Train Graphic
Great Western Passengers' Forum Great Western Coffee Shop - [home] and [about]
Read about the forum [here]. Register and contribute [here] - it's free.
Random Image
Train Running @GWR Twitter Acronyms/Abbreviations Station Comparator Rail News GWR co. site Site Style 1 2 3 4 Chat on off
December 18, 2017, 10:30:48 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Forgotten your username or password? - get a reminder
News: A forum for passengers ... with input from rail professionals welcomed too
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: 1 ... 9 10 [11] 12 13 ... 16
  Print  
Author Topic: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion  (Read 9891 times)
bradshaw
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 134


View Profile
« Reply #150 on: December 07, 2017, 08:54:04 AM »

Three afternoon services to Weymouth cancelled beyond Westbury today, with bus replacements.
It is happening on this route more regularly now.
Logged
TaplowGreen
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 2963


View Profile
« Reply #151 on: December 07, 2017, 09:26:14 AM »

Here is the current list of GWR vacancies from the First Group website...........I see none for drivers, train crew, ticket office staff etc despite constant cancellations due to traincrew shortages and many LTV ticket offices now being virtually permanently closed.......due to "staff shortage" according to GWR.

You will also note the absence of Customer service staff to deal with correspondence/complaints, despite the months long delay in getting responses which has now been going on for over a year - some of this may have been outsourced, but accountability for it sits with GWR.

..............I can see why "Performance analysts" are required, I suspect they may be busy.


Engineering Project Team Coordinator
Engineering - Swindon - Engineering Project Team Coordinator
Service Delivery Assistant
CS - Stations - Reading Station - Service Delivery Assistant
Senior Performance Analyst
Finance - Swindon - Senior Performance Analyst
Project Manager
Ops - Other - Swindon - Project Manager
Route Manager
Ops - Other - Capital House London - Route Manager
Management Development Trainer
Logged
ChrisB
TransWilts Member
Hero Member
******
Posts: 9033


View Profile Email
« Reply #152 on: December 07, 2017, 09:29:47 AM »

Whilst I appreciate that recruiting and training drivers takes time, how long should GWR be given to address this issue ?

Given that the vast majority of shortages are down to accelerated training, as long as it takes to get the stock moves done & services running the new stock timetabled & running?
Unfortunately, there are no driver temp agencies that suitably-trained drivers can be gleaned from.

Quote
The need to train staff on new rolling stock should have been foreseen, surely, and not come as a surprise.

It would have been planned for when the stock was originally due. Once delays were introduced by the DfT, the training would have needed to be put back - you can't train & then not use that training for months, can you? It would be forgotten quite quickly. So no planning for training could be done until they got a guarantee from the DfT & the supplier that delivery was going to definitely happen - hence it all being fitted in to quite a short time period, more intensively to get enough drivers trained to start on Jan 2. You can't blame the TOC in this instance.

I would have more sympathy with GWR if some exceptional event had left them short of staff[/quote]

The DfT-induced delays are exceptional, sorry. And as indicated above, the root cause of all these shortages, or the vast majority, at least.
Logged
ChrisB
TransWilts Member
Hero Member
******
Posts: 9033


View Profile Email
« Reply #153 on: December 07, 2017, 09:32:58 AM »

Here is the current list of GWR vacancies from the First Group website...........I see none for drivers, train crew, ticket office staff etc despite constant cancellations due to traincrew shortages and many LTV ticket offices now being virtually permanently closed.......due to "staff shortage" according to GWR.

Bears out what I said in my previous post - that the shortages are down to training, and once complete, there won't be any shortages as they'll all be back on the 'new' stock they've been trained on.

Quote
You will also note the absence of Customer service staff to deal with correspondence/complaints, despite the months long delay in getting responses which has now been going on for over a year - some of this may have been outsourced

All those posts are outsourced, so GWR won't be advertising any vacancies, will they?
Logged
Timmer
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 4057


View Profile
« Reply #154 on: December 07, 2017, 09:59:30 AM »

You have to remember Mr Hopwood needs to show a profit coming from GWR into First's coffers otherwise there would be no point in First having the franchise. Training crew costs money, money that would deny profit for the company.
Logged
Timmer
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 4057


View Profile
« Reply #155 on: December 07, 2017, 10:01:03 AM »

Bears out what I said in my previous post - that the shortages are down to training, and once complete, there won't be any shortages as they'll all be back on the 'new' stock they've been trained on.
I hope that declaration that there won't be any more shortages doesn't come back to haunt you Chris.
Logged
TaplowGreen
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 2963


View Profile
« Reply #156 on: December 07, 2017, 10:03:09 AM »

Here is the current list of GWR vacancies from the First Group website...........I see none for drivers, train crew, ticket office staff etc despite constant cancellations due to traincrew shortages and many LTV ticket offices now being virtually permanently closed.......due to "staff shortage" according to GWR.

Bears out what I said in my previous post - that the shortages are down to training, and once complete, there won't be any shortages as they'll all be back on the 'new' stock they've been trained on.

Quote
You will also note the absence of Customer service staff to deal with correspondence/complaints, despite the months long delay in getting responses which has now been going on for over a year - some of this may have been outsourced

All those posts are outsourced, so GWR won't be advertising any vacancies, will they?

..................no, which was why I mentioned the outsourcing, but the fact that their performance in this area is particularly appalling is another illustration of the poor decision making within GWR, and as I pointed out, they are 100% accountable for their suppliers performance.

As it's your (I'm sure) well informed position that there are numerous drivers, traincrew and ticket office staff in training and soon to descend upon the network to deliver previously unprecendented levels of service, reliability and customer satisfaction I'm sure that we will all take comfort from that.
Logged
Tim
TransWilts Member
Hero Member
******
Posts: 2677


View Profile
« Reply #157 on: December 07, 2017, 11:01:11 AM »

You have to remember Mr Hopwood needs to show a profit coming from GWR into First's coffers otherwise there would be no point in First having the franchise. Training crew costs money, money that would deny profit for the company.

Nothing wrong with profit. The problem may be that the incentives have not been set up so that cancelling trains put a bigger dent in the profit (and provide a greater threat to Mr Hopwood's continued employment) than training staff. 
Logged
Timmer
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 4057


View Profile
« Reply #158 on: December 07, 2017, 11:04:17 AM »

Nothing wrong with profit. The problem may be that the incentives have not been set up so that cancelling trains put a bigger dent in the profit (and provide a greater threat to Mr Hopwood's continued employment) than training staff. 
Indeed nothing wrong with making a profit Tim, just not at the expense of GWR's customers which has been going on for far too long with the same rail companies being rewarded with new contracts to carry on regardless.
Logged
IndustryInsider
TransWilts Member
Hero Member
******
Posts: 6083


View Profile
« Reply #159 on: December 07, 2017, 11:33:56 AM »

Here is the current list of GWR vacancies from the First Group website...........I see none for drivers, train crew, ticket office staff etc despite constant cancellations due to traincrew shortages and many LTV ticket offices now being virtually permanently closed.......due to "staff shortage" according to GWR.

Bears out what I said in my previous post - that the shortages are down to training, and once complete, there won't be any shortages as they'll all be back on the 'new' stock they've been trained on.

Quote
You will also note the absence of Customer service staff to deal with correspondence/complaints, despite the months long delay in getting responses which has now been going on for over a year - some of this may have been outsourced

All those posts are outsourced, so GWR won't be advertising any vacancies, will they?

..................no, which was why I mentioned the outsourcing, but the fact that their performance in this area is particularly appalling is another illustration of the poor decision making within GWR, and as I pointed out, they are 100% accountable for their suppliers performance.

As it's your (I'm sure) well informed position that there are numerous drivers, traincrew and ticket office staff in training and soon to descend upon the network to deliver previously unprecendented levels of service, reliability and customer satisfaction I'm sure that we will all take comfort from that.

There are a lot of new drivers currently going through training who will be passing out over the next six months, so I think the crew issue on LTV will be much improved in the new year, I’m not so sure about the situation on West.  The mistake was to not anticipate the current shortfall and then panic and hire a load of new staff at the same time a massive training programme of existing staff on the new trains needs to be undertaken.  So I wouldn’t be as brave as ChrisB to predict there won’t be any shortages, but it should become a much improved situation from the new year and through the summer and next Christmas.

There are agreed leave levels with the unions per depot and above and beyond that level it will only be granted if their shift can be covered.  That means, using one depot as an example, six people who wanted the day off this Saturday have been refused it, but there are still seven open turns without cover which will either be covered by another depot, or result in cancellations.

Ticket office staff at most of the locations where there have been recent shortages will become the responsibility of TfL Rail.  I wonder how quickly they’ll get on top of it?
Logged

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
Red Squirrel
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1765


Brexit simplified


View Profile
« Reply #160 on: December 07, 2017, 12:39:18 PM »

Nothing wrong with profit... and if, as we are told, profits only make up 3% of the bill then are they really all that relevant?

Given that we have a state-controlled railway, surely it is the government's fault if its agents (the TOCs) provide a poor service? The government writes and enforces (or fails to enforce) the rules...
Logged

Everyone who considered the question on its merits was convinced of the justice of the demand for a Greater Bristol, but... the interests of the Tory party were put before every other consideration and we do not think there is any endeavour to conceal the fact.
ChrisB
TransWilts Member
Hero Member
******
Posts: 9033


View Profile Email
« Reply #161 on: December 07, 2017, 03:24:49 PM »

Wouldn't disagree with that....and yes, that 3% is significant (to the TOCs at least). If they find they can't generate it they hand back the keys (so take a minimum loss) or don't bid in the first place. cf the lack of bidders on mew franchises
Logged
Tim
TransWilts Member
Hero Member
******
Posts: 2677


View Profile
« Reply #162 on: December 07, 2017, 03:59:23 PM »

the 3% figure is a complete and utter red herring when it comes to rail franchises.  But it looks small and reasonable and so the ToCs and their cheerleaders in Government and at ATOC keep repeating it.  I would hope that we don't inadvertently do their work for them by repeating that nonsense number as if it was significant. 

For a "normal" business profit is expressed as percentage return on capital.  On that yardstick a 3% profit would be low especially for a business that carried a risk of loss of capital.  Remember profit is not a reward for running the business (the people who run the business are rewarded in their pay package).  Profit is essentially the rent paid to the investors for the use of their capital.   

BUT First Group invest virtually zero capital into the business.  If they don't make any profit their capital is not lost.  GWR is essentially a "pass-through" business.  They rake in a huge farebox and pass most of it out as costs keeping 3% for themselves.  Comparing them and their profit percentage to, say Marks and Spencer (or a RoSCo), is therefore completely meaningless.  A better comparison would be to compare them to say, American Express.  American Express collect huge amounts of money from card holders and pay almost all of it to retailers, retaining a small fraction of a percentage for themselves.  Now if Amex was making a profit of 3% of the total transactions on their cards, most people would regard that as a huge margin, massively unfair and contrary to the public interest.  And in fact the EU has decided that Amex's "cut" of transactions must be no more than 0.3% (and only a fraction of that "cut" is profit). 

My question is why is profit of less than 0.3% seen as adequate for Amex, but 3% is seen as barely enough for a ToC? 

Don't get me wrong.  I am not against profit in the rail industry.  I don't have a problem with Hitachi making a decent margin on their IEP leasing deal because they had to attract investors to cough up billions to pay for the trains, but the idea of using a mechanism (profit) designed to attract investors into a business like a ToC which doesn't invest in anything beyond their branding seems to have little justification. 
Logged
Western Enterprise
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 127


View Profile Email
« Reply #163 on: December 07, 2017, 04:08:35 PM »

Amex & First are chalk and cheese.
There is no comparison between Amex, who have a very different business model to First.
Logged
didcotdean
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 714


View Profile
« Reply #164 on: December 07, 2017, 05:17:53 PM »

Amex cards issued by themselves are not subject to the cap on credit card transaction fees. Although they may find their merchant base shrinking if they are too much out of line and can't compensate with its higher volume clients. Also the transaction fee is not the only source of income for credit cards and they are starting to charge merchants separately for some services that they used to bundle in within the transaction fee.

I have expressed my view many times on the franchise concept as it currently operates, ie that in essance it manages to combine the disadvantages of both public and private sector operations and minimises the benefits of both as well.
Logged
Do you have something you would like to add to this thread, or would you like to raise a new question at the Coffee Shop? Please [register] (it is free) if you have not done so before, or login (at the top of this page) if you already have an account - we would love to read what you have to say!

You can find out more about how this forum works [here] - that will link you to a copy of the forum agreement that you can read before you join, and tell you very much more about how we operate. We are an independent forum, provided and run by customers of Great Western Railway, for customers of Great Western Railway and we welcome railway professionals as members too, in either a personal or official capacity. Views expressed in posts are not necessarily the views of the operators of the forum.

As well as posting messages onto existing threads, and starting new subjects, members can communicate with each other through personal messages if they wish. And once members have made a certain number of posts, they will automatically be admitted to the "frequent posters club", where subjects not-for-public-domain are discussed; anything from the occasional rant to meetups we may be having ...

 
Pages: 1 ... 9 10 [11] 12 13 ... 16
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
This forum is provided by a customer of Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western), and the views expressed are those of the individual posters concerned. Visit www.gwr.com for the official Great Western Railway website. Please contact the administrators of this site if you feel that the content provided by one of our posters contravenes our posting rules (email link). Forum hosted by Well House Consultants