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Author Topic: Learning where GWR's priorities lie ...  (Read 6909 times)
grahame
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« on: November 25, 2017, 10:58:53 am »

From the Bath Chronicle

Quote
Dozens of extra trains put on for Bath Christmas market this weekend

An additional 24 trains will be run to and from Bath Spa Station this weekend as the city prepares to welcome thousands of visitors to the Christmas Market.

From JourneyCheck

Quote
15:20 Westbury to Swindon due 16:06
15:20 Westbury to Swindon due 16:06 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

16:10 Swindon to Westbury due 16:52
16:10 Swindon to Westbury due 16:52 will be cancelled.
This is due to a shortage of train crew.

Where I work, we have a policy of ensuring we have enough resources to look after our current and ongoing customers, and to meet our contracted commitments, before we seek out more business ...


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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2017, 11:22:41 am »

...before we seek out more business ...

Some seek out more business; others have more business thrust upon 'em. Thy Fates open their hands. Let thy blood and spirit embrace them.
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Sir. Does this mean that Ann-Margret's not coming?
grahame
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2017, 12:19:49 pm »

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12:14 Swindon to Westbury due 12:58
12:14 Swindon to Westbury due 12:58 will no longer call at Melksham.
This is due to congestion.

!!

Could have sorted the whole thing out today by stopping diverted trains at Melksham and Trowbridge ... less crews needed to meet the contracted franchise, leaving staff available to run Bath extras. 
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martyjon
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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2017, 12:49:52 pm »

Quote
12:14 Swindon to Westbury due 12:58
12:14 Swindon to Westbury due 12:58 will no longer call at Melksham.
This is due to congestion.

!!

Could have sorted the whole thing out today by stopping diverted trains at Melksham and Trowbridge ... less crews needed to meet the contracted franchise, leaving staff available to run Bath extras. 

And how, may I ask, does the unit for its next booked turn from Westbury get to Westbury ?
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Tim
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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2017, 01:12:05 pm »

...before we seek out more business ...

Some seek out more business; others have more business thrust upon 'em. Thy Fates open their hands. Let thy blood and spirit embrace them.

GWR have sought this extra business.  Their branding is all over the posters for the Bath Shed Show Christmas Market
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Timmer
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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2017, 02:36:38 pm »

Agreed, however trains, both local and Intercity, that have been cancelled or started/terminating short today owing to the usual suspects of lack of trains and train crew due to call at Bath will negate the extras that have been layed on by GWR owing to the Bath Christmas market.

Why anyone would want to go to the Bath Christmas market on the weekend is beyond me. Bath’s transport infrastructure struggles to cope at the best of times without adding the annual shed fest. Once you get there you can’t move because the streets where the sheds are so narrow and will be absolutely packed. But we say that on this forum every year and still the people come. 60 extra sheds to view this year. Exciting.

edit: add missing word
« Last Edit: November 25, 2017, 08:56:09 pm by Timmer » Logged
TaplowGreen
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2017, 08:06:20 pm »

Ultimately therefore, yet another GWR fail.
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Timmer
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2017, 09:06:46 pm »

A few weeks back RTT showed a couple of HSTs running from Westbury to Bristol and return but only for passenger use between Trowbridge and Bath and vice versa. However these were dropped and replaced by DMUs. Hardly surprising with GWR losing HSTs as more IETs come on line.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2017, 02:03:17 am »

Once you get there you can’t move because the streets where the sheds are so narrow and will be absolutely packed. But we say that on this forum every year and still the people come. 60 extra sheds to view this year. Exciting.

It's an expensive way to trade too. My one visit a few years ago and I compared a few traders products with their online stores. All were more expensive than online.
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grahame
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2017, 04:12:27 am »

A few weeks back RTT showed a couple of HSTs running from Westbury to Bristol and return but only for passenger use between Trowbridge and Bath and vice versa. However these were dropped and replaced by DMUs. Hardly surprising with GWR losing HSTs as more IETs come on line.

Stories told behind the headlines are of "more than usual trains requiring repair at the same time" shifting from a heavy overdue maintenance requirement to regular repairs not being done because so many staff have left to go to work for Hitachi.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2017, 09:20:25 am »

The priorities today would appear not to include Transwilts.............

Train Cancellations

10:30 Westbury to Swindon due 11:20
11:34 Swindon to Westbury due 12:16
16:20 Westbury to Swindon due 17:05
17:18 Swindon to Westbury due 18:01

"Shortage of train crew"
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Timmer
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2017, 09:34:29 am »

The priorities today would appear not to include Transwilts
Stiff competition between North Cotswolds line and Transwilts of late.

Also, cancellations between Salisbury and Portsmouth due to lack of train crew on the truncated Cardiff-Portsmouth service today. At least there are SWR services to get you to Southampton and Portsmouth.
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2017, 10:37:26 am »

Also yesterday, Severn Beach line services were turned back at Clifton Down with bustitution beyond, and without adequate publicity.  Passengers were tweeting GWR re the trains and lack of info and were told it was due to Engineering Work and were referred to the appropriate Engineering section of the GWR website but there was nothing there.  Learnt subsequently that there were posters at stations giving reason as provision of resources for the Bath Market but don't know how widespread but no mention on GWR Website.
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grahame
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« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2017, 11:36:30 am »

Also yesterday, Severn Beach line services were turned back at Clifton Down with bustitution beyond, and without adequate publicity.  Passengers were tweeting GWR re the trains and lack of info and were told it was due to Engineering Work and were referred to the appropriate Engineering section of the GWR website but there was nothing there.  Learnt subsequently that there were posters at stations giving reason as provision of resources for the Bath Market but don't know how widespread but no mention on GWR Website.

Looks like clear confirmation of priorities.

Having said which, I have been out and about this morning hearing tales of people who were denied boarding / unable to board at Reading yesterday to travel to Bath for the Rugby - "some friends came in at half time" and similar but third had reports of problems travelling from South Wales to Bath.

I do hope 12:30 and 14:30 from Westbury run .... Melksham to Trowbridge walk (Wiltshire Wanderers) - down on foot, back on those trains.    In order to remind any "power that be" who are reading here ... this little lot will require travel at lunchtime today:


(it is so easy to forget the individuals when planning things out - each has a story, and each has a travel need; many of these are very effective at reporting how their journey has been, and are trying out the train for the first time!)

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« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2017, 11:58:52 am »

I’m expecting a very bruising Christmas period.  Several things are likely to combine:

1)  Not enough drivers - we’ve had cancellations due to staff shortages during the ‘quiet’ months of October and November.  December, particularly the last two weeks, are likely to be ‘maxed out’ with the maximum number of staff on leave that’s allowed at any one time.

2)  Not enough stock - the transitional phase between new units arriving and old ones departing means allocating enough stock to cope with an already incredibly busy period will be difficult.  There are lots of 2+7 HSTs currently running around which can cope under normal circumstances on most trains, but will struggle from 22nd December until new year, especially on the afternoon/evening of the 22nd and throughout the 27th.

3)  Christmas Eve and New Years Eve fall on a Sunday, so with existing agreements at some depots there’s nothing stopping lots of drivers who would normally work from saying “No thanks!” - fortunately Christmas Eve is likely to be very quiet as people will have already gone to visit friends and relatives on the evening of 22nd or the 23rd but I expect a serious crew shortage on both of those Sundays.

In more positive news, once this Christmas is out of the way, there should be some breathing space to get back on target with training and new train introduction relieving the currency strain.  Things are unlikely to fully settle down until 2019 though.  The big question is whether all this pain is worth it in the long term?  I think time will say it will be and in a few years the GWML will have a service to be proud of - totally transformed from what we had at the start of this year in virtually every respect.  Jam tomorrow is quite rightly not currently cutting it with many though!

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To view my cab run over the new Reading Viaduct as well as a relief line cab ride at Reading just after Platforms 12-15 opened and my 'before and after' video comparison of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/IndustryInsider/1
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