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Author Topic: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues  (Read 179192 times)
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #1545 on: April 21, 2019, 05:34:01 pm »

Not entirely accurate, no.  And rightly so on some routes and at some times of the day.  9-car IETs have a theoretical ten spaces but I think only four are reservable.  The others can and do get used by luggage/buggies etc., so might not necessarily be available, but often are.
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« Reply #1546 on: April 21, 2019, 07:23:37 pm »

Okay the blinds are seriously useless. They need to be opaque and/or a darker/black colour because i'm being driven mad. I realise they're never going to cover the full height of the window thanks to the dumb design. However they have to do something to fix this.

Also there is no customer host in 1st class which is very annoying as I'd kill for a drink right now. I do like the announcement as you approach Paddington:

"On behalf of the onboard crew......." What onboard crew? Haven't seen a soul in a GWR uniform since boarding.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2019, 08:06:07 pm by 1st fan » Logged
bignosemac
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« Reply #1547 on: April 21, 2019, 07:44:11 pm »

A 1st Class Host on a Sunday? And Easter Sunday at that. You wouldn't have had one on a HST either.
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« Reply #1548 on: April 21, 2019, 07:55:23 pm »

A 1st Class Host on a Sunday? And Easter Sunday at that. You wouldn't have had one on a HST either.

But I think you could have walked to the buffet, rather than had to search the whole train for "complementary" coffee?

I confess to rarely using the buffet when one was available - as a single traveller often with heavy luggage of some value, travelling in crowded trains that make intermediate stops (risks - loss of seat, loss of luggage) it really didn't feel safe to me, and I prefer the trolley.  For a family trip over a long distance - King's Cross to Edinburgh or Euston to Motherwell (no - wait - family ... to Glasgow!) they made / make sense for me.    However - for first class weekend nibbles a buffet work(s/ed) and a 9 car shared trolley really doesn't.
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« Reply #1549 on: April 21, 2019, 08:11:07 pm »

As overheard at Paddington this evening from a couple of ladies:

"You shouldn't have to bring a cushion to sit comfortably on a train"

Well, most airport shops sell travel pillows for necks. Perhaps we'll start seeing station shops selling small cushions to sit on when travelling on IETs or Thameslink trains.  Grin
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« Reply #1550 on: April 21, 2019, 08:31:53 pm »

A 1st Class Host on a Sunday? And Easter Sunday at that. You wouldn't have had one on a HST either.

But I think you could have walked to the buffet, rather than had to search the whole train for "complementary" coffee?

I confess to rarely using the buffet when one was available - as a single traveller often with heavy luggage of some value, travelling in crowded trains that make intermediate stops (risks - loss of seat, loss of luggage) it really didn't feel safe to me, and I prefer the trolley.  For a family trip over a long distance - King's Cross to Edinburgh or Euston to Motherwell (no - wait - family ... to Glasgow!) they made / make sense for me.    However - for first class weekend nibbles a buffet work(s/ed) and a 9 car shared trolley really doesn't.

Yes I would normally have expected to go to the mini/micro/full sized buffet on an HST on a weekend and frequently did so. There was a host on Saturday night and there have been on some Sundays in the past. This isn't the first time this has happened and on non long bank holiday weekends too. The first time there wasn't anyone I spoke to the bloke manning the standard trolley when we got to Paddington. He said he didn't carry any 1st class food/drinks and due to 'slight' overcrowding had been stuck in the vestibule of one carriage.
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« Reply #1551 on: April 21, 2019, 08:36:43 pm »

As overheard at Paddington this evening from a couple of ladies:

"You shouldn't have to bring a cushion to sit comfortably on a train"

Well, most airport shops sell travel pillows for necks. Perhaps we'll start seeing station shops selling small cushions to sit on when travelling on IETs or Thameslink trains.  Grin
GWR should sell them from the buffet trolley they're missing a source of revenue.  Grin
« Last Edit: April 21, 2019, 08:53:15 pm by 1st fan » Logged
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« Reply #1552 on: April 21, 2019, 09:01:08 pm »

A 1st Class Host on a Sunday? And Easter Sunday at that. You wouldn't have had one on a HST either.
Yes but the buffet was always open as grahame points out.
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broadgage
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« Reply #1553 on: April 21, 2019, 10:46:38 pm »

A 1st Class Host on a Sunday? And Easter Sunday at that. You wouldn't have had one on a HST either.
Yes but the buffet was always open as grahame points out.

Yes, and could supply first class freebies on production of a first class ticket at the counter.
Another facility lost with the downgrade from proper inter-city trains.
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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 #1554 on: April 22, 2019, 09:02:03 am »

Did the 07.30 Pad - Pz throughout yesterday (Sat 13th April), the trolley didn't turn up until Swindon due to a stock take? Regarding the 'stock', it had no sandwiches only crisps and biscuits and tea/coffee. Fortunately another trolley turned up just after Plymouth (by which time I was about to eat the table) and did have sandwiches (and tea and coffee until the boiler packed up) however I'd been on the service for nearly four hours by then and would have liked to have witnessed this (sandwiches etc) much earlier.
An HST from PZ to Paddington last week with a buffet car.  Well used by our family & other travellers.
An IET return Paddington to Pz a few days ago. Full and standing (we boarded early thanks to RTT). We walked to the very front of the train and as we sat down, reservation cards were being placed.  Luckily our table wasn't reserved.
Shortly before departure the TM announced the reservation system wasn't working and apologised. The trolley guy announced an apology and said he couldn't get through the train with overcrowding so there would be no service.
I did hear quite a few complaints from fellow passengers regarding no buffet or trolley service.
We didn't see the (any) TM until departure from Plymouth. The trolley appeared at Redruth with many apologies.
I'm with broadgage.
A big loss of trade on the return leg by not having a buffet.  A trolley would have done well, despite instant coffee and limited snacks, etc IF it could have moved throughout the train.
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« Reply #1555 on: April 22, 2019, 09:49:01 am »

Overcrowding, or a long list of other dubious excuses, seem to regularly used by the lazier Customer Hosts (that’s a minority - many are excellent) for setting up a ‘static trolley’ which is one of the stupidest descriptions you could think up and liable to ridicule anyway.

On the busiest of trains passengers can’t get through to the buffet either of course, but was it really so busy it was the depths of Cornwall before it could sensibly get through, or at least get to a point where some sort of service could be provided? After all, storage facilities, and urn heating are available midway through each train to enable some sort of a catering facility to be established.

It’s time management got a grip on this as, if done well, a trolley service is ideal for many routes and services that GWR operate (though not IMHO for journeys over 3 hours like London to Cornwall), but at the moment they are just playing into the hands of the ‘keep the buffet’ advocates, by often providing the worst of both worlds.

The ‘hot food’ trial seems to have come to an end with management claiming they stood to lose £40000 per period IIRC, however I am going to put on Broadgage’s cynical hat and say it was poorly advertised, patchily provided and almost certainly  designed to give an excuse to take the easy option and just provide the basic trolley service on all trains.
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« Reply #1556 on: April 22, 2019, 10:01:57 am »

The ‘hot food’ trial seems to have come to an end with management claiming they stood to lose £40000 per period IIRC, however I am going to put on Broadgage’s cynical hat and say it was poorly advertised, patchily provided and almost certainly  designed to give an excuse to take the easy option and just provide the basic trolley service on all trains.

Just like the 'consultation' about the buffet.
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« Reply #1557 on: April 22, 2019, 10:34:36 am »

If passengers travelling in first class at weekends complained about the lack of free items and claimed compensation something might be done about it.  In my opinion two trolleys should be provided on a 9 coach train
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« Reply #1558 on: April 22, 2019, 12:06:59 pm »

If passengers travelling in first class at weekends complained about the lack of free items and claimed compensation something might be done about it.  In my opinion two trolleys should be provided on a 9 coach train

AFAIK there is no obligation to supply any freebies to first class. All "subject to availability" which means not reliably available on the downgraded trains.
ISTR two trolleys being promised on full length trains, that seems to have become a future aspiration.
The hot food has already gone from a promise, to a future aspiration, to a trial, and finally to "no hot food" which no doubt was the plan in the first place.
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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 #1559 on: April 22, 2019, 12:17:30 pm »

To be fair the kitchens on IET’s are usually stocked with plenty of first class freebies, having much more space for such items than a HST buffet car ever did.  Plenty of space for refrigerated items, such as the complimentary items as well.

There just doesn’t seem to be any management impetus to do anything but the bare minimum, and that will soon filter down to the staff as well.

There’s still time to change that though - a launch of an improved service with the new timetable in December for example, but I am starting to think it won’t happen.
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