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Author Topic: Govia Thameslink Woes - continue ...  (Read 302 times)
CJB666
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« on: June 27, 2018, 09:00:32 pm »

Govia Thameslink 'failed taxi system' causes train woes

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-44626041

The major failure of a taxi booking system to get train drivers to work has caused further delays on already troubled rail routes.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) services in and out of London were delayed or cancelled this morning, affecting Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink trains.

Commuters called the situation "ridiculous" and "farcical".

GTR apologised, saying it was working to get things "back on track".

The delays come after five weeks of disruption caused by the introduction of new timetables.
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martyjon
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2018, 06:05:14 am »

According to BBC R4 at 06:00 this morning the operator has been threatened, by whom the beeb didn't say, with the withdrawal of the franchise within weeks if things don't improve. I suppose its all talk again by HMG who are frightened to use their teeth as usual.
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Timmer
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2018, 07:21:35 am »

According to BBC R4 at 06:00 this morning the operator has been threatened, by whom the beeb didn't say, with the withdrawal of the franchise within weeks if things don't improve. I suppose its all talk again by HMG who are frightened to use their teeth as usual.
Yep just talk to try and pacify itís long suffering customers. Everyone knows it wonít happen unless itís costing Dft.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2018, 07:54:49 am »

From the BBC:

Quote
Govia Thameslink 'could lose franchise' over rail chaos

Rail operator Govia Thameslink faces being told it will be stripped of its franchises unless performance on its services in the South East of England rapidly improves, the BBC understands.

Passengers on its Thameslink and Great Northern trains have faced more than a month of disruption following the introduction of new timetables in May.

A source said the government could begin the process within weeks.

Meanwhile, commuters are to set receive compensation worth a month's travel.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) - which also runs Southern and the Gatwick Express services - changed the time of every train on its timetable on 20 May.

Passengers were warned of disruption before the changes were brought in, but the implementation of the new timetable saw some services withdrawn and further cancellations without any warning.

Since then, GTR chief executive Charles Horton has resigned and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has faced calls to stand down - as MPs from across all parties voiced their concern at the disruption caused in their constituencies.

'Last chance saloon'
Passengers have been venting their anger on social media, while last week a memo leaked by the RMT union revealed that extra security staff were at stations to protect staff from "unhappy customers".

But there is also frustration within government that while Northern, which encountered similar problems in the North of England, has introduced an interim timetable, Govia Thameslink's equivalent is still a fortnight away.

"They are now in the last chance saloon," a government source told the BBC.

Mr Grayling had previously announced there would be compensation for commuters and an inquiry into what went wrong, saying there had been "major failures" by the rail industry.

A spokesman for Govia Thameslink refused to comment on the reports about the possible loss of the franchises, instead choosing to re-release a statement in which it said it was "sorry for the disruption".

GTR had added it rescheduled every train in its franchise in an attempt to improve rail efficiency but it was a "hugely complicated task" and involved re-training drivers on new routes.
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2018, 10:15:41 am »

According to BBC R4 at 06:00 this morning the operator has been threatened, by whom the beeb didn't say, with the withdrawal of the franchise within weeks if things don't improve. I suppose its all talk again by HMG who are frightened to use their teeth as usual.

From the BBC:

Quote
Govia Thameslink 'could lose franchise' over rail chaos

Rail operator Govia Thameslink faces being told it will be stripped of its franchises unless performance on its services in the South East of England rapidly improves, the BBC understands.

[snip]


Article at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44671423

We here horrific stories of the Govia / Thameslink franchise.  And of Northern.  Then there's the East Cost debacle with the government take over yet again, and we have our own problems in GWR land.  This last week I have been travelling by train, and had multiple problems with Scotrail and a Virgin West Coast cancellation. Only companies on time and running for all services used were CrossCountry and TransPennines Express - and they're a limited sample size of one train in each case.  XP was great ... XC was smelly, crowded, and playing musical seats between reservations - and why are they still charging for WiFi?

It's hard to measure degrees, but it looks to me very much as if we have a systematic problem.   It;s not just one  TOC / it's many/most - or is it a problem with the common element which is the system put in place by HM Government and looked after by the Department for Transport, and the government offshoots such as Network Rail, the ORR, the RAIB, RSSB, Transport Focus, and so on?

Edit to correct my own confused quoting
« Last Edit: July 01, 2018, 11:35:32 am by grahame » Logged

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broadgage
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2018, 11:23:45 am »

When I lived in London, Thameslink were by far the worst of any TOC that I regularly used.
Reports suggest that they did not improve under new ownership, and have recently got even worse.

Like another TOC, I feel that they have suffered from "new train disease", I refer here NOT to the actual merits or otherwise of the new trains. But to a management culture that blamed almost everything on the age and perceived shortcomings of the existing trains, and that stated, implied, believed, or hoped that the wonderful new trains would in some magical way sweep away unrelated shortcomings.

Well they now HAVE the new trains, but still are unable to run an effective service !
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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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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2018, 07:41:54 pm »

I find it a bit amusing that the Government are threatening to relieve GTR of the franchise.  GTR is not a franchise in the normal (non)sense that most other TOCs operate under. 

All and do me all revenue and schedule 8 payments go direct to the DfT, GTR is a management contract.  The decision to refund a month to season ticket holders is not a decision that GTR could take.

Has GTR performance been poor??? Yes very poor; however they were pushed into the industrial dispute with the train guards on Southern, this diverted the attention of the senior managers in the lead up to Thameslink and the more important industrial relations of integrating GN services into Thameslink.

There has been a systemic failure in the rail industry to introduce the new timetable, however who should take the lead?  If NR takes the lead the TOCs could shout foul as it is NR dictating what their service should be, if a TOC takes the lead the NR will say the timetable does not allow time for maintenance, other TOC n FOCs will scream they are not getting the access they need.  Mean while the DfT awards contracts to TOC to run a timetable the ORR lean on NR over not maintaining and renewing the infrastructure and not meeting is obligations on performance.

Mean while the Government shrugs its shoulders, we are too far away from a General Election for MPs to take a real interest also all of their time is taken up with BREXIT
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Mark Carne 26 June 2015 - "The challenges of delivering myriad improvement projects while still running a railway seven days a week were simply overwhelming".
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