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Author Topic: More overcrowding on Cross Country Voyagers while HSTs sit in store  (Read 880 times)
grahame
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« on: October 26, 2019, 06:09:21 am »

Last night ... I travelled up to the Midlands for a meeting today ... at which I'll be talking a bit (never mind that!). What a silly situation.  4 and 5 car trains routiely rammed while 8 car trains sit stored at Long Marston and Ely.  Just sayin'. And I'll be talking a bit about Twitter (and Facebook) so will be using this post as a demonstration of linking from @CoffeeShopCRP to other articles such as the forum.

I understand there's nothing unusual about CrossCountry trains being this full.







To add from my experience:

"Seat Reservation Lotto". In the carriage I chose [very front of train - platform less crowded there at Bristol] almost every seat was marked as reserved.  Everyone piled in and grabbed "at random" and the unlucky of us got chucked out and had to stand to Cheltenham Spa.

Refreshment Trolley came through (struggle with the crowd) but refused to serve as she had to get off in Birmingham.

People got their luggage to their reserved seats in the middle of the carriage then found it has too big for the racks.
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Timmer
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2019, 07:25:44 am »

The very reason I donít go anywhere near XC services and pay the extra and go via London when heading North.

Problem is someone owns those HSTs currently stored so want some money for them. Arriva wonít pay so that leaves Dft who due to failure of the franchise system keep kicking the can of renewal of who operates the service down the road meaning no sign of any improvement to this wretched franchise.
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2019, 08:29:48 am »

Did Reading to Oxford yesterday morning on a Manchester train. Absolutely rammed four car. That full the the TM got off at Oxford to use the station toilet.
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2019, 09:06:36 am »

Did Reading to Oxford yesterday morning on a Manchester train. Absolutely rammed four car. That full the the TM got off at Oxford to use the station toilet.

Endemic problem.

The 16:30 to Cardiff sits at Birmingham New Street; full and rammed 3 carriages


The 17:12 Birmingham New Street to Plymouth yesterday, between Birmingham New Street and Cheltenham Spa


Other problems too ...

The 16:30 eventually left at 17:23 having awaited crew.

The 17:12 left at 17:29, following the Cardiff train.   Due at Cheltenham Spa at 17:50 for an 18:00 connecting rail replacement bus to Bristol Parkway, it got there at 18:16 - and there was no connecting bus until 19:00, reports someone I was travelling with (lady on her own with luggage - to be fair, they got her a taxi).    Due into Swindon at 18:36 but actually pulled in at 19:24 - I make that 48 minutes late.
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Rhydgaled
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2019, 08:39:18 pm »

Problem is someone owns those HSTs currently stored so want some money for them. Arriva wonít pay so that leaves Dft who due to failure of the franchise system keep kicking the can of renewal of who operates the service down the road meaning no sign of any improvement to this wretched franchise.
You forgot to mention also that those stored HSTs are well over 30 years old and not suitable for Persons of Reduced Mobility (PRM). The age of them makes the case for PRM modifications hard to make, especially given the delays XC, GWR and ScotRail are already facing with the existing HST PRM modification programme. Add to that the fact that trains which are already PRM compliant are due to become available in a few years time and adding any more IC125s to the PRM modification programme becomes a complete non-starter.

That all means that reviving the HSTs would mean going back on the 'promise' that all XC trains would be PRM compliant by the end of the year (that 'promise' has already been broken for other operators, but XC might have enough modified IC125s back from the works in time). Therefore it's politically difficult to bring those HST out of storage, and not solely a good news story. How do you weigh up the alternatives of:
  • Overcrowded but PRM compliant trains until class 222s and class 221s are cascaded from East Midlands and West Coast
  • Stop-gap trains not suitable for PRMs operating until replaced by the class 221s and 222s mentioned above
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Don't DOO it, keep the guard (but it probably wouldn't be a bad idea if the driver unlocked the doors on arrival at calling points).
Clan Line
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2019, 08:21:27 pm »

You forgot to mention also that those stored HSTs are well over 30 years old and not suitable for Persons of Reduced Mobility (PRM).

Sorry - but your explanation, above, is a classic example of common sense being steam-rollered into oblivion by a well-intentioned, but not a well thought-out law.
I would take a lot of convincing that the photos Grahame posted above are a better solution for a "Person of Reduced Mobility" than an 8 car non PRM train - which might at least have a free seat here and there ! 
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bignosemac
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2019, 09:36:32 pm »

The rail industry has had plenty of time to get its house in order with regard to accessibility legislation and capacity.

Bringing back unmodified rolling stock is not the answer. Derogations should only be used for rolling stock that is currently in service. And then used as sparingly as possible.

Transpennine Express learnt to their cost that bringing back Mk3s with slam doors and no accessibility modifications was a non-starter. After an outcry at their plans to deny boarding for the disabled to the unmodified stock, forcing them to wait for an accessible train (or hope an accessible taxi could be sourced), TPE rightly ditched the plan.

When a train turns up the disabled should be able to board it just as an abled bodied person can. That's equality. Increasing the amount of inaccessible rolling stock on the network should not be considered.
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Clan Line
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2019, 10:43:26 pm »

When a train turns up the disabled should be able to board it just as an abled bodied person can. That's equality.

That magic, meaningless word "should" !     Totally agree, Mac................but, are you honestly saying that disabled persons trying to board the trains pictured in this thread are getting equal treatment to the able bodied, because it is a PRM train ?? 

My daughter is disabled and is not capable of standing for more than a few minutes at a time.............she would not have attempted to even board the train shown - equality ?

Sorry, again - but this is the worst sort of box-ticking.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2019, 10:56:27 pm »

When a train turns up the disabled should be able to board it just as an abled bodied person can. That's equality.

That magic, meaningless word "should" !     Totally agree, Mac................but, are you honestly saying that disabled persons trying to board the trains pictured in this thread are getting equal treatment to the able bodied, because it is a PRM train ?? 

If a train is to busy for anyone to board then yes, that's equality. If the disabled spaces are already occupied (by disabled passengers - not luggage, not babes in buggy) then that means a wait for a later train. A busy train is a a busy train. But at least there's a chance for the able bodied to board and stand. Even with equality legislation there may be occasions when a disabled passenger is unable to board because the disabled area(s) is/are full.

Reintroducing non-compliant stock helps the able bodied. It does nothing for equality.
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Celestial
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« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2019, 09:57:03 am »

The rail industry has had plenty of time to get its house in order with regard to accessibility legislation and capacity.
 

I'd probably point most of the finger at the DfT.

Take East Midlands HST's as an example.  The outgoing franchise wasn't going to pay the leasing company to have its trains comply when its contract expired before the deadline.  The leasing company wasn't going to pay themselves without a guarantee of future work for the stock which would enable the cost to be recovered. And they wouldn't know that until the new franchise was appointed, but they probably had a shrewd idea what the answer would be.  And the new franchise was appointed too late to do anything about it by the deadline.  (But seems to be doing its best to be as compliant as possible.)   That's broadly the same for Wales, except with the added complication of the Welsh Government, and the transfer of responsibility from DfT to it.

Where contracts were let in plenty of time (eg Northern), they seem to have been let down by late delivery.  You could argue that they ought to have expected that, but again, I think they ordered the new stock pretty promptly on getting the franchise, so couldn't have done any more.

XC is in a different position.  All its stock is compliant (or will be?) - it's just woefully inadequate for both able bodied and disabled alike. DfT could have asked them to add on a few HSTs once they had been made compliant, but given how late the Scotrail project is running, it's doubtful that they would be in service much before the East Midlands trains become available, which I suspect will be the preferred option, as they will need a suitable home.
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broadgage
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« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2019, 12:43:07 pm »

Whilst an adequate supply of fully compliant rolling stock is clearly desirable in the long term, in the near term I feel that a "non compliant" HST with vacant seats is in practice of far more use to the disabled than is a grossly overcrowded short DMU as pictured.
A short term derogation for use of non compliant trains to ease gross overcrowding seems like a commonsense approach.


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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.
Clan Line
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« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2019, 10:08:23 pm »

Reintroducing non-compliant stock helps the able bodied. It does nothing for equality.

I think we are going to have to disagree on this one Mac.  Reintroducing non-compliant stock, if it has more seats/coaches will help every one - including the majority of Disabled. Just because someone is Disabled doesn't mean that they are confined to a wheelchair or something similar. The vast majority of registered Disabled are usually self mobile but very limited in that mobility. 

I referred to my daughter - she is disabled - by anyone's description. She doesn't need a special PRM train - just something that she can sit down in !!!  She can no longer manage to drive from Kent to Wiltshire so she uses the train - usually she gets extremely helpful assistance from staff and other passengers - to say that she can wait for a later (PRM) train is bordering on insulting to her and many others who are similarly disabled.........................
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bignosemac
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« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 12:38:24 am »

And the wheelchair user who turns up for their XC train at xx o'clock and finds they can't board?

Majority rules eh? That's precisely why we have equality legislation. So that a minority is not denied access to services.

The DfT rightly set a precedent when they stopped the Transpennine Express plans to use non-conpliant rolling stock. It's not going to happen with CrossCountry.
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Celestial
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« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 10:49:20 am »

And the wheelchair user who turns up for their XC train at xx o'clock and finds they can't board?


I'm (genuinely) a bit puzzled by this.  Wheelchair users have been using HST's for years.  If they run on services where there is assistance on station platforms (which I'm guessing would be the majority of stations for XC), why couldn't they board?  Even most modern trains are not level with platforms (although I've read that the new ones in East Anglia are, which makes me wonder why it isn't a requirement for new stock), so some assistance is needed in getting on and off come what may.

   
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 11:28:43 am »

Good point.  Itís other areas where they are not compliant isnít it?  Slam doors, toilets that flush onto the track, etc.
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