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Author Topic: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion  (Read 294593 times)
bignosemac
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« Reply #1785 on: November 14, 2021, 10:31:20 pm »

Western Power Distribution were called to refuel the generator - it was low, but hadn't run out. After refuelling the surge protector burnt out. WPD then wired in their own generator.
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« Reply #1786 on: November 14, 2021, 10:59:10 pm »

The generator was running but further fault finding discovered the surge protection unit had burnt out. This unit was then bypassed and another generator put in place to restore signalling.

XC (Cross Country Trains (franchise)) 1V60 1920 Totnes to Plymouth departed at around 2230
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Witham Bobby
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« Reply #1787 on: November 15, 2021, 12:35:51 pm »

Loss of signalling between Newton Abbot and Plymouth.

XC (Cross Country Trains (franchise))’s 1V60 which was booked to depart Totnes at 19:20 is still sat there as of 21:10

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Due to a fault with the signalling system between Plymouth and Newton Abbot all lines are blocked.
Train services running through these stations will be cancelled or delayed. Disruption is expected until 22:00 14/11.

According to reports on GWR (Great Western Railway) Twitter (upon which I would not stake my life), passengers have been told that the necessary backup generator for the signals doesn't have any fuel.

Network Rail are apparently in attendance.

What a way to run a railroad!
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« Reply #1788 on: November 15, 2021, 12:43:38 pm »

Back up generators are tested fairly regularly I believe, but often seem to fail when needed the most!
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« Reply #1789 on: November 15, 2021, 12:44:27 pm »

Capped off a pretty bad day travelling by train in the Southwest.
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stuving
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« Reply #1790 on: November 15, 2021, 12:53:46 pm »

Back up generators are tested fairly regularly I believe, but often seem to fail when needed the most!

My experience too. I think the problem is that routine use/rehearsal/testing does not involve full end-to-end operation, so does not answer the question "does it actually take over and supply power to all of my load when the public supply fails". The same problem affects computer back-ups - few have the nerve to delete their primary set of files and test that a restore operation really does put them all back. So the first time you need either for real, you find out it doesn't work. Embarrassing, that.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2021, 08:55:36 am by stuving » Logged
broadgage
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« Reply #1791 on: November 15, 2021, 02:48:06 pm »

I used to maintain an office building with backup generators.
Inspected weekly for
Battery charger working.
Engine block heater working.
Coolant level in radiator.
Lubricant level correct.
Fuel in both the day tank on the engine and in the bulk tank.
Control switch set in "AUTO"
Also confirm by inspection that spare parts to hand, oil filter, air filters, fan belts, pilot lamps, control circuit fuses.

Monthly test. Does it start readily and run at the correct speed.

Six monthly, full load test powering the building as intended. This was done on a Saturday when the building load was less than normal, but to compensate for this extra load was added in the form of portable heaters.

Three yearly, full service by external specialist, replace starter batteries, belts and filters.

This generator NEVER failed to operate when called upon.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
grahame
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« Reply #1792 on: November 15, 2021, 02:54:49 pm »

The same problem affects computer back-ups - few have the nerve to delete their primary set of files and test that a restore operation really does pout them all back. So the first time you need either for real, you find out it doesn't work. Embarrassing, that.

Indeed - we have never tried a 100% server restore here by deleting the main VM server - that would put us down for a few hours.  I HAVE set up a fresh VM and run it for test purposes, and had to do partial restores too. The "test purpose" mechanism was what we used last autumn to move our server, and we moved the backup system with it too.
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« Reply #1793 on: November 15, 2021, 06:44:23 pm »

Generally the gensets are well maintained, the fuel is scrubbed once a year, oil is either changed or a sample sent to a lab of analysis, there are 2 independent sets of batteries that are changed every 5 years, there are sump and block heaters.  They have an RCM system which is monitored by the Routes 'Flight Engineers' 24/7

The sets are run up regularly, black crash testing is done when Operations allow it.

It would be interesting to know where the genset was located, the provider of emergency gensets in the area I cover is Aggreko and they have a very short notice response time for gensets up to 200kW
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Dwight D. Eisenhower
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« Reply #1794 on: November 26, 2021, 07:44:33 am »

...............
On a different note, it's saddening to also note 'more trains than usual wanting repair'.
Many services having reduced carriages.
Surely they've had sufficient repair time!
Yes, they all require routine services, but there seems a constant stock shortage whilst units are taken off the road for routines.
And we're still seeing many reduced formations everywhere.  Surely GWR (Great Western Railway)/Treasury would be able to source temporary stock to enable them to get on top of repairs?
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« Reply #1795 on: November 26, 2021, 01:20:11 pm »

...............
On a different note, it's saddening to also note 'more trains than usual wanting repair'.
Many services having reduced carriages.
Surely they've had sufficient repair time!
Yes, they all require routine services, but there seems a constant stock shortage whilst units are taken off the road for routines.
And we're still seeing many reduced formations everywhere.  Surely GWR (Great Western Railway)/Treasury would be able to source temporary stock to enable them to get on top of repairs?

"more trains than usual needing repairs" is generally code for "significant numbers of IETs (Intercity Express Train) are withdrawn due to cracks" This looks likely to be long term, as no time scale has been published for repair or replacement. May get worse and not better as other units of the same design are cracked but allowed to remain in service subject to monitoring of the cracks, which may worsen.
Remember all the promises made about the greatly increased capacity to be provided by the IETs, not only on the routes so served but also elsewhere by freeing up other stock.

And of of course the 769 project has also been a failure, I suppose that they will eventually work to an extent.

I doubt that either the IETs or the 769s will EVER achieve the initially promised availability.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #1796 on: November 26, 2021, 08:53:23 pm »

...............
On a different note, it's saddening to also note 'more trains than usual wanting repair'.
Many services having reduced carriages.
Surely they've had sufficient repair time!
Yes, they all require routine services, but there seems a constant stock shortage whilst units are taken off the road for routines.
And we're still seeing many reduced formations everywhere.  Surely GWR (Great Western Railway)/Treasury would be able to source temporary stock to enable them to get on top of repairs?

Have number of class 800 sets 'mothballed' due to the still reduced timetable at the behest of the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) to cut the public spend?  If sets have been mothballed they would not be ready for immediate use
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« Reply #1797 on: November 26, 2021, 09:53:04 pm »

I thought that a significant number of IETs (Intercity Express Train) are withdrawn due to cracks, rather than being mothballed.
Hitachi SHOULD be paying compensation for the failure of THEIR trains, but I bet that there is some wiggle room and that a compromise has been reached, meaning no compensation is actually being paid.

Perhaps calling the stored/withdrawn units "mothballed at customer request due to the covid mode timetable" sounds better and lets Hitachi off the hook. Any cracks that MIGHT be present on SOME of the units being purely coincidental of course.

Un mothballing might turn out to be harder and more complex than expected, thereby letting Hitachi of the hook for a bit longer.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #1798 on: December 11, 2021, 08:25:18 am »

Just as people will be thinking of using the train to travel at Christmas.......all these cancelled & 30+ (mostly) short runs........not a good message to send out.

07:28 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 09:28
07:38 Penzance to Plymouth due 09:37
08:35 London Paddington to Exeter St Davids due 11:04
09:27 Exeter St Davids to Penzance due 12:40
09:59 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 11:59
10:17 Plymouth to Penzance due 12:10
10:40 Great Malvern to London Paddington due 13:26
11:28 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 13:28
11:43 Exeter St Davids to London Paddington due 14:09
12:00 Cardiff Central to Taunton due 13:50
12:35 London Paddington to Exeter St Davids due 15:00
12:50 Penzance to Exeter St Davids due 15:57
13:15 Penzance to Plymouth due 15:09
13:59 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 15:59
14:07 Westbury to Swindon due 14:55
14:28 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 16:28
14:36 London Paddington to Plymouth due 18:03
14:50 Penzance to Plymouth due 16:45
15:05 Swindon to Westbury due 15:52
16:59 Cheltenham Spa to London Paddington due 18:59
17:39 Gloucester to Westbury due 19:32
17:58 Exeter St Davids to Plymouth due 19:07
18:10 Weston-Super-Mare to Bristol Parkway due 19:03
19:10 Weston-Super-Mare to Bristol Parkway due 20:02
19:10 Bristol Parkway to Bristol Temple Meads due 19:26
19:20 Paignton to Exmouth due 20:50
19:28 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 21:30
19:34 Swindon to Westbury due 20:16
19:45 Westbury to Bristol Temple Meads due 20:33
20:57 Exmouth to Exeter St Davids due 21:30
21:10 Swindon to Westbury due 21:51
21:32 Swindon to Cheltenham Spa due 22:30
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« Reply #1799 on: December 11, 2021, 10:39:32 am »

Actually it might be a very good message to send out! If you are not going to be able to provide a service then say so!

I am also beginning to think that travelling on an even normally crowded train is probably not a good idea at the moment. Or perhaps you would like train crews to have to work while infectious. 

Omicron may perhaps be less severe, but it would have to be hugely less severe (the evidence is insufficient on this at the moment) to counteract the huge increase in numbers from exponential growth if the current estimates of transmissibility (about which we have much more evidence) are proved correct.

In short the blunt message I am starting to think we may be going back to only travel by train if your journey is essential. 
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