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Author Topic: Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since September 2017 - ongoing discussion  (Read 337299 times)
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #1905 on: July 23, 2022, 05:19:12 pm »

......amongst other cancellations due to crew shortage on the first weekend of the school summer holidays, this one particularly stands out........ Roll Eyes


11:37 London Paddington to Newquay due 16:42

11:37 London Paddington to Newquay due 16:42 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

The reliability of the Newquay and Paignton weekend trains has been appalling.  Of that there is no argument.

However, there is logic behind cancelling that train instead of others.

The 12:04 Paddington to Penzance follows it until Par (where the Newquay branch splits off) arriving at 16:05, 9 minutes after the cancelled Newquay service would normally have left.  GWR (Great Western Railway) ran an additional 15:30 Plymouth to Newquay service scheduled to depart Par at 16:14 arriving Newquay at 17:00, instead of the original train at 16:42, so only an 18 minute 'delay' on the through journey.  The 12:04 would have course have been a busy train in its own right, but was a 10-car - the longest that can operate, and it does miss out a couple of stops en-route (Westbury and Tiverton Parkway).

Now, not everything goes to plan.  It turns out that the previous Paddington to Penzance train was delayed at Paddington and didn't leave until 11:38, and almost ran in the path of the cancelled 11:37.  That too was a 10-car so would have helped spread the load of the 11:37 onto two trains rather than one.  That was fortunate.  The 12:04 ran behind it arriving Par 8 minutes late and that caused the additional train from Plymouth to leave Par 10 minutes late, and arrive Newquay 6 mins late so actually a 24 minute delay on the through journey.  The additional train was a 2-car Class 150 so might have been quite full from Par as there were 111 reserved seats to Newquay on the original train (not all from Paddington), including 12 1st ones with no 1st class provided on the 150s.

Not a perfect solution, but perhaps a useful indication of why that particular train was cancelled?
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« Reply #1906 on: August 06, 2022, 06:07:43 am »

Saturday 6th August 2022 - Cancelled - all due to "a shortage of train crew"

Quote
06:20 London Paddington to Oxford due 07:22
06:48 London Paddington to Swansea due 09:34
07:02 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 08:35
07:28 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 09:29

Also:
Quote
08:28 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 10:31
08:28 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 10:31 will be started from Reading and terminated at Gloucester.
It will no longer call at London Paddington and Cheltenham Spa.
It will be delayed at Didcot Parkway by 3 minutes, will be further delayed at Swindon and is expected to be 6 minutes late.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.
Will be formed of 3 coaches instead of 5. First class not available. There are no reservations on this service throughout. Toilet facilities are reduced at both ends.

I make that five IET (Intercity Express Train) (?)drivers down off Paddington.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1907 on: August 06, 2022, 07:28:54 am »

Saturday 6th August 2022 - Cancelled - all due to "a shortage of train crew"

Quote
06:20 London Paddington to Oxford due 07:22
06:48 London Paddington to Swansea due 09:34
07:02 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 08:35
07:28 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 09:29

Also:
Quote
08:28 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 10:31
08:28 London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa due 10:31 will be started from Reading and terminated at Gloucester.
It will no longer call at London Paddington and Cheltenham Spa.
It will be delayed at Didcot Parkway by 3 minutes, will be further delayed at Swindon and is expected to be 6 minutes late.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.
Will be formed of 3 coaches instead of 5. First class not available. There are no reservations on this service throughout. Toilet facilities are reduced at both ends.

I make that five IET (Intercity Express Train) (?)drivers down off Paddington.


This now seems to be becoming a Saturday issue as well as just Sundays.............Cheltenham and Paignton seem to be the services which particularly suffer (although by no means the only ones) .............but allowing the St Ives branch to be short staffed? On a Saturday? In August?
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ChrisB
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« Reply #1908 on: August 06, 2022, 09:15:31 am »

Eh? There’s no cancellations on that branch (are there?)
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grahame
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« Reply #1909 on: August 06, 2022, 10:00:22 am »

.............but allowing the St Ives branch to be short staffed? On a Saturday? In August?

Eh? There’s no cancellations on that branch (are there?)

There were while you were sleeping  Cheesy - First departure from St Ives at 09:06 rather than 07:30 this morning - two round trips lost.

In emergency situations, perhaps there's something to be said for dropping a single round trip every few hours to allow for a crew break.

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bobm
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« Reply #1910 on: August 06, 2022, 10:14:36 am »

Those early cancellations mean the normal service of two trains a day for Lelant Saltings is reduced to one - and you've missed it - it was at 09:13.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1911 on: August 06, 2022, 10:33:33 am »

.............but allowing the St Ives branch to be short staffed? On a Saturday? In August?

Eh? There’s no cancellations on that branch (are there?)



In emergency situations, perhaps there's something to be said for dropping a single round trip every few hours to allow for a crew break.



What was the emergency?
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Timmer
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« Reply #1912 on: August 07, 2022, 09:45:02 am »

Not too bad today. The usual SW semifasts canned with the fasts making additional stops, though I suspect some of these trains may be somewhat cozy being peak summer.

If you’re travelling on the Plymouth to Gunnislake line this afternoon and evening, your journey will be by taxi.
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Timmer
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« Reply #1913 on: August 07, 2022, 02:29:27 pm »

Not too bad today. The usual SW semifasts canned with the fasts making additional stops, though I suspect some of these trains may be somewhat cozy being peak summer.
Yup, as expected both the 12.03 and 13.03 Fasts reported as ‘full and standing’.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1914 on: August 07, 2022, 05:27:58 pm »

....as above

Due to a shortage of train crew at Plymouth disruption is expected until the end of the day.

Train services between Plymouth and Gunnislake have been suspended.

Customer Advice

Were sorry for the disruption to your journey today.

Owing to a shortage of train crew we have had to suspend services between Plymouth and Gunnislake.

Looks like they're trying to source taxis.......anyone who's tried to do similar in Plymouth in recent times will know it may well involve a long & uncertain wait.
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broadgage
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« Reply #1915 on: August 08, 2022, 03:53:41 pm »

.............but allowing the St Ives branch to be short staffed? On a Saturday? In August?

Eh? There’s no cancellations on that branch (are there?)



In emergency situations, perhaps there's something to be said for dropping a single round trip every few hours to allow for a crew break.



What was the emergency?
Covid.
War in Ukraine.
Hot weather.
Lack of trains.
Lack of staff.
Plague of locusts.
Exploding pigeons.

Take your pick.
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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 #1916 on: August 08, 2022, 04:01:43 pm »



Take your pick.

I am reminded of Reginald Perrin:
defective bogey at Earlsfield.
water seeping through the cables at Effingham Junction.
black ice at Norbiton
obstacles on the line at Berrylands.
badger ate a junction box at New Malden.
fed up by train delays, came by bike. Slow puncture at Peckham.
escaped puma, Chessington North.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1917 on: August 08, 2022, 05:14:01 pm »



Take your pick.

I am reminded of Reginald Perrin:
defective bogey at Earlsfield.
water seeping through the cables at Effingham Junction.
black ice at Norbiton
obstacles on the line at Berrylands.
badger ate a junction box at New Malden.
fed up by train delays, came by bike. Slow puncture at Peckham.
escaped puma, Chessington North.

I didn't get where I am today by being reminded of Reginald Perrin.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1918 on: September 11, 2022, 07:32:19 am »

.......Sunday morning and as at 0730 there are none of the usual thick red lines of numerous crew shortage cancellations on the map.........in fact none (yet) - intriguing.........
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grahame
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« Reply #1919 on: September 11, 2022, 08:29:27 am »

.......Sunday morning and as at 0730 there are none of the usual thick red lines of numerous crew shortage cancellations on the map.........in fact none (yet) - intriguing.........

I was reading a BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) article a couple of weeks ago ( https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-62638908 ) concerning a growing trend for people to do their contracted job and no more, and wonder if that's something we've been seeing in railway staffing circles.  Perhaps with the major news this week and the country thrown into new territory for all but the very oldest of us, people are taking a more pragmatic view and opting to staff rotas where there would have been shortages.
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