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Author Topic: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues  (Read 269449 times)
broadgage
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« Reply #2295 on: February 24, 2020, 01:27:27 pm »

Indeed, passengers of other TOCs are now enjoying the flexible train length of IETs. Though at least LNER victims are allowed a buffet.

Whatever the theoretical advantages of IETs, a sensible approach by OTHER TOCs would have been to state to hitachi  "we wont order any of these until the GWR ones are working properly, full length, day in and day out"

In fact, other TOCs rushed to order a clearly defective design that routinely fails to provide a full service of full length trains. Despite the odd soothing platitude from both GWR and LNER, train length seems a low priority. Short trains produce almost the same revenue but save on leasing costs, staff costs, and presumably also save track access charges.
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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.
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #2296 on: February 24, 2020, 01:46:40 pm »

Without also wishing to fall into stuck record mode, you can't trust JourneyCheck.

These trains, and the later workings on their diagrams, are not short formed:
11:32 Paddington to Bristol TM are being worked by a 9-car
11:48 Paddington to Swansea are being worked by a 10-car
13:18 Paddington to Cardiff are being worked by a 9-car

So that's a dozen or so removed from the list already, though there's no doubt today is a bad day for whatever reasons.  But I would argue it isn't anywhere near close to being a 'fiasco', that's your confirmation bias kicking in again, but I would agree that it's still not good enough. 

The main problem seems to be getting the right sets to the smaller depots and stabling points at the end of service, such as at Swansea, Laira and Worcester - if they end up with the wrong sets at the end of service, then the wrong sets will come out first thing next day.  Then of course quite often sets are swapped during the day so that a lengthy list first thing is reduced to a few or none later in the day, but these are very rarely reflected on JourneyCheck.  That is essentially Hitachi's problem to sort out though, so whether it will mean lengthened or extra sets remains to be seen - I am told GWR are not just letting them 'get away with it' as having a shorter train suits them too, as you hint.

Regarding toilets, I would say on average the toilet availability is now as good as it was on HSTs - one difference being that a full/blocked toilet will take itself out of service on an IET rather than remain technically in service but with a full pan sloshing around like on a HST.   Reservations are far more reliable on most routes, with a bit of work still to be done on others.

The views above are based on extensive journeys on both HSTs back then, and IETs now, trying not to allow rose tinted spectacles and confirmation bias affect my opinions. 

How many actual journeys have you made in the last three months?
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broadgage
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« Reply #2297 on: February 24, 2020, 02:04:52 pm »

IIRC, I have made three return trips in the last three months. 6 journeys.
3 were half length, no reservations on any of those, and no trolley sighted on those.
3 were full length. 1 of which was badly overcrowded due to previous short forms or cancellations.
The other two journeys were all right, apart from the non padded seats and no buffet. Trolley service sighted on one of the OK journeys, so a one in six success rate for trolley catering. Or two out of six if one counts successfully locating the hidden trolley one journey.
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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.
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #2298 on: February 24, 2020, 02:39:01 pm »

IIRC, I have made three return trips in the last three months. 6 journeys.
3 were half length, no reservations on any of those, and no trolley sighted on those.
3 were full length. 1 of which was badly overcrowded due to previous short forms or cancellations.
The other two journeys were all right, apart from the non padded seats and no buffet. Trolley service sighted on one of the OK journeys, so a one in six success rate for trolley catering. Or two out of six if one counts successfully locating the hidden trolley one journey.

Can I ask what services?  Where you travelled from/to?  Were they supposed to be 9/10-car formations - if you don't know I can find out?

In contrast with my own (50 or so) journeys within the train over the last three months, I would say 5% were short formed, 90% had working reservations (or paper ones instead on a couple of trips), two were so full I couldn't get a seat, and around 75% of the time a trolley came through the train, and on a further 15% a static trolley service was announced (is that what you mean by hidden?).  So, either I've been very lucky or you're been very unlucky.
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jamestheredengine
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« Reply #2299 on: February 24, 2020, 02:55:55 pm »

Without also wishing to fall into stuck record mode, you can't trust JourneyCheck.

These trains, and the later workings on their diagrams, are not short formed:
[...]
13:18 Paddington to Cardiff are being worked by a 9-car

That is a terrific example of a service that ought to be short-formed or even cancelled if they're having any problems at all Ė an emptyish midday service that barely gets into Wales at all. There seems to be no planning ahead going on whatsoever. They're still saying they're going to short-form the 1448 Paddington to Swansea of all things.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #2300 on: February 24, 2020, 03:00:33 pm »

Without also wishing to fall into stuck record mode, you can't trust JourneyCheck.

These trains, and the later workings on their diagrams, are not short formed:
[...]
13:18 Paddington to Cardiff are being worked by a 9-car

That is a terrific example of a service that ought to be short-formed or even cancelled if they're having any problems at all Ė an emptyish midday service that barely gets into Wales at all. There seems to be no planning ahead going on whatsoever. They're still saying they're going to short-form the 1448 Paddington to Swansea of all things.

That 13:18 set later forms the 18:18 Paddington to Cardiff, the 14:48 Swansea set just comes back to Paddington.  That is the definition of planning ahead!

Incidentally, the 15:02 Paddington to Bristol TM and remainder of diagram now a 9-car as well.
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Worcester_Passenger
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« Reply #2301 on: February 24, 2020, 04:23:41 pm »

Without also wishing to fall into stuck record mode, you can't trust JourneyCheck.

This may be a stupid question, but why can't JourneyCheck be accurate?
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« Reply #2302 on: February 24, 2020, 05:16:26 pm »

It could quite easily be - thatís the frustrating thing about it.  For IET formations all imbalances are usually entered every morning at service start up, but when corrected during the day (I would say at least half are, probably more) they rarely seem to get updated.
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broadgage
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« Reply #2303 on: February 25, 2020, 09:47:46 am »

IIRC, I have made three return trips in the last three months. 6 journeys.
3 were half length, no reservations on any of those, and no trolley sighted on those.
3 were full length. 1 of which was badly overcrowded due to previous short forms or cancellations.
The other two journeys were all right, apart from the non padded seats and no buffet. Trolley service sighted on one of the OK journeys, so a one in six success rate for trolley catering. Or two out of six if one counts successfully locating the hidden trolley one journey.

Can I ask what services?  Where you travelled from/to?  Were they supposed to be 9/10-car formations - if you don't know I can find out?

In contrast with my own (50 or so) journeys within the train over the last three months, I would say 5% were short formed, 90% had working reservations (or paper ones instead on a couple of trips), two were so full I couldn't get a seat, and around 75% of the time a trolley came through the train, and on a further 15% a static trolley service was announced (is that what you mean by hidden?).  So, either I've been very lucky or you're been very unlucky.

All journeys were between Taunton and London, regret cant remember dates. AFAIK all services that I used were meant to be full length.
My reference to locating the hidden trolley was when I found it hiding in the kitchen. No announcement was made about a static trolley. The trolley attendant stated that his trolley was "not in use" and that "the working trolley was in the other portion of the train"

Fortunately I now use the trains much less than I did in the past. I avoid non essential trips, not worth the hassle factor of not knowing if I will get a seat.
I used to enjoy FGW train travel, but since the great downgrade it is now something to be endured, not just the flexible train length, but the hard seats, prohibition on buffets, and general unreliability.
I know that some members will criticise me for referring to a downgrade, but I don't find the seats comfortable. Nor do I like the train length lottery, and I don't think that an unreliable trolley with a limited stock is an improvement over a buffet as found on a proper inter city train.
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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 #2304 on: February 25, 2020, 12:23:47 pm »

It's a shame you can't remember the dates.  It is certainly true that the West Country services are probably the least reliably formed at the moment.

Sorry to do this again...but...here's today's short forms as listed on JourneyCheck and their actual status currently:

08:04 London Paddington to Penzance due 13:08 - formed of 5-car 802012
09:32 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 11:07 - now a 9-car 802109
10:15 Penzance to London Paddington due 15:29 - now a 10-car 802010/018
10:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 12:07 - now a 10-car 800014/031
11:18 London Paddington to Cardiff Central due 13:17 - formed of 5-car 800010
11:48 London Paddington to Swansea due 14:34 - now a 10-car 800002/006
12:32 London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads due 14:12 - now a 10-car 800014/031
13:53 Cardiff Central to London Paddington due 15:41 - now a 9-car 800306
15:22 Swansea to London Paddington due 18:15 - now a 10-car 800002/006
15:30 Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington due 17:07 - now a 9-car 802109
16:04 London Paddington to Penzance due 21:24 - now a 10-car 802010/018
16:18 London Paddington to Cardiff Central due 18:14 - now a 9-car 800306
16:32 London Paddington to Taunton due 19:15 - now a 10-car 800014/031
18:47 London Paddington to Swansea due 21:31 - now a 10-car 800002/006
18:50 Cardiff Central to London Paddington due 20:54 - now a 9-car 800306

So, a list of 15 trains, with just 2 of them actually short formed!
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Incider
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« Reply #2305 on: February 25, 2020, 04:38:12 pm »

Over 40 short formed IETs today, significantly worse than the new normal of between 12 and 20.
Reported as being due to "more trans than normal needing repairs"

Are there any firm plans to run full length trains ? or is it just a case of get used to it and remember the mantra that half a train is better than no train.

We have been offered one excuse after another, the most recent being that the new timetable will improve matters.

Time in my view for Hitachi to lengthen some 5 car sets to 9 car at their own expense, as compensation for the trains not meeting the required standards of reliability/availability.


So, some sets get lengthened to 9 and for whatever reason, they become unavailable, be that a train defect, misbalancing, the result of unforeseen operating issues or infrastructure issues.  They will still be unavailable no matter how long they are.

The depot infrastructure would have to be changed to accommodate longer trains, servicing a 9 car takes longer, so less flexibility and too many 9 cars would exceed depot capacities.

It really isnít as simple as adding coaches.......
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Pb_devon
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« Reply #2306 on: February 26, 2020, 04:19:57 pm »

I am to ride my first IET on Monday! It will be 1A82 from Plymouth, which is scheduled to attach 5 coaches there. i am in coach H.
Please can some knowledgeable person advise where will H be? In the back half? Is the IET usually marshalled the same as the HST's, i.e. First Class (of the front set) nearest the stops at PAD?
Or could anything happen!!
Thanks.
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rogerw
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« Reply #2307 on: February 26, 2020, 04:32:11 pm »

Or could anything happen!!
Got it in one  Grin
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I like to travel.  It lets me feel I'm getting somewhere.
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« Reply #2308 on: February 26, 2020, 04:35:03 pm »

First Class is indeed usually marshalled at the London end, so on a 10-car, Coach H should be the fourth carriage from Plymouth (i.e. second last carriage of the front portion).  Any formation changes should be shown on the station CIS.  That being said, today it looks like it was worked by a 9-car unit throughout - however Coach H should still be fourth from the front on that as well!

Let us know how it goes...
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« Reply #2309 on: February 26, 2020, 04:43:15 pm »


Anything indeed could happen !

As it did on Monday when on the prestigious 'Golden Hind' from Penzance to Paddington
Passengers were asked to return their coffees and teas to the 'Buffet'  (assumed once again 'static' ) as 'there was an issue with the water'.
The train was then inconveniently terminated at Reading.

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