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Author Topic: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion  (Read 292828 times)
PhilWakely
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« Reply #1650 on: August 14, 2021, 10:23:09 pm »

Away from Bristol, I feel sorry for anybody trying to travel west from Newbury today.

I travelled up from Exeter to Bedwyn early this (Saturday 14/08) morning to phot 45596 'Bahamas'. Getting there was easy - getting home not quite so!

I had a seat reservation on the 1315 from Newbury back to Exeter, but on arriving (fortunately very early) back at Newbury, I was greeted by the 'Cancelled' message on the CIS (Customer Information System) and advised to catch the 1515. Fortunately, I was able to travel home via Reading, but I understand that there were others wishing to catch that train. I hear that the 1515 was similarly cancelled.

What puzzles me, however, is that both the 1315 and the 1515 - despite appearing on the CIS as 'Cancelled' - disappeared entirely from Real Time Trains.

Edit - grahame - NBY» (Newbury - next trains) PAD» (Paddington (London) - next trains) EXD» (Exeter St Davids - next trains) - mention to stop 'em expanding in the URL

See here all reported 'departures' from Newbury towards Exeter

Can anybody explain?

*** Edited to add screen print as the url was corrupted on posting! ****
« Last Edit: August 15, 2021, 01:31:59 am by grahame » Logged
stuving
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« Reply #1651 on: August 15, 2021, 12:48:00 am »

Can anybody explain?

In RTT» (Real Time Trains - website)'s detailed filtering options there's a button marked "CAN". Selecting that shows the missing trains, marked as "Cancel". Now, obviously there are trains marked as cancelled that get shown with that button unselected, but not all of them. Why? Now that really is a puzzle.
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Timmer
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« Reply #1652 on: August 15, 2021, 06:56:14 am »

Away from Bristol, I feel sorry for anybody trying to travel west from Newbury today.

I travelled up from Exeter to Bedwyn early this (Saturday 14/08) morning to phot 45596 'Bahamas'. Getting there was easy - getting home not quite so!

I had a seat reservation on the 1315 from Newbury back to Exeter, but on arriving (fortunately very early) back at Newbury, I was greeted by the 'Cancelled' message on the CIS (Customer Information System) and advised to catch the 1515. Fortunately, I was able to travel home via Reading, but I understand that there were others wishing to catch that train. I hear that the 1515 was similarly cancelled.

Almost all the WoE semi fasts were cancelled yesterday due to traincrew shortages with the fasts stopping additionally at Pewsey, Westbury to cover but NOT at Newbury.

This made me think about passengers wanting to travel West from Newbury and vice versa. They would have to go via Reading adding quite a bit of time and inconvenience to their journey. Okay, this might not have affected many passengers but it would have done for some.

Would there have been staff on hand at Newbury to advise passengers to go via Reading rather than wait two hours for the next train that also ended up being cancelled?
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #1653 on: August 15, 2021, 08:19:05 am »

I went out to Bedwyn yesterday. Seemed odd the racegoers were being directed to Newbury and then to catch a train back to the racecourse.
Cycled fro Bedwyn to Swindon.
Long wait at Swindon, seemed majority of trains to Reading were cancelled, and possibly elsewhere. The other half said there were a lot of cancellations from Paddington.
Swindon station looks a mess. I presume that NR» (Network Rail - home page) thinks it is cheaper to let the wood rot and replace it rather than paint it.
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Electric train
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« Reply #1654 on: August 15, 2021, 08:55:23 am »

This RIG (Railway Improvement Group) agreement https://www.raildeliverygroup.com/media-centre-docman/12813-2021-06-efa-publication/file.html will have a big impact on the time table, the frequency of trains, the number of carriages, levels of staff at stations, in control rooms, signal boxes, maintenance teams.

The RIG is not a quasi sub political party but a "joint" rail industry group of Toc's, FoC's and Network Rail, the Trade Unions

Be prepared as the rail industry is likely to be haemorrhaging a high level of skilled and experienced staff at levels not seen since the mid 1990's this could impact on the quality of the service offered
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« Reply #1655 on: August 15, 2021, 10:34:51 am »

Thanks ET for making that available.

As I have feared for quite a while, covid looks to be heralding a "back to the 1960s" era on the railways. The only mention of growth is reference to encouraging leisure travel, but it's difficult to see how thinning out the timetable to match current demand is compatable with that.
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« Reply #1656 on: August 15, 2021, 12:22:00 pm »

Thanks ET for making that available.

Yes, the staff have been made aware of the RIRG for a while, and some of the likely content, but that's the first official document I've seen.

Sobering stuff...but it's been coming.

Perhaps this is worthy of its own topic if the moderators agree?
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« Reply #1657 on: August 15, 2021, 02:48:59 pm »

Thanks ET for making that available.

As I have feared for quite a while, covid looks to be heralding a "back to the 1960s" era on the railways. The only mention of growth is reference to encouraging leisure travel, but it's difficult to see how thinning out the timetable to match current demand is compatable with that.

Ironic to note that while the RIG Agreement was being published, I have been working on various bus service improvement proposals - And if you had told the 2006 "Save The Train" Lee that this would be the case in 2021, he'd have thought you stark staring bonkers.
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« Reply #1658 on: August 15, 2021, 04:37:07 pm »

Quote
In summary, the impact of the above will mean that we shall see reduced services and a change in passenger behaviours in the way in which they use the rail network

Does that mean "there may no longer be a train when they want it, so they may drive", or am I being unkind in how I read that?  Is someone assuming that people who find there's no longer a local train available when they need to travel will get a bus or taxi, or drive to a nearby railhead?
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« Reply #1659 on: August 15, 2021, 05:00:08 pm »

I guess it depends on how much the government wish to pay to keep the railways running, how much patience they have in waiting for passenger numbers to recover, and how GBR (Great British Railways) sets up its stall.

Best outcome is a reduction in commuter trains and capacity, but the off-peak service and network of stations and routes remaining as they are.

Worst outcome is lots of station and route closures in more marginal areas, and thinning out of services elsewhere, as well as the above.

Those with a vested interest best don their lobbying boots!
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« Reply #1660 on: August 15, 2021, 05:40:36 pm »

My feeling is that peak will lose services to more look like the off-peak, but should commuting pick up that flexibility will remain such that an additional service can be added when shown necessary. I doubt they’ll be consudering closures of any kind, nor removal of any off-peak services

What this might mean for the re-opening project, who knows. They might publish a minimum business case requirement perhaps higher than currently used as a basis for continiung any identified project

But it looks as though 7 day working is going to become the norm….
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1661 on: August 16, 2021, 06:39:26 am »

Only 6 cancellations listed due to crew shortage (so far!) today.

Given that the isolation rules change today and there is no need for those who are double jabbed to isolate, the crew shortage problem would, one would imagine, be much less of an issue.
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« Reply #1662 on: August 16, 2021, 07:24:15 am »

Only 6 cancellations listed due to crew shortage (so far!) today.

Two of which - of course - are on the TransWilts line ... no 07:53 - never mind - next northbound train at 10:02.   Not exactly unused - I drove down to the station at 12:30 on Saturday to check the rubbish bins (station adopter, car boot sale at the Melksham Hub meant we could have had an issue) - and I was met by a flood of people coming off the trains from Trowbridge walking up Station Approach ...
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« Reply #1663 on: August 16, 2021, 12:19:00 pm »

Worst outcome is lots of station and route closures in more marginal areas, and thinning out of services elsewhere, as well as the above.

Those with a vested interest best don their lobbying boots!

If by "vested interest" you mean having a train station that's open, with a truly appropriate regular frequency service that isn't cancelled at the first sign of operational angst, and - whisper it quietly - maybe even some connecting local bus services, then sign me up for a big dollop of "vested interest", with afters to follow!
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stuving
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« Reply #1664 on: August 16, 2021, 07:21:57 pm »

Thanks ET for making that available.

Yes, the staff have been made aware of the RIRG for a while, and some of the likely content, but that's the first official document I've seen.

Sobering stuff...but it's been coming.

Perhaps this is worthy of its own topic if the moderators agree?

The rather bullish comments from government and the RDG(resolve) have provoked the obvious response from the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers).
Quote
RMT calls for halt to planned cuts as rail minister predicts a full return to normal train passenger numbers.

RAIL UNION RMT has called for a reversal of planned cuts across Network Rail, TFL (Transport for London) and the train operating companies after the rail minister said today that the Government are expecting passenger numbers to return to pre-COVID levels as the economy gets back into gear.

General Secretary Mick Lynch said;

"With the rail minister saying today that passenger use is predicted to fully return to pre-COVID levels there is absolutely no need for the government or the employers to be pressing for service and job cuts across the train operators, TFL and Network Rail.

"Instead the government should be promoting the railways and the growth of public transport use while at the same time securing green jobs in a new, low carbon economy. No employers or politicians should be using Covid as a smokescreen for cuts on the national railway and Transport for London."

And there's a campaign brochure too.

There was further reporting today that Network Rail has been canvassing office staff for a voluntary redundancy scheme. Avoiding the existing arrangements has produced more union hostility (though not so far from TSSA» (Transport Salaried Staffs' Association - about)).

And yes, discussions on a number of threads have converged on this subject (or this subject is spread over several thread, if you prefer).
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