortage of instructors, some of whom often drive trains that their trainees won't drive, so much of their shift is wasted.   So the company are certainly guilty of doing too little too late and in a very inefficient way IMHO.
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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
TaplowGreen
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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2017, 03:25:45 pm »

What would be really good, and would make a refreshing change, would be a statement from Hopwood apologising & explaining fully and frankly all the issues with lack of drivers, serviceable trains, poor levels of customer service etc and giving a recovery plan for each....that would show decency, leadership  & courage...........I'm not holding my breath.
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« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2017, 03:50:58 pm »

I agree.  Why not email him personally with that very suggestion?
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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
TaplowGreen
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« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2017, 03:59:30 pm »

I agree.  Why not email him personally with that very suggestion?

May just do that, I'll update all after Christmas when I get a reply (not sure which Christmas that'll be though judging by the speed of GWR replies!).......although to be honest, if he can't do the right thing without being told by a customer, it's a pretty poor reflection of him & the Business he runs.
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