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Author Topic: IET Train First Class Carriages  (Read 13269 times)
hartfield
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« on: June 26, 2018, 01:31:32 pm »

Not sure how widespread this is as an issue - some 10 carriage IETs (Intercity Express Train) are operating lately with four first class carriages out of the ten - this seems rather excessive given that relatively few people travel first class, and most first class carriages seem to run empty a lot of the time. Given that standard class carriages are very packed, this is perverse and quite annoying. Any reason why GWR (Great Western Railway) should run 10 carriage fleets with four first class, other than they've run out of standard class?

Service this morning was five carriage unit London to Bristol with two first class out of five - just bizarre. Is their nothing in the railway regulations to allow people to use first class if the train companies cant supply the appropriate ratio of standard class to first?
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didcotdean
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2018, 01:41:18 pm »

The standard formation for the five carriage is:

A,B,C - Standard
D - Composite
E - First

The composite coach is somewhat under half first class, and E doesn't have that much seating space in it anyway, as it contains the kitchen.

The nine carriage version is A-J standard, K-L first.

« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 02:52:50 pm by didcotdean » Logged
broadgage
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2018, 02:02:33 pm »

"four first class carriages" is rather misleading.
Two of those are the end or driving vehicles and contain only limited seating.
The other two are composite vehicles and are only partly first class with the remainder being standard class.

The first class seating capacity of a 5+5 IET (Intercity Express Train) is I think 72 seats, not at all excessive for an allegedly intercity train.
On the 9 car trains the first class capacity is very similar.

First class provision has been significantly reduced on the new trains. On the HSTs (High Speed Train) it was over 100 before they were downgraded to commuter style.

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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 (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
Timmer
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2018, 02:09:09 pm »

First class on GWR (Great Western Railway) has been reduced enough IMHO (in my humble opinion) and shouldn't be reduced further.
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broadgage
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2018, 02:11:12 pm »

Agree
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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 (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2018, 02:13:40 pm »

Yes, as others state it's only really just over a carriage worth of actual seating.  It was more on initial interior designs (45 seats on each 5-car, so 90 on a 10-car, and 101 on a 9-car), but was reduced so the production units have 36 on a 5-car (72 on a 10-car) and IIRC (if I recall/remember/read correctly) 71 on a 9-car.  The reduction is probably just about right given the differing services the trains will be covering, although demand for First Class does swing quite considerably depending on how the economy is doing at any given time.

Note that the current HST (High Speed Train) formations have IIRC between 64 and 71 per train, depending on whether they have a composite coach or what type of buffet coach is in the formation.
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WelshBluebird
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2018, 02:57:57 pm »

The main issue with First class on the IET (Intercity Express Train)'s is that when there is a 2x5 formation, they don't have a consistent "direction" of the units. So sometimes you get the first class sections of both units together in the middle, sometimes you get some first class at the very front and some at the very rear, sometimes you get first class at the very front and in the middle, and sometimes you get first class at the very rear and the middle. Talk about confusing, and it impacts dwell times too as nobody knows where on earth to stand on the platforms.
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laird
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« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2018, 07:59:46 pm »

Reading to Paddington in the morning and Paddington to Reading in the evening you'll find all the first class full and on occassions I've seen customers turned away.
Those carriages thus subsidise the balance of the train.

Customer information displays and announcements are normally set to display/announce the position but it seems that isn't quite enough for the crowd that like to ignore both
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2018, 09:31:49 pm »

Reading to Paddington in the morning and Paddington to Reading in the evening you'll find all the first class full and on occassions I've seen customers turned away.
Those carriages thus subsidise the balance of the train.

Customer information displays and announcements are normally set to display/announce the position but it seems that isn't quite enough for the crowd that like to ignore both

I wonder how many have 1st class tickets?
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broadgage
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2018, 08:33:23 am »

My experience suggests that between London and Reading, that a significant percentage do not have first class tickets.
Further west, the great majority almost certainly hold the correct tickets.

It seems to be common practice to only check tickets west of Reading.

When, contrary to the norm, tickets ARE checked between London and Reading, I have observed significant numbers get caught. The new shorter trains are often too crowded for a ticket check.
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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 (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
laird
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2018, 07:07:26 pm »

Since IET (Intercity Express Train) introduction its been almost guaranteed that sitting in first class results in a ticket check between Reading and Paddington or v.v.

HSTs (High Speed Train) from Paddington almost always get a ticket check but not v.v.
Turbo's I can't remember the last time I used one and there was a ticket check.
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1st fan
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2018, 07:34:21 pm »

I'm currently in an IET (Intercity Express Train) in 1st and it's my first journey in 1st on these trains. My first impressions were quite good and then I sat down and it went downhill after that. The seats are very uncomfortable especially compared to the HST (High Speed Train). They have no give at all and are as hard as they are in standard. The recline is also not good although you can choose how much recline you want. It isn't an upright only or reclined only situation like the HST. The major plus point is that you can raise the armrest by the window which you can't do on any other GWR (Great Western Railway) train (adelante excluded). If the seat was more comfortable that lack of armrest might permit you to sleep which is one of the reasons I travel 1st.

The blind is odd as it doesn't go to the bottom of the window which leaves a gap. The countryside going past I find distracting and would normally close the curtains. Also it's such a translucent material that with the sun behind it you see everything that we pass. Trees, large bushes etc. all cause a shadow. Making the material darker would help prevent this. The power sockets are in the wrong place being between the seats on a table of four. The person in the aisle seat will have to unplug their electronics to allow the window seat passenger to exit.

The carriage is well air-conditioned and despite it being a hot day outside you'd never notice it. The ride is relatively smooth and beats the HST (just) on that score. They're quieter which is good the journey noise is reduced. What isn't great is the noise from other people in the carriage carries for quite a distance. I'm sitting in the middle of the carriage and I can hear quite clearly (it's annoying) the conversation the people at the other end are having. I don't experience that on an HST which may just be down to the quieter carriages or the materials used on the new trains.

On the plus side the nibbles elf (aka the 1st class host) has just carried (without any request from me) a can of Coke, two bits of chocolate cake, a bottle of water and some crisps to my table. Sadly someone has brought a takeaway on at the last station and the whole carriage smells of it. Not blaming the train for that but it's not pleasant.


I probably won't be a paying customer for 1st on these trains until they get better seats. If there's an HST on the platform I will but otherwise I won't.






« Last Edit: June 29, 2018, 12:10:06 am by 1st fan » Logged
Rob on the hill
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« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2018, 08:04:35 pm »

They're quieter which is good the journey noise is reduced. What isn't great is the noise from other people in the carriage carries for quite a distance. I'm sitting in the middle of the carriage and I can hear quite clearly (it's annoying) the conversation the people at the other end are having. I don't experience that on an HST (High Speed Train) which may just be down to the quieter carriages or the materials used on the new trains.
The curtains and the glass partitions on the HST probably cut down a fair bit of noise. I often now use 1st at weekends and sometimes on longer journeys on busy weekday services, and I will miss the quality and comfort of the HST.
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CMRail
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« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2018, 09:56:04 pm »

Slightly off topic.. but what are the chances of being a weekend at seat service on a Saturday between Glos and Swindon and then Swindon and Bath between 11 and 1?
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We should be aiming towards a country where no matter where you are you can get around all day with an easy to use, affordable and modern transport system.
1st fan
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« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2018, 11:06:56 pm »

Since IET (Intercity Express Train) introduction its been almost guaranteed that sitting in first class results in a ticket check between Reading and Paddington or v.v.

HSTs (High Speed Train) from Paddington almost always get a ticket check but not v.v.
Turbo's I can't remember the last time I used one and there was a ticket check.

My train today had Driver Operation Only (according to RTT» (Real Time Trains - website)) from Oxford and people who didn't have a 1st ticket were sitting there. Part of the conversation being held on the way to Reading was as to whether they could sit there or not. They decided they'd move if any one official came in saying they didn't know it was 1st. There was no ticket check after Oxford
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