Train GraphicClick on the map to explore geographics
 
End of through trains
Bristol to Waterloo - Why?

 
Please sign our petition
(more information)
 
Campaign links here
Travel & transport from BBC stories as at 17:15 05 Dec 2021
* Covid: Travel changes too late to halt potential new wave - scientist
Read about the forum [here].
Register [here] - it's free.
What do I gain from registering? [here]
 09/12/21 - Award Event - CRN
10/12/21 - Final day, service to Bristol
19/01/22 - MTUG - regular meeting
08/03/22 - WWRUG AGM - B-o-A
Random Image
Train RunningCancelled
14:18 Penzance to London Paddington
15:25 Cardiff Central to Southampton Central
17:58 Bristol Temple Meads to Severn Beach
18:41 Severn Beach to Bristol Temple Meads
20:20 Westbury to Swindon
21:13 Swindon to Westbury
22:02 Cheltenham Spa to Swindon
23:10 Swindon to Cheltenham Spa
23:13 Cardiff Central to Bristol Temple Meads
Short Run
14:33 Southampton Central to Cardiff Central
15:40 Bristol Temple Meads to Worcester Foregate Street
16:21 Cardiff Central to Southampton Central
16:30 London Paddington to Exeter St Davids
17:25 Cardiff Central to Southampton Central
17:37 Worcester Foregate Street to Bristol Temple Meads
19:33 Southampton Central to Cardiff Central
20:30 Cardiff Central to Southampton Central
20:33 Southampton Central to Bristol Temple Meads
20:36 Bristol Temple Meads to Cheltenham Spa
Delayed
05/12/21 14:20 Swansea to London Paddington
05/12/21 14:42 London Paddington to Swansea
05/12/21 15:17 Swansea to London Paddington
05/12/21 15:42 London Paddington to Swansea
15:55 Cardiff Central to Taunton
05/12/21 16:22 Swansea to London Paddington
05/12/21 16:42 London Paddington to Swansea
05/12/21 17:20 Swansea to London Paddington
05/12/21 17:42 London Paddington to Swansea
05/12/21 18:20 Swansea to London Paddington
05/12/21 19:20 Swansea to London Paddington
19:25 Cardiff Central to Southampton Central
05/12/21 19:42 London Paddington to Swansea
05/12/21 20:19 Swansea to London Paddington
05/12/21 20:42 London Paddington to Swansea
05/12/21 21:42 London Paddington to Swansea
23:33 Southampton Central to Westbury
PollsThere are no open or recent polls
Abbreviation pageAcronymns and abbreviations
Stn ComparatorStation Comparator
Rail newsNews Now - live rail news feed
Site Style 1 2 3 4
Next departures • Bristol Temple MeadsBath SpaChippenhamSwindonDidcot ParkwayReadingLondon PaddingtonMelksham
Exeter St DavidsTauntonWestburyTrowbridgeBristol ParkwayCardiff CentralOxfordCheltenham SpaBirmingham New Street
December 05, 2021, 05:32:00 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Forgotten your username or password? - get a reminder
Most recently liked subjects
[127] Are the railways fit for their (future) purpose?
[79] Masks To Become Compulsory On Public Transport Again
[52] Through service - Bristol to London (Waterloo) via Trowbridge ...
[41] South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
[28] Advent quiz - day 3 - unlabelled maps
[14] Overhead Electrification Plans
News: A forum for passengers ... with input from rail professionals welcomed too
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: 1 ... 111 112 [113] 114 115 ... 120
  Print  
Author Topic: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion  (Read 282401 times)
TaplowGreen
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 6078


View Profile
« Reply #1680 on: August 21, 2021, 08:33:53 am »

It is not just the pingdemic and self isolation that is causing a challenge

Many of the 'frontline' staff and indeed many of background staff have work right through the Covid lockdowns often covering for staff that were off sick and have not taken much in the way of holiday in that time.

Like everyone else railway staff are taking a holiday with their families.  The senior management are acutely aware of the work pressure staff have been under and that allowing staff holiday during school holiday time is essential, the consequence is staff resourcing at the moment is stretched and services will suffer.

The high risk of saying that staff should be force to take holidays to suit the travelling public is you end up with high levels of absenteeism over which there is no managerial control; I am sure management will have worked with their teams to manage holidays but with only a 6 week school holiday it does not leave much room to manoeuvre

Schools have been on holiday for a month, most return in just over a week - surely these staff holidays could have been spread out more evenly to avoid this type of chaos?

The "high risk", is that once again, the message is that you can't rely on the train, and this is at a time when the railways desperately need to appeal to leisure travellers given the amount of business travel that is being lost - once again, people will look at all the cancellations and get in their cars.

We're often told by others on this forum that we should choose the train and not fly or drive - BA» (British Airways - about) have 311 flights timetabled today - 311 are operating.

This scenario has been building for months for every business in the land. Workforce management should be up to dealing with it. In most cases, it seems to have done so successfully.

If your final paragraph is suggesting that staff will take unauthorised absence if they are not give the holidays they want, that's an entirely different matter altogether.
Logged
ChrisB
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 10668


View Profile Email
« Reply #1681 on: August 21, 2021, 09:00:38 am »

Most airline staff have been on a year of furlough & thus hsve had plenty of family time whereas the rail staff have worked right through! You’re comparing apples with pears….

Indeed the schools have been on break for a month, & the TOCs (Train Operating Company) I’msure have tried their best to schedule staff holidays across this period,. Why wouldn’t they? Just as you’ve thought about this, doesn’t mean those at the working end haven’t.
Logged
Electric train
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 3642


The future is 25000 Volts AC 750V DC has its place


View Profile
« Reply #1682 on: August 21, 2021, 09:30:45 am »

It is not just the pingdemic and self isolation that is causing a challenge

Many of the 'frontline' staff and indeed many of background staff have work right through the Covid lockdowns often covering for staff that were off sick and have not taken much in the way of holiday in that time.

Like everyone else railway staff are taking a holiday with their families.  The senior management are acutely aware of the work pressure staff have been under and that allowing staff holiday during school holiday time is essential, the consequence is staff resourcing at the moment is stretched and services will suffer.

The high risk of saying that staff should be force to take holidays to suit the travelling public is you end up with high levels of absenteeism over which there is no managerial control; I am sure management will have worked with their teams to manage holidays but with only a 6 week school holiday it does not leave much room to manoeuvre

Schools have been on holiday for a month, most return in just over a week - surely these staff holidays could have been spread out more evenly to avoid this type of chaos?

The "high risk", is that once again, the message is that you can't rely on the train, and this is at a time when the railways desperately need to appeal to leisure travellers given the amount of business travel that is being lost - once again, people will look at all the cancellations and get in their cars.

We're often told by others on this forum that we should choose the train and not fly or drive - BA» (British Airways - about) have 311 flights timetabled today - 311 are operating.

This scenario has been building for months for every business in the land. Workforce management should be up to dealing with it. In most cases, it seems to have done so successfully.

Yes it has and managers have been working with staff to manage holidays, they are also very mindful of staff burnout and the lack of pay rise this year and potential of redundancies hence going heavy handed over holidays would add to the current creation of unease in the industry



If your final paragraph is suggesting that staff will take unauthorised absence if they are not give the holidays they want, that's an entirely different matter altogether.

I just said it is a risk especially if managers act too heavy handed, also staff will be reluctant to work rest days.

Railway women and men are professional and responsible in their work and know full well they provide a service which millions of people depend on, but the do need a break as many of them the comfort and covid safety of working from home during lockdown was not an option
Logged

Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.     
Dwight D. Eisenhower
TaplowGreen
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 6078


View Profile
« Reply #1683 on: August 21, 2021, 10:17:17 am »

All fair points - but I'm sure you don't underestimate the damage that days like this do to the public's perception of the railways as a realistic alternative to the motorway (or the runway!)  Smiley
Logged
Timmer
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 5748


View Profile
« Reply #1684 on: August 21, 2021, 10:25:11 am »

Indeed the schools have been on break for a month, & the TOCs (Train Operating Company) I’msure have tried their best to schedule staff holidays across this period,. Why wouldn’t they? Just as you’ve thought about this, doesn’t mean those at the working end haven’t.
And it would appear they have been able to succeed in having enough staff to run their services…except GWR (Great Western Railway). Just looking at various TOC Journeychecks around the country there are few cancellations related to traincrew unavailability.

I suspect even without Covid there would still be a list of train crew cancellations today. How do I come to that conclusion? Because it’s been a problem with this TOC for one reason or another ever since I joined this forum back in 2006.

Covid is just the latest one to add to the list. After all these years for whatever reason the GW (Great Western) franchise still does not have enough staff to run the TOC and yet pre Covid it was one of First’s most profitable parts of their business.

To think First are going to be awarded another six years to run the GW network  Roll Eyes
Logged
jamestheredengine
Transport Scholar
Sr. Member
******
Posts: 214


View Profile
« Reply #1685 on: August 21, 2021, 10:28:59 am »

[...]
19:26 Swansea to London Paddington due 22:15
[...]
20:22 Swansea to Bristol Parkway due 21:50
That's particularly stunning. Not only cancelling the last train of the night, but the one before it as well for good measure.
Logged

ellendune
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 4054


View Profile
« Reply #1686 on: August 21, 2021, 11:01:29 am »

Schools have been on holiday for a month, most return in just over a week - surely these staff holidays could have been spread out more evenly to avoid this type of chaos?

The "high risk", is that once again, the message is that you can't rely on the train, and this is at a time when the railways desperately need to appeal to leisure travellers given the amount of business travel that is being lost - once again, people will look at all the cancellations and get in their cars.

We're often told by others on this forum that we should choose the train and not fly or drive - BA» (British Airways - about) have 311 flights timetabled today - 311 are operating.

This scenario has been building for months for every business in the land. Workforce management should be up to dealing with it. In most cases, it seems to have done so successfully.

If your final paragraph is suggesting that staff will take unauthorised absence if they are not give the holidays they want, that's an entirely different matter altogether.

Your comparison with BA is not strictly fair.  BA stopped operating essentially during the pandemic and so their staff have had a chance for a rest.  GW (Great Western) staff have been working all through the pandemic.

Logged
Timmer
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 5748


View Profile
« Reply #1687 on: August 21, 2021, 11:23:13 am »

Quote
Surprise of the day, all the London - Paignton trains appear to be running!
Nope, some cancellations now appearing on the Paigntons and other SW services too. The cancellation list is growing. Sad
Logged
Mark A
Transport Scholar
Sr. Member
******
Posts: 146


View Profile
« Reply #1688 on: August 21, 2021, 11:33:51 am »

The IEP (Intercity Express Program / Project.) 5 car sets - when running coupled as 2 x 5 ,does each need a TM(resolve) before it can run?
Logged
IndustryInsider
Data Manager
Hero Member
******
Posts: 8941


View Profile
« Reply #1689 on: August 21, 2021, 11:46:27 am »

The IEP (Intercity Express Program / Project.) 5 car sets - when running coupled as 2 x 5 ,does each need a TM(resolve) before it can run?

No.  The second set just needs a competent person, which could be a lead customer host for example.

BTW (by the way) I’ll respond to some of the other points raised today a bit later, when I have more time.
Logged

To view my GWML (Great Western Main Line) Electrification cab video 'before and after' video comparison, as well as other videos of the new layout at Reading and 'before and after' comparisons of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/IndustryInsider/
a-driver
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 808


View Profile
« Reply #1690 on: August 21, 2021, 04:09:05 pm »

This issue over staff holidays.

Staff holidays are rostered, there isn’t more traincrew rostered holiday during the Summer than at any other time of the year. The amount of guaranteed ad-hoc leave also remains unchanged throughout the year.
The High Summer timetable ends soon so staff availability will increase. Training is back on so additional drivers will soon be passed out and I imagine it won’t be long before other restrictions will be lifted. During lockdown some drivers may not have worked over a certain route and have therefore lost their competence. Having 2 allowed back in the cab will allow those training requirements to be fulfilled.
Then you’ll also have staff you have had Covid and have returned to work but are working restricted hours because the virus has left them exhausted.
Logged
broadgage
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 4501



View Profile
« Reply #1691 on: August 21, 2021, 05:05:35 pm »

If the present staff shortages ARE due to staff now taking leave that was postponed due to the pandemic, then I have some sympathy with both the staff members and with the company.
OTOH (On The Other Hand), GWR (Great Western Railway) have a poor record over staffing for the Summer holiday season, since long before the pandemic.

Are there any firm plans including dates for having enough staff to run the advertised service ? Remembering that the present advertised service is the Covid mode timetable and requires fewer staff than the pre-pandemic timetable.

And yes, I and many others call for less flying and driving and more use of trains in order to reduce climate changing carbon dioxide emissions.
It is hard to recommend GWR services for leisure travel to the West country at present. I wonder if next Summer will be any better ?

The average passenger is probably not aware of all the details, but simply knows that GWR services are unreliable, overcrowded, and best avoided.
And meanwhile, the limited SWR» (South Western Railway - about) services that provide an alternative to some parts of "GWR territory" are to be withdrawn.

And as has been said, airlines are operating as normal.



Logged

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.
IndustryInsider
Data Manager
Hero Member
******
Posts: 8941


View Profile
« Reply #1692 on: August 21, 2021, 05:24:35 pm »

I totally get why TaplowGreen has raised the following issues...here are my thoughts.

Schools have been on holiday for a month, most return in just over a week - surely these staff holidays could have been spread out more evenly to avoid this type of chaos?

Appreciating that 'Electric Train' comes at it from more of a Network Rail perspective, but as 'a-driver' has said there are limits to the number of people allowed on holiday in train crew grades on GWR (Great Western Railway).  These have not changed this summer. 

You have a maximum number of people allowed 'Block Leave' at any one time (traincrew have to group 4, 5, or 6 six weeks of their holiday in week or two week blocks), and a maximum number of people who will be guaranteed ad-hoc leave (whatever remains after block leave is allocated) on any given day.  There is a thing called the 'depot calculator' agreed with the company and unions which decides the numbers of each which is based on the depot establishment.

Any additional days off on top are only granted if the shift can be covered and no trains are cancelled - known as 'subject to service requirements'.  On summer Saturday's it is extremely likely that the maximum allowed will be off, but to repeat no more staff are being allowed off than are allowed off usually.

The "high risk", is that once again, the message is that you can't rely on the train, and this is at a time when the railways desperately need to appeal to leisure travellers given the amount of business travel that is being lost - once again, people will look at all the cancellations and get in their cars.

Agreed.  I would comment that on certain routes, on Friday's, Saturday's and Sunday's it looks like leisure travel is more popular than usual this year thanks to staycationers.

We're often told by others on this forum that we should choose the train and not fly or drive - BA» (British Airways - about) have 311 flights timetabled today - 311 are operating.

This scenario has been building for months for every business in the land. Workforce management should be up to dealing with it. In most cases, it seems to have done so successfully.

You often state or imply that other companies are organised better than GWR or 'the railway'.  Others have made valid comments on this particular example.  I'll add that I don't have knowledge of the inner workings of BA, and if I have misunderstood something I apologise, but the interweb says that, pre-lockdown they operated about 850 flights a day*.

So, if they've operated 311 today then that's around 37% of their pre-COVID total.  Presumably there's no demand for more?

If the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) were telling GWR to operate 37% of its pre-COVID services then I think it's fair to say they'd achieve that quite easily, but it would cause massive capacity issues and general uproar.  As it is, they are telling GWR to operate, and I don't have the exact figures, but around 90% of the pre-COVID services.  With today's cancellations that would probably equate to still running well over 80% of the pre-COVID timetable.

You could argue that they should 'manage expectations' by withdrawing trains from the timetable they can't guarantee running, and indeed a few more were withdrawn recently with that aim in mind.  But then you have opposing opinions such as Broadgage who thinks the railway is unnecessarily in 'Covid mode' and should schedule more trains.  And, if you play it too safe you might end up with trains in sidings and crews that could have worked them at a time when the most that can run should run.  Classic 'rock and hard place'.

* https://www.businessinsider.com/british-airways-grounds-nearly-all-flights-as-pilots-strike-2019-9?r=US&IR=T



And it would appear they have been able to succeed in having enough staff to run their services…except GWR. Just looking at various TOC (Train Operating Company) Journeychecks around the country there are few cancellations related to traincrew unavailability.

Chiltern have been struggling badly recently.  Eleven cancellations listed for the remainder of the day, which is a higher percentage than GWR.  WMR have also struggled badly.



Perhaps it's time for Graham or Bob to coax Mark Hopwood onto the forum for another one of his sessions?  He could then apologise and explain in more detail.
Logged

To view my GWML (Great Western Main Line) Electrification cab video 'before and after' video comparison, as well as other videos of the new layout at Reading and 'before and after' comparisons of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/IndustryInsider/
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 35007



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #1693 on: August 21, 2021, 05:29:20 pm »

Perhaps it's time for Graham or Bob to coax Mark Hopwood onto the forum for another one of his sessions? 

Watch the space ...  Grin ... plans are already afoot to meet your objective in a few weeks ...
Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
IndustryInsider
Data Manager
Hero Member
******
Posts: 8941


View Profile
« Reply #1694 on: August 21, 2021, 05:53:44 pm »

Perhaps it's time for Graham or Bob to coax Mark Hopwood onto the forum for another one of his sessions? 

Watch the space ...  Grin ... plans are already afoot to meet your objective in a few weeks ...

As long as Broadgage is banned from mentioning buffets!  Wink
Logged

To view my GWML (Great Western Main Line) Electrification cab video 'before and after' video comparison, as well as other videos of the new layout at Reading and 'before and after' comparisons of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/IndustryInsider/
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 ... 111 112 [113] 114 115 ... 120
  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

Jump to top of pageJump to Forum Home Page