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Author Topic: Priority Boarding Trial at Paddington - August 2021  (Read 3289 times)
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #30 on: August 09, 2021, 11:57:57 am »

All this talk of priority boarding, of sunflower lanyards, of "baby on board" badges, and no doubt other schemes is all trying very hard not to admit that there is an underlying problem with new shorter trains.

I doubt anyone on here is surprised you've drawn that conclusion.

But a few facts to counter your suppositions:

1)  19 of the 20 trains selected for the trial are booked for either 9 or 10 car DMUs (Diesel Multiple Unit), which of course have around 20% more seats than the previous DMUs that operated them.
2)  Those 19 are all allocated 9 or 10-car trains as planned today.  It is of course possible that some unplanned shortforms will happen on occasions, but not today at least.
3)  The trial covers two trains per hour, at half hourly intervals, and includes all of the trains from Paddington to the West of England bar one between 09:04 and 19:04, with additional Bristol trains on the hours when there is no second departure to the WoE (at 11:32, 13:32 and 15:32).  I expect those Bristol trains have been chosen because it would be difficult for the team doing the trial to deal with departures that were not evenly spaced every 30 minutes or so, and not because the 13:32 to Bristol is a particularly busy train.  The slightly odd omission from the list is the 17:36 to Plymouth, also booked for a 9-car.
4)  The one train booked for a 5-car half-length train is the 11:32 Paddington to Bristol service.  That's currently running to Bristol Parkway rather than Temple Meads, so I will check to see what formation it is booked for when it resumes to the normal timetable.

Oh, and I find sunflower lanyards very useful in giving me a visual alert that a passenger might need more assistance than is typically the case.  It's a national scheme, not specific to the railways, and certainly not dreamt up by GWR (Great Western Railway) to try to cover up for half-length trains.
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« Reply #31 on: August 09, 2021, 04:54:35 pm »

I am well aware that almost all of the trains in the priority boarding scheme are BOOKED to be full length, but being booked to be full length is not the same as actually being full length.
On at least one recent day, the 18-04 was half length, and that tends to be a very busy train.

It only takes one vociferous disabled passenger to be left behind due to crowding, to result in considerable adverse publicity.

"Priority boarding" diverts attention from the underlying fact that for various reasons, that the new trains are not reliably full length.
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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.
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« Reply #32 on: August 09, 2021, 06:05:00 pm »

Priority boarding for disabled passengers has been available for decades, Broadgage.
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broadgage
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« Reply #33 on: August 09, 2021, 08:21:45 pm »

Priority boarding for disabled passengers has been available for decades, Broadgage.

I know, but this scheme seems to be something different, on a larger scale ? or being more actively encouraged ? Or perhaps not just for the disabled but also for oversized baby carriages, excessive luggage, and multiple children.
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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.
Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #34 on: August 09, 2021, 09:37:26 pm »

I did think the same but the scheme for disabled passengers is called (at least officially) Passenger Assist.
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« Reply #35 on: August 09, 2021, 09:51:17 pm »

Priority boarding for disabled passengers has been available for decades, Broadgage.

I know, but this scheme seems to be something different, on a larger scale ? or being more actively encouraged ? Or perhaps not just for the disabled but also for oversized baby carriages, excessive luggage, and multiple children.
Yes, it’s pretty clear from what I can see.  It’s for those people who might otherwise struggle a little.  

After all, if you have luggage, babies, kids or other things that might slow you down then if you are able to board early and beat the rush of fully able and/or unencumbered passengers, then it will likely be a far less stressful experience for you.

It’s also more likely you’ll be able to properly stow you luggage, fold the baby carriage and so on.

Or perhaps you have a temporary issue such as a leg in plaster.  Or the last time you travelled you had somebody who’d beaten you to your reserved seat who refused to move.  Or you just generally suffer from anxiety and this will help relieve those worries.

Plenty of scenarios…all of which benefit from having an easier system that the current assisted travel arrangements.

I’m surprised at all the negativity.
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broadgage
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« Reply #36 on: August 09, 2021, 10:14:22 pm »

In my case, the principle reason for my negativity is that I fear that priority boarding will make it harder for ordinary fare payers to get a seat.
I consider it probable that some priority customers will take up more seats than they have paid for, for example young children travelling free but taking up a seat. Baby carriage taking up reserved cycle space. Luggage on seats etc.etc.
And of course the already minimal first class being taken up by a large entourage one of whom is in a wheelchair.
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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.
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« Reply #37 on: August 09, 2021, 10:32:10 pm »

I’m surprised at all the negativity.

That will at least in part stem from how it looks that GWR (Great Western Railway) appear to have put introducing a brand new scheme like this on its "priority list", ahead of sorting out the many other existing problems that currently impact its customers on a daily basis first.
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #38 on: August 09, 2021, 10:37:56 pm »

I’m surprised at all the negativity.

That will at least in part stem from how it looks that GWR (Great Western Railway) appear to have put introducing a brand new scheme like this on its "priority list", ahead of sorting out the many other existing problems that currently impact its customers on a daily basis first.

Before introducing Priority Boarding on services to the South West, GWR should first enforce the Reading 'pick up only' rule on all Friday afternoon services to Plymouth and Penzance.
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« Reply #39 on: August 09, 2021, 11:11:52 pm »

How much of a problem is that now there’s hardly any commuters?
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TonyK
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« Reply #40 on: August 10, 2021, 08:27:22 am »

Before introducing Priority Boarding on services to the South West, GWR (Great Western Railway) should first enforce the Reading 'pick up only' rule on all Friday afternoon services to Plymouth and Penzance.

I am sure they will welcome any workable ideas on how to do that.
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Now, please!
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« Reply #41 on: August 10, 2021, 08:49:30 am »

It’s workable with a modicum of platform planning and manpower. It’s doable if they actually wanted to enforce it.
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« Reply #42 on: August 10, 2021, 09:21:37 am »

Can barriers at London Paddington not be set to only let particular tickets through? I guess shared platforms is a problem but with some planning for particular trains surely this would be possible.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #43 on: August 10, 2021, 10:22:53 am »

Only for timings. If your ticket is otherwise valid for travel, but just not on that particular train, the barriers will operate. There’sca limit to the info that a mag strip on a paper ticket can carry.

So the answer would be to use unbarriered platfotms 8 & 9 and create an access that can be manually controlled as & when. And then to manually check tickets when necessary. They do this at Euston. But it takes willingness & manpower.
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Marlburian
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« Reply #44 on: August 10, 2021, 11:06:04 am »

Before introducing Priority Boarding on services to the South West, GWR (Great Western Railway) should first enforce the Reading 'pick up only' rule on all Friday afternoon services to Plymouth and Penzance.

Someone once told me the reason for the "pick up only" rule, but could someone please remind me?
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