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Author Topic: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues  (Read 225472 times)
1st fan
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« Reply #2130 on: November 14, 2019, 02:28:40 pm »

I disagree. Dissatisfaction seems to be very general, with regard to train length/overcrowding, seating discomfort, reservations, and in general. Look on trip advisor ! It is not just me.

I don't see TripAdvisor as being a particularly reliable source - even a respected operator like Chiltern Railways have a 'terrible' rating of 41%.  Sure, there are some people that hate them, and very few are overwhelmed.  I travel many thousands of miles on them a year and I'm always watching and listening to what people are saying and it seems that most come under the 'indifferent' category.

Many people choose rail travel for environmental reasons, or because driving is not an option for other reasons. If someone needs to travel from home to work on a longer distance GWR route they have no choice but to use an IET.
They can not choose a better train instead, they are all IETs on the relevant routes.

Air travel is very bad for the environment, and is only an alternative for a limited number of GWR routes. Most GWR journeys are too long for walking or cycling to be a realistic alternative.
So the majority use IETs because that is what is available, not because they like them.

I know you avoid flying on environmental grounds, but, although increasing, the percentage of other people who will avoid flying or driving on environmental grounds is surely very small still?  The number of passengers flying globally, and the number of flights globally, is still increasing at a healthy rate year-on-year.

Passenger numbers are rising on routes served by pacers, does this indicate that pacers are OK and should be retained ?

Pacers aren't new trains, so that's not a fair comparison.

For discretionary or leisure travel to the West country, some people are avoiding rail "because the trains are so bad" Overcrowding, lack of luggage space, and the absence of catering being the main complaints.

It will be interesting to see how the number of leisure journeys stack up over the next couple of years.  I stand by my opinion that journeys over 3 hours should really have a buffet option still, but overcrowding and lack of luggage space have been a long standing problem on WoE services, and the source of many complaints (just ask TaplowGreen), so are not new now that the IETs have arrived.

Interestingly I met somebody recently who had been using the Azuma service a few times recently. He had travel for work but said there were a lot of obvious leisure travellers. He said on the trains he was using there were serious issues with the luggage space or rather the lack of it. He had a hard shell suitcase with him because he was weekly commuting. His suitcase didn't fit in the overhead rack so it was essential to board early to get access to the luggage rack before it filled up. The subsequent tannoy announcements suggested using the overhead and the underseat spaces to store things but that was impossible given they were normally already full. He was concerned about heavy bags and suitcases overhead that would doubtless become projectiles in the event of a sudden stop.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2019, 07:19:19 pm by 1st fan » Logged
jamestheredengine
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« Reply #2131 on: November 14, 2019, 05:52:58 pm »

If I thought it couldn't get any worse after yesterday, I was wrong. Some genius in Paddington decided to short-form 1B46 1445 Paddington to Swansea (1648 at Cardiff), which thanks to hour-long gaps to Swansea both sides is by some considerable way the busiest South Wales train of the afternoon. Was door-hanging and got a seat right next to the kitchen; so I still luckily got to eat. But I was alone in that privelege. What a fiasco. It would be better to cancel a short turn than do this. Someone at Paddington is seriously incompetent to choose to do this to this particular train. I would support giving the Welsh Government the power to impose fines on GWR so that they at least have some incentive to prioritise their resources.
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« Reply #2132 on: November 14, 2019, 06:05:18 pm »

Whilst appreciating your frustrations, decisions such as that are not made at Paddington.  They are made at Swindon Control in conjunction with HRE - and not always just due to incompetence as many factors come into play.
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« Reply #2133 on: November 14, 2019, 06:27:01 pm »

Whilst appreciating your frustrations, decisions such as that are not made at Paddington.  They are made at Swindon Control in conjunction with HRE - and not always just due to incompetence as many factors come into play.

"Not always just due to incompetence" - I believe that is known as being damned with faint praise!  Grin
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Sixty3Closure
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« Reply #2134 on: November 15, 2019, 08:06:20 am »

My trip to Carmarthen last night had no seat reservations in first (and it was busy), no food available and of course arrived late. And this has all happened before.

Not sure any of this encourages me to continue paying £140 for a ticket. If its going to be such a poor experience I might as well save money and do multiple changes and use local services.

On the plus it was the scheduled 5+5.
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jamestheredengine
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« Reply #2135 on: November 15, 2019, 05:36:48 pm »

Whilst appreciating your frustrations, decisions such as that are not made at Paddington.  They are made at Swindon Control in conjunction with HRE - and not always just due to incompetence as many factors come into play.
No factors can excuse putting 10 cars on the 1415 to Cardiff then 5 on the 1445 to Swansea. This genius did it again tonight. If it's not incompetence, it's misconduct. Either way they should be dismissed. Do you have their name or job title so I can report them? I
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broadgage
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« Reply #2136 on: November 15, 2019, 05:47:49 pm »

Do I understand that you do not fully appreciate the flexible train length ?
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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.
TaplowGreen
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« Reply #2137 on: November 15, 2019, 06:16:52 pm »

Whilst appreciating your frustrations, decisions such as that are not made at Paddington.  They are made at Swindon Control in conjunction with HRE - and not always just due to incompetence as many factors come into play.
No factors can excuse putting 10 cars on the 1415 to Cardiff then 5 on the 1445 to Swansea. This genius did it again tonight. If it's not incompetence, it's misconduct. Either way they should be dismissed. Do you have their name or job title so I can report them? I

I'm sure that'd help  Roll Eyes
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #2138 on: November 15, 2019, 06:51:26 pm »

No factors can excuse putting 10 cars on the 1415 to Cardiff then 5 on the 1445 to Swansea. This genius did it again tonight. If it's not incompetence, it's misconduct. Either way they should be dismissed. Do you have their name or job title so I can report them? I

Perhaps 'Incider' can comment further?

But a couple of potential factors:

The 14:15 Cardiff sets then form the 16:56 Cardiff to Paddington which I would imagine is also quite busy, but, more importantly, those sets then form the 19:30 Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare.  That's the first super off-peak train from Paddington to places like Bath and Bristol and is also a very busy train.  I expect the many hundreds of passengers wanting that train would congratulate the decision to form that diagram with 10-cars instead of 5-cars rather than think someone should be dismissed.  The Swansea set works a much later train out of Paddington as its final run of the day.

Also, if you were to swap the 10-car train onto the 14:45 to Swansea, then your set for the 14:15 to Cardiff would be formed off of a train arriving at 14:14.  Even with that train arriving 5 minutes early today, you would then be looking at a late start.

I can only trust what the Managing Director has said which is that there is much less maintenance after the December timetable so availability should be a lot better.  If it isn't and we do get significant numbers of shortforms on busy trains from then onwards, I will soon be taking the side of those who have said 5-car trains were not the right decision.

Finally, on a slight tangent, we're in the middle of the leaf fall period, yet the IETs are proving pretty good at dealing with that - so much so that I don't think the leaf fall season has been mentioned on here this year yet.  By now in previous years we'd no doubt have been dealing with HSTs getting stuck up Dainton/Rattery/Hemerdon and Campden Banks, or losing loads of time, and no doubt there would have been many more cancellations as a result of that.  A shortform is better than no train at all.
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« Reply #2139 on: November 15, 2019, 08:38:49 pm »

Also,  to change over sets without causing delay they have to be in the right place at the same time
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Incider
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« Reply #2140 on: November 15, 2019, 10:48:50 pm »

No factors can excuse putting 10 cars on the 1415 to Cardiff then 5 on the 1445 to Swansea. This genius did it again tonight. If it's not incompetence, it's misconduct. Either way they should be dismissed. Do you have their name or job title so I can report them? I

Perhaps 'Incider' can comment further?

But a couple of potential factors:

The 14:15 Cardiff sets then form the 16:56 Cardiff to Paddington which I would imagine is also quite busy, but, more importantly, those sets then form the 19:30 Paddington to Weston-Super-Mare.  That's the first super off-peak train from Paddington to places like Bath and Bristol and is also a very busy train.  I expect the many hundreds of passengers wanting that train would congratulate the decision to form that diagram with 10-cars instead of 5-cars rather than think someone should be dismissed.  The Swansea set works a much later train out of Paddington as its final run of the day.

Also, if you were to swap the 10-car train onto the 14:45 to Swansea, then your set for the 14:15 to Cardiff would be formed off of a train arriving at 14:14.  Even with that train arriving 5 minutes early today, you would then be looking at a late start.

I can only trust what the Managing Director has said which is that there is much less maintenance after the December timetable so availability should be a lot better.  If it isn't and we do get significant numbers of shortforms on busy trains from then onwards, I will soon be taking the side of those who have said 5-car trains were not the right decision.

Finally, on a slight tangent, we're in the middle of the leaf fall period, yet the IETs are proving pretty good at dealing with that - so much so that I don't think the leaf fall season has been mentioned on here this year yet.  By now in previous years we'd no doubt have been dealing with HSTs getting stuck up Dainton/Rattery/Hemerdon and Campden Banks, or losing loads of time, and no doubt there would have been many more cancellations as a result of that.  A shortform is better than no train at all.

Not sure I can add much more, Hitachi and GWR confer during the night to allocate units to diagrams, just as when it was GWR allocating their own units the  GWR TSCís (who have the intimate diagram knowledge) will say what goes uncovered or shortformed (as they always have done), whether that means swaps in the day or altering the depot departures in the morning.  The only thing that might alter that is units that need to stop for exams and have mileage limitations.  Even that is usually mitigated with swaps in the daytime.

The reasoning given for diagramming short on one service to benefit others is well explained above and I can add nothing.

The 800/802 is suffering far less from wheel slip and slide than the HST fleet did, Iím sure those who travel on them regularly will notice the improvement in wheel flats, the HSTís were pretty noisy at times.  The improved tractive and braking grip will give Drivers confidence, improve timings and safety.  The number of gotchas HST v 800 is significantly less, in favour of HSTís.
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broadgage
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« Reply #2141 on: November 16, 2019, 12:15:26 pm »

Of course if we had "Japanese levels of reliability"  and if "all trains that need to be full length, will be" then we would not be debating which services would be less bad to short form.

All looking very voyager like.
Or perhaps comparable to the Waterloo to Exeter route being downgraded to 3 car DMUs. Many services on that line ARE now full length, but it took about 20 years of overcrowded shorter trains before this was achieved.
Or perhaps comparable to Networkers replacing slam door EMUs on services to South East London and Kent, that was many years ago, but 6 car networkers are still running on routes previously served by 8 car slam door 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 #2142 on: November 16, 2019, 12:40:52 pm »

Regarding the performance in leaf fall season, the new trains are undoubtedly much better at dealing with slippery rails than the old ones, but itís only fair to recognise a general improvement in vegetation management from Network Rail over the last two or three years.  There are far fewer jungles within the boundary fences nowadays.
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« Reply #2143 on: November 16, 2019, 08:25:15 pm »

Of course if we had "Japanese levels of reliability" 

Maybe if the DfT had asked the Japanese to build and supply a train, without so many conditions, we might have.  There are approx two hundred different suppliers of parts from all over Europe,  some of which, like ATP, donít aid reliability.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2019, 07:15:53 pm by Incider » Logged
a-driver
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« Reply #2144 on: November 18, 2019, 01:17:50 pm »

Regarding the performance in leaf fall season, the new trains are undoubtedly much better at dealing with slippery rails than the old ones, but itís only fair to recognise a general improvement in vegetation management from Network Rail over the last two or three years.  There are far fewer jungles within the boundary fences nowadays.

Iím not entirely convinced the IETs are better dealing with slippery rails than the HSTs.  This Autumn hasnít been that bad at all with only a few reports of adhesion problems coming from the West Country which is normally the hardest hit.  The Castle HSTs and IETs donít seem to be running around with any wheel flats, even the Pacers still have round wheels!
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