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Author Topic: Independent catering at stations  (Read 566 times)
grahame
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« on: October 05, 2022, 05:48:22 am »

Stations in Wiltshire on the Cardiff - Portsmouth service (Warminster, Westbury, Trowbridge, Bradford-on-Avon) and also some other Wiltshire stations (Pewsey, Melksham, Chippenham) have small independent catering facilities based at the station or providing mobile catering there on a daily basis.   Reports are that, unsurprisingly, their business is seriously down at present and that some of them are in trouble.
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2022, 07:48:01 am »

At the recent SERUG AGM (Annual General Meeting) at Yeovil Railway Centre, Claire Mann stated (in as many words) that on-train catering is a 'thing of the past' and that on-or-near-station catering will be actively sought if it didn't already exist. 
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2022, 08:16:38 am »

At the recent SERUG AGM (Annual General Meeting) at Yeovil Railway Centre, Claire Mann stated (in as many words) that on-train catering is a 'thing of the past' and that on-or-near-station catering will be actively sought if it didn't already exist. 

Did she tell you what First Group companies are doing to help ensure that existing at-station catering survives the loss of business through the current disruption?
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2022, 08:22:15 am »

At the recent SERUG AGM (Annual General Meeting) at Yeovil Railway Centre, Claire Mann stated (in as many words) that on-train catering is a 'thing of the past' and that on-or-near-station catering will be actively sought if it didn't already exist. 

She has a reasonable point on shorter journeys - that's the majority for SWR» (South Western Railway - about).  With their longer distance services (for example, today's 08:20 from Waterloo to Exeter which gets there 4 hours 23 minutes later at 12:43), it's an awful long time between opportunities to buy a cup of coffee or a bottle of water.
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2022, 08:38:17 am »

At the recent SERUG AGM (Annual General Meeting) at Yeovil Railway Centre, Claire Mann stated (in as many words) that on-train catering is a 'thing of the past' and that on-or-near-station catering will be actively sought if it didn't already exist. 

Did she tell you what First Group companies are doing to help ensure that existing at-station catering survives the loss of business through the current disruption?

Not that I can recall.
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2022, 08:48:36 am »

At the recent SERUG AGM (Annual General Meeting) at Yeovil Railway Centre, Claire Mann stated (in as many words) that on-train catering is a 'thing of the past' and that on-or-near-station catering will be actively sought if it didn't already exist. 

She has a reasonable point on shorter journeys - that's the majority for SWR» (South Western Railway - about).  With their longer distance services (for example, today's 08:20 from Waterloo to Exeter which gets there 4 hours 23 minutes later at 12:43), it's an awful long time between opportunities to buy a cup of coffee or a bottle of water.

I wanted to ask a question along those lines, but time ran out. I have sent her an email and await the response. 

She may, of course, argue that the current timetable has several long layovers at stations where the passenger could 'hop off and purchase refreshments'.   Wink

Although I haven't done so recently, I have often caught any of the 05:19; 06:50 or 07:31 from Pinhoe to Salisbury/Basingstoke or Waterloo. All of these before any station catering is likely to be open, so I guess the situation would be 'bring your own' now.
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grahame
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2022, 09:05:20 am »

She may, of course, argue that the current timetable has several long layovers at stations where the passenger could 'hop off and purchase refreshments'.   Wink

Gillingham and Honiton, right?  I don't know what catering is like there, so how practical that is.
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2022, 10:34:15 am »

She may, of course, argue that the current timetable has several long layovers at stations where the passenger could 'hop off and purchase refreshments'.   Wink

Gillingham and Honiton, right?  I don't know what catering is like there, so how practical that is.

Gillingham has a small cafe/shop. I am not aware of anything (yet) at Honiton.

Of course, if and when the full timetable is restored, the layovers will probably be at Tisbury Loop or Chard Junction  Sad
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paul7575
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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2022, 01:55:25 pm »

At the recent SERUG AGM (Annual General Meeting) at Yeovil Railway Centre, Claire Mann stated (in as many words) that on-train catering is a 'thing of the past' and that on-or-near-station catering will be actively sought if it didn't already exist. 

She has a reasonable point on shorter journeys - that's the majority for SWR» (South Western Railway - about).  With their longer distance services (for example, today's 08:20 from Waterloo to Exeter which gets there 4 hours 23 minutes later at 12:43), it's an awful long time between opportunities to buy a cup of coffee or a bottle of water.

That’s a longer time than the fastest ECML (East Coast Main Line) service from Edinburgh to Kings Cross and I bet that isn’t having its catering removed…
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Clan Line
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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2022, 03:56:46 pm »

The coffee shop on Warminster Station is called Caspers.  This is/was Casper...........always had a friendly purr for station users.

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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2022, 05:02:53 pm »

Spreading the thread a little wider, pre-pandemic, along the Cotswold Line, there were (or had recently been) outlets at Evesham, Moreton, Kingham, Charlbury and Hanborough.  There also used to be a greasy spoon van at Pershore and the promise of a coffee outlet at the recently opened Worcestershire Parkway.

How many have those survive today?  Regular users of the line might be able to confirm, but I’m not sure any of them have other than the Evesham one?

Fortunately almost all services on the route retain a popular trolley service and first class host.
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Mark A
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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2022, 10:19:57 am »

She's wearing a mass transit cap while heading up a TOC (Train Operating Company) that runs some quite long distance services. Other TOCs may disagree.

Sunday morning involved an LNER» (London North Eastern Railway - about) IEP (Intercity Express Program / Project.) from Bradford Forster Square to Kings Cross.

Sunday train services can come across as having little investment from anyone. Not so with LNER, though the stock for the service did roll up a little late at Bradford, it was spotless inside and out (and the outside needs to be as there's a large amount of white in their livery and if it wasn't clean it would look terrible, unlike a certain green livery that still looks terrible when not clean but hides the fact so the train providers can hope no one notices).

Standard was busy from Wakefield, 1st was ~80% full from there and ~90% from Grantham. In appearance, 1st occupied by an 'ordinary cross-section of passengers' travelling on advance purchase tickets, so, young to people in their fifties, several with young children, one with a dog, another with a puppy. Not many over sixties.

LNER 1st class have a range of menus depending on the train and time of day, this train was considered to be breakfasty and carried the 'Dish' menu.

The crew successfully put the case to a Grantham passenger that alcohol wasn't on the menu as 'It's only served on our trains that leave their originating station after 11:30 and this one left Bradford at 10:25am' so it appears that the menu's roughly pitched at the time the train leaves the first station rather than the time that it carries the most passengers.

The travel to London passed very quickly - on an IEP that's not carrying diesel engine's the ride's different and rather better. At Stevenage, by chance, and before Kings Cross, we were alongside Thameslink services - they've  an austere appearance including particularly severe ironing board style seats. There's a thought experiment to be had with train interiors - imagine yourself into a car showroom and think 'How would this train interior look if transferred to a car?' - even given that train interiors have to be public transport in a way that a private car interior does not, Thameslink would fare particularly badly.

Mark

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