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Question: Should there be seat reservations on the Cardiff - Portsmouth service?  (Voting closed: September 18, 2018, 10:20:56 pm)
Yes - 13 (56.5%)
No - 8 (34.8%)
Doesn't matter - 0 (0%)
Don't know - 2 (8.7%)
Total Voters: 23

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Author Topic: Should there be seat reservations on the Cardiff - Portsmouth service?  (Read 863 times)
grahame
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« on: September 11, 2018, 10:20:56 pm »

Interesting discussion this evening about whether there's still a need for seat reservations on Cardiff - Portsmouth services.

Comment was made about people going up and down the platform looking for their carriage (and it will be worse with 2+3 without through corridor, and people stopping to check all the tags as they look for a seat delaying the boarding of people behind them.  Then there's the point that if a seat is reserved from Bradford-on-Avon to Romsey, is it available or not to you (as someone who does not know the area) from Bath Spa to Salisbury.
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Clan Line
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2018, 08:51:44 am »

Two things spring to mind:
Are there "slots" in the seats on 165/166s for the reservation tickets ?
Will we be required to give our physical dimensions when booking to prevent overcrowding on the narrow 2 + 3 seats ?
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bobm
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2018, 09:10:10 am »

I am not a regular user of the route but when I have had a seat reservation there is no indication before the train arrives of which order the coaches will be in - and therefore where your seat will be.   This inevitably leads to delays while people shuffle up and down the platform if their initial guess was wrong.
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eightf48544
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2018, 11:20:36 am »

Then there's the point that if a seat is reserved from Bradford-on-Avon to Romsey, is it available or not to you (as someone who does not know the area) from Bath Spa to Salisbury.

I thought the rules were you could use it from Bath to Bradford and then give it up if the passenger turns up at Bradford otherwise you can stay. Plus someone could use from it Salisbury to Romsey and beyond if it's vacant.
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2018, 11:45:37 am »

Then there's the point that if a seat is reserved from Bradford-on-Avon to Romsey, is it available or not to you (as someone who does not know the area) from Bath Spa to Salisbury.

I thought the rules were you could use it from Bath to Bradford and then give it up if the passenger turns up at Bradford otherwise you can stay. Plus someone could use from it Salisbury to Romsey and beyond if it's vacant.

I agree .. the point I was making is that if you have people who are not familiar with the geography of the area looking for a seat, the information provided is not going to help them.

Let me ask again using out-of-area places.

If I board a train at Ballybrophy travelling to Killarney, is a seat labelled "reserved from Limerick Junction to Mallow" available to me throughout my journey?  How about one labelled "Kildare to Portlaise" or "Monasterivin to Thurles"?
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paul7755
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2018, 12:31:20 pm »

Then there's the point that if a seat is reserved from Bradford-on-Avon to Romsey, is it available or not to you (as someone who does not know the area) from Bath Spa to Salisbury.

I thought the rules were you could use it from Bath to Bradford and then give it up if the passenger turns up at Bradford otherwise you can stay. Plus someone could use from it Salisbury to Romsey and beyond if it's vacant.

I agree .. the point I was making is that if you have people who are not familiar with the geography of the area looking for a seat, the information provided is not going to help them.

Let me ask again using out-of-area places.

If I board a train at Ballybrophy travelling to Killarney, is a seat labelled "reserved from Limerick Junction to Mallow" available to me throughout my journey?  How about one labelled "Kildare to Portlaise" or "Monasterivin to Thurles"?
Thatís a problem common to any seat reservation system, whether slips of card or clever scrolling text though, itís always going to rely on a certain level of passenger knowledge or initiative...

Paul
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bignosemac
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2018, 02:51:33 pm »

How does the reservation system cope with 'middle'?

Currently, along with direction of travel, you can only select 'window' or 'aisle' when booking online. I believe its the same if you make a reservation by phone or at a station.

Presumably, all middle seats in 3+2 stock have to be unreserved, and the numbering system has to be such that a reservation will 'work' regardless of whether a 3+2 or 2+2 Turbo turns up.

Or, more likely, GWR will move to the 'counted place' type of reservation for Advance Purchase fares, where you don't get a guaranteed seat, but must travel on the selected train.

Retrograde step that will hopefully be remedied with an order of new inter-regional rolling stock when the franchise finally gets retendered sometime this millenium...
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2018, 05:44:50 pm »

...Retrograde step...

It can work either way to be honest.  Fair play if it's a packed train, but if there's seats available I'd prefer to be able to take my pick whereas an allocated seat means you have to sit next to the screaming baby in front.  There are other benefits to not having reservation labels as well.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2018, 10:33:00 pm »

How would this work on Turbos which do not have numbered seats?

There's surely not enough room on the reservation ticket to put "In the front coach, section between the first doors and the driver's cap, second row of seats from the front on the left, non-window seat with well worn seat cover and small lump of chewing gum on the seat"
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2018, 08:34:15 am »

I think the answer to the question in the OP should be 'Yes', but the only practical way to implement it as things stand is by 'Counted Place Booked'.

The problem with that, though, is that still does not guarantee the holder actually getting a seat.

I worry about the likes of Uncle Sam and Auntie Lib, with their umpteen suitcases, heading back to Southampton Ocean Terminal to their Transatlantic cabin,  - or Bert and Daisy off on their cruise on the Med, similarly laden - and both couples ending up with middle seats away from the doors (or worse still - standing) from Westbury to Southampton.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 08:39:54 am by PhilWakely » Logged
grahame
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« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2018, 09:21:44 am »

I worry about the likes of Uncle Sam and Auntie Lib, with their umpteen suitcases, heading back to Southampton Ocean Terminal to their Transatlantic cabin,  - or Bert and Daisy off on their cruise on the Med, similarly laden - and both couples ending up with middle seats away from the doors (or worse still - standing) from Westbury to Southampton.

Extending the Romsey Rocket from Salisbury to Westbury every hour (initially alternate then all on to Swindon) should soon help that ...
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froome
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« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2018, 09:07:07 pm »

I think the answer to the question in the OP should be 'Yes', but the only practical way to implement it as things stand is by 'Counted Place Booked'.

The problem with that, though, is that still does not guarantee the holder actually getting a seat.

I worry about the likes of Uncle Sam and Auntie Lib, with their umpteen suitcases, heading back to Southampton Ocean Terminal to their Transatlantic cabin,  - or Bert and Daisy off on their cruise on the Med, similarly laden - and both couples ending up with middle seats away from the doors (or worse still - standing) from Westbury to Southampton.

That is actually pretty much what happened to us today on this service. We were travelling from Salisbury to Bath Spa, and had seats booked in the middle of the carriage, so a distance from our bikes and luggage. The train as ever filled to overcrowding levels, with people standing down each aisle, and although we got up early on the approach to Bath to get to our bikes and luggage, we couldn't get past those standing. When the train got to Bath Spa, the queue standing didn't move, and we then realised that people were getting onto the train before letting people off, and we ended up having to make our way to the other end of the carriage to get off and then get on again to retrieve our bikes and luggage after everyone else had boarded.

All in all it was a bit of a mess and quite stressful. I was surprised the platform staff made no attempt to stop people boarding before letting passengers off.
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want2workrail
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« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2018, 09:49:45 pm »

Firstly I think a 158 / 165/6 are not long distance trains and considering the distance why have we not moved on to something more suitable. Would HSTs have gauging issues? They have SDO. 

Or could there be stopping services (as now) and fast services (Bristol, Bath, Westbury, Salisbury, Eastleigh, Southampton Airport Parkway, Southampton, Totton (to avoid capacity issues at Southampton Central).

Hopefully this would split passengers between commuters (defined as short distance) and long distance travellers. Equally Bath could up (pick up only / setting down only). Just some thoughts.
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grahame
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2018, 10:27:19 pm »

Firstly I think a 158 / 165/6 are not long distance trains and considering the distance why have we not moved on to something more suitable. Would HSTs have gauging issues? They have SDO.

Has been considered ... those with long swing link bogies would have gauging issues. Some doubt as to the number of short swing link sets that could have been available by the time you look at which are knackered beyond further use, committed to other contracts etc.
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paul7755
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« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2018, 11:10:07 pm »

Firstly I think a 158 / 165/6 are not long distance trains and considering the distance why have we not moved on to something more suitable. Would HSTs have gauging issues? They have SDO.

Has been considered ... those with long swing link bogies would have gauging issues. Some doubt as to the number of short swing link sets that could have been available by the time you look at which are knackered beyond further use, committed to other contracts etc.

As always, concentrating on the long swing link (LSL) bogies is only part of the problem.  LSL bogie fitted coaches are barred from the entire third rail area, because the gauging issue is specifically with respect to the third rail.

But there are other Ďnormalí gauging issues concerning HST power cars as well, and even if the coaches are fitted with the right bogies, the power cars are still out of gauge for Southampton to Fareham via Netley.

Paul
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