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Author Topic: GWR bans surfboards from IET services  (Read 5165 times)
mjray
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« Reply #45 on: May 15, 2019, 02:29:12 pm »

I probably shouldn't suggest this, but if they fit in the bike racks, why not just reserve a bike space? Draw a few bike symbols on the bag and claim that it's a bagged bike if anyone asks. Take a luggage strap to strap it to the rails if you feel the need.
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grahame
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« Reply #46 on: May 15, 2019, 04:27:24 pm »

The fact that such space is unused much of the time is simply part of running a train service.
A lot of seats go unused at off peak times.
Large luggage space may be unused outside of the holiday season.
Wheelchair spaces are often unused.

Agreed (the bit I have highlighted in purple)

I know of only a very few public transports which only depart when they are full and they very few times I have used one I have felt irritated by the wait, and the inevitable heavy crowding.

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Worcester_Passenger
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« Reply #47 on: May 15, 2019, 04:41:02 pm »

Some years ago I travelled on the winter through Eurostar service to the Alps.

There's a demand on this for people who want to bring their skis with them.

Very sensibly, Eurostar deal with this by not selling two pairs of seats at the end of each coach, and then covering these with a plastic cover (exactly like the ones that the garage puts on your driver's seat). The cover has a pictogram on it of some skis.
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Umberleigh
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« Reply #48 on: May 15, 2019, 08:04:20 pm »

London commuters have a very loud collective voice and GWR prioritise their needs over long distance passengers. The new IETs are no exception, with plenty of seats but no buffet, limited heavy luggage storage and space for only a handful of bikes. Perhaps its time that GWR Long Distance became a separate franchise, with strictly controlled pick-up/put-down at Reading and 9 car IETs reformatted to accommodate the needs of the long distance traveller? Then short distance GWR could squeeze extra seats into the 5 car sets (you donít need all those toilets!) and abolish the token trolley service
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rogerw
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« Reply #49 on: May 15, 2019, 08:14:22 pm »

The IETs were specified by DfT and were a condition of the franchise.  The later ones, although ordered by GWR still had to be approved by DfT and I suspect that it was significantly cheaper to stick with existing designs.  Does anyone at Dft actually know what a surfboard is?
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MarkHopwood
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« Reply #50 on: May 15, 2019, 09:57:49 pm »

There are a number of practical reasons why train length cannot exceed 9 or 10 cars and the pressing need from customers is for more seats. Other contributors have commented on the wasted space in HST power cars.

Other posts here make less flattering comments about short distance journeys on InterCity trains - the market has developed that way thanks to differing levels of economic growth and national house building strategy. Itís not for us at GWR to change that but the IET trains clearly had to meet a variety of customer needs including very clear expectations from customers, stakeholders and government they would bring an increase in capacity.
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mjray
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« Reply #51 on: May 16, 2019, 01:28:53 pm »

Perhaps its time that GWR Long Distance became a separate franchise,
Didn't we already try that? I remember the days of GWR being the Intercity operator and suffering Thames Trains, Wales & West, Valley Lines and who remembers what else?
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grahame
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« Reply #52 on: May 16, 2019, 01:56:46 pm »

Perhaps its time that GWR Long Distance became a separate franchise,
Didn't we already try that? I remember the days of GWR being the Intercity operator and suffering Thames Trains, Wales & West, Valley Lines and who remembers what else?

Good and bad ...

* When asking (FGW) staff at Swindon how to get to Melksham (a Wessex train) being directed to the Bath train with advise to take a bus from there ... when a TransWilts train (that name not in use in those days) was sitting the the bay, running 5 times a day, and due out about 10 minutes later. These days - eventually - a much better service an a much better attitude towards it.

* Direct trains Chippenham and Swindon to Oxford - sadly missed. As are the middle of the night Maesteg to Waterloo via Chippenham service, and that direct Stockport to Bradford-on-Avon service I once took, though neither would have the same business or political case these days with Eurostar moved from Waterloo to St Pancras.

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jamestheredengine
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« Reply #53 on: May 16, 2019, 02:17:52 pm »

Perhaps its time that GWR Long Distance became a separate franchise,
Didn't we already try that? I remember the days of GWR being the Intercity operator and suffering Thames Trains, Wales & West, Valley Lines and who remembers what else?
The problem was that the split was in the wrong place. Alphaline services generally belonged in Intercity.
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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #54 on: May 16, 2019, 08:37:38 pm »

The IETs were specified by DfT and were a condition of the franchise.

I think what's most frustrating is that although the IET layouts were specified by DfT, the day-to-day usage of bike and luggage spaces wasn't - that's entirely at GWR's discretion.

GWR have chosen a "one size fits all" policy where the same rules apply to every train, whatever service it's working, whatever time of year. No surfboards for Cornwall. No extra bike allocation for the Cotswolds, where we've been reduced from 6 bikes per 180 to 2 per 5-coach IET. And so on. In an age of train-by-train yield management, it should be possible to do better than that.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 09:30:00 am by Richard Fairhurst » Logged
Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #55 on: May 17, 2019, 12:43:38 am »

MarkHopwood, I welcome your previous post on this topic - thank you for contributing! - but are you able to expand your comments in response to the particular point raised by Richard Fairhurst above?

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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
PhilWakely
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« Reply #56 on: May 17, 2019, 07:25:40 am »

The IETs were specified by DfT and were a condition of the franchise.

I think what's most frustrating is that although the IET layouts were specified by DfT, the day-to-day usage of bike and luggage spaces wasn't - that's entirely at GWR's discretion.

GWR have chosen a "one size fits all" policy where the same rules apply to every train, whatever service it's working, whatever time of year. No surfboards for Cornwall. No extra bike allocation for the Cotswolds. And so on. In an age of train-by-train yield management, it should be possible to do better than that.

My impression is that the GWR IET was designed as a middle-distance commuter (eg Bristol to London and all points in between) train with the longer distance traveller ignored.
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broadgage
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« Reply #57 on: May 17, 2019, 12:45:09 pm »

Indeed, years ago I expressed the view that the IETs were basically a commuter train and unsuited to inter-city use.
IET supporters disagreed and some pointed out that IETs were intended for the shorter journeys, with HSTs being retained for Cornish services.

Then it was announced that no HSTs were being retained and all long distance services were to be downgraded to DMUs.

IET supporters then rallied with the suggestion that the additional IETs for the Cornish services "could" be to a better specification, including more luggage space, and "might" include a buffet.
I replied that this seemed unlikely, to which advocates of the new DMUs stated that I should not be so negative "before any of us have even seen any of the follow on order".

In fact of course the additional units were of the same commuter style.

And whilst I have not yet seen every example of the IET fleet, I can state that none of them have buffets.
Toilets are unreliable.
Seat reservations seldom work.
Seat are too hard.
Single 5 car formations are a frequent feature, over a dozen yesterday.
The catering downgrade has been a fiasco, with the trolley often either entirely absent, or hiding in first class, or in the other unit of a 5+5 train.
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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 is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
Henry
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« Reply #58 on: May 17, 2019, 02:26:45 pm »

''Indeed, years ago I expressed the view that the IETs were basically a commuter train and unsuited to inter-city use.
IET supporters disagreed and some pointed out that IETs were intended for the shorter journeys, with HSTs being retained for Cornish services.''

 Totally agree with broadgage, I had the same opinion of Cross-Country Voyager's when they were introduced. Ironic that XC
 are running converted HST's.
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eXPassenger
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« Reply #59 on: May 17, 2019, 04:59:09 pm »

Quote
And whilst I have not yet seen every example of the IET fleet, I can state that none of them have buffets.
Toilets are unreliable.
Seat reservations seldom work.
Seat are too hard.
Single 5 car formations are a frequent feature, over a dozen yesterday.
The catering downgrade has been a fiasco, with the trolley often either entirely absent, or hiding in first class, or in the other unit of a 5+5 train.

Yesterday the 9:00 Temple Meads to Paddington was 2x5.  No trolley in front portion and a garbled announcement that the static trolley was in coach B in the rear portion.  No seat reservations and no announcements of that fact.  No sign of any GWR staff all journey.

Return 20:45.  Paper seat reservations, no sign of any trolley and train manager checked tickets after Swindon.

Seats Yatton Temple Meads and return FAR more comfortable than the IETs.
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