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Author Topic: GWR bans surfboards from IET services  (Read 9505 times)
TonyK
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« Reply #60 on: May 17, 2019, 07:41:07 pm »

If the surfboard were a fare-paying passenger, that would be a fair point. Maybe if GWR were to sell tickets for surfboards, double basses, bicycles, outsize prams, and dogs it would have more interest in providing a service to such customers.

Not Finn, obviously.

Back in 1977, I practically moved house from Blackpool to Bristol by train. Not that I had a great deal of kit, but two rucksacks, a suitcase and a 6-piece stereo system with quite large speakers was a bit of a task. I would have found it nigh impossible but for only having to change at Birmingham New Street, now an option once more, and the assistance of some rather festive Jollies en route to the Indian Ocean via Plymouth, who helped me transfer the stuff from one train to another, and detrained it at Bristol Temple Meads. The worst bit was getting it from Temple Meads to my then pokey little bedsit in Cotham, without the price of a taxi in my pocket. It would have been easier had it not been a Sunday, at a time when Redland trains didn't run. I did it by 100 metre or so leapfrogs. To my advantage, Carolina House in Kingsdown was at that time open to the public, rather than the current door entry system now in place, so I went in on the ground floor and took the lift to the 8th or 9th, thus saving the schlep up Ninetree Hill.

I'm not proud of it, and won't be doing it again in a hurry.
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grahame
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« Reply #61 on: May 17, 2019, 08:32:44 pm »

I believe this is a notice on display at Paddington - heavily photoshopped to make the text easily readable.

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TonyK
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« Reply #62 on: May 17, 2019, 09:14:57 pm »

I believe this is a notice on display at Paddington - heavily photoshopped to make the text easily readable.



So no problem then. Ryanair stopped carrying surfboards without an extra fee from London (-ish) Stansted some years ago. I believe that surfboards can be rented in Newquay, and there will be fewer comedy incidents with passengers getting whacked around the head without them. Someone must be able to invent a folding surfboard.

Frankly, I see the railway as a service to passengers, not London-based surfers.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #63 on: May 17, 2019, 09:23:56 pm »

If the surfboard were a fare-paying passenger, that would be a fair point. Maybe if GWR were to sell tickets for surfboards, double basses, bicycles, outsize prams, and dogs it would have more interest in providing a service to such customers.

Not Finn, obviously.

Back in 1977, I practically moved house from Blackpool to Bristol by train. Not that I had a great deal of kit, but two rucksacks, a suitcase and a 6-piece stereo system with quite large speakers was a bit of a task. I would have found it nigh impossible but for only having to change at Birmingham New Street, now an option once more, and the assistance of some rather festive Jollies en route to the Indian Ocean via Plymouth, who helped me transfer the stuff from one train to another, and detrained it at Bristol Temple Meads. The worst bit was getting it from Temple Meads to my then pokey little bedsit in Cotham, without the price of a taxi in my pocket. It would have been easier had it not been a Sunday, at a time when Redland trains didn't run. I did it by 100 metre or so leapfrogs. To my advantage, Carolina House in Kingsdown was at that time open to the public, rather than the current door entry system now in place, so I went in on the ground floor and took the lift to the 8th or 9th, thus saving the schlep up Ninetree Hill.

I'm not proud of it, and won't be doing it again in a hurry.
If you'd had a surfboard, you could have put all the other stuff on it and used it as a sledge.  Grin Though it might just have slid back down Ninetree Hill... (and quite likely broken the surfboard).
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Kernowman
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« Reply #64 on: May 20, 2019, 01:48:00 am »

Frankly, I see the railway as a service to passengers, not London-based surfers.

Indeed that just about sums it up! Some groups / sections of society are seen as 'passengers' by GWR and other groups / sections are not!

But this situation isn't just about surfers, the way this new 'rule' has been seemingly secretly rolled out without planning or consultation, despite the fact that there is a clear demand for surfboard accommodation, should be a warning to us all.

It may be surfers affected today but tomorrow will it be, for example:

Cyclists

those wishing to purchase food/drink

those requiring an accessible toilet

the list could go on.

Once you say the railway is for this type of passenger but not that type of passenger it can be a slippery slope..

In his post on this thread Mark Hopwood mentions the increased seating capacity of the IETs, and of course this is very welcome, but in their current format, I'm not sure that IETs are suitable, particularly for the longer-distance InterCity routes. What is also important, for any company, is to listen to customers and their concerns, or suffer the fallout/bad press etc from not doing so. In this case will GWR listen and act, only time will tell I guess?

KM
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ellendune
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« Reply #65 on: May 20, 2019, 07:40:02 am »

But this situation isn't just about surfers, the way this new 'rule' has been seemingly secretly rolled out without planning or consultation, despite the fact that there is a clear demand for surfboard accommodation, should be a warning to us all.

A clear demand on how many services in a year? If money had to be spent to make this provision how much would it subsidise each surf board user? Or would the charge to pay for it, remove the demand?

It may be surfers affected today but tomorrow will it be, for example:

Cyclists

those wishing to purchase food/drink

those requiring an accessible toilet

the list could go on.

Now this is just getting silly.  The accessible toilet is required by law (provided toilets are provided at all).    
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mjray
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« Reply #66 on: May 20, 2019, 11:05:18 am »

But this situation isn't just about surfers, the way this new 'rule' has been seemingly secretly rolled out without planning or consultation, despite the fact that there is a clear demand for surfboard accommodation, should be a warning to us all.

A clear demand on how many services in a year? If money had to be spent to make this provision how much would it subsidise each surf board user? Or would the charge to pay for it, remove the demand?
Why does it matter how many services? And is money needed because aren't the large luggage spaces intended to facilitate carriage of such, well, large luggage?

Do we really want to try charging to force the remaining surfers off the railways and onto the motorways?
Now this is just getting silly.  The accessible toilet is required by law (provided toilets are provided at all).    
Good luck enforcing that sort of law. It now seems like you pretty much have to beg a regulator or charity to support your case. If they get away with this, I suspect they could drop any feature by stealth and it would take months to years to restore the ones required by law, by which time most who need them would have had to find alternatives... but that is getting a bit off-topic here.
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grahame
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« Reply #67 on: May 21, 2019, 11:23:42 am »

Difficult call as to how much or how little should be done to handle the more specialist travel requirements - the tradeoff between commercial operation and customer need, the questions as to how much subsidy and cross-subsidy there should be, and whether resources need to be put in for occasional peaks.

As a matter of interest, I followed up by looking at the schedules for the London to Newquay services that remain available for those with Surfboards (night sleeper train connecting to local). See attachments to this post. A daily service; London to Newquay connection is awful with a 2 and a half hour wait at Par.  On the way back, it's a 30 minute connection.

Has anyone suggested Waterloo - Exeter - local train onwards yet?  How are SWR with surfboards?
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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #68 on: May 21, 2019, 03:53:21 pm »

Since GWR halved thirded bike capacity, I've taken to using my folding bike in most cases - I'm lucky to have a really lovely one (a Bike Friday from Oregon) which rides almost like a proper bike.

So I was about to make a glib comment here about folding surfboards. But it turns out they actually exist...

https://www.surfertoday.com/surfing/the-fantastic-world-of-collapsible-surfboards
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« Reply #69 on: May 21, 2019, 04:39:41 pm »


 Slightly off subject, Dartington have their annual music festival soon.

 So I assume a double bass will also have the same prohibition as a surf-board.
 
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #70 on: May 21, 2019, 06:25:49 pm »

Surely it would be possible during Boardmasters to have say 2 or 3 trains a day to/from Paddington where a limited number of surfboards are carried (reservation only basis) in preference to bikes? Or even run a relief service? It's only one weekend a year for goodness sake, surely there's room for even GWR to use a bit of intelligence & compromise?
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #71 on: May 21, 2019, 06:47:44 pm »

Surely it would be possible during Boardmasters to have say 2 or 3 trains a day to/from Paddington where a limited number of surfboards are carried (reservation only basis) in preference to bikes? Or even run a relief service? It's only one weekend a year for goodness sake, surely there's room for even GWR to use a bit of intelligence & compromise?

Or <shock horror mode> utilise a couple of the spare 2+8 HST sets still around! </shock horror mode>
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Timmer
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« Reply #72 on: May 21, 2019, 07:13:03 pm »

Surely it would be possible during Boardmasters to have say 2 or 3 trains a day to/from Paddington where a limited number of surfboards are carried (reservation only basis) in preference to bikes? Or even run a relief service? It's only one weekend a year for goodness sake, surely there's room for even GWR to use a bit of intelligence & compromise?
I would like to think GWR already have a plan for when Boardmasters take place bearing in mind they do run extra services for the event. We shall see.
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« Reply #73 on: May 21, 2019, 08:36:58 pm »

French trains are bigger than ours, so you'd expect there to be no problem in taking surfboards and skis on TGVs. So I thought I'd have a look - and apparently that's not so. It isn't 100% clear, as in some places SNCF say there are no limits on bagages. But of course that may not include things that have names of their own.

Where there is a size limit given, it's for all planches nautiques, and it's 1.2 x 0.9m and in a carrying bag. On the other hand, there's a general expectation for trains that if you can carry it on it'll be OK - and advice from surfers to get it on board and flat on a rack without making it obvious, and hope to get away with it. The cheaper Ouigo trains have quite strict luggage limits. I suspect there's a bit of history between SNCF and surfers - I came across a page describing a new card for kids and specially adapted trains for going surfing ... and the the bottom it said poisson d'Avril.

For comparison, skis are allowed, with no length limit, and unfolded bikes are now by reservation only at €10 each. SNCF push their luggage in advance service, at €80 (for three dimensions adding to 3m or less), and in one place quote a penalty charge of €174 for oversize items on trains.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #74 on: May 21, 2019, 08:44:56 pm »


 Slightly off subject, Dartington have their annual music festival soon.

 So I assume a double bass will also have the same prohibition as a surf-board.
 
As a double bass is larger than a surfboard (not as long/tall but much "deeper" pun not intended) and more fragile, I doubt many try it. I know that when bassists and cellists fly, they usually book another seat for their instrument rather than entrust it to the hold.
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