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Author Topic: Christmas travel Tsar appointed  (Read 1366 times)
TaplowGreen
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« on: November 28, 2020, 04:56:17 pm »

.....to avoid overcrowding over the festive season - well there's a novelty!

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/nov/28/christmas-travel-tsar-appointed-covid-sir-peter-hendy
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bobm
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2020, 05:32:51 pm »

Sir Peter Hendy, the chairman of Network Rail, is as good a choice as any.  Along with Andrew Haines, he has impressed me when I have heard him speak and had the opportunity to talk to him. 
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Western Pathfinder
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2020, 10:06:22 pm »

Seconded Bob ,and a throughly decent chap,best man for the job,only hope it doesn't come back to bite him.
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broadgage
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2020, 05:45:56 am »

What in fact can the Christmas travel tsar do to prevent overcrowding on the railways ?

Force the TOCs (Train Operating Company) to run longer trains ? Seems unlikely as we are regularly told that no spare rolling stock* exists and that obtaining extra stock for rare events like Christmas, Easter, bank holidays, school holidays, major sporting events, is not viable.

Force the TOCs to run more trains ? Seems unlikely as firstly we are routinely told that this takes months to arrange, and secondly GWR (Great Western Railway) and others are struggling to run the existing service.

Or perhaps restrict sales of discounted tickets as these encourage greater numbers. Seems unlikely as very unpopular.

Or simply ask people to drive or fly instead, and forget the climate emergency.

*there might be a few HSTs (High Speed Train), but these are now illegal, outmoded, non compliant, and cant be used. The scrapping programe has been accelerated though, just in case.
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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 (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
grahame
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2020, 07:46:24 am »

What in fact can the Christmas travel tsar do to prevent overcrowding on the railways ?

He can be a sane, none-political voice reminding people of the alternative of not meeting up at Christmas this year.
He can ask that 9 or 10 car rather that 5 car IETs (Intercity Express Train) are run (I understand there ARE spare sets at Old Oak at present with no super-fsats in the timetable).
He might be able to pull together elements of the orange army to act as journey makers / help ensure that people remember to social distance and wear masks, and to re-assure occassional travellers. 
He may even manage to pull some sort of cat out of the bag - other thinking that we say "gosh, I hadn't thought of that - how clever" but at this short notice. 
But those things which involve extra staff on duty would be far from popular with those extra staff.

From the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page)

Quote
Travelling at Christmas: What you need to know

As is standard every year, there are no train services running on Christmas Day and only a very limited number of services running on a small number of routes on Boxing Day.

But for the days passengers can travel, they are being urged to book ahead and avoid busy times due to the combination of reduced capacity and the limited travel window. And some operators will prevent passengers from boarding without a pre-booked ticket.

There have already been reports of advance tickets selling out or going for exorbitant prices.

Our poll at http://www.passenger.chat/24273 gives us a tiny, statistically flawed window into whether members will choose to travel.  And in very rough terms, only 1 in 10 will be travelling.  1 in 5 will NOT be travelling this year though they normlly to and 1 in 5 are not yet decided. It might be helpful if most of that one in 5, maybe extended to the general population, say "let's keep family safe this year and travel only on Zoom for Christmas".  Those of us who have seen the passing of several rail campaigners from Covid, the severe illness of others close by, and the general mortality waekness of others may be disinclined to go too far, and perhaps we may have a message - not anti-bus, anti-train or pro-car, but "do you really need to get together in person this year?". A keep safe, "don't risk grandad" message.   I have written more "obits" in the last six months than I have in the last six years, and I do not want to start 2021 with a further series.
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2020, 07:52:04 am »

Lets hope the Travel Tsar does not encounter too many Rasputin's
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2020, 08:25:12 am »

What in fact can the Christmas travel tsar do to prevent overcrowding on the railways ?

He can be a sane, none-political voice reminding people of the alternative of not meeting up at Christmas this year.
He can ask that 9 or 10 car rather that 5 car IETs (Intercity Express Train) are run (I understand there ARE spare sets at Old Oak at present with no super-fsats in the timetable).
He might be able to pull together elements of the orange army to act as journey makers / help ensure that people remember to social distance and wear masks, and to re-assure occassional travellers. 
He may even manage to pull some sort of cat out of the bag - other thinking that we say "gosh, I hadn't thought of that - how clever" but at this short notice. 
But those things which involve extra staff on duty would be far from popular with those extra staff.

From the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page)

Quote
Travelling at Christmas: What you need to know

As is standard every year, there are no train services running on Christmas Day and only a very limited number of services running on a small number of routes on Boxing Day.

But for the days passengers can travel, they are being urged to book ahead and avoid busy times due to the combination of reduced capacity and the limited travel window. And some operators will prevent passengers from boarding without a pre-booked ticket.

There have already been reports of advance tickets selling out or going for exorbitant prices.

Our poll at http://www.passenger.chat/24273 gives us a tiny, statistically flawed window into whether members will choose to travel.  And in very rough terms, only 1 in 10 will be travelling.  1 in 5 will NOT be travelling this year though they normlly to and 1 in 5 are not yet decided. It might be helpful if most of that one in 5, maybe extended to the general population, say "let's keep family safe this year and travel only on Zoom for Christmas".  Those of us who have seen the passing of several rail campaigners from Covid, the severe illness of others close by, and the general mortality waekness of others may be disinclined to go too far, and perhaps we may have a message - not anti-bus, anti-train or pro-car, but "do you really need to get together in person this year?". A keep safe, "don't risk grandad" message.   I have written more "obits" in the last six months than I have in the last six years, and I do not want to start 2021 with a further series.

This is a perfect example of an organisation only acting on a longstanding situation because it has to.

Horrendous and dangerous Christmas (and Easter) overcrowding has been a chronic situation for 20+ years now, and the railways have largely done zip about it, because the money kept rolling in, so why worry about the customers?

Now the coronavirus dynamic means they have to - who knows, perhaps this will catalyse a longer term solution, and a more proactive attitude - perhaps someone of Hendy's gravitas can point out lessons for the future, given that the railways may have to work harder for their customers - the coronavirus situation generally is shaking a few people, and industries, out of a comfortable and complacent lethargy.

Running some longer distance Boxing Day trains would seem an obvious solution

I feel for the staff who may now have to work a few hours more over Christmas. I am sure those in the NHS and elsewhere will empathise.
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2020, 12:13:47 pm »

I have a large jar of "why-nots" in the fridge ... of the moment, a silly idea

Where lines are not tied up with engineering works, offer train services on 26th December and on 25th December. For 2020, when it would be really good to encourage people not to STAY away but visit for the day, extend the validity of single tickets to include a return journey on the same day.  Even set up a monthly Saturday and a Monthly Sunday right through to May where you make the same fare offer - "no need to go at Christmas - there are 10 more opportunities".

I will put my body armour on, prepared for all the "why-not" bullets about to fly my way.
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2020, 12:26:59 pm »

Will he be adopting a new name for the role? I suggest Melchior, Caspar or Balthazar. Best avoid Herod.
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