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Author Topic: 5 into 10 goes once  (Read 4310 times)
bobm
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« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2018, 08:54:02 am »

The problem with arrivals and departures at Paddington is the planned next working for a set can change at almost the last minute - a "set swap".   This can be to cover for late running or the need to get a set to a particular depot for engineering purposes.  So sometimes it is better to wait rather than advertise a train and then have to tell everyone it has changed.   There are tales on here of people who have gone to their "usual" platform and boarded a train only to discover just before departure (or in some cases just after) that the train was going to a different destination.

Once the electronic seat reservations are working reliably that should cut the preparation time but there will always need to be some turn round allowance while cleaners go through and remove the empty cups, cans and sandwich wrappings which passengers seem incapable of putting in the bins.  In any event the bins will need emptying and the toilets cleaned.

The interesting thing will be whether once everything is IET whether layover times will stay the same as they are now or be tightened up in the knowledge train preparation can be quicker.

It is not the same at places like Bristol Temple Meads, Swansea or Penzance where it isn't difficult to work out which is the next train out as there are usually only one or two trains of the correct type in the platforms at any one time.  Even then at places like Plymouth the doors on the 12:55 to London are routinely locked shortly after the set comes in at 12:19 to allow time for staff to prepare the train.
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1st fan
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« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2018, 12:03:44 pm »

The problem with arrivals and departures at Paddington is the planned next working for a set can change at almost the last minute - a "set swap".   This can be to cover for late running or the need to get a set to a particular depot for engineering purposes.  So sometimes it is better to wait rather than advertise a train and then have to tell everyone it has changed.   There are tales on here of people who have gone to their "usual" platform and boarded a train only to discover just before departure (or in some cases just after) that the train was going to a different destination.

Once the electronic seat reservations are working reliably that should cut the preparation time but there will always need to be some turn round allowance while cleaners go through and remove the empty cups, cans and sandwich wrappings which passengers seem incapable of putting in the bins.  In any event the bins will need emptying and the toilets cleaned.

The interesting thing will be whether once everything is IET whether layover times will stay the same as they are now or be tightened up in the knowledge train preparation can be quicker.

It is not the same at places like Bristol Temple Meads, Swansea or Penzance where it isn't difficult to work out which is the next train out as there are usually only one or two trains of the correct type in the platforms at any one time.  Even then at places like Plymouth the doors on the 12:55 to London are routinely locked shortly after the set comes in at 12:19 to allow time for staff to prepare the train.

I've been on a train where the destination has changed after boarding which was 'fun'! Everyone had boarded a full buffet HST to Great Malvern and up until about 3 minutes before departure everything was fine. Then the Train Manager comes on the tannoy and tells us that there is a problem with the catering, sadly we didn't have any food loaded we were missing the crew member for 1st. Then at departure she appears again and says we may have to change trains please listen for further announcements. Then she came back on and told us to get off the train, cross the platform and get on the HST on the other side. Not ideal as some people had settled in but off we went, people who had been standing in the vestibules got off and then on first and now got seats. This HST had a stocked mini/micro buffet and a full 1st trolley and crew member serving from it. Much better from my point of view but a bit of a faff. We made up the lost time by Reading so no real damage done.
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broadgage
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« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2018, 08:12:31 pm »

When the fact that 5 car trains were being ordered was first discovered, I seem to remember the FGW apologists claiming that all would be well because services that needed 10 vehicles would get them!

I suspect that this has become an aspiration, that they are "working towards" rather than a promise.
All very Voyager like, but at least they do not smell as bad.
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"When customers say that they want a seat, they dont mean they want to sit with their knees behind their ears so that 4 more can sit down. They mean that they want an extra coach so that 74 more can sit down"
"Capacity on intercity routes should be about number of vehicles, not compressing people"
stuving
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« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2018, 08:19:40 pm »

When the fact that 5 car trains were being ordered was first discovered, I seem to remember the FGW apologists claiming that all would be well because services that needed 10 vehicles would get them!

I suspect that this has become an aspiration, that they are "working towards" rather than a promise.
All very Voyager like, but at least they do not smell as bad.

They are certainly "working towards" the day when all the IET fleet is available, and some of us would say that any judgement before that is premature. Of course the planning and execution of the transition period is another matter, and criticism of that is in no way premature.
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broadgage
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« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2018, 11:34:59 pm »

Jam tomorrow.
Was is not implied that we would start to see the benefits of the new trains from the beginning of THIS year ?

What has actually happened is regular 5 car DMUs replacing 8 car HSTs. Advocates of the new units now say "don't judge them on these interim problems, wait until the whole fleet is in service.

Likewise with the downgrade from a buffet to a trolley. It was certainly stated on these forums that the new DMUs would have "improved catering trolleys that keep hot food hot and cold food cold" and also that 5+5 trains would have a trolley in each portion. And that hot food would be offered in standard class.

Of course the new trolleys are much like the old ones, a single trolley in a 5+5 train is a regular feature.
The alleged hot food offer also seems to have become a future aspiration instead of a promise.
I pointed these downgrades out elsewhere on these forums, and advocates of the new DMUs suggested that such criticisms are unwarranted until the whole fleet is in service.

Why ? If DECENT  trolley catering was planned, why not do this from day one ?
I suspect that a year or two after all the new units are in use, that a survey will be done to show that no one wants a trolley any more.
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"When customers say that they want a seat, they dont mean they want to sit with their knees behind their ears so that 4 more can sit down. They mean that they want an extra coach so that 74 more can sit down"
"Capacity on intercity routes should be about number of vehicles, not compressing people"
grahame
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« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2018, 11:48:21 pm »

Jam tomorrow.
Was is not implied that we would start to see the benefits of the new trains from the beginning of THIS year ?

Looking back, the project was due for completion in 2017, so we should have been seeing all the benefits this year.
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Coffee Shop Admin, Member of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and some more things besides
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« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2018, 12:21:46 am »

When I made my first and only trip on the IET the I spoke to a staff member onboard.They said that they'd heard nothing about the trolley they use being changed. Indeed as it was owned by Hitachi they  thought it was unlikely they'll be changed. There was also no news on hot food  Embarrassed It is possible that GWR are waiting untill more of the IET fleet are deployed. But it's a shame that given we were promised better trolleys on this site, nothing has been forthcoming.
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laird
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« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2018, 06:14:18 pm »

Is it possible the trolley confusion comes from the early days of IET operation, the first class trolley was then used but now is a galley cart is used so has the change already come but is only relevant to first class?
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1st fan
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« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2018, 11:45:21 am »

Is it possible the trolley confusion comes from the early days of IET operation, the first class trolley was then used but now is a galley cart is used so has the change already come but is only relevant to first class?

The issue for me is that Ben Rule said on this site in response to a question from broadgage that
Quote from: Ben Rule
Quote from: broadgage
A cynic like me might suspect that FGW "have generally not been very good at articulating what we intend to offer in terms of food and drink" because they wanted to conceal the fact that the new trains don't have buffets, until it was too late to alter this.
For some year on these forums I have offered as an opinion, and more recently I have stated as a fact that "the new trains wont have buffets"
Many respected members of these forums felt that such views were unduly negative.

"of course they will have buffets"
"they will probably have buffets"
"a buffet could be installed if the TOC want one"
"a buffet could be retrofitted"

And eventually an admission that they don't have buffets.

I too share the doubts expressed by others as to how precisely hot food is to be served in standard class from a trolley, I also have doubts about the sufficiency of trolley stocks of chilled beer. I have observed very substantial volumes of beer being sold on some trains and doubt that a trolley could cope.

Sorry this is your view, but we've not sought to hide it. Staff started looking at and giving feedback on the plans for the new trains around three years ago.

I think many of the concerns you mention are based on the idea that somehow we think we can deliver this service with something similar to the current trolleys. We can't.
There are plenty of more sophisticated trolleys on the market that keep things hot, and keep things cool, and even serve a proper cup of coffee. A quick google will give you some idea.


that to provide a trolley service that replaces the buffet new more advanced trolleys will be needed. These have not been forthcoming, hence my post.
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broadgage
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« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2018, 12:34:12 pm »

Apologists for the new trains USED to tell me not to be so critical until they entered service.
Now that they HAVE entered service, and my predictions about much downgraded catering, and regular short formations have been proved correct, apologists for the new trains feel that I am being premature in judging them until the whole fleet is in service.

Time to admit that short DMUs are not proper inter city trains. One can hardly scrap something so new and expensive.

But time to turn them into better trains.
1) Lengthen all the 9 car sets to 10 car by adding a buffet.
2) Lengthen some of the half trains to full 10 car, again incorporating a buffet.
3) Reduce seats from 88 to 84 and provide more table seats.

We would have to live with the high floors and underfloor engines, regrettably.
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"When customers say that they want a seat, they dont mean they want to sit with their knees behind their ears so that 4 more can sit down. They mean that they want an extra coach so that 74 more can sit down"
"Capacity on intercity routes should be about number of vehicles, not compressing people"
Timmer
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« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2018, 12:59:47 pm »

But time to turn them into better trains.
1) Lengthen all the 9 car sets to 10 car by adding a buffet.
2) Lengthen some of the half trains to full 10 car, again incorporating a buffet.
3) Reduce seats from 88 to 84 and provide more table seats.

We would have to live with the high floors and underfloor engines, regrettably.
Won't happen sadly. This whole project is massively over budget so Dft are going to want to get every penny's worth of value out what's been ordered.
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Timmer
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« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2018, 01:02:10 pm »

Time to admit that short DMUs are not proper inter city trains. One can hardly scrap something so new and expensive.
I don't think they were ever meant to be. It's about mass transit of people to where they want to go. Bit like budget airlines and now British Airways. What do you get for your money now when you fly short haul and even long haul on some airlines? A seat and nothing more.
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ellendune
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« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2018, 01:47:39 pm »

Apologists for the new trains USED to tell me not to be so critical until they entered service.
Now that they HAVE entered service, and my predictions about much downgraded catering, and regular short formations have been proved correct, apologists for the new trains feel that I am being premature in judging them until the whole fleet is in service.

Time to admit that short DMUs are not proper inter city trains. One can hardly scrap something so new and expensive.

But time to turn them into better trains.
1) Lengthen all the 9 car sets to 10 car by adding a buffet.
2) Lengthen some of the half trains to full 10 car, again incorporating a buffet.
3) Reduce seats from 88 to 84 and provide more table seats.

We would have to live with the high floors and underfloor engines, regrettably.

Sorry, but I beg to differ. I have been on these trains enough now to make a judgement and I do not have a problem with them.

The engine noise is fine - I am not sure I can tell when the engines are switched on or off.

The seats are fine - I have a back problem. I think I might find them a bit hard if I was going all the way to Penzance - but I haven't done that yet so I will reserve judgement.   

I am think (can others comment) that there are a few more tables than on the HSTs, but for me the wider seat spacing is the main benefit as I have very long legs and insufficient leg room on the HSTs exacerbates my back problems. 

The main problem seems to be running 5 car units and cancellation of trains due to lack of staff.  We have had it reported here that DfT have told GWR to run more trains as 5 car units and and to cancel trains to make both trains and staff available to accelerate staff training. Once the staff have been trained we can expect capacity to be increased where necessary. If it does not happen then - we can complain then.

There are some issues with the reliability which (despite assurance) is regrettably always the case with a new class of train, but in the past in almost all cases (180's excepted) this is sorted after a few months. Hitachi have invested a lot in making these trains a success - they have built a factory and have another factory in Italy - they want to sell more trains so I am sure they will make them work.   

As for buffet cars - I really don't care - I usually travel with luggage including a computer and I do not want to lug it all the way up the train to go to a buffet car and have to carry my luggage and food and drink back.  A trolley coming round is far more convenient for me and when travelling in the peak I usually buy something before I get on the train. It's cheaper that way anyway.  If you want to add another carriage then to my mind it should be filled with seats, not a buffet.
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broadgage
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« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2018, 02:35:54 pm »

There are more tables on an IET than on an HST that has been down graded to a high density commuter train.
A lot less tables though than a proper HST with a true inter city/long distance layout. These had 16 tables per coach thereby seating 64 passengers at tables, and another 8 seats without tables for a total capacity of 72.

88 seats on an IET does not look spacious if compared to 72 seats on an old style HST, even allowing for the longer vehicles.
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"When customers say that they want a seat, they dont mean they want to sit with their knees behind their ears so that 4 more can sit down. They mean that they want an extra coach so that 74 more can sit down"
"Capacity on intercity routes should be about number of vehicles, not compressing people"
philipgreg
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« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2018, 03:48:11 pm »

Four out of five days this week the 8:17 Chippenham to Bristol has been 5 cars which is worrying for reliability. On a positive note the train is now arriving several minutes early to match HST performance which was never the case until the last month. As far as buffets go, who ever used them? In over 30 years of using gwr I can count on one hand the number of times I've bought something. Give the space to seats! As soon as the 9 cars are in widespread use hopefully all these gripes will go away, I wanted to hate these trains but they are actually pretty good.
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