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Author Topic: Train Service Compared With Chocolate  (Read 862 times)
SandTEngineer
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« on: May 31, 2018, 08:57:40 am »

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-44311928   Roll Eyes Grin

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Thameslink compares poor service to Poundland chocolate

On Wednesday, more than 400 Thameslink trains were cancelled.

A rail firm that compared its poor service to chocolate from Poundland has been threatened with legal action by the discount chain.

Thameslink has apologised after making the comment in reply to a passenger who was angry over train cancellations.

In response, Poundland retail director Austin Cooke said it had "no right to use our name to describe poor service".

It comes after more than 450 Govia Thameslink Railway trains were either cancelled or ran late on Wednesday.

Thameslink had responded to a tweet from a passenger, called Kevin, who posted a picture of a departure board showing train cancellations.

In response, Thameslink replied: "Very sorry Kevin. Appreciate at the moment the service is less Ferrero Rocher and more Poundland cooking chocolate."

It prompted Mr Cooke to tweet Charles Horton, chief executive of Thameslink's parent firm Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), stating that Poundland served eight million shoppers last week and has a "pretty good idea about what great customer service is".

Mr Cooke added: "But if we ever fall short, perhaps we'll describe ourselves as a bit ThamesLink.

"If you don't want to hear from our extremely twitchy legal team, we suggest you remove your tweet."

GTR later apologised to Mr Cooke and deleted their earlier tweet.

GTR has been dogged by disrupted services since the publication of new timetables on 20 May.

Its poor performance, along with that of Northern rail, prompted Transport Secretary Chris Grayling on Wednesday to say the "rail industry has collectively failed" passengers.

GTR said it expected disruption to ease "over the coming month", while Northern said it had commissioned a report to "ensure lessons are learned".

Mr Grayling said: "The way timetabling is done has to change."

GTR runs Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern and the Gatwick Express, while Northern runs services across North of England from Newcastle to Nottingham and in Greater Manchester, Yorkshire, Cumbria and Merseyside.

Many services across the country suffered "Meltdown Monday" on 21 May when the new timetables came into force.

As an aside that quote from our beloved Secretary of State for Transport was a bit underhanded.  Now let me think,  who is responsible for our railways...... Tongue

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Its poor performance, along with that of Northern rail, prompted Transport Secretary Chris Grayling on Wednesday to say the "rail industry has collectively failed" passengers.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 09:51:27 am by SandTEngineer » Logged

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Lee
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2018, 09:58:24 am »

Personally, I think that Grayling points the gun in the right direction in one of the related articles - http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-44299902

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The transport secretary also criticised Network Rail, saying it "cannot cope" with the workload, and its performance was "simply unacceptable".

Well Mr Grayling, perhaps it's about time you earned the respect of those that have suffered for years as a result of that, and did something about it.

Alternatively, go and visit Olga Taylor, and she'll set you straight.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 10:22:31 am »

He has threatened to do something about this by restricting the number of changes any TOC can make in any timetable change! So rather than give NR the funds to cope, he is basically doing the travelling public a disservice by not allowing a TOC to run all the services it wants to! (and instead would have to introduce all their changes over several timetables.

This is the first complete screw up that the NR staff have produced....coped pretty well up to now generally, so they can do it....
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simonw
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2018, 11:14:53 am »

I think many people are happy to blame NR for all rail issues, but if we are going to be fair, we must blame

  • DfT
  • NR
  • Train Franchise Companies

equally.

The debacle of GW electrification has nothing to do with GWR, but DfT and NR.

The debacle of schedule planning has nothing to do with DfT, but NR and the Train companies

Perhaps NR should be split up and franchised with the primary train company at the same time? This would lead all new franchises being combined to service and infrastructure improvements over 5/7/10 years.

Could make some of the franchise bids very interesting.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 01:03:17 pm by simonw » Logged
ChrisB
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2018, 11:29:24 am »

The subject of this thread is GTR, not GWR.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2018, 12:53:01 pm »

To be fair, there is one obvious similarity.

Both chocolate & the railways go into meltdown when the sun comes out.
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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2018, 01:26:49 pm »

Quite. If I had to rely on the chocolate teapot that is GTR I'm not sure I'd particularly care whether the teapot in question was made from Ferrero Rocher or Poundland chocolate...
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Electric train
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2018, 05:16:56 pm »

The dynamics of the railways must be remembered

NR - a Government owned company . which reports to its share holder .. the DfT

GTR - a management company who's fee is paid by . the DfT Note GTR does not make a profit from collecting fares, from section 8 payments etc this all goes direct to DfT

The puppet master is to blame
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2018, 05:38:49 pm »

The dynamics of the railways must be remembered

NR - a Government owned company . which reports to its share holder .. the DfT

GTR - a management company who's fee is paid by . the DfT Note GTR does not make a profit from collecting fares, from section 8 payments etc this all goes direct to DfT

The puppet master is to blame

Who is responsible for recruiting drivers for GTR, and for how long have they had to prepare for the new timetable?
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2018, 08:35:42 am »

An excellent response on the Poundland Twitter account..........
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broadgage
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2018, 09:28:17 am »


Indeed, an excellent response, I particularly liked the bit about "If we ever fall short, perhaps we will describe ourselves as a bit Thameslink"

More seriously, when I lived in London, Thameslink were truly awful and by far the worst of any TOC that I experienced regularly. They made FGW look good by comparison.
At the time they were operated by first group, but don't seem to have got any better under new management.
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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"
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Tim
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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2018, 09:32:41 am »



Who is responsible for recruiting drivers for GTR, and for how long have they had to prepare for the new timetable?

IMHO, the blame here lies not with companies but individual managers who are simply not up to the job.  In BR days there were successes and failures and that wasn't due to the ownership structure but whether the people in charge of the project were good at their job or not.  The problem with the railway seems to be that it has too many places for incompetents to hide.  Both the private and public sectors have ways of winkling those incompetents out.  Trouble is the private sector performance management techniques are not used because the companies concerned are in theory private and the private sector mechanism for weeding out bad managers (their company going bust) doesn't happen either.  
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broadgage
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2018, 09:33:24 am »

Quite. If I had to rely on the chocolate teapot that is GTR I'm not sure I'd particularly care whether the teapot in question was made from Ferrero Rocher or Poundland chocolate...

Of course the quality of the chocolate from which a chocolate teapot is made matters. A chocolate teapot may be almost useless as a container for hot tea, but it is still good to eat if made from decent chocolate.
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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 #13 on: June 01, 2018, 09:35:25 am »

Of course the quality of the chocolate from which a chocolate teapot is made matters. A chocolate teapot may be almost useless as a container for hot tea, but it is still good to eat if made from decent chocolate.

Hmmm ... depends who you are.   A recent survey in our household revealed that only one of the four of us eats the stuff ... it makes the rest of us ill.
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broadgage
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« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2018, 02:38:53 pm »

Of course the quality of the chocolate from which a chocolate teapot is made matters. A chocolate teapot may be almost useless as a container for hot tea, but it is still good to eat if made from decent chocolate.

Hmmm ... depends who you are.   A recent survey in our household revealed that only one of the four of us eats the stuff ... it makes the rest of us ill.

To avoid putting the health of your family at risk, please pack all chocolate securely and send it carriage paid to me.
For a small charge I will safely dispose of it for you.
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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"
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