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Author Topic: All quiet, campaign fatigue, or is rail becoming irrelevant?  (Read 2205 times)
Trowres
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« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2022, 08:40:45 pm »

I haven't travelled on the services of a franchised operator for over two years and the TOCs (Train Operating Company) have not been doing much to achieve that valued commodity "goodwill". Some recent journeys have been made by car whereas I would previously have used rail.

However, I've had cause to buy some tickets today. What a rigmarole... (I will describe on the appropriate thread).
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Timmer
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« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2022, 10:28:54 pm »

I guess that means BBQs rather than braziers on the picket lines? (especially on Sundays, if that day is included in the picketing week?)  Sad
Coming up from the Underground into St Pancras station this morning I was greeted by one heck of a din banging of drums and what I suspect were cowbells. Thought to myself it must be XR (Crossrail) or another environmental group only to find it was the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers)!

Perhaps there is some truth in the RMT replicating some of XR’s tactics and ways of protest.
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broadgage
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« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2022, 11:13:33 am »

If the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers) and XR (Crossrail) are to work together, then I suggest that the RMT accept the following.
Any braziers on picket lines to burn waste wood, NOT COAL.
Barbecues to burn only eco charcoal, complete with multiple green ticks.
RMT officials to walk or cycle when reasonable, and use electric cars otherwise.

XR in turn should accept the following.
That they should assist (passively) at RMT pickets and demos.
XR to understand that trains can be made greener, in some yet to defined way, by having an extra union member on each train.
Not targeting trains, underground or otherwise, if driven by RMT members. (except by prior agreement when the overtime payment will be welcomed)
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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.
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2022, 11:51:25 am »

In terms of the initial question posed in this thread, some of the comments on this forum seem to be getting dafter by the day.  It increasing seems not to be a place for sensible debate.  Part of the reason for less activity?

No wonder several of the members that work in the industry post less frequently or have stopped completely in the last year or two.
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grahame
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« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2022, 06:40:08 pm »

In terms of the initial question posed in this thread, some of the comments on this forum seem to be getting dafter by the day.  It increasing seems not to be a place for sensible debate.  Part of the reason for less activity?

No wonder several of the members that work in the industry post less frequently or have stopped completely in the last year or two.


There may very well be a grain of truth in that, but "the whole" is complex.   

The last year or two has "gifted" us the challenges of Covid and that has, perhaps, contributed to the lack of meat in discussions and some of the frivolity.  It has also brought a challenging new environment which feels like it has pushed us back from partnership with the rail industry to campaigning. I am personally at my wits end as I try and partner to promote a service which for all three of the last three weekends has failed (on the day) to deliver day trip opportunities from Melksham to Weymouth and in this awful (sorry, it is!) environment rail professionals are pitted against members of the public - not conducive to posting / helping.  Seeing the same thing in social media on buses where drivers are very much at the forefront of anger.

But that brings up a further historic metric too.  We have had, and retain, some wonderfully helpful friends both posting here and helping us understand where to look for emerging news and what it means.  Part of the reason some of these people have chosen their particular job is because they can get on with it, without needing to be an unexpected teacher of the uninitiated (and irrationally angry) ... and sadly a couple of these professional who have posted here have been put off by as little as one other member; understandable yet heartbreaking for the moderator team and a cause for much soul searching and analysis afterwards when it happens. To all professional readers, posters, people who keep us informed - thank you, we value you more than perhaps we say at times.   We continue to be a passenger forum, mind you - and we (as moderators / admins) will always look to help defuse and move on from such incidents, deflecting and explaining ourselves in those very, very rare cases of things blowing.

Adding further - with Covid and it's effects and following decisions "on high", it's all been pressure - and continues to be on rail professionals who (widely) seem to have even less time now for the "softer" activities of passenger and user group interaction, consultation and the like.  There are some excellent elements still around, but there are far less, end there are extra hoops where they are no longer allowed to do something without signoff on high, or even on very high.

I started with "a grain of truth". There are other things too.  The social media explosion of the last 10 years, and the movement on to smart phones, has moved many people on - "we have 'competition' we didn't have a decade ago". The removal of many of the more interesting services and simplifications may have cut the number of things to talk about too.  The aspects of this are on our radar ...

[Stopping there ... headed off to help the police ... mind on other things ... but I am fine / AOK]

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ChrisB
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« Reply #20 on: May 03, 2022, 07:12:32 pm »

It has also brought a challenging new environment which feels like it has pushed us back from partnership with the rail industry to campaigning. I am personally at my wits end as I try and partner to promote a service which for all three of the last three weekends has failed (on the day) to deliver day trip opportunities from Melksham to Weymouth

.....
Adding further - with Covid and it's effects and following decisions "on high", it's all been pressure - and continues to be on rail professionals who (widely) seem to have even less time now for the "softer" activities of passenger and user group interaction, consultation and the like.  There are some excellent elements still around, but there are far less, end there are extra hoops where they are no longer allowed to do something without signoff on high, or even on very high.

It is hard on both sides - but the blame must fall on the DfT» (Department for Transport - about). The TOCs (Train Operating Company) aren't being paid to chat/discuss/plan with their passenger partners as there's no monetary gain any more, the TOCs simply being paid a fixed sum to run specified services. So of course their time is expended on different priorities these days. Their hands are very firmly tied by a budget handed don from their paymasters - and if it isn't specified in the budget there's no money in it, how ever much they'd like to help out & see the wisdom in the suggestion. There are pots of money, but very tightly specified and no longer sitting with the TOCs directly - but biddable by them (In a very few cases - Access for All being one) - and bodies like Comminity Rail who have at least 4 other pots for good works in their areas.

Work up a scheme in your local area's community rail region & work with them to bid on your project would seem a way forward, but that isn't likely to include providing additional long-distance services, more likely on stations and local services. Additional, Longer, more strategic services are probably on a hold until GBR (Great British Railways) can get their teeth into the rail system as a whole. Whether they will deem stakeholder involvement (rather than TOC involvement) a worthy way to sperd time & resource is still unknown.

Unfortunately, the days of partnering with TOCs to improve services has disappeared. A lot more money is required (almost to a point where the vast majority of funds need to be made) to partner with NR» (Network Rail - home page) & eventually with GBR if improvements are now to be made, IMHO (in my humble opinion)
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bobm
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« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2022, 07:17:47 pm »

This RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers)/XR (Crossrail) debate could get confusing.  XR is the TOC (Train Operating Company) code for TfL» (Transport for London - about) Rail/Crossrail/Elizabeth Line!
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grahame
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« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2022, 06:36:42 am »

Work up a scheme in your local area's community rail region & work with them to bid on your project would seem a way forward, but that isn't likely to include providing additional long-distance services, more likely on stations and local services. Additional, Longer, more strategic services are probably on a hold until GBR (Great British Railways) can get their teeth into the rail system as a whole. Whether they will deem stakeholder involvement (rather than TOC (Train Operating Company) involvement) a worthy way to spend time & resource is still unknown.

Unfortunately, the days of partnering with TOCs to improve services has disappeared. ....

I'm not entirely sure on the longer distance stuff, Chris, and feel that now is not the time to relax. Whilst we (Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge) lost our London service in December, and lose our Brighton service this month, I note that Middlebrough has gained through services to London, and there may be other examples of loses and gains too.   But certainly the decisions behind these service changes has shifted and is now far less about the business case and far more about the political one.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2022, 11:58:13 am »

I do agree that the long-distance operators being run by the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) do seem to have a tad more freedom in trialling new services - perhaps because they are already controlled directly & without contract.
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broadgage
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« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2022, 10:03:41 am »


I suspect that the majority of the general public, rather than the likes of us, won’t “enquire,” they vote with their feet

If the railways wanted to lose trade, this would be by a very good way to go about it

Increasing fares whilst not calling a fares increase a fares increase is hardly likely to increase repeat business. People will see through this newspeak quite easily and the media would have a field day with it, thereby reducing new passenger numbers still further.

Another good way to lose trade is to have frequent short-notice cancellations. There is a thread running at the moment about the south-west bound semi-fasts being chopped due to staff shortages but there is another example far closer to home that affects Graham much more than me. That is the level of cancellations on the Westbury to Swindon service, which has often found an entire crew shift’s worth of trains cancelled. It is starting to amaze me that there are still people using Melksham station at all.

Trains booked as 9 or 10 car running with 5; what passes for a catering service cancelled because nobody can be found who has been trained to wheel a trolley backwards; the list of things that look like they are actually designed to push passenger numbers down is a long one.

Nobody in senior management seems in the slightest inclined to sort out these problems.

There are some on this forum who feel that the government is still as anti-rail as it was in Margaret Thatcher’s time. Personally I don’t believe they are right for a number if practical reasons including facts like building new roads has been seen as impractical for over 30 years, the existing road network struggles to cope with existing road traffic, and that the matter of climate change and pollution are not going to magically go away, and the government knows it. Nevertheless, apparently powerless senior railway management, possibly aided, abetted and/or instructed by the Treasury appear to be doing all they can to make these situations worse

Let’s be honest. If your local Sainsburys treated its customers with as much contempt as the railways are currently doing, the next time your cupboards were getting bare you’d be going to Asda or Morrison or Tesco for the next stock up



Careful now, or you will start to sound like me.
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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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As well as posting messages onto existing threads, and starting new subjects, members can communicate with each other through personal messages if they wish. And once members have made a certain number of posts, they will automatically be admitted to the "frequent posters club", where subjects not-for-public-domain are discussed; anything from the occasional rant to meetups we may be having ...

 
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