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Author Topic: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion  (Read 185861 times)
TonyK
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« Reply #1260 on: December 10, 2019, 10:13:50 pm »


GWR are actually doing this in the best interests of passengers.
"Christmas party season" is only the polite term for "binge drinking season" GWR, as part of HMGs anti binge drinking policy, are making getting home after drinking a little harder, in the hope that some people will vow "never again", thereby improving public health.

Good luck with that. The times I've made that vow...
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Timmer
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« Reply #1261 on: December 12, 2019, 08:06:36 am »

A look at RTT this morning shows a number of services have disappeared or are running short this coming Sunday, so it looks like GWR will be running a reduced timetable and not the new much anticipated timetable.

Now they've modified the timetable, hopefully they will give passengers as much notice as possible that there train might not be running.
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« Reply #1262 on: December 12, 2019, 09:42:48 am »

Can you give some examples, Timmer?
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Timmer
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« Reply #1263 on: December 12, 2019, 09:52:55 am »

Can you give some examples, Timmer?
All the Cheltenhams are running to and from Swindon only.

The xx17 Pad-Cdf and returns aren't running.

Services to WoE are also affected with the a number of services either cancelled or running short.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1264 on: December 12, 2019, 09:59:32 am »

I believe another of our esteemed members indicated elsewhere that there is a GWR Christmas booze-up on Saturday night which may well explain shortage of crew the next day and likely service meltdown despite extra cash being on offer for those who are prepared to turn up for work.

Can't let little things like running trains come between rail staff and ale, even when it's too cold for a barbecue  Roll Eyes
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Timmer
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« Reply #1265 on: December 12, 2019, 10:12:44 am »

I believe another of our esteemed members indicated elsewhere that there is a GWR Christmas booze-up on Saturday night which may well explain shortage of crew the next day and likely service meltdown despite extra cash being on offer for those who are prepared to turn up for work.

Can't let little things like running trains come between rail staff and ale, even when it's too cold for a barbecue  Roll Eyes
It's an absolute disgrace that a private company won't be able to run the advertised service because of Christmas parties!

Nothing against the staff as they don't have to work on a Sunday. Most of the travelling public won't have a clue that it's because of Christmas parties that services are affected as the official reason given will be 'shortage of train crew'.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #1266 on: December 12, 2019, 10:44:17 am »

I believe another of our esteemed members indicated elsewhere that there is a GWR Christmas booze-up on Saturday night which may well explain shortage of crew the next day and likely service meltdown despite extra cash being on offer for those who are prepared to turn up for work.

Can't let little things like running trains come between rail staff and ale, even when it's too cold for a barbecue  Roll Eyes
It's an absolute disgrace that a private company won't be able to run the advertised service because of Christmas parties!

Nothing against the staff as they don't have to work on a Sunday. Most of the travelling public won't have a clue that it's because of Christmas parties that services are affected as the official reason given will be 'shortage of train crew'.

Isn't this another case of the Law of Unintended Consequences kicking in?

It's been over 30 years now since a driver of a freight train who had had one over the sixteen had his train come off the road at Maidstone, and that IIRC was the beginnings of a drachonian clampdown on alcohol for railway employees in general, and operating staff in particular.

I am not suggesting that we go back to the days of drunk as a newt drivers taking trains out, but if you run the risk of dismissal the following day because there's still alcohol in your bloodstream, it stands to reason that staff are going to be very cautious indeed.
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« Reply #1267 on: December 12, 2019, 11:11:08 am »

Can you give some examples, Timmer?
All the Cheltenhams are running to and from Swindon only.

The xx17 Pad-Cdf and returns aren't running.

Services to WoE are also affected with the a number of services either cancelled or running short.

Thanks - will GWR advertise these in advance on their website I wonder?  There are some depots with a full complement of staff this Sunday (i.e. all shifts covered), but Iím sure some will struggle. 

It will be interesting to see what affect any shortages have before Christmas and after, when it should settle down.
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Timmer
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« Reply #1268 on: December 12, 2019, 11:27:47 am »

Thanks - will GWR advertise these in advance on their website I wonder?  There are some depots with a full complement of staff this Sunday (i.e. all shifts covered), but Iím sure some will struggle. 
Would like to think so. I know the service I was booked on has been cancelled as yesterday it was listed on RTT and today it's gone which I expected as it's one of the new WoE semi-fasts which was always a prime target when short of traincrew. At least my late getting home will somewhat be compensated by delay repay.
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« Reply #1269 on: December 12, 2019, 11:42:06 am »

The staff have been told the following:

"Alongside the timetable change there will be other factors which could cause us extra challenges on Sunday. Train crew coverage is expected to be a challenge for this one day, and a strike will continue across the South Western Railway network, meaning services will be significantly reduced. A revised timetable will be put in place, and where trains are able to operate they are expected to be very busy."
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1270 on: December 12, 2019, 05:29:22 pm »

The message of course that comes out loud and clear is that you can't rely on the railways at weekends, especially as the bruvvers over on SWR are out on strike too.

I suspect that the overwhelming majority of working people, if you told them that the reason was a combination of train drivers being exempt from having to work on Sundays (notwithstanding being handsomely paid to provide a subsidised 7 day public service), and their desire to have a skinful of ale on Saturday night would scarcely believe it.

In my industry, no-one is "forced" to work on Sundays, but a combination of a conscientious workforce who want to provide the best service to their customers and an ability to compromise without holding people to ransom ensures that it's all covered.

The railways have had years to sort this out but as usual progress is glacial.

Those who scream and shout about people jumping in their cars instead of catching the train should bear this in mind.
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Timmer
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« Reply #1271 on: December 12, 2019, 05:39:09 pm »

GWR have put out the following on their website:
https://www.gwr.com/sunday-15-december

Quote
Changes to trains for Sunday 15 December

An amended timetable is in place affecting some journeys between London and Penzance, and on some other GWR routes. Where trains are able to run they are expected to be very busy. This is expected to be compounded by strikes planned by the RMT on the SWR network.

Customers should check their journeys before travelling.

Those with tickets for travel on Sunday 15 December will be allowed to travel on either Saturday 14 or Monday 16 December when GWR will be operating its full timetable.

The usual compensation arrangements are in place should customers be delayed, and customers who choose not to travel will be entitled to a refund. GWR is offering to waive the administration fee for those who choose not to travel.

How will this affect my journey?

In order to keep passengers moving, some London Paddington to Penzance services will terminate at Exeter, where customers will be able to change for local services towards Plymouth and Penzance. Services between Exeter and Plymouth will be supported by additional road vehicles; adding up to an hour on journey times.

On the route between London Paddington and South Wales GWR will continue to operate an hourly service between London and Swansea; and a half-hourly service between Bristol Temple Meads and London Paddington.

Direct trains between Cheltenham and London Paddington will terminate at Swindon, where customers will be able to catch a train service onwards to London.

The amendments have come about because an unusually high number of rail staff are not available to work. While newer GWR contracts include Sunday working, not all railway workers are contracted to work on Sundays. GWR is working with colleagues and trade unions to make Sunday contracted hours more consistent across the business.
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broadgage
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« Reply #1272 on: December 12, 2019, 06:21:19 pm »

I largely gave up weekend rail travel years ago due to the unreliability thereof.
Staff shortage.
Engineering work.
Rail replacement buses that fail to connect with trains.
No proper first class.
No Pullman.
And on new trains, not even a trolley on Sundays.

Local trips were usually made by bus
Longer distance trips planned so as to avoid weekends.

I also learnt to avoid other days on which experience suggested it would all go orribly wrong.
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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 is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #1273 on: December 12, 2019, 06:37:43 pm »

GWR have put out the following on their website:
https://www.gwr.com/sunday-15-december

Thanks for posting the link.  It confirms that all new services are expected to run on Monday.

It is also interesting to see GWR make direct reference to why Sunday services are difficult to staff on some Sundayís.  Is that the first time theyíve done that?

Still no material movement on Sunday-in-the-working-week negotiations AFAIK, with only a year until the target implementation date for drivers.
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Timmer
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« Reply #1274 on: December 13, 2019, 01:39:18 pm »

Just received an email from GWR to say my train wonít be running this Sunday. I appreciate the efforts being made to let everyone who they can inform of the expected issues this weekend.

We have no choice but to return home Sunday evening so are hoping for the best.
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