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Author Topic: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues  (Read 200933 times)
broadgage
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« Reply #1995 on: September 16, 2019, 01:58:36 pm »

What a fiasco!
5 car units very overcrowded in Cornwall, and as was predicted,
No reservations on a single 5 car set, if it might later be attached to another 5 cars.
Even with a full length train, reservations very unreliable. I guess that no one could have foreseen reduced signal strength under a roof.

And whose crystal ball forecast overcrowding on the new shorter trains ? Just like the wretched voyagers.

First class appears to be de facto declassified on single 5 car units.

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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 #1996 on: September 16, 2019, 07:28:21 pm »

We are told the modelling has been done based on the regular interval timetable from December and that the loads will spread considerably to other trains then.  Will there always be a seat available from December?  Perhaps not.  Will it be a fiasco from December?  Letís wait and see.
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TonyK
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« Reply #1997 on: September 16, 2019, 10:52:44 pm »

We are told the modelling has been done based on the regular interval timetable from December and that the loads will spread considerably to other trains then.  Will there always be a seat available from December?  Perhaps not.  Will it be a fiasco from December?  Letís wait and see.

This does sound like the 5-car train idea has proved to be not working properly on services where 5 cars is enough, and not working at all when it 5 cars is not enough. What happens if you get on at Penzance to go to London with a reservation in First that doesn't appear, and anyway it's full of standard class holders, the at Plymouth the other 5 cars join up, and hey presto! You're in the wrong unit because your reservation is in the new bit? Surely, someone must have seen this coming.
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« Reply #1998 on: September 17, 2019, 08:42:47 am »

Surely, someone must have seen this coming.
Plenty did. Replacing full length IC sets with 5 coach trains heading down into Cornwall was asking for trouble. Some will argue that this wonít be such an issue during the winter months. Iím not so sure as the demand for weekend breaks appears to be year round now.

However, I await the new timetable to see if things improve.

Itís disappointing that we are still seeing a daily list of 5 vice 9/10 services which puzzles me when speeding passed North Pole depot there seems to be plenty of IETs sitting in the sun. Understand some will be there as part of the maintenance cycle but so many??? Or is that there isnít enough train crew to man two lots of 5 car trains making another reason for the madness of ordering so many 5 car sets for an IC service?
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« Reply #1999 on: September 17, 2019, 10:09:41 am »

Surely, someone must have seen this coming.
However, I await the new timetable to see if things improve.

We all await December with interest (if it happens).  We have been told passenger modelling has been done for Cornwall and the spread of services means 5-cars will be enough.  For example with the Cornish Riviera I believe there is a preceding local service much closer beforehand than now?  I know some staff think GWR have got it wrong, I really donít know the area well enough to comment, but like I said weíve been told it will be.

Regarding reservations, software updates are delayed but will happen.  Itís disappointing theyíve taken so long.  In the meantime GWR needs robust procedures to ensure paper labels are used and then the problem is solved.  The fact this is not happening often enough is unacceptable.

Quote
Itís disappointing that we are still seeing a daily list of 5 vice 9/10 services which puzzles me when speeding passed North Pole depot there seems to be plenty of IETs sitting in the sun. Understand some will be there as part of the maintenance cycle but so many??? Or is that there isnít enough train crew to man two lots of 5 car trains making another reason for the madness of ordering so many 5 car sets for an IC service?

Not a train crew issue.  Funnily enough staff asked the same question yesterday and this was managementís response:

ďGWR has a contract for 79 sets a day (80 in high summer) this includes two spare sets at North Pole and Stoke Gifford.  The requirement today is for 80 sets and this does not change in December (a change of contract from 79 to 80 is being worked on).  The increase in services comes from faster journey times and shorter turnarounds at terminus locations enabling more mileage from the same number of sets.

Hitachi are working hard on a number of modifications in advance of Dec 19 which - if they are delivered - will see greater reliability.  This modification programme is not so intense post the TT change and so there should be greater availability and resilience of units required to form the 80 sets required for the daily service.Ē
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« Reply #2000 on: September 17, 2019, 10:44:42 am »

Actually I think it was another busy train rather than the CRE that had a service pattern much closer before than now, but my points still stand. 

Looking at this mornings 07:41 Cornish Riviera, only 32 seats were reserved in A, 8 in B, 40 in C and no standard class seats were reserved in D - so loads of unreserved seating in the 5-car unit working it in Cornwall before the attachment at Plymouth.
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« Reply #2001 on: September 17, 2019, 12:57:29 pm »

SEVEN years ago, I wrote



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Re: Intercity Express Programme (IEP) - ongoing discussion

ę Reply #34 on: July 11, 2012, 10:24:01 pm Ľ
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Not a cause for regoicing at all in my view.
Mainline services to be downgraded to DMUs, even if these can also use electric power.
I stand by my earlier remarks about the likleyhood of bus style seating layout, reduced legroom, minimal catering, and shorter trains.
Voyager mark 2

End of quote, old post above, new post below.

And look what has happened.
Mainline services ARE downgraded to DMUs, even if electric power is used for a small part of the journey.
Seating IS primarily bus style, oops sorry, unidirectional with only limited tables*
Catering IS indeed minimal, and often non existent.
Many services ARE formed of 5 car units, and have been since the new DMUS came into use.
The leg room is not bad, so they did get ONE factor right.

*Yes I know that IETs have a few more tables than the high density commuter style HSTs, but not exactly a proper inter-city lay out. I remember HSTs having 16 tables per coach, steadily reduced over the years.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2019, 01:05:46 pm by broadgage » 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 is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
broadgage
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« Reply #2002 on: September 17, 2019, 01:03:41 pm »

We are told the modelling has been done based on the regular interval timetable from December and that the loads will spread considerably to other trains then.  Will there always be a seat available from December?  Perhaps not.  Will it be a fiasco from December?  Letís wait and see.

This does sound like the 5-car train idea has proved to be not working properly on services where 5 cars is enough, and not working at all when it 5 cars is not enough. What happens if you get on at Penzance to go to London with a reservation in First that doesn't appear, and anyway it's full of standard class holders, the at Plymouth the other 5 cars join up, and hey presto! You're in the wrong unit because your reservation is in the new bit? Surely, someone must have seen this coming.

I saw this coming at least SEVEN YEARS ago, and cant have been the only one surely. I am not being "wise after the event" see my quote from the original IEP thread, years ago.
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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 #2003 on: September 17, 2019, 03:12:47 pm »

SEVEN years ago, I wrote



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Re: Intercity Express Programme (IEP) - ongoing discussion

ę Reply #34 on: July 11, 2012, 10:24:01 pm Ľ
Reply with quoteQuote 


Not a cause for regoicing at all in my view.
Mainline services to be downgraded to DMUs, even if these can also use electric power.
I stand by my earlier remarks about the likleyhood of bus style seating layout, reduced legroom, minimal catering, and shorter trains.
Voyager mark 2

End of quote, old post above, new post below.

And look what has happened.
Mainline services ARE downgraded to DMUs, even if electric power is used for a small part of the journey.
Seating IS primarily bus style, oops sorry, unidirectional with only limited tables*
Catering IS indeed minimal, and often non existent.
Many services ARE formed of 5 car units, and have been since the new DMUS came into use.
The leg room is not bad, so they did get ONE factor right.

*Yes I know that IETs have a few more tables than the high density commuter style HSTs, but not exactly a proper inter-city lay out. I remember HSTs having 16 tables per coach, steadily reduced over the years.
From London electric power will be used for all of the journey to Cardiff, and the vast majority of  the journey to Bristol.  Bi modes means that through services to Weston, Cheltenham and Worcester are retained and have electric power for much of the journey.  Short of electrifying all the way to Plymouth the options were a diesel only fleet or more bi-modes that have the benefit of a common fleet.

Besides, the underfloor engines are much quieter than Voyagers, other diesel units, and I suspect much better than you feared (especially if you know which coaches don't have them).

If you don't like airline seating, then the IET's are an improvement on the HSTs.  Not back to the halcydon days of the all table seating, but then lots of people prefer not playing footsie with strangers (I don't), and so it feels a better balance than the HSTs.

Leg room is definitely much better, but you give it a grudging "not bad".

Yes, some services are shorter, but many services are 9 or 10 coaches, and I suspect many more are longer than shorter.  I expect that will change when Bristol TM gets 4 trains per hour, but that will be a great improvement.

I do agree the catering is worse. I'll give you that one.  Although if you are reminiscing right back to the first HST's, I'm not sure a Travellers Fare ham sandwich and a Maxpax coffee was much to write home about. Though I guess your Pullman service would have catered better for those well endowed both financially and around the waist.
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« Reply #2004 on: September 17, 2019, 09:41:33 pm »

Meanwhile Iím currently in a Mk IV coach heading to London KX with HORRENDOUS seat vibrations (far, far worse than an IET yet no engine beneath) a pull down table where my coke literally wonít stay on as thereís no recessed bit, worse leg room than an IET, and the nearest toilet is OOU.  Also no window blinds (though it is dark outside), and very bad feedback from the PA every time an announcement is made.

Positives? A more comfy seat and a trolley service AND buffet - which nobody has used the latter yet, though it is getting late.

Give me an IET any day!  Wink
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« Reply #2005 on: September 17, 2019, 10:22:25 pm »

Ok, so after all this discussion, what is the best train that is safe, reliable, and does the job? A tricky question, as thinking it over, there is no answer, and each passenger has their own needs, so possibly no answer.
Short distance: reliabilty?
Long distance: comfort?
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« Reply #2006 on: September 17, 2019, 10:28:26 pm »

There is no correct answer.  If you go looking for faults, especially if you fall victim to  confirmation bias, youíll easily find them with every train (hence my last post...)
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TonyK
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« Reply #2007 on: September 17, 2019, 10:42:05 pm »

Meanwhile Iím currently in a Mk IV coach heading to London KX with HORRENDOUS seat vibrations (far, far worse than an IET yet no engine beneath) a pull down table where my coke literally wonít stay on as thereís no recessed bit, worse leg room than an IET, and the nearest toilet is OOU.  Also no window blinds (though it is dark outside), and very bad feedback from the PA every time an announcement is made.

Positives? A more comfy seat and a trolley service AND buffet - which nobody has used the latter yet, though it is getting late.

Give me an IET any day!  Wink

I may have been in the same carriage a few months back, although I am not a fan of coke, and my drink didn't last long enough to spill. I made the same journey in one of the new Azuma trains, and it certainly was a zoomer. Colour apart, I could see little difference between that and an IET - except the small cafť bar, of course. Nice ride - as was the IET from Paddington to Tivvy Parkway.
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broadgage
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« Reply #2008 on: September 17, 2019, 11:11:21 pm »

Ok, so after all this discussion, what is the best train that is safe, reliable, and does the job? A tricky question, as thinking it over, there is no answer, and each passenger has their own needs, so possibly no answer.
Short distance: reliabilty?
Long distance: comfort?

Presuming that we are talking about EXISTING trains, and not a hypothetical new build,
Then for long distance I vote for an HST, but not a downgraded GWR high density unit.
For shorter journeys, Any decent LHCS with a suitable locomotive.

For a hypothetical new build,
A set of coaches, as long as infrastructure permits, and with a power car/locomotive at each end. Each power car to be bi mode. Energy saving features, to proceed one engine only at low speed, regenerative braking in diesel mode with the energy used for heating or cooling or lighting. A modest size lithium battery used for this.
First class at one end, standard at the other and with a buffet and kitchen in between.
Generous seat spacing, padded seats, reliable toilets.
Heating along one side of the coach only, thereby giving customers the choice of "heater under seat" or "no heater under seat"
Air conditioning that directs the cool air preferentially towards one side of the coach, thereby giving customers the choice of "cool air that they can directly feel" or "not directly noticeable"
Lighting only along one side of the coach, so that customers may sit under the lights or not, according to choice.

A new seating layout as follows (standard class)
One side of the gangway to consist entirely of facing seats at tables for four.
Other side of gangway to have at each end of the coach a bay of four facing seats but WITHOUT the table, more room for dogs etc. One table bay in the middle, remainder bus style.
Depending on the coach length, this would give eleven bays of four at tables, 44 seats, two bays of four without tables, 8 seats, and about 36 bus seats in a 26 meter coach.


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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 #2009 on: September 17, 2019, 11:22:59 pm »

I thought youíd stopped using the silly Ďbus seatsí phrase?
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