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Author Topic: How a 15 minute delay causes a 75 minute late arrival  (Read 2955 times)
grahame
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« on: November 23, 2019, 09:21:09 am »

09:18 Melksham to Taunton, change at Westbury and Castle Cary ... due into Taunton at 10:49 for an 11:15 (TWSW board) meeting.  Connection at Castle Cary looked like it was going to miss as the train from Westbury was expected to be about quarter of an hour late.  Advise from one staff member at Westbury was that the connecting train was also running late and the connection should make.  However, the train manager of the Yeovil train was actively telling people headed west to travel via Bristol, and I took that advise arriving into Taunton just after midday.

Watching the display screen at Westbury (the "almost open train times" display) confirmed the advise I took to travel via Bristol was correct, and the train manager on the delayed train had assured my that I would be OK doing this, even though overall my final route was not one permitted by the routing guide.

Ho hum ... delay repay submitted, more in principle than anything. The more people who claim, the more the rail industry takes note of reliabiity of connections?  No train over the 15 minute late hurdle in itself, and yet my overall delay was 75 minutes.



Asides ...

a) Yes, I could have planned defensive scheduling and caught the previous train which would have been 06:38 rather than 09:18.

b) Notable absence of anyone to offer advise at Westbury - lots of customers, noone doing customer care.  Enquiry desk unstaffed.

c) For long distance trains, a two hour frequency may be adequate.  For shorter journeys, any connection failure adds a disproportionate time to the journey. We really need a revision (even from what starts in December) between Westbury and Taunton - up to hourly and sorted out in associaition with the Bedwyns.  We also need something between the 06:38 and 09:18 from Melksham (06:36 and 09:09 from December)

d) The 10:10 (scheduled) 10:21 (actual) Westbury to Bristol train was hideously overcrowded ... see picture.  Looking forward to 5 car trains promised with the new timetable, except I sense that the promise has been overtaken and the new promise is "next spring or summer" and it's now "most" not "all" services increasing to 5 cars.

e) Just a reminder - Repayment of a fare does not compensate for consequences such as a missed meeting ... as it happens, I know the group well and walking in 45 minutes late (which followed a messaged apology) was AOK.  Today I have a meeting in Birmingham - on my way to be there well ahead of time and I'll find somewhere to get a coffee while I wait.



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broadgage
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2019, 02:28:13 pm »

O/T I know, but in the second photo in the post preceding this, what does the red light above the door signify ?
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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.
Celestial
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2019, 03:18:23 pm »


a) Yes, I could have planned defensive scheduling and caught the previous train which would have been 06:38 rather than 09:18.


Another reason why more frequent trains are better?  Catching a train 2 hr 40mins earlier would be just stupid, unless you had an appointment so important that you couldn't possibly miss it (flight to Australia, wedding, funeral, ticket for the Wimbledon finals etc). But if the previous train is 1 hr before, or even better 30 mins before, then it becomes a much more sensible option.

I'm sure there are a lot of people who, without a sensible defensive scheduling choice, simply decide that it's not worth the risk if they can drive instead.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2019, 03:24:08 pm »

O/T I know, but in the second photo in the post preceding this, what does the red light above the door signify ?

Looks like reflection from a signal to me
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2019, 04:13:47 pm »

O/T I know, but in the second photo in the post preceding this, what does the red light above the door signify ?

Looks like reflection from a signal to me

Toilet our of order  Grin



Edit to add highly zoomed picture
« Last Edit: November 23, 2019, 05:30:07 pm by grahame » Logged

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broadgage
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2019, 06:03:25 pm »

Thanks for that info.
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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.
grahame
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2019, 07:01:49 pm »


a) Yes, I could have planned defensive scheduling and caught the previous train which would have been 06:38 rather than 09:18.


Another reason why more frequent trains are better?  Catching a train 2 hr 40mins earlier would be just stupid, unless you had an appointment so important that you couldn't possibly miss it (flight to Australia, wedding, funeral, ticket for the Wimbledon finals etc). But if the previous train is 1 hr before, or even better 30 mins before, then it becomes a much more sensible option.

I'm sure there are a lot of people who, without a sensible defensive scheduling choice, simply decide that it's not worth the risk if they can drive instead.

The problem of using long distance trains for short distance journeys!  Perhaps I am "just stupid" sometimes ... but today (for a 1 p.m. meeting) I arrived in Birmingham shortly around 10:30, then grabbed a coffee and burger and worked on my laptop. No huge difference whether I do work at home or near-destination and in risk assessing today, I judged that a failure to be on time would be "very embarrassing" whereas yesterdays was "friends will understand if it goes pear shaped".

I know my setup is an unusual one. 

Yes, for a journey of an hour and a half, an inter service gap of over 150 minutes is nuts!
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Reading General
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2019, 08:02:33 pm »

I think, if it can be accommodated, an hourly service (extension of the Bedwyn?) will make a world of difference to communities along the line. Much as the new timetable favours london, I don't think the lesser services are asking for much of an improvement to make them usable, an hourly clockface timetable makes the world of difference. From the point of view of Newbury, an hourly service West to Westbury and Taunton would open up a world of opportunity, even if a wait was required somewhere. Make the connection viable and people will decide to use the train.
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grahame
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« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2019, 10:09:58 am »

I bought my tickets from GWR's web site and collected them from a GWR station, which I left of a GWR train intending to arrive in Taunton on another GWR train after a couple of changes. But I was 75 minutes late in arriving, so put in a delay repay claim.

It has been rejected.  (That's the headline in their email)

However, GWR do get two marks out of three.

Firstly, the response was good and prompt.

Secondly, it's not an outright "you have no claim" but rather to tell me that the train that was late and caused the connection failure was run by SWR and so my claim should be against them - with a note that they have passed it on.

As a "normal" customer (members may dispute that), I'm not particularly worried about who's running my individual (and intermediate) train in a series - I don't say "I am catching the GWR train" but "I am catching the train", and really the rail industry should have a pooled scheme.   Somewhat there with GWR passing this one on, by "REJECTED" - not really ... "PASSED ON" and you will hear from XXXX better.  "We are checking with other train operators involved and we will let you know when we hear from them" would be best.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2019, 12:36:07 pm »

I arrived in Birmingham shortly around 10:30, then grabbed a coffee...

Just a point of order Graham - why do you keep on grabbing these coffees? Wouldn't it be more polite to just buy one like everybody else? Wink
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Celestial
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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2019, 01:46:07 pm »

In this enlightened day and age, I'm just glad it's only coffees that grahame is grabbing.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2019, 07:12:00 pm »

In this enlightened day and age, I'm just glad it's only coffees that grahame is grabbing.

Read his post again. He grabbed a burger as well. Some friendly advice Graham - be careful if you visit Calais...
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grahame
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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2019, 08:09:13 pm »

Just a point of order Graham - why do you keep on grabbing these coffees? Wouldn't it be more polite to just buy one like everybody else? Wink

They are indeed bought - however a failure to grab in addition to buying would leave the counter cluttered and not be sustainable for the outlet from which the buying was done.

For those not familiar with grabbing a cup of coffee:

You'll have to imagine the coffee, mind, as the only mug to hand when I did the photos had already been emptied
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grahame
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« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2019, 06:06:44 am »

Approved by SWR ... good.  Thank you.  And only from a Friday event to Tuesday to enter with GWR, be rejected by them but pass on to SWR, an have them approve it. Will watch for a BACS repayment fairly soon. 

I have to wonder at the cost both to the rail industry, and to the claimant in their time.  If I was considering making a claim on behalf of my business, paying myself a minimum wage for the time spent doing the "paper"work, my decision might be to take a pragmatic view and not claim.  A good reason for a business to NOT let something go even if it net costs money is to avoid a precedent of someone "taking advantage" being set, but in this case I don't see that would be likely for a single claimant company; that confirms the pragmatic decision.  And I also wonder how the finances of the consequence of being delayed on the individual compare to the amount paid back.

But it is a far better process (in my limited experience so far) than I anticipated.
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